||In the context of long term repository of high-level and long-lived nuclear waste, we investigate different concrete properties related to fluid transport, in order to determine which is able to detect damage earliest. To this purpose, different protocols are tested, which impose progressive damage to two different Andra high performance concretes (HPCs), based on CEMI or CEMV-type cements.
The properties investigated are pore size distributions and porosity (by Mercury Intrusion Porosimetry - MIP), water retention curves, relative gas permeability and gas migration properties (gas breakthrough pressure). Gas breakthrough pressure (GBP) is assessed rather than gas entry, by accurately measuring gas presence on the downstream side of a confined sample subjected to slowly increasing gas pressure on its upstream side.
From MIP data, we show that CEMI concrete has smaller porosity but greater pore sizes than CEMV. For CEMI concrete, all damage procedures affect significantly water retention curves and gas breakthrough pressures, yet they have no effect upon the relationship between relative gas permeability and water saturation. For CEMV concrete subjected to low damage levels, gas breakthrough measurements detect damage, whereas water retention and gas permeability do not.