Diffusive Transport of Dissolved Gases in Potential Concretes for Nuclear Waste Disposal

Research outputpeer-review


In many countries, the preferred option for the long-term management of high- and intermediate level radioactive waste and spent fuel is final disposal in a geological repository. In this geological repository, the generation of gas will be unavoidable. In order to make a correct balance between gas generation and dissipation by diffusion, knowledge of the diffusion coefficients of gases in the host rock and the engineered barriers is essential. Currently, diffusion coefficients for the Boom Clay, a potential Belgian host rock, are available, but the diffusion coefficients for gases in the engineered concrete barriers are still lacking. Therefore, diffusion experiments with dissolved gases were performed on two concrete-based barrier materials considered in the current Belgian disposal concept, by using the double through-diffusion technique for dissolved gases, which was developed in 2008 by SCK CEN. Diffusion measurements were performed with four gases including helium, neon, methane and ethane. Information on the microstructure of the materials (e.g., pore size distribution) was obtained by combining N2-adsorption, mercury intrusion porosimetry (MIP), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and water sorptivity measurements. A comparison was made with data obtained from cement-based samples (intact and degraded), and the validity of existing predictive models was investigated.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13181007
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
Issue number18
StatePublished - 7 Sep 2021

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