Technical Report NTB 87-25

Final Report of the Borehole, Shaft, and Tunnel Sealing Test –Volume I: Borehole plugging

The Borehole Plugging Experiment comprised field tests of the sealing function and the practicality in handling and application of plugs consisting of segments of perforated metal casings filled with cylindrical blocks of highly compacted sodium bentonite. Preparative tests had shown that the clay swells out through the perforation and embeds the casings. The field tests demonstrated that even very long holes can be effectively sealed by such plugs and that the clay becomes very homogeneous and forms a tight contact with the rock in a relatively short time. By that the plugs become practically impervious and the flow along the clay/rock contact will be insignificant. The longevity of such plugs extends over several thousand years under the conditions that usually prevail in crystalline rock.