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An analogue of long-term stability of flow-path structure in crystalline rocks distributed in the orogenic belt, Japan

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In the orogenic belt, in the Japanese islands, crystalline rocks from the youngest to older ages and of different orders have been identified which have formed massive areas. The fracture system observed within these rock masses implies that the groundwater and solute can be conducted through the fracture's network. It is expected that the nuclides can be retarded due to chemical sorption and/or physical retardation by the fracture fillings and fracture open pore geometry. Most of the evaluation framework of the nuclides retardation process in the geological disposal of high level radioactive waste (HLW) is, however, basically taken into account in the present geological state, without changes of structural and mineralogical features, and in its influence on the groundwater flow system over a long period of time. This paper seeks analogous evidence that can provide the confidence of such evaluation methodology and its long-term applicability. Here, we describe the fracture system developed in the crystalline rock with the different ages intruded in the orogenic belt in order to build the long-term fracturing and its 'stability' model. In particular, comparisons with the rock of 1.9–0.8 Ma Takidani Granodiorite (the youngest pluton in the world), ca. 67 Ma of Toki Granite and ca. 117 Ma Kurihashi Granodiorite located in central to northwest Japan suggest a unique characteristic of the fracture forming process and their relatively stable geometrical changing. This analogue enables us to provide a model to build the confidence of a safety context applicable for the geological setting under the orogenic field with a long-term scale. The model may also be useful for other stable tectonic settings as well as for a site characterisation methodology of crystalline rock for HLW geological disposal.

Keywords: long-term stability, flow path structure, crystalline rock, orogenic belt, analogue, Japan, high level radioactive waste, nuclear waste, waste storage, nuclides retardation, geological disposal, waste disposal, fracture forming, safety

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