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Sample records for nuclear waste yucca

  1. Nuclear waste disposal: Gambling on Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ginsburg, S.

    1995-01-01

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

  2. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Holt, Mark

    2009-01-01

    Congress designated Yucca Mountain, NV, as the nation's sole candidate site for a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository in 1987, following years of controversy over the site-selection process...

  3. Can nuclear waste be stored safely at Yucca mountain?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whipple, C.G.

    1996-01-01

    In 1987 the federal government narrowed to one its long-term options for disposing of nuclear waste: storing it permanently in a series of caverns excavated out of the rock deep below Yucca mountain in southern Nevada. Whether it makes sense at this time to dispose permanently of spent fuel and radioactive waste in a deep geologic repository is hotly disputed. But the Nuclear Waste Policy Act amendements of 1987 decree that waste be consolidated in Yucca Mountain if the mountain is found suitable. Meanwhile the spent fuel continues to pile up across the country, and 1998 looms, adding urgency to the question: What can science tell us about the ability of the mountain to store nuclear waste safely? This paper discusses this issue and describes how studies of the mountain's history and geology can contribute useful insights but not unequivocal conclusions

  4. Study of nuclear waste storage capacity at Yucca mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhou Wei; Apted, M.; Kessler, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain repository is applying license for storing 70000 MTHM nuclear waste including commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF) and defense high-level radioactive waste (HLW). The 70000 MTHM is a legal not the technical limit. To study the technical limit, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) carried out a systematic study to explore the potential impact if the repository will accept more waste. This paper describes the model and results for evaluating the spent-fuel disposal capacity for a repository at Yucca Mountain from the thermal and hydrological point of view. Two proposed alternative repository designs are analyzed, both of which would fit into the currently well-characterized site and, therefore, not necessitating any additional site characterization at Yucca Mountain. The two- and three-dimensional models for coupled thermo-hydrological analysis extends from the surface to the water table, covering all the major and subgroup rock layers of the planned repository, as well as formations above and below the repository horizon. A dual-porosity and dual-permeability approach is used to model coupled heat and mass transfer through fracture formations. The waste package heating and ventilation are all assumed to follow those of the current design. The results show that the repository is able to accommodate three times the amount of spent fuel compared to the current design, without extra spatial expansion or exceeding current thermal and hydrological constraints. (authors)

  5. Evaluations of Yucca Mountain survey findings about the attitudes, opinions, and evaluations of nuclear waste disposal and Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.H.; Slovic, P.; Mertz, C.K.; Toma, J.

    1990-09-01

    This report provides findings from three surveys conducted during the Fall 1989 as part of the socioeconomic research program sponsored by the Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects. The US Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) in 1982 and defined specific oversight responsibilities, including studies of socioeconomic effects and impacts, to the states in which potential high-level nuclear waste repositories might be located. The NWPA was amended in 1987 and Yucca Mountain, Nevada was designated as the only site to be characterized (studied in detail) as a location for the nation's first repository. These surveys were conducted so they could provide information to the state of Nevada in its evaluation of the Yucca Mountain project. This report presents information from these surveys on two major areas. First, respondent evaluations of environmental hazards, especially nuclear waste facilities are reported. Second, an analysis is made of the Nevada State Survey to examine the public response to the positions taken by the officials and institutions of Nevada in regard to the Yucca Mountain project. The survey data support a finding that the respondents from all three surveys are seriously concerned about the environmental effects of technological facilities and hazards. The evaluations of a nuclear waste repository especially is viewed as likely to produce adverse events and impacts in every aspect of its implementation, operation or long-term existence. When compared to other industrial or technological activities, a high-level nuclear waste repository is seen as the most feared and least acceptable. 36 tabs

  6. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-05-01

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended in 1987, directed the Secretary of Energy to, among other things, investigate Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for permanently disposing of highly radioactive wastes in an underground repository. In April 1991, the authors testified on Yucca Mountain project expenditures before your Subcommittee. Because of the significance of the authors findings regrading DOE's program management and expenditures, you asked the authors to continue reviewing program expenditures in depth. As agreed with your office, the authors reviewed the expenditures of project funds made available to the Department of Energy's (DOE) Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which is the lead project contractor for developing a nuclear waste package that wold be used for disposing of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. This report discusses the laboratory's use of nuclear waste funds to support independent research projects and to manage Yucca Mountain project activities. It also discusses the laboratory's project contracting practices

  7. The U.S. nuclear waste management program - technical progress at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barrett, L.H. [U.S. Department of Energy (United States)

    2001-07-01

    This paper discusses the current status of a national program being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy for the management of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste produced by civilian nuclear power generation and defense-related activities. In 1987 the U.S. Congress directed the Department to characterize the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada and determine its suitability for development of a geologic repository. This paper will focus on the technical progress that has been made after more than 15 years of scientific and engineering investigations at Yucca Mountain, and the remaining work that is being done to support a decision on whether to recommend the site for development of a geologic repository. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; Nelson, T.A.; Domian, H.A.; LaCount, D.F.; Robitz, E.S.; Stein, K.O.

    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 ampersand Wilcox (B ampersand W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B ampersand W's role is to recommend and demonstrate a method for fabricating the metallic waste container and a method for performing the final closure of the container after it has been filled with waste. Various fabrication and closure methods are under consideration for the production of containers. This paper presents progress to date in identifying and evaluating the candidate manufacturing processes. 2 refs., 1 fig., 7 tabs

  9. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carr, M.D.; Yount, J.C.

    1988-01-01

    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

  11. Geology and hydrogeology of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and the surrounding area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mattson, S.R.; Broxton, D.E.; Buono, A.; Crowe, B.M.; Orkild, P.P.

    1989-01-01

    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

  12. Fabrication and closure development of corrosion resistant containers for Nevada's Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; Nelson, T.A.; Domian, H.A.; LaCount, D.F.; Robitz, E.S.; Stein, K.O.

    1989-11-01

    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 ampersand Wilcox (B ampersand W) is involved with the YMP as a subcontractor to LLNL. B ampersand W's role is to recommend and demonstrate a method for fabricating the metallic waste container and a method for performing the final closure of the container after it has been filled with waste. Various fabrication and closure methods are under consideration for the production of containers. This paper presents progress to date in identifying and evaluating the candidate manufacturing processes. 2 refs., 2 figs., 4 tabs

  13. Selection criteria for container materials at the proposed Yucca Mountain high level nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsey, W.G.

    1989-11-01

    A geological repository has been proposed for the permanent disposal of the nation's high level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert. The containers for this waste must remain intact for the unprecedented service lifetime of 1000 years. A combination of engineering, regulatory, and licensing requirements complicate the container material selection. In parallel to gathering information regarding the Yucca Mountain service environment and material performance data, a set of selection criteria have been established which compare candidate materials to the performance requirements, and allow a quantitative comparison of candidates. These criteria assign relative weighting to varied topic areas such as mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, fabricability, and cost. Considering the long service life of the waste containers, it is not surprising that the corrosion behavior of the material is a dominant factor. 7 refs

  14. The road to Yucca Mountain—Evolution of nuclear waste disposal in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2016-01-01

    The generation of electricity by nuclear power and the manufacturing of atomic weapons have created a large amount of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. There is a world-wide consensus that the best way to protect mankind and the environment is to dispose of this waste in a deep geologic repository. Initial efforts focused on salt as the best medium for disposal, but the heat generated by the radioactive waste led many earth scientists to examine other rock types. In 1976, the director of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) wrote to the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA), predecessor agency of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), suggesting that there were several favorable environments at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), and that the USGS already had extensive background information on the NTS. Later, in a series of communications and one publication, the USGS espoused the favorability of the thick unsaturated zone. After the passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (1982), the DOE compiled a list of nine favorable sites and settled on three to be characterized. In 1987, as the costs of characterizing three sites ballooned, Congress amended the Nuclear Waste Policy Act directing the DOE to focus only on Yucca Mountain in Nevada, with the proviso that if anything unfavorable was discovered, work would stop immediately. The U.S. DOE, the U.S. DOE national laboratories, and the USGS developed more than 100 detailed plans to study various earth-science aspects of Yucca Mountain and the surrounding area, as well as materials studies and engineering projects needed for a mined geologic repository. The work, which cost more than 10 billion dollars and required hundreds of man-years of work, culminated in a license application submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2008.

  15. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING -

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2003-01-01

    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

  16. Waste degradation and mobilization in performance assessments for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Stockman, Christine T.

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes modeling of waste degradation and mobilization in performance assessments (PAs) conducted between 1984 and 2008 to evaluate feasibility, viability, and assess compliance of a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. As understanding of the Yucca Mountain disposal system increased, the waste degradation module, or succinctly called the source-term, evolved from initial assumptions in 1984 to results based on process modeling in 2008. In early PAs, waste degradation had significant influence on calculated behavior but as the robustness of the waste container was increased and modeling of the container degradation improved, waste degradation had much less influence in later PAs. The variation of dissolved concentrations of radionuclides progressed from simple probability distributions in early PAs to functions dependent upon water chemistry in later PAs. Also, transport modeling of radionuclides in the waste, container, and invert were added in 1995; and, colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides was added in 1998. - Highlights: • Progression of modeling of waste degradation in performance assessments is discussed for the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain. • Progression of evaluating dissolved concentrations of radionuclides in the source-term is discussed. • Radionuclide transport modeling in the waste, container, and invert in 1995 and thereafter is discussed. • Colloid-facilitated transport in the waste, container, and invert in 1998 and thereafter is discussed

  17. Ground-water sampling of the NNWSI (Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation) water table test wells surrounding Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matuska, N.A.

    1988-12-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) study of the water table in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, completed 16 test holes on the Nevada Test Site and Bureau of Land Management-administered lands surrounding Yucca Mountain. These 16 wells are monitored by the USGS for water-level data; however, they had not been sampled for ground-water chemistry or isotropic composition. As part of the review of the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository, the Desert Research Institute (DRI) sampled six of these wells. The goal of this sampling program was to measure field-dependent parameters of the water such as electrical conductivity, pH, temperature and dissolved oxygen, and to collect samples for major and minor element chemistry and isotopic analysis. This information will be used as part of a program to geochemically model the flow direction between the volcanic tuff aquifers and the underlying regional carbonate aquifer

  18. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

    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

  20. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Waste Package Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Harrison-Giesler, D.J.; Jardine, L.J.

    1991-02-01

    The goal of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) waste package program is to develop, confirm the effectiveness of, and document a design for a waste package and associated engineered barrier system (EBS) for spent nuclear fuel and solidified high-level nuclear waste (HLW) that meets the applicable regulatory requirements for a geologic repository. The Waste Package Plan describes the waste package program and establishes the technical approach against which overall progress can be measured. It provides guidance for execution and describes the essential elements of the program, including the objectives, technical plan, and management approach. The plan covers the time period up to the submission of a repository license application to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). 1 fig

  1. Draft environmental assessment: Yucca Mountain site, Nevada research and development area, Nevada. Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 112)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-12-01

    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. 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 Nuclear Waste Repositories. These evaluations are reported in this draft environmental assessment (EA), which is being issued for public review and comment. The DOE findings and determinations that are based on these evaluations are preliminary and subject to public review and comment. A final EA will be prepared after considering the comments received on the draft EA. The Yucca Mountain site is located in the Great Basin, one of five distinct geohydrologic settings that are being considered for the first repository. On the basis of the evaluations reported in this draft 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 proposing to nominate the Yucca Mountain site as one of five sites suitable for characterization. Furthermore, having performed a comparative evaluation of the five sites proposed for nomination, the DOE has determined that the Yucca Mountain site is one of three sites preferred for site characterization

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang

    1994-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-12-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2002-01-01

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

  8. Future Shock in Nuclear Waste Disposal

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frishman, Steve [Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects, Carson City, NV (United States)

    2006-09-15

    The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) astonished many in the high-level nuclear waste management community when it proposed, in August 2005, new Public Health and Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The new standards set a compliance period of one million years for a Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository. The first 10,000 years after repository closure would be governed by a health-based individual dose limit of 15 millirems per year (0.15 mSv/year), with the remaining time period subject to a background-based individual dose limit of 350 millirems per year (3.5 mSv/year). EPA's proposed standards for a Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository represent an astonishing break with principles embedded in regulatory policies for protection of the public from radiation effects imposed by activities such as generation of electricity from nuclear power reactors and storage and disposal of radioactive wastes.

  9. Yucca Mountain digital database

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Daudt, C.R.; Hinze, W.J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the Yucca Mountain Digital Database (DDB) which is a digital, PC-based geographical database of geoscience-related characteristics of the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository site of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It was created to provide the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) and its staff with a visual perspective of geological, geophysical, and hydrological features at the Yucca Mountain site as discussed in the Department of Energy's (DOE) pre-licensing reports

  10. Environmental program planning for the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-08-01

    This report was prepared to illustrate the policy and actions that the State of Nevada believe are required to assure that the quality of the environment is adequately considered during the course of the DOE work at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The report describes the DOE environmental program and the studies planned by NWPO to reflect the State's position toward environmental protection. 41 refs., 2 figs., 11 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1985-01-01

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

  12. Managing nuclear waste from power plants

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keeney, R.L.; Winterfeldt, D. von

    1994-01-01

    National strategies to manage nuclear waste from commercial nuclear power plants are analyzed and compared. The current strategy is to try to operate a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to dispose storage at a centralized facility or next to nuclear power plants. If either of these is pursued now, the analysis assumes that a repository will be built in 2100 for waste not subsequently put to use. The analysis treats various uncertainties: whether a repository at Yucca Mountain would be licensed, possible theft and misuse of the waste, innovations in repository design and waste management, the potential availability of a cancer cure by 2100, and possible future uses of nuclear waste. The objectives used to compare alternatives include concerns for health and safety, environmental and socioeconomic impacts, and direct economic costs, as well as equity concerns (geographical, intergenerational, and procedural), indirect economic costs, as well as equity concerns (geographical, intergenerational, and procedural), indirect economic costs to electricity ratepayers, federal government responsibility to manage nuclear waste, and implications of theft and misuse of nuclear waste. The analysis shows that currently building an underground repository at Yucca Mountain is inferior to other available strategies by the equivalent of $10,000 million to $50,000 million. This strongly suggests that this policy should be reconsidered. A more detailed analysis using the framework presented would help to define a new national policy to manage nuclear waste. 36 refs., 3 figs., 17 tabs

  13. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    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

  14. Fabrication and closure development of nuclear waste disposal containers for the Yucca Mountain Project: Status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Domian, H.A.; Robitz, E.S.; Conrardy, C.C.; LaCount, D.F.; McAninch, M.D.; Fish, R.L.; Russell, E.W.

    1991-09-01

    In GFY 89, a project was underway to determine and demonstrate a suitable method for fabricating thin-walled monolithic waste containers for service within the potential repository at Yucca Mountain. A concurrent project was underway to determine and demonstrate a suitable closure process for these containers after they have been filled with high-level nuclear waste. Phase 1 for both the fabrication and closure projects was a screening phase in which candidate processes were selected for further laboratory testing in Phase 2. This report describes the final results of the Phase 1 efforts. It also describes the preliminary results of Phase 2 efforts

  15. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.; Halsey, W.G.; McCright, R.D.; Clarke, W.L. Jr.; Gdowski, G.E.

    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

  17. Characterizing the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: hydrology and geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    This hydrology and geochemistry volume is a companion volume to the 2007 Geological Society of America Memoir 199, The Geology and Climatology of Yucca Mountain and Vicinity, Southern Nevada and California, edited by Stuckless and Levich. The work in both volumes was originally reported in the U.S. Department of Energy regulatory document Yucca Mountain Site Description, for the site characterization study of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed U.S. geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The selection of Yucca Mountain resulted from a nationwide search and numerous committee studies during a period of more than 40 yr. The waste, largely from commercial nuclear power reactors and the government's nuclear weapons programs, is characterized by intense penetrating radiation and high heat production, and, therefore, it must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. The extensive, unique, and often innovative geoscience investigations conducted at Yucca Mountain for more than 20 yr make it one of the most thoroughly studied geologic features on Earth. The results of these investigations contribute extensive knowledge to the hydrologic and geochemical aspects of radioactive waste disposal in the unsaturated zone. The science, analyses, and interpretations are important not only to Yucca Mountain, but also to the assessment of other sites or alternative processes that may be considered for waste disposal in the future. Groundwater conditions, processes, and geochemistry, especially in combination with the heat from radionuclide decay, are integral to the ability of a repository to isolate waste. Hydrology and geochemistry are discussed here in chapters on unsaturated zone hydrology, saturated zone hydrology, paleohydrology, hydrochemistry, radionuclide transport, and thermally driven coupled processes affecting long-term waste isolation. This introductory chapter reviews some of the reasons for choosing to study Yucca Mountain as a

  18. Characterizing the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada--hydrology and geochemistry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stuckless, John S.; Levich, Robert A.

    2012-01-01

    This hydrology and geochemistry volume is a companion volume to the 2007 Geological Society of America Memoir 199, The Geology and Climatology of Yucca Mountain and Vicinity, Southern Nevada and California, edited by Stuckless and Levich. The work in both volumes was originally reported in the U.S. Department of Energy regulatory document Yucca Mountain Site Description, for the site characterization study of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed U.S. geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. The selection of Yucca Mountain resulted from a nationwide search and numerous committee studies during a period of more than 40 yr. The waste, largely from commercial nuclear power reactors and the government's nuclear weapons programs, is characterized by intense penetrating radiation and high heat production, and, therefore, it must be isolated from the biosphere for tens of thousands of years. The extensive, unique, and often innovative geoscience investigations conducted at Yucca Mountain for more than 20 yr make it one of the most thoroughly studied geologic features on Earth. The results of these investigations contribute extensive knowledge to the hydrologic and geochemical aspects of radioactive waste disposal in the unsaturated zone. The science, analyses, and interpretations are important not only to Yucca Mountain, but also to the assessment of other sites or alternative processes that may be considered for waste disposal in the future. Groundwater conditions, processes, and geochemistry, especially in combination with the heat from radionuclide decay, are integral to the ability of a repository to isolate waste. Hydrology and geochemistry are discussed here in chapters on unsaturated zone hydrology, saturated zone hydrology, paleohydrology, hydrochemistry, radionuclide transport, and thermally driven coupled processes affecting long-term waste isolation. This introductory chapter reviews some of the reasons for choosing to study Yucca Mountain as a

  19. A geologic scenario for catastrophic failure of the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McMackin, M.R.

    1993-01-01

    A plausible combination of geologic factors leading to failure can be hypothesized for the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. The scenarios is constructed using elementary fault mechanics combined with geologic observations of exhumed faults and published information describing the repository site. The proposed repository site is located in the Basin and Range Province, a region of active crustal deformation demonstrated by widespread seismicity. The Yucca Mountain area has been characterized as tectonically quiet, which in the context of active crustal deformation may indicate the accumulation of the stresses approaching the levels required for fault slip, essentially stick-slip faulting. Simultaneously, dissolution of carbonate rocks in underlying karst aquifers is lowering the bulk strength of the rock that supports the repository site. Rising levels of hydrostatic stress concurrent with a climatically-driven rise in the water table could trigger faulting by decreasing the effective normal stress that currently retards fault slip. Water expelled from collapsing caverns in the underlying carbonate aquifer could migrate upward with sufficient pressure to open existing fractures or create new fractures by hydrofracturing. Water migrating through fractures could reach the repository in sufficient volume to react with heated rock and waste perhaps creating steam explosions that would further enhance fracture permeability. Closure of conduits in the underlying carbonate aquifer could lead to the elevation of the saturated zone above the level of the repository resulting in sustained saturation of radioactive waste in the repository and contamination of through-flowing groundwater

  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. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1999-01-01

    The Proposed Action addressed in this EIS is to construct, operate and monitor, and eventually close a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste currently in storage at 72 commercial and 5 DOE sites across the United States. The EIS evaluates (1) projected impacts on the Yucca Mountain environment of the construction, operation and monitoring, and eventual closure of the geologic repository; (2) the potential long-term impacts of repository disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste; (3) the potential impacts of transporting these materials nationally and in the State of Nevada; and (4) the potential impacts of not proceeding with the Proposed Action

  2. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    The Privacy Act of 1974 restricts both the type of information on private individuals that federal agencies may maintain in their records and the conditions under which such information may be disclosed. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, which must approve DOE plans to build a nuclear waste repository at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada, requires a quality assurance program to guarantee that studies of the site are done by qualified employees. Under such a program, the training and qualifications of DOE and contractor employees would be verified. This report reviews DOE's efforts to identify and resolve the implications of the Privacy Act for DOE's quality assurance program and how the delay in resolving Privacy Act issues may have affected preliminary work on the Yucca Mountain project

  3. Nuclear waste: Quarterly report on DOE's nuclear waste program as of March 31, 1988

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    As part of the Department of Energy's implementation of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, DOE is required to investigate a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada and, if it determines that the site is suitable, recommended to the President its selection for a nuclear waste repository. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, in considering development of the plan, issued five objections, one of which is DOE's failure to recognize the range of alternative conceptual models of the Yucca Mountain site that can be supported by the limited existing technical data. At the end of the quarter DOE directed its project offices in Washington and Texas to begin an orderly phase-out of all site-specific repository activities. Costs for this phase-out are $53 million of the Deaf Smith site and $85 million for the Hanford site

  4. 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.

  5. Supplemental Performance Analyses for Igneous Activity and Human Intrusion at the Potential High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swift, P.; Gaither, K.; Freeze, G.; McCord, J.; Kalinich, D.; Saulnier, G.; Statham, W.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering the possible recommendation of a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the potential development of a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. Consequences of hypothetical disruption of the Yucca Mountain site by igneous activity or human intrusion have been evaluated in the Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report (S and ER) (1), which presents technical information supporting the consideration of the possible site recommendation. Since completion of the S and ER, supplemental analyses have examined possible impacts of new information and alternative assumptions on the estimates of the consequences of these events. Specifically, analyses of the consequences of igneous disruption address uncertainty regarding: (1) the impacts of changes in the repository footprint and waste package spacing on the probability of disruption; (2) impacts of alternative assumptions about the appropriate distribution of future wind speeds to use in the analysis; (3) effects of alternative assumptions about waste particle sizes; and (4) alternative assumptions about the number of waste packages damaged by igneous intrusion; and (5) alternative assumptions about the exposure pathways and the biosphere dose conversion factors used in the analysis. Additional supplemental analyses, supporting the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS), have examined the results for both igneous disruption and human intrusion, recalculated for a receptor group located 18 kilometers (km) from the repository (the location specified in 40 CFR 197), rather than at the 20 km distance used in the S and ER analyses

  6. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    The Department of Energy has proposed a draft plan for investigating the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site to determine if it suitable for a waste repository. This fact sheet provides information on the status of DOE's and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's efforts to streamline what NRC expects will be the largest and most complex nuclear-licensing proceeding in history, including the development of an electronic information management system called the Licensing Support System

  7. Total system performance predictions (TSPA-1995) for the potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sevougian, S.D.; Andrews, R.W.; McNeish, J.A.

    1996-01-01

    The management and operating contractor for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been recently completed a new performance assessment of the ability of the repository to isolate and contain nuclear waste for long time periods (up to 1,000,000 years). Sensitivity analyses determine the most important physical parameters and processes, using the most current information and models

  8. For Sale: Nuclear Waste Sites--Anyone Buying?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, Don

    1992-01-01

    Explores why the United States Nuclear Waste Program has been unable to find a volunteer state to host either a nuclear waste repository or monitored retrieval storage facility. Discusses the Department of Energy's plans for Nevada's Yucca Mountain as a repository and state and tribal responses to the plan. (21 references) (MCO)

  9. Second generation waste package design and storage concept for the Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Armijo, Joseph Sam; Kar, Piyush; Misra, Manoranjan

    2006-01-01

    The reference waste package design and operating mode to be used in the Yucca Mountain Repository is reviewed. An alternate (second generation) operating concept and waste package design is proposed to reduce the risk of localized corrosion of waste packages and to reduce repository costs. The second generation waste package design and storage concept is proposed for implementation after the initial licensing and operation of the reference repository design. Implementation of the second generation concept at Yucca Mountain would follow regulatory processes analogous to those used successfully to extend the design life and uprate the power of commercial light water nuclear reactors in the United States. The second generation concept utilizes the benefits of hot dry storage to minimize the potential for localized corrosion of the waste package by liquid electrolytes. The second generation concept permits major reductions in repository costs by increasing the number of fuel assemblies stored in each waste package, by eliminating the need for titanium drip shields and by fabricating the outer container from corrosion resistant low alloy carbon steel

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. Studies of Corrosion Resistant Materials Being Considered for High-Level Nuclear Waste Containment in Yucca Mountain Relevant Environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCright, R.D.; Ilevbare, G.; Estill, J.; Rebak, R.

    2001-01-01

    Containment of spent nuclear fuel and vitrified forms of high level nuclear waste require use of materials that are highly corrosion resistant to all of the anticipated environmental scenarios that can occur in a geological repository. Ni-Cr-Mo Alloy 22 (UNS N60622) is proposed for the corrosion resistant outer barrier of a two-layer waste package container at the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain. A range of water compositions that may contact the outer barrier is under consideration, and a testing program is underway to characterize the forms of corrosion and to quantify the corrosion rates. Results from the testing support models for long term prediction of the performance of the container. Results obtained to date indicate a very low general corrosion rate for Alloy 22 and very high resistance to all forms of localized and environmentally assisted cracking in environments tested to date

  14. Department of Energy perspective on high-level waste standards for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brocoum, S.J.; Gil, A.V.; Van Luik, A.E.; Lugo, M.A.

    1996-01-01

    This paper provides a regulatory perspective from the viewpoint of the potential licensee, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), on the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) report on Yucca Mountain standards issued in August 1995, and on how the recommendations in that report should be considered in the development of high-level radioactive waste standards applicable to Yucca Mountain. The paper first provides an overview of the DOE perspective and then discusses several of the issues that are of most importance in the development of the regulatory framework for Yucca Mountain, including both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) implementing regulation. These issues include: the regulatory time frame, the risk/dose limit, the definition of the reference biosphere, human intrusion, and natural processes and events

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bill Carey; Gordon Keating; Peter C. Lichtner

    1999-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Use of an analog site near Raymond, California, to develop equipment and methods for characterizing a potential high-level, nuclear waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Umari, A.M.J.; Geldon, A.; Patterson, G.; Gemmell, J.; Earle, J.; Darnell, J.

    1994-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, currently is being investigated by the U.S. Geological Survey as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Planned hydraulic-stress and tracer tests in fractured, tuffaceous rocks below the water table at Yucca Mountain will require work at depths in excess of 1,300 feet. To facilitate prototype testing of equipment and methods to be used in aquifer tests at Yucca Mountain, an analog site was selected in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada near Raymond, California. Two of nine 250- to 300-feet deep wells drilled into fractured, granitic rocks at the Raymond site have been instrumented with packers, pressure transducers, and other equipment that will be used at Yucca Mountain. Aquifer tests conducted at the Raymond site to date have demonstrated a need to modify some of the equipment and methods conceived for use at Yucca Mountain

  18. Preliminary selection criteria for the Yucca Mountain Project waste package container material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halsey, W.G.

    1991-01-01

    The Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is evaluating a site at Yucca Mountain in Nevada for construction of a geologic repository for the storage of high-level nuclear waste. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory's (LLNL) Nuclear Waste Management Project (NWMP) has the responsibility for design, testing, and performance analysis of the waste packages. The design is performed in an iterative manner in three sequential phases (conceptual design, advanced conceptual design, and license application design). An important input to the start of the advanced conceptual design is the selection of the material for the waste containers. The container material is referred to as the 'metal barrier' portion of the waste package, and is the responsibility of the Metal Barrier Selection and Testing task at LLNL. The selection will consist of several steps. First, preliminary, material-independent selection criteria will be established based on the performance goals for the container. Second, a variety of engineering materials will be evaluated against these criteria in a screening process to identify candidate materials. Third, information will be obtained on the performance of the candidate materials, and final selection criteria and quantitative weighting factors will be established based on the waste package design requirements. Finally, the candidate materials will be ranked against these criteria to determine whether they meet the mandated performance requirements, and to provide a comparative score to choose the material for advanced conceptual design activities. This document sets forth the preliminary container material selection criteria to be used in screening candidate materials. 5 refs

  19. Alternative configurations for the waste-handling building at the Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-08-01

    Two alternative configurations of the waste-handling building have been developed for the proposed nuclear waste repository in tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. One configuration is based on criteria and assumptions used in Case 2 (no monitored retrievable storage facility, no consolidation), and the other configuration is based on criteria and assumptions used in Case 5 (consolidation at the monitored retrievable storage facility) of the Monitored Retrievable Storage System Study for the Repository. Desirable waste-handling design concepts have been selected and are included in these configurations. For each configuration, general arrangement drawings, plot plans, block flow diagrams, and timeline diagrams are prepared

  20. Death Valley Lower Carbonate Aquifer Monitoring Program Wells Down gradient of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inyo County

    2006-01-01

    Inyo County has participated in oversight activities associated with the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository since 1987. The overall goal of these studies are the evaluation of far-field issues related to potential transport, by ground water, or radionuclides into Inyo County, including Death Valley, and the evaluation of a connection between the Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA) and the biosphere. Our oversight and completed Cooperative Agreement research, and a number of other investigators research indicate that there is groundwater flow between the alluvial and carbonate aquifers both at Yucca Mountain and in Inyo County. In addition to the potential of radionuclide transport through the LCA, Czarnecki (1997), with the US Geological Survey, research indicate potential radionuclide transport through the shallower Tertiary-age aquifer materials with ultimate discharge into the Franklin Lake Playa in Inyo County. The specific purpose of this Cooperative Agreement drilling program was to acquire geological, subsurface geology, and hydrologic data to: (1) establish the existence of inter-basin flow between the Amargosa Basin and Death Valley Basin; (2) characterize groundwater flow paths in the LCA through Southern Funeral Mountain Range, and (3) Evaluation the hydraulic connection between the Yucca Mountain repository and the major springs in Death Valley through the LCA

  1. Assessment of the important radionuclides in nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kerrisk, J.F.

    1985-10-01

    The relative importance of the various radionuclides contained in nuclear waste has been assessed by consideration of (1) the quantity of each radionuclide present, (2) the Environmental Protection Agency's release limits for radionuclides, (3) how retardation processes such as solubility and sorption affect radionuclie transport, and (4) the physical and chemical forms of radionuclides in the waste. Three types of waste were reviewed: spent fuel, high-level waste, and defense high-level waste. Conditions specific to the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations project potential site at Yucca Mountain were used to describe radionuclide transport. The actinides Am, Pu, Np, and U were identified as the waste elements for which solubility and sorption data were most urgently needed. Other important waste elements were identified as Sr, Cs, C, Ni, Zr, Tc, Th, Ra, and Sn. Under some conditions, radionuclides of three elements (C, Tc, and I) may have high solubility and negligible sorption. The potential for transport of some waste elements (C and I) in the gas phase must also be evaluated for the Yucca Mountain Site. 12 refs., 17 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

    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

  3. Waste form performance assessment in the YUCCA Mountain engineered barrier system, American Nuclear Society

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, E. E.; Fanning, T. H.; Wigeland, R. A.

