Long-term storage of spent fuel is critical to the nuclear energy industry. The Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company (SKB) is developing an approach for the storage of spent nuclear fuel in an underground repository in competent crystalline rock. In order to better understand the spalling damage process, an in-situ test involving the drilling of two boreholes was performed in Äspö diorite at SKB’s underground hard rock laboratory in Äspö. Tests and monitoring were performed on the pillar that separated the boreholes. In order to further investigate the damage process, Itasca performed numerical modeling using PFC3D and FLAC3D.
SKB is interested in developing a 3D discrete model to predict spalling on the excavation boundaries of underground repositories for the long-term storage of spent nuclear fuel. This project provided a quantitative assessment of modeling spalling using PFC3D to study both lab- and tunnel-scale behavior.