Coupled Hydro-Mechanical Properties of Cobourg Limestone With Special Reference to Excavation Damage Zones

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
European Geosciences Union General Assembly 2016

April 17-22, 2016

Prepared by:
G. Su, T.S. Nguyen
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission

M.H.B. Nasseri, M. Tibbo, M. Sehizadeh, S. Ye, R.P. Young
University of Toronto


Cobourg limestone was selected as the host rock for a potential deep geological repository for the management of low- and intermediate-level nuclear wastes proposed by Ontario Power Generation. To confirm the hydro-mechanical behaviour of the Cobourg limestone that is characterized by the presence of bedding planes, the University of Toronto, in collaboration with the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, performed experiments to investigate the limestone’s coupled hydro-mechanical properties with special reference to damage zones induced by excavation of the repository. The experimental program consisted of triaxial tests with measurement of permeability using the pulse decay method and measurement of the seismic wave velocity at different stress levels. The results obtained from this experiment provide valuable independent knowledge to assess the damage induced by excavation of repositories and shafts in sedimentary rocks and their implications on long-term safety of the geological disposal of radioactive wastes.

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