    2000-01-01

    This work demonstrates a technique for comparing the performance of waste forms in a repository environment when one or more of the waste forms constitute a small part of the total amount of waste planned for the repository. In applying the technique, it is important to identify radionuclides that are highly soluble in the transport fluid since it is only for these that the release is controlled by the dissolution rate of the waste form matrix. The techniques presented here have been applied to an evaluation of the performance of waste forms from the electrometallurgical treatment of spent fuel in the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Engineered Barrier System (EBS)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    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. Transport of neptunium through Yucca Mountain tuffs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Triay, I.R.; Robinson, B.A.; Mitchell, A.J.; Overly, C.M.; Lopez, R.M.

    1993-01-01

    Neptunium has a high solubility in groundwaters from Yucca Mountain [1]. Uranium in nuclear reactors produces 237 Np which has a half-life of 2.1 4 x 10 6 years. Consequently, the transport of 237 Np through tuffs is of major importance in assessing the performance of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The objective of this work is to determine the amount of Np retardation that is provided by the minerals in Yucca Mountain tuffs as a function of groundwater chemistry

  7. Thermal analysis of Yucca Mountain commercial high-level waste packages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Altenhofen, M.K.; Eslinger, P.W.

    1992-10-01

    The thermal performance of commercial high-level waste packages was evaluated on a preliminary basis for the candidate Yucca Mountain repository site. The purpose of this study is to provide an estimate for waste package component temperatures as a function of isolation time in tuff. Several recommendations are made concerning the additional information and modeling needed to evaluate the thermal performance of the Yucca Mountain repository system

  8. Conflict, location, and politics: Siting a nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacob, G.R.

    1988-01-01

    Nuclear power and the management of high-level radioactive waste is examined with the goal of explaining the forces driving the formulation of the 1982 Nuclear Waste Policy Act and a subsequent decision to site a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The study draws upon geographic, political, economic, and organizational factors to examine the commitment to dispose of spent fuel in a geologic repository located in Nevada or in Utah, Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, or at Hanford Washington. Special attention is given to the impact of location, science and technology on the definition of the nuclear waste problem and political agendas, public participation, and the power of the nuclear establishment. The study finds that the choice of a Yucca Mountain Nevada as the preferred site for a repository was based more on technological precedent and political-economic expediency than on the demonstrated superiority of that site's geology. Conflict over a repository location is interpreted as a symptom of more fundamental conflicts concerning: the credibility of nuclear science, the legitimacy of federal authority and administration, and the priorities of environmental protection and a nuclear economy

  9. DOE's Yucca Mountain studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-12-01

    This booklet is about the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States. It is for readers who have a general rather than a technical background. It discusses why scientists and engineers thinkhigh-level nuclear waste may be disposed of safely underground. It also describes why Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being studied as a potential repository site and provides basic information about those studies

  10. The Geopolitics of Nuclear Waste.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marshall, Eliot

    1991-01-01

    The controversy surrounding the potential storage of nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is discussed. Arguments about the stability of the site and the groundwater situation are summarized. The role of the U.S. Department of Energy and other political considerations are described. (CW)

  11. A lineament analysis of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perry, J.J.

    1988-01-01

    The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 was signed into law on January 7, 1983. It specifies procedures for the Department of Energy in the selection of a high level nuclear waste repository. Federal Environmental Protection Agency standards require adequate isolation of waste from the biosphere for 10,000 years. The law considers such geologic factors as tectonic stability, igneous activity, hydrologic conditions and natural resources to be of primary concern. Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada is one of three sites selected for further consideration in the site characterization process. The Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) within the Agency for Nuclear Projects of the State of Nevada is conducting an independent scientific assessment of the proposed site. The remote sensing technical assessment is one of seven task groups conducting review and research into the suitability of Yucca Mountain. The study undertaken by the Remote Sensing Group was that of a lineament analysis with regard to the site's structural relationship within a regional tectonic framework. Lineaments mapped from synoptic imagery may prove to represent structural zones of weakness. These zones may provide pathways for the infiltration of groundwater, conduits for the extrusion of magma or be reactivated as stress conditions change. This paper describes the methodology for a lineament analysis of the Yucca Mountain area

  12. 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. [Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    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 through 2009 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 . 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) Regulatory requirements and related federal policy in laws and court decisions, (c) Presidential and agency directives, (c) technical milestones of implementing institutions, and (d) critiques of the Yucca Mountain Project 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 Safety on the performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain license

  13. Supplemental Performance Analyses for the Potential High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sevougian, S. D.; McNeish, J. A.; Coppersmith, K.; Jenni, K. E.; Rickertsen, L. D.; Swift, P. N.; Wilson, M. L.

    2002-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering the possible recommendation of a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the potential development of a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. To facilitate public review and comment, in May 2001 the DOE released the Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report (S and ER) (1), which presents technical information supporting the consideration of the possible site recommendation. The report summarizes the results of more than 20 years of scientific and engineering studies. Based on internal reviews of the S and ER and its key supporting references, the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (2) and the Analysis Model Reports and Process Model Reports cited therein, the DOE has recently identified and performed several types of analyses to supplement the treatment of uncertainty in support of the consideration of a possible site recommendation. The results of these new analyses are summarized in the two-volume report entitled FY01 Supplemental Science and Performance Analysis (SSPA) (3,4). The information in this report is intended to supplement, not supplant, the information contained in the S and ER. The DOE recognizes that important uncertainties will always remain in any assessment of the performance of a potential repository over thousands of years (1). One part of the DOE approach to recognizing and managing these uncertainties is a commitment to continued testing and analysis and to the continued evaluation of the technical basis supporting the possible recommendation of the site, such as the analysis contained in the SSPA. The goals of the work described here are to provide insights into the implications of newly quantified uncertainties, updated science, and evaluations of lower operating temperatures on the performance of a potential Yucca Mountain repository and to increase confidence in the results of the TSPA described

  14. Transportation of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High Level Waste to Yucca Mountain: The Next Step in Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sweeney, Robin L.; Lechel, David J.

    2003-01-01

    In the U.S. Department of Energy's ''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,'' the Department states that certain broad transportation-related decisions can be made. These include the choice of a mode of transportation nationally (mostly legal-weight truck or mostly rail) and in Nevada (mostly rail, mostly legal-weight truck, or mostly heavy-haul truck with use of an associated intermodal transfer station), as well as the choice among alternative rail corridors or heavy-haul truck routes with use of an associated intermodal transfer station in Nevada. Although a rail line does not service the Yucca Mountain site, the Department has identified mostly rail as its preferred mode of transportation, both nationally and in the State of Nevada. If mostly rail is selected for Nevada, the Department would then identify a preference for one of the rail corridors in consultation with affected stakeholders, particularly the State of Nevada. DOE would then select the rail corridor and initiate a process to select a specific rail alignment within the corridor for the construction of a rail line. Five proposed rail corridors were analyzed in the Final Environmental Impact Statement. The assessment considered the impacts of constructing a branch rail line in the five 400-meter (0.25mile) wide corridors. Each corridor connects the Yucca Mountain site with an existing mainline railroad in Nevada

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 Science and Technology Database from January 1, 1990, through December 31, 1991

  16. Nuclear waste: Status of DOE's nuclear waste site characterization activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-01-01

    Three potential nuclear waste repository sites have been selected to carry out characterization activities-the detailed geological testing to determine the suitability of each site as a repository. The sites are Hanford in south-central Washington State, Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada, and Deaf Smith in the Texas Panhandle. Two key issues affecting the total program are the estimations of the site characterization completion data and costs and DOE's relationship with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission which has been limited and its relations with affected states and Indian tribes which continue to be difficult

  17. Risk assessment for the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository site: Estimation of volcanic disruption. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang.

    1992-01-01

    In this article, we model the volcanism near the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, U.S.A. by estimating the instantaneous recurrence rate using a nonhomogeneous Poisson process with Weibull intensity and by using a homogeneous Poisson process to predict future eruptions. We then quantify the probability that any single eruption is disruptive in terms of a (prior) probability distribution, since not every eruption would result in disruption of the repository. Bayesian analysis is performed to evaluate the volcanic risk. Based on the Quaternary data, a 90% confidence interval for the instantaneous recurrence rate near the Yucca Mountain site is (1.85 x 10 -6 /yr, 1.26 x 10 -5 /yr). Also, using these confidence bounds, the corresponding 90% confidence interval for the risk (probability of at least one disruptive eruption) for an isolation time of 10 4 years is (1.0 x 10 -3 , 6.7 x 10 -3 ), if it is assumed that the intensity remains constant during the projected time frame

  18. Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  19. Yucca Mountain Project public interactions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reilly, B.E.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    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 1993 to 30 September 1994. The report initially covers the activities of the General Task and is followed by sections that describe the progress of the other ongoing Tasks which are listed below. Task 1: Quaternary Tectonics Task 3: Mineral Deposits, Volcanic Geology Task 4: Seismology Task 5: Tectonics Task 8: Basinal Studies

  2. Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations: Exploratory Shaft Facility fluids and materials evaluation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    West, K.A.

    1988-11-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if any fluids or materials used in the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF) of Yucca Mountain will make the mountain unsuitable for future construction of a nuclear waste repository. Yucca Mountain, an area on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, USA, is a candidate site for permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear power and defense nuclear activities. To properly characterize Yucca Mountain, it will be necessary to construct an underground test facility, in which in situ site characterization tests can be conducted. The candidate repository horizon at Yucca Mountain, however, could potentially be compromised by fluids and materials used in the site characterization tests. To minimize this possibility, Los Alamos National Laboratory was directed to evaluate the kinds of fluids and materials that will be used and their potential impacts on the site. A secondary objective was to identify fluids and materials, if any, that should be prohibited from, or controlled in, the underground. 56 refs., 19 figs., 11 tabs.

  3. Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations: Exploratory Shaft Facility fluids and materials evaluation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    West, K.A.

    1988-11-01

    The objective of this study was to determine if any fluids or materials used in the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF) of Yucca Mountain will make the mountain unsuitable for future construction of a nuclear waste repository. Yucca Mountain, an area on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, USA, is a candidate site for permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from commercial nuclear power and defense nuclear activities. To properly characterize Yucca Mountain, it will be necessary to construct an underground test facility, in which in situ site characterization tests can be conducted. The candidate repository horizon at Yucca Mountain, however, could potentially be compromised by fluids and materials used in the site characterization tests. To minimize this possibility, Los Alamos National Laboratory was directed to evaluate the kinds of fluids and materials that will be used and their potential impacts on the site. A secondary objective was to identify fluids and materials, if any, that should be prohibited from, or controlled in, the underground. 56 refs., 19 figs., 11 tabs

  4. Modeling fluid-rock interaction at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Viani, B.E.; Bruton, C.J.

    1992-08-01

    Volcanic rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada aie being assessed for their suitability as a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. Recent progress in modeling fluid-rock interactions, in particular the mineralogical and chemical changes that may accompany waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, will be reviewed in this publication. In Part 1 of this publication, ''Geochemical Modeling of Clinoptilolite-Water Interactions,'' solid-solution and cation-exchange models for the zeolite clinoptilolite are developed and compared to experimental and field observations. At Yucca Mountain, clinoptilolite which is found lining fractures and as a major component of zeolitized tuffs, is expected to play an important role in sequestering radionuclides that may escape from a potential nuclear waste repository. The solid-solution and ion-exchange models were evaluated by comparing predicted stabilities and exchangeable cation distributions of clinoptilolites with: (1) published binary exchange data; (2) compositions of coexisting clinoptilolites and formation waters at Yucca Mountain; (3) experimental sorption isotherms of Cs and Sr on zeolitized tuff, and (4) high temperature experimental data. Good agreement was found between predictions and expertmental data, especially for binary exchange and Cs and Sr sorption on clinoptilolite. Part 2 of this publication, ''Geochemical Simulation of Fluid-Rock Interactions at Yucca Mountain,'' describes preliminary numerical simulations of fluid-rock interactions at Yucca Mountain. The solid-solution model developed in the first part of the paper is used to evaluate the stability and composition of clinciptilolite and other minerals in the host rock under ambient conditions and after waste emplacement

  5. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain Area Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigation (NNWSI). Progress report, 30 September 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

    This report dated 30 September 1994 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}. This progress report was preceded by the progress report for the year from 1 October 1992 to 30 September 1993. 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.

  6. Yucca Mountain biological resources monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 ampersand G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG ampersand G/EM) during fiscal year 1992 (FY92) for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the YMP environmental program. The six program areas are Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises, Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamura, A.T.; Lorenz, J.J.

    1989-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. Yucca Mountain Biological resources monitoring program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (US 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 geological repository for high-level radioactive waste. To ensure site characterization activities do not adversely affect the Yucca Mountain area, an environmental program, the Yucca Mountain Biological Resources Monitoring Program, has been implemented monitor and mitigate environmental impacts and to ensure activities comply with applicable environmental laws. Potential impacts to vegetation, small mammals, and the desert tortoise (an indigenous threatened species) are addressed, as are habitat reclamation, radiological monitoring, and compilation of baseline data. This report describes the program in Fiscal Years 1989 and 1990. 12 refs., 4 figs., 17 tabs

  10. SNL Yucca Mountain Project data report: Density and porosity data for tuffs from the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schwartz, B.M.

    1990-02-01

    Yucca Mountain, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site in southern Nevada, is being evaluated as a potential site for underground disposal of nuclear wastes. At present, the physical, thermal, and mechanical properties of tuffaceous rocks from Yucca Mountain are being determined as part of the Yucca Mountain Project. This report documents experiment data, which have been obtained by Sandia National Laboratories or its contractors, for the density and porosity of tuffaceous rocks that lie above the water table at Yucca Mountain. 7 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs

  11. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simmons, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    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

  12. Unsaturated flow modeling in performance assessments for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Birkholzer, Jens T.; Wu, Yu-Shu; Stein, Joshua S.; Houseworth, James E.

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes the progression of modeling efforts of infiltration, percolation, and seepage conducted between 1984 and 2008 to evaluate feasibility, viability, and assess compliance of a repository in the unsaturated zone for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Scientific understanding of infiltration in a desert environment, unsaturated percolation flux in fractures and matrix of the volcanic tuff, and seepage into an open drift in a thermally perturbed environment was initially lacking in 1984. As understanding of the Yucca Mountain disposal system increased through site characterization and in situ testing, modeling of infiltration, percolation, and seepage evolved from simple assumptions in a single model in 1984 to three modeling modules each based on several detailed process models in 2008. Uncertainty in percolation flux through Yucca Mountain was usually important in explaining the observed uncertainty in performance measures:cumulative release in assessments prior to 1995 and individual dose, thereafter. - Highlights: • Progression of modeling of infiltration, percolation, and seepage conducted is described for a geological repository at Yucca Mountain. • Progression from 1-D in single equivalent to 3-D model of percolation in dual permeability continuum is described. • Introduction of an infiltration boundary condition in 1998 and the refinement for evaluating uncertainty for the license application is described. • Introduction of a seepage module that included calibration to in-site measurements and separating uncertainty and variability is described

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Predictability of the evolution of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical systems; geological disposal of nuclear waste in crystalline rocks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, W.M.; Diodato, D.M.

    2009-01-01

    Confidence in long-term geologic isolation of high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel requires confidence in predictions of the evolution of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical systems. Prediction of the evolution of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical systems is based on scientific understanding of those systems in the present - an understanding that can be tested with data from the past. Crystalline rock settings that have been geologically stable for millions of years and longer offer the potential of predictable, long-term waste isolation. Confidence in predictions of geologic isolation of radioactive waste can measured by evaluating the extent to which those predictions and their underlying analyses are consistent with multiple independent lines of evidence identified in the geologic system being analysed, as well as with evidence identified in analogs to that geologic system. The proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, United States, differs in significant ways from potential repository sites being considered by other nations. Nonetheless, observations of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical systems of Yucca Mountain and Yucca Mountain analogs present multiple independent lines of evidence that can be used in evaluating long-term predictions of the evolution of hydrogeological and hydrogeochemical systems at Yucca Mountain. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Interaction of nuclear waste panels with shafts and access ramps for a potential repository at Yucca Mountain: Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    St John, C.M.

    1987-09-01

    A series of two-dimensional and three-dimensional analyses of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain were performed to estimate the thermal stresses that would be experienced at the possible locations of shafts or ramps providing access to the repository horizon. Two alternative assumptions were made for the initial state of stress, and calculations were performed to investigate behavior at repository scale. The computed states of stress were also used as boundary conditions for a series of analyses of the access ramps and vertical shafts. The results of the repository scale analyses indicated that there is a region above the repository horizon where the horizontal stresses are reduced as a consequence of the thermal loads imposed by waste emplacement. If the initial state of stress is relatively low then the total horizontal stresses near the ground surface above the repository may be tensile. An evaluation of the total stress state relative to the strength of the rock matrix and vertical and near vertical joints indicates that there is no potential for development of new fractures in the matrix, but joints near the surface could be activated if the initial stress state is low. 13 refs., 24 figs., 4 tabs

  20. Yucca Mountain Milestone

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hunt, Rod

    1997-01-01

    The Department of Energy project to determine if the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is suitable for geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste reached a major milestone in late April when a 25-foot-diameter tunnel boring machine ''holed through'' completing a five-mile-long, horseshoe-shaped excavation through the mountain. When the cutting-head of the giant machine broke through to daylight at the tunnel's south portal, it ended a 2 1/2-year excavation through the mountain that was completed ahead of schedule and with an outstanding safety record. Video of the event was transmitted live by satellite to Washington, DC, where it was watched by Secretary of Energy Frederico Pena and other high-level DOE officials, signifying the importance of the project's mission to find a repository for high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel produced by nuclear power plants. This critical undertaking is being performed by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). The tunnel is the major feature of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), which serves as an underground laboratory for engineers and scientists to help determine if Yucca Mountain is suitable to serve as a repository for the safe disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Morrison Knudsen's Environmental/Government Group is providing design and construction-management services on the project. The MK team is performing final design for the ESF and viability assessment design for the underground waste repository that will be built only if the site is found suitable for such a mission. In fact, if at anytime during the ESF phase, the site is found unsuitable, the studies will be stopped and the site restored to its natural state

  1. Preclosure seismic hazards and their impact on site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gibson, J.D.

    1992-01-01

    This paper presents an overview of the preclosure seismic hazards and the influence of these hazards on determining the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a national high-level nuclear-waste repository. Geologic data, engineering analyses, and regulatory guidelines must be examined collectively to assess this suitability. An environmental assessment for Yucca Mountain, written in 1986, compiled and evaluated the existing tectonic data and presented arguments to satisfy, in part, the regulatory requirements that must be met if the Yucca Mountain site is to become a national waste repository. Analyses have been performed in the past five years that better quantify the local seismic hazards and the possibility that these hazards could lead to release of radionuclides to the environment. The results from these analyses increase the confidence in the ability of Yucca Mountain and the facilities that may be built there to function satisfactorily in their role as a waste repository. Uncertainties remain, however, primarily in the input parameters and boundary conditions for the models that were used to complete the analyses. These models must be validated and uncertainties reduced before Yucca Mountain can qualify as a viable high-level nuclear waste repository

  2. Can shale safely host US nuclear waste?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuzil, C.E.

    2013-01-01

    "Even as cleanup efforts after Japan’s Fukushima disaster offer a stark reminder of the spent nuclear fuel (SNF) stored at nuclear plants worldwide, the decision in 2009 to scrap Yucca Mountain as a permanent disposal site has dimmed hope for a repository for SNF and other high-level nuclear waste (HLW) in the United States anytime soon. About 70,000 metric tons of SNF are now in pool or dry cask storage at 75 sites across the United States [Government Accountability Office, 2012], and uncertainty about its fate is hobbling future development of nuclear power, increasing costs for utilities, and creating a liability for American taxpayers [Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, 2012].However, abandoning Yucca Mountain could also result in broadening geologic options for hosting America’s nuclear waste. Shales and other argillaceous formations (mudrocks, clays, and similar clay-rich media) have been absent from the U.S. repository program. In contrast, France, Switzerland, and Belgium are now planning repositories in argillaceous formations after extensive research in underground laboratories on the safety and feasibility of such an approach [Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, 2012; Nationale Genossenschaft für die Lagerung radioaktiver Abfälle (NAGRA), 2010; Organisme national des déchets radioactifs et des matières fissiles enrichies, 2011]. Other nations, notably Japan, Canada, and the United Kingdom, are studying argillaceous formations or may consider them in their siting programs [Japan Atomic Energy Agency, 2012; Nuclear Waste Management Organization (NWMO), (2011a); Powell et al., 2010]."

  3. 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.

  4. Concept for waste package environment tests in the Yucca Mountain exploratory shaft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yow, J.L. Jr.

    1985-05-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project is studying a tuffaceous rock unit located at Yucca Mountain on the western boundary of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The objective is to evaluate the suitability of the volcanic rocks located above the water table at Yucca Mountain as a potential location for a repository for high level radioactive waste. As part of the NNWSI project, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is responsible for the design of the waste package and for determining the expected performance of the waste package in the repository environment. To design an optimal waste package system for the unsaturated emplacement environment, the mechanisms by which liquid water can return to contact the metal canister after peaking of the thermal load must be established. Definition of these flux and flow mechanisms is essential for estimating canister corrosion modes and rates. Therefore, three waste package environment tests are being designed for the in situ phase of exploratory shaft testing. These tests emphasize measurement techniques that offer the possibility of characterizing the movement of water into and through the pores and fractures of the densely welded Topopah Spring Member. Other measurement techniques will be used to examine the interactions between moisture migration and the thermomechanical rock mass behavior. Three reduced-scale heater tests will use electrical resistive heaters in a horizontal configuration. All three tests are designed to investigate moisture conditions in the rock during heating and cooling phases of a thermal cycle so that the effects of these moisture conditions on the performance of the waste package system may be established. 28 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs

  5. Yucca Mountain Project bibliography, January--June 1988: An update: Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tamura, A.T.; Lorenz, J.J.

    1988-10-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project was renamed the Yucca Mountain Project on August 5, 1988. This update contains information that was added to the DOE Energy Data Base during the first six months of 1988. The update is categorized by principal project participating organizations, and items are arranged in chronological order. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Previous information on this project can be found in the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations bibliographies, DOE/TIC-3406 which covers the years 1977--1985, and DOE/OSTI-3406(Suppl.1) which covers 1986 and 1987. These bibliographies contain indexes for Corporate Author, Personal Author, Subject, Contract Number, Report Number, Order Number Correlation and Key Word in Context

  6. Candidate container materials for Yucca Mountain waste package designs

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McCright, R.D.; Halsey, W.G.; Gdowski, G.E.; Clarke, W.L.

    1991-09-01

    Materials considered as candidates for fabricating nuclear waste containers are reviewed in the context of the Conceptual Design phase of a potential repository located at Yucca Mountain. A selection criteria has been written for evaluation of candidate materials for the next phase -- Advanced Conceptual Design. The selection criteria is based on the conceptual design of a thin-walled container fabricated from a single metal or alloy; the criteria consider the performance requirements on the container and the service environment in which the containers will be emplaced. A long list of candidate materials is evaluated against the criteria, and a short list of materials is proposed for advanced characterization in the next design phase

  7. Whither nuclear waste disposal?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cotton, T A [JK Research Associates, Silver Spring, MD (United States)

    1990-07-01

    With respect to the argument that geologic disposal has failed, I do not believe that the evidence is yet sufficient to support that conclusion. It is certainly true that the repository program is not progressing as hoped when the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a 1998 deadline for initial operation of the first repository. The Department of Energy (DOE) now expects the repository to be available by 2010, and tat date depends upon a finding that the Yucca Mountain site - the only site that DOE is allowed by law to evaluate - is in fact suitable for use. Furthermore, scientific evaluation of the site to determine its suitability is stopped pending resolution of two lawsuits. However, I believe it is premature to conclude that the legal obstacles are insuperable, since DOE just won the first of the two lawsuits, and chances are good it will win the second. The concept of geologic disposal is still broadly supported. A recent report by the Board on Radioactive Waste Management of the National Research Council noted that 'There is a worldwide scientific consensus that deep geological disposal, the approach being followed in the United States, is the best option for disposing of high-level radioactive waste'. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) recently implicitly endorsed this view in adopting an updated Waste Confidence position that found confidence that a repository could be available in the first quarter of the next century - sufficient time to allow for rejection of Yucca Mountain and evaluation of a new site.

  8. Whither nuclear waste disposal?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cotton, T.A.

    1990-01-01

    With respect to the argument that geologic disposal has failed, I do not believe that the evidence is yet sufficient to support that conclusion. It is certainly true that the repository program is not progressing as hoped when the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established a 1998 deadline for initial operation of the first repository. The Department of Energy (DOE) now expects the repository to be available by 2010, and tat date depends upon a finding that the Yucca Mountain site - the only site that DOE is allowed by law to evaluate - is in fact suitable for use. Furthermore, scientific evaluation of the site to determine its suitability is stopped pending resolution of two lawsuits. However, I believe it is premature to conclude that the legal obstacles are insuperable, since DOE just won the first of the two lawsuits, and chances are good it will win the second. The concept of geologic disposal is still broadly supported. A recent report by the Board on Radioactive Waste Management of the National Research Council noted that 'There is a worldwide scientific consensus that deep geological disposal, the approach being followed in the United States, is the best option for disposing of high-level radioactive waste'. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (USNRC) recently implicitly endorsed this view in adopting an updated Waste Confidence position that found confidence that a repository could be available in the first quarter of the next century - sufficient time to allow for rejection of Yucca Mountain and evaluation of a new site

  9. Summary of ground motion prediction results for Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions related to the Yucca Mountain project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walck, M.C.

    1996-10-01

    This report summarizes available data on ground motions from underground nuclear explosions recorded on and near the Nevada Test Site, with emphasis on the ground motions recorded at stations on Yucca Mountain, the site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Sandia National Laboratories, through the Weapons Test Seismic Investigations project, collected and analyzed ground motion data from NTS explosions over a 14-year period, from 1977 through 1990. By combining these data with available data from earlier, larger explosions, prediction equations for several ground motion parameters have been developed for the Test Site area for underground nuclear explosion sources. Also presented are available analyses of the relationship between surface and downhole motions and spectra and relevant crustal velocity structure information for Yucca Mountain derived from the explosion data. The data and associated analyses demonstrate that ground motions at Yucca Mountain from nuclear tests have been at levels lower than would be expected from moderate to large earthquakes in the region; thus nuclear explosions, while located relatively close, would not control seismic design criteria for the potential repository

  10. Summary of ground motion prediction results for Nevada Test Site underground nuclear explosions related to the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walck, M.C.

    1996-10-01

    This report summarizes available data on ground motions from underground nuclear explosions recorded on and near the Nevada Test Site, with emphasis on the ground motions recorded at stations on Yucca Mountain, the site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Sandia National Laboratories, through the Weapons Test Seismic Investigations project, collected and analyzed ground motion data from NTS explosions over a 14-year period, from 1977 through 1990. By combining these data with available data from earlier, larger explosions, prediction equations for several ground motion parameters have been developed for the Test Site area for underground nuclear explosion sources. Also presented are available analyses of the relationship between surface and downhole motions and spectra and relevant crustal velocity structure information for Yucca Mountain derived from the explosion data. The data and associated analyses demonstrate that ground motions at Yucca Mountain from nuclear tests have been at levels lower than would be expected from moderate to large earthquakes in the region; thus nuclear explosions, while located relatively close, would not control seismic design criteria for the potential repository.

  11. Modeling of strongly heat-driven flow processes at a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.; Tsang, Y.

    1993-01-01

    Two complementary numerical models for analyzing high-level nuclear waste emplacement at Yucca Mountain have been developed. A vertical cross-sectional (X-Z) model permits a realistic representation of hydrogeologic features, such as alternating tilting layers of welded and non-welded tuffs, fault zones, and surface topography. An alternative radially symmetric (R-Z) model is more limited in its ability to describe the hydrogeology of the site, but is better suited to model heat transfer in the host rock. Our models include a comprehensive description of multiphase fluid and heat flow processes, including strong enhancements of vapor diffusion from pore-level phase change effects. The neighborhood of the repository is found to partially dry out from the waste heat. A condensation halo of large liquid saturation forms around the drying zone, from which liquid flows downward at large rates. System response to infiltration from the surface and to ventilation of mined openings is evaluated. The impact of the various flow processes on the waste isolation capabilities of the site is discussed

  12. Modeling of strongly heat-driven flow processes at a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.; Tsang, Y.

