Helsingin yliopisto


Helsingin yliopiston verkkojulkaisut

University of Helsinki, Helsinki 2006

Host Rock Classification (HRC) system for nuclear waste disposal in crystalline bedrock

Annika Hagros

Doctoral dissertation, October 2006.
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Science, Department of Geology.

A new rock mass classification scheme, the Host Rock Classification system (HRC-system) has been developed for evaluating the suitability of volumes of rock mass for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in Precambrian crystalline bedrock. To support the development of the system, the requirements of host rock to be used for disposal have been studied in detail and the significance of the various rock mass properties have been examined. The HRC-system considers both the long-term safety of the repository and the constructability in the rock mass. The system is specific to the KBS-3V disposal concept and can be used only at sites that have been evaluated to be suitable at the site scale. By using the HRC-system, it is possible to identify potentially suitable volumes within the site at several different scales (repository, tunnel and canister scales).

The selection of the classification parameters to be included in the HRC-system is based on an extensive study on the rock mass properties and their various influences on the long-term safety, the constructability and the layout and location of the repository. The parameters proposed for the classification at the repository scale include fracture zones, strength/stress ratio, hydraulic conductivity and the Groundwater Chemistry Index. The parameters proposed for the classification at the tunnel scale include hydraulic conductivity, Q and fracture zones and the parameters proposed for the classification at the canister scale include hydraulic conductivity, Q, fracture zones, fracture width (aperture + filling) and fracture trace length.

The parameter values will be used to determine the suitability classes for the volumes of rock to be classified. The HRC-system includes four suitability classes at the repository and tunnel scales and three suitability classes at the canister scale and the classification process is linked to several important decisions regarding the location and acceptability of many components of the repository at all three scales. The HRC-system is, thereby, one possible design tool that aids in locating the different repository components into volumes of host rock that are more suitable than others and that are considered to fulfil the fundamental requirements set for the repository host rock.

The generic HRC-system, which is the main result of this work, is also adjusted to the site-specific properties of the Olkiluoto site in Finland and the classification procedure is demonstrated by a test classification using data from Olkiluoto.

Keywords: host rock, classification, HRC-system, nuclear waste disposal, long-term safety, constructability, KBS-3V, crystalline bedrock, Olkiluoto

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Last updated 07.09.2006

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