Full-scale Engineered Barriers Experiment FEBEXe - Outlook

Due to the long period covered by both the FEBEX in situ dataset and the mockup, the validation of the current models using the dataset provides a highly relevant input to performance assessment.


Period covered by the FEBEX experiment (left) showing its relevance for model validation (right)
Period covered by the FEBEX experiment (left) showing its relevance for model validation (right)

The FEBEXe consortium will continue to observe the saturation behaviour of the in situ experiment and the mock-up under the same conditions and the dataset will further be maintained at least until 2012. Further prolongation of the experiment remains a possibility.
A modelling team is brought together with an eye on benchmarking multiple codes and testing new hypothesis recently included in coupled THM models such as the:
  • Inclusion of a hydraulic threshold gradient in Darcy's law
  • Thermo-osmosis effects
  • Application of a double structure constitutive model incorporating microfabric/ microstructural changes
  • Application of saturation and temperature dependent elasto-plastic material laws
These models will be applied with the objective to further elucidate the observed behaviour and the processes involved and to assess how the results can be extrapolated to the near field behaviour on the long term.
The results of the FEBEX in situ experiment will further be tied in with the outcomes of the PEBS project (Long-term performance of Engineered Barrier Systems) that started in March 2010 as part of the EU 7th Framework Programme.
The GTS underground facilities are also available to interested 3rd parties for underground testing and research. The GTS offers cost-effective access to a fully developed, well characterised underground research facility with round the year logistical support - please contact Dr. Ingo Blechschmidt, Head of the Grimsel Test Site, for further details.