Technical Report NTB 87-23

Program for the Stripa Project Phase 3 1986 – 1991

The history of the planning and implementation of Phase 3 of the OECD/NEA Stripa Project encompasses a time period of over two years. At a meeting of the Technical Subgroups in Sweden in September 1984, it was decided that a more comprehensive plan with well defined goals should be developed prior to initiating any further investigations of fluid flow in fractured rock masses at the Stripa Mine. During the months following that meeting, a small group of technical specialists met for the purpose of developing a preliminary notion of how to integrate site characterization, groundwater flow and transport, and geochemistry technology in future investigations at the Stripa Mine. Consideration would be given to a sizable volume of rock mass in the Stripa Mine for the purpose of such investigations. Additionally, the Principal Investigator for the borehole and shaft sealing tests was asked to suggest an initial framework of an integrated project that covered the research areas of interest to engineered barriers and rock mechanics. In March 1985, the Technical Subgroups convened a meeting in Switzerland. During that meeting, a preliminary program for a tentative Phase 3 of the Stripa Project was discussed. The intended duration of a Phase 3 was established as five years, beginning in 1986. Emphasis would be placed on investigations that would represent an integration of the technical knowledge developed in Phases I and II of the Stripa Project. Specific goals were established, and proposals for tentative investigations were reviewed.

In June 1985, the Joint Technical Committee met in Sweden and agreed to proceed with the planning required for the initiation of a Phase 3. The following general objectives of a third phase were agreed upon:

  • To integrate various site characterization techniques and methods of analysis for the prediction and validation of ground-water flow and nuclide transport in an unexplored volume of Stripa granite.
  • To demonstrate and verify the use of different materials and techniques for sealing ground-water flow paths in the Stripa granite.

A schedule for the solicitation review of proposals was established, and the authors were instructed by the Joint Technical Committee to develop a Program Plan for review by the member countries.

In August 1985, the Project Manager and the two Chairmen of the Technical Subgroups met in Switzerland and developed this Program Plan, complete with both technical and budgetary elements, for a Phase 3 of the Stripa Project. The general areas of investigations were defined as:

  • Site characterization and validation.
  • Improvement of site assessment methods and concepts.
  • Sealing of fractured rock.

The plan was subsequently reviewed by the member countries, and the various investigators were asked to submit more detailed research proposals.

In March 1986, the Technical Subgroups met in Sweden and reviewed the proposed investigations under a Phase 3 of the Stripa Project. In May 1986, the Joint Technical Committee met in Sweden and (a) approved Phase 3 of the Stripa Project, (b) combined the two Technical Subgroups into a single Technical Subgroup, and (c) established a Task Force on Sealing Materials and Techniques. In August 1986, the Principal Investigators were asked to submit detailed work plans for their research through December 1987. In September 1986, the Task Force on Sealing Materials and Techniques met in Sweden for the purpose of establishing an outline on the Table of Contents for a State-of-the-Art Report on Sealing Materials and Techniques, along with a schedule for the preparation, review, and publication of the document. In October 1986, the two chairmen of the Technical Subgroup met with the Stripa Project Manager in Sweden for the purpose of reviewing the various details and logistics required for implementation of the numerous investigations in Phase 3 and to evaluate the revision of the proposed investigation on tracer migration in channels in fractured rock. At a meeting of the Technical Subgroup in Finland in March 1987, the Principal Investigators for Phase 3 made detailed presentations of their intended work plans for review and comment. In May 1987, the Joint Technical Committee met in France and reviewed the implementation of the investigations in Phase 3.

The Project Management and the two co-chairmen of the Technical Subgroup wish to express their gratitude to the various Principal Investigators and members of the Technical Subgroups for their contributions and suggestions for the development of a research program for Phase 3 and to the Joint Technical Committee for their guidance and encouragement in the implementation of this Program Plan.

Hans Carlsson / Bengt Stillborg

SKB, Sweden

Project Management

Rudi Beck / Paul Gnirk

Nagra, Switzerland and RE/SPEC, USA

Co-chairmen of the Technical Subgroup

June 1987