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EURAD School for Radioactive Waste Management (GAS & HITEC WPs) - Multiphysical couplings in geomechanics: a focus on thermal effect and gas transfer impact on the behaviour of geomaterials

22/01/2020 - 24/01/2020
Institut de Mathématique (B37)
Quartier Polytech 1, Allée de la Découverte 12, Sart Tilman


The EURAD School is organized within the framework of EURAD, the European Joint Programme on Radioactive Waste Management (grant agreement No 847593). Its objectives are to develop and consolidate relevant knowledge for the safe start of operation of the first geological disposal facilities for spent fuel, HLW, and other long-lived radioactive waste, and to support optimization linked with the step-wise implementation of disposal.

This training course relates to two work packages (WPs) of EURAD, namely WP GAS and WP HITEC.

The main objectives of the GAS WP are to improve the mechanistic understanding of gas transport processes in natural and engineered clay materials, their couplings with the mechanical behaviour and their impact on the properties of these materials; to evaluate the gas transport regimes that can be active at the scale of a geological disposal system and their potential impact on barrier integrity and repository performance.

The main objectives of the HITEC WP are to evaluate whether an increase of temperature is feasible/safe by applying existing and newly produced knowledge about behaviour of clay materials at elevated temperatures; to deploy knowledge on mechanics of clay in order to better evaluate and model possible damage during the temperature transient and assess the consequence for the host rock; to deploy knowledge on mostly mechanical, but also chemical and transport changes of bentonite (buffer).

In both GAS and HITEC, geomechanics plays a significant role in the understanding of the relevant thermo-hydro-mechanical couplings taking place around the disposal. The objective of the course is therefore to provide the state-of-the-art knowledge on basic concepts related to the thermo-hydro-mechanical (multi-physical) couplings, the physical impacts of thermal loading, and the mechanistic understanding of gas migration.


The HITEC EURAD WP deals with thermal impact and the GAS EURAD WP concerns gas transfer, both in the context of underground nuclear waste disposals. This course will allow the attendees to improve their understanding of heat transfers, water and gas migration, stress and strain evolution in a repository. Both numerical and experimental investigations at small (lab) and large (in situ) scale will be addressed. These investigaitons involve geomaterials such as the host rock, either clayey or crystalline rock, but also bentonite which is typically used in engineered barriers for its sealing capacity. 

The provided lecture notes will be based on key references in this field. A selection of this material will be made available prior to the beginning of the course.


The course is organized for people from institutions active in EURAD. However, learners from outside EURAD can also register, including staff members from agencies as well as young researchers, involved or interested in the geomechanics field.  The attendance will be limited to 80 people.


Required Knowledge

This course addresses people with master in engineering geology or in civil engineering. This training course will be a good opportunity for students starting a PhD in geomechanics.


No preparation is needed. Teaching materials will be available online.

Learning outcomes

After completion of the course, participants will have a broad view on the state-of-the-art and the challenges related to the GAS and HITEC research programme.

In particular, the attendees will be able to:

  • Understand the thermo-hydro-mechanical (multi-physical) couplings in geomaterials;
  • Understand the fundamentals on constitutive modelling of the relevant phenomena;
  • Identify the challenges in numerical modelling of these physical processes;
  • Recognize and discuss the experimental evidences at the laboratory scale;
  • Analyze the physical processes thanks to in-situ tests.


The registration is free of charge. 

A banquet will be organized Wednesday or Thursday. Each participant will be asked to pay his/her contribution directly at the start of the banquet (expected price: 50-60 euro).

Registration info

Both members and non-members of EURAD can participate. The registration is free of charge. 

Registration is possible until January 10, 2020.


Liège offers a lot of accommodations:

The University of Liège has an agreement with several hotels in Liège. This agreement allows guests of the university to benefit from attractive rates. However, it could be more advantageous to book directly on the hotel website.

Please find the rate per night (breakfast included) for university guests in this document.


View the transactions of the “EURAD School for Radioactive Waste Management (GAS & HITEC WPs) - Multiphysical couplings in geomechanics: a focus on thermal effect and gas transfer impact on the behaviour of geomaterials” (only for registered participants).

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