Initial Workshop for Beacon: Bentonite Mechanical Evolution

Quintessa is playing a leading role in the EURATOM Horizon2020 project "Beacon: Bentonite Mechanical Evolution". The Initial Workshop for this project was hosted by the Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas, Lithuania, in June 2017.

The Beacon project aims to build confidence amongst regulators and stakeholders regarding the performance of bentonite-based safety barriers in a geological repository. The assessment of long-term safety for many geological disposal concepts relies on a robust understanding of the spatial and temporal behaviour of bentonite. Quantitative models currently available are not fully able to represent all the complexities of the evolution of an installed bentonite. The current project aims to improve understanding of fundamental processes that control bentonite homogenisation and build improved numerical models to capture this understanding. This will help radioactive waste management organisations verify the performance of bentonite as buffers, backfills, seals and plugs in their repository concepts.

Quintessa attended the Initial Workshop for Beacon at which partners and other interested parties presented and discussed work that has been carried out on the mechanical properties of bentonite. The meeting was kindly hosted by the Lithuanian Energy Institute in Kaunas and had a busy agenda of talks and poster presentations.

Quintessa is a partner in the Beacon project and is editing the first project report on "Collection and compilation of existing data and available models". This report will provide a database of experiments, a subset of which will be chosen for modelling. Quintessa will contribute to modelling work aiming to build on work previously undertaken in DECOVALEX (Thatcher et al 2016).

The Beacon project is led by SKB. Quintessa will be working alongside SKB and the following organisation during the project: SURAO, Posiva, ANDRA, Nagra, Enresa, RWM, UPC, GRS, CTU, CU, CEA, VTT, ULg, BGR, KIT INE, LEI, CIEMAT, CT, EPFL, ICL, NERC/BGS and JYU.

This project receives funding from the Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018 under GAP No 745 942