The overall objectives of Cebama were to support the implementation of geological disposal by improving significantly the knowledge base for the Safety Case for European repository concepts.

The research planned in Cebama was largely independent of specific disposal concepts and addresses different types of host rocks in addition to bentonite. Cebama were not focusing on one specific cement material, but aimed to study a variety of important cement-based materials in order to provide insight on general processes and phenomena which can then be easily transferred to different applications and projects.

Specific objectives of Cebama can be summarized as follows:

  • Perform experimental studies to understand the interface processes between cement-based materials and the host rocks (crystalline rock, Boom Clay, Opalinus Clay (OPA), Callovo-Oxfordian (COX)) or bentonite backfill and assess the impact on physical (transport) properties. A particular attention will be given to the understanding of how chemical reactions affect porosity, water and gas transport properties at the interface for different systems. These aspects are investigated by laboratory tests and up-scaling by utilization of in-situ tests.
  • Study radionuclide retention processes in high pH concrete environments. Radionuclides which have high priority from the scientific and applied perspective are selected.
    • Analyse the retention of some specific radionuclides in high pH concrete environment, especially: Be, C, Cl, Ca, Se, Mo, I, Ra.
    • Assess the impact of chemical alterations (e.g., high pH concrete ageing, carbonation, transition from oxidizing to reducing conditions) on radionuclide retention.
  • Improve validity of numerical models to predict changes in transport. Support advanced data interpretation and process modelling, covering mainly issues responsible for the changes in transport properties.
    • Allow improved interpretation of experiments on chemical interactions affecting porosity, water and gas transport properties at the interfaces by process level and mechanistic modelling.
    • Extrapolate modelling to system-level to modelling for Safety Case application.

Further objectives covered dissemination of key results to scientific and non-scientific oriented stakeholders as well as training and education of young professionals for carrying over the expertise into future implementation programmes.

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