Organizers: Dr. Maria Victoria Villar Galicia, CIEMAT, and Prof. Marcelo Sanchez, Texas A&M University
Deep geological disposal is one of most favored solutions for the isolation of high level nuclear waste. In this type of application, both host rock and engineered clay barriers are subjected to simultaneous thermal, hydraulic, mechanical and geo-chemical (THMG) phenomena triggered by the heat-emitting nature of the nuclear waste, the swelling character of the unsaturated clay barrier, and the highly confined conditions of the isolation system. A good understanding of the THMG processes described above, and their mutual interactions, is critical to conduct reliable predictions related to the evolution and long term response of the whole isolation system. This proposed mini-symposium will focus on current advances and key challenges in this area, covering aspects that range from small-medium scale laboratory tests, to field experiments under actual repository conditions; as well as constitutive and numerical modeling of the natural and engineered materials envisaged in the design of this type of problem.