Groundwater flow analysis and dose rate estimates from releases to wells at a coastal site

Eero Kattilakoski, Vesa Suolanen

    Research output: Book/ReportReport


    In the groundwater flow modelling part of this work the effective dilution volume in the well scenario was estimated by means of transient simulations of groundwater flow and transport, which are coupled due to the varying salinity. Both deep, drilled wells and shallow surface wells in the vicinity of the repository were considered. The simulations covered the time period from the present to 1000 years after the present. Conceptually the fractured bedrock consists of planar fracture zones (with a high fracture density and a greater ability to conduct water) and the intact rock (in which the fracture density and the hydraulic conductivity are low). For them the equivalent-continuum model was applied separately. Thus, the fractured bedrock was considered as piecewise homogeneous (except for the depth dependence) and isotropic continuum with representative average characteristics. A generic simulation model for groundwater flow and solute transport was developed on the basis of geological, hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical data at a coastal area. The simulation model contains all the data necessary for the numerical simulations, i.e. the groundwater table and topography, salinity, the postglacial land uplift and sea level rise, the conceptual geometry of fracture zones, the hydraulic properties of the bedrock as well as the description of the modelling volume. The model comprises an area of about 26 km2. It covers an island and the surrounding sea. The finite element code FEFTRA (formerly known as FEFLOW) was used in this work for the numerical solution. The channelling along the flow routes was found to be critical for the resulting in a well. A deep well may extend near the area of the deep flow routes, but in order to get flow routes into a shallow well, it has to be placed in the immediate vicinity of the discharge areas. According to the groundwater flow analyses the effective dilution volume of the well seems to vary from 30 000 m3/a to 460 000 m3/a. Due to the placing of the shallow wells in the discharge areas, the dilution calculated in the shallow well was shown to be close to that calculated in the deep well. In conservative considerations the value around 90 000 m3/a can be regarded as a representative expectation value of the effective dilution of the well. This dilution volume value was also suggested by the most realistic modelling approach of the groundwater flow analysis. It was used as basis when calculating the nuclide specific dose conversion factors (DCF's) for the drinking water pathway. The DCF's were calculated for unit release rates (1 Bq/a) and the assumed water consumption rate was 2 litres/day.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationHelsinki
    Number of pages29
    ISBN (Print)951-712-417-1
    Publication statusPublished - 2000
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

    Publication series



    • nuclear waste disposal
    • groundwater flow analysis
    • dose conversion factor
    • well scenario


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