Parametric study of high-level nuclear waste storage in underground hard rock caverns

Altıntaş, Taci Emre
Abduljabar, Alak Abdulsatar Abduljabar
Yardımcı, Ahmet Güneş
Rising global energy demand has set nuclear energy as a trending power generation method dueto its production cost and efficiency advantages. Remnants of the reactive process create large amountsof radioactive waste that pose environmental risks in case of improper management. High-level wastesare widely isolated by burying into deep geological voids or man-made excavations due to continuousheat emission for hundreds of years. Although design and excavating large underground caverns is apart of ordinary Rock Engineering practice, high temperature leads to challenging mechanical problemsdue to changing rock mass properties. Unexpected fracture propagation is risky in terms of seepage ofpolluted groundwater. Hence, the thermal effect on rock mass geomechanical properties must beconsidered for a proper cavern design. This study presents an experimental and numerical work toassess nuclear waste storage in hard rock caverns. The thermal effect on geomechanical properties ofandesite samples was explored. Parametric studies were performed on Finite Element simulations toinvestigate alternative cavern designs. Thermal damage on rock mass has proven to be an effectivemechanism for stability of storage caverns.
27th International Mining Congress and Exhibition (IMCET 2022)


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Citation Formats
T. E. Altıntaş, A. A. A. Abduljabar, and A. G. Yardımcı, “Parametric study of high-level nuclear waste storage in underground hard rock caverns,” presented at the 27th International Mining Congress and Exhibition (IMCET 2022), Antalya, Türkiye, 2022, Accessed: 00, 2022. [Online]. Available: