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Sample records for beneath yucca mountain

  1. Isotopic discontinuities in ground water beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analytical data for stable isotopes in ground water from beneath Yucca Mountain, when examined in map view, show areal patterns of heterogeneity that can be interpreted in terms of mixing of at least three end members. One end member must be isotopically heavy in terms of hydrogen and oxygen and have a young apparent 14C age such as water found at the north end of Yucca Mountain beneath Fortymile Wash. A second end member must contain isotopically heavy carbon and have an old apparent 14C age such as water from the Paleozoic aquifer. The third end member cannot be tightly defined. It must be isotopically lighter than the first with respect of hydrogen and oxygen and be intermediate to the first and second end members with respect to both apparent 14C age and δ13C. The variable isotopic compositions of hydrogen and oxygen indicate that two of the end members are waters, but the variable carbon isotopic composition could represent either a third water end member or reaction of water with a carbon-bearing solids such as calcite. 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab

  2. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.M. Simmons

    2004-04-16

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

  3. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel

  4. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING -

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report has the following articles: Nuclear waste--a long-term national problem; Spent nuclear fuel; High-level radioactive waste; Radioactivity and the environment; Current storage methods; Disposal options; U.S. policy on nuclear waste; The focus on Yucca Mountain; The purpose and scope of the Yucca Mountain Project; The approach for permanently disposing of waste; The scientific studies at Yucca Mountain; The proposed design for a repository at Yucca Mountain; Natural and engineered barriers would work together to isolate waste; Meticulous science and technology to protect people and the environment; Licensing a repository; Transporting waste to a permanent repository; The Environmental Impact Statement for a repository; Current status of the Yucca Mountain Project; and Further information available on the Internet

  5. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2003-08-05

    This report has the following articles: Nuclear waste--a long-term national problem; Spent nuclear fuel; High-level radioactive waste; Radioactivity and the environment; Current storage methods; Disposal options; U.S. policy on nuclear waste; The focus on Yucca Mountain; The purpose and scope of the Yucca Mountain Project; The approach for permanently disposing of waste; The scientific studies at Yucca Mountain; The proposed design for a repository at Yucca Mountain; Natural and engineered barriers would work together to isolate waste; Meticulous science and technology to protect people and the environment; Licensing a repository; Transporting waste to a permanent repository; The Environmental Impact Statement for a repository; Current status of the Yucca Mountain Project; and Further information available on the Internet.

  6. Geology at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-05-01

    Both advocates and critics disagree on the significance and interpretation of critical geological features which bear on the safety and suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Critics believe that there is sufficient geological evidence to rule the site unsuitable for further investigation. Some advocates claim that there is insufficient data and that investigations are incomplete, while others claim that the site is free of major obstacles. We have expanded our efforts to include both the critical evaluations of existing geological and geochemical data and the collection of field data and samples for the purpose of preparing scientific papers for submittal to journals. Summaries of the critical reviews are presented in this paper.

  7. Yucca Mountain Project public interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to keeping the citizens of Nevada informed about activities that relate to the high-level nuclear waste repository program. This paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain Project's public interaction philosophy, objectives, activities and experiences during the two years since Congress directed the DOE to conduct site characterization activities only for the Yucca Mountain site

  8. Preliminary mapping of surficial geology of Midway Valley Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Swan, F.H.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Gibson, J.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-04-01

    The tectonics program for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada must evaluate the potential for surface faulting beneath the prospective surface facilities. To help meet this goal, Quaternary surficial mapping studies and photolineament analyses were conducted to provide data for evaluating the location, recency, and style of faulting with Midway Valley at the eastern base of Yucca Mountain, the preferred location of these surface facilities. This interim report presents the preliminary results of this work.

  9. Yearly report, Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brune, J.N.

    1992-09-30

    We proposed to (1) Develop our data logging and analysis equipment and techniques for analyzing seismic data from the Southern Great Basin Seismic Network (SGBSN), (2) Investigate the SGBSN data for evidence of seismicity patterns, depth distribution patterns, and correlations with geologic features (3) Repair and maintain our three broad band downhole digital seismograph stations at Nelson, nevada, Troy Canyon, Nevada, and Deep Springs, California (4) Install, operate, and log data from a super sensitive microearthquake array at Yucca Mountain (5) Analyze data from micro-earthquakes relative to seismic hazard at Yucca Mountain.

  10. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified

  11. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-09-25

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified.

  12. Pyritic ash-flow tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Yucca Mountain site is underlain by a 1,500-m-thick Miocene volcanic sequence that comprises part of the southwestern Nevada volcanic field. Rocks of this sequence, which consists mainly of ash-flow tuff sheets with minor flows and bedded tuff, host precious metal mineralization in several areas as near as 10 km from the site. In two such areas, the Bullfrog and Bare Mountain mining districts, production and reserves total over 60 t gold and 150 t silver. Evidence of similar precious metal mineralization at the Yucca Mountain site may lead to mining or exploratory drilling in the future, compromising the security of the repository. The authors believe that most of the pyrite encountered by drilling at Yucca Mountain was introduced as pyroclastic ejecta, rather than by in situ hydrothermal activity. Pyritic ejecta in ash-flow tuff are not reported in the literature, but there is no reason to believe that the Yucca Mountain occurrence is unique. The pyritic ejecta are considered by us to be part of a preexisting hydrothermal system that was partially or wholly destroyed during eruption of the tuff units. Because it was introduced as ejecta in tuff units that occur at depths of about 1,000 m, such pyrite does not constitute evidence of shallow mineralization at the proposed repository site; however, the pyrite may be evidence for mineralization deep beneath Yucca Mountain or as much as tens of kilometers from it

  13. Getting Beyond Yucca Mountain - 12305

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy has terminated the Yucca Mountain repository project. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has indefinitely suspended the Yucca Mountain licensing proceeding. The presidentially-appointed Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) on America's Nuclear Future is preparing a report, due in January 2012, to the Secretary of Energy on recommendations for a new national nuclear waste management and disposal program. The BRC Draft Report published in July 2011 provides a compelling critique of the past three decades failed efforts in the United States to site storage and disposal facilities for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW). However, the BRC Draft Report fails to provide detailed guidance on how to implement an alternative, successful approach to facility site selection. The comments submitted to the BRC by the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects provide useful details on how the US national nuclear waste program can get beyond the failed Yucca Mountain repository project. A detailed siting process, consisting of legislative elements, procedural elements, and 'rules' for volunteer sites, could meet the objectives of the BRC and the Western Governors Association (WGA), while promoting and protecting the interests of potential host states. The recent termination of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository provides both an opportunity and a need to re-examine the United States' nuclear waste management program. The BRC Draft Report published in July 2011 provides a compelling critique of the past three decades failed efforts in the United States to site storage and disposal facilities for SNF and HLW. It is anticipated that the BRC Final report in January 2012 will recommend a new general course of action, but there will likely continue to be a need for detailed guidance on how to implement an alternative, successful approach to facility site selection. Getting the nation's nuclear waste program back on track

  14. Geologic map of the Paintbrush Canyon Area, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickerson, R.P. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Drake, R.M. II [Pacific Western Technologies, Ltd., Lakewood, CO (United States)

    1998-11-01

    This geologic map is produced to support site characterization studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential nuclear waste storage facility. The area encompassed by this map lies between Yucca Wash and Fortymile Canyon, northeast of Yucca Mountain. It is on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain caldera complex within the southwest Nevada volcanic field. Miocene tuffs and lavas of the Calico Hills Formation, the Paintbrush Group, and the Timber Mountain Group crop out in the area of this map. The source vents of the tuff cones and lava domes commonly are located beneath the thickest deposits of pyroclastic ejecta and lava flows. The rocks within the mapped area have been deformed by north- and northwest-striking, dominantly west-dipping normal faults and a few east-dipping normal faults. Faults commonly are characterized by well developed fault scarps, thick breccia zones, and hanging-wall grabens. Latest movement as preserved by slickensides on west-dipping fault scarps is oblique down towards the southwest. Two of these faults, the Paintbrush Canyon fault and the Bow Ridge fault, are major block-bounding faults here and to the south at Yucca Mountain. Offset of stratigraphic units across faults indicates that faulting occurred throughout the time these volcanic units were deposited.

  15. Preliminary mapping of surficial geology of Midway Valley Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The tectonics program for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada must evaluate the potential for surface faulting beneath the prospective surface facilities. To help meet this goal, Quaternary surficial mapping studies and photolineament analyses were conducted to provide data for evaluating the location, recency, and style of faulting with Midway Valley at the eastern base of Yucca Mountain, the preferred location of these surface facilities. This interim report presents the preliminary results of this work

  16. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the Yucca Mountain area, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and to ensure that activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments during fiscal year 1991 (FY91) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Activities Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  17. Yucca Mountain biological resources monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a potential site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG ampersand G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG ampersand G/EM) during fiscal year 1992 (FY92) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  18. Weapons test seismic investigations at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, is being characterized as part of an ongoing effort to identify a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. This site will be subjected to seismic ground motions induced by underground nuclear explosions. A knowledge of expected ground motion levels from these tests will enable the designers to provide for the necessary structural support in the designs of the various components of the repository. The primary objective of the Weapons Test Seismic Investigation project is to develop a method to predict the ground motions expected at the repository site as a result of future weapons tests. This paper summarizes the data base presently assembled for the Yucca Mountain Project, characteristics of expected ground motions, and characterization of the two-dimensional seismic properties along paths between Yucca Mountain and the testing areas of the Nevada Test Site

  19. Nuclear waste disposal: Gambling on Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document describes the historical aspects of nuclear energy ,nuclear weapons usage, and development of the nuclear bureaucracy in the United States, and discusses the selection and siting of Yucca Mountain, Nevada for a federal nuclear waste repository. Litigation regarding the site selection and resulting battles in the political arena and in the Nevada State Legislature are also presented. Alternative radioactive waste disposal options, risk assessments of the Yucca Mountain site, and logistics regarding the transportation and storage of nuclear waste are also presented. This document also contains an extensive bibliography

  20. Gravity and magnetic investigations of the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ponce, D.A.; Langenheim, V.E.

    1995-12-31

    Ground magnetic and gravity data collected along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults on the eastern and western flanks, respectively, of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Gravity and magnetic data and models along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults show prominent anomalies associated with known faults and reveal a number of possible concealed faults beneath the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain. The central part of the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain is characterized by several small amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small scale faulting.

  1. Gravity and magnetic investigations of the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ground magnetic and gravity data collected along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults on the eastern and western flanks, respectively, of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Gravity and magnetic data and models along traverses across the Ghost Dance and Solitario Canyon faults show prominent anomalies associated with known faults and reveal a number of possible concealed faults beneath the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain. The central part of the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain is characterized by several small amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small scale faulting

  2. Evidence for Gropun-Water Stratification Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Futa; B.D. Marshall; Z.E. Peterman

    2006-03-24

    Major- and trace-element concentrations and strontium isotope ratios (strontium-87/strontium-86) in samples of ground water potentially can be useful in delineating flow paths in the complex ground-water system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water samples were collected from boreholes to characterize the lateral and vertical variability in the composition of water in the saturated zone. Discrete sampling of water-producing intervals in the saturated zone includes isolating borehole sections with packers and extracting pore water from core obtained by sonic drilling. Chemical and isotopic stratification was identified in the saturated zone beneath southern Fortymile Wash.

  3. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report, ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', is to present information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a repository at Yucca Mountain. This scientific analysis report provides information to four other reports: ''Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion'', (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170001]); ''Atmospheric Dispersal and Deposition of Tephra from Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170026]); ''Dike/Drift Interactions'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170028]); ''Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027], Section 6.5). This report is organized into seven major sections. This section addresses the purpose of this document. Section 2 addresses quality assurance, Section 3 the use of software, Section 4 identifies the requirements that constrain this work, and Section 5 lists assumptions and their rationale. Section 6 presents the details of the scientific analysis and Section 7 summarizes the conclusions reached

  4. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Krier

    2004-10-04

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report, ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', is to present information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a repository at Yucca Mountain. This scientific analysis report provides information to four other reports: ''Number of Waste Packages Hit by Igneous Intrusion'', (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170001]); ''Atmospheric Dispersal and Deposition of Tephra from Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170026]); ''Dike/Drift Interactions'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170028]); ''Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027], Section 6.5). This report is organized into seven major sections. This section addresses the purpose of this document. Section 2 addresses quality assurance, Section 3 the use of software, Section 4 identifies the requirements that constrain this work, and Section 5 lists assumptions and their rationale. Section 6 presents the details of the scientific analysis and Section 7 summarizes the conclusions reached.

  5. Geophysical expression of the Ghost Dance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ponce, D.A.; Langenheim, V.E. [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Gravity and ground magnetic data collected along surveyed traverses across Antler and Live Yucca Ridges, on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, reveal small-scale faulting associated with the Ghost Dance and possibly other faults. These studies are part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

  6. Geophysical expression of the Ghost Dance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gravity and ground magnetic data collected along surveyed traverses across Antler and Live Yucca Ridges, on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, reveal small-scale faulting associated with the Ghost Dance and possibly other faults. These studies are part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

  7. Extreme ground motions and Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hanks, Thomas C.; Abrahamson, Norman A.; Baker, Jack W.; Boore, David M.; Board, Mark; Brune, James N.; Cornell, C. Allin; Whitney, John W.

    2013-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is the designated site of the underground repository for the United States' high-level radioactive waste (HLW), consisting of commercial and military spent nuclear fuel, HLW derived from reprocessing of uranium and plutonium, surplus plutonium, and other nuclear-weapons materials. Yucca Mountain straddles the western boundary of the Nevada Test Site, where the United States has tested nuclear devices since the 1950s, and is situated in an arid, remote, and thinly populated region of Nevada, ~100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Mountain was originally considered as a potential underground repository of HLW because of its thick units of unsaturated rocks, with the repository horizon being not only ~300 m above the water table but also ~300 m below the Yucca Mountain crest. The fundamental rationale for a geologic (underground) repository for HLW is to securely isolate these materials from the environment and its inhabitants to the greatest extent possible and for very long periods of time. Given the present climate conditions and what is known about the current hydrologic system and conditions around and in the mountain itself, one would anticipate that the rates of infiltration, corrosion, and transport would be very low—except for the possibility that repository integrity might be compromised by low-probability disruptive events, which include earthquakes, strong ground motion, and (or) a repository-piercing volcanic intrusion/eruption. Extreme ground motions (ExGM), as we use the phrase in this report, refer to the extremely large amplitudes of earthquake ground motion that arise at extremely low probabilities of exceedance (hazard). They first came to our attention when the 1998 probabilistic seismic hazard analysis for Yucca Mountain was extended to a hazard level of 10-8/yr (a 10-4/yr probability for a 104-year repository “lifetime”). The primary purpose of this report is to summarize the principal results of the ExGM research program

  8. Rural migration decision relating to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Individual and family migration decisions were assessed to ascertain the degree to which the siting of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository would influence decisions to remain, leave, or leave and return to the region. Data collected in Lincoln and Nye Counties in Nevada were used. The results of the two studies show that there is little or no impact of the proposed repository on residential choice decisions

  9. Yucca Mountain Project Surface Facilities Design

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P.W. McDaniel; N.R. Brown; P.G. Harrington; J.T. Gardiner; L.J. Trautner

    2002-11-20

    With the recent designation of the Yucca Mountain site as a proposed repository for the disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel, DOE spent nuclear fuel and high- level waste, work is proceeding on the design of surface facilities to receive, unload, and package the waste into waste packages for emplacement in the repository. This paper summarizes recent progress in the design of these surface facilities.

  10. Predicting the Future at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. R. Wilson

    1999-07-01

    This paper summarizes a climate-prediction model funded by the DOE for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Several articles in the open literature attest to the effects of the Global Ocean Conveyor upon paleoclimate, specifically entrance and exit from the ice age. The data shows that these millennial-scale effects are duplicated on the microscale of years to decades. This work also identifies how man may have influenced the Conveyor, affecting global cooling and warming for 2,000 years.

  11. Yucca Mountain Task 4, Final report FY 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brune, J.N.

    1993-09-30

    Four major projects at UNRSL have been supported by NWPO-Neotectonics Yucca Mountain Task 4 funds during the last year: (1) Operation and analysis of data from the UNRSL microearthquake network at Yucca Mountain. (2) Continued operation, maintenance, and calibration of three broadband stations. Limited data analysis was also initiated. (3) Continued review by Dr. Brune of documents and literature related to seismic hazard and tectonics of the Yucca Mountain region. (4) Testing of noise levels in boreholes.

  12. Yucca Mountain Site characterization project bibliography, January--June 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 1991

  13. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, 1988--1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This bibliography contains information on the Yucca Mountain Project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Data Base from January 1988 through December 1989. This supplement also includes a new section which provides information about publications on the Energy Data Base that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Indexes are provided for Corporate Author, Personal Author, Subject, Contract Number, Report Number, Order Number Correlation, and Key Word in Context. All entries in the Yucca Mountain Project bibliographies are searchable online on the NNW database file. This file can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy (DOE). Technical reports on the Yucca Mountain Project are on display in special open files at participating Nevada Libraries and in the Public Document Room of the US Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, in Las Vegas

  14. Monitoring the vadose zone in fractured tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Unsaturated tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential repository for high-level radioactive waste. As part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey has been conducting hydrologic, geologic, and geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region to provide data evaluation of the potential suitability of the site. Hydrologic investigations of the unsaturated zone at this site were started in 1982. A 17.5-inch- (44.5-centimeter-) diameter borehole (USW UZ-1) was drilled by the reverse-air vacuum-drilling technique to a depth of 1269 feet (387 meters). This borehole was instrumented at 33 depth levels. At 15 of the levels, 3 well screens were embedded in coarse-sand columns. The sand columns were isolated from each other by thin layers of bentonite, columns of silica flour, and isolation plugs consisting of expansive cement. Thermocouple psychrometers and pressure transducers were installed within the screens and connected to the data-acquisition system at the land surface through thermocouple and logging cables. Two of the screens at each level were equipped with access tubes to allow collection of pore-gas samples. In addition to these instruments, 18 heat-dissipation probes were installed within the columns of silica flour, some of which also had thermocouple psychrometers. 20 refs., 13 figs., 2 tabs

  15. Overview of the Yucca Mountain Licensing Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper presents an overview of the licensing process for a Yucca Mountain repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. The paper discusses the steps in the licensing proceeding, the roles of the participants, the licensing and hearing requirements contained in the Code of Federal Regulations. A description of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff acceptance and compliance reviews of the Department of Energy (DOE) application for a construction authorization and a license to receive and possess high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel is provided. The paper also includes a detailed description of the hearing process

  16. Archaeological program for the Yucca Mountain Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Archaeological surveys, limited surface collections and selected test excavations in the Yucca Mountain Project Area have revealed four distinct aboriginal hunting and gathering adaptive strategies and a separate historic Euroamerican occupation. The four aboriginal adaptations are marked by gradual shifts in settlement locations that reflect changing resource procurement strategies. Whereas the earliest hunters and gatherers focused their activities around the exploitation of toolstone along ephemeral drainages and the hunting of game animals in the uplands, the latest aboriginal settlements reflect intensive procurement of early spring plant resources in specific upland environments. The final Euroamerican occupation in the area is marked by limited prospecting activities and travel through the area by early immigrants

  17. Regional groundwater modeling of the saturated zone in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of groundwater modeling of the saturated zone in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain are presented. Both a regional (200 x 200 km) and subregional (50 x 50 km) model were used in the analyses. Simulations were conducted to determine the impact of various disruptive that might take place over the life span of a proposed Yucca Mountain geologic conditions repository on the groundwater flow field, as well as changes in the water-table elevations. These conditions included increases in precipitation and groundwater recharge within the regional model, changes in permeability of existing hydrogeologic barriers, a:nd the vertical intrusion of volcanic dikes at various orientations through the saturated zone. Based on the regional analysis, the rise in the water-table under Yucca Mountain due to various postulated conditions ranged from only a few meters to 275 meters. Results of the subregional model analysis, which was used to simulate intrusive dikes approximately 4 kilometers in length in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, showed water-table rises ranging from a few meters to as much as 103 meters. Dikes oriented approximately north-south beneath Yucca Mountain produced the highest water-table rises. The conclusions drawn from this analysis are likely to change as more site-specific data become available and as the assumptions in the model are improved

  18. Aeromagnetic Expression of Buried Basaltic Volcanoes Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Leary, D. W.; Mankinen, E.A.; Blakely, R.J.; Langenheim, V.E.; Ponce, D.A.

    2002-01-01

    A high-resolution aeromagnetic survey has defined a number of small dipolar anomalies indicating the presence of magnetic bodies buried beneath the surface of Crater Flat and the Amargosa Desert. Results of potential-field modeling indicate that isolated, small-volume, highly magnetic bodies embedded within the alluvial deposits of both areas produce the anomalies. Their physical characteristics and the fact that they tend to be aligned along major structural trends provide strong support for the hypothesis that the anomalies reflect buried basaltic volcanic centers. Other, similar anomalies are identified as possible targets for further investigation. High-resolution gravity and ground-magnetic surveys, perhaps along with drilling sources of selected anomalies and radiometric age determinations, can provide valuable constraints in estimating potential volcanic hazard to the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain.

  19. Restructured site characterization program at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During 1994 and the early part of 1995, the US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) and its parent organization, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) underwent a significant restructuring. Senior Department officials provided the leadership to reorient the management, technical, programmatic, and public interaction approach to the US High Level Radioactive Waste Disposal Program. The restructuring involved reorganizing the federal staff, conducting meaningful strategic planning, improving the management system, rationalizing contractor responsibilities, focusing upon major products, and increasing stakeholder involvement. The restructured program has prioritized technical and scientific activities toward meeting major regulatory milestones in a timely and cost-effective manner. This approach has raised concern among elements of technical, scientific, and oversight bodies that suitability and licensing decisions could be made without obtaining sufficient technical information for this first-of-its-kind endeavor. Other organizations, such as congressional committees, industrial groups, and rate payers believe characterization goals can be met in a timely manner and within the limitation of available funds. To balance these contrasting views in its decision making process, OCRWM management has made a special effort to communicate its strategy to oversight bodies, the scientific community and other stakeholders and to use external independent peer review as a key means of demonstrating scientific credibility. Site characterization of Yucca Mountain in Nevada is one of the key elements of the restructured program

  20. Using science soundly: The Yucca Mountain standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Using sound science to shape government regulation is one of the most hotly argued topics in the ongoing debate about regulatory reform. Even though no one advaocates using unsound science, the belief that even the best science will sweep away regulatory controversy is equally foolish. As chair of a National Research Council (NRC) committee that studied the scientific basis for regulating high-level nuclear waste disposal, the author learned that science alone could resolve few of the key regulatory questions. Developing a standard that specifies a socially acceptable limit on the human health effects of nuclear waste releases involves many decisions. As the NRC committee learned in evaluating the scientific basis for the Yucca Mountain standard, a scientifically best decision rarely exists. More often, science can only offer a useful framework and starting point for policy debates. And sometimes, science's most helpful contribution is to admit that it has nothing to say. The Yucca mountain study clearly illustrates that excessive faith in the power of science is more likely to produce messy frustration than crisp decisions. A better goal for regulatory reform is the sound use of science to clarify and contain the inevitable policy controversy

  1. Yucca Mountain drift scale test progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apps, J.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Peterson,J.E.; Sonnenthal, E.; Spycher, N.; Tsang, Y.W.; Williams, K.H.

    1999-01-01

    The Drift Scale Test (DST) is part of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) Thermal Test being conducted underground at the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purpose of the ESF Thermal Test is to acquire a more in-depth understanding of the coupled thermal, mechanical, hydrological, and chemical processes likely to be encountered in the rock mass surrounding the potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain. These processes are monitored by a multitude of sensors to measure the temperature, humidity, gas pressure, and mechanical displacement, of the rock formation in response to the heat generated by the heaters. In addition to collecting passive monitoring data, active hydrological and geophysical testing is also being carried out periodically in the DST. These active tests are intended to monitor changes in the moisture redistribution in the rock mass, to collect water and gas samples for chemical and isotopic analysis, and to detect microfiacturing due to heating. On December 3, 1998, the heaters in the DST were activated. The planned heating phase of the DST is 4 years, and the cooling phase following the power shutoff will be of similar duration. The present report summarizes interpretation and analysis of thermal, hydrological, chemical, and geophysical data for the first 6 months; it is the first of many progress reports to be prepared during the DST.

  2. Total system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's evaluation of site suitability for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository, the long-term behavior of the mined geologic disposal system must be determined. This determination requires a knowledge of the characteristics of the present natural system, waste-package and engineered-system designs, a description of the environment around the emplacement zone, and descriptions of possible perturbations that may affect the nature of the engineered and natural systems. In 1991, participants in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project completed a preliminary assessment of the likely performance of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This preliminary assessment evaluated aqueous and gaseous flow, future climatic conditions, and disturbances to the system by basaltic volcanism and inadvertent human intrusion. A second total system performance evaluation is currently in progress. This second iteration is building on the previous analyses in a number of ways. More recent site characterization information and a much more complex model representing the source term are being incorporated. Multiple waste package designs, emplacement modes, and areal power densities are being analyzed. (author)

  3. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Krier

    2005-08-29

    Small-volume basaltic volcanic activity at Yucca Mountain has been identified as one of the potential events that could lead to release of radioactive material from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) designated nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Release of material could occur indirectly as a result of magmatic dike intrusion into the repository (with no associated surface eruption) by changing groundwater flow paths, or as a result of an eruption (dike intrusion of the repository drifts, followed by surface eruption of contaminated ash) or volcanic ejection of material onto the Earth's surface and the redistribution of contaminated volcanic tephra. Either release method includes interaction between emplacement drifts and a magmatic dike or conduit, and natural (geologic) processes that might interrupt or halt igneous activity. This analysis provides summary information on two approaches to evaluate effects of disruption at the repository by basaltic igneous activity: (1) descriptions of the physical geometry of ascending basaltic dikes and their interaction with silicic host rocks similar in composition to the repository host rocks; and (2) a summary of calculations developed to quantify the response of emplacement drifts that have been flooded with magma and repressurized following blockage of an eruptive conduit. The purpose of these analyses is to explore the potential consequences that could occur during the full duration of an igneous event.

  4. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tien, P.L.; Updegraff, C.D.; Siegel, M.D.; Wahi, K.K.; Guzowski, R.V.

    1985-11-01

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs.

  5. Repository site data report for unsaturated tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy is currently considering the thick sequences of unsaturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, on the southwestern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, as a possible candidate host rock for a nuclear-waste repository. Yucca Mountain is in one of the most arid areas in the United States. The site is within the south-central part of the Great Basin section of the Basin and Range physiographic province and is located near a number of silicic calderas of Tertiary age. Although localized zones of seismic activity are common throughout the province, and faults are present at Yucca Mountain, the site itself is basically aseismic. No data are available on the composition of ground water in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. It has been suggested that the composition is bounded by the compositions of water from wells USW-H3, UE25p-1, J-13, and snow or rain. There are relatively few data available from Yucca Mountain on the moisture content and saturation, hydraulic conductivity, and characteristic curves of the unsaturated zone. The available literature on thermomechanical properties of tuff does not always distinguish between data from the saturated zone and data from the unsaturated zone. Geochemical, hydrologic, and thermomechanical data available on the unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain are tabulated in this report. Where the data are very sparse, they have been supplemented by data from the saturated zone or from areas other than Yucca Mountain. 316 refs., 58 figs., 37 tabs

  6. Preparing the Yucca Mountain Multimedia Presentation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Y. Larkin; J. Hartley; J. Scott

    2002-11-14

    In July 2002, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada for development as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This major milestone for the country's high-level radioactive waste disposal program comes after more than 20 years of scientific study and intense public interaction and outreach. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) public involvement activities were driven by two federal regulations-the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended. The NEPA required that DOE hold public hearings at key points in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the NWPA required the agency to conduct public hearings in the vicinity of the site prior to making a recommendation regarding the site's suitability. The NWPA also provided a roadmap for how DOE would interact with affected units of government, which include the state of Nevada and the counties surrounding the site. As the Project moves into the next phase--applying for a license to construct a repository-the challenge of public interaction and outreach remains. It has become increasingly important to provide tools to communicate to the public the importance of the Yucca Mountain Project. Sharing the science and engineering research with the general public, as well as teachers, students, and industry professionals, is one of the project's most important activities. Discovering ways to translate project information and communicate this information to local governments, agencies, citizens' groups, schools, the news media, and other stakeholders is critical. With these facts in mind, the authors set out to create a presentation that would bring the ''mountain'' to the public.

  7. Preparing the Yucca Mountain Multimedia Presentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In July 2002, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada for development as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This major milestone for the country's high-level radioactive waste disposal program comes after more than 20 years of scientific study and intense public interaction and outreach. The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) public involvement activities were driven by two federal regulations-the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended. The NEPA required that DOE hold public hearings at key points in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the NWPA required the agency to conduct public hearings in the vicinity of the site prior to making a recommendation regarding the site's suitability. The NWPA also provided a roadmap for how DOE would interact with affected units of government, which include the state of Nevada and the counties surrounding the site. As the Project moves into the next phase--applying for a license to construct a repository-the challenge of public interaction and outreach remains. It has become increasingly important to provide tools to communicate to the public the importance of the Yucca Mountain Project. Sharing the science and engineering research with the general public, as well as teachers, students, and industry professionals, is one of the project's most important activities. Discovering ways to translate project information and communicate this information to local governments, agencies, citizens' groups, schools, the news media, and other stakeholders is critical. With these facts in mind, the authors set out to create a presentation that would bring the ''mountain'' to the public

  8. Two-dimensional velocity models for paths from Pahute Mesa and Yucca Flat to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vertical acceleration recordings of 21 underground nuclear explosions recorded at stations at Yucca Mountain provide the data for development of three two-dimensional crystal velocity profiles for portions of the Nevada Test Site. Paths from Area 19, Area 20 (both Pahute Mesa), and Yucca Flat to Yucca Mountain have been modeled using asymptotic ray theory travel time and synthetic seismogram techniques. Significant travel time differences exist between the Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa source areas; relative amplitude patterns at Yucca Mountain also shift with changing source azimuth. The three models, UNEPM1, UNEPM2, and UNEYF1, successfully predict the travel time and amplitude data for all three paths. 24 refs., 34 figs., 8 tabs

  9. Interface management for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The subject of this report is selection of that portion of physical and informational interfaces that need to be controlled on the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Physical interfaces are interactions between physical elements of the mined geologic disposal system; for example, the repository shafts will interface with the shafts in the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF), because the ESF shafts will eventually be absorbed into the repository as additional repository shafts. Informational interfaces are interactions involving an exchange of information between organizations working on the mined geologic disposal system; for example, the in situ testing contractor will interact with the site performance assessment contractor and will supply information regarding host rock behavior. This report describes the physical system interfaces that can be identified from analysis of a physical system structure. A discussion of informational interfaces can be found elsewhere. 30 refs., 8 figs., 3 tabs

  10. Environmental radiation protection standards for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been given the responsibility of setting site-specific health and safety standards for the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The same legislation that gave the Agency that responsibility, mandated a study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to provide input into the bases for the EPA standards. The NAS has completed and presented a report to the Agency; this paper summarizes the report's recommendations and conclusions. Following receipt of the report, the Agency opened a comment period and held public meetings to gather comments; the major issues from the comments are summarized. Based upon the report from NAS and the public comments, EPA has started formulating proposed standards which will be known as 40 CFR Part 197. It is planned for the proposal of 40 CFR Part 197 to occur in the summer of 1996

  11. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Valentine

    2001-12-20

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR), ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'', presents information about natural volcanic systems and the parameters that can be used to model their behavior. This information is used to develop parameter-value distributions appropriate for analysis of the consequences of volcanic eruptions through a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. Many aspects of this work are aimed at resolution of the Igneous Activity Key Technical Issue (KTI) as identified by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC 1998, p. 3), Subissues 1 and 2, which address the probability and consequence of igneous activity at the proposed repository site, respectively. Within the framework of the Disruptive Events Process Model Report (PMR), this AMR provides information for the calculations in two other AMRs ; parameters described herein are directly used in calculations in these reports and will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). Compilation of this AMR was conducted as defined in the Development Plan, except as noted. The report begins with considerations of the geometry of volcanic feeder systems, which are of primary importance in predicting how much of a potential repository would be affected by an eruption. This discussion is followed by one of the physical and chemical properties of the magmas, which influences both eruptive styles and mechanisms for interaction with radioactive waste packages. Eruptive processes including the ascent velocity of magma at depth, the onset of bubble nucleation and growth in the rising magmas, magma fragmentation, and velocity of the resulting gas-particle mixture are then discussed. The duration of eruptions, their power output, and mass discharge rates are also described. The next section summarizes geologic constraints regarding the interaction between magma and waste packages. Finally, they discuss bulk grain size produced by relevant explosive eruptions and grain

  12. Tectonic and neotectonic framework of the Yucca Mountain Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1992-09-30

    Highlights of major research accomplishments concerned with the tectonics and neotectonics of the Yucca Mountain Region include: structural studies in Grapevine Mountains, Bullfrog Hills, and Bare Mountain; recognition of significance of pre-Middle Miocene normal and strike-slip faulting at Bare Mountain; compilation of map of quaternary faulting in Southern Amargosa Valley; and preliminary paleomagnetic analysis of Paleozoic and Cenozoic units at Bare Mountain.

  13. The Pahrump Valley Museum Yucca Mountain History Exhibit - 12389

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of its management of the Yucca Mountain project, the Department of Energy maintained several information centers to provide public access to information about the status of the Yucca Mountain project. Those information centers contained numerous displays, historical information, and served as the location for the Department's outreach activities. As the Department of Energy dealt with reduced budgets in 2009 following the Obama Administration's intent to terminate the program, it shut down its information centers. Nye County considered it important to maintain a public information center where people would be able to find information about what was happening with the Yucca Mountain project. Initially the Nye County assumed responsibility for the information center in Pahrump; eventually the County made a decision to move that information center into an expansion of the existing Pahrump Valley Museum. Nye County undertook an effort to update the information about the Yucca Mountain project and modernize the displays. A parallel effort to create a source of historical information where people could find out about the Yucca Mountain project was undertaken. To accompany the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, Nye County also sponsored a series of interviews to document, through oral histories, as much information about the Yucca Mountain project as could be found in these interviews. The paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain exhibits in the Pahrump Valley Museum, and the accompanying oral histories. An important conclusion that can be drawn from the interviews is that construction of a repository in Nevada should have been conceptualized as but the first step in transforming the economy of central Nevada by turning part of the Nevada National Security Site and adjoining area into a world-class energy production and energy research center. (authors)

  14. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-12-31

    The unsaturated volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy as a host rock for a potential mined geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. Assessment of site suitability needs an efficient and focused investigative program. A conceptual hydrogeologic model that simulates the flow of fluids through the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was developed to guide the program and to provide a basis for preliminary assessment of site suitability. The study was made as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy. Thickness of the unsaturated zone is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). Based on physical properties, the rocks in the unsaturated zone are grouped for the purpose of this paper into five informal hydrogeologic units. From top to bottom these units are: Tiva Canyon welded unit, Paintbrush nonwelded unit. Topopah Spring welded unit, Calico Hills nonwelded unit, and Crater Flat unit. Welded units have a mean fracture density of 8 to 40 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 12 to 23%, matrix hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 6.5 x 10{sup -6} to 9.8 x 10{sup -6} foot per day (2 x 10{sup -6} to 3 x 10{sup -6} meter per day), and bulk hydraulic conductivities of 0.33 to 33 feet per day (0.1 to 10 meters per day). The nonwelded units have a mean fracture density of 1 to 3 fractures per unit cubic meter, mean matrix porosities of 31 to 46%, and saturated hydraulic conductivities with geometric means ranging from 2.6 x 10{sup -5} to 2.9 x 10{sup -2} foot per day (8 x 10{sup -6} to 9 x 10{sup -3} meter per day). 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  15. Yucca Mountain, a high-level nuclear waste repository over a billion barrel oil field?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    New structural models and source rock data suggest that the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada, high-level nuclear waste repository lies in the Central Nevada thrust belt. The Central Nevada thrust belt could contain billion-barrel oil fields. The Central Nevada thrust belt coincides with an organic richness fairway and a maturation fairway of Mississippian source rocks that have already produced more than 25 million barrels of oil. Giant thrust-related structures along the thrust belt have yet to be tested. However, new work in the Tempahute Range, which lies between Yucca Mountain and the prolific Grant Canyon field, confirms the thrust belt concept and sheds light on source and reservoir rock quality and thrust belt geometry. Klippen of overmature Mississippian rocks are distinct on maturation maps such as the Diamond Range klippe in central Nevada. Thrust trends suggest that the Eleana Range near Yucca Mountain may be another klippe of overmature rocks over Mississippian source rocks in the oil window. There is a strong possibility that the subthrust source rocks may have generated large quantities of hydrocarbons that may be trapped in large thrust features beneath Yucca Mountain

  16. Numerical studies of rock-gas flow in Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ross, B.; Amter, S.; Lu, Ning [Disposal Safety, Inc., Washington, DC (United States)

    1992-02-01

    A computer model (TGIF -- Thermal Gradient Induced Flow) of two-dimensional, steady-state rock-gas flow driven by temperature and humidity differences is described. The model solves for the ``fresh-water head,`` a concept that has been used in models of variable-density water flow but has not previously been applied to gas flow. With this approach, the model can accurately simulate the flows driven by small differences in temperature. The unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are being studied as a potential site for a repository for high-level nuclear waste. Using the TGIF model, preliminary calculations of rock-gas flow in Yucca Mountain are made for four east-west cross-sections through the mountain. Calculations are made for three repository temperatures and for several assumptions about a possible semi-confining layer above the repository. The gas-flow simulations are then used to calculate travel-time distributions for air and for radioactive carbon-14 dioxide from the repository to the ground surface.

  17. BIOSPHERE MODELING AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objectives of the biosphere modeling efforts are to assess how radionuclides potentially released from the proposed repository could be transported through a variety of environmental media. The study of these transport mechanisms, referred to as pathways, is critical in calculating the potential radiation dose to man. Since most of the existing and pending regulations applicable to the Project are radiation dose based standards, the biosphere modeling effort will provide crucial technical input to support the Viability Assessment (VA), the Working Draft of License Application (WDLA), and the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). In 1982, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) was enacted into law. This federal law, which was amended in 1987, addresses the national issue of geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste generated by commercial nuclear power plants, as well as defense programs during the past few decades. As required by the law, the Department of Energy (DOE) is conducting a site characterization project at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, approximately 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, to determine if the site is suitable for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository

  18. Yucca Mountain biological resources monitoring program; Annual report FY92

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-02-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a potential site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG&G/EM) during fiscal year 1992 (FY92) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support.

  19. Yucca Mountain Site characterization project bibliography, January--June 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1992, through June 30, 1992. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor resorts, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  20. Tectonic stability and expected ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A workshop was convened on August 7-8, 1984 at the direction of DOE to discuss effects of natural and artificial earthquakes and associated ground motion as related to siting of a high-level radioactive waste (HLW) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A panel of experts in seismology and tectonics was assembled to review available data and analyses and to assess conflicting opinions on geological and seismologic data. The objective of the meeting was to advise the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project about how to present a technically balanced and scientifically credible evaluation of Yucca Mountain for the NNWSI Project EA. The group considered two central issues: the magnitude of ground motion at Yucca Mountain due to the largest expected earthquake, and the overall tectonic stability of the site given the current geologic and seismologic data base. 44 refs

  1. Neptunium retardation with tuffs and groundwaters from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The retardation of neptunium was studied using batch sorption and column techniques. Pure mineral separates, tuffs and groundwaters from Yucca Mountain were used for these experiments. Our results indicate that Np sorption increases rapidly as the pH of the water increases in cases where surface complexation is thought w be the dominant sorption mechanism. Oxide minerals (such as hematite) sorb Np strongly; therefore, these minerals even at trace levels in Yucca Mountain tuffs can result in significant Np retardation. Neptunium in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain exhibited a significant amount of sorption onto quartz. Neptunium sorption onto quartz is important because of the large quantity of silica in the tuffs. Elution of neptunium solutions in groundwater through columns made of crushed tuff yielded sorption coefficients that agree with the sorption results obtained using batch sorption techniques. Agreement between batch and column experiments indicates a neptunium sorption mechanism that is linear, reversible, and instantaneous

  2. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography, July--December 1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountains Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from July 1990 through December 1990. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers and articles are included in the sponsoring organizations list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  3. Native American plant resources in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents Native American interpretations of and concerns for plant resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This one of three research reports regarding Native American cultural resources that may be affected by site characterization activities related to the Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste disposal facility. Representatives of the sixteen involved American Indian tribes identified and interpreted plant resources as part of a consultation relationship between themselves and the US Department of Energy (DOE). Participants in the ethnobotany studies included botanists who have conducted, and continue to conduct, botanical studies for the Yucca Mountain Project. This report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding the process of consulting with the sixteen tribes, interviews with tribal plant specialists and elders, and findings from the ethnobotanical visits with representatives of the sixteen tribes. An annual report will include a chapter that summarizes the key findings from this plant resources study. 23 refs., 75 figs., 39 tabs

  4. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program; Annual report, FY91

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository. To ensure that site characterization activities (SCA) do not adversely affect the Yucca Mountain area, an environmental program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and to ensure that activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments during fiscal year 1991 (FY91) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Activities Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support.

  5. The vegetation of Yucca Mountain: Description and ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vegetation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was monitored over a six-year period, from 1989 through 1994. Yucca Mountain is located at the northern limit of the Mojave Desert and is the only location being studied as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Site characterization consists of a series of multidisciplinary, scientific investigations designed to provide detailed information necessary to assess the suitability of the Yucca Mountain Site as a repository. This vegetation description establishes a baseline for determining the ecological impact of site characterization activities; it porvides input for site characterization research and modeling; and it clarifies vegetation community dynamics and relationships to the physical environment. A companion study will describe the impact of site characterization of vegetation. Cover, density, production, and species composition of vascular plants were monitored at 48 Ecological Study Plots (ESPs) stratified in four vegetation associations. Precipitation, soil moisture, and maximum and minimum temperatures also were measured at each study plot

  6. The vegetation of Yucca Mountain: Description and ecology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-29

    Vegetation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was monitored over a six-year period, from 1989 through 1994. Yucca Mountain is located at the northern limit of the Mojave Desert and is the only location being studied as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Site characterization consists of a series of multidisciplinary, scientific investigations designed to provide detailed information necessary to assess the suitability of the Yucca Mountain Site as a repository. This vegetation description establishes a baseline for determining the ecological impact of site characterization activities; it porvides input for site characterization research and modeling; and it clarifies vegetation community dynamics and relationships to the physical environment. A companion study will describe the impact of site characterization of vegetation. Cover, density, production, and species composition of vascular plants were monitored at 48 Ecological Study Plots (ESPs) stratified in four vegetation associations. Precipitation, soil moisture, and maximum and minimum temperatures also were measured at each study plot.

  7. Yucca Mountain Site characterization project bibliography, January--June 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1991 through June 1991. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  8. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, January--June 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1993, through June 30, 1993. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  9. Volcanism Studies: Final Report for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. An assessment of the risk of future volcanic activity is one of many site characterization studies that must be completed to evaluate the Yucca Mountain site for potential long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste. The presence of several basaltic volcanic centers in the Yucca Mountain region of Pliocene and Quaternary age indicates that there is a finite risk of a future volcanic event occurring during the 10,000-year isolation period of a potential repository. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt ( than about 7 x 10-8 events yr-1 . Simple probability estimates are used to assess possible implications of not drilling aeromagnetic anomalies in the Amargosa Valley. The sensitivity of the disruption probability to the location of northeast boundaries of volcanic zones near the Yucca Mountain sit

  10. Yucca Mountain student tours: Response, reactions, and results

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In March of 1991, the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) began providing monthly tours for the general public to visit the Yucca Mountain site. The goal of these tours has been to inform the public and to provide direct contact to Project scientists. An overwhelming response has since created a need for expansion of the tour program to meet community demands. This paper describes the development, implementation, and results of the grade 6-12 tour program introduced in the last year to meet the needs of the educational community in particular

  11. Sustaining native microbial growth with endogenous nutrients at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The integrity of candidate waste package materials for the proposed Yucca Mountain (YM) repository may be compromised by the corrosive activities of microorganisms. Bacterial activities will be dependent on the abilities of deleterious bacteria to grow and multiply in the repository environment. Therefore, preliminary to assessing microbial induced corrosion, experiments were undertaken to determine the growth of native YM bacterial communities in modified YM pore water. Specifically, we sought to define nutrients that limit bacterial growth in Yucca Mountain and determine growth rates under aerobic, saturated conditions

  12. Basaltic volcanic episodes of the Yucca Mountain region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this paper is to summarize briefly the distribution and geologic characteristics of basaltic volcanism in the Yucca Mountain region during the last 10--12 Ma. This interval largely postdates the major period of silicic volcanism and coincides with and postdates the timing of major extensional faulting in the region. Field and geochronologic data for the basaltic rocks define two distinct episodes. The patterns in the volume and spatial distribution of these basaltic volcanic episodes in the central and southern part of the SNVF are used as a basis for forecasting potential future volcanic activity in vicinity of Yucca Mountain. 33 refs., 2 figs

  13. Preparing to Submit a License Application for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1982, the U.S. Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, a Federal law that established U.S. policy for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Congress amended the Act in 1987, directing the Department of Energy to study only Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the site for a permanent geologic repository. As the law mandated, the Department evaluated Yucca Mountain to determine its suitability as the site for a permanent geologic repository. Decades of scientific studies demonstrated that Yucca Mountain would protect workers, the public, and the environment during the time that a repository would be operating and for tens of thousands of years after closure of the repository. A repository at this remote site would also: preserve the quality of the environment; allow the environmental cleanup of Cold War weapons facilities; provide the nation with additional protection from acts of terrorism; and support a sound energy policy. Throughout the scientific evaluation of Yucca Mountain, there has been no evidence to disqualify Yucca Mountain as a suitable site for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Upon completion of site characterization, the Secretary of Energy considered the results and concluded that a repository at Yucca Mountain would perform in a manner that protects public health and safety. The Secretary recommended the site to the President in February 2002; the President agreed and recommended to Congress that the site be approved. The Governor of Nevada submitted a notice of disapproval, and both houses of Congress acted to override the disapproval. In July 2002, the President's approval allowed the Department to begin the process of submittal of a license application for Yucca Mountain as the site for the nation's first repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Yucca Mountain is located on federal land in Nye County in southern Nevada, an arid region

  14. Performance predictions for mechanical excavators in Yucca Mountain tuffs; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.; Neil, D.; Friant, J. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States). Earth Mechanics Inst.

    1992-09-01

    The performances of several mechanical excavators are predicted for use in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain: Tunnel boring machines, the Mobile Miner, a roadheader, a blind shaft borer, a vertical wheel shaft boring machine, raise drills, and V-Moles. Work summarized is comprised of three parts: Initial prediction using existing rock physical property information; Measurement of additional rock physical properties; and Revision of the initial predictions using the enhanced database. The performance predictions are based on theoretical and empirical relationships between rock properties and the forces-experienced by rock cutters and bits during excavation. Machine backup systems and excavation design aspects, such as curves and grades, are considered in determining excavator utilization factors. Instanteous penetration rate, advance rate, and cutter costs are the fundamental performance indicators.

  15. Volcanism Studies: Final Report for the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruce M. Crowe; Frank V. Perry; Greg A. Valentine; Lynn M. Bowker

    1998-12-01

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. An assessment of the risk of future volcanic activity is one of many site characterization studies that must be completed to evaluate the Yucca Mountain site for potential long-term storage of high-level radioactive waste. The presence of several basaltic volcanic centers in the Yucca Mountain region of Pliocene and Quaternary age indicates that there is a finite risk of a future volcanic event occurring during the 10,000-year isolation period of a potential repository. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The Crater Flat volcanic zone is

  16. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents appendices related to the preliminary assessment and risk analysis for high-level radioactive waste transportation routes to the proposed Yucca Mountain Project repository. Information includes data on population density, traffic volume, ecologically sensitive areas, and accident history

  17. Natural gels in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Relict gels at Yucca Mountain include pore- and fracture-fillings of silica and zeolite related to diagenetic and hydrothermal alternation of vitric tuffs. Water-rich free gels in fractures at Rainier Mesa consist of smectite with or without silica-rich gel fragments. Gels are being studied for their potential role in transport of radionuclides from a nuclear-waste repository

  18. Geodesy and contemporary strain in the Yucca Mountain region, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geodetic surveys provide important information for estimating recent ground movement in support of seismotectonic investigations of the potential nuclear-waste storage site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Resurveys of established level lines document up to 22 millimeters of local subsidence related to the 1992 Little Skull Mountain earthquake, which is consistent with seismic data that show normal-slip rupture and with data from a regional trilateration network. Comparison of more recent surveys with a level line first established in 1907 suggests 3 to 13 centimeters of subsidence in the Crater Flat-Yucca Mountain structural depression that coincides with the Bare Mountain fault; small uplifts also were recorded near normal faults at Yucca Mountain. No significant deformation was recorded by a trilateration network over a 10-year period, except for coseismic deformation associated with the Little Skull Mountain earthquake, but meaningful results are limited by the short temporal period of that data set and the small rate of movement. Very long baseline interferometry that is capable of measuring direction and rates of deformation is likewise limited by a short history of observation, but rates of deformation between 8 and 13 millimeters per year across the basin and Range province are indicated by the available data

  19. Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain controversy. Special report No. 10

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schluter, C.M.; Szymanski, J.S.

    1993-08-01

    In an attempt to resolve the controversial issue of tectonic and hydrologic stability of the Yucca Mountain region, the National Academy of Sciences established a Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/HydrothermaI Systems. The Panel has recently released it`s findings in a report entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? The representation of data and the scientific validity of this report was the subject of comprehensive evaluations and reviews which has led to correspondence between Dr. Charles Archarnbeau and Dr. Frank Press, the President of the National Academy of Sciences. All such correspondence prior to April 9, 1993 is covered by TRAC Special Report No. 5, {open_quotes}Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain Controversy.{close_quotes} The present report represents a continuation of the dialog between Dr. Archambeau and Dr. Press; specifically the letter from Dr. Press to Dr. Archambeau dated April 9, 1993 and Archambeau`s response to Press, dated August 19, 1993. In addition to the correspondence between Press and Archambeau, a series of recent reports by other investigators, referred to in the correspondence from Archambeau, are included in this report and document new data and inferences of importance for resolution of the question of suitability of the Yucca Mountain site as a high level nuclear waste repository. These reports also demonstrate that other scientists, not previously associated with the government`s program at Yucca Mountain or the National Academy review of an aspect of that program, have arrived at conclusions that are different than those stated by the Academy review and DOE program scientists.

  20. Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain controversy. Special report No. 10

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In an attempt to resolve the controversial issue of tectonic and hydrologic stability of the Yucca Mountain region, the National Academy of Sciences established a Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/HydrothermaI Systems. The Panel has recently released it's findings in a report entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? The representation of data and the scientific validity of this report was the subject of comprehensive evaluations and reviews which has led to correspondence between Dr. Charles Archarnbeau and Dr. Frank Press, the President of the National Academy of Sciences. All such correspondence prior to April 9, 1993 is covered by TRAC Special Report No. 5, open-quotes Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain Controversy.close quotes The present report represents a continuation of the dialog between Dr. Archambeau and Dr. Press; specifically the letter from Dr. Press to Dr. Archambeau dated April 9, 1993 and Archambeau's response to Press, dated August 19, 1993. In addition to the correspondence between Press and Archambeau, a series of recent reports by other investigators, referred to in the correspondence from Archambeau, are included in this report and document new data and inferences of importance for resolution of the question of suitability of the Yucca Mountain site as a high level nuclear waste repository. These reports also demonstrate that other scientists, not previously associated with the government's program at Yucca Mountain or the National Academy review of an aspect of that program, have arrived at conclusions that are different than those stated by the Academy review and DOE program scientists

  1. Task 5 -- Tectonic and neotectonic framework of the Yucca Mountain region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1994-12-31

    Progress on the tectonics of the Yucca Mountain region is described. Results are reported in the following: regional overview of structure and geometry of Meozoic thrust faults and folds in the area around Yucca Mountain; Evaluation of pre-middle Miocecne structure of Grapevine Mountains and it`s relation to Bare Mountain; Kinematic analysis of low and high angle normal faults in the Bare Mountain area, and comparison of structures with the Grapevine Mountains; and Evaluation of paleomagnetic character of tertiary and pre-tertiary units in the Yucca Mountain region.

