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J Contam Hydrol. 2004 Jun;70(3-4):271-97.

In situ tracer tests to determine retention properties of a block scale fracture network in granitic rock at the Aspö Hard Rock Laboratory, Sweden.

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  • 1GEOSIGMA AB, Uppsala, Sweden.


Experiments were conducted at the Aspö Hard Rock Laboratory in order to improve the understanding of radionuclide retention properties of fractured crystalline bedrock in the 10-100 m scale (TRUE Block Scale Project, jointly funded by ANDRA, ENRESA, Nirex, JNC, Posiva and SKB). A series of tracer experiments were performed using sorbing tracers in three different flow paths. The different flow paths had Euclidian lengths of 14, 17 and 33 m, respectively, and one to three water conducting structures. Four tests were performed using different cocktails made up of radioactive sorbing tracers (22,24Na+, 42K+, 47Ca2+, 85Sr2+, 83,86Rb+, 131,133Ba2+ and 134,137Cs+). For each tracer injection, the breakthrough of sorbing tracers was compared to the breakthrough of a conservative tracer, 82Br-, 131I-, HTO and 186ReO4-, respectively. In the two longer flow paths, no breakthrough of 83Rb+ and 137Cs+ was observed after 8 months of pumping. Selected tracer tests were subject to basic modelling in which a one-dimensional (1D) advection-dispersion model, including surface sorption, and an unlimited matrix diffusion were used for the interpretation of the results. The results of the modelling indicated that there is a slightly higher mass transfer into a highly porous material in the block-scale experiment compared with in situ experiments performed over shorter distances and significantly higher than what would have been expected from laboratory data obtained from studies of the interactions in nonaltered intact rock.

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