    1993-01-01

    Two complementary numerical models for analyzing high-level nuclear waste emplacement at Yucca Mountain have been developed. A vertical cross-sectional (X-Z) model permits a realistic representation of hydrogeologic features, such as alternating tilting layers of welded and non-welded tuffs. fault zones, and surface topography. An alternative radially symmetric (R-Z) model is more limited in its ability to describe the hydrogeology of the site, but is better suited to model heat transfer in the host rock. Our models include a comprehensive description of multiphase fluid and heat flow processes, including strong enhancements of vapor diffusion from pore-level phase change effects. The neighborhood of the repository is found to partially dry out from the waste heat. A condensation halo of large liquid saturation forms around the drying zone, from which liquid flows downward at large rates. System response to infiltration from the surface and to ventilation of mined openings is evaluated. The impact of the various flow processes on the waste isolation capabilities of the site is discussed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. Preparing to Submit a License Application for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    W.J. Arthur; M.D. Voegele

    2005-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-01-01

    Following a reorganization of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, the Yucca Mountain Project was renamed Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The title of this bibliography was also changed to Yucca 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 1990 through June 1990. 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

  20. Nevada Test Site flood inundation study: Part of US Geological Survey flood potential and debris hazard study, Yucca Mountain Site for USDOE, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blanton, J.O. III.

    1992-01-01

    The Geological Survey (GS), as part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), is conducting studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purposes of these studies are to provide hydrologic and geologic information to evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain for development as a high-level nuclear waste repository, and to evaluate the ability of the mined geologic disposal system (MGDS) to isolate the waste in compliance with regulatory requirements. The Bureau of Reclamation was selected by the GS as a contractor to provide probable maximum flood (PMF) magnitudes and associated inundation maps for preliminary engineering design of the surface facilities at Yucca Mountain. These PMF peak flow estimates and associated inundation maps are necessary for successful waste repository design and construction. The standard step method for backwater computations, incorporating the Bernouli energy equation and the results of the PMF study were chosen as the basis for defining the areal extent of flooding

  1. Evaluation of the geologic relations and seismotectonic stability of the Yucca Mountain Area Nevada Nuclear Waste Site Investigations (NNWSI). Progress report, October 1, 1991--September 30, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-09-30

    This report dated 30 September 1992 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}. This progress report was preceded by the progress report for the year from 1 October 1990 to 30 September 1991. 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.

  2. OCRWM International Cooperation in Nuclear Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, R.; Levich, R.; Strahl, J.

    2002-01-01

    With the implementation of nuclear power as a major energy source, the United States is increasingly faced with the challenges of safely managing its inventory of spent nuclear materials. In 2002, with 438 nuclear power facilities generating electrical energy in 31 nations around the world, the management of radioactive material including spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, is an international concern. Most of the world's nuclear nations maintain radioactive waste management programs and have generally accepted deep geologic repositories as the long-term solution for disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Similarly, the United States is evaluating the feasibility of deep geologic disposal at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This project is directed by the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), which has responsibility for managing the disposition of spent nuclear fuel produced by commercial nuclear power facilities along with U.S. government-owned spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Much of the world class science conducted through the OCRWM program was enhanced through collaboration with other nations and international organizations focused on resolving issues associated with the disposition of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

  3. Analogues to features and processes of a high-level radioactive waste repository proposed for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simmons, Ardyth M.; Stuckless, John S.; with a Foreword by Abraham Van Luik, U.S. Department of Energy

    2010-01-01

    Natural analogues are defined for this report as naturally occurring or anthropogenic systems in which processes similar to those expected to occur in a nuclear waste repository are thought to have taken place over time periods of decades to millennia and on spatial scales as much as tens of kilometers. Analogues provide an important temporal and spatial dimension that cannot be tested by laboratory or field-scale experiments. Analogues provide one of the multiple lines of evidence intended to increase confidence in the safe geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Although the work in this report was completed specifically for Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the proposed geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste under the U.S. Nuclear Waste Policy Act, the applicability of the science, analyses, and interpretations is not limited to a specific site. Natural and anthropogenic analogues have provided and can continue to provide value in understanding features and processes of importance across a wide variety of topics in addressing the challenges of geologic isolation of radioactive waste and also as a contribution to scientific investigations unrelated to waste disposal. Isolation of radioactive waste at a mined geologic repository would be through a combination of natural features and engineered barriers. In this report we examine analogues to many of the various components of the Yucca Mountain system, including the preservation of materials in unsaturated environments, flow of water through unsaturated volcanic tuff, seepage into repository drifts, repository drift stability, stability and alteration of waste forms and components of the engineered barrier system, and transport of radionuclides through unsaturated and saturated rock zones.

  4. Yucca Mountain and the environmental issue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertz, C.P.

    1991-01-01

    The scientists and engineers who work on the Yucca Mountain Project keenly feel their responsibility - to solve an important national environmental issue. Addressing the issue of nuclear waste disposal may also help keep the nuclear option viable. Under congressional mandate, they are working to find that solution despite tough opposition from the state of Nevada. Nevada and the US Department of Energy (DOE) have been litigating the issue of environmental permits for almost 2 years now, and the court decisions have all favored DOE. The DOE's site characterization efforts are designed to determine whether Yucca Mountain can safely store spent nuclear fuel for the next 10,000 yr. DOE is studying the rocks, the climate, and the water table to make sure that the site is suitable before anything is built there. The success of the Yucca Mountain Project is vital to settling existing environmental issues as well as maintaining the viability of nuclear energy. Through efforts in Congress and outreach programs in Nevada, DOE hopes to inform the public of the mission and begin the process of site characterization

  5. 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.

  6. Thermal modeling for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.; Tsang, Y.

    1994-03-01

    Repository performance models based on numerical simulation of fluid and heat flows have recently been developed by several different groups. Model conceptualizations generally focus on large-scale average behavior. This comparison finds that current performance assessment (PA) models use generally similar approximations and parameters. Certain differences exist in some performance-relevant parameters, especially absolute permeabilities, characteristic curves, and thermal conductivities. These reflect present uncertainties about the most appropriate parameters applicable to Yucca Mountain and must be resolved through future field observations and laboratory measurements. For a highly heterogeneous fractured-porous hydrogeologic system such as Yucca Mountain, water infiltration through the unsaturated zone is expected to be dominated by highly localized phenomena. These include fast channelized flow along preferential paths in fractures, and frequent local ponding. The extended dry repository concept proposed by the Livermore group is reviewed. Predictions of large-scale drying around the repository on the average for large thermal loads cannot be taken to indicate that waste packages will not be contacted by liquid water, and that aqueous-phase transport of contaminants is not possible. Specifically, the authors find that modest water infiltration, on the order of a few millimeters per year, would be sufficient to overwhelm the vaporization capacity of the repository heat and inundate the waste packages within a time frame of a few thousand years. A preliminary analysis indicates that channelized flow of water may persist over large vertical distances. The vaporization-condensation cycle has a capacity for generating huge amounts of ponded water. A small fraction of the total condensate, if ponded and then episodically released, would be sufficient to cause liquid phase to make contact with the waste packages

  7. Equity and nuclear waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shrader-Frechette, K.

    1994-01-01

    Following the recommendations of the US National Academy of Sciences and the mandates of the 1987 Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act, the US Department of Energy has proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the site of the world's first permanent repository for high-level nuclear waste. The main justification for permanent disposal (as opposed to above-ground storage) is that it guarantees safety by means of waste isolation. This essay argues, however, that considerations of equity (safer for whom?) undercut the safety rationale. The article surveys some prima facie arguments for equity in the distribution of radwaste risks and then evaluates four objections that are based, respectively, on practicality, compensation for risks, scepticism about duties to future generations, and the uranium criterion. The conclusion is that, at least under existing regulations and policies, permanent waste disposal is highly questionable, in part, because it fails to distribute risk equitably or to compensate, in full, for this inequity

  8. Geologic surface effects of underground nuclear testing, Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada; TOPICAL

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grasso, D.N.

    2000-01-01

    This report presents a new Geographic Information System composite map of the geologic surface effects caused by underground nuclear testing in the Yucca Flat Physiographic Area of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The Nevada Test Site (NTS) was established in 1951 as a continental location for testing nuclear devices (Allen and others, 1997, p.3). Originally known as the ''Nevada Proving Ground'', the NTS hosted a total of 928 nuclear detonations, of which 828 were conducted underground (U.S. Department of Energy, 1994). Three principal testing areas of the NTS were used: (1) Yucca Flat, (2) Pahute Mesa, and (3) Rainier Mesa including Aqueduct Mesa. Underground detonations at Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa were typically emplaced in vertical drill holes, while others were tunnel emplacements. Of the three testing areas, Yucca Flat was the most extensively used, hosting 658 underground tests (747 detonations) located at 719 individual sites (Allen and others, 1997, p.3-4). Figure 1 shows the location of Yucca Flat and other testing areas of the NTS. Figure 2 shows the locations of underground nuclear detonation sites at Yucca Flat. Table 1 lists the number of underground nuclear detonations conducted, the number of borehole sites utilized, and the number of detonations mapped for surface effects at Yucca Flat by NTS Operational Area

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 ampersand G Energy Measurements, Inc. (EG ampersand G/EM) from October 1992 through December 1993 for six program areas within the Terrestrial Ecosystem component of the environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP): Site Characterization Effects, Desert Tortoises (Gopherus agassizii), Habitat Reclamation, Monitoring and Mitigation, Radiological Monitoring, and Biological Support

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-07-01

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

  11. The status of Yucca Mountain site characterization activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertz, Carl P.; Larkin, Erin L.; Hamner, Melissa

    1992-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) is continuing its studies to determine if Yucca Mountain, Nevada, can safely isolate high-level nuclear waste for the next ten thousand years. As mandated by Congress in 1987, DOE is studying the rocks, the climate, and the water table at Yucca Mountain to ensure that the site is suitable before building a repository adopt 305 meters below the surface. Yucca Mountain, located 160.9 kilometers northwest of Las Vegas, lies on the western edge of the Nevada Test Site. Nevada and DOE have been in litigation over environmental permits needed to conduct studies, but recent court decisions have allowed limited new work to begin. This paper will examine progress made on the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) during 1991 and continuing into 1992, discuss the complex legal issues and describe new site drilling work. Design work on the underground exploratory studies facility (ESF) will also be discussed. (author)

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. 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.

  15. Preliminary gravity and magnetic models across Midway Valley and Yucca Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1994-01-01

    Detailed gravity and ground magnetic data collected along ten traverses across Midway Valley and Yucca Wash on the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of proposed surface facilities for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Geophysical data show that Midway Valley is bounded by large gravity and magnetic anomalies associated with the Bow Ridge and Paintbrush Canyon faults, on the west side of Exile Hill and on the west flank of Fran Ridge, respectively. In addition, Midway Valley itself is characterized by a number of small-amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small-scale faulting beneath Midway Valley. Gravity and magnetic data across the northwest trending Yucca Wash and the inferred Yucca Wash fault indicate no major vertical offsets greater than 100 m using a density contrast of 0.2 to 0.3 g/cm 3 along the proposed Yucca Wash fault. In addition, a broad magnetic high coincides with the approximate location of the hydrologic gradient and probably reflects moderately magnetic Topopah Spring Tuff or lavas in the Calico Hills Formation

  16. Hydrologic investigations to evaluate a potential site for a nuclear-waste repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, W.E.

    1985-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, is being evaluated by the U.S. Department of Energy for its suitability as a site for a mined geologic respository for high-level nuclear wastes. The repository facility would be constructed in densely welded tuffs in the unsaturated zone. In support of the evaluation, the U.S. Geological Survey is conducting hydrologic investigations of both the saturated and unsaturated zones, as well as paleohydrologic studies. Investigation in saturated-zone hydrology will help define one component of ground-water flow paths and travel times to the accessible environment. A two-dimensional, steady-state, finite-element model was developed to describe the regional hydrogeologic framework. The unsaturated zone is 450 to 700 meters thick at Yucca Mountain; precipitation averages about 150 millimeters per year. A conceptual hydrologic model of the unsaturated zone incorporates the following features: minimal net infiltration, variable distribution of flux, lateral flow, potential for perched-water zones, fracture and matrix flow, and flow along faults. The conceptual model is being tested primarily by specialized test drilling; plans also are being developed for in-situ testing in a proposed exploratory shaft. Quaternary climatic and hydrologic conditions are being evaluated to develop estimates of the hydrologic effects of potential climatic changes during the next 10,000 years. Evaluation approaches include analysis of plant macrofossils in packrat middens, evaluation of lake and playa sediments, infiltration tests, and modeling effects of potential increased recharge on the potentiometric surface

  17. Tourism Impacts of Three Mile Island and Other Adverse Events: Implications for Lincoln County and Other Rural Counties Bisected by Radioactive Wastes Intended for Yucca Mountain.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Himmelberger, Jeffery J.; And Others

    1995-01-01

    Summarizes key research implications of Three Mile Island and other major hazard events as related to tourism. Examines how the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository system will impact tourism in southern Nevada and other visitor-oriented rural counties bisected by planned waste transportation corridors. (AIM)

  18. Spotlight back on LHW with Yucca Mountain on Trump's horizon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepherd, John

    2017-01-01

    After years of argument and delay could the US be edging closer to resurrecting proposals to build a national repository for high level nuclear waste (HLW) at Yucca Mountain in Nevada? The federal government has looked at the site with a view to establishing a repository since the 1970s. However, after pouring billions of dollars into projects and studies over the decades, the project remained bogged down in legal battles and opposition from politicians and pressure groups. Now, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it had directed its staff to use the equivalent of about EUR 95,000 from the national Nuclear Waste Fund on ''information-gathering activities'' that could pave the way for resuming a licensing review of Yucca Mountain as a potential deep geologic repository (DGR).

  19. Robotics and remote handling concepts for disposal of high-level nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McAffee, Douglas; Raczka, Norman; Schwartztrauber, Keith

    1997-01-01

    This paper summarizes preliminary remote handling and robotic concepts being developed as part of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project. The DOE is currently evaluating the Yucca Mountain Nevada site for suitability as a possible underground geologic repository for the disposal of high level nuclear waste. The current advanced conceptual design calls for the disposal of more than 12,000 high level nuclear waste packages within a 225 km underground network of tunnels and emplacement drifts. Many of the waste packages may weigh as much as 66 tonnes and measure 1.8 m in diameter and 5.6 m long. The waste packages will emit significant levels of radiation and heat. Therefore, remote handling is a cornerstone of the repository design and operating concepts. This paper discusses potential applications areas for robotics and remote handling technologies within the subsurface repository. It also summarizes the findings of a preliminary technology survey which reviewed available robotic and remote handling technologies developed within the nuclear, mining, rail and industrial robotics and automation industries, and at national laboratories, universities, and related research institutions and government agencies

  20. 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.

  1. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    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

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Glanzman, V.M.

    1991-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-01-01

    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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Durrani, B.A.

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-15

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lorenz, J.J.; Stephan, P.M.

    1991-09-01

    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 1991 through June 1991. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    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, 1993, through June 30, 1993. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1991-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-09-01

    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 June 30, 1992. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor resorts, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

  14. Nevada Nuclear-Waste-Storage Investigations. Quarterly report, April-June 1982

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1982-09-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) are studying the Nevada Test Site (NTS) area to establish whether it would qualify as a licensable location for a commercial nuclear waste repository; determining whether specific underground rock masses in the NTS area are technically acceptable for permanently disposing of highly radioactive solid wastes; and developing and demonstrating the capability to safely handle and store commercial spent reactor fuel and high-level waste. Progress reports for the following eight tasks are presented: systems; waste package; site; repository; regulatory and institutional; test facilities; land acquisition; and program management. Some of the highlights are: A code library was established to provide a central location for documentation of repository performance assessment codes. A two-dimensional finite element code, SAGUARO, was developed for modeling saturated/unsaturated groundwater flow. The results of an initial experiment to determine canister penetration rates due to corrosion indicate the expected strong effect of toxic environmental conditions on the corrosion rate of carbon steel in tuff-conditioned water. Wells USW-H3 and USW-H4 at Yucca Mountain have been sampled for groundwater analysis. A summary characterizing and relating the mineralogy and petrology of Yucca Mountain tuffs was compiled from the findings of studies of core samples from five drill holes.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benson, A.B.; Nelson, P.V.; D'Ouville, M.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.B. Benson; P.V. Nelson; M. d' Ouville

    2000-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eslinger, P.W.; Doremus, L.A.; Engel, D.W.; Miley, T.B.; Murphy, M.T.; Nichols, W.E.; White, M.D.; Langford, D.W.; Ouderkirk, S.J.

    1993-01-01

    The placement of high-level radioactive wastes in minded 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

  19. 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.

  20. Development of rail access to the proposed repository site at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Standish, P.N.; Seidler, P.E.; Andrews, W.B.; Shearin, G.

    1991-01-01

    In accordance with the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendment Act of 1987, Yucca Mountain was designated as the initial site to be investigated as a potential repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. The Yucca Mountain site is an undeveloped area located on the southwestern edge of the Nevada Test Site (NTS), about 100 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The site currently lacks rail service or an existing right-of-way. If the Yucca Mountain site is found suitable for the repository, rail service is considered desirable by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) program because of the potential of rail transportation to reduce (1) costs and (2) number of shipments, relative to highway transportation. Therefore, it is necessary to conduct a study to determine (1) that there are alignments for a potential rail line from existing mainline railroads to Yucca Mountain and (2) that these are consistent with present rail design standards and are acceptable relative to environmental and land access considerations

  1. Overview of the Yucca Mountain Licensing Process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M. Wisenburg

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Natural analogs for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murphy, W.M.

    1995-01-01

    High-level radioactive waste in the US, spent fuels from commercial reactors and nuclear materials generated by defense activities, will remain potentially hazardous for thousands of years. Demonstrable long-term stability of certain geologic and geochemical systems motivates and sustains the concept that high-level waste can be safely isolated in geologic repositories for requisite periods of time. Each geologic repository is unique in its properties and performance with reguard to isolation of nuclear wastes. Studies of processes analogous to waste-form alteration and radioelement transport in environments analogous to Yucca Mountain are being conducted at two sites, described in this article to illustrate uses of natural analog data: the Nopal I uranium deposit in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico, and the Akrotiri archaeological site on the island of Santorini, Greece

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2001-01-01

    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 [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. Finally, robustness analysis evaluates

  4. Preclosure analysis of conceptual waste package designs for a nuclear waste repository in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neal, W.C.; Gregg, D.W.; Hockman, J.N.; Russell, E.W.; Stein, W.

    1984-01-01

    This report discusses the selection and analysis of conceptual waste package developed by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project for possible disposal of high-level nuclear waste at a candidate site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The design requirements that the waste package must conform to are listed, as are several desirable design considerations. Illustrations of the reference and alternative designs are shown. Four austenitic stainless steels (316L SS, 321 SS, 304L SS and Incoloy 825 high nickel alloy) have been selected for candidate canister/overpack materials, and 1020 carbon steel has been selected as the reference metal for the borehole liners. A summary of the results of technical and ecnonmic analyses supporting the selection of the conceptual waste package designs is included. Postclosure containment and release rates are not analyzed in this report

  5. The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository From A Corrosion Perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.H. Payer

    2005-01-01

    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. A major component of the long-term strategy for safe disposal of nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain Repository is first to completely isolate the radionuclides in the waste packages for long times and to greatly retard the egress and transport of radionuclides from penetrated packages. Therefore, long-lived waste packages are important. The corrosion resistance of the waste package outer canister is reviewed, and a framework for the analysis of localized corrosion processes is presented. An overview is presented of the Materials Performance targeted thrust of the U.S. Department of Energy/Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management's Office of Science and Technology and International. The thrust program strives for increased scientific understanding, enhanced process models and advanced technologies for corrosion control

  6. Tectonic stability and expected ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-01-01

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

  7. Tectonic stability and expected ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1984-10-02

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

  8. Nuclear wastes and public trust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, J.; Slovic, P.

    1993-01-01

    Citing public fear and mistrust, strong opposition to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository site, and less-than-exemplary performance by the Department of Energy (DOE), two private researchers believe present high-level radioactive waste-disposal plans may have to be scrapped. Government and the nuclear industry may have to start over. Policy makers should seek to develop new relationships with communities and states where suitable disposal sites exist. These relationships may require that citizen groups and local institutions be given unprecedented authority in locating and operating such facilities. Contrary to popular impressions, there is still time to take a new approach. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission says present on-site storage arrangements offer a safe alternative for 100 years or more. The sense of immediate crisis and cries for immediate solutions should be calmed and a more considered strategy brought to the public debate. For starters, the researchers propose that the problems of defense waste be separated from the problems of commercial waste. They also suggest that DOE be assigned responsibility for defense waste and a new agency be created to handle high-level commercial waste

  9. Experimental investigation of hydrous pyrolysis of diesel fuel and the effect of pyrolysis products on performance of the candidate nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, K.J.; Carroll, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    It is thought that a significant amount of diesel fuel and other hydrocarbon-rich phases may remain inside the candidate nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain after construction and subsequent emplacement of radioactive waste. Although the proposed repository horizon is above the water table, the remnant hydrocarbon phases may react with hydrothermal solutions generated by high temperature conditions that will prevail for a period of time in the repository. The preliminary experimental results of this study show that diesel fuel hydrous pyrolysis is minimal at 200 degrees C and 70 bars. The composition of the diesel fuel remained constant throughout the experiment and the concentration of carboxylic acids in the aqueous phases was only slightly above the detection limit (1-2 ppm) of the analytical technique

  10. State of Nevada, Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office narrative report, January 1992

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) is the State of Nevada agency designated by State law to monitor and oversee US Department of Energy (DOE) activities relative to the possible siting, construction, operation and closure of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and to carry out the State of Nevada's responsibilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982. During the reporting period the NWPO continued to work toward the five objectives designed to implement the Agency's oversight responsibilities: (1) Assure that the health and safety of Nevada's citizens are adequately protected with regard to any federal high-level radioactive waste program within the State; (2) Take the responsibilities and perform the duties of the State of Nevada as described in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Public Law 97-425) and the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987; (3) Advise the Governor, the State Commission on Nuclear Projects and the Nevada State Legislature on matters concerning the potential disposal of high-level radioactive waste in the State; (4) Work closely and consult with affected local governments and State agencies; (5) Monitor and evaluate federal planning and activities regarding high-level radioactive waste disposal. Plan and conduct independent State studies regarding the proposed repository

  11. The use of performance assessments in Yucca Mountain repository waste package design activities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jardine, L.J.

    1990-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project is developing performance assessment approaches as part of the evaluations of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a repository site. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is developing design concepts and the scientific performance assessment methodologies and techniques used for the waste package and engineered barrier system components. This paper presents an overview of the approach under development for postclosure performance assessments that will guide the conceptual design activities and assist in the site suitability evaluations. This approach includes establishing and modeling for the long time periods required by regulations: near-field environment characteristics surrounding the emplaced wastes; container materials performance responses; and waste form properties. All technical work is being done under a fully qualified quality assurance program

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. 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.

  14. Progression of performance assessment modeling for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Wilson, Michael L.; Sevougian, S. David

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes the evolution of consequence modeling for a repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. The discussion includes four early performance assessments (PAs) conducted between 1982 and 1995 to support selection and to evaluate feasibility and three major PAs conducted between 1998 and 2008 to evaluate viability, recommend the site, and assess compliance. Modeling efforts in 1982 estimated dose to individuals 18 km from the site caused by volcanic eruption through the repository. Modeling in 1984 estimated releases via the groundwater pathway because of container corrosion. In combination, this early analysis supported the first environmental assessment. Analysts in 1991 evaluated cumulative release, as specified in the 1985 US radiation protection standards, via the groundwater pathway over 10 4 yr at a 5-km boundary by modeling waste degradation and flow/transport in the saturated and unsaturated zones. By 1992, however, the US Congress mandated a change to a dose measure. Thus, the 1993 and 1995 performance assessments improved modeling of waste container degradation to provide better estimates of radionuclide release rates out to 10 6 yr. The 1998 viability assessment was a major step in modeling complexity. Dose at a 20-km boundary from the repository was evaluated through 10 6 yr for undisturbed conditions using more elaborate modeling of flow and the addition of modules for modeling infiltration, drift seepage, the chemical environment, and biosphere transport. The 2000 assessment for the site recommendation refined the analysis. Seepage modeling was greatly improved and waste form degradation modeling included more chemical dependence. The 2008 compliance assessment for the license application incorporated the influence of the seismicity on waste package performance to evaluate dose at an ∼18-km boundary. - Highlights: • Evolution of the consequence models to simulate physical

  15. Spotlight back on LHW with Yucca Mountain on Trump's horizon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shepherd, John [nuclear 24, St George' s Redditch (United Kingdom)

    2017-08-15

    After years of argument and delay could the US be edging closer to resurrecting proposals to build a national repository for high level nuclear waste (HLW) at Yucca Mountain in Nevada? The federal government has looked at the site with a view to establishing a repository since the 1970s. However, after pouring billions of dollars into projects and studies over the decades, the project remained bogged down in legal battles and opposition from politicians and pressure groups. Now, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) said it had directed its staff to use the equivalent of about EUR 95,000 from the national Nuclear Waste Fund on ''information-gathering activities'' that could pave the way for resuming a licensing review of Yucca Mountain as a potential deep geologic repository (DGR).

  16. Scientific Solutions to Nuclear Waste Environmental Challenges

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Johnson, Bradley R.

    2014-01-01

    of time it takes for one-half of the material to undergo radioactive decay.) In general, the ideal material would need to be durable for approximately 10 half-lives to allow the activity to decay to negligible levels. However, the potential health effects of each radionuclide vary depending on what type of radiation is emitted, the energy of that emission, and the susceptibility for the human body to accumulate and concentrate that particular element. Consequently, actual standards tend to be based on limiting the dose (energy deposited per unit mass) that is introduced into the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the responsibility to establish standards for nuclear waste disposal to protect the health and safety of the public. For example, the Energy Policy Act of 1992 directed the EPA to establish radiation protection standards for the Yucca Mountain geologic repository for nuclear wastes. The standards for Yucca Mountain were promulgated in 2008, and limit the dose to 15 millirem per year for the first 10,000 years, and 100 milirem per year between 10,000 years and 1 million years (40 CFR Part 197; http://www.epa.gov/radiation/yucca/2008factsheet.html). So, the challenge is two-fold: (1) develop a material (a waste form) that is capable of immobilizing the waste over geologic time scales, and (2) develop a process to convert the radioactive sludge in the tanks into this durable waste form material. Glass: Hard, durable, inert, and with infinite chemical versatility Molten glass is a powerful solvent liquid, which can be designed to dissolve almost anything. When solidified, it can be one of the most chemically inert substances known to man. Nature's most famous analogue to glass is obsidian, a vitreous product of volcanic activity; formations over 17 million years old have been found. Archaeologists have found man-made glass specimens that are five thousand years old

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potter, C.J.; Day, W.C.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Juan, C.S.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-12-01

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

  19. Understanding the Potential for Volcanoes at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    NA

    2002-01-01

    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

  20. 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''

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payer, Joe H.; Scully, John R.

    2003-01-01

    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.

  1. Release modes and processes relevant to source-term calculations at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Apted, M.J.

    1994-01-01

    The feasibility of permanent disposal of radioactive high-level waste (HLW) in repositories located in deep geologic formations is being studied world-wide. The most credible release pathway is interaction between groundwater and nuclear waste forms, followed by migration of radionuclide-bearing groundwater to the accessible environment. Under hydrologically unsaturated conditions, vapor transport of volatile radionuclides is also possible. The near-field encompasses the waste packages composed of engineered barriers (e.g. man-made materials, such as vitrified waste forms, corrosion-resistant containers), while the far-field includes the natural barriers (e.g. host rock, hydrologic setting). Taken together, these two subsystems define a series of multiple, redundant barriers that act to assure the safe isolation of nuclear waste. In the U.S., the Department of energy (DOE) is investigating the feasibility of safe, long-term disposal of high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. The proposed repository horizon is located in non-welded tuffs within the unsaturated zone (i.e. above the water table) at Yucca Mountain. The purpose of this paper is to describe the source-term models for radionuclide release from waste packages at Yucca Mountain site. The first section describes the conceptual release modes that are relevant for this site and waste package design, based on a consideration of the performance of currently proposed engineered barriers under expected and unexpected conditions. No attempt is made to asses the reasonableness nor probability of occurrence for any specific release mode. The following section reviews the waste-form characteristics that are required to model and constrain the release of radionuclides from the waste package. The next section present mathematical models for the conceptual release modes, selected from those that have been implemented into a probabilistic total system assessment code developed for the Electric Power

  2. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Devonec, E.; Sevougian, S.D.; Mattie, P.D.; Mcneish, J.A.; Mishra, S.

    2001-01-01

    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)

  4. 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)

  5. 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.

  6. TECHNICAL PEER REVIEW REPORT - YUCCA MOUNTAIN: WASTE PACKAGE CLOSURE CONTROL SYSTEM

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2005-01-01

    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

  7. REMOTE MATERIAL HANDLING IN THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE PACKAGE CLOSURE CELL AND SUPPORT AREA GLOVEBOX

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K.M. Croft; S.M. Allen; M.W. Borland

    2005-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Waste Package Closure System (WPCS) cells provide for shielding of highly radioactive materials contained in unsealed waste packages. The purpose of the cells is to provide safe environments for package handling and sealing operations. Once sealed, the packages are placed in the Yucca Mountain Repository. Closure of a typical waste package involves a number of remote operations. Those involved typically include the placement of matched lids onto the waste package. The lids are then individually sealed to the waste package by welding. Currently, the waste package includes three lids. One lid is placed before movement of the waste package to the closure cell; the final two are placed inside the closure cell, where they are welded to the waste package. These and other important operations require considerable remote material handling within the cell environment. This paper discusses the remote material handling equipment, designs, functions, operations, and maintenance, relative to waste package closure

  8. Emerging Trends in the Nuclear Fuel Cycle: Implications for Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Spradley, L.; Camper, L.; Rehmann, M.

    2009-01-01

    There are emerging trends in the nuclear fuel cycle that have implications for waste management. This paper will discuss activities in both the front-end and back-end of the nuclear fuel cycle for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)-regulated entities. Particular focus will be given to the front-end which includes uranium recovery facilities, conversion facilities, and enrichment facilities. The back-end activities include progress on the proposed high-level waste geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, NV and efforts to reprocess spent nuclear fuel or down-blend HEU. While there are potential environmental impacts due to construction and dismantling of fuel cycle facilities, this paper focuses on the operational waste stream that will need to be managed as a result of fuel-cycle facilities. (authors)

  9. Ground-water travel time calculations for the potential nuclear repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Younker, J.L.; Wilson, W.E.; Sinnock, S.

    1986-01-01

    In support of the US Department of Energy Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project, ground-water travel times were calculated for flow paths in both the saturated and unsaturated zones at Yucca Mountain, a potential site for a high-level radioactive waste repository in southern Nevada. The calculations were made through a combined effort by Science Applications International Corporation, Sandia National Laboratories, and the US Geological Survey. Travel times in the unsaturated zone were estimated by dividing the flow path length by the ground-water velocity, where velocities were obtained by dividing the vertical flux by the effective porosity of the rock types along assumed vertical flow paths. Saturated zone velocities were obtained by dividing the product of the bulk hydraulic conductivity and hydraulic gradient by the effective porosity. Total travel time over an EPA-established 5-km flow path was then calculated to be the sum of the travel times in the two parts of the flow path. Estimates of ground water fluxes and travel times are critical for evaluating the favorability of the Yucca Mountain site because they provide the basis for estimating the potential for radionuclides to reach the accessible environment within certain time limits

  10. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sikora, R.F.; Campbell, D.L.; Kucks, R.P.

    1995-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-01-01

    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

  17. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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). The general Task continued to coordinate project activities to meet general deadlines and responsibilities. The central office provided general secretarial support. The activities that were started during the first project period included expansion of the central copying facilities, growth of the central reprint, map, aerial and photograph collections, and some expansion of personal computer capabilities. The research and review accomplishments are mainly under the following tasks: quaternary tectonics, geochemical, mineral deposits, volcanic geology, seismology, tectonics, neotectonics, remote sensing, geotechnical assessments, geotechnical rock mass assessment, basinal studies, and strong ground motion

  19. Evolution of repository and waste package designs for Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, Rob P.; Voegele, Michael D.

    2014-01-01

    This paper summarizes the evolution of the engineered barrier design for the proposed Yucca Mountain disposal system. Initially, the underground facility used a fairly standard panel and drift layout excavated mostly by drilling and blasting. By 1993, the layout of the underground facility was changed to accommodate construction by a tunnel boring machine. Placement of the repository in unsaturated zone permitted an extended period without backfilling; placement of the waste package in an open drift permitted use of much larger, and thus hotter packages. Hence in 1994, the underground facility design switched from floor emplacement of waste in small, single walled stainless steel or nickel alloy containers to in-drift emplacement of waste in large, double-walled containers. By 2000, the outer layer was a high nickel alloy for corrosion resistance and the inner layer was stainless steel for structural strength. Use of large packages facilitated receipt and disposal of high volumes of spent nuclear fuel. In addition, in-drift package placement saved excavation costs. Options considered for in-drift emplacement included different heat loads and use of backfill. To avoid dripping on the package during the thermal period and the possibility of localized corrosion, titanium drip shields were added for the disposal drifts by 2000. In addition, a handling canister, sealed at the reactor to eliminate further handling of bare fuel assemblies, was evaluated and eventually adopted in 2006. Finally, staged development of the underground layout was adopted to more readily adjust to changes in waste forms and Congressional funding. - Highlights: • Progression of events associated with repository design to accommodate tunnel boring machine and in-drift waste package emplacement are discussed. • Change in container design from small, single-layered stainless steel vessel to large, two-layered nickel alloy vessel is discussed. • The addition of drip shield to limit the

  20. Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office final progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    The Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects/Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) was formally established by Executive Policy in 1983 following passage of the federal Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (Act). That Act provides for the systematic siting, construction, operation, and closure of high-level radioactive defense and research by-products and other forms of high-level radioactive waste from around the country which will be stored at such repositories. In 1985 the Nevada legislature formally established the NWPO as a distinct and statutorily authorized agency to provide support to the Governor and State Legislature on matters concerning the high-level nuclear waste programs. The NWPO utilized a small, central staff supplemented by contractual services for needed technical and specialized expertise in order to provide high quality oversight and monitoring of federal activities, to conduct necessary independent studies, and to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts. This report summarizes the results of this ongoing program to ensure that risks to the environment and to human safety are minimized. It includes findings in the areas of hydrogeology, geology, quality assurance activities, repository engineering, legislature participation, socioeconomic affects, risk assessments, monitoring programs, public information dissemination, and transportation activities. The bulk of the reporting deals with the Yucca Mountain facility

  1. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-10-01

    The Department of Energy is awarding grants to the state of Nevada for the state's participation in DOE's program to investigate Yucca Mountain as a possible site for the disposal of civilian nuclear waste. This report has found that DOE's financial assistance budget request of $15 million for Nevada's fiscal year 1990 was not based on the amount the state requested but rather was derived by increasing Nevada's grant funds from the previous year in proportion to the increase that DOE requested for its own activities at the Nevada site. DOE's evaluations of Nevada's requests are performed too late to be used in DOE's budget formulation process because Nevada has been applying for financial assistance at about the same time that DOE submits its budget request to Congress

  2. Preliminary drift design analyses for nuclear waste repository in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hardy, M.P.; Brechtel, C.E.; Goodrich, R.R.; Bauer, S.J.

    1990-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is examining the feasibility of siting a repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The proposed repository will be excavated in the Topopah Spring Member, which is a moderately fractured, unsaturated, welded tuff. Excavation stability will be required during construction, waste emplacement, retrieval (if required), and closure to ensure worker safety. The subsurface excavations will be subject to stress changes resulting from thermal expansion of the rock mass and seismic events associated with regional tectonic activity and underground nuclear explosions (UNEs). Analyses of drift stability are required to assess the acceptable waste emplacement density, to design the drift shapes and ground support systems, and to establish schedules and cost of construction. This paper outlines the proposed methodology to assess drift stability and then focuses on an example of its application to the YMP repository drifts based on preliminary site data. Because site characterization activities have not begun, the database currently lacks the extensive site-specific field and laboratory data needed to form conclusions as to the final ground support requirements. This drift design methodology will be applied and refined as more site-specific data are generated and as analytical techniques and methodologies are verified during the site characterization process

  3. 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.

  4. Initial Q-list for the prospective Yucca Mountain repository based on items important to safety and waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laub, T.W.; Jardine, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    A method for identifying items important to safety based on a probabilistic risk assessment approach was developed and implemented for the conceptual design of the Yucca Mountain repository. No items were classified as important to safety; however, six items were classified as potentially important to safety. These were the shipping cask, the cranes and the truck or rail-care vehicle stops in the cask receiving and preparation area, the hot cell structure of the waste packaging hot cells, the cranes in the waste packaging hot cells, and the waste-handling building fire protection system. In addition, a method for identifying items important to waste isolation was developed and implemented. Two hydrogeologic units of the Yucca Mountain site were classified as important to waste isolation: the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic unit and the Calico Hills nonwelded vitric unit. The preliminary Q-list for the Yucca Mountain repository is comprised of the two units of the site classified as important to waste isolation and contains no items important to safety

  5. Initial Q-list for the prospective Yucca Mountain repository based on items important to safety and waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laub, T.W.; Jardine, L.J.

    1987-01-01

    A method for identifying items important to safety based on a probabilistic risk assessment approach was developed and implemented for the conceptual design of the Yucca Mountain repository. No items were classified as important to safety; however, six items were classified as potentially important to safety. These were the shipping cask, the cranes and the truck or rail-car vehicle stops in the cask receiving and preparation area, the hot cell structure of the waste packaging hot cells, the cranes in the waste packaging hot cells, and the waste-handling building fire protection system. In addition, a method for identifying items important to waste isolation was developed and implemented. Two hydrogeologic units of the Yucca Mountain site were classified as important to waste isolation: the Calico Hills nonwelded zeolitic unit and the Calico Hills nonwelded vitric unit. The preliminary Q-list for the Yucca Mountain repository is comprised of the two units of the site classified as important to waste isolation and contains no items important to safety

  6. Waste package for Yucca Mountain repository: Strategy for regulatory compliance

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cloninger, M.; Short, D.; Stahl, D.

    1989-02-01

    This document summarizes the strategy given in the Site Characterization Plan (1) for demonstrating compliance with the post closure performance objectives for the waste package and the Engineered Barrier System (EBS) contained in the Code of Federal Regulations. The strategy consists of the development of a conservative waste package design that will meet the regulatory requirements with sufficient margin for uncertainty using a multi-barrier approach that takes advantage of the unsaturated nature of the Yucca Mountain site. This strategy involves an iterative process designed to achieve compliance with the requirements for substantially complete containment and EBS release. The strategy will be implemented in such a manner that sufficient evidence will be provided for presentation to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) so that it may make a finding that there is ''reasonable assurance'' that these performance requirements will indeed be met. In implementing the strategy, DOE recognizes four fundamental goals: (1) protect public health and safety; (2) minimize financial and other resource commitments; (3) comply with applicable laws and regulations; and (4) maintain an aggressive schedule. The strategy is intended to be a reasonable balance of these competing goals. 7 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  7. Today's Yucca mountain project and a new concept of multi-barrier system

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Guoqing

    2008-01-01

    This paper mainly deals with the current status of Yucca Mountain project and the progress in study on engineering barrier in Belgium and introduces the future plan for Yucca Mountain project, two reports on draft supplemental environmental impact statement, and the view of New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama during the 2008 president elections related to the building a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. In order to enhance the security of geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste, a new concept about multi-barrier system is given by Belgium and is concisely described here. (authors)

  8. Nuclear Waste Package Mockups: A Study of In-situ Redox State

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helean, K.; Anderson, B.; Brady, P. V.

    2006-05-01

    The Yucca Mountain Repository (YMR), located in southern Nevada, is to be the first facility in the U.S. for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuels. Total system performance assessment(TSPA) has indicated that among the major radionuclides contributing to dose are Np, Tc, and I. These three radionuclides are mobile in most geochemical settings, and therefore sequestering them within the repository horizon is a priority for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). Corroding steel may offset radionuclide transport processes within the proposed waste packages at YMR by retaining radionuclides, creating locally reducing conditions, and reducing porosity. Ferrous iron has been shown to reduce UO22+ to UO2s, and some ferrous iron-bearing ion-exchange materials have been shown to adsorb radionuclides and heavy metals. Locally reducing conditions may lead to the reduction and subsequent immobilization of problematic dissolved species such as TcO4-, NpO2+, and UO22+ and can also inhibit corrosion of spent nuclear fuel. Water occluded during corrosion produces bulky corrosion products, and consequently less porosity is available for water and radionuclide transport. The focus of this study is on the nature of Yucca Mountain waste package corrosion products and their effects on local redox conditions, radionuclide transport, and porosity. In order to measure in-situ redox, six small-scale (1:40) waste package mockups were constructed using A516 and 316 stainless steel, the same materials as the proposed Yucca Mountain waste packages. The mockups are periodically injected with a simulated groundwater and the accumulated effluent and corrosion products are evaluated for their Fe(II)/Fe(III) content and mineralogy. Oxygen fugacities are then calculated and, thus, in-situ redox conditions are determined. Early results indicate that corrosion products are largely amorphous Fe-oxyhydroxides, goethite and magnetite. That information together with the

  9. Autotrophic and heterotrophic bacterial diversity from Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khalil, M.; Haldeman, D.L.; Igbinovia, A.; Castro, P.

    1996-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Nuclear waste package design for the Vadose zone in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neal, W.C.; Ballou, L.B.; Gregg, D.W.; Russell, E.W.

    1984-02-01

    This report presents an overview of the selection and analysis of conceptual waste package designs that will be used by the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project for disposal of high-level nuclear waste (HLW) at the proposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada Site. The design requirements that the waste packages are required to meet are listed. Concept drawings for the reference designs and one alternative package design are shown. Four metal alloys; 304L SS, 321 SS, 316L SS and Incoloy 825 have been selected for candidate canister/overpack materials, and 1020 carbon steel has been selected as the reference metal for the borehole liners. A summary of the results of technical and economic analysis supporting the selection of the conceptual waste package designs is included. Post-closure containment and release rates are not discussed in this paper. 17 references, 2 figures, 2 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  13. Nuclear waste criticality analysis. Quarterly progress report, 1 October--31 December 1995

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Culbreth, W.G.

    1996-01-01

    The work to date includes the preparation of a report related to criticality in spent fuel, a report on the Oklo reactors and their relevance to Yucca Mountain, and the creation of a computer program to model the Oklo reactors. The objective of the program includes a computational model of the only known natural analogue to an underground nuclear waste repository and the possible application of the model to predict the long-term behavior of Yucca Mountain. A final summary of all work completed will be presented after the end of the project on February 29, 1996

  14. Regulatory perspective on future climates at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coleman, N.M.; Eisenberg, N.A.; Brooks, D.J.

    1996-01-01

    Current regulations of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) require that any performance assessment supporting the license application for a high-level waste (HLW) repository must consider the potential for changes in hydrologic conditions caused by reasonably foreseeable climatic conditions. The requirement is important because the earth's climate will almost certainly change significantly during the thousands of years that disposed nuclear wastes will remain hazardous. More importantly, climate controls the range of precipitation, which in turn controls the rates of infiltration, deep percolation, and groundwater flux through a geologic repository located in an unsaturated environment. Therefore, future changes in climate could significantly influence waste isolation in a repository at Yucca Mountain

  15. Seismotectonic investigations for Yucca Mountain high-level waste repository: Rationale for defining scope

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gupta, D.C.; Blackford, M.E.

    1990-01-01

    The geologic, seismic, and engineering characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site and its environs need to be investigated in sufficient scope and detail to provide reasonable assurance that they are sufficiently well understood to permit an adequate evaluation of the proposed site for the development of a high-level waste repository. The paper examines the extent of seismotectonic investigations needed for proper evaluation of the geologic setting. At the Yucca Mountain site, a thorough understanding of tectonic phenomena such as seismicity and faulting is critical to the identification of potentially disqualifying conditions. Study of the tectonic movement, stress, or co-tectonic effects that could affect the performance of the waste-handling facilities, waste package, underground openings, shaft and borehole seals, and long-term alteration of geohydrology would be necessary. In addition, the uncertainties involved in evaluating the effect of seismotectonics on the radionuclide transport mechanism need to be thoroughly investigated. 8 refs., 1 fig

  16. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sweeney, R.L.

    2004-01-01

    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 on public

  18. Cost Comparison for the Transfer of Select Calcined Waste Canisters to the Monitored Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, NV

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Michael B. Heiser; Clark B. Millet

    2005-01-01

    This report performs a life-cycle cost comparison of three proposed canister designs for the shipment and disposition of Idaho National Laboratory high-level calcined waste currently in storage at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center to the proposed national monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Concept A (2 x 10-ft) and Concept B (2 x 15-ft) canisters are comparable in design, but they differ in size and waste loading options and vary proportionally in weight. The Concept C (5.5 x 17.5-ft) canister (also called the ''super canister''), while similar in design to the other canisters, is considerably larger and heavier than Concept A and B canisters and has a greater wall thickness. This report includes estimating the unique life-cycle costs for the three canister designs. Unique life-cycle costs include elements such as canister purchase and filling at the Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center, cask preparation and roundtrip consignment costs, final disposition in the monitored geologic repository (including canister off-loading and placement in the final waste disposal package for disposition), and cask purchase. Packaging of the calcine ''as-is'' would save $2.9 to $3.9 billion over direct vitrification disposal in the proposed national monitored geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using the larger Concept C canisters would use 0.75 mi less of tunnel space, cost $1.3 billion less than 10-ft canisters of Concept A, and would be complete in 6.2 years

  19. Politics and promises of nuclear waste disposal: the view from Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    DOE's betrayal of the principles and standards of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) has distorted the agency's repository-siting decisions. Leadership is needed to make midcourse corrections and to return to the promise of state-federal cooperation on which the act was built. NWPA managed to incorporate the interests of diverse factions into a decision-making process that was viewed as an equitable and workable solution to the nation's nuclear waste disposal dilemma. The House of Representatives subcommittees report documents conclusively a substantial and pervasive bias in favor of the selection of sites at Yucca Mountain and Hanford and a politization of the siting process

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Ventilation planning for a prospective nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wallace, K.G. Jr.

    1987-01-01

    In 1982, the US Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act to provide for the development of underground repositories for spent nuclear fuel. This development will be managed by the United States Department of Energy. In 1986, the President selected three areas for site characterization to determine their suitability for the development of an underground repository; those sites were: (1) A site in volcanic tuff located at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, (2) a site in bedded salt located in Deaf Smith County in Texas, and (3) a site in basalt located in Hanford, Washington. At present conceptual repository designs are being developed for each site. A key element of a repository design is the underground ventilation system required to support construction, nuclear waste emplacement, and potential waste retrieval. This paper describes the preliminary ventilation systems designed for the repository in tuff. The concept provides separate ventilation systems for the construction and waste emplacement activities. The paper further describes the means by which acceptable environmental conditions will be re-established to allow re-entry into previously closed rooms for the purpose of inspection, maintenance or retrieval

  4. 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.

  5. Using science soundly: The Yucca Mountain standard

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fri, R.W.

    1995-01-01

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

  6. Application of quality assurance controls to TBM tunneling on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Christensen, J.D.

    1996-01-01

    As part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), a 7.62-meter diameter tunnel is being constructed using a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM). This tunnel, which may form a portion of a permanent high-level nuclear waste repository, is being constructed under the auspices of a nuclear quality assurance (QA) program. The YMP nuclear QA program applies to items and activities determined to be important to radiological safety, waste isolation, and potential interactions with the environment. The items and activities determined to be important have been assigned a quality assurance classification. This paper focuses on the items (rockbolts, steel sets, and shotcrete) and quality affecting activities involved in providing ground support and excavating the tunnel. Typical activities that have been assigned QA classifications include TBM maintenance, control of water used in the tunnel during construction, and control of diesel emissions in the tunnel. The paper concludes that the key to the successful implementation of nuclear QA requirements for tunneling at Yucca Mountain was the assignment of personnel with the appropriate mix of tunneling and nuclear experience

  7. How to achieve public participation in nuclear waste decisions: Public relations or transparent adversary science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treichel, J.

    1999-01-01

    The current US nuclear waste disposal program began with passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and was modified by the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987. The Amendments Act made many major changes to the original Act, the most significant of which was the singling out of Yucca Mountain as the only site to be studied for a deep geologic high-level nuclear waste repository. While that decision appeared to simplify and streamline the program, it vastly increased the levels of public resistance and protest, particularly in Nevada. To counter the lack of public acceptance of its programs, the Department of Energy has embarked on countless efforts purportedly aimed at creating public participation. However, nuclear proponents portray a Yucca Mountain repository as inevitable. With this a foregone conclusion, it is apparent to the public that opportunities for meaningful participation do not exist - the only allowable change is in their attitudes. This is purely paternalism and, as such, it is an insult to concerned citizens. Intelligent citizens believe that they cannot play a meaningful role in the current program. Their participation amounts to joining a game or contest that is rigged. All rules, regulations and standards governing the Yucca Mountain project are either changing or proposed to be changed. In a game of golf, players cannot determine their handicap midway through the course. While there are jokes told about such actions in sports, a nuclear waste policy is no laughing matter. In this case, the game, or site characterization program, is now referred to by many as 'advocacy science'. With Yucca Mountain as the only site, and the frantic cries of the commercial nuclear utilities that the lack of a disposal site is a national crisis, the investigations of the site appear to watchful citizens to be aimed at proving its suitability, rather than an objective study. Risk Assessment and risk communication, while very useful when applied

  8. How to achieve public participation in nuclear waste decisions: Public relations or transparent adversary science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Treichel, J. [Nevada Nuclear Waste Task Force, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1999-12-01

    The current US nuclear waste disposal program began with passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 and was modified by the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987. The Amendments Act made many major changes to the original Act, the most significant of which was the singling out of Yucca Mountain as the only site to be studied for a deep geologic high-level nuclear waste repository. While that decision appeared to simplify and streamline the program, it vastly increased the levels of public resistance and protest, particularly in Nevada. To counter the lack of public acceptance of its programs, the Department of Energy has embarked on countless efforts purportedly aimed at creating public participation. However, nuclear proponents portray a Yucca Mountain repository as inevitable. With this a foregone conclusion, it is apparent to the public that opportunities for meaningful participation do not exist - the only allowable change is in their attitudes. This is purely paternalism and, as such, it is an insult to concerned citizens. Intelligent citizens believe that they cannot play a meaningful role in the current program. Their participation amounts to joining a game or contest that is rigged. All rules, regulations and standards governing the Yucca Mountain project are either changing or proposed to be changed. In a game of golf, players cannot determine their handicap midway through the course. While there are jokes told about such actions in sports, a nuclear waste policy is no laughing matter. In this case, the game, or site characterization program, is now referred to by many as 'advocacy science'. With Yucca Mountain as the only site, and the frantic cries of the commercial nuclear utilities that the lack of a disposal site is a national crisis, the investigations of the site appear to watchful citizens to be aimed at proving its suitability, rather than an objective study. Risk Assessment and risk communication, while very useful when

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brickey, D.W.

    1992-01-01

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

  10. Photogeologic study of small-scale linear features near a potential nuclear-waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, southern Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Throckmorton, C.K.

    1987-01-01

    Linear features were mapped from 1:2400-scale aerial photographs of the northern half of the potential underground nuclear-waste repository site at Yucca Mountain by means of a Kern PG 2 stereoplotter. These features were thought to be the expression of fractures at the ground surface (fracture traces), and were mapped in the caprock, upper lithophysal, undifferentiated lower lithophysal and hackly units of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Miocene Paintbrush Tuff. To determine if the linear features corresponded to fracture traces observed in the field, stations (areas) were selected on the map where the traces were both abundant and located solely within one unit. These areas were visited in the field, where fracture-trace bearings and fracture-trace lengths were recorded. Additional data on fracture-trace length and fracture abundance, obtained from ground-based studies of cleared pavements located within the study area were used to help evaluate data collected for this study. 16 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs

  11. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in performance assessment for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helton, Jon C.; Hansen, Clifford W.; Sallaberry, Cédric J.

    2012-01-01

    Extensive work has been carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the development of a proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. As part of this development, a detailed performance assessment (PA) for the YM repository was completed in 2008 and supported a license application by the DOE to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the construction of the YM repository. The following aspects of the 2008 YM PA are described in this presentation: (i) conceptual structure and computational organization, (ii) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques in use, (iii) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for physical processes, and (iv) uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for expected dose to the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) specified the NRC’s regulations for the YM repository. - Highlights: ► An overview of performance assessment for the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste repository is presented. ► Conceptual structure and computational organization are described. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis techniques are described. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results for physical processes are presented. ► Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results for expected dose are presented.

  12. Probabilistic risk assessment and nuclear waste transportation: A case study of the use of RADTRAN in the 1986 Environmental Assessment for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Resnikoff, M.

    1990-12-01

    The analysis of the risks of transporting irradiated nuclear fuel to a federal repository, Appendix A of the DOE Environmental Assessment for Yucca Mountain (DOE84), is based on the RADTRAN model and input parameters. The RADTRAN computer code calculates the radiation exposures and health effects under normal or incident-free transport, and over all credible accident conditions. The RADTRAN model also calculates the economic consequences of transportation accidents, though these costs were not included in the Department's Environmental Assessment for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository

  13. Preliminary assessment of nuclear waste transportation cost and risk for operation of the first repository at candidate sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, R.W.; McSweeney, T.I.; Varadarajan, R.V.; Wilmot, E.L.; Cashwell, J.W.; Joy, D.S.

    1983-01-01

    To support the selection of the first commercial nuclear waste repository site in 1987, environmental analyses of five candidate site locations are currently being performed. The five locations are in the Gulf Interior Region, the Permian Basin, the Paradox Basin, Yucca Mountain and the Hanford reservation. Costs and operational risks associated with the transportation of nuclear wastes to a single repository located in these regions have been calculated for a life-cycle of 26 years

  14. Nature and continuity of the Sundance Fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Potter, Christopher J.; Dickerson, Robert P.; Day, Warren C.

    2000-01-01

    This report describes the detailed geologic mapping (1:2,400 scale) that was performed in the northern part of the potential nuclear waste repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine the nature and extent of the Sundance Fault zone and to evaluate structural relations between the Sundance and other faults

  15. Exploratory shaft facility: It's role in the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site for a potential nuclear repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalia, H.N.; Merson, T.J.

    1990-01-01

    The US Department of Energy is characterizing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to assess its suitability as a potential site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and defense related activities. The assessment activities include surface investigations, drill holes from the surface, and an underground facility for in situ characterization tests. This underground exploratory shaft facility is being designed to meet the criteria for characterizing the mountain as described in the Site Characterization Plan. 9 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

  16. 36Cl measurements of the unsaturated zone flux at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Norris, A.E.; Wolfsberg, K.; Gifford, S.K.

    1985-01-01

    Determining the unsaturated zone percolation rate, or flux, is an extremely important site characterization issue for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. A new technique that measures the 36 Cl content of tuff from the Exploratory Shaft will be used to calculate flux through the unsaturated zone over longer times than could be measured by the more conventional 14 C method. Measurements of the 36 Cl ''bomb pulse'' in soil samples from Yucca Mountain have been used to confirm that infiltration is not an important recharge mechanism. 5 refs., 3 figs

  17. Nuclear waste. DOE has terminated research evaluating crystalline rock for a repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fultz, Keith O.; Sprague, John W.; Weigel, Dwayne E.; Price, Vincent P.

    1989-05-01

    We found that DOE terminated funding of research projects specifically designed to evaluate the suitability of crystalline rock for a repository. DOE continued other research efforts involving crystalline rock because they will provide information that it considers useful for evaluating the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for a potential repository. Such research activities are not prohibited by the amendments. In January 1988, DOE began evaluating both its domestic and international research programs to ensure their compliance with the 1987 amendments. Several DOE offices and contractors were involved in the evaluation. DOE officials believe that the evaluation effectively brought the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management activities into compliance with the amendments while maintaining useful international relations of continuing benefit to the nuclear waste program in general and to DOE's investigation of the Yucca Mountain site in particular. (The 1987 amendments designated Yucca Mountain as the only site that DOE is to investigate for a potential repository.) The approach and results of DOE's evaluation are discussed. Our review of DOE documents indicates that, by June 22, 1988, DOE completed its evaluation of ongoing crystalline rock research projects to ensure compliance with the 1987 amendments, terminated those research activities it identified as being specifically designed to evaluate the suitability of crystalline rock for a repository, continued some research activities involving crystalline rock because these activities would benefit the investigation and development of the Yucca Mountain repository site, and redirected some research activities so that they would contribute to investigating and developing the Yucca Mountain site

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-04-01

    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 July 1, 1992, through December 31, 1992. The bibliography is categorized by principal project participating organization. Participant-sponsored subcontractor reports, papers, and articles are included in the sponsoring organization's list. Another section contains information about publications on the Energy Science and Technology Database that were not sponsored by the project but have some relevance to it

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephan, P.M.

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stephan, P.M.

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.

    1991-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1995-01-01

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

  8. Nuclear waste: How the issue falls out

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Garner, W.L.

    1995-01-01

    Unless Congress takes some action, utilities will be forced to provide onsite storage of spent fuel from civilian nuclera reactors much longer than they ever imagined. Congress's failure to authorize the Department of Energy (DOE) to begin planning a centralized, interim storage facility and, equally important, to accelerate development of a permanent repository, means that spent nuclear fuel will remain in limbo at 73 reactor sites in 34 states. Today's 30,000 metric tons of spent fuel from civilian nuclear plants will grow to 85,000 metric tons by 2033, according to DOE. The agency also must find a home for a future 70,000 tons of defense waste. There is a growing sense of urgency in Congress this year that something must be done about the nation's nuclear waste problem. By 1998, 26 civilian nuclear units will have exhausted their storage capacity. By 2010 - the earliest DOE says it could open a permanent repository at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, provided the site proves feasible - 80 nuclear units will be out of storage space. At least half a dozen bills have been introduced so far in the 104th Congress, by both propoents and opponents of nuclear power. Recent events in Washington suggest this will be a hard-fought battle

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.S. Stuckless; D. O'Leary

    2006-01-01

    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

  10. On-site storage of high level nuclear waste: Attitudes and perceptions of local residents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassett, G.W. Jr.; Jenkins-Smith, H.C.; Silva, C.

    1996-01-01

    No public policy issue has been as difficult as high-level nuclear waste. Debates continue regarding Yucca Mountain as a disposal site, and - more generally - the appropriateness of geologic disposal and the need to act quickly. Previous research has focused on possible social, political, and economic consequences of a facility in Nevada. Impacts have been predicted to be potentially large and to emanate mainly from stigmatization of the region due to increased perceptions of risk. Analogous impacts from leaving waste at power plants have been either ignored or assumed to be negligible. This paper presents survey results on attitudes of residents in three countries where nuclear waste is currently stored. Topics include perceived risk, knowledge of nuclear waste and radiation, and impacts on jobs, tourism, and housing values from leaving waste on site. Results are similar to what has been reported for Nevada; the public is concerned about possible adverse effects from on-site storage of waste. 24 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs

  11. On-site storage of high level nuclear waste: attitudes and perceptions of local residents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bassett, G W; Jenkins-Smith, H C; Silva, C

    1996-06-01

    No public policy issue has been as difficult as high-level nuclear waste. Debates continue regarding Yucca Mountain as a disposal site, and-more generally-the appropriateness of geologic disposal and the need to act quickly. Previous research has focused on possible social, political, and economic consequences of a facility in Nevada. Impacts have been predicted to be potentially large and to emanate mainly from stigmatization of the region due to increased perceptions of risk. Analogous impacts from leaving waste at power plants have been either ignored or assumed to be negligible. This paper presents survey results on attitudes of residents in three counties where nuclear waste is currently stored. Topics include perceived risk, knowledge of nuclear waste and radiation, and impacts on jobs, tourism, and housing values from leaving waste on site. Results are similar to what has been reported for Nevada; the public is concerned about possible adverse effects from on-site storage of waste.

  12. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flynn, T.; Buchanan, P.; Trexler, D.

    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

  14. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-07-01

    The state of Nevada opposed DOE's development of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. As a result, disputes have arisen over how Nevada has spent financial assistance provided by DOE to pay the state's repository program costs. This report reviews Nevada's use of about $32 million in grant funds provided by DOE through June 1989 and found that Nevada improperly spent about $1 million. Nevada used as much as $683,000 for lobbying and litigation expenses that were unauthorized or were expressly prohibited by law, court decision, or grant terms; exceeded a legislative spending limit on socioeconomic studies by about $96,000; and used, contrary to grant terms, about $275,000 from one grant period to pay expenses incurred in the prior year. Also, Nevada did not always exercise adequate internal controls over grant funds, such as timely liquidation of funds advanced to contractors. A permissive approach to grant administration by DOE contributed to Nevada's inappropriate use of grant funds

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mitev, Lubomir [NucNet, Brussels (Belgium)

    2014-12-15

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

  16. Magnetic investigations along selected high-resolution seismic traverses in the central block of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ponce, D.A.; Sikora, R.F.; Roberts, C.W.; Morin, R.L.; Halvorson, P.F.

    1995-01-01

    Ground magnetic data collected along several traverses across the central block of Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada are interpreted. These data were collected as part of an effort to evaluate faulting in the vicinity of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Magnetic data and models along traverses across the central block of Yucca Mountain reveal anomalies associated with known faults and indicate a number of possible concealed faults beneath the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain. The central part of the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain is characterized by numerous small-amplitude anomalies that probably reflect small-scale faulting. Magnetic modeling of the terrain along the eastern flank of Yucca Mountain indicates that terrain induced magnetic anomalies of about 100 to 150 nT are present along some profiles where steep terrain exists above the magnetometer

  17. Nevada Test Site probable maximum flood study, part of US Geological Survey flood potential and debris hazard study, Yucca Mountain Site for US Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bullard, K.L.

    1994-01-01

    The US Geological Survey (USGS), as part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), is conducting studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The purposes of these studies are to provide hydrologic and geologic information to evaluate the suitability of Yucca Mountain for development as a high-level nuclear waste repository, and to evaluate the ability of the mined geologic disposal system (MGDS) to isolate the waste in compliance with regulatory requirements. In particular, the project is designed to acquire information necessary for the Department of Energy (DOE) to demonstrate in its environmental impact statement (EIS) and license application whether the MGDS will meet the requirements of federal regulations 10 CFR Part 60, 10 CFR Part 960, and 40 CFR Part 191. Complete study plans for this part of the project were prepared by the USGS and approved by the DOE in August and September of 1990. The US Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) was selected by the USGS as a contractor to provide probable maximum flood (PMF) magnitudes and associated inundation maps for preliminary engineering design of the surface facilities at Yucca Mountain. These PMF peak flow estimates are necessary for successful waste repository design and construction. The PMF technique was chosen for two reasons: (1) this technique complies with ANSI requirements that PMF technology be used in the design of nuclear related facilities (ANSI/ANS, 1981), and (2) the PMF analysis has become a commonly used technology to predict a ''worst possible case'' flood scenario. For this PMF study, probable maximum precipitation (PMP) values were obtained for a local storm (thunderstorm) PMP event. These values were determined from the National Weather Services's Hydrometeorological Report No. 49 (HMR 49)

  18. Waste package performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Connell, W.J.; Lappa, D.A.; Thatcher, R.M.

    1989-01-01

    The authors completed a first cycle of model development from a specification to a computer program, PANDORA-1, for long-term performance assessment of waste packages. The model for one waste package at a time incorporates processes specific to the unsaturated environment at the proposed Yucca Mountain, NV, site. PANDORA-1 models the most likely processes and several modes of waste alteration and release. The development identified information needs for future models; many processes, local details, and combinations will have to be examined. Integration of ensemble performance and quantification of uncertainties are modeling steps at higher aggregation. Methodologies for these steps include sampling, which is well studied; we have focused on several open questions. The authors can now calculate the amount of variance reduction available from Latin hypercube sampling; it is a limited reduction. A new method, uncertainty analysis test-bed program compares the new with old sampling methods

  19. Nevada may lose nuclear waste funds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marshall, E.

    1988-01-01

    The people of Nevada are concerned that a cut in DOE funding for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada will result in cuts in the state monitoring program, e.g. dropping a seismic monitoring network and a sophisticated drilling program. Economic and social impact studies will be curtailed. Even though a provision to curtail local research forbids duplication of DOE's work and would limit the ability of Nevada to go out an collect its own data, Nevada State University at Las Vegas would receive a nice plum, a top-of-the-line supercomputer known as the ETA-10 costing almost $30 million financed by DOE

  20. Current status of waste package designs for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ballou, L.B.

    1989-07-01

    Conceptual designs for waste packages containing spent fuel or high-level waste glass have been developed for use in a repository at Yucca Mountain. The basis for these designs reflects the unique nature of the expected service environment associated with disposal in welded tuff in the unsaturated zone. In addition to a set of reference designs, alternative design concepts are being considered that would contain and isolate the waste radionuclides in a more aggressive service environment. Consideration is also being given to the feasibility of a concept known as ''heat tailoring'' that employs the thermal energy released by the wasteforms to enhance and extend the performance of the containers. 5 refs., 3 figs

  1. Exploratory shaft facility: It`s role in the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site for a potential nuclear repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kalia, H.N.; Merson, T.J.

    1990-03-01

    The US Department of Energy is characterizing Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to assess its suitability as a potential site for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive waste from nuclear power plants and defense related activities. The assessment activities include surface investigations, drill holes from the surface, and an underground facility for in situ characterization tests. This underground exploratory shaft facility is being designed to meet the criteria for characterizing the mountain as described in the Site Characterization Plan. 9 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab.

  2. BIOSPHERE MODELING AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    NING LIU; JEFFERY, J.; TAPPEN, DE WU; CHAO-HSIUNG TUNG

    1998-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Henline, D.M.; Bales, J.D.

    1990-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benson, A.; Riding, Y.

    2002-01-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. The vegetation of Yucca Mountain: Description and ecology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    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. 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.

  8. Yucca Mountain project prototype testing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hughes, W.T.; Girdley, W.A.

    1990-01-01

    The U.S. DOE is responsible for characterizing the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada to determine its suitability for development as a geologic repository to isolate high-level nuclear waste for at least 10,000 years. This unprecedented task relies in part on measurements made with relatively new methods or applications, such as dry coring and overcoring for studies to be conducted from the land surface and in an underground facility. The Yucca Mountain Project has, since 1988, implemented a program of equipment development and methods development for a broad spectrum of hydrologic, geologic, rock mechanics, and thermomechanical tests planned for use in an Exploratory Shaft during site characterization at the Yucca Mountain site. A second major program was fielded beginning in April 1989 to develop and test methods and equipment for surface drilling to obtain core samples from depth using only air as a circulating medium. The third major area of prototype testing has been during the ongoing development of the Instrumentation/ Data Acquisition System (IDAS), designed to collect and monitor data from down-hole instrumentation in the unsaturated zone, and store and transmit the data to a central archiving computer. Future prototype work is planned for several programs including the application of vertical seismic profiling methods and flume design to characterizing the geology at Yucca Mountain. The major objectives of this prototype testing are to assure that planned Site Characterization testing can be carried out effectively at Yucca Mountain, both in the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF), and from the surface, and to avoid potential major failures or delays that could result from the need to re-design testing concepts or equipment. This paper will describe the scope of the Yucca Mountain Project prototype testing programs and summarize results to date. 3 figs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2002-01-01

    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

  10. Site characterization plan: Public Handbook, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain site in Nevada has been designated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended, for detailed study as the candidate site for the first US geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The detailed study --- called ''site characterization'' --- will be conducted by the Department of Energy (DOE) to determine the suitability of the site for a repository and, if the site is suitable, to obtain from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission authorization to construct the repository. As part of the site characterization study, DOE has prepared a Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site. The Site Characterization Plan is a nine-volume document, approximately 6300 pages in length, which describes the activities that will be conducted to characterize the geologic, hydrologic, and other conditions relevant to the suitability of the site for a repository. Part 1 of this Handbook explains what site characterization is and how the Site Characterization Plan (Plan) relates to it. Part 2 tells how to locate subjects covered in the Plan. Another major purpose of this Handbook is to identify opportunities for public involement in the review of the Site Characterization Plan. DOE wants to be sure that the public has adequate opportunities to learn about the Plan and review the results of the subsequent technical studies. 14 refs

  11. Ecology, ethics, and professional environmental practice: The Yucca Mountain, Nevada, project as a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Malone, C.R.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to develop a geologic repository for disposing of high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. In this commentary, the ecology program for the DOE's Yucca Mountain Project is discussed from the perspective of state-of-the-art ecosystem analysis, environmental ethics, and standards of professional practice. Specifically at issue is the need by the Yucca Mountain ecology program to adopt an ecosystem approach that encompasses the current strategy based on population biology and community ecology alone. The premise here is that an ecosystem approach is essential for assessing the long-term potential environmental impacts at Yucca Mountain in light of the thermal effects expected to be associated with heat from radioactive decay

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wesling, J.R.; Bullard, T.F.; Swan, F.H.; Perman, R.C.; Angell, M.M.; Gibson, J.D.

    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

  13. Predicting the Future at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, J. R.

    1999-01-01

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

  14. Predicting the Future at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. R. Wilson

    1999-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-02-01

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

  16. Waste package performance assessment for the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Connell, W.J.; Lappa, D.A.; Thatcher, R.M.

    1989-02-01

    We completed a first cycle of model development from a specification to a computer program, PANDORA-1, for long-term performance assessment of waste packages. The model for one waste package at a time incorporates processes specific to the unsaturated environment at the proposed Yucca Mountain, NV, site. PANDORA-1 models the most likely processes and several modes of waste alteration and release. The development identified information needs for future models; many processes, local details, and combinations will have to be examined. Integration of ensemble performance and quantification of uncertainties are modeling steps at higher aggregation. Methodologies for these steps include sampling, which is well studied; we have focused on several open questions. We can now calculate the amount of variance reduction available from Latin hypercube sampling; it is a limited reduction. A new method, controlled sampling, provides substantial variance reduction for a broad range of model functions. An uncertainty analysis test-bed program compares the new with old sampling methods. 7 refs., 1 tab

  17. Implementation of NUREG-1318 guidance within the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    La Monica, L.B.; Waddell, J.D.; Hardin, E.L.

    1990-01-01

    The US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project is implementing a quality assurance program that fulfills the requirements of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Additional guidance for this program was provided in NUREG 1318, ''Technical Position on Items and Activities in the High-Level Waste Geologic Repository Program Subject to Quality Assurance Requirements'' for identification of items and activities important to public radiological safety and waste isolation. The process and organization for implementing this guidance is discussed. 3 refs., 2 figs

  18. Annotated bibliography of the physical data of Rainier Mesa and Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, C.E.

    1988-09-01

    Yucca Mountain, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) has been designated as the only site to undergo characterization to determine if it meets the criteria to become the Nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. During this process, care must be taken to not compromise the site's integrity through excessive testing. In order to supplement the limited data to be gathered at Yucca Mountain, analog areas are to be considered. This annotated bibliography was compiled by the Desert Research Institute to help investigate ways in which Rainier Mesa could either be used as a supplemental repository test site or where existing Rainier Mesa data can be used either to support or refute test results from Yucca Mountain. Rainier Mesa, the location of numerous underground nuclear tests on the NTS, possesses some geologic characteristics similar to those of Yucca Mountain, which makes it a likely candidate for comparison. Almost 500 references regarding geology, hydrology, meteorology, biology, and archaeology were annotated and entered alpha-numerically into the bibliography. These references were categorized into 50 topics which are defined in Section 2 and presented in Section 3. Each reference is categorized as to whether it contains Yucca Mountain data, Rainier Mesa data, or both, and a final category consists of those reports that contain Rainier Mesa data that have already been applied to Yucca Mountain research. The annotated bibliography is presented in Section 4

  19. Continuing Science and Technology at the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Finch, R.J.

    2005-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was designated in 2002 to be the site for the nation's first permanent geological repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The process of selecting a site for the repository began nearly 25 years ago with passage of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act in 1982. The Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for submitting a license application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for constructing and operating the repository, and DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) is charged with carrying out this action. The use of multiple natural and engineered barriers in the current repository design are considered by OCRWM to be sufficiently robust to warrant license approval; however, potential design enhancements and increased understanding of both natural and engineered barriers, especially over the long time frames during which the waste is to remain isolated from human contact continue to be examined. The Office of Science and Technology and International (OST andI) was created within OCRWM to help explore novel technologies that might lower overall costs and to develop a greater understanding of processes relevant to the long-term performance of the repository. A brief overview of Yucca Mountain, and the role that OST andI has in identifying technological or scientific advances that could make repository operations more efficient or performance more robust, will be presented. It is important to note, however, that adopting any of OST andI's technological or scientific developments will be at the discretion of OCRWM's Office of Repository Development (ORD)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferrill, D.A.; Stirewalt, G.L.; Henderson, D.B.; Stamatakos, J.; Morris, A.P.; Spivey, K.H.; Wernicke, B.P.

    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

  1. 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

  2. United States Program on Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stewart, L.

    2004-01-01

    The President signed the Congressional Joint Resolution on July 23, 2002, that designated the Yucca Mountain site for a proposed geologic repository to dispose of the nation's spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW). The United States (U.S.) Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) is currently focusing its efforts on submitting a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in December 2004 for construction of the proposed repository. The legislative framework underpinning the U.S. repository program is the basis for its continuity and success. The repository development program has significantly benefited from international collaborations with other nations in the Americas

  3. Preliminary conceptual model for mineral evolution in Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Duffy, C.J.

    1993-12-01

    A model is presented for mineral alteration in Yucca Mountain, Nevada, that suggests that the mineral transformations observed there are primarily controlled by the activity of aqueous silica. The rate of these reactions is related to the rate of evolution of the metastable silica polymorphs opal-CT and cristobalite assuming that a SiO 2(aq) is fixed at the equilibrium solubility of the most soluble silica polymorph present. The rate equations accurately predict the present depths of disappearance of opal-CT and cristobalite. The rate equations have also been used to predict the extent of future mineral alteration that may result from emplacement of a high-level nuclear waste repository in Yucca Mountain. Relatively small changes in mineralogy are predicted, but these predictions are based on the assumption that emplacement of a repository would not increase the pH of water in Yucca Mountain nor increase its carbonate content. Such changes may significantly increase mineral alteration. Some of the reactions currently occurring in Yucca Mountain consume H + and CO 3 2- . Combining reaction rate models for these reactions with water chemistry data may make it possible to estimate water flux through the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member and to help confirm the direction and rate of flow of groundwater in Yucca Mountain

  4. Repository sealing concepts for the Nevada nuclear waste storage Investigations Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Freshley, M.D.

    1984-08-01

    This report describes concepts for sealing a nuclear waste repository in an unsaturated tuff environment. The repository site under consideration is Yucca Mountain, which is on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site. The hydrogeology of Yucca Mountain, preliminary repository concepts, functional requirements and performance criteria for sealing, federal and state regulations, and hydrological calculations are considered in developing the sealing concepts. Water flow through the unsaturated zone is expected to be small and generally vertically downward with some potential to occur through discrete fault and fracture zones. These assumptions are used in developing sealing concepts for shafts, ramps, and boreholes. Sealing of discrete, water-producing faults and fracture zones encountered in horizontal emplacement holes and in access and emplacement drifts is also described. 49 references, 21 figures, 6 tables

  5. Seismic design ampersand analysis considerations for high level nuclear waste repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hossain, Q.A.

    1993-01-01

    A high level nuclear waste repository, like the one at Nevada's Yucca Mountain that is being investigated for site suitability, will have some unique seismic design and analysis considerations. These are discussed, and a design philosophy that can rationally account for the unique performance objectives of such facilities is presented. A case is made for the use of DOE's performance goal-based seismic design and evaluation methodology that is based on a hybrid open-quotes deterministicclose quotes and open-quotes probabilisticclose quotes concept. How and to what extent this methodology should be modified to adopt it for a potential site like Yucca Mountain is also outlined. Finally, the issue of designing for seismic fault rupture is discussed briefly, and the desirability of using the proposed seismic design philosophy in fault rupture evaluation is described

  6. Seismic design and analysis considerations for high level nuclear waste repositories

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hossain, Q.A.

    1993-01-01

    A high level nuclear waste repository, like the one at Nevada's Yucca Mountain that is being investigated for site suitability, will have some unique seismic design and analysis considerations. These are discussed, and a design philosophy that can rationally account for the unique performance objectives of such facilities is presented. A case is made for the use of DOE's performance goal-based seismic design and evaluation methodology that is based on a hybrid ''deterministic'' and ''probabilistic'' concept. How and to what extent this methodology should be modified to adopt it for a potential site like Yucca Mountain is also outlined. Finally, the issue of designing for seismic fault rupture is discussed briefly, and the desirability of using the proposed seismic design philosophy in fault rupture evaluation is described

  7. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    P.E. Lederle

    1998-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K.; Wang, J.S.Y.

    1993-01-01

    Within Yucca Mountain, the potential High Level Nuclear-Waste Repository site, there are large scale fault zones, most notably the Ghost Dance Fault. The effect of such high-permeability, large scale discontinuities on the flow and transport is a question of concern in assessing the ability of the site to isolate radio-nuclides from the biosphere. In this paper, we present a numerical study to investigate the role of the fault in affecting both the liquid and gas phase flows in the natural state at Yucca Mountain prior to waste emplacement, as well as after the waste emplacement when the fluid flow is strongly heat-driven. Our study shows that if the characteristic curves of the Ghost Dance Fault obey the same relationship between saturated permeability and capillary scaling parameter, as is observed from the measured data of Yucca Mountain welded and nonwelded tuffs. Apache Leap tuffs, and Las Cruces soil, then a large saturated permeability of the Ghost Dance Fault will play little role in channeling water into the fault, or inenhancing the flow of water down the fault. However, the Fault may greatly enhance the upward gas flow after emplacement of waste. This may have implications on the transport of gaseous radio-nuclides such as C 14 . The results of this study also focus attention on the need for field measurements of fluid flow in the fault zones

  10. Alternative strategies: A means for saving money and time on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilder, D.G.

    1993-01-01

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) is undertaking studies to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain (YM) as a potential site for disposal of high level nuclear waste. Yucca Mountain is located in an arid environment. Many processes that could contribute to mobilization of radionuclides are either absent or minimized in a dry site. Therefore, Yucca Mountain should have the potential of being a veryfavorable site for disposal of waste. The determination of suitability has no precedence, and the characterization of an and site is complex, requiring intensive studies to determine suitability. The studies undertaken by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) are very costly. By a process called performance allocation, the YMP determined strategies to satisfy regulations or meet performance while minimizing costs and schedules. Those involved recognized that allocations should be reviewed as additional information became available. The allocation has not been reviewed nor revised since the initial allocation in the Site Characterization Plan (SCP). The purpose of this paper is to outline alternative allocations that the author feels should be considered based on the additional information that is available at this time

  11. Preparing the Yucca Mountain Multimedia Presentation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Larkin, Y.; Hartley, J.; Scott, J.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sweeney, R.L.; Best, R.; Bolton, P.; Adams, P.

    2002-01-01

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

  13. SPARTAN: a simple performance assessment code for the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lin, Y.T.

    1985-12-01

    SPARTAN is a simple computer model designed for the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations Project to calculate radionuclide transport in geologic media. The physical processes considered are limited to Darcy's flow, radionuclide decay, and convective transport with constant retardation of radionuclides relative to water flow. Inputs for the model must be provided for the geometry, repository area, flow path, water flux, effective porosity, initial inventory, waste solubility, canister lifetime, and retardation factors. Results from the model consist of radionuclide release rates from the prospective Yucca Mountain repository for radioactive waste and cumulative curies released across the flow boundaries at the end of the flow path. The rates of release from the repository relative to NRC performance objectives and releases to the accessible environment relative to EPA requirements are also calculated. Two test problems compare the results of simulations from SPARTAN with analytical solutions. The comparisons show that the SPARTAN solution closely matches the analytical solutions across a range of conditions that approximate those that might occur at Yucca Mountain

  14. A program to assess microbial impacts on nuclear waste containment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, J.; Meike, A.

    1996-01-01

    In this paper we discuss aspects of a comprehensive program to identify and bound potential effects of microorganisms on long-term nuclear waste containment, using as examples, studies conducted within the Yucca Mountain Project. A comprehensive program has been formulated which cuts across standard disciplinary lines to address the specific concerns of microbial activity in a radioactive waste repository. Collectively, this program provides bounding parameters of microbial activities that modify the ambient geochemistry and hydrology, modify corrosion rates, and transport and transform radionuclides under conditions expected to be encountered after geological waste emplacement. This program is intended to provide microbial reaction rates and bounding conditions in a form that can be integrated into existing chemical and hydrological models. The inclusion of microbial effects will allow those models to more accurately assess long term repository integrity

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moyer, T.C.; Geslin, J.K.; Flint, L.E.

    1996-01-01

    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

  16. 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.

  17. Preliminary analysis of the cost and risk of transporting nuclear waste to potential candidate commercial repository sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilmot, E.L.; Madsen, M.M.; Cashwell, J.W.; Joy, D.S.

    1983-06-01

    This report documents preliminary cost and risk analyses that were performed in support of the Nuclear Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) program. The analyses compare the costs and hazards of transporting wastes to each of five regions that contain potential candidate nuclear waste repository sites being considered by the NWTS program. These regions are: the Gulf Interior Region, the Permian Basin, the Paradox Basin, Yucca Mountain, and Hanford. Two fuel-cycle scenarios were analyzed: once-through and reprocessing. Transportation was assumed to be either entirely by truck or entirely by rail for each of the scenarios. The results from the risk analyses include those attributable to nonradiological causes and those attributable to the radioactive character of the wastes being transported. 17 references

  18. A thermomechanical far-field model of Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brandshaug, T.

    1991-04-01

    Thermal and mechanical finite element far-field models have been constructed for a potential repository site in the Topopah Spring Thermal/mechanical Unit at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site. The models reflect site-specific information that was available at the time of the study on the material properties and structural character of Yucca Mountain. The thermal model simulates transient heat transfer resulting from the emplacement of heat-generating nuclear waste in the repository. Simulation of boiling of the pore water is included in the model. The mechanical model simulates the tuff at Yucca Mountain as being an elastic/plastic, isotropic, heterogeneous continuum with one ubiquitous vertical joint set. The initial conditions of the mechanical model are based on a gravitational stress field. The model uses the temperatures predicted by the thermal finite element model as input to predict thermal stresses and displacements induced by the presence of the repository. Plasticity is incorporated in shear (fracture slip) and tension (fracture opening) by using a Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion. 6 refs., 15 figs., 2 tabs

  19. Water levels in periodically measured wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, 1981-87

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robison, J.H.; Stephens, D.M.; Luckey, R.R.; Baldwin, D.A.

    1988-01-01

    This report contains data on groundwater levels beneath Yucca Mountain and adjacent areas, Nye County, Nevada. In addition to new data collected since 1983, the report contains data that has been updated from previous reports, including added explanations of the data. The data was collected in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy to help that agency evaluate the suitability of the area of storing high-level nuclear waste. The water table in the Yucca Mountain area occurs in ash-flow and air-fall tuff of Tertiary age. West of the crest of Yucca Mountain, water level altitudes are about 775 m above sea level. Along the eastern edge and southern end of Yucca Mountain, the potentiometric surface generally is nearly flat, ranging from about 730 to 728 m above sea level. (USGS)

  20. Tourism impacts of Three Mile Island and other adverse events: implications for Lincoln County and other rural counties bisected by radioactive wastes intended for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Himmelberger, J.J.; Baughman, M.; Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y.A.

    1995-01-01

    Whether the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository system will adversely impact tourism in southern Nevada is an open question of particular importance to visitor-oriented rural counties bisected by planned waste transportation corridors (highway or rail). As part of one such county's repository impact assessment program, tourism implications of Three Mile Island (TMI) and other major hazard events have been revisited to inform ongoing county-wide socioeconomic assessments and contingency planning efforts. This paper summarizes key research implications of such research as applied to Lincoln County, Nevada. Implications for other rural counties are discussed in light of the research findings

  1. Potentially disruptive hydrologic features, events and processes at the Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1995-01-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been selected by the United States to be evaluated as a potential site for the development of a geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. If the site is determined to be suitable for repository development and construction is authorized, the repository at the Yucca Mountain site is planned to be constructed in unsaturated tuff at a depth of about 250 meters below land surface and at a distance of about 250 meters above the water table. The intent of locating a repository in a thick unsaturated-zone geohydrologic setting, such as occurs at Yucca Mountain under the arid to semi-arid climatic conditions that currently prevail in the region, is to provide a natural setting for the repository system in which little ground water will be available to contact emplaced waste or to transport radioactive material from the repository to the biosphere. In principle, an unsaturated-zone repository will be vulnerable to water entry from both above and below. Consequently, a major effort within the site-characterization program at the Yucca Mountain site is concerned with identifying and evaluating those features, events, and processes, such as increased net infiltration or water-table rise, whose presence or future occurrence could introduce water into a potential repository at the site in quantities sufficient to compromise the waste-isolation capability of the repository system

  2. Salt disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leigh, Christi D.; Hansen, Francis D.

    2011-01-01

    This report summarizes the state of salt repository science, reviews many of the technical issues pertaining to disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in salt, and proposes several avenues for future science-based activities to further the technical basis for disposal in salt. There are extensive salt formations in the forty-eight contiguous states, and many of them may be worthy of consideration for nuclear waste disposal. The United States has extensive experience in salt repository sciences, including an operating facility for disposal of transuranic wastes. The scientific background for salt disposal including laboratory and field tests at ambient and elevated temperature, principles of salt behavior, potential for fracture damage and its mitigation, seal systems, chemical conditions, advanced modeling capabilities and near-future developments, performance assessment processes, and international collaboration are all discussed. The discussion of salt disposal issues is brought current, including a summary of recent international workshops dedicated to high-level waste disposal in salt. Lessons learned from Sandia National Laboratories' experience on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the Yucca Mountain Project as well as related salt experience with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are applied in this assessment. Disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in a suitable salt formation is attractive because the material is essentially impermeable, self-sealing, and thermally conductive. Conditions are chemically beneficial, and a significant experience base exists in understanding this environment. Within the period of institutional control, overburden pressure will seal fractures and provide a repository setting that limits radionuclide movement. A salt repository could potentially achieve total containment, with no releases to the environment in undisturbed scenarios for as long as the region is geologically stable. Much of the experience gained from United

  3. Salt disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leigh, Christi D. (Sandia National Laboratories, Carlsbad, NM); Hansen, Francis D.

    2011-01-01

    This report summarizes the state of salt repository science, reviews many of the technical issues pertaining to disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in salt, and proposes several avenues for future science-based activities to further the technical basis for disposal in salt. There are extensive salt formations in the forty-eight contiguous states, and many of them may be worthy of consideration for nuclear waste disposal. The United States has extensive experience in salt repository sciences, including an operating facility for disposal of transuranic wastes. The scientific background for salt disposal including laboratory and field tests at ambient and elevated temperature, principles of salt behavior, potential for fracture damage and its mitigation, seal systems, chemical conditions, advanced modeling capabilities and near-future developments, performance assessment processes, and international collaboration are all discussed. The discussion of salt disposal issues is brought current, including a summary of recent international workshops dedicated to high-level waste disposal in salt. Lessons learned from Sandia National Laboratories' experience on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the Yucca Mountain Project as well as related salt experience with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are applied in this assessment. Disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in a suitable salt formation is attractive because the material is essentially impermeable, self-sealing, and thermally conductive. Conditions are chemically beneficial, and a significant experience base exists in understanding this environment. Within the period of institutional control, overburden pressure will seal fractures and provide a repository setting that limits radionuclide movement. A salt repository could potentially achieve total containment, with no releases to the environment in undisturbed scenarios for as long as the region is geologically stable. Much of the experience gained from

  4. Hydrologeologic characteristics of faults at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, Robert P.

    2001-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is under study as a potential site for underground storage of high-level radioactive waste, with the principle goal being the safe isolation of the waste from the accessible environment. This paper addresses the hydrogeologic characteristics of the fault zones at Yucca Mountain, focusing primarily on the central part of the mountain where the potential repository block is located

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hirschfelder, J.

    1992-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1987-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  9. Precision and accuracy of manual water-level measurements taken in the Yucca Mountain area, Nye County, Nevada, 1988--1990

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 US Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project, which is an evaluation of the area to determine its suit-ability 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

  10. Waste package/engineered barrier system design concepts for the direct disposal of spent fuel in the potential United States' repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stahl, D.; Harrison, D.J.

