- Volume 3 Issue 4
Bentonite has been considered as a candidate buffer material in the underground repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste because of its low permeability, high sorption capacity, self sealing characteristics, and durability in nature. In this study, the potential for separation of bentonite particles caused by the groundwater erosion was studied experimentally for a Korean Ca-bentonite under the relevant repository conditions. Results showed that bentonite particles can be generated at the bentonite/granite interface and mobilized by the water flow although the intrusion of bentonite into fracture by swelling pressure was observed to be small. Different processes of mobilization of theses colloids from the compacted bentonite block have been identified in this study. The concentration of particles eluted in water was increased as the flow rate increased. Thus the result reveals that the erosion of the bentonite surface due to the groundwater flow together with intrusion processes is the main mechanism that can mobilize bentonite colloids in the fracture of the granite.