Materiales de Construcción, Vol 61, No 303 (2011)

Engineered barriers for radioactive waste confinement

R. Fernández
Instituto Eduardo Torroja de Ciencias de la Construcción (CSIC), Spain


Nuclear power plants generate long-lived radioactive waste of high toxicity. The security assessment of repositories destined to definitive confinement of radioactive waste has been studied for several decades. Deep geological repositories are technically feasible and begin to be built by some pioneer countries. The scientific evaluation of interactions between the different engineered barriers is studied by laboratory experiments, natural analogues and modeling studies. The three methods are able to represent and validate the main geochemical processes that take place in the near field. This paper reviews the scientific and technical basis of the concept of geological disposal, with particular focus on the methods of study applied to the evaluation of geochemical stability of the bentonite barrier.


radioactive waste; deep geological repository; engineered barriers; concrete; bentonite

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