Chemical evolution of bentonite buffer in a final repository of spent nuclear fuel during the thermal phase

Aku Itälä (Corresponding Author), Markus Olin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Finnish spent nuclear fuel final disposal is planned to be based on the Kärnbränslesäkerhet 3-Vertical concept, which was originally planned for fractured crystalline bedrock. Within this concept, the role of the bentonite buffer is considered central. The aim of the study was to model the evolution of the final repository during the thermal phase (heat-generating period of spent fuel) when the bentonite is initially only partially saturated. There is an essential need to determine how temperature influences saturation and how both of these factors affect the chemistry of bentonite. In this study the Long-Term Test of Buffer Materials A2 parcel test at the Äspö hard rock laboratory in Sweden was modeled using TOUGHREACT code. The results focused on the following phenomena occurring in the bentonite: cation exchange, changes of bentonite pore water, mineral alterations, saturation, and pressure changes in bentonite buffer. The results show similarity with experimental data. However, the results are open to questions, and further study is needed to confirm the validity of the results. Differences between modeled and experimental results can be explained, for example, so that the experimental results are not from the fracture position as our one-dimensional model assumes.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342-352
    Number of pages11
    JournalNuclear Technology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2011
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed
    EventTOUGH Symposium 2009 - Berkeley, United States
    Duration: 14 Sept 200916 Sept 2009


    Dive into the research topics of 'Chemical evolution of bentonite buffer in a final repository of spent nuclear fuel during the thermal phase'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

    Cite this