  2. Distribution and nutrient limitations of heterotrophic bacteria from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbiota have been recovered from diverse deep subsurface environments, including rock strata similar to those found in Yucca Mountain. Microbial processes have been shown to accelerate the corrosion of structural materials, alter rock substrates through biogeochemical cycling and production of metabolites, and may influence the transport of radionuclides. A deep subsurface geological repository has been proposed for the long-term storage of high-level nuclear waste and this presents a challenge to model the long-term stability of a such a facility, with regards to microbial abundance, distribution and activity. The aims of this research were to (1) gather background data concerning the numbers and distribution of bacteria indigenous to Yucca Mountain, (2) determine nutrient limitations of indigenous bacteria, and (3) collect isolates for further investigation. The information gleaned will be crucial to the determination of the impact of microbiota on repository integrity

  3. Thermal stability of zeolitic tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bish, D.L.

    1990-04-01

    Thermal models of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, suggest that rocks near the proposed host rock will experience elevated temperatures for at least 1000 yrs. In order to assess the effects of elevated temperatures on zeolites clinoptilolite and mordenite were investigated using a combination of high-temperature X-ray powder diffraction, thermogravimetric and differential scanning calorimetric analysis, and long-term heating experiments. 13 refs., 7 figs.

  4. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, January--June 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This update contains information on the Yucca Mountain Project that was added to the Energy Data Base (EDB) during the first six months of 1989. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. The update is categorized by principal project participant organizations, and items are arranged in chronological order according to publication date. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, meeting papers, and journal articles are included with sponsoring organization

  5. Development of stochastic indicator models of lithology, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Robey, T.H. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-07-01

    Indicator geostatistical techniques have been used to produce a number of fully three-dimensional stochastic simulations of large-scale lithologic categories at the Yucca Mountain site. Each realization reproduces the available drill hole data used to condition the simulation. Information is propagated away from each point of observation in accordance with a mathematical model of spatial continuity inferred through soft data taken from published geologic cross sections. Variations among the simulated models collectively represent uncertainty in the lithology at unsampled locations. These stochastic models succeed in capturing many major features of welded-nonwelded lithologic framework of Yucca Mountain. However, contacts between welded and nonwelded rock types for individual simulations appear more complex than suggested by field observation, and a number of probable numerical artifacts exist in these models. Many of the apparent discrepancies between the simulated models and the general geology of Yucca Mountain represent characterization uncertainty, and can be traced to the sparse site data used to condition the simulations. Several vertical stratigraphic columns have been extracted from the three-dimensional stochastic models for use in simplified total-system performance assessment exercises. Simple, manual adjustments are required to eliminate the more obvious simulation artifacts and to impose a secondary set of deterministic geologic features on the overall stratigraphic framework provided by the indictor models.

  6. Groundwater chemistry at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and vicinity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The chemistry of groundwater at Yucca Mountain and vicinity has been reviewed and compared with the chemistry of water from the Nevada Test Site and surrounding areas such as the Amargosa Desert and Oasis Valley. Sodium is the primary cation and carbonate is the primary anion in water from the saturated zone of the tuffaceous aquifer at Yucca Mountain. Other major cations present are calcium, potassium, and magnesium; other major anions are sulfate and chloride, with lesser quantities of fluoride and nitrate. Aqueous silica is also present. The primary purpose of this review was to survey water-composition data and look for relations among the compositional variables that could provide insight into the processes that control the composition and would ultimately affect radionuclide transport. The following conclusions were inferred from the review. Major cation concentrations are controlled by rock dissolution and mineral precipitation reactions as well as by cation exchange with existing minerals. Aqueous carbonate initially comes from atmospheric and soil-zone carbon dioxide, but there is evidence at Yucca Mountain that carbon dioxide in the gas phase of the unsaturated zone supplies additional carbonate to saturated-zone water in the tuffaceous aquifer as mineral dissolution and precipitation reactions raise the pH of the water. This combination is effectively mineral dissolution and precipitation in a system that is open with respect to carbon dioxide. A carbon model for this process is discussed

  7. Status of understanding of the saturated-zone ground-water flow system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as of 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, which is being studied extensively because it is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository, consists of a thick sequence of volcanic rocks of Tertiary age that are underlain, at least to the southeast, by carbonate rocks of Paleozoic age. Stratigraphic units important to the hydrology of the area include the alluvium, pyroclastic rocks of Miocene age (the Timber Mountain Group; the Paintbrush Group; the Calico Hills Formation; the Crater Flat Group; the Lithic Ridge Tuff; and older tuffs, flows, and lavas beneath the Lithic Ridge Tuff), and sedimentary rocks of Paleozoic age. The saturated zone generally occurs in the Calico Hills Formation and stratigraphically lower units. The saturated zone is divided into three aquifers and two confining units. The flow system at Yucca Mountain is part of the Alkali Flat-Furnace Creek subbasin of the Death Valley groundwater basin. Variations in the gradients of the potentiometric surface provided the basis for subdividing the Yucca Mountain area into zones of: (1) large hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change at least 300 meters in a few kilometers; (2) moderate hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change about 45 meters in a few kilometers; and (3) small hydraulic gradient where potentiometric levels change only about 2 meters in several kilometers. Vertical hydraulic gradients were measured in only a few boreholes around Yucca Mountain; most boreholes had little change in potentiometric levels with depth. Limited hydraulic testing of boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area indicated that the range in transmissivity was more than 2 to 3 orders of magnitude in a particular hydrogeologic unit, and that the average values for the individual hydrogeologic units generally differed by about 1 order of magnitude. The upper volcanic aquifer seems to be the most permeable hydrogeologic unit, but this conclusion was based on exceedingly limited data

  8. Chlorine-36 validation Study at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The amount, spatial distribution, and velocity of water percolating through the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are important issues for assessing the performance of the proposed deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To help characterize the nature and history of UZ flow, isotopic studies were initiated in 1995, using rock samples collected from the Miocene ash-flow tuffs in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel constructed along the north-south extent of the repository block, and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift, a 2.5-km-long tunnel constructed across the repository block (Figure 1-1, Sources: Modified from DOE 2002 [Figure 1-14] and USBR 1996). Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) analyzed for chlorine-36 (36Cl) in salts leached from whole-rock samples collected from tunnel walls and subsurface boreholes, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed for isotopes of oxygen, carbon, uranium, lead, thorium, and strontium in secondary minerals collected from subsurface fractures and lithophysal cavities. Elevated values for ratios of 36Cl to total chloride (36Cl/CL) at the level of the proposed repository indicated that small amounts of water carrying bomb-pulse 36Cl (i.e., 36Cl/Cl ratios greater than 1250 x 10-15 resulting from 36Cl produced by atmospheric testing of nuclear devices during the 1950s and early 1960s) had percolated through welded and nonwelded tuffs to depths of 200 to 300 meters (m) beneath the land surface over the past 50 years. Because of the implications of short travel times to the performance of the proposed repository, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), Office of Repository Development (ORD), decided to verify the 36Cl/Cl data with an independent validation study. DOE asked the USGS to design and implement a validation study that

  9. Chlorine-36 alidation Study at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Paces

    2006-08-28

    The amount, spatial distribution, and velocity of water percolating through the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are important issues for assessing the performance of the proposed deep geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. To help characterize the nature and history of UZ flow, isotopic studies were initiated in 1995, using rock samples collected from the Miocene ash-flow tuffs in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), an 8-km-long tunnel constructed along the north-south extent of the repository block, and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift, a 2.5-km-long tunnel constructed across the repository block (Figure 1-1, Sources: Modified from DOE 2002 [Figure 1-14] and USBR 1996). Scientists from Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) analyzed for chlorine-36 ({sup 36}Cl) in salts leached from whole-rock samples collected from tunnel walls and subsurface boreholes, and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) analyzed for isotopes of oxygen, carbon, uranium, lead, thorium, and strontium in secondary minerals collected from subsurface fractures and lithophysal cavities. Elevated values for ratios of {sup 36}Cl to total chloride ({sup 36}Cl/CL) at the level of the proposed repository indicated that small amounts of water carrying bomb-pulse {sup 36}Cl (i.e., {sup 36}Cl/Cl ratios greater than 1250 x 10{sup -15} resulting from {sup 36}Cl produced by atmospheric testing of nuclear devices during the 1950s and early 1960s) had percolated through welded and nonwelded tuffs to depths of 200 to 300 meters (m) beneath the land surface over the past 50 years. Because of the implications of short travel times to the performance of the proposed repository, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)/Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), Office of Repository Development (ORD), decided to verify the {sup 36}Cl/Cl data with an independent validation study. DOE asked the USGS

  10. Pre-construction geologic section along the cross drift through the potential high-level radioactive waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of the Site Characterization effort for the US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project, tunnels excavated by tunnel boring machines provide access to the volume of rock that is under consideration for possible underground storage of high-level nuclear waste beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Exploratory Studies Facility, a 7.8-km-long, 7.6-m-diameter tunnel, has been excavated, and a 2.8-km-long, 5-m-diameter Cross Drift will be excavated in 1998 as part of the geologic, hydrologic and geotechnical evaluation of the potential repository. The southwest-trending Cross Drift branches off of the north ramp of the horseshoe-shaped Exploratory Studies Facility. This report summarizes an interpretive geologic section that was prepared for the Yucca Mountain Project as a tool for use in the design and construction of the Cross Drift

  11. Analysis of gaseous-phase stable and radioactive isotopes in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project of the US Department of Energy provides that agency with data for evaluating volcanic tuff beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine its suitability for a potential repository of high-level radioactive waste. Thickness of the unsaturated zone, which consists of fractured, welded and nonwelded tuff, is about 1640 to 2460 feet (500 to 750 meters). One question to be resolved is an estimate of minimum ground-water traveltime from the disturbed zone of the potentail repository to the accessible environment. Another issue is the potential for diffusive or convective gaseous transport of radionuclides from an underground facility in the unsaturated zone to the accessible environment. Gas samples were collected at intervals to a depth of 1200 feet from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples were analyzed for major atmospheric gases; carbon dioxide in the samples was analyzed for carbon-14 activity and for delta13C; water vapor in the samples was analyzed for deuterium and oxygen-18. These data could provide insight into the nature of unsaturated zone transport processes. 15 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs

  12. Numerical studies of rock-gas flow in Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A computer model (TGIF -- Thermal Gradient Induced Flow) of two-dimensional, steady-state rock-gas flow driven by temperature and humidity differences is described. The model solves for the ''fresh-water head,'' a concept that has been used in models of variable-density water flow but has not previously been applied to gas flow. With this approach, the model can accurately simulate the flows driven by small differences in temperature. The unsaturated tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are being studied as a potential site for a repository for high-level nuclear waste. Using the TGIF model, preliminary calculations of rock-gas flow in Yucca Mountain are made for four east-west cross-sections through the mountain. Calculations are made for three repository temperatures and for several assumptions about a possible semi-confining layer above the repository. The gas-flow simulations are then used to calculate travel-time distributions for air and for radioactive carbon-14 dioxide from the repository to the ground surface

  13. Pyritic ash-flow tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada -- A discussion

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiss, S.I.; Larson, L.T.; Noble, D.C. [Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Textural and mineralogic evidence exists for at least one episode of widespread hydrothermal alteration of volcanic rocks deep in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Despite this evidence, Castor et al. infer that most of the pyrite found in tuffs at Yucca Mountain was introduced as ejecta (lithic fragments) incorporated during the eruptions of the tuffs, rather than by in-situ hydrothermal activity. Their conclusions appear to be based on their observation that most of the pyrite resides in unaltered to variably altered and veined lithic fragments, whereas pyrite-bearing veins are absent in the tuff matrix, titanomagnetite and mafic phenocrysts in the matrix are generally not replaced by pyrite, and feldspar phenocrysts in the pyritic tuff matrix are generally unaltered. Castor et al. dismiss the much smaller quantities of pyrite disseminated in the tuff matrix, including relatively rare pyritized hornblende and biotite grains, as xenolithic as well. The pyritic tuffs belong to large-volume, subalkaline rhyolite ash-flow units (ca. > 150 to 250 km{sup 3} each). The interpretation of Castor et al. has broad implications for the temperature, fO{sub 2} and fS{sub 2} of major ash flow eruptions. Pyrite origin also bears on the nature of past fluid flow and water-rock reactions at Yucca Mountain, which in turn are important factors in assessing the potential for currently undiscovered mineral resources in the area of the proposed nuclear waste repository. We have studied core and cuttings from the same drill holes studied by Castor et al., as well as other drill holes. It is our contention that the inconsistent lateral and stratigraphic distribution of the pyrite, textural features of the pyrite, and phase stability considerations are incompatible with the {open_quotes}lithic{close_quotes} origin of Castor et al., and are more reasonably explained by in-situ formation from hydrothermal fluids containing low, but geochemically significant, concentrations of reduced sulfur.

  14. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Water levels were monitored in 24 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1996. Twenty-two wells representing 28 depth intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 2 wells representing 3 depth intervals were monitored both hourly and periodically. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks except one that monitors water levels in paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using either calibrated steel tapes or a pressure sensor. Mean water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 727.86 to about 1,034.58 meters above sea level during 1996. The mean water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 752.57 meters above sea level during 1996. Mean water-level altitudes for 1996 were an average of about 0.06 meter lower than 1995 mean water-level altitudes and 0.03 meter lower than 1985--95 mean water-level altitudes. During 1996, water levels in the Yucca Mountain area could have been affected by long-term pumping at the C-hole complex that began on May 8, 1996. Through December 31, 1996, approximately 196 million liters were pumped from well UE-25 c number-sign 3 at the C-hole complex. Other ground-water pumpage in the Yucca Mountain area includes annual pumpage from water-supply wells UE-25 J-12 and UE-25 J-13 of approximately 163 and 105 million liters, respectively, and pumpage from well USW G-2 for hydraulic testing during February and April 1996 of approximately 6 million liters

  15. Calculations supporting evaluation of potential environmental standards for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Energy Policy Act of 1992, Section 801 (US Congress, 1992) provides for the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to contract the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to conduct a study and provide findings and recommendations on reasonable standards for the disposal of high-level wastes at the Yucca Mountain site. The NAS study is to provide findings and recommendations which include, among other things, whether a health-based standard based on dose to individual members of the public from releases to the accessible environment will provide a reasonable standard for the protection of the health and safety of the public. The EPA, based upon and consistent with the findings and recommendations of the NAS, is required to promulgate standards for protection of the public from releases from radioactive materials stored or disposed of in a repository at the Yucca Mountain site. This document presents a number of different ''simple'' analyses of undisturbed repository performance that are intended to provide input to those responsible for setting appropriate environmental standards for a potential repository at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Each of the processes included in the analyses has been simplified to capture the primary significance of that process in containing or isolating the waste from the biosphere. In these simplified analyses, the complex waste package interactions were approximated by a simple waste package ''failure'' distribution which is defined by the initiation and rate of waste package ''failures''. Similarly, releases from the waste package and the engineered barrier system are controlled by the very near field environment and the presence and rate of advective and diffusive release processes. Release was approximated by either a simple alteration-controlled release for the high solubility radionuclides and either a diffusive or advective-controlled release for the solubility-limited radionuclides

  16. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graves, R.P.

    1998-11-01

    Water levels were monitored in 24 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1996. Twenty-two wells representing 28 depth intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 2 wells representing 3 depth intervals were monitored both hourly and periodically. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks except one that monitors water levels in paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using either calibrated steel tapes or a pressure sensor. Mean water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 727.86 to about 1,034.58 meters above sea level during 1996. The mean water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 752.57 meters above sea level during 1996. Mean water-level altitudes for 1996 were an average of about 0.06 meter lower than 1995 mean water-level altitudes and 0.03 meter lower than 1985--95 mean water-level altitudes. During 1996, water levels in the Yucca Mountain area could have been affected by long-term pumping at the C-hole complex that began on May 8, 1996. Through December 31, 1996, approximately 196 million liters were pumped from well UE-25 c{number_sign}3 at the C-hole complex. Other ground-water pumpage in the Yucca Mountain area includes annual pumpage from water-supply wells UE-25 J-12 and UE-25 J-13 of approximately 163 and 105 million liters, respectively, and pumpage from well USW G-2 for hydraulic testing during February and April 1996 of approximately 6 million liters.

  17. Geothermal resource assessment of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flynn, T.; Buchanan, P.; Trexler, D. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies, Division of Earth Sciences; Shevenell, L., Garside, L. [Nevada Univ., Reno, NV (United States). Mackay School of Mines, Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology

    1995-12-01

    An assessment of the geothermal resources within a fifty-mile radius of the Yucca Mountain Project area was conducted to determine the potential for commercial development. The assessment includes collection, evaluation, and quantification of existing geological, geochemical, hydrological, and geophysical data within the Yucca Mountain area as they pertain to geothermal phenomena. Selected geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data were reduced to a set of common-scale digital maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for systematic analysis and evaluation. Available data from the Yucca Mountain area were compared to similar data from developed and undeveloped geothermal areas in other parts of the Great Basin to assess the resource potential for future geothermal development at Yucca Mountain. This information will be used in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project to determine the potential suitability of the site as a permanent underground repository for high-level nuclear waste.

  18. Geothermal resource assessment of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An assessment of the geothermal resources within a fifty-mile radius of the Yucca Mountain Project area was conducted to determine the potential for commercial development. The assessment includes collection, evaluation, and quantification of existing geological, geochemical, hydrological, and geophysical data within the Yucca Mountain area as they pertain to geothermal phenomena. Selected geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data were reduced to a set of common-scale digital maps using Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for systematic analysis and evaluation. Available data from the Yucca Mountain area were compared to similar data from developed and undeveloped geothermal areas in other parts of the Great Basin to assess the resource potential for future geothermal development at Yucca Mountain. This information will be used in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project to determine the potential suitability of the site as a permanent underground repository for high-level nuclear waste

  19. Natural Barriers of the Geosphere at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arlt, H.; Kotra, J.; Mohanty, S.; Winterle, J.

    2005-05-01

    Geological repositories designed to isolate high-level radioactive waste need natural and engineered barriers that prevent or slow the release of radioactive elements into the accessible environment to acceptable regulatory limits. Under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC's) regulations, a barrier is any material, structure, or feature that prevents or substantially reduces the rate of movement of water or radionuclides from the repository to the accessible environment. In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act which directed the NRC to include multiple barriers in regulating geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Accordingly, as provided in 10 CFR Part 63, the NRC's regulations for Yucca Mountain require a repository to include multiple barriers to ensure the system is robust and not wholly dependent on any single barrier. Any potential license application to construct a repository at Yucca Mountain must identify the multiple barriers (both natural and engineered), describe the capabilities of each barrier, and provide the technical bases for the capabilities of the barriers. The NRC believes that understanding the capability of the repository's component barriers improves understanding of the overall system. The objective of this paper is to discuss potential natural barriers of the geosphere at Yucca Mountain and describe the NRC regulatory requirements for such barriers. To better understand the natural barriers of the geosphere, it helps to divide the barriers into groups of features and their associated processes. Natural barriers, i.e., barriers not constructed by man, ideally include processes that delay the transport of radionuclides from reaching the accessible environment or limit the amount of water that can seep from a ground surface to the depth of an underground repository. Natural barriers at Yucca Mountain may include: topographic influences on precipitation runoff; soil and plants influences on evaporation and

  20. Design basis event consequence analyses for the Yucca Mountain project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Design basis event (DBE) definition and analysis is an ongoing and integrated activity among the design and analysis groups of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). DBE's are those that potentially lead to breach of the waste package and waste form (e.g., spent fuel rods) with consequent release of radionuclides to the environment. A Preliminary Hazards Analysis (PHA) provided a systematic screening of external and internal events that were candidate DBE's that will be subjected to analyses for radiological consequences. As preparation, pilot consequence analyses for the repository subsurface and surface facilities have been performed to define the methodology, data requirements, and applicable regulatory limits

  1. Selection of Batteries and Fuel Cells for Yucca Mountain Robots

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Performance Confirmation program of the Yucca Mountain Repository Development Project needs to employ remotely operated robots to work inside the emplacement drifts which will have an environment unsuitable for humans (radiation environment of up to 200 rad/hour (mostly gamma rays, some neutrons)) and maximum temperatures of 180 C. The robots will be required to operate inside the drifts for up to 8 hours per mission. Based on available functional requirements, we have developed the following specifications for the power needed by the robots:

  2. ERMYN: Environmental Radiation Model for the Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.W. Wu; M.A. Wasiolek; J.J. Tappen; K.R. Rautenstrauch; A.J. Smith

    2002-11-18

    This paper briefly describes a new biosphere model, ERMYN, that was developed to characterize biosphere processes for radionuclides released from the proposed high-level radioactive waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM). Biosphere modeling for YM is conducted independently for two radionuclide release modes and resulting exposure scenarios, groundwater release and volcanic release. This paper focuses on the model for groundwater release. The groundwater release exposure scenario addresses the case in which the geosphere-biosphere interface is well extraction of contaminated groundwater.

  3. The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S.D. Sevougian; V. Jain; A.V. Luik

    2006-01-11

    The safety strategy for geological disposal of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain relies on a multi-barrier system to contain the waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The multi-barrier system consists of the natural barrier provided by the geological setting and the engineered barrier system (EBS). In the case of Yucca Mountain (YM) the geologic setting is the unsaturated-zone host rock, consisting of about 600 meters of layered ash-flow volcanic tuffs above the water table, and the saturated zone beneath the water table. Both the unsaturated and saturated rocks are part of a closed hydrologic basin in a desert surface environment. The waste is to be buried about halfway between the desert surface and the water table. The primary engineered barriers at YM consist of metal components that are highly durable in an oxidizing environment. The two primary components of the engineered barrier system are highly corrosion-resistant metal waste packages, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, Alloy 22, and titanium drip shields that protect the waste packages from corrosive dripping water and falling rocks. Design and performance assessment of the EBS requires models that describe how the EBS and near field behave under anticipated repository-relevant conditions. These models must describe coupled hydrologic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) processes that drive radionuclide transport in a highly fractured host rock, consisting of a relatively permeable network of conductive fractures in a setting of highly impermeable tuff rock matrix. An integrated performance assessment of the EBS must include a quantification of the uncertainties that arise from (1) incomplete understanding of processes and (2) from lack of data representative of the large spatial scales and long time scales relevant to radioactive waste disposal (e.g., long-term metal corrosion rates and heterogeneities in rock properties over the large 5 km{sup 2} emplacement area of the repository

  4. Late glacial to modern climate near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Climate plays an important role in evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. Present-day global atmospheric circulation patterns are responsible for the semi-arid climate in the southwestern USA that result in limited winter precipitation and hot, relatively dry summers. Changes in global circulation may produce dramatic climate change resulting in colder average annual air temperatures and much higher average annual precipitation. Preliminary estimates from fossil plant and animal records suggest that during the last glacial (14 to 25 ka) mean annual precipitation may have been as much as five times modern, while mean annual temperatures were 8-10 degrees C lower than today. Such conditions may have been responsible for past percolation through the mountain recorded by the secondary carbonate and silica fracture mineralization within the unsaturated zone

  5. DEGRADATION MODES OF ALLOY 22 IN YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY CONDITIONS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The nuclear waste package design for Yucca Mountain (Nevada, USA), in its current configuration, consists of a double wall cylindrical container fabricated using a highly corrosion resistant Ni-based Alloy 22 for the outer barrier and type 316 stainless steel for the inner structural vessel. A mailbox-shaped drip shield fabricated primarily using Ti Grade 7 will cover the waste packages. The environmental degradation of the relevant materials have been extensively studied and modeled for over ten years. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art understanding of the degradation modes of Alloy 22 (N06022) due to its interaction with the predicted in-drift mountain conditions including temperature and types of electrolytes. Subjects discussed include thermal aging and phase stability, dry oxidation, general and localized corrosion, stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen induced cracking

  6. Estimating recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: comparison of methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Fabryka-Martin, June T.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.

    2002-02-01

    Obtaining values of net infiltration, groundwater travel time, and recharge is necessary at the Yucca Mountain site, Nevada, USA, in order to evaluate the expected performance of a potential repository as a containment system for high-level radioactive waste. However, the geologic complexities of this site, its low precipitation and net infiltration, with numerous mechanisms operating simultaneously to move water through the system, provide many challenges for the estimation of the spatial distribution of recharge. A variety of methods appropriate for arid environments has been applied, including water-balance techniques, calculations using Darcy's law in the unsaturated zone, a soil-physics method applied to neutron-hole water-content data, inverse modeling of thermal profiles in boreholes extending through the thick unsaturated zone, chloride mass balance, atmospheric radionuclides, and empirical approaches. These methods indicate that near-surface infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain are highly variable in time and space, with local (point) values ranging from zero to several hundred millimeters per year. Spatially distributed net-infiltration values average 5 mm/year, with the highest values approaching 20 mm/year near Yucca Crest. Site-scale recharge estimates range from less than 1 to about 12 mm/year. These results have been incorporated into a site-scale model that has been calibrated using these data sets that reflect infiltration processes acting on highly variable temporal and spatial scales. The modeling study predicts highly non-uniform recharge at the water table, distributed significantly differently from the non-uniform infiltration pattern at the surface.

  7. Estimating recharge at yucca mountain, nevada, usa: comparison of methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obtaining values of net infiltration, groundwater travel time, and recharge is necessary at the Yucca Mountain site, Nevada, USA, in order to evaluate the expected performance of a potential repository as a containment system for high-level radioactive waste. However, the geologic complexities of this site, its low precipitation and net infiltration, with numerous mechanisms operating simultaneously to move water through the system, provide many challenges for the estimation of the spatial distribution of recharge. A variety of methods appropriate for and environments has been applied, including water-balance techniques, calculations using Darcy's law in the unsaturated zone, a soil-physics method applied to neutron-hole water-content data, inverse modeling of thermal profiles in boreholes extending through the thick unsaturated zone, chloride mass balance, atmospheric radionuclides, and empirical approaches. These methods indicate that near-surface infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain are highly variable in time and space, with local (point) values ranging from zero to several hundred millimeters per year. Spatially distributed net-infiltration values average 5 mm/year, with the highest values approaching 20 nun/year near Yucca Crest. Site-scale recharge estimates range from less than I to about 12 mm/year. These results have been incorporated into a site-scale model that has been calibrated using these data sets that reflect infiltration processes acting on highly variable temporal and spatial scales. The modeling study predicts highly non-uniform recharge at the water table, distributed significantly differently from the non-uniform infiltration pattern at the surface. [References: 57

  8. Estimating recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Obtaining values of net infiltration, groundwater travel time, and recharge is necessary at the Yucca Mountain site, Nevada, USA, in order to evaluate the expected performance of a potential repository as a containment system for high-level radioactive waste. However, the geologic complexities of this site, its low precipitation and net infiltration, with numerous mechanisms operating simultaneously to move water through the system, provide many challenges for the estimation of the spatial distribution of recharge. A variety of methods appropriate for arid environments has been applied, including water-balance techniques, calculations using Darcy's law in the unsaturated zone, a soil-physics method applied to neutron-hole water-content data, inverse modeling of thermal profiles in boreholes extending through the thick unsaturated zone, chloride mass balance, atmospheric radionuclides, and empirical approaches. These methods indicate that near-surface infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain are highly variable in time and space, with local (point) values ranging from zero to several hundred millimeters per year. Spatially distributed net-infiltration values average 5 mm/year, with the highest values approaching 20 mm/year near Yucca Crest. Site-scale recharge estimates range from less than 1 to about 12 mm/year. These results have been incorporated into a site-scale model that has been calibrated using these data sets that reflect infiltration processes acting on highly variable temporal and spatial scales. The modeling study predicts highly non-uniform recharge at the water table, distributed significantly differently from the non-uniform infiltration pattern at the surface

  9. Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes a site-response model and its implementation for developing earthquake ground motion input for preclosure seismic design and postclosure assessment of the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The model implements a random-vibration theory (RVT), one-dimensional (1D) equivalent-linear approach to calculate site response effects on ground motions. The model provides results in terms of spectral acceleration including peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and dynamically-induced strains as a function of depth. In addition to documenting and validating this model for use in the Yucca Mountain Project, this report also describes the development of model inputs, implementation of the model, its results, and the development of earthquake time history inputs based on the model results. The purpose of the site-response ground motion model is to incorporate the effects on earthquake ground motions of (1) the approximately 300 m of rock above the emplacement levels beneath Yucca Mountain and (2) soil and rock beneath the site of the Surface Facilities Area. A previously performed probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) (CRWMS M and O 1998a [DIRS 103731]) estimated ground motions at a reference rock outcrop for the Yucca Mountain site (Point A), but those results do not include these site response effects. Thus, the additional step of applying the site-response ground motion model is required to develop ground motion inputs that are used for preclosure and postclosure purposes

  10. Development of Earthquake Ground Motion Input for Preclosure Seismic Design and Postclosure Performance Assessment of a Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    I. Wong

    2004-11-05

    This report describes a site-response model and its implementation for developing earthquake ground motion input for preclosure seismic design and postclosure assessment of the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The model implements a random-vibration theory (RVT), one-dimensional (1D) equivalent-linear approach to calculate site response effects on ground motions. The model provides results in terms of spectral acceleration including peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and dynamically-induced strains as a function of depth. In addition to documenting and validating this model for use in the Yucca Mountain Project, this report also describes the development of model inputs, implementation of the model, its results, and the development of earthquake time history inputs based on the model results. The purpose of the site-response ground motion model is to incorporate the effects on earthquake ground motions of (1) the approximately 300 m of rock above the emplacement levels beneath Yucca Mountain and (2) soil and rock beneath the site of the Surface Facilities Area. A previously performed probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) (CRWMS M&O 1998a [DIRS 103731]) estimated ground motions at a reference rock outcrop for the Yucca Mountain site (Point A), but those results do not include these site response effects. Thus, the additional step of applying the site-response ground motion model is required to develop ground motion inputs that are used for preclosure and postclosure purposes.

  11. Autotrophic and heterotrophic bacterial diversity from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A basic understanding of the types and functions of microbiota present within the deep subsurface of Yucca Mountain will be important in terms of modeling the long term stability of a nuclear waste repository. Microorganisms can degrade building materials used in tunnel construction such as concrete and steel. For example, high concentrations of nitrifying bacteria, may cause corrosion of concrete due to the release of nitric acid. Likewise, sulfur-oxidizing and iron-oxidizing bacteria have been implicated in microbially influenced corrosion (MIC), and may contribute to the degradation of waste packages. In addition, the metabolic activities of microbiota may alter the geochemistry of surrounding environments, which may in turn influence the permeability of subsurface strata and the fate of radioactive compounds. Microorganisms that play roles in these processes have diverse methods of obtaining the energy required for growth and metabolism and have been recovered from a wide range of environments, including the deep subsurface. The purpose of this research was to determine if these bacterial groups, important to the long-term success of a high-level nuclear waste repository, were indigenous to Yucca Mountain

  12. Aeromagnetic map of Yucca Mountain and surrounding regions, southwest Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magnetic anomalies over Yucca Mountain and surround areas are largely caused by variations in magnetic properties and shapes, including structural offsets, of the extensive volcanic units that underlie the region. In a few places the anomalies are caused by intrusions. Correlation between magnetic properties measured from rock samples and those derived from rock unit-magnetic anomaly associations is excellent. Anomaly characteristics, extensive magnetic gradients, and marked changes in the regional magnetic field can be coupled with the magnetic properties of the rock units to delineate structural boundaries. Three major boundaries are indicated by contrasts in regional magnetic expressions. Less extensive but more clearly indicated boundaries in the immediate vicinity of Yucca Mountain are interpreted from a distinctive pairing of northerly-displacement in generally gently dipping volcanic beds. The displacement between beds is located approximately along the border line between the linear anomaly pairs. One series of pairs of more northeasterly trend lies over the general location of a change from moderately thick to very thick volcanic units that was interpreted from gravity data. Several low amplitude but distinctively shaped anomalies in areas underlain primarily by sedimentary strata indicate the presence of intrusions and faults. 14 references, 2 figures

  13. Report of early site suitability evaluation of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Younker, J.L.; Andrews, W.B.; Fasano, G.A.; Herrington, C.C.; Mattson, S.R.; Murray, R.C. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States); Ballou, L.B.; Revelli, M.A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Ducharme, A.R.; Shephard, L.E. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Dudley, W.W.; Hoxie, D.T. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Herbst, R.J.; Patera, E.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Judd, B.R. [Decision Analysis Co., Portola Valley, CA (United States); Docka, J.A.; Rickertsen, L.D. [Weston Technical Associates, Washington, DC (United States)

    1992-01-01

    This study evaluated the technical suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The evaluation was conducted primarily to determine early in the site characterization program if there are any features or conditions at the site that indicate it is unsuitable for repository development. A secondary purpose was to determine the status of knowledge in the major technical areas that affect the suitability of the site. This early site suitability evaluation (ESSE) was conducted by a team of technical personnel at the request of the Associate Director of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geologic Disposal, a unit within the DOE`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Yucca Mountain site has been the subject of such evaluations for over a decade. In 1983, the site was evaluated as part of a screening process to identify potentially acceptable sites. The site was evaluated in greater detail and found suitable for site characterization as part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE, 1986) required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Additional site data were compiled during the preparation of the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) (DOE, 1988a). This early site suitability evaluation has considered information that was used in preparing both-documents, along with recent information obtained since the EA and SCP were published. This body of information is referred to in this report as ``current information`` or ``available evidence.``

  14. Geology of the Yucca Mountain Region, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.S. Stuckless; D. O' Leary

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed as the site for the Nation's first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. This chapter provides the geologic framework for the Yucca Mountain region. The regional geologic units range in age from late Precambrian through Holocene, and these are described briefly. Yucca Mountain is composed dominantly of pyroclastic units that range in age from 11.4 to 15.2 Ma. The proposed repository would be constructed within the Topopah Spring Tuff, which is the lower of two major zoned and welded ash-flow tuffs within the Paintbrush Group. The two welded tuffs are separated by the partly to nonwelded Pah Canyon Tuff and Yucca Mountain Tuff, which together figure prominently in the hydrology of the unsaturated zone. The Quaternary deposits are primarily alluvial sediments with minor basaltic cinder cones and flows. Both have been studied extensively because of their importance in predicting the long-term performance of the proposed repository. Basaltic volcanism began about 10 Ma and continued as recently as about 80 ka with the eruption of cones and flows at Lathrop Wells, approximately 10 km south-southwest of Yucca Mountain. Geologic structure in the Yucca Mountain region is complex. During the latest Paleozoic and Mesozoic, strong compressional forces caused tight folding and thrust faulting. The present regional setting is one of extension, and normal faulting has been active from the Miocene through to the present. There are three major local tectonic domains: (1) Basin and Range, (2) Walker Lane, and (3) Inyo-Mono. Each domain has an effect on the stability of Yucca Mountain.

  15. Aeromagnetic surveys across Crater Flat and parts of Yucca Mountain, Nevada; TOPICAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of a study to characterize a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, aeromagnetic surveys were conducted in April 1993 along the trace of a planned seismic profile across Crater Flat and parts of Yucca Mountain. This report includes a presentation and preliminary interpretation of the data. The profiles are at scales of 1:100,000. Also included are a gridded color contour map of the newly acquired data and a discussion of the likely applicability of very-low-frequency (VLF) electromagnetic surveys to Yucca Mountain investigations

  16. Manganese-oxide minerals in fractures of the Crater Flat Tuff in drill core USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Crater Flat Tuff is almost entirely below the water table in drill hole USW G-4 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Manganese-oxide minerals from the Crater Flat Tuff in USW G-4 were studied using optical, scanning electron microscopic, electron microprobe, and x-ray powder diffraction methods to determine their distribution, mineralogy, and chemistry. Manganese-oxide minerals coat fractures in all three members of the Crater Flat Tuff (Prow Pass, Bullfrog, and Tram), but they are most abundant in fractures in the densely welded devitrified intervals of these members. The coatings are mostly of the cryptomelane/hollandite mineral group, but the chemistry of these coatings varies considerably. Some of the chemical variations, particularly the presence of calcium, sodium, and strontium, can be explained by admixture with todorokite, seen in some x-ray powder diffraction patterns. Other chemical variations, particularly between Ba and Pb, demonstrate that considerable substitution of Pb for Ba occurs in hollandite. Manganese-oxide coatings are common in the 10-m interval that produced 75% of the water pumped from USW G-4 in a flow survey in 1983. Their presence in water-producing zones suggests that manganese oxides may exert a significant chemical effect on groundwater beneath Yucca Mountain. In particular, the ability of the manganese oxides found at Yucca Mountain to be easily reduced suggests that they may affect the redox conditions of the groundwater and may oxidize dissolved or suspended species. Although the Mn oxides at Yucca Mountain have low exchange capacities, these minerals may retard the migration of some radionuclides, particularly the actinides, through scavenging and coprecipitation. 23 refs., 21 figs., 2 tabs

  17. Investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository. Part A: Geology at Yucca Mountain. Part B: Modeling of hydro-tectonic phenomena relevant to Yucca Mountain. Annual report - Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szymanski, J.S.; Schluter, C.M.; Livingston, D.E. [and others

    1993-05-01

    This document is an annual report describing investigations of natural groundwater hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository.This document describes research studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski, and others. As part of their first annual report, they take this opportunity to clarify the technical basis of their concerns and summarize the critical geological field evidence and related information. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  18. Public Interaction and Educational Outreach on the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. Benson; Y. Riding

    2002-11-14

    In July 2002, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the nation's first long-term geologic repository site for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This major milestone for the country's high-level radioactive waste disposal program comes after more than twenty years of scientific study and intense public interaction and outreach. This paper describes public interaction and outreach challenges faced by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project in the past and what additional communication strategies may be instituted following the July 2002 approval by the U.S. Congress to develop the site as the nation's first long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The DOE public involvement activities were driven by two federal regulations--the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended. The NEPA required that DOE hold public hearings at key points in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the NWPA required the agency to conduct public hearings in the vicinity of the site prior to making a recommendation regarding the site's suitability. The NWPA also provided a roadmap for how DOE would interact with affected units of government, which include the state of Nevada and the counties surrounding the site. Because the Department anticipated and later received much public interest in this high-profile project, the agency decided to go beyond regulatory-required public involvement activities and created a broad-based program that implemented far-reaching public interaction and outreach tactics. Over the last two decades, DOE informed, educated, and engaged a myriad of interested local, national, and international parties using various traditional and innovative approaches. The Yucca Mountain Project's intensive public affairs initiatives were instrumental in involving the public

  19. Public Interaction and Educational Outreach on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In July 2002, the U.S. Congress approved Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the nation's first long-term geologic repository site for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This major milestone for the country's high-level radioactive waste disposal program comes after more than twenty years of scientific study and intense public interaction and outreach. This paper describes public interaction and outreach challenges faced by the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project in the past and what additional communication strategies may be instituted following the July 2002 approval by the U.S. Congress to develop the site as the nation's first long-term geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The DOE public involvement activities were driven by two federal regulations--the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982, as amended. The NEPA required that DOE hold public hearings at key points in the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and the NWPA required the agency to conduct public hearings in the vicinity of the site prior to making a recommendation regarding the site's suitability. The NWPA also provided a roadmap for how DOE would interact with affected units of government, which include the state of Nevada and the counties surrounding the site. Because the Department anticipated and later received much public interest in this high-profile project, the agency decided to go beyond regulatory-required public involvement activities and created a broad-based program that implemented far-reaching public interaction and outreach tactics. Over the last two decades, DOE informed, educated, and engaged a myriad of interested local, national, and international parties using various traditional and innovative approaches. The Yucca Mountain Project's intensive public affairs initiatives were instrumental in involving the public, which in turn resulted in

  20. Evolution of the unsaturated zone testing at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The evaluation of the Yucca Mountain site has evolved from intensive surface based investigations in the early 1980s to current focus on testing in underground drifts. Different periods of site-characterization activities and prominent issues concerning the unsaturated zone are summarized. Data-collection activities have evolved from mapping of faults and fractures, to estimation of percolation through tuff layers, and to quantification of seepage into drifts. Evaluation of discrete flow paths in drifts has led to fracture-matrix interaction and matrix diffusion tests over different scales. The effects of tuff interfaces and local faults are evaluated in fractured-welded and porous-nonwelded units. Mobilization of matrix water and redistribution of moisture are measured in thermal tests. Lessons learned from underground tests are used to focus on processes needed for additional quantification. Migration through the drift shadow zone and liquid flow through faults are two important issues that have evolved from current knowledge

  1. Infiltration at yucca mountain, nevada, traced by 36Cl

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norris, A. E.; Wolfsberg, K.; Gifford, S. K.; Bentley, H. W.; Elmore, D.

    1987-11-01

    Measurements of chloride and 36Cl in soils from two locations near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have been used to trace the infiltration of precipitation in this arid region. The results show that the 36Cl fallout from nuclear-weapons testing formed a well-defined peak at one location, with a maximum 36Cl/Cl ratio 0.5 m below the surface. The structure of the 36Cl bomb pulse at the other location was much more complex, and the quantity of 36Cl in the bomb pulse was < 1% of the 6 × 10 12 atoms {36Cl }/{m 2} in the bomb pulse at the first location. The data indicate hydrologic activity subsequent to the 36Cl bomb-pulse fallout at one location, but none at the other location.

  2. Summary report on the geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and environs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report gives a detailed description of work at Los Alamos that will help resolve geochemical issues pertinent to siting a high-level nuclear waste repository in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It is necessary to understand the properties and setting of the host tuff because this rock provides the first natural barrier to migration of waste elements from a repository. The geochemistry of tuff is being investigated with particular emphasis on retardation processes. This report addresses the various aspects of sorption by tuff, physical and chemical makeup of tuff, diffusion processes, tuff/groundwater chemistry, waste element chemistry under expected repository conditions, transport processes involved in porous and fracture flow, and geochemical and transport modeling

  3. Technical Data Catalog: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Quarterly supplement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents reference information contained in the Yucca Mountain Project Automated Technical Data Tracking System. The Department of Energy is seeking to design and maintain a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. However, before this repository can be built, the DOE must first do a comprehensive site evaluation. This evaluation is subject to many regulations. This report fulfills the reporting requirements of the Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on a quarterly basis. This catalog contains: description of data; time, place, and method of acquisition; and where data may be examined

  4. Illuminating the Decision Path: The Yucca Mountain Site Recommendation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knox, E.; Slothouber, L.

    2003-02-25

    On February 14, 2002, U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham provided to the President the ''Recommendation by the Secretary of Energy Regarding the Suitability of the Yucca Mountain Site for a Repository Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982.'' This Recommendation, along with supporting materials, complied with statutory requirements for communicating a site recommendation to the President, and it did more: in 49 pages, the Recommendation also spoke directly to the Nation, illuminating the methodology and considerations that led toward the decision to recommend the site. Addressing technical suitability, national interests, and public concerns, the Recommendation helped the public understand the potential risks and benefits of repository development and placed those risks and benefits in a meaningful national context.

  5. Total-System Performance Assessment for the Yucca Mountain Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. Total-system performance-assessment simulations are performed to evaluate the safety of the site. Features, events, and processes have been systematically evaluated to determine which ones are significant to the safety assessment. Computer models of the disposal system have been developed within a probabilistic framework, including both engineered and natural components. Selected results are presented for three different total-system simulations, and the behavior of the disposal system is discussed. The results show that risk is dominated by igneous activity at early times, because the robust waste-package design prevents significant nominal (non-disruptive) releases for tens of thousands of years or longer. The uncertainty in the nominal performance is dominated by uncertainties related to waste-package corrosion at early times and by uncertainties in the natural system, most significantly infiltration, at late times

  6. Technical Data Catalog: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Quarterly supplement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-30

    This report presents reference information contained in the Yucca Mountain Project Automated Technical Data Tracking System. The Department of Energy is seeking to design and maintain a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. However, before this repository can be built, the DOE must first do a comprehensive site evaluation. This evaluation is subject to many regulations. This report fulfills the reporting requirements of the Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on a quarterly basis. This catalog contains: description of data; time, place, and method of acquisition; and where data may be examined.

  7. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In this study, rail and highway routes which may be used for shipments of high-level nuclear waste to a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are characterized. This characterization facilitates three types of impact analysis: comparative study, limited worst-case assessment, and more sophisticated probabilistic risk assessment techniques. Data for relative and absolute impact measures are provided to support comparisons of routes based on selected characteristics. A worst-case scenario assessment is included to determine potentially critical and most likely places for accidents or incidents to occur. The assessment facilitated by the data in this study is limited because impact measures are restricted to the identification of potential areas or persons affected. No attempt is made to quantify the magnitude of these impacts. Most likely locations for accidents to occur are determined relative to other locations within the scope of this study. Independent factors and historical trends used to identify these likely locations are only proxies for accident probability

  8. Summary report on the geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and environs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, W.R.; Wolfsberg, K.; Rundberg, R.S.

    1982-12-01

    This report gives a detailed description of work at Los Alamos that will help resolve geochemical issues pertinent to siting a high-level nuclear waste repository in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It is necessary to understand the properties and setting of the host tuff because this rock provides the first natural barrier to migration of waste elements from a repository. The geochemistry of tuff is being investigated with particular emphasis on retardation processes. This report addresses the various aspects of sorption by tuff, physical and chemical makeup of tuff, diffusion processes, tuff/groundwater chemistry, waste element chemistry under expected repository conditions, transport processes involved in porous and fracture flow, and geochemical and transport modeling.

  9. Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain controversy. Special report No. 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The recent, 1992, report prepared by the Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/Hydrothermal Systems at Yucca Mountain for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? has generated critical reviews by Somerville et al. (1992) and by Archambeau (1992). These reviews were submitted as reports to the Nuclear Waste Project Office, State of Nevada by Technology and Resource Assessment Corporation under Contract No. 92/94.0004. A copy of the review report by C. B. Archambeau was also sent to Dr. Frank Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences, along with a cover letter from Dr. Archambeau expressing his concerns with the NRC report and his suggestion that the Academy President consider a re-evaluation of the issues covered by the NRC report. Dr. Press responded in a letter to Dr. Archambeau in February of this year which stated that, based on his staff recommendations and a review report by Dr. J. F. Evernden of the United States Geological Survey, he declined to initiate any further investigations and that, in his view, the NRC report was a valid scientific evaluation which was corroborated by Evernden's report. He also enclosed, with his letter, a copy of the report he received from his staff. In March of this year Dr. Archambeau replied to the letter and NRC staff report sent by Dr. Press with a detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the NRC staff report to Press. Also, in March, a critical review of Dr. Evernden's report by M. Somerville was submitted to the Nuclear Waste Project Office of the State of Nevada and this report, along with the earlier review of the NRC report by Somerville et al., was included as attachments to the letter sent to Dr. Press

  10. The reclamation program for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US DOE is required by law and other regulatory requirements to reclaim disturbances created by site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain. Because of the difficulty of reclaiming arid areas and the lack of site specific information on successful reclamation techniques and procedures, the DOE has developed a comprehensive reclamation program. The program consists of three phase: Planning, operational and research. The planning phase is a continuing process that ensures that program policy, goals, tasks and responsibilities are clearly identified and linked. Three inter-related planning documents have been released by the DOE that establish the program objectives and outline the steps needed to successfully meet those objectives. The operational phase uses best available knowledge to develop and implement reclamation plans that are site-specific for each disturbance. Reclamation activities start prior to any surface disturbance with a survey of each disturbance by trained scientists. The scientists survey the area for the presence of protected species or critical wildlife habitat. They also gather vegetation, landscape, soils and other environmental data that is used to assess the impact of the proposed disturbance. Recommendations can be made to either avoid areas or mitigate impacts. The operational phase includes interim reclamation to protect valuable resources and control erosion prior to final reclamation. Monitoring of reclaimed sites is conducted to correct problem areas and insure that reclamation objectives are achieved. The third phase of the reclamation program is designed to provide site-specific information on effective reclamation techniques through research and field demonstrations. Information on potentially successful techniques will be used to update to improve the effectiveness of the reclamation activities at Yucca Mountain

  11. Viability assessment of a repository at Yucca Mountain: Overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1998-12-01

    Based on the viability assessment, DOE believes that Yucca Mountain remains a promising site for a geologic repository and that work should proceed to support a decision in 2001 on whether to recommend the site to the President for development as a repository. Over 15 years, extensive research has validated many of the expectations of the scientists who first suggested that remote, desert regions of the Southwest are well-suited for a geologic repository. Engineered barriers can be designed to contain waste for thousands of years, and the natural barriers can delay and dilute any radioactive material that migrates from the waste packages. Current models indicate that the possible radiation exposure to future populations living nearby could be comparable to present-day exposure levels from natural background radiation. Design alternatives that may improve performance and reduce remaining uncertainties are now being evaluated. The performance of a geologic repository over such long time periods--longer than recorded human history--cannot be proven beyond all doubt. Forecasts about future geologic and climatic conditions and engineering estimates of how long the waste packages will remain intact cannot be directly validated. The mathematical models used in the performance assessment are subject to uncertainties that can be reduced but never completely eliminated. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's general standard for meeting geologic repository regulatory criteria and objectives is reasonable assurance. While considerable uncertainties remain today, DOE believes that reasonable assurance should be achievable in the licensing process after the planned work is completed. The DOE believes, therefore, that ongoing work at Yucca Mountain should proceed as planned.

  12. Dialogs on the Yucca Mountain controversy. Special report No. 5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Archambeau, C.B.; Szymanski, J.S.

    1993-03-01

    The recent, 1992, report prepared by the Panel on Coupled Hydrologic/Tectonic/Hydrothermal Systems at Yucca Mountain for the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences, entitled Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise? has generated critical reviews by Somerville et al. (1992) and by Archambeau (1992). These reviews were submitted as reports to the Nuclear Waste Project Office, State of Nevada by Technology and Resource Assessment Corporation under Contract No. 92/94.0004. A copy of the review report by C. B. Archambeau was also sent to Dr. Frank Press, President of the National Academy of Sciences, along with a cover letter from Dr. Archambeau expressing his concerns with the NRC report and his suggestion that the Academy President consider a re-evaluation of the issues covered by the NRC report. Dr. Press responded in a letter to Dr. Archambeau in February of this year which stated that, based on his staff recommendations and a review report by Dr. J. F. Evernden of the United States Geological Survey, he declined to initiate any further investigations and that, in his view, the NRC report was a valid scientific evaluation which was corroborated by Evernden`s report. He also enclosed, with his letter, a copy of the report he received from his staff. In March of this year Dr. Archambeau replied to the letter and NRC staff report sent by Dr. Press with a detailed point-by-point rebuttal of the NRC staff report to Press. Also, in March, a critical review of Dr. Evernden`s report by M. Somerville was submitted to the Nuclear Waste Project Office of the State of Nevada and this report, along with the earlier review of the NRC report by Somerville et al., was included as attachments to the letter sent to Dr. Press.

  13. Fracture Variability and Hydrologic Implications at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An understanding of the role of fractures at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is needed to evaluate the suitability of the site to host a high-level nuclear waste repository. Current infiltration rates at Yucca Mountain require water to move through some fractures in the unsaturated welded units because the matrix porosity and permeability of these units are too small to accommodate the total flow. Though only about 20% of connected fractures are estimated to actively transmit water, flow and transport within fractures can greatly affect repository performance because fractures could be fast pathways for migration of radioactive particles. Under the current design, the potential repository would be located in a densely welded tuff sequence with highly variable fracture characteristics. This variability, resulting largely from the presence of lithophysal cavities, creates heterogeneous flow patterns through the unsaturated zone. Lithophysal cavities interrupt the continuity of fractures they intersect and may locally influence fracture propagation. In welded nonlithophysal zones, fractures tend to be longer and more widely spaced than in lithophysal zones, which generally display a greater number of closely spaced, short-length fractures. Seepage of water into potential waste-emplacement drifts will be affected by the fracture characteristics within the surrounding rock wall. Fractures with sufficient capillary suction, permeability, and lateral connectivity can enhance capillary barrier effects and lateral diversion around drift openings, thus reducing the potential for seepage. Lithophysal units, which have high secondary permeability owing to an abundance of well-connected small fractures capable of accommodating lateral flow, may be more favorable for repository performance (i. e., promote less seepage) than nonlithophysal units. Conceptual models for fracture flow based on mapped geometric and hydrologic fracture characteristics are presented, emphasizing the relevant

  14. Results of Chemical Analyses in Support of Yucca Mountain Studies

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daniels, Jeanette

    2007-12-11

    Ground water monitoring for the Nye County Early Warning Drilling Program (NCEWDP) was established to monitor underground water sources of the area and to protect communities surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS) from potential radionuclide contamination of these water sources. It provides hydrological information pertaining to groundwater flow patterns and recharge issues in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. The Harry Reid Center for Environmental Studies (HRC) obtained groundwater samples from select NCEWDP wells shown in Figure 1. These samples were analyzed for major cations, major anions, trace elements, rare earth elements, alkalinity, pH and conductivity. These geochemical results can be used to evaluate the degree of interaction between the aquifers sampled, leading to a thorough mapping of the aquifer system. With increased analysis down gradient of the Yucca Mountain area, evaluations can identify viable groundwater flow paths and establish mixing of the groundwater systems. Tracer tests provide insight into groundwater flow characteristics and transport processes of potential contaminants. These tests are important for contaminant migration issues including safe disposal of hazardous and radioactive materials and remediation of potentially released contaminants. At a minimum, two conservative (non-sorbing) tracers with different diffusion coefficients are used for each tracer test. The tracer test performed under this cooperative agreement utilized fluorinated benzoic acids and halides as conservative tracers. The tracers are of differing size and have differing rates of diffusion into the rock. Larger molecules can not enter the pore spaces that are penetrated by the smaller molecules, therefore larger tracers will travel faster through thegroundwater system. Identical responses of the two tracers indicate no appreciable diffusion into pores of the aquifer system tuff. For the Nye County Tracer Tests, the HRC provided chemical analysis for the tracer

  15. Hydrology of the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCain, Gary D.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    The unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain was investigated as a possible site for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. Scientific investigations included infiltration studies, matrix properties testing, borehole testing and monitoring, underground excavation and testing, and the development of conceptual and numerical models of the hydrologic processes at Yucca Mountain. Infiltration estimates by empirical and geochemical methods range from 0.2 to 1.4 mm/yr and 0.2–6.0 mm/yr, respectively. Infiltration estimates from numerical models range from 4.5 mm/yr to 17.6 mm/yr. Rock matrix properties vary vertically and laterally as the result of depositional processes and subsequent postdepositional alteration. Laboratory tests indicate that the average matrix porosity and hydraulic conductivity values for the main level of the proposed repository (Topopah Spring Tuff middle nonlithophysal zone) are 0.08 and 4.7 × 10−12 m/s, respectively. In situ fracture hydraulic conductivity values are 3–6 orders of magnitude greater. The permeability of fault zones is approximately an order of magnitude greater than that of the surrounding rock unit. Water samples from the fault zones have tritium concentrations that indicate some component of postnuclear testing. Gas and water vapor movement through the unsaturated zone is driven by changes in barometric pressure, temperature-induced density differences, and wind effects. The subsurface pressure response to surface barometric changes is controlled by the distribution and interconnectedness of fractures, the presence of faults and their ability to conduct gas and vapor, and the moisture content and matrix permeability of the rock units. In situ water potential values are generally less than −0.2 MPa (−2 bar), and the water potential gradients in the Topopah Spring Tuff units are very small. Perched-water zones at Yucca Mountain are associated with the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Tuff or the Calico

  16. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program; Progress report, October 1992--December 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-05-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, a program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG&G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG&G/EM) from October 1992 through December 1993 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support.

  17. Environmental assessment overview, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE`s General Guidelines for the Recommendations of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 3 figs.

  18. Environmental assessment overview, Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendations of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. 3 figs

  19. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program. Progress report, October 1992--December 1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential geologic repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, a program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG ampersand G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG ampersand G/EM) from October 1992 through December 1993 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  20. Word images as policy instruments: Lessons from the Yucca Mountain Controversey

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conary, J.S.; Soden, D.L.; Carns, D.E.

    1993-08-01

    A study is described which explores word images which have developed about nuclear issues by Nevadans. The study is based on results of a survey conducted regarding issues related to the Yucca Mountain repository.

  1. Word images as policy instruments: Lessons from the Yucca Mountain Controversey

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study is described which explores word images which have developed about nuclear issues by Nevadans. The study is based on results of a survey conducted regarding issues related to the Yucca Mountain repository

  2. Linear thermal expansion data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schwartz, B.M.; Chocas, C.S.

    1992-07-01

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data were obtained both with and without confining pressure. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between 50 and 250{degrees}C is better than 1.8 percent, with the precision better than 4.5 ;percent. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between ambient temperature and 50{degrees}C and is approximately 11 percent deviation from the true value, with a precision of 12 percent of the mean value. Because of experiment design and the lack of information related calibrations, the accuracy and precision of the confined thermal expansion measurements could not be determined.

  3. Preclosure radiological safety analysis for accident conditions of the potential Yucca Mountain Repository: Underground facilities; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, C.W.; Sit, R.C.; Zavoshy, S.J.; Jardine, L.J. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Laub, T.W. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-06-01

    This preliminary preclosure radiological safety analysis assesses the scenarios, probabilities, and potential radiological consequences associated with postulated accidents in the underground facility of the potential Yucca Mountain repository. The analysis follows a probabilistic-risk-assessment approach. Twenty-one event trees resulting in 129 accident scenarios are developed. Most of the scenarios have estimated annual probabilities ranging from 10{sup {minus}11}/yr to 10{sup {minus}5}/yr. The study identifies 33 scenarios that could result in offsite doses over 50 mrem and that have annual probabilities greater than 10{sup {minus}9}/yr. The largest offsite dose is calculated to be 220 mrem, which is less than the 500 mrem value used to define items important to safety in 10 CFR 60. The study does not address an estimate of uncertainties, therefore conclusions or decisions made as a result of this report should be made with caution.

  4. Data Qualification Report Flowing Interval Data for Use On the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    be appropriately used in a wide variety of applications, so long as consideration is given to accuracy, precision and representativeness of the data for an intended use in a technical product. This qualification report addresses the specific flowing interval data sets selected to support the flowing interval studies in the Analysis and Modeling Report (AMR) ''Probability Distribution of Flowing Interval Spacing'' (Kuzio 1999). This AMR presents an analysis of the spacing of flowing intervals in the saturated volcanic rocks beneath Yucca Mountain. Based on a preponderance of evidence, the flowing interval data used in the AMR are recommended to be qualified for inclusion in technical products in support of the Site Recommendation for generalized uses as described in this report

  5. Data Qulaification Report Flowong Interval Data for Use On the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C.R. Wilson; T.A. Grant

    2000-08-03

    generalized use and can be appropriately used in a wide variety of applications, so long as consideration is given to accuracy, precision and representativeness of the data for an intended use in a technical product. This qualification report addresses the specific flowing interval data sets selected to support the flowing interval studies in the Analysis and Modeling Report (AMR) ''Probability Distribution of Flowing Interval Spacing'' (Kuzio 1999). This AMR presents an analysis of the spacing of flowing intervals in the saturated volcanic rocks beneath Yucca Mountain. Based on a preponderance of evidence, the flowing interval data used in the AMR are recommended to be qualified for inclusion in technical products in support of the Site Recommendation for generalized uses as described in this report.

  6. Yucca Mountain project canister material corrosion studies as applied to the electrometallurgical treatment metallic waste form

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keiser, D.D.

    1996-11-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is currently being evaluated as a potential site for a geologic repository. As part of the repository assessment activities, candidate materials are being tested for possible use as construction materials for waste package containers. A large portion of this testing effort is focused on determining the long range corrosion properties, in a Yucca Mountain environment, for those materials being considered. Along similar lines, Argonne National Laboratory is testing a metallic alloy waste form that also is scheduled for disposal in a geologic repository, like Yucca Mountain. Due to the fact that Argonne`s waste form will require performance testing for an environment similar to what Yucca Mountain canister materials will require, this report was constructed to focus on the types of tests that have been conducted on candidate Yucca Mountain canister materials along with some of the results from these tests. Additionally, this report will discuss testing of Argonne`s metal waste form in light of the Yucca Mountain activities.

  7. Geologic and hydrologic investigations of a potential nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carr, M.D.; Yount, J.C. (eds.)

    1988-12-31

    Yucca Mountain in southern Nye County, Nevada, has been selected by the United States Department of Energy as one of three potential sites for the nation`s first high-level nuclear waste repository. Its deep water table, closed-basin ground-water flow, potentially favorable host rock, and sparse population have made the Yucca Mountain area a viable candidate during the search for a nuclear waste disposal site. Yucca Mountain, however, lies within the southern Great Basin, a region of known contemporary tectonism and young volcanic activity, and the characterization of tectonism and volcanism remains as a fundamental problem for the Yucca Mountain site. The United States Geological Survey has been conducting extensive studies to evaluate the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain, as well as the timing and rates of tectonic and volcanic activity in the region. A workshop was convened by the Geologic Survey in Denver, Colorado, on August 19, 20, and 21, 1985, to review the scientific progress and direction of these studies. Considerable debate resulted. This collection of papers represents the results of some of the studies presented at the workshop, but by no means covers all of the scientific results and viewpoints presented. Rather, the volume is meant to serve as a progress report on some of the studies within the Geological Survey`s continuing research program toward characterizing the tectonic framework of Yucca Mountain. Individual papers were processed separately for the data base.

  8. Geologic and hydrologic investigations of a potential nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain in southern Nye County, Nevada, has been selected by the United States Department of Energy as one of three potential sites for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. Its deep water table, closed-basin ground-water flow, potentially favorable host rock, and sparse population have made the Yucca Mountain area a viable candidate during the search for a nuclear waste disposal site. Yucca Mountain, however, lies within the southern Great Basin, a region of known contemporary tectonism and young volcanic activity, and the characterization of tectonism and volcanism remains as a fundamental problem for the Yucca Mountain site. The United States Geological Survey has been conducting extensive studies to evaluate the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain, as well as the timing and rates of tectonic and volcanic activity in the region. A workshop was convened by the Geologic Survey in Denver, Colorado, on August 19, 20, and 21, 1985, to review the scientific progress and direction of these studies. Considerable debate resulted. This collection of papers represents the results of some of the studies presented at the workshop, but by no means covers all of the scientific results and viewpoints presented. Rather, the volume is meant to serve as a progress report on some of the studies within the Geological Survey's continuing research program toward characterizing the tectonic framework of Yucca Mountain. Individual papers were processed separately for the data base

  9. Microbially-influenced corrosion capability of Yucca Mountain bacterial isolates

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pitonzo, B.; Castro, P.; Amy, P. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States)] [and others

    1996-12-01

    Microorganisms implicated in microbially-influenced corrosion have been isolated from the deep subsurface at Yucca Mt. Iron-oxidizing (FeOx), sulfate-reducing (SRB), and exopolymer (EPS)-producing bacteria were found. Microbial corrosion rate was monitored electrochemically. The test system was composed of a 1020 carbon steel coupon immersed in soft R2A agar prepared with simulated groundwater (J-13). A KCl bridge was used to connect the test and reference cell (calomel electrode). A platinum counter-electrode was used to apply a potential to the coupon and the corrosion process was measured by a potentiostat (Gamry). Corrosion cells (3x) were inoculated with purified cultures of EPS-producing bacteria and enrichment cultures of FeOx and SRB bacteria. Test cells were inoculated with microorganisms separately, as well as in various combinations. An uninoculated control cell was prepared to assess abiotic corrosion. Average corrosion rates were measured in milli-inches per year (mpy) against time. The control, and cells containing EPS-producing, FeOx or SRB bacteria alone or in combination demonstrated a rapid decrease in corrosion rate by 3 days. The corrosion rates stabilized, and at 35 days peaked at 2.25 mpy (FeOx), 3.30 mpy (SRB), and 2.80 mpy (EPS). AU of these values were significantly higher than the corrosion rate observed in the control cell, 1.30 mpy at 35 days. The various combinations demonstrated higher corrosion rates than any bacterial group alone. Coupons were cleaned, revealing surface pits. 200 pits/sq. in. were counted on a coupon previously exposed to a mixture of EPS-producing and FeOx microorganisms. Pit diameter ranged from 0.25 to 2.75 mm. The results indicate that Yucca Mountain microorganisms, alone and in combination, are capable of causing corrosion of 1020 carbon steel.

  10. Tectonic and neotectonic framwork of the Yucca Mountain region, Task 5

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1993-09-30

    Research continued on the tectonic and neotectonics of the Yucca Mountain region. Highlights from projects include: structural studies in Grapevine Mountains, Funeral Mountains, Bullfrog Hills, and Bare Mountain; development of structural models for pre-Middle Miocene normal and strike-slip faulting at Bare Mountain; Paleomagnetic analysis of Paleozoic and Cenozoic units at Bare Mountain; sampling of pegmatites in Bullfrog Hills and Funeral Mountains for U-Pb isotopic analysis; and review and analysis of Mesozoic structure between eastern sierra and Nevada test Site.

  11. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; B. Youngs

    2000-11-06

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model (AMR) report is twofold. (1) The first is to present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M&O 1996). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and extended in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) The second purpose of the AMR is to present probability calculations based on PVHA outputs. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers located within the repository footprint (conditional on the dike intersecting the repository). The probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint was calculated in the AMR ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (CRWMS M&O 2000g) based on the repository footprint known as the Enhanced Design Alternative [EDA II, Design B (CRWMS M&O 1999a; Wilkins and Heath 1999)]. Then, the ''Site Recommendation Design Baseline'' (CRWMS M&O 2000a) initiated a change in the repository design, which is described in the ''Site Recommendation Subsurface Layout'' (CRWMS M&O 2000b). Consequently, the probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint has also been calculated for the current repository footprint, which is called the 70,000 Metric Tons of Uranium (MTU) No-Backfill Layout (CRWMS M&O 2000b). The calculations for both

  12. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model (AMR) report is twofold. (1) The first is to present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M and O 1996). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and extended in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) The second purpose of the AMR is to present probability calculations based on PVHA outputs. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers located within the repository footprint (conditional on the dike intersecting the repository). The probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint was calculated in the AMR ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada'' (CRWMS M and O 2000g) based on the repository footprint known as the Enhanced Design Alternative [EDA II, Design B (CRWMS M and O 1999a; Wilkins and Heath 1999)]. Then, the ''Site Recommendation Design Baseline'' (CRWMS M and O 2000a) initiated a change in the repository design, which is described in the ''Site Recommendation Subsurface Layout'' (CRWMS M and O 2000b). Consequently, the probability of intersection of a basaltic dike within the repository footprint has also been calculated for the current repository footprint, which is called the 70,000 Metric Tons of Uranium (MTU) No-Backfill Layout (CRWMS M and O 2000b). The calculations for both footprints are presented in this AMR. In

  13. Preliminary capillary hysteresis simulations in fractured rocks, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Niemi, A.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    1988-12-01

    Preliminary simulations have been carried out to address the question of how hysteretic (history-dependent) capillary pressure-liquid saturation relation may affect the flow and liquid saturation distribution in a fractured rock system. Using a hysteresis model modified from the theoretically based dependent domain model of Mualem (1984), a system consisting of discrete fractures and rock matrix parts was simulated under periodically occurring infiltration pulses. Comparisons were made between the hysteretic case and the non-hysteretic case using the main drying curve alone. Material properties used represent values reported for the densely welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Since no actual hysteresis measurements were available for the welded tuffs, the necessary data was derived based on information available in the soils literature The strongly hysteretic behavior in the uppermost layer of the matrix along with the overall lower matrix capillary suctions, generated higher fracture flows and a more "smeared" matrix liquid saturation vs. depth distribution for the hysteretic case. While the actual amounts of water being absorbed into the matrix were very similar, the distributions of this absorbed water were different and the matrix was affected up to greater depths in the hysteretic case in comparison to the non-hysteretic case.

  14. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project technical data catalog quarterly supplement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE)/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository Site Investigation and Characterization Program requires the DOE to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the NRC at least quarterly. This catalog is to include a description of the data; the time (date), place, and method of acquisition; and where the data may be examined. The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Technical Data Catalog is published and distributed in accordance with t requirements of the Site-Specific Agreement. The YMP Technical Data Catalog is a report based on reference information contained in the YMP Automated Technical Data Tracking System (ATDT). The reference information is provided by Participants for data acquired or developed in support of the YMP. The Technical Data Catalog is updated quarterly and distributed in the month following the end of each quarter. A complete revision to the catalog is published at the end of each fiscal year. Supplements to the end-of-year edition are published each quarter. These supplements provide information related to new data items not included in previous quarterly updates and data items affected by changes to@ previously published reference information. The Technical Data Catalog, dated September 30, 1994, should be retained as the baseline document for the supplements until the end-of-year revision is published and distributed in October 1995.

  15. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Water levels were monitored in 28 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1995. Seventeen wells representing 18 depth intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, 2 wells representing 3 depth intervals were monitored hourly, and 9 wells representing 15 depth intervals were monitored both periodically and hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks except one that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes, a multiconductor cable unit, and/or pressure transducers. Mean water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 to about 1,034 meters above sea level during 1995. The mean water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 753 meters above sea level during 1995. Mean water level altitudes were only an average of about 0.01 meters higher than 1994 mean water level altitudes. A single-well aquifer test was conducted on well UE-25 WT number-sign 12 during August and September 1995. Well USW 0-2 was also pumped during October and November 1995, in preparation for single-well aquifer test at that well. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data

  16. Effects of actinide burning on waste disposal at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Release rates of 15 radionuclides from waste packages expected to result from partitioning and transmutation of Light-Water Reactor (LWR) and Actinide-Burning Liquid-Metal Reactor (ALMR) spent fuel are calculated and compared to release rates from standard LWR spent fuel packages. The release rates are input to a model for radionuclide transport from the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain to the water table. Discharge rates at the water table are calculated and used in a model for transport to the accessible environment, defined to be five kilometers from the repository edge. Concentrations and dose rates at the accessible environment from spent fuel and wastes from reprocessing, with partitioning and transmutation, are calculated. Partitioning and transmutation of LWR and ALMR spent fuel reduces the inventories of uranium, neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium in the high-level waste by factors of 40 to 500. However, because release rates of all of the actinides except curium are limited by solubility and are independent of package inventory, they are not reduced correspondingly. Only for curium is the repository release rate much lower for reprocessing wastes

  17. Illstrative probabilistic biosphere model for Yucca Mountain individual risk calculations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The proposed EPA Standards for the disposal of spent fuel, high-level and transuranic radioactive waste prescribe future biosphere--one in which no sustained human activity occurs inside the controlled zone, yet sustained use of groundwater occurs just outside the controlled zone boundary. Performance assessments have generally assumed a person at this location extracts all his water needs directly from the projected contaminated plume for all of his life. Dose to this maximally-exposed individual is too conservative a measure of performance for a nuclear waste repository and does not reflect the isolation characteristics of a site. A better measure is individual risk in which uncertainties in biosphere characteristics for the longer periods of performance, for a site like Yucca Mountain only those characteristics associated with well water scenarios need be prescribed. Such a prescription of the biosphere is appropriate because the goal of the regulations is to provide indicators of future performance so the regulators can make a responsible decision regarding reasonable assurance of public health and safety

  18. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project technical data catalog: Quarterly supplement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    The Department of Energy (DOE)/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository Site Investigation and Characterization Program requires the DOE to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the NRC at least quarterly. This catalog is to include a description of the data; the time (date), place, and method of acquisition; and where the data may be examined. The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Technical Data Catalog is published and distributed-in accordance with the requirements of the Site-Specific Agreement. The YMP Technical Data Catalog is a report based on reference information contained in the YMP Automated Technical Data Tracking System (ATDT). The reference information is provided by Participants for data acquired or developed in support of the YMP. The Technical Data Catalog is updated quarterly and distributed in the month following the end of each quarter. A complete revision to the catalog is published at the end of each fiscal year. Supplements to the end-of-year edition are published each quarter. These supplements provide information related to new data items not included in previous quarterly updates and data items affected by changes to previously published reference information. The Technical Data Catalog, dated September 30, 1994, should be retained as the baseline document for the supplements until the end-of-year revision is published and distributed in October 1995.

  19. Flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time (GWTT-95)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Altman, S.J.; Arnold, B.W.; Barnard, R.W.; Barr, G.E.; Ho, C.K.; McKenna, S.A.; Eaton, R.R.

    1996-09-01

    In 1983, high-level radioactive waste repository performance requirements related to groundwater travel time were defined by NRC subsystem regulation 10 CFR 60.113. Although DOE is not presently attempting to demonstrate compliance with that regulation, understanding of the prevalence of fast paths in the groundwater flow system remains a critical element of any safety analyses for a potential repository system at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Therefore, this analysis was performed to allow comparison of fast-path flow against the criteria set forth in the regulation. Models developed to describe the conditions for initiation, propagation, and sustainability of rapid groundwater movement in both the unsaturated and saturated zones will form part of the technical basis for total- system analyses to assess site viability and site licensability. One of the most significant findings is that the fastest travel times in both unsaturated and saturated zones are in the southern portion of the potential repository, so it is recommended that site characterization studies concentrate on this area. Results support the assumptions regarding the importance of an appropriate conceptual model of groundwater flow and the incorporation of heterogeneous material properties into the analyses. Groundwater travel times are sensitive to variation/uncertainty in hydrologic parameters and in infiltration flux at upper boundary of the problem domain. Simulated travel times are also sensitive to poorly constrained parameters of the interaction between flow in fractures and in the matrix.

  20. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project: Technical Data Catalog quarterly supplement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-03-31

    The March 21, 1993, Department of Energy (DOE)/Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository Site Investigation and Characterization Program requires the DOE to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the NRC at least quarterly. This catalog is to include a description of the data; the time (date), place, and method of acquisition; and where it may be examined. The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Technical Data Catalog is published and distributed in accordance with the requirements of the Site-Specific Agreement. The YMP Technical Data Catalog is a report based on reference information contained in the YMP Automated Technical Data Tracking System (ATDT). The reference information is provided by Participants for data acquired or developed in support of the YMP. The Technical Data Catalog is updated quarterly and published in the month following the end of each quarter. A complete revision to the Catalog is published at the end of each fiscal year. Supplements to the end-of-year edition are published each quarter. These supplements provide information related to new data items not included in previous quarterly updates and data items affected by changes to previously published reference information. The Technical Data Catalog, dated September 30, 1993, should be retained as the baseline document for the supplements until the end-of-year revision is published and distributed in October 1994.

  1. Nye County Nevada Perspectives on the State of the Yucca Mountain Project - 12388

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Responding to the Department of Energy decision to try to withdraw the Yucca Mountain license application and the Administration actions to close down the Yucca Mountain project, Nye County undertook a number of activities to articulate its support for continuing the Yucca Mountain project. The activities included responding to inquiries from federal agencies, including investigations undertaken by the Government Accountability Office addressing other potential uses for the Yucca Mountain site, responding to a Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the possible use of Yucca Mountain for disposal of Greater than Class C wastes, testifying in hearings, and interacting with the President's Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future. The paper summarizes Nye County's position on the Yucca Mountain repository, Nye County's perspectives on the various activities that were developed and considered by the Government Accountability Office, Nye County's concerns with the use of the Nevada National Security Site for Disposal of Greater than Class C Low-Level Radioactive Wastes, testimony of Nye County officials expressing local community support for the Yucca Mountain project, and Nye County's perspectives on recommendations provided by the Blue Ribbon Commission to move the nation's high-level radioactive waste disposal programs forward without consideration of the role Yucca Mountain could have served in those recommendations. Nye County believes that every effort should be made to, at a minimum, fund the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to complete the license application review. Then, if Congress does decide to change the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, there will be valuable information available to support new policy development. This administration contends that Congressional language associated with the FY2010 and FY2011 appropriations and authorization process is sufficient evidence of its intent to terminate the Yucca Mountain repository program. The appropriation

  2. Major results of geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A. [eds.] [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States); Hunter, W.C. [ed.] [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States). Yucca Mountain Project Branch

    1995-12-31

    In the consideration of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for storing high level nuclear waste, a number of geologic concerns have been suggested for study by the National Academy of Sciences which include: (1) natural geologic and geochemical barriers, (2) possible future fluctuations in the water table that might flood a mined underground repository, (3) tectonic stability, and (4) considerations of shaking such as might be caused by nearby earthquakes or possible volcanic eruptions. This volume represents the third part of an overall plan of geophysical investigation of Yucca Mountain, preceded by the Site Characterization Plan (SCP; dated 1988) and the report referred to as the Geophysical White Paper, Phase 1, entitled Status of Data, Major Results, and Plans for Geophysical Activities, Yucca Mountain Project (Oliver and others, 1990). The SCP necessarily contained uncertainty about applicability and accuracy of methods then untried in the Yucca Mountain volcano-tectonic setting, and the White Paper, Phase 1, focused on summarization of survey coverage, data quality, and applicability of results. For the most part, it did not present data or interpretation. The important distinction of the current volume lies in presentation of data, results, and interpretations of selected geophysical methods used in characterization activities at Yucca Mountain. Chapters are included on the following: gravity investigations; magnetic investigations; regional magnetotelluric investigations; seismic refraction investigations; seismic reflection investigations; teleseismic investigations; regional thermal setting; stress measurements; and integration of methods and conclusions. 8 refs., 60 figs., 2 tabs.

  3. Expert judgment in assessing radwaste risks: What Nevadans should know about Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For phenomena characterized by accurate and largely complete data, quantitative risk assessment (QRA) provides extraordinarily valuable and objective information. However, with phenomena for which the data, models, or probabilities are incomplete or uncertain, QRA may be less useful and more questionable, because its conclusions are typically empirically and theoretically underdetermined. In the face of empirical or theoretical underdetermination, scientists often are forced to make a number of methodological value judgments and inferences about how to estimate and evaluate the associated risks. The purpose of this project is to evaluate instances of methodological value judgments and invalid or imprecise inferences that have occurred in the QRA done for the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste facility. We shall show (1) that questionable methodological value judgments and inferences have occurred in some Yucca Mountain QRA'S; (2) that questionable judgments and inferences, similar to those in the Yucca Mountain studies, have occurred in previous QRA's done for other radiation-related facilities and have likely caused earlier QRA's to err in specific ways; and (3) that, because the value judgments and problems associated with some Yucca Mountain QRA's include repetitions of similar difficulties in earlier studies, therefore the QRA conclusions of some Yucca Mountain analyses are, at best, uncertain

  4. Sequential evaluation of the potential geologic repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper discusses the changes that are planned for the characterization program at Yucca Mountain due to budget changes. Yucca Mountain is the only site being studied in the US for a geologic repository. Funding for the site characterization program at Yucca Mountain program was cut by roughly one half from the 1994 projected budget to complete three major milestones. These project milestones included: (1) a time-phased determination of site suitability, and if a positive finding, (2) completion of an Environmental Impact Statement, and (3) preparation of a License Application to the US NRC to authorize repository construction. In reaction, Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project has shifted from parallel development of these milestones to a sequenced approach with the site suitability evaluation being replaced with a management assessment. Changes to the regulatory structure for the disposal program are under consideration by DOE and the NRC. The possibility for NRC and Doe to develop a site-specific regulatory structure follows from the National Energy Policy Act of 1992 that authorized the US EPA to develop a site specific environmental standard for Yucca Mountain

  5. Major results of geophysical investigations at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the consideration of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for storing high level nuclear waste, a number of geologic concerns have been suggested for study by the National Academy of Sciences which include: (1) natural geologic and geochemical barriers, (2) possible future fluctuations in the water table that might flood a mined underground repository, (3) tectonic stability, and (4) considerations of shaking such as might be caused by nearby earthquakes or possible volcanic eruptions. This volume represents the third part of an overall plan of geophysical investigation of Yucca Mountain, preceded by the Site Characterization Plan (SCP; dated 1988) and the report referred to as the Geophysical White Paper, Phase 1, entitled Status of Data, Major Results, and Plans for Geophysical Activities, Yucca Mountain Project (Oliver and others, 1990). The SCP necessarily contained uncertainty about applicability and accuracy of methods then untried in the Yucca Mountain volcano-tectonic setting, and the White Paper, Phase 1, focused on summarization of survey coverage, data quality, and applicability of results. For the most part, it did not present data or interpretation. The important distinction of the current volume lies in presentation of data, results, and interpretations of selected geophysical methods used in characterization activities at Yucca Mountain. Chapters are included on the following: gravity investigations; magnetic investigations; regional magnetotelluric investigations; seismic refraction investigations; seismic reflection investigations; teleseismic investigations; regional thermal setting; stress measurements; and integration of methods and conclusions. 8 refs., 60 figs., 2 tabs

  6. Environmental program overview for a high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    The United States plans to begin operating the first repository for the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste early in the next century. In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified Yucca Mountain, in Nevada, as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a repository. To determine its suitability, the DOE evaluated the Yucca Mountain site, along with eight other potentially acceptable sites, in accordance with the DOE`s General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. The purpose of the Environmental Program Overview (EPO) for the Yucca Mountain site is to provide an overview of the overall, comprehensive approach being used to satisfy the environmental requirements applicable to sitting a repository at Yucca Mountain. The EPO states how the DOE will address the following environmental areas: aesthetics, air quality, cultural resources (archaeological and Native American components), noise, radiological studies, soils, terrestrial ecosystems, and water resources. This EPO describes the environmental program being developed for the sitting of a repository at Yucca Mountain. 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  7. Major results of gravity and magnetic studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    About 4000 gravity stations have been obtained at Yucca Mountain and vicinity since the beginning of radioactive-waste studies there in 1978. These data have been integrated with data from about 29,000 stations previously obtained in the surrounding region to produce a series of Bouguer and isostatic-residual-gravity maps of the Nevada Test Site and southeastern Nevada. Yucca Mountain is characterized by a WNW-dipping gravity gradient whereby residual values of -10 mGal along the east edge of Yucca Mountain decrease to about -38 mGal over Crater Flat. Using these gravity data, two-dimensional modeling predicted the depth to pre-Cenozoic rocks near the proposed repository to be about 1220 ± 150 m, an estimate that was subsequently confirmed by drilling to be 1244 m. Three-dimensional modeling of the gravity low over Crater Flat indicates the thickness of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and alluvial cover to be about 3000 m. Considerable aeromagnetic coverage of southwestern Nevada was obtained in 1978--1979 to help characterize Yucca Mountain and vicinity. One significant result is the discovery of a series of circular magnetic anomalies in Crater Flat and the northern Amargosa Desert that suggest the presence of buried volcanic centers there. Elongate magnetic highs and associated lows over Yucca Mountain correlate with mapped faults, some of which are only partially exposed. Thus, the data provide inforamtion on the extent and continuity of these faults. 31 refs., 3 figs

  8. Expert judgment in assessing radwaste risks: What Nevadans should know about Yucca Mountain; [Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shrader-Frechette, K. [University of South Florida, Tampa, FL (United States)

    1992-06-01

    For phenomena characterized by accurate and largely complete data, quantitative risk assessment (QRA) provides extraordinarily valuable and objective information. However, with phenomena for which the data, models, or probabilities are incomplete or uncertain, QRA may be less useful and more questionable, because its conclusions are typically empirically and theoretically underdetermined. In the face of empirical or theoretical underdetermination, scientists often are forced to make a number of methodological value judgments and inferences about how to estimate and evaluate the associated risks. The purpose of this project is to evaluate instances of methodological value judgments and invalid or imprecise inferences that have occurred in the QRA done for the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste facility. We shall show (1) that questionable methodological value judgments and inferences have occurred in some Yucca Mountain QRA`S; (2) that questionable judgments and inferences, similar to those in the Yucca Mountain studies, have occurred in previous QRA`s done for other radiation-related facilities and have likely caused earlier QRA`s to err in specific ways; and (3) that, because the value judgments and problems associated with some Yucca Mountain QRA`s include repetitions of similar difficulties in earlier studies, therefore the QRA conclusions of some Yucca Mountain analyses are, at best, uncertain.

  9. TSPA 1991: An initial total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnard, R.W.; Wilson, M.L.; Dockery, H.A.; Kaplan, P.G.; Eaton, R.R.; Bingham, F.W. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gauthier, J.H.; Robey, T.H. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-07-01

    This report describes an assessment of the long-term performance of a repository system that contains deeply buried highly radioactive waste; the system is assumed to be located at the potential site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The study includes an identification of features, events, and processes that might affect the potential repository, a construction of scenarios based on this identification, a selection of models describing these scenarios (including abstraction of appropriate models from detailed models), a selection of probability distributions for the parameters in the models, a stochastic calculation of radionuclide releases for the scenarios, and a derivation of complementary cumulative distribution functions (CCDFs) for the releases. Releases and CCDFs are calculated for four categories of scenarios: aqueous flow (modeling primarily the existing conditions at the site, with allowances for climate change), gaseous flow, basaltic igneous activity, and human intrusion. The study shows that models of complex processes can be abstracted into more simplified representations that preserve the understanding of the processes and produce results consistent with those of more complex models.

  10. The origin and history of alteration and carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain ignimbrites. Volume I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document contains Volume I of the report entitled The Origin and History of Alteration and Carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain Ignimbrites by Jerry S. Szymanski and a related correspondence with comments by Donald E. Livingston. In the Great Basin, the flow of terrestrial heat through the crust is affected in part by the flow of fluids. At Yucca Mountain, the role of fluids in crustal heat transport is manifested at the surface by youthful calcretes, sinters, bedrock veins, hydrothermal eruption breccias and hydrothermal alteration. This report discusses evidence for recent metasomatism high in the stratigraphic section at Yucca Mountain. Over the last several hundred years, episodes of calcite emplacement contemporaneous with local mafic volcanism have occurred at intervals that are not long in comparison with the isolation time required for a High-Level Radioactive Waste repository

  11. Status of data, major results, and plans for geophysical activities, Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliver, H.W. [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (USA); Hardin, E.L. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (USA); Nelson, P.H. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (USA)] [eds.

    1990-07-01

    This report describes past and planned geophysical activities associated with the Yucca Mountain Project and is intended to serve as a starting point for integration of geophysical activities. This report relates past results to site characterization plans, as presented in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Plan (SCP). This report discusses seismic exploration, potential field methods, geoelectrical methods, teleseismic data collection and velocity structural modeling, and remote sensing. This report discusses surface-based, airborne, borehole, surface-to-borehole, crosshole, and Exploratory Shaft Facility-related activities. The data described in this paper, and the publications discussed, have been selected based on several considerations; location with respect to Yucca Mountain, whether the success or failure of geophysical data is important to future activities, elucidation of features of interest, and judgment as to the likelihood that the method will produce information that is important for site characterization. 65 refs., 19 figs., 12 tabs.

  12. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1993--September 30, 1993, No. 9

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-02-01

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the U.S. Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1, 1993, through September 30, 1993. This report is the ninth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

  13. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1992--March 31, 1993, No. 8

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-08-01

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the US Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1992, through March 31, 1993. This report is the eighth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

  14. Status of data, major results, and plans for geophysical activities, Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes past and planned geophysical activities associated with the Yucca Mountain Project and is intended to serve as a starting point for integration of geophysical activities. This report relates past results to site characterization plans, as presented in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Plan (SCP). This report discusses seismic exploration, potential field methods, geoelectrical methods, teleseismic data collection and velocity structural modeling, and remote sensing. This report discusses surface-based, airborne, borehole, surface-to-borehole, crosshole, and Exploratory Shaft Facility-related activities. The data described in this paper, and the publications discussed, have been selected based on several considerations; location with respect to Yucca Mountain, whether the success or failure of geophysical data is important to future activities, elucidation of features of interest, and judgment as to the likelihood that the method will produce information that is important for site characterization. 65 refs., 19 figs., 12 tabs

  15. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1992--March 31, 1993, No. 8

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the US Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1992, through March 31, 1993. This report is the eighth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies

  16. Yucca Mountain site characteriztion project bibliography. Progress Report, 1994--1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project which was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1994, through December 31, 1995. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology database which were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  17. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, July--December 1992: An update, Supplement 3, Addendum 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from July 1, 1992, through December 31, 1992. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  18. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography, July, December 194: An update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Charactrization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Science and Technology Database from July 1, 1994 through December 31, 1994. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  19. Workshop on development of radionuclide getters for the Yucca Mountain waste repository: proceedings.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moore, Robert Charles; Lukens, Wayne W. (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)

    2006-03-01

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository, located in southern Nevada, is to be the first facility for permanent disposal of spent reactor fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States. Total Systems Performance Assessment (TSPA) analysis has indicated that among the major radionuclides contributing to dose are technetium, iodine, and neptunium, all of which are highly mobile in the environment. Containment of these radionuclides within the repository is a priority for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). These proceedings review current research and technology efforts for sequestration of the radionuclides with a focus on technetium, iodine, and neptunium. This workshop also covered issues concerning the Yucca Mountain environment and getter characteristics required for potential placement into the repository.

  20. Three dimensional visualization in support of Yucca Mountain Site characterization activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An understanding of the geologic and hydrologic environment for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV is a critical component of site characterization activities. Conventional methods allow visualization of geologic data in only two or two and a half dimensions. Recent advances in computer workstation hardware and software now make it possible to create interactive three dimensional visualizations. Visualization software has been used to create preliminary two-, two-and-a-half-, and three-dimensional visualizations of Yucca Mountain structure and stratigraphy. The three dimensional models can also display lithologically dependent or independent parametric data. Yucca Mountain site characterization studies that will be supported by this capability include structural, lithologic, and hydrologic modeling, and repository design

  1. Stratigraphic relations and hydrologic properties of the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrologic unit, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Flint, L.E. [U.S. Geological Survey, Yucca Mountain Project, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1996-08-01

    Yucca Mountain is being investigated as a potential site for a high- level nuclear waste repository. The intent of this study was to clarify stratigraphic relations within the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) unit at Yucca Mountain in order to better understand vertical and lateral variations in hydrologic properties as they relate to the lithologic character of these rocks. This report defines informal stratigraphic units within the PTn interval, demonstrates their lateral continuity in the Yucca Mountain region, describes later and vertical variations within them, and characterizes their hydrologic properties and importance to numerical flow and transport models. We present tables summarizing the depth to stratigraphic contacts in cored borehole studies, and unit descriptions and correlations in 10 measured sections.

  2. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography, July--December 1994: An update

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Charactrization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy`s Science and Technology Database from July 1, 1994 through December 31, 1994. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it.

  3. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1993--September 30, 1993, No. 9

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the U.S. Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1, 1993, through September 30, 1993. This report is the ninth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies

  4. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography, January--June 1993. An update: Supplement 4, Addendum 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1994 through June 30, 1994. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers,and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  5. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography, January--June 1993. An update: Supplement 4, Addendum 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephan, P.M. [ed.

    1995-01-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1994 through June 30, 1994. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers,and articles are included in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it.

  6. Geophysical investigations of buried volcanic centers near Yucca Mountain, Southwest Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Several aeromagnetic dipolar anomalies occur over flat, alluvial areas near Yucca Mountain that resemble anomalies typically associated with subaerial basaltic volcanic centers. Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data were collected along a surveyed traverse across an aeromagnetic anomaly in Amargosa Valley, south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Modeling of the ground magnetic data collected over the largest of these anomalies, the Lathrop Wells aeromagnetic anomaly, indicates that the top of the causative body, most likely basalt, is less than 250 m below the surface. Gravity data indicate an apparent lack of an associated gravity anomaly and suggest that either the causative body may be tuff rather than basalt, or the volume of the body is small. Both drilling and collection of more magnetic and gravity data are necessary because ages and volumes of buried volcanic centers are important constraints for estimating the probability of potential volcanism near the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

  7. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, January--June 1995. Supplement 4, Add.3: An update

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1995, through June 30, 1995. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  8. The origin and history of alteration and carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain ignimbrites. Volume I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szymanski, J.S.

    1992-04-01

    This document contains Volume I of the report entitled The Origin and History of Alteration and Carbonatization of the Yucca Mountain Ignimbrites by Jerry S. Szymanski and a related correspondence with comments by Donald E. Livingston. In the Great Basin, the flow of terrestrial heat through the crust is affected in part by the flow of fluids. At Yucca Mountain, the role of fluids in crustal heat transport is manifested at the surface by youthful calcretes, sinters, bedrock veins, hydrothermal eruption breccias and hydrothermal alteration. This report discusses evidence for recent metasomatism high in the stratigraphic section at Yucca Mountain. Over the last several hundred years, episodes of calcite emplacement contemporaneous with local mafic volcanism have occurred at intervals that are not long in comparison with the isolation time required for a High-Level Radioactive Waste repository.

  9. Stratigraphic relations and hydrologic properties of the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) hydrologic unit, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain is being investigated as a potential site for a high- level nuclear waste repository. The intent of this study was to clarify stratigraphic relations within the Paintbrush Tuff (PTn) unit at Yucca Mountain in order to better understand vertical and lateral variations in hydrologic properties as they relate to the lithologic character of these rocks. This report defines informal stratigraphic units within the PTn interval, demonstrates their lateral continuity in the Yucca Mountain region, describes later and vertical variations within them, and characterizes their hydrologic properties and importance to numerical flow and transport models. We present tables summarizing the depth to stratigraphic contacts in cored borehole studies, and unit descriptions and correlations in 10 measured sections

  10. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, January--June 1995. Supplement 4, Add.3: An update

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stephan, P.M. [ed.

    1996-01-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1995, through June 30, 1995. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it.

  11. Yucca Mountain site characteriztion project bibliography. Progress Report, 1994--1995

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-08-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project which was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1994, through December 31, 1995. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology database which were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it.

  12. Lead isotopes and trace metals in dust at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kwak, Loretta; Neymark, Leonid A.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2008-01-01

    Lead (Pb)-isotope compositions and trace-metal concentrations were determined for samples of dust collected from underground and surface locations at and near the proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Rare earth element concentrations in the dust samples from the underground tunnels are similar to those in wholerock samples of the repository host rocks (Miocene Tiva Canyon Tuff and Topopah Spring Tuff), supporting interpretation that the subsurface dust is mainly composed of rock comminuted during tunnel construction. Other trace metals (arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, chromium, copper, manganese, nickel, lead, antimony, thallium, and zinc) are variably enriched in the subsurface dust samples relative to the average concentrations in the host rocks. Average concentrations of arsenic and lead in dust samples, high concentrations of which can cause corrosion of waste canisters, have enrichment factors from 1.2 to 1.6 and are insignificant relative to the range of concentrations for these metals observed in the host rock samples. Most dust samples from surface sites also are enriched in many of these trace metals relative to average repository host rocks. At least some of these enrichments may be artifacts of sampling. Plotted on a 208Pb/206Pb-207Pb/206Pb graph, Pb-isotope compositions of dust samples from underground sites form a mixing line extending from host-rock Pb-isotope compositions towards compositions of many of the dust samples from surface sites; however, combined Pb concentration and isotope data indicate the presence of a Pbenriched component in the subsurface dust that is not derived from host rock or surface dust and may derive from anthropogenic materials introduced into the underground environment.

  13. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; R. Youngs

    2004-10-14

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report is threefold: (1) Present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M&O 1996 [DIRS 100116]). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and applied in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed, as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) Present revised probability calculations based on PVHA outputs for a repository footprint proposed in 2003 (BSC 2003 [DIRS 162289]), rather than the footprint used at the time of the PVHA. This analysis report also calculates the probability of an eruptive center(s) forming within the repository footprint using information developed in the PVHA. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes located within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers (conditional on a dike intersecting the repository) located within the repository footprint. (3) Document sensitivity studies that analyze how the presence of potentially buried basaltic volcanoes may affect the computed frequency of intersection of the repository footprint by a basaltic dike. These sensitivity studies are prompted by aeromagnetic data collected in 1999, indicating the possible presence of previously unrecognized buried volcanoes in the YMR (Blakely et al. 2000 [DIRS 151881]; O'Leary et al. 2002 [DIRS 158468]). The results of the sensitivity studies are for informational purposes only and are not to be used for purposes of assessing repository performance.

  14. Effects of actinide burning on waste disposal at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Partitioning the actinides in spent fuel and transmuting them in actinide-burning liquid-metal reactors (ALMRs) is a potential method of reducing public risks from the geologic disposal of nuclear waste. In this paper, the authors present a comparison of radionuclide releases from burial at Yucca Mountain of spent fuel and of ALMR wastes. Two waste disposal schemes are considered. In each, the heat generation of the wastes at emplacement is 9.88 x 107 W, the maximum for the repository. In the first scheme, the repository contains 86,700 tonnes of initial heavy metal (IHM) of light water reactor (LWR) spent fuel. In the second scheme, all current LWRs operate for a 40-yr lifetime, producing a total of 84,000 tonnes IHM of spent fuel. This spent fuel is treated using a pyrochemical process in which 98.4% of the uranium and 99.8% of the neptunium, plutonium, americium, and curium are extracted and fabricated into ALMR fuel, with the reprocessing wastes destined for the repository. The ALMR requires this fuel for its startup and first two reloads; thereafter, it is self-sufficient. Spent ALMR fuel is also pyrochemically reprocessed: 99.9% of the transuranics is recovered and recycled into ALMR fuel, and the wastes are placed in the repository. Thus, in the second scheme, the repository contains the wastes from reprocessing all of the LWR spent fuel plus the maximum amount of ALMR reprocessing wastes allowed in the repository based on its heat generation limit

  15. Ventilation design for Yucca Mountain Exploratory Studies Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, located in Southern Nevada approximately 160 km northwest of Las Vegas, is currently the site of intensive surface-based and underground investigations. The investigations are required to determine if the site is suitable for long term isolation of the Nation's high level nuclear waste inventory. A major component of the program is the Exploratory Studies Facility, or ESF. The ESF, when completed, will consist of approximately 25,600 meters of tunnels and drifts. The network of tunnels and drifts will house and support a wide array of testing programs conceived to provide physical information about the site. Information on geologic, geomechanical, and hydrologic data will be used in the repository design if the site is found suitable. Besides a few special requirements, the general ESF ventilation criteria during construction are similar to that of commercial tunneling and mining operations. The minimum air velocity at the Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) and other active mining faces is 0.51 meter per second (m/s) (100 feet per minute [fpm]). Airways, estimated leakages and ventilation controls are converted into equivalent resistances for input to mine ventilation network computer simulations. VNETPC Version 3.1 computer software is used to generate the ventilation models for optimized system design and component selection. Subsequently, actual performance of the ventilation system will be verified and validated to comply with applicable nuclear regulatory quality assurance requirements. Dust control in the ESF is dependent on effective dust collection, enclosure, and airflow dilution. Minimum use of water, as feasible, is necessary to avoid adding moisture to the potential repository horizon. The limitation of water use for test drilling and TBM operation, and the rigid compliance with applicable federal and state regulations, make the ESF a ventilation design challenge

  16. Secondary plant succession on disturbed sites at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Angerer, J.P.; Ostler, W.K.; Gabbert, W.D.; Schultz, B.W.

    1994-12-01

    This report presents the results of a study of secondary plant succession on disturbed sites created during initial site investigations in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Yucca Mountain, NV. Specific study objectives were to determine the rate and success of secondary plant succession, identify plant species found in disturbances that may be suitable for site-specific reclamation, and to identify environmental variables that influence succession on disturbed sites. During 1991 and 1992, fifty seven disturbed sites were located. Vegetation parameters, disturbance characteristics and environmental variables were measured at each site. Disturbed site vegetation parameters were compared to that of undisturbed sites to determine the status of disturbed site plant succession. Vegetation on disturbed sites, after an average of ten years, was different from undisturbed areas. Ambrosia dumosa, Chrysothamnus teretifolius, Hymenoclea salsola, Gutierrezia sarothrae, Atriplex confertifolia, Atriplex canescens, and Stephanomeria pauciflora were the most dominant species across all disturbed sites. With the exception of A. dumosa, these species were generally minor components of the undisturbed vegetation. Elevation, soil compaction, soil potassium, and amounts of sand and gravel in the soil were found to be significant environmental variables influencing the species composition and abundance of perennial plants on disturbed sites. The recovery rate for disturbed site secondary succession was estimated. Using a linear function (which would represent optimal conditions), the recovery rate for perennial plant cover, regardless of which species comprised the cover, was estimated to be 20 years. However, when a logarithmic function (which would represent probable conditions) was used, the recovery rate was estimated to be 845 years. Recommendations for future studies and site-specific reclamation of disturbances are presented.

  17. Physical limits on ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andrews, D.J.; Hanks, T.C.; Whitney, J.W.

    2007-01-01

    Physical limits on possible maximum ground motion at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the designated site of a high-level radioactive waste repository, are set by the shear stress available in the seismogenic depth of the crust and by limits on stress change that can propagate through the medium. We find in dynamic deterministic 2D calculations that maximum possible horizontal peak ground velocity (PGV) at the underground repository site is 3.6 m/sec, which is smaller than the mean PGV predicted by the probabilistic seismic hazard analysis (PSHA) at annual exceedance probabilities less than 10-6 per year. The physical limit on vertical PGV, 5.7 m/sec, arises from supershear rupture and is larger than that from the PSHA down to 10-8 per year. In addition to these physical limits, we also calculate the maximum ground motion subject to the constraint of known fault slip at the surface, as inferred from paleoseismic studies. Using a published probabilistic fault displacement hazard curve, these calculations provide a probabilistic hazard curve for horizontal PGV that is lower than that from the PSHA. In all cases the maximum ground motion at the repository site is found by maximizing constructive interference of signals from the rupture front, for physically realizable rupture velocity, from all parts of the fault. Vertical PGV is maximized for ruptures propagating near the P-wave speed, and horizontal PGV is maximized for ruptures propagating near the Rayleigh-wave speed. Yielding in shear with a Mohr-Coulomb yield condition reduces ground motion only a modest amount in events with supershear rupture velocity, because ground motion consists primarily of P waves in that case. The possibility of compaction of the porous unsaturated tuffs at the higher ground-motion levels is another attenuating mechanism that needs to be investigated.

  18. Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this scientific analysis report is threefold: (1) Present a conceptual framework of igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) consistent with the volcanic and tectonic history of this region and the assessment of this history by experts who participated in the probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis (PVHA) (CRWMS M and O 1996 [DIRS 100116]). Conceptual models presented in the PVHA are summarized and applied in areas in which new information has been presented. Alternative conceptual models are discussed, as well as their impact on probability models. The relationship between volcanic source zones defined in the PVHA and structural features of the YMR are described based on discussions in the PVHA and studies presented since the PVHA. (2) Present revised probability calculations based on PVHA outputs for a repository footprint proposed in 2003 (BSC 2003 [DIRS 162289]), rather than the footprint used at the time of the PVHA. This analysis report also calculates the probability of an eruptive center(s) forming within the repository footprint using information developed in the PVHA. Probability distributions are presented for the length and orientation of volcanic dikes located within the repository footprint and for the number of eruptive centers (conditional on a dike intersecting the repository) located within the repository footprint. (3) Document sensitivity studies that analyze how the presence of potentially buried basaltic volcanoes may affect the computed frequency of intersection of the repository footprint by a basaltic dike. These sensitivity studies are prompted by aeromagnetic data collected in 1999, indicating the possible presence of previously unrecognized buried volcanoes in the YMR (Blakely et al. 2000 [DIRS 151881]; O'Leary et al. 2002 [DIRS 158468]). The results of the sensitivity studies are for informational purposes only and are not to be used for purposes of assessing repository performance

  19. Construction features of the Exploratory Shaft at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Exploratory Shaft (ES) at Yucca Mountain is planned to be constructed during 1985 and 1986 as part of the detailed site characterization for one of three sites which may be selected as candidates for location of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Conventional mining methods will be used for the shaft sinking phase of the ES project. The ES will be comprised of surface support facilities, a 1,480-foot-deep circular shaft lined with concrete to a finished inside diameter of 12 feet, lateral excavations and test installations extending up to 200 feet from the shaft, and long lateral borings extending up to 2,300 feet from the shaft. The estimated time for sinking the shaft to a total depth of about 1,480 feet and completing the lateral excavations and borings is about two years. The major underground development planned for the primary test level at a depth of 1,200 feet consists of the equivalent of 1,150 feet of 15- by 15-foot drift. The total volume of rock to be removed from the shaft proper and the lateral excavations totals about 1/2 million cubic feet. Construction equipment for the shaft and underground excavation phases consists of conventional mine hoisting equipment, shot hole and rock bolt drilling jumbos, mucking machines, and hauling machines. The desire to maintain relatively uniform and even walls in selected shaft and drift intervals will require that controlled blasting techniques be employed. Such techniques generally classified as ''smooth blasting'' are commonly used for excavation in the construction industry

  20. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document describes activities for the year ending 30 June 1988 by staff members of the Seismological Laboratory in support of the Yucca Mountain site assessment program. Activities during the year centered largely around acquisition of equipment to be used for site assessment and around a review of the draft site characterization plan for Yucca Mountain. Due to modifications in the scheduling and level of funding, this work has not progressed as originally anticipated. The report describes progress in seven areas, listed in approximate order of significance to the Yucca Mountain project. These are: (1) equipment acquisition, (2) review of the draft site characterization plan, (3) studies of earthquake sequence related to the tectonic problems at Yucca Mountain, (4) a review of the work of Szymanski in relation to Task 4 concerns, (5) coordination meetings with USGS, DOE, and NRC personnel, (6) studies related to Yucca Mountain, and (7) other studies

  1. Interpretations of magnetic anomalies at a potential repository site located in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the Yucca Mountain area near the southwestern border of the Nevada Test Site, studies of the relation of magnetic properties to geologic features have provided structural information at and near a potential site for storage or radioactive waste. Interpreted features include a tabular mass of magnetized sedimentary rock beneath thick deposits of volcanic rock, and 11 major faults that strike generally northward and displace magnetized volcanic rock. A positive anomaly in a high-altitude aeromagnetic survey over exposures of strongly magnetized argillite of the Eleana Formation extends westward 20 km into the site area where interpretations indicate an argillite thickness of 800 m at a depth of 2.25 km. The high magnetite content of the argillite is not typical of the region, and was probably introduced by the heating effects of an underlying pluton. The basis for mapping traces of faults, and identifying their upthrown sides, was developed elsewhere at Yucca fault in the relatively simple volcanic terrains of Yucca Flat. In the site area, analyses of aeromagnetic anomalies from a low-altitude east-west aeromagnetic survey show the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff as the primary source of anomalies from faulted sequences of volcanic rock. Faults related to belts of positive and negative anomalies surrounding the site have been identified. The possibility that an east-west pattern of anomalies is related to structure crossing the site was investigated by a recent aeromagnetic survey flown at low altitude in north-south directions. A significant reduction in amplitude of these anomalies resulted when effects of the deeply buried argillite were removed. The remaining anomalies over the site can be explained by a change in lateral extent, or magnetic properties, of volcanic units beneath the Topopah Spring Member. 37 references, 22 figures, 1 table

  2. Calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Pedogenic or hypogene?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hill, C.A.; Schluter, C.M.; Harmon, R.S. [and others

    1994-01-01

    This study is part of the research program of the Yucca Mountain Project intended to provide the State of Nevada with a detailed assessment of the geology and geochemistry of Yucca Mountain and adjacent regions. The purpose of this paper is to consider all of the geological and geochemical data available for the calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain and to ascertain whether this data favors a pedogenic or hyogene origin for these deposits. Far from being of esoteric concern, this subject is of paramount importance to the debate which rages around the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a high-level radioactive waste repository site. It is also the purpose of this paper to serve as a foundation for a lengthy feature article to be submitted for publication in 1994. In addition, a stand has been taken by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences against the upwelling-water model (a vote of 17 to 0 against), and this same panel report has concluded that {open_quotes}there is no compelling evidence for the repetitive flooding of the environment by expulsion of groundwater{close_quotes} and that {open_quotes}instead, the evidence strongly supports the idea that the near-surface mineral deposits resulted from percolating rainwater, which carried soil minerals down into rock fractures{close_quotes}. Based on such information the Department of Energy has stated that it {open_quotes}finds no basis to continue to study the origin of these specific deposits{close_quotes}. This study, based upon many different independent lines of evidence, reaches the opposite conclusion and instead favors a hypogene spring-travertine origin for the controversial calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain. This study recognizes a pedogenic carbonate component at Yucca Mountain, but argues that this component is distinct from, and sometimes intermixed with, the calcite/opal deposits.

