Behavior of Concrete Bulkheads in Salt Drifts

by Avinash C. Singhal, Arizona State Univ, Tempe, AZ, USA,
Victor H. Veliz, Arizona State Univ, Tempe, AZ, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Application and Performance of Structural Materials and Exterior Facades


Parameters studies of the behavior of a plug made from expansive concrete have been performed. Such plugs are now being field tested for sealing boreholes, shafts and drifts at an underground nuclear waste storage facility within various rock-salt formations. Several selection criteria are used for a suitable plug material and include an evaluation of properties such as, a) high expansivity b) creep characteristics c) strength properties, and d) ability to predict the stress field at the plug interface. For self-stressing expansive concrete plugs, the material properties are non-linear and also rapidly change with time as the concrete hardens as it cures. Field data now exist for the actual performance of a cementitious plug at a research and development test facility established to demonstrate the safe disposal of high-level radioactive waste. A suitable analytical prediction method has been developed in this paper.

Subject Headings: Field tests | Material properties | Concrete | Bulkheads | Salts | Strength of materials | Waste storage | Radioactive wastes

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