Theoretical equations on hydraulic conductivities of bentonite-based buffer and backfill for underground disposal of radioactive wastes

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38 Citations (Scopus)


Compacted bentonite and sand-bentonite mixtures are sought as buffer and backfill materials for high-level radioactive waste disposal facilities because they have very low permeability. To establish specifications such as the dry density and sand-bentonite mass ratio for buffer and backfill materials, we must quantitatively evaluate a material's hydraulic conductivities. This study presents theoretical new equations for evaluating the hydraulic conductivity of compacted bentonites and sand-bentonite mixtures. New equations are proposed for evaluating the flow velocity of interlayer water between two montmorillonite parallel-plate layers considering the swelling behaviors of montmorillonite. Furthermore, a prediction method for hydraulic conductivity of compacted bentonite and sand-bentonite mixtures is presented by combining new equations with previous equations for evaluating swelling behavior of montmorillonite in bentonite. The applicability of this method is clarified by comparing predicted results with experimental data reported by previous research on hydraulic conductivities of compacted bentonites and sand-bentonite mixtures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-508
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008 Apr 1



  • Backfills
  • Expansive soils
  • Hydraulic conductivity
  • Microscopy
  • Radioactive wastes
  • Swelling
  • Waste disposal

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)

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