  3. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Yucca Mountain Project is one part of the Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program (the Program) which was established by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and as amended in 1987. The Program's goal is to site the nation's first geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste, in the form of spent fuel rod assemblies, generated by the nuclear power industry and a smaller quantity of Government radioactive waste. The Program, which also encompasses the transportation system and the multipurpose canister system was not the subject of this Report. The subject of this Review was only the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. While the Review was directed toward the Yucca Mountain Project rather than the Program as a whole, there are certain elements of the Project which cannot be addressed except through discussion of some Program issues. An example is the Total System Life Cycle Cost addressed in Section 7 of this report. Where Program issues are discussed in this Report, the reader is reminded of the scope limitations of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) contract to review only the Yucca Mountain Project. The primary scope of the Review was to respond to the specific criteria contained in the NARUC scope of work. In responding to these criteria, the Review Team understood that some interested parties have expressed concern over the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act relative to the Yucca Mountain Project and the nature of activities currently being carried out by the Department of Energy at the Yucca Mountain Project site. The Review Team has attempted to analyze relevant portions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as Amended, but has not conducted a thorough analysis of this legislation that could lead to any specific legal conclusions about all aspects of it

  4. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-15

    The Yucca Mountain Project is one part of the Department of Energy`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program (the Program) which was established by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, and as amended in 1987. The Program`s goal is to site the nation`s first geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste, in the form of spent fuel rod assemblies, generated by the nuclear power industry and a smaller quantity of Government radioactive waste. The Program, which also encompasses the transportation system and the multipurpose canister system was not the subject of this Report. The subject of this Review was only the Yucca Mountain Project in Nevada. While the Review was directed toward the Yucca Mountain Project rather than the Program as a whole, there are certain elements of the Project which cannot be addressed except through discussion of some Program issues. An example is the Total System Life Cycle Cost addressed in Section 7 of this report. Where Program issues are discussed in this Report, the reader is reminded of the scope limitations of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) contract to review only the Yucca Mountain Project. The primary scope of the Review was to respond to the specific criteria contained in the NARUC scope of work. In responding to these criteria, the Review Team understood that some interested parties have expressed concern over the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act relative to the Yucca Mountain Project and the nature of activities currently being carried out by the Department of Energy at the Yucca Mountain Project site. The Review Team has attempted to analyze relevant portions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act as Amended, but has not conducted a thorough analysis of this legislation that could lead to any specific legal conclusions about all aspects of it.

  5. Groundwater Flow and Thermal Modeling to Support a Preferred Conceptual Model for the Large Hydraulic Gradient North of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eleana Formation is absent at borehole UE-25 p No.1 at Yucca Mountain, which penetrated the lower Carbonate Aquifer directly beneath the lower volcanic confining unit. The Site-scale model uses an area of very low permeability, referenced as the east-west barrier, to simulate the large hydraulic gradient. The Site-scale model is further refined in this study to provide a base-case model for exploring the geologic causes of the large hydraulic gradient

  6. Site environmental report for calendar year 1996: Yucca Mountain site, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-11-01

    The environmental program established by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) has been designed and implemented to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US Department of Energy (DOE) Orders. In accordance with DOE Order 5400.1, General Environmental Protection Program (DOE, 1990a), to be superseded by DOE Order 231.1 (under review), the status of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) environmental program has been summarized in this annual Site Environmental Report (SER) to characterize performance, document compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during calendar year 1996.

  7. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Project Publications (1979-1996)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruhala, E.R.; Klein, S.H. [comps.

    1997-06-01

    This over-350 title publication list reflects the accomplishments of Los Alamos Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project researchers, who, since 1979, have been conducting multidisciplinary research to help determine if Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is a suitable site for a high-level waste repository. The titles can be accessed in two ways: by year, beginning with 1996 and working back to 1979, and by subject area: mineralogy/petrology/geology, volcanism, radionuclide solubility/ground-water chemistry; radionuclide sorption and transport; modeling/validation/field studies; summary/status reports, and quality assurance.

  8. Release of radon contaminants from Yucca Mountain: The role of buoyancy driven flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The potential for the repository heat source to promote buoyancy driven flow and thereby cause release of radon gas out of Yucca Mountain has been examined through a critical review of the theoretical and experimental studies of this process. The review indicates that steady-state buoyancy enhanced release of natural radon and other contaminant gases should not be a major concern at Yucca Mountain. Barometric pumping and wind pumping are identified as two processes that will have a potentially greater effect on surface releases of gases

  9. Site environmental report for calendar year 1996: Yucca Mountain site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The environmental program established by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) has been designed and implemented to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US Department of Energy (DOE) Orders. In accordance with DOE Order 5400.1, General Environmental Protection Program (DOE, 1990a), to be superseded by DOE Order 231.1 (under review), the status of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) environmental program has been summarized in this annual Site Environmental Report (SER) to characterize performance, document compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during calendar year 1996

  10. Assessment of the importance of mixing in the Yucca Mountain hydrogeological system

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomez, Javier B.; Auque, Luis F.; Gimeno, Maria; Acero, Patricia (Geochemical Modelling Group, Dept. of Earth Sciences, Univ. of Zaragoza (Spain)); Peterman, Zell; Oliver, Thomas A. (U.S. Geological Survey (United States)); Gascoyne, Mel (Gascoyne Geoprojects Inc (Canada)); Laaksoharju, Marcus (Geopoint AB (Sweden))

    2011-02-15

    The main objective of this work is to assess the importance of mixing on the hydrochemistry of waters in and around Yucca Mountain, most importantly in those waters south of Yucca Mountain. Due to the general north-south gradient of groundwater flow in the Yucca Mountain area, leakage from the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would have the greatest consequences in the saturated zone waters south of Yucca Mountain. In this area (Amargosa River, Amargosa Flat and Ash Meadows), three main aquifers interact: the Regional Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer (RCA), the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer (TTA) and the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer (QBfA). One consequence of upward leakage from the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would be to dilute the contaminant plume should one develop from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The reverse, downward leakage from the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer or the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer into the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would contaminate a major aquifer system. It is clearly of the utmost importance to explore the links between theses aquifer systems and to assess the degree of mixing between the groundwaters. To attain this general objective, the following specific objectives have been either defined in advance or decided as being important during the development of the project: 1. Compile a dataset of water samples from the Yucca Mountain area. This dataset should contain samples from all the potential water types that contribute to the chemistry of the groundwaters in the aquifer systems in the area. 2. Perform a careful total-system exploratory analysis on the initial (raw) dataset in order to identify trends and outliers. 3. Perform a detailed exploratory analysis of each individual hydrofacies with the aim of identifying and eliminating from the raw dataset all the samples heavily affected by processes other than mixing (e.g. water-rock interaction, evaporation, cation exchange). PHREEQC simulations were

  11. Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1) Introduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the proposed solution to what has been a lengthy national effort to dispose of high-level radioactive waste, waste which must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This chapter reviews the background of that national effort and includes some discussion of international work in order to provide a more complete framework for the problem of waste disposal. Other chapters provide the regional geologic setting, the geology of the Yucca Mountain site, the tectonics, and climate (past, present, and future). These last two chapters are integral to prediction of long-term waste isolation.

  12. Alternative assessments of the performance of the Yucca Mountain candidate HLW repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper summarizes some of the most recent total system performance assessment (TSPA) work supported by EPRI for the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In part 1 of the paper, standard TSPA analyses are presented. In Part 2 examples of two types of analyses that augment standard TSPAs are provided that suggest: (1) many components of the Yucca Mountain system contribute to overall hazard reduction; and (2) the biosphere dose conversions used, based on reasonably maximizing assumptions about future human behavior, provide a reasonable upper bound. These additional analyses should provide further confidence when considering more standard TSPA analyses

  13. U and Sr Isotopes in ground water and calcite, Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Evidence against upwelling water

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, J.S.; Peterman, Z.E.; Muhs, D.R.

    1991-01-01

    Hydrogenic calcite and opaline silica deposits in fault zones at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, have created considerable public and scientific controversy because of the possible development of a high-level nuclear waste repository at this location. Strontium and uranium isotopic compositions of hydrogenic materials were used to test whether the veins could have formed by upwelling of deep-seated waters. The vein deposits are isotopically distinct from ground water in the two aquifers that underlie Yucca Mountain, indicating that the calcite could not have precipitated from ground water. The data are consistent with a surficial origin for the hydrogenic deposits.

  14. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Project Publications (1979-1996)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This over-350 title publication list reflects the accomplishments of Los Alamos Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project researchers, who, since 1979, have been conducting multidisciplinary research to help determine if Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is a suitable site for a high-level waste repository. The titles can be accessed in two ways: by year, beginning with 1996 and working back to 1979, and by subject area: mineralogy/petrology/geology, volcanism, radionuclide solubility/ground-water chemistry; radionuclide sorption and transport; modeling/validation/field studies; summary/status reports, and quality assurance

  15. Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1) Introduction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain in Nevada represents the proposed solution to what has been a lengthy national effort to dispose of high-level radioactive waste, waste which must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. This chapter reviews the background of that national effort and includes some discussion of international work in order to provide a more complete framework for the problem of waste disposal. Other chapters provide the regional geologic setting, the geology of the Yucca Mountain site, the tectonics, and climate (past, present, and future). These last two chapters are integral to prediction of long-term waste isolation

  16. Assessment of the importance of mixing in the Yucca Mountain hydrogeological system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The main objective of this work is to assess the importance of mixing on the hydrochemistry of waters in and around Yucca Mountain, most importantly in those waters south of Yucca Mountain. Due to the general north-south gradient of groundwater flow in the Yucca Mountain area, leakage from the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository would have the greatest consequences in the saturated zone waters south of Yucca Mountain. In this area (Amargosa River, Amargosa Flat and Ash Meadows), three main aquifers interact: the Regional Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer (RCA), the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer (TTA) and the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer (QBfA). One consequence of upward leakage from the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would be to dilute the contaminant plume should one develop from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The reverse, downward leakage from the Tertiary Tuffs Aquifer or the Quaternary Basin-fill Aquifer into the Palaeozoic Carbonate Aquifer would contaminate a major aquifer system. It is clearly of the utmost importance to explore the links between theses aquifer systems and to assess the degree of mixing between the groundwaters. To attain this general objective, the following specific objectives have been either defined in advance or decided as being important during the development of the project: 1. Compile a dataset of water samples from the Yucca Mountain area. This dataset should contain samples from all the potential water types that contribute to the chemistry of the groundwaters in the aquifer systems in the area. 2. Perform a careful total-system exploratory analysis on the initial (raw) dataset in order to identify trends and outliers. 3. Perform a detailed exploratory analysis of each individual hydrofacies with the aim of identifying and eliminating from the raw dataset all the samples heavily affected by processes other than mixing (e.g. water-rock interaction, evaporation, cation exchange). PHREEQC simulations were

  17. Modeling studies of mountain-scale radionuclide transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moridis, George J.; Seol, Yongkoo; Wu, Yu-Shu

    2003-04-29

    We investigate radionuclide transport from a high-level nuclear waste repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. Several radioactive solutes (that cover the range of sorption behavior) and colloids of various sizes are studied. The results of the study indicate the importance of the subsurface geology and site hydrology, i.e., the presence of faults (they dominate and control transport), fractures (the main migration pathways), and the relative distribution of zeolitic and vitric tuffs. The effects of the climatic conditions, diffusion, and sorption (for solutes) or infiltration (for colloids) onto the matrix are discussed. The influence of the colloid size on transport is also investigated.

  18. Ash Redistribution Following a Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pelletier, J. D.; Delong, S. B.; Cline, M. L.; Harrington, C. D.; Keating, G.

    2005-12-01

    The redistribution of contaminated tephra by hillslope, fluvial, and pedologic processes is a poorly-constrained but important aspect of evaluating the radiological dose from an unlikely volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain (YM). To better evaluate this hazard, we developed a spatially-distributed numerical model of tephra redistribution that integrates contaminated tephra from hill slopes and active channels, mixes it with clean sediment in the channel system, distributes it on the fan, and migrates it into the soil column. The model is coupled with an atmospheric dispersion model that predicts the deposition of radioactive waste-contaminated tephra at specified grid points. The redistribution model begins in the upper Fortymile Wash drainage basin where it integrates the tephra deposited on steep slopes and active channel beds within a spatially-distributed framework. The Fortymile Wash drainage basin is the focus of this model because tephra from only this basin reaches the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan by fluvial processes, and it is on this fan where the radiological dose to a hypothetical individual is compared to the regulatory standard (via additional biosphere models). The dilution effect of flood scour, mixing, and re-deposition within the upper basin is modeled using a dilution-mixing model widely used in the contaminant-transport literature. The accuracy of this model is established by comparing the model prediction with tephra concentrations measured in channels draining the Lathrop Wells volcanic center. The model combines the contaminated tephra transported from the upper basin with the tephra deposited directly on the fan as primary fallout. On the Fortymile Wash fan, channels and interchannel-divide areas are divided on the basis of soil-geomorphic mapping according to whether they are Holocene or Pleistocene in age. This approach allows the model to incorporate the effects of channel migration on the fan within the past 10,000 yr. The model treats

  19. Seismicity in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the Period October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2006

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes earthquake activity within approximately 65 km of Yucca Mountain site during the October 1, 2004 to September 30, 2006 time period (FY05-06). The FY05-06 earthquake activity will be compared with the historical and more recent period of seismic activity in the Yucca Mountain region. The relationship between the distribution of seismicity and active faults, historical patterns of activity, and rates of earthquakes (number of events and their magnitudes) are important components in the assessment of the seismic hazard for the Yucca Mountain site. Since October 1992 the University of Nevada has compiled a catalog of earthquakes in the Yucca Mountain area. Seismicity reports have identified notable earthquake activity, provided interpretations of the seismotectonics of the region, and documented changes in the character of earthquake activity based on nearly 30 years of site-characterization monitoring. Data from stations in the seismic network in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain is collected and managed at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory (NSL) at the University of Nevada Reno (UNR). Earthquake events are systematically identified and cataloged under Implementing Procedures developed in compliance with the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Quality Assurance Program. The earthquake catalog for FY05-06 in the Yucca Mountain region submitted to the Yucca Mountain Technical Data Management System (TDMS) forms the basis of this report

  20. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada; Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE`s General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that is is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  1. Two-phase unsaturated flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A report on current understanding

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pruess, Karsten

    Thick unsaturated zones in semi-arid regions have some unique attributes that are favorable for long-term isolation of hazardous wastes. The disposal concept at Yucca Mountain takes advantage of low ambient water fluxes. Evaluation of site suitability must be based on an understanding of two-phase (liquid-gas) fluid flow and heat transfer processes in a heterogeneous, fractured rock mass. A large body of relevant knowledge has been accumulated in various fields, including petroleum and geothermal reservoir engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, and soil science. Complications at Yucca Mountain arise from the partly episodic and localized nature of water seepage in fracture networks. This limits the applicability of spatial and temporal averaging, and poses great challenges for numerical modeling. Significant flow and heat transfer effects may occur in the gas phase. Observations of natural and man-made chemical tracers as well as controlled field experiments have provided much useful information on mass transport at Yucca Mountain, including the occurrence of fast preferential flow. It is now clear that fracture-matrix interactions are considerably weaker than would be expected from a concept of water flowing in fractures as areally extensive sheets. The Yucca Mountain system is expected to be quite robust in coping with larger seepage rates, as may occur under future more pluvial climatic conditions.

  2. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project: 1991 quality program status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This status report summarizes the activities and accomplishments of the Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos) Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project's (YMP) quality assurance program for calendar year 1991. The report is divided into three Sections: Program Activities, Verification Activities, and Trend Analysis

  3. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program. Progress report, January 1994--December 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential geological repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, a program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) from January 1994 through December 1994 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support.

  4. Distance learning and its application to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper discusses the concept of distance learning, which is used to exchange information via electronic media with real time interaction. Issues concerning policy, funding, legislation, accessibility, and programming are outlined. Possible applications for education, business, and federal projects, with a focus on the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, are also discussed

  5. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 1: Introduction and Site Characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

    This first volume contains an introduction to the viability assessment, including the purpose, scope, waste forms, technical challenges, an historical perspective, regulatory framework, management of the repository, technical components, preparations for the license application, and repository milestones after the assessment. The second part of this first volume addresses characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site.

  6. Literature review and ethnohistory of Native American occupancy and use of the Yucca Mountain Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents a review of the literature concerning Native American occupancy and use of the Yucca Mountain area and vicinity. It draws on a wide range of material, including early traveler reports, government documents, ethnographic and historical works, and local newspapers. The report complements two other concurrent studies, one focused on the cultural resources of Native American people in the study area and the other an ethnobotanical study of plant resources used by Native American people in the study area. The literature review has had two principal purposes: to determine the completeness of the Yucca Mountain Native American study design and to contribute to the understanding of the presence of Native American people in the Yucca Mountain area. A review of the existing literature about the Yucca Mountain area and southern Nye County, supplemented by the broader literature about the Great Basin, has verified three aspects of the study design. First, the review has aided in assessing the completeness of the list of Native American ethnic groups that have traditional or historical ties to the site. Second, it has aided in the production of a chronology of Native American activities that occurred on or near the site during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Third, it has helped to identify the location of cultural resources, including burials and other archaeological sites, in the study area and vicinity. 200 refs., 16 figs., 6 tabs

  7. Modeling Temporal-Spatial Earthquake and Volcano Clustering at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. Parsons; G.A. Thompson; A.H. Cogbill

    2006-05-31

    The proposed national high-level nuclear repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary faults and cinder cones. The frequency of these events is low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a 3D finite element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are primarily sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that dike inflation favored renewed fault slip.

  8. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program. Progress report, January 1994--December 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) to study and characterize the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential geological repository for high-level nuclear waste. During site characterization, the DOE will conduct a variety of geotechnical, geochemical, geological, and hydrological studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository. To ensure that site characterization activities do not adversely affect the environment at Yucca Mountain, a program has been implemented to monitor and mitigate potential impacts and ensure activities comply with applicable environmental regulations. This report describes the activities and accomplishments of EG and G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG and G/EM) from January 1994 through December 1994 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

  9. ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT OVERVIEW YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE, NEVADA RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AREA, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DOE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  10. DOE's Yucca Mountain studies: What are they? Why are they being done?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This booklet is about the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States. It is intended for readers who do not have a technical background. It discusses why scientists and engineers think high-level nuclear waste may be disposed of safely underground. It also describes why Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being studied and provides basic information about those studies

  11. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization

  12. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that is is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization

  13. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE's General Guideline for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EA), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as of five sites suitable for characterization

  14. Equilibrium modeling of the formation of zeolites in fractures at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is currently being investigated to determine its suitability to host the first US high-level nuclear waste repository. One of the reasons that Yucca Mountain was chosen for study is the presence of thick sequences of zeolite-rich horizons. In as much as fractures may serve as potential pathways for aqueous transport, the minerals that line fractures are of particular interest. Zeolites are common in fractures at Yucca Mountain and consist mainly of clinoptilolite/heulandite and mordenite although sporadic occurrences of chabazite, erionite, phillipsite, and stellrite have been identified using X-ray powder diffraction. To understand better the conditions under which the observed zeolite species were formed, thermodynamic data were estimated and calculations of log a((K+)2/Ca++) versus log a((Na+)2/Ca++) were conducted at various temperatures and silica activities. Using present-day Yucca Mountain water chemistries as a lower constraint on silica activity, clinoptilolite/heulandite and mordenite are still the zeolite species that would form under present conditions

  15. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada; Volume 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE`s General Guidelines for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EAs), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE has found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization.

  16. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project 1995 quality program status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This status report summarizes the activities and accomplishments of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project's (YMP's) quality assurance program for January 1 to September 30, 1995. The report includes major sections on program activities and trend analysis

  17. Environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada; Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

    In February 1983, the US Department of Energy (DOE) identified the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada as one of nine potentially acceptable sites for a mined geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high- level radioactive waste. The site is in the Great Basin, which is one of five distinct geohydrologic settings considered for the first repository. To determine their suitability, the Yucca Mountain site and the eight other potentially acceptable sites have been evaluated in accordance with the DOE`s General Guideline for the Recommendation of Sites for the Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations were reported in draft environmental assessments (EA), which were issued for public review and comment. After considering the comments received on the draft EAs, the DOE prepared the final EAs. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this EA, the DOE found that the Yucca Mountain site is not disqualified under the guidelines. The DOE has also found that it is suitable for site characterization because the evidence does not support a conclusion that the site will not be able to meet each of the qualifying conditions specified in the guidelines. On the basis of these findings, the DOE is nominating the Yucca Mountain site as of five sites suitable for characterization.

  18. As Yucca Mountain debate continues, industry calls for 'comprehensive' solution

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitev, Lubomir [NucNet, Brussels (Belgium)

    2014-12-15

    The proposed Nevada site Yucca Mountain is still the only game in town for a deep geologic repository in the US, but resolving the uncertainty that surrounds the project could still take years, making centralised temporary storage more important than ever. The nuclear industry in the US has renewed a call for 'a more comprehensive nuclear fuel management system' that includes the development of centralised temporary storage while the licensing process for a deep geologic repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada continues. Scott Peterson, senior vice-president for communications of the Washington-based Nuclear Energy Institute, told that centralised temporary storage would allow the removal of spent fuel from reactor sites, especially from reactors that have already shut down, while uncertainty surrounding the Yucca Mountain deep geologic project is resolved. Resolving that uncertainty could take time. The Yucca Mountain project has been shut down by the Department of Energy (DOE) since 2010 and there is no work going on right now at the repository site or on the DOE's part to continue licensing activities. The outcome of mid-term elections on 4 November could yet see the political manoeuvrings surrounding Yucca Mountain take another twist. The Republican party takes control of the Senate. There will be an opportunity to change the funding profile for the NRC and to take measures through legislation to make sure the DOE is following the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act. This Act, which made the DOE responsible for finding a site, building, and operating an underground geologic repository, is still in force.

  19. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1992--September 30, 1992, Number 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-12-01

    In accordance with section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the Department has prepared the seventh in a series of reports on the progress of site characterization at the Yucca Mountain candidate site. The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program made significant progress during the reporting period at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Several important advances were made in the surface-based testing program including: initiation of borehole drilling utilizing the new, state-of-the-art LM-300 drill rig which employs dry drilling and coring techniques; neutron access borehole drilling to evaluate infiltration processes; excavations to aid geologic mapping; and trenching in Midway Valley to study Quaternary faulting. A Floodplain Assessment and Statement of Findings was published in the Federal Register which concluded there would be no significant impact nor cumulative impacts on floodplains resulting from Exploratory Studies Facility activities. The National Academy of Sciences` National Research Council released its report entitled ``Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise?`` which concluded that none of the evidence cited as proof of groundwater upwelling in and around Yucca Mountain could be reasonably attributed to that process and that significant water table excursions to the repository design level are not shown by the geologic record. The June 29, 1992, earthquake near Yucca Mountain provided scientists with a wealth of information relevant to understanding the neotectonics of the area and the geometry of faults at depth. Early findings suggest that accelerations recorded were well within proposed design limits for the surface waste handling facilities.

  20. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1992--September 30, 1992, Number 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the Department has prepared the seventh in a series of reports on the progress of site characterization at the Yucca Mountain candidate site. The Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program made significant progress during the reporting period at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Several important advances were made in the surface-based testing program including: initiation of borehole drilling utilizing the new, state-of-the-art LM-300 drill rig which employs dry drilling and coring techniques; neutron access borehole drilling to evaluate infiltration processes; excavations to aid geologic mapping; and trenching in Midway Valley to study Quaternary faulting. A Floodplain Assessment and Statement of Findings was published in the Federal Register which concluded there would be no significant impact nor cumulative impacts on floodplains resulting from Exploratory Studies Facility activities. The National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council released its report entitled ''Ground Water at Yucca Mountain: How High Can It Rise?'' which concluded that none of the evidence cited as proof of groundwater upwelling in and around Yucca Mountain could be reasonably attributed to that process and that significant water table excursions to the repository design level are not shown by the geologic record. The June 29, 1992, earthquake near Yucca Mountain provided scientists with a wealth of information relevant to understanding the neotectonics of the area and the geometry of faults at depth. Early findings suggest that accelerations recorded were well within proposed design limits for the surface waste handling facilities

  1. Characterization and prediction of subsurface pneumatic response at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ahlers, C. Fredrik; Finsterle, Stefan; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.

    1999-05-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is being investigated as the proposed site for geologic disposal of the United States' high level nuclear waste. A massive effort to collect data for characterization of the thermo-hydrologic behavior of the unsaturated zone is being conducted at the site. Several boreholes have been instrumented by the United States Geological Survey and the Nye County Nuclear Waste Repository Project Office for passive pneumatic monitoring of the subsurface. One-, two- and three-dimensional numerical models are used to simulate the observed subsurface pressure variations. The data are inverted using these models in order to characterize the unsaturated system and estimate the pneumatic diffusivity of important geologic features. Blind predictions of subsurface response and subsequent comparison to recorded data have built confidence in the models of Yucca Mountain. Inversions show that the pneumatic response of the system is dominated by the Paintbrush non-welded unit (PTn). Faults are shown to be fast pathways for gas flow but affect subsurface response only on a relatively local scale. Estimates of the diffusivity of the tuffs that comprise Yucca Mountain range from a low of 0.008 m 2/s in the non-welded pre-Yucca bedded tuff layer to a high of 4 m 2/s in the densely welded, fractured Topopah Spring tuff. Estimates of diffusivity in fault zones at Yucca Mountain range between 0.03 m 2/s and 1500 m 2/s with the highest being in the Drill Hole Wash fault where it intersects the Topopah Spring tuff.

  2. SYSTHESIS OF VOLCANISM STUDIES FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATION PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, F. V.; Crowe, G. A.; Valentine, G. A.; Bowker, L. M.

    1997-09-23

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The hazard of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The distribution of Pliocene and Quaternary basaltic volcanic centers is evaluated with respect to tectonic models for detachment, caldera, regional and local rifting, and the Walker Lane structural zone. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of past basaltic volcanic centers and possible future magmatic processes. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the

  3. SYSTHESIS OF VOLCANISM STUDIES FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATION PROJECT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, F. V.; Crowe, G. A.; Valentine, G. A.; Bowker, L. M.

    1997-09-23

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The hazard of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (<5 Ma). The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. The age of the Lathrop Wells center is now confidently determined to be about 75 thousand years old. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. The distribution of Pliocene and Quaternary basaltic volcanic centers is evaluated with respect to tectonic models for detachment, caldera, regional and local rifting, and the Walker Lane structural zone. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of past basaltic volcanic centers and possible future magmatic processes. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the

  4. Geological history of Yucca Mountain (Nevada) and the problem of a high-level nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Three types of deposits are widely distributed throughout the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone: mosaic breccias, quartz-calcite veinlets, and micritic opal-calcite veins and associated slope deposits were found to be of hydrothermal origin. The inference is based on petrographic, accessory mineral, fluid inclusion, and stable isotopic data. The overall conclusion is that recurrent low-temperature hydrothermal (epithermal) activity occurred at Yucca Mountain in the geologically recent past (from ca. 8-10 Ma to as recently as 25 ka). New data require the currently- accepted concept of the hydrogeological system at Yucca Mountain to be reconsidered. The subject relates to the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear waste site. 21 refs

  5. Post-Closure Silica Transport in the Proposed High Level Radioactive Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    Sun, Zhuang

    1997-01-01

    The United States plans to bury high level radioactive waste from commercial power reactors and from nuclear weapons manufacturing in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Yucca Mountain, located about 80 miles northwest of Las Vegas, consists of horizontally bedded tuff deposits. Although the region is very arid, enough water exists in the tuffs to create a vapor dominated geothermal system as the pore water evaporates, circulates and recondenses. This study examines how silica leaching might occur as a r...

  6. The Effects of Site Characterization Activities on the Abundance of Ravens (Corvus corax) in the Yucca Mountain Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P.E. Lederle

    1998-05-08

    In response to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed and is implementing the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Raven abundance was measured from August 1991 through August 1995 along treatment and control routes to evaluate whether site characterization activities resulted in increased raven abundance at Yucca Mountain. This study fulfills the requirement set forth in the incidental take provisions of the Biological Opinion that DOE monitor the abundance of ravens at Yucca Mountain. Ravens were more abundant at Yucca Mountain than in the control area, and raven abundance in both areas increased over time. However, the magnitude of differences between Yucca Mountain and control surveys did not change over time, indicating that the increase in raven abundance observed during this study was not related to site characterization activities. Increases over time on both Yucca Mountain and control routes are consistent with increases in raven abundance in the Mojave Desert reported by the annual Breeding Bird Survey of the US. Fish and Wildlife Service. Evidence from the Desert Tortoise Monitoring Program at Yucca Mountain suggests that ravens are not a significant predator of small tortoises in this locale. Carcasses of small tortoises (less than 110 mm in length) collected during the study showed little evidence of raven predation, and 59 radiomarked hatchlings that were monitored on a regular basis were not preyed upon by ravens. Overall, no direct evidence of raven predation on tortoises was observed during this study. Small tortoises are probably encountered so infrequently by ravens that they are rarely exploited as a food source. This is likely due to the relatively low abundance of both desert tortoises and ravens in the Yucca Mountain area.

  7. The Effects of Site Characterization Activities on the Abundance of Ravens (Corvus corax) in the Yucca Mountain Area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In response to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) developed and is implementing the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Raven abundance was measured from August 1991 through August 1995 along treatment and control routes to evaluate whether site characterization activities resulted in increased raven abundance at Yucca Mountain. This study fulfills the requirement set forth in the incidental take provisions of the Biological Opinion that DOE monitor the abundance of ravens at Yucca Mountain. Ravens were more abundant at Yucca Mountain than in the control area, and raven abundance in both areas increased over time. However, the magnitude of differences between Yucca Mountain and control surveys did not change over time, indicating that the increase in raven abundance observed during this study was not related to site characterization activities. Increases over time on both Yucca Mountain and control routes are consistent with increases in raven abundance in the Mojave Desert reported by the annual Breeding Bird Survey of the US. Fish and Wildlife Service. Evidence from the Desert Tortoise Monitoring Program at Yucca Mountain suggests that ravens are not a significant predator of small tortoises in this locale. Carcasses of small tortoises (less than 110 mm in length) collected during the study showed little evidence of raven predation, and 59 radiomarked hatchlings that were monitored on a regular basis were not preyed upon by ravens. Overall, no direct evidence of raven predation on tortoises was observed during this study. Small tortoises are probably encountered so infrequently by ravens that they are rarely exploited as a food source. This is likely due to the relatively low abundance of both desert tortoises and ravens in the Yucca Mountain area

  8. Pre-waste-emplacement ground-water travel time sensitivity and uncertainty analyses for Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaplan, P.G.

    1993-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository. Uncertainty and sensitivity analyses were performed to estimate critical factors in the performance of the site with respect to a criterion in terms of pre-waste-emplacement ground-water travel time. The degree of failure in the analytical model to meet the criterion is sensitive to the estimate of fracture porosity in the upper welded unit of the problem domain. Fracture porosity is derived from a number of more fundamental measurements including fracture frequency, fracture orientation, and the moisture-retention characteristic inferred for the fracture domain.

  9. Three-dimensional hydrological and thermal property models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes the creation of three-dimensional numerical models of selected rock-matrix properties for the region of the potential high-level nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, which is located in southern Nevada. The models have been generated for a majority of the unsaturated and shallow saturated zone within an area referred to within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization project as the site area. They comprise a number of material properties of importance both to detailed process-level modeling activities and to more summary-style performance assessment modeling. The material properties within these models are both spatially variable (heterogeneous) and spatially correlated, as the rocks are understood from data obtained from site-characterization drill holes widely scattered across the site area

  10. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 9, Index

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules.

  11. Waste package/engineered barrier system design concepts for Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for the siting, construction and operation of mined geologic disposal system (MGDS) for high level waste. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has the responsibility for promulgating the technical requirements necessary to license all phases of repository operation. The development of MGDS has been delegated to the DOE's Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office. The B ampersand W Fuel Company, as part of the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor, is responsible for designing the waste package (WP) and the engineered barrier system (EBS). The goal of the design effort is to achieve a conservative, licensable design that meets the regulatory requirements with sufficient margin for uncertainty. Attainment of this goal relies on a multibarrier approach, the unsaturated nature of the Yucca Mountain site, consideration of, technical alternatives, and sufficient resolution of technical and regulatory uncertainties

  12. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 9, Index

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules

  13. Parallel computing simulation of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper presents the application of parallel computing techniques to large-scale modeling of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this study, parallel computing techniques, as implemented into the TOUGH2 code, are applied in large-scale numerical simulations on a distributed-memory parallel computer. The modeling study has been conducted using an over-one-million-cell three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data for the highly heterogeneous fractured formation at Yucca Mountain. The objective of this study is to analyze the impact of various surface infiltration scenarios (under current and possible future climates) on flow through the UZ system, using various hydrogeological conceptual models with refined grids. The results indicate that the one-million-cell models produce better resolution results and reveal some flow patterns that cannot be obtained using coarse-grid modeling models

  14. Fabrication and closure development of nuclear waste containers for storage at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    US Congress and the President have determined that the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is to be characterized to determine its suitability for construction of the first US high-level nuclear waste repository. Work in connection with this site is carried out within the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has the responsibility for designing, developing, and projecting the performance of the waste package for the permanent storage of high-level nuclear waste. Babcock ampersand Wilcox (B ampersand W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B ampersand W's role is to recommend and demonstrate a method for fabricating the metallic waste container and a method for performing the final closure of the container after it has been filled with waste. Various fabrication and closure methods are under consideration for the production of containers. This paper presents progress to date in identifying and evaluating the candidate manufacturing processes. 2 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs

  15. Site characterization progress report, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 19, April 1, 1998 - September 30, 1998

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The nineteenth semiannual report of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) summarizes activities during the period from April 1, 1998, through September 30, 1998. Project activities are aimed at evaluating Yucca Mountain as a potential location for permanent geologic disposal of nuclear materials, as directed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA). The progress report documents activities this period that contribute to completing the Project's near-term programmatic and statutory objectives. These objectives include completing the Viability Assessment, the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), a possible US Department of Energy (DOE) Secretarial Site Recommendation to the President, and, if the site is suitable, submittal of a license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Project work this period continued to be concentrated in three integrated activities: site characterization, engineering design and construction, and performance assessment. Accomplishments this period and their relation to near-term objectives are briefly summarized

  16. Three-dimensional hydrological and thermal property models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A.; McKenna, S.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States). Geohydrology Dept.

    1997-11-01

    This report describes the creation of three-dimensional numerical models of selected rock-matrix properties for the region of the potential high-level nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, which is located in southern Nevada. The models have been generated for a majority of the unsaturated and shallow saturated zone within an area referred to within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization project as the site area. They comprise a number of material properties of importance both to detailed process-level modeling activities and to more summary-style performance assessment modeling. The material properties within these models are both spatially variable (heterogeneous) and spatially correlated, as the rocks are understood from data obtained from site-characterization drill holes widely scattered across the site area.

  17. Data Qualification Report: Precipitation and Surface Geology Data for Use on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The unqualified data addressed in this qualification report have been cited in an Analysis Model Report (AMR) to support the Site Recommendation in determining the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository for high-level radioactive waste. The unqualified data include precipitation volumes and surface geology maps The precipitation data consist of daily precipitation volumes measured at Yucca Mountain. The surface geology data include identification of the types and surface expressions of geologic units and associated structural features such as faults. These data were directly used in AMR U0010, Simulation of Net Infiltration for Modern and Potential Future Climates, ANL-NBS-HS-000032 (Hevesi et al. 2000), to estimate net infiltration into Yucca Mountain. This report evaluates the unqualified data within the context of supporting studies of this type for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). The purpose of this report is to identify data that can be cited as qualified for use in technical products to support the YMP Site Recommendation and that may also be used to support the License Application. The qualified data may either be retained in the original Data Tracking Number (DTN) or placed in new DTNs generated as a result of the evaluation. The appropriateness and limitations (if any) of the data with respect to intended use are addressed in this report. In accordance with Attachment 1 of procedure AP-3.15Q, Rev. 02, Managing Technical Product Inputs, it has been determined that the unqualified precipitation and surface geology data are not used in the direct calculation of Principal Factors for postclosure safety or disruptive events. References to tables, figures, and sections from Hevesi et al. (2000) are based on Rev. 00 of that document

  18. Independent management and financial review, Yucca Mountain Project, Nevada. Final report, Appendix

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-425), as amended by Public Law 100-203, December 22, 1987, established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) within the Department of Energy (DOE), and directed the Office to investigate a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine if this site is suitable for the construction of a repository for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. Work on site characterization has been under way for several years. Thus far, about $1.47 billion have been spent on Yucca Mountain programs. This work has been funded by Congressional appropriations from a Nuclear Waste Fund to which contributions have been made by electric utility ratepayers through electric utilities generating power from nuclear power stations. The Secretary of Energy and the Governor of the State of Nevada have appointed one person each to a panel to oversee an objective, independent financial and management evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Project. The Requirements for the work will include an analysis of (1) the Yucca Mountain financial and, contract management techniques and controls; (2) Project schedules and credibility of the proposed milestones; (3) Project organizational effectiveness and internal planning processes, and (4) adequacy of funding levels and funding priorities, including the cost of infrastructure and scientific studies. The recipient will provide monthly progress report and the following reports/documents will be presented as deliverables under the contract: (1) Financial and Contract Management Preliminary Report; (2) Project Scheduling Preliminary Report; (3)Project Organizational Effectiveness Preliminary Report; (4) Project Funding Levels and Funding Priorities Preliminary Report; and (5) Final Report

  19. Chemical variability of zeolites at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The compositions of clinoptilolites and their host tuffs have been examined by electron microprobe and x-ray fluorescence, respectively, to determine their variability at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Because of their sorptive properties, these zeolites could provide important geologic barriers to radionuclide migration. Variations in clinoptilolite composition can strongly affect the mineral's thermal and ion-exchange properties, thus influencing its behavior in the repository environment. Clinoptilolites and heulandites closest to the proposed repository have calcium-rich compositions (60 to 90 mol. % Ca) and silica-to-aluminum ratios that concentrate between 4.0 and 4.6. In contrast, clinoptilolites and their host tuffs deeper in the volcanic sequence have highly variable compositions that vary vertically and laterally. Deeper-occurring clinoptilolites in the eastern part of Yucca Mountain are characterized by calcic-potassic compositions and tend to become more calcium-rich with depth. Clinoptilolites at equivalent stratigraphic levels on the western side of Yucca Mountain have sodic-potassic compositions and tend to become more sodium-rich with depth. Despite their differences in exchangeable cation compositions these two deeper-occurring compositional suites have similar silica-to-aluminum ratios, concentrating between 4.4 and 5.0. The chemical variability of clinoptilolites and their host tuffs at Yucca Mountain suggest that their physical and chemical properties will also vary. Compositionally-dependent clinoptilolite properties important for repository performance assessment include expansion/contraction behavior, hydration/dehydration behavior, and ion-exchange properties

  20. SYSTHESIS OF VOLCANISM STUDIES FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATION PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report synthesizes the results of volcanism studies conducted by scientists at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and collaborating institutions on behalf of the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The hazard of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Future volcanic events cannot be predicted with certainty but instead are estimated using formal methods of probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment (PVHA). Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The distribution, eruptive history, and geochronology of Plio-Quaternary basalt centers are described by individual center emphasizing the younger postcaldera basalt (-7 events per year. Bounding probability estimates are used to assess possible implications of not drilling aeromagnetic anomalies in the Arnargosa Valley and Crater Flat. The results of simulation modeling are used to assess the sensitivity of the disruption probability for the location of northeast boundaries of volcanic zones near the Yucca Mountain site. A new section on modeling of radiological releases associated with surface and subsurface magmatic activity has been added to chapter 6. The modeling results are consistent with past total system performance assessments that show future volcanic and magmatic events are not significant components of repository performance and volcanism is not a priority issue for performance assessment studies

  1. Application of heavy duty roadheaders for underground development of the Yucca Mountain Exploratory Study Facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Heavy duty roadheaders of 100 ton weight class are being considered for the excavation of the test rooms and alcoves along the main ramp and in the main repository level at the Yucca Mountain site. The current design of the candidate machines was studied and appropriate modifications are proposed. Computer programs for design optimization and performance prediction of roadheaders were developed. Results of computer modeling and operational parameters of the proposed machines are presented in this paper

  2. Determination of Rock Mass Modulus Using the Plate Loading Method at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Finley, R.E.; George, J.T.; Riggins, M.

    1999-08-02

    A suite of plate loading tests has recently been conducted by Sandia National Laboratories at the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Fielding of these in situ tests as well as other approaches undertaken for the determination of rock mass modulus are described. The various methodologies are evaluated and their data compared. Calculation by existing empirical methods and numerical modeling are compared to each other as well as to field data.

  3. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project 1994 quality program status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This status report is for calendar year 1994. It summarizes the annual activities and accomplishments of the Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP or Project) quality assurance program. By identifying the accomplishments of the quality program, a baseline is established that will assist in decision making, improve administrative controls and predictability, and allow us to annually identify adverse trends and to evaluate improvements. This is the fourth annual status report

  4. Interpretation of chemical and isotopic data from boreholes in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analyses of pore water from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate that unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of chloride and dissolved solids than the saturated-zone water or perched-water bodies. Chemical compositions are of the calcium sulfate or calcium chloride types in the Paintbrush Group (Tiva Canyon, Yucca Mountain, Pah Canyon, and bedded tuffs), and sodium carbonate or bicarbonate type water in the Calico Hills Formation. Tritium profiles from boreholes at Yucca Mountain indicate tritium-concentration inversions (larger tritium concentrations are located below the smaller tritium concentration in a vertical profile) occur in many places. These inversions indicate preferential flow through fractures. Rock-gas compositions are similar to that of atmospheric air except that carbon dioxide concentrations are generally larger than those in the air. The delta carbon-13 values of gas are fairly constant from surface to 365.8 meters, indicating little interaction between the gas CO2 and caliche in the soil. Model calculations indicate that the gas transport in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain agrees well with the gas-diffusion process. Tritium-modeling results indicate that the high tritium value of about 100 tritium units in the Calico Hills Formation of UZ-16 is within limits of a piston-flow model with a water residence time of 32 to 35 years. The large variations in tritium concentrations with narrow peaks imply piston flow or preferential fracture flow rather than matrix flow. In reality, the aqueous-phase flow in the unsaturated zone is between piston and well-mixed flows but is closer to a piston flow

  5. Distribution of potentially hazardous phases in the subsurface at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Drilling, trenching, excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility, and other surface and underground-distributing activities have the potential to release minerals into the environment from tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some of these minerals may be potential respiratory health hazards. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of the minerals that may potentially be liberated during site-characterization and operation of the potential repository is crucial to ensuring worker and public safety. Analysis of previously reported mineralogy of Yucca Mountain tuffs using data and criteria from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests that the following minerals are of potential concern: quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, opal-CT, erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite. The authors have re-evaluated the three-dimensional mineral distribution at Yucca Mountain above the static water level both in bulk-rock samples and in fractures, using quantitative X-ray powder diffraction analysis. Erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite occur primarily in fractures; the crystalline-silica minerals, quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are major bulk-rock phases. Erionite occurs in the altered zone just above the lower Topopah Spring Member vitrophyre, and an occurrence below the vitrophyre but above the Calico Hills has recently been identified. In this latter occurrence, erionite is present in the matrix at levels up to 35 wt%. Mordenite and palygorskite occur throughout the vadose zone nearly to the surface. Opal-CT is limited to zeolitic horizons

  6. Strontium isotope geochemistry of soil and playa deposits near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, B.D.; Mahan, S.A.

    1994-12-31

    The isotopic composition of strontium contained in the carbonate fractions of soils provides an excellent tracer which can be used to test models for their origin. This paper reports data on surface coatings and cements, eolian sediments, playas and alluvial fan soils which help to constrain a model for formation of the extensive calcretes and fault infilling in the Yucca Mountain region. The playas contain carbonate with a wide range of strontium compositions; further work will be required to fully understand their possible contributions to the pedogenic carbonate system. Soils from an alluvial fan to the west of Yucca Mountain show that only small amounts of strontium are derived from weathering of silicate detritus. However, calcretes from a fan draining a carbonate terrane have strontium compositions dominated locally by the limestone strontium component. Although much evidence points to an eolian source for at least some of the strontium in the pedogenic carbonates near Yucca Mountain, an additional component or past variation of strontium composition in the eolian source is required to model the pedogenic carbonate system.

  7. The role of fault zone in affecting multiphase flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Within Yucca Mountain, the potential High Level Nuclear-Waste Repository site, there are large scale fault zones, most notably the Ghost Dance Fault. The effect of such high-permeability, large-scale discontinuities on the flow and transport is a question of concern in assessing the ability of the site to isolate radio-nuclides from the biosphere. In this paper, we present a numerical study to investigate the role of the fault in affecting both the liquid and gas phase flows in the natural state at Yucca Mountain prior to waste emplacement, as well as after the waste emplacement when the fluid flow is strongly heat-driven. Our study shows that if the characteristic curves of the Ghost Dance Fault obey the same relationship between saturated permeability and capillary scaling parameter, is as observed from the measured data of Yucca Mountain welded and nonwelded tuffs, Apache Leap tuffs, and Las Cruces soil, then a large saturated permeability of the Ghost Dance Fault will play little role in channeling water into the fault, or in enhancing the flow of water down the fault. However, the Fault may greatly enhance the upward gas flow after emplacement of waste. This may have implications on the transport of gaseous radio-nuclides such as C14. The results of this study also focus attention on the need for field measurements of fluid flow in the fault zones

  8. The role of fault zones in affecting multiphase flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Within Yucca Mountain, the potential High Level Nuclear-Waste Repository site, there are large scale fault zones, most notably the Ghost Dance Fault. The effect of such high-permeability, large scale discontinuities on the flow and transport is a question of concern in assessing the ability of the site to isolate radio-nuclides from the biosphere. In this paper, we present a numerical study to investigate the role of the fault in affecting both the liquid and gas phase flows in the natural state at Yucca Mountain prior to waste emplacement, as well as after the waste emplacement when the fluid flow is strongly heat-driven. Our study shows that if the characteristic curves of the Ghost Dance Fault obey the same relationship between saturated permeability and capillary scaling parameter, as is observed from the measured data of Yucca Mountain welded and nonwelded tuffs. Apache Leap tuffs, and Las Cruces soil, then a large saturated permeability of the Ghost Dance Fault will play little role in channeling water into the fault, or inenhancing the flow of water down the fault. However, the Fault may greatly enhance the upward gas flow after emplacement of waste. This may have implications on the transport of gaseous radio-nuclides such as C14. The results of this study also focus attention on the need for field measurements of fluid flow in the fault zones

  9. Preclosure seismic design methodology for a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This topical report is the second in a series of three reports being developed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to document the preclosure seismic design of structures, systems, and components (SSCs) that are important to the radiological safety of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The first topical report, Methodology to Assess Fault Displacement and Vibratory Ground Motion Hazards at Yucca Mountain, YMP/TR-002-NP, was submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) staff for review and comment in 1994 and has been accepted by the staff. The DOE plans to implement this methodology in fiscal year 1997 to develop probabilistic descriptions of the vibratory ground motion hazard and the fault displacement hazard at the Yucca Mountain site. The second topical report (this report) describes the DOE methodology and acceptance criteria for the preclosure seismic design of SSCs important to safety. A third report, scheduled for fiscal year 1998, will document the results of the probabilistic seismic hazard assessment (conducted using the methodology in the first topical report) and the development of the preclosure seismic design inputs. This third report will be submitted to NRC staff for review and comment as a third topical report or as a design study report

  10. Distribution of potentially hazardous phases in the subsurface at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guthrie, G.D. Jr.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.; Raymond, R. Jr.

    1995-05-01

    Drilling, trenching, excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility, and other surface and underground-distributing activities have the potential to release minerals into the environment from tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Some of these minerals may be potential respiratory health hazards. Therefore, an understanding of the distribution of the minerals that may potentially be liberated during site-characterization and operation of the potential repository is crucial to ensuring worker and public safety. Analysis of previously reported mineralogy of Yucca Mountain tuffs using data and criteria from the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) suggests that the following minerals are of potential concern: quartz, cristobalite, tridymite, opal-CT, erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite. The authors have re-evaluated the three-dimensional mineral distribution at Yucca Mountain above the static water level both in bulk-rock samples and in fractures, using quantitative X-ray powder diffraction analysis. Erionite, mordenite, and palygorskite occur primarily in fractures; the crystalline-silica minerals, quartz, cristobalite, and tridymite are major bulk-rock phases. Erionite occurs in the altered zone just above the lower Topopah Spring Member vitrophyre, and an occurrence below the vitrophyre but above the Calico Hills has recently been identified. In this latter occurrence, erionite is present in the matrix at levels up to 35 wt%. Mordenite and palygorskite occur throughout the vadose zone nearly to the surface. Opal-CT is limited to zeolitic horizons.

  11. Paleoseismic investigations of Stagecoach Road fault, southeastern Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menges, C.M.; Oswald, J.A.; Coe, J.A.; Lundstrom, S.C.; Paces, J.B.; Mahan, S.A.; Widmann, B.; Murray, M.

    1998-04-01

    This report summarizes the results of paleoseismic investigations at two trenches (SCR-T1 and SCR-T3) excavated across the Stagecoach Road (SCR) fault at the southeastern margin of Yucca Mountain. The results of these studies are based on detailed mapping or logging of geologic and structural relationships exposed in trench walls, combined with descriptions of lithologic units, associated soils, and fault-related deformation. The ages of trench deposits are determined directly from geochronologic dating of selected units and soils, supplemented by stratigraphic and soil correlations with other surficial deposits in the Yucca Mountain area. The time boundaries used in this report for subdivision of the Quaternary period are listed in a table. These data and interpretations are used to identify the number, amounts, timing, and approximately lengths of late to middle Quaternary (less than 200 ka) surface-faulting events associated with paleoearthquakes at the trench sites. This displacement history forms the basis for calculating paleoearthquake recurrence intervals and fault-slip rates for the Stagecoach Road fault and allows comparison with fault behavior on other Quaternary faults at or near Yucca Mountain.

