German-Chinese Waste Repository Research

elf-china Configuration of the Chinese mock-up test (left) and the location of stress sensors (right), source: Liu et al. (2014)

Project title: Pilot Project: Re-analysis of BRIUG THM Mock-up Test

Project description:

The Pilot Project is focused on the functioning of technical barriers for nuclear waste repositories and will investigate THMC Processes in bentonites (GMZ and MX-80). Research activities within in first year will deal mainly with modelling works in order to further improve our fundamental understanding for long-term sealing in various repository types. The pilot phase will be continued in the follow-up collaborative project. Main results will be synthesized using modern communication methods (VR), research activities will be accompanied with socio-technical and educational efforts.

The primary aim of the pilot project is the coordination of future research in nuclear geosciences with the Chinese partners. The pilot project should also prepare a more comprehensive, longer-term collaborative effort. The focus is on the investigation of different bentonites (GMZ and MX-80) at the laboratory scale and will allow the common access to novel laboratory facilities.

The main collaborative project will include research in the crystalline rocks at the field scale, in particular the newly build URL Beishan, the German side will benefit from. Complementary, the German side has a well developed state of the art system analysis including integrated workflows with appropriate software, which will be beneficial for the Chinese side. A further development of corresponding tools for modeling and systems analysis could be done jointly together.

The Sino-German cooperation project should be integrated into the international context right from the beginning. The project network benefits from a broad, existing network of partners, such as the Mont Terri Consortium for the Underground Research Laboratory, DECOVALEX for Benchmarking and Systems Analysis. Specifically, the pilot project aims at the preparation and execution of two specialist workshops in order to further explore the cooperation potential and to develop a scientific road-map for German-Chinese cooperation in nuclear waste repository research.

Project duration: 08/2020 - 02/2022

Funding organisation:


Project partners:

  • Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena, Jena
  • Gesellschaft für Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit (GRS) gGmbH, Köln
  • Helmholtz Zentrum für Umweltforschung (UFZ, coordinator), Leipzig
  • Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT), Karlsruhe
  • Technischen Universität Bergakademie Freiberg, Freiberg
  • Technischen Universität Clausthal, Clausthal-Zellerfeld
  • CNNC Beijing Research Institute of Uranium Geology (BRIUG)
  • Tongji University in Shanghai (TONGJI)

Principal investigator: Dr. Haibing Shao


Y. Liu, L. Ma, D. Ke, S. Cao, J. Xie, X. Zhao, L. Chen, and P. Zhang. “Design and validation of the THMC China-Mock-Up test on buffer material for HLW disposal”. In: Journal of Rock Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 6.2 (2014), pp. 119–125.