Geological study in the Aveyron

To better understand the risks of nuclear waste management of high activity and long-lived (HAVL), IRSN geological studies the properties of a former rail tunnel in southern Aveyron.

In France, the responsibility for designing and implementing a possible geological storage is given to the ANDRA. IRSN turn is responsible for evaluating, on behalf of the authorities, the security of future landfill.

In this context, IRSN uses Tournemire of the tunnel to acquire knowledge and develop and maintain their skills. This experimental site was under consideration for nearly 20 years.

Installation of a deep geological waste HAVL requires a great deal of knowledge development, emphasized the IRSN. The concept of security of such a storage relies on the properties of confinement lasting radioactive material provided by the geological environment, so as to limit their transfer to the ecosystem and prevent long-term risks to humans and the environment.

The tunnel is 1885m on the edge of the Massif Central, and provides a clayey rock (argillite), topped by 250m of limestone. This training is similar to that studied on the site of Bure, in Haute Marne, which would require a geological storage site from 2025.

By then, the team IRSN studying rocks and behavior, and the water it contains. It seeks primarily to understand the mechanisms and rate of migration of water and dissolved substances in clays intact or disrupted by conducting underground (digging of a tunnel, drying of the rock following the breakdown natural deterioration due to the presence of concrete and metal compounds ...)

Since 2007, the experimental station Tournemire was integrated into the network of centers of excellence established by the IAEA, which brings together 27 member countries.

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