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Sample records for beneath yucca mountain

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ozdemir, L. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (USA); Hansen, F.D. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA)

    1991-01-01

    A research effort of four phases is in progress at the Colorado School of Mines. The overall program will evaluate the cutability of welded tuff and other lithologies likely to be excavated at Yucca Mountain in the site characterization process. Several mechanical systems are considered with emphasis given to the tunnel boring machine. The research comprises laboratory testing, linear drag bit and disc cutter tests and potentially large-scale laboratory demonstrations to support potential use of a tunnel boring machine in welded tuff. Preliminary estimates of mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuff are presented here. As phases of the research project are completed, well quantified estimates will be made of performance of mechanical excavators in the Yucca Mountain tuffs. 3 refs., 2 tabs.

  9. Geologic map of the Yucca Mountain region, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potter, Christopher J.; Dickerson, Robert P.; Sweetkind, Donald S.; Drake II, Ronald M.; Taylor, Emily M.; Fridrich, Christopher J.; San Juan, Carma A.; Day, Warren C.

    2002-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nev., has been identified as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive waste. This geologic map compilation, including all of Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat, most of the Calico Hills, western Jackass Flats, Little Skull Mountain, the Striped Hills, the Skeleton Hills, and the northeastern Amargosa Desert, portrays the geologic framework for a saturated-zone hydrologic flow model of the Yucca Mountain site. Key geologic features shown on the geologic map and accompanying cross sections include: (1) exposures of Proterozoic through Devonian strata inferred to have been deformed by regional thrust faulting and folding, in the Skeleton Hills, Striped Hills, and Amargosa Desert near Big Dune; (2) folded and thrust-faulted Devonian and Mississippian strata, unconformably overlain by Miocene tuffs and lavas and cut by complex Neogene fault patterns, in the Calico Hills; (3) the Claim Canyon caldera, a segment of which is exposed north of Yucca Mountain and Crater Flat; (4) thick densely welded to nonwelded ash-flow sheets of the Miocene southwest Nevada volcanic field exposed in normal-fault-bounded blocks at Yucca Mountain; (5) upper Tertiary and Quaternary basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in Crater Flat and at southernmost Yucca Mountain; and (6) broad basins covered by Quaternary and upper Tertiary surficial deposits in Jackass Flats, Crater Flat, and the northeastern Amargosa Desert, beneath which Neogene normal and strike-slip faults are inferred to be present on the basis of geophysical data and geologic map patterns. A regional thrust belt of late Paleozoic or Mesozoic age affected all pre-Tertiary rocks in the region; main thrust faults, not exposed in the map area, are interpreted to underlie the map area in an arcuate pattern, striking north, northeast, and east. The predominant vergence of thrust faults exposed elsewhere in the region, including the Belted Range and Specter Range thrusts, was to the east

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Rail Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Halstead, R. J.; Dilger, F.; Moore, R. C.

    2003-02-25

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository site currently lacks rail access. The nearest mainline railroad is almost 100 miles away. Absence of rail access could result in many thousands of truck shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Direct rail access to the repository could significantly reduce the number of truck shipments and total shipments. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) identified five potential rail access corridors, ranging in length from 98 miles to 323 miles, in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Yucca Mountain. The FEIS also considers an alternative to rail spur construction, heavy-haul truck (HHT) delivery of rail casks from one of three potential intermodal transfer stations. The authors examine the feasibility and cost of the five rail corridors, and DOE's alternative proposal for HHT transport. The authors also address the potential for rail shipments through the Las Vegas metropolitan area.

  13. 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.

  14. Revised mineralogic summary of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1989-03-01

    We have evaluated three-dimensional mineral distribution at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using quantitative x-ray powder diffraction analysis. All data were obtained on core cuttings, or sidewall samples obtained from drill holes at and around Yucca Mountain. Previously published data are included with corrections, together with new data for several drill holes. The new data presented in this report used the internal standard method of quantitative analysis, which yields results of high precision for the phases commonly found in Yucca Mountain tuffs including opal-CT and glass. Mineralogical trends with depth previously noted are clearly shown by these new data. Glass occurrence is restricted almost without exception to above the present-day static water level (SWL), although glass has been identified below the SWL in partially zeolitized tuffs. Silica phases undergo well-defined transitions with depth, with tridymite and cristobalite occurring only above the SWL, opal-CT occurring with clinoptilolite-mordenite tuffs, and quartz most abundant below the SWL. Smectite occurs in small amounts in most samples but is enriched in two distinct zones. These zones are at the top of the vitric nonwelded base of the Tiva Canyon Member and at the top of the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member. Our data support the presence of several zones of mordenite and clinoptilolite-heulandite as shown previously. New data on several deep clinoptililite-heulandite samples coexisting with analcime show that they are heulandite. Phillipsite has not been found in any Yucca Mountain samples, but erionite and chabazite have been found once in fractures. 21 refs., 17 figs.

  15. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-06

    pr_121508_energysecnom.cfm. 13 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, “Growing energy: Berkeley Lab’s Steve Chu on what termite guts have to do with global warming...does not seem an attractive alternative to the geological 60 Steven Nadis, “The Sub-Seabed Solution...could be done at Yucca Mountain.82 Such “salt creep” occurs more quickly at higher temperatures , which could result from the disposal of high-level waste

  16. 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.

  17. Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharpe, Saxon E

    2007-10-23

    The primary objective of Project Activity ORD-FY04-012, “Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative,” was to provide the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) with expertise on past, present, and future climate scenarios and to support the technical elements of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) climate program. The Climate Technical Support Representative was to explain, defend, and interpret the YMP climate program to the various audiences during Site Recommendation and License Application. This technical support representative was to support DOE management in the preparation and review of documents, and to participate in comment response for the Final Environmental Impact Statement, the Site Recommendation Hearings, the NRC Sufficiency Comments, and other forums as designated by DOE management. Because the activity was terminated 12 months early and experience a 27% reduction in budget, it was not possible to complete all components of the tasks as originally envisioned. Activities not completed include the qualification of climate datasets and the production of a qualified technical report. The following final report is an unqualified summary of the activities that were completed given the reduced time and funding.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Statistical analysis of hydrologic data for Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rutherford, B.M.; Hall, I.J.; Peters, R.R.; Easterling, R.G.; Klavetter, E.A.

    1992-02-01

    The geologic formations in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain are currently being studied as the host rock for a potential radioactive waste repository. Data from several drill holes have been collected to provide the preliminary information needed for planning site characterization for the Yucca Mountain Project. Hydrologic properties have been measured on the core samples and the variables analyzed here are thought to be important in the determination of groundwater travel times. This report presents a statistical analysis of four hydrologic variables: saturated-matrix hydraulic conductivity, maximum moisture content, suction head, and calculated groundwater travel time. It is important to modelers to have as much information about the distribution of values of these variables as can be obtained from the data. The approach taken in this investigation is to (1) identify regions at the Yucca Mountain site that, according to the data, are distinctly different; (2) estimate the means and variances within these regions; (3) examine the relationships among the variables; and (4) investigate alternative statistical methods that might be applicable when more data become available. The five different functional stratigraphic units at three different locations are compared and grouped into relatively homogeneous regions. Within these regions, the expected values and variances associated with core samples of different sizes are estimated. The results provide a rough estimate of the distribution of hydrologic variables for small core sections within each region.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Revised potentiometric-surface map, Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ervin, E.M.; Luckey, R.R.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    The revised potentiometric-surface map presented in this report updates earlier maps of the Yucca Mountain area using mainly 1988 average water levels. Because of refinements in the corrections to the water-level measurements, these water levels have increased accuracy and precision over older values. The small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain is contoured with a 0.25-meter interval and ranges in water-level altitude from 728.5 to 731.0 meters. Other areas with different water levels, to the north and west of Yucca Mountain, are illustrated with shaded patterns. The potentiometric surface can be divided into three regions: 1) A small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain, which may be explained by flow through high-transmissivity rocks or low ground-water flux through the area; 2) A moderate-gradient area, on the western side of Yucca Mountain, where the water-level altitude ranges from 775 to 780 meters, and appears to be impeded by the Solitario Canyon Fault and a splay of that fault; and 3) A large-gradient area, to the north-northeast of Yucca Mountain, where water level altitude ranges from 738 to 1,035 meters, possibly as a result of a semi-perched groundwater system. Water levels from wells at Yucca Mountain were examined for yearly trends (1986-89) using linear least-squares regression. Data from five wells exhibited trends which were statistically significant, but some of those may be a result of slow equilibration of the water level from drilling in less permeable rocks. Adjustments for temperature and density changes in the deep wells with long fluid columns were attempted, but some of the adjusted data did not fit the surrounding data and, thus, were not used.

  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. 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.

  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. The terrestrial ecosystem program for the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ostler, W.K.; O`Farrell, T.P.

    1994-06-01

    DOE has implemented a program to monitor and mitigate impacts associated with site Characterization Activities at Yucca Mountain on the environment. This program has a sound experimental and statistical base. Monitoring data has been collected for parts of the program since 1989. There have been numerous changes in the Terrestrial Ecosystems Program since 1989 that reflect changes in the design and locations of Site Characterization Activities. There have also been changes made in the mitigation techniques implemented to protect important environmental resources based on results from the research efforts at Yucca Mountain. These changes have strengthened DOE efforts to ensure protection of the environmental during Site Characterization. DOE,has developed and implemented an integrated environmental program that protects the biotic environment and will restore environmental quality at Yucca Mountain.

  8. The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository From A Corrosion Perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.H. Payer

    2005-03-10

    Corrosion is a primary determinant of waste package performance at the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository and will control the delay time for radionuclide transport from the waste package. Corrosion is the most probable and most likely degradation process that will determine when packages will be penetrated and the shape size and distribution of those penetrations. The general issues in corrosion science, materials science and electrochemistry are well defined, and the knowledge base is substantial for understanding corrosion processes. In this paper, the Yucca Mountain Repository is viewed from a corrosion perspective.

  9. An assessment of future volcanic hazard at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hackett, W.R. [WRH Associates, Salt Lake City, UT (United States)

    1996-12-01

    Preliminary results and methods of a volcanic-hazards assessment for the proposed high-level nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain are given. The most significant hazards are potential intersection of the repository by a basaltic dike, or structural disruption associated with dike intrusion. Two approaches are taken, which give similar results: homogeneous volcanic-source zones and spatial smoothing. The preliminary computed probabilities of intersection of the Yucca Mountain repository by a basaltic dike are in the range 10{sup -7} to 10{sup -8} per year.

  10. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Technical Data Catalog; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-30

    The June 1, 1985 DOE/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. This edition of the Technical Data Catalog supersedes the edition dated March 31, 1992.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Understanding the Potential for Volcanoes at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2002-08-01

    By studying the rocks and geologic features of an area, experts can assess whether it is vulnerable to future volcanic eruptions. Scientists have performed extensive studies at and near Yucca Mountain to determine whether future volcanoes could possibly affect the proposed repository for nuclear waste.

  15. 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.

  16. Analysis of Fracture in Cores from the Tuff Confining Unit beneath Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lance Prothro

    2008-03-01

    The role fractures play in the movement of groundwater through zeolitic tuffs that form the tuff confining unit (TCU) beneath Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, is poorly known. This is an important uncertainty, because beneath most of Yucca Flat the TCU lies between the sources of radionuclide contaminants produced by historic underground nuclear testing and the regional carbonate aquifer. To gain a better understanding of the role fractures play in the movement of groundwater and radionuclides through the TCU beneath Yucca Flat, a fracture analysis focusing on hydraulic properties was performed on conventional cores from four vertical exploratory holes in Area 7 of Yucca Flat that fully penetrate the TCU. The results of this study indicate that the TCU is poorly fractured. Fracture density for all fractures is 0.27 fractures per vertical meter of core. For open fractures, or those observed to have some aperture, the density is only 0.06 fractures per vertical meter of core. Open fractures are characterized by apertures ranging from 0.1 to 10 millimeter, and averaging 1.1 millimeter. Aperture typically occurs as small isolated openings along the fracture, accounting for only 10 percent of the fracture volume, the rest being completely healed by secondary minerals. Zeolite is the most common secondary mineral occurring in 48 percent of the fractures observed.

  17. 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.

  18. Development of the Performance Confirmation Program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G.D. LeCain; R. Snell; D. Barr; S.W. Goodin; D. Weaver; F.D. Hansen

    2006-03-17

    The Yucca Mountain Performance Confirmation program consists of tests, monitoring activities, experiments, and analyses to evaluate the adequacy of assumptions, data, and analyses that form the basis of the conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport associated with a proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Performance Confirmation program uses an eight-stage risk-informed, performance-based approach. Selection of the Performance Confirmation activities (a parameter and a test method) for inclusion in the Performance Confirmation program was done using a risk-informed performance-based decision analysis. The result of this analysis and review was a Performance Confirmation base portfolio that consists of 20 activities. The 20 Performance Confirmation activities include geologic, hydrologic, and construction/engineering testing. Several of the activities were initiated during site characterization and are ongoing. Others activities will commence during construction and/or post emplacement and will continue until repository closure.

  19. Development of the performance confirmation program at YUCCA mountain, nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCain, G.D.; Barr, D.; Weaver, D.; Snell, R.; Goodin, S.W.; Hansen, F.D.

    2006-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Performance Confirmation program consists of tests, monitoring activities, experiments, and analyses to evaluate the adequacy of assumptions, data, and analyses that form the basis of the conceptual and numerical models of flow and transport associated with a proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The Performance Confirmation program uses an eight-stage risk-informed, performance-based approach. Selection of the Performance Confirmation activities for inclusion in the Performance Confirmation program was done using a risk-informed performance-based decision analysis. The result of this analysis was a Performance Confirmation base portfolio that consists of 20 activities. The 20 Performance Confirmation activities include geologic, hydrologie, and construction/engineering testing. Some of the activities began during site characterization, and others will begin during construction, or post emplacement, and continue until repository closure.

  20. The Yucca Mountain probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coppersmith, K.J.; Perman, R.C.; Youngs, R.R. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)] [and others

    1996-12-01

    The Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) project, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was conducted to assess the probability of a future volcanic event disrupting the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. The PVHA project is one of the first major expert judgment studies that DOE has authorized for technical assessments related to the Yucca Mountain project. The judgments of members of a ten-person expert panel were elicited to ensure that a wide range of approaches were considered for the hazard analysis. The results of the individual elicitations were then combined to develop an integrated assessment of the volcanic hazard that reflects the diversity of alternative scientific interpretations. This assessment, which focused on the volcanic hazard at the site, expressed as the probability of disruption of the potential repository, will provide input to an assessment of volcanic risk, which expresses the probability of radionuclide release due to volcanic disruption.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-01-01

    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.

  4. 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

  5. The paleohydrology of unsaturated and saturated zones at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

    caused by climate shifts between the Miocene and Pleistocene and between Pleistocene glacial-interglacial cycles. Secondary mineral distribution and δ18O profiles indicate that evaporation in the shallower welded tuffs reduces infiltration fluxes. Several near-surface and subsurface processes likely are responsible for diverting or dampening infiltration and percolation, resulting in buffering of percolation fluxes to the deeper unsaturated zone. Cooler and wetter Pleistocene climates resulted in increased recharge in upland areas and higher water tables at Yucca Mountain and throughout the region. Discharge deposits in the Amargosa Desert were active during glacial periods, but only in areas where the modern water table is within 7–30 m of the surface. Published groundwater models simulate water-table rises beneath Yucca Mountain of as much as 150 m during glacial climates. However, most evidence from Fortymile Canyon up gradient from Yucca Mountain limits water-table rises to 30 m or less, which is consistent with evidence from discharge sites in the Amargosa Desert. The isotopic compositions of uranium in tuffs spanning the water table in two Yucca Mountain boreholes indicate that Pleistocene water-table rises likely were restricted to 25–50 m above modern positions and are in approximate agreement with water-table rises estimated from zeolitic-to-vitric transitions in the Yucca Mountain tuffs (less than 60 m in the last 11.6 m.y.).

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Upadhye, R S

    2003-12-08

    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:

  10. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Hua; G.M. Gordon; R.B. Rebak

    2005-10-13

    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.

  12. Degradation Modes of Alloy 22 in Yucca Mountain Repository Conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hua, F; Gordon, G M; Mon, K G; Rebak, R B

    2005-11-05

    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.

  13. 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.

  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. 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.``

  16. Characterization of liquid-water percolation in tuffs in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kume, J.; Rousseau, J.P.

    1989-12-31

    A surface-based borehole investigation currently (1989) is being done to characterize liquid-water percolation in tuffs of Miocene age in the unsaturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada Active in-situ testing and passive in-situ monitoring will be used in this investigation to estimate the present-day liquid-water percolation (flux). The unsaturated zone consists of a gently dipping sequence of fine-grained, densely fractured, and mostly welded ash-flow tuffs that are interbedded with fine-grained, slightly fractured, non-welded ash-flow and ash-fall tuffs that are partly vitric and zeolitized near the water table. Primary study objectives are to define the water potential field within the unsaturated zone and to determine the in-situ bulk permeability and bulk hydrologic properties of the unsaturated tuffs. Borehole testing will be done to determine the magnitude and spatial distribution of physical and hydrologic properties of the geohydrologic units, and of their water potential fields. The study area of this investigation is restricted to that part of Yucca Mountain that immediately overlies and is within the boundaries of the perimeter drift of a US Department of Energy proposed mined, geologic, high-level radioactive-waste repository. Vertically, the study area extends from near the surface of Yucca Mountain to the underlying water table, about 500 to 750 meters below the ground surface. The average distance between the proposed repository and the underlying water table is about 205 meters.

  17. Use of Groundwater Chemistry to Evaluate Subsurface Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, N. M.; Dam, W. L.

    2001-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is a potential site for the disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. Groundwater at the site occurs in Tertiary volcanic tuffs and in Quaternary valley fill alluvium at lower elevations in the Amargosa Desert. Groundwater seeps downward to the water table through a thick unsaturated zone (UZ), then flows south and southeasterly from Yucca Mountain toward Fortymile Wash. The wash is a highly ephemeral watercourse that drains Fortymile Canyon and Jackass Flats southward. The wash crosses Highway 95 just west of Lathrop Wells, Nevada. Water table contours in Jackass Flats show that groundwater flow strongly converges on the axis of Fortymile Wash, indicating that the same structural conditions that cause topographic lows in the area also enhance the southerly flow of groundwater. Groundwater chemistry is being used to evaluate flow conditions at local and regional scales, and to help resolve technical issues concerning UZ and saturated zone (SZ) flow conditions and dilution processes. A number of perched zones have been found beneath Yucca Mt. in five different wells (Patterson et al., 1998). The major element chemistry of perched water is distinct from pore water chemistry in the UZ and more similar to the water chemistry of the SZ. The perched water is more dilute than the UZ pore waters, with generally lower chloride concentrations. The lower chloride concentration suggests that a fraction of the perched water is recharge that moves downward from the surface through fractures, and has less interaction with the host rock than pore waters. However, only 1 of 5 wells yielded perched water with bomb-pulse levels of tritium. Deuterium and O-18 stable isotope chemistry indicates that perched water has an intermediate composition when compared to SZ groundwater. It is isotopically heavier (less negative) than SZ water beneath Yucca Mountain, but lighter than groundwater from wells along Fortymile Wash where significant recharge occurs. The heaviest

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. UPDATE TO THE PROBABILISTIC VOLCANIC HAZARD ANALYSIS, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.J. Coppersmith

    2005-09-14

    A probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis (PVHA) was conducted in 1996 for the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Based on data gathered by the Yucca Mountain Project over the course of about 15 years, the analysis integrated the judgments of a panel of ten volcanic experts using methods of formal expert elicitation. PVHA resulted in a probability distribution of the annual frequency of a dike intersecting the repository, which ranges from 10E-7 to 10E-10 (mean 1.6 x 10E-8). The analysis incorporates assessments of the future locations, rates, and types of volcanic dikes that could intersect the repository, which lies about 300 m below the surface. A particular focus of the analysis is the quantification of uncertainties. Since the 1996 PVHA, additional aeromagnetic data have been collected in the Yucca Mountain region, including a high-resolution low-altitude survey. A number of anomalies have been identified within alluvial areas and modeling suggests that some of these may represent buried eruptive centers (basaltic cinder cones). A program is currently underway to drill several of the anomalies to gain information on their origin and, if basalt, their age and composition. To update the PVHA in light of the new aeromagnetic and drilling data as well as other advancements in volcanic hazard modeling over the past decade, the expert panel has been reconvened and the expert elicitation process has been fully restarted. The analysis requires assessments of the spatial distribution of igneous events, temporal distributions, and geometries and characteristics of future events (both intrusive and extrusive). The assessments are for future time periods of 10,000 years and 1,000,000 years. Uncertainties are being quantified in both the conceptual models that define these elements as well as in the parameters for the models. The expert elicitation process is centered around a series of workshops that focus on the available data; alternative approaches to

  1. 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.

  2. Assessing volcanic hazard at Yucca Mountain using expert judgment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Coppersmith, K.J.; Perman, R.C. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Nesbit, J. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)] [and others

    1995-12-01

    A study to assess the probability of a future volcanic event disrupting the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, termed the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Analysis (PVHA) project, is being sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). This assessment, which is focused on the volcanic hazard at the site, expressed as the probability of disruption of the potential repository, will eventually provide input to an assessment of volcanic risk, which expresses the probability of radionuclide release due to volcanic disruption. To ensure that a wide range of approaches are considered in the hazard analysis, judgments of members of an expert panel will be elicited. The results of the individual elicitations will be combined to develop an integrated assessment of the volcanic hazard that reflects the diversity of scientific interpretations. This paper outlines the hazard model components and the procedures for eliciting expert judgments.

  3. Geotechnical Issues in Total System Performance Assessments of Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    HO,CLIFFORD K.; HOUSEWORTH,JIM; WILSON,MICHAEL L.

    1999-12-21

    A Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) of Yucca Mountain consists of integrated sub-models and analyses of natural and engineered systems. Examples of subsystem models include unsaturated-zone flow and transport, seepage into drifts, coupled thermal hydrologic processes, transport through the engineered barrier system, and saturated-zone flow and transport. The TSPA evaluates the interaction of important processes among these subsystems, and it determines the impact of these processes on the overall performance measures (e.g., dose rate to humans). This paper summarizes the evaluation, abstraction, and combination of these subsystem models in a TSPA calculation, and it provides background on the individual TSPA subsystem components that are most directly impacted by geotechnical issues. The potential impact that geologic features, events, and processes have on the overall performance is presented, and an evaluation of the sensitivity of TSPA calculations to these issues is also provided.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.L. Wilson

    2001-12-13

    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.

  5. Saturated Zone Plumes in Volcanic Rock: Implications for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S. Kelkar; R. Roback; B. Robinson; G. Srinivasan; C. Jones; P. Reimus

    2006-02-14

    This paper presents a literature survey of the occurrences of radionuclide plumes in saturated, fractured rocks. Three sites, Idaho National laboratory, Hanford, and Oak Ridge are discussed in detail. Results of a modeling study are also presented showing that the length to width ratio of a plume starting within the repository footprint at the Yucca Mountain Project site, decreases from about 20:1 for the base case to about 4:1 for a higher value of transverse dispersivity, indicating enhanced lateral spreading of the plume. Due to the definition of regulatory requirements, this lateral spreading does not directly impact breakthrough curves at the 18 km compliance boundary, however it increases the potential that a plume will encounter reducing conditions, thus significantly retarding the transport of sorbing radionuclides.

  6. Geology of the Yucca Mountain site area, southwestern Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keefer, W.R.; Whitney, J.W.; Buesch, D.C.

    2006-01-01

    Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada is a prominent, irregularly shaped upland formed by a thick apron of Miocene pyroclastic-flow and fallout tephra deposits, with minor lava flows, that was segmented by through-going, large-displacement normal faults into a series of north-trending, eastwardly tilted structural blocks. The principal volcanic-rock units are the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, which consist of volumetrically large eruptive sequences derived from compositionally distinct magma bodies in the nearby southwestern Nevada volcanic field, and are classic examples of a magmatic zonation characterized by an upper crystal-rich (>10% crystal fragments) member, a more voluminous lower crystal-poor (south

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. MISTY ECHO Tunnel Dynamics Experiment--Data report: Volume 1; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, J.S.; Luke, B.A.; Long, J.W.; Lee, J.G.

    1992-04-01

    Tunnel damage resulting from seismic loading is an important issue for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The tunnel dynamics experiment was designed to obtain and document ground motions, permanent displacements, observable changes in fracture patterns, and visible damage at ground motion levels of interest to the Yucca Mountain Project. Even though the maximum free-field loading on this tunnel was 28 g, the damage observed was minor. Fielding details, data obtained, and supporting documentation are reported.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  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. Volcanic hazard studies for the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowe, B.; Harrington, C. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (USA); Turrin, B.; Champion, D. [US Geological Survey (US); Wells, S.; Perry, F.; McFadden, L.; Renault, C. [New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, NM (USA)

    1989-12-31

    Volcanic hazard studies are ongoing to evaluate the risk of future volcanism with respect to siting of a repository for disposal of high-level radioactive waste at the Yucca Mountain site. Seven Quaternary basaltic volcanic centers are located between 8 and 47 km from the outer boundary of the exploration block. The conditional probability of disruption of a repository by future basaltic volcanism is bounded by the range of 10-8 to 10-10 yr-1. These bounds are currently being reexamined based on new developments in the understanding of the evolution of small volume, basaltic volcanic centers including: Many of the volcanic centers exhibit brief periods of eruptive activity separated by longer periods of inactivity, The centers may be active for time spans exceeding 105 yrs, There is a decline in the volume of eruptions of the centers through time, and Small volume eruptions occurred at two of the Quaternary centers during latest Pleistocene or Holocene. The authors classify the basalt centers as polycyclic, and distinguish them from polygenetic volcanoes. Polycyclic volcanism is characterized by small volume, episodic eruptions of magma of uniform composition over time spans of 103 to 105 yrs. magma eruption rates are low and the time between eruptions exceeds the cooling time of the magma volumes.

  1. Volcanic hazard studies for the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowe, B.; Turrin, B.; Wells, S.; Perry, F.; McFadden, L.; Renault, C.E.; Champion, D.; Harrington, C.

    1989-05-01

    Volcanic hazard studies are ongoing to evaluate the risk of future volcanism with respect to siting of a repository for disposal of high-level radioactive waste at the Yucca Mountain site. Seven Quaternary basaltic volcanic centers are located a minimum distance of 12 km and a maximum distance of 47 km from the outer boundary of the exploration block. The conditional probability of disruption of a repository by future basaltic volcanism is bounded by the range of 10{sup {minus}8} to 10{sup {minus}10} yr{sup {minus}1}. These values are currently being reexamined based on new developments in the understanding of the evaluation of small volume, basaltic volcanic centers including: (1) Many, perhaps most, of the volcanic centers exhibit brief periods of eruptive activity separated by longer periods of inactivity. (2) The centers may be active for time spans exceeding 10{sup 5} yrs, (3) There is a decline in the volume of eruptions of the centers through time, and (4) Small volume eruptions occurred at two of the Quaternary centers during latest Pleistocene or Holocene time. We classify the basalt centers as polycyclic, and distinguish them from polygenetic volcanoes. Polycyclic volcanism is characterized by small volume, episodic eruptions of magma of uniform composition over time spans of 10{sup 3} to 10{sup 5} yrs. Magma eruption rates are low and the time between eruptions exceeds the cooling time of the magma volumes. 25 refs., 2 figs.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Mineralogic variation in drill core UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chipera, S.J.; Vaniman, D.T.; Carlos, B.A.; Bish, D.L.

    1995-02-01

    Quantitative X-ray powder diffraction methods have been used to analyze 108 samples from drill core UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This drill hole, located within the imbricate fault zone east of the potential Yucca Mountain repository site, confirms the authors` previous knowledge of gross-scale mineral distributions at Yucca Mountain and provides insight into possible shallow pathways for hydrologic recharge into the potential host rock. Analyses of samples from UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16 have shown that the distribution of major zeolitized horizons, of silica phases, and of glassy tuffs are similar to those noted in nearby drill cores. However, the continuous core and closer sample spacing in UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16 provide a more exact determination of mineral stratigraphy, particularly in hydrologically important units such as the Paintbrush bedded tuffs above the Topopah Spring Tuff and in the upper vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Tuff. The discovery of matrix zeolitization in the devitrified Topopah Spring Tuff of UE25 UZ{number_sign}16 shows that some unexpected mineralogic features can still be encountered in the exploration of Yucca Mountain and emphasizes the importance of obtaining a more complete three-dimensional model of Yucca Mountain mineralogy.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A Mountain-Scale Monitoring Network for Yucca Mountain PerformanceConfirmation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freifeld, Barry; Tsang, Yvonne

    2006-01-20

    Confirmation of the performance of Yucca Mountain is required by 10 CFR Part 63.131 to indicate, where practicable, that the natural system acts as a barrier, as intended. Hence, performance confirmation monitoring and testing would provide data for continued assessment during the pre-closure period. In general, to carry out testing at a relevant scale is always important, and in the case of performance confirmation, it is particularly important to be able to test at the scale of the repository. We view the large perturbation caused by construction of the repository at Yucca Mountain as a unique opportunity to study the large-scale behavior of the natural barrier system. Repository construction would necessarily introduce traced fluids and result in the creation of leachates. A program to monitor traced fluids and construction leachates permits evaluation of transport through the unsaturated zone and potentially downgradient through the saturated zone. A robust sampling and monitoring network for continuous measurement of important parameters, and for periodic collection of agrochemical samples, is proposed to observe thermo-hydrogeochemical changes near the repository horizon and down to the water table. The sampling and monitoring network can be used to provide data to (1) assess subsurface conditions encountered and changes in those conditions during construction and waste emplacement operations; and (2) for modeling to determine that the natural system is functioning as intended.

  9. 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.

  10. K/AR dating of clinoptilolite, mordenite, and associated clays from Yucca Mountains, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    WoldeGabriel, G.

    1993-07-01

    Zeolites are abundant in the geologic record in both continental and marine environments. The purpose of the present study is to evaluate the utility of K-bearing zeolites for dating by the K/Ar method to determine the time of zeolite diagenesis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (Fig. 1). At Yucca Mountain, K-rich clinoptilolite and possibly mordenite are the only potentially K/Ar dateable secondary minerals present in the zeolite-rich tuffs except for some illite/smectites ({ge}10% illite layers) associated with these minerals. Direct dating of K-rich clinoptilolite, the most abundant zeolite in the altered tuffs, is important to delineate zeolite chronology as part of the site characterization of Yucca Mountain.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Project publications (1979--1994)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bowker, L.M.; Espinosa, M.L.; Klein, S.H. [comps.

    1995-11-01

    This over-300 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 1994 and working back to 1979, and by subject area: mineralogy/petrology/geology, volcanism, radionuclide solubility/groundwater chemistry; radionuclide sorption and transport; modeling/validation/field studies; summary/status reports, and quality assurance.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGraw, D.; Oberlander, P.

    2007-12-18

    Eleana Formation is absent at borehole UE-25 p#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.

  12. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Ken

    2007-11-26

    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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1996-07-01

    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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Regulatory compliance for a Yucca Mountain Repository: A performance assessment perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dyer, J.R.; Van Luik, A.E.; Gil, A.V.; Brocoum, S.J.

    1997-02-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy`s Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is scheduled to submit a License Application in the year 2002. The License Application is to show compliance with the regulations promulgated by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission which implement standards promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. These standards are being revised, and it is not certain what their exact nature will be in term of either the performance measure(s) or the time frames that are to be addressed. This paper provides some insights pertaining to this regulatory history, an update on Yucca Mountain performance assessments, and a Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project perspective on proper standards based on Project experience in performance assessment for its proposed Yucca Mountain Repository system. The Project`s performance assessment based perspective on a proper standard applicable to Yucca Mountain may be summarized as follows: a proper standard should be straight forward and understandable; should be consistent with other standards and regulations; and should require a degree of proof that is scientifically supportable in a licensing setting. A proper standard should have several attributes: (1) propose a reasonable risk level as its basis, whatever the quantitative performance measure is chosen to be, (2) state a definite regulatory time frame for showing compliance with quantitative requirements, (3) explicitly recognize that the compliance calculations are not predictions of actual future risks, (4) define the biosphere to which risk needs to be calculated in such a way as to constrain potentially endless speculation about future societies and future human actions, and (5) have as its only quantitative requirement the risk limit (or surrogate performance measure keyed to risk) for the total system.

  1. 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.

  2. Peak Ground Velocities for Seismic Events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Coppersmith; R. Quittmeyer

    2005-02-16

    This report describes a scientific analysis to bound credible horizontal peak ground velocities (PGV) for the repository waste emplacement level at Yucca Mountain. Results are presented as a probability distribution for horizontal PGV to represent uncertainties in the analysis. The analysis also combines the bound to horizontal PGV with results of ground motion site-response modeling (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170027]) to develop a composite hazard curve for horizontal PGV at the waste emplacement level. This result provides input to an abstraction of seismic consequences (BSC 2004 [DIRS 169183]). The seismic consequence abstraction, in turn, defines the input data and computational algorithms for the seismic scenario class of the total system performance assessment (TSPA). Planning for the analysis is documented in Technical Work Plan TWP-MGR-GS-000001 (BSC 2004 [DIRS 171850]). The bound on horizontal PGV at the repository waste emplacement level developed in this analysis complements ground motions developed on the basis of PSHA results. In the PSHA, ground motion experts characterized the epistemic uncertainty and aleatory variability in their ground motion interpretations. To characterize the aleatory variability they used unbounded lognormal distributions. As a consequence of these characterizations, as seismic hazard calculations are extended to lower and lower annual frequencies of being exceeded, the ground motion level increases without bound, eventually reaching levels that are not credible (Corradini 2003 [DIRS 171191]). To provide credible seismic inputs for TSPA, in accordance with 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 63.102(j) [DIRS 156605], this complementary analysis is carried out to determine reasonable bounding values of horizontal PGV at the waste emplacement level for annual frequencies of exceedance as low as 10{sup -8}. For each realization of the TSPA seismic scenario, the results of this analysis provide a constraint on the values sampled from 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. 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

  5. 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.

  6. A revised lithostratigraphic framework for the southern Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spengler, R.W.; Byers, F.M.; Dickerson, R.P.

    2006-01-01

    An informal, revised lithostratigraphic framework for the southern Yucca Mountain area, Nevada has been developed to accommodate new information derived from subsurface investigations of the Nye County Early Warning Drilling Program. Lithologies penetrated by recently drilled boreholes at locations between Stagecoach Road and Highway 95 in southern Nye County include Quaternary and Pliocene alluvium and alluvial breccia, Miocene pyroclastic flow deposits, Miocene intercalated lacustrine siltstone and claystone sequences, early Miocene to Oligocene pre-volcanic sedimentary rocks, and Paleozoic strata. Of the 37 boreholes currently drilled, 21 boreholes have sufficient depth, spatial distribution, or traceable pyroclastic flow, pyroclastic fall, and reworked tuff deposits to aid in the lateral correlation of lithostrata. Medial and distal parts of regional pyroclastic flow deposits of Miocene age can be correlated with the Timber Mountain, Paintbrush, Crater Flat, and Tram Ridge Groups. Rocks intercalated between these regional pyroclastic flow deposits are substantially thicker than in the central part of Yucca Mountain, particularly near the downthrown side of major faults and along the southern extent of exposures at Yucca Mountain.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, E.W.; Nelson, T.A. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA); Domian, H.A.; LaCount, D.F.; Robitz, E.S.; Stein, K.O. [Babcock and Wilcox Co., New Orleans, LA (USA)

    1989-04-01

    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 & Wilcox (B & W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B & 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1999-06-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. High-precision gravity network to monitor temporal variations in gravity across Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, R.N.; Ponce, D.A.

    1988-12-31

    Repeatable high-precision gravity surveys provide a method of monitoring temporal variations in the gravity field. Fluctuations in the gravity field may indicate water table changes, crustal deformation, or precursors to volcanism and earthquakes. This report describes a high-precision gravity loop which has been established across Yucca Mountain, Nevada in support of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) program. The purpose of this gravity loop is to monitor temporal variations in gravity across Yucca Mountain in an effort to interpret and predict the stability of the tectonic framework and changes in the subsurface density field. Studies of the tectonic framework which include volcanic hazard seismicity, and faulting studies are in progress. Repeat high-precision gravity surveys are less expensive and can be made more rapidly than a corresponding leveling survey. High-precision gravity surveys are capable of detecting elevation changes of 3 to 5 cm, and thus can be employed as an efficient tool for monitoring vertical crustal movements while supplementing or partially replacing leveling data. The Yucca Mountain gravity network has been tied to absolute gravity measurements established in southern Nevada. These ties provide an absolute datum for comparing repeat occupations of the gravity network, and provide a method of monitoring broad-scale changes in gravity. Absolute gravity measurements were also made at the bottom and top of the Charleston Peak calibration loop in southern Nevada. These absolute gravity measurements provide local control of calibrating gravity meters over the gravity ranges observed at Yucca Mountain. 13 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1996-03-01

    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.

  15. Constraining local 3-D models of the saturated-zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, G.E.; Shannon, S.A.

    1994-04-01

    A qualitative three-dimensional analysis of the saturated zone flow system was performed for a 8 km {times} 8 km region including the potential Yucca Mountain repository site. Certain recognized geologic features of unknown hydraulic properties were introduced to assess the general response of the flow field to these features. Two of these features, the Solitario Canyon fault and the proposed fault in Drill Hole Wash, appear to constrain flow and allow calibration.

