skip to main content


Title: Evaluation of the predictive capability of coupled thermo-hydro-mechanical models for a heated bentonite/clay system (HE-E) in the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory

Process understanding and parameter identification using numerical methods based on experimental findings are a key aspect of the international cooperative project DECOVALEX. Comparing the predictions from numerical models against experimental results increases confidence in the site selection and site evaluation process for a radioactive waste repository in deep geological formations. In the present phase of the project, DECOVALEX-2015, eight research teams have developed and applied models for simulating an in-situ heater experiment HE-E in the Opalinus Clay in the Mont Terri Rock Laboratory in Switzerland. The modelling task was divided into two study stages, related to prediction and interpretation of the experiment. A blind prediction of the HE-E experiment was performed based on calibrated parameter values for both the Opalinus Clay, that were based on the modelling of another in-situ experiment (HE-D), and modelling of laboratory column experiments on MX80 granular bentonite and a sand/bentonite mixture .. After publication of the experimental data, additional coupling functions were analysed and considered in the different models. Moreover, parameter values were varied to interpret the measured temperature, relative humidity and pore pressure evolution. The analysis of the predictive and interpretative results reveals the current state of understanding and predictability of coupled THM behavioursmore » associated with geologic nuclear waste disposal in clay formations.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [5] ;  [5] ;  [6] ;  [6] ;  [7] ;  [8] ;  [9] ;  [10] ;  [10] ;  [10] ;  [10] ;  [11] ;  [12]
  1. National Cooperative for the Disposal of Radioactive Waste (NAGRA), Wettingen (Switzerland)
  2. Federal Inst. for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR), Hanover (Germany)
  3. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Ottawa (Canada)
  4. Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
  5. Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Leipzig (Germany)
  6. Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), Wuhan (China)
  7. Korea Atomic Energy Research Inst. (KAERI), Daejeon (Korea)
  8. Swiss Federal Nuclear Safety Inspectorate (ENSI), Brugg (Switzerland)
  9. Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA), Tokyo (Japan)
  10. Centre for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), San Antonio, TX (United States)
  11. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Rockville, MD (United States)
  12. Inst. for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN), Fontenay-aux-Roses (France)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Environmental Earth Sciences
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 76; Journal Issue: 2; Journal ID: ISSN 1866-6280
Research Org:
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. (LBNL), Berkeley, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
Country of Publication:
United States
OSTI Identifier: