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ArticleName Forecasting stability of well bore zones holding radioactive waste containers
DOI 10.17580/gzh.2015.10.12
ArticleAuthor Morozov V. N., Kagan A. I.

Author 1:
Name & Surname: Morozov V. N.
Company: Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia)
Work Position: Principal Researcher
Scientific Degree: Doctor of Engineering Sciences

Author 2:
Name & Surname: Kagan A. I.
Company: Geophysical Center of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow, Russia)
Work Position: Senior Researcher


Isolation of high-level radioactive waste (RAW) in deep geological formations means disposal of metal containers with radionuclides at a temperature higher than 200 °С. Placement of such containers in wells at a depth of over 500 m below surface involves long-term action of rock pressure and temperature on enclosing rocks; design solutions on structure of a RAW repository include preservation of insulating properties of enclosing rocks for a period over 10 thousand years. This article focuses on the analysis of stability of well bore zones, including methodical approach to substantiation of well pattern to ensure safe operation of a RAW repository. Placement of high-level radioactive waste in deep formations is the final stage of RAW disposal in rock masses, and is closely connected with the task to preserve insulating properties of rocks exposed to integrated effect of rock pressure and temperature for a period over 10 thousand years. According to estimates currently available, RAW containers at a temperature of 150–200 °С transmit heat in enclosing rock mass for 1000 years approximately. Thus, in the near zone of a deep radioactive waste repository, local temperature fields arise and gradually fade as a result of half-decay of radionuclides in RAW containers. The authors have developed a procedure for calculating local temperature fields generated as a consequence of heat emission from radionuclides in RAW containers. Predictive estimates of well spacing (more than 20 m) together with geodynamic zoning data can be included in a repository construction project. More accurate estimate of optimal well spacing needs detailed geological and geophysical studies, including capabilities to be offered by underground research laboratory later on.

keywords Radioactive waste, deep waste disposal, repository, wells, tectonic stresses, thermal loading, insulating properties of rocks

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