  12. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, 1992--1993. Supplement 4

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy's Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1993. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. Earlier information on this project can be found in the first bibliography DOE/TIC-3406, which covers 1977--1985, and its three supplements DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1), DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.2), and DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.3), which cover information obtained during 1986--1987, 1988--1989, and 1990--1991, respectively. All entries in the bibliographies are searchable online on the NNW database file. This file can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy (DOE)

  13. Fractures in outcrops in the vicinity of drill hole USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fractures on outcrops in the vicinity of drill hole USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were studied in order to contribute to characterization of fractures for hydrologic, geomechanical, and tectonic modeling of the Yucca Mountain block and to characterize fractures prior to the excavation of a proposed exploratory shaft located near USW G-4. Yucca Mountain is a prospective site for the construction of an underground repository for high-level nuclear waste. Measurements were taken and recorded on 5000 fractures at 50 outcrop stations primarily in the upper lithophysal unit of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Miocene Paintbrush Tuff. Fracture orientation and surface roughness were recorded for each fracture. Additionally, notes were taken on fracture abutting, crossing, and offsetting relations, swarming, curvature, brecciation, slickensides, and fracture fillings. Frequency distributions of orientation and roughness were plotted and analyzed. Fractures with low roughness coefficients (0-4) group tightly into two sets based on orientation. We conclude that such fractures are cooling joints and that all other fractures are tectonic. The development of small-scale fractures adjacent, subparallel, and possibly related to the Ghost Dance fault has been addressed in a preliminary way based on data collected in this study. Such sympathetic fractures are abundant in the upper cliff unit but not in the upper lithophysal unit. 14 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  14. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project bibliography, 1992--1994. Supplement 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management in 1990, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Bibliography. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This bibliography contains information on this ongoing project that was added to the Department of Energy`s Energy Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1992, through December 31, 1993. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization`s list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. Earlier information on this project can be found in the first bibliography DOE/TIC-3406, which covers 1977--1985, and its three supplements DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1), DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.2), and DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.3), which cover information obtained during 1986--1987, 1988--1989, and 1990--1991, respectively. All entries in the bibliographies are searchable online on the NNW database file. This file can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy (DOE).

  15. Geologic evaluation of six nonwelded tuff sites in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada for a surface-based test facility for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Outcrops of nonwelded tuff at six locations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were examined to determine their suitability for hosting a surface-based test facility for the Yucca Mountain Project. Investigators will use this facility to test equipment and procedures for the Exploratory Studies Facility and to conduct site characterization field experiments. The outcrops investigated contain rocks that include or are similar to the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, an important geologic and hydrologic barrier between the potential repository and the water table. The tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills at the site of the potential repository consist of both vitric and zeolitic tuffs, thus three of the outcrops examined are vitric tuffs and three are zeolitic tuffs. New data were collected to determine the lithology, chemistry, mineralogy, and modal petrography of the outcrops. Some preliminary data on hydrologic properties are also presented. Evaluation of suitability of the six sites is based on a comparison of their geologic characteristics to those found in the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills within the exploration block

  16. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT RECOMMENDATION BY THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY REGARDING THE SUITABILITY OF THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE FOR A REPOSITORY UNDER THE NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT OF 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For more than half a century, since nuclear science helped us win World War II and ring in the Atomic Age, scientists have known that the Nation would need a secure, permanent facility in which to dispose of radioactive wastes. Twenty years ago, when Congress adopted the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA or ''the Act''), it recognized the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the best option for such a facility would be a deep underground repository. Fifteen years ago, Congress directed the Secretary of Energy to investigate and recommend to the President whether such a repository could be located safely at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Since then, our country has spent billions of dollars and millions of hours of research endeavoring to answer this question. I have carefully reviewed the product of this study. In my judgment, it constitutes sound science and shows that a safe repository can be sited there. I also believe that compelling national interests counsel in favor of proceeding with this project. Accordingly, consistent with my responsibilities under the NWPA, today I am recommending that Yucca Mountain be developed as the site for an underground repository for spent fuel and other radioactive wastes. The first consideration in my decision was whether the Yucca Mountain site will safeguard the health and safety of the people, in Nevada and across the country, and will be effective in containing at minimum risk the material it is designed to hold. Substantial evidence shows that it will. Yucca Mountain is far and away the most thoroughly researched site of its kind in the world. It is a geologically stable site, in a closed groundwater basin, isolated on thousands of acres of Federal land, and farther from any metropolitan area than the great majority of less secure, temporary nuclear waste storage sites that exist in the country today. This point bears emphasis. We are not confronting a hypothetical problem. We have a staggering amount of

  17. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT RECOMMENDATION BY THE SECRETARY OF ENERGY REGARDING THE SUITABILITY OF THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE FOR A REPOSITORY UNDER THE NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACT OF 1982

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2002-03-26

    For more than half a century, since nuclear science helped us win World War II and ring in the Atomic Age, scientists have known that !he Nation would need a secure, permanent facility in which to dispose of radioactive wastes. Twenty years ago, when Congress adopted the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA or ''the Act''), it recognized the overwhelming consensus in the scientific community that the best option for such a facility would be a deep underground repository. Fifteen years ago, Congress directed the Secretary of Energy to investigate and recommend to the President whether such a repository could be located safely at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Since then, our country has spent billions of dollars and millions of hours of research endeavoring to answer this question. I have carefully reviewed the product of this study. In my judgment, it constitutes sound science and shows that a safe repository can be sited there. I also believe that compelling national interests counsel in favor of proceeding with this project. Accordingly, consistent with my responsibilities under the NWPA, today I am recommending that Yucca Mountain be developed as the site for an underground repository for spent fuel and other radioactive wastes. The first consideration in my decision was whether the Yucca Mountain site will safeguard the health and safety of the people, in Nevada and across the country, and will be effective in containing at minimum risk the material it is designed to hold. Substantial evidence shows that it will. Yucca Mountain is far and away the most thoroughly researched site of its kind in the world. It is a geologically stable site, in a closed groundwater basin, isolated on thousands of acres of Federal land, and farther from any metropolitan area than the great majority of less secure, temporary nuclear waste storage sites that exist in the country today. This point bears emphasis. We are not confronting a hypothetical problem. We have a

  18. Bedrock geologic map of the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Fridrich, C.J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (US); Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A.; Drake, R.M. II [Pacific Western Technologies, Inc., Denver, CO (US)

    1998-11-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada, has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive nuclear waste. Detailed bedrock geologic maps form an integral part of the site characterization program by providing the fundamental framework for research into the geologic hazards and hydrologic behavior of the mountain. This bedrock geologic map provides the geologic framework and structural setting for the area in and adjacent to the site of the potential repository. The study area comprises the northern and central parts of Yucca Mountain, located on the southern flank of the Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex, which was the source for many of the volcanic units in the area. The Timber Mountain-Oasis Valley caldera complex is part of the Miocene southwestern Nevada volcanic field, which is within the Walker Lane belt. This tectonic belt is a northwest-striking megastructure lying between the more active Inyo-Mono and Basin-and-Range subsections o f the southwestern Great Basin.

  19. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, North Ramp area of the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.; Rousseau, Joseph P.; Kwicklis, Edward M.; Gillies, Daniel C.

    1999-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. This report documents the results of surface-based geologic, pneumatic, hydrologic, and geochemical studies conducted during 1992 to 1996 by the U.S. Geological Survey in the vicinity of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) that are pertinent to understanding multiphase fluid flow within the deep unsaturated zone. Detailed stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the study area provided the hydrogeologic framework for these investigations. Multiple lines of evidence indicate that gas flow and liquid flow within the welded tuffs of the unsaturated zone occur primarily through fractures. Fracture densities are highest in the Tiva Canyon welded (TCw) and Topopah Spring welded (TSw) hydrogeologic units. Although fracture density is much lower in the intervening nonwelded and bedded tuffs of the Paintbrush nonwelded hydrogeologic unit (PTn), pneumatic and aqueous-phase isotopic evidence indicates that substantial secondary permeability is present locally in the PTn, especially in the vicinity of faults. Borehole air-injection tests indicate that bulk air-permeability ranges from 3.5x10-14 to 5.4x10-11 square meters for the welded tuffs and from 1.2x10-13 to 3.0x10-12 square meters for the non welded and bedded tuffs of the PTn. Analyses of in-situ pneumatic-pressure data from monitored boreholes produced estimates of bulk permeability that were comparable to those determined from the air-injection tests. In many cases, both sets of estimates are two to three orders of magnitude larger than estimates based on laboratory analyses of unfractured core samples. The in-situ pneumatic-pressure records also indicate that the unsaturated-zone pneumatic system consists of four subsystems that coincide with the four major hydrogeologic units of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. In

  20. Preliminary model of the pre-Tertiary basement rocks beneath Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, based on analysis of gravity and magnetic data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phelps, Geoffrey A.; McKee, Edwin H.; Sweetkind, D.; Langenheim, V.E.

    2000-01-01

    The Environmental Restoration Program of the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office, was developed to investigate the possible consequences to the environment of 40 years of nuclear testing on the Nevada Test Site. The majority of the tests were detonated underground, introducing contaminants into the ground-water system (Laczniak and others, 1996). An understanding of the ground-water flow paths is necessary to evaluate the extent of ground-water contamination. This report provides information specific to Yucca Flat on the Nevada Test Site. Critical to understanding the ground-water flow beneath Yucca Flat is an understanding of the subsurface geology, particularly the structure and distribution of the pre-Tertiary rocks, which comprise both the major regional aquifer and aquitard sequences (Winograd and Thordarson, 1975; Laczniak and others, 1996). Because the pre-Tertiary rocks are not exposed at the surface of Yucca Flat their distribution must be determined through well logs and less direct geophysical methods such as potential field studies. In previous studies (Phelps and others, 1999; Phelps and Mckee, 1999) developed a model of the basement surface of the Paleozoic rocks beneath Yucca Flat and a series of normal faults that create topographic relief on the basement surface. In this study the basement rocks and structure of Yucca Flat are examined in more detail using the basement gravity anomaly derived from the isostatic gravity inversion model of Phelps and others (1999) and high-resolution magnetic data, as part of an effort to gain a better understanding of the Paleozoic rocks beneath Yucca Flat in support of groundwater modeling.

  1. Ground-water recharge in Fortymile Wash near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 1992-93

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ground-water recharge occurred after five separate streamflow event periods in the Pah Canyon area of Fortymile Wash approximately 10 kilometers from Yucca Mountain, Nevada during 1992-93. Ground-water levels rose in two wells, UE-29 a No.1 and UE-29 a No.2, and one neutron-access borehole, UE-29 UZN-91, after each streamflow event period. A maximum rise of 2.9 meters occurred at UE-29 a No.1 thirteen days after the largest streamflow event where depth to water changed from 27.3 to 24.4 meters. Water levels fluctuated 3.89 meters in UE-29 a No.1, 2.92 meters in UE-29 a No.2, and 2.10 meters in UE-29 UZN-91 during the period January, 1992 to September, 1993. During two of the streamflow event periods, one in 1992 and one in 1993, there was flow around the neutron-access borehole located in the Fortymile Wash channel. Three other streamflow event periods were documented in Pah Canyon Wash but the streamflow infiltrated prior to reaching the neutron-access borehole location. Volumetric-water-content profiles were measured periodically in the neutron-access borehole. After the 1992 streamflow event period, water content increased in the upper six meters of the unsaturated zone. After the 1993 streamflow event period, water content increased in the entire unsaturated section, approximately 16 meters thick at the neutron-access borehole. Water levels in the neutron-access borehole rose even when there was no apparent water movement through the unsaturated zone as inferred by changes in the volumetric-water contents. This rise is attributed to ground-water recharge from nearby infiltration of Pah Canyon Wash streamflow. A groundwater mound probably formed beneath Pah Canyon Wash and spread laterally as evidence by larger rises in water levels in UE-29 a No.1 and UE-29 a No.2, which are closer to Pah Canyon Wash than UE-29 UZN-91

  2. Review of Microbial Responses to Abiotic Environmental Factors in the Context of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meike, A.; Stroes-Gascoyne, S.

    2000-08-01

    A workshop on Microbial Activities at Yucca Mountain (May 1995, Lafayette, CA) was held with the intention to compile information on all pertinent aspects of microbial activity for application to a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The findings of this workshop set off a number of efforts intended to eventually incorporate the impacts of microbial behavior into performance assessment models. One effort was to expand an existing modeling approach to include the distinctive characteristics of a repository at Yucca Mountain (e.g., unsaturated conditions and a significant thermal load). At the same time, a number of experimental studies were initiated as well as a compilation of relevant literature to more thoroughly study the physical, chemical and biological parameters that would affect microbial activity under Yucca Mountain-like conditions. This literature search (completed in 1996) is the subject of the present document. The collected literature can be divided into four categories: (1) abiotic factors, (2) community dynamics and in-situ considerations, (3) nutrient considerations and (4) transport of radionuclides. The complete bibliography represents a considerable resource, but is too large to be discussed in one document. Therefore, the present report focuses on the first category, abiotic factors, and a discussion of these factors in order to facilitate the development of a model for Yucca Mountain.

  3. Ground-water recharge in Fortymile Wash near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 1992--1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quantification of the ground-water recharge from streamflow in the Fortymile Wash watershed will contribute to regional ground-water studies. Regional ground-water studies are an important component in the studies evaluating the ground-water flow system as a barrier to the potential migration of radionuclides from the potential underground high-level nuclear waste repository. Knowledge gained in understanding the ground-water recharge mechanisms and pathways in the Pah Canyon area, which is 10 km to the northeast of Yucca Mountain, may transfer to Yucca site specific studies. The current data collection network in Fortymile Canyon does not permit quantification of ground-water recharge, however a qualitative understanding of ground-water recharge was developed from these data

  4. Challenges and issues with building a potential railroad to Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sweeney, R.L.

    2004-07-01

    On July 23, 2002, the President of the United States signed into law a joint resolution of the United States Congress designating the Yucca Mountain site in Nye County, Nevada, for development as a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorizes construction of the repository and receipt and possession of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive at Yucca Mountain, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) would be responsible for transporting these materials to the Yucca Mountain repository as part of its obligation under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. Part of the site recommendation decision included the analysis of a nation-wide shipping campaign to the proposed repository site. The Final Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada'' (February 2002) (Repository EIS) evaluated the potential impacts of the transportation of 70,000 Metric Tons of Heavy Metal spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from 77 locations around the nation to the potential repository in Nevada over a 24 year shipping campaign. DOE believes that the Repository EIS provides the environmental impact information necessary to make certain broad transportation-related decisions, namely the choice of a national mode of transportation outside Nevada (mostly rail or mostly legal-weight truck), the choice among alternative transportation modes in Nevada (mostly rail, mostly legal-weight truck, or heavy-haul truck with use of an associated intermodal transfer station), and the choice among alternative rail corridors or heavy-haul truck routes with use of an associated intermodal transfer station in Nevada. In the Repository EIS, DOE identified mostly rail as its preferred mode of transportation, both nationally and in the State of Nevada. In December 2003, based

  5. Hydrogeologic studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. An interpretation of results for radioactive waste disposal site characterization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Of nine potential nuclear-waste repository sites being investigated in the United States, Yucca Mountain is the only one for which disposal above the water table is proposed. The host rock is a fractured, permeable welded tuff more than 300 m beneath the surface. The principal factors contributing to the isolation of waste include: a small recharge flux, estimated to be about 5 mm/yr; free drainage in the host rock and little opportunity for contact of water with the waste; near-neutral water of low ionic and organic content; unsaturated-zone and saturated-zone flowpaths through altered tuffs that are rich in sorptive zeolites and clays; and very deep regional ground-water flow that terminates in a closed basin. Hydraulic testing of the saturated zone has demonstrated that fractures cause the observed high transmissivity, and seepage velocities in major fracture zones may be as high as 0.01 to 0.1 km/yr. Diffusion of radionuclides from water in fractures to that in the porous rock matrix, however, would attenuate their migration and allow sorptive processes to operate if a release from the repository were to occur. Psychrometers, heat-dissipation probes, pressure transducers, and sampling tubes that were recently installed in a 380-m drill hole are still undergoing stabilization. Data from this hole and other planned experiments will allow definition of recharge flux, frequency, and flowpaths for statistical treatment in models

  6. Conceptual, experimental and computational approaches to support performance assessment of hydrology and chemical transport at Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; Wang, J.S.Y. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)

    1992-07-01

    The authors of this report have been participating in the Sandia National Laboratory`s hydrologic performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, since 1983. The scope of this work is restricted to the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain and to technical questions about hydrology and chemical transport. The issues defined here are not to be confused with the elaborate hierarchy of issues that forms the framework of the US Department of Energy plans for characterizing the site (DOE, 1989). The overall task of hydrologic performance assessment involves issues related to hydrology, geochemistry, and energy transport in a highly heterogeneous natural geologic system which will be perturbed in a major way by the disposal activity. Therefore, a rational evaluation of the performance assessment issues must be based on an integrated appreciation of the aforesaid interacting processes. Accordingly, a hierarchical approach is taken in this report, proceeding from the statement of the broad features of the site that make it the site for intensive studies and the rationale for disposal strategy, through the statement of the fundamental questions that need to be answered, to the identification of the issues that need resolution. Having identified the questions and issues, the report then outlines the tasks to be undertaken to resolve the issues. The report consists essentially of two parts. The first part deals with the definition of issues summarized above. The second part summarizes the findings of the authors between 1983 and 1989 under the activities of the former Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) and the current YMP.

  7. Report of the Peer Review Panel on the early site suitability evaluation of the Potential Repository Site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Yucca mountain Site Characterization Project Office (YMPO) assigned Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Technical and Management Support Services (T&MSS) contractor to the YmPo, the task of conducting an Early Site Suitability Evaluation (ESSE) of the Yucca mountain site as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. First, the assignment called for the development of a method to evaluate a single site against the DOE General Guidelines for Recommendation of Sites for Nuclear Waste Repositories, 10 CFR Part 960. Then, using this method, an evaluation team, the ESSE Core Team, of senior YMP scientists, engineers, and technical experts, evaluated new information obtained about the site since publication of the final Environmental Assessment (DOE, 1986) to determine if new suitability/unsuitability findings could be recommended. Finally, the Core Team identified further information and analyses needed to make final determinations for each of the guidelines. As part of the task, an independent peer review of the ESSE report has been conducted. Expertise was solicited that covered the entire spectrum of siting guidelines in 10 CFR Part 960 in order to provide a complete, in-depth critical review of the data evaluated and cited in the ESSE report, the methods used to evaluate the data, and the conclusions and recommendations offered by the report. Fourteen nationally recognized technical experts (Table 2) served on the Peer Review Panel. The comments from the Panel and the responses prepared by the ESSE Core Team, documented on formal Comment Response Forms, constitute the body of this document.

  8. Dialogs by Jerry Szymanski regarding the Yucca Mountain controversy from December, 1990 to March, 1991. Volume 1, Special report No. 9

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document contains dialogs from December, 1990 to March, 1991 by Jerry Szymanski regarding the Yucca Mountain controversy. These dialogs involve the dispute about the origin of carbonate deposits at Yucca Mountain; whether pedogenic in origin or a result of episodic upwellings of ground water

  9. Selected ground-water data for Yucca Mountain Region, southern Nevada and eastern California, through December 22

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Site-Characterization Project, collects, compiles, and summarizes hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region. The data are collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during studies to determine the potential suitability of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data on ground-water levels at 36 sites, ground-water discharge at 6 sites, ground-water quality at 19 sites, and ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are presented. Data on ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals collected by other agencies (or as part of other programs) are included to further indicate variations through time at selected monitoring locations. Data are included in this report from 1910 through 1992

  10. Summary of lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, August 1993 to February 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geslin, J.K.; Moyer, T.C.; Buesch, D.C.

    1995-05-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being investigated as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. This report summarizes the lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain that was done from August 1993 to February 1994 by the Rock Characteristics Section, Yucca Mountain Project Branch, US Geological Survey (USGS). Units encountered during logging include Quaternary-Tertiary alluvium/colluvium, Tertiary Rainier Mesa Tuff, all units in the Tertiary Paintbrush Group, Tertiary Calico Hills Formation and Tertiary Prow Pass Tuff. We present criteria used for recognition of stratigraphic contacts, logging results as tables of contact depths for core from neutron (UZN) boreholes and graphical lithologic logs for core from non-UZN boreholes, and descriptions of several distinctive nonwelded tuffs recognized in the PTn hydrogeologic unit of the Paintbrush Group.

  11. Origins of secondary silica within Yucca Mountain, Nye County, southwestern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The accuracy of predictions of the hydrologic response of Yucca Mountain to future climate depends largely on how well relations between past climate and hydrology can be resolved. To advance this reconstruction, secondary minerals in and near Yucca Mountain, deposited by ground waters that originated both as surficial recharge at Yucca Mountain and from regional aquifers, are being studied to determine past ground-water sources and chemistries. Preliminary data on stable oxygen isotopes indicate that, although silica (opal, quartz, and chalcedony) and calcite and have formed in similar settings and from somewhat similar fluids, the authors have found no compelling evidence of coprecipitation or formation from identical fluids. If verified by further analyses, this precludes the use of silica-calcite mineral pairs for precise geothermometry. The preliminary data also indicate that opal and calcite occurrences in pedogenic and unsaturated-zone settings are invariably compatible with formation under modern ambient surface or subsurface temperatures. Silica and calcite stable-isotope studies are being integrated with soil geochemical modeling. This modeling will define the soil geochemical condition (climate) leading to opal or calcite deposition and to the transfer functions that may apply at the meteorologic soil unsaturated-zone interfaces. Additional study of pedogenic and unsaturated-zone silica is needed to support these models. The hypothesis that the transformation of vapor-phase tridymite to quartz requires saturated conditions is being tested through stable oxygen-isotope studies of lithophysal tridymite/quartz mixtures. Should this hypothesis be verified, mineralogic analysis by X-ray diffraction theoretically would permit reconstruction of past maximum water-table elevations

  12. Status of volcanism studies for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of basaltic volcanic centers. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the Basin and Range province. The long time of activity and characteristic small volume of the Postcaldera basalt of the YMR result in one of the lowest eruptive rates in a volcanic field in the southwest United States. Chapter 5 summarizes current concepts of the segregation, ascent, and eruption of basalt magma. Chapter 6 summarizes the history of volcanism studies (1979 through early 1994), including work for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project and overview studies by the state of Nevada and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Chapter 7 summarizes probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment using a three-part conditional probability model. Chapter 8 describes remaining volcanism work judged to be needed to complete characterization studies for the YMR. Chapter 9 summarizes the conclusions of this volcanism status report

  13. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scott, R.B.; Spengler, R.W.; Diehl, S.; Lappin, A.R.; Chornack, M.P.

    1982-12-31

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as "physical-property stratigraphy" as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs.

  14. Geologic character of tuffs in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    At Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository on the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, evaluation of the geologic setting and rock physical properties, along with previous regional hydrologic studies, has provided background that can be used for construction of a preliminary conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone. The 500-m-thick unsaturated portion of Yucca Mountain consists of alternating layers of two contrasting types of tuff. One type consists of highly fractured, densely welded, relatively nonporous but highly transmissive ash-flow tuffs. The other type consists of relatively unfractured, nonwelded, highly porous but relatively nontransmissive, argillic and zeolitic bedded tuffs and ash-flow tuffs. The contrast between these two sets of distinctive physical properties results in a stratified sequence best described as ''physical-property stratigraphy'' as opposed to traditional petrologic stratigraphy of volcanic rocks. The vast majority of recharge through the unsaturated zone is assumed to be vertical; the dominant migration may occur in fractures of densely welded tuffs and in the matrix of nonwelded tuff, but the mode of fluid flow in these unsaturated systems is undetermined. Limited lateral flow of recharge may occur at horizons where local perched water tables may exist above relatively nontransmissive zeolitized nonwelded tuffs. The pervasive north-northwest-striking fractures may control the direction of lateral flow of recharge, if any, in the unsaturated zone, and certainly that direction coincides closely with the observed southeasterly flow direction in the saturated zone under Yucca Mountain. Empirical evaluation of this conceptual hydrologic model has begun. 41 refs., 18 figs., 2 tabs

  15. Evaluation of habitat restoration needs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Adverse environmental impacts due to site characterization and repository development activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada, must be minimized and mitigated according to provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982 and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The natural Transition Desert ecosystem in the 27.5-sq-mi Yucca Mountain project area is now and will continue to be impacted by removal of native vegetation and topsoil and the destruction and/or displacement of faunal communities. Although it is not known at this time exactly how much land will be affected, it is estimated that about 300 to 400 acres will be disturbed by construction of facility sites, mining spoils piles, roadways, and drilling pads. Planned habitat restoration at Yucca Mountain will mitigate the effects of plant and animal habitat loss over time by increasing the rate of plant succession on disturbed sites. Restoration program elements should combine the appropriate use of native annual and perennial species, irrigation and/or water-harvesting techniques, and salvage and reuse of topsoil. Although general techniques are well-known, specific program details (i.e., which species to use, methods of site preparation with available equipment, methods of saving and applying topsoil, etc.) must be worked out empirically on a site-specific basis over the period of site characterization and any subsequent repository development. Large-scale demonstration areas set up during site characterization will benefit both present abandonments and, if the project is scaled up to include repository development, larger facilities areas including spoils piles. Site-specific demonstration studies will also provide information on the costs per acre associated with alternative restoration strategies

  16. 1983 biotic studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A 27.5-square-mile portion of Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the US Department of Energy's Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, is being considered as a potential location for a national high-level radioactive waste repository. Preliminary geologic and environmental characterization studies have been supported and more extensive studies are planned. Goals of the biotic surveys were to identify species of concern, describe major floral and faunal associations, and assess possible impacts of characterization and operational activities. Floral associations observed were characteristic of either the Mojave or Transition deserts that are widely distributed in southern Nevada. Diversity, in terms of total number of perennial species represented, was higher in Transition Desert associations than in Mojave Desert associations. Canopy coverage of associations fell within the range of reported values, but tended to be more homogeneous than expected. Annual vegetation was found to be diverse only where the frequency of Bromus rubens was low. Ground cover of winter annuals, especially annual grasses, was observed to be very dense in 1983. The threat of range fires on Yucca Mountain was high because of the increased amount of dead litter and the decreased amount of bare ground. Significant variability was observed in the distribution and relative abundance of several small mammal species between 1982 and 1983. Desert tortoise were found in low densities comparable with those observed in 1982. Evidence of recent activity, which included sighting of two live tortoises, was found in five areas on Yucca Mountain. Two of these areas have a high probability of sustaining significant impacts if a repository is constructed. Regeneration of aboveground shrub parts from root crowns was observed in areas damaged in 1982 by seismic testing with Vibroseis machines. These areas, which had been cleared to bare dirt by passage of the machines, also supported lush stands of winter annuals

  17. The Yucca Mountain Project prototype air-coring test, U12g tunnel, Nevada test site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ray, J.M. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Newsom, J.C. [Newsom Industries, Citrus Heights, CA (United States)

    1994-12-01

    The Prototype Air-Coring Test was conducted at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) G-Tunnel facility to evaluate standard coring techniques, modified slightly for air circulation, for use in testing at a prospective nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Air-coring technology allows sampling of subsurface lithology with minimal perturbation to ambient characteristic such as that required for exploratory holes near aquifers, environmental applications, and site characterization work. Two horizontal holes were cored, one 50 ft long and the other 150 ft long, in densely welded fractured tuff to simulate the difficult drilling conditions anticipated at Yucca Mountain. Drilling data from seven holes on three other prototype tests in nonwelded tuff were also collected for comparison. The test was used to establish preliminary standards of performance for drilling and dust collection equipment and to assess procedural efficiencies. The Longyear-38 drill achieved 97% recovery for HQ-size core (-2.5 in.), and the Atlas Copco dust collector (DCT-90) captured 1500 lb of fugitive dust in a mine environment with only minor modifications. Average hole production rates were 6-8 ft per 6-h shift in welded tuff and almost 20 ft per shift on deeper holes in nonwelded tuff. Lexan liners were successfully used to encapsulate core samples during the coring process and protect core properties effectively. The Prototype Air-Coring Test demonstrated that horizontal air coring in fractured welded tuff (to at least 150 ft) can be safely accomplished by proper selection, integration, and minor modification of standard drilling equipment, using appropriate procedures and engineering controls. The test also indicated that rig logistics, equipment, and methods need improvement before attempting a large-scale dry drilling program at Yucca Mountain.

  18. Physical processes and effects of magmatism in the Yucca Mountain region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Valentine, G.A.; Crowe, B.M. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Perry, F.V. [New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, New Mexico (USA). Dept. of Geology

    1991-12-31

    This paper describes initial studies related to the effects of volcanism on performance of the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository, and to the general processes of magmatism in the Yucca Mountain region. Volcanism or igneous activity can affect the repository performance by ejection of waste onto the earth`s surface (eruptive effects), or by subsurface effects of hydrothermal processes and altered hydrology if an intrusion occurs within the repository block. Initial, conservative calculations of the volume of waste that might be erupted during a small-volume basaltic eruption (such as those which occurred in the Yucca Mountain region) indicate that regulatory limits might be exceeded. Current efforts to refine these calculations, based upon field studies at analog sites, are described. Studies of subsurface effects are just beginning, and are currently focused on field studies of intrusion properties and contact metamorphism at deeply eroded analog sites. General processes of magmatism are important for providing a physical basis for predictions of future volcanic activity. Initial studies have focused on modeling basaltic magma chambers in conjunction with petrographic and geochemical studies. An example of the thermal-fluid dynamic evolution of a small basaltic sill is described, based on numerical simulation. Quantification of eruption conditions can provide valuable information on the overall magmatic system. We are developing quantitative methods for mapping pyroclastic facies of small basaltic centers and, in combination with two-phase hydrodynamic simulation, using this information to estimate eruption conditions. Examples of such hydrodynamic simulations are presented, along with comparison to an historical eruption in Hawaii.

  19. Status of volcanism studies for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowe, B.; Perry, F.; Murrell, M.; Poths, J.; Valentine, G.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Wells, S. [Univ. of California, Riverside, CA (United States); Bowker, L.; Finnegan, K. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Geissman, J.; McFadden, L.

    1995-02-01

    Chapter 1 introduces the volcanism issue for the Yucca Mountain site and provides the reader with an overview of the organization, content, and significant conclusions of this report. The risk of future basaltic volcanism is the primary topic of concern including both events that intersect a potential repository and events that occur near or within the waste isolation system of a repository. Chapter 2 describes the volcanic history of the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) and emphasizes the Pliocene and Quaternary volcanic record, the interval of primary concern for volcanic risk assessment. The Lathrop Wells volcanic center is described in detail because it is the youngest basalt center in the YMR. Chapter 3 describes the tectonic setting of the YMR and presents and assesses the significance of multiple alternative tectonic models. Geophysical data are described for the YMR and are used as an aid to understand the distribution of basaltic volcanic centers. Chapter 4 discusses the petrologic and geochemical features of basaltic volcanism in the YMR, the southern Great Basin and the Basin and Range province. The long time of activity and characteristic small volume of the Postcaldera basalt of the YMR result in one of the lowest eruptive rates in a volcanic field in the southwest United States. Chapter 5 summarizes current concepts of the segregation, ascent, and eruption of basalt magma. Chapter 6 summarizes the history of volcanism studies (1979 through early 1994), including work for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project and overview studies by the state of Nevada and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Chapter 7 summarizes probabilistic volcanic hazard assessment using a three-part conditional probability model. Chapter 8 describes remaining volcanism work judged to be needed to complete characterization studies for the YMR. Chapter 9 summarizes the conclusions of this volcanism status report.

  20. Multiple-point statistical prediction on fracture networks at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, X.Y; Zhang, C.Y.; Liu, Q.S.; Birkholzer, J.T.

    2009-05-01

    In many underground nuclear waste repository systems, such as at Yucca Mountain, water flow rate and amount of water seepage into the waste emplacement drifts are mainly determined by hydrological properties of fracture network in the surrounding rock mass. Natural fracture network system is not easy to describe, especially with respect to its connectivity which is critically important for simulating the water flow field. In this paper, we introduced a new method for fracture network description and prediction, termed multi-point-statistics (MPS). The process of the MPS method is to record multiple-point statistics concerning the connectivity patterns of a fracture network from a known fracture map, and to reproduce multiple-scale training fracture patterns in a stochastic manner, implicitly and directly. It is applied to fracture data to study flow field behavior at the Yucca Mountain waste repository system. First, the MPS method is used to create a fracture network with an original fracture training image from Yucca Mountain dataset. After we adopt a harmonic and arithmetic average method to upscale the permeability to a coarse grid, THM simulation is carried out to study near-field water flow in the surrounding waste emplacement drifts. Our study shows that connectivity or patterns of fracture networks can be grasped and reconstructed by MPS methods. In theory, it will lead to better prediction of fracture system characteristics and flow behavior. Meanwhile, we can obtain variance from flow field, which gives us a way to quantify model uncertainty even in complicated coupled THM simulations. It indicates that MPS can potentially characterize and reconstruct natural fracture networks in a fractured rock mass with advantages of quantifying connectivity of fracture system and its simulation uncertainty simultaneously.

  1. Oxygen isotopes and trace elements in the Tiva Canyon Tuff, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, B.D.; Kyser, T.K.; Peterman, Z.E.

    1996-12-31

    Yucca Mountain is being studied as a potential site for an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. Because Yucca Mountain is located in a resource-rich geologic setting, one aspect of the site characterization studies is an evaluation of the resource potential at Yucca Mountain. The Tiva Canyon Tuff (TCT) is a widespread felsic ash-flow sheet that is well exposed in the Yucca Mountain area. Samples of the upper part of the TCT were selected to evaluate the potential for economic mineral deposits within the Miocene volcanic section. These samples of the upper cliff and caprock subunits have been analyzed for oxygen isotopes and a large suite of elements. Oxygen isotope compositions ({delta}{sup 18}O) of the TCT are typical of felsic igneous rocks but range from 6.9 to 11.8 permil, indicating some post-depositional alteration. There is no evidence of the low {delta}{sup 18}O values (less than 6 permil) that are typical of epithermal precious-metal deposits in the region. The variation in oxygen isotope ratios is probably the result of deuteric alteration during late-stage crystallization of silica and low-temperature hydration of glassy horizons; these processes are also recorded by the chemical compositions of the rocks. However, most elemental contents in the TCT reflect igneous processes, and the effects of alteration are observed only in some of the more mobile elements. These studies indicate that the TCT at Yucca Mountain has not been affected by large-scale meteoric-water hydrothermal circulation. The chemical compositions of the TCT, especially the low concentrations of most trace elements including typical pathfinder elements, show no evidence for epithermal metal deposits. Together, these data indicate that the potential for economic mineralization in this part of the volcanic section at Yucca Mountain is small.

  2. Site environmental report for calendar year 1994, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization office has established an environmental program to ensure that facilities are operated in order to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US DOE orders. The status of the environmental program has been summarized in this annual report to characterize performance, confirm compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during CY 1994. Monitoring, archaeology, groundwater, ecosystems, tortoise conservation, waste minimization, etc., are covered.

  3. Changes in water table elevation at Yucca Mountain in response to seismic events

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Investigation of mechanisms which could significantly alter the elevation of the water table at Yucca Mountain are motivated by the potential impacts such an occurrence would have on the performance of a high-level radioactive waste repository. In particular, we would like to evaluate the possibility of flooding a repository by water-table excursions. Changes in the water table could occur as relatively transient phenomena in response to seismic events by the seismic pumping mechanism. Quantitative evaluation of possible fluctuations of groundwater following earthquakes was undertaken in support of performance assessment calculations including seismicity

  4. Radiological Programs- Ambient Radon at the Yucca Mountain Site (SCPB:NA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarizes the results of the ambient radon monitoring activities conducted by the Radiological/Environmental Field Programs Department of the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M and O), Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office. Overall, outdoor radon concentrations measured at the Yucca Mountain site were within the range of those reported for other areas in Nevada and the continental United States. Though there was some evidence of trends with time at some monitoring sites, regional atmospheric radon concentrations to date, do not appear to have changed significantly since the inception of site characterization activities. A preliminary dose assessment yielded an estimated annual effective dose equivalent of 134 mrem based on a continuous exposure to the average ambient radon concentration measured at the Yucca Mountain site. Concentrations were measured using two types of systems, passive electret ion chambers (EIC) and continuous radon monitors (CRM). The EICs produced time-averaged radon concentration data and the CRMs were used to study radon fluctuations over time. Between 1991 and 1995, the mean radon concentration at the site, as measured by EICs placed one meter above ground level, was 0.32 ± 0.15 pCi L-1. Radon concentrations varied between monitoring locations and between years. Station NF38, located near the North Portal of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), exhibited the highest overall average radon concentration at 0.55 pCi L-1 (1992 to 1995). Concentrations appear to cycle diurnally, generally peaking in the early morning hours and being lowest in the afternoon. The data also suggested that radon concentrations may fluctuate seasonally. The work accomplished between 1991 and 1995, established radon levels in the general area surrounding Yucca Mountain. It is recommended that further work focus directly on those locations that have the greatest potential for influencing ambient radon levels

  5. Cost-Effective Cementitious Material Compatible with Yucca Mountain Repository Geochemistry

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dole, LR

    2004-12-17

    The current plans for the Yucca Mountain (YM) repository project (YMP) use steel structures to stabilize the disposal drifts and connecting tunnels that are collectively over 100 kilometers in length. The potential exist to reduce the underground construction cost by 100s of millions of dollars and improve the repository's performance. These economic and engineering goals can be achieved by using the appropriate cementitious materials to build out these tunnels. This report describes the required properties of YM compatible cements and reviews the literature that proves the efficacy of this approach. This report also describes a comprehensive program to develop and test materials for a suite of underground construction technologies.

  6. Site environmental report for calendar year 1994, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization office has established an environmental program to ensure that facilities are operated in order to protect, maintain, and restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to the environment and the public, and comply with environmental policies and US DOE orders. The status of the environmental program has been summarized in this annual report to characterize performance, confirm compliance with environmental requirements, and highlight significant programs and efforts during CY 1994. Monitoring, archaeology, groundwater, ecosystems, tortoise conservation, waste minimization, etc., are covered

  7. Role of underground testing to determine suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A brief description of the Exploratory Shaft based site characterization testing program for the Yucca Mountain Project of the permanent disposal of high level radioactive waste is briefly described in this paper. Details of the testing program are presented in the DOE-issued Site Characterization Plan. Overview of the current planning process and status of various activities is briefly described. This study will reevaluate the mining method, ESF location and any changes in the ESF testing program. 2 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab

  8. Some geochemical considerations for a potential repository site in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Erdal, B.R.; Bish, D.L.; Crowe, B.M.; Daniels, W.R.; Ogard, A.E.; Rundberg, R.S.; Vaniman, D.T.; Wolfsberg, K.

    1982-12-31

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations, which is evaluating potential locations for a high-level waste repository at the Nevada Test Site and environs, is currently focusing its investigations on tuff, principally in Yucca Mountain, as a host rock. This paper discusses some of the geochemical investigations. Particular emphasis is placed on definition of some basic elements and necessary technical approaches for the geochemistry data acquisition and modeling program. Some site-specific tuff geochemical information that is important for site selection and repository performance will be identified and the current status of knowledge will then be discussed.

  9. Post-closure performance assessment of waste packages for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report details a system model of some core features of the performance of waste packages for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel at the Yucca Mountain Site. The model is realized in the prototype computer program PANDORA-1.1. The PANDORA system model links processes leading to possible release of radionuclides from the waste package. The PANDORA submodels are being developed for processes and conditions specific to this potential repository site, notably the comparatively dry location in an arid area and well above the groundwater table, and the rock medium of porous partially welded tuff

  10. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1990--September 30, 1990, Number 3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), as amended, the US Department of Energy has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period April 1 through September 30, 1990. This report is the third of a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. The report covers a number of new initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the site characterization program and covers continued efforts related to preparatory activities, study plans, and performance assessment. 85 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs

  11. Communicating A Controversial and Complex Project to the Public: Yucca Mountain Tours - Real and Virtual Communication

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since 1983, under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (42 U.S.C. 10101 et seq.), the U.S. Department of Energy (the Department) has been investigating a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine whether it is suitable for development as the nation's first repository for permanent geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. By far, the largest quantity of waste destined for geologic disposal is spent nuclear fuel from 118 commercial nuclear power reactors at 72 power plant sites and 1 commercial storage site across the United States. Currently, 104 of these reactors are still in operation and generate about 20 percent of the country's electricity. Under standard contracts that DOE executed with the utilities, DOE is to accept spent nuclear fuel from the utilities for disposal. Until that happens, the utilities must safely store their spent nuclear fuel in compliance with Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations. As of December 1998, commercial spent nuclear fuel containing approximately 38,500 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) was stored in 33 states. The balance of the waste destined for geologic disposal in a repository is Department-owned spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The Department's spent nuclear fuel includes naval spent nuclear fuel and irradiated fuel from weapons production, domestic research reactors, and foreign research reactors. For disposal in a geologic repository, high-level radioactive waste would be processed into a solid glass form and placed into approximately 20,000 canisters. No liquid or hazardous wastes regulated under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1976 would be disposed of in a geologic repository. The difficulty in siting new facilities, particularly those designed as nuclear or nuclear-related facilities, is well documented. In this context, national boundaries are not significant distinguishing barriers. As one publication observed, ''Environmental

  12. Assessing microbiologically induced corrosion of waste package materials in the Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, J. M., LLNL

    1998-01-01

    The contribution of bacterial activities to corrosion of nuclear waste package materials must be determined to predict the adequacy of containment for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), NV. The program to evaluate potential microbially induced corrosion (MIC) of candidate waste container materials includes characterization of bacteria in the post-construction YM environment, determination of their required growth conditions and growth rates, quantitative assessment of the biochemical contribution to metal corrosion, and evaluation of overall MIC rates on candidate waste package materials.

  13. Identification of subsurface microorganisms at Yucca Mountain. Quarterly report, July 1, 1994--September 30, 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacteria isolated from ground water samples taken from springs at Yucca Mountain during 1993 were collected and processed. Three bacterial genera commonly found in water (Pseudomonas, Hydrogenophaga, and Alteromonas) were selected for extensive review during this quarter. The presence of bacteria representative of these genera in samples from the 18 springs sampled in Ash Meadows and from 14 springs in Death Valley was reviewed. The species level of identification of the three bacterial genera in water samples from the springs were examined by cluster analysis to see how much variation existed within a given species and also to determine if a species with essentially the same FAME pattern was isolated from several springs

  14. Engineered barrier system and waste package design concepts for a potential geologic repository at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Short, D.W.; Ruffner, D.J.; Jardine, L.J.

    1991-10-01

    We are using an iterative process to develop preliminary concept descriptions for the Engineered Barrier System and waste-package components for the potential geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The process allows multiple design concepts to be developed subject to major constraints, requirements, and assumptions. Involved in the highly interactive and interdependent steps of the process are technical specialists in engineering, metallic and nonmetallic materials, chemistry, geomechanics, hydrology, and geochemistry. We have developed preliminary design concepts that satisfy both technical and nontechnical (e.g., programmatic or policy) requirements.

  15. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1990--March 31, 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113 (b) (3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991. This report is the fourth in a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. The report covers a number of initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the site characterization program, and covers continued efforts related to preparatory activities, Study Plans, and performance assessment

  16. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1990--March 31, 1991; Number 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1991-10-01

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113 (b) (3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended (NWPA), the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1990, through March 31, 1991. This report is the fourth in a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. The report covers a number of initiatives to improve the effectiveness of the site characterization program, and covers continued efforts related to preparatory activities, Study Plans, and performance assessment.

  17. Frictional sliding in layered rock model: Preliminary experiments. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An important aspect of determining the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a possible nuclear waste repository requires understanding the mechanical behavior of jointed rock-masses. To this end we have studied the frictional sliding between simulated rock joints in the laboratory using the technique of phase shifting moire interferometry. The models were made from stacks of Lexan plates and contained a central hole to induce slip between the plates when the models were loaded in compression. These preliminary results confirm the feasibility of the approach and show a clear evolution of slip as function of load

  18. Investigations of hydro-tectonic hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. Annual report - Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document includes several reports describing scientific studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database

  19. Investigations of hydro-tectonic hazards at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. Annual report - Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livingston, D.E. [ed.

    1994-01-01

    This document includes several reports describing scientific studies of the origin of near surface calcite/silica deposits at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The origin of these deposits is controversial and the authors have extended and strengthened the basis of their arguments for epigenetic, metasomatic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain. This report includes stratigraphic, mineralogical, and geochronological information along with geochemical data to support the conclusions described by Livingston and Szymanski. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  20. Review of microbial responses to abiotic environmental factors in the context of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meike, A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., Livermore, CA (United States); Stroes-Gascoyne, S

    2000-10-01

    A workshop on Microbial Activities at Yucca Mountain (May 1995, Lafayette, CA) was held with the intention to compile information on all pertinent aspects of microbial activity for application to a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The findings of this workshop set off a number of efforts intended to eventually incorporate the impacts of microbial behaviour into performance assessment models. One effort was to expand an existing modelling approach to include the distinctive characteristics of a repository at Yucca Mountain (e.g., unsaturated conditions and a significant thermal load). At the same time, a number of experimental studies were initiated as well as a compilation of relevant literature to more thoroughly study the physical, chemical and biological parameters that would affect microbial activity under Yucca Mountain-like conditions. This literature search (completed in 1996) is the subject of the present document. The collected literature can be divided into four categories, 1) abiotic factors, 2) community dynamics and in-situ considerations, 3) nutrient considerations and 4) transport of radionuclides. The complete bibliography (included in Appendix A) represents a considerable resource, but is too large to be discussed in one document. Therefore, the present report focuses on the first category, abiotic factors, and a discussion of these factors in order to facilitate the development of a model for Yucca Mountain. The first part of the report (Chapters 1-3) is a review of general microbial states, phases and requirements for growth, conditions for 'normal growth' and other types of growth, survival strategies and cell death. It contains primarily well-established ideas in microbiology. Microbial capabilities for survival and adaptation to environmental changes are examined because a repository placed at Yucca Mountain would have two effects. First, the natural environment would be perturbed by the excavation and construction of the

  1. Review of microbial responses to abiotic environmental factors in the context of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A workshop on Microbial Activities at Yucca Mountain (May 1995, Lafayette, CA) was held with the intention to compile information on all pertinent aspects of microbial activity for application to a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The findings of this workshop set off a number of efforts intended to eventually incorporate the impacts of microbial behaviour into performance assessment models. One effort was to expand an existing modelling approach to include the distinctive characteristics of a repository at Yucca Mountain (e.g., unsaturated conditions and a significant thermal load). At the same time, a number of experimental studies were initiated as well as a compilation of relevant literature to more thoroughly study the physical, chemical and biological parameters that would affect microbial activity under Yucca Mountain-like conditions. This literature search (completed in 1996) is the subject of the present document. The collected literature can be divided into four categories, 1) abiotic factors, 2) community dynamics and in-situ considerations, 3) nutrient considerations and 4) transport of radionuclides. The complete bibliography (included in Appendix A) represents a considerable resource, but is too large to be discussed in one document. Therefore, the present report focuses on the first category, abiotic factors, and a discussion of these factors in order to facilitate the development of a model for Yucca Mountain. The first part of the report (Chapters 1-3) is a review of general microbial states, phases and requirements for growth, conditions for 'normal growth' and other types of growth, survival strategies and cell death. It contains primarily well-established ideas in microbiology. Microbial capabilities for survival and adaptation to environmental changes are examined because a repository placed at Yucca Mountain would have two effects. First, the natural environment would be perturbed by the excavation and construction of the repository and

  2. Faulting in the Yucca Mountain region: Critical review and analyses of tectonic data from the central Basin and Range

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferrill, D.A.; Stirewalt, G.L.; Henderson, D.B.; Stamatakos, J.; Morris, A.P.; Spivey, K.H. [Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX (United States). Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses; Wernicke, B.P. [California Inst. of Tech., Pasadena, CA (United States). Div. of Geological and Planetary Sciences

    1996-03-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been proposed as the potential site for a high-level waste (HLW) repository. The tectonic setting of Yucca Mountain presents several potential hazards for a proposed repository, such as potential for earthquake seismicity, fault disruption, basaltic volcanism, magma channeling along pre-existing faults, and faults and fractures that may serve as barriers or conduits for groundwater flow. Characterization of geologic structures and tectonic processes will be necessary to assess compliance with regulatory requirements for the proposed high level waste repository. In this report, we specifically investigate fault slip, seismicity, contemporary stain, and fault-slip potential in the Yucca Mountain region with regard to Key Technical Uncertainties outlined in the License Application Review Plan (Sections 3.2.1.5 through 3.2.1.9 and 3.2.2.8). These investigations center on (i) alternative methods of determining the slip history of the Bare Mountain Fault, (ii) cluster analysis of historic earthquakes, (iii) crustal strain determinations from Global Positioning System measurements, and (iv) three-dimensional slip-tendency analysis. The goal of this work is to assess uncertainties associated with neotectonic data sets critical to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses` ability to provide prelicensing guidance and perform license application review with respect to the proposed HLW repository at Yucca Mountain.

  3. Native Americans and Yucca Mountain; A summary report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fowler, C.S.

    1990-09-01

    This report summarizes data collected between September 1986 and September 1988 relative to Native American concerns involving the potential siting of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The data were collected from Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people upon whose aboriginal lands the repository potentially is to be located. Western Shoshone people involved in the study were those resident or affiliated with reservation communities at Yomba and Duckwater, Nevada, and Death Valley, California. Southern Paiute people were at reservation communities at Moapa and Las Vegas. Additional persons of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute descent were interviewed at Beatty, Tonopah, Caliente, Pahrump, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The work was part of a larger project of socioeconomic studies for the State of Nevada`s Nuclear Waste Projects office, conducted by Mountain West of Phoenix, Arizona.

  4. Isotopic evidence of complex ground-water flow at Yucca mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, Zell E.; Stuckless, John S.

    1993-01-01

    Strontium isotopes (expressed as per mill deviation from mean sea water, ??87Sr) reflect interaction between ground water and the aquifer through which it is flowing. In the Cenozoic aquifer of the Yucca Mountain region, ??87Sr values increase from north to south downgradient in the flow system. The largest ??87Sr values occur in the Amargosa Desert where ground water probably encounters alluvial basin fill derived from Precambrian rocks in the Funeral Range. Similarly, large ??87Sr values for ground water in the Paleozoic aquifer at the western end of the Spring Mountains also probably reflect an encounter with Precambrian rocks. In several wells into the volcanic rocks, apparent isotopic disequilibrium between ground water and the producing units suggests that the ground water probably integrates over a substantial part of the saturated section in attaining its strontium isotope signature.

  5. Summary and evaluation of existing geological and geophysical data near prospective surface facilities in Midway Valley, Yucca Mountain Project, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Midway Valley, located at the eastern base of the Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada, is the preferred location of the surface facilities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. One goal in siting these surface facilities is to avoid faults that could produce relative displacements in excess of 5 cm in the foundations of the waste-handling buildings. This study reviews existing geologic and geophysical data that can be used to assess the potential for surface fault rupture within Midway Valley. Dominant tectonic features in Midway Valley are north-trending, westward-dipping normal faults along the margins of the valley: the Bow Ridge fault to the west and the Paintbrush Canyon fault to the east. Published estimates of average Quaternary slip rates for these faults are very low but the age of most recent displacement and the amount of displacement per event are largely unknown. Surface mapping and interpretive cross sections, based on limited drillhole and geophysical data, suggest that additional normal faults, including the postulated Midway Valley fault, may exist beneath the Quaternary/Tertiary fill within the valley. Existing data, however, are inadequate to determine the location, recency, and geometry of this faulting. To confidently assess the potential for significant Quaternary faulting in Midway Valley, additional data are needed that define the stratigraphy and structure of the strata beneath the valley, characterize the Quaternary soils and surfaces, and establish the age of faulting. The use of new and improved geophysical techniques, combined with a drilling program, offers the greatest potential for resolving subsurface structure in the valley. Mapping of surficial geologic units and logging of soil pits and trenches within these units must be completed, using accepted state-of-the-art practices supported by multiple quantitative numerical and relative age-dating techniques

  6. Characterization of arid land water-balance processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Hevesi, Joseph A.; Hudson, David B.

    Water-balance processes were characterized to estimate net infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to help determine the suitability of this site as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Detailed water-content data were collected from 98 boreholes located in four topographic positions (ridgetops, sideslopes, albvial terraces, and active channels) representing four infiltration zones. These data include monthly volumetric water-content readings with depth for 1984 through 1995 and water potential measurements made at a soil-bedrock contact in 1995. These data, combined with measured evapotranspiration and precipitation data, piovide the seasonal and areal distribution of changes in volumetric water content needed to assess hydrologic processes contributing to net infiltration. The conceptual model of infiltration at Yucca Mountain describes the processes of precipitation, runoff, evapotranspiration, and vertical redistribution of water in the shallow unsaturated zone. Field observations and measurements and data analysis indicate that, in order for net infiltration to occur, water must reach and nearly saturate the soil-bedrock contact to initiate flow in the underlying fractured bedrock, and water must penetrate deep enough to escape the influences of evapotranspiration. The amount of net infiltration is a function of how long or how frequently the contact is saturated. Water must penetrate deep enough to escape the influences of evapotranspiration. The penetration of water through the soil is influenced primarily by the seasonal timing and areal distribution of precipitation, the storage capacity of soil, and the properties of the underlying bedrock.

  7. Yucca Mountain program summary of research and technical review activities, July 1988--June 1989

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1989-11-01

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI), through its Water Resources Center (WRC), since 1984 has supported the State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office`s activities related to the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This effort is directed at providing the State Office with an unbiased evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) investigations performed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The overall objective is to determine independently whether or not the site meets the performance criteria defined by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and amendments for isolating and containing the wastes during emplacement and the proposed life of the repository. A particularly important area of concern with the proposed repository is the site`s hydrology. The faculty of the DRI have long been involved with research throughout the State and have particular expertise in groundwater studies related to radionuclide migration and hydrologic safety of underground nuclear testing by DOE and predecessor agencies. In addition, we utilize laboratory personnel for chemical and isotopic analyses in both of the DRI-WMC water chemistry laboratories.

