Abstract

The Israeli Atomic Energy Commission is interested in evaluating shallow (500 m) borehole nuclear waste disposal in an organic-rich, high porosity carbonate rock, the Ghareb Formation. This formation is up to 120 m thick in the western parts of the Yamin Plain and is composed of relatively high-porosity (20-45%) chalks, marls, and oil shales with kerogen. This paper describes preliminary measurements, analyses of thermal hydrological mechanical (THM) properties and expected borehole stability for a potential high level nuclear waste borehole repository in Israel. This effort is part of a collaboration between experimental facilities at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and state-of-the-art computational capabilities from Geological Survey of Israel (GSI). Thermal, mechanical, and hydrologic properties of kerogen bearing chalks from the Ghareb Formation are presented to inform numerical analyses for borehole stability. Experiments are designed to evaluate the compaction behavior of this highly porous rock and its effect on borehole stability. Outcomes of this collaboration will include experimental data under geologic conditions relevant to radioactive waste disposal and new, validated THM modeling capabilities.

Introduction

This paper describes preliminary measurements of thermal-hydrological-mechanical (THM) properties of the Ghareb Formation in Israel, the target layer for geological disposal of high-level nuclear waste. This effort is a collaboration between experimental facilities at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) and state-of-the-art computational capabilities at Geological Survey of Israel (GSI). Outcomes of this collaboration will include new and validated THM modeling capabilities and experimental data under geologic conditions relevant to radioactive waste disposal. These outcomes will provide mutual benefit to both American and Israeli scientific communities.

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