Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Concrete Degradation Modeling in the Evaluation of Entombment as a Decommissioning Option



Kenneth A. Snyder, Jacob Philip


For entombment to be a viable option for the decommissioning of nuclear structures, the effectiveness of available engineered barriers must be assured. Barrier performance must be estimated with the aid of computer models that can accurately predict the response of the barrier to foreseeable physical and chemical conditions. For concrete barriers, virtually all degradation mechanisms are controlled by thetransport of water and ionic species within the pore space. These, in turn, are controlled by the appropriate transport coefficients. For soundconcrete, the transport coefficients are sufficiently small enough that isolation is expected. It is the presence of cracks within the concrete that compromises the barrier by increasing the transport coefficients dramatically. Therefore, additional efforts to characterize the performance of concrete barriers must focus on quantifying the existing cracks and flaws within the concrete. This characterizationwould include sampling (when possible), non-destructive techniques, and computer modeling. All of these are incorporated into a coherentmonitoring plan.
IEEE Spectrum


concrete, entombment, monitoring, service life, transport


Snyder, K. and Philip, J. (2002), Concrete Degradation Modeling in the Evaluation of Entombment as a Decommissioning Option, IEEE Spectrum, [online], (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created July 31, 2002, Updated October 12, 2021