  16. Site environmental report for the Yucca Mountain Project. Calendar Year 2005

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2006-10-01

    This site environmental report describes the environmental program conducted during 2005 by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Repository Development. The report describes the environmental laws and regulations that were applicable to the Yucca Mountain Project in 2005, the actions taken to comply with those laws and regulations, and the Project’s environmental program. The report also summarizes the data collected to monitor potential impacts of the Project on the environment.

  17. 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.

  18. Clinoptilolite compositions in diagenetically-altered tuffs at a potential nuclear waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1987-12-31

    The compositions of Yucca Mountain clinoptilolites and their host tuffs are highly variable. Clinoptilolites and heulandites in fractures near the repository and in a thin, altered zone at the top of the Topopah Spring basal vitrophyre have consistent calcium-rich compositions. Below this level, clinoptilolites in thick zones of diagenetic alteration on the east side of Yucca Mountain have calcic-potassic compositions and become more calcium rich with depth. Clinoptilolites in stratigraphically equivalent tuffs to the west have sodic-potassic compositions and become more sodic with depth. Clinoptilolite properties important for repository performance assessment include thermal expansion/contraction behavior, hydration/dehydration behavior, and ion-exchange properties. These properties can be significantly affected by clinoptilolite compositions. The compositional variations for clinoptilolites found by this study suggest that the properties will vary vertically and laterally at Yucca Mountain. Used in conjunction with experimental data, the clinoptilolite compositions presented here can be used to model the behavior of clinoptilolites in the repository environment and along transport pathways.

  19. 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).

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broxton, D.E.; Chipera, S.J.; Byers, F.M. Jr. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Rautman, C.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-10-01

    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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. The site-scale saturated zone flow model for Yucca Mountain: Calibration of different conceptual models and their impact on flow paths

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zyvoloski, G.; Kwicklis, E.; Eddebbarh, A.-A.; Arnold, B.; Faunt, C.; Robinson, B.A.

    2003-01-01

    This paper presents several different conceptual models of the Large Hydraulic Gradient (LHG) region north of Yucca Mountain and describes the impact of those models on groundwater flow near the potential high-level repository site. The results are based on a numerical model of site-scale saturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain. This model is used for performance assessment predictions of radionuclide transport and to guide future data collection and modeling activities. The numerical model is calibrated by matching available water level measurements using parameter estimation techniques, along with more informal comparisons of the model to hydrologic and geochemical information. The model software (hydrologic simulation code FEHM and parameter estimation software PEST) and model setup allows for efficient calibration of multiple conceptual models. Until now, the Large Hydraulic Gradient has been simulated using a low-permeability, east-west oriented feature, even though direct evidence for this feature is lacking. In addition to this model, we investigate and calibrate three additional conceptual models of the Large Hydraulic Gradient, all of which are based on a presumed zone of hydrothermal chemical alteration north of Yucca Mountain. After examining the heads and permeabilities obtained from the calibrated models, we present particle pathways from the potential repository that record differences in the predicted groundwater flow regime. The results show that Large Hydraulic Gradient can be represented with the alternate conceptual models that include the hydrothermally altered zone. The predicted pathways are mildly sensitive to the choice of the conceptual model and more sensitive to the quality of calibration in the vicinity on the repository. These differences are most likely due to different degrees of fit of model to data, and do not represent important differences in hydrologic conditions for the different conceptual models. ?? 2002 Elsevier Science B

  7. 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

  8. Mineralogy, petrology and whole-rock chemistry data compilation for selected samples of Yucca Mountain tuffs; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Connolly, J.R. [New Mexico Univ., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1991-12-01

    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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Xiaoyan; Zhang, Chengyuan; Liu, Quansheng; Birkholzer, Jens

    2009-05-01

    In many underground nuclear waste repository systems, such as Yucca Mountain project, 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 Multi-point Statistical method is to record multiple-point statistics concerning the connectivity patterns of 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 Yucca Mountain waste repository system. First, MPS method is used to create fracture network with 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 surrounding rock of waste emplacement drifts. Our study shows that connectivity or pattern of fracture network can be grasped and reconstructed by Multi-Point-Statistical method. 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 uncertainty of models even in complicated coupled THM simulation. It indicates that Multi-Point Statistics is a potential method to characterize and reconstruct natural fracture network in a fractured rock mass with advantages of quantifying connectivity of fracture system and its simulation uncertainty simultaneously.

  12. The Sorption/Desorption Behavior of Uranium in Transport Studies Using Yucca Mountain Alluvium

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Scism, Cynthia D. [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    2005-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is the proposed site of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States. In the event repository engineered barriers fail, the saturated alluvium located south of Yucca Mountain is expected to serve as a natural barrier to the migration of radionuclides to the accessible environment. The purpose of this study is to improve the characterization of uranium retardation in the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain to support refinement of an assessment model. The distribution of uranium desorption rates from alluvium obtained from Nye County bore holes EWDP-19IM1, EWDP-10SA, EWDP-22SA were studied to address inconsistencies between results from batch sorption and column transport experiments. The alluvium and groundwater were characterized to better understand the underlying mechanisms of the observed behavior. Desorption rate constants were obtained using an activity based mass balance equation and column desorption experiments were analyzed using a mathematical model utilizing multiple sorption sites with different first-order forward and reverse reaction rates. The uranium desorption rate constants decreased over time, suggesting that the alluvium has multiple types of active sorption sites with different affinities for uranium. While a significant fraction of the initially sorbed uranium desorbed from the alluvium quite rapidly, a roughly equivalent amount remained sorbed after several months of testing. The information obtained through this research suggests that uranium may experience greater effective retardation in the alluvium than simple batch sorption experiments would suggest. Electron Probe Microanalysis shows that uranium is associated with both clay minerals and iron oxides after sorption to alluvial material. These results provide further evidence that the alluvium contains multiple sorption sites for uranium.

  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. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perry, K.E. Jr.; Buescher, B.J.; Anderson, D.; Epstein, J.S. [Idaho National Engineering Lab., Idaho Falls, ID (United States)

    1995-09-01

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Factors Limiting Microbial Growth and Activity at a Proposed High-Level Nuclear Repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    OpenAIRE

    Kieft, T. L.; Kovacik, W. P.; Ringelberg, D B; White, D. C.; Haldeman, D. L.; Amy, P S; Hersman, L. E.

    1997-01-01

    As part of the characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste, volcanic tuff was analyzed for microbial abundance and activity. Tuff was collected aseptically from nine sites along a tunnel in Yucca Mountain. Microbial abundance was generally low: direct microscopic cell counts were near detection limits at all sites (3.2 x 10(sup4) to 2.0 x 10(sup5) cells g(sup-1) [dry weight]); plate counts of aerobic heterotrophs ranged from 1.0 x 10(sup1) ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Preliminary description of quaternary and late pliocene surficial deposits at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoover, D.L.

    1989-11-01

    The Yucca Mountain area, in the south-central part of the Great Basin, is in the drainage basin of the Amargosa River. The mountain consists of several fault blocks of volcanic rocks that are typical of the Basin and Range province. Yucca Mountain is dissected by steep-sided valleys of consequent drainage systems that are tributary on the east side to Fortymile Wash and on the west side to an unnamed wash that drains Crater Flat. Most of the major washes near Yucca Mountain are not integrated with the Amargosa River, but have distributary channels on the piedmont above the river. Landforms in the Yucca Mountain area include rock pediments, ballenas, alluvial pediments, alluvial fans, stream terraces, and playas. Early Holocene and older alluvial fan deposits have been smoothed by pedimentation. The semiconical shape of alluvial fans is apparent at the junction of tributaries with major washes and where washes cross fault and terrace scarps. Playas are present in the eastern and southern ends of the Amargosa Desert. 39 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.

  10. 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.

  11. Combined analysis of surface reflection imaging and vertical seismic profiling at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daley, T.M.; Majer, E.L.; Karageorgi, E. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States). Earth Sciences Div.

    1994-08-01

    This report presents results from surface and borehole seismic profiling performed by the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) on Yucca Mountain. This work was performed as part of the site characterization effort for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository. Their objective was to provide seismic imaging from the near surface (200 to 300 ft. depth) to the repository horizon and below, if possible. Among the issues addressed by this seismic imaging work are location and depth of fracturing and faulting, geologic identification of reflecting horizons, and spatial continuity of reflecting horizons. The authors believe their results are generally positive, with tome specific successes. This was the first attempt at this scale using modem seismic imaging techniques to determine geologic features on Yucca Mountain. The principle purpose of this report is to present the interpretation of the seismic reflection section in a geologic context. Three surface reflection profiles were acquired and processed as part of this study. Because of environmental concerns, all three lines were on preexisting roads. Line 1 crossed the mapped surface trace of the Ghost Dance fault and it was intended to study the dip and depth extent of the fault system. Line 2 was acquired along Drill Hole wash and was intended to help the ESF north ramp design activities. Line 3 was acquired along Yucca Crest and was designed to image geologic horizons which were thought to be less faulted along the ridge. Unfortunately, line 3 proved to have poor data quality, in part because of winds, poor field conditions and limited time. Their processing and interpretation efforts were focused on lines 1 and 2 and their associated VSP studies.

  12. Exploratory Shaft Seismic Design Basis Working Group report; Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Subramanian, C.V. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA); King, J.L. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (USA); Perkins, D.M. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (USA); Mudd, R.W. [Fenix and Scisson, Inc., Tulsa, OK (USA); Richardson, A.M. [Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Calovini, J.C. [Holmes and Narver, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (USA); Van Eeckhout, E. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (USA); Emerson, D.O. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (USA)

    1990-08-01

    This report was prepared for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), which is managed by the US Department of Energy. The participants in the YMP are investigating the suitability of a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for construction of a repository for high-level radioactive waste. An exploratory shaft facility (ESF) will be constructed to permit site characterization. The major components of the ESF are two shafts that will be used to provide access to the underground test areas for men, utilities, and ventilation. If a repository is constructed at the site, the exploratory shafts will be converted for use as intake ventilation shafts. In the context of both underground nuclear explosions (conducted at the nearby Nevada Test Site) and earthquakes, the report contains discussions of faulting potential at the site, control motions at depth, material properties of the different rock layers relevant to seismic design, the strain tensor for each of the waveforms along the shaft liners, and the method for combining the different strain components along the shaft liners. The report also describes analytic methods, assumptions used to ensure conservatism, and uncertainties in the data. The analyses show that none of the shafts` structures, systems, or components are important to public radiological safety; therefore, the shafts need only be designed to ensure worker safety, and the report recommends seismic design parameters appropriate for this purpose. 31 refs., 5 figs., 6 tabs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Prediction of Pseudo relative velocity response spectra at Yucca Mountain for underground nuclear explosions conducted in the Pahute Mesa testing area at the Nevada testing site; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Phillips, J.S.

    1991-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP), managed by the Office of Geologic Disposal of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy, is examining the feasibility of siting a repository for commercial, high-level nuclear wastes at Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This work, intended to extend our understanding of the ground motion at Yucca Mountain resulting from testing of nuclear weapons on the NTS, was funded by the Yucca Mountain project and the Military Applications Weapons Test Program. This report summarizes one aspect of the weapons test seismic investigations conducted in FY88. Pseudo relative velocity response spectra (PSRV) have been calculated for a large body of surface ground motions generated by underground nuclear explosions. These spectra have been analyzed and fit using multiple linear regression techniques to develop a credible prediction technique for surface PSRVs. In addition, a technique for estimating downhole PSRVs at specific stations is included. A data summary, data analysis, prediction development, prediction evaluation, software summary and FORTRAN listing of the prediction technique are included in this report.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F.V. Perry

    2005-10-13

    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

  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. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Identification of structures, systems, and components important to safety at the potential repository at Yucca Mountain; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartman, D.J.; Miller, D.D. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States); Klamerus, L.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1991-10-01

    This study recommends which structures, systems, and components of the potential repository at Yucca Mountain are important to safety. The assessment was completed in April 1990 and uses the reference repository configuration in the Site Characterization Plan Conceptual Design Report and follows the methodology required at that time by DOE Procedure AP6.10-Q. Failures of repository items during the preclosure period are evaluated to determine the potential offsite radiation doses and associated probabilities. Items are important to safety if, in the event they fail to perform their intended function, an accident could result which causes a dose commitment greater than 0.5 rem to the whole body or any organ of an individual in an unrestricted area. This study recommends that these repository items include the structures that house spent fuel and high-level waste, the associated filtered ventilation exhaust systems, certain waste- handling equipment, the waste containers, the waste treatment building structure, the underground waste transporters, and other items listed in this report. This work was completed April 1990. 27 refs., 7 figs., 9 tabs.

  12. Using seismic reflection to locate a tracer testing complex south of Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryder, Levi

    Tracer testing in the fractured volcanic aquifer near Yucca Mountain, and in the alluvial aquifer south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been conducted in the past to determine the flow and transport properties of groundwater in those geologic units. However, no tracer testing has been conducted across the alluvium/volcanic interface. This thesis documents the investigative process and subsequent analysis and interpretations used to identify a location suitable for installation of a tracer testing complex, near existing Nye County wells south of Yucca Mountain. The work involved evaluation of existing geologic data, collection of wellbore seismic data, and a detailed surface seismic reflection survey. Borehole seismic data yielded useful information on alluvial P-wave velocities. Seismic reflection data were collected over a line of 4.5-km length, with a 10-m receiver and shot spacing. Reflection data were extensively processed to image the alluvium/volcanic interface. A location for installation of an alluvial/volcanic tracer testing complex was identified based on one of the reflectors imaged in the reflection survey; this site is located between existing Nye County monitoring wells, near an outcrop of Paintbrush Tuff. Noise in the reflection data (due to some combination of seismic source signal attenuation, poor receiver-to-ground coupling, and anthropogenic sources) were sources of error that affected the final processed data set. In addition, in some areas low impedance contrast between geologic units caused an absence of reflections in the data, complicating the processing and interpretation. Forward seismic modeling was conducted using Seismic Un*x; however, geometry considerations prevented direct comparison of the modeled and processed data sets. Recommendations for additional work to address uncertainties identified during the course of this thesis work include: drilling additional boreholes to collect borehole seismic and geologic data; reprocessing a

  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. Geologic map of south-central Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dickerson, Robert P.; Drake II, Ronald M.

    2004-01-01

    New 1:6,000-scale geologic mapping in a 20-square-kilometer area near the south end of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which is the proposed site of an underground repository for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes, substantially supplements the stratigraphic and structural data obtained from earlier, 1:24,000-scale mapping. Principal observations and interpretations resulting from the larger scale, more detailed nature of the recent investigation include: (1) the thickness of the Miocene Tiva Canyon Tuff decreases from north to south within the map area, and the lithophysal zones within the formation have a greater lateral variability than in areas farther north; and (2) fault relations are far more complex than shown on previous maps, with both major (block-bounding) and minor (intrablock) faults showing much lateral variation in (a) the number of splays and (b) the amount, distribution, and width of anastomosing breccia and fracture zones.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Thermal calculations pertaining to a proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, G.L.; Montan, D.N.

    1990-02-01

    In support to the Yucca Mountain Project waste package and repository design efforts, LLNL conducted heat-transfer modeling of the volcanic tuff in the repository. The analyses quantify: the thermal response of a finite size, uniformly loaded repository where each panel of emplacement drifts contains the same type of heat source the response given a realistic waste stream inventory to show the effect of inter-panel variations; and the intra-panel response for various realistic distributions of sources within the panel. The calculations, using the PLUS family of computer codes, are based on a linear superposition, in time and in space, of the analytic solution of individual, constant output point sources located in an infinite, isotropic, and homogeneous medium with constant thermal properties. 8 refs., 22 figs., 3 tabs.

  20. Geologic framework and Cenozoic evolution of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fox, K.F. Jr.; Spengler, R.W.; Myers, W.B.

    1990-12-31

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been proposed as the site of a high-level nuclear waste repository. The purpose of this paper is to outline aspects of the geology and tectonics of the area which bear on its suitability as a waste repository. The repository is to be excavated from a non-lithophysal zone within the lower part of the Paintbrush Tuff. Revised estimates of the thickness of this zone indicate that the lower, down-dip extremity of the planned repository could be raised by as much as 130 m, thus reducing the grade within the repository and increasing the distance to the water table below. We note that because of the closely spaced fracturing and low in-situ stresses within the repository block, lateral support of fractured rock is likely to be poor. 30 refs., 5 figs.

  1. Expert decisionmaking in risk analysis: The case of the Yucca Mountain facility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shrader-Frechette, K. [University of Notre Dame, IN (United States)

    1999-12-01

    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.

  2. A simplified radionuclide source term for total-system performance assessment; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.

    1991-11-01

    A parametric model for releases of radionuclides from spent-nuclear-fuel containers in a waste repository is presented. The model is appropriate for use in preliminary total-system performance assessments of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; for this reason it is simpler than the models used for detailed studies of waste-package performance. Terms are included for releases from the spent fuel pellets, from the pellet/cladding gap and the grain boundaries within the fuel pellets, from the cladding of the fuel rods, and from the radioactive fuel-assembly parts. Multiple barriers are considered, including the waste container, the fuel-rod cladding, the thermal ``dry-out``, and the waste form itself. The basic formulas for release from a single fuel rod or container are extended to formulas for expected releases for the whole repository by using analytic expressions for probability distributions of some important parameters. 39 refs., 4 figs., 4 tabs.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Evaluation of the US DOE's conceptual model of hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. V. Dublyansky

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available A unique conceptual model envisaging conductive heating of rocks in the thick unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada by a silicic pluton emplaced several kilometers away is accepted by the US Department of Energy (DOE as an explanation of the elevated depositional temperatures measured in fluid inclusions in secondary fluorite and calcite. Acceptance of this model allowed the DOE not to consider hydrothermal activity in the performance assessment of the proposed high-level nuclear waste disposal facility. Evaluation shows that validation of the model by computational modeling and by observations at a natural analog site was unsuccessful. Due to the lack of validation, the reliance on this model must be discontinued and the scientific defensibility of decisions which rely on this model must be re-evaluated.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. MRS system study for the repository: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Volume 1

    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 of a 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. 6 refs., 83 figs., 57 tabs.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Conceptual Model for Radionuclide Release from the Engineered Barrier Systems (EBS) at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hamdan, L. K.; Walton, J.; Woocay, A.

    2008-12-01

    Over time, nuclear waste packages at Yucca Mountain repository are likely to fail gradually or in stages, due to general or localized corrosion. Rock fall and other physical (or chemical) disturbances will lead to different general corrosion rates and different times of penetration. In the long run, the waste package is likely to evolve into a combination of failure locations mixed with relicts of intact Alloy-22 (or other waste package materials). Release of radionuclides (mostly by dissolution in water) from the waste packages is one of the most important factors determining the performance of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. In this paper we develop a conceptual model of radionuclide release from the EBS. In this system, residual heat release in the waste, in conjunction with the capillary effect, is anticipated to set up flow systems in the relict protected areas, where liquid water flows into the protected area toward the warmest region, and vapor flows outward away from the warmest region - effectively preventing release and sometimes sequestering radionuclides in the relict sheltered areas (dead ends). We derive a dimensionless group that specifies the condition for the internal heat driven flow system, and estimates the minimum size of the covered areas required to sequester radionuclides and prevent release. Over time, the minimum area required for protection slowly increases while general corrosion decreases the average size of relict areas. Convolution of the two processes suggests that radionuclide release from the flow-through system of partially failed waste packages will be gradual and long delayed (100,000 - 1,000,000 years), even in the case of early penetration by localized corrosion.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Feldspar dissolution rates in the Topopah Spring Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryan, C.R.; Helean, K.B.; Marshall, B.D.; Brady, P.V.

    2009-01-01

    Two different field-based methods are used here to calculate feldspar dissolution rates in the Topopah Spring Tuff, the host rock for the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The center of the tuff is a high silica rhyolite, consisting largely of alkali feldspar (???60 wt%) and quartz polymorphs (???35 wt%) that formed by devitrification of rhyolitic glass as the tuff cooled. First, the abundance of secondary aluminosilicates is used to estimate the cumulative amount of feldspar dissolution over the history of the tuff, and an ambient dissolution rate is calculated by using the estimated thermal history. Second, the feldspar dissolution rate is calculated by using measured Sr isotope compositions for the pore water and rock. Pore waters display systematic changes in Sr isotopic composition with depth that are caused by feldspar dissolution. The range in dissolution rates determined from secondary mineral abundances varies from 10-16 to 10-17 mol s-1 kg tuff-1 with the largest uncertainty being the effect of the early thermal history of the tuff. Dissolution rates based on pore water Sr isotopic data were calculated by treating percolation flux parametrically, and vary from 10-15 to 10-16 mol s-1 kg tuff-1 for percolation fluxes of 15 mm a-1 and 1 mm a-1, respectively. Reconciling the rates from the two methods requires that percolation fluxes at the sampled locations be a few mm a-1 or less. The calculated feldspar dissolution rates are low relative to other measured field-based feldspar dissolution rates, possibly due to the age (12.8 Ma) of the unsaturated system at Yucca Mountain; because oxidizing and organic-poor conditions limit biological activity; and/or because elevated silica concentrations in the pore waters (???50 mg L-1) may inhibit feldspar dissolution. ?? 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. A Natural Analogue for Thermal-Hydrological-Chemical Coupled Processes at the Proposed Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bill Carey; Gordon Keating; Peter C. Lichtner

    1999-08-01

    Dike and sill complexes that intruded tuffaceous host rocks above the water table are suggested as natural analogues for thermal-hydrologic-chemical (THC) processes at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Scoping thermal-hydrologic calculations of temperature and saturation profiles surrounding a 30-50 m wide intrusion suggest that boiling conditions could be sustained at distances of tens of meters from the intrusion for several thousand years. This time scale for persistence of boiling is similar to that expected for the Yucca Mountain repository with moderate heat loading. By studying the hydrothermal alteration of the tuff host rocks surrounding the intrusions, insight and relevant data can be obtained that apply directly to the Yucca Mountain repository and can shed light on the extent and type of alteration that should be expected. Such data are needed to bound and constrain model parameters used in THC simulations of the effect of heat produced by the waste on the host rock and to provide a firm foundation for assessing overall repository performance. One example of a possible natural analogue for the repository is the Paiute Ridge intrusive complex located on the northeastern boundary of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The complex consists of dikes and sills intruded into a partially saturated tuffaceous host rock that has stratigraphic sequences that correlate with those found at Yucca Mountain. The intrusions were emplaced at a depth of several hundred meters below the surface, similar to the depth of the proposed repository. The tuffaceous host rock surrounding the intrusions is hydrothermally altered to varying extents depending on the distance from the intrusions. The Paiute Ridge intrusive complex thus appears to be an ideal natural analogue of THC coupled processes associated with the Yucca Mountain repository. It could provide much needed physical and chemical data for understanding the influence of heat

  2. Geostatistical and Stochastic Study of Flow and Transport in the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ye, Ming; Pan, Feng; Hu, Xiaolong; Zhu, Jianting

    2007-08-14

    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

  3. Yucca Mountain Project thermal and mechanical codes first benchmark exercise: Part 3, Jointed rock mass analysis; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costin, L.S.; Bauer, S.J.

    1991-10-01

    Thermal and mechanical models for intact and jointed rock mass behavior are being developed, verified, and validated at Sandia National Laboratories for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Benchmarking is an essential part of this effort and is one of the tools used to demonstrate verification of engineering software used to solve thermomechanical problems. This report presents the results of the third (and final) phase of the first thermomechanical benchmark exercise. In the first phase of this exercise, nonlinear heat conduction code were used to solve the thermal portion of the benchmark problem. The results from the thermal analysis were then used as input to the second and third phases of the exercise, which consisted of solving the structural portion of the benchmark problem. In the second phase of the exercise, a linear elastic rock mass model was used. In the third phase of the exercise, two different nonlinear jointed rock mass models were used to solve the thermostructural problem. Both models, the Sandia compliant joint model and the RE/SPEC joint empirical model, explicitly incorporate the effect of the joints on the response of the continuum. Three different structural codes, JAC, SANCHO, and SPECTROM-31, were used with the above models in the third phase of the study. Each model was implemented in two different codes so that direct comparisons of results from each model could be made. The results submitted by the participants showed that the finite element solutions using each model were in reasonable agreement. Some consistent differences between the solutions using the two different models were noted but are not considered important to verification of the codes. 9 refs., 18 figs., 8 tabs.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Isotopic data of pore water extracted from unsaturated-zone cores at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.

    1997-12-01

    Isotopic compositions of unsaturated-zone (UZ) ground water ({delta}{sup 18}O, {delta}D, {delta}{sup 13}C and {sup 14}C) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential permanent national nuclear waste repository, can be used to infer the origins of water, residence times of the water, water flux, climatic and evaporative history of water, flow paths and velocities. These data can also be used as indicators of transport properties or water-rock interaction. The lack of long-term direct measurements of infiltration requires proxy indicators of water movement through the unsaturated zone to extend the record into the past. This report will discuss {delta}D and {delta}{sup 18}O data obtained from pore water, along with the {delta}{sup 13}C and {sup 14}C data of gas and water obtained from four boreholes dry-drilled through all UZ lithologic units to infer the existence of nonvertical flowpaths through the mountain and residence times of pore water.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Letter Report: Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Lincoln County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Englebrecht; I. Kavouras; D. Campbell; S. Campbell; S. Kohl; D. Shafer

    2008-08-01

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Pahranagat NWR, Beatty, Rachel, Caliente, Crater Flat, and Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data on completion of the site's sampling program.

  12. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Pahranagat National Wildlife Refuge, Lincoln County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Engelbrecht; I. Kavouras; D. Campbell; S. Campbell; S. Kohl; D. Shafer

    2009-04-02

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Pahranagat NWR, Beatty, Rachel, Caliente, Crater Flat, and Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data on completion of the site's sampling program.

  13. 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.

  14. The Geologic Basis for Volcanic Hazard Assessment for the Proposed High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry

    2002-10-15

    Studies of volcanic risk to the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain have been ongoing for 25 years. These studies are required because three episodes of small-volume, alkalic basaltic volcanism have occurred within 50 km of Yucca Mountain during the Quaternary. Probabilistic hazard estimates for the proposed repository depend on the recurrence rate and spatial distribution of past episodes of volcanism in the region. Several independent research groups have published estimates of the annual probability of a future volcanic disruption of the proposed repository, most of which fall in the range of 10{sup -7} to 10{sup -9} per year; similar conclusions were reached. through an extensive expert elicitation sponsored by the Department of Energy in 1995-1996. The estimated probability values are dominated by a regional recurrence rate of 10{sup -5} to 10{sup -6} volcanic events per year (equating to recurrence intervals of several hundred thousand years). The recurrence rate, as well as the spatial density of volcanoes, is low compared to most other basaltic volcanic fields in the western United States, factors that may be related to both the tectonic history of the region and a lithospheric mantle source that is relatively cold and not prone to melting. The link between volcanism and tectonism in the Yucca Mountain region is not well understood beyond a general association between volcanism and regional extension, although areas of locally high extension within the region may control the location of some volcanoes. Recently, new geologic data or hypotheses have emerged that could potentially increase past estimates of the recurrence rate, and thus the probability of repository disruption. These are (1) hypothesized episodes of anomalously high strain rate, (2) hypothesized presence of a regional mantle hotspot, and (3) new aeromagnetic data suggesting as many as twelve previously unrecognized volcanoes buried in alluvial-filled basins near

  15. 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.

  16. Preliminary 3-D site-scale studies of radioactive colloid transortin the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Moridis, G.J.; Hu, Q.; Wu, Y.-S.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2001-09-01

    The U.S: Department of Energy is actively investigating the technical feasibility of permanent disposal of high-level nuclear waste in a repository to be situated in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this study we investigate, by means of numerical simulation, the transport of radioactive colloids under ambient conditions from the potential repository horizon to the water table. The site hydrology and the effects of the spatial distribution of hydraulic and transport properties in the Yucca Mountain subsurface are considered. The study of migration and retardation of colloids accounts for the complex processes in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, and includes advection, diffusion, hydrodynamic dispersion, kinetic colloid filtration, colloid straining, and radioactive decay. The results of the study indicate that the most important factors affecting colloid transport are 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 transport of colloids is strongly influenced by their size (as it affects diffusion into the matrix, straining at hydrogeologic unit interfaces, and transport velocity) and by the parameters of the kinetic-filtration model used for the simulations. Arrival times at the water table decrease with an increasing colloid size because of smaller diffusion, increased straining, and higher transport velocities. The importance of diffusion as a retardation mechanism increases with a decreasing colloid size, but appears to be minimal in large colloids.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Sensitivity studies of unsaturated groundwater flow modeling for groundwater travel time calculations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Altman, S.J.; Ho, C.K.; Arnold, B.W.; McKenna, S.A.

    1995-12-31

    Unsaturated flow has been modeled through four cross-sections at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the purpose of determining groundwater particle travel times from the potential repository to the water table. This work will be combined with the results of flow modeling in the saturated zone for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of the potential repository under the criteria of 10CFR960. One criterion states, in part, that the groundwater travel time (GWTT) from the repository to the accessible environment must exceed 1,000 years along the fastest path of likely and significant radionuclide travel. Sensitivity analyses have been conducted for one geostatistical realization of one cross-section for the purpose of (1) evaluating the importance of hydrological parameters having some uncertainty and (2) examining conceptual models of flow by altering the numerical implementation of the conceptual model (dual permeability (DK) and the equivalent continuum model (ECM). Results of comparisons of the ECM and DK model are also presented in Ho et al.

  4. Sensitivity studies of unsaturated groundwater flow modeling for groundwater travel time calculations at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Altman, S.J.; Ho, C.K.; Arnold, B.W.; McKenna, S.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-12-01

    Unsaturated flow has been modeled through four cross-sections at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the purpose of determining groundwater particle travel times from the potential repository to the water table. This work will be combined with the results of flow modeling in the saturated zone for the purpose of evaluating the suitability of the potential repository under the criteria of 10CFR960. One criterion states, in part, that the groundwater travel time (GWTT) from the repository to the accessible environment must exceed 1,000 years along the fastest path of likely and significant radionuclide travel. Sensitivity analyses have been conducted for one geostatistical realization of one cross-section for the purpose of (1) evaluating the importance of hydrological parameters having some uncertainty (infiltration, fracture-matrix connectivity, fracture frequency, and matrix air entry pressure or van Genuchten {alpha}); and (2) examining conceptual models of flow by altering the numerical implementation of the conceptual model (dual permeability (DK) and the equivalent continuum model (ECM)). Results of comparisons of the ECM and DK model are also presented in Ho et al.

  5. Near-field thermal-hydrological behavior for alternative repository designs at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buscheck, T.A.; Nitao, J.J.; Ramspott, L.D.

    1996-12-01

    three-dimensional calculations that explicitly represent a realistic mixture of waste packages (WPs) are used to analyze decay-heat-driven thermal-hydrological behavior around emplacement drifts in a potential high-level waste facility at Yucca Mountain, Calculations, using the NUFT code, compare two fundamentally different ways that WPs can be arranged in the repository, with a focus on temperature, relative humidity, and liquid-phase flux on WPs. These quantities strongly affect WP integrity and the mobilization and release of radionuclides from WPs. Point-load spacing, which places the WPs roughly equidistant from each other, thermally isolates WPs from each other, causing large variability in temperature, relative humidity, and liquid-phase flux among the drifts. Line-load spacing, which WPs nearly end to end in widely spaced drifts, results in more locally intensive and uniform heating along the drifts, causing hotter, drier and more uniform conditions. A larger and more persistent reduction in relative humidity on WPs occurs if the drifts are backfilled with a low thermal conductivity granular material with hydrologic properties that minimize moisture wicking.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  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. 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.

  13. Technical data base quarterly report, April--June 1992; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-09-01

    The acquisition and development of technical data are activities that provide the information base from which the Yucca mountain Site will be characterized and may P-ventually be licensed as a high-level waste repository. The Project Technical Data Base (TDB) is the repository for the regional and site-specific technical data required in intermediate and license application analyses and models. The TDB Quarterly Report provides the mechanism for identifying technical data currently available from the Project TDB. Due to the variety of scientific information generated by YMP activities, the Project TDB consists of three components, each designed to store specific types of data. The Site and Engineering Properties Data Base (SEPDB) maintains technical data best stored in a tabular format. The Geographic Nodal Information Study and Evaluation System (GENISES), which is the Geographic Information System (GIS) component of the Project TDB, maintains spatial or map-like data. The Geologic and Engineering Materials Bibliography of Chemical Species (GEMBOCHS) data base maintains thermodynamic/geochemical data needed to support geochemical reaction models involving the waste package and repository geochemical environment. Each of these data bases are addressed independently within the TDB Quarterly Report.

  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. 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.

  16. Creep in Topopah Spring Member welded tuff. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S. [New England Research, Inc., White River Junction, VT (United States); Price, R.H. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-06-01

    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 {times} 10{sup 5} seconds and for as long as 1.8 {times} 10{sup 6} 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Preliminary results of paleoseismic investigations of Quaternary faults on eastern Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menges, C.M.; Oswald, J.A.; Coe, J.A. [and others

    1995-12-31

    Site characterization of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires detailed knowledge of the displacement histories of nearby Quaternary faults. Ongoing paleoseismic studies provide data on the amount and rates of Quaternary activity on the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge, and Stagecoach Road faults along the eastern margin of the mountain over varying time spans of 0-700 ka to perhaps 0-30 ka, depending on the site. Preliminary stratigraphic interpretations of deposits and deformation at many logged trenches and natural exposures indicate that each of these faults have experienced from 3 to 8 surface-rupturing earthquakes associated with variable dip-slip displacements per event ranging from 5 to 115 cm, and commonly in the range of 20 to 85 cm. Cumulative dip-slip offsets of units with broadly assigned ages of 100-200 ka are typically less than 200 cm, although accounting for the effects of possible left normal-oblique slip could increase these displacements by factors of 1.1 to 1.7. Current age constraints indicate recurrence intervals of 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 5} years (commonly between 30 and 80 k.y.) and slip rates of 0.001 to 0.08 mm/yr (typically 0.01-0.02 mm/yr). Based on available timing data, the ages of the most recent ruptures varies among the faults; they appear younger on the Stagecoach Road Fault ({approximately}5-20 ka) relative to the southern Paintbrush Canyon and Bow Ridge faults ({approximately}30-100 ka).

  19. Geologyy of the Yucca Mountain Site Area, Southwestern Nevada, Chapter in Stuckless, J.S., ED., Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Proposed Geologic Repository for High-Level Radioactive Waste (Volume 1)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W.R. Keefer; J.W. Whitney; D.C. Buesch

    2006-09-25

    Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada is a prominent, irregularly shaped upland formed by a thick apron of Miocene pyroclastic-flow and fallout tephra deposits, with minor lava flows, that was segmented by through-going, large-displacement normal faults into a series of north-trending, eastwardly tilted structural blocks. The principal volcanic-rock units are the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, which consist of volumetrically large eruptive sequences derived from compositionally distinct magma bodies in the nearby southwestern Nevada volcanic field, and are classic examples of a magmatic zonation characterized by an upper crystal-rich (> 10% crystal fragments) member, a more voluminous lower crystal-poor (< 5% crystal fragments) member, and an intervening thin transition zone. Rocks within the crystal-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff, lying some 280 m below the crest of Yucca Mountain, constitute the proposed host rock to be excavated for the storage of high-level radioactive wastes. Separation of the tuffaceous rock formations into subunits that allow for detailed mapping and structural interpretations is based on macroscopic features, most importantly the relative abundance of lithophysae and the degree of welding. The latter feature, varying from nonwelded through partly and moderately welded to densely welded, exerts a strong control on matrix porosities and other rock properties that provide essential criteria for distinguishing hydrogeologic and thermal-mechanical units, which are of major interest in evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain to host a safe and permanent geologic repository for waste storage. A thick and varied sequence of surficial deposits mantle large parts of the Yucca Mountain site area. Mapping of these deposits and associated soils in exposures and in the walls of trenches excavated across buried faults provides evidence for multiple surface-rupturing events along all of the major faults during

  20. Southern Nevada residents` views about the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository and related issues: A comparative analysis of urban and rural survey data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krannich, R.S.; Little, R.L. [Utah State Univ., Logan, UT (United States); Mushkatel, A.; Pijawka, K.D.; Jones, P. [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States)

    1991-10-01

    two separate surveys were undertaken in 1988 to ascertain southern Nevadans` views about the Yucca Mountain repository and related issues. The first of these studies focused on the attitudes and perceptions of residents in the Las Vegas metropolitan area. The second study addressed similar issues, but focused on the views of residents in six rural communities in three counties adjacent to the Yucca Mountain site. However, parallel findings from the two data sets have not been jointly analyzed in order to identify ways in which the views and orientations of residents in the rural and urban study areas may be similar or different. The purpose of this report is to develop and present a comparative assessment of selected issues addressed in the rural and urban surveys. Because both urban and rural populations would potentially be impacted by the Yucca Mountain repository, such an analysis will provide important insights into possible repository impacts on the well-being of residents throughout southern Nevada.