  8. Site environmental report for calendar year 1997, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-10-01

    This document is the seventh annual Site Environmental Report (SER) submitted by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) to describe the environmental program implemented by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain. As prescribed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, 1982), this program ensures that site characterization activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes any significant adverse impacts to the environment and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The most recent guidelines for the preparation of the SER place major emphasis on liquid and gaseous emissions of radionuclides, pollutants or hazardous substances; human exposure to radionuclides; and trends observed by comparing data collected over a period of years. To date, the YMP has not been the source of any radioactive emissions or been responsible for any human exposure to radionuclides. Minuscule amounts of radioactivity detected at the site are derived from natural sources or from dust previously contaminated by nuclear tests conducted in the past at the NTS. Because data for only a few years exist for the site, identification of long-term trends is not yet possible. Despite the lack of the aforementioned categories of information requested for the SER, the YMP has collected considerable material relevant to this report. An extensive environmental monitoring and mitigation program is currently in place and is described herein. Also, as requested by the SER guidelines, an account of YMP compliance with appropriate environmental legislation is provided.

  9. Verification of a 1-dimensional model for predicting shallow infiltration at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A characterization of net infiltration rates is needed for site-scale evaluation of groundwater flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Shallow infiltration caused by precipitation may be a potential source of net infiltration. A 1-dimensional finite difference model of shallow infiltration with a moisture-dependent evapotranspiration function and a hypothetical root-zone was calibrated and verified using measured water content profiles, measured precipitation, and estimated potential evapotranspiration. Monthly water content profiles obtained from January 1990 through October 1993 were measured by geophysical logging of 3 boreholes located in the alluvium channel of Pagany Wash on Yucca Mountain. The profiles indicated seasonal wetting and drying of the alluvium in response to winter season precipitation and summer season evapotranspiration above a depth of 2.5 meters. A gradual drying trend below a depth of 2.5 meters was interpreted as long-term redistribution and/or evapotranspiration following a deep infiltration event caused by runoff in Pagany Wash during 1984. An initial model, calibrated using the 1990 to 1992 record, did not provide a satisfactory prediction of water content profiles measured in 1993 following a relatively wet winter season. A re-calibrated model using a modified, seasonally-dependent evapotranspiration function provided an improved fit to the total record. The new model provided a satisfactory verification using water content changes measured at a distance of 6 meters from the calibration site, but was less satisfactory in predicting changes at a distance of 18 meters

  10. Native American interpretation of cultural resources in the area of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents the location and interpretation of Native American cultural resources on or near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This work builds on the archaeological reconnaissance and identifications of cultural resources by the Desert Research Institute (for a summary, see Pippin and Zerga, 1983; Pippin, 1984). Interpretations provided by Native American Indian people are not intended to refute other scientific studies, such as botanical, wildlife, and archaeological studies. Rather, they provide additional hypotheses for future studies, and they provide a more complete cultural understanding of the Yucca Mountain area. Representatives of sixteen American Indian tribes identified the cultural value of these resources as part of a consultation relationship with the US Department of Energy (DOE). This interim report is to be used to review research procedures and findings regarding initial consultation with the sixteen tribes, in-depth interviews with tribal elders, and findings from the first on-site visit with representatives of the sixteen tribes. As additional information is collected, it will be reviewed separately. An annual report will integrate all findings. 44 refs., 58 figs., 2 tabs

  11. Simultaneous inversion of air-injection tests in fractured unsaturated tuff at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, K.; Tsang, Y. W.; Bodvarsson, G. S.

    1999-08-01

    Air-injection tests are being used to characterize the flow characteristics of the fractured volcanic tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. As the air component flows mainly in the heterogeneous fracture system, air-injection tests can be used to determine the hydrological properties and parameters of the fracture networks. In situ air-injection tests have been carried out in 30 boreholes drilled in a fractured rock block of 13 × 21.5 × 18 m3 in the underground facility at Yucca Mountain. These in situ field tests consist of a constant rate flow injection in one of the boreholes, while the pressure response is monitored in all 30 boreholes of the rock block. This paper presents a simultaneous inversion for 21 air-injection tests in 21 separate boreholes using TOUGH2, a three-dimensional numerical code for multiphase, multicomponent transport [Pruess, 1991; Pruess et al., 1996]. Spatially variable fracture permeability is used as an adjustable parameter to fit the measured pressure responses. For most of the pneumatic experiments the calculated pressure changes match the measured data well. Estimated permeabilities range over 5 orders of magnitude, from 10-15 to 8 × 10-11 m2, indicating large spatial variability in permeability of the heterogeneous fracture system.

  12. Hydrogeology of the unsaturated zone, North Ramp area of the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rousseau, J.P.; Kwicklis, E.M.; Gillies, D.C. [eds.

    1999-03-01

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being investigated by the US Department of Energy as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. This report documents the results of surface-based geologic, pneumatic, hydrologic, and geochemical studies conducted during 1992 to 1996 by the US Geological Survey in the vicinity of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) that are pertinent to understanding multiphase fluid flow within the deep unsaturated zone. Detailed stratigraphic and structural characteristics of the study area provided the hydrogeologic framework for these investigations. Shallow infiltration is not discussed in detail in this report because the focus in on three major aspects of the deep unsaturated-zone system: geologic framework, the gaseous-phase system, and the aqueous-phase system. However, because the relation between shallow infiltration and deep percolation is important to an overall understanding of the unsaturated-zone flow system, a summary of infiltration studies conducted to date at Yucca Mountain is provided in the section titled Shallow Infiltration. This report describes results of several Site Characterization Plan studies that were ongoing at the time excavation of the ESF North Ramp began and that continued as excavation proceeded.

  13. A Fruit of Yucca Mountain: The Remote Waste Package Closure System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kevin Skinner; Greg Housley; Colleen Shelton-Davis

    2011-11-01

    Was the death of the Yucca Mountain repository the fate of a technical lemon or a political lemon? Without caution, this debate could lure us away from capitalizing on the fruits of the project. In March 2009, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) successfully demonstrated the Waste Package Closure System, a full-scale prototype system for closing waste packages that were to be entombed in the now abandoned Yucca Mountain repository. This article describes the system, which INL designed and built, to weld the closure lids on the waste packages, nondestructively examine the welds using four different techniques, repair the welds if necessary, mitigate crack initiating stresses in the surfaces of the welds, evacuate and backfill the packages with an inert gas, and perform all of these tasks remotely. As a nation, we now have a proven method for securely sealing nuclear waste packages for long term storage—regardless of whether or not the future destination for these packages will be an underground repository. Additionally, many of the system’s features and concepts may benefit other remote nuclear applications.

  14. Physical and hydrologic properties of rock outcrop samples at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flint, L.E.; Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Istok, J.D. [Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, OR (United States)

    1996-09-01

    Studies are underway at Yucca Mountain to characterize physical and hydrologic conditions for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Site characterization requires the development of three- dimensional models describing hydrogeologic units in terms of inputs for numerical models. It is also important to understand the spatial distribution of these properties, vertical and horizontally, in order to estimate values at unmeasured points. Deterministic processes of volcanism caused the initial formation of the rock units, and it is useful to be able to correlate rock properties with the more qualitative descriptions of rock lithology that occur on a larger scale. Preliminary data were collected to develop methods and evaluate spatial relations to determine sampling frequency. In addition, a data base was developed to provide some of the parameters needed for preliminary flow-modeling exercises. Surface transects of rock outcrops facilitated rapid collection of closely spaced samples of all units exposed at and around Yucca Mountain. This report presents the data collected, descriptive statistics for various units, preliminary hydrogeologic units, and analyses of porosity compared with flow properties.

  15. Effect of heterogeneity on radionuclide retardation in the alluvial aquifer near Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Painter, S; Cvetkovic, V; Turner, D R

    2001-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is currently studying Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a geological high-level waste repository. In the current conceptual models of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain, part of the transport path to pumping locations would be through an alluvial aquifer. Interactions with minerals in the alluvium are expected to retard the downstream migration of radionuclides, thereby delaying arrival times and reducing ground water concentrations. We evaluate the effectiveness of the alluvial aquifer as a transport barrier using the stochastic Lagrangian framework. A transport model is developed to account for physical and chemical heterogeneities and rate-limited mass transfer between mobile and immobile zones. The latter process is caused by small-scale heterogeneity and is thought to control the macroscopic-scale retardation in some field experiments. A geostatistical model for the spatially varying sorption parameters is developed from a site-specific database created from hydrochemical measurements and a calibrated modeling approach (Turner and Pabalan 1999). Transport of neptunium is considered as an example. The results are sensitive to the rate of transfer between mobile and immobile zones, and to spatial variability in the hydraulic conductivity. Chemical heterogeneity has only a small effect, as does correlation between hydraulic conductivity and the neptunium distribution coefficient. These results illustrate how general sensitivities can be explored with modest effort within the Lagrangian framework. Such studies complement and guide the application of more detailed numerical simulations.

  16. Archaeology of Arid Environments Points to Management Options for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As with all planned repositories for spent fuel, the critical period over which Yucca Mountain needs to provide isolation is the first hundreds to thousands of years after the fuel is emplaced, when it is at its most hazardous. Both the original and the proposed new EPA standards highlight the central importance of this performance period by focusing on repository behavior during the first 10,000 years. Archaeology has a lot to tell us about the behavior of materials and structures over this time period. There have been numerous studies of archaeological artifacts in conditions relevant to the groundwater saturated environments that are a feature of most international geological disposal concepts, but relatively few in arid environments like that of the Nevada desert. However, there is much information to be gleaned, not only from classic archaeological areas in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean but also, perhaps surprisingly to some, from Nevada itself. Our recent study evaluated archaeological materials from underground openings and shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain, drawing conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could help to assess design and operational options for the high-level waste repository

  17. Modeling studies of gas movement and moisture migration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States)

    1991-06-01

    Modeling studies on moisture redistribution processes that are mediated by gas phase flow and diffusion have been carried out. The problem addressed is the effect of a lowered humidity of the soil gas at the land surface on moisture removal from Yucca Mountain, the potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. At the land surface, humid formation gas contacts much drier atmospheric air. Near this contact, the humidity of the soil gas may be considerably lower than at greater depth, where the authors expect equilibrium with the liquid phase and close to 100% humidity. The lower relative humidity of the soil gas may be modeled by imposing, at the land surface, an additional negative capillary suction corresponding to vapor pressure lowering according to Kelvin`s Equation, thus providing a driving force for the upward movement of moisture in both the vapor and liquid phases. Sensitivity studies show that moisture removal from Yucca Mountain arising from the lowered-relative-humidity boundary condition is controlled by vapor diffusion. There is much experimental evidence in the soil literature that diffusion of vapor is enhanced due to pore-level phase change effects by a few orders of magnitude. Modeling results presented here will account for this enhancement in vapor diffusion.

  18. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1993--March 31, 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report is the tenth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are descriptions of activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies. The Executive Summary is intended to provide a summary of major decisions, activities, accomplishments, and issues of interest during the reporting period. Chapter 1, Introduction, provides background information to assist the reader in understanding the current status of the program. Chapter 2 provides specific detailed discussions of activities conducted during the current reporting period and has two major divisions. Section 2.1, Preparatory Activities, provides information on select preparatory activities necessary to conduct site characterization and design activities. Sections 2.2 through 2.8 provide specific details on studies and activities conducted during the reporting period and follow the original structure of the Department's 1988 Site Characterization Plan. Chapter 3 contains the current summary schedule, while Chapter 4 provides a description of the program outreach, including activities during the reporting period, in both the international program and public outreach. Chapter 5 presents an epilogue of significant events that occurred after the end of the reporting period

  19. Report of early site suitability evaluation of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study evaluated the technical suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The evaluation was conducted primarily to determine early in the site characterization program if there are any features or conditions at the site that indicate it is unsuitable for repository development. A secondary purpose was to determine the status of knowledge in the major technical areas that affect the suitability of the site. This early site suitability evaluation (ESSE) was conducted by a team of technical personnel at the request of the Associate Director of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geologic Disposal, a unit within the DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Yucca Mountain site has been the subject of such evaluations for over a decade. In 1983, the site was evaluated as part of a screening process to identify potentially acceptable sites. The site was evaluated in greater detail and found suitable for site characterization as part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE, 1986) required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Additional site data were compiled during the preparation of the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) (DOE, 1988a). This early site suitability evaluation has considered information that was used in preparing both-documents, along with recent information obtained since the EA and SCP were published. This body of information is referred to in this report as ''current information'' or ''available evidence.''

  20. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain -- SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone. Probabilistic analyses are performed for aqueous and gaseous flow and transport, human intrusion, and basaltic magmatic activity. Results of the calculations lead to a number of recommendations concerning studies related to site characterization. Primary among these are the recommendations to obtain better information on percolation flux at Yucca Mountain, on the presence or absence of flowing fractures, and on physical and chemical processes influencing gaseous flow. Near-field thermal and chemical processes, and waste-container degradation are also areas where additional investigations may reduce important uncertainties. Recommendations for repository and waste-package design studies are: (1) to evaluate the performance implications of large-size containers, and (2) to investigate in more detail the implications of high repository thermal power output on the adjacent host rock and on the spent fuel

  1. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada Reserch and Development Area, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To help the public better understand both the SCP and the site characterization program, the DOE has prepared this overview and the SCP Public Handbook. The overview presents summaries of selected topics covered in the SCP; it is not a substitute for the SCP. The organization of the overview is similar to that of the SCP itself, with brief descriptions of the Yucca Mountain site, the repository, and the containers in which the waste would be packaged, followed by a discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. This overview is intended primarily for those persons who want to understand the general scope and basis of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed without spending the time necessary to become familiar with all of the technical details presented in the SCP. For the readers of the SCP, the overview will be useful as a general guide to the plan. The SCP Public Handbook is a short document that contains brief descriptions of the SCP process and the contents of the SCP. It also explains how the public can submit comments on the SCP and lists the libraries and reading rooms at which the SCP is available. 9 refs., 18 tabs

  2. Diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and implications for habitat reclamation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain was assessed during 1992 to 1995 using a combination of feeding observations and scat analysis. Feeding observation data (1993 through 1995) showed that tortoises fed on a wide variety of items. The most frequently eaten items were forbs and annual grasses. These two forage groups comprised more than 90% of all bites taken. Analysis of scat (1992 and 1993) also showed that grasses and forbs were the most common groups, making up more than 80% of the composition of scat. Yearly differences between proportions of species in the diet were observed and were most likely attributable to differences in plant productivity, which is linked to rainfall patterns. Non-native species were an important component of the diet in all years, accounting for 13 to 50% of all bites observed and 6 to 24% of scat contents. A list of all items encountered in the diet is provided. To facilitate reclamation of desert tortoise habitat disturbed by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, native forage species that should be included in reclamation seed mixes, when feasible, were identified. Although shrubs make up only a small proportion of the diet, they should also be included in reclamation efforts because they provide habitat structure. Tortoise cover sites, and microhabitats amenable to seed germination and seedling establishment. In addition, non-native species should not be planted on reclaimed sites and, if necessary, sites should be recontoured and soil compaction reduced prior to planting

  3. Diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and implications for habitat reclamation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rakestraw, D.L.; Holt, E.A.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.

    1995-12-01

    The diet of desert tortoises at Yucca Mountain was assessed during 1992 to 1995 using a combination of feeding observations and scat analysis. Feeding observation data (1993 through 1995) showed that tortoises fed on a wide variety of items. The most frequently eaten items were forbs and annual grasses. These two forage groups comprised more than 90% of all bites taken. Analysis of scat (1992 and 1993) also showed that grasses and forbs were the most common groups, making up more than 80% of the composition of scat. Yearly differences between proportions of species in the diet were observed and were most likely attributable to differences in plant productivity, which is linked to rainfall patterns. Non-native species were an important component of the diet in all years, accounting for 13 to 50% of all bites observed and 6 to 24% of scat contents. A list of all items encountered in the diet is provided. To facilitate reclamation of desert tortoise habitat disturbed by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, native forage species that should be included in reclamation seed mixes, when feasible, were identified. Although shrubs make up only a small proportion of the diet, they should also be included in reclamation efforts because they provide habitat structure. Tortoise cover sites, and microhabitats amenable to seed germination and seedling establishment. In addition, non-native species should not be planted on reclaimed sites and, if necessary, sites should be recontoured and soil compaction reduced prior to planting.

  4. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, July--December 1988: An update: Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This update contains information on the Yucca Mountain Project that was added to the Energy Data Base during the last six months of 1988. The update also includes a new section which provides information about publications on the Energy Data Base that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it. This section covers the period 1977 to 1988. Prior to August 5, 1988, this project was called the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. The update is categorized by principal project participating organizations, and items are arranged in chronological order. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, meeting papers, and journal articles are included with sponsoring organization. Previous information on this project can be found in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations bibliographies: DOE/TIC-3406, which covers the years 1977 to 1985; DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1), which covers 1986 and 1987; and the Yucca Mountain Project Bibliography, DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1)(Add. 1), which covers the first six months of 1988. All entries in these publications are searchable on-line on the NNW data base file which can be accessed through the Integrated Technical Information System (ITIS) of the US Department of Energy

  5. Atmospheric Dispersal and Dispostion of Tephra From a Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-02-12

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (ASHPLUME) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. The ASHPLUME conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The ASHPLUME mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report will improve and clarify the previous documentation of the ASHPLUME mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model.

  6. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1993--March 31, 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-10-01

    This report is the tenth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are descriptions of activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies. The Executive Summary is intended to provide a summary of major decisions, activities, accomplishments, and issues of interest during the reporting period. Chapter 1, Introduction, provides background information to assist the reader in understanding the current status of the program. Chapter 2 provides specific detailed discussions of activities conducted during the current reporting period and has two major divisions. Section 2.1, Preparatory Activities, provides information on select preparatory activities necessary to conduct site characterization and design activities. Sections 2.2 through 2.8 provide specific details on studies and activities conducted during the reporting period and follow the original structure of the Department`s 1988 Site Characterization Plan. Chapter 3 contains the current summary schedule, while Chapter 4 provides a description of the program outreach, including activities during the reporting period, in both the international program and public outreach. Chapter 5 presents an epilogue of significant events that occurred after the end of the reporting period.

  7. Atmospheric Despersal and Disposition of Tephra From a Potential Volcanic Eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (ASHPLUME) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. The ASHPLUME conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The ASHPLUME mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report will improve and clarify the previous documentation of the ASHPLUME mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model

  8. Yucca Mountain program summary of research and technical review activities, July 1988--June 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI), through its Water Resources Center (WRC), since 1984 has supported the State of Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office's activities related to the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This effort is directed at providing the State Office with an unbiased evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) investigations performed by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The overall objective is to determine independently whether or not the site meets the performance criteria defined by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and amendments for isolating and containing the wastes during emplacement and the proposed life of the repository. A particularly important area of concern with the proposed repository is the site's hydrology. The faculty of the DRI have long been involved with research throughout the State and have particular expertise in groundwater studies related to radionuclide migration and hydrologic safety of underground nuclear testing by DOE and predecessor agencies. In addition, we utilize laboratory personnel for chemical and isotopic analyses in both of the DRI-WMC water chemistry laboratories

  9. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 15, April 1--September 30, 1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During the second half of fiscal year 1996, activities at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) supported the objectives of the revised Program Plan released this period by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy (Department). Outlined in the revised plan is a focused, integrated program of site characterization, design, engineering, environmental, and performance assessment activities that will achieve key Program and statutory objectives. The plan will result in the development of a license application for repository construction at Yucca Mountain, if the site is found suitable. Activities this period focused on two of the three near-term objectives of the revised plan: updating in 1997 the regulatory framework for determining the suitability of the site for the proposed repository concept and providing information for a 1998 viability assessment of continuing toward the licensing of a repository. The Project has also developed a new design approach that uses the advanced conceptual design published during the last reporting period as a base for developing a design that will support the viability assessment. The initial construction phase of the Thermal Testing Facility was completed and the first phase of the in situ heater tests began on schedule. In addition, phase-one construction was completed for the first of two alcoves that will provide access to the Ghost Dance fault

  10. Site environmental report for calendar year 1997, Yucca Mountain Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document is the seventh annual Site Environmental Report (SER) submitted by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO) to describe the environmental program implemented by the US Department of Energy (DOE) at Yucca Mountain. As prescribed by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA, 1982), this program ensures that site characterization activities are conducted in a manner that minimizes any significant adverse impacts to the environment and complies with all applicable laws and regulations. The most recent guidelines for the preparation of the SER place major emphasis on liquid and gaseous emissions of radionuclides, pollutants or hazardous substances; human exposure to radionuclides; and trends observed by comparing data collected over a period of years. To date, the YMP has not been the source of any radioactive emissions or been responsible for any human exposure to radionuclides. Minuscule amounts of radioactivity detected at the site are derived from natural sources or from dust previously contaminated by nuclear tests conducted in the past at the NTS. Because data for only a few years exist for the site, identification of long-term trends is not yet possible. Despite the lack of the aforementioned categories of information requested for the SER, the YMP has collected considerable material relevant to this report. An extensive environmental monitoring and mitigation program is currently in place and is described herein. Also, as requested by the SER guidelines, an account of YMP compliance with appropriate environmental legislation is provided

  11. Numerical simulation of gas flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Numerical analysis is used to identify the physical phenomena associated with barometrically driven gas (air and water vapor) flow through unsaturated fractured rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Results from simple finite difference simulations indicate that for a fractured rock scenario, the maximum velocity of air out of an uncased 10 cm borehole is 0.002 m s-1. An equivalent porous medium (EPM) model was incorporated into a multiphase, multicomponent simulator to test more complex conceptual models. Results indicate that for a typical June day, a diurnal pressure wave propagates about 160 m into the surrounding Tiva Canyon hydrogeologic unit. Dry air that enters the formation evaporates water around the borehole which reduces capillary pressure. Multiphase countercurrent flow develops in the vicinity of the hole; the gas phase flows into the formation while the liquid phase flows toward the borehole. The effect occurs within 0.5 m of the borehole. The amount of water vapor leaving the formation during 1 day is 900 cm3. This is less than 0.1% of the total recharge into the formation, suggesting that the barometric effect may be insignificant in drying the unsaturated zone. However, gas phase velocities out of the borehole (3 m s-1), indicating that observed flow rates from wells along the east flank of Yucca Mountain were able to be simulated with a barometric model

  12. PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie

    2006-02-24

    The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.

  13. Archaelogy of Arid Environment Points to Management Options for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman; A. Dansie; C. McCombie

    2006-08-29

    As with all planned repositories for spent fuel, the critical period over which Yucca Mountain needs to provide isolation is the first hundreds to thousands of years after the fuel is emplaced, when it is at its most hazardous. Both the original and the proposed new EPA standards highlight the central importance of this performance period by focusing on repository behavior during the first 10,000 years. Archaeology has a lot to tell us about the behavior of materials and structures over this time period. There have been numerous studies of archaeological artifacts in conditions relevant to the groundwater saturated environments that are a feature of most international geological disposal concepts, but relatively few in arid environments like that of the Nevada desert. However, there is much information to be gleaned, not only from classic archaeological areas in the Middle East and around the Mediterranean but also, perhaps surprisingly to some, from Nevada itself. Our recent study evaluated archaeological materials from underground openings and shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain, drawing conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could help to assess design and operational options for the high-level waste repository.

  14. Yucca Mountain Project far-field sorption studies and data needs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Batch sorption experiments in which radionuclides dissolved in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain were sorbed onto samples of crushed tuff have resulted in a substantial database of sorption coefficients for radionuclides of interest to the repository program. Although this database has been useful in preliminary evaluations of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for a nuclear waste repository, the database has limitations that must be addressed before it can be used for performance assessment calculations in support of a license application for a waste repository. The purpose of this paper is to: review the applicability of simple (constant) sorption coefficients in transport calculations; review and evaluate alternative methods for the derivation of sorption coefficients; summarize and evaluate the present YMP sorption database to identify areas of data sufficiency and significant data gaps; summarize our current understanding of pertinent sorption mechanisms and associated kinetic parameters; evaluate the significance to the YMP of potential problems in the experimental determination and field application of sorption coefficients as enumerated by the NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1987) in its technical position paper on sorption; formulate and evaluate strategies for the resolution of NRC concerns regarding experimental problems; and formulate a position on the sorption coefficient database and the level of understanding of sorption mechanisms likely to be required in the licensing application. 75 refs., 1 fig., 2 tabs

  15. Verification of a 1-dimensional model for predicting shallow infiltration at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, L.E. [Foothill Engineering Consultants, Mercury, Nevada (United States)

    1994-12-31

    A characterization of net infiltration rates is needed for site-scale evaluation of groundwater flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Shallow infiltration caused by precipitation may be a potential source of net infiltration. A 1-dimensional finite difference model of shallow infiltration with a moisture-dependant evapotranspiration function and a hypothetical root-zone was calibrated and verified using measured water content profiles, measured precipitation, and estimated potential evapotranspiration. Monthly water content profiles obtained from January 1990 through October 1993 were measured by geophysical logging of 3 boreholes located in the alluvium channel of Pagany Wash on Yucca Mountain. The profiles indicated seasonal wetting and drying of the alluvium in response to winter season precipitation and summer season evapotranspiration above a depth of 2.5 meters. A gradual drying trend below a depth of 2.5 meters was interpreted as long-term redistribution and/or evapotranspiration following a deep infiltration event caused by runoff in Pagany Wash during 1984. An initial model, calibrated using the 1990 to 1 992 record, did not provide a satisfactory prediction of water content profiles measured in 1993 following a relatively wet winter season. A re-calibrated model using a modified, seasonally-dependent evapotranspiration function provided an improved fit to the total record. The new model provided a satisfactory verification using water content changes measured at a distance of 6 meters from the calibration site, but was less satisfactory in predicting changes at a distance of 18 meters.

  16. Data report for the 1985 seismic-refraction experiment at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, southwestern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In February 1985, the US Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a seismic-refraction survey in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, southwestern Nevada to better define the P(compressional)-wave velocity structure of the upper crust in this area. This experiment is a continuation of seismic investigations at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) by the USGS on behalf of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project (NNWSI) to assess the feasibility of a proposed nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountain. The 1985 seismic-refraction survey consisted of three separate deployments: two East-West profiles, Line A and Line B, and a North-South profile (Plate 1). Thirty-one shots were recorded by 120 portable seismographs, where recorder station spacing averaged .3 km, and the shotpoints averaged 5 to 8 km apart. Additionally, off set shots were fired at shotpoints located about 7 to 15 km from the endpoints of the deployment lines. This report includes record sections from the twenty-nine shotpoints (Plates 2 to 17), a list of seismograph locations (Appendix A), a list of shotpoint locations and shot times, DKDAT data files and Tape Grade Code (Appendix B), and a list of first-arrival traveltime picks (Appendix C). Detailed interpretation of these data will be published in a subsequent report

  17. Occurrence of fracture-lining manganese minerals in silicic tuffs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada, is being studied by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project as a potential site for an underground high-level nuclear waste repository. The site is within Miocene volcanic rocks that are 1.5 to 4 km thick and range in age from 12.5 to 14 MY. Several holes have been drilled in Yucca Mountain for geologic and hydrologic studies. Drill hole USW G-4, the most recently cored hole within the potential repository block, was chosen for detailed study of fracture-filling minerals because it is closest to the planned NNWSI exploratory shaft. Drill hole USW G-4 was drilled to 914.7 m (3001 ft) and continuously cored from 6.7 m (22 ft) to total depth (TD). The drilling history, lithology of the core, and geophysical logs of the well were published earlier. Because manganese oxides in fractures may act as a natural barrier to radionuclide migration, it is important to determine exactly which manganese minerals are present, in what intervals they occur, and how extensive these fracture coatings are

  18. Environmental monitoring for uranium and neptunium at Yucca Mountain using Epithermal Neutron Activation Analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Epithermal Neutron Activation Analysis (ENAA) is investigated as an analysis method for uranium and neptunium in environmental samples from Yucca Mountain. The design and construction of a facility for this technique are described. Theoretical improvement in sensitivity for ENAA over thermal NAA (TNAA) is discussed and compared to experimental results for different sample types. Uranium is analyzed in eight different sample matrices, including samples from Yucca Mountain. Neptunium has been studied only in AGV-1 Granite. As predicted by theory, uranium shows a high experimental sensitivity improvement factor (average = 7.76), while neptunium has a factor of only 0.49. Detection limits for uranium using ENAA range from 6 to 52 ppb by weight (2.6 to 17 ng in sample) for the different matrices. Neptunium shows a detection limit of 57 ppb by weight (6.2 ng in sample) in AGV-1 Granite using ENAA. Using TNAA, neptunium can be analyzed to 35 ppB by weight (3.4 ng in sample)

  19. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Number 15, April 1--September 30, 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

    During the second half of fiscal year 1996, activities at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) supported the objectives of the revised Program Plan released this period by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy (Department). Outlined in the revised plan is a focused, integrated program of site characterization, design, engineering, environmental, and performance assessment activities that will achieve key Program and statutory objectives. The plan will result in the development of a license application for repository construction at Yucca Mountain, if the site is found suitable. Activities this period focused on two of the three near-term objectives of the revised plan: updating in 1997 the regulatory framework for determining the suitability of the site for the proposed repository concept and providing information for a 1998 viability assessment of continuing toward the licensing of a repository. The Project has also developed a new design approach that uses the advanced conceptual design published during the last reporting period as a base for developing a design that will support the viability assessment. The initial construction phase of the Thermal Testing Facility was completed and the first phase of the in situ heater tests began on schedule. In addition, phase-one construction was completed for the first of two alcoves that will provide access to the Ghost Dance fault.

  20. US Geological Survey Committee for the Advancement of Science in the Yucca Mountain Project symposium on {open_quotes}Fractures, Hydrology, and Yucca Mountain{close_quotes}: Abstracts and summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomberg, J. [ed.

    1991-12-31

    The principal objective of this symposium is to review the available information on fractured/faulted terrains in terms of a coherent hydrogeologic model of ground-water fluid flow and transport, particularly as it pertains to the Yucca Mountain region. This review addresses the influence and significance of fractures on ground-water flow and the transport of conservative-species solutes within the context of the hydrogeologic setting of the Yucca Mountain area. The relations between fluid flow and fractured or faulted host rock are examined integrally from information on geologic, seismologic, hydrologic, and geomechanical properties of the system. The development of new hydrogeologic approaches that incorporate information from this integrated database are contrasted with more standard approaches toward understanding flow in fractured reservoirs. Ground-water flow in both the unsaturated zone and the saturated zone are considered. The application of various models of flow is addressed, examples include porous-media equivalent and discontinuum fracture-network models. Data and interpretations from the Yucca Mountain area are presented to establish a context for information exchange. The symposium includes discussions relevant to technical considerations for characterizing the Yucca Mountain area hydrogeology. On the basis of these discussions, CASY has compiled this document in order to formally summarize the proceedings and communicate recommendations for future directions of research and investigation.

  1. Crustal structure beneath the Northern Transantarctic Mountains and Wilkes Subglacial Basin: Implications for tectonic origins

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hansen, Samantha E.; Kenyon, Lindsey M.; Graw, Jordan H.; Park, Yongcheol; Nyblade, Andrew A.

    2016-02-01

    The Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) are the largest noncollisional mountain range on Earth. Their origin, as well as the origin of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin (WSB) along the inland side of the TAMs, has been widely debated, and a key constraint to distinguish between competing models is the underlying crustal structure. Previous investigations have examined this structure but have primarily focused on a small region of the central TAMs near Ross Island, providing little along-strike constraint. In this study, we use data from the new Transantarctic Mountains Northern Network and from five stations operated by the Korea Polar Research Institute to investigate the crustal structure beneath a previously unexplored portion of the TAMs. Using S wave receiver functions and Rayleigh wave phase velocities, crustal thickness and average crustal shear velocity (V>¯s) are resolved within ±4 km and ±0.1 km/s, respectively. The crust thickens from ~20 km near the Ross Sea coast to ~46 km beneath the northern TAMs, which is somewhat thicker than that imaged in previous studies beneath the central TAMs. The crust thins to ~41 km beneath the WSB. V>¯s ranges from ~3.1-3.9 km/s, with slower velocities near the coast. Our findings are consistent with a flexural origin for the TAMs and WSB, where these features result from broad flexure of the East Antarctic lithosphere and uplift along its western edge due to thermal conduction from hotter mantle beneath West Antarctica. Locally, thicker crust may explain the ~1 km of additional topography in the northern TAMs compared to the central TAMs.

  2. UNCOVERING BURIED VOLCANOES: NEW DATA FOR PROBABILISTIC VOLCANIC HAZARD ASSESSMENT AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basaltic volcanism poses a potential hazard to the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository because multiple episodes of basaltic volcanism have occurred in the Yucca Mountain region (YMR) in the past 11 Ma. Intervals between eruptive episodes average about 1 Ma. Three episodes have occurred in the Quaternary at approximately 1.1 Ma (5 volcanoes), 350 ka (2 volcanoes), and 80 ka (1 volcano). Because Yucca Mountain lies within the Basin and Range Province, a significant portion of the pre-Quaternary volcanic history of the YMR may be buried in alluvial-filled basins. An exceptionally high-resolution aeromagnetic survey and subsequent drilling program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) began in 2004 and is gathering data that will enhance understanding of the temporal and spatial patterns of Pliocene and Miocene volcanism in the region (Figure 1). DOE has convened a ten-member expert panel of earth scientists that will use the information gathered to update probabilistic volcanic hazard estimates originally obtained by expert elicitation in 1996. Yucca Mountain is a series of north-trending ridges of eastward-tilted fault blocks that are bounded by north to northeast-trending normal faults. Topographic basins filled with up to 500 m of alluvium surround it to the east, south and west. In the past several decades, nearly 50 holes have been drilled in these basins, mainly for Yucca Mountain Project Site Characterization and the Nye County Early Warning Drilling Program. Several of these drill holes have penetrated relatively deeply buried (300-400 m) Miocene basalt; a Pliocene basalt dated at 3.8 Ma was encountered at a relatively shallow depth (100 m) in the northern Amargosa Desert (Anomaly B in Figure 1). The current drilling program is the first to specifically target and characterize buried basalt. Based on the new aeromagnetic survey and previous air and ground magnetic surveys (Connor et al. 2000; O'Leary et al. 2002), at least eight drill

  3. Seismicity in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the Period October 1, 2003 to September 30, 2004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    von Seggern, David; Smith, Ken

    2007-10-15

    This report describes the seismicity and earthquake monitoring activities within the Yucca Mountain region during fiscal year 2004 (FY2004 - October 1, 2003, through September 30, 2004) based on operation of the Southern Great Basin Digital Seismic Network (SGBDSN). Network practices and earthquake monitoring conducted at the Nevada Seismological Laboratory (NSL) under DOE directives for prior fiscal years are covered in similar yearly reports (see references). Real-time systems, including regional data telemetry and data management at NSL, provide for the automatic determination of earthquake locations and magnitudes and notification of important earthquakes in the region to UNR staff and DOE management. All waveform and meta-data, including automatic locations, phase arrival information, and analyst reviewed information, are managed through a relational database system allowing quick and reliable evaluation and analysis of ongoing earthquake activity near Yucca Mountain. This network, which contains weak-motion and strong-motion instrumentation, addresses the seismic hazard of the Yucca Mountain area by providing accurate earthquake magnitudes for earthquake recurrence estimates, spatial hypocentral control to very low magnitudes for identifying and assessing active faults and verifying tectonic models, true ground motions over the complete range of expected earthquake amplitudes for developing predictive models, and earthquake source information for characterizing active faulting. The Nevada Seismological Laboratory operated a 30-station monitoring network within a ring of approximately 50 km radius around Yucca Mountain during FY2004. This year showed the second-lowest seismic moment rate in the NTS and Yucca Mountain region for any fiscal year reporting period since prior to the 1992 M 5.6 Little Skull Mountain (LSM) earthquake. A total of 2180 earthquakes were located for FY2004. The largest event during FY2004 was M 2.99 and there were only 12 earthquakes

  4. Task 3: Evaluation of mineral resource potential, caldera geology, and volcano-tectonic framework at and near Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiss, S.I.; Noble, D.C.; Larson, L.T. [Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This report summarizes the work of Task 3 that was initially discussed in our monthly reports for the period October 1, 1993 through September 30, 1994, and is contained in our various papers and abstracts, both published and in press or currently in review. Our efforts during this period have involved the continuation of studies begun prior to October, 1993, focussed mainly on aspects of the caldera geology, magmatic activity, hydrothermal mineralization and extensional tectonics of the western and central parts of the southwestern Nevada volcanic field (SWNVF), studies of the subsurface rocks of Yucca Mountain utilizing drill-hole sampled obtained in 1991 and 1992, and studies of veins and siliceous ledges cropping out in northwestern Yucca Mountain. These veins and ledges provide evidence for near-surface hydrothermal activity in northwestern Yucca Mountain during the Crater Flat Tuff period of volcanism. During the period of this report we have concentrated our efforts on the production and publication of documents summarizing many of the data, interpretations and conclusions of Task 3 studies pertaining to hydrothermal activity and mineralization in the Yucca Mountain region and their relations to volcanism and tectonic activity. The resulting two manuscripts for journal publication and a compilation of radiometric age and trace-element geochemical data are appended to this report.

  5. Bibliography of Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) publications at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, September 1977 through March 1998

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-03-01

    This bibliography contains 685 citations published from September, 1977 through March, 1998, describing site characterization activities and research projects related to the radioactive waste disposal facilities being planned for Yucca Mountain, Nevada. An additional 35 citations are listed for reports in progress.

  6. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 2, Figures [and] Volume 3, Technical Appendices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    This report presents appendices related to the preliminary assessment and risk analysis for high-level radioactive waste transportation routes to the proposed Yucca Mountain Project repository. Information includes data on population density, traffic volume, ecologically sensitive areas, and accident history.

  7. Zeolitic alteration and fracture fillings in silicic tuffs at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broxton, D.E.; Carlos, B.A.

    1986-12-31

    This paper describes the distribution and chemistry of zeolites in tuffs and in fractures at Yucca Mountain. Samples used in this study were collected from continuously-cored exploratory drill holes. A variety of analytical techniques, including optical petrography, x-ray powder diffraction, electron microanalysis, and x-ray fluorescence, were used to characterize the distribution and chemistry of zeolites in these samples.

  8. Yucca Mountain Socioeconomic Project: The 1991 Nevada State telephone survey: Key findings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The 1991 Nevada State Telephone Survey was implemented by Decision Research on behalf of the State of Nevada, Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) as part of an ongoing socioeconomic impact assessment study. The scope of this survey was considerably smaller than a previous survey conducted in 1989 and focused more upon public evaluations of the Yucca Mountain repository program and the trust Nevadans currently addressing the siting issues. In order to provide place in key public officials who are Longitudinal data on the repository program, the 1991 questionnaire consisted of questions that were used in the 1989 NWPO survey which was conducted by Mountain West Research. As a result, the findings from this survey are compared with analogous items from the 1989 survey, and with the results from a survey commissioned by the Las Vegas Review-Journal and reported in their issue of October 21, 1990. The Review-Journal survey was conducted by Bruce Merri11 of the Arizona State University Media Research Center. A more complete comparison of the 1989 and 1991 surveys sponsored by NWPO is possible since the researchers at Decision Research had access to both these databases. The only source of information for the Review-Journal findings was the articles published in the Fall, 1990. The findings of the 1991 survey show that Nevadans oppose the federal government attempts to locate a high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. They support a policy of opposition on the part of Nevada officials. They believe that Nevadans should have the final say in whether to accept the repository or not, and they reject the proposition that benefits from the repository program will outweigh the harms. These findings are very similar to survey results from 1989 and 1990 and once again demonstrate very widespread public opposition by Nevadans to the current federal repository program

  9. Iron and manganese in oxide minerals and in glasses: preliminary consideration of Eh buffering potential at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The tuffs of Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation as a possible deep burial site for high-level radioactive waste disposal. One of the main concerns is the effect of oxidizing groundwater on the transport of radionuclides. Rock components that may affect the oxygen content of groundwater include Fe-Ti oxides, Mn oxides, and glasses that contain ferrous iron. Some phenocryst Fe-Ti oxides at Yucca Mountain are in reduced states, whereas groundmass Fe-Ti oxides have been oxidized to hematite, rutile, and pseudobrookite (Fe3+-bearing phases) exclusively. Estimates of Fe2+-bearing oxides indicate that less than 0.33 vol% phenocrysts is available to act as solid buffering agents of Eh. Of this percentage, significant amounts of Fe-Ti oxides are isolated from effective interaction with groundwater because they occur in densely welded, devitrified tuffs that have low interstitial permeability. Manganese oxides occur primarily along fractures in the ash-flow tuffs. Because the Mn oxides are concentrated along the same pathways (fractures) where transport has occurred in the past, these small volume percentages could act as buffers. However, the oxidation states of actual Mn-oxide phases are high (Mn4+), and these minerals have virtually no potential for reducing groundwater Eh. Manganese oxides may even act as oxidizing agents. However, regardless of their poor capabilities as reducing agents, the Mn oxides could be important as sorbents of heavy metals at Yucca Mountain. The lack of accessible, pristine Fe-Ti oxides and the generally high oxidation states of Mn oxides seem to rule out these oxides as Eh buffers of the Yucca Mountain groundwater system. Reduction of ferrous iron within glassy tuffs may have some effect on Eh, but further study is needed. At present it is prudent to assume that minerals and glasses have little or no capacity for reducing oxygen-rich groundwater at Yucca Mountain. 25 refs., 3 figs., 12 tabs

  10. Final recommendations of the Peer Review Panel on the use of seismic methods for characterizing Yucca Mountain and vicinity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Peer Review Panel was charged with deciding whether seismic methods, which had been utilized at Yucca Mountain with mixed results in the past, could provide useful information about the Tertiary structure in the Yucca Mountain area. The objectives of using seismic methods at Yucca Mountain are to: (a) obtain information about the structural character of the Paleozoic-Tertiary (Pz-T) contact, and (b) obtain information about the structural and volcanic details within the Tertiary and Quaternary section. The Panel recommends that a four part program be undertaken to test the utility of seismic reflection data for characterizing the structural setting of the Yucca Mountain area. The Panel feels strongly that all four parts of the program must be completed in order to provide the highest probability of success. The four parts of the program are: (a) drill or extend a deep hole in Crater Flat to provide depth control and allow for the identification of seismic reflectors in an area where good quality seismic reflection data are expected; (b) undertake a full seismic noise test in Crater Flat, test 2D receiver arrays as well as linear arrays; perform an expanding spread test using both P and S wave sources to obtain a quick look at the reflection quality in the area and see if shear wave reflections might provide structural information in areas of unsaturated rock; (c) acquire a P wave seismic reflection profile across Crater Flat through the deep control well, across Yucca Mountain, and continuing into Jackass Flats; and (d) acquire a standard VSP (vertical seismic profiling) in the deep control well to tie the seismic data into depth and to identify reflectors correctly

  11. Distribution of Minor Elements in Calcite From the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, B. D.; Whelan, J. F.

    2001-12-01

    Calcite is sporadically distributed in fractures and cavities in the volcanic rocks that form the 500- to 700-m-thick unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Previous work has shown that the calcite precipitated from water moving downward through the unsaturated zone since the volcanic rocks were emplaced approximately 13 Ma. Calcite thus serves as a proxy for the chemistry and amounts of past percolation, two parameters that are important in predictions of the future behavior of the potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Latest calcite, which began forming between approximately 5 and 2 Ma, typically displays fine-scale growth zoning defined by distributions of Mn (inferred from cathodoluminescence), Mg, and Sr. Electron microprobe (EPMA) mapping of outermost calcite reveals Mg growth zoning1 and higher overall concentrations of Mg in late calcite than in older calcite. Micro X-ray fluorescence (micro-XRF) maps were obtained by slow rastering of the samples over a 100-watt X-ray source collimated through a final aperture of 100 μ m. Although the spatial resolution of the micro-XRF mapping is much less than that of EPMA, this technique reveals distributions of some elements to which EPMA is less sensitive. Micro-XRF maps show that Sr is spatially correlated with Mg; Sr concentrations range to 500 μ g/g at the resolution of the 100-μ m collimator. Because both Mg and Sr have similar calcite-water distribution coefficients much less than one, the Mg/Sr in calcite reflects the Mg/Sr of the water that precipitated the calcite. The distribution coefficient for Mn is greater than one and variations in Mn are not correlated with Mg and Sr. Covariation of Mg and Sr in the percolating water may be explained by reactions that affect the rate of uptake of chemical constituents from the overlying rock and soil, and/or evaporation. Late calcite has lower δ 13C values, probably due to a regional change from wetter to drier climate conditions. The higher Mg and

  12. Environmental Impacts of Transportation to the Potential Repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada analyzes a Proposed Action to construct, operate, monitor, and eventually close a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. As part of the Proposed Action, the EIS analyzes the potential impacts of transporting commercial and DOE spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste to Yucca Mountain from 77 sites across the United States. The analysis includes information on the comparative impacts of transporting these materials by truck and rail and discusses the impacts of building a rail line or using heavy-haul trucks to move rail casks from a mainline railroad in Nevada to the site. This paper provides an overview of the analyses and the potential impacts of these transportation activities. The potential transportation impacts were looked at from two perspectives: transportation of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste by legal-weight truck or by rail on a national scale and impacts specific to Nevada from the transportation of these materials from the State borders to the Yucca Mountain site. In order to address the range of impacts that could result from the most likely modes, legal-weight truck and rail, the EIS employed two analytical scenarios--mostly legal-weight truck and mostly rail. Estimated national transportation impacts were based on 24 years of transportation activities. Approximately 8 fatalities could occur from all causes in the nationwide general population from incident-free transportation activities of the mostly legal-weight truck scenario and about 4 from the mostly rail scenario. The analysis examined the radiological consequences under the maximum foreseeable accident scenario and also overall accident risk. The overall accident risk over the 24 year period would be about 0.0002 latent cancer fatality for

  13. Geology of the USW SD-7 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engstrom, D.A. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The USW SD-7 drill hole is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the Systematic Drilling Program, as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Yucca Mountain site has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-7 drill hole is located near the southern end of the potential repository area and immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility. The hole is not far from the junction of the Main Test Level drift and the proposed South Ramp decline. Drill hole USW SD-7 is 2675.1 ft (815.3 m) deep, and the core recovered nearly complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. Core was recovered from much of the underlying Calico Hills Formation, and core was virtually continuous in the Prow Pass Tuff and the Bullfrog Tuff. The SD-7 drill hole penetrated the top several tens of feet into the Tram Tuff, which underlies the Prow Pass and Bullfrog Tuffs. These latter three units are all formations of the Crater Flat Group, The drill hole was collared in welded materials assigned to the crystal-poor middle nonlithophysal zone of the Tiva Canyon Tuff; approximately 280 ft (85 m) of this ash-flow sheet was penetrated by the hole. The Yucca Mountain Tuff appears to be missing from the section at the USW SD-7 location, and the Pah Canyon Tuff is only 14.5 ft thick. The Pah Canyon Tuff was not recovered in core because of drilling difficulties, suggesting that the unit is entirely nonwelded. The presence of this unit is inferred through interpretation of down-hole geophysical logs.

  14. ATMOSPHERIC DISPERSAL AND DEPOSITION OF TEPHRA FROM A POTENTIAL VOLCANIC ERUPTION AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Harrington

    2004-10-25

    The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation of the conceptual and mathematical model (Ashplume) for atmospheric dispersal and subsequent deposition of ash on the land surface from a potential volcanic eruption at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This report also documents the ash (tephra) redistribution conceptual model. These aspects of volcanism-related dose calculation are described in the context of the entire igneous disruptive events conceptual model in ''Characterize Framework for Igneous Activity'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169989], Section 6.1.1). The Ashplume conceptual model accounts for incorporation and entrainment of waste fuel particles associated with a hypothetical volcanic eruption through the Yucca Mountain repository and downwind transport of contaminated tephra. The Ashplume mathematical model describes the conceptual model in mathematical terms to allow for prediction of radioactive waste/ash deposition on the ground surface given that the hypothetical eruptive event occurs. This model report also describes the conceptual model for tephra redistribution from a basaltic cinder cone. Sensitivity analyses and model validation activities for the ash dispersal and redistribution models are also presented. Analyses documented in this model report update the previous documentation of the Ashplume mathematical model and its application to the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application (TSPA-LA) igneous scenarios. This model report also documents the redistribution model product outputs based on analyses to support the conceptual model. In this report, ''Ashplume'' is used when referring to the atmospheric dispersal model and ''ASHPLUME'' is used when referencing the code of that model. Two analysis and model reports provide direct inputs to this model report, namely ''Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and Number of Waste Packages Hit

  15. Native Americans and Yucca Mountain: A revised and updated summary report on research undertaken between 1987 and 1991; Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fowler, C.S. [Cultural Resources Consultants Ltd., Reno, NV (United States)

    1991-10-15

    This report consists of Yucca Mountain Project bibliographies. It is the appendix to a report that summarizes data collected between September 1986 and September 1988 relative to Native American concerns involving the potential siting of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The data were collected from Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people upon whose aboriginal lands the repository potentially is to be located. Western Shoshone people involved in the study were those resident or affiliated with reservation communities at Yomba and Duckwater, Nevada, and Death Valley, California. Southern Paiute people were at reservation communities at Moapa and Las Vegas. Additional persons of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute descent were interviewed at Beatty, Tonopah, Caliente, Pahrump, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The work was part of a larger project of socioeconomic studies for the State of Nevada`s Nuclear Waste Projects office, conducted by Mountain West of Phoenix, Arizona.

  16. Native Americans and Yucca Mountain: A revised and updated summary report on research undertaken between 1987 and 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report consists of Yucca Mountain Project bibliographies. It is the appendix to a report that summarizes data collected between September 1986 and September 1988 relative to Native American concerns involving the potential siting of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The data were collected from Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute people upon whose aboriginal lands the repository potentially is to be located. Western Shoshone people involved in the study were those resident or affiliated with reservation communities at Yomba and Duckwater, Nevada, and Death Valley, California. Southern Paiute people were at reservation communities at Moapa and Las Vegas. Additional persons of Western Shoshone and Southern Paiute descent were interviewed at Beatty, Tonopah, Caliente, Pahrump, and Las Vegas, Nevada. The work was part of a larger project of socioeconomic studies for the State of Nevada's Nuclear Waste Projects office, conducted by Mountain West of Phoenix, Arizona

  17. Stable Isotopic Evidence for a Pedogenic Origin of Carbonates in Trench 14 near Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quade, J; Cerling, T E

    1990-12-14

    Layered carbonate and silica encrust fault fractures exposed in Trench 14 near Yucca Mountain, site of the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository in southern Nevada. Comparison of the stable carbon and oxygen isotopic compositions of the fracture carbonates with those of modern soil carbonates in the area shows that the fracture carbonates are pedogenic in origin and that they likely formed in the presence of vegetation and rainfall typical of a glacial climate. Their isotopic composition differs markedly from that of carbonate associated with nearby springs. The regional water table therefore remained below the level of Trench 14 during the time that the carbonates and silica precipitated, a period probably covering parts of at least the last 300,000 years. PMID:17818282

  18. 40Ar/39Ar Age of the Lathrop Wells Volcanic Center, Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Turrin, B D; Champion, D; Fleck, R J

    1991-08-01

    Paleomagnetic and (40)Ar/(39)Ar analyses from the Lathrop Wells volcanic center, Nevada, indicate that two eruptive events have occurred there. The ages (136 +/- 8 and 141 +/- 9 thousand years ago) for these two events are analytically indistinguishable. The small angular difference (4.7 degrees ) between the paleomagnetic directions from these two events suggests they differ in age by only about 100 years. These ages are consistent with the chronology of the surficial geological units in the Yucca Mountain area. These results contradict earlier interpretations of the cinder-cone geomorphology and soil-profile data that suggest that at least five temporally discrete eruptive events occurred at Lathrop Wells approximately 20,000 years ago. PMID:17772371

  19. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994, and from March to October 1995. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium's electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 375 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area these allocated to 179 genera and 54 families. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this study

  20. Natural Analoges as a Check of Predicted Drift Stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Stuckless

    2006-03-10

    Calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project as part of the licensing of a proposed geologic repository (in southwestern Nevada) for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, predict that emplacement tunnels will remain open with little collapse long after ground support has disintegrated. This conclusion includes the effects of anticipated seismic events. Natural analogues cannot provide a quantitative test of this conclusion, but they can provide a reasonableness test by examining the natural and anthropogenic examples of stability of subterranean openings. Available data from a variety of sources, combined with limited observations by the author, show that natural underground openings tend to resist collapse for millions of years and that anthropogenic subterranean openings have remained open from before recorded history through today. This stability is true even in seismically active areas. In fact, the archaeological record is heavily skewed toward preservation of underground structures relative to those found at the surface.

