Since the early 1970s, Korea has constructed many large-scale tunnels and underground storage caverns in response to the rapid industrial development. The rock mechanics engineers have accumulated valuable experiences in the area of underground space technologies. But they still face technical challenges in environmental and safety aspects. To discuss those challenges in Korea, a brief engineering description of underground space projects including oil and gas storage, food storage, pumped storage power plant, transportation tunnels, waterway tunnels, and radioactive waste disposal is presented. Mechanical and hydrological stability analyses of the storage caverns in Korea are also introduced.

Depuis le debut des annees soixante-dix, le developpement industriel rapide en Coree a entraîne la construction de nombreuses galeries et cavernes de stockage souterraines. Les ingenieurs de mecanique minière ont donc accumule des experiences precieuses dans le domaine de la technologie de l'espace souterrain. Cependant, ils font toujours face à de nombreux defis techniques en ce qui concerne les aspects de l'environnement et de la securite. Pour presenter ces defis en Coree, l'etude presente decrit les projets d'espace souterrain, y compris le stockage de petrole et de gaz, de nourriture, centrales de stockage pompe, tunnels de transport, tunnels navigables, et evacuation des dechets radioactifs. Des analyses de stabilite mecanique et hydrologique des cavernes de stockage en Coree sont aussi presentees.

Seit Anfang der 70er-Jahre, baute Korea in Folge raschen Industriewachstums viele lange Tunnels und unterirdische Lagerungsraume. Fachkrafte im Bereich Gesteinsmechanik sammelten wertvolle Erfahrungen ueber unterirdische Raumtechnologien. Dennoch stehen sie auch heute noch vor technischen Herausforderungen im Bereich Umweltschutz und Sicherheit. Zur Erlauterung dieser Herausforderungen in Korea folgt eine kurze technische Beschreibung der Projekte zur Schaffung unterirdischen Raumes fuer beispielsweise Öl- und Gaslagerung, Nahrungsmittellagerung, Pumpspeicherwerke, Straßen- und Wasserstraßentunnels, als auch Lagerung radioaktiven Muells. Mechanische und hydrologische Stabilitatsanalysen der Lagerungsraume in Korea werden ebenfalls dargestellt.

1. Introduction

Korea is ranked 109th in all countries of the world in size and 70 percent of it consists of mountains and only 30 percent plains. However, it is ranked 26th in population and 13th in gross domestic product (GDP). The need for expanding infrastructure to support the rapid industrialization in the 1970s and the two oil crises stimulated the construction of large underground structures such as the pumped storage power plants, crude oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage caverns, the railways, and the road tunnels. The principles of rock mechanics have played important roles in site investigation, designing and construction. Before the 1970s, only small-scale tunnels for mining and railway were built, and principles of rock mechanics were applied in limited areas such as in deep-mining.

The first large underground facility project in Korea was the construction of the Chongpyoung pumped storage power plant initiated in 1973. Several underground facilities have been successfully constructed since that time; and many projects on high speed railway tunnels, subway tunnels, oil and gas storage caverns, and waterway tunnels are in progress. For the effective use of land and to overcome the adverse geographical and topographical conditions of Korea.

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