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Regulatory Research on Thermo-Hydro-Mechanical-Chemical Processes

Abstract of the technical presentation presented at:
IACMAG Conference, Wuhan, China
October 19–23, 2017

Prepared by:
T. S. Nguyen
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


Many events and processes are expected to occur during the lifetime of a potential deep geological repository for radioactive waste, such as heat generation from the waste, seismicity and glaciation. As a result of those events and processes, the thermal-hydraulic-mechanical-chemical (THMC) regimes in the natural and engineered barriers of the repository will be perturbed, and the evolution of the THMC regimes and how this evolution affects the barriers’ performance need to be understood.

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s nuclear regulator, has been conducting independent experimental and theoretical research on coupled THMC processes for several decades. As part of this research, the CNSC used experimental data from laboratory tests and large-scale experiments at underground research laboratories (URLs) in order to develop a mathematical framework for the simulation of coupled processes in engineered and natural barriers for geological disposal. In this presentation, we describe that mathematical framework and show examples of how it was adapted and applied to several situations: a water and gas injection experiment at an URL, a heater experiment at an URL, and the effects of nine glacial cycles in a sedimentary rock formation.

View the presentation on which this abstract is based.

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