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Report on Modeling Coupled Processes in the Near Field of a Clay Repository

Clay/shale has been considered as potential host rock for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste throughout the world. Coupled thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) processes have a significant impact on the long-term safety of a clay repository. This report documents results from three R&D activities: (1) implementation and validation of constitutive relationships, (2) development of a discrete fracture network (DFN) model for investigating coupled processes in the excavation damaged zone, and (3) development of a THM model for the Full-Scale Emplacement Experiment tests at Mont Terri, Switzerland, for the purpose of model validation. One major goal is to provide a better understanding of the evolution of the excavation damage zone in clay repositories.