An improved model for through-diffusion experiments: application to strontium and tritiated water (HTO) diffusion in Boom Clay and compacted illite

Research outputpeer-review


Through-diffusion experiments are conventional experiments to measure the transport parameters of radionuclides in clays. Typically, a regular replacement of the outlet volume by a tracer-free volume is performed. In the classical approach, this type of through-diffusion experiment is modelled by assuming a zero concentration in the outlet volume. Nonetheless, this assumption is not always correct, usually because the outlet volume is insufficiently large or the time between two consecutive replacements of the outlet volume is too long. Therefore, a model was developed disregarding this assumption and, instead, considers the tracer concentration in the outlet volume to evolve, as in the experiments: the flux into the outlet volume increases the tracer concentration and, at each replacement, the tracer concentration in the outlet volume is set to zero. The model was used to reproduce the diffusion of strontium (Sr) and tritiated water (HTO) in illite and Boom Clay. Model results yielded good matches with the tracer evolution in the inlet and the outlet, and the tracer profile in the core at the end of the experiment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-210
Number of pages6
JournalGeological Society, London, Special Publications
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017
Event6th International Conference on Clays in Natural and Engineered Barriers for Radioactive Waste Confinement - NIRAS-ONDRAF in cooperation with Andra, COVRA, Nagra, NWMO, POSIVA and SKB, Brussels
Duration: 23 Mar 201526 Mar 2015

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