  1. Near-surface velocity modeling at Yucca Mountain using borehole and surface records from underground nuclear explosions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Durrani, B.A. [Texas Univ., El Paso, TX (United States). Dept. of Geological Sciences; Walck, M.C. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1996-09-01

    The Department of Energy is investigating Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a potential site for commercial radioactive waste disposal in a mined geologic repository. One critical aspect of site suitability is the tectonic stability of the repository site. The levels of risk from both actual fault displacements in the repository block and ground shaking from nearby earthquakes are being examined. In particular, it is necessary to determine the expected level of ground shaking at the repository depth for large seismic sources such as nearby large earthquakes or underground nuclear explosions (UNEs). Earthquakes are expected to cause the largest ground motions at the site, however, only underground nuclear explosion data have been obtained at the repository depth level (about 350m below the ground level) to date. In this study we investigate ground motion from Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions recorded at Yucca Mountain to establish a compressional velocity model for the uppermost 350m of the mountain. This model is useful for prediction of repository-level ground motions for potential large nearby earthquakes.

  2. The Development and Application of Reactive Transport Modeling Techniques to Study Radionuclide Migration at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Viswanathan, Hari Selvi

    1999-09-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada has been chosen as a possible site for the first high level radioactive waste repository in the United States. As part of the site investigation studies, we need to make scientifically rigorous estimations of radionuclide migration in the event of a repository breach. Performance assessment models used to make these estimations are computationally intensive. We have developed two reactive transport modeling techniques to simulate radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain: (1) the selective coupling approach applied to the convection-dispersion-reaction (CDR) model and (2) a reactive stream tube approach (RST). These models were designed to capture the important processes that influence radionuclide migration while being computationally efficient. The conventional method of modeling reactive transport models is to solve a coupled set of multi-dimensional partial differential equations for the relevant chemical components in the system. We have developed an iterative solution technique, denoted the selective coupling method, that represents a versatile alternative to traditional uncoupled iterative techniques and the filly coupled global implicit method. We show that selective coupling results in computational and memory savings relative to these approaches. We develop RST as an alternative to the CDR method for solving large two- or three-dimensional reactive transport simulations for cases in which one is interested in predicting the flux across a specific control plane. In the RST method, the multidimensional problem is reduced to a series of one-dimensional transport simulations along streamlines. The key assumption with RST is that mixing at the control plane approximates the transverse dispersion between streamlines. We compare the CDR and RST approaches for several scenarios that are relevant to the Yucca Mountain Project. For example, we apply the CDR and RST approaches to model an ongoing field experiment called the Unsaturated Zone

  3. Evaluation of Nevada Test Site Ground Motion and Rock Property Data to Bound Ground Motions at the Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchings, L H; Foxall, W; Rambo, J; Wagoner, J L

    2005-03-09

    Yucca Mountain licensing will require estimation of ground motions from probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHA) with annual probabilities of exceedance on the order of 10{sup -6} to 10{sup -7} per year or smaller, which correspond to much longer earthquake return periods than most previous PSHA studies. These long return periods for the Yucca Mountain PSHA result in estimates of ground motion that are extremely high ({approx} 10 g) and that are believed to be physically unrealizable. However, there is at present no generally accepted method to bound ground motions either by showing that the physical properties of materials cannot maintain such extreme motions, or the energy release by the source for such large motions is physically impossible. The purpose of this feasibility study is to examine recorded ground motion and rock property data from nuclear explosions to determine its usefulness for studying the ground motion from extreme earthquakes. The premise is that nuclear explosions are an extreme energy density source, and that the recorded ground motion will provide useful information about the limits of ground motion from extreme earthquakes. The data were categorized by the source and rock properties, and evaluated as to what extent non-linearity in the material has affected the recordings. They also compiled existing results of non-linear dynamic modeling of the explosions carried out by LLNL and other institutions. They conducted an extensive literature review to outline current understanding of extreme ground motion. They also analyzed the data in terms of estimating maximum ground motions at Yucca Mountain.

  4. Evaluation of Nevada Test Site Ground Motion and Rock Property Data to Bound Ground Motions at the Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hutchings, L J; Foxall, W; Rambo, J; Wagoner, J L

    2005-02-14

    Yucca Mountain licensing will require estimation of ground motions from probabilistic seismic hazard analyses (PSHA) with annual probabilities of exceedance on the order of 10{sup -6} to 10{sup -7} per year or smaller, which correspond to much longer earthquake return periods than most previous PSHA studies. These long return periods for the Yucca Mountain PSHA result in estimates of ground motion that are extremely high ({approx} 10 g) and that are believed to be physically unrealizable. However, there is at present no generally accepted method to bound ground motions either by showing that the physical properties of materials cannot maintain such extreme motions, or the energy release by the source for such large motions is physically impossible. The purpose of this feasibility study is to examine recorded ground motion and rock property data from nuclear explosions to determine its usefulness for studying the ground motion from extreme earthquakes. The premise is that nuclear explosions are an extreme energy density source, and that the recorded ground motion will provide useful information about the limits of ground motion from extreme earthquakes. The data were categorized by the source and rock properties, and evaluated as to what extent non-linearity in the material has affected the recordings. They also compiled existing results of non-linear dynamic modeling of the explosions carried out by LLNL and other institutions. They conducted an extensive literature review to outline current understanding of extreme ground motion. They also analyzed the data in terms of estimating maximum ground motions at Yucca Mountain.

  5. Alternate source term models for Yucca Mountain performance assessment based on natural analog data and secondary mineral solubility

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Murphy, W.M.; Codell, R.B.

    1999-07-01

    Performance assessment calculations for the proposed high level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, were conducted using the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Total-System Performance Assessment (TPA 3.2) code to test conceptual models and parameter values for the source term based on data from the Pena Blanca, Mexico, natural analog site and based on a model for coprecipitation and solubility of secondary schoepite. In previous studies the value for the maximum constant oxidative alteration rate of uraninite at the Nopal I uranium body at Pena Blanca was estimated. Scaling this rate to the mass of uranium for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository yields an oxidative alteration rate of 22 kg/y, which was assumed to be an upper limit on the release rate from the proposed repository. A second model was developed assuming releases of radionuclides are based on the solubility of secondary schoepite as a function of temperature and solution chemistry. Releases of uranium are given by the product of uranium concentrations at equilibrium with schoepite and the flow of water through the waste packages. For both models, radionuclides other than uranium and those in the cladding and gap fraction were modeled to be released at a rate proportional to the uranium release rate, with additional elemental solubility limits applied. Performance assessment results using the Pena Blanca oxidation rate and schoepite solubility models for Yucca Mountain were compared to the TPA 3.2 base case model, in which release was based on laboratory studies of spent fuel dissolution, cladding and gap release, and solubility limits. Doses calculated using the release rate based on natural analog data and the schoepite solubility models were smaller than doses generated using the base case model. These results provide a degree of confidence in safety predictions using the base case model and an indication of how conservatism in the base case model may be reduced in future analyses.

  6. Unsaturated-zone fast-path flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time analyses (GWTT-94)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Arnold, B.W.; Altman, S.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Robey, T.H. [Spectra Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (United States)] [and others

    1995-08-01

    Evaluation of groundwater travel time (GWTT) is required as part of the investigation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential high-level nuclear-waste repository site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission`s GWTT regulation is considered to be a measure of the intrinsic ability of the site to contain radionuclide releases from the repository. The work reported here is the first step in a program to provide an estimate of GWTT at the Yucca Mountain site in support of the DOE`s Technical Site Suitability and as a component of a license application. Preliminary estimation of the GWTT distribution in the unsaturated zone was accomplished using a numerical model of the physical processes of groundwater flow in the fractured, porous medium of the bedrock. Based on prior investigations of groundwater flow at the site, fractures are thought to provide the fastest paths for groundwater flow; conditions that lead to flow in fractures were investigated and simulated. Uncertainty in the geologic interpretation of Yucca Mountain was incorporated through the use of geostatistical simulations, while variability of hydrogeologic parameters within each unit was accounted for by the random sampling of parameter probability density functions. The composite-porosity formulation of groundwater flow was employed to simulate flow in both the matrix and fracture domains. In this conceptualization, the occurrence of locally saturated conditions within the unsaturated zone is responsible for the initiation of fast-path flow through fractures. The results of the GWTT-94 study show that heterogeneity in the hydraulic properties of the model domain is an important factor in simulating local regions of high groundwater saturation. Capillary-pressure conditions at the surface boundary influence the extent of the local saturation simulated.

  7. Fluid flow and reactive transport around potential nuclear waste emplacement tunnels at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spycher, N F; Sonnenthal, E L; Apps, J A

    2003-01-01

    the model uncertainty and the variability of water compositions at Yucca Mountain.

  8. Preliminary stratigraphic and petrologic characterization of core samples from USW-G1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waters, A.C.; Carroll, P.R. (eds.)

    1981-11-01

    Tuffs of the Nevada Test Site are currently under investigation to determine their potential for long-term storage of radioactive waste. As part of this program, hole USW-G1 was drilled to a depth of 6000 ft below the surface, in the central part of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Petrographic study of the USW-G1 core is presented in this report and shows the tuffs (which generally were variably welded ash flows) are partly recrystallized to a variety of secondary minerals. The important alteration products are zeolites (heulandite, clinoptilolite, mordenite and analcime), smectite clays with minor interstratified illite, albite, micas, potassium feldspar, and various forms of silica. Iijima`s zeolite zones I through IV of burial metamorphism can be recognized in the core. Zeolites are first observed at about the 1300-ft depth, and the high-temperature boundary of zeolite stability in this core occurs at about 4350 ft. Analcime persists, either metastably or as a retrograde mineral, deeper in the core. The oxidation state of Fe-Ti oxide minerals, through most of the core, increases as the degree of welding decreases, but towards the bottom of the hole, reducing conditions generally prevail. Four stratigraphic units transected by the core may be potentially favorable sites for a waste repository. These four units, in order of increasing depth in the core, are (1) the lower cooling unit of the Topopah Spring Member, (2) cooling unit II of the Bullfrog Member, (3) the upper part of the Tram tuff, and (4) the Lithic-rich tuff.

  9. A strategy to seal exploratory boreholes in unsaturated tuff; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, J.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Case, J.B.; Givens, C.A.; Carney, B.C. [IT Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-04-01

    This report presents a strategy for sealing exploratory boreholes associated with the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Over 500 existing and proposed boreholes have been considered in the development of this strategy, ranging from shallow (penetrating into alluvium only) to deep (penetrating into the groundwater table). Among the comprehensive list of recommendations are the following: Those boreholes within the potential repository boundary and penetrating through the potential repository horizon are the most significant boreholes from a performance standpoint and should be sealed. Shallow boreholes are comparatively insignificant and require only nominal sealing. The primary areas in which to place seals are away from high-temperature zones at a distance from the potential repository horizon in the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff and the upper portion of the Topopah Spring Member and in the tuffaceous beds of the Calico Hills Unit. Seals should be placed prior to waste emplacement. Performance goals for borehole seals both above and below the potential repository are proposed. Detailed construction information on the boreholes that could be used for future design specifications is provided along with a description of the environmental setting, i.e., the geology, hydrology, and the in situ and thermal stress states. A borehole classification scheme based on the condition of the borehole wall in different tuffaceous units is also proposed. In addition, calculations are presented to assess the significance of the boreholes acting as preferential pathways for the release of radionuclides. Design calculations are presented to answer the concerns of when, where, and how to seal. As part of the strategy development, available technologies to seal exploratory boreholes (including casing removal, borehole wall reconditioning, and seal emplacement) are reviewed.

  10. Geohydrology of rocks penetrated by test well USW H-6, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Craig, R.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Reed, R.L. [Fenix and Scisson, Inc., Tulsa, OK (United States)

    1991-12-01

    Test well USW H-6 is one of several wells drilled in the Yucca Mountain area near the southwestern part of the Nevada Test Site for investigations related to isolation of high-level nuclear waste. This well was drilled to a depth of 1,220 meters. Rocks penetrated are predominantly ash-flow tuffs of Tertiary age, with the principal exception of dacitic(?) lave penetrated at a depth from 877 to 1,126 meters. The composite static water level was about 526 meters below the land surface; the hydraulic head increased slightly with depth. Most permeability in the saturated zone is in two fractured intervals in Crater Flat Tuff. Based on well-test data using the transitional part of a dual-porosity solution, an interval of about 15 meters in the middle part of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has a calculated transmissivity of about 140 meters squared per day, and an interval of about 11 meters in the middle part of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff has a calculated transmissivity of about 75 meters squared per day. The upper part of the Bullfrog Member has a transmissivity of about 20 meters squared per day. The maximum likely transmissivity of any rocks penetrated by the test well is about 480 meters squared per day, based on a recharge-boundary model. The remainder of the open hole had no detectable production. Matrix hydraulic conductivity ranges from less than 5 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} to 1 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} meter per day. Ground water is a sodium bicarbonate type that is typical of water from tuffaceous rock of southern Nevada. The apparent age of the water is about 14,6000 years. 29 refs., 26 figs., 5 tabs.

  11. Visualization experiment to investigate capillary barrier performance in the context of a Yucca Mountain emplacement drift.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tidwell, Vincent C; Glass, Robert J; Chocas, Connie; Barker, Glenn; Orear, Lee

    2003-01-01

    The use of capillary barriers as engineered backfill systems to divert water away from radioactive waste potentially stored in a Yucca Mountain emplacement drift is investigated. We designed and conducted a flow visualization experiment to investigate capillary barrier performance in this context. A two-dimensional, thin slab, test system replicated the physical emplacement drift to one-quarter scale (1.4-m diameter) and included the simulated drift wall, waste canister, pedestal, capillary barrier backfill, and host-rock fracture system. Water was supplied at the top of the simulated drift and allowed to discharge by way of wicks located along the left wall of the cell (simulated fractures) or by a gravity drain at the bottom of the right side (simulated impermeable rock with floor drain). Photographs captured the migration of water and a blue dye tracer within the system, analytical balances measured the mass balance of water, while tensiometers measured the capillary pressure at numerous locations. Of particular concern to this test was the drainage of the capillary barrier, which terminates against the drift wall. We found that while the simulated fractures (left side) and drain (right side) each influenced the performance of the capillary barrier at early time, they had little differential affect at later times. Also of concern was the small disparity in capillary properties between the fine and coarse layer (limited by the need of a fine-grained material that would not filter into the coarse layer under dry conditions). While the capillary barrier was able to divert the majority of flow toward the edges of the system and away from the simulated waste canister, the barrier did not preclude flow in the coarse layer, which was noted to be visually wet next to the waste canister on day 92 and was continuing to take on water at termination on day 112.

  12. Los Alamos National Laboratory Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project 1992 quality program status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolivar, S.L.; Burningham, A.; Chavez, P. [and others

    1994-03-01

    This status report summarizes the activities and accomplishments of the Los Alamos Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project`s quality assurance program for calendar year 1992. The report includes major sections on Program Activities and Trend Analysis. Program Activities are discussed periodically at quality meetings. The most significant issue addressed in 1992 has been the timely revision of quality administrative procedures. The procedure revision process was streamlined from 55 steps to 7. The number of forms in procedures was reduced by 38%, and the text reduced by 29%. This allowed revision in 1992 of almost half of all implementing procedures. The time necessary to complete the revision process (for a procedure) was reduced from 11 months to 3 months. Other accomplishments include the relaxation of unnecessarily strict training requirements, requiring quality assurance reviews only from affected organizations, and in general simplifying work processes. All members of the YMP received training to the new Orientation class Eleven other training classed were held. Investigators submitted 971 records to the Project and only 37 were rejected. The software program has 115 programs approved for quality-affecting work. The Project Office conducted 3 audits and 1 survey of Los Alamos activities. We conducted 14 audits and 4 surveys. Eight corrective action reports were closed, leaving only one open. Internally, 22 deficiencies were recognized. This is a decrease from 65 in 1991. Since each deficiency requires about 2 man weeks to resolve, the savings are significant. Problems with writing acceptable deficiency reports have essentially disappeared. Trend reports for 1992 were examined and are summarized herein. Three adverse trends have been closed; one remaining adverse trend will be closed when the affected procedures are revised. The number of deficiencies issued to Los Alamos compared to other participants is minimal.

  13. Building and Running the Yucca Mountain Total System Performance Model in a Quality Environment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.A. Kalinich; K.P. Lee; J.A. McNeish

    2005-01-09

    A Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model has been developed to support the Safety Analysis Report (SAR) for the Yucca Mountain High-Level Waste Repository. The TSPA model forecasts repository performance over a 20,000-year simulation period. It has a high degree of complexity due to the complexity of its underlying process and abstraction models. This is reflected in the size of the model (a 27,000 element GoldSim file), its use of dynamic-linked libraries (14 DLLs), the number and size of its input files (659 files totaling 4.7 GB), and the number of model input parameters (2541 input database entries). TSPA model development and subsequent simulations with the final version of the model were performed to a set of Quality Assurance (QA) procedures. Due to the complexity of the model, comments on previous TSPAs, and the number of analysts involved (22 analysts in seven cities across four time zones), additional controls for the entire life-cycle of the TSPA model, including management, physical, model change, and input controls were developed and documented. These controls did not replace the QA. procedures, rather they provided guidance for implementing the requirements of the QA procedures with the specific intent of ensuring that the model development process and the simulations performed with the final version of the model had sufficient checking, traceability, and transparency. Management controls were developed to ensure that only management-approved changes were implemented into the TSPA model and that only management-approved model runs were performed. Physical controls were developed to track the use of prototype software and preliminary input files, and to ensure that only qualified software and inputs were used in the final version of the TSPA model. In addition, a system was developed to name, file, and track development versions of the TSPA model as well as simulations performed with the final version of the model.

  14. Using Reactive Transport Modeling to Evaluate the Source Term at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Y. Chen

    2001-12-19

    The conventional approach of source-term evaluation for performance assessment of nuclear waste repositories uses speciation-solubility modeling tools and assumes pure phases of radioelements control their solubility. This assumption may not reflect reality, as most radioelements (except for U) may not form their own pure phases. As a result, solubility limits predicted using the conventional approach are several orders of magnitude higher then the concentrations of radioelements measured in spent fuel dissolution experiments. This paper presents the author's attempt of using a non-conventional approach to evaluate source term of radionuclide release for Yucca Mountain. Based on the general reactive-transport code AREST-CT, a model for spent fuel dissolution and secondary phase precipitation has been constructed. The model accounts for both equilibrium and kinetic reactions. Its predictions have been compared against laboratory experiments and natural analogues. It is found that without calibrations, the simulated results match laboratory and field observations very well in many aspects. More important is the fact that no contradictions between them have been found. This provides confidence in the predictive power of the model. Based on the concept of Np incorporated into uranyl minerals, the model not only predicts a lower Np source-term than that given by conventional Np solubility models, but also produces results which are consistent with laboratory measurements and observations. Moreover, two hypotheses, whether Np enters tertiary uranyl minerals or not, have been tested by comparing model predictions against laboratory observations, the results favor the former. It is concluded that this non-conventional approach of source term evaluation not only eliminates over-conservatism in conventional solubility approach to some extent, but also gives a realistic representation of the system of interest, which is a prerequisite for truly understanding the long

  15. Engineered Materials Characterization Report for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, Volume 3, Revision 1, Corrosion Data and Modeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCright, R D

    1998-04-01

    The Engineered Materials Characterization Report (EMCR) serves as a source of information on the properties of materials proposed as elements in the engineered barrier system (EBS) for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Volume 3 covered the corrosion data and modeling efforts. The present report is a revision to Volume 3 and updates information on the corrosion (and other degradation modes) behavior of candidate materials for the various components of the EBS. It also includes work on the performance modeling of these materials. Work is reported on metallic barriers, basket materials, packing/backfill/invert materials, and non-metallic materials.

  16. Some Materials Degradation Issues in the U.S. High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Study (The Yucca Mountain Project)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Hua; P. Pasupathi; N. Brown; K. Mon

    2005-09-19

    The safe disposal of radioactive waste requires that the waste be isolated from the environment until radioactive decay has reduced its toxicity to innocuous levels for plants, animals, and humans. All of the countries currently studying the options for disposing of high-level nuclear waste (HLW) have selected deep geologic formations to be the primary barrier for accomplishing this isolation. In U.S.A., the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (as amended in 1987) designated Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the potential site to be characterized for high-level nuclear waste (HLW) disposal. Long-term containment of waste and subsequent slow release of radionuclides into the geosphere will rely on a system of natural and engineered barriers including a robust waste containment design. The waste package design consists of a highly corrosion resistant Ni-based Alloy 22 cylindrical barrier surrounding a Type 316 stainless steel inner structural vessel. The waste package is covered by a mailbox-shaped drip shield composed primarily of Ti Grade 7 with Ti Grade 24 structural support members. The U.S. Yucca Mountain Project has been studying and modeling the degradation issues of the relevant materials for some 20 years. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art understanding of the degradation processes based on the past 20 years studies on Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) materials degradation issues with focus on interaction between the in-drift environmental conditions and long-term materials degradation of waste packages and drip shields within the repository system during the 10,000 years regulatory period. This paper provides an overview of the current understanding of the likely degradation behavior of the waste package and drip shield in the repository after the permanent closure of the facility. The degradation scenario discussed in this paper include aging and phase instability, dry oxidation, general and localized corrosion, stress corrosion cracking and hydrogen induced

  17. Bibliography of publications related to the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project prepared by U.S. Geological Survey personnel through April 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glanzman, V.M.

    1991-11-01

    Personnel of the US Geological Survey have participated in nuclear-waste management studies in the State of Nevada since the mid-1970`s. A bibliography of publications prepared principally for the US Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (formerly Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations) through April 1991 contains 475 entries in alphabetical order. The listing includes publications prepared prior to the inception of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project in April 1977 and selected publications of interest to the Yucca Mountain region. 480 refs.

  18. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 1, Data summary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E. [Agapito Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Kessel, D.S. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavation of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the feasibility of locating a potential high-level nuclear waste repository on lands adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan. This report is volume 1 of the data summary.

  19. Native Americans and Yucca Mountain: A revised and updated summary report on research undertaken between 1987 and 1991; Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-15

    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.

  20. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. Chapter 3 summarizes present knowledge of the regional and site hydrologic systems. The purpose of the information presented is to (1) describe the hydrology based on available literature and preliminary site-exploration activities that have been or are being performed and (2) provide information to be used to develop the hydrologic aspects of the planned site characterization program. Chapter 4 contains geochemical information about the Yucca Mountain site. The chapter references plan for continued collection of geochemical data as a part of the site characterization program. Chapter 4 describes and evaluates data on the existing climate and site meterology, and outlines the suggested procedures to be used in developing and validating methods to predict future climatic variation. 534 refs., 100 figs., 72 tabs.

  1. Evaluation of the effects of underground water usage and spillage in the Exploratory Studies Facility; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, E.; Sobolik, S.R.

    1993-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository. Analyses reported herein were performed to support the design of site characterization activities so that these activities will have a minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste and a minimal impact on underground tests performed as part of the characterization process. These analyses examine the effect of water to be used in the underground construction and testing activities for the Exploratory Studies Facility on in situ conditions. Underground activities and events where water will be used include construction, expected but unplanned spills, and fire protection. The models used predict that, if the current requirements in the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements are observed, water that is imbibed into the tunnel wall rock in the Topopah Springs welded tuff can be removed over the preclosure time period by routine or corrective ventilation, and also that water imbibed into the Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded tuff will not reach the potential waste storage area.

  2. Petrochemical variation of Topopah Spring tuff matrix with depth (stratigraphic level), drill hole USW G-4, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byers, F.M. Jr.

    1985-12-01

    This study describes and interprets petrochemical variation of the matrix (excluding fractures and large gas cavities) of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. This tuff includes the candidate host rock for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. Cored hole USW G-4, near the site of a potential exploratory shaft at Yucca Mountain, penetrated 359.4 m (1179 ft) of the member within the unsaturated zone. This study shows that petrographic textures and chemistry of the matrix vary systematically within recognizable lithologic subunits related to crystallization (cooling) zones, welding (compaction) zones, and compositional zones (rhyolite versus quartz latite). The methods used for this study include petrographic modal thin section analysis using an automated counter and electron microprobe analysis of the groundmass. Distinctive textural categories are defined, and they can be ranked from finest to coarsest as vitrophyre (glass), cryptocrystalline groundmass, spherulites, granophyre, lithic fragments, and phenocrysts. The two main groundmass compositions are also defined: rhyolite high silica) and quartz latite. The value of these petrochemical studies lies in providing microscopic criteria for recognizing the zonal subunits where they may have greatly limited exposure, as in mined drifts and in core from horizontal drill holes. For example, the lower nonlithophysal zone can be distinguished microscopically from the middle nonlithophysal zone by (1) degree of compaction, (2) amount of quartz, and (3) amount of lithic fragments. The variability between these textural categories should also be considered in designing physical and chemical tests of the Topopah Spring.

  3. Degradation mode survey candidate titanium-base alloys for Yucca Mountain project waste package materials. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gdowski, G.E.

    1997-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) is evaluating materials from which to fabricate high-level nuclear waste containers (hereafter called waste packages) for the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Because of their very good corrosion resistance in aqueous environments titanium alloys are considered for container materials. Consideration of titanium alloys is understandable since about one-third (in 1978) of all titanium produced is used in applications where corrosion resistance is of primary importance. Consequently, there is a considerable amount of data which demonstrates that titanium alloys, in general, but particularly the commercial purity and dilute {alpha} grades, are highly corrosion resistant. This report will discuss the corrosion characteristics of Ti Gr 2, 7, 12, and 16. The more highly alloyed titanium alloys which were developed by adding a small Pd content to higher strength Ti alloys in order to give them better corrosion resistance will not be considered in this report. These alloys are all two phase ({alpha} and {beta}) alloys. The palladium addition while making these alloys more corrosion resistant does not give them the corrosion resistance of the single phase {alpha} and near-{alpha} (Ti Gr 12) alloys.

  4. NRC staff site characterization analysis of the Department of Energy`s Site Characterization Plan, Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1989-08-01

    This Site Characterization Analysis (SCA) documents the NRC staff`s concerns resulting from its review of the US Department of Energy`s (DOE`s) Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site in southern Nevada, which is the candidate site selected for characterization as the nation`s first geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. DOE`s SCP explains how DOE plans to obtain the information necessary to determine the suitability of the Yucca Mountain site for a repository. NRC`s specific objections related to the SCP, and major comments and recommendations on the various parts of DOE`s program, are presented in SCA Section 2, Director`s Comments and Recommendations. Section 3 contains summaries of the NRC staff`s concerns for each specific program, and Section 4 contains NRC staff point papers which set forth in greater detail particular staff concerns regarding DOE`s program. Appendix A presents NRC staff evaluations of those NRC staff Consultation Draft SCP concerns that NRC considers resolved on the basis of the SCP. This SCA fulfills NRC`s responsibilities with respect to DOE`s SCP as specified by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and 10 CFR 60.18. 192 refs., 2 tabs.

  5. Compilation of radiometric age and trace-element geochemical data, Yucca Mountain and surrounding areas of southwestern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiss, S.I.; Noble, D.C.; Larson, L.T.

    1994-12-31

    This document is a compilation of available radiometric age and trace-element geochemical data for volcanic rocks and episodes of hydrothermal activity in Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region of southwestern Nevada. Only the age determinations considered to be geologically reasonable (consistent with stratigraphic relations) are listed below. A number of the potassium-argon (K-Ar) ages of volcanic rocks given by Kistler, Marvin et al., Noble et al., Weiss et al., and Noble et al. are not included as these ages have been shown to be incorrect or disturbed by hydrothermal alteration based on subsequent stratigraphic and/or petrographic data and the recognition of errors in K-Ar age determinations related to incomplete extraction of argon. In cases where absolute ages are tightly constrained by high precision {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar ages and unequivocal stratigraphic relations, we have omitted the less precise K-Ar age data. Similarly, the more precise single-crystal laser-fusion {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar age determinations of certain units are reported and less precise ages by multi-grain bulk-fusion {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar methods are not included. This compilation does not include age data for basaltic rocks of Pliocene and Quaternary age in the Yucca Mountain region.

  6. The spatial distribution and chemical heterogeneity of clinoptilolite at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada: Evidence for polygenetic hypogene alteration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livingston, D.E.; Szymanski, J.S.

    1994-01-01

    This part of TRAC`s Annual Report for 1993 summarizes the finding of previous reports on the major element geochemistry of zeolitic alteration of the tuffs at Yucca Mountain and updates the status of work. In this report we examine the spatial distribution of zeolites by stratigraphic units and boreholes and the various types of chemical alteration of clinoptilolite indicated by the data reported in Broxton et al. and Bish and Chipera. The purpose is to evaluate the extent of the metasomatic alteration and to test the hypogene hypothesis of Szymanski. In this regard, it is of prime importance to evaluate whether the metasomatic alteration at Yucca Mountain is due to supergene or hypogene processes. In this report, the term {open_quotes}supergene{close_quotes} denotes alteration and mineralization produced by fluids derived directly from atmospheric precipitation and infiltration through the vadose zone, and the term {open_quotes}hypogene{close_quotes} denotes alteration and mineralization produced by fluids from the phreatic zone regardless of their former location or residence time in the Earth`s crust. This report begins with a review of previous work on the genesis of zeolites of the Nevada Test Site.

  7. 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

  8. Contaminant Travel Times From the Nevada Test Site to Yucca Mountain: Sensitivity to Porosity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohlmann, K. F.; Zhu, J.; Chapman, J. B.; Russell, C. E.; Carroll, R. W.; Shafer, D. S.

    2008-12-01

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. In this study, we investigate the potential for groundwater advective pathways from underground nuclear testing areas on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the YM area by estimating the time frame for advective travel and its uncertainty resulting from porosity value uncertainty for hydrogeologic units (HGUs) in the region. We perform sensitivity analysis to determine the most influential HGUs on advective radionuclide travel times from the NTS to the YM area. Groundwater pathways and advective travel times are obtained using the particle tracking package MODPATH and flow results from the Death Valley Regional Flow System (DVRFS) model by the U.S. Geological Survey. Values and uncertainties of HGU porosities are quantified through evaluation of existing site porosity data and expert professional judgment and are incorporated through Monte Carlo simulations to estimate mean travel times and uncertainties. We base our simulations on two steady state flow scenarios for the purpose of long term prediction and monitoring. The first represents pre-pumping conditions prior to groundwater development in the area in 1912 (the initial stress period of the DVRFS model). The second simulates 1998 pumping (assuming steady state conditions resulting from pumping in the last stress period of the DVRFS model). Considering underground tests in a clustered region around Pahute Mesa on the NTS as initial particle positions, we track these particles forward using MODPATH to identify hydraulically downgradient groundwater discharge zones and to determine which flowpaths will intercept the YM area. Out of the 71 tests in the saturated zone, flowpaths of 23 intercept the YM area under the pre-pumping scenario. For the 1998 pumping scenario, flowpaths from 55 of the 71 tests intercept the YM area. The results illustrate that mean

  9. Data Qualification Report: Pore Water Data for Use on the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    H. Miller; R. Monks; C. Warren; W. Wowak

    2000-06-09

    Pore water data associated with Data Tracking Number (DTN) No.LL990702804244.100 are referenced in the Analysis and Model Reports (AMRs) prepared to support the Site Recommendation in determining the suitability of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a repository for high-level nuclear waste. It has been determined, in accordance with procedure AP-3.15Q Rev. 1, ICN 1, ''Managing Technical Product Inputs'', Attachment 6 , that the DTN-referenced data are used in AMRs that provide a direct calculation of ''Principal Factors'' for the Post-closure Safety Case or Potentially Disruptive Processes or Events. Therefore, in accordance with the requirements of procedure AP-SIII.2Q, Rev 0, ICN 2, ''Qualification of Unqualified Data and the Documentation of Rationale for Accepted Data'', Section 5.3.1 .a, a Data Qualification Report has been prepared for submittal to the Assistant Manager, Office of Project Execution for concurrence. This report summarizes the findings of the Data Qualification Team assembled to evaluate unqualified ''pore water data'' represented by DTN No. LL990702804244.100. This DTN is currently used in the following AMRs: Drift-Scale Coupled Processes (DST and THC Seepage) Models (CRWMS M&O 2000a), Environment of the Surfaces of the Drip Shield and Waste Package Outer Barrier (CRWMS M&O 2000b), and Engineered Barrier System: Physical and Chemical Environment Model (CRWMS M&O 2000c). Mineral composition of pore water submitted to the Technical Data Management System (TDMS) using the subject DTN were acquired data from the analysis pore water samples sent to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) by UFA Ventures, Inc. and analyzed by LLNL's Analytical Sciences/Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry Division (ASD). The purpose and scope of the AMRs that reference the subject DTN and the potential application of pore water data is described below. These AMRs use only that

  10. ABSTRACT: CONTAMINANT TRAVEL TIMES FROM THE NEVADA TEST SITE TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN: SENSITIVITY TO POROSITY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karl F. Pohlmann; Jianting Zhu; Jenny B. Chapman; Charles E. Russell; Rosemary W. H. Carroll; David S. Shafer

    2008-09-05

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. In this study, we investigate the potential for groundwater advective pathways from underground nuclear testing areas on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the YM area by estimating the timeframe for advective travel and its uncertainty resulting from porosity value uncertainty for hydrogeologic units (HGUs) in the region. We perform sensitivity analysis to determine the most influential HGUs on advective radionuclide travel times from the NTS to the YM area. Groundwater pathways and advective travel times are obtained using the particle tracking package MODPATH and flow results from the Death Valley Regional Flow System (DVRFS) model by the U.S. Geological Survey. Values and uncertainties of HGU porosities are quantified through evaluation of existing site porosity data and expert professional judgment and are incorporated through Monte Carlo simulations to estimate mean travel times and uncertainties. We base our simulations on two steady state flow scenarios for the purpose of long term prediction and monitoring. The first represents pre-pumping conditions prior to groundwater development in the area in 1912 (the initial stress period of the DVRFS model). The second simulates 1998 pumping (assuming steady state conditions resulting from pumping in the last stress period of the DVRFS model). Considering underground tests in a clustered region around Pahute Mesa on the NTS as initial particle positions, we track these particles forward using MODPATH to identify hydraulically downgradient groundwater discharge zones and to determine which flowpaths will intercept the YM area. Out of the 71 tests in the saturated zone, flowpaths of 23 intercept the YM area under the pre-pumping scenario. For the 1998 pumping scenario, flowpaths from 55 of the 71 tests intercept the YM area. The results illustrate that mean

  11. Gravity and magnetic data across the Ghost Dance Fault in WT-2 Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliver, H.W.; Sikora, R.F.

    1994-12-31

    Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data were obtained in September 1993 along a 4,650 ft-long profile across the Ghost Dance Fault system in WT-2 Wash. Gravity stations were established every 150 feet along the profile. Total-field magnetic measurements made initially every 50 ft along the profile, then remade every 20 ft through the fault zone. These new data are part of a geologic and geophysical study of the Ghost Dance Fault (GDF) which includes detailed geologic mapping, seismic reflection, and some drilling including geologic and geophysical logging. The Ghost Dance Fault is the only through-going fault that has been identified within the potential repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Preliminary gravity results show a distinct decrease of 0.1 to 0.2 mGal over a 600-ft-wide zone to the east of and including the mapped fault. The gravity decrease probably marks a zone of brecciation. Another fault-offset located about 2,000 ft to the east of the GDF was detected by seismic reflection data and is also marked by a distinct gravity low. The ground magnetic data show a 200-ft-wide magnetic low of about 400 nT centered about 100 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault. The magnetic low probably marks a zone of brecciation within the normally polarized Topopah Spring Tuff, the top of which is about 170 ft below the surface, and which is known from drilling to extend to a depth of about 1,700 ft. Three-component magnetometer logging in drill hole WT-2 located about 2,700 ft east of the Ghost Dance Fault shows that the Topopah Spring Tuff is strongly polarized magnetically in this area, so that fault brecciation of a vertical zone within the Tuff could provide an average negative magnetic contrast of the 4 Am{sup {minus}1} needed to produce the 400 nT low observed at the surface.

  12. Recommendations for SZ/TSPA Model Uncertainty Analysis Concerning the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogen, K T

    2003-11-05

    This report considers the problem of how best to evaluate the stability (i.e., sampling reliability) of Monte Carlo outputs obtained for two Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) modeling components, namely, outputs for the Saturated Zone (SZ) model, and for the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model. One approach considered is the one that has been employed to date, namely, the application of Monte Carlo methods. Also considered in this context are potential improvements that might be obtained by the additional use of a Monte Carlo ''quitting rule'', such as that defined by Woo (1991), to select the number of Monte Carlo sample runs to perform. By the Monte Carlo approach, each output-value sample (realization) is calculated as a function of a sample-value vector of stochastic realizations, each of which in turn corresponds to a value of a corresponding distributed input variable. Abstractions from the SZ model and the Biosphere model are both used as input to the TSPA model. Sets of stochastic realizations required for SZ and TSPA abstractions ''expensive'' to generate, so the practical issue addressed by a ''quitting rule'' is how to determine what number of realizations is ''enough'' for the purpose of characterizing sampling error in the Monte Carlo estimate obtained for a specified model output of concern. In the TSPA context, the model output of concern is generally considered the time evolution of the arithmetic mean value, an estimator of the expected value, of TSPA-generated annual dose D(t) to the defined receptor within 10,000 y after waste-repository closure. Recommendations below specifically address: (1) whether or not a Monte Carlo approach (such as one employing the Woo quitting rule) is an appropriate basis for undertaking SZ- or TSPA-related uncertainty analysis, and (2) what other method might be more appropriate. While the following discussion and recommendations

  13. Yucca Mountain project : FY 2006 annual report for waste form testingactivities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ebert, W. L.; Fortner, J. A.; Guelis, A. V.; Cunnane, J. C.

