Earth Sciences Division (ESD) Department of Energy (DOE) Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL)

The UFD Campaign:  International Activities within UFD

Colloid Formation and Migration Project

The Colloid Formation and Migration (CFM) Project is an international research project for the investigation of colloid formation/bentonite erosion, colloid migration, and colloid-associated radionuclide transport, relevant to both NBS and EBS areas of UFDC. This collaborative project is one of several experimental R&D projects associated with the Grimsel Test Site (GTS) in the Swiss Alps, a URL situated in sparsely fractured crystalline host rock (http://www.grimsel.com/). Colloid-related R&D comprises in situ migration experiments conducted between boreholes in a fracture shear zone; these are complemented by laboratory and modeling studies.

The main R&D objectives, relevant to both natural system and engineered barrier issues, are as follows:

  • To examine colloid generation rates and mechanisms at the engineered barrier–host rock boundary under in situ conditions,
  • To study the long-term geochemical behavior (mobility, mineralization, colloid formation, etc.) of radionuclides,
  • To evaluate the long-distance migration behavior of radionuclides and colloids in water-conducting features in a repository-relevant flow system (i.e., with a very low flow rate/water flux),
  • To examine reversibility of radionuclide uptake onto colloids,
  • To gain experience in long-term monitoring of radionuclide/colloid propagation near a repository.
For more information, please contact:

Jens Birkholzer
Head, Nuclear Energy and Waste Program
Earth Sciences Division
Phone: 510-486-7134
Fax: 510-486-5686
Email: JTBirkholzer@lbl.gov