    1993-01-01

    The goal of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) waste package development program is to design a waste package and associated engineered barrier system (EBS) that meets the applicable regulatory requirements for safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel and solidified high-level waste (HLW) in a geologic repository. Attainment of this goal relies on a multi-barrier approach, the unsaturated nature of the Yucca Mountain site, consideration of technical alternatives, and sufficient resolution of technical and regulatory uncertainties. To accomplish this, an iterative system engineering approach will be used. The NWPA of 1982 limits the content of the first US repository to 70,000 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM). The DOE Mission Plan describes the implementation of the provisions of the NWPA for the waste management system. The Draft 1988 approach will involve selecting candidate designs, evaluating them against performance requirements, and then selecting one or two preferred designs for further detailed evaluation and final design. The reference design of the waste package described in the YMP Site Characterization Plan is a thin-walled, vertical borehole-emplaced waste package with an air gap between the package and the rock wall. The reference design appeared to meet the design requirement. However, the degree of uncertainty was large. This uncertainty led to considering several more-robust design concepts during the Advanced Conceptual Design phase of the program that include small, drift-emplaced packages and higher capacity, drift-emplaced packages, both partially and totally self-shielded. Metallic as well as ceramic materials are being considered

  11. Integrity of radioactive waste packages at the Yucca mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sandquist, G.; Biaglow, A.; Huber, M.; Jagmin, C.

    2004-01-01

    Several of the important physical and chemical processes that impact the integrity of the radioactive waste packages planned for disposal at the proposed Repository at Yucca Mountain are examined. These processes are described by the aerodynamic, thermodynamic, and chemical interactions associated with the waste packages. The effects of chemical corrosion, mechanical erosion, temperature distributions throughout the repository environs, interactions of air, water, and solid particles, and radiological and biological influences are addressed. Materials will be exposed to at least 3 conditions threatening the integrity of the waste package: 1) accumulated dust and particles on the package surface and suspended in the air, 2) chemical reactions from deposits on the waste package infrastructure materials and tight contact areas, and crevices, and 3) environmental factors affecting chemical reactions such as moisture, pH, Eh, and radiolysis. All 3 of these conditions can combine and produce damaging impacts upon the thin protective layer on the alloy surface of the waste package. There are certain benefits from the low-temperature operating mode with ambient temperature below 85 Celsius degrees, but the materials could be subjected to a maximum temperature of 180 Celsius degrees which might introduce stress corrosion cracking and high temperature effects

  12. Should nuclear be feared ... ... or is it nuclear power's hour?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Diesendorf, Mark; Sevior, Martin

    2006-01-01

    This is a debate for and against nucl era power. Some people think that nuclear power is not as clean, green or cheap as its supporters would like us to think. Nuclear waste disposal is the biggest problem. There is not a single country which has built a facility for the long-term management of high-level nuclear wastes. United States is the only country in the world is most advanced in this regard, is building a waste repository at yucca Mountains, Nevada. The cost of nuclear activity is even higher than previously estimated

  13. Implementation of Localized Corrosion in the Performance Assessment Model for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vivek Jain, S.; David Sevougian; Patrick D. Mattie; Kevin G. Mon; Robert J. Mackinnon

    2006-01-01

    A total system performance assessment (TSPA) model has been developed to analyze the ability of the natural and engineered barriers of the Yucca Mountain repository to isolate nuclear waste over the 10,000-year period following repository closure. The principal features of the engineered barrier system (EBS) are emplacement tunnels (or ''drifts'') containing a two-layer waste package (WP) for waste containment and a titanium drip shield to protect the waste package from seeping water and falling rock, The 20-mm-thick outer shell of the WP is composed of Alloy 22, a highly corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloy. The barrier function of the EBS is to isolate the waste from migrating water. The water and its associated chemical conditions eventually lead to degradation of the waste packages and mobilization of the radionuclides within the packages. There are five possible waste package degradation modes of the Alloy 22: general corrosion, microbially influenced corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, early failure due to manufacturing defects, and localized corrosion. This paper specifically examines the incorporation of the Alloy-22 localized corrosion model into the Yucca Mountain TSPA model, particularly the abstraction and modeling methodology, as well as issues dealing with scaling, spatial variability, uncertainty, and coupling to other sub-models that are part of the total system model

  14. Potential Future Igneous Activity at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cline, M.; Perry, F.; Valentine, G.; Smistad, E.

    2005-01-01

    Location, timing, and volumes of post-Miocene volcanic activity, along with expert judgment, provide the basis for assessing the probability of future volcanism intersecting a proposed repository for nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Analog studies of eruptive centers in the region that may represent the style and extent of possible future igneous activity at Yucca Mountain have aided in defining the consequence scenarios for intrusion into and eruption through a proposed repository. Modeling of magmatic processes related to magma/proposed repository interactions has been used to assess the potential consequences of a future igneous event through a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain. Results of work to date indicate future igneous activity in the Yucca Mountain region has a very low probability of intersecting the proposed repository. Probability of a future event intersecting a proposed repository at Yucca Mountain is approximately 1.7 x 10 -8 per year. Since completion of the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment (PVHA) in 1996, anomalies representing potential buried volcanic centers have been identified from aeromagnetic surveys. A re-assessment of the hazard is currently underway to evaluate the probability of intersection in light of new information and to estimate the probability of one or more volcanic conduits located in the proposed repository along a dike that intersects the proposed repository. US Nuclear Regulatory Commission regulations for siting and licensing a proposed repository require that the consequences of a disruptive event (igneous event) with annual probability greater than 1 x 10 -8 be evaluated. Two consequence scenarios are considered: (1) igneous intrusion-poundwater transport case and (2) volcanic eruptive case. These scenarios equate to a dike or dike swarm intersecting repository drifts containing waste packages, formation of a conduit leading to a volcanic eruption through the repository that carries the contents of

  15. Report of the State of Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-11-01

    Chapter One of the report presents a brief overview of the commission's functions and statutory charges. It also contains a summary of developments which have affected the overall nuclear waste disposal issue since the last Commission report was published. This chapter summarizes the Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 (NWPAA), which significantly modified federal waste disposal policy and identified Nevada's Yucca Mountain as the only site to be evaluated for suitability as a nuclear waste repository. Chapter Two contains a synthesis of Commission activities and reports on the findings of the Commission relative to the geotechnical, environmental, socioeconomic, transportation, intergovernmental and legal aspects of federal and state nuclear waste program efforts. Chapter Three of the report presents recommendations which the Commission is making to the 1989 Nevada Legislature, the governor, and others concerned with matters surrounding the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain and with repository-related activities, such as the transportation of radioactive materials

  16. A performance assessment review tool for the proposed radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohanty, Sitakanta; Codell, Richard

    2000-01-01

    The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), with the assistance of the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, has developed a Total-system Performance Assessment (TPA) Code to assist in evaluating the performance of the Yucca Mountain (YM) High-Level Waste Repository in Nevada, proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The proposed YM repository would be built in a thick sequence of partially saturated volcanic tuff above the water table. Among the unique challenges of this environment are (1) the transport of radionuclides would take place partially through highly heterogeneous unsaturated rock; (2) the waste packages (WPs) would be generally exposed to oxidizing conditions, and (3) water either infiltrating from the surface or recirculating because of decay heat may drip onto the WPs. Tools such as the TPA code and embedded techniques for evaluating YM performance are aimed at (1) determining the parameters and key parts of the repository system that have the most influence on repository performance; (2) performing alternative conceptual models studies, especially with bounding models; (3) estimating the relative importance of the physical phenomena that lead to human exposure to radionuclides; and (4) improving NRC staff capabilities in performance assessment and associated license application reviews. This paper presents an overview of the NRC conceptual framework, approach to conducting system-level sensitivity analyses for determining influential parameters, and alternative conceptual model studies to investigate the effect of model uncertainties. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  18. 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.

  19. Waste package performance in unsaturated rock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pigford, T.H.; Lee, W.W.-L.

    1989-03-01

    The unsaturated rock and near-atmospheric pressure of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain present new problems of predicting waste package performance. In this paper we present some illustrations of predictions of waste package performance and discuss important data needs. 11 refs., 9 figs., 1 tab

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Carlos, B.A.

    1986-01-01

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

  1. Rail Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2003-01-01

    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

  2. A review of the available technologies for sealing a potential underground nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fernandez, J.A.; Richardson, A.M.

    1994-11-01

    The purpose of this report is to assess the availability of technologies to seal underground openings. The technologies are needed to seal the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Technologies are evaluated for three basic categories of seal components: backfill (general fill and graded fill), bulkheads, and grout curtains. Not only is placement of seal components assessed, but also preconditioning of the placement area and seal component durability. The approach taken was: First, review selected sealing case histories (literature searches and site visits) from the mining, civil, and defense industries; second, determine whether reasonably available technologies to seal the potential repository exist; and finally, identify deficiencies in existing technologies. It is concluded that reasonably available technologies do exist to place backfill, bulkheads, and grout curtains. Technologies also exist to precondition areas where seal components are to be placed. However, if final performance requirements are stringent for these engineered structures, some existing technologies may need to be developed. Deficiencies currently do exist in technologies that demonstrate the long-term durability and performance of seal components. Case histories do not currently exist that demonstrate the placement of seal components in greatly elevated thermal and high-radiation environments and in areas where ground support (rock bolts and concrete liners) has been removed. The as-placed, in situ material properties for sealing materials appropriate to Yucca Mountain are not available

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walck, M.C.; Phillips, J.S.

    1990-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-11-01

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

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

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peppin, W.A.

    1988-01-01

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

  7. Implications of seismic reflection and potential field geophysical data on the structural framework of the Yucca Mountain--Crater Flat region, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brocher, T.M.; Langenheim, V.E.; Hunter, W.C.

    1998-01-01

    Seismic reflection and gravity profiles collected across Yucca Mountain, Nevada, together with geologic data, provide evidence against proposed active detachment faults at shallow depth along the pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact beneath this potential repository for high-level nuclear waste. The new geophysical data show that the inferred pre-Tertiary-Tertiary contact is offset by moderate-to-high-angle faults beneath Crater Flat and Yucca Mountain, and thus this shallow surface cannot represent an active detachment surface. The reflection lines reveal that the Amargosa Desert rift zone is an asymmetric half-graben having a maximum depth of about 4 km and a width of about 25 km. The east-dipping Bare Mountain fault that bounds this graben to the west can be traced by seismic reflection data to a depth of at least 3.5 km and possibly as deep as 6 km, with a constant dip of 64 degree ± 5 degree. Along the profile the transition from east- to west-dipping faults occurs at or just west of the Solitario Canyon fault, which bounds the western side of Yucca Mountain. The interaction at depth of these east- and west-dipping faults, having up to hundreds of meters offset, is not imaged by the seismic reflection profile. Understanding potential seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain requires knowledge of the subsurface geometry of the faults near Yucca Mountain, since earthquakes generally nucleate and release the greatest amount of their seismic energy at depth. The geophysical data indicate that many fault planes near the potential nuclear waste facility dip toward Yucca Mountain, including the Bare Mountain range-front fault and several west-dipping faults east of Yucca Mountain. Thus, earthquake ruptures along these faults would lie closer to Yucca Mountain than is often estimated from their surface locations and could therefore be more damaging

  8. Slingram survey at Yucca Mountain on the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Flanigan, V.J.

    1981-01-01

    Electromagnetic (EM) data presented in this report is part of study by the US Geological Survey aimed at evaluating the Miocene and Pliocene Yucca Mountain Member of various units of the Paintbrush Tuff in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain as a possible repository for nuclear wastes. The survey area is located about 97 km northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada on the Nevada Test Site. Data contained in this report were taken along the eastern edge of Yucca Mountain. The specific purpose of this survey was to determine with EM methods, whether or not northwest-trending valleys in the Yucca Mountain area were fault controlled. Fault and fracture zones in the tuff units were expected to have a somewhat higher conductivity than the unfractured tuff. This is due to the greater porosity, clay and moisture content expected in the fault zones than in unfaulted rock. Depending upon a number of factors, such as the conductivity contrast between fault zones and unfaulted rock, and the depth and conductivity of the overburden, it may be possible to recognize fault zones from surface EM measurements. Several EM methods were tested to determine which one gave the best results in this environment. The methods tried included slingram, Turam and VLF (very low frequency). Slingram data proved to be most diagnostic in delineating a mapped fault on the east edge of Yucca Mountain, and hence was used in the survey traverses crossing the northwest valleys cutting into Yucca Mountain

  9. SUMO, System performance assessment for a high-level nuclear waste repository: Mathematical models

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eslinger, P.W.; Miley, T.B.; Engel, D.W.; Chamberlain, P.J. II.

    1992-09-01

    Following completion of the preliminary risk assessment of the potential Yucca Mountain Site by Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) in 1988, the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) of the US Department of Energy (DOE) requested the Performance Assessment Scientific Support (PASS) Program at PNL to develop an integrated system model and computer code that provides performance and risk assessment analysis capabilities for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The system model that has been developed addresses the cumulative radionuclide release criteria established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and estimates population risks in terms of dose to humans. The system model embodied in the SUMO (System Unsaturated Model) code will also allow benchmarking of other models being developed for the Yucca Mountain Project. The system model has three natural divisions: (1) source term, (2) far-field transport, and (3) dose to humans. This document gives a detailed description of the mathematics of each of these three divisions. Each of the governing equations employed is based on modeling assumptions that are widely accepted within the scientific community

  10. Engineered materials characterization report for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Volume 1, Introduction, history, and current candidates

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Konynenburg, R.A.; McCright, R.D.; Roy, A.K.; Jones, D.A.

    1995-08-01

    The purpose of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is to evaluate Yucca Mountain for its suitability as a potential site for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. As part of this effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has been occupied for a number of years with developing and evaluating the performance of waste packages for the potential repository. In recent years this work has been carried out under the guidance of and in collaboration with the Management and Operating contractor for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System, TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Inc., which in turn reports to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management of the US Department of Energy. This report summarizes the history of the selection and characterization of materials to be used in the engineered barrier system for the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, describes the current candidate materials, presents a compilation of their properties, and summarizes available corrosion data and modeling. The term ''engineered materials'' is intended to distinguish those materials that are used as part of the engineered barrier system from the natural, geologic materials of the site

  11. Geochemistry of outcrop samples from the Raven Canyon and Paintbrush Canyon reference sections, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterman, Z.E.; Spengler, R.W.; Singer, F.R.; Dickerson, R.P.

    1996-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain area in southern Nevada is being evaluated for its suitability as a potential site for the construction of an underground, high-level nuclear waste repository. With support from the Department of Energy, the US Geological Survey is conducting detailed petrographic, geochemical, and isotopic analyses of samples collected from drill cores and from outcrops. The geochemical and isotopic compositions of the volcanic rocks of Yucca Mountain derive from those of their parental magmas, from changes resulting from the eruptive processes and from post-depositional alteration. In this study, geochemical and isotopic data were acquired on samples from reference sections selected in areas where the effects of the post-depositional alteration has been minimal. These data will be used as baseline information for delineating and correlating zonal features in the volcanic rock alteration that may occur in the thermal aureole of the potential repository after it has been loaded with nuclear waste

  12. Geologic environments for nuclear waste repositories

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paleologos Evan K.

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available High-level radioactive waste (HLW results from spent reactor fuel and reprocessed nuclear material. Since 1957 the scientific consensus is that deep geologic disposal constitutes the safest means for isolating HLW for long timescales. Nuclear power is becoming significant for the Arab Gulf countries as a way to diversify energy sources and drive economic developments. Hence, it is of interest to the UAE to examine the geologic environments currently considered internationally to guide site selection. Sweden and Finland are proceeding with deep underground repositories mined in bedrock at depths of 500m, and 400m, respectively. Equally, Canada’s proposals are deep burial in the plutonic rock masses of the Canadian Shield. Denmark and Switzerland are considering disposal of their relative small quantities of HLW into crystalline basement rocks through boreholes at depths of 5,000m. In USA, the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada lies at a depth of 300m in unsaturated layers of welded volcanic tuffs. Disposal of low and intermediate-level radioactive wastes, as well as the German HLW repository favour structurally-sound layered salt stata and domes. Our article provides a comprehensive review of the current concepts regarding HLW disposal together with some preliminary analysis of potentially appropriate geologic environments in the UAE.

  13. Tourism impacts of Three Mile Island and other adverse events: Implications for Lincoln County and other rural counties bisected by radioactive wastes intended for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himmelberger, J.J.; Ogneva-Himmelberger, Y.A. [Clark Univ., Worcester, MA (United States); Baughman, M. [Interech Services Corporation, Carson City, NV (United States)

    1995-11-01

    Whether the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository system will adversely impact tourism in southern Nevada is an open question of particular importance to visitor-oriented rural counties bisected by planned waste transportation corridors (highway or rail). As part of one such county`s repository impact assessment program, tourism implications of Three Mile Island (TMI) and other major hazard events have been revisited to inform ongoing county-wide socioeconomic assessments and contingency planning efforts. This paper summarizes key research implications of such research as applied to Lincoln County, Nevada. Implications for other rural counties are discussed in light of the research findings. 29 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-10-01

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

  15. Surface-discharging hydrothermal systems at Yucca Mountain: Examining the evidence

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levy, S.S.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses exposures of altered rock that have been thought to form by recent discharge of water from depth. They were examined to address a concern that hydrothermal processes could compromise the isolation capability of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Suspected hot-spring and hydrothermal-vent deposits are more likely the products of infiltration of meteoric water into newly deposited and still-hot pyroclastic flows >12 Myr ago

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fowler, C.S.

    1991-01-01

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

  17. TBM tunneling on the Yucca Mountain Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morris, J.P.; Hansmire, W.H.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is a scientific endeavor to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain for the first long-term, high-level nuclear waste repository in the United States. The current status of this long-term project from the construction perspective is described. A key element is construction of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) Tunnel, which is being excavated with a 7.6 m (25 ft) diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM). Development of the ESF may include the excavation of over 15 km (9.3 mi) of tunnel varying in size from 3.0 to 7.6 m (10 to 25 ft). Prior to construction, extensive constructability reviews were an interactive part of the final design. The intent was to establish a constructable design that met the long-term stability requirements for radiological safety of a future repository, while maintaining flexibility for the scientific investigations and acceptable tunneling productivity

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Savard, C.S.

    1994-01-01

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

  19. Public opposition to the siting of the high-level nuclear waste repository: The importance of trust

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pijawka, K.D.; Mushkatel, A.H.

    1991-01-01

    This paper examines several dimensions of public opposition to the proposed siting of the high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. In order to provide a context for the public's views of the repository in metropolitan Clark County, both governmental studies of the repository siting process are analyzed, as well as elements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act. This analysis suggests that one potentially key component of the public's opposition to the siting, as well as their perceptions of risk of the facility, may be the result of a lack of trust in the Department of Energy. Empirical analysis of survey data collected in Nevada in 1988 confirms the strong relationship between political trust and repository risk perceptions

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  1. Thermal Management and Analysis for a Potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dr. A. Van Luik

    2004-01-01

    In the current Yucca Mountain repository design concept, heat from the emplaced waste (mostly from spent nuclear fuel) would keep the temperature of the rock around the waste packages higher than the boiling point of water for hundreds to thousands of years after the repository is closed. The design concept allows below-boiling portions of the pillars between drifts to serve as pathways for the drainage of thermally mobilized water and percolating groundwater by limiting the distance that boiling temperatures extend into the surrounding rock. This design concept takes advantage of host rock dry out, which would create a dry environment within the emplacement drifts and reduce the amount of water that might otherwise be available to enter the drifts and contact the waste packages during this thermal pulse. Table 1 provides an overview of design constraints related to thermal management after repository closure. The Yucca Mountain repository design concept also provides flexibility to allow for operation over a range of lower thermal operating conditions. The thermal conditions within the emplacement drifts can be varied, along with the relative humidity, by modifying operational parameters such as the thermal output of the waste packages, the spacing of the waste packages in the emplacement drifts, and the duration and rate of active and passive ventilation. A lower range has been examined to quantify lower-temperature thermal conditions (temperatures and associated humidity conditions) in the emplacement drifts and to quantify impacts to the required emplacement area and excavated drift length. This information has been used to evaluate the potential long-term performance of a lower-temperature repository and to estimate the increase in costs associated with operating a lower-temperature repository. This presentation provides an overview of the thermal management evaluations that have been conducted to investigate a range of repository thermal conditions and

  2. Thermal management and analysis for a potential yucca mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Luik, A.

    2005-01-01

    In the current Yucca Mountain repository design concept, heat from the emplaced. waste (mostly from spent nuclear fuel.) would keep the temperature of the rock around the waste packages higher than the boiling point of water for hundreds to thousands of years after the repository is closed. The design concept allows below-boiling portions of the pillars between drifts to serve as pathways for the drainage of thermally mobilized water and percolating groundwater by limiting the distance that boiling temperatures extend into the surrounding rock. This design concept takes advantage of host rock dry out, which would create a dry environment within the emplacement drifts and reduce the amount of water that might otherwise be available to enter the drifts and contact the waste packages during this thermal pulse. The Yucca Mountain repository design concept also provides flexibility to allow for operation over a range of lower thermal operating conditions. The thermal conditions within the emplacement drifts can be varied, along with the relative humidity, by modifying operational parameters such as the thermal output of the waste packages, the spacing of the waste packages in the emplacement drifts, and. the duration and rate of active and passive ventilation. A lower range has been examined to quantify lower-temperature thermal conditions (temperatures and associated humidity conditions) in the emplacement drifts and to quantify impacts to the required emplacement area and excavated drift length. This information has been used to evaluate the potential long-term performance of a lower-temperature repository and to estimate the increase in costs associated with operating a lower-temperature repository. This presentation provides an overview of the thermal management evaluations that have been conducted to investigate a range of repository thermal conditions and includes a summary of the technical basis that supports these evaluations. The majority of the material

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rautman, C.A.; McKenna, S.A.

    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

  4. TBM tunneling on the Yucca Mountain Project: Proceedings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williamson, G.E.; Gowring, I.M.

    1995-01-01

    The US Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is a scientific endeavor to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain for the first long term, high level nuclear waste repository in the United States. Status of this long-term project form the construction perspective is described. A key element is construction of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), which is being excavated with a 7. 6 m(25 ft) diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM). Development of the ESF may include the excavation of over 15 km (9.3 mi) of tunnel varying in size from 3 to 7.6 m(10 to 25 ft). Prior to construction, extensive constructibility reviews were an interactive part of the final design. Intent was to establish a constructible design that met the long-term stability requirements for radiological safety of a future repository while maintaining flexibility for the scientific investigations and acceptable tunneling productivity

  5. 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).

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  7. Phenomenological studies of two-phase flow processes for nuclear waste isolation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.; Finsterle, S.; Persoff, P.; Oldenburg, C.

    1994-01-01

    The US civilian radioactive waste management program is unique in its focus on a site in the unsaturated zone, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Two-phase flow phenomena can also play an important role in repositories beneath the water table where gas is generated by corrosion, hydrolysis, and biological degradation of the waste packages. An integrated program has been initiated to enhance our understanding of two-phase flow behavior in fractured rock masses. The studies include two-phase (gas-liquid) flow experiments in laboratory specimens of natural rock fractures, analysis and modeling of heterogeneity and instability effects in two-phase flow, and design and interpretation of field experiments by means of numerical simulation. We present results that identify important aspects of two-phase flow behavior on different space and time scales which are relevant to nuclear waste disposal in both unsaturated and saturated formations

  8. Yucca Mountain Project Site Atlas: Volume 1: Draft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-10-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project Site Atlas is a reference document of field activities which have been, or are being, conducted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) to support investigations of Yucca Mountain as a potential site for an underground repository for high-level radioactive waste. These investigations, as well as future investigations, will yield geologic, geophysical, geochemical, geomechanical, hydrologic, volcanic, seismic, and environmental data necessary to characterize Yucca Mountain and its regional setting. This chapter summarizes the background of the NNWSI Project and the objective, scope, structure, and preparation of the Site Atlas. Chapter 2 describes in more detail the bibliography and map portfolio portions of the Atlas, which are presented in Chapter 4 and Volume 2, respectively. Chapter 3 describes how to use the Atlas. The objective of the Site Atlas is to create a management tool for the DOE Waste Management Project Office (WMPO) that will allow the WMPO to compile and disseminate information regarding the location of NNWSI Project field investigations, and document the permits acquired and the environmental, archaeological, and socioeconomic surveys conducted to support those investigations. The information contained in the Atlas will serve as a historical reference of site investigation field activities. A companion document to the Atlas is the NNWSI Project Surface Based Investigations Plan (SBIP)

  9. Nye County, Nevada 1992 nuclear waste repository program: Program overview. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1998-01-01

    The purpose of this document is to provide an overview of the Nye County FY92 Nuclear Waste Repository Program (Program). Funds to pay for Program costs will come from the Federal Nuclear Waste Fund, which was established under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). In early 1983, the Yucca Mountain was identified as a potentially suitable site for the nation's first geologic repository for spent reactor fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Later that year, the Nye County Board of County Commissioners (Board) established the capability to monitor the Federal effort to implement the NWPA and evaluate the potential impacts of repository-related activities on Nye County. Over the last eight years, the County's program has grown in complexity and cost in order to address DOE's evolving site characterization studies, and prepare for the potential for facility construction and operation. Changes were necessary as well, in response to Congress's redirection of the repository program specified in the amendments, to the NWPA approved in 1987. In early FY 1991, the County formally established a project office to plan and implement its program of work. The Repository Project Office's (RPO) mission and functions are provided in Section 2.0. The RPO organization structure is described in Section 3.0

  10. The future of the nuclear wastes and the spent fuels at the United States; Le devenir des dechets nucleaires et des combustibles uses aux Etats-Unis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2006-07-01

    The USA regulation distinguishes three classes of nuclear wastes: the low activity wastes under the federal states control, the wastes contaminated by long life radionuclides (transuranic elements) and the high activity wastes. The two last classes are controlled by the DOE (Department of energy). The different classes management are discussed as the DOE obligations towards the operators, the storage project of Yucca Mountain and Private fuel storage of Skull Valley. (A.L.B.)

  11. Should high-level nuclear waste be disposed of at geographically dispersed sites?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bassett, G.W. Jr.

    1992-01-01

    Consideration of the technical feasibility of Yucca Mountain in Nevada as the site for a high-level nuclear waste repository has led to an intense debate regarding the economic, social, and political impacts of the repository. Impediments to the siting process mean that the nuclear waste problem is being resolved by adhering to the status quo, in which nuclear waste is stored at scattered sites near major population centers. To assess the merits of alternative siting strategies--including both the permanent repository and the status quo- we consider the variables that would be included in a model designed to select (1) the optimal number of disposal facilities, (2) the types of facilities (e.g., permanent repository or monitored retrievable facility), and (3) the geographic location of storage sites. The objective function in the model is an all-inclusive measure of social cost. The intent of the exercise is not to demonstrate the superiority of any single disposal strategy; uncertainties preclude a conclusive proof of optimality for any of the disposal options. Instead, we want to assess the sensitivity of a variety of proposed solutions to variations in the physical, economic, political, and social variables that influence a siting strategy

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dickerson, R.P.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

    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

  13. 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.

  14. THE DECISION TO RECOMMEND YUCCA MOUNTAIN AND THE NEXT STEPS TOWARD LICENSED REPOSITORY DEVELOPMENT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barrett, L. H.

    2002-01-01

    After more than 20 years of carefully planned and reviewed scientific field work by the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Geological Survey, and numerous other organizations, Secretary of Energy Abraham concluded in January that the Yucca Mountain site is suitable, within the meaning of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, for development as a permanent nuclear waste and spent fuel repository. In February, the Secretary recommended to the President that the site be developed for licensed disposal of these wastes, and the President transmitted this recommendation to Congress. This paper summarizes key technical and national interest considerations that provided the basis for the recommendation. It also discusses the program's near-term plans for repository development if Congress designates the site

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2009-01-01

    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. Analysis simulation of tectonic earthquake impact to the lifetime of radioactive waste container and equivalent dose rate predication in Yucca Mountain geologic repository, Nevada test site, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ko, I.S.; Imardjoko, Y.U.; Karnawati, Dwikorita

    2003-01-01

    US policy not to recycle her spent nuclear fuels brings consequence to provide a nuclear waste repository site Yucca Mountain in Nevada, USA, considered the proper one. High-level radioactive waste to be placed into containers and then will be buried in three hundred meter underground tunnels. Tectonic earthquake is the main factor causing container's damage. Goldsim version 6.04.007 simulates mechanism of container's damage due to a great devastating impact load, the collapse of the tunnels. Radionuclide inventories included are U-234, C-14, Tc-99, I-129, Se-79, Pa-231, Np-237, Pu-242, and Pu-239. Simulation carried out in 100,000 years time span. The research goals are: 1). Estimating tunnels stan-up time, and 2). Predicting the equivalent dose rate contributed by the included radionuclides to the human due to radioactive polluted drinking water intake. (author)

  17. Evaluation of site-generated radioactive waste treatment and disposal methods for the Yucca Mountain repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Subramanian, C.V.; Jardine, L.J.

    1989-01-01

    This study identifies the sources of radioactive wastes that may be generated at the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository at Yucca Mountain, NV, estimates the waste quantities and characteristics, compares technologies available for waste treatment and disposal, and develops recommended concepts for site-generated waste treatment and disposal. The scope of this study is limited to operations during the emplacement phase, in which 70,000 MTU of high-level waste will be received and emplaced at the proposed repository. The evaluations consider all radioactive wastes generated during normal operations in surface and underground facilities. Wastes generated as a result of accidents are not addressed; accidents that could result in large quantities of radioactive waste are expected to occur very infrequently and temporary, portable systems could be used for any necessary cleanup. The results of this study can be used to develop more definitive plans for managing the site-generated wastes and as a basis for the design of associated facilities at the proposed repository

  18. Evaluation and compilation of DOE waste package test data

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Interrante, C.G.; Escalante, E.; Fraker, A.C.