  1. Natural Analoges as a Check of Predicted Drift Stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project as part of the licensing of a proposed geologic repository (in southwestern Nevada) for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, predict that emplacement tunnels will remain open with little collapse long after ground support has disintegrated. This conclusion includes the effects of anticipated seismic events. Natural analogues cannot provide a quantitative test of this conclusion, but they can provide a reasonableness test by examining the natural and anthropogenic examples of stability of subterranean openings. Available data from a variety of sources, combined with limited observations by the author, show that natural underground openings tend to resist collapse for millions of years and that anthropogenic subterranean openings have remained open from before recorded history through today. This stability is true even in seismically active areas. In fact, the archaeological record is heavily skewed toward preservation of underground structures relative to those found at the surface

  2. Preclosure radiological safety analysis for accident conditions of the potential Yucca Mountain Repository: Underground facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This preliminary preclosure radiological safety analysis assesses the scenarios, probabilities, and potential radiological consequences associated with postulated accidents in the underground facility of the potential Yucca Mountain repository. The analysis follows a probabilistic-risk-assessment approach. Twenty-one event trees resulting in 129 accident scenarios are developed. Most of the scenarios have estimated annual probabilities ranging from 10-11/yr to 10-5/yr. The study identifies 33 scenarios that could result in offsite doses over 50 mrem and that have annual probabilities greater than 10-9/yr. The largest offsite dose is calculated to be 220 mrem, which is less than the 500 mrem value used to define items important to safety in 10 CFR 60. The study does not address an estimate of uncertainties, therefore conclusions or decisions made as a result of this report should be made with caution

  3. Preliminary preclosure radiological safety analysis for normal operations of a prospective Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A preliminary radiological safety analysis was performed for the normal operating conditions during the preclosure period at the prospective Yucca Mountain Repository. Since the repository is designed to accommodate spent fuel and defense high-level waste (DHLW), an estimate was made of the offsite doses and onsite occupational doses from anticipated routine releases of airborne radioactive materials and from the handling of the spent fuels and DHLW. This paper summarizes the methodology and calculated offsite doses resulting from the postulated routine releases of airborne radioactive materials from the waste-handling building through inhalation and immersion pathways. The calculated onsite occupational doses from the inhalation, immersion, and direct exposure pathways will be reported elsewhere at a later date

  4. An example postclosure risk assessment using the potential Yucca Mountain Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doctor, P.G.; Eslinger, P.W.; Elwood, D.M.; Engel, D.W.; Freshley, M.D.; Liebetrau, A.M.; Reimus, P.W.; Strenge, D.L.; Tanner, J.E.; Van Luik, A.E.

    1992-05-01

    The risk analysis described in this document was performed for the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) over a 2-year time period ending in June 1988. The objective of Pacific Northwest Laboratory`s (PNL) task was to demonstrate an integrated, though preliminary, modeling approach for estimating the postclosure risk associated with a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The modeling study used published characterization data for the proposed candidate site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, along with existing models and computer codes available at that time. Some of the site data and conceptual models reported in the Site Characterization Plan published in December 1988, however, were not yet available at the time that PNL conducted the modeling studies.

  5. Multimode reverse time VSP imaging over complex structures at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    With VSP (Vertical Seismic Profiling) data, variable density plots of its observed, recorded wavefield reveal little about the nearby geologic structure. Considerable structural information is contained in the reflected events, but migration or some similar procedure is needed to image the reflectors and create an interpretable display of the structure. The authors have succeeded in imaging reflectors by reverse time wave equation migration in a physical elastic model of a simple fault, and in a complex physical 2-D scale model of Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. All four modes: P-P, P-S, S-P, and S-S can be imaged. Images are generated by forward scattered as well as back scattered events. The images compare favorably with the models can demonstrate the efficacy of the technique in VSP processing and interpretation

  6. Meteorological Monitoring Plan for the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project, Yucca Mountain site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Yucca Mountain monitoring network will consist of four 10-meter towers and one 60-meter tower each instrumented to collect data on wind speed, wind direction, sigma theta, ambient temperature, and relative humidity. In addition, the 60-meter tower will include instrumentation to measure net radiation (solar and terrestrial), atmospheric turbulence, precipitation, and other meteorological parameters that will be discussed later in this Meteorological Monitoring Plan (MMP). The monitoring stations are scheduled to be installed and fully operational by the end of September 1985. SAIC will assist DOE in developing station design and in final equipment selection and will be responsible for installation, maintenance, data reduction, and quality assurance activities. The following sections of this MMP provide a general project description, the specifics of the monitoring program, and the practices that will be employed to ensure the validity of the collected data

  7. Test and evaluation of natural barriers at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Management of the site characterization program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US DOE is responsible for managing a characterization program for the Yucca Mountain site to collect data needed to determine if the site is suitable for recommendation for development as a repository. If found to be suitable, the site will then begin the licensing process with the US NRC. Given the long time period over which this process occurs, it is essential that the data base for the site is systematically documented and updated. Likewise, the records for preliminary performance evaluations are an essential part of that documentation package. A cornerstone of DOE's management approach to site characterization and evaluation are documented and available for scrutiny by oversight groups and the NRC, especially during the licensing process

  8. Chemistry of Water Collected From an Unventilated Drift, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Water samples (referred to as puddle water samples) were collected from the surfaces of a conveyor belt and plastic sheeting in the unventilated portion of the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift in 2003 and 2005 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The chemistry of these puddle water samples is very different than that of pore water samples from borehole cores in the same region of the Cross Drift or than seepage water samples collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility tunnel in 2005. The origin of the puddle water is condensation on surfaces of introduced materials and its chemistry is dominated by components of the introduced materials. Large CO2 concentrations may be indicative of localized chemical conditions induced by biologic activity. (authors)

  9. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1991--September 30, 1991, Number 5

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Site Characterization Progress Report of Yucca Mountain (PR) presents brief summaries of the status of site characterization activities and cites the technical reports and research products that provide more detailed information on the activities. The report provides highlights of work started during the reporting period, work in progress, and work completed and documented during the reporting period. In addition, the report is the vehicle for the discussion of changes to the DOE's site characterization program resulting from ongoing collection and evaluation of site information; the development of repository and waste-package designs; the results of performance assessments; and any changes that occur in response to external comments. Information covered includes geochemistry, hydrology, geology, climate, and radiation dose estimate calculations

  10. Rock mass mechanical property estimations for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rock mass mechanical properties are important in the design of drifts and ramps. These properties are used in evaluations of the impacts of thermomechanical loading of potential host rock within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Representative intact rock and joint mechanical properties were selected for welded and nonwelded tuffs from the currently available data sources. Rock mass qualities were then estimated using both the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (Q) and Geomechanics Rating (RMR) systems. Rock mass mechanical properties were developed based on estimates of rock mass quality, the current knowledge of intact properties, and fracture/joint characteristics. Empirical relationships developed to correlate the rock mass quality indices and the rock mass mechanical properties were then used to estimate the range of rock mass mechanical properties

  11. Nuclear waste package corrosion behavior in the proposed Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The corrosion performance of spent nuclear fuel waste packages is becoming increasingly important in establishing the viability of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository system. Current package concepts propose the use of a 2 cm thick nickel-base superalloy (Alloy 22) shell as the main barrier to prevent corrosion penetration over many thousands of years. The expected package service conditions, as well as their variability and uncertainty, are discussed. The electrochemical conditions known to be responsible for passive behavior and its breakdown in Alloy 22 and similar alloys are examined in the light of the predicted repository environment. Durability prediction approaches and their conclusions are considered. Efforts to determine the relative impact of localized modes of failure and uniform passive dissolution on package durability are reviewed, along with open issues in need of resolution and alternative package designs. The basic question of the validity of extrapolating corrosion behavior over many times the duration of the present base of experience is addressed

  12. Comparison of the Microbial Community Composition at Yucca Mountain and Laboratory Test Nuclear Repository Environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The microbiological community structure within a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), NV was determined. Microbial growth from collected rock was detected using simulated ground water as a growth medium, with or without amendment of a carbon source. Grown isolates were identified by 16S ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis. A more complete compositional analysis of the microbial community located at the proposed nuclear waste repository site was performed using environmental DNA isolation and subsequent identification of amplified 16S rDNA genes. Concurrently, a series of corrosion testing tanks that simulate the evolution of anticipated environmental conditions within the proposed repository have been subjected to the same type of analyses.

  13. Scenarios constructed for basaltic igneous activity at Yucca Mountain and vicinity

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Basaltic volcanism has been identified as a possible future event initiating a release of radionuclides from a potential repository at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level waste repository site. The performance assessment method set forth in the Site Characterization Plan (DOE, 1988) requires that a set of scenarios encompassing all significant radionuclide release paths to the accessible environment be described. This report attempts to catalogue the details of the interactions between the features and processes produced by basaltic volcanism in the presence of the presumed groundwater flow system and a repository structure, the engineered barrier system (EBS), and waste. This catalogue is developed in the form of scenarios. We define a scenario as a well-posed problem, starting from an initiating event or process and proceeding through a logically connected and physically possible combination or sequence of features, events, and processes (FEPs) to the release of contaminants

  14. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 1, Research report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R. [Nevada Univ., Las Vegas, NV (United States). Transportation Research Center

    1991-05-31

    In this study, rail and highway routes which may be used for shipments of high-level nuclear waste to a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are characterized. This characterization facilitates three types of impact analysis: comparative study, limited worst-case assessment, and more sophisticated probabilistic risk assessment techniques. Data for relative and absolute impact measures are provided to support comparisons of routes based on selected characteristics. A worst-case scenario assessment is included to determine potentially critical and most likely places for accidents or incidents to occur. The assessment facilitated by the data in this study is limited because impact measures are restricted to the identification of potential areas or persons affected. No attempt is made to quantify the magnitude of these impacts. Most likely locations for accidents to occur are determined relative to other locations within the scope of this study. Independent factors and historical trends used to identify these likely locations are only proxies for accident probability.

  15. Scaling of material properties for Yucca Mountain: literature review and numerical experiments on saturated hydraulic conductivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McKenna, S.A.; Rautman, C.A.

    1996-08-01

    A review of pertinent literature reveals techniques which may be practical for upscaling saturated hydraulic conductivity at Yucca Mountain: geometric mean, spatial averaging, inverse numerical modeling, renormalization, and a perturbation technique. Isotropic realizations of log hydraulic conductivity exhibiting various spatial correlation lengths are scaled from the point values to five discrete scales through these techniques. For the variances in log{sub 10} saturated hydraulic conductivity examined here, geometric mean, numerical inverse and renormalization adequately reproduce point scale fluxes across the modeled domains. Fastest particle velocities and dispersion measured on the point scale are not reproduced by the upscaled fields. Additional numerical experiments examine the utility of power law averaging on a geostatistical realization of a cross-section similar to the cross-sections that will be used in the 1995 groundwater travel time calculations. A literature review on scaling techniques for thermal and mechanical properties is included. 153 refs., 29 figs., 6 tabs.

  16. Comparison of the Microbial Community Composition at Yucca Mountain and Laboratory Test Nuclear Repository Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, J; Carrillo, C; Dias, V

    2002-10-09

    The microbiological community structure within a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), NV was determined. Microbial growth from collected rock was detected using simulated ground water as a growth medium, with or without amendment of a carbon source. Grown isolates were identified by 16s ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis. A more complete compositional analysis of the microbial community located at the proposed nuclear waste repository site was performed using environmental DNA isolation and subsequent identification of amplified 16s rDNA genes. Concurrently, a series of corrosion testing tanks that simulate the evolution of anticipated environmental conditions within the proposed repository have been subjected to the same type of analyses.

  17. Characterization of seepage in the exploratory studies facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, T.A.; Whelan, J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Following a 5-month period of above-average precipitation during the winter of 2004-2005, water was observed seeping into the South Ramp section of the Exploratory Studies Facility of the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples of the seepage were collected and analyzed for major ions, trace metals, and delta deuterium and delta oxygen-18 values in an effort to characterize the water and assess the interaction of seepage with anthropogenic materials used in the construction of the proposed repository. As demonstrated by the changes in the chemistry of water dripping from a rock bolt, interaction of seepage with construction materials can alter solution chemistry and oxidation state.

  18. A first look at roadheader construction and estimating techniques for site characterization at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Yucca Mountain site characterization program will be based on mechanical excavation techniques for the mined repository construction and development. Tunnel Boring Machines (TBM's), Mobile Miners (MM), Raiseborers (RB), Blind Hole Shaft Boring Machines (BHSB), and Roadheaders (RH) have been selected as the mechanical excavation machines most suited to mine the densely welded and non-welded tuffs of the Topopah Springs and Calico Hills members. Heavy duty RH in the 70 to 100 ton class with 300 Kw cutter motors have been evaluated and formulas developed to predict machine performance based on the rock physical properties and the results of Linear Cutting Machine (LCM) tests done at the Colorado School of Mines (CSM) for Sandia National Labs. (SNL)

  19. Expert decisionmaking in risk analysis: The case of the Yucca Mountain facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thirty-five or forty centuries ago, there were probably Egyptian experts who argued that they could safeguard the tombs of the pharaohs for 10,000 or a million years. Six centuries ago, there were probably Italian experts who believed that they could secure their Renaissance art treasures. Neither the Egyptians nor the Italians succeeded completely in their efforts. Today's experts, working on permanent nuclear waste disposal, face no easier a task. To understand some of the most difficult problems of expert judgment regarding nuclear repositories, these remarks address, 10 problematic judgments of scientists about the proposed Yucca Mountain permanent nuclear repository for spent fuel and high-level nuclear waste; argue that legal constraints imposed by the US government exacerbate these problems of expert scientific judgment; and conclude that, for any permanent repository program to succeed, nations ought to avoid problems (in expert scientific judgment and in the law) that have dogged US repository efforts

  20. Tectonic characterization of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, John W.; O'Leary, Dennis W.

    1993-01-01

    Tectonic characterization of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is needed to assess seismic and possible volcanic hazards that could affect the site during the preclosure (next 100 years) and the behavior of the hydrologic system during the postclosure (the following 10,000 years) periods. Tectonic characterization is based on assembling mapped geological structures in their chronological order of development and activity, and interpreting their dynamic interrelationships. Addition of mechanistic models and kinematic explanations for the identified tectonic processes provides one or more tectonic models having predictive power. Proper evaluation and application of tectonic models can aid in seismic design and help anticipate probable occurrence of future geologic events of significance to the repository and its design.

  1. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, January--June 1988: An update: Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project was renamed the Yucca Mountain Project on August 5, 1988. This update contains information that was added to the DOE Energy Data Base during the first six months of 1988. The update is categorized by principal project participating organizations, and items are arranged in chronological order. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Previous information on this project can be found in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations bibliographies, DOE/TIC-3406 which covers the years 1977--1985, and DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1) which covers 1986 and 1987. These bibliographies contain indexes for Corporate Author, Personal Author, Subject, Contract Number, Report Number, Order Number Correlation and Key Word in Context

  2. Linear thermal expansion data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Experiment results are presented for linear thermal expansion measurements on tuffaceous rocks from the unsaturated < one at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data were obtained both with and without confining pressure. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between 50 and 250 degrees C is better than 1.8 percent, with the precision better than 4.5;percent. The accuracy of the unconfined data collected between ambient temperature and 50 degrees C and is approximately 11 percent deviation from the true value, with a precision of 12 percent of the mean value. Because of experiment design and the lack of information related calibrations, the accuracy and precision of the confined thermal expansion measurements could not be determined

  3. An example postclosure risk assessment using the potential Yucca Mountain Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The risk analysis described in this document was performed for the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) over a 2-year time period ending in June 1988. The objective of Pacific Northwest Laboratory's (PNL) task was to demonstrate an integrated, though preliminary, modeling approach for estimating the postclosure risk associated with a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The modeling study used published characterization data for the proposed candidate site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, along with existing models and computer codes available at that time. Some of the site data and conceptual models reported in the Site Characterization Plan published in December 1988, however, were not yet available at the time that PNL conducted the modeling studies

  4. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1995-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994, and from March to October 1995. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium`s electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 375 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area these allocated to 179 genera and 54 families. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this study.

  5. MRS system study for the repository: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinagra, T.A. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Harig, R. [Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA)

    1990-12-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), has initiated a waste management system study to identify the impacts of the presence or absence of a monitored retrievable storage facility (hereinafter referred to as ``MRS``) on system costs and program schedules. To support this study, life-cycle cost estimates and construction schedules have been prepared for the surface and underground facilities and operations geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Nine different operating scenarios (cases) have been identified by OCRWM for inclusion in this study. For each case, the following items are determined: the repository design and construction costs, operating costs, closure and decommissioning costs, required staffing, construction schedules, uncertainties associated with the costs and schedules, and shipping cask and disposal container throughputs. This document contains A-D.

  6. PILOT-SCALE EVALUATION OF ENGINEERED BARRIER SYSTEMS FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper describes two quarter-scale experiments (1.4 m diameter) and associated numerical analyses on granular backfill engineered barrier systems in support of the Yucca Mountain Project for the potential repository. The two configurations include a sloped capillary barrier and a plain backfill. The tests involve application of dyed water as a constant line infiltration source along the top of the test set-up, monitoring water movement through the test, and measuring water exiting the experiments. A complete water balance estimate is made for each test, and observed water movement is compared with (1) detailed numerical analyses conducted using the TOUGH2 code for unsaturated flow in porous media and (2) posttest observations. The results of the testing and analyses show that for the injection rates and configuration applied, the capillary barrier design diverts a significant amount of all injected water and the TOUGH2 pretest predictions show qualitative and quantitative agreement with the experimental data

  7. Preclosure safety analysis for a prospective Yucca Mountain conceptual design repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, C.W. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Jardine, L.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA)

    1989-12-01

    A preliminary probabilistic risk assessment was performed for the prospective Yucca Mountain conceptual design repository. A new methodology to quantify radioactive source terms was developed and applied in the analysis. The study identified 42 event trees comprising 278 accident scenarios. The maximum offsite dose evaluated in this study is about 1000 mrem. For the majority of the accident scenarios, either the offsite dose is less than 100 mrem or the probability of occurrence is less than 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}9}/yr. Only 11 accident scenarios with a dose larger than 100 mrem and an associated probability greater than 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}9}/yr were identified. A more detailed follow-on analysis for seismic events of various severity was also performed, and similar results were obtained. Therefore, based on the results of this analysis, no significant risk to the general public was identified during the preclosure period for the conceptual repository design. 13 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  8. Mineralogy, petrology and whole-rock chemistry data compilation for selected samples of Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Petrologic, bulk chemical, and mineralogic data are presented for 49 samples of tuffaceous rocks from core holes USW G-1 and UE-25a number-sign 1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Included, in descending stratigraphic order, are 11 samples from the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, 12 samples from the Tuffaceous Beds of Calico Hills, 3 samples from the Prow Pass Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, 20 samples from the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff and 3 samples from the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The suite of samples contains a wide variety of petrologic types, including zeolitized, glassy, and devitrified tuffs. Data vary considerably between groups of samples, and include thin section descriptions (some with modal analyses for which uncertainties are estimated), electron microprobe analyses of mineral phases and matrix, mineral identifications by X-ray diffraction, and major element analyses with uncertainty estimates

  9. Data report for the 1983 seismic-refraction experiment at Yucca Mountain, Beatty and vicinity, southwestern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In June 1983, the US Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a seismic-refraction survey in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain and Beatty, Nevada to better define the P(compressional)-wave velocity structure of the upper crust in this area. This experiment is part of continuing seismic investigations in the region of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) by the USGS on behalf of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation Project (NNWSI) to aid in determining the feasibility of the proposed nuclear waste disposal site at Yucca Mountin. The 1983 seismic-refraction survey consisted of ten individual explosions at nine shotpoints, recorded by two deployments of 120 portable seismographs constituting North-South and East-West profiles (Plate 1). The North-South profile extended 45 kilometers along the western flank of Yucca Mountain. Recorder station spacing averaged 0.40 km, and seven shots spaced 8 km apart were fired. The East-West profile extended 60 km from Yucca Mountain west through Fluorspar Canyon and Titus Canyon to the floor of Death Valley, California. Recorder station spacing averaged 0.40 km to 0.60 km and three shots were fired at Yucca Mountain, near Beatty, and at the Death Valley boundary. This report includes record sections from the ten shotpoints (Plates 2-11), a list of siesmograph locations (Appendix A), a list of shotpoint locations and shot times, DKDAT data files and Tape Grade Code (Appendix B), and a list of first-arrival traveltime picks (Appendix C). Detailed interpretation of these data will be published in a subsequent report

  10. Uncertainty and variability of infiltration at Yucca Mountain: Part 1. Numerical model development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stothoff, Stuart A.

    2013-06-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission investigated climate and infiltration at Yucca Mountain to (i) understand important controls and uncertainties influencing percolation through the unsaturated zone on multimillennial time scales and (ii) provide flux boundary conditions for up to 1 million years in performance assessment models of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. This first part of a two-part series describes a procedure for abstracting the results from detailed numerical simulations of local-scale infiltration into a site-scale model considering uncertainty and variability in distributed net infiltration. Part 2 describes site-scale model results and corroboration. A detailed one-dimensional numerical model was used to estimate bare-soil net infiltration at the scales of hours and meters for 442 soil, bedrock, and climate combinations. The set of results are abstracted into three parametric response functions for decadal-average bare-soil infiltration given hydraulic and climatic parameters. The three abstractions describe deep soil, shallow soil over a coarser layer, and shallow soil over a finer layer. The site-scale model considers spatial variability and uncertainty of the input parameters on a 30 m grid, using the abstractions independently in each cell. Two additional abstractions account for overland flow and vegetation. The model uses Monte Carlo simulation, with all input parameters uncertain and spatially variable, to calculate the mean and standard deviation of net infiltration in each grid cell for selected climate states. Using abstractions rather than detailed simulations speeds calculation of infiltration realizations by many orders of magnitude relative to a detailed simulation.

  11. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain - SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). These analyses estimate the future behavior of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site under consideration by the Department of Energy. TSPA-93 builds upon previous efforts by emphasizing YMP concerns relating to site characterization, design, and regulatory compliance. Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. Hydrologic parameters and parameter probability distributions have been derived from available site data. Possible future climate changes are modeled by considering two separate groundwater infiltration conditions: open-quotes wetclose quotes with a mean flux of 10 mm/yr, and open-quotes dryclose quotes with a mean flux of 0.5 mm/yr. Two alternative waste-package designs and two alternative repository areal thermal power densities are investigated. One waste package is a thin-wall container emplaced in a vertical borehole, and the second is a container designed with corrosion-resistant and corrosion-allowance walls emplaced horizontally in the drift. Thermal power loadings of 57 kW/acre (the loading specified in the original repository conceptual design) and 114 kW/acre (a loading chosen to investigate effects of a open-quotes hot repositoryclose quotes) are considered. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone

  12. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The report is the sixteenth in a series issued approximately every six months to report progress and results of site characterization activities being conducted to evaluate Yucca Mountain as a possible geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This report highlights work started, in progress, and completed during the reporting period. In addition, this report documents and discusses changes to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Site Characterization Program (Program) resulting from the ongoing collection and evaluation of site information, systems analyses, development of repository and waste package designs, and results of performance assessment activities. Details on the activities summarized can be found in the numerous technical reports cited throughout the progress report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) activities this period focused on implementing the near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan issued last period. Near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan include updating the US Department of Energy's (DOE) repository siting guidelines to be consistent with a more focused performance-driven program; supporting an assessment in 1998 of the viability of continuing with actions leading to the licensing of a repository; and if the site is suitable, submittal of a Secretarial site recommendation to the President in 2001 and license application the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2002. During this reporting period, the Project developed and baselined its long-range plan in December 1996. That revision reflected the detailed fiscal year (FY) 1997 work scope and funding plan previously baselined at the end of FY 1996. Site characterization activities have been focused to answer the major open technical issues and to support the viability assessment

  13. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain - SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993); Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.; Gauthier, J.H.; Barnard, R.W.; Barr, G.E.; Dockery, H.A.; Dunn, E.; Eaton, R.R.; Guerin, D.C.; Lu, N.; Martinez, M.J. [and others

    1994-04-01

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). These analyses estimate the future behavior of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site under consideration by the Department of Energy. TSPA-93 builds upon previous efforts by emphasizing YMP concerns relating to site characterization, design, and regulatory compliance. Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. Hydrologic parameters and parameter probability distributions have been derived from available site data. Possible future climate changes are modeled by considering two separate groundwater infiltration conditions: {open_quotes}wet{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 10 mm/yr, and {open_quotes}dry{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 0.5 mm/yr. Two alternative waste-package designs and two alternative repository areal thermal power densities are investigated. One waste package is a thin-wall container emplaced in a vertical borehole, and the second is a container designed with corrosion-resistant and corrosion-allowance walls emplaced horizontally in the drift. Thermal power loadings of 57 kW/acre (the loading specified in the original repository conceptual design) and 114 kW/acre (a loading chosen to investigate effects of a {open_quotes}hot repository{close_quotes}) are considered. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone.

  14. Paleohydrologic investigations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain: Late Quaternary paleobotanical and polynological records

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spaulding, W.G.

    1994-10-05

    The primary objective of this research in the vicinity of the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is the detection of episodes of increased runoff and groundwater discharge in this presently arid area. Ancient, inactive spring deposits in nearby valley bottoms (Haynes, 1967; Quade, 1986; Quade and Pratt, 1989), evidence for perennial water in presently dry canyons (Spaulding, 1992), and recent claims for extraordinary increases in precipitation during the last glacial age (Forester, 1994), provide good reason to further investigate both lowland spring-discharge habitats, and upland drainages. The ultimate purpose is to assess the long-term variability of the hydrologic system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in response to naturally occurring climatic changes. The data generated in the course of this study are derived from radiocarbon dated packrat (Neotoma) middens. This report presents the results of an initial assessment of the hydrologic stability of the candidate area based on a limited suite of middens from localities that, on geomorphic and hydrologic grounds, could have been close to ancient stream-side or spring environments. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are another means of studying the long-term climatic hydrologic stability of the Candidate Area include, and are also generated from packrat midden data. A different flora characterized the Candidate Area during the last glacial age in response to a cooler and wetter climate, and the plant species that comprised this flora can be used to reconstruct specific components of past climatic regimes. Thus, a secondary objective of this study is to compare the plant macrofossil data generated in this study to other records from the Candidate Area (Spaulding, 1985; Wigand, 1990) to determine if these new data are consistent with prior reconstructions. 66 refs., 4 figs., 13 tabs.

  15. Incorporating uncertainties into risk assessment with an application to the exploratory studies facilities at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A methodology that incorporates variability and reducible sources of uncertainty into the probabilistic and consequence components of risk was developed. The method was applied to the north tunnel of the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In this assessment, variability and reducible sources of uncertainty were characterized and propagated through the risk assessment models using a Monte Carlo based software package. The results were then manipulated into risk curves at the 5% and 95% confidence levels for both the variability and overall uncertainty analyses, thus distinguishing between variability and reducible sources of uncertainty. In the Yucca Mountain application, the designation of the north tunnel as an item important to public safety, as defined by 10 CFR 60, was determined. Specifically, the annual frequency of a rock fall breaching a waste package causing an off-site dose of 500 mrem (5x10-3 Sv) was calculated. The annual frequency, taking variability into account, ranged from 1.9x10-9 per year at the 5% confidence level to 2.5x10-9 per year at the 95% confidence level. The frequency range after including all uncertainty was 9.5x10-10 to 1.8x10-8 per year. The maximum observable frequency, at the 100% confidence level, was 4.9x10-8 per year. This is below the 10-6 per year frequency criteria of 10 CFR 60. Therefore, based on this work, the north tunnel does not fall under the items important to public safety designation for the event studied

  16. Paleohydrologic investigations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain: Late Quaternary paleobotanical and polynological records

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The primary objective of this research in the vicinity of the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is the detection of episodes of increased runoff and groundwater discharge in this presently arid area. Ancient, inactive spring deposits in nearby valley bottoms (Haynes, 1967; Quade, 1986; Quade and Pratt, 1989), evidence for perennial water in presently dry canyons (Spaulding, 1992), and recent claims for extraordinary increases in precipitation during the last glacial age (Forester, 1994), provide good reason to further investigate both lowland spring-discharge habitats, and upland drainages. The ultimate purpose is to assess the long-term variability of the hydrologic system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in response to naturally occurring climatic changes. The data generated in the course of this study are derived from radiocarbon dated packrat (Neotoma) middens. This report presents the results of an initial assessment of the hydrologic stability of the candidate area based on a limited suite of middens from localities that, on geomorphic and hydrologic grounds, could have been close to ancient stream-side or spring environments. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are another means of studying the long-term climatic hydrologic stability of the Candidate Area include, and are also generated from packrat midden data. A different flora characterized the Candidate Area during the last glacial age in response to a cooler and wetter climate, and the plant species that comprised this flora can be used to reconstruct specific components of past climatic regimes. Thus, a secondary objective of this study is to compare the plant macrofossil data generated in this study to other records from the Candidate Area (Spaulding, 1985; Wigand, 1990) to determine if these new data are consistent with prior reconstructions. 66 refs., 4 figs., 13 tabs

  17. Making the Postclosure Safety Case for the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. Swift; A.V. Luik

    2006-08-28

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in its advisory standard for geological repositories promulgated jointly with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, explicitly distinguishes between the concepts of a safety case and a safety assessment. As defined in the advisory standard, the safety case is a broader set of arguments that provide confidence and substantiate the formal analyses of system safety made through the process of safety assessment. Although the IAEAYs definitions include both preclosure (i.e., operational) safety and post-closure performance in the overall safety assessment and safety case, the emphasis in here is on long-term performance after waste has been emplaced and the repository has been closed. This distinction between pre- and postclosure aspects of the repository is consistent with the U.S. regulatory framework defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chapter 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 197, or 40 CFR 197) [2] and implemented by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Chapter 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 63, or 10 CFR 63) [3]. The separation of the pre- and postclosure safety cases is also consistent with the way in which the U.S. Department of Energy has assigned responsibilities for developing the safety case. Bechtel SAIC Company is the Management and Operating contractor responsible for the design and operation of the Yucca Mountain facility and is therefore responsible for the preparation of the preclosure aspects of the safety case. Sandia National Laboratories has lead responsibility for scientific work evaluating post-closure performance, and therefore is responsible for developing the post-closure aspects of the safety case. In the context of the IAEA definitions, both preclosure and postclosure safety, including safety assessment and the safety case, will be documented in the license application being prepared for the

  18. Yucca Mountain: How Do Global and Federal Initiatives Impact Clark County's Nuclear Waste Program?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since 1987, Clark County has been designated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an 'Affected Unit of Local Government' (AULG). The AULG designation is an acknowledgement by the federal government that activities associated with the Yucca Mountain proposal could result in considerable impacts on Clark County residents and the community as a whole. As an AULG, Clark County is authorized to identify 'any potential economic, social, public health and safety, and environmental impacts of a repository', 42 U.S.C. Section 10135(c)(1)(B)(i) under provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments (NWPAA). Clark County's oversight program contains key elements of (1) technical and scientific analysis (2) transportation analysis (3) impact assessment and monitoring (4) policy and legislative analysis and monitoring, and (5) public outreach. Clark County has conducted numerous studies of potential impacts, many of which are summarized in Clark County's Impact Assessment Report that was submitted DOE and the President of the United States in February 2002. Given the unprecedented magnitude and duration of DOE's proposal, as well as the many unanswered questions about the transportation routes, number of shipments, and the modal mix that will ultimately be used, impacts to public health and safety and security, as well as socioeconomic impacts, can only be estimated. In order to refine these estimates, Clark County Comprehensive Planning Department's Nuclear Waste Division updates, assesses, and monitors impacts on a regular basis. Clark County's Impact Assessment program covers not only unincorporated Clark County but all five jurisdictions of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite, and Boulder City as well as tribal jurisdictions that fall within Clark County's geographic boundary. National and global focus on nuclear power and nuclear waste could have significant impact on the Yucca Mountain Program, and therefore, Clark County's oversight of that program

  19. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation's commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives set forward by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. As additional site and design information is generated, performance assessment analyses can be revised to become more representative of the expected conditions and remove some of the conservative assumptions necessitated by the incompleteness of site and design data. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993. These analyses have been documented in Barnard, Eslinger, Wilson and Andrews

  20. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation's commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives of the US NRC and the US EPA. The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). Total system performance assessments require the explicit quantification of the relevant processes and process interactions. In addition assessments are useful to help define the most significant processes, the information gaps and uncertainties and therefore the additional information required for more robust and defensible assessment of the overall performance. The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993

  1. Influence of long term climate change on net infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Alan I.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Hevesi, Joseph A.

    1993-01-01

    Net infiltration and recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for a high level nuclear waste repository, are determined both by the rock properties and past and future changes in climate. A 1-dimensional model was constructed to represent a borehole being drilled through the unsaturated zone. The rock properties were matched to the lithologies expected to be encountered in the borehole. As current paleoclimate theory assumes that 18O increases with wetter and cooler global climates, a past climate scenario, built on depletion of 18O from ocean sediments was used as a basis for climate change over the past 700,000 years. The climate change was simulated by assigning net infiltration values as a linear function of 8O. Assuming the rock properties, lithologies and climate scenarios are correct, simulations indicated that Yucca Mountain is not in steady state equilibrium at the surface (250 meters. Based on the cyclic climate inputs, the near surface is currently in a long term drying trend (for the last 3,000 years) yet recharge into the water table is continuing to occur at an average rate equivalent to the average input rate of the climate model, indicating that conditions at depth are damped out over very long time periods. The Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units, positioned between the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring welded Tuff Members, do not appear to act as capillary barrier and therefore would not perch water. The low porosity vitric caprock and basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member, however, act as restrictive layers. The higher porosity rock directly above the caprock reduces the potential for the caprock to perch water leaving the basal vitrophyre as the most likely location for perched water to develop.

  2. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation`s commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives set forward by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. As additional site and design information is generated, performance assessment analyses can be revised to become more representative of the expected conditions and remove some of the conservative assumptions necessitated by the incompleteness of site and design data. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993. These analyses have been documented in Barnard, Eslinger, Wilson and Andrews.

  3. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atkins, J.E.; Lee, J.H.; Lingineni, S.; Mishra, S; McNeish, J.A.; Sassani, D.C.; Sevougian, S.D.

    1995-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation`s commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives of the US NRC and the US EPA. The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). Total system performance assessments require the explicit quantification of the relevant processes and process interactions. In addition assessments are useful to help define the most significant processes, the information gaps and uncertainties and therefore the additional information required for more robust and defensible assessment of the overall performance. The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993.

  4. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Yu, P. [Taipower Co., Taipei (Taiwan, Province of China); Ryan, J.N. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

    1998-11-01

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past.

  5. Making the Postclosure Safety Case for the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in its advisory standard for geological repositories promulgated jointly with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, explicitly distinguishes between the concepts of a safety case and a safety assessment. As defined in the advisory standard, the safety case is a broader set of arguments that provide confidence and substantiate the formal analyses of system safety made through the process of safety assessment. Although the IAEAYs definitions include both preclosure (i.e., operational) safety and post-closure performance in the overall safety assessment and safety case, the emphasis in here is on long-term performance after waste has been emplaced and the repository has been closed. This distinction between pre- and postclosure aspects of the repository is consistent with the U.S. regulatory framework defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chapter 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 197, or 40 CFR 197) [2] and implemented by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Chapter 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 63, or 10 CFR 63) [3]. The separation of the pre- and postclosure safety cases is also consistent with the way in which the U.S. Department of Energy has assigned responsibilities for developing the safety case. Bechtel SAIC Company is the Management and Operating contractor responsible for the design and operation of the Yucca Mountain facility and is therefore responsible for the preparation of the preclosure aspects of the safety case. Sandia National Laboratories has lead responsibility for scientific work evaluating post-closure performance, and therefore is responsible for developing the post-closure aspects of the safety case. In the context of the IAEA definitions, both preclosure and postclosure safety, including safety assessment and the safety case, will be documented in the license application being prepared for the

  6. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain - SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993); Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.; Barnard, R.W.; Barr, G.E.; Dockery, H.A.; Dunn, E.; Eaton, R.R.; Martinez, M.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gauthier, J.H.; Guerin, D.C.; Lu, N. [and others

    1994-04-01

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). These analyses estimate the future behavior of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site under consideration by the Department of Energy. TSPA-93 builds upon previous efforts by emphasizing YMP concerns relating to site characterization, design, and regulatory compliance. Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. Hydrologic parameters and parameter probability distributions have been derived from available site data. Possible future climate changes are modeled by considering two separate groundwater infiltration conditions: {open_quotes}wet{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 10 mm/yr, and {open_quotes}dry{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 0.5 mm/yr. Two alternative waste-package designs and two alternative repository areal thermal power densities are investigated. One waste package is a thin-wall container emplaced in a vertical borehole, and the second is a container designed with corrosion-resistant and corrosion-allowance walls emplaced horizontally in the drift. Thermal power loadings of 57 kW/acre (the loading specified in the original repository conceptual design) and 114 kW/acre (a loading chosen to investigate effects of a {open_quotes}hot repository{close_quotes}) are considered. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone.

  7. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past

  8. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-10-01

    The report is the sixteenth in a series issued approximately every six months to report progress and results of site characterization activities being conducted to evaluate Yucca Mountain as a possible geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This report highlights work started, in progress, and completed during the reporting period. In addition, this report documents and discusses changes to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Site Characterization Program (Program) resulting from the ongoing collection and evaluation of site information, systems analyses, development of repository and waste package designs, and results of performance assessment activities. Details on the activities summarized can be found in the numerous technical reports cited throughout the progress report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) activities this period focused on implementing the near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan issued last period. Near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan include updating the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) repository siting guidelines to be consistent with a more focused performance-driven program; supporting an assessment in 1998 of the viability of continuing with actions leading to the licensing of a repository; and if the site is suitable, submittal of a Secretarial site recommendation to the President in 2001 and license application the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2002. During this reporting period, the Project developed and baselined its long-range plan in December 1996. That revision reflected the detailed fiscal year (FY) 1997 work scope and funding plan previously baselined at the end of FY 1996. Site characterization activities have been focused to answer the major open technical issues and to support the viability assessment.

  9. Ground magnetic studies along a regional seismic-reflection profile across Bare Mountain, Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ground magnetic data were collected along a 26-km-long regional seismic-reflection profile in southwest Nevada that starts in the Amargosa Desert, crosses Bare Mountain, Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, and ends in Midway Valley. Parallel ground magnetic profiles were also collected about 100 m to either side of the western half of the seismic-reflection line. The magnetic data indicate that the eastern half of Crater Flat is characterized by closely-spaced faulting (1--2 km) in contrast to the western half of Crater Flat. Modeling of the data indicates that the Topopah Spring Tuff is offset about 250 m on the Solitario Canyon fault and about 50 m on the Ghost Dance fault. These estimates of fault offset are consistent with seismic-reflection data and geologic mapping. A broad magnetic high of about 500--600 nT is centered over Crater Flat. Modeling of the magnetic data indicates that the source of this high is not thickening and doming of the Bullfrog Tuff, but more likely lies below the Bullfrog Tuff. Possible source lithologies for this magnetic high include altered argillite of the Eleana Formation, Cretaceous or Tertiary intrusions, and mafic sills

  10. The saturated zone at Yucca Mountain: an overview of the characterization and assessment of the saturated zone as a barrier to potential radionuclide migration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eddebbarh, A A; Zyvoloski, G A; Robinson, B A; Kwicklis, E M; Reimus, P W; Arnold, B W; Corbet, T; Kuzio, S P; Faunt, C

    2003-01-01

    The US Department of Energy is pursuing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the development of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, if the repository is able to meet applicable radiation protection standards established by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Effective performance of such a repository would rely on a number of natural and engineered barriers to isolate radioactive waste from the accessible environment. Groundwater beneath Yucca Mountain is the primary medium through which most radionuclides might move away from the potential repository. The saturated zone (SZ) system is expected to act as a natural barrier to this possible movement of radionuclides both by delaying their transport and by reducing their concentration before they reach the accessible environment. Information obtained from Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project activities is used to estimate groundwater flow rates through the site-scale SZ flow and transport model area and to constrain general conceptual models of groundwater flow in the site-scale area. The site-scale conceptual model is a synthesis of what is known about flow and transport processes at the scale required for total system performance assessment of the site. This knowledge builds on and is consistent with knowledge that has accumulated at the regional scale but is more detailed because more data are available at the site-scale level. The mathematical basis of the site-scale model and the associated numerical approaches are designed to assist in quantifying the uncertainty in the permeability of rocks in the geologic framework model and to represent accurately the flow and transport processes included in the site-scale conceptual model. Confidence in the results of the mathematical model was obtained by comparing calculated to observed hydraulic heads, estimated to measured permeabilities, and lateral flow rates

  11. Death Valley Lower Carbonate Aquifer Monitoring Program Wells Down gradient of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inyo County

    2006-07-26

    Inyo County has participated in oversight activities associated with the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository since 1987. The overall goal of these studies are the evaluation of far-field issues related to potential transport, by ground water, or radionuclides into Inyo County, including Death Valley, and the evaluation of a connection between the Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA) and the biosphere. Our oversight and completed Cooperative Agreement research, and a number of other investigators research indicate that there is groundwater flow between the alluvial and carbonate aquifers both at Yucca Mountain and in Inyo County. In addition to the potential of radionuclide transport through the LCA, Czarnecki (1997), with the US Geological Survey, research indicate potential radionuclide transport through the shallower Tertiary-age aquifer materials with ultimate discharge into the Franklin Lake Playa in Inyo County. The specific purpose of this Cooperative Agreement drilling program was to acquire geological, subsurface geology, and hydrologic data to: (1) establish the existence of inter-basin flow between the Amargosa Basin and Death Valley Basin; (2) characterize groundwater flow paths in the LCA through Southern Funeral Mountain Range, and (3) Evaluation the hydraulic connection between the Yucca Mountain repository and the major springs in Death Valley through the LCA.

  12. Extension of in-situ stress test analysis to rapid hole evacuation at Yucca Mountain due to a network of open conduits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1994-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is underlain by tuffaceous rocks that are highly fractured and jointed. During drilling of bore-holes at Yucca Mountain there were numerous occurrences of lost circulation when whole mud was taken by the formation. This evidence suggests that parts of Yucca Mountain are controlled hydrologicaly by a network of open conduits along the existing joints and fractures. Also at Yucca Mountain, stress tests have been performed in-situ by charging a small section along the boreholes with an excess pressure head of water. For many of these tests, the initial drop in water head was so rapid that within seconds up to hundreds of meters of fall had occurred. The opening of fractures as the excess head increases has previously been proposed as an important factor in explaining the shape of the stress test curves at lower pressures. We propose that such induced hydraulic fractures, under increasing water heads, can grow to a length sufficient to intersect the existing network of open joints and fractures. We extend our previous model to incorporate flow out along these open conduits and examine the initial rapid drop in terms of these extended models. We show that this rapid evacuation model fits the observed data from many slug tests in wells in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. This result is confirmation of the drilling evidence that a network of open conduits exists at various depths below the water table and over a large geographic region around Yucca Mountain.

  13. Investigation of Yucca Mountain repository capacity for the US spent nuclear fuel inventory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An analytical decay heat model was developed to evaluate the US inventory of commercial spent nuclear fuel (SNF). The model was benchmarked against the results from ORIGEN-ARP 5.01. The new analytical SNF decay heat model was applied to actual (thru 2002) and projected SNF data. The total decay heat from the 63,000 MT commercial SNF at year 2012 was estimated at 182 MW. According to the thermal loading analysis using a mountain-scale heat transfer model, a 4.9 km2 (1165 acre) site designated for SNF disposal was found to have the capacity to store more SNF than the statutory limit of 70,000 MTIHM. The maximum capacity available for SNF disposal at the Yucca Mountain site is dependent upon the thermal loading strategy chosen and SNF cooling time before emplacement. It was also shown that using high burnup SNF and adjusting the drift spacing, the capacity of the repository could be maximized on a per energy production basis, although some additional cooling may be necessary. Future work needs to consider extending the 'footprint' of the repository, applying non-uniform SNF loading into the drifts, and the impact of spent fuel reprocessing and other decay heat management strategies

  14. Streamflow and selected precipitation data for Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, water years 1983--85

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Streamflow and precipitation data collected at and near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, during water years 1983--85, are presented in this report. The data were collected and compiled as part of the studies the US Geological Survey is making, in cooperation with the US Department of Energy, to characterize surface-water hydrology in the Yucca Mountain area. Streamflow data include daily mean discharges and peak discharges at 4 complete-record gaging stations and peak discharges at 10 crest-stage, partial-record stations and 12 miscellaneous sites. Precipitation data include cumulative totals at 12 stations maintained by the US Geological Survey and daily totals at 17 stations maintained by the Weather Service Nuclear Support Office, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

  15. Evaluation of minderal resource potential, Caldera geology, and volcano-tectonic framework at and near Yucca Mountain, Task 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiss, S.I.; Noble, D.C.; Larson, L.T. [Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)

    1993-09-30

    This report summarizes the results of Task 3 work that was initially discussed in our monthly reports for the period October 1, 1992 through September 30, 1993, and contained in our various papers and abstracts, both published and currently in press or in review. Our work during this period was involved (a) the continuation of studies begun prior to October, 1992, focussed mainly on aspects of the caldera geology, volcanic stratigraphy, magmatic activity, hydrothermal mineralization and extensional tectonics of the western and northwestern parts of the southwestern and Nevada volcanic field (SWNVF), studies of the subsurface rocks of Yucca Mountain utilizing drill hole samples obtained in 1991 and 1992, and (b) new studies of veins and siliceous rocks cropping out in northwestern Yucca Mountain that provide evidence for previously unrecognized hydrothermal activity during the Crater Flat Tuff period of volcanism.

  16. Site Characterization Plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 3, Part A: Chapters 6 and 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 218 figs., 50 tabs.

  17. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 1, Part A: Chapters 1 and 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 750 refs., 123 figs., 42 tabs.

  18. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 3, Part A: Chapters 6 and 7

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 218 figs., 50 tabs

  19. Geology and hydrogeology of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and the surrounding area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In late 1987 Congress issued an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 which directed the characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the only remaining potential site for the Nation's first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. The evaluation of a potential underground repository is guided and regulated by policy established by the Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Congress. The Yucca Mountain Project is the responsibility of the DOE. The purpose of this field trip is to introduce the present state of geologic and hydrologic knowledge concerning this site. This report describes the field trip. 108 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  20. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 1, Part A: Chapters 1 and 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE's Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 750 refs., 123 figs., 42 tabs

  1. Geology and hydrogeology of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and the surrounding area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattson, S.R.; Broxton, D.E.; Crowe, B.M.; Buono, A.; Orkild, P.P.

    1989-07-01

    In late 1987 Congress issued an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 which directed the characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the only remaining potential site for the Nation`s first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. The evaluation of a potential underground repository is guided and regulated by policy established by the Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Congress. The Yucca Mountain Project is the responsibility of the DOE. The purpose of this field trip is to introduce the present state of geologic and hydrologic knowledge concerning this site. This report describes the field trip. 108 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  2. Petrologic studies of drill cores USW-G2 and UE25b-1H, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The tuffs of the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation as a possible deep geologic site for high-level radioactive waste disposal. This report characterizes tuff retrieved in core from two drill holes, USW-G2 and UE25b-1H, at the Yucca Mountain block. The USW-G2 drill core is from the northernmost extent of the block, whereas UE25b-1H is adjacent to an earlier drill hole, UE25a-1. The drill cores USW-G2 and UE25b-1H bottomed at 6000 and 4200 ft, respectively. Petrographic and x-ray diffraction studies of the two drill cores are presented in this report and indicate that tuffs (composed primarily of variably welded ash flows) are partially recrystallized to secondary minerals. Correlations of stratigraphy are also made with previous drill cores from Yucca Mountain

  3. Oil and gas prospecting beneath Precambrian of Foreland thrust plates in Rocky Mountains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gries, R.

    1983-01-01

    Only 16 wells in the Rocky Mountain region have drilled through precambrian rocks to test the 3 to 6 million acres of sedimentary rocks concealed and virtually unexplored beneath mountain-front thrust. One recent test is a major gas discovery, another a development oil well, and over half of the unsuccessful tests had oil or gas shows. These wells have helped define the structural geometry of the mountain-front thrusts, including angle of the thrust, amount of horizontal displacement, and presence or absence of fault silvers containing overturned Mesozoic or Paleozoic rocks. Important for further geophysical exploration, these wells have provided data on seismic velocities in Precambrian rocks. Analysis of these data has stimulated further exploration along the fronts already drilled: in Wyoming, the Emigrant Trail, Washakie, and Wind River thrusts, the thrust at the north end of the Laramie Range, and the Casper arch; in Utah and Colorado, the Uncompahgre and Uinta uplits. The geologic success of these wells has encouraged leasing and seismic acquisition on every other mountain-front thrust in the Rockies. An unsuccessful attempt to drill through the Arlington thrust of the Medicine Bow Range will probably only momentarily daunt that play, and attempted penetration of the Axial arch in Colorado has not condemned that area; in fact, another well is being drilled at this time. Untested areas that will be explored in the near furture are: in Wyoming, south flank of the Owl Creek Range, southwest flank of the Gros Ventre Range, east and west flanks of the Big Horn Mountains, west flank of the Big Horn basin, north flank of the Hanna basin; in Utah, south flank of the Uinta Mountains; in Colorado, White River uplift, the north flank of North Park basin, and the Front Range.

  4. Oil and gas prospecting beneath Precambrian of foreland thrust plates in Rocky Mountains

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gries, R.

    1983-01-01

    Only 16 wells in the Rocky Mountain region have drilled through Precambrian rocks to test the 3 to 6 million acres of sedimentary rocks that are concealed and virtually unexplored beneath mountain-front thrusts. One recent test is a major gas discovery, another a development oil well, and over half of the unsuccessful tests had oil or gas shows. These wells have not only set up an exciting play, they have also helped define the structural geometry of the mountain-front thrusts including the angle of the thrust, the amount of horizontal displacement, and the presence or absence of fault silvers containing overturned Mesozoic or Paleozoic rocks. Important for further geophysical exploration, these wells have provided vital data on seismic velocities in Precambrian rocks. Analysis of these data has stimulated further exploration along the fronts already drilled in Wyoming, the Emigrant Trail thrust, the Washakie thrust, the Wind River thrust, the thrust at the north end of the Laramie Range, and the Casper arch; in Utah and Colorado, the Uncompahgre and Uinta uplifts. The geologic success of these wells has encouraged leasing and seismic acquisition on every other mountain-front thrust in the Rockies. An unsuccessful attempt to drill through the Arlington thrust of the Medicine Bow Range will probably only momentarily daunt that play, and the attempted penetration of the Axial arch in Colorado has not condemned that area; in fact, another well is being drilled at this time. Untested areas that will be explored in the near future are: in Wyoming, the south flank of the Owl Creek Range, the southwest flank of the Gros Ventre Range, the east and west flanks of the Big Horn Mountains, the west flank of the Big Horn basin, the north flank of the Hanna basin; in Utah, the south flank of the Uinta Mountains; and in Colorado, the White River uplift, the north flank of North Park basin, and the Front Range.

  5. Detailed petrographic descriptions and microprobe data for tertiary silicic volcanic rocks in drill hole USW G-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caporuscio, F.A.; Warren, R.G.; Broxton, D.E.

    1985-12-01

    This report contains detailed petrographic descriptions of 74 thin sections from drill hole USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These descriptions are keyed to the distinctions between devitrified, vitrophyre, vitric, and zeolitized intervals below the Topopah Spring Member repository horizon. The petrographic features of the zeolitized intervals down through the Crater Flat tuff, as well as the sorption properties determined from these intervals, suggest that these zeolite occurrences may each have comparable sorptive capability.

