Compacted bentonite is to be used as a buffer material between waste canisters and the bedrock in the deep geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste in several countries. In spite of the fact that such large bentonite systems have long equilibration times, estimation of the material properties and performance in repository conditions is often based on short-term, laboratory-scale experiments. Sample-preparation procedures in these experiments may differ from the natural evolution of the bentonite in the repository, however, affecting the bentonite properties. The present study reports the influence on the structure of clay tactoids of four different preparation procedures of water-saturated, compacted MX-80 bentonite samples using four target dry bulk densities. Small-angle X-ray scattering was used to illustrate the differences between the samples. The different treatments of the bentonite samples may lead to different structural features. Clear differences between low-density samples prepared using different procedures were observed. The influence of the preparation methods was less, but still noticeable, for the high-density samples.
- repository conditions
- small-angle X-ray scatterin