    1990-11-01

    This report summarizes evaluations by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of Department of Energy (DOE) activities on waste packages designed for containment of radioactive high-level nuclear waste (HLW) for the six-month period August 1988 through January 1989. Included are reviews of related materials research and plans, activities for the DOE Materials Characterization Center, information on the Yucca Mountain Project, and other information regarding supporting research and special assistance. NIST comments are given on the Yucca Mountain Consultation Draft Site Characterization Plan (CDSCP) and on the Waste Compliance Plan for the West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP) High-Level Waste (HLW) Form. 3 figs

  19. Waste package materials selection process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roy, A.K.; Fish, R.L.; McCright, R.D.

    1994-01-01

    The office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) of the United States Department of Energy (USDOE) is evaluating a site at Yucca Mountain in Southern Nevada to determine its suitability as a mined geologic disposal system (MGDS) for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste (HLW). The B ampersand W Fuel Company (BWFC), as a part of the Management and Operating (M ampersand O) team in support of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP), is responsible for designing and developing the waste package for this potential repository. As part of this effort, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is responsible for testing materials and developing models for the materials to be used in the waste package. This paper is aimed at presenting the selection process for materials needed in fabricating the different components of the waste package

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    La Camera, R.J.; Westenburg, C.L.

    1994-01-01

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

  1. Evolution of waste-package design at the potential U.S. geologic repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Benton, H.; Harkins, B.

    2000-01-01

    This paper describes the evolution of the waste-package design at the potential geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Because the potential repository is the first of its kind, the design of its components must be flexible and capable of evolving in response to continuing scientific study, development efforts, and changes to performance criteria. The team of scientists and engineers at the Yucca Mountain Project has utilized a systematic, scientific approach to design the potential geologic nuclear-waste repository. As a result of continuing development efforts, the design has incorporated a growing base of scientific and engineering information to ensure that regulatory and performance requirements are met. (authors)

  2. Meet the Maximally Exposed Member of the Public: The Service Station Attendant for Spent Nuclear Fuel Going to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, H. E.; Gathers, R.; Halstead, R. J.

    2002-01-01

    According to the 1999 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the proposed Yucca Mountain repository site, members of the public along transportation routes by which spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) is shipped will receive annual radiation doses less than 100 mrem/yr, the international (ICRP) and national (Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission) radiation limit for members of the public. For the ''Mostly Truck'' national transportation scenario, the DEIS specifically concludes that the maximally exposed member of the public, a service station attendant along the primary shipping route will receive no more than 100 mrem/yr, or 2.4 rem over 24 years. Based on the assumptions in the DEIS scenarios, however, it is highly likely that service station attendants along shipping routes will be called upon to fuel and service the rigs carrying SNF and HLW to Yucca Mountain. After reevaluating the DEIS, and making realistic alternative assumptions where necessary, the authors conclude that these attendants are likely to receive substantially more than 100 mrem/yr external dose, and perhaps several times that dose (up to 500 mrem/yr), unless mitigating measures are adopted. This is particularly true in Western states where refueling opportunities are limited, and the distances between fuel sources in rural areas may be up to 100 miles

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meijer, A.

    1990-09-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Integration of remote sensing and geochemical data in the mineral evaluation of the Yucca Mountain Addition, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feldman, S.C.; Castor, S.B.; Tingley, J.V.

    1996-01-01

    In 1989 the U.S. Department of Energy filed an application with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for an administrative land withdrawal of about 4,300 acres bordering the western edge of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) and the southern edge of the Nellis Air Force Range. This area, which is referred to as the Yucca Mountain Addition, includes approximately 400 acres that are being considered as part of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain. A study of the geology and mineral deposits is required for a land withdrawal request under federal law. The Yucca Mountain Addition mineral evaluation was accomplished in late 1989 by field examination, sample collection, geochemical analysis, the analysis of satellite remote sensing data, and the collection of rock spectra in the field. Data from the Yucca Mountain Addition and from mining districts in the area were collected and analyzed, and the two data sets were then compared. The evaluation was limited to surficial data both at the Yucca Mountain Addition and in the mining districts. Evidence from both geochemical and remote sensing analyses indicate that the potential for mineral deposits is low in the Yucca Mountain Addition

  8. 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.``

  9. Computed distributions of residual shaft drilling and construction water in the exploratory facilities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eaton, R.R.; Peterson, A.C.

    1989-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project is studying the feasibility of constructing a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southwest Nevada. One activity of site characterization is the construction of two exploratory shafts. This paper contains the results of engineering analytical calculations of the potential distribution of residual construction water in the exploratory shafts and drifts and numerical calculations of the movement of the residual water and how the movement is affected by drift ventilation. In all cases the increase in rock saturation resulting from the construction water was extremely small. 11 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab

  10. Modelling magma-drift interaction at the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Woods, Andrew W.; Sparks, Steve; Bokhove, Onno; Lejeune, Anne-Marie; Connor, Charles B.; Hill, Britain E.

    2002-01-01

    We examine the possible ascent of alkali basalt magma containing 2 wt percent water through a dike and into a horizontal subsurface drift as part of a risk assessment for the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. On intersection of the dike with the

  11. Geohydrologic data and models of Rainier Mesa and their implications to Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Cook, N.G.W.; Wollenberg, H.A.; Carnahan, C.L.; Javandel, I.; Tsang, C.F.

    1993-01-01

    The geohydrologic data collected at Rainier Mesa provide the only extensive observations in tunnels presently available on flow and transport in tuff units similar to those of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This information can, therefore, be of great value in planning the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) testing in underground drifts at Yucca Mountain. In this paper, we compare the geohydrologic characteristics of tuff units of these two sites and summarize the hydrochemical data indicating the presence of nearly meteoric water in Rainier Mesa tunnels. A simple analytic model is used to evaluate the possibility of propagating transient pulses of water along fractures or faults through the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff unit to reach the tunnel beds below. The results suggest that fast flow could occur without significant mixing between meteoric fracture water and matrix pore water. The implications of these findings on planning for the ESF Calico Hills study at Yucca Mountain are discussed

  12. Selection of barrier metals for a waste package in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; McCright, R.D.; O'Neal, W.C.

    1983-09-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) project under the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program is planning a repository at Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site for isolation of high-level nuclear waste. LLNL is developing designs for an engineered barrier system containing several barriers such as the waste form, a canister and/or an overpack, packing, and near field host rock. The selection of metal containment barriers is addressed. 13 references

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. Overview of the US program for developing a waste disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kay, C.E.

    1988-01-01

    Safe disposal of spent nuclear fuel and radioactive high-level waste (HLW) has been a matter of national concern ever since the first US civilian nuclear reactor began generating electricity in 1957. Based on current projections of commercial generating capacity, by the turn of the century, there will be >40,000 tonne of spent fuel in the Untied States. In addition to commercial spent fuel, defense HLW is generated in the United States and currently stored at three US Department of Energy (DOE) sites: The Nuclear Waste Policy Amendments Act of 1987 provided for financial incentives to host a repository or a monitored retrievable storage (MRS) facility; mandated the areas in which DOE's siting efforts should concentrate (Yucca Mountain, Nevada); required termination of site-specific activities at other sites; required a resisting process for an MRS facility, which DOE had proposed as an integral part of the waste disposal system; terminated all activities for identifying candidates for a second repository; established an 11-member Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board; established a three-member MRS commission to be appointed by heads of the US Senate and House; directed the President to appoint a negotiator to seek a state or Indian tribe willing to host a repository or MRS facility at a suitable site and to negotiate terms and conditions under which the state or tribe would be willing to host such a facility; and amended, adjusted, or established other requirements contained in the 1982 law

  15. Two-phase unsaturated flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada - A Report on Current Understanding

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pruess, K.

    1998-01-01

    The U.S. civilian nuclear waste program is unique in its focus on disposal of high-level wastes in the unsaturated zone (UZ), above the water table. The potential repository site currently under investigation is located in a semi-arid region of the southwestern U.S. at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geology of the site consists of layered sequences of faulted, fractured, and bedded tuffs. The groundwater table is approximately 600 m beneath the land surface, while the proposed repository horizon is at a nominal depth of approximately 375 m. In this kind of environment, two-phase flow is not just a localized perturbation to natural conditions, as in the saturated zone, but is the predominant mode of water and gas flow. The purpose of this report is to review the current understanding of gas and water flow, and mass transport, in the unique hydrogeologic environment of Yucca Mountain. Characteristics of the Yucca Mountain site are examined, and concepts and mathematical modeling approaches are described for variably saturated flow in thick unsaturated zones of fractured rock. The paper includes a brief summary of the disposal concept and repository design, as developed by a team of engineering contractors to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), with strong participation from the DOE National Laboratories

  16. Initial studies to assess microbial impacts on nuclear waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.; McCright, R.D.; Economides, B.

    1996-01-01

    The impacts of the native and introduced bacteria on the performance of geologic nuclear waste disposal facilities should be evaluated because these bacteria could promote corrosion of repository components and alteration of chemical and hydrological properties of the surrounding engineered and rock barriers. As a first step towards investigating these potentialities, native and introduced bacteria obtained from post-construction Yucca Mountain (YM) rock were isolated under varying conditions, including elevated temperature, low nutrient availability, and the absence of available oxygen. Individual isolates are being screened for activities associated with microbially induced corrosion of metals (MIC). Preliminary determination of growth rates of whole YM microbial communities under varying conditions was also undertaken

  17. A new way to ask the experts: Rating radioactive waste risks

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kerr, R.A.

    1996-01-01

    The possible risks of a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain include the dozen or more young volcanos near by. Now some earth scientists have a new approach to evaluating hazards accounting for uncertainty at every step - 'expert elicitation.' This pulls together a panel of experts, carefully assesses the uncertainties of each of their views then mathematically combines their risk estimates along with the accompanying uncertainties. The article goes on to describe just such a panel which considered seismic hazards to Yucca Mountain, how they came to their conclusions, the arguments about the conclusions, and the future of expert elicitation in evaluating the risks of nuclear waste disposal

  18. Volcanic harzards studies tailored to future populations and facilities: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keating, Gordon N.; Perry, Frank V.; Harrington, Charles; Krier, Don; Valentine, Greg A.; Gaffney, Edward; Cline, Mike

    2004-01-01

    The evaluation of impacts of potential volcanic eruptions on populations and facilities far in the future may involve detailed volcanological studies that differ from traditional hazards analyses. The proximity of Quaternary volcanoes to a proposed repository for disposal of the USA's high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has required in-depth study of probability and consequences of basaltic igneous activity. Because of the underground nature of the repository, evaluation of the potential effects of dike intrusion and interaction with the waste packages stored in underground tunnels (dnfts) as well as effects of eruption and ash dispersal have been important. These studies include analyses of dike propagation, dike-drift intersection, flow of magma into dnfts, heat and volcanic gas migration, atmospheric dispersal of tephra, and redistribution of waste-contaminated tephra by surficial processes. Unlike traditional volcanic hazards studies that focus on impacts on housing, transportation, communications, etc. (to name a small subset), the igneous consequences studies at Yucca Mountain have focused on evaluation of igneous impacts on nuclear waste packages and implications for enhanced radioactive dose on a hypothetical future ((le) 10000 yrs) local population. Potential exposure pathways include groundwater (affected by in-situ degradation of waste packages by igneous heat and corrosion) and inhalation, ingestion, and external exposure due to deposition and redistribution of waste-contaminated tephra

  19. Geoengineering properties of potential repository units at Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tillerson, J.R.; Nimick, F.B.

    1984-12-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project is currently evaluating volcanic tuffs at the Yucca Mountain site, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, for possible use as a host rock for a radioactive waste repository. The behavior of tuff as an engineering material must be understood to design, license, construct, and operate a repository. Geoengineering evaluations and measurements are being made to develop confidence in both the analysis techniques for thermal, mechanical, and hydrothermal effects and the supporting data base of rock properties. The analysis techniques and the data base are currently used for repository design, waste package design, and performance assessment analyses. This report documents the data base of geoengineering properties used in the analyses that aided the selection of the waste emplacement horizon and in analyses synopsized in the Environmental Assessment Report prepared for the Yucca Mountain site. The strategy used for the development of the data base relies primarily on data obtained in laboratory tests that are then confirmed in field tests. Average thermal and mechanical properties (and their anticipated variations) are presented. Based upon these data, analyses completed to date, and previous excavation experience in tuff, it is anticipated that existing mining technology can be used to develop stable underground openings and that repository operations can be carried out safely

  20. Evaluation of copper, aluminum bronze, and copper-nickel for YMP [Yucca Mountain Project] container material

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kass, J.N.

    1989-05-01

    In this presentation, I will discuss our evaluation of the materials copper, 7% aluminum bronze, and 70/30 copper-nickel. These are three of the six materials currently under consideration as potential waste-packaging materials. I should mention that we are also considering alternatives to these six materials. This work is part of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), formerly known as the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) Project. The expected-case environment in our proposed vault is quite different from that encountered at the WIPP site or that expected in a Canadian vault. Our proposed site is under a desert mountain, Yucca Mountain, in southern Nevada. The repository itself will be located approximately 700 feet above the water table and 300 to 1200 feet below the surface of the mountain. The variations in these numbers are due to the variations in mountain topography

  1. Nye County Nevada local perspective of the yucca mountain project (YMP)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swanson, D.

    2008-01-01

    Nye County, Nevada, is host of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The Department of Energy (DOE) Nevada Test Site (NTS) and the Department of Defense Nevada Test and Training Range occupy a large portion of Nye County. The NTS has been the site of numerous nuclear device detonations; hosts two low-level nuclear waste landfills; and was (and is) the site of various nuclear physics experiments and tests that have resulted in the distribution of radionuclides into the environment. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments of 1987 designated Yucca Mountain as the only site, of the three sites approved for characterisation, to be evaluated as a repository. The Act includes provisions for local involvement in program oversight. Nye County and each county surrounding Nye is designated an affected unit of local government (AULG). Nye, being the situs county, also is provided the opportunity to have an on-site representative. This function is a day-to-day opportunity to interact with DOE staff and be actively involved in the DOE decision-making process. DOE has recognised Nye County unique status and special needs and has provided additional funding for various studies via co-operative agreements. The most notable program is the County Independent Science Investigation Program (ISIP). This unique program allows Nye County to contract with subject matter experts, primarily hydrological and geotechnical experts, to conduct studies and advise the county regarding their results and the technical results of DOE investigations. Through the ISIP, Nye has developed a co-operative and credible relationship with numerous research facilities including the national laboratories, government agencies, and universities. Nye County has no viable means to reject the YMP. Hence, current County policy is of a pragmatic nature in that our objectives are to assure that public health, safety and the environment are adequately protected, that the YMP is a success in every way

  2. Pre-waste-emplacement ground-water travel time sensitivity and uncertainty analyses for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. PROBABILISTIC ANALYSES OF WASTE PACKAGE QUANTITIES IMPACTED BY POTENTIAL IGNEOUS DISRUPTION AT YUCCA MOUNTAIN

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    M.G. Wallace

    2005-01-01

    A probabilistic analysis was conducted to estimate ranges for the numbers of waste packages that could be damaged in a potential future igneous event through a repository at Yucca Mountain. The analyses include disruption from an intrusive igneous event and from an extrusive volcanic event. This analysis supports the evaluation of the potential consequences of future igneous activity as part of the total system performance assessment for the license application for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP). The first scenario, igneous intrusion, investigated the case where one or more igneous dikes intersect the repository. A swarm of dikes was characterized by distributions of length, width, azimuth, and number of dikes and the spacings between them. Through the use in part of a latin hypercube simulator and a modified video game engine, mathematical relationships were built between those parameters and the number of waste packages hit. Corresponding cumulative distribution function curves (CDFs) for the number of waste packages hit under several different scenarios were calculated. Variations in dike thickness ranges, as well as in repository magma bulkhead positions were examined through sensitivity studies. It was assumed that all waste packages in an emplacement drift would be impacted if that drift were intersected by a dike. Over 10,000 individual simulations were performed. Based on these calculations, out of a total of over 11,000 planned waste packages distributed over an area of approximately 5.5 km 2 , the median number of waste packages impacted was roughly 1/10 of the total. Individual cases ranged from 0 waste packages to the entire inventory being impacted. The igneous intrusion analysis involved an explicit characterization of dike-drift intersections, built upon various distributions that reflect the uncertainties associated with the inputs. The second igneous scenario, volcanic eruption (eruptive conduits), considered the effects of conduits formed in

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shrader-Frechette, K.

    1999-01-01

    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

  6. 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.

  7. Fair rules for siting a high-level nuclear waste repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Easterling, D.

    1992-01-01

    Geologic repositories are designed to resolve the ever-growing problem of high-level nuclear waste, but these facilities invite intense local opposition due to the perceived severity of the risks and the possibility of stigma effects. This analysis examines whether the perceived fairness of the siting process affects local residents' support for hosting a repository. In particular, a survey of 1,001 Nevada residents is used to test the hypothesis that an individual's willingness to accept a local repository will increase if he or she is convinced that this is the safest disposal option available. A logistic analysis indicates that beliefs regarding relative suitability have an independent effect on the acceptability of a local repository (i.e., Yucca Mountain). The article then considers the question of how to implement an optimizing strategy for siting facilities, comparing an idealized strategy against the original Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) of 1982 and the Amendments Act of 1987. Although choosing the safest site seems as if it could enhance public acceptance of the repository program, there is currently little prospect of identifying the best option to the high-level waste problem and, as a results, little chance of gaining the public support that is necessary to promote a successful siting outcome. 81 refs., 1 fig., 5 tabs

  8. Anticipating Potential Waste Acceptance Criteria for Defense Spent Nuclear Fuel

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rechard, R.P.; Lord, M.E.; Stockman, C.T.; McCurley, R.D.

    1997-01-01

    The Office of Environmental Management of the U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for the safe management and disposal of DOE owned defense spent nuclear fuel and high level waste (DSNF/DHLW). A desirable option, direct disposal of the waste in the potential repository at Yucca Mountain, depends on the final waste acceptance criteria, which will be set by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). However, evolving regulations make it difficult to determine what the final acceptance criteria will be. A method of anticipating waste acceptance criteria is to gain an understanding of the DOE owned waste types and their behavior in a disposal system through a performance assessment and contrast such behavior with characteristics of commercial spent fuel. Preliminary results from such an analysis indicate that releases of 99Tc and 237Np from commercial spent fuel exceed those of the DSNF/DHLW; thus, if commercial spent fuel can meet the waste acceptance criteria, then DSNF can also meet the criteria. In large part, these results are caused by the small percentage of total activity of the DSNF in the repository (1.5%) and regulatory mass (4%), and also because commercial fuel cladding was assumed to provide no protection

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.; Amter, S.; Lu, Ning

    1992-02-01

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

  11. Focusing Yucca Mountain program priorities through performance assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shaw, R.A.; Stepp, J.C.; Williams, R.F.; McGuire, R.K.

    1992-01-01

    A probability-based methodology has been developed and applied to predict the release of radioisotopes to the environment from an underground nuclear waste repository, considering the features and the characteristics that are present at Yucca Mountain. Experts in specific scientific and engineering disciplines combined their talents to generate a model to determine these radioactive releases. The disciplines represented by these experts include climatology, soil physics, volcanology, seismology, rock mechanics, waste package design, engineered barrier system design, gaseous transport, thermal analysis, geochemistry, hydrology, and risk analysis. The model was developed using a logic-tree approach in which uncertainties were quantified by specifying discrete alternatives, which constitute the various branches of the logic tree. Significant revisions and modifications of the model have been performed recently and are the subject of this paper

  12. Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations: exploratory shaft. Phase I. Conceptual design report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, D.C.; Merson, T.J.; McGuire, P.L.; Sibbitt, W.L.

    1982-06-01

    It is proposed that an Exploratory Shaft (ES) be constructed in Yucca Mountain on or near the southwest portion of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This document describes a conceptual design for an ES and a cost estimate based on a set of construction assumptions. Included in this document are appendixes consisting of supporting studies done at NTS by Fenix and Scisson, Inc. and Holmes and Narver, Inc. These appendixes constitute a history of the development of the design and are included as part of the record

  13. GIS surface effects archive of underground nuclear detonations conducted at Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grasso, D.N.

    2001-01-01

    This report presents a new comprehensive, digital archive of more than 40 years of geologic surface effects maps produced at individual detonation sites throughout the Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa nuclear testing areas of the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. The Geographic Information System (GIS) surface effects map archive on CD-ROM (this report) comprehensively documents the surface effects of underground nuclear detonations conducted at two of the most extensively used testing areas of the Nevada Test Site. Between 1951 and 1992, numerous investigators of the U.S. Geological Survey, the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency meticulously mapped the surface effects caused by underground nuclear testing. Their work documented the effects of more than seventy percent of the underground nuclear detonations conducted at Yucca Flat and all of the underground nuclear detonations conducted at Pahute Mesa

  14. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in the 2008 performance assessment for the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Helton, Jon Craig; Sallaberry, Cedric M.; Hansen, Clifford W.

    2010-01-01

    Extensive work has been carried out by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in the development of a proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste. As part of this development, an extensive performance assessment (PA) for the YM repository was completed in 2008 (1) and supported a license application by the DOE to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for the construction of the YM repository (2). This presentation provides an overview of the conceptual and computational structure of the indicated PA (hereafter referred to as the 2008 YM PA) and the roles that uncertainty analysis and sensitivity analysis play in this structure.

  15. Applications of in situ cosmogenic nuclides in the geologic site characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gosse, J.C.; Harrington, C.D.

    1995-01-01

    The gradual buildup of rare isotopes from interactions between cosmic rays and atoms in an exposed rock provides a new method of directly determining the exposure age of rock surfaces. The cosmogenic nuclide method can also provide constraints on erosion rates and the length of time surface exposure was interrupted by burial. Numerous successful applications of the technique have been imperative to the complete surface geologic characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential high level nuclear waste repository. In this short paper, we summarize the cosmogenic nuclide method and describe with examples some the utility of the technique in geologic site characterization. We report preliminary results from our ongoing work at Yucca Mountain

  16. Assessment of hydrologic impact of extending exploratory shafts into the Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nichols, W.E.; Freshley, M.D.; Rockhold, M.L.

    1991-03-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is performing analyses to address an objection by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission to plans in the Consultation Draft of the Site Characterization Plan for direct excavation of the Calico Hills nonwelded (CHn) unit within the repository exploration block at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The excavation was planned as part of site characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activities for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. This characterization activity has been deferred, pending the results of a risk/benefit analysis of alternative methods for obtaining needed characterization data from CHn unit. The benefits from characterizing the CHn unit are generally related to obtaining information leading to improved confidence in predictions of site performance. The risks are generally associated with potential adverse impacts to site performance that result from excavation or other intrusion into the CHn unit. The purpose of the risk/benefit analysis is to produce a recommendation to the Director, Regulatory and Site Evaluation Division. DOE/Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office for a strategy for characterizing the CHn unit. The recommendation will describe characterization activities that are expected to provide the needed information while limiting adverse impacts to site performance to the extent practical. The risk/benefit analysis was supported with scoping calculations to provide a quantitative evaluation of the impacts associated with different strategies. The working group responsible for the risk/benefit analysis requested that these scoping calculations to be supported with more detailed performance assessments for evaluating impacts of different characterization activities. This report summarizes the results of these performance assessment analyses. 9 refs., 30 figs., 1 tab

  17. Estimates of ambient groundwater velocity in the alluvium south of Yucca Mountain from single-well tracer tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reimus, P.W.; Umari, M.J.; Roback, R.; Earle, John; Darnell, Jon; Farnham, Irene

    2002-01-01

    The saturated alluvium located south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada is expected to serve as the final barrier to radionuclide transport from the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The alluvium will act as a barrier if radionuclides breach the engineered barriers in the repository, move through the unsaturated zone beneath the repository to the water table, and then migrate through saturated volcanic tuffs to the alluvium. Three single-well injection-withdrawal tracer tests were conducted between December 2000 and April 2001 in the saturated alluviuni at NC-EWDP-19D1, a Nye County-Early Warning Drilling Program well located about 18 km south of Yucca Mountain. The tests had the objectives of (1) distinguishing between a single- and a dual-porosity conceptual radionuclide transport model for the alluvium, and (2) obtaining estimates of ambient groundwater velocity in the alluvium.

  18. Selection of barrier metals for a waste package in tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, E.W.; McCright, R.D.; O'Neal, W.C.

    1983-10-01

    The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project under the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program is planning a repository at Yucca Mountain at the Nevada Test Site for isolation of high-level nuclear waste. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is developing designs for an engineered barrier system containing several barriers such as the waste form, a canister and/or an overpack, packing, and near field host rock. In this paper we address the selection of metal containment barriers. 13 references, 4 tables

  19. Tunneling on the Yucca Mountain Project: Progress and lessons learned

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hansmire, W.H.; Rogers, D.J.; Wightman, W.D.

    1996-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is the US's effort to confirm the technical acceptability of Yucca Mountain as a repository for high-level nuclear waste. A key part of the site characterization project is the construction of a 7.8-km-long, 7.6-m-diameter tunnel for in-depth geologic and other scientific investigations. The work is governed in varying degrees by the special requirements for nuclear quality assurance, which imposes uncommon and often stringent limitations on the materials which can be used in construction, the tunneling methods and procedures used, and record-keeping for many activities. This paper presents the current status of what has been learned, how construction has adapted to meet the requirements, and how the requirements were interpreted in a mitigating way to meet the legal obligations, yet build the tunnel as rapidly as possible. With regard to design methodologies and the realities of tunnel construction, ground support with a shielded Tunnel Boring Machine is discussed. Notable lessons learned include the need for broad design analyses for a wide variety of conditions and how construction procedures affect ground support

  20. Perceived risks of nuclear fuel waste disposal: trust, compensation, and public acceptance in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hine, D.W.; Summers, C.

    1996-01-01

    AECL's recommendation to place the high-level radioactive waste in corrosion resistant containers and bury it in underground vaults several hundred metres deep in the rock of the Canadian shield is presently under federal review. If and when the disposal concept is approved by the federal review panel, a search will begin for a suitable host community. Given that siting guidelines prevent the government from unilaterally imposing the waste on a reluctant community, identifying a suitable site may represent the single greatest obstacle to successfully implementing the disposal concept. Even if the concept is approved by the review panel, it may be very difficult to find a community that is willing to accept the waste. In the US, efforts to site an underground disposal facility for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain has run into strong opposition from local residents and politicians, resulting in long delays and major cost overruns

  1. The use of performance assessment for the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lee, Joon H.; Andrews, R. W.

    1997-01-01

    This paper covers the introduction and overview of the Yucca Mountain site, the overview of waste package and EBS design, the organization of CRWMS M and O, the overview of total system performance assessment (TSPA), the components of TSPA model, the examples results of TSPA component models, and the example results of TSPA scoping sensitivity analyses. 22 figs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A.; Hunter, W.C.

    1995-01-01

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

  3. The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository From A Corrosion Perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    J.H. Payer

    2005-01-01

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Manteufel, R.D.; Ahola, M.P.; Turner, D.R.; Chowdhury, A.H.

    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

  5. 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.

  6. ``Recycling'' Nuclear Power Plant Waste: Technical Difficulties and Proliferation Concerns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lyman, Edwin

    2007-04-01

    One of the most vexing problems associated with nuclear energy is the inability to find a technically and politically viable solution for the disposal of long-lived radioactive waste. The U.S. plan to develop a geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel at Yucca Mountain in Nevada is in jeopardy, as a result of managerial incompetence, political opposition and regulatory standards that may be impossible to meet. As a result, there is growing interest in technologies that are claimed to have the potential to drastically reduce the amount of waste that would require geologic burial and the length of time that the waste would require containment. A scenario for such a vision was presented in the December 2005 Scientific American. While details differ, these technologies share a common approach: they require chemical processing of spent fuel to extract plutonium and other long-lived actinide elements, which would then be ``recycled'' into fresh fuel for advanced reactors and ``transmuted'' into shorter-lived fission products. Such a scheme is the basis for the ``Global Nuclear Energy Partnership,'' a major program unveiled by the Department of Energy (DOE) in early 2006. This concept is not new, but has been studied for decades. Major obstacles include fundamental safety issues, engineering feasibility and cost. Perhaps the most important consideration in the post-9/11 era is that these technologies involve the separation of plutonium and other nuclear weapon-usable materials from highly radioactive fission products, providing opportunities for terrorists seeking to obtain nuclear weapons. While DOE claims that it will only utilize processes that do not produce ``separated plutonium,'' it has offered no evidence that such technologies would effectively deter theft. It is doubtful that DOE's scheme can be implemented without an unacceptable increase in the risk of nuclear terrorism.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Livingston, D.E.

    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. Preliminary postclosure risk assessment: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, candidate repository site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Eslinger, P.W.; Elwood, D.M.; Freshley, M.D.; Reimus, P.W.; Tanner, J.E.; Doctor, P.G.; Engel, D.W.; Liebetrau, A.M.; Strenge, D.L.; Van Luik, A.E.

    1989-10-01

    A study was conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory for the US Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, to estimate the postclosure risk, in terms of population health effects, of a proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The risk estimates cover a time span of 1 million years following repository closure. Representative disruptive and intrusive events were selected and evaluated in addition to expected conditions. The estimates were generated assuming spent fuel as the waste form and included all important nuclides from inventory, half-life and dose perspectives. The base case results yield an estimate of 36 health effects over the first million years of repository operation. The doses attributed to the repository corresponds to about 0.1 percent of the doses received from natural background radiation. 16 refs., 1 fig

  9. Can we talk? Communications management for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a complex nuclear waste management project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldstein, S.A.; Pullen, G.M.; Brewer, D.R.