  6. Assessment of hydrologic impact of extending exploratory shafts into the Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is performing analyses to address an objection by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to plans in the Consultation Draft of the Site Characterization Plan for direct excavation of the Calico Hills nonwelded (CHn) unit within the repository exploration block at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The excavation was planned as part of site characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activity has been deferred, pending the results of a risk/benefit analysis of alternative methods for obtaining needed characterization data from CHn unit. The benefits from characterizing the CHn unit are generally related to obtaining information leading to improved confidence in predictions of site performance. The risks are generally associated with potential adverse impacts to site performance that result from excavation or other intrusion into the CHn unit. The purpose of the risk/benefit analysis is to produce a recommendation to the Director, Regulatory and Site Evaluation Division. DOE/Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office for a strategy for characterizing the CHn unit. The recommendation will describe characterization activities that are expected to provide the needed information while limiting adverse impacts to site performance to the extent practical. The risk/benefit analysis was supported with scoping calculations to provide a quantitative evaluation of the impacts associated with different strategies. The working group responsible for the risk/benefit analysis requested that these scoping calculations to be supported with more detailed performance assessments for evaluating impacts of different characterization activities. This report summarizes the results of these performance assessment analyses. 9 refs., 30 figs., 1 tab

  7. Summary of lithologic logging of new and existing boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, March 1994 to June 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarizes lithologic logging of core from boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, conducted from March 1994 to June 1994. Units encountered during logging include Quaternary-Tertiary alluvium and colluvium, Tertiary Rainier Mesa Tuff, all units in the Tertiary Paintbrush Group, and Tertiary Calico Hills Formation. Logging results are presented in a table of contact depths for core from unsaturated zone neutron (UZN) boreholes and graphic lithologic logs for core from north ramp geology (NRG) boreholes

  8. Detailed petrographic descriptions and microprobe data for tertiary silicic volcanic rocks in drill hole USW G-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report contains detailed petrographic descriptions of 74 thin sections from drill hole USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These descriptions are keyed to the distinctions between devitrified, vitrophyre, vitric, and zeolitized intervals below the Topopah Spring Member repository horizon. The petrographic features of the zeolitized intervals down through the Crater Flat tuff, as well as the sorption properties determined from these intervals, suggest that these zeolite occurrences may each have comparable sorptive capability

  9. Yucca mountain project getter program results(year 1):I-129 and other anions of concern.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krumhansl, James Lee; Pless, Jason; Chwirka, J. Benjamin

    2006-07-01

    Although high level nuclear wastes (HLW) contain a daunting array of radioisotopes, only a restricted number are long-lived enough to be problematic, and of these many are either effectively insoluble or are likely to be scavenged from solution by minerals indigenous to all aquifers. Those few constituents likely to travel significant distances through aquifers either form colloids (and travel as particulates) or anions--which are not sorbed onto the predominantly negatively charged mineral surfaces. Iodine ({sup 129}I) is one such constituent and may travel as either iodide (I{sup -}) or iodate (IO{sub 3}{sup -}) depending on whether conditions are mildly reducing or oxidizing. Conventionally, {sup 99}Tc (traveling as TcO{sub 4}{sup -}) is regarded as being of greater concern since it is both more abundant and has a shorter half life (e.g., has a higher specific activity). However, it is unclear whether TcO{sub 4}{sup -} will ever actually form in the mildly reducing environments thought likely within degrading HLW canisters. Instead, technetium may remain reduced as highly insoluble Tc(IV), in which case {sup 129}I might become a significant risk driver in performance assessment (PA) calculations. In the 2004-2005 time frame the US Department of Energy (DOE)--Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRUM), Office of Science and Technology International (S&T) funded a program to identify ''getters'' for possible placement in the invert beneath HLW packages in the repository being planned by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). This document reports on progress made during the first (and only) year of this activity. The problem is not a new one and the project did not proceed in a complete vacuum of information. Potential leads came from past studies directed at developing anion getters for a near surface low-level waste facility at Hanford, which suggested that both copper-containing compounds and hydrotalcite-group minerals might be

  10. Initial Q-list for the prospective Yucca Mountain repository based on items important to safety and waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A method for identifying items important to safety based on a probabilistic risk assessment approach was developed and implemented for the conceptual design of the Yucca Mountain repository. No items were classified as important to safety; however, six items were classified as potentially important to safety. These were the shipping cask, the cranes and the truck or rail-care vehicle stops in the cask receiving and preparation area, the hot cell structure of the waste packaging hot cells, the cranes in the waste packaging hot cells, and the waste-handling building fire protection system. In addition, a method for identifying items important to waste isolation was developed and implemented. Two hydrogeologic units of the Yucca Mountain site were classified as important to waste isolation: the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic unit and the Calico Hills nonwelded vitric unit. The preliminary Q-list for the Yucca Mountain repository is comprised of the two units of the site classified as important to waste isolation and contains no items important to safety

  11. Initial Q-list for the prospective Yucca Mountain repository based on items important to safety and waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A method for identifying items important to safety based on a probabilistic risk assessment approach was developed and implemented for the conceptual design of the Yucca Mountain repository. No items were classified as important to safety; however, six items were classified as potentially important to safety. These were the shipping cask, the cranes and the truck or rail-car vehicle stops in the cask receiving and preparation area, the hot cell structure of the waste packaging hot cells, the cranes in the waste packaging hot cells, and the waste-handling building fire protection system. In addition, a method for identifying items important to waste isolation was developed and implemented. Two hydrogeologic units of the Yucca Mountain site were classified as important to waste isolation: the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic unit and the Calico Hills nonwelded vitric unit. The preliminary Q-list for the Yucca Mountain repository is comprised of the two units of the site classified as important to waste isolation and contains no items important to safety

  12. Extension of in-situ stress test analysis to fractured media with reference to Yucca Mountain data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Yucca Mountain is underlain by highly fractured rock containing a deep water table. Stress tests have been performed in boreholes in-situ and under high head pressures. For a pre-fractured rock system, data analysis must incorporate the effects of opening and closing of fractures. As the head pressure increases form ambient, the aperture of the existing dilated fractures increase. The fracture surface area remains constant until the excess head increases to above a critical pressure, when induced fractures can open and existing fractures may propagate. These will furnish a larger rock surface area thereby allowing a more rapid percolation of the water into the rock matrix. We have extended previous models by specifying a functional dependence of both existing fracture aperture and induced fracture surface area and volume on the excess water pressure. Relationships are obtained through the mass conservation laws and these predictions are used as discriminative graphs, with the most useful being pressure versus rate of pressure change. Such type-curves are applied to; Yucca Mountain data with interpretation in terms of the applicable fracture systems and the critical pressure. Estimates of the critical pressure are obtained and usually lie in the range of 10 to 30 bars which is appreciably lower than that expected from the lithostatic pressure effects. This implies that large dilational stresses exist at Yucca Mountain.

  13. Selected hydrologic data from Fortymile Wash in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, water years 1993--94

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S.

    1996-09-01

    The Yucca Mountain area is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy for its suitability to store high-level nuclear waste in a mined, underground repository. Hydrologic data are being collected by the US Geological Survey throughout a 150 Km{sup 2} study area about 15- Km northwest of Las Vegas in southern Nevada for site characterization studies. Ongoing hydrologic studies are investigating atmospheric precipitation, stream-flow, movement of water through the unsaturated zone, movement of water through the saturated zone, and paleohydrology. This study at Fortymile Wash involves some components of each of these studies. Fortymile Wash is an ephemeral stream near Yucca Mountain with tributaries draining the east side of Yucca Mountain and then forming a distributary system in the Amargosa Desert. An objective of the study is to determine the amount of recharge from Fortymile Wash to the ground-water flow system that has been proposed. Understanding the ground-water flow system is important because it is a possible mechanism for radionuclide migration from the repository to the accessible environment. An adequate understanding of the ground-water flow system is necessary for an evaluation of the safety issues involved in siting the potential repository.

  14. Selected ground-water data for Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada and eastern California, through December 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, collects, compiles, and summarizes hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region. The data are collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during studies to determine the potential suitability of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data on ground-water levels at 36 sites, ground-water discharge at 6 sites, and groundwater withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are presented for calendar year 1994. Data collected prior to 1994 are graphically presented and data collected by other agencies (or as part of other programs) are included to further indicate variations of ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented. The statistical summary includes the number of measurements, the maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and the average deviation of measured water-level altitudes for selected baseline periods and for calendar years 1992-94

  15. Use of Irrigation to Extend the Seeding Window for Final Reclamation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy has implemented a program to investigate the feasibility of various techniques for reclaiming lands disturbed during site characterization at Yucca Mountain. As part of this program, two studies were conducted in 1997 to assess the effects of combinations of seeding date (date that seeds are planted) and supplemental irrigation on densities of native plant species at Yucca Mountain. Study objectives were to (1) determine whether the traditional seeding window (October-December) could be extended through combinations of seeding date and irrigation date, (2) determine which combination of seeding date and irrigation was most successful, and (3) assess the effects of irrigation versus natural precipitation on seedling establishment. In the first study, a multi-species seed mix of 16 native species was sown into plots on four dates (12/96, 2/97, 3/97, and 4/97). Irrigation treatments were control (no irrigation) or addition of 80 mm of supplemental water applied over a one month period. Plant densities were sampled in August and again in October, 1997. In the second study, Larrea tridentata and Lycium andersonii, two species that are common at Yucca Mountain, but difficult to establish from seed, were sown together into plots in January and August, 1997. Half the plots were irrigated with approximately 250 mm of water between August 18 and September 11, while the remaining plots received no irrigation (control). Plant densities were sampled in October, 1997. The August census for the multi-species mix study showed irrigated plots that were sown in February, March and April had higher plant densities and more species than plots that were not irrigated. Irrigation had no effect on plant densities on plots that were seeded in December. Plots were used again in October following 18 mm of precipitation in September. Densities of three species, Ambrosia dumosa, Hymenoclea salsola, and L. tridentata, (warm-season species) were lower on irrigated

  16. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 4: License Application Plan and Costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

    Volume 4 provides the DOE plan and cost estimate for the remaining work necessary to proceed from completing this VA to submitting an LA to NRC. This work includes preparing an EIS and evaluating the suitability of the site. Both items are necessary components of the documentation required to support a decision in 2001 by the Secretary of Energy on whether or not to recommend that the President approve the site for development as a repository. If the President recommends the site to Congress and the site designation becomes effective, then DOE will submit the LA to NRC in 2002 for authorization to construct the repository. The work described in Volume 4 constitutes the last step in the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site and the design and evaluation of the performance of a repository system in the geologic setting of this site. The plans in this volume for the next 4 years' work are based on the results of the previous 15 years' work, as reported in Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of this VA. Volume 1 summarizes what DOE has learned to date about the Yucca Mountain site. Volume 2 describes the current, reference repository design, several design options that might enhance the performance of the reference design, and several alternative designs that represent substantial departures from the reference design. Volume 2 also summarizes the results of tests of candidate materials for waste packages and for support of the tunnels into which waste would be emplaced. Volume 3 provides the results of the latest performance assessments undertaken to evaluate the performance of the design in the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain. The results described in Volumes 1, 2, and 3 provide the basis for identifying and prioritizing the work described in this volume. DOE believes that the planned work, together with the results of previous work, will be sufficient to support a site suitability evaluation for site recommendation and, if the site is recommended and designated, a

  17. Use of Irrigation to Extend the Seeding Window for Final Reclamation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    TRW Environmental Safety

    2000-08-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy has implemented a program to investigate the feasibility of various techniques for reclaiming lands disturbed during site characterization at Yucca Mountain. As part of this program, two studies were conducted in 1997 to assess the effects of combinations of seeding date (date that seeds are planted) and supplemental irrigation on densities of native plant species at Yucca Mountain. Study objectives were to (1) determine whether the traditional seeding window (October-December) could be extended through combinations of seeding date and irrigation date, (2) determine which combination of seeding date and irrigation was most successful, and (3) assess the effects of irrigation versus natural precipitation on seedling establishment. In the first study, a multi-species seed mix of 16 native species was sown into plots on four dates (12/96, 2/97, 3/97, and 4/97). Irrigation treatments were control (no irrigation) or addition of 80 mm of supplemental water applied over a one month period. Plant densities were sampled in August and again in October, 1997. In the second study, Larrea tridentata and Lycium andersonii, two species that are common at Yucca Mountain, but difficult to establish from seed, were sown together into plots in January and August, 1997. Half the plots were irrigated with approximately 250 mm of water between August 18 and September 11, while the remaining plots received no irrigation (control). Plant densities were sampled in October, 1997. The August census for the multi-species mix study showed irrigated plots that were sown in February, March and April had higher plant densities and more species than plots that were not irrigated. Irrigation had no effect on plant densities on plots that were seeded in December. Plots were used again in October following 18 mm of precipitation in September. Densities of three species, Ambrosia dumosa, Hymenoclea salsola, and L. tridentata, (warm-season species) were lower on irrigated

  18. Exploratory shaft facility: It`s role in the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site for a potential nuclear repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalia, H.N.; Merson, T.J.

    1990-03-01

    The US Department of Energy is characterizing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to assess its suitability as a potential site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and defense related activities. The assessment activities include surface investigations, drill holes from the surface, and an underground facility for in situ characterization tests. This underground exploratory shaft facility is being designed to meet the criteria for characterizing the mountain as described in the Site Characterization Plan. 9 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.

  19. WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPMENT OF RADIONUCLIDE GETTERS FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE REPOSITORY: PROCEEDINGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the important that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently undertaking is the development of a high-level nuclear waste repository to be located at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Concern is generated by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is due to potential releases as groundwater contamination, as described in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). The dose to an off-site individual using this groundwater for drinking and irrigation is dominated by four radionuclides: Tc-99, I-127, Np-237, and U-238. Ideally, this dose would be limited to a single radionuclide, U-238; in other words, YMP would resemble a uranium ore body, a common geologic feature in the Western U.S. For this reason and because of uncertainties in the behavior of Tc-99, I-127, and Np-237, it would be helpful to limit the amount of Tc, I, and Np leaving the repository, which would greatly increase the confidence in the long-term performance of YMP. An approach to limiting the migration of Tc, I, and Np that is complementary to the existing YMP repository design plans is to employ sequestering agents or ''getters'' for these radionuclides such that their migration is greatly hindered, thus decreasing the amount of radionuclide leaving the repository. Development of such getters presents a number of significant challenges. The getter must have a high affinity and high selectivity for the radionuclide in question since there is approximately a 20- to 50-fold excess of other fission products and a 1000-fold excess of uranium in addition to the ions present in the groundwater. An even greater challenge is that the getters must function over a period greater than the half-life of the radionuclide (greater than 5 half-lives would be ideal). Typically, materials with a high affinity for Tc, I, or Np are not sufficiently durable. For example, strong-base ion exchange resins have a very high affinity for TcO4- but are not expected to be durable. On the other hand, durable materials, such as

  20. WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPMENT OF RADIONUCLIDE GETTERS FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE REPOSITORY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.C. Holt

    2006-03-13

    One of the important that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently undertaking is the development of a high-level nuclear waste repository to be located at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Concern is generated by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is due to potential releases as groundwater contamination, as described in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). The dose to an off-site individual using this groundwater for drinking and irrigation is dominated by four radionuclides: Tc-99, I-127, Np-237, and U-238. Ideally, this dose would be limited to a single radionuclide, U-238; in other words, YMP would resemble a uranium ore body, a common geologic feature in the Western U.S. For this reason and because of uncertainties in the behavior of Tc-99, I-127, and Np-237, it would be helpful to limit the amount of Tc, I, and Np leaving the repository, which would greatly increase the confidence in the long-term performance of YMP. An approach to limiting the migration of Tc, I, and Np that is complementary to the existing YMP repository design plans is to employ sequestering agents or ''getters'' for these radionuclides such that their migration is greatly hindered, thus decreasing the amount of radionuclide leaving the repository. Development of such getters presents a number of significant challenges. The getter must have a high affinity and high selectivity for the radionuclide in question since there is approximately a 20- to 50-fold excess of other fission products and a 1000-fold excess of uranium in addition to the ions present in the groundwater. An even greater challenge is that the getters must function over a period greater than the half-life of the radionuclide (greater than 5 half-lives would be ideal). Typically, materials with a high affinity for Tc, I, or Np are not sufficiently durable. For example, strong-base ion exchange resins have a very high affinity for TcO{sub 4}{sup -} but are not expected to be durable. On the other

  1. The Enhanced Plan for Features, Events, and Processes (FEPs) at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A performance assessment is required to demonstrate compliance with the post-closure performance objectives for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), as stated in 10 CFR Part 63.1 13 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). A performance assessment is defined in 10 CFR 63.2 (66 FR 55732, p. 55794) as an analysis that: (1) identifies the features, events, and processes (FEPs) that might affect the potential geologic repository; (2) examines the effects of those FEPs upon the performance of the potential geologic repository; and (3) estimates the expected dose incurred by a specified reasonably maximally exposed individual as a result of releases caused by significant FEPs. The performance assessment must also provide the technical basis for inclusion or exclusion of specific FEPs in the performance assessment as stated in 10 CFR 63.114 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). An initial approach for FEP development, in support of the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (CRWMS M and O 2000e), was documented in Freeze et al. (2001). The development of a comprehensive list of FEPs potentially relevant to the post-closure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository is an ongoing, iterative process based on site-specific information, design, and regulations. Although comprehensiveness of the FEPs list cannot be proven with absolute certainty, confidence can be gained through a combination of formal and systematic reviews (both top-down and bottom-up), audits, and comparisons with other FEP lists and through the application of more than one classification scheme. To support TSPA-SR, DOE used a multi-step approach for demonstrating comprehensiveness of the initial list of FEPs. Input was obtained from other international radioactive waste disposal programs as compiled by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish a general list of FEPs. The list was subsequently refined to include YMP

  2. Probablistic Analyses of Waste Package Quantities Impacted by Potential Igneous Disruption at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, M. G.; Iuzzolina, H.

    2005-12-01

    A probabilistic analysis was conducted to estimate ranges for the numbers of waste packages that could be damaged in a potential future igneous event through a repository at Yucca Mountain. The analysis includes disruption from an intrusive igneous event and from an extrusive volcanic event. This analysis supports the evaluation of the potential consequences of future igneous activity as part of the total system performance assessment for the license application for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). The first scenario, igneous intrusion, investigated the case where one or more igneous dikes intersect the repository. A swarm of dikes was characterized by distributions of length, width, azimuth, and number of dikes and the spacings between them. Through the use in part of a latin hypercube simulator and a modified video game engine, mathematical relationships were built between those parameters and the number of waste packages hit. Corresponding cumulative distribution function curves (CDFs) for the number of waste packages hit under several different scenarios were calculated. Variations in dike thickness ranges, as well as in repository magma bulkhead positions were examined through sensitivity studies. It was assumed that all waste packages in an emplacement drift would be impacted if that drift was intersected by a dike. Over 10,000 individual simulations were performed. Based on these calculations, out of a total of over 11,000 planned waste packages distributed over an area of approximately 5.5 km2 , the median number of waste packages impacted was roughly 1/10 of the total. Individual cases ranged from 0 waste packages to the entire inventory being impacted. The igneous intrusion analysis involved an explicit characterization of dike-drift intersections, built upon various distributions that reflect the uncertainties associated with the inputs. The second igneous scenario, volcanic eruption (eruptive conduits), considered the effects of conduits formed in

  3. Communicating credibly in an incredible environment-yucca mountain public outreach tools and techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Open disclosure and public understanding of major issues surrounding the Yucca Mountain Project is a consistent goal for Clark County, Nevada, which represents nearly 80 percent of Nevada's total population. Recent enhancements to the County's communication methods employ emerging technology as well as traditional public relations tactics. The County's communication methods engage the public through highly visual displays, exhibits, informative and entertaining video programs, school presentations, creative print inserts, public interaction and news media. The program provides information based on the county's research studies and findings on property values, the environment, tourism, public health and safety, increased costs for emergency services and the potential disproportionate effects to Native American tribes and other minority populations in the area. Multi-cultural Dialogue: Nevada, particularly southern Nevada and the Las Vegas area, has experienced explosive growth in the last decade. The fastest growing demographic group in Nevada is Hispanics (nearly 23% in Las Vegas) and Asians (approx. 8%). Clark County's Nuclear Waste's Multi-cultural Program is designed to reach residents from these emerging segments of our population. Educational video programs: While officially opposed to the project, Clark County is committed to providing Nevada residents with accurate, timely and objective information about Yucca Mountain and its potential impacts to our state. Since the actual operation of the repository, if approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is about a decade away, the program includes presentations for middle and high school students on age-appropriate topics. Work with indigenous tribes: American Indian tribes in Southern Nevada participated in an unprecedented video program presenting the unique views and perspectives of the American Indian tribes directly impacted by the proposed repository. Monitoring program: To track economic, fiscal and

  4. Carbon dioxide and helium emissions from a reservoir of magmatic gas beneath Mammoth Mountain, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sorey, M.L.; Evans, William C.; Kennedy, B.M.; Farrar, C.D.; Hainsworth, L.J.; Hausback, B.

    1998-01-01

    Carbon dioxide and helium with isotopic compositions indicative of a magmatic source (??13C = -4.5 to -5???, 3He/4He = 4.5 to 6.7 RA) are discharging at anomalous rates from Mammoth Mountain, on the southwestern rim of the Long Valley caldera in eastern California. The gas is released mainly as diffuse emissions from normal-temperature soils, but some gas issues from steam vents or leaves the mountain dissolved in cold groundwater. The rate of gas discharge increased significantly in 1989 following a 6-month period of persistent earthquake swarms and associated strain and ground deformation that has been attributed to dike emplacement beneath the mountain. An increase in the magmatic component of helium discharging in a steam vent on the north side of Mammoth Mountain, which also began in 1989, has persisted until the present time. Anomalous CO2 discharge from soils first occurred during the winter of 1990 and was followed by observations of several areas of tree kill and/or heavier than normal needlecast the following summer. Subsequent measurements have confirmed that the tree kills are associated with CO2 concentrations of 30-90% in soil gas and gas flow rates of up to 31,000 g m-2 d-1 at the soil surface. Each of the tree-kill areas and one area of CO2 discharge above tree line occurs in close proximity to one or more normal faults, which may provide conduits for gas flow from depth. We estimate that the total diffuse CO2 flux from the mountain is approximately 520 t/d, and that 30-50 t/d of CO2 are dissolved in cold groundwater flowing off the flanks of the mountain. Isotopic and chemical analyses of soil and fumarolic gas demonstrate a remarkable homogeneity in composition, suggesting that the CO2 and associated helium and excess nitrogen may be derived from a common gas reservoir whose source is associated with some combination of magmatic degassing and thermal metamorphism of metasedimentary rocks. Furthermore, N2/Ar ratios and nitrogen isotopic values

  5. Emplacement feasibility of a multi-tier, expanded capacity repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A geological repository at Yucca Mountain has been proposed for the disposal of spent fuel from the US commercial reactors and other radioactive waste. A legislative capacity of 70,000 MTHM has been set by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, including 63,000 MTHM of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF), the projected amount of CSNF that will be produced by about 2014. Policy issues remain as to how to handle waste that is generated beyond 2014 from a growing nuclear industry in the US. The Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) is independently evaluating the technical, rather than legislative, limit of CSNF that could be safely disposed at Yucca Mountain. Geological, thermal management, safety and cost factors have been recently evaluated by EPRI (2006; 2007) for grouped emplacement drifts and/or a multi-tier repository. EPRI's evaluation of emplacement feasibility for a multi-tier concept is described here. Expanded capacity concepts as envisioned for Yucca Mountain (EPRI, 2006; 2007) assume excavation of one or two additional levels of drifts parallel to or above and/or below the original drift excavations. For the latter multi-tier concept each 'tier' or 'level' would essentially replicate the original layer with a 30-m separation between tiers. This arrangement essentially doubles or triples the capacity of the repository for a two- or three-tier design, respectively. The main issues that affect the feasibility of expanded capacity design are; (i) ventilation requirements; (ii) radiation hazards; (iii) thermal and thermo-mechanical constraints. (i)Ventilation: The repository design involves waste packages mounted in close proximity to each other in 600-m long drifts that remain open and actively ventilated for at least 50-100 years. Analyses,conservatively assuming that all three repository levels operate simultaneously, indicate no technological obstacles in meeting ventilation requirements for sustained simultaneous operation ba sed on current industrial

  6. Quantification of film flow infiltration velocity in a crushed Yucca Mountain Tuff

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansik, D. P.; Wildenschild, D.

    2008-12-01

    Current understanding of interfacial areas and flow in unsaturated soil does generally not account for liquid water films that form on porous media at low saturations. Because the behavior of these films is complex and difficult to measure, they are often ignored. Experiments conducted in two capillary barrier systems with two different underlying coarse materials illustrated the potential impact of surface roughness and grain morphology on the film infiltration velocity and suggest that understanding their behavior is vital for addressing flow and transport problems that take place in the low saturation range. Using the equation for film infiltration velocity derived by Hay et al. (2008) and surface analysis of the crushed Yucca Mountain Tuff, theoretical infiltration velocities were derived. We observed high agreement between the infiltration velocity based on the theory, and measurements in the experimental capillary barrier systems. The experimental systems were modeled using HYDRUS 2D and a pseudo diffusion coefficient across the fine/course sediment interface. Using this approach we have successfully mimicked film flow based solely on physical measurements of the sediment surface.

  7. Yucca Mountain socioeconomic project report on the 1987 risk perception telephone surveys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunreuther, H. [Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). Wharton School of Finance and Commerce; Slovic, P. [Decision Research, Eugene, OR (United States); Nigg, J. [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Desvousges, W.H. [Research Triangle Inst., Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)

    1987-09-01

    The measurement of the risk-related impacts from the siting of a high-level nuclear waste (HLNW) repository represents a new and important addition to conventional socioeconomic impact studies. In particular, the driving forces behind these impacts are the risks people perceive to be associated with the repository. Measuring the risk impacts requires a complementary set of approaches, of which, risk surveys are the cornerstone.a The purpose of these surveys is to provide scientifically defensible measures of the risk-related impacts. The risk surveys follow directly from a conceptual framework of how the HLNW repository affects peoples` perceptions and, ultimately, their behaviors. These surveys describe and measure: Characteristics of individuals, Risks people perceive from the HLNW repository, Views, or mind sets, they form about the HLNW repository, Changes in behaviors--e.g., changes in retirement decisions or industrial relocations--induced by the location of the repository, and Changes in well-being of Nevada citizens, if the repository were located at Yucca Mountain.

  8. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATIONS PROJECT TUNNEL BORING MACHINE (TBM) SYSTEM SAFETY ANALYSIS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N/A

    1997-02-19

    The purpose of this analysis is to systematically identify and evaluate hazards related to the tunnel boring machine (TBM) used in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. This process is an integral part of the systems engineering process; whereby safety is considered during planning, design, testing, and construction. Since the TBM is an ''as built'' system, the M&O is conducting the System Safety Analysis during the construction or assembly phase of the TBM. A largely qualitative approach was used since a radiological System Safety Analysis is not required. The risk assessment in this analysis characterizes the accident scenarios associated with the TBM in terms of relative risk and includes recommendations for mitigating all identified risks. The priority for recommending and implementing mitigation control features is: (1) Incorporate measures to reduce risks and hazards into the system/subsystem/component design, (2) add safety features and capabilities to existing designs, and (3) develop procedures and conduct training to increase worker awareness of potential hazards, on methods to reduce exposure to hazards, and on the actions required to avoid accidents or correct hazardous conditions. The scope of this analysis is limited to the TBM during normal operations, excluding hazards occurring during assembly and test of the TBM or maintenance of the TBM equipment.

  9. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium's electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 325 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area, these allocated to 162 genera and 53 families. Owing to drought conditions prevalent throughout the area, the annual floristic component was largely absent during the period of study, and it is likely much under-represented in the tabulation of results. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this survey

  10. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATIONS PROJECT TUNNEL BORING MACHINE (TBM) SYSTEM SAFETY ANALYSIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this analysis is to systematically identify and evaluate hazards related to the tunnel boring machine (TBM) used in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. This process is an integral part of the systems engineering process; whereby safety is considered during planning, design, testing, and construction. Since the TBM is an ''as built'' system, the MandO is conducting the System Safety Analysis during the construction or assembly phase of the TBM. A largely qualitative approach was used since a radiological System Safety Analysis is not required. The risk assessment in this analysis characterizes the accident scenarios associated with the TBM in terms of relative risk and includes recommendations for mitigating all identified risks. The priority for recommending and implementing mitigation control features is: (1) Incorporate measures to reduce risks and hazards into the system/subsystem/component design, (2) add safety features and capabilities to existing designs, and (3) develop procedures and conduct training to increase worker awareness of potential hazards, on methods to reduce exposure to hazards, and on the actions required to avoid accidents or correct hazardous conditions. The scope of this analysis is limited to the TBM during normal operations, excluding hazards occurring during assembly and test of the TBM or maintenance of the TBM equipment

  11. Uranium-Series Constraints on Subrepository Water Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces; S.J. Chipera; D.T. Vaniman

    2006-03-10

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USWSD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble fragments (about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram.

  12. A floristic survey of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1994-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium`s electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 325 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area, these allocated to 162 genera and 53 families. Owing to drought conditions prevalent throughout the area, the annual floristic component was largely absent during the period of study, and it is likely much under-represented in the tabulation of results. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this survey.

  13. TECHNICAL PEER REVIEW REPORT - YUCCA MOUNTAIN: WASTE PACKAGE CLOSURE CONTROL SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The objective of the Waste Package Closure System (WPCS) project is to assist in the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and associated high-level wastes (HLW) at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Materials will be transferred from the casks into a waste package (WP), sealed, and placed into the underground facility. The SNF/HLW transfer and closure operations will be performed in an aboveground facility. The objective of the Control System is to bring together major components of the entire WPCS ensuring that unit operations correctly receive, and respond to, commands and requests for data. Integrated control systems will be provided to ensure that all operations can be performed remotely. Maintenance on equipment may be done using hands-on or remote methods, depending on complexity, exposure, and ease of access. Operating parameters and nondestructive examination results will be collected and stored as permanent electronic records. Minor weld repairs must be performed within the closure cell if the welds do not meet the inspection acceptance requirements. Any WP with extensive weld defects that require lids to be removed will be moved to the remediation facility for repair

  14. Cost estimate of high-level radioactive waste containers for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, E.W.; Clarke, W. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Domian, H.A. [Babcock and Wilcox Co., Lynchburg, VA (United States); Madson, A.A. [Kaiser Engineers California Corp., Oakland, CA (United States)

    1991-08-01

    This report summarizes the bottoms-up cost estimates for fabrication of high-level radioactive waste disposal containers based on the Site Characterization Plan Conceptual Design (SCP-CD). These estimates were acquired by Babcock and Wilcox (B&S) under sub-contract to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). The estimates were obtained for two leading container candidate materials (Alloy 825 and CDA 715), and from other three vendors who were selected from a list of twenty solicited. Three types of container designs were analyzed that represent containers for spent fuel, and for vitrified high-level waste (HLW). The container internal structures were assumed to be AISI-304 stainless steel in all cases, with an annual production rate of 750 containers. Subjective techniques were used for estimating QA/QC costs based on vendor experience and the specifications derived for the LLNL-YMP Quality Assurance program. In addition, an independent QA/QC analysis is reported which was prepared by Kasier Engineering. Based on the cost estimates developed, LLNL recommends that values of $825K and $62K be used for the 1991 TSLCC for the spent fuel and HLW containers, respectively. These numbers represent the most conservative among the three vendors, and are for the high-nickel anstenitic steel (Alloy 825). 6 refs., 7 figs.

  15. Fluid inclusion studies of calcite veins from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Tuffs: Environment of formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roedder, E. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Whelan, J.F. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Vaniman, D.T. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Calcite vein and vug fillings at four depths (130-314m), all above the present water table in USW G-1 bore hole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain primary fluid inclusions with variable vapor/liquid raitos: Most of these inclusions are either full of liquid or full of vapor. The liquid-filled inclusions show that most of the host calcite crystallized from fluids at <100{degrees}C. The vapor-filled inclusions provide evidence that a separate vapor phase was present in the fluid during crystallization. Studies of these vapor-filled inclusions on the microscope crushing stage were interpreted in an earlier paper as indicating trapping of an air-water-CO{sub 2} vapor phase at ``<100{degrees}C``. Our new studies reveal the additional presence of major methane in the vapor-filled inclusion, indicating even lower temperatures of trapping, perhaps at near-surface temperatures. They also show that the host calcite crystals grew from a flowing film of water on the walls of fractures open to the atmosphere, the vapor-filled inclusions representing bubbles that exsolved from this film onto the crystal surface.

  16. Thermodynamic data base needs for modeling studies of the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palmer, C.E.A.; Silva, R.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States). Nuclear Chemistry Div.; Bucher, J.J. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States). Materials and Chemical Sciences Div.

    1996-07-12

    This document is the first in a series of documents outlining the thermodynamic data needs for performing geochemical modeling calculations in support of various waste package performance assessment activities for the Yucca Mountain Project. The documents are intended to identify and justify the critical thermodynamic data needs for the data base to be used with the models. The Thermodynamic Data Determinations task supplies data needed to resolve performance or design issues and the development of the data base will remain an iterative process as needs change or data improve. For example, data are needed to predict: (1) major ion groundwater chemistry and its evolution, (2) mineral stabilities and evolution, (3) engineered barrier near-field transport and retardation properties, (4) changes in geochemical conditions and processes, (5) solubilities, speciation and transport of waste radionuclides and (6) the dissolution of corrosion of construction and canister materials and the effect on groundwater chemistry and radionuclide solubilities and transport. The system is complex and interactive, and data need to be supplied in order to model the changes and their effect on other components of the system, e.g., temperature, pH and redox conditions (Eh). Through sensitivity and uncertainty analyses, the critical data and system parameters will be identified and the acceptable variations in them documented.

  17. Total System Performance Assessment, 1993: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Total System Performance Assessments are an important component in the evaluation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in the United States. The Total System Performance Assessments are conducted iteratively during site characterization to identify issues which should be addressed by the characterization and design activities as well as providing input to regulatory/licensing and programmatic decisions. During fiscal years 1991 and 1992, the first iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1991) was completed by Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Beginning in fiscal year 1993, the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor was assigned the responsibility to plan, coordinate, and contribute to the second iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1993). This document presents the objectives, approach, assumptions, input, results, conclusions, and recommendations associated with the Management and Operating Contractor contribution to TSPA 1993. The new information incorporated in TSPA 1993 includes (1) revised estimates of radionuclide solubilities (and their thermal and geochemical dependency), (2) thermal and geochemical dependency of spent fuel waste alteration and glass dissolution rates, (3) new distribution coefficient (kd) estimates, (4) revised estimates of gas-phase velocities and travel times, and (5) revised hydrologic modeling of the saturated zone which provides updated estimates of the advective flux through the saturated zone

  18. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Consultation Draft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The consultation draft of the site characterization plan is a lengthy document that describes in considerable detail the program that will be conducted to characterize the geologic, hydrologic, and other conditions relevant to the suitability of the site for a repository. The overview presented here consists of brief summaries of important topics covered in the consultation draft of the site-characterization plan; it is not a substitute for the site-characterization plan. The arrangement of the overview is similar to that of the plan itself, with brief descriptions of the disposal system -- the site, the repository, and the waste package -- preceding the discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. It is intended primarily for the management staff of organizations involved in the DOE`s repository program -- staff who might wish to understand the general scope of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed rather than the technical details of site characterization. 22 figs., 1 tab.

  19. Criteria for design of the Yucca Mountain structures, systems and components for fault displacement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stepp, C. [Woodward-Clyde Federal Services, Austin, TX (United States); Hossain, Q. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Nesbit, S. [M and O/Duke Engineering, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Pezzopane, S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Hardy, M. [A.F.T. Agapito and Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The DOE intends to design the Yucca Mountain high-level waste facility structures, systems and components (SSCs) for fault displacements to provide reasonable assurance that they will meet the preclosure safety performance objectives established by 10 CFR Part 60. To the extent achievable, fault displacement design of the facility will follow guidance provided in the NRC Staff Technical Position. Fault avoidance will be the primary design criterion, especially for spatially compact or clustered SSCs. When fault avoidance is not reasonably achievable, expected to be the case for most spatially extended SSCs, engineering design procedures and criteria or repair and rehabilitation actions, depending on the SSC`s importance to safety, are provided. SSCs that have radiological safety importance will be designed for fault displacements that correspond to the hazard exceedance frequency equal to their established seismic safety performance goals. Fault displacement loads are generally localized and may cause local inelastic response of SSCs. For this reason, the DOE intends to use strain-based design acceptance criteria similar to the strain-based criteria used to design nuclear plant SSCs for impact and impulsive loads.

  20. Creep in Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 x 105 seconds and for as long as 1.8 x 106 seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress

  1. Yucca Mountain socioeconomic project report on the 1987 risk perception telephone surveys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The measurement of the risk-related impacts from the siting of a high-level nuclear waste (HLNW) repository represents a new and important addition to conventional socioeconomic impact studies. In particular, the driving forces behind these impacts are the risks people perceive to be associated with the repository. Measuring the risk impacts requires a complementary set of approaches, of which, risk surveys are the cornerstone.a The purpose of these surveys is to provide scientifically defensible measures of the risk-related impacts. The risk surveys follow directly from a conceptual framework of how the HLNW repository affects peoples' perceptions and, ultimately, their behaviors. These surveys describe and measure: Characteristics of individuals, Risks people perceive from the HLNW repository, Views, or mind sets, they form about the HLNW repository, Changes in behaviors--e.g., changes in retirement decisions or industrial relocations--induced by the location of the repository, and Changes in well-being of Nevada citizens, if the repository were located at Yucca Mountain

  2. Geostatistical and Stochastic Study of Flow and Tracer Transport in the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as the nation's long-term, permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste. The potential repository would be located in Yucca Mountain's unsaturated zone (UZ), which acts as a critical natural barrier delaying arrival of radionuclides to the water table. Since radionuclide transport in groundwater can pose serious threats to human health and the environment, it is important to understand how much and how fast water and radionuclides travel through the UZ to groundwater. The UZ system consists of multiple hydrogeologic units whose hydraulic and geochemical properties exhibit systematic and random spatial variation, or heterogeneity, at multiple scales. Predictions of radionuclide transport under such complicated conditions are uncertain, and the uncertainty complicates decision making and risk analysis. This project aims at using geostatistical and stochastic methods to assess uncertainty of unsaturated flow and radionuclide transport in the UZ at Yucca Mountain. Focus of this study is parameter uncertainty of hydraulic and transport properties of the UZ. The parametric uncertainty arises since limited parameter measurements are unable to deterministically describe spatial variability of the parameters. In this project, matrix porosity, permeability and sorption coefficient of the reactive tracer (neptunium) of the UZ are treated as random variables. Corresponding propagation of parametric uncertainty is quantitatively measured using mean, variance, 5th and 95th percentiles of simulated state variables (e.g., saturation, capillary pressure, percolation flux, and travel time). These statistics are evaluated using a Monte Carlo method, in which a three-dimensional flow and transport model implemented using the TOUGH2 code is executed with multiple parameter realizations of the random model parameters. The project specifically studies uncertainty of unsaturated flow

  3. Deep geologic disposal in the United States: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Yucca Mountain projects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lynch, R.W.; Hunter, R.L.; Anderson, D.R.; Bingham, F.W.; Covan, J.M.; Hohnstrieter, G.F.; Hunter, T.O.; Klett, R.D.; Ryder, E.E.; Sanders, T.L.; Weart, W.D.

    1991-05-01

    After examining a number of alternatives for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and transuranic and high-level radioactive waste, the United States determined that the two most promising options for disposal were in mined geologic repositories or in seabed sediments. After several years of experiments and studies, the subseabed program was suspended. However, two possible sites for a geologic repository were selected for more study and eventual development if their suitability is demonstrated. The United States Department of Energy is evaluating the disposal of high-level waste and commercially generated spent fuel at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and the disposal of defense-generated transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant near Carlsbad, New Mexico. In addition to the programs for siting and building the two repositories, the Department of Energy has an active program to develop a transportation system that will safely move radioactive waste from the sites where it is generated or stored to the repositories. Repositories and transportation systems are being developed in accordance with a complex set of laws, standards, regulations, and guidelines -- the goal of which is to ensure the safety of the public and the environment. 27 refs., 39 figs., 4 tabs.

  4. Fluid flows due to earthquakes with reference to Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Yucca Mountain geohydrology is dominated by a deep water table in volcanic tuffa beds which are cut by numerous faults. Certain zones in these tuffas and most of the fault apertures are filled with a fine-grained calcitic cement. Earthquakes have occured in this region with the most recent being of magnitude 5.6 and at a distance of about 20 km. Earthquakes in western U.S.A. have been observed to cause fluid flows through and out of the crust of the Earth. These flows are concentrated along the faults with normal faulting producing the largest flows. An earthquake produces rapid pressure changes at and below the ground surface, thereby forcing flows of gas, water, slurries and dissolved salts. In order to examine the properties of flows produced by earthquakes, we simulate the phenomena using computer-based modeling. We investigate the effects of adults and high permeability zones on the pattern of flows induced by the earthquake. We demonstrate that faults act as conduits to the surface and that the higher the permeability of a zone, the more the flows will concentrate there. Numerical estimates of flow rates from these simulations compare favorably with data from observed flows due to earthquakes. Simple volumetric arguments demonstrate the ease with which fluids from the deep water table can reach the surface along fault conduits.

  5. Total System Performance Assessment, 1993: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, R.W.; Dale, T.F.; McNeish, J.A.

    1994-03-01

    Total System Performance Assessments are an important component in the evaluation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in the United States. The Total System Performance Assessments are conducted iteratively during site characterization to identify issues which should be addressed by the characterization and design activities as well as providing input to regulatory/licensing and programmatic decisions. During fiscal years 1991 and 1992, the first iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1991) was completed by Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Beginning in fiscal year 1993, the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor was assigned the responsibility to plan, coordinate, and contribute to the second iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1993). This document presents the objectives, approach, assumptions, input, results, conclusions, and recommendations associated with the Management and Operating Contractor contribution to TSPA 1993. The new information incorporated in TSPA 1993 includes (1) revised estimates of radionuclide solubilities (and their thermal and geochemical dependency), (2) thermal and geochemical dependency of spent fuel waste alteration and glass dissolution rates, (3) new distribution coefficient (k{sub d}) estimates, (4) revised estimates of gas-phase velocities and travel times, and (5) revised hydrologic modeling of the saturated zone which provides updated estimates of the advective flux through the saturated zone.

  6. The Sundance fault: A newly recognized shear zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ongoing detailed mapping at a scale of 1:240 of structural features within the potential repository area indicates the presence of several previously unrecognized structural features. Minor north-trending west-side-down faults occur east and west of the Ghost Dance fault and suggest a total width of the Ghost Dance fault system of nearly 366 m (1200 ft). A zone of near-vertical N30 degrees - 40 degrees W - trending faults, at least 274 m (900 ft) wide, has been identified in the northern part of our study area and may traverse across the proposed repository area. On the basis of a preliminary analysis of available data, we propose to name this zone the ''Sundance fault system'' and the dominant structure, occurring near the middle of the zone, the ''Sundance fault.'' Some field relations suggest left-stepping deflections of north-trending faults along a preexisting northwest-trending structural fabric. Other field observations suggest that the ''Sundance fault system'' offsets the Ghost Dance fault system in an apparent right lateral sense by at least 52 m (170 ft). Additional detailed field studies, however, are needed to better understand structural complexities at Yucca Mountain

  7. The Sundance fault: A newly recognized shear zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ongoing detailed mapping at a scale of 1:240 of structural features within the potential repository area indicates the presence of several previously unrecognized structural features. Minor north-trending west-side-down faults occur east and west of the Ghost Dance fault and suggest a total width of the Ghost Dance fault system of nearly 366 m (1200 ft). A zone of near-vertical N30 degrees-40 degrees W-trending faults, at least 274 m (900 ft) wide, has been identified in the northern part of our study area and may traverse across the potential repository area. On the basis of a preliminary analysis of available data, we propose to name this zone the open-quotes Sundance fault systemclose quotes and the dominant structure, occurring near the middle of the zone, the open-quotes Sundance faultclose quotes. Some field relations suggest left-stepping deflections of north-trending faults along a pre-existing northwest-trending structural fabric. Other field observations suggest that the open-quotes Sundance fault systemclose quotes offsets the Ghost Dance fault system in an apparent right lateral sense by at least 52 m (170 ft). Additional detailed field studies are needed to better understand structural complexities at Yucca Mountain

  8. Cost estimate of high-level radioactive waste containers for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report summarizes the bottoms-up cost estimates for fabrication of high-level radioactive waste disposal containers based on the Site Characterization Plan Conceptual Design (SCP-CD). These estimates were acquired by Babcock and Wilcox (B ampersand S) under sub-contract to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). The estimates were obtained for two leading container candidate materials (Alloy 825 and CDA 715), and from other three vendors who were selected from a list of twenty solicited. Three types of container designs were analyzed that represent containers for spent fuel, and for vitrified high-level waste (HLW). The container internal structures were assumed to be AISI-304 stainless steel in all cases, with an annual production rate of 750 containers. Subjective techniques were used for estimating QA/QC costs based on vendor experience and the specifications derived for the LLNL-YMP Quality Assurance program. In addition, an independent QA/QC analysis is reported which was prepared by Kasier Engineering. Based on the cost estimates developed, LLNL recommends that values of $825K and $62K be used for the 1991 TSLCC for the spent fuel and HLW containers, respectively. These numbers represent the most conservative among the three vendors, and are for the high-nickel anstenitic steel (Alloy 825). 6 refs., 7 figs

  9. Site characterization plan overview: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Consultation Draft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The consultation draft of the site characterization plan is a lengthy document that describes in considerable detail the program that will be conducted to characterize the geologic, hydrologic, and other conditions relevant to the suitability of the site for a repository. The overview presented here consists of brief summaries of important topics covered in the consultation draft of the site-characterization plan; it is not a substitute for the site-characterization plan. The arrangement of the overview is similar to that of the plan itself, with brief descriptions of the disposal system -- the site, the repository, and the waste package -- preceding the discussion of the characterization program to be carried out at the Yucca Mountain site. It is intended primarily for the management staff of organizations involved in the DOE's repository program -- staff who might wish to understand the general scope of the site-characterization program, the activities to be conducted, and the facilities to be constructed rather than the technical details of site characterization. 22 figs., 1 tab

  10. Analyses of releases due to drilling at the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radionuclide releases due to drilling into the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository have been evaluated as part of a recent total-system performance assessment. The probability that a drilling event intersects a waste package is a function of the sizes of the drill bit and the waste package, and the density of placement of the containers in the repository. The magnitude of the releases is modeled as a random function that also depends on the amount of decay the radionuclides have undergone. Four cases have been analyzed, representing the combinations of two waste-package designs (small-capacity, thin-wall, vertically emplaced; and large-capacity, thick-wall, horizontally emplaced) and two repository layouts (lower thermal power dissipation, low waste-package placement density; and higher thermal power dissipation, high waste-package placement density). The results show a fairly pronounced dependence on waste-package design and slight dependence on repository layout. Given the assumptions in the model, releases from the larger containers are 4--5 times greater than from the smaller packages

  11. TECHNICAL PEER REVIEW REPORT - YUCCA MOUNTAIN: WASTE PACKAGE CLOSURE CONTROL SYSTEM

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2005-10-25

    The objective of the Waste Package Closure System (WPCS) project is to assist in the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and associated high-level wastes (HLW) at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Materials will be transferred from the casks into a waste package (WP), sealed, and placed into the underground facility. The SNF/HLW transfer and closure operations will be performed in an aboveground facility. The objective of the Control System is to bring together major components of the entire WPCS ensuring that unit operations correctly receive, and respond to, commands and requests for data. Integrated control systems will be provided to ensure that all operations can be performed remotely. Maintenance on equipment may be done using hands-on or remote methods, depending on complexity, exposure, and ease of access. Operating parameters and nondestructive examination results will be collected and stored as permanent electronic records. Minor weld repairs must be performed within the closure cell if the welds do not meet the inspection acceptance requirements. Any WP with extensive weld defects that require lids to be removed will be moved to the remediation facility for repair.

  12. Yucca Mountain Project waste package design for MRS [Monitored Retrievable Storage] system studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report, prepared by the Yucca Mountain Project, is the report for Task E of the MRS System Study. A number of assumptions were necessary prior to initiation of this system study. These assumptions have been defined in Section 2 for the packaging scenarios, the waste forms, and the waste package concepts and materials. Existing concepts were utilized because of schedule constraints. Section 3 provides a discussion of sensitivity considerations regarding the impact of different assumptions on the overall result of the system study. With the exception of rod consolidation considerations, the system study should not be sensitive to the parameters assumed for the waste package. The current reference waste package materials and concepts are presented in Section 4. Although stainless steel is assumed for this study, a container material has not yet been selected for Advanced Conceptual Design (ACD) from the six candidates currently under study. Section 5 discusses the current thinking for possible alternate waste package materials and concepts. These concepts are being considered in the event that the waste package emplacement environment is more severe than is currently anticipated. Task E also provides a concept in Section 6 for an MRS canister to contain consolidated fuel for storage at the MRS and eventual shipment to the repository. 5 refs., 14 figs., 10 tabs

  13. Geology of the USW SD-12 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Engstrom, D.A. [Spectra Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-11-01

    Drill hole USW SD-12 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the {open_quotes}Systematic Drilling Program,{close_quotes} as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-12 drill hole is located in the central part of the potential repository area, immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility and slightly south of midway between the North Ramp and planned South Ramp declines. Drill hole USW SD-12 is 2166.3 ft (660.26 m) deep, and the core recovered essentially complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. A virtually complete section of the Calico Hills Formation was also recovered, as was core from the entire Prow Pass Tuff formation of the Crater Flat Group.

  14. Geology of the USW SD-9 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Engstrom, D.A. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-10-01

    Drill hole USW SD-9 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study as part of the characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-9 drill hole is located in the northern part of the potential repository area. Quantitative and semiquantitative data are included in this report for cover recovery, rock-quality designation (RQD), lithophysal cavity abundance, and fracturing. These data are spatially variable, both within and among the major formational-level stratigraphic units. Nonwelded intervals in general exhibit higher recoveries and more intact (higher) RQD values than welded intervals. The most intact, highest-RQD materials encountered within the Topopah Spring belong to the lower 33.3 ft of the middle nonlithophysal zone. This report includes quantitative data for the framework material properties of porosity, bulk and particle density, and saturated hydraulic conductivity. Graphical analysis of variations in these laboratory hydrologic properties indicates first-order control of material properties by the degree of welding and the presence of zeolite minerals. Many major lithostratigraphic contacts are not well expressed in the material-property profiles; contacts of material-property units are related more to changes in the intensity of welding. Approximate in-situ saturation data of samples preserved immediately upon recovery from the hole are included in the data tabulation.

  15. Investigation of an aeromagnetic anomally on west side of Yucca Mountain, Ney County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Investigations of the source of a prominent aeromagnetic anomaly of 290 nT were undertaken at a potential repository site located in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Test Site. The anomaly was detected on a recent flight line of a survey flown north-south at 400 m (1300 ft) spacing and 122 m (400 ft) above the surface. The anomaly was not detected on older lines flown east-west at the same spacing and altitude above the surface. The anomaly, which is on the high-standing side of a major fault, was interpreted previously as arising from either an increase of magnetization within a volcanic tuff or a small intrusive feature. Ground magnetic traverses were run to locate the ground maximum, and to delineate anomalies in a traverse that crosses the ground maximum and the nearby fault. Both air and ground anomalies were analyzed using geologic data from surface mapping and drill holes, and magnetic property data from drill holes. The anomaly is caused by contributions from at least three sources. The elevated topography gives a terrain effect since the altitude is decreased between the airplane and exposed Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. Ground anomalies 300 m (1000 ft) south of the air maximum indicate either an increase in magnetization or the presence of a small intrusive body. Finally, there is an increase in magnetic influence from the nearby Solitario Canyon fault. 16 refs., 10 figs., 5 tabs

  16. Basis for in-situ geomechanical testing at the Yucca Mountain site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents an analysis of the in-situ geomechanical testing needs for the Exploratory Shaft (ES) test facility at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. The testing needs are derived from 10CFR60 regulations and simple thermomechanical canister- and room-scale numerical studies. The testing approach suggested is based on an ''iterative'' procedure of full-scale testing combined with numerical and empirical modeling. The testing suggested is based heavily on demonstration of excavation and thermal loading of full-scale repository excavations. Numerical and/or empirical models are compared to the full-scale response, allowing for adjustment of the model and evaluation of confidence in their predictive ability. Additional testing may be specified if confidence in prediction of the rock mass response is low. It is suggested that extensive drifting be conducted within the proposed repository area, including exploration of the bounding Drill Hole Wash and Imbricate fault structures, as well as the Ghost Dance fault. This approach is opposed to an a priori statistical specification of a number of ''point'' tests which attempt to measure a given property at a specific location. 40 refs., 49 figs., 6 tabs

  17. Preclosure radiological safety evaluation: Exploratory Studies Facility; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schelling, F.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Smith, J.D. [GRAM, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (US)

    1993-07-01

    A radiological safety evaluation is performed to determine the impacts of Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) design changes on the preclosure public radiological safety for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Although the ESF design has undergone significant modification, incorporation of the modified design requires only modest changes to the conceptual repository configuration. To the extent feasible, the results of earlier safety evaluations presented in SAND84-2641, SAND88-7061, and SAND89-7024, which were based on the original ESF configuration, are compared with the results for the modified configuration. This comparison provides an estimate of the range of analysis uncertainty. This preliminary analysis indicates that there are no Q-scenarios, which are defined as those scenarios with a net occurrence probability of greater than 10{sup {minus}6}/yr and produce a radiological dose at the 5-km controlled area boundary of greater than 0.5 rem. The analysis yielded estimates for an underground accident of a probability of 3.8 {times} 10{sup {minus}15}/yr and a dose of 1.5 rem. For a surface-initiated accident, a probability of 1.5 {times} 10{sup {minus}12}/yr and a dose of 0.6 rem was estimated.