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8th International Clay Conference 2020

8th June 2020 to 11th June 2020


1 Place de la République

54000 Nancy


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The 8th International Conference on Clays in natural and engineered barriers for radioactive waste confinement is to be held on 8-11 June 2020 in Nancy, France.

Abstract submission is now open and the new extended deadline is 15th November 2020. Please note that no abstracts will be accepted after this date.

For more information, please visit the dedicated conference website: www.clayconferencenancy2020.com


In a number of countries, clays are being considered as the potential host rock for geological disposal of radioactive waste.  Also, the use of compacted swelling clays as an engineered barrier component is envisioned within the multi-barrier concept in a wider range of host rocks, such as bentonite-based backfill material for different rock options or repurposed clay rock material especially for clay host rocks.

The current world situation with regard to geological disposal now includes countries such as Finland, where a geological repository is under construction; Sweden and France, where geological repository projects are well advanced (site selection, licensing application process); countries such as China, where underground research laboratories are being constructed, and countries such as the UK, Germany and Japan that each now have a structured siting strategy.

Multi-disciplinary approaches covering geology, mineralogy, geochemistry, rheology and the geo-mechanics of clays and clay rocks are required in order to ensure detailed characterisation of geological host formations and surrounding geology and of their confinement properties.  These must also assess the behaviour of engineered and natural barriers with time, from the repository operational phase to post-closure phase in the long term, when subjected to various types of perturbations induced by the construction, operation and evolution of such disposal facilities, including natural events.

Due to the timeframes of such projects and programmes, the scientific and technical knowledge require sharing, adequate Human Capacity Building and in depth Knowledge Management.

The Clay Conference, which is being held for the 8th time since 2002, has established itself as an ideal forum for presenting recent developments in repository design and construction, and the main findings of research – both at the national and international level – in the context of long term safety assessments.  Considering design, construction, operation and post-closure, the Conference provides a unique networking platform for sharing scientific and technological knowledge.  This involves gathering together experienced specialists and newcomers from various disciplines related to clays, as well as scientists and technicians from organisations engaged in radioactive waste disposal or in other uses of the subsurface in which clay barriers play an important role.

The programme will feature a balanced mix of high-level keynote speeches, concurrent oral sessions and poster presentations, with ample time for informal contacts and lively discussions.  It will cover a wide range of topics related to natural argillaceous geological barriers and clay-based engineered barrier systems, including laboratory experiments on clay samples, in situ experiments in underground research laboratories, mock-up demonstrations, natural analogues, numerical modelling, system integration approaches and monitoring.  The program will emphasize the work of young research students and young members of organisations involved in radwaste management.

Main Topics


Topic 1: Repository projects and programmes, including RD&D programmes for clay-based disposal systems (natural and engineered barriers) worldwide

Characterisation and modelling of undisturbed clay-based systems

Topic 2: Geology, Hydrogeology and hydro-geochemistry

Topic 3: Fluid (Water, gas) transport and solute migration

Topic 4: Hydro-mechanical properties

Characterisation, conceptual understanding and modelling of host rock and repository interaction processes with time

Topic 5: Hydro-mechanical and gas transport processes during the excavation, operational and post-closure phases (from near-field to far-field)

Topic 6: Temperature-induced effects (THM and C coupled processes)

Topic 7: Chemical processes, including microbial effects

Topic 8: Fluid flow and radionuclide migration

Topic 9: Mechanical, geochemical and hydraulic impacts triggered by long-term external geodynamic processes (natural events such as climate evolution, erosion, seismic hazards…)

Repository construction and operation, long-term performance and monitoring for clay-based disposal systems

Topic 10: Technological operations and performance assessment of components

Topic 11: Monitoring (from initial state to post-closure and from sensors to data management)

Topic 12: Digitalisation/Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Knowledge Management

Key Dates

31st October 2019: Deadline for abstract submission​

15th November 2019: Extended deadline for abstract submission

January 2020: Selection of oral papers and posters​

February 2020: Notification to authors​

March 2020: Conference programme​

8th-11th June 2020: Clay Conference

Further Information

Conference flyer: here

Dedicated website: www.clayconferencenancy2020.com

Contact email: secretariat@clayconferencenancy2020.com

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