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Title: Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing

Abstract

The injection of swelling-clay slurries into joints or faults at a deep-burial nuclear waste disposal site may result in signficant permeability reductions for the effective containment of radioactive wastes. In an experiment conducted to illustrate the permeability change accompanying clay swelling, a coarse stone with interconnected pore spaces was injected with a clay-electrolyte slurry, modelling the pressure-grouting of a fractured repository rock. Subsequently, solutions with lower electroylte concentrations were driven through the clay-filled stone, corresponding to migration of lower salinity ground-waters through the clay-grouted fracture. The initial injection procedure reduced the permeability of the stone from 1--10 darcies to 700 nanodarcies; the changes in solution composition decreased permeability by more than 2 additional orders of magnitude to 3 nanodarcies. For application at a nuclear waste repository, the electrolyte concentration of the injected clay slurry should be made higher than that of the ground-water in the host rock. Subesquent interaction of the ground-water with the clays would initiate swelling and create the additional, post-injection permeability reductions that may be important in preventing the escape of buried radioactive wastes. The measured permeability of the clay filling is considerably lower than that of cement tested for borehole plugging. Clays also have the advantagemore » over cement and chemical grouts in that they are geologically stable at relatively low temperatures and have a high capacity for radionuclide adsorption.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
U. S. Geological Survey, Menlo Park, California 94025
OSTI Identifier:
6672019
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Journal Name:
Geophys. Res. Lett.; (United States)
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9:9
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; CLAYS; PERMEABILITY; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; MANAGEMENT; MASS TRANSFER; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; 052002* - Nuclear Fuels- Waste Disposal & Storage

Citation Formats

Moore, D E, Morrow, C A, and Byerlee, J D. Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing. United States: N. p., 1982. Web. doi:10.1029/GL009i009p01009.
Moore, D E, Morrow, C A, & Byerlee, J D. Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing. United States. doi:10.1029/GL009i009p01009.
Moore, D E, Morrow, C A, and Byerlee, J D. Wed . "Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing". United States. doi:10.1029/GL009i009p01009.
@article{osti_6672019,
title = {Use of swelling clays to reduce permeability and its potential application to nuclear waste repository sealing},
author = {Moore, D E and Morrow, C A and Byerlee, J D},
abstractNote = {The injection of swelling-clay slurries into joints or faults at a deep-burial nuclear waste disposal site may result in signficant permeability reductions for the effective containment of radioactive wastes. In an experiment conducted to illustrate the permeability change accompanying clay swelling, a coarse stone with interconnected pore spaces was injected with a clay-electrolyte slurry, modelling the pressure-grouting of a fractured repository rock. Subsequently, solutions with lower electroylte concentrations were driven through the clay-filled stone, corresponding to migration of lower salinity ground-waters through the clay-grouted fracture. The initial injection procedure reduced the permeability of the stone from 1--10 darcies to 700 nanodarcies; the changes in solution composition decreased permeability by more than 2 additional orders of magnitude to 3 nanodarcies. For application at a nuclear waste repository, the electrolyte concentration of the injected clay slurry should be made higher than that of the ground-water in the host rock. Subesquent interaction of the ground-water with the clays would initiate swelling and create the additional, post-injection permeability reductions that may be important in preventing the escape of buried radioactive wastes. The measured permeability of the clay filling is considerably lower than that of cement tested for borehole plugging. Clays also have the advantage over cement and chemical grouts in that they are geologically stable at relatively low temperatures and have a high capacity for radionuclide adsorption.},
doi = {10.1029/GL009i009p01009},
journal = {Geophys. Res. Lett.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 9:9,
place = {United States},
year = {1982},
month = {9}
}