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Täby, Sweden

The impact of periglacial and glacial climate conditions on groundwater flow in fractured crystalline rock is studied by means of groundwater flow modeling of the Forsmark site, which was recently proposed as a repository site for the disposal of spent high-level nuclear fuel in Sweden. The employed model uses a thermal-hydraulically coupled approach for permafrost modeling and discusses changes in groundwater flow implied by the climate conditions found over northern Europe at different times during the last glacial cycle (Weichselian glaciation). It is concluded that discharge of particles released at repository depth occurs very close to the ice-sheet margin in the absence of permafrost. If permafrost is included, the greater part discharges into taliks in the periglacial area. During a glacial cycle, hydraulic gradients at repository depth reach their maximum values when the ice-sheet margin passes over the site; at this time, also, the interface between fresh and saline waters is distorted the most. The combined effect of advances and retreats during several glaciations has not been studied in the present work; however, the results indicate that hydrochemical conditions at depth in the groundwater flow model are almost restored after a single event of ice-sheet advance and retreat. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Effects on groundwater flow of abandoned engineered structures in relation to a potential geological repository for spent high-level nuclear fuel in fractured crystalline rock at the Forsmark site, Sweden, are studied by means of numerical modeling. The effects are analyzed by means of particle tracking, and transport-related performance measures are calculated. The impacts of abandoned, partially open repository tunnels are studied for two situations with different climate conditions: a "temperate" climate case with present-day boundary conditions, and a generic future "glacial" climate case with an ice sheet covering the repository. Then, the impact of abandoned open boreholes drilled through the repository is studied for present-day climate conditions. It is found that open repository tunnels and open boreholes can act as easy pathways from repository level to the ground surface; hence, they can attract a considerable proportion of particles released in the model at deposition hole positions within the repository. The changed flow field and flow paths cause some changes in the studied performance measures, i.e., increased flux at the deposition holes and decreased transport lengths and flow-related transport resistances. However, these effects are small and the transport resistance values are still high. © 2014 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

The Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) has proposed the Forsmark site as a future repository for spent high-level nuclear fuel, involving disposal at about 470 m depth in sparsely fractured crystalline bedrock. An essential part of the completed inter-disciplinary site investigation was to develop an integrated account of the site and its regional setting, including the current state of the geosphere and the biosphere as well as natural processes affecting long-term evolution. First, this report recollects the integrated understanding and some key hydraulic characteristics of the crystalline bedrock at Forsmark along with a description of the flow model set-up and the methodology used for paleoclimatic flow modeling. Second, the protocol used for site-scale groundwater flow and solute transport modeling is demonstrated. In order to conduct a quantitative assessment of groundwater flow paths at Forsmark, the standard guide for groundwater flow modeling was elaborated on, to support both discrete and porous media flow approaches. In total, four independent types of data were used to confirm that the final groundwater flow model for the crystalline bedrock was representative of site conditions. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

The large-scale geological structure of the crystalline rock at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository site at Forsmark, Sweden, has been classified in terms of deformation zones of elevated fracture frequency. The rock between deformation zones was divided into fracture domains according to fracture frequency. A methodology to constrain the geometric and hydraulic parameters that define a discrete fracture network (DFN) model for each fracture domain is presented. The methodology is based on flow logging and down-hole imaging in cored boreholes in combination with DFN realizations, fracture connectivity analysis and pumping test simulations. The simulations suggest that a good match could be obtained for a power law size distribution where the value of the location parameter equals the borehole radius but with different values for the shape parameter, depending on fracture domain and fracture set. Fractures around 10-100 m in size are the ones that typically form the connected network, giving inflows in the simulations. The report also addresses the issue of up-scaling of DFN properties to equivalent continuous porous medium (ECPM) bulk flow properties. Comparisons with double-packer injection tests provide confidence that the derived DFN formulation of detailed flows within individual fractures is also suited to simulating mean bulk flow properties and their spatial variability. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

The Forsmark site was recently proposed by the Svensk Kärnbränslehantering AB (SKB) to serve as the potential site for construction of a future geological repository for spent high-level nuclear fuel at about 470 m depth in fractured crystalline rock. The considerations included, among other things, distance from regionally significant deformation zones with highly strained rock, lithological homogeneity, low hydraulic conductivity, groundwater salinity with an acceptable range, and lack of potential mineral resources. This report describes the calculation of transmissivity of deduced deformation zones at Forsmark and the transmissivity model used in the regional groundwater flow modeling carried out in support of the integrated site description. Besides significant decrease with increasing depth (more than four orders of magnitude over a depth of about 1 km), the calculated transmissivity values also reveal considerable spatial variability along the strikes of the zones, i.e. lateral heterogeneity (more than two orders of magnitude). A hydro-mechanical coupling is discussed, based on presented models for the tectonic evolution and the principal stress tensor. Tentatively, laboratory-scale relationships developed from normal stress experiments on a single fracture in crystalline rock can be used to estimate the maximum values of transmissivity of deduced deformation zones at Forsmark. © 2013 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

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