Bentonite mechanical evolution (BEACON)

Project programme
Period
01.06.2017 - 31.05.2022
Project status
Ongoing
Project table
Project website
Database link

The overall objective of the project is to develop and test the tools necessary for the assessment of the hydro-mechanical evolution of an installed bentonite barrier and its resulting performance. This will be achieved by cooperation between design and engineering, science and performance assessment. The evolution from an installed engineered system to a fully functioning barrier will be assessed. One of the challenges is to take into account initial heterogeneities introduced in the system by conception with a combination of block and pellets or due to the size of the bentonite component (several 100 m3). It will require a more detailed understanding of material properties, of the fundamental processes that lead to homogenisation, of the role of scale effects and improved capabilities for numerical modelling. The goal is to verify the performance of current designs for buffers, backfills, seals and plugs. The overall driver for the project is the assessment cases that will be defined at the onset of the project (WP1). The quantitative models currently available are not fully able to represent all the complexities of the evolution of an installed bentonite. A substantial effort is needed to improve both the conceptual approaches and the numerical solutions in the current models (WP3). The updated/newly developed models need to be tested and verified using available data (WP5). There are some areas where fundamental data and the understanding of materials are incomplete. An efficient experimental programme will support model development and testing (WP4). There is already a large database from experiments performed within EC projects and national programmes, both laboratory and Underground Research Laboratory (URL) experiments. Many of the tests have been performed with other purposes in mind, but the results can be used in the Beacon project. The objective of WP2 is to collect the relevant information and process it to a level where it can be used in this project.

LEI activities in the Project

LEI investigates processes affecting bentonite properties and behaviour under repository conditions. A numerical model for evaluation of this behaviour of bentonite in the long term perspective of repository lifetime will be developed using the modelling tool COMSOL MULTIPHYSICS. LEI will perform simulations of proposed tests at different scales and safety assessment benchmark study for Swedish KBS-3 deposition tunnel backfill (which is similar to Lithuanian case). Modelling results will be compared to the results of Project partners.

Total cost: 4 051 777,50 EUR (LEI part: 95 000 EUR)

Coordinator: SVENSK KARNBRANSLEHANTERING AKTIEBOLAG, Sweden

Participants:

  • RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORY AUTHORITY, Czech Republic
  • POSIVA OY, Finland
  • AGENCE NATIONALE POUR LA GESTION DES DECHETS RADIOACTIFS, France
  • NATIONALE GENOSSENSCHAFT FUER DIE LAGERUNG RADIOAKTIVER ABFAELLE, Switzerland
  • EMPRESA NACIONAL DE RESIDUOS RADIACTIVOS S.A., Spain
  • RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT LIMITED, United Kingdom
  • MILJOORGANISATIONERNAS KARNAVFALLSGRANSKNING, Sweden
  • UNIVERSITAT POLITECNICA DE CATALUNYA, Spain
  • GESELLSCHAFT FUR ANLAGEN UND REAKTORSICHERHEIT (GRS) gGmbH, Germany
  • CESKE VYSOKE UCENI TECHNICKE V PRAZE, Czech Republic
  • UNIVERZITA KARLOVA, Czech Republic
  • COMMISSARIAT A L ENERGIE ATOMIQUE ET AUX ENERGIES ALTERNATIVES, France
  • TEKNOLOGIAN TUTKIMUSKESKUS VTT OY, Finland
  • UNIVERSITE DE LIEGE, Belgium
  • BUNDESANSTALT FUER GEOWISSENSCHAFTEN UND ROHSTOFFE, Germany
  • KARLSRUHER INSTITUT FUER TECHNOLOGIE, Germany
  • LIETUVOS ENERGETIKOS INSTITUTAS, Lithuania
  • CENTRO DE INVESTIGACIONES ENERGETICAS, MEDIOAMBIENTALES Y TECNOLOGICAS-CIEMAT, Spain
  • CLAY TECHNOLOGY AB, Sweden
  • ECOLE POLYTECHNIQUE FEDERALE DE LAUSANNE, Switzerland
  • IMPERIAL COLLEGE OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND MEDICINE, United Kingdom
  • QUINTESSA LIMITED, United Kingdom
  • NATURAL ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH COUNCIL, United Kingdom
  • JYVASKYLAN YLIOPISTO, Finland

Project Team

Name, surname Office phone. e-mail

LEI Representative
 
Povilas Poškas 62-BRK +37037401891 Povilas.Poskas@lei.lt

Project Team
 
Darius Justinavičius 64-BRK +37037401886 Darius.Justinavicius@lei.lt
Asta Narkūnienė 64-BRK +37037401886 Asta.Narkuniene@lei.lt
Artūras Šmaižys 54-BRK +37037401890 Arturas.Smaizys@lei.lt
Audrius Šimonis 78-BRK +37037401902 Audrius.Simonis@lei.lt
Gintautas Poškas 61-BRK +37037401883 Gintautas.Poskas@lei.lt