    2006-11-01

    This report describes the experimental work performed at Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne) during fiscal year (FY 2006) under the Bechtel SAIC Company, LLC (BSC) Memorandum Purchase Order (MPO) contract number B004210CM3X. Because this experimental work is focused on the dissolution and precipitation behavior of neptunium, the report also includes, or incorporates by reference, earlier results that are relevant to presenting a more complete understanding of the likely behavior of neptunium under experimental conditions relevant to the Yucca Mountain repository. Important results relevant to the technical bases, validations, and conservatisms in current source term models are summarized. The CSNF samples were observed to corrode following the general contour of the surface rather than via (for instance) grain boundary attack. This supports the current approach of estimating the effective surface area of corroding CSNF based on the geometric surface area of fuel pellet fragments. It was observed that the neptunium and plutonium concentrations in corroded CSNF samples were somewhat higher at and near the corrosion front (i.e., at the interface between the alteration product ''rind'' layer and the underlying fuel) than in the bulk fuel. The neptunium and plutonium at the corrosion front and in the uranyl alteration layer were found to be in the quadravalent (4+) oxidation state. The uranyl phases that constitute most of the alteration rind were depleted in neptunium relative to the bulk fuel: neptunium concentrations in the uranyl alteration rind were less than 20% of that in the parent fuel. Homogeneous precipitation tests have shown that solids precipitate from a 1 x 10{sup -4} M Np(V) solution over the temperature range of 200-280 C, but no evidence was found that any solids precipitated from the same solution at 150 C through 289 days. The solids formed in the homogeneous precipitation tests were predominantly a Np(IV)-bearing phase

  14. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 3: Total System Performance Assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

    This volume reports the development of TSPA for the VA. This first section defines the general process involved in developing any TSPA, it describes the overall TSPA process as implemented by programs in the US and elsewhere in the world, and discusses the acceptability of TSPA as a process or tool for analyzing a nuclear waste repository system. Section 2 discusses the more specific use of the TSPA process for the TSPA-VA for Yucca Mountain, including goals, approach, and methods. It also includes a very brief synopsis of TSPA-VA results. Section 3 briefly discusses each of the component models that comprise the TSPA-VA. Each TSPA component model represents a discrete set of processes. The TSPA-VA components are: unsaturated zone flow, thermal hydrology, near- field geochemical environment, waste package degradation, waste form alteration and mobilization, unsaturated zone transport, saturated zone flow and transport, and biosphere. For each of these components, this section introduces the conceptualization of each individual process, describes the data sources, and discusses model parameter development and computer methods used to simulate each component. Section 4 explains the mechanics of how the individual TSPA components were combined into a ''base case'' and then provides the ''expected value'' results of a deterministic base case analysis. Section 4 also contains a description of the probabilistic analyses and results that help determine the relative importance of the various TSPA components and the data used to describe the components. Section 5 addresses sensitivity studies run for each of the TSPA components to understand how uncertainty in various parameters within a component change the TSPA results. Section 6 presents the findings of the sensitivity studies run on the various components in Section 5, and prioritizes the findings of the entire set of uncertainty and sensitivity studies of the components relative

  15. Mineralogy and clinoptilolite K/Ar results from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: A potential high-level radioactive waste repository site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Broxton, D.E.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J.

    1993-11-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is investigating Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. An important aspect of this evaluation is to understand the geologic history of the site including the diagenetic processes that are largely responsible for the present-day chemical and physical properties of the altered tuffs. This study evaluates the use of K/Ar geochronology in determining the alteration history of the zeolitized portions of Miocene tuffs at Yucca Mountain. Clinoptilolite is not generally regarded as suitable for dating because of its open structure and large ion-exchange capacity. However, it is the most abundant zeolite at Yucca Mountain and was selected for this study to assess the feasibility of dating the zeolitization process and/or subsequent processes that may have affected the zeolites. In this study we examine the ability of this mineral to retain all or part of its K and radiogenic Ar during diagenesis and evaluate the usefulness of the clinoptilolite K/Ar dates for determining the history of alteration.

  16. Review and critique of the US Department of Energy environmental program plan for site characterization for a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-12-31

    This report provides a review and critique of the US Department of Energy (DOE) environmental program plan for site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain which principally addresses compliance with federal and state environmental regulation and to a lesser extent monitoring and mitigation of significant adverse impacts and reclamation of disturbed areas. There are 15 documents which comprise the plan and focus on complying with the environmental requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, as amended, (NWPA) and with single-media environmental statutes and their regulations. All elements of the plan follow from the 1986 statutory environmental assessment (EA) required by NWPA which concluded that no significant adverse impacts would result from characterization of the Yucca Mountain site. The lack of appropriate environmental planning and review for site characterization at Yucca Mountain points to the need for an oversight function by the State of Nevada. It cannot be assumed that on its own DOE will properly comply with environmental requirements, especially the substantive requirements that comprise the intent of NEPA. Thus, procedures must be established to assure that the environmental interests of the State are addressed in the course of the Yucca Mountain Project. Accordingly, steps will be taken by the State of Nevada to review the soundness and efficacy of the DOE field surveys, monitoring and mitigation activities, reclamation actions, and ecological impact studies that follow from the DOE environmental program plans addressed by this review.

  17. Review of the expected behaviour of alpha titanium alloys under Yucca Mountain conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoesmith, D.W

    2000-03-01

    The use of titanium alloys in two different waste package designs has been reviewed under the, conditions anticipated in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. In the first design. they are considered as one of three barrier materials incorporated into the waste package design and potentially in galvanic contact with the other two waste package materials, 316L stainless steel and Alloy-22. In the second design the Ti alloy is considered as a drip shield placed over, and not in contact with, a dual wall waste package fabricated from the other two materials. The possible failure processes, crevice corrosion, pitting and hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) have been reviewed for the candidate titanium alloys (Ti-12, Ti-16 and Ti-7). Both pitting and crevice corrosion are very remote possibilities under these conditions. For Ti-12, a limited amount of crevice corrosion is possible but repassivation will occur before substantial damage is sustained. When Ti is considered as part of the triple wall waste package, hydrogen absorption leading to HIC, within an acidified but passive crevice, is the most likely failure mechanism. When the Ti alloy is utilized in the form of a drip shield then hydrogen absorption under potentially alkaline conditions is the major fear. Both Ti-12 and Ti-16 have been shown capable of tolerating substantial amounts of hydrogen ({approx}400 {mu} g{center_dot}g{sup -1} for Ti-12, and > 1000 {mu}g.g{sup -1} for Ti-16) before any effect on the materials fracture toughness is observed. The rate of absorption to a hydrogen content which exceeds these values will be the key feature determining if, or when, the material becomes susceptible to cracking. Once this condition is achieved, whether or not failure occurs will depend on the strength and location of stresses within the structure. For Ti to absorb hydrogen it is inevitably necessary to subject the material to cathodic polarization, either by coupling to a more active material or by the

  18. Review of the expected behaviour of alpha titanium alloys under Yucca Mountain conditions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoesmith, D.W

    2000-03-01

    The use of titanium alloys in two different waste package designs has been reviewed under the, conditions anticipated in the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. In the first design. they are considered as one of three barrier materials incorporated into the waste package design and potentially in galvanic contact with the other two waste package materials, 316L stainless steel and Alloy-22. In the second design the Ti alloy is considered as a drip shield placed over, and not in contact with, a dual wall waste package fabricated from the other two materials. The possible failure processes, crevice corrosion, pitting and hydrogen-induced cracking (HIC) have been reviewed for the candidate titanium alloys (Ti-12, Ti-16 and Ti-7). Both pitting and crevice corrosion are very remote possibilities under these conditions. For Ti-12, a limited amount of crevice corrosion is possible but repassivation will occur before substantial damage is sustained. When Ti is considered as part of the triple wall waste package, hydrogen absorption leading to HIC, within an acidified but passive crevice, is the most likely failure mechanism. When the Ti alloy is utilized in the form of a drip shield then hydrogen absorption under potentially alkaline conditions is the major fear. Both Ti-12 and Ti-16 have been shown capable of tolerating substantial amounts of hydrogen ({approx}400 {mu} g{center_dot}g{sup -1} for Ti-12, and > 1000 {mu}g.g{sup -1} for Ti-16) before any effect on the materials fracture toughness is observed. The rate of absorption to a hydrogen content which exceeds these values will be the key feature determining if, or when, the material becomes susceptible to cracking. Once this condition is achieved, whether or not failure occurs will depend on the strength and location of stresses within the structure. For Ti to absorb hydrogen it is inevitably necessary to subject the material to cathodic polarization, either by coupling to a more active material or by the

  19. Is Yucca Mountain a long-term solution for disposing of US spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thorne, M C

    2012-06-01

    On 26 January 2012, the Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future released a report addressing, amongst other matters, options for the managing and disposal of high-level waste and spent fuel. The Blue Ribbon Commission was not chartered as a siting commission. Accordingly, it did not evaluate Yucca Mountain or any other location as a potential site for the storage or disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste. Nevertheless, if the Commission's recommendations are followed, it is clear that any future proposals to develop a repository at Yucca Mountain would require an extended period of consultation with local communities, tribes and the State of Nevada. Furthermore, there would be a need to develop generally applicable regulations for disposal of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste, so that the Yucca Mountain site could be properly compared with alternative sites that would be expected to be identified in the initial phase of the site-selection process. Based on what is now known of the conditions existing at Yucca Mountain and the large number of safety, environmental and legal issues that have been raised in relation to the DOE Licence Application, it is suggested that it would be imprudent to include Yucca Mountain in a list of candidate sites for future evaluation in a consent-based process for site selection. Even if there were a desire at the local, tribal and state levels to act as hosts for such a repository, there would be enormous difficulties in attempting to develop an adequate post-closure safety case for such a facility, and in showing why this unsaturated environment should be preferred over other geological contexts that exist in the USA and that are more akin to those being studied and developed in other countries.

  20. 206Pb-230Th-234U-238U and 207Pb-235U geochronology of Quaternary opal, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neymark, Leonid A.; Amelin, Yuri V.; Paces, James B.

    2000-01-01

    U–Th–Pb isotopic systems have been studied in submillimeter-thick outermost layers of Quaternary opal occurring in calcite–silica fracture and cavity coatings within Tertiary tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. These coatings preserve a record of paleohydrologic conditions at this site, which is being evaluated as a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The opal precipitated from groundwater is variably enriched in 234U (measured 234U/238U activity ratio 1.124–6.179) and has high U (30–313 ppm), low Th (0.008–3.7 ppm), and low common Pb concentrations (measured 206Pb/204Pb up to 11,370). It has been demonstrated that the laboratory acid treatment used in this study to clean sample surfaces and to remove adherent calcite, did not disturb U–Th–Pb isotopic systems in opal. The opal ages calculated from 206Pb∗/238U and 207Pb∗/235U ratios display strong reverse discordance because of excess radiogenic 206Pb∗ derived from the elevated initial 234U. The data are best interpreted using projections of a new four-dimensional concordia diagram defined by 206Pb∗/238U, 207Pb∗/235U, 234U/238Uactivity, and 230Th/238Uactivity. Ages and initial 234U/238U activity ratios have been calculated using different projections of this diagram and tested for concordance. The data are discordant, that is observed 207Pb∗/235U ages of 170 ± 32 (2σ) to 1772 ± 40 ka are systematically older than 230Th/U ages of 34.1 ± 0.6 to 452 ± 32 ka. The age discordance is not a result of migration of uranium and its decay products under the open system conditions, but a consequence of noninstantaneous growth of opal. Combined U–Pb and 230Th/U ages support the model of slow mineral deposition at the rates of millimeters per million years resulting in layering on a scale too fine for mechanical sampling. In this case, U–Pb ages provide more accurate estimates of the average age for mixed multiage samples than 230Th/U ages, because ages based on shorter

  1. Death Valley Lower Carbonate Aquifer Monitoring Program Wells Down Gradient of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, U. S. Department of Energy Grant DE-RW0000233 2010 Project Report, prepared by The Hydrodynamics Group, LLC for Inyo County Yucca Mountain Repository Assessment Office

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    King, Michael J; Bredehoeft, John D., Dr.

    2010-09-03

    Inyo County completed the first year of the U.S. Department of Energy Grant Agreement No. DE-RW0000233. This report presents the results of research conducted within this Grant agreement in the context of Inyo County's Yucca Mountain oversight program goals and objectives. The Hydrodynamics Group, LLC prepared this report for Inyo County Yucca Mountain Repository Assessment Office. The overall goal of Inyo County's Yucca Mountain research program is the evaluation of far-field issues related to potential transport, by ground water, of radionuclide into Inyo County, including Death Valley, and the evaluation of a connection between the Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA) and the biosphere. Data collected within the Grant is included in interpretive illustrations and discussions of the results of our analysis. The centeral elements of this Grant prgoram was the drilling of exploratory wells, geophysical surveys, geological mapping of the Southern Funeral Mountain Range. The cullimination of this research was 1) a numerical ground water model of the Southern Funeral Mountain Range demonstrating the potential of a hydraulic connection between the LCA and the major springs in the Furnace Creek area of Death Valley, and 2) a numerical ground water model of the Amargosa Valley to evaluate the potential for radionuclide transport from Yucca Mountain to Inyo County, California. The report provides a description of research and activities performed by The Hydrodynamics Group, LLC on behalf of Inyo County, and copies of key work products in attachments to this report.

  2. Coupling Seepage and Radionuclide Transport in and Around Emplacement Drifts at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, G.; Spycher, N.; Sonnenthal, E.; Steefel, C.

    2007-12-01

    The proposed nuclear waste repository of the United States is located at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Waste packages will be placed in deep (~350 m) underground drifts in volcanic tuff. Seepage may potentially occur at the repository drifts when the drifts get rewetted after a dryout period. The potential seepage water will be quickly evaporated or boiled to near dryness as long as it falls on the top of the hot waste package leading to formation of brine, precipitation of salts and volatilization of gases. These processes may potentially impact the long-term safety of waste packages in the drift. The objectives of this study are to: (1) develop a quantitative model of coupled thermal, hydrological, and chemical (THC) processes potentially leading to brine formation, salt precipitation and gas volatilization on top of waste packages and/or a drip shield and (2) dynamically integrate such a model into the larger-scale models of processes within and around waste emplacement drifts, as well as into the smaller-scale waste-package corrosion models. Process models were implemented into an existing reactive transport numerical simulator, TOUGHREACT, to allow modeling of (1) evaporative concentration to very high ionic strength (up to 40 molal), (2) boiling point elevation due to dissolved salts, (3) boiling/evaporation to dryness, and (4) salt deliquescence. An integrated near-field and in-drift THC simulation was run using a vertical 2-D grid extending from near the ground surface to the groundwater table, and covering a width equal to half the design drift spacing of 81 m. The integrated model was then used to simulate a discrete dripping event within the drift. The model considered the release of radionuclides into seepage water as this water contacts the waste package and flows through the invert. The precipitation of uranophane and Np-uranophane was also considered. These minerals form in the invert from the neutralization of mildly acidic seepage water by clay minerals

  3. A preliminary investigation of the structure of southern Yucca Flat, Massachusetts Mountain, and CP basin, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, based on geophysical modeling.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geoffrey A. Phelps; Leigh Justet; Barry C. Moring, and Carter W. Roberts

    2006-03-17

    New gravity and magnetic data collected in the vicinity of Massachusetts Mountain and CP basin (Nevada Test Site, NV) provides a more complex view of the structural relationships present in the vicinity of CP basin than previous geologic models, helps define the position and extent of structures in southern Yucca Flat and CP basin, and better constrains the configuration of the basement structure separating CP basin and Frenchman Flat. The density and gravity modeling indicates that CP basin is a shallow, oval-shaped basin which trends north-northeast and contains ~800 m of basin-filling rocks and sediment at its deepest point in the northeast. CP basin is separated from the deeper Frenchman Flat basin by a subsurface ridge that may represent a Tertiary erosion surface at the top of the Paleozoic strata. The magnetic modeling indicates that the Cane Spring fault appears to merge with faults in northwest Massachusetts Mountain, rather than cut through to Yucca Flat basin and that the basin is downed-dropped relative to Massachusetts Mountain. The magnetic modeling indicates volcanic units within Yucca Flat basin are down-dropped on the west and supports the interpretations of Phelps and KcKee (1999). The magnetic data indicate that the only faults that appear to be through-going from Yucca Flat into either Frenchman Flat or CP basin are the faults that bound the CP hogback. In general, the north-trending faults present along the length of Yucca Flat bend, merge, and disappear before reaching CP hogback and Massachusetts Mountain or French Peak.

  4. 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)

    1992-09-30

    This report summarizes the result of Task 3 work initially discussed in our monthly reports for the period October 1, 1991 through September 30, 1992, and contained in our various papers and abstracts, both published and currently in press or review. Our work during this period has involved (a) the continuation of studies begun prior to October, 1991, 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 Nevada volcanic field (SWNVF), and (b) new studies of the alteration and trace-metal geochemistry of subsurface rocks at Yucca Mountain utilizing drill hole samples obtained in late 1991 and early 1992.

  5. Drilling, logging, and testing information from borehole UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thamir, F.; Thordarson, W.; Kume, J.; Rousseau, J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States). Yucca Mountain Project Branch; Long, R. [Dept. of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cunningham, D.M. Jr. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1998-09-01

    Borehole UE-25 UZ{number_sign}16 is the first of two boreholes that may be used to determine the subsurface structure at Yucca Mountain by using vertical seismic profiling. This report contains information collected while this borehole was being drilled, logged, and tested from May 27, 1992, to April 22, 1994. It does not contain the vertical seismic profiling data. This report is intended to be used as: (1) a reference for drilling similar boreholes in the same area, (2) a data source on this borehole, and (3) a reference for other information that is available from this borehole. The reference information includes drilling chronology, equipment, parameters, coring methods, penetration rates, completion information, drilling problems, and corrective actions. The data sources include lithology, fracture logs, a list of available borehole logs, and depths at which water was recorded. Other information is listed in an appendix that includes studies done after April 22, 1994.

  6. A summary and discussion of hydrologic data from the Calico Hills nonwelded hydrogeologic unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loeven, C.

    1993-01-01

    This report is a summary of available hydrologic data from in situ and laboratory testing of the Calico Hills nonwelded hydrogeologic unit, including hydraulic conductivity, porosity, saturation, pore-size distribution and parameters from curve-fits to pressure-saturation data. Sample statistics of hydraulic conductivity, porosity and saturation data for vitric, devitrified and zeolitic tuffs are presented and discussed. While a high degree of variability is observed in both laboratory and in situ hydraulic conductivity measurements, uncertainties arising from differences in size of laboratory test samples, sample handling, test procedures and insufficient number of samples point to the need for additional data of specific types to adequately characterize the unit. Hydrologic issues related to transport analysis in the Calico Hills nonwelded hydrogeologic unit at Yucca Mountain are discussed together with recommendations for future work. The compiled data are included as an appendix.

  7. Does localized recharge occur at a discharge area within the ground-water flow system of Yucca Mountain, Nevada?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Czarnecki, J.B. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Kroitoru, L. [Roy F. Weston, Inc., Washington, DC (United States); Ronen, D. [Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel)]|[Hydrological Service, Jerusalem (Israel); Magaritz, M. [Weizmann Inst. of Science, Rehovot (Israel)

    1992-10-01

    Studies done in 1984, at a central site on Franklin Lake playa (also known as Alkali Flat, a major discharge area of the ground-water flow system that includes Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the potential site of a high-level nuclear-waste repository) yield limited hydraulic-head and hydrochemical data from a 3-piezometer nest which indicated a slightly downward hydraulic gradient ({minus}0.02) and decreasing concentration of dissolved solids with increasing depth. Hydraulic-head measurements in June, 1989 made at the piezometer nest showed a substantially larger downward gradient ({minus}0.10) and a 0. 83{minus}meter higher water level in the shallowest piezometer (3.29 meters deep), indicating the possibility of localized recharge. during the period of September-November, 1989, a multilevel sampler was used to obtain detailed hydrochemical profiles of the uppermost 1. 5 m of the saturated zone.

  8. Unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog, Chihuahua, Mexico -- Implications for radionuclide mobility at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pickett, D.A.; Murphy, W.M.

    1999-07-01

    Chemical and U-Th isotopic data on unsaturated zone waters from the Nopal I natural analog reveal effects of water-rock interaction and help constrain models of radionuclide release and transport at the site and, by analogy, at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Geochemical reaction-path modeling indicates that, under oxidizing conditions, dissolution of uraninite (spent fuel analog) by these waters will lead to eventual schoepite precipitation regardless of initial silica concentration provided that groundwater is not continuously replenished. Thus, less soluble uranyl silicates may not dominate the initial alteration assemblage and keep dissolved U concentrations low. Uranium-series activity ratios are consistent with models of U transport at the site and display varying degrees of leaching versus recoil mobilization. Thorium concentrations may reflect the importance of colloidal transport of low-solubility radionuclides in the unsaturated zone.

  9. Preliminary total-system analysis of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eslinger, P.W.; Doremus, L.A.; Engel, D.W.; Miley, T.B.; Murphy, M.T.; Nichols, W.E.; White, M.D. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Langford, D.W.; Ouderkirk, S.J. [Westinghouse Hanford Co., Richland, WA (United States)

    1993-01-01

    The placement of high-level radioactive wastes in mined repositories deep underground is considered a disposal method that would effectively isolate these wastes from the environment for long periods of time. This report describes modeling performed at PNL for Yucca Mountain between May and November 1991 addressing the performance of the entire repository system related to regulatory criteria established by the EPA in 40 CFR Part 191. The geologic stratigraphy and material properties used in this study were chosen in cooperation with performance assessment modelers at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Sandia modeled a similar problem using different computer codes and a different modeling philosophy. Pacific Northwest Laboratory performed a few model runs with very complex models, and SNL performed many runs with much simpler (abstracted) models.

  10. Dialogs by Jerry Szymanski regarding the Yucca Mountain controversy from December, 1990 to March, 1991: Volume 3. Special report number 9, Contract number 92/94.0004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-07-01

    This report is a critical review of a US Geological Survey (USGS) paper regarding the origin of the Yucca Mountain calcite-opaline silica deposits. The report is in the form of a letter to the original authors in the USGS detailing the criticism regarding the origin of calcitic veins in the Yucca Mountain region. The USGS paper contributed most of these calcrete deposits to meteoric dissolution and precipitation mechanisms while the author presents his case for hydrothermal and magmatic origins. The paper presents strong isotopic characterization of these deposits to demonstrate a volcanic influence or source of this mineralization. Strontium, uranium, and carbon isotopes are graphed and compared from the numerous geologic and ground water samples available.

  11. Progress report on the scientific investigation program for the Nevada Yucca Mountain Site, October 1, 1991--March 31, 1992, Number 6

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-09-01

    In accordance with the requirements of section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and 10 CFR 60.18(g), 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, 1991, through March 31, 1992. This report is the sixth in a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not officially part of site characterization. Information on these activities is provided in order to fully integrate all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

  12. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 2, Part A: Chapters 3, 4, and 5

    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. 575 refs., 84 figs., 68 tabs.

  13. Preliminary assessment of clinoptilolite K/Ar results from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: A potential high-level radioactive waste repository site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Broxton, D.E.; Bish, D.L.; Chipera, S.J. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1992-12-31

    At Yucca Mountain, evidence for at least three distinct temporal groups of clinoptilolites can be delineated from the preliminary K/Ar dates (2 - 3 Ma; 4 - 5 Ma; 7 - 11 Ma). The older K/Ar dates that are similar to published illite/smectite ages (9-12 Ma) may be crystallization ages, whereas the younger dates probably represent continued diagenetic reactions of older clinoptilolites with percolating fluids. The K/Ar dates increase with depth, suggesting minimal argon loss in the deeper samples. internal consistency of the clinoptilolite K/Ar results at different levels within the drill holes suggest that dating of K-rich zeolites may provide useful information for assessing the zeolitization at Yucca Mountain. Variations in the K/Ar dates are probably related to Ar loss during dissolution of older clinoptilolites and to contamination by finely crystalline feldspars. 18 refs., 1 tab.

  14. Preliminary assessment of clinoptilolite K/Ar results from Yucca Mountain, Nevada: A potential high-level radioactive waste repository site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    WoldeGabriel, G.; Bish, D.L.; Broxton, D.E.; Chipera, S.J.

    1992-03-01

    At Yucca Mountain, evidence for at least three distinct temporal groups of clinoptilolites can be delineated from the preliminary K/Ar dates (2--3 Ma; 4--5 Ma; 7--11 Ma). The older K/Ar dates that are similar to published illite/smectite ages (9--12 Ma) may be crystallization ages, whereas the younger dates probably represent continued diagenetic reactions of older clinoptilolites with percolating fluids. The K/Ar dates increase with depth, suggesting minimal argon loss in the deeper samples. Internal consistency of the clinoptilolite K/Ar results at different levels within the drill holes suggest that dating of K-rich zeolites may provide useful information for assessing the zeolitization at Yucca Mountain. Variations in the K/Ar dates are probably related to Ar loss during dissolution of older clinoptilolites and to contamination by finely crystalline feldspars.

  15. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain area Nevada Nuclear Waste site investigation (NNWSI). Progress report, October 1, 1992--September 30, 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-09-30

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project {open_quotes}Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI).{close_quotes} A similar report was previously provided for the period of 1 October 1991 to 30 September 1992. The report initially covers the activities of the General Task and is followed by sections that describe the progress of the other ongoing Tasks. This report summarizes the geologic and seismotectonic studies conducted at Yucca Mountain during the contract period including Quaternary tectonics, an evaluation of mineral resource potential of the area, caldera geology, and volcano-tectonic activity at and near the site. A report of basinal studies conducted during the contract period is also included. Selected papers are indexed separately for inclusion in the Energy Science and Technology Database.

  16. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 4, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.0 through 8.3.1.4

    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. 74 figs., 32 tabs.

  17. DOE/NV/26383-LTR2008-01 Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Caliente, Lincoln County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Engelbrecht; I. Kavouras; D. Campbell; S. Campbell; S. Kohl; D. Shafer

    2009-04-02

    The Desert Research Institute (DRI) is performing a scoping study as part of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative (EMSI). The main objective is to obtain baseline air quality information for Yucca Mountain and an area surrounding the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Air quality and meteorological monitoring and sampling equipment housed in a mobile trailer (shelter) is collecting data at eight sites outside the NTS, including Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), Beatty, Sarcobatus Flats, Rachel, Caliente, Pahranagat NWR, Crater Flat, and Tonopah Airport, and at four sites on the NTS (Engelbrecht et al., 2007a-d). The trailer is stationed at any one site for approximately eight weeks at a time. This letter report provides a summary of air quality and meteorological data, on completion of the site's sampling program.

  18. A compound power-law model for volcanic eruptions: Implications for risk assessment of volcanism at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States). Dept. of Mathematical Sciences

    1994-10-17

    Much of the ongoing debate on the use of nuclear power plants in U.S.A. centers on the safe disposal of the radioactive waste. Congress, aware of the importance of the waste issue, passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, requiring the federal government to develop a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high level radioactive wastes from civilian nuclear power plants. The Department of Energy (DOE) established the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) in 1983 to identify potential sites. When OCRWM had selected three potential sites to study, Congress enacted the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987, which directed the DOE to characterize only one of those sites, Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada. For a site to be acceptable, theses studies must demonstrate that the site could comply with regulations and guidelines established by the federal agencies that will be responsible for licensing, regulating, and managing the waste facility. 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. Recent volcanism in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain is readily recognized as an important factor in determining future public and environmental safety because of the possibility of direct disruption of a repository site by volcanism. In particular, basaltic volcanism is regarded as direct and unequivocal evidence of deep-seated geologic instability. In this paper, statistical analysis of volcanic hazard assessment at the Yucca Mountain site is discussed, taking into account some significant geological factors raised by experts. Three types of models are considered in the data analysis. The first model assumes that both past and future volcanic activities follow a homogeneous Poisson process (HPP).

  19. Bibliography of publications related to Nevada-sponsored research of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level radioactive waste repository site through 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, M.

    1994-12-01

    Since 1985, the State of Nevada has sponsored academic/private sector research into various health, safety, and environmental issues identified with the Yucca Mountain site. This research has been documented in scientific peer-reviewed literature, conferences, and workshops, as well as numerous state-sponsored University thesis and dissertation programs. This document is a bibliography of the scientific articles, manuscripts, theses, dissertations, conference symposium abstracts, and meeting presentations produced as a result of state-sponsored research.

  20. Dialogs by Jerry Szymanski regarding the Yucca Mountain controversy from December, 1990 to March, 1991: Volume 2. Special report number 9, Contract number 92/94.0004

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-07-01

    This report is a compilation of materials used as part of the Penrose Conference of Bodega Bay, California and the NRC/NAS panel field trip (April 23--25, 1991). The document contains extensive graphs on the hydrologic and geologic systems of the Yucca Mountain region. It outlines and diagrams hydrologic issues relative to geothermal gradients, geochemical pathways, hydraulic gradients, ground water chemistry, and ground water flow models. Specific anomalies in regards to geology or hydrology are addressed as separate issues.

  1. Determination of water movement in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain using chloride, bromide, and chlorine isotopes as environmental tracers. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-07-31

    This report, prepared by Hydro Geo Chem staff for Los Alamos National Laboratory, summarizes work conducted by the company under Subcontract 9-XG1-N3993-1. The ultimate objective of this work is to characterize the movement of subsurface water in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Data produced under this contract is to be used by the US Department of Energy in its Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) to help determine hydrologic flows that may affect the performance of a potential nuclear waste repository. The data may be used in the licensing proceedings, and certain quality assurance procedures have thus been required. The work has focussed on measuring the distribution of environmental tracers-chlorine-36, chlorine, and bromine-and on evaluating the depth to which these conservative solutes have percolated in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. The following discussion summarizes progress made on the tasks outlined in the original Scope of Work. Details of this work and all data acquired by Hydro Geo Chem for this subcontract have been systematically organized in logbooks and laboratory notebooks. These documents have been structured to make it easy to trace the analytical history of a sample, from time of receipt to the final analytical results.

  2. Milestones for Selection, Characterization, and Analysis of the Performance of a Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rechard, Robert P.

    2014-02-01

    This report presents a concise history in tabular form of events leading up to site identification in 1978, site selection in 1987, subsequent characterization, and ongoing analysis through 2008 of the performance of a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. The tabulated events generally occurred in five periods: (1) commitment to mined geologic disposal and identification of sites; (2) site selection and analysis, based on regional geologic characterization through literature and analogous data; (3) feasibility analysis demonstrating calculation procedures and importance of system components, based on rough measures of performance using surface exploration, waste process knowledge, and general laboratory experiments; (4) suitability analysis demonstrating viability of disposal system, based on environment-specific laboratory experiments, in-situ experiments, and underground disposal system characterization; and (5) compliance analysis, based on completed site-specific characterization. Because the relationship is important to understanding the evolution of the Yucca Mountain Project, the tabulation also shows the interaction between four broad categories of political bodies and government agencies/institutions: (a) technical milestones of the implementing institutions, (b) development of the regulatory requirements and related federal policy in laws and court decisions, (c) Presidential and agency directives and decisions, and (d) critiques of the Yucca Mountain Project and pertinent national and world events related to nuclear energy and radioactive waste.

  3. U-Pb Ages of Secondary Silica at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Implications for the Paleohydrology of the Unsaturated Zone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.A. Neymark; Y. Amelin; J.B. Paces; Z.E. Peterman

    2001-08-20

    U, Th, and Pb isotopes were analyzed in layers of opal and chalcedony from individual millimeter- to centimeter-thick calcite and silica coatings at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, a site that is being evaluated for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. These calcite and silica coatings on fractures and in lithophysal cavities in Miocene-age tuffs in the unsaturated zone (UZ) precipitated from descending water and record a long history of percolation through the UZ. Opal and chalcedony have high concentrations of U (10 to 780 ppm) and low concentrations of common Pb as indicated by large values of {sup 206}Pb/{sup 204}Pb (up to 53,806), thus making them suitable for U-Pb age determinations. Interpretations of U-Pb isotopes in opal samples at Yucca Mountain are complicated by the incorporation of excess {sup 234}U at the time of mineral formation, resulting in reverse discordance of U-Pb ages. However, the {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages are much less affected by deviation from initial secular equilibrium and provide reliable ages of most silica deposits between 0.6 and 9.8 Ma. For chalcedony subsamples showing normal age discordance, these ages may represent minimum times of deposition. Typically, {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages are consistent with the microstratigraphy in the mineral coating samples, such that the youngest ages are for subsamples from outer layers, intermediate ages are from inner layers, and oldest ages are from innermost layers. {sup 234}U and {sup 230}Th in most silica layers deeper in the coatings are in secular equilibrium with {sup 238}U, which is consistent with their old age and closed system behavior during the past 0.5 m.y. U-Pb ages for subsamples of silica layers from different microstratigraphic positions in individual calcite and silica coating samples collected from lithophysal cavities in the welded part of the Topopah Spring Tuff yield slow long-term average depositional rates of 1 to 5 mm/m.y. These data imply that the deeper

  4. Yucca Mountain Project Getter Program Results (Year 1) I-I29 and Other Anions of Concern

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.L. Krumhansl; J.D. Pless; J.B. Chwirka; K.C. Holt

    2006-07-17

    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 0}) 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(lV), 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

  5. Upper mantle shear wave velocity structure beneath northern Victoria Land, Antarctica: Volcanism and uplift in the northern Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Graw, Jordan H.; Adams, Aubreya N.; Hansen, Samantha E.; Wiens, Douglas A.; Hackworth, Lauren; Park, Yongcheol

    2016-09-01

    The Transantarctic Mountains (TAMs) are the largest non-compressional mountain range on Earth, and while a variety of uplift mechanisms have been proposed, the origin of the TAMs is still a matter of great debate. Most previous seismic investigations of the TAMs have focused on a central portion of the mountain range, near Ross Island, providing little along-strike constraint on the upper mantle structure, which is needed to better assess competing uplift models. Using data recorded by the recently deployed Transantarctic Mountains Northern Network, as well as data from the Transantarctic Mountains Seismic Experiment and from five stations operated by the Korea Polar Research Institute, we investigate the upper mantle structure beneath a previously unexplored portion of the mountain range. Rayleigh wave phase velocities are calculated using a two-plane wave approximation and are inverted for shear wave velocity structure. Our model shows a low velocity zone (LVZ; ∼4.24 km s-1) at ∼160 km depth offshore and adjacent to Mt. Melbourne. This LVZ extends inland and vertically upwards, with more lateral coverage above ∼100 km depth beneath the northern TAMs and Victoria Land. A prominent LVZ (∼4.16-4.24 km s-1) also exists at ∼150 km depth beneath Ross Island, which agrees with previous results in the TAMs near the McMurdo Dry Valleys, and relatively slow velocities (∼4.24-4.32 km s-1) along the Terror Rift connect the low velocity anomalies. We propose that the LVZs reflect rift-related decompression melting and provide thermally buoyant support for the TAMs uplift, consistent with proposed flexural models. We also suggest that heating, and hence uplift, along the mountain front is not uniform and that the shallower LVZ beneath northern Victoria Land provides greater thermal support, leading to higher bedrock topography in the northern TAMs. Young (0-15 Ma) volcanic rocks associated with the Hallett and the Erebus Volcanic Provinces are situated directly

  6. Secondary Mineral Deposits and Evidence of Past Seismicity and Heating of the Proposed Repository Horizon at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, Josheph F.

    2004-01-01

    The Drift Degradation Analysis (DDA) (BSC, 2003) for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, describes model simulations of the effects of pre- and post-closure seismicity and waste-induced heating on emplacement drifts. Based on probabilistic seismic hazard analyses of the intensity and frequency of future seismic events in the region (CRWMS M&O, 1998), the DDA concludes that future seismicity will lead to substantial damage to emplacement drifts, particularly those in the lithophysal tuffs, where some simulations predict complete collapse of the drift walls. Secondary mineral studies conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey since 1995 indicate that secondary calcite and silica have been deposited in some fractures and lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone (UZ) at Yucca Mountain during at least the past 10 million years (m.y.), and probably since the tuffs cooled to less than 100?C. Tuff fragments, likely generated by past seismic activity, have commonly been incorporated into the secondary mineral depositional sequences. Preliminary observations indicate that seismic activity has generated few, if any, tuff fragments during the last 2 to 4 m.y., which may be inconsistent with the predictions of drift-wall collapse described in the DDA. Whether or not seismicity-induced tuff fragmentation occurring at centimeter to decimeter scales in the fracture and cavity openings relates directly to failure of tuff walls in the 5.5-m-diameter waste emplacement drifts, the deposits do provide a potential record of the spatial and temporal distribution of tuff fragments in the UZ. In addition, the preservation of weakly attached coatings and (or) delicate, upright blades of calcite in the secondary mineral deposits provides an upper limit for ground motion during the late stage of deposition that might be used as input to future DDA simulations. Finally, bleaching and alteration at a few of the secondary mineral sites indicate that

  7. Physical and stable-isotope evidence for formation of secondary calcite and silica in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, J.F.; Paces, J.B.; Peterman, Z.E.

