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How rock samples can be representative of in situ condition: A case study of Callovo-Oxfordian claystones

Abstract : Within the framework of feasibility studies for a reversible, deep geological repository of high-and intermediate-level long-lived radioactive waste (HLW, IL-LLW), the French National Radioactive Waste Management Agency (Andra) is investigating the Callovo-Oxfordian (COx) formation near Bure (northeast part of France) as a potential host rock for the repository. The hydro-mechanical (HM) behaviour is an important issue to design and optimise different components of the disposal such as shaft, ramp, drift, and waste package disposal facilities. Over the past 20 years, a large number of laboratory experiments have been carried out to characterise and understand the HM behaviours of COx claystones. At the beginning, samples came from deep boreholes drilled at the ground surface with oil base mud. From 2000 onwards, with the launch of the construction of the Meuse/Haute-Marne Underground Research Laboratory (MHM URL), most samples have been extracted from a large number of air drilled boreholes in the URL. In parallel, various constitutive models have been developed for modelling. The thermohydro-mechanical (THM) behaviours of the COx claystones were investigated under different repository conditions. Core samples are subjected to a complex HM loading path before testing, due to drilling, conditioning and preparation. Various kinds of effects on the characteristics of the claystones are highlighted and discussed, and the procedures for core extraction and packaging as well as a systematic sample preparation protocol are proposed in order to minimise the uncertainties on test results. The representativeness of the test results is also addressed with regard to the in situ rock mass.
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Nathalie Conil, J Talandier, H Djizanne, R de la Vaissière, C Righini-Waz, et al.. How rock samples can be representative of in situ condition: A case study of Callovo-Oxfordian claystones. Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Elsevier, 2018, 10 (4), pp.613-623. ⟨10.1016/j.jrmge.2018.02.004⟩. ⟨hal-03248586⟩

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