Experimental study of time-dependent properties of a low-pH concrete for deposition tunnels
Paper in proceedings, 2018
The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company developed a method for the final disposal of canisters for spent nuclear fuel in tunnels at depths of about 500 meters. The concept for closure of the deposition tunnels is based on a bentonite seal supported by a spherical concrete dome structure. In order to fulfil the requirements specific to the repository concept, a special mix of low-pH self-compacting concrete was developed. A series of large-scale castings and laboratory tests were conducted to gain experience on this low-pH concrete mix, in conjunction with the full-scale demonstration test of an unreinforced concrete dome plug in the underground hard rock laboratory in Äspö, Sweden. The laboratory tests aimed at studying the creep properties under high sustained compressive stresses of the low-pH concrete mix, its shrinkage properties and the properties of the rock-concrete interface. This paper provides an overview of these tests and analyses the latest results of the recently completed creep tests, which include 6 years of measurements. These results allow to improve understanding of the structural behaviour of the concrete plug and to assess the effects of the very high pressure acting on the plug on its deformations, cracking and water tightness.