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Clausthal University of Technology - Chair in Waste Disposal and Geomechanics

The Chair in Waste Disposal and Geomechanics (LfDG) at the Institute for Mineral and Waste Processing, Waste Disposal and Geomechanics at Clausthal University of Technology (TUC) engages in research and teaching for the recovery and disposal of waste and residual substances as well as for geomechanical questions concerning the topic of underground cavities.

The following questions are in the foreground:

  • stability and usability of underground load-bearing systems (mines, caverns, tunnels, drifts, repositories)
  • predictive simulation of the long-term complete and safe enclosure of deposited waste within underground waste disposal facilities
  • effects of potential and hypothetical accident scenarios within underground waste disposal facilities with pollutant release on the protected goods
  • mechanical stability of aboveground geotechnical engineering structures (embankments, dams, open pits, landfill sites)
  • mechanical-constructional design of site-specific suitable sealing systems
  • material (mechanical-hydraulic-thermal) properties of hard and soft rocks, lining materials, mineral dam and sealing materials as well as waste materials

Key aspects are treated during academic education as part of the Bachelor's degree program 'Geoenvironmental Engineering' and the Master's degree program 'Geoenvironmental Engineering'. Laboratory and field experiments, calculation methods and design concepts needed to answer the above-mentioned questions are taught within lectures, practical courses, computational exercises, seminars and field trips.

The research activities of the Chair in Waste Disposal and Geomechanics within ENTRIA are characterized by computational and laborative work on coupled thermal-hydraulic-mechanical (THM) processes in the near field of underground cavity structures of a generic maintenance-free repository in salt rock mass or claystone mass. Furthermore, on the basis of the results of the vertical project 6 (storage in deep geological formations with arrangements for monitoring and retrievability) there are identified security-relevant properties and processes that appear reasonable and possible for the measurements and observations over the period of a monitoring phase of a repository. In conjunction with the results of transversal project 4 (Interdisciplinary Risk Research) there should be developed a concept for a monitoring phase.

Work Packages (WP) of the Chair in Waste Disposal and Geomechanics within the ENTRIA Project