Since 1992 the international DECOVALEX (DEvelopment of COupled models and their VALidation against EXperiments) research project has been at the forefront of advancing the understanding of coupled thermal-hydrological-mechanical-chemical (THMC) processes in support of the safe geological disposal of radioactive wastes. Quintessa is participating in the current phase (DECOVALEX-2015) on behalf of Radioactive Waste Management Limited (RWM) as part of a project on coupled processes awarded to a consortium led by Amec Foster Wheeler.
- Task A is based on the SEALEX in-situ experiments in a tunnel in argillite at Tournemire in France. The objective is to predict the hydro-mechanical performance of bentonite-based seals in horizontal boreholes.
- Task C1 is analysing coupled THMC processes in experiments on rock fractures, in particular changes to fracture permeability through fluid-rock reactions under hydrothermal conditions.
The externally peer-reviewed second annual report, covering the period April 2013 to April 2014, has now been published by RWM. The first annual report (April 2012 to April 2013), which was also subject to external peer-review, is also available and provides additional context about Task A and C1.