Technical Report NTB 82-07

On the Theory of Transport in Fractured Media for the Safety Analysis of a Nuclear Waste Repository

This report aims at developing a systematic theory of the rôle of fractures in the transport of radionuclides by groundwater, through fractured rocks from a deep-lying nuclear waste repository to the biosphere. Fractures are grouped into four “irreducible” types: joints, nodes, shear zones and fracture zones, and the physical characteristics which influence radionuclide transport are expressed in mathematical terms. The question of radioactivity retention is then studied for various fracture types, using idealized geometries to model natural forms. Fundamental transport equations are derived for the fracture-pore complex, taking into consideration the special physical characteristics of fractures and the effects of sorption therein.