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Molecular dynamics study of the bentonite barrier: Effects of salinity and temperature on the swelling pressure

The production of electricity from nuclear energy results in the production of nuclear waste. The disposal of high-level radioactive nuclear waste is an important technical hurdle that must be addressed if the generation of electricity from nuclear energy is to remain viable. The geological disposal of this waste is the most practical and effective method of isolating the waste from the biosphere for a long period of time. The geological disposal method involves the use of multiple barrier systems to secure the waste. The different barriers are being investigated to answer different scientific questions related to their performance over time. This thesis focuses on the influence of environmental factors on the swelling behavior of the bentonite barrier. The results show that salt solutions decrease the swelling pressure of bentonite clays while increase in temperature increases the swelling pressure.

The doctoral dissertation of MSc Bukunmi Akinwumni, entitled Molecular dynamics study of the bentonite barrier: Effects of salinity and temperature on the swelling pressure will be examined at the Faculty of Science and Forestry. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Markus Olin, VTT Technical Research Center of Finland, and the custos will be Professor Emeritus Tapani Pakkanen, University of Eastern Finland.

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