Abstract : The sealing cover system of landfills for storing non bio-degradable and dangerous waste is most of the time made up of a layer of clay and/or a geomembrane. The question of the optimization of the conditions of storage of the radioactive waste envisage a surface storage for very low level radioactive waste (VLLW) and low and intermediate short-lived radioactive waste.
This study is applied to a VLLW disposal facility of which the cover is made up of a clay layer over a geomembrane but can be transposed to landfill for dangerous waste.
The cover clay barrier of a landfill must preserve its properties; in particular its permeability must remain inferior to ten to the minus nine meters per second, during the life of the landfill in spite of the various solicitations which can generate cracking. Among these solicitations, the relative settlements of subjacent waste, generating bending solicitation, are one of the most critical solicitations. The current regulation concerning the implementation as a cover of a clay layer presents gaps, in particular with regard to the deformability of clay.
This study presents the interest to couple laboratory tests (four points bending tests, splitting test and punching test) with field bending tests carried out at scale one and with their modeling with centrifugal tests. These tests were also numerically modeled by finite elements. A good compatibility of the results, in particular with regard to the definition of the conditions of initiation of the crack by bending, is shown.
Numerical modeling and centrifugal tests made it possible to extend the study to unperformed in situ cases (settlement tests, reinforcement of the clay).