    1995-01-01

    Sandia Nuclear Waste Management Program is pursuing for DOE an option for permanently disposing radioactive waste in deep geologic repositories. Included in the Program are the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project for US defense program mixed waste the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) for spent power reactor fuel and vitrified high-level waste, projects for other waste types, and development efforts in environmental decision support technologies. WIPP and YMP are in the public arena, of a controversial nature, and provide significant management challenges. Both projects have large project teams, multiple organization participants, large budgets, long durations, are very complex, have a high degree of programmatic risk, and operate in an extremely regulated environment requiring legal defensibility. For environmental projects like these to succeed, SNL's Program is utilizing nearly all areas in PMI's Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to manage along multiple project dimensions such as the physical sciences (e.g., geophysics and geochemistry; performance assessment; decision analysis) management sciences (controlling the triple constraint of performance, cost and schedule), and social sciences (belief systems; public participation; institutional politics). This discussion focuses primarily on communication challenges active on WIPP. How is the WIPP team meeting the challenges of managing communications?'' and ''How are you approaching similar challenges?'' will be questions for a dialog with the audience

  10. Managing the nation's nuclear waste. Overview: Nuclear Waste Policy Act

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-10-01

    Signed into law by the President on January 7, 1983, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act established a national policy for safely storing, transporting, and disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This overview presents the following information on the Nuclear Waste Policy Act: (1) background; (2) permanent repository; (3) siting guidelines and mission plan; (4) monitored retrievable storage; and (5) nuclear waste funds. (DT)

  11. A conceptual subsurface facility design for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McKenzie, D.G., III; Bhattacharyya, K.K.; Segrest, A.M.

    1996-01-01

    The US Department of Energy is responsible for the design, construction, operation and closure of a repository in which to permanently dispose of the nation's high level nuclear waste. In addition to the objective of safely isolating the waste inventory, the repository must provide a safe working environment for its workforce, and protect the public. The conceptual design for this facility is currently being developed. Tunnel Boring Machine will be used to excavate 228 kilometers of tunneling to construct the facility over a 30 year period. The excavation operations will be physically separated from the waste emplacement operations, and each operation will have its own dedicated ventilation system. The facility is being designed to remain open for 150 years

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

    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

  13. An evaluation of environmental effects of the DOE HLW repository siting and characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Winsor, M.F.; Ulland, L.M.

    1989-01-01

    This paper presents highlights of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) environmental investigations in progress on the environmental effects of past and proposed activities of the Department of Energy (DOE) at the Yucca Mountain repository. The environmental investigations refer to those studies specifically related to resource evaluation, impact assessment and mitigation planning for the repository program; it is defined to exclude consideration of technical suitability determinations, socioeconomics and transportation. This paper addresses the question of what are the disturbances created by past and proposed DOE activities related to repository siting and characterization at Yucca Mountain. It discusses considerations in linking disturbance to the potential for significant adverse environmental impacts

  14. Deep Geologic Nuclear Waste Disposal - No New Taxes - 12469

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conca, James [RJLee Group, Inc., Pasco WA 509.205.7541 (United States); Wright, Judith [UFA Ventures, Inc., Richland, WA (United States)

    2012-07-01

    formation, i.e., how well it performs on its own for millions of years with little engineering assistance from humans. It is critical that the states most affected by this issue (WA, SC, ID, TN, NM and perhaps others) develop an independent multi-state agreement in order for a successful program to move forward. Federal approval would follow. Unknown to most, the United States has a successful operating deep permanent geologic nuclear repository for high and low activity waste, called the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Its success results from several factors, including an optimal geologic and physio-graphic setting, a strong scientific basis, early regional community support, frequent interactions among stakeholders at all stages of the process, long-term commitment from the upper management of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) over several administrations, strong New Mexico State involvement and oversight, and constant environmental monitoring from before nuclear waste was first emplaced in the WIPP underground (in 1999) to the present. WIPP is located in the massive bedded salts of the Salado Formation, whose geological, physical, chemical, redox, thermal, and creep-closure properties make it an ideal formation for long-term disposal, long-term in this case being greater than 200 million years. These properties also mean minimal engineering requirements as the rock does most of the work of isolating the waste. WIPP has been operating for twelve years, and as of this writing, has disposed of over 80,000 m{sup 3} of nuclear weapons waste, called transuranic or TRU waste (>100 nCurie/g but <23 Curie/1000 cm{sup 3}) including some high activity waste from reprocessing of spent fuel from old weapons reactors. All nuclear waste of any type from any source can be disposed in this formation better, safer and cheaper than in any other geologic formation. At the same time, it is critical that we complete the Yucca Mountain license application

  15. Assessment of the impact of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain on the economic development potential of Las Vegas, Clark County, and the surrounding area

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boyle, M.R.

    1989-01-01

    Growth Strategies Organization has completed an assessment of the Las Vegas MSA's competitiveness in the attraction of new business facilities to the area. That report found that under current business climate conditions and in the present economic development market place, the region is a competitive site for about one hundred of the six hundred types of primary businesses studied. It is almost competitive as a location for another 80 to 90 types of businesses and is a marginal choice for another 200 business groups. In other words, Clark County, as is, fully satisfies the basic requirements of almost a sixth of the businesses in this study. With minor improvements in areas such as the skill mix of its work force and the quality of its educational facilities and with an effective campaign to improve the area's image, the Las Vegas area could become a competitive location for about two-thirds of all business groups -- a very large shift in marketability. The proposed nuclear waste repository that he Federal government has proposed for siting at Yucca Mountain more than a hundred miles from Las Vegas would become operational after the turn of the century, more than fifteen years from now. Its influence on business investment decisions would be felt in the mid- to late-1990s if the final decision were made and announced. To measure that impact it would be desirable to establish a baseline that reflects Clark County's competitiveness as a business facility location in the middle of the next decade. In constructing that baseline, several variables could be considered -- changes in business climate conditions in the area other than the nuclear waste repository; and changes in the location decision process itself resulting from changes in technology and in market pressures

  16. Characterization testing support requirements for the exploratory shaft facility at Yucca mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalia, H.N.; Klkins, N.Z.

    1990-01-01

    The National waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended on December 22, 1987, requires that before proceeding to sink exploratory shafts at the Yucca Mountain site, the Secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE) shall submit to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and to the Governor of Nevada or Legislature of the State of Nevada, for their review and comment, a general plane for the characterization activities to be conducted at the Yucca Mountain site. DOE submitted a Site Characterization Plan in December of 1988. This plan outlines activities to be undertaken by DOE to characterize the Yucca Mountain site as potentially the first national repository for the permanent isolation of high-level radioactive waste as well as the quality assurance (QA) program that will be applied on this project. The DOE plans to utilize an Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF) to gain access to the underground environment and conduct characterization, construction, and mining-method evaluation and performance-related tests. This paper identifies the types of ESF tests to be performed, test requirements with respect to facility design, and the management of the testing program. An important ESF test program element is the design, installation, and management of an Integrated Data System (IDS), an automated system for collecting and recording test data for many of the tests. The rationale used in developing the facility and methodology used to develop testing and IDS requirements are also discussed in this paper

  17. Strategic Basis for License Application Planning for a Potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newberry, C. M.; Brocoum, S. J.; Gamble, R. P.; Murray, R. C.; Cline, M.

    2002-01-01

    If Yucca Mountain, Nevada is designated as the site for development of a geologic repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, the Department of Energy (DOE) must obtain Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) approval first for repository construction, then for an operating license, and, eventually, for repository closure and decommissioning. The licensing criteria defined in Code of Federal Regulations, Title 10, Part 63 (10 CFR Part 63) establish the basis for these NRC decisions. Submittal of a license application (LA) to the NRC for authorization to construct a repository at the Yucca Mountain site is, at this point, only a potential future action by the DOE. The policy process defined in the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA), as amended, for recommendation and designation of Yucca Mountain as a repository site makes it difficult to predict whether or when the site might be designated. The DOE may only submit a LA to the NRC if the site designation takes effect. In spite of this uncertainty, the DOE must take prudent and appropriate action now, and over the next several years, to prepare for development and timely submittal of a LA. This is particularly true given the need for the DOE to develop, load, and certify the operation of its electronic information system to provide access to its relevant records as part of the licensing support network (LSN) in compliance with NRC requirements six months prior to LA submittal. The DOE must also develop a LA, which is a substantially different document from those developed to support a Site Recommendation (SR) decision. The LA must satisfy NRC licensing criteria and content requirements, and address the acceptance criteria defined by the NRC in its forthcoming Yucca Mountain Review Plan (YMRP). The content of the LA must be adequate to facilitate NRC acceptance and docketing for review, and the LA and its supporting documents must provide the documented basis for the NR C findings required

  18. Aspects of igneous activity significant to a repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Krier, D.J.; Perry, F.V.

    2004-01-01

    Location, timing, volume, and eruptive style of post-Miocene volcanoes have defined the volcanic hazard significant to a proposed high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and spent nuclear fuel (SNF) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a low-probability, high-consequence event. Examination of eruptive centers in the region that may be analogueues to possible future volcanic activity at Yucca Mountain have aided in defining and evaluating the consequence scenarios for intrusion into and eruption above a repository. The probability of a future event intersecting a repository at Yucca Mountain has a mean value of 1.7 x 10 -8 per year. This probability comes from the Probabilistic Volcanic Hazard Assessment (PVHA) completed in 1996 and updated to reflect change in repository layout. Since that time, magnetic anomalies representing potential buried volcanic centers have been identified fiom magnetic surveys; however these potential buried centers only slightly increase the probability of an event intersecting the repository. The proposed repository will be located in its central portion of Yucca Mountain at approximately 300m depth. The process for assessing performance of a repository at Yucca Mountain has identified two scenarios for igneous activity that, although having a very low probability of occurrence, could have a significant consequence should an igneous event occur. Either a dike swarm intersecting repository drifts containing waste packages, or a volcanic eruption through the repository could result in release of radioactive material to the accessible environment. Ongoing investigations are assessing the mechanisms and significance of the consequence scenarios. Lathrop Wells Cone (∼80,000 yrs), a key analogue for estimating potential future volcanic activity, is the youngest surface expression of apparent waning basaltic volcanism in the region. Cone internal structure, lavas, and ash-fall tephra have been examined to estimate eruptive volume, eruption

  19. Progress in evaluation of radionuclide geochemical information developed by DOE high-level nuclear waste repository site projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Meyer, R.E.; Arnold, W.D.; O'Kelley, G.D.; Case, F.I.; Land, J.F.

    1989-08-01

    Information that is being developed by projects within the Department of Energy (DOE) pertinent to the potential geochemical behavior of radionuclides at candidate sites for a high-level radioactive waste repository is being evaluated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). During this report period, all experiments were conducted with tuff from the proposed high-level nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The principal emphasis in this report period was on column studies of migration of uranium and technetium in water from well J-13 at the Yucca Mountain site. Columns 1 cm in diameter and about 5 cm long were constructed and carefully packed with ground tuff. The characteristics of the columns were tested by determination of elution curves of tritium and TcO 4 - . Elution peaks obtained in past studies with uranium were asymmetrical and the shapes were often complex, observations that suggested irreversibilities in the sorption reaction. To try to understand these observations, the effects of flow rate and temperature on uranium migration were studied in detail. Sorption ratios calculated from the elution peaks became larger as the flow rate decreased and as the temperature increased. These observations support the conclusion that the sorption of uranium is kinetically hindered. To confirm this, batch sorption ratio experiments were completed for uranium as a function of time for a variety of conditions

  20. The International Stripa Project: Technology transfer from cooperation in scientific and technological research on nuclear waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Levich, R.A.; Ferrigan, P.M.; Wilkey, P.L.

    1990-01-01

    The Nuclear Energy Agency of the organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD/NEA) sponsors the International Stripa Project. The objectives of the Stripa Project are to develop techniques for characterizing sites located deep in rock formations that are potentially suitable for the geologic disposal of high-level radioactive wastes and to evaluate particular engineering design considerations that could enhance the long-term safety of a high-level radioactive waste repository in a geologic medium. The purpose of this paper is to briefly summarize the research conducted at Stripa and discuss the ways in which the technology developed for the Stripa Project has been and will be transfered to the United States Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program's Yucca Mountain Project. 3 refs., 2 figs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keefer, W.R.; Coe, J.A.; Pezzopane, S.K.; Hunter, W.C.

    1997-01-01

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

  2. 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

  3. Images of a place and vacation preferences: Implications of the 1989 surveys for assessing the economic impacts of a nuclear waste repository in Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Slovic, P.; Layman, M.; Flynn, J.H.

    1990-11-01

    In July, 1989 the authors produced a report titled Perceived Risk, Stigma, and Potential Economic Impacts of a High-Level Nuclear-Waste Repository in Nevada (Slovic et al., 1989). That report described a program of research designed to assess the potential impacts of a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada upon tourism, retirement and job-related migration, and business development in Las Vegas and the state. It was concluded that adverse economic impacts potentially may result from two related social processes. Specifically, the study by Slovic et al. employed analyses of imagery in order to overcome concerns about the validity of direct questions regarding the influence of a nuclear-waste repository at Yucca Mountain upon a person's future behaviors. During the latter months of 1989, data were collected in three major telephone surveys, designed to achieve the following objectives: (1) to replicate the results from the Phoenix, Arizona, surveys using samples from other populations that contribute to tourism, migration, and development in Nevada; (2) to retest the original Phoenix respondents to determine the stability of their images across an 18-month time period and to determine whether their vacation choices subsequent to the first survey were predictable from the images they produced in that original survey; (3) to elicit additional word-association images for the stimulus underground nuclear waste repository in order to determine whether the extreme negative images generated by the Phoenix respondents would occur with other samples of respondents; and (4) to develop and test a new method for imagery elicitation, based upon a rating technique rather than on word associations. 2 refs., 8 figs., 13 tabs

  4. Proposed preliminary definition of the disturbed-zone boundary appropriate for a repository at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Langkopf, B.S.

    1987-12-01

    Some of the calculations that support the licensing of a repository for high-level radioactive waste will use the regulatory concept of a disturbed zone. The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) project must determine the location of the boundary of the disturbed zone for use in these calculations. This paper summarizes results of computer analyses and laboratory experiments and suggests a preliminary definition for the boundary of the disturbed zone for the unsaturated environment at Yucca Mountain. Although the intent of this paper is to define the boundary of the disturbed zone at the edge of significant changes in intrinsic hydrologic properties, there is no evidence of changes in intrinsic hydrologic properties that could significantly change the groundwater travel time from the repository to the water table. Such a result suggests that the disturbed zone at Yucca Mountain is of minimal extent. Because the analyses and experiments reviewed here indicate that there are a variety of changes near the waste package and because the results are subject to uncertainty, the preliminary suggestion for the extent of the disturbed zone is a value larger than the results themselves would suggest: the boundary is proposed to be a plane 10 m below the lower boundary of the waste packages. 88 refs., 12 figs., 5 tabs

  5. Effects of Faulted Stratigraphy on Saturated Zone Flow Beneath Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cohen, Andrew J.B.; Oldenburg, Curtis M.

    1999-01-01

    The S 4 Z Model (''sub-site-scale saturated zone'') is a 3-D TOUGH2 model that was developed to study the saturated zone (SZ) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and to aid in the design and analysis of hydrologic tests. Yucca Mountain is the proposed site for a nuclear waste repository for the United States. The model covers an area of approximately 100 km 2 around Yucca Mountain, as shown in Figure 1. The proposed repository is located in the unsaturated zone, immediately above the area of equidimensional gridblocks east of Solitario Canyon fault, which defines the crest of Yucca Mountain. The finely discretized region near the center of the domain corresponds to the area near a cluster of boreholes used for hydraulic and tracer testing. This discretization facilitates simulation of tests conducted there. The hydrogeologic structure beneath the mountain is comprised of dipping geologic units of variable thickness which are offset by faults. One of the primary objectives of the S 4 Z modeling effort is to study the potential effects of the faulted structure on flow. Therefore, replication of the geologic structure in the model mesh is necessary. This paper summarizes (1) the mesh discretization used to capture the faulted geologic structure, and (2) a model simulation that illustrates the significance of the geologic structure on SZ flow and the resulting macrodispersion

  6. Modeling studies of unsaturated flow with long-term permeability change at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Chengyuan; Liu Xiaoyan; Liu Quansheng

    2008-01-01

    The amount of water seeping into the waste emplacement drifts is crucial for the performance of underground nuclear waste repository, since it controls the corrosion rates of waste packages and the mobilization rate of radionuclides. It is limited by water flow through drift vicinity. In the present work we study the potential rates of water flow around drifts as a function of predicted long-term change of permeability at Yucca Mountain, based on a dual-continuum model of the unsaturated flow in fractured rock mass. For stage of DECOVALEX Ⅳ, we used a simplified practical model on unsaturated flow in Yucca Mountain case simulation. These models contain main physical processes that should be considered, including thermal expansion, thermal radiation, water-rock coupling and stress-induced change of permeability. Comparative study with other DECOVALEX team's results shows that they are both good enough and flexible enough to include more physical processes. We can draw the conclusion that it is necessary to model stress-induced changes in permeability and relative processes in future studies, because there are obvious differences (in water saturation and water flux) between simulation cases with and without variable permeability, especially in areas very close to the drift. (authors)

  7. Geology of the Syncline Ridge area related to nuclear waste disposal, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hoover, D.L.; Morrison, J.N.

    1980-01-01

    The Syncline Ridge area is in the western part of Yucca Flat, Nye Co., Nev. Drill holes, geophysical surveys, mapping, and laboratory studies during 1976 through 1978 were used to investigate argillite in unit J (Mississippian) of the Eleana Formation (Devonian and Mississippian) as a possible nuclear waste repository site. Argillite in unit J has a minimum stratigraphic thickness of at least 700 m. The argillite underlies most of the Syncline Ridge area east of the Eleana Range, and is overlain by Quaternary alluvium and the Tippipah Limestone of Syncline Ridge. At the edges of the Syncline Ridge area, alluvium and volcanic rocks overlie the argillite. The argillite is underlain by more than 1000 m of quartzite, siliceous argillite, and minor limestone in older units of the Eleana Formation. These older units crop out in the Eleana Range. The area is divided into southern, central, and northern structural blocks by two lateral faults. The southern and central blocks either have volumes of argillite too small for a repository site, or have irregular-shaped volumes caused by Mesozoic high-angle faults that make the structure too complex for a repository site. The northern block appears to contain thick argillite within an area of 6 to 8 km 2 . The postvolcanic history of the Syncline Ridge area indicates that the area has undergone less deformation than other areas in Yucca Flat. Most of the late Tertiary and Quaternary deformation consisted of uplift and eastward tilting in the Syncline Ridge area. Preliminary engineering geology investigations indicate that although the competency of the argillite is low, the argillite may be feasible for construction of a nuclear waste disposal facility. Physical, thermal, chemical, and mineralogical properties of the argillite appear to be within acceptable limits for a nuclear waste repository

  8. Implementation of Localized Corrosion in the Performance Assessment Model for Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jain, V.; SEVOUGIAN, D.S.; MATTIE, P.D.; MACKINNON, R.J.

    2005-01-01

    A total system performance assessment (TSPA) model has been developed to analyze the ability of the natural and engineered barriers of the Yucca Mountain repository to isolate nuclear waste for the 10,000-year period following repository closure. The principal features of the engineered barrier system (EBS) are emplacement tunnels (or ''drifts'') containing a two-layer waste package (WP) for waste containment and a titanium drip shield to protect the waste package from seeping water and falling rock. The 20-mm-thick outer shell of the WP is composed of Alloy 22, a highly corrosion-resistant nickel-based alloy, while the 50-mm inner shell is composed of 316 stainless steel (modified with lower carbon and nitrogen compositions), whose primary purpose is to provide structural strength. The barrier function of the EBS is to isolate the waste from the migrating water with its associated chemical conditions that eventually lead to degradation of the waste packages and mobilization of the radionuclides within the packages

  9. Nuclear power in the US

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Judson, Tim

    2018-01-01

    The Trump government promotes the further operation of aging nuclear power plants in the US by governmental support although several operators close their nuclear power plants due to economic reasons. The Trump government is also repowering the Yucca-Mountain-Project for radioactive waste disposal that was stopped by the Obama government based on geological problems in the region.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dudley, W.W.

    1984-02-01

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

  11. Room at the Mountain: Estimated Maximum Amounts of Commercial Spent Nuclear Fuel Capable of Disposal in a Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kessler, John H.; Kemeny, John; King, Fraser; Ross, Alan M.; Ross, Benjamen

    2006-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to present an initial analysis of the maximum amount of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF) that could be emplaced into a geological repository at Yucca Mountain. This analysis identifies and uses programmatic, material, and geological constraints and factors that affect this estimation of maximum amount of CSNF for disposal. The conclusion of this initial analysis is that the current legislative limit on Yucca Mountain disposal capacity, 63,000 MTHM of CSNF, is a small fraction of the available physical capacity of the Yucca Mountain system assuming the current high-temperature operating mode (HTOM) design. EPRI is confident that at least four times the legislative limit for CSNF (∼260,000 MTHM) can be emplaced in the Yucca Mountain system. It is possible that with additional site characterization, upwards of nine times the legislative limit (∼570,000 MTHM) could be emplaced. (authors)

  12. MRS system study for the repository: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinagra, T.A.; Harig, R.

    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

  13. MRS system study for the repository: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinagra, T.A.; Harig, R.

    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

  14. Simulating the Thermal History of the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    B.D. Marshal; J.F. Whelan

    2001-01-01

    Heat transfer within Earth's upper crust is primarily by conduction, and conductive thermal models adequately explain the cooling history of deep, batholith-scale intrusions and surrounding wall rocks, as confirmed by numerous thermochronometric studies. However, caldera magmatic systems require consideration of the small and localized component of hydrothermal convection and numerical models to simulate additional boundary conditions, irregular magma chamber shapes, and complex intrusive histories. At Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository, simulating the detailed thermal history at any location in the unsaturated zone requires knowledge of the shape of the magma chamber and its proximity to Yucca Mountain (the southern margin of the Timber Mountain caldera complex is approximately 8 km north of the potential repository site), the temporal and spatial extent of hydrothermal convection, the erosional history of the area, and past levels of the water table

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S.; Fridrich, C.J.; Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A.; Drake, R.M. II

    1998-01-01

    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 of the southwestern Great Basin

  16. 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.

  17. An example postclosure risk assessment using the potential Yucca Mountain Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Doctor, P.G.; Eslinger, P.W.; Elwood, D.M.; Engel, D.W.; Freshley, M.D.; Liebetrau, A.M.; Reimus, P.W.; Strenge, D.L.; Tanner, J.E.; Van Luik, A.E.

    1992-05-01

    The risk analysis described in this document was performed for the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) over a 2-year time period ending in June 1988. The objective of Pacific Northwest Laboratory's (PNL) task was to demonstrate an integrated, though preliminary, modeling approach for estimating the postclosure risk associated with a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste. The modeling study used published characterization data for the proposed candidate site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, along with existing models and computer codes available at that time. Some of the site data and conceptual models reported in the Site Characterization Plan published in December 1988, however, were not yet available at the time that PNL conducted the modeling studies

  18. The status of radioactive waste repository development in the United States - December 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hill, David R.

    2012-01-01

    The current state of affairs concerning development in the United States of a permanent repository for disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level radioactive waste (HLW) is, in a word, uncertain. The President of the United States has asserted that he believes licensing and development of the Yucca Mountain repository should be abandoned, while other important parties believe licensing and development should continue. And not surprisingly, there is a disagreement as to what the law requires and whether the licensing process for the Yucca Mountain repository can be terminated at this point, even if the President would like for that to happen. The future of Yucca Mountain, and the future of radioactive waste disposal in the United States generally, currently are pending before the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, and eventually the Supreme Court of the United States may decide some of the important legal issues concerning Yucca Mountain's future. The November 2012 US elections also likely will have a significant impact on future radioactive waste repository development

  19. Conceptualization of a hypothetical high-level nuclear waste repository site in unsaturated, fractured tuff

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parsons, A.M.; Olague, N.E.; Gallegos, D.P.

    1991-01-01

    Under the sponsorship of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is developing a performance assessment methodology for the analysis of long-term disposal and isolation of high-level nuclear wastes (HLW) in alternative geologic media. As part of this exercise, SNL created a conceptualization of ground-water flow and radionuclide transport in the far field of a hypothetical HLW repository site located in unsaturated, fractured tuff formations. This study provides a foundation for the development of conceptual mathematical, and numerical models to be used in this performance assessment methodology. This conceptualization is site specific in terms of geometry, the regional ground-water flow system, stratigraphy, and structure in that these are based on information from Yucca Mountain located on the Nevada Test Site. However, in terms of processes in unsaturated, fractured, porous media, the model is generic. This report also provides a review and evaluation of previously proposed conceptual models of unsaturated and saturated flow and solute transport. This report provides a qualitative description of a hypothetical HLW repository site in fractured tuff. However, evaluation of the current knowledge of flow and transport at Yucca Mountain does not yield a single conceptual model. Instead, multiple conceptual models are possible given the existing information

  20. Conceptualization of a hypothetical high-level nuclear waste repository site in unsaturated, fractured tuff

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parsons, A.M.; Olague, N.E.; Gallegos, D.P. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (USA)

    1991-01-01

    Under the sponsorship of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) is developing a performance assessment methodology for the analysis of long-term disposal and isolation of high-level nuclear wastes (HLW) in alternative geologic media. As part of this exercise, SNL created a conceptualization of ground-water flow and radionuclide transport in the far field of a hypothetical HLW repository site located in unsaturated, fractured tuff formations. This study provides a foundation for the development of conceptual mathematical, and numerical models to be used in this performance assessment methodology. This conceptualization is site specific in terms of geometry, the regional ground-water flow system, stratigraphy, and structure in that these are based on information from Yucca Mountain located on the Nevada Test Site. However, in terms of processes in unsaturated, fractured, porous media, the model is generic. This report also provides a review and evaluation of previously proposed conceptual models of unsaturated and saturated flow and solute transport. This report provides a qualitative description of a hypothetical HLW repository site in fractured tuff. However, evaluation of the current knowledge of flow and transport at Yucca Mountain does not yield a single conceptual model. Instead, multiple conceptual models are possible given the existing information.

  1. Yucca Mountain Project waste package design for MRS [Monitored Retrievable Storage] system studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, T.; Russell, E.; Johnson, G.L.; Morissette, R.; Stahl, D.; LaMonica, L.; Hertel, G.

    1989-04-01

    This report, prepared by the Yucca Mountain Project, is the report for Task E of the MRS System Study. A number of assumptions were necessary prior to initiation of this system study. These assumptions have been defined in Section 2 for the packaging scenarios, the waste forms, and the waste package concepts and materials. Existing concepts were utilized because of schedule constraints. Section 3 provides a discussion of sensitivity considerations regarding the impact of different assumptions on the overall result of the system study. With the exception of rod consolidation considerations, the system study should not be sensitive to the parameters assumed for the waste package. The current reference waste package materials and concepts are presented in Section 4. Although stainless steel is assumed for this study, a container material has not yet been selected for Advanced Conceptual Design (ACD) from the six candidates currently under study. Section 5 discusses the current thinking for possible alternate waste package materials and concepts. These concepts are being considered in the event that the waste package emplacement environment is more severe than is currently anticipated. Task E also provides a concept in Section 6 for an MRS canister to contain consolidated fuel for storage at the MRS and eventual shipment to the repository. 5 refs., 14 figs., 10 tabs

  2. Effects of the deviation characteristics of nuclear waste emplacement boreholes on borehole liner stresses

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1996-01-01

    The NEA Nuclear Waste Bulletin has been prepared by the Radiation Protection and Waste Management Division of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency to provide a means of communication amongst the various technical and policy groups within the waste management community. In particular, it is intended to provide timely and concise information on radioactive waste management activities, policies and programmes in Member countries and at the NEA. It is also intended that the Bulletin assists in the communication of recent developments in a variety of areas contributing to the development of acceptable technology for the management and disposal of nuclear waste (e.g., performance assessment, in-situ investigations, repository engineering, scientific data bases, regulatory developments, etc)

  4. 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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2005-01-01

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

  6. OPTION WEALTH AND BEQUEST VALUES: THE VALUE OF PROTECTING FUTURE GENERATIONS FROM THE HEALTH RISKS OF NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE

    OpenAIRE

    Riddel, Mary C.; Shaw, W. Douglass

    2002-01-01

    We devise a simple model of intergenerational altruism under uncertainty. We present an estimable form of the model that relies on a few, plausible, assumptions. We apply the model to data collected in a survey of Southern Nevadans concerning the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository in Nye County, NV. We find strong evidence of a bequest motive. Approximately one third of the option wealth lost by households near the repository can be attributed to costs to future generations.

  7. Science, society, and America's nuclear waste: Unit 1, Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

    This is unit 1 in a four-unit secondary curriculum. It is intended to provide information about scientific and societal issues related to the management of spent nuclear fuel from generation of electricity at nuclear powerplants and high-level radioactive waste from US national defense activities. The curriculum, supporting classroom activities, and teaching materials present a brief discussion of energy and electricity generation, including that produced at nuclear powerplants; information on sources, amounts, location, and characteristics of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste; sources, types and effects of radiation; US policy for managing and disposing of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste and what other countries are doing; and the components of the nuclear waste management system

  8. The exploratory studies facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain - Description and status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Simecka, W.B.; Replogle, J.M.; Mckenzie, D.G.

    1994-01-01

    The Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada will be a 25 kilometer underground network of inclined ramps, tunnels, and test alcoves. It will serve as an underground laboratory for the execution of a testing program conceived to assess the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site to host a potential high level nuclear waste repository. This paper contains a description of the ESF, a summary of the major types of tests currently planned, and a report on the current status of the ongoing design and construction activities. The ESF is being designed and constructed in phases. Currently, the Detailed Design, or open-quotes Title II Designclose quotes is centered on the second of ten major design packages. Construction has begun on excavation of the open-quotes starter tunnelclose quotes for a Tunnel Boring Machine (TBM) expected to begin operation in late FY 1994. The EFS program will provide information critical to the evaluation of Yucca Mountain as a potential repository site, and will house a suite of state-of-the-art tests designed to gather this information. The ESF is a one of a kