Integrated Approach to Modeling Long-Term Durability of Concrete Engineered Barriers in LLRW Disposal Facility


This paper describes an integrated approach to developing a predictive computer model for long-term performance of concrete engineered barriers utilized in LLRW and ILRW disposal facilities. The model development concept consists of three major modeling schemes: hydration modeling of the binder phase, pore solution speciation, and transport modeling in the concrete barrier and service environment. Although still in its inception, the model development approach demonstrated that the chemical and physical properties of complex cementitious materials and their interactions with service environments can be described quantitatively.

Applying the integrated model development approach to modeling alkali (Na and K) leaching from a concrete pad barrier in an above-grade tumulus disposal unit, it is predicted that, in a nearsurface land disposal facility where water infiltration through the facility is normally minimal, the alkalis control the pore solution pH of the concrete barriers for much longer than most previous concrete barrier degradation studies assumed. The results also imply that a highly alkaline condition created by the alkali leaching will result in alteration of the soil mineralogy in the vicinity of the disposal facility.

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Lee, J.H., Roy, D.M., Manna, B. et al. Integrated Approach to Modeling Long-Term Durability of Concrete Engineered Barriers in LLRW Disposal Facility. MRS Online Proceedings Library 353, 881–889 (1994).

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