    2002-01-01

    Calcite and silica form coatings on fracture footwalls and cavity floors in the welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, the potential site of a high-level radioactive waste repository. These secondary mineral deposits are heterogeneously distributed in the unsaturated zone (UZ) with fewer than 10% of possible depositional sites mineralized. The paragenetic sequence, compiled from deposits throughout the UZ, consists of an early-stage assemblage of calcite??fluorite??zeolites that is frequently capped by chalcedony??quartz. Intermediate- and late-stage deposits consist largely of calcite, commonly with opal on buried growth layers or outermost crystal faces of the calcite. Coatings on steep-dipping fractures usually are thin (??? 3 mm) with low-relief outer surfaces whereas shallow-dipping fractures and lithophysal cavities typically contain thicker, more coarsely crystalline deposits characterized by unusual thin, tabular calcite blades up to several cms in length. These blades may be capped with knobby or corniced overgrowths of late-stage calcite intergrown with opal. The observed textures in the fracture and cavity deposits are consistent with deposition from films of water fingering down fracture footwalls or drawn up faces of growing crystals by surface tension and evaporated at the crystal tips. Fluid inclusion studies have shown that most early-stage and some intermediate-stage calcite formed at temperatures of 35 to 85??C. Calcite deposition during the past several million years appears to have been at temperatures < 30??C. The elevated temperatures indicated by the fluid inclusions are consistent with temperatures estimated from calcite ??18O values. Although others have interpreted the elevated temperatures as evidence of hydrothermal activity and flooding of the tuffs of the potential repository, the authors conclude that the temperatures and fluid-inclusion assemblages are consistent with deposition in a UZ environment that experienced prolonged heat input from

  8. Development of 3-D lithostratigraphic and confidence models at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buesch, D.C.; Nelson, J.E.; Dickerson, R.P.; Spengler, R.W.

    1993-01-01

    Computerized three-dimensional geologic models of potential high-level nuclear waste repositories such as Yucca Moutain, Nevada, are important for visualizing the complex interplay of (1) thickness and facies variations in lithostratigraphic units and (2) the disruption of these units by faults. The concept of a 'model of confidence' in the lithostratigraphic model is introduced to show where data are located versus regions where interpolations are included. Models of confidence can be based on (1) expert judgment, (2) geostatistical analysis, or (3) a simplified combination of these two methods. Linking of lithostratigraphic models and models of confidence provide guidelines for future characterization and modeling activities, as well as for design and construction of the Exploratory Studies Facility.

  9. Milestones for Selection Characterization and Analysis of the Performance of a Repository for Spent Nuclear Fuel and HIh-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rechard, Robert P.

    2015-02-01

    This report presents a concise history in tabular form of events leading up to site identification in 1978, site selection in 1987, subsequent characterization, and ongoing analysis throu gh 2009 of the performance of a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high - level radi oactive waste at Yucca Mou ntain in southern Nevada. The tabulated events generally occurred in five periods: (1) commitment to mined geologic disposal and identification of sites; (2) site selection and analysis, based on regional geologic characterization through literature and an alogous data; (3) feasibility analysis demonstrating calculation procedures and importance of system components, based on rough measures of performance using surface exploration, waste process knowledge, and general laboratory experiments; (4) suitability analysis demonstrating viability of disposal system, based on environment - specific laboratory experiments, in - situ experiments, and underground disposal system characterization; and (5) compliance analysis, based on completed site - specific characterization . The current sixth period beyond 2010 represents a new effort to set waste management policy in the United States. Because the relationship is important to understanding the evolution of the Yucca Mountain Project , the tabulation also shows the interaction between the policy realm and technical realm using four broad categories of events : (a ) R egulatory requirements and related federal policy in laws and court decisions, (c ) Presidential and agency directives, (c) technical milestones of implemen ting institutions, and (d ) critiques of the Yucca Mountai n P roject and pertinent national and world events related to nuclear energy and radioactive waste. Preface The historical progression of technical milestones for the Yucca Mountain Project was originally developed for 10 journal articles in a special issue of Reliability Engineering System Safe ty on the performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain

  10. A Transportation Risk Assessment Tool for Analyzing the Transport of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste to the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ralph Best; T. Winnard; S. Ross; R. Best

    2001-08-17

    The Yucca Mountain Transportation Database was developed as a data management tool for assembling and integrating data from multiple sources to compile the potential transportation impacts presented in the Draft 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 (DEIS). The database uses the results from existing models and codes such as RADTRAN, RISKIND, INTERLINE, and HIGHWAY to estimate transportation-related impacts of transporting spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from commercial reactors and U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) facilities to Yucca Mountain. The source tables in the database are compendiums of information from many diverse sources including: radionuclide quantities for each waste type; route and route characteristics for rail, legal-weight truck, heavy haul. truck, and barge transport options; state-specific accident and fatality rates for routes selected for analysis; packaging and shipment data by waste type; unit risk factors; the complex behavior of the packaged waste forms in severe transport accidents; and the effects of exposure to radiation or the isotopic specific effects of radionclides should they be released in severe transportation accidents. The database works together with the codes RADTRAN (Neuhauser, et al, 1994) and RISKlND (Yuan, et al, 1995) to calculate incident-free dose and accident risk. For the incident-free transportation scenario, the database uses RADTRAN and RISKIND-generated data to calculate doses to offlink populations, onlink populations, people at stops, crews, inspectors, workers at intermodal transfer stations, guards at overnight stops, and escorts, as well as non-radioactive pollution health effects. For accident scenarios, the database uses RADTRAN-generated data to calculate dose risks based on ingestion, inhalation, resuspension, immersion (cloudshine), and groundshine as

  11. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended by the Secretary of Energy and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in accordance with the requirements of the Nulcear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of the site characterization plan are oulined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  12. Long-Term Waste Package Degradation Studies at the Yucca Mountain Potential High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mon, K. G.; Bullard, B. E.; Longsine, D. E.; Mehta, S.; Lee, J. H.; Monib, A. M.

    2002-02-26

    The Site Recommendation (SR) process for the potential repository for spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level nuclear waste (HLW) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is underway. Fulfillment of the requirements for substantially complete containment of the radioactive waste emplaced in the potential repository and subsequent slow release of radionuclides from the Engineered Barrier System (EBS) into the geosphere will rely on a robust waste container design, among other EBS components. Part of the SR process involves sensitivity studies aimed at elucidating which model parameters contribute most to the drip shield and waste package degradation characteristics. The model parameters identified included (a) general corrosion rate model parameters (temperature-dependence and uncertainty treatment), and (b) stress corrosion cracking (SCC) model parameters (uncertainty treatment of stress and stress intensity factor profiles in the Alloy 22 waste package outer barrier closure weld regions, the SCC initiation stress threshold, and the fraction of manufacturing flaws oriented favorably for through-wall penetration by SCC). These model parameters were reevaluated and new distributions were generated. Also, early waste package failures due to improper heat treatment were added to the waste package degradation model. The results of these investigations indicate that the waste package failure profiles are governed by the manufacturing flaw orientation model parameters and models used.

  13. Proposed stratigraphic nomenclature and macroscopic identification of lithostratigraphic units of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buesch, D.C.; Spengler, R.W.; Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.

    1996-09-01

    This paper describes the formations of the Paintbrush Group exposed at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, presents a detailed stratigraphic nomenclature for the Tiva Canyon and Topopah spring Tuffs, and discusses the criteria that define lithostratigraphic units. The Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring Tuffs are divided into zones, subzones, and intervals on the basis of macroscopic features observed in surface exposures and borehole samples. Primary divisions reflect depositional and compositional zoning that is expressed by variations in crystal content, phenocryst assemblage, pumice content and composition, and lithic content. Secondary divisions define welding and crystlalization zones, depositional features, or fracture characteristics. Both formations are divided into crystal-rich and crystal-poor members that have an identical sequency of zones, although subzone designations vary slightly between the two units. The identified lithostratigraphic divisions can be used to approximate thermal-mechanical and hydrogeologic boundaries in the field. Linking these three systems of nomenclature provides a framework within which to correlate these properties through regions of sparse data.

  14. Annual report on paleoclimate studies for the Yucca Mountain project site characterization conducted by the Desert Research Institute

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    The prospect that Yucca Mountain may become a repository for high-level radionuclides with especially long half-lives means that the intended waste containment area must be well beyond the reach of the hydrologic system for at least ten millennia. Through the integration of several avenues of paleoclimatic proxy data, the authors intend to arrive at definite conclusions regarding rates of change, and extremes and stabilities of past climate regimes. These will in turn lead to rough estimates of: the amounts of rainfall available for recharge during past periods of effectively wetter climate, and the durations and frequencies of recharge periods. The paper gives summaries of the following studies: Late Quaternary and Holocene climate derived from vegetation history and plant cellulose stable isotope records from the Great basin of western North America; Accomplishments of paleofaunal studies, 1993--1994; Geomorphology studies in the Great Basin; Alluvial fan response to climatic change, Buena Vista Valley, central Nevada; Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and chronology of lacustrine deposition in the Fernley Basin, west-central Nevada; Tree-rings, lake chronologies, alluvial sequences and climate--Implications for Great Basin paleoenvironmental studies; Stable isotopic validation studies--Fossil snails; and Late Pleistocene and Holocene eolian activity in the Mojave Desert.

  15. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Progress report number 17, April 1, 1997--September 30, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-04-01

    The US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), created with the enactment of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), is tasked to accept and dispose of the nation`s high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel in a deep geologic repository (high-level radioactive waste program). The report summarizes significant site characterization activities during the period from April 1, 1997 through September 30, 1997, in the evaluation of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for the geologic disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive wastes. The progress report also cites technical reports and research products that provide the detailed information on these activities. Chapter 2 outlines technical and regulatory issues that must be addressed by the Project and planned work toward achieving future objectives concerning the viability assessment, the environmental impact statement, the site recommendation, and the license application. Chapter 3 describes technical progress in preclosure radiological safety analysis, postclosure performance assessment, and performance confirmation activities. Chapter 4 describes various aspects of repository and waste package design and construction. It also discusses the Exploration Studies Facility cross drift. Chapter 5 describes site characterization activities, and Chapter 6 contains a complete list of references.

  16. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 6

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  17. Robotics Scoping Study to Evaluate Advances in Robotics Technologies that Support Enhanced Efficiencies for Yucca Mountain Repository Operations

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T. Burgess; M. Noakes; P. Spampinato

    2005-03-17

    This paper presents an evaluation of robotics and remote handling technologies that have the potential to increase the efficiency of handling waste packages at the proposed Yucca Mountain High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository. It is expected that increased efficiency will reduce the cost of operations. The goal of this work was to identify technologies for consideration as potential projects that the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, Office of Science and Technology International Programs, could support in the near future, and to assess their ''payback'' value. The evaluation took into account the robotics and remote handling capabilities planned for incorporation into the current baseline design for the repository, for both surface and subsurface operations. The evaluation, completed at the end of fiscal year 2004, identified where significant advantages in operating efficiencies could accrue by implementing any given robotics technology or approach, and included a road map for a multiyear R&D program for improvements to remote handling technology that support operating enhancements.

  18. Applications of isotope geochemistry to the reconstruction of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, paleohydrology -- Status of investigations: June 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.; Allerton, S.B.M.; Marshall, B.D.

    1998-11-01

    Tunneling of the Exploratory Studies Facility has offered the opportunity to sample and examine occurrences of secondary mineralization found in the unsaturated-zone tuffs of Yucca Mountain, nevada. Petrographic and paragenetic analyses, calcite and silica-phase stable isotopic analyses, and preliminary strontium tracer isotope and radiocarbon age analyses of these samples indicate that (1) an early stage of secondary mineralization consisting largely of chalcedony and quartz, but possibly with or slightly preceded by calcite, probably formed at warmer than ambient temperatures; (2) later secondary mineralization consisting of calcite and opal appears completely consistent with formation from percolation of surface infiltration whose solute load and carbon isotopic compositions reflect passage through the overlying soils; (3) based on textural studies, all unsaturated-zone secondary mineral occurrences exposed within the Exploratory Studies Facility tunnel, with the exception of the vapor-phase assemblages that formed at high temperatures during cooling of the tuffs, probably formed in unsaturated settings; and (4) calcite radiocarbon ages, based on preliminary results, have not been compromised by post-depositional exchange with carbon-bearing water and gases in the unsaturated zone.

  19. Initial field testing definition of subsurface sealing and backfilling tests in unsaturated tuff; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandez, J.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Case, J.B.; Tyburski, J.R. [I. T. Corp., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-05-01

    This report contains an initial definition of the field tests proposed for the Yucca Mountain Project repository sealing program. The tests are intended to resolve various performance and emplacement concerns. Examples of concerns to be addressed include achieving selected hydrologic and structural requirements for seals, removing portions of the shaft liner, excavating keyways, emplacing cementitious and earthen seals, reducing the impact of fines on the hydraulic conductivity of fractures, efficient grouting of fracture zones, sealing of exploratory boreholes, and controlling the flow of water by using engineered designs. Ten discrete tests are proposed to address these and other concerns. These tests are divided into two groups: Seal component tests and performance confirmation tests. The seal component tests are thorough small-scale in situ tests, the intermediate-scale borehole seal tests, the fracture grouting tests, the surface backfill tests, and the grouted rock mass tests. The seal system tests are the seepage control tests, the backfill tests, the bulkhead test in the Calico Hills unit, the large-scale shaft seal and shaft fill tests, and the remote borehole sealing tests. The tests are proposed to be performed in six discrete areas, including welded and non-welded environments, primarily located outside the potential repository area. The final selection of sealing tests will depend on the nature of the geologic and hydrologic conditions encountered during the development of the Exploratory Studies Facility and detailed numerical analyses. Tests are likely to be performed both before and after License Application.

  20. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Neavada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package;and to present the plans for obtaining hte geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare and environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  1. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended and approved by the President for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site; to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package; and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstate the suitability of the site for a repository, to desin the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and developing a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next; it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing principles, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed.

  2. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada: Consultation draft, Nuclear Waste Policy Act: Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is one of three candidate sites for the first geologic repository for radioactive waste. On May 28, 1986, it was recommended for detailed study in a program of site characterization. This site characterization plan (SCP) has been prepared in acordance with the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to summarize the information collected to date about the geologic conditions at the site;to describe the conceptual designs for the repository and the waste package and to present the plans for obtaining the geologic information necessary to demonstrate the suitability of the site for a repository, to design the repository and the waste package, to prepare an environmental impact statement, and to obtain from the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) an authorization to construct the repository. This introduction begins with a brief section on the process for siting and eveloping a repository, followed by a discussion of the pertinent legislation and regulations. A description of site characterization is presented next;it describes the facilities to be constructed for the site characterization program and explains the principal activities to be conducted during the program. Finally, the purpose, content, organizing prinicples, and organization of this site characterization plan are outlined, and compliance with applicable regulations is discussed. 880 refs., 130 figs., 25 tabs.

  3. Use of One-On Analysis to Evaluate Total System Performance of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G.J. Saulnier, Jr.; K.P. Lee; S. Mehta; S.D. Sevougian; D. Kalinich; J.A. McNeish

    2002-09-12

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is currently evaluating the future performance of the proposed U.S. high-level nuclear waste repository. Using the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model, a stylized analysis was conducted to evaluate the relative importance of natural and engineered barriers to movement of radionuclides from the proposed repository. These stylized ''one-on'' analyses consist of sequentially adding features, components, and processes, associated with the natural and engineered barriers, incorporated within the TSPA model and evaluating the effect of these elements on repository performance, as measured by the total mean annual dose to a reasonably maximally exposed individual. The analyses are ''stylized'' in the sense that they are performed to gain insight only. They are not meant to represent a real physical system in most cases, and in some cases allow the TSPA model to simulate results using parameter ranges outside the normal bounds of the TSPA model. In particular, the analyses provide insight into the relative contributions of repository features and processes in a way that is not possible using the full TSPA performance-assessment model. For example, in the nominal scenario of the TSPA model, the contribution of the natural system is masked by the contribution of the engineered system.

  4. Method development and strategy for the characterization of complexly faulted and fractured rhyolitic tuffs, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Karasaki, K. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States); Galloway, D. [Geological Survey, Sacramento, CA (United States)

    1991-06-01

    The planned high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would exist in unsaturated, fractured welded tuff. One possible contaminant pathway to the accessible environment is transport by groundwater infiltrating to the water table and flowing through the saturated zone. Therefore, an effort to characterize the hydrology of the saturated zone is being undertaken in parallel with that of the unsaturated zone. As a part of the saturated zone investigation, there wells-UE-25c{number_sign}1, UE-25c{number_sign}2, and UE-25c{number_sign}3 (hereafter called the c-holes)-were drilled to study hydraulic and transport properties of rock formations underlying the planned waste repository. The location of the c-holes is such that the formations penetrated in the unsaturated zone occur at similar depths and with similar thicknesses as at the planned repository site. In characterizing a highly heterogeneous flow system, several issues emerge. (1) The characterization strategy should allow for the virtual impossibility to enumerate and characterize all heterogeneities. (2) The methodology to characterize the heterogeneous flow system at the scale of the well tests needs to be established. (3) Tools need to be developed for scaling up the information obtained at the well-test scale to the larger scale of the site. In the present paper, the characterization strategy and the methods under development are discussed with the focus on the design and analysis of the field experiments at the c-holes.

  5. Effects of the deviation characteristics of nuclear waste emplacement boreholes on borehole liner stresses; Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glowka, D.A.

    1990-09-01

    This report investigates the effects of borehole deviation on the useability of lined boreholes for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste at the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository in Nevada. Items that lead to constraints on borehole deviation include excessive stresses that could cause liner failure and possible binding of a waste container inside the liner during waste emplacement and retrieval operations. Liner stress models are developed for two general borehole configurations, one for boreholes drilled with a steerable bit and one for boreholes drilled with a non-steerable bit. Procedures are developed for calculating liner stresses that arise both during insertion of the liner into a borehole and during the thermal expansion process that follows waste emplacement. The effects of borehole curvature on the ability of the waste container to pass freely inside the liner without binding are also examined. Based on the results, specifications on borehole deviation allowances are developed for specific vertical and horizontal borehole configurations of current interest. 11 refs., 22 figs., 4 tabs.

  6. Preserved Ross-age(?) root beneath the Transantarctic Mountains and origin of the thinner crust beneath the northern Wilkes Subglacial Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Tom; Ferraccioli, Fausto; Armadillo, Egidio; Bozzo, Emanuele

    2013-04-01

    The Wilkes Subglacial Basin, in the hinterland of the Transantarctic Mountains, represents one of the least understood continental-scale features in Antarctica. Aeromagnetic data suggests that this basin was imposed on a much earlier Ross age back arc region that developed along the former active margin of the East Antarctic Craton (Ferraccioli et al., 2009, Tectonophysics). However, the deeper crustal structure of the basin and its relation with tectonic evolution remains both disputed and poorly constrained. Here, we present new airborne gravity data that reveal the crustal architecture of the northern Wilkes Subglacial Basin. Our gravity models indicate that the crust under the northern Wilkes Subglacial Basin is likely to be 30-35 km thick, i.e. 5-10 km thinner than imaged under the adjacent Transantarctic Mountains, and ~15 km thinner than predicted from some previous flexural and passive seismic models beneath the southern Wilkes Subglacial Basin region. We infer that crustal thickening under northern Victoria Land reflects Ross-age (ca 500 Ma) orogenic events and accretion, followed by partial preservation of the orogenic root since then, as opposed to reflecting the edge of a Mesozoic plateau, which has previously been inferred to have occupied West Antarctica (Bialas et al. 2007, Geology). Airy isostatic anomalies along both flanks of the Wilkes Basin reveal major inherited tectonic structures, which likely controlled the basin location and hence support aeromagnetic interpretations of the Wilkes Subglacial Basin as a structurally controlled basin. The positive anomaly along the western margin of the basin appears to define the tectonic boundary between the East Antarctic Craton and the Ross Orogen, and the anomaly along its eastern flank is interpreted as reflecting high-grade and denser rocks of the central Wilson Terran,e with respect to lower grade meta-sediments and magmatic arc rocks of the western Wilson Terrane and Wilkes Basin region. Our forward

  7. Stratigraphy, structure, and some petrographic features of Tertiary volcanic rocks in the USW G-2 drill hole, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maldonado, Florian; Koether, S.L.

    1983-01-01

    A continuously cored drill hole designated as USW G-2, located at Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada, penetrated 1830.6 m of Tertiary volcanic strata composed of abundant silicic ash-flow tuffs, minor lava and flow breccias, and subordinate volcaniclastic rocks. The volcanic strata penetrated are comprised of the following in descending order: Paintbrush Tuff (Tiva Canyon Member, Yucca Mountain Member, bedded tuff, Pah Canyon Member, and Topopah Spring Member), tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills, Crater Flat Tuff (Prow Pass Member, Bullfrog Member, and Tram unit), lava and flow breccia (rhyodacitic), tuff of Lithic Ridge, bedded and ash-flow tuff, lava and flow breccia (rhyolitic, quartz latitic, and dacitic), bedded tuff, conglomerate and ash-flow tuff, and older tuffs of USW G-2. Comparison of unit thicknesses at USW G-2 to unit thicknesses at previously drilled holes at Yucca Mountain indicate the following: (1) thickening of the Paintbrush Tuff members and tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills toward the northern part of Yucca Mountain; (2) thickening of the Prow Pass Member but thinning of the Bullfrog Member and Tram unit; (3) thinning of the tuff of Lithic Ridge; (4) presence of approximately 280 m of lava and flow breccia not previously penetrated by any drill hole; and (5) presence of an ash-flow tuff unit at the bottom of the drill hole not previously intersected, apparently the oldest unit penetrated at Yucca Mountain to date. Petrographic features of some of the units include: (1) decrease in quartz and K-feldspar and increases in biotite and plagioclase with depth in the tuffaceous beds of Calico Hills; (2) an increase in quartz phenocrysts from the top to the bottom members of the Crater Flat Tuff; (3) a low quartz content in the tuff of Lithic Ridge, suggesting tapping of the magma chamber at quartz-poor levels; (4) a change in zeolitic alteration from heulandite to clinoptilolite to mordenite with increasing depth; (5) lavas characterized by a rhyolitic

  8. Response to"Analysis of the Treatment, by the U.S. Department of Energy, of the FEP Hydrothermal Activity in the Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment" by Yuri Dublyansky

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Houseworth, J.E.; Hardin, E.

    2008-11-17

    This paper presents a rebuttal to Dublyansky (2007), which misrepresents technical issues associated with hydrothermal activity at the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and their importance to the long-term performance of the repository. In this paper, questions associated with hydrothermal activity are reviewed and the justification for exclusion of hydrothermal activity from performance assessment is presented. The hypothesis that hydrothermal upwelling into the present-day unsaturated zone has occurred at Yucca Mountain is refuted by the unambiguous evidence that secondary minerals and fluid inclusions in the unsaturated zone formed in an unsaturated environment from downward percolating meteoric waters. The thermal history at Yucca Mountain, inferred from fluid inclusion and isotopic data, is explained in terms of the tectonic extensional environment and associated silicic magmatism. The waning of tectonic extension over millions of years has led to the present-day heat flux in the Yucca Mountain region that is below average for the Great Basin. The long time scales of tectonic processes are such that any effects of a resumption of extension or silicic magmatism on hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain over the 10,000-year regulatory period would be negligible. The conclusion that hydrothermal activity was incorrectly excluded from performance assessment as asserted in Dublyansky (2007) is contradicted by the available technical and regulatory information.

  9. Geothermal areas as analogues to chemical processes in the near-field and altered zone of the potential Yucca Mountain, Nevada repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bruton, C.J.; Glassley, W.E.; Meike, A.

    1995-02-01

    The need to bound system performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository for thousands of years after emplacement of high-level nuclear waste requires the use of computer codes. The use of such codes to produce reliable bounds over such long time periods must be tested using long-lived natural and historical systems as analogues. The geothermal systems of the Taupo Volcanic Zone (TVZ) in New Zealand were selected as the site most amenable to study. The rocks of the TVZ are silicic volcanics that are similar in composition to Yucca Mountain. The area has been subjected to temperatures of 25 to 300 C which have produced a variety of secondary minerals similar to those anticipated at Yucca Mountain. The availability of rocks, fluids and fabricated materials for sampling is excellent because of widespread exploitation of the systems for geothermal power. Current work has focused on testing the ability of the EQ3/6 code and thermodynamic data base to describe mineral-fluid relations at elevated temperatures. Welfare starting long-term dissolution/corrosion tests of rocks, minerals and manufactured materials in natural thermal features in order to compare laboratory rates with field-derived rates. Available field data on rates of silica precipitation from heated fluids have been analyzed and compared to laboratory rates. New sets of precipitation experiments are being planned. The microbially influenced degradation of concrete in the Broadlands-Ohaaki geothermal field is being characterized. The authors will continue to work on these projects in FY 1996 and expand to include the study of naturally occurring uranium and thorium series radionuclides, as a prelude to studying radionuclide migration in heated silicic volcanic rocks. 32 refs.

  10. Precision and accuracy of manual water-level measurements taken in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, 1988-90

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boucher, M.S.

    1994-01-01

    Water-level measurements have been made in deep boreholes in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, since 1983 in support of the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project, which is an evaluation of the area to determine its suitability as a potential storage area for high-level nuclear waste. Water-level measurements were taken either manually, using various water-level measuring equipment such as steel tapes, or they were taken continuously, using automated data recorders and pressure transducers. This report presents precision range and accuracy data established for manual water-level measurements taken in the Yucca Mountain area, 1988-90. Precision and accuracy ranges were determined for all phases of the water-level measuring process, and overall accuracy ranges are presented. Precision ranges were determined for three steel tapes using a total of 462 data points. Mean precision ranges of these three tapes ranged from 0.014 foot to 0.026 foot. A mean precision range of 0.093 foot was calculated for the multiconductor cable, using 72 data points. Mean accuracy values were calculated on the basis of calibrations of the steel tapes and the multiconductor cable against a reference steel tape. The mean accuracy values of the steel tapes ranged from 0.053 foot, based on three data points to 0.078, foot based on six data points. The mean accuracy of the multiconductor cable was O. 15 foot, based on six data points. Overall accuracy of the water-level measurements was calculated by taking the square root of the sum of the squares of the individual accuracy values. Overall accuracy was calculated to be 0.36 foot for water-level measurements taken with steel tapes, without accounting for the inaccuracy of borehole deviations from vertical. An overall accuracy of 0.36 foot for measurements made with steel tapes is considered satisfactory for this project.

  11. Geomorphic characterization of the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan, Nye County, Nevada, in support of the Yucca Mountain Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cline, M.; Delong, S.; Pelletier, J.

    2005-12-01

    In the event of an unlikely volcanic eruption through the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, contaminated ash may be deposited in portions of the Fortymile Wash drainage basin and subsequently redistributed to the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan by fluvial processes. Characterization of the Fortymile Wash alluvial fan has been undertaken as part of an effort to quantify the transport of contaminated ash throughout the fluvial system, especially to define the spatial distribution of fluvial activity over time scales of repository operation, and the rates of radionuclide migration into different soils on the fan. The Fortymile Wash alluvial fan consists of extremely low relief terraces as old as 70 ka. By conducting soils-geomorphic mapping and correlating relative surface ages with available geochronology from the Fortymile Wash fan and adjacent piedmonts, we identified 4 distinct surfaces on the fan. Surface ages are used to predict the relative stability of different areas of the fan to fluvial activity. Pleistocene-aged surfaces are assumed to be fluvially inactive over the 10 kyr time scale, for example. Our mapping and correlation provides a map of the depozone for contaminated ash that takes into account long-term channel migration for the time scales of repository operation, and it provides a geomorphic framework for predicting radionuclide dispersion rates into different soils across the fan. The standard model for vertical migration of radionuclides in soil is diffusion; therefore we used diffusion profiles derived from 137Cs fallout to determine radionuclide infiltration rates on the various geomorphic surfaces. The results show a strong inverse correlation of the geomorphic surface age and diffusivity values inferred from the 137Cs profiles collected on the different surfaces of the fan.

  12. Evaluation of Groundwater Pathways and Travel Times From the Nevada Test Site to the Potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pohlmann, K. F.; Zhu, J.; Ye, M.; Carroll, R. W.; Chapman, J. B.; Russell, C. E.; Shafer, D. S.

    2006-12-01

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada has been recommended as a deep geological repository for the disposal of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If YM is licensed as a repository by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, it will be important to identify the potential for radionuclides to migrate from underground nuclear testing areas located on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to the hydraulically downgradient repository area to ensure that monitoring does not incorrectly attribute repository failure to radionuclides originating from other sources. In this study, we use the Death Valley Regional Flow System (DVRFS) model developed by the U.S. Geological Survey to investigate potential groundwater migration pathways and associated travel times from the NTS to the proposed YM repository area. Using results from the calibrated DVRFS model and the particle tracking post-processing package MODPATH we modeled three-dimensional groundwater advective pathways in the NTS and YM region. Our study focuses on evaluating the potential for groundwater pathways between the NTS and YM withdrawal area and whether travel times for advective flow along these pathways coincide with the prospective monitoring time frame at the proposed repository. We include uncertainty in effective porosity as this is a critical variable in the determination of time for radionuclides to travel from the NTS region to the YM withdrawal area. Uncertainty in porosity is quantified through evaluation of existing site data and expert judgment and is incorporated in the model through Monte Carlo simulation. Since porosity information is limited for this region, the uncertainty is quite large and this is reflected in the results as a large range in simulated groundwater travel times.

  13. Data Qualification Report: Flow Meter Survey Data From Borehole UE-25c#3 For Use On The Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Wilson

    2001-02-28

    This Data Qualification Report uses corroborating data methods according to Attachment 2 of AP-SIII.2Q, Rev. 00, ICN 3, ''Qualification of Unqualified Data and the Documentation of Rationale for Accepted Data'', to qualify flowing interval data from a borehole spinner log. This report was prepared in accordance with Data Qualification Plan DQP-NBS-GS-000005, Rev. 00. These data were collected under the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Quality Assurance Requirements and Description (QARD) document but are unqualified because unqualified software was used in data reduction. The unqualified flow log was run in Borehole UE-25c No.3 in 1995. Corroborative evidence is available from independent flow logs run in the same borehole in 1984 by an earlier investigator. This corroborative support is unusually strong because it represents a second measurement of the same data. The corroborating data agree well with the data being qualified and support the adequacy of the data. The unqualified software, the TERRASTATION code by Terrasciences Inc., is widely used and accepted by the technical community for non-project applications. The widespread acceptance of the software further supports the adequacy of the data. In view of the evidence provided by the corroborating data and general acceptance of the software, the Data Qualification Team has concluded that the flowing interval data considered in this report are adequate for generalized use. These data are qualified for use by the YMP 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.

  14. Preliminary development of the LBL/USGS three-dimensional site-scale model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    1995-01-01

    A three-dimensional model of moisture flow within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being developed at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) in cooperation with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). This site-scale model covers and area of about 34 km2 and is bounded by major faults to the north, east and west. The model geometry is defined (1) to represent the variations of hydrogeological units between the ground surface and the water table; (2) to be able to reproduce the effect of abrupt changes in hydrogeological parameters at the boundaries between hyrdogeological units; and (3) to include the influence of major faults. A detailed numerical grid has been developed based on the locations of boreholes, different infiltration zones, hydrogeological units and their outcrops, major faults, and water level data. Contour maps and isopatch maps are presented defining different types of infiltration zones, and the spatial distribution of Tiva Canyon, Paintbrush, and Topopah Spring hydrogeological units. The grid geometry consists of seventeen non-uniform layers which represent the lithological variations within the four main welded and non-welded hydrogeological units. Matrix flow is approximated using the van Genuchten model, and the equivalent continuum approximation is used to account for fracture flow in the welded units. The fault zones are explicitly modeled as porous medium using various assumptions regarding their permeabilities and characteristic curves. One-, two-, and three-dimensional simulations are conducted using the TOUGH2 computer program. Steady-state simulations are performed with various uniform and non-uniform infiltration rates. The results are interpreted in terms of the effect of fault characteristics on the moisture flow distribution, and on location and formation of preferential pathways.

  15. Methodology used for total system performance assessment of the potential nuclear waste repository at yucca mountain (USA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Devonec, E.; Sevougian, S.D.; Mattie, P.D.; Mcneish, J.A. [Duke Engineering and Services, Town Center Drive, Las Vegas (United States); Mishra, S. [Duke Engineering and Services, Austin, TX (United States)

    2001-07-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors are currently evaluating a site in Nevada (Yucca Mountain) for disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. commercial nuclear plants and U.S. government-owned facilities. The suitability of the potential geologic repository is assessed, based on its performance in isolating the nuclear waste from the environment. Experimental data and models representing the natural and engineered barriers are combined into a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model. Because of the uncertainty in the current data and in the future evolution of the total system, simulations follow a probabilistic approach. Multiple realization simulations using Monte Carlo analysis are conducted over time periods of up to one million years, which estimates a range of possible behaviors of the repository. In addition to the nominal scenario, other exposure scenarios include the possibility of disruptive events such as volcanic eruption or intrusion, or accidental human intrusion. Sensitivity to key uncertain processes is analyzed. The influence of stochastic variables on the TSPA model output is assessed by ''uncertainty importance analysis'', e.g., regression analysis and classification tree analysis. Further investigation of the impact of parameters and assumptions is conducted through ''one-off analysis'', which consists in fixing a parameter at a particular value, using an alternative conceptual model, or in making a different assumption. Finally, robustness analysis evaluates the performance of the repository when various natural or engineered barriers are assumed to be degraded. The objective of these analyses is to evaluate the performance of the potential repository system under conditions ranging from expected to highly unlikely, though physically possible conditions. (author)

  16. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 5: Costs to Construct and Operate the Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

    This volume presents a management summary of the cost estimate to complete the design, and to license, construct, operate, monitor, close, and decommission a Monitored Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. This volume summarizes the scope, estimating methodologies, and assumptions used in development of the Monitored Geologic Repository-VA cost estimate. It identifies the key features necessary to understand the summary costs presented herein. This cost summary derives from a larger body of documented cost analysis. Volume 5 is organized to reflect this structured approach to cost estimation and contains the following sections: Section 1, Cost Elements. This section briefly defines the components of each major repository cost element. Section 2, Project Phases. This section presents the definition, as used in the estimate, of five project phases (Licensing, Pre-emplacement Construction, Emplacement Operations, Monitoring, and Closure and Decommissioning) and the schedule dates for each phase. It also contains major milestone dates and a bar chart schedule. Section 3, Major Assumptions. This section identifies key high-level assumptions for the cost estimate basis. Additional detailed assumptions are included in the appendices. Section 4, Integrated Cost Summary. This section presents a high-level roll-up of the VA costs resulting from the estimating work. The tables and figures contained in this section were compiled from the more detailed cost estimates in the appendices. Section 5, References. This section identifies the references that support this cost volume. Appendices. For each major repository cost element, Appendices B-F [B, C, D, E, F] presents additional information on the scope of cost elements, identifies methodologies used to develop the cost estimates, lists underlying cost assumptions, and tabulates summary results. Appendix A contains a glossary to assist the reader in understanding the terminology in Volume 5. Appendix G presents costs

  17. Selection of candidate container materials for the conceptual waste package design for a potential high level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.; Halsey, W.G.; McCright, R.D.; Clarke, W.L. Jr. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Gdowski, G.E. [KMI, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1993-02-01

    Preliminary selection criteria have been developed, peer-reviewed, and applied to a field of 41 candidate materials to choose three alloys for further consideration during the advanced conceptual design phase of waste package development for a potential high level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These three alloys are titanium grade 12, Alloy C-4, and Alloy 825. These selections are specific to the particular conceptual design outlined in the Site Characterization Plan. Other design concepts that may be considered in the advanced conceptual design phase may favor other materials choices.

  18. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1990--September 30, 1990, Number 3; Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 113)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1991-03-01

    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.

  19. Research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated, fractured rock; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glass, R.J.; Tidwell, V.C.

    1991-09-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project, our research program to develop and validate conceptual models for flow and transport through unsaturated fractured rock integrates fundamental physical experimentation with conceptual model formulation and mathematical modeling. Our research is directed toward developing and validating macroscopic, continuum-based models and supporting effective property models because of their widespread utility within the context of this project. Success relative to the development and validation of effective property models is predicted on a firm understanding of the basic physics governing flow through fractured media, specifically in the areas of unsaturated flow and transport in a single fracture and fracture-matrix interaction.

  20. Characterization of materials for a reactive transport model validation experiment: Interim report on the caisson experiment. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Siegel, M.D.; Cheng, W.C. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Ward, D.B.; Bryan, C.R. [Univ. of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States). Dept. of Earth and Planetary Sciences

    1995-08-01

    Models used in performance assessment and site characterization activities related to nuclear waste disposal rely on simplified representations of solute/rock interactions, hydrologic flow field and the material properties of the rock layers surrounding the repository. A crucial element in the design of these models is the validity of these simplifying assumptions. An intermediate-scale experiment is being carried out at the Experimental Engineered Test Facility at Los Alamos Laboratory by the Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories to develop a strategy to validate key geochemical and hydrological assumptions in performance assessment models used by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project.

  1. Crustal and upper-mantle structure beneath the western Atlas Mountains in SW Morocco derived from receiver functions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spieker, Kathrin; Wölbern, Ingo; Thomas, Christine; Harnafi, Mimoun; El Moudnib, Lahcen

    2014-09-01

    The High Atlas and the Anti Atlas are fold-belts linked to former and still ongoing continent-continent collisions. Despite their high elevation, studies indicate a lack of a deep crustal root (Morocco to analyse teleseismic P- and S-wave receiver functions. Our study yields a crustal thickness ranging from 24 km near the Atlantic coast to 44 km beneath the High Atlas with an average crustal Vp/Vs ratio of 1.77 in the entire region. A crustal thickness of 40 km cannot entirely support the topography in this region. Furthermore, we find the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary at ˜80 km depth. The lithosphere beneath SW Morocco is thinner than beneath northern Morocco (>150 km). This lithospheric thinning supports the theory of thermal compensation of the mountain ranges. The mantle transition zone thickness amounts to 240 ± 10 km. The transition zone seems to be slightly thinned which might indicate a higher mantle temperature in this region.

  2. Geotechnical characterization of the North Ramp of the Exploratory Studies Facility: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 2, NRG corehole data appendices

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E. [Agapito Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Kessel, D.S. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1995-05-01

    This report presents the results of the geological and geotechnical characterization of the Miocene volcanic tuff rocks of the Timber Mountain and Paintbrush groups that the tunnel boring machine will encounter during excavations of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) North Ramp. The information in this report was developed to support the design of the ESF North Ramp. The ESF is being constructed by the DOE as part of the Yucca Mountain Project site characterization activities. The purpose of these activities is to evaluate the potential to locate the national high-level nuclear waste repository on land within and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS), Nye County, Nevada. This report was prepared as part of the Soil and Rock Properties Studies in accordance with the 8.3.1.14.2 Study Plan to Provide Soil and Rock Properties. This is volume 2 which contains NRG Corehole Data for each of the NRG Holes.

  3. Final Systems Development Report for the Clark County Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of the Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-18

    The Systems Development Report represents the third major step in the Clark County Socioeconomic Impact Assessment of the Proposed High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mound Nevada. The first of these steps was to forge a Research Design that would serve as a guide for the overall research process. The second step was the construction of the Base Case, the purpose of which was to describe existing conditions in Clark County in the specified analytic areas of Economic-Demographic/Fiscal, Emergency Planning and Management, Transportation and Sociocultural analysis. The base case description will serve as a basis for assessing changes in these topic areas that might result from the Yucca Mountain project. These changes will be assessed by analyzing conditions with and without repository development in the county. Prior to performing such assessments, however, the snapshot type of data found in the base case must be operationalized or systematized to allow for more dynamic data utilization. In other words, a data system that can be used to analyze the consequences of the introduction of different variables (or variable values) in the Clark County context must be constructed. Such a system must be capable of being updated through subsequent data collection and monitoring efforts to both provide a rolling base case and supply information necessary to construct trend analyses. For example, during the Impact Assessment phase of the study process, the without repository analysis is accomplished by analyzing growth for the county given existing conditions and likely trends. These data are then compared to the with Yucca Mountain project conditions anticipated for the county. Similarly, once the emergency planning management and response needs associated with the repository are described, these needs will be juxtaposed against existing (and various future) capacity(ies) in order to determine the nature and magnitude of impacts in this analytic area. Analogous tasks

  4. Selected hydrologic data from Fortymile Wash in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, water year 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S.

    1995-02-01

    Precipitation totals of 245 and 210 mm were measured at UE-29 UZN {number_sign}91 and UE-29 UZN {number_sign}92 respectively, during the 1992 water year, October 1, 1991 to September 30, 1992. Approximately ninety percent of the precipitation fell during the period December 27 to April 2. Localized streamflow was generated in the Fortymile Wash drainage basin during the February 12-15, 1992 and March 31, 1992 precipitation, and infiltrated into the streambed materials. The streamflow went across the UE-29 UZN {number_sign}91 neutron-access borehole location and within several meters of the UE-29 UZN {number_sign}92 location. Neutron logging in these boreholes showed increases in the volumetric water content of the unsaturated alluvium and indicated streamflow infiltrated to a depth of approximately 5 meters. The volumetric water content in the upper 5 meters then gradually decreased during the remaining part of the water year. Ground-water levels rose over one meter in wells UE-29 a{number_sign}1 and UE-29 a{number_sign}2, and one-half meter in neutron-access borehole LJE-29 UZN {number_sign}91 following the streamflows. Water level declines of 0.5 meter in UE-29 a{number_sign}1 and rises of 0.2 meter in UE-29 a{number_sign}2 and 0.1 meter in UE-29 UZN {number_sign}91 coincided with a June 29, 1992 earthquake at the Little Skull Mountain, located approximately 27 kilometers southeast of the wells.

  5. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1994--March 31, 1995, Number 12. Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 113)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    During the first half of fiscal year 1995, most activities at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project were directed at implementing the Program Plan developed by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Plan is designed to enable the Office to make measurable and significant progress toward key objectives over the next five years within the financial resources that can be realistically expected. Activities this period focused on the immediate goal of determining by 1998 whether Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is technically suitable as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Work on the Project advanced in several critical areas, including programmatic activities such as issuing the Program Plan, completing the first technical basis report to support the assessment of three 10 CFR 960 guidelines, developing the Notice of Intent for the Environmental Impact Statement, submitting the License Application Annotated Outline, and beginning a rebaselining effort to conform with the goals of the Program Plan. Scientific investigation and analysis of the site and design and construction activities to support the evaluation of the technical suitability of the site also advanced. Specific details relating to all Project activities and reports generated are presented in this report.

  6. Data Qualification Report: Calculated Porosity and Porosity-Derived Values for Lithostratigraphic Units for use on the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. Sanchez

    2001-05-30

    The qualification is being completed in accordance with the Data Qualification Plan DQP-NBS-GS-000006, Rev. 00 (CRWMS M&O 2001). The purpose of this data qualification activity is to evaluate for qualification the unqualified developed input and porosity output included in Data Tracking Number (DTN) M09910POROCALC.000. The main output of the analyses documented in DTN M09910POROCALC.000 is the calculated total porosity and effective porosity for 40 Yucca Mountain Project boreholes. The porosity data are used as input to Analysis Model Report (AMR) 10040, ''Rock Properties Model'' (MDL-NBS-GS-000004, Rev. 00), Interim Change Notice [ICN] 02 (CRWMS M&O 2000b). The output from the rock properties model is used as input to numerical physical-process modeling within the context of a relationship developed in the AMR between hydraulic conductivity, bound water and zeolitic zones for use in the unsaturated zone model. In accordance with procedure AP-3.15Q, the porosity output is not used in the direct calculation of Principal Factors for post-closure safety or disruptive events. The original source for DTN M09910POROCALC.000 is a Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System (CRWMS) Management and Operating Contractor (M&O) report, ''Combined Porosity from Geophysical Logs'' (CRWMS M&O 1999a and hereafter referred to as Rael 1999). That report recalculated porosity results for both the historical boreholes covered in Nelson (1996), and the modern boreholes reported in CRWMS M&O (1996a,b). The porosity computations in Rael (1999) are based on density-porosity mathematical relationships requiring various input parameters, including bulk density, matrix density and air and/or fluid density and volumetric water content. The main output is computed total porosity and effective porosity reported on a foot-by-foot basis for each borehole, although volumetric water content is derived from neutron data as an interim output. This qualification

  7. Methodology Used for Total System Performance Assessment of the Potential Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain (USA)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    E. Devibec; S.D. Sevougian; P.D. Mattie; J.A. McNeish; S. Mishra

    2001-03-15

    The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors are currently evaluating a site in Nevada (Yucca Mountain) for disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. commercial nuclear plants and U.S. government-owned facilities. The suitability of the potential geologic repository is assessed, based on its performance in isolating the nuclear waste from the environment. Experimental data and models representing the natural and engineered barriers are combined into a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model [1]. Process models included in the TSPA model are unsaturated zone flow and transport, thermal hydrology, in-drift geochemistry, waste package degradation, waste form degradation, engineered barrier system transport, saturated zone flow and transport, and biosphere transport. Because of the uncertainty in the current data and in the future evolution of the total system, simulations follow a probabilistic approach. Multiple realization simulations using Monte Carlo analysis are conducted over time periods of up to one million years, which estimates a range of possible behaviors of the repository. The environmental impact is measured primarily by the annual dose received by an average member of a critical population group residing 20 km down-gradient of the potential repository. In addition to the nominal scenario, other exposure scenarios include the possibility of disruptive events such as volcanic eruption or intrusion, or accidental human intrusion. Sensitivity to key uncertain processes is analyzed. The influence of stochastic variables on the TSPA model output is assessed by ''uncertainty importance analysis'', e.g., regression analysis and classification tree analysis. Further investigation of the impact of parameters and assumptions is conducted through ''one-off analysis'', which consists in fixing a parameter at a particular value, using an alternative conceptual model, or in making a different assumption

  8. Three-dimensional numerical modeling of the influence of faults on groundwater flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cohen, Andrew J.B. [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    1999-06-01

    Numerical simulations of groundwater flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada are used to investigate how the faulted hydrogeologic structure influences groundwater flow from a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository. Simulations are performed using a 3-D model that has a unique grid block discretization to accurately represent the faulted geologic units, which have variable thicknesses and orientations. Irregular grid blocks enable explicit representation of these features. Each hydrogeologic layer is discretized into a single layer of irregular and dipping grid blocks, and faults are discretized such that they are laterally continuous and displacement varies along strike. In addition, the presence of altered fault zones is explicitly modeled, as appropriate. The model has 23 layers and 11 faults, and approximately 57,000 grid blocks and 200,000 grid block connections. In the past, field measurement of upward vertical head gradients and high water table temperatures near faults were interpreted as indicators of upwelling from a deep carbonate aquifer. Simulations show, however, that these features can be readily explained by the geometry of hydrogeologic layers, the variability of layer permeabilities and thermal conductivities, and by the presence of permeable fault zones or faults with displacement only. In addition, a moderate water table gradient can result from fault displacement or a laterally continuous low permeability fault zone, but not from a high permeability fault zone, as others postulated earlier. Large-scale macrodispersion results from the vertical and lateral diversion of flow near the contact of high and low permeability layers at faults, and from upward flow within high permeability fault zones. Conversely, large-scale channeling can occur due to groundwater flow into areas with minimal fault displacement. Contaminants originating at the water table can flow in a direction significantly different than that of the water table gradient, and isolated

  9. Seismic Hazard Implications of a Vanished Punjab Mountain Rammed 100 km Beneath the Southeast End of the Kashmir Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schiffman, C. R.; Bali, B. S.; Bilham, R. G.

    2011-12-01

    An active normal fault parallel-to, and midway between, the Zanskar and Pir Pinjal ranges at the SE end of the Kashmir Valley (33.56N, 75.51E) raises the intriguing question of why a normal fault should exist in a region of prevailing Himalayan compression. We believe the normal fault is caused by a prominent bulge on the Indian plate. The fault is approximately 5 km long and has a surface scarp of approximately 4 m, tapering to zero to the WNW and ESE. Its recent origin is indicated by its offset of glacial moraines and stream channels with the subsequent formation of several poorly developed uphill-facing colluvial wedges, and a conspicuous 40 m x 60 m Alpine sag pond (Oldham, 1988). The fault dips steeply to the SW and its limited offset suggests that it was possibly formed in a single earthquake with Mw less than 6.0. The fault lies approximately 70 km northeast of a prominent salient in the Himalayan frontal thrusts west of the town of Jammu, and is one of several similar faults spaced roughly 5 km apart in a north-south line. The tensile surface stress implied by normal faulting is suggestive of north-south convex flexure of the region, possibly caused by the passage of a bulge on the Indian plate beneath SE Kashmir. We suggest that the Jammu salient and these normal faults record the passage of a mountain or range of mountains on the Indian plate beneath the divide separating the Chenab and Jhelum river drainages. The passage of the range is presumably responsible for the current location of the river divide and for the high passes that close the SE end of the Kashmir valley. Assuming that the crest of the range has passed 100 km beneath the Himalaya places the date of its initial collision with the frontal thrusts at 6 Mya. We anticipate that subduction of this range has resulted in significantly higher friction of the décollement here, influencing the style of Himalayan thrust faulting, and perhaps controlling the along-strike initiation or termination of

  10. Measurement of the Parameter Kappa, and Reevaluation of Kappa for Small to Moderate Earthquakes at Seismic Stations in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Biasi, Glenn; Anderson, John G

    2007-12-05

    The parameter kappa was defined by Anderson and Hough (1984) to describe the high-frequency spectral roll-off of the strong motion seismic spectrum. In the work of Su et al., (1996) the numerical value of kappa estimated for sites near Yucca Mountain was small (~20 ms). The estimate obtained from these events has been applied through a rigorous methodology to develop design earthquake spectra with magnitude over 5.0. Smaller values of kappa lead to higher estimated ground motions in the methodology used by the Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis (PSHA) for Yucca Mountain. An increase of 10 ms in kappa could result in a substantial decrease in the high frequency level of the predicted ground motions. Any parameter that plays such a critical role deserves close examination. Here, we study kappa and its associated uncertainties. The data set used by Su et al (1996) consisted of 12 M 2.8 to 4.5 earthquakes recorded at temporary stations deployed after the June 1992 Little Skull Mountain earthquake. The kappa elements of that study were revisited by Anderson and Su (MOL.20071203.0134) and substantially confirmed. One weakness of those studies is the limited data used. Few of these stations were on tuff or on Yucca Mountain itself. A decade of Southern Great Basin Digital Seismic Network (SGBDSN) recording has now yielded a larger body of on-scale, well calibrated digital ground motion records suitable for investigating kappa. We use the SGBDSN data to check some of the original assumptions, improve the statistical confidence of the conclusions, and determine values of kappa for stations on or near Yucca Mountain. The outstanding issues in kappa analysis, as they apply to Yucca Mountain, include: 1. The number itself. The kappa estimate near 20 msec from Su et al. (1996) and Anderson and Su (MOL.20071203.0134) is markedly smaller than is considered typical in California (Silva, 1995). The low kappa value has engineering consequences because when it is applied in ground

  11. DECOVALEX III PROJECT. Thermal-Hydrological Modeling of the Yucca Mountain Project Drift Scale Test. Task 2A Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Datta, Robin N. [Bechtel SAlC Company, Las Vegas (US)] (comp.)

    2005-02-15

    Task 2A concerns coupled TH modeling of the DST test at Yucca mountain, with given results for geologic, thermal, mechanical, hydrologic, and mineralogic and petrologic characterization, as-built configuration of the test block of DST, including locations of various sensors and measuring instruments and the plans for heating and cooling, including expected heater powers at various times, and requiring predictions for distributions and evolutions of the temperature and saturation fields. Three teams of ENRESA (Spain), DOE (USA), and NRC (USA) teams participated the task with different approaches, using FEM code Bright with a double porosity structure (ENRESA), a FDM code MULTIFLO with a dual continuum approach and an active fracture model (NRC) and a FDM code TOUGH 2 with a dual permeability approach (DOE), respectively. Based on the results of the temperature and moisture distributions and temperature histories, it can be concluded that in general, the three models capture the TH response of the DST fairly well, although there are some differences between the teams' results. Conduction is the dominant heat-transfer mechanism in the fractured unsaturated rock in the DST, especially in the sub-boiling regime. However, the pore water plays an important role near the boiling point as it goes through cycles of vaporization and condensation causing the so called heat-pipe effect. A characteristic signature of heatpipes - a short lull in the rise of temperature - was captured by all three teams. The 2D modeling of the DST carried out by the ENRESA team initially was characterized by very little diffusion of vapor because the tortuosity factor was set at a low value of 0.05 and is referred to as the ND (No Diffusion) case. The recent 3D model with a tortuosity factor set at 1 and a vapor diffusion enhancement coefficient allows maximum vapor diffusion and is referred to as the MD (maximum diffusion) case. Comparative analyses of the modeling results for ND and MD

  12. Uncertainty and Sensitivity of Contaminant Travel Times from the Upgradient Nevada Test Site to the Yucca Mountain Area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Zhu; K. Pohlmann; J. Chapman; C. Russell; R.W.H. Carroll; D. Shafer

    2009-09-10

    Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as the nation’s first permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and highlevel radioactive waste. In this study, the potential for groundwater advective pathways from underground nuclear testing areas on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) to intercept the subsurface of the proposed land withdrawal area for the repository is investigated. The timeframe for advective travel and its uncertainty for possible radionuclide movement along these flow pathways is estimated as a result of effective-porosity value uncertainty for the hydrogeologic units (HGUs) along the flow paths. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis is conducted to determine the most influential HGUs on the advective radionuclide travel times from the NTS to the YM area. Groundwater pathways are obtained using the particle tracking package MODPATH and flow results from the Death Valley regional groundwater flow system (DVRFS) model developed by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). Effectiveporosity values for HGUs along these pathways are one of several parameters that determine possible radionuclide travel times between the NTS and proposed YM withdrawal areas. Values and uncertainties of HGU porosities are quantified through evaluation of existing site effective-porosity data and expert professional judgment and are incorporated in the model through Monte Carlo simulations to estimate mean travel times and uncertainties. The simulations are based on two steady-state flow scenarios, the pre-pumping (the initial stress period of the DVRFS model), and the 1998 pumping (assuming steady-state conditions resulting from pumping in the last stress period of the DVRFS model) scenarios for the purpose of long-term prediction and monitoring. The pumping scenario accounts for groundwater withdrawal activities in the Amargosa Desert and other areas downgradient of YM. Considering each detonation in a clustered region around Pahute Mesa (in

  13. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, April 1, 1991--September 30, 1991, Number 5; Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 113)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-01

    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.

  14. Commentary on the state of knowledge of the origins of the Yucca Mountain calcite veins. Special report number 17, Contract number 94/96.0003

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Archambeau, C.

    1994-08-01

    This report is a compilation of papers and a letter providing technical information on the origin and geochemistry of calcite veins and calcretes in the vicinity of the Yucca Mountain repository. The information is presented to demonstrate that these deposits may be ``thermogenic`` in origin with some alteration by pedogenic processes. The papers present isotope ratios of uranium, strontium, and carbon to support the claims for a hydrothermal source. The letter provides a critical review of a previous paper presented at the 64th Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste. The report makes an attempt to emphasize the need to review this possible origin because it has dramatic implications on the geologic history, paleo-ground water levels, and integrity of the repository.

  15. Methods and Techniques Used to Convey Total System Performance Assessment Analyses and Results for Site Recommendation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. D. Mattie; J. A. McNeish; D. S. Sevougian; R. W. Andrews

    2001-04-13

    Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) is used as a key decision-making tool for the potential geologic repository for high level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. Because of the complexity and uncertainty involved in a post-closure performance assessment, an important goal is to produce a transparent document describing the assumptions, the intermediate steps, the results, and the conclusions of the analyses. An important objective for a TSPA analysis is to illustrate confidence in performance projections of the potential repository given a complex system of interconnected process models, data, and abstractions. The methods and techniques used for the recent TSPA analyses demonstrate an effective process to portray complex models and results with transparency and credibility.

  16. Methods and Techniques Used to Convey Total System Performance Assessment Analyses and Results for Site Recommendation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mattie, Patrick D.; McNeish, Jerry A.; Sevougian, S. David [Duke Engineering and Services, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Andrews, Robert W. [Bechtel SAIC Company, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2001-07-01

    Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) is used as a key decision-making tool for the potential geologic repository of high level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada USA. Because of the complexity and uncertainty involved in a post-closure performance assessment, an important goal is to produce a transparent document describing the assumptions, the intermediate steps, the results, and the conclusions of the analyses. An important objective for a TSPA analysis is to illustrate confidence in performance projections of the potential repository given a complex system of interconnected process models, data, and abstractions. The methods and techniques used for the recent TSPA analyses demonstrate an effective process to portray complex models and results with transparency and credibility.

  17. Uplift of the Transantarctic Mountains and the bedrock beneath the East Antarctic ice sheet

    Science.gov (United States)

    ten Brink, U.S.; Hackney, R.I.; Bannister, S.; Stern, T.A.; Makovsky, Y.

    1997-01-01

    In recent years the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM), the largest noncontractional mountain belt in the world, have become the focus of modelers who explained their uplift by a variety of isostatic and thermal mechanisms. A problem with these models is a lack of available data to compare with model predictions. We report here the results of a 312-km-long geophysical traverse conducted in 1993/1994 in the hinterland of the TAM. Using detailed subglacial topography and gravity measurements, we confirm the origin of the TAM as a flexural uplift of the edge of East Antarctica. Using an elastic model with a free edge, we can jointly fit the topography and the gravity with a plate having an elastic thickness of 85 ?? 15 km and a preuplift elevation of 700 ?? 50 m for East Antarctica. Using a variety of evidence, we argue that the uplift is coincident with a relatively minor tectonic event of transtensional motion between East and West Antarctica during the Eocene rather than the Late Cretaceous rifting event that created the Ross Embayment. We suggest that this transtensional motion caused the continuous plate to break, which created an escarpment that significantly increased the rates of erosion and exhumation. Results from the geophysical traverse also extend our knowledge of the bedrock geology from the exposures within the TAM to the ice covered interior. Our interpretation suggests that the Ferrar flood basalts extend at least 100 km westward under the ice. The Beacon Supergroup of Paleozoic and Mesozoic sediments thins gradually under the ice and its reconstructed thickness is reminiscent of profiles of foreland basins. Finally, there is no indication in the gravity field for an incomplete rebound due to significant melting of the East Antarctic ice sheet since the last glacial period.

  18. Beneath it all: bedrock geology of the Catskill Mountains and implications of its weathering.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ver Straeten, Charles A

    2013-09-01

    The Devonian-age bedrock of the Catskill Mountains has been the focus of many studies. This paper reviews the character and composition of the rocks of the Catskills, and examines weathering (rock decay) processes and their implications in the Catskills. Rocks of the Catskills and closest foothills consist of siliciclastic rocks (sandstones, mudrocks, conglomerates) with minimal, locally dispersed carbonate rocks. The former are dominated by quartz, metamorphic and sedimentary rock fragments, and clay minerals. Other minor sediment components include cements, authigenic and heavy minerals, and fossil organic matter. Physical, chemical, and biological weathering of the Catskill bedrock since uplift of the Appalachian region, combined with glaciation, have dissected a plateau of nearly horizontally layered rocks into a series of ridges, valleys, and peaks. The varied weathering processes, in conjunction with many factors (natural and anthropogenic), fragment the rocks, forming sediment and releasing various elements and compounds. These may have positive, neutral, or negative implications for the region's soils, waters, ecology, and human usage. A new generation of studies and analyses of the Catskill bedrock is needed to help answer a broad set of questions and problems across various fields of interest.

  19. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 5, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.1.5 through 8.3.1.17

    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 SOE`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.

  20. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.3.5 through 8.3.5.20

    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. 68 figs., 102 tabs.

  1. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 8, Part B: Chapter 8, Sections 8.4 through 8.7; Glossary and Acronyms

    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 Section 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. 88 figs., 42 tabs.

  2. Research Opportunities in Corrosion Science for Long-Term Prediction of Materials Performance: A Report of the DOE Workshop on “Corrosion Issues of Relevance to the Yucca Mountain Waste Repository”.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payer, Joe H. [Case Western Reserve Univ., Cleveland, OH (United States); Scully, John R. [Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States)

    2003-07-29

    The report summarizes the findings of a U.S. Department of Energy workshop on “Corrosion Issues of Relevance to the Yucca Mountain Waste Repository”. The workshop was held on July 29-30, 2003 in Bethesda, MD, and was co-sponsored by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences and Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The workshop focus was corrosion science relevant to long-term prediction of materials performance in hostile environments, with special focus on relevance to the permanent disposal of nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain Repository. The culmination of the workshop is this report that identifies both generic and Yucca Mountain Project-specific research opportunities in basic and applied topic areas. The research opportunities would be realized well after the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s initial construction-authorization licensing process. At the workshop, twenty-three invited scientists deliberated on basic and applied science opportunities in corrosion science relevant to long-term prediction of damage accumulation by corrosive processes that affect materials performance.

  3. Bomb-Pulse Chlorine-36 At The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Horizon: An Investigation Of Previous Conflicting Results And Collection Of New Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Cizdziel

    2006-07-28

    Previous studies by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) found elevated ratios of chlorine-36 to total chloride ({sup 36}Cl/Cl) in samples of rock collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) and the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) at Yucca Mountain as the tunnels were excavated. The data were interpreted as an indication that fluids containing 'bomb-pulse' {sup 36}Cl reached the repository horizon in the {approx}50 years since the peak period of above-ground nuclear testing. Moreover, the data support the concept that so-called fast pathways for infiltration not only exist but are active, possibly through a combination of porous media, faults and/or other geologic features. Due to the significance of {sup 36}Cl data to conceptual models of unsaturated zone flow and transport, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) was requested by the Department of Energy (DOE) to design and implement a study to validate the LANL findings. The USGS chose to drill new boreholes at select locations across zones where bomb-pulse ratios had previously been identified. The drill cores were analyzed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for {sup 36}Cl/Cl using both active and passive leaches, with the USGS/LLNL concluding that the active leach extracted too much rock-Cl and the passive leach did not show bomb-pulse ratios. Because consensus was not reached between the USGS/LLNL and LANL on several fundamental points, including the conceptual strategy for sampling, interpretation and use of tritium ({sup 3}H) data, and the importance and interpretation of blanks, in addition to the presence or absence of bomb-pulse {sup 36}Cl, an evaluation by an independent entity, the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), using new samples was initiated. This report is the result of that study. The overall objectives of the UNLV study were to investigate the source or sources of the conflicting results from the previous

  4. Major element and oxygen isotope geochemistry of vapour-phase garnet from the Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moscati, Richard J.; Johnson, Craig A.

    2014-01-01

    Twenty vapour-phase garnets were studied in two samples of the Topopah Spring Tuff of the Paintbrush Group from Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada. The Miocene-age Topopah Spring Tuff is a 350 m thick, devitrified, moderately to densely welded ash-flow tuff that is zoned compositionally from high-silica rhyolite to latite. During cooling of the tuff, escaping vapour produced lithophysae (former gas cavities) lined with an assemblage of tridymite (commonly inverted to cristobalite or quartz), sanidine and locally, hematite and/or garnet. Vapour-phase topaz and economic deposits associated commonly with topaz-bearing rhyolites (characteristically enriched in F) were not found in the Topopah Spring Tuff at Yucca Mountain. Based on their occurrence only in lithophysae, the garnets are not primary igneous phenocrysts, but rather crystals that grew from a F-poor magma-derived vapour trapped during and after emplacement of the tuff. The garnets are euhedral, vitreous, reddish brown, trapezohedral, as large as 2 mm in diameter and fractured. The garnets also contain inclusions of tridymite. Electron microprobe analyses of the garnets reveal that they are almandine-spessartine (48.0 and 47.9 mol.%, respectively), have an average composition of (Fe1.46Mn1.45Mg0.03Ca0.10)(Al1.93Ti0.02)Si3.01O12 and are comparatively homogeneous in Fe and Mn concentrations from core to rim. Composited garnets from each sample site have δ18O values of 7.2 and 7.4‰. The associated quartz (after tridymite) has δ18O values of 17.4 and 17.6‰, values indicative of reaction with later, low-temperature water. Unaltered tridymite from higher in the stratigraphic section has a δ18O of 11.1‰ which, when coupled with the garnet δ18O values in a quartz-garnet fractionation equation, indicates isotopic equilibration (vapour-phase crystallization) at temperatures of ~600°C. This high-temperature mineralization, formed during cooling of the tuffs, is distinct from the later and commonly recognized

  5. Cavity-based secondary mineralization in volcanic tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: a new type of the polymineral vadose speleothem, or a hydrothermal deposit?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dublyansky Yuri V.

    2005-07-01

    Full Text Available Secondary minerals (calcite, chalcedony, quartz, opal, fluorite, heulandite, strontianite residing in open cavities in the Miocenerhyolite tuffs of Yucca Mountain, Nevada have been interpreted by some researchers as "speleothemic" formations, deposited as aresult of downward infiltration of meteoric waters (DOE, 2001, Whelan et al., 2002. The major mineral of the paragenesis, calcite,shows spectacular trend of the textural and crystal morphology change: from anhedral granular occurrences, through (optionalplatelet, bladed and scepter varieties, to euhedral blocky morphologies. The trend is consistent with the overall decrease in thesupesaturation of the mineral forming solution. Stable isotope properties of calcite evolve from 13C-enriched (δ13C = +4 to +9 ‰ PDBat early stages of growth to 13C-depleted (-5 to -10 ‰ at late stages. The non-cyclic character of the isotope record and extremevariations of isotopic values argue against the meteoric origin of mineral forming fluids. The δ13C >4 ‰ PDB require isotope partitioningbetween dissolved CO2 and CH4, which is only possible in reducing anoxic environment, but not in aerated vadose zone.Fluid inclusions studied in calcite, quartz and fluorite revealed that the minerals were deposited from thermal solutions. Thetemperatures were higher at early stages of mineral growth (60 to 85oC and declined with time. Most late-stage calcites containonly all-liquid inclusions, suggesting temperatures less than ca. 35-50oC. Minerals collected close to the major fault show the highesttemperatures. Gases trapped in fluid inclusions are dominated by CO2 and CH4; Raman spectrometry results suggest the presenceof aromatic/cyclic hydrocarbon gases. The gas chemistry, thus, also indicates reduced (anoxic character of the mineral formingfluids.Secondary minerals at Yucca Mountain have likely formed during the short-term invasion(s of the deep-seated aqueous fluidsinto the vadose zone. Following the invasion

  6. UPDATING AN EXPERT ELICITATION IN THE LIGHT OF NEW DATA: TEN YEARS OF PROBABILISTIC VOLCANIC HAZARD ANALYSIS FOR THE PROPOSED HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE REPOSITORY AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F.V. Perry; A. Cogbill; R. Kelley

    2005-08-26

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) considers volcanism to be a potentially disruptive class of events that could affect the safety of the proposed high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Volcanic hazard assessment in monogenetic volcanic fields depends on an adequate understanding of the temporal and spatial pattern of past eruptions. At Yucca Mountain, the hazard is due to an 11 Ma-history of basaltic volcanism with the latest eruptions occurring in three Pleistocene episodes to the west and south of Yucca Mountain. An expert elicitation convened in 1995-1996 by the DOE estimated the mean hazard of volcanic disruption of the repository as slightly greater than 10{sup -8} dike intersections per year with an uncertainty of about two orders of magnitude. Several boreholes in the region have encountered buried basalt in alluvial-filled basins; the youngest of these basalts is dated at 3.8 Ma. The possibility of additional buried basalt centers is indicated by a previous regional aeromagnetic survey conducted by the USGS that detected approximately 20 magnetic anomalies that could represent buried basalt volcanoes. Sensitivity studies indicate that the postulated presence of buried post-Miocene volcanoes to the east of Yucca Mountain could increase the hazard by an order of magnitude, and potentially significantly impact the results of the earlier expert elicitation. Our interpretation of the aeromagnetic data indicates that post-Miocene basalts are not present east of Yucca Mountain, but that magnetic anomalies instead represent faulted and buried Miocene basalt that correlates with nearby surface exposures. This interpretation is being tested by drilling. The possibility of uncharacterized buried volcanoes that could significantly change hazard estimates led DOE to support an update of the expert elicitation in 2004-2006. In support of the expert elicitation data needs, the DOE is sponsoring (1) a new higher-resolution, helicopter-borne aeromagnetic survey

  7. A literature review of coupled thermal-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical processes pertinent to the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Manteufel, R.D.; Ahola, M.P.; Turner, D.R.; Chowdhury, A.H. [Southwest Research Inst., San Antonio, TX (United States). Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses

    1993-07-01

    A literature review has been conducted to determine the state of knowledge available in the modeling of coupled thermal (T), hydrologic (H), mechanical (M), and chemical (C) processes relevant to the design and/or performance of the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The review focuses on identifying coupling mechanisms between individual processes and assessing their importance (i.e., if the coupling is either important, potentially important, or negligible). The significance of considering THMC-coupled processes lies in whether or not the processes impact the design and/or performance objectives of the repository. A review, such as reported here, is useful in identifying which coupled effects will be important, hence which coupled effects will need to be investigated by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in order to assess the assumptions, data, analyses, and conclusions in the design and performance assessment of a geologic reposit``. Although this work stems from regulatory interest in the design of the geologic repository, it should be emphasized that the repository design implicitly considers all of the repository performance objectives, including those associated with the time after permanent closure. The scope of this review is considered beyond previous assessments in that it attempts with the current state-of-knowledge) to determine which couplings are important, and identify which computer codes are currently available to model coupled processes.

  8. Simulation of ventilation efficiency, and pre-closure temperatures in emplacement drifts at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using Monte Carlo and composite thermal-pulse methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Case, J.B.; Buesch, D.C.

    2004-01-01

    Predictions of waste canister and repository driftwall temperatures as functions of space and time are important to evaluate pre-closure performance of the proposed repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Variations in the lithostratigraphic features in densely welded and crystallized rocks of the 12.8-million-year-old Topopah Spring Tuff, especially the porosity resulting from lithophysal cavities, affect thermal properties. A simulated emplacement drift is based on projecting lithophysal cavity porosity values 50 to 800 m from the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block cross drift. Lithophysal cavity porosity varies from 0.00 to 0.05 cm3/cm3 in the middle nonlithophysal zone and from 0.03 to 0.28 cm3/cm3 in the lower lithophysal zone. A ventilation model and computer program titled "Monte Carlo Simulation of Ventilation" (MCSIMVENT), which is based on a composite thermal-pulse calculation, simulates statistical variability and uncertainty of rock-mass thermal properties and ventilation performance along a simulated emplacement drift for a pre-closure period of 50 years. Although ventilation efficiency is relatively insensitive to thermal properties, variations in lithophysal porosity along the drift can result in a range of peak driftwall temperatures can range from 40 to 85??C for the preclosure period. Copyright ?? 2004 by ASME.

  9. Illustration of sampling-based approaches to the calculation of expected dose in performance assessments for the proposed high level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Helton, Jon Craig (Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ); Sallaberry, Cedric J. PhD. (.; .)

    2007-04-01

    A deep geologic repository for high level radioactive waste is under development by the U.S. Department of Energy at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada. As mandated in the Energy Policy Act of 1992, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has promulgated public health and safety standards (i.e., 40 CFR Part 197) for the YM repository, and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has promulgated licensing standards (i.e., 10 CFR Parts 2, 19, 20, etc.) consistent with 40 CFR Part 197 that the DOE must establish are met in order for the YM repository to be licensed for operation. Important requirements in 40 CFR Part 197 and 10 CFR Parts 2, 19, 20, etc. relate to the determination of expected (i.e., mean) dose to a reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) and the incorporation of uncertainty into this determination. This presentation describes and illustrates how general and typically nonquantitive statements in 40 CFR Part 197 and 10 CFR Parts 2, 19, 20, etc. can be given a formal mathematical structure that facilitates both the calculation of expected dose to the RMEI and the appropriate separation in this calculation of aleatory uncertainty (i.e., randomness in the properties of future occurrences such as igneous and seismic events) and epistemic uncertainty (i.e., lack of knowledge about quantities that are poorly known but assumed to have constant values in the calculation of expected dose to the RMEI).

  10. Suggested data-gathering methods for the assessment of attitudes of Nevada citizens toward location of a repository at Yucca Mountain: Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradbury, J A

    1986-12-01

    The purpose of this paper is to outline a variety of methods that could be used by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project to assess the attitudes of Nevada citizens toward the location of a repository at Yucca Mountain. The paper is divided into three chapters: Chapter 1 provides a background discussion; Chapter 2 discusses different social science methods and summarizes the advantages and disadvantages of each; and Chapter 3 outlines a conceptual approach to integrating several methods into one overall strategy for assessment. An assessment of the attitudes of persons who may be affected by repository activities will (1) enhance the NNWSI Project`s ability to conduct the social impact assessment that can be included in an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS); (2) provide an information base for understanding and anticipating public responses; (3) allow the NNWSI Project to scope and prioritize issues that arise in the public debate that may occur over the repository location; and (4) help to facilitate communication and cooperation between the US Department of Energy (DOE) and state and local entities in the process of conducting the study. 114 refs., 1 tab.

  11. Progress report No. 2 on the Scientific Investigation Program for the Nevada Yucca Mountain Site, October 1, 1989--March 31, 1990

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1990-12-31

    In accordance with the requirements of Section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Pub. L. No. 97-425), as amended, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of scientific investigation activities at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada for October 1, 1989, through March 31, 1990. This report is the second of a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during the period of scientific investigation. The progress report presents short summaries of the status of scientific investigation activities and cites 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 discussing major changes, if any, to the DOE`s scientific investigation program. The progress report conveys information in a convenient summary form to be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be the mechanism for controlling and documenting technical or policy positions regarding changes in schedules or the technical program. Such changes are controlled through rigorous DOE change-control procedures. The progress report only describes such approval changes. 49 refs., 3 tabs.

  12. Final base case community analysis: Indian Springs, Nevada for the Clark County socioeconomic impact assessment of the proposed high- level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-18

    This document provides a base case description of the rural Clark County community of Indian Springs in anticipation of change associated with the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. As the community closest to the proposed site, Indian Springs may be seen by site characterization workers, as well as workers associated with later repository phases, as a logical place to live. This report develops and updates information relating to a broad spectrum of socioeconomic variables, thereby providing a `snapshot` or `base case` look at Indian Springs in early 1992. With this as a background, future repository-related developments may be analytically separated from changes brought about by other factors, thus allowing for the assessment of the magnitude of local changes associated with the proposed repository. Given the size of the community, changes that may be considered small in an absolute sense may have relatively large impacts at the local level. Indian Springs is, in many respects, a unique community and a community of contrasts. An unincorporated town, it is a small yet important enclave of workers on large federal projects and home to employees of small- scale businesses and services. It is a rural community, but it is also close to the urbanized Las Vega Valley. It is a desert community, but has good water resources. It is on flat terrain, but it is located within 20 miles of the tallest mountains in Nevada. It is a town in which various interest groups diverge on issues of local importance, but in a sense of community remains an important feature of life. Finally, it has a sociodemographic history of both surface transience and underlying stability. If local land becomes available, Indian Springs has some room for growth but must first consider the historical effects of growth on the town and its desired direction for the future.

