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Pilot study - Test bed for rock engineering development and innovation in Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory

Reference number
Coordinator Svensk Kärnbränslehantering Aktiebolag - SKB, Äspölaboratoriet
Funding from Vinnova SEK 250 000
Project duration December 2016 - November 2017
Status Completed

Purpose and goal

Within the scope of a feasibility study, SKB, in cooperation with the Swedish underground construction business, has highlighted the possibilities of developing the Äspö Hard Rock Laboratory into a test bed for rock engineering development and innovation. The objectives were to: 1) investigate the needs and potential of a test bed for rock engineering at Äspö HRL. 2) establish a strong stakeholder constellation. 3) investigate preliminary possibilities for a long-term operation of the test bed.

Expected results and effects

According to the needs analysis, the Äspö HRL is considered to have the potential to develop Swedish underground technology, for example: Efficiency of excavation methods, Demonstration, Maintenance Technology, Material Testing, Automation. A constellation of stakeholders has been established with participants from the Swedish Rock Engineering Research Foundation, the University´s departments for Civil Engineering, the Regional federation in the County of Kalmar and the Oskarshamn Municipality.

Planned approach and implementation

The feasibility study was conducted as an interview investigation with representatives from the rock engineering business. The report concludes that the Äspö facility offers a unique well-documented test environment, opportunities for large-scale tests and a flexibility for tests at undisturbed conditions. The rock engineering industry now recommends the planning phase to be deepened with regard to, inter alia, financial conditions and opportunities for a consortium creation.

The project description has been provided by the project members themselves and the text has not been looked at by our editors.

Last updated 25 November 2019

Reference number 2016-05091

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