The economic feasibility and safety of a geological disposal facility for radioactive waste strongly rely on the performance of the host formation. In the Netherlands, appropriate geological layers are poorly indurated clay formations. Proper characterisation and understanding of the host formation’s time-dependent chemo-hydro-mechanical behaviour is fundamental. Indeed, the disposal facility is expected to be constructed in a process lasting around a decade and operated for several decades prior to closure. However, to date, the behaviour of poorly indurated clays beneath the Dutch surface is inferred from material at much shallower depths from Belgium.
The aim of the PhD project is to experimentally characterise the mechanical behaviour of deep poorly indurated clays, with a view of contributing to the safety case for a geological disposal facility in the Netherlands.
Cores representative of a Dutch geological disposal facility have recently been obtained from a unique multi-objective research drilling. As part of the PhD project, the cores will be thoroughly characterised, and their hydro-mechanical behaviour will be experimentally investigated. The PhD candidate will benefit from world-class laboratory and imaging facilities already available in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of TU Delft and partner institutions (via existing strong collaborations such as EPOS-NL), and the support of experienced technical staff.
This PhD position is part of the NWO-funded Safe Environment for Clay Underground Repository (SECUUR) project. The successful candidate will integrate into a team of enthusiastic researchers working on the geological disposal of radioactive waste, including another PhD student carrying out research on SECUUR.
Further information on eligibility criteria and application procedure can be found here.
For more information about this vacancy and informal discussion, please contact Dr. Anne-Catherine Dieudonné, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or Dr. Wout Broere, e-mail: email@example.com.
The closing date for applications is 1st June 2023.