  13. Results of Hydraulic Tests in Miocene Tuffaceous Rocks at the C-Hole Complex, 1995 to 1997, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geldon, Arthur L.; Umari, Amjad M.A.; Fahy, Michael F.; Earle, John D.; Gemmell, James M.; Darnell, Jon

    2002-01-01

    Four hydraulic tests were conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey at the C-hole complex at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, between May 1995 and November 1997. These tests were conducted as part of ongoing investigations to determine the hydrologic and geologic suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for permanent underground storage of high-level nuclear waste. The C-hole complex consists of three 900-meter-deep boreholes that are 30.4 to 76.6 meters apart. The C-holes are completed in fractured, variably welded tuffaceous rocks of Miocene age. Six hydrogeologic intervals occur within the saturated zone in these boreholes - the Calico Hills, Prow Pass, Upper Bullfrog, Lower Bullfrog, Upper Tram, and Lower Tram intervals. The Lower Bullfrog and Upper Tram intervals contributed about 90 percent of the flow during hydraulic tests. The four hydraulic tests conducted from 1995 to 1997 lasted 4 to 553 days. Discharge from the pumping well, UE-25 c #3, ranged from 8.49 to 22.5 liters per second in different tests. Two to seven observation wells, 30 to 3,526 meters from the pumping well, were used in different tests. Observation wells included UE-25 c #1, UE-25 c #2, UE-25 ONC-1, USW H-4, UE-25 WT #14, and UE-25 WT #3 in the tuffaceous rocks and UE-25 p #1 in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. In all hydraulic tests, drawdown in the pumping well was rapid and large (2.9-11 meters). Attributable mostly to frictional head loss and borehole-skin effects, this drawdown could not be used to analyze hydraulic properties. Drawdown and recovery in intervals of UE-25 c #1 and UE-25 c #2 and in other observation wells typically was less than 51 centimeters. These data were analyzed. Hydrogeologic intervals in the C-holes have layered heterogeneity related to faults and fracture zones. Transmissivity, hydraulic conductivity, and storativity generally increase downhole. Transmissivity ranges from 4 to 1,600 meters squared per day; hydraulic conductivity ranges from 0.1 to 50 meters per day

  14. Can Indigenous and Introduced Bacteria Affect the Performance of an Engineered Barrier System in the Designated Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, S.; Dias, V.; Carrillo, C.; van Buuren, N.; Horn, J.

    2002-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy has been tasked with establishing a high level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV and assessing the effects of long-term storage of the waste. Studies are being performed to identify the role of microorganisms, both indigenous and introduced during the construction phase, to waste package material corrosion. Some microorganisms produce by-products that may be deleterious to waste package materials, such as bacteria that produce hydrogen and mineral acids, or reduce sulfate, and fungi that produce organic acids. Long-term and accelerated tests in continuous flow reactors were conducted to assess the biogenic effects on waste package materials, and batch tests were implemented to identify corrosion products and biochemical changes to ground water chemistry. Surfacial and gravimetric analyses of the metal samples coupled with water chemistry analysis allow us to determine the overall contribution that organisms may make to waste package corrosion. Metal samples were periodically removed from the reactors and examined with scanning electron and atomic force microscopy. Effluent samples were also collected and analyzed using inductively coupled plasma spectroscopy-mass spectrometry and ion chromatography. Sterile controls were run in parallel to understand abiotic contributions to metals corrosion. In addition, we have characterized the microbial community at Yucca Mountain in order to define the physiological potential of the organisms extant at the site and evaluate the conditions required for growth (we have determined that water availability will be the major limiting factor). Analysis of the fluids from batch tests containing the Alloy 22 (Ni-Cr-Mo alloy) metal suggest the solubilization of Mo, albeit in very low concentrations. Because we did not observe the solubilization of other metal components, it is unclear whether selective solubilization or dealloying is occurring. Endpoint analysis of precipitated particles in the

  15. Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test: Fiscal Year 1998 Status Report Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Program Deliverable SPU85M4

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bussod, G.Y.; Turin, H.J.; Lowry, W.E.

    1999-11-01

    This report describes the status of the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT) and documents the progress of construction activities and site and laboratory characterization activities undertaken in fiscal year 1998. Also presented are predictive flow-and-transport simulations for Test Phases 1 and 2 of testing and the preliminary results and status of these test phases. Future anticipated results obtained from unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport testing in the Calico Hills Formation at Busted Butte are also discussed in view of their importance to performance assessment (PA) needs to build confidence in and reduce the uncertainty of site-scale flow-and-transport models and their abstractions for performance for license application. The principal objectives of the test are to address uncertainties associated with flow and transport in the UZ site-process models for Yucca Mountain, as identified by the PA working group in February 1997. These include but are not restricted to: (1) The effect of heterogeneities on flow and transport in unsaturated and partially saturated conditions in the Calico Hills Formation. In particular, the test aims to address issues relevant to fracture-matrix interactions and permeability contrast boundaries; (2) The migration behavior of colloids in fractured and unfractured Calico Hills rocks; (3) The validation through field testing of laboratory sorption experiments in unsaturated Calico Hills rocks; (4) The evaluation of the 3-D site-scale flow-and-transport process model (i.e., equivalent-continuum/dual-permeability/discrete-fracture-fault representations of flow and transport) used in the PA abstractions for license application; and (5) The effect of scaling from lab scale to field scale and site scale.

  16. NORIA-SP: A finite element computer program for analyzing liquid water transport in porous media; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hopkins, P.L.; Eaton, R.R.; Bixler, N.E.

    1991-12-01

    A family of finite element computer programs has been developed at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) most recently, NORIA-SP. The original NORIA code solves a total of four transport equations simultaneously: liquid water, water vapor, air, and energy. Consequently, use of NORIA is computer-intensive. Since many of the applications for which NORIA is used are isothermal, we decided to ``strip`` the original four-equation version, leaving only the liquid water equation. This single-phase version is NORIA-SP. The primary intent of this document is to provide the user of NORIA-SP an accurate user`s manual. Consequently, the reader should refer to the NORIA manual if additional detail is required regarding the equation development and finite element methods used. The single-equation version of the NORIA code (NORIA-SP) has been used most frequently for analyzing various hydrological scenarios for the potential underground nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in western Nevada. These analyses are generally performed assuming a composite model to represent the fractured geologic media. In this model the material characteristics of the matrix and the fractures are area weighted to obtain equivalent material properties. Pressure equilibrium between the matrix and fractures is assumed so a single conservation equation can be solved. NORIA-SP is structured to accommodate the composite model. The equations for water velocities in both the rock matrix and the fractures are presented. To use the code for problems involving a single, nonfractured porous material, the user can simply set the area of the fractures to zero.

  17. Numerical simulation of air- and water-flow experiments in a block of variably saturated, fractured tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Thamir, F. [AMX International, Inc., Denver, CO (United States); Hampson, D. [EQE International, Evergreen, CO (United States)

    1998-11-01

    Numerical models of water movement through variably saturated, fractured tuff have undergone little testing against experimental data collected from relatively well-controlled and characterized experiments. This report used the results of a multistage experiment on a block of variably saturated, fractured, welded tuff and associated core samples to investigate if those results could be explained using models and concepts currently used to simulate water movement in variably saturated, fractured tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the potential location of a high-level nuclear-waste repository. Aspects of the experiment were modeled with varying degrees of success. Imbibition experiments performed on cores of various lengths and diameters were adequately described by models using independently measured permeabilities and moisture-characteristic curves, provided that permeability reductions resulting from the presence of entrapped air were considered. Entrapped gas limited maximum water saturations during imbibition to approximately 0.70 to 0,80 of the fillable porosity values determined by vacuum saturation. A numerical simulator developed for application to fluid flow problems in fracture networks was used to analyze the results of air-injection tests conducted within the tuff block through 1.25-cm-diameter boreholes. These analyses produced estimates of transmissivity for selected fractures within the block. Transmissivities of other fractures were assigned on the basis of visual similarity to one of the tested fractures. The calibrated model explained 53% of the observed pressure variance at the monitoring boreholes (with the results for six outliers omitted) and 97% of the overall pressure variance (including monitoring and injection boreholes) in the subset of air-injection tests examined.

  18. Identification and characterization of conservative organic tracers for use as hydrologic tracers for the Yucca Mountain site characterization study. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stetzenbach, K.; Farnham, I.

    1996-06-01

    Extensive tracer testing is expected to take place at the C-well complex in the Nevada Test Site as part of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The C-well complex consists of one pumping well, C3, and two injection wells, C1 and C2 into which tracer will be introduced. The goal of this research was to provide USGS with numerous tracers to completed these tests. Several classes of fluorinated organic acids have been evaluated. These include numerous isomers of fluorinated benzoic acids, cinnamic acids, and salicylic acids. Also several derivatives of 2-hydroxy nicotinic acid (pyridone) have been tested. The stability of these compounds was determined using batch and column tests. Ames testing (mutagenicity/carcinogenicity) was conducted on the fluorinated benzoic acids and a literature review of toxicity of the fluorobenzoates and three perfluoro aliphatic acids was prepared. Solubilities were measured and method development work was performed to optimize the detection of these compounds. A Quality Assurance (QA) Program was developed under existing DOE and USGS guidelines. The program includes QA procedures and technical standard operating procedures. A tracer test, using sodium iodide, was performed at the C-well complex. HRC chemists performed analyses on site, to provide real time data for the USGS hydrologists and in the laboratories at UNLV. Over 2,500 analyses were performed. This report provides the results of the laboratory experiments and literature reviews used to evaluate the potential tracers and reports on the results of the iodide C-well tracer test.

  19. Total System Performance Assessment - Analyses for Disposal of Commercial and DOE Waste Inventories at Yucca Mountain - Input to Final Environmental Impact Statement and Site Suitability Evaluation, Rev. 00

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2001-09-17

    This Letter Report presents the results of calculations to assess long-term performance of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF), U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) spent nuclear fuel (DSNF), high-level radioactive waste (HLW), and Greater Than Class C (GTCC) radioactive waste and DOE Special Performance Assessment Required (SPAR) radioactive waste at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in Nye County Nevada with respect to the 10,000-year performance period specified in 40 CFR Part 197.30 (66 FR 32074 [DIRS 155216], p. 32134) with regard to radiation-protection standards. The EPA Final Rule 40 CFR Part 197 has three separate standards, individual-protection, human-intrusion, and groundwater-protection standards, all with a compliance timeframe of 10,000 years. These calculations evaluate the dose to receptors for each of these standards. Further, this Letter Report includes the results of simulations to the 1,000,000-year performance period described in 40 CFR Part 197.35 (66 FR 32074 [DIRS 155216], p. 32135) which calls for the calculation of the peak dose to the Reasonably Maximally Exposed Individual (RMEI) that would occur after 10,000 years and within the period of geological stability. In accordance with TSPA-SR the ''period of geologic stability'' is from zero to 1,000,000 years after repository closure. The calculations also present the 5th and 95th percentiles, and the mean and median of the set of probabilistic simulations used to evaluate various disposal scenarios.

  20. Transport of Radon Gas into a Tunnel at Yucca Mountain-Estimating Large-Scale Fractured Tuff Hydraulic Properties and Implications for the Operation of the Ventilation System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A. Unger; S. Finsterle; G. Bodvarsson

    2003-06-06

    Radon gas concentrations have been monitored as part of the operation of a tunnel (the Exploratory Studies Facility-ESF) at Yucca Mountain to ensure worker safety. The objective of this study was to examine the potential use of the radon data to estimate large-scale formation properties of fractured tuffs. This objective was examined by developing a numerical model, based upon the characteristics of the ESF and the Topopah Spring welded (TSw) tuff unit, capable of predicting radon concentrations for prescribed ventilation conditions. The model was used to address two specific issues. First, it was used to estimate the permeability and porosity of the fractures in the TSw at the length scale of the ESF and extending tens of meters into the TSw, which surrounds the ESF. Second, the model was used to understand the mechanism leading to radon concentrations exceeding a specified level within the ESF. The mechanism controlling radon concentrations in the ESF is a function of atmospheric barometric fluctuations being propagated down the ESF along with ventilated air flow and the slight suction induced by the ventilation exhaust fans at the South Portal of the ESF. These pressure fluctuations are dampened in the TSw fracture continuum according to its permeability and porosity. Consequently, as the barometric pressure in the ESF drops rapidly, formation gases from the TSw are pulled into the ESF, resulting in an increase in radon concentrations. Model calibration to both radon concentrations measured in the ESF and gas-phase pressure fluctuations in the TSw yielded concurrent estimates of TSw fracture permeability and porosity of l x 10{sup -11} m{sup 2} and 0.00034, respectively. The calibrated model was then used as a design tool to predict the effect of adjusting the current ventilation-system operation strategy for reducing the probability of radon gas concentrations exceeding a specified level.

  1. Preparation for kinetic measurements on the silicates of the Yucca Mountain potential repository. [Final report], June 15, 1993--September 30, 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-12-31

    Part 1, ``The Preparation of Clinoptilolite, Mordenite and Analcime,`` summarized progress made during the contract period on preparing Na-end member clinoptilolite, mordenite, and analcime. The objective is to use the prepared zeolites to determine rates of dissolution and precipitation in laboratory flow-through systems in both this lab to 350 C and by the geochemists at Yale University to about 80 C. Because clinoptilolite represents the most complicated phase of these three zeolites and it is most abundant at Yucca Mountain, the authors have concentrated most of their efforts on its preparation. They have collected, high-concentration natural clinoptilolite samples. A hindered settling technique that takes advantage of the relatively low specific gravity of clinoptilolite coupled with ultrasonic cleaning in deionized water has been employed. This material is now a mixed Na-K zeolite which must then be converted to the pure Na-end member composition. In Part 2, ``Draft Manuscript on the Heterogeneous Kinetics of Cristobalite,`` experiments on the rates of reactions of dissolution and precipitation of cristobalite were carried at 150--300 C. Results show that cristobalite may precipitate from hydrothermal solution if the concentration of Si(OH){sub 4} exceeds that at quartz saturation and is less than that of amorphous silica saturation and if there are cristobalite nuclei present. Such nuclei may occur where there has been devitrification of volcanic glasses, for example. Cristobalite has refused to crystallize in the absence of such nuclei. Steady state concentrations were reached experimentally after starting at 150 {degree} with initially supersaturated solutions and at 200 C starting with either supersaturated or undersaturated solutions. From the steady state conditions, equilibrium constants can be derived.

  2. Preliminary hydrogeologic assessment of boreholes UE-25c #1, UE-25c #2, and UE-25c #3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geldon, A.L.

    1993-01-01

    Boreholes UE-25c #1, UE-25c #2, and UE-25c #3 (collectively called the C-holes) each were drilled to a depth of 914.4 meters at Yucca Mountain, on the Nevada Test Site, in 1983 and 1984 for the purpose of conducting aquifer and tracer tests. Each of the boreholes penetrated the Paintbrush Tuff and the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills and bottomed in the Crater Flat Tuff. The geologic units penetrated consist of devitrified to vitrophyric, nonwelded to densely welded, ash-flow tuff, tuff breccia, ash-fall tuff, and bedded tuff. Below the water table, which is at an average depth of 401.6 meters below land surface, the rocks are argillic and zeolitic. The geologic units at the C-hole complex strike N. 2p W. and dip 15p to 21p NE. They are cut by several faults, including the Paintbrush Canyon Fault, a prominent normal fault oriented S. 9p W., 52.2p NW. The rocks at the C-hole complex are fractured extensively, with most fractures oriented approximately perpendicular to the direction of regional least horizontal principal stress. In the Crater Flat Tuff and the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills, fractures strike predominantly between S. 20p E. and S. 20p W. and secondarily between S. 20p E. and S. 60p E. In the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, however, southeasterly striking fractures predominate. Most fractures are steeply dipping, although shallowly dipping fractures occur in nonwelded and reworked tuff intervals of the Crater Flat Tuff. Mineral-filled fractures are common in the tuff breccia zone of the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, and, also, in the welded tuff zone of the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The fracture density of geologic units in the C-holes was estimated to range from 1.3 to 7.6 fractures per cubic meter. Most of these estimates appear to be the correct order of magnitude when compared to transect measurements and core data from other boreholes 1.3 orders of magnitude too low. Geophysical data and laboratory analyses were

  3. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI); Final report, January 1, 1987--June 30, 1988: Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-10-01

    This report provides a summary of progress for the project ``Evaluation of the Geologic Relations and Seismotectonic Stability of the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI)`` for the eighteen month period of January 1, 1987 to June 10, 1988. This final report was preceded by the final report for the initial six month period, July 1, 1986 to December 31, 1986 (submitted on January 25, 1987, and revised in June 1987.) Quaternary Tectonics, Geochemical, Mineral Deposits, Vulcanic Geology, Seismology, Tectonics, Neotectonics, Remote Sensing, Geotechnical Assessments, Geotechnical Rock Mass Assessments, Basinal Studies, and Strong Ground Motion.

  4. Preliminary hydrogeologic assessment of boreholes UE-25c No. 1, UE-25c No. 2, and UE-25c No. 3, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada; Water-resources investigations report 92-4016

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Geldon, A.L.

    1993-12-31

    The purpose of this report is to characterize the hydrogeology of saturated tuffaceous rocks penetrated by boreholes UE-25c No. 1, UE-25c No.2, and UE-25c No. 3. These boreholes are referred to collectively in this report as the C-holes. The C-holes were drilled to perform multiwell aquifer tests and tracer tests; they comprise the only complex of closely spaced boreholes completed in the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Results of lithologic and geophysical logging, fracture analyses, water-level monitoring, temperature and tracejector surveys, aquifer tests, and hydrochemical sampling completed at the C-hole complex as of 1986 are assessed with respect to the regional geologic and hydrologic setting. A conceptual hydrogeological model of the Yucca Mountain area is presented to provide a context for quantitatively evaluating hydrologic tests performed at the C-hole complex as of 1985, for planning and interpreting additional hydrologic tests at the C-hole complex, and for possibly re-evaluating hydrologic tests in boreholes other than the C-holes.

  5. A TRANSPORTATION RISK ASSESSMENT TOOL FOR ANALYZING THE TRANSPORT OF SPENT NUCLEAR FUEL AND HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTE TO THE PROPOSED YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2001-02-15

    The Yucca Mountain Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) analysis addressed the potential for transporting spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from 77 origins for 34 types of spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste, 49,914 legal weight truck shipments, and 10,911 rail shipments. The analysis evaluated transportation over 59,250 unique shipment links for travel outside Nevada (shipment segments in urban, suburban or rural zones by state), and 22,611 links in Nevada. In addition, the analysis modeled the behavior of 41 isotopes, 1091 source terms, and used 8850 food transfer factors (distinct factors by isotope for each state). The analysis also used mode-specific accident rates for legal weight truck, rail, and heavy haul truck by state, and barge by waterway. This complex mix of data and information required an innovative approach to assess the transportation impacts. The approach employed a Microsoft{reg_sign} Access database tool that incorporated data from many sources, including unit risk factors calculated using the RADTRAN IV transportation risk assessment computer program. Using Microsoft{reg_sign} Access, the analysts organized data (such as state-specific accident and fatality rates) into tables and developed queries to obtain the overall transportation impacts. Queries are instructions to the database describing how to use data contained in the database tables. While a query might be applied to thousands of table entries, there is only one sequence of queries that is used to calculate a particular transportation impact. For example, the incident-free dose to off-link populations in a state is calculated by a query that uses route segment lengths for each route in a state that could be used by shipments, populations for each segment, number of shipments on each segment, and an incident-free unit risk factor calculated using RADTRAN IV. In addition to providing a method for using large volumes of data in the calculations, the

  6. The Development of an Effective Transportation Risk Assessment Model for Analyzing the Transport of Spent Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste to the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McSweeney; Thomas; Winnard; Ross; Steven B.; Best; Ralph E.

    2001-02-06

    Past approaches for assessing the impacts of transporting spent fuel and high-level radioactive waste have not been effectively implemented or have used relatively simple approaches. The Yucca Mountain Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) analysis considers 83 origins, 34 fuel types, 49,914 legal weight truck shipments, 10,911 rail shipments, consisting of 59,250 shipment links outside Nevada (shipment kilometers and population density pairs through urban, suburban or rural zones by state), and 22,611 shipment links in Nevada. There was additional complexity within the analysis. The analysis modeled the behavior of 41 isotopes, 1091 source terms, and used 8850 food transfer factors (distinct factors by isotope for each state). The model also considered different accident rates for legal weight truck, rail, and heavy haul truck by state, and barge by waterway. To capture the all of the complexities of the transportation analysis, a Microsoft{reg_sign} Access database was created. In the Microsoft{reg_sign} Access approach the data is placed in individual tables and equations are developed in queries to obtain the overall impacts. While the query might be applied to thousands of table entries, there is only one equation for a particular impact. This greatly simplifies the validation effort. Furthermore, in Access, data in tables can be linked automatically using query joins. Another advantage built into MS Access is nested queries, or the ability to develop query hierarchies. It is possible to separate the calculation into a series of steps, each step represented by a query. For example, the first query might calculate the number of shipment kilometers traveled through urban, rural and suburban zones for all states. Subsequent queries could join the shipment kilometers query results with another table containing the state and mode specific accident rate to produce accidents by state. One of the biggest advantages of the nested queries is in validation

  7. Microbial Impacts to the Near-Field Environment Geochemistry (MING): A Model for Estimating Microbial Communities in Repository Drifts at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D.M. Jolley; T.F. Ehrhorn; J. Horn

    2002-03-19

    Geochemical and microbiological modeling was performed to evaluate the potential quantities and impact of microorganisms on the geochemistry of the area adjacent to and within nuclear waste packages in the proposed repository drifts at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The microbial growth results from the introduction of water, ground support, and waste package materials into the deep unsaturated rock. The simulations, which spanned one million years, were accomplished using a newly developed computer code, Microbial Impacts to the Near-Field Environment Geochemistry (MING). MING uses environmental thresholds for limiting microbial growth to temperatures below 120 C and above relative humidities of 90 percent in repository drifts. Once these thresholds are met, MING expands upon a mass balance and thermodynamic approach proposed by McKinley and others (1997), by using kinetic rates to supply constituents from design materials and constituent fluxes including solubilized rock components into the drift, to perform two separate mass-balance calculations as a function of time. The first (nutrient limit) assesses the available nutrients (C, N, P and S) and calculates how many microorganisms can be produced based on a microorganism stoichiometry of C{sub 160}(H{sub 280}O{sub 80})N{sub 30}P{sub 2}S. The second (energy limit) calculates the energy available from optimally combined redox couples for the temperature, and pH at that time. This optimization maximizes those reactions that produce > 15kJ/mol (limit on useable energy) using an iterative linear optimization technique. The final available energy value is converted to microbial mass at a rate of 1 kg of biomass (dry weight) for every 64 MJ of energy. These two values (nutrient limit and energy limit) are then compared and the smaller value represents the number of microorganisms that can be produced over a specified time. MING can also be adapted to investigate other problems of interest as the model can be used in saturated

  8. YUCCA Mountain Project - Argonne National Laboratory, Annual Progress Report, FY 1997 for activity WP 1221 unsaturated drip condition testing of spent fuel and unsaturated dissolution tests of glass.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bates, J. K.; Buck, E. C.; Emery, J. W.; Finch, R. J.; Finn, P. A.; Fortner, J.; Hoh, J. C.; Mertz, C.; Neimark, L. A.; Wolf, S. F.; Wronkiewicz, D. J.

    1998-09-18

    This document reports on the work done by the Nuclear Waste Management Section of the Chemical Technology Division of Argonne National Laboratory in the period of October 1996 through September 1997. Studies have been performed to evaluate the behavior of nuclear waste glass and spent fuel samples under the unsaturated conditions (low-volume water contact) that are likely to exist in the Yucca Mountain environment being considered as a potential site for a high-level waste repository. Tests with actinide-doped waste glasses, in progress for over 11 years, indicate that the transuranic element release is dominated by colloids that continuously form and span from the glass surface. The nature of the colloids that form in the glass and spent fuel testing programs is being investigated by dynamic light scattering to determine the size distribution, by autoradiography to determine the chemistry, and by zeta potential to measure the electrical properties of the colloids. Tests with UO{sub 2} have been ongoing for 12 years. They show that the oxidation of UO{sub 2} occurs rapidly, and the resulting paragenetic sequence of secondary phases forming on the sample surface is similar to that observed for uranium found in natural oxidizing environments. The reaction of spent fuel samples in conditions similar to those used with UO{sub 2} have been in progress for over six years, and the results suggest that spent fuel forms many of the same alteration products as UO{sub 2}. With spent fuel, the bulk of the reaction occurs via a through-grain reaction process, although grain boundary attack is sufficient to have reacted all of the grain boundary regions in the samples. New test methods are under development to evaluate the behavior of spent fuel samples with intact cladding: the rate at which alteration and radionuclide release occurs when water penetrates fuel sections and whether the reaction causes the cladding to split. Alteration phases have been formed on fine grains of UO

  9. Mapping the indentation between the Iberian and Eurasian plates beneath the Western Pyrenees/Eastern Cantabrian Mountains from receiver function analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz, J.; Pedreira, D.; Ruiz, M.; Pulgar, J. A.; Gallart, J.

    2012-10-01

    In the last decades, active seismic profiling in the northern part of the Iberian Peninsula has evidenced that the Alpine collision between the Iberian and Eurasian plates resulted in a complex crustal structure, with the Iberian crust underthrusting the Eurasian crust and reaching depths of at least 45-50 km beneath the Pyrenean chain and the Cantabrian Mountains. In the transition between these two zones the situation is particularly complex, as evidenced in previous wide-angle and passive seismic studies. This contribution focuses in getting new clues on the crustal structure of this transitional zone through receiver function (RF) analysis of teleseismic data recorded at permanent and temporary stations located in both the Spanish and French sides of the Western Pyrenees. Different techniques (H-κ stacking, pseudo-migration, synthetic 2D modeling) have been considered in the analysis. Passive seismic data from previous temporary deployments in the zone have been reworked and added to the discussion. A first order result is that passive seismic data are broadly consistent with the indentation of the Iberian and Eurasian crusts inferred from active seismic profiling, thus providing a completely independent confirmation of this feature. For the first time, an Iberian Moho underlying the Eurasian crust is documented from RF beneath the stations located at the Northern side of the Pyrenean range. Moreover, clear indications of dipping interfaces are observed at some stations. The new RF results suggest that in the crustal indentation beneath the Basque Massifs area, the Eurasian crust extends farther south with respect to the image inferred from active seismic data. This new geometry implies that the Pamplona transfer zone has played a major role in the regional geodynamic history.

  10. The thermal regime beneath cultural blocky materials: Ground temperature measurements in and around the Scythian Kurgans of the Russian Altay Mountains.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van de Kerchove, Ruben; Goossens, Rudi

    2010-05-01

    During historical times, the Altay Mountains were repeatedly occupied by several, mainly nomadic, cultures. Among them were the Scythians who lived in the area (and far beyond), from the 8th until the 2nd century BC. This culture is widely known for their specific burial rituals, including the burying of their death in a kurgan: a burial mound consisting of a coarse debris surface layer, overlaying a burial chamber. Due to this composition, together with the continental alpine climate of the Altay Mountains, several of these graves were found frozen, thanks to the existence of ice lenses and permafrost beneath the structures. If frozen, these kurgans contained well preserved bodies, often with the tattoos on their skin intact. As nowadays a distinct temperature rising is showed in these continental mountain ranges, the hundreds of kurgans, and especially these ones located at the lower fringe of the permafrost area, are likely to defrost within decades. As a result, the valuable, frozen, organic and inorganic content will get lost, resulting in a loss of extremely valuable cultural heritage and knowledge. Therefore, extensive permafrost research regarding the thermal state of the frozen tombs and the spatial distribution of the mountain permafrost is necessary to forecast which of the tombs are endangered by thawing. In the framework of this project a first expedition was organized in the Russian Altay Mountains during the summer of 2008. During this expedition, the valleys of Dzhazator, Tarkhata, Kalanegir and Ulandryk were visited in succession and temperature installments were made in order to give an overview of the thermal regime in the area. Beside installments intended for regional modelling, special sensors were placed in order to focus on the specific thermal regime related to the Scythian kurgans. This poster gives the first results of the temperature data as recorded by sensors located in and around the burial mounds. At first attention is given to the

  11. Analysis of Conservative Tracer Tests in the Bullfrog, Tram, and Prow Pass Tuffs, 1996 to 1998, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umari, Amjad; Fahy, Michael F.; Earle, John D.; Tucci, Patrick

    2008-01-01

    To evaluate the potential for transport of radionuclides in ground water from the proposed high-level nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, conservative (nonsorbing) tracer tests were conducted among three boreholes, known as the C-hole Complex, and values for transport (or flow) porosity, storage (or matrix) porosity, longitudinal dispersivity, and the extent of matrix diffusion were obtained. The C-holes are completed in a sequence of Miocene tuffaceous rock, consisting of nonwelded to densely welded ash-flow tuff with intervals of ash-fall tuff and volcaniclastic rocks, covered by Quaternary alluvium. The lower part of the tuffaceous-rock sequence includes the Prow Pass, Bullfrog, and Tram Tuffs of the Crater Flat Group. The rocks are pervaded by tectonic and cooling fractures. Paleozoic limestone and dolomite underlie the tuffaceous rocks. Four radially convergent and one partially recirculating conservative (nonsorbing) tracer tests were conducted at the C-hole Complex from 1996 to 1998 to establish values for flow porosity, storage porosity, longitudinal dispersivity, and extent of matrix diffusion in the Bullfrog and Tram Tuffs and the Prow Pass Tuff. Tracer tests included (1) injection of iodide into the combined Bullfrog-Tram interval; (2) injection of 2,6 difluorobenzoic acid into the Lower Bullfrog interval; (3) injection of 3-carbamoyl-2-pyridone into the Lower Bullfrog interval; and (4) injection of iodide and 2,4,5 trifluorobenzoic acid, followed by 2,3,4,5 tetrafluorobenzoic acid, into the Prow Pass Tuff. All tracer tests were analyzed by the Moench single- and dual-porosity analytical solutions to the advection-dispersion equation or by superposition of these solutions. Nonlinear regression techniques were used to corroborate tracer solution results, to obtain optimal parameter values from the solutions, and to quantify parameter uncertainty resulting from analyzing two of the three radially convergent conservative tracer tests

  12. Long-Term Mechanical Behavior of Yucca Mountain Tuff and its Variability, Final Technical Report for Task ORD-FY04-021

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Daemen, Jaak J.K.; Ma, Lumin; Zhao, Guohua

    2006-03-20

    The study of the long term mechanical behavior of Yucca Mountain tuffs is important for several reasons. Long term stability of excavations will affect accessibility (e.g. for inspection purposes), and retrievability. Long term instabilities may induce loading of drip shields and/or emplaced waste, thus affecting drip shield and/or waste package corrosion. Failure of excavations will affect airflow, may affect water flow, and may affect temperature distributions. The long term mechanical behavior of rocks remains an elusive topic, loaded with uncertainties. A variety of approaches have been used to improve the understanding of this complex subject, but it is doubtful that it has reached a stage where firm predictions can be considered feasible. The long term mechanical behavior of "soft" rocks, especially evaporites, and in particular rock salt, has been the subject of numerous investigations (e.g. Cristescu and Hunsche, 1998, Cristescu et al, 2002), and basic approaches towards engineering taking into account the long term behavior of such materials have long been well established (e.g. Dreyer, 1972, 1982). The same is certainly not true of "hard" rocks. While it long has been recognized that the long term strength of ?hard? rocks almost certainly is significantly less than that measured during "short", i.e. standard (ASTM D 2938), ISRM suggested (Bieniawski et al, 1978) and conventionally used test procedures (e.g. Bieniawski, 1970, Wawersik, 1972, Hoek and Brown, 1980, p. 150), what limited approaches have been taken to develop strategies toward determining the long term mechanical behavior of "hard" rock remain in the early research and investigation stage, at best. One early model developed specifically for time dependent analysis of underground "hard" rock structures is the phenomenological model by Kaiser and Morgenstern (1981). Brady and Brown (1985, p. 93) state that over a wide range of strain rates, from 10^-8 to 10^2/s the difference in strength is only

  13. DECOVALEX III PROJECT. Thermal-Mechanical Modeling of the Yucca Mountain Project Drift Scale Test. Task 2B/2C Final Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Datta, Robin N. [Bechtel SAlC Company, Las Vegas (US)] (comp.)

    2005-02-15

    , ENRESA and NRC teams. All teams discretized the DST test area into two-dimensional vertical cross sections through the center of the heated drift and derived material properties suitable for their respective modeling approaches using the site testing data from Yucca Mountain project reports. The generally good agreement between simulated and measured temperature, displacements, and changes in air permeability shows that the numerical models and underlying conceptual models are adequate for simulating coupled THM processes at the DST. From the analyses and discussions presented, the following specific conclusions were drawn: i) A continuum model approach is adequate for simulating relevant coupled THM processes at the DST; ii) TM-induced rock deformations are generally well simulated using an elastic model, although some individual displacements appear to be captured using an elasto-plastic model; iii) The highest potential for inelastic deformation in the form of fracture shear slip occurs near the drift wall and in a zone of thermal stress decrease located more than 15 m above the heated drift and iv) Despite potential shear slip along fractures, fracture closure/opening caused by change in normal stress across fractures is the dominant mechanism for TM-induced changes in intrinsic fracture permeability, whereas fracture shear dilation appears to be less significant at the DST. This conclusion indicates that TM-induced changes in permeability at the DST, which are within one order of magnitude, tend to be reversible.

  14. Assessing materials (''Getters'') to immobilize or retard the transport of technetium through the engineered barrier system at the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Viani, B E

    1999-03-15

    Current performance assessment calculations show that technetium (Tc) and neptunium (Np) will deliver the major fraction of the radiation dose to the accessible environment from the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. Therefore, materials that can immobilize or delay the transport of Tc or Np (getters) are being considered for addition to either the waste-package or the backfill adjacent to the waste-package. Of the two radionuclides, Tc presents the greater challenge in identifying a suitable getter material. This report identifies several materials that warrant further consideration for immobilizing and/or sorbing Tc as additives to the backfill, and recommends active carbon and an inorganic oxide for initial testing. Other materials, such as zero valent iron, might be useful as getters if they were placed in the waste package itself, a subject that merits further investigation.

  15. Bomb-Pulse Chlorine-36 at the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Horizon: An Investigation of Previous Conflicting Results and Collection of New Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cizdziel, James

    2006-07-31

    Previous studies Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) found elevated ratios of chlorine-36 to total chloride (36Cl/Cl) in samples of rock collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain (YM). The data were interpreted as an indication that fluids containing “bomb-pulse” 36Cl reached the repository horizon in the ~50 years since the peak period of above-ground nuclear testing. Due to the significance of 36Cl data to conceptual models of unsaturated zone flow, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) implemented a study to validate the LANL findings. The USGS drilled new boreholes at select locations across zones where bomb-pulse ratios had previously been identified. The drill cores were analyzed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Because consensus was not reached between the USGS/LLNL and LANL on several fundamental points including the presence or absence of bomb-pulse 36Cl, an evaluation by the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), was initiated. The overall objectives of the UNLV study were to investigate the source of the validation study’s conflicting results, and to obtain additional data on bomb-pulse isotopes at the repository horizon. UNLV engaged in discussions with previous investigators, reviewed reports, and analyzed archived samples. UNLV also collected new samples of rock from the ESF, soil profiles from the surface of YM, and samples of seep water from inside the ESF. Samples were analyzed for 36Cl/Cl ratios, and 99Tc and 129I in select samples. A column experiment was conducted mimicking the passage of bomb-pulse 36Cl through YM tuff. The work faced several obstacles including an extended shutdown of the tunnel. Only one sample yielded a background corrected 36Cl/Cl ratio that was higher than the accepted bomb-pulse threshold (1250 x 10-15). Specimen 01034214 obtained from the Drill Hole Wash fault (19+33) had a ratio of 1590 ± 80 (1σ) x10-15, whereas the other separate sample from this fault zone

  16. Ultramafic xenoliths from the Bearpaw Mountains, Montana, USA: Evidence for multiple metasomatic events in the lithospheric mantle beneath the Wyoming craton

    Science.gov (United States)

    Downes, H.; Macdonald, R.; Upton, B.G.J.; Cox, K.G.; Bodinier, J.-L.; Mason, P.R.D.; James, D.; Hill, P.G.; Hearn, B.C.

