Modelling of Short-Term Interactions Between Concrete Support and the Excavated Damage Zone Around Galleries Drilled in Callovo–Oxfordian Claystone

Albert Argilaga, Frèdèric Collin, Laurie Lacarrière, Robert Charlier, Gilles Armand, Benjamin Cerfontaine (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
178 Downloads (Pure)


Production of energy from nuclear power plants generates high-level radioactive nuclear waste, harmful during dozens of 1000 years. Deep geological disposal of nuclear waste represents a reliable solutions for its safe isolation. Confinement of radioactive wastes relies on the multi-barrier concept in which isolation is provided by a series of engineered (canister, backfill) and natural (host rock) barriers. Few underground research laboratories have been built all over the world to test and validate storage solutions. The drilling of disposal drifts may generate cracks, fractures/strain localisation in shear bands within the rock surrounding the gallery especially in argillaceous rocks. These degradations affect the hydro-mechanical properties of the material, such as permeability, e.g., creating a preferential flow path for radionuclide migration. Hydraulic conductivity increase within this zone must remain limited to preserve the natural barrier. In addition, galleries are currently reinforced by different types of concrete supports such as shotcrete and/or prefab elements. Their purpose is twofold: avoiding partial collapse of the tunnel during drilling operations and limiting convergence of the surrounding rock. Properties of both concrete and rock mass are time dependent, due to shotcrete hydration and hydro-mechanical couplings within the host rock. By the use of a hydro-mechanical coupled finite-element code with a second-gradient regularization, this paper aims at investigating and predicting support and rock interactions (convergence and stress field). The effect of shotcrete hydration evolution, spraying time, and use of compressible wedges is studied to determine their relative influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Civil Engineering
Issue number1
Early online date15 May 2018
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2019


  • COX
  • FEM modelling
  • Nuclear waste
  • Numerical modelling
  • Sprayed concrete

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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