    2004-01-01

    Ultramafic xenoliths in Eocene minettes of the Bearpaw Mountains volcanic field (Montana, USA), derived from the lower lithosphere of the Wyoming craton, can be divided based on textural criteria into tectonite and cumulate groups. The tectonites consist of strongly depleted spinel lherzolites, harzbugites and dunites. Although their mineralogical compositions are generally similar to those of spinel peridotites in off-craton settings, some contain pyroxenes and spinels that have unusually low Al2O3 contents more akin to those found in cratonic spinel peridotites. Furthermore, the tectonite peridotites have whole-rock major element compositions that tend to be significantly more depleted than non-cratonic mantle spinel peridotites (high MgO, low CaO, Al2O3 and TiO2) and resemble those of cratonic mantle. These compositions could have been generated by up to 30% partial melting of an undepleted mantle source. Petrographic evidence suggests that the mantle beneath the Wyoming craton was re-enriched in three ways: (1) by silicate melts that formed mica websterite and clinopyroxenite veins; (2) by growth of phlogopite from K-rich hydrous fluids; (3) by interaction with aqueous fluids to form orthopyroxene porphyroblasts and orthopyroxenite veins. In contrast to their depleted major element compositions, the tectonite peridotites are mostly light rare earth element (LREE)-enriched and show enrichment in fluid-mobile elements such as Cs, Rb, U and Pb on mantle-normalized diagrams. Lack of enrichment in high field strength elements (HFSE; e.g. Nb, Ta, Zr and Hf) suggests that the tectonite peridotites have been metasomatized by a subduction-related fluid. Clinopyroxenes from the tectonite peridotites have distinct U-shaped REE patterns with strong LREE enrichment. They have 143Nd/144Nd values that range from 0??5121 (close to the host minette values) to 0??5107, similar to those of xenoliths from the nearby Highwood Mountains. Foliated mica websterites also have low 143Nd

  17. Mountaineering

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘步东

    2005-01-01

    Most young people enjoy some forms of physical activities.It may be walking,cycling or swimming,or in wither,skating or skiing.It may be a game of some kind,football,hockey(曲棍球),golf,or tennis.Perhaps it may be mountaineering.

  18. Evaporative evolution of a Na–Cl–NO3–K–Ca–SO4–Mg–Si brine at 95°C: Experiments and modeling relevant to Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carroll Susan

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available A synthetic Topopah Spring Tuff water representative of one type of pore water at Yucca Mountain, NV was evaporated at 95°C in a series of experiments to determine the geochemical controls for brines that may form on, and possibly impact upon the long-term integrity of waste containers and drip shields at the designated high-level, nuclear-waste repository. Solution chemistry, condensed vapor chemistry, and precipitate mineralogy were used to identify important chemical divides and to validate geochemical calculations of evaporating water chemistry using a high temperature Pitzer thermodynamic database. The water evolved toward a complex "sulfate type" brine that contained about 45 mol % Na, 40 mol % Cl, 9 mol % NO3, 5 mol % K, and less than 1 mol % each of SO4, Ca, Mg, ∑CO2(aq, F, and Si. All measured ions in the condensed vapor phase were below detection limits. The mineral precipitates identified were halite, anhydrite, bassanite, niter, and nitratine. Trends in the solution composition and identification of CaSO4 solids suggest that fluorite, carbonate, sulfate, and magnesium-silicate precipitation control the aqueous solution composition of sulfate type waters by removing fluoride, calcium, and magnesium during the early stages of evaporation. In most cases, the high temperature Pitzer database, used by EQ3/6 geochemical code, sufficiently predicts water composition and mineral precipitation during evaporation. Predicted solution compositions are generally within a factor of 2 of the experimental values. The model predicts that sepiolite, bassanite, amorphous silica, calcite, halite, and brucite are the solubility controlling mineral phases.

  19. Evaporative Evolution of a Na-Cl-NO3-K-Ca-SO4-Mg-Si Brine at 95(degree)C: Experiments and Modeling relevant to Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alai, M; Sutton, M; Carroll, S A

    2004-08-24

    A synthetic Topopah Spring Tuff water representative of one type of pore water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada (USA) was evaporated at 95 C in a series of experiments to determine the geochemical controls for brines that may form on, and possibly impact upon the long-term integrity of waste containers and drip shields at the designated high-level, nuclear-waste repository. Solution chemistry, condensed vapor chemistry, and precipitate mineralogy were used to identify important chemical divides and to validate geochemical calculations of evaporating water chemistry using a high temperature Pitzer thermodynamic database. The water evolved towards a complex ''sulfate type'' brine that contained about 45 mol% Na, 40 mol% Cl, 9 mol% NO{sub 3}, 5 mol% K, and less than 1 mol% each of SO{sub 4}, Ca, Mg, {Sigma}CO{sub 2}(aq), F, and Si. All measured ions in the condensed vapor phase were below detection limits. The mineral precipitates identified were halite, anhydrite, bassanite, niter and nitratine. Trends in the solution composition and identification of CaSO{sub 4} solids suggest that fluorite, carbonate, sulfate, and magnesium-silicate precipitation control the aqueous solution composition of sulfate type waters by removing fluoride, calcium, and magnesium during the early stages of evaporation. In most cases, the high temperature Pitzer database, used by EQ3/6 geochemical code, sufficiently predicts water composition and mineral precipitation during evaporation. Predicted solution compositions are generally within a factor of two of the experimental values. The model predicts that sepiolite, bassanite, amorphous silica, calcite, halite and brucite are the solubility controlling mineral phases.

  20. Yucca Mountain Waste Package Closure System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    shelton-davis; Colleen Shelton-Davis; Greg Housley

    2005-10-01

    The current disposal path for high-level waste is to place the material into secure waste packages that are inserted into a repository. The Idaho National Laboratory has been tasked with the development, design, and demonstration of the waste package closure system for the repository project. The closure system design includes welding three lids and a purge port cap, four methods of nondestructive examination, and evacuation and backfill of the waste package, all performed in a remote environment. A demonstration of the closure system will be performed with a full-scale waste package.

  1. Yucca Mountain Waste Package Closure System

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Herschel Smartt; Arthur Watkins; David Pace; Rodney Bitsoi; Eric Larsen; Timothy McJunkin; Charles Tolle

    2006-04-01

    The current disposal path for high-level waste is to place the material into secure waste packages that are inserted into a repository. The Idaho National Laboratory has been tasked with the development, design, and demonstration of the waste package closure system for the repository project. The closure system design includes welding three lids and a purge port cap, four methods of nondestructive examination, and evacuation and backfill of the waste package, all performed in a remote environment. A demonstration of the closure system will be performed with a full-scale waste package.

  2. Yucca Mountain licensing support network archive assistant.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunlavy, Daniel M.; Bauer, Travis L.; Verzi, Stephen J.; Basilico, Justin Derrick; Shaneyfelt, Wendy

    2008-03-01

    This report describes the Licensing Support Network (LSN) Assistant--a set of tools for categorizing e-mail messages and documents, and investigating and correcting existing archives of categorized e-mail messages and documents. The two main tools in the LSN Assistant are the LSN Archive Assistant (LSNAA) tool for recategorizing manually labeled e-mail messages and documents and the LSN Realtime Assistant (LSNRA) tool for categorizing new e-mail messages and documents. This report focuses on the LSNAA tool. There are two main components of the LSNAA tool. The first is the Sandia Categorization Framework, which is responsible for providing categorizations for documents in an archive and storing them in an appropriate Categorization Database. The second is the actual user interface, which primarily interacts with the Categorization Database, providing a way for finding and correcting categorizations errors in the database. A procedure for applying the LSNAA tool and an example use case of the LSNAA tool applied to a set of e-mail messages are provided. Performance results of the categorization model designed for this example use case are presented.

  3. Crustal structure beneath Eastern Greenland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reiche, Sönke; Thybo, H.; Kaip, G.

    2011-01-01

    is recorded by 350 Reftek Texan receivers for 10 equidistant shot points along the profile. We use forward ray tracing modelling to construct a two-dimensional velocity model from the observed travel times. These results show the first images of the subsurface velocity structure beneath the Greenland ice...... these mountain belts is needed for assessing the isostatic balance of the crust and to gain insight into possible links between crustal composition, rifting history and present-day topography of the North Atlantic Region. However, the acquisition of geophysical data onshore Greenland is logistically complicated...

  4. Deep Resistivity Structure of Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Theodore H. Asch, Brian D. Rodriguez; Jay A. Sampson; Erin L. Wallin; and Jackie M. Williams.

    2006-09-18

    The Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at their Nevada Site Office are addressing groundwater contamination resulting from historical underground nuclear testing through the Environmental Management program and, in particular, the Underground Test Area project. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area adjacent to a nuclear test. Ground water modelers would like to know more about the hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey, supported by the DOE and NNSA-NSO, collected and processed data from 51 magnetotelluric (MT) and audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) stations at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to assist in characterizing the pre-Tertiary geology in that area. The primary purpose was to refine the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (late Devonian – Mississippian-age siliciclastic rocks assigned to the Eleana Formation and Chainman Shale) in the Yucca Flat area. The MT and AMT data have been released in separate USGS Open File Reports. The Nevada Test Site magnetotelluric data interpretation presented in this report includes the results of detailed two-dimensional (2 D) resistivity modeling for each profile (including alternative interpretations) and gross inferences on the three dimensional (3 D) character of the geology beneath each station. The character, thickness, and lateral extent of the Chainman Shale and Eleana Formation that comprise the Upper Clastic Confining Unit are generally well determined in the upper 5 km. Inferences can be made regarding the presence of the Lower Clastic Confining Unit at depths below 5 km. Large

  5. Mineralogic Zonation Within the Tuff Confining Unit, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lance Prothro

    2005-09-01

    Recently acquired mineralogic data from drill hole samples in Yucca Flat show that the tuff confining unit (TCU) can be subdivided into three mineralogic zones based on the relative abundances of primary and secondary mineral assemblages. These zones are (1) an upper zone characterized by the abundance of the zeolite mineral clinoptilolite with lesser amounts of felsic and clay minerals; (2) a middle zone with felsic minerals dominant over clinoptilolite and clay minerals; and (3) a basal argillic zone where clay minerals are dominant over felsic minerals and clinoptilolite. Interpretation of the mineralogic data, along with lithologic, stratigraphic, and geophysical data from approximately 500 drill holes, reveals a three-layer mineralogic model for the TCU that shows all three zones are extensive beneath Yucca Flat. The mineralogic model will be used to subdivide the TCU in the Yucca Flat hydrostratigraphic framework model, resulting in a more accurate and versatile framework model. In addition, the identification of the type, quantity, and distribution of minerals within each TCU layer will permit modelers to better predict the spatial distribution and extent of contaminant transport from underground tests in Yucca Flat, at both the level of the hydrologic source term and the corrective action unit.

  6. Determinism beneath Quantum Mechanics

    CERN Document Server

    Hooft, G

    2002-01-01

    Contrary to common belief, it is not difficult to construct deterministic models where stochastic behavior is correctly described by quantum mechanical amplitudes, in precise accordance with the Copenhagen-Bohr-Bohm doctrine. What is difficult however is to obtain a Hamiltonian that is bounded from below, and whose ground state is a vacuum that exhibits complicated vacuum fluctuations, as in the real world. Beneath Quantum Mechanics, there may be a deterministic theory with (local) information loss. This may lead to a sufficiently complex vacuum state, and to an apparent non-locality in the relation between the deterministic ("ontological") states and the quantum states, of the kind needed to explain away the Bell inequalities. Theories of this kind would not only be appealing from a philosophical point of view, but may also be essential for understanding causality at Planckian distance scales.

  7. Lithospheric instability beneath the Transverse Ranges of California

    OpenAIRE

    Houseman, Gregory A.; Neil, Emily A.; Kohler, Monica D.

    2000-01-01

    Recent high-resolution seismic experiments reveal that the crust beneath the San Gabriel Mountains portion of the Transverse Ranges thickens by 10–15 km (contrary to earlier studies). Associated with the Transverse Ranges, there is an anomalous ridge of seismically fast upper mantle material extending at least 200 km into the mantle. This high-velocity anomaly has previously been interpreted as a lithospheric downwelling. Both lithospheric downwelling and crustal thickening are associated wit...

  8. Observations of the azimuthal dependence of normal mode coupling below 4 mHz at the South Pole and its nearby stations: Insights into the anisotropy beneath the Transantarctic Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Xiao Gang

    2016-08-01

    Normal mode coupling pair 0S26-0T26 and 0S27-0T27 are significantly present at the South Pole station QSPA after the 2011/03/11 Mw9.1 Tohoku earthquake. In an attempt to determine the mechanisms responsible for the coupling pairs, I first investigate mode observations at 43 stations distributed along the polar great-circle path for the earthquake and observations at 32 Antarctic stations. I rule out the effect of Earth's rotation as well as the effect of global large-scale lateral heterogeneity, but argue instead for the effect of small-scale local azimuthal anisotropy in a depth extent about 300 km. The presence of quasi-Love waveform in 2-5 mHz at QSPA and its nearby stations confirms the predication. Secondly, I analyze normal mode observations at the South Pole location after 28 large earthquakes from 1998 to 2015. The result indicates that the presence of the mode coupling is azimuthal dependent, which is related to event azimuths in -46° to -18°. I also make a comparison between the shear-wave splitting measurements of previous studies and the mode coupling observations of this study, suggesting that their difference can be explained by a case that the anisotropy responsible for the mode coupling is not just below the South Pole location but located below region close to the Transantarctic Mountains (TAM). Furthermore, more signals of local azimuthal anisotropy in normal-mode observations at QSPA and SBA, such as coupling of 0S12-0T11 and vertical polarization anomaly for 0T10, confirms the existence of deep anisotropy close to TAM, which may be caused by asthenospheric mantle flow and edge convection around cratonic keel of TAM.

  9. Drift design methodology and preliminary application for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hardy, M.P. [Agapito (J.F.T.) and Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Bauer, S.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1991-12-01

    Excavation stability in an underground nuclear waste repository is required during construction, emplacement, retrieval (if required), and closure phases to ensure worker health and safety, and to prevent development of potential pathways for radionuclide migration in the post-closure period. Stable excavations are developed by appropriate excavation procedures, design of the room shape, design and installation of rock support reinforcement systems, and implementation of appropriate monitoring and maintenance programs. In addition to the loads imposed by the in situ stress field, the repository drifts will be impacted by thermal loads developed after waste emplacement and, periodically, by seismic loads from naturally occurring earthquakes and underground nuclear events. A priori evaluation of stability is required for design of the ground support system, to confirm that the thermal loads are reasonable, and to support the license application process. In this report, a design methodology for assessing drift stability is presented. This is based on site conditions, together with empirical and analytical methods. Analytical numerical methods are emphasized at this time because empirical data are unavailable for excavations in welded tuff either at elevated temperatures or under seismic loads. The analytical methodology incorporates analysis of rock masses that are systematically jointed, randomly jointed, and sparsely jointed. In situ thermal and seismic loads are considered. Methods of evaluating the analytical results and estimating ground support requirements for all the full range of expected ground conditions are outlines. The results of a preliminary application of the methodology using the limited available data are presented. 26 figs., 55 tabs.

  10. Imaging Canary Island hotspot material beneath the lithosphere of Morocco and southern Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Meghan S.; O'Driscoll, Leland J.; Butcher, Amber J.; Thomas, Christine

    2015-12-01

    The westernmost Mediterranean has developed into its present day tectonic configuration as a result of complex interactions between late stage subduction of the Neo-Tethys Ocean, continental collision of Africa and Eurasia, and the Canary Island mantle plume. This study utilizes S receiver functions (SRFs) from over 360 broadband seismic stations to seismically image the lithosphere and uppermost mantle from southern Spain through Morocco and the Canary Islands. The lithospheric thickness ranges from ∼65 km beneath the Atlas Mountains and the active volcanic islands to over ∼210 km beneath the cratonic lithosphere in southern Morocco. The common conversion point (CCP) volume of the SRFs indicates that thinned lithosphere extends from beneath the Canary Islands offshore southwestern Morocco, to beneath the continental lithosphere of the Atlas Mountains, and then thickens abruptly at the West African craton. Beneath thin lithosphere between the Canary hot spot and southern Spain, including below the Atlas Mountains and the Alboran Sea, there are distinct pockets of low velocity material, as inferred from high amplitude positive, sub-lithospheric conversions in the SRFs. These regions of low seismic velocity at the base of the lithosphere extend beneath the areas of Pliocene-Quaternary magmatism, which has been linked to a Canary hotspot source via geochemical signatures. However, we find that this volume of low velocity material is discontinuous along strike and occurs only in areas of recent volcanism and where asthenospheric mantle flow is identified with shear wave splitting analyses. We propose that the low velocity structure beneath the lithosphere is material flowing sub-horizontally northeastwards beneath Morocco from the tilted Canary Island plume, and the small, localized volcanoes are the result of small-scale upwellings from this material.

  11. YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are required for Arabidopsis shade avoidance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Müller-Moulé

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available Plants respond to neighbor shade by increasing stem and petiole elongation. Shade, sensed by phytochrome photoreceptors, causes stabilization of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR proteins and subsequent induction of YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes. To investigate the role of YUCCA genes in phytochrome-mediated elongation, we examined auxin signaling kinetics after an end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR light treatment, and found that an auxin responsive reporter is rapidly induced within 2 hours of far-red exposure. YUCCA2, 5, 8, and 9 are all induced with similar kinetics suggesting that they could act redundantly to control shade-mediated elongation. To test this hypothesis we constructed a yucca2, 5, 8, 9 quadruple mutant and found that the hypocotyl and petiole EOD-FR and shade avoidance responses are completely disrupted. This work shows that YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are essential for detectable shade avoidance and that YUCCA genes are important for petiole shade avoidance.

  12. YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are required for Arabidopsis shade avoidance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Müller-Moulé, Patricia; Nozue, Kazunari; Pytlak, Melissa L.; Palmer, Christine M.; Covington, Michael F.; Wallace, Andreah D.; Harmer, Stacey L.

    2016-01-01

    Plants respond to neighbor shade by increasing stem and petiole elongation. Shade, sensed by phytochrome photoreceptors, causes stabilization of PHYTOCHROME INTERACTING FACTOR proteins and subsequent induction of YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes. To investigate the role of YUCCA genes in phytochrome-mediated elongation, we examined auxin signaling kinetics after an end-of-day far-red (EOD-FR) light treatment, and found that an auxin responsive reporter is rapidly induced within 2 hours of far-red exposure. YUCCA2, 5, 8, and 9 are all induced with similar kinetics suggesting that they could act redundantly to control shade-mediated elongation. To test this hypothesis we constructed a yucca2, 5, 8, 9 quadruple mutant and found that the hypocotyl and petiole EOD-FR and shade avoidance responses are completely disrupted. This work shows that YUCCA auxin biosynthetic genes are essential for detectable shade avoidance and that YUCCA genes are important for petiole shade avoidance. PMID:27761349

  13. Sub-crop geologic map of pre-Tertiary rocks in the Yucca Flat and northern Frenchman Flat areas, Nevada Test Site, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cole, J.C.; Harris, A.G.; Wahl, R.R.

    1997-10-02

    This map displays interpreted structural and stratigraphic relations among the Paleozoic and older rocks of the Nevada Test Site region beneath the Miocene volcanic rocks and younger alluvium in the Yucca Flat and northern Frenchman Flat basins. These interpretations are based on a comprehensive examination and review of data for more than 77 drillholes that penetrated part of the pre-Tertiary basement beneath these post-middle Miocene structural basins. Biostratigraphic data from conodont fossils were newly obtained for 31 of these holes, and a thorough review of all prior microfossil paleontologic data is incorporated in the analysis. Subsurface relationships are interpreted in light of a revised regional geologic framework synthesized from detailed geologic mapping in the ranges surrounding Yucca Flat, from comprehensive stratigraphic studies in the region, and from additional detailed field studies on and around the Nevada Test Site. All available data indicate the subsurface geology of Yucca Flat is considerably more complicated than previous interpretations have suggested. The western part of the basin, in particular, is underlain by relics of the eastward-vergent Belted Range thrust system that are folded back toward the west and thrust by local, west-vergent contractional structures of the CP thrust system. Field evidence from the ranges surrounding the north end of Yucca Flat indicate that two significant strike-slip faults track southward beneath the post-middle Miocene basin fill, but their subsurface traces cannot be closely defined from the available evidence. In contrast, the eastern part of the Yucca Flat basin is interpreted to be underlain by a fairly simple north-trending, broad syncline in the pre-Tertiary units. Far fewer data are available for the northern Frenchman Flat basin, but regional analysis indicates the pre-Tertiary structure there should also be relatively simple and not affected by thrusting. This new interpretation has implications

  14. Remote geologic structural analysis of Yucca Flat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foley, M.G.; Heasler, P.G.; Hoover, K.A. (Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)); Rynes, N.J. (Northern Illinois Univ., De Kalb, IL (United States)); Thiessen, R.L.; Alfaro, J.L. (Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States))

    1991-12-01

    The Remote Geologic Analysis (RGA) system was developed by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to identify crustal structures that may affect seismic wave propagation from nuclear tests. Using automated methods, the RGA system identifies all valleys in a digital elevation model (DEM), fits three-dimensional vectors to valley bottoms, and catalogs all potential fracture or fault planes defined by coplanar pairs of valley vectors. The system generates a cluster hierarchy of planar features having greater-than-random density that may represent areas of anomalous topography manifesting structural control of erosional drainage development. Because RGA uses computer methods to identify zones of hypothesized control of topography, ground truth using a well-characterized test site was critical in our evaluation of RGA's characterization of inaccessible test sites for seismic verification studies. Therefore, we applied RGA to a study area centered on Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and compared our results with both mapped geology and geologic structures and with seismic yield-magnitude models. This is the final report of PNL's RGA development project for peer review within the US Department of Energy Office of Arms Control (OAC) seismic-verification community. In this report, we discuss the Yucca Flat study area, the analytical basis of the RGA system and its application to Yucca Flat, the results of the analysis, and the relation of the analytical results to known topography, geology, and geologic structures. 41 refs., 39 figs., 2 tabs.

  15. Remote geologic structural analysis of Yucca Flat

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Foley, M.G.; Heasler, P.G.; Hoover, K.A. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States); Rynes, N.J. [Northern Illinois Univ., De Kalb, IL (United States); Thiessen, R.L.; Alfaro, J.L. [Washington State Univ., Pullman, WA (United States)

    1991-12-01

    The Remote Geologic Analysis (RGA) system was developed by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) to identify crustal structures that may affect seismic wave propagation from nuclear tests. Using automated methods, the RGA system identifies all valleys in a digital elevation model (DEM), fits three-dimensional vectors to valley bottoms, and catalogs all potential fracture or fault planes defined by coplanar pairs of valley vectors. The system generates a cluster hierarchy of planar features having greater-than-random density that may represent areas of anomalous topography manifesting structural control of erosional drainage development. Because RGA uses computer methods to identify zones of hypothesized control of topography, ground truth using a well-characterized test site was critical in our evaluation of RGA`s characterization of inaccessible test sites for seismic verification studies. Therefore, we applied RGA to a study area centered on Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and compared our results with both mapped geology and geologic structures and with seismic yield-magnitude models. This is the final report of PNL`s RGA development project for peer review within the US Department of Energy Office of Arms Control (OAC) seismic-verification community. In this report, we discuss the Yucca Flat study area, the analytical basis of the RGA system and its application to Yucca Flat, the results of the analysis, and the relation of the analytical results to known topography, geology, and geologic structures. 41 refs., 39 figs., 2 tabs.

  16. Mountain-Scale Coupled Processes (TH/THC/THM)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. Dixon

    2004-02-09

    The purpose of this Model Report is to document the development of the Mountain-Scale Thermal-Hydrological (TH), Thermal-Hydrological-Chemical (THC), and Thermal-Hydrological-Mechanical (THM) Models and evaluate the effects of coupled TH/THC/THM processes on mountain-scale UZ flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This Model Report was planned in ''Technical Work Plan (TWP) for: Performance Assessment Unsaturated Zone'' (BSC 2002 [160819], Section 1.12.7), and was developed in accordance with AP-SIII.10Q, Models. In this Model Report, any reference to ''repository'' means the nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, and any reference to ''drifts'' means the emplacement drifts at the repository horizon. This Model Report provides the necessary framework to test conceptual hypotheses for analyzing mountain-scale hydrological/chemical/mechanical changes and predict flow behavior in response to heat release by radioactive decay from the nuclear waste repository at the Yucca Mountain site. The mountain-scale coupled TH/THC/THM processes models numerically simulate the impact of nuclear waste heat release on the natural hydrogeological system, including a representation of heat-driven processes occurring in the far field. The TH simulations provide predictions for thermally affected liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and water and rock temperature (together called the flow fields). The main focus of the TH Model is to predict the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes, and drainage between drifts. The TH Model captures mountain-scale three dimensional (3-D) flow effects, including lateral diversion at the PTn/TSw interface and mountain-scale flow patterns. The Mountain-Scale THC Model evaluates TH effects on water and gas chemistry, mineral dissolution/precipitation, and the resulting impact to UZ hydrological properties, flow and transport. The THM Model addresses changes

  17. Potential methane reservoirs beneath Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wadham, J L; Arndt, S; Tulaczyk, S; Stibal, M; Tranter, M; Telling, J; Lis, G P; Lawson, E; Ridgwell, A; Dubnick, A; Sharp, M J; Anesio, A M; Butler, C E H

    2012-08-30

    Once thought to be devoid of life, the ice-covered parts of Antarctica are now known to be a reservoir of metabolically active microbial cells and organic carbon. The potential for methanogenic archaea to support the degradation of organic carbon to methane beneath the ice, however, has not yet been evaluated. Large sedimentary basins containing marine sequences up to 14 kilometres thick and an estimated 21,000 petagrams (1 Pg equals 10(15) g) of organic carbon are buried beneath the Antarctic Ice Sheet. No data exist for rates of methanogenesis in sub-Antarctic marine sediments. Here we present experimental data from other subglacial environments that demonstrate the potential for overridden organic matter beneath glacial systems to produce methane. We also numerically simulate the accumulation of methane in Antarctic sedimentary basins using an established one-dimensional hydrate model and show that pressure/temperature conditions favour methane hydrate formation down to sediment depths of about 300 metres in West Antarctica and 700 metres in East Antarctica. Our results demonstrate the potential for methane hydrate accumulation in Antarctic sedimentary basins, where the total inventory depends on rates of organic carbon degradation and conditions at the ice-sheet bed. We calculate that the sub-Antarctic hydrate inventory could be of the same order of magnitude as that of recent estimates made for Arctic permafrost. Our findings suggest that the Antarctic Ice Sheet may be a neglected but important component of the global methane budget, with the potential to act as a positive feedback on climate warming during ice-sheet wastage.

  18. MOUNTAINS UNITE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Svitlana Dovbenko

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Schools in the Ukrainian Carpathian mountain region work in specific conditions. They have original traditions, a special nature of learning and work. Indeed, because of a remote location mountain village school becomes the center for a cultural and spiritual life. Of course, it is related to a present social and economic situation in the country and a slow progress of society. Therefore, we need to look at mountain school with a broader angle, help it in comprehensive development of an individual and ensure an availability of quality education for children living in mountainous areas. Here we should talk about learning as well as laying the foundations for a life success. The international research project Mountain School. Status. Problems. Prospects for Development. Is established to help solve these problems. Precarpathian National University is an active member of the project.

  19. Climatic Forecasting of Net Infiltration at Yucca Montain Using Analogue Meteororological Data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    B. Faybishenko

    2006-09-11

    At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, future changes in climatic conditions will most likely alter net infiltration, or the drainage below the bottom of the evapotranspiration zone within the soil profile or flow across the interface between soil and the densely welded part of the Tiva Canyon Tuff. The objectives of this paper are to: (a) develop a semi-empirical model and forecast average net infiltration rates, using the limited meteorological data from analogue meteorological stations, for interglacial (present day), and future monsoon, glacial transition, and glacial climates over the Yucca Mountain region, and (b) corroborate the computed net-infiltration rates by comparing them with the empirically and numerically determined groundwater recharge and percolation rates through the unsaturated zone from published data. In this paper, the author presents an approach for calculations of net infiltration, aridity, and precipitation-effectiveness indices, using a modified Budyko's water-balance model, with reference-surface potential evapotranspiration determined from the radiation-based Penman (1948) formula. Results of calculations show that net infiltration rates are expected to generally increase from the present-day climate to monsoon climate, to glacial transition climate, and then to the glacial climate. The forecasting results indicate the overlap between the ranges of net infiltration for different climates. For example, the mean glacial net-infiltration rate corresponds to the upper-bound glacial transition net infiltration, and the lower-bound glacial net infiltration corresponds to the glacial transition mean net infiltration. Forecasting of net infiltration for different climate states is subject to numerous uncertainties-associated with selecting climate analogue sites, using relatively short analogue meteorological records, neglecting the effects of vegetation and surface runoff and runon on a local scale, as well as possible anthropogenic climate changes.

  20. Ear trauma caused by a yucca plant leaf spine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Talmi, Yoav P; Wolf, Michael; Migirov, Lela; Kronenberg, Jona

    2009-06-01

    Three uncommon cases of ear trauma caused by a yucca plant leaf spine are presented. One patient presented with tympanic perforation and the second with mixed hearing loss after spontaneous closure. The third patient probably had a perilymphatic fistula with subsequent labyrinthitis and hearing loss. Although the yucca is a ubiquitous plant, to the best of our knowledge, such incidents have not been previously reported.

  1. Mountaineering Tourism

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrick Maher

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Mountaineering Tourism Edited by Ghazali Musa, James Higham, and Anna Thompson-Carr. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2015. xxvi + 358 pp. Hardcover. US$ 145.00. ISBN 978-1-138-78237-2.

  2. Successful Female Mountaineers

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TANSIYIN

    2004-01-01

    The Third Mountaineering Meet took place from September 26 to October 8, 2003. It was sponsored by the Tibet Association for Mountaineers and undertaken by the Tibet Mountaineering Team and the Tibet Mountaineering School.

  3. Magnetotelluric Data, Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about the hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for Central Yucca Flat, Profile 1, as shown in figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.

  4. Magnetotelluric Data, Southern Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about the hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for Southern Yucca Flat, Profile 4, as shown in Figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.

  5. Changbai Mountains

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1995-01-01

    The Changbai Mountains are located within the boundaries of Antu County, Fusong County and Changbai County of Jilin City of Jilin Province. They cover a total area of more than 200,000 hectares and is one of the largest nature preserves in China. There are abundant species of living things, such as Dongbei Tiger, sika, sable and

  6. Mountain medicin

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bay, Bjørn; Hjuler, Kasper Fjellhaugen

    2016-01-01

    Travelling to high altitudes is an increasingly popular form of recreational holiday. Individual medical advice may be essential for certain groups of individuals such as patients with chronic disorders, pregnant women or children. This is the second part in a series of two articles on mountain...

  7. Radial anisotropy beneath northeast Tibet, implications for lithosphere deformation at a restraining bend in the Kunlun fault and its vicinity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Lun; Li, Aibing; Murphy, Michael A.; Fu, Yuanyuan V.

    2016-09-01

    Three-dimensional shear wave velocity and radial anisotropy models of the crust and upper mantle beneath the NE Tibetan plateau are constructed from new measurements of Love wave dispersions (20-77s) and previously obtained Rayleigh wave dispersions (20-87s) using a two-plane-wave method. The mid-lower crust is characterized with positive anisotropy (VSH > VSV) with large strength beneath the Qinling and Qilian Mountains and small values beneath the Anyemaqen Mountain. The large positive anisotropy can be explained by horizontal alignment of anisotropic minerals in the mid-lower crust due to crustal flow. The mantle lithosphere above 90 km is largely isotropic while weak positive anisotropy appears beneath 90 km, which probably marks the lithosphere-asthenosphere boundary (LAB). A low shear wave velocity anomaly and relatively negative radial anisotropy are imaged in the entire lithosphere beneath the restraining bend in the eastern Kunlun fault, consistent with a weak lithosphere experiencing vertical thickening under horizontal compression. The asthenosphere at the restraining bend is characterized by significant low velocity and positive radial anisotropy, reflecting that the asthenosphere here is probably hotter, has more melts, and deforms more easily than the surrounding region. We propose that the lithosphere at the restraining bend was vertically thickened and subsequently delaminated locally, and induced asthenosphere upwelling. This model explains the observations of velocity and anisotropy anomalies in the lithosphere and asthenosphere as well as geological observations of rapid rock uplift at the restraining bend of the Kunlun fault.

  8. Gravity and magnetic study of Yucca Wash, southwest Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langenheim, V.E.; Ponce, D.A.; Oliver, H.W.; Sikora, R.F. [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States)

    1993-12-31

    Gravity and ground magnetic data were collected along five traverses across and one traverse along Yucca Wash in the southwest quadrant of the Nevada Test Site. Two additional ground magnetic profiles were collected approximately 100 m to either side of the longitudinal profile. These data do not indicate major vertical offsets greater than 100 m using a density contrast of 0.2 to 0.3 g/cm{sup 3} along the proposed Yucca Wash fault. A broad magnetic high coincides with the location of the hydrologic gradient. Density profiling, a technique used to determine the average density of small topographic features, suggests that the density of near-surface material in the vicinity of Yucca Wash is about 2.0 g/cm{sup 3}.

  9. Short seed longevity, variable germination conditions, and infrequent establishment events provide a narrow window for Yucca brevifolia (Agavaceae) recruitment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bryant, M.; Reynolds, J.; DeFalco, Lesley A.; Esque, Todd C.

    2012-01-01

    PREMISE OF THE STUDY: The future of long-lived stand-forming desert plants such as Yucca brevifolia (Joshua tree) has come into question in light of climate variation and landscape-scale disturbances such as wildfire. Understanding plant establishment dynamics is important for mitigating the impacts of disturbances and promoting revegetation. • METHODS: We placed Y. brevifolia seeds in shallow caches and manipulated granivore access, nurse shrub effects, and the season of cache placement to determine conditions for seed germination and seedling establishment. • KEY RESULTS: Greatest seedling emergence occurred during spring and summer, when increased soil moisture was accompanied by warm soil temperatures. Late winter-spring emergence for cached seeds was enhanced beneath shrub canopies, but seedling survival declined beneath shrubs as temperatures increased in spring. Germinability of seed remaining in the soil was reduced from 50-68% after 12 mo residence time in soil and declined to seeds are either removed by granivores or lose germinability, imposing substantial losses of potential germinants. • CONCLUSIONS: Specific germination and establishment requirements impose stringent limits on recruitment rates for Y. brevifolia. Coupled with infrequent seed availability, the return rates to prefire densities and demographic structure may require decades to centuries, especially in light of potential changes to regional desert climate in combination with the potential for fire recurrence. Demographic patterns are predicted to vary spatially in response to environmental variability that limits recruitment and may already be apparent among extant populations.

  10. Mammoth Mountain, California broadband seismic experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawson, P. B.; Pitt, A. M.; Wilkinson, S. K.; Chouet, B. A.; Hill, D. P.; Mangan, M.; Prejean, S. G.; Read, C.; Shelly, D. R.

    2013-12-01

    Mammoth Mountain is a young cumulo-volcano located on the southwest rim of Long Valley caldera, California. Current volcanic processes beneath Mammoth Mountain are manifested in a wide range of seismic signals, including swarms of shallow volcano-tectonic earthquakes, upper and mid-crustal long-period earthquakes, swarms of brittle-failure earthquakes in the lower crust, and shallow (3-km depth) very-long-period earthquakes. Diffuse emissions of C02 began after a magmatic dike injection beneath the volcano in 1989, and continue to present time. These indications of volcanic unrest drive an extensive monitoring effort of the volcano by the USGS Volcano Hazards Program. As part of this effort, eleven broadband seismometers were deployed on Mammoth Mountain in November 2011. This temporary deployment is expected to run through the fall of 2013. These stations supplement the local short-period and broadband seismic stations of the Northern California Seismic Network (NCSN) and provide a combined network of eighteen broadband stations operating within 4 km of the summit of Mammoth Mountain. Data from the temporary stations are not available in real-time, requiring the merging of the data from the temporary and permanent networks, timing of phases, and relocation of seismic events to be accomplished outside of the standard NCSN processing scheme. The timing of phases is accomplished through an interactive Java-based phase-picking routine, and the relocation of seismicity is achieved using the probabilistic non-linear software package NonLinLoc, distributed under the GNU General Public License by Alomax Scientific. Several swarms of shallow volcano-tectonic earthquakes, spasmodic bursts of high-frequency earthquakes, a few long-period events located within or below the edifice of Mammoth Mountain and numerous mid-crustal long-period events have been recorded by the network. To date, about 900 of the ~2400 events occurring beneath Mammoth Mountain since November 2011 have

  11. Magnetotelluric Data, North Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.M. Williams; B.D. Rodriguez, and T.H. Asch

    2005-11-23

    Nuclear weapons are integral to the defense of the United States. The U.S. Department of Energy, as the steward of these devices, must continue to gauge the efficacy of the individual weapons. This could be accomplished by occasional testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nevada, northwest of Las Vegas. Yucca Flat Basin is one of the testing areas at the NTS. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology and its effects on ground-water flow in the area subsequent to a nuclear test. Ground-water modelers would like to know more about the hydrostratigraphy and geologic structure to support a hydrostratigraphic framework model that is under development for the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU). During 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) collected and processed Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) data at the Nevada Test Site in and near Yucca Flat to help characterize this pre-Tertiary geology. That work will help to define the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU) in the Yucca Flat area. Interpretation will include a three-dimensional (3-D) character analysis and two-dimensional (2-D) resistivity model. The purpose of this report is to release the MT sounding data for north central Yucca Flat, Profile 7, as shown in Figure 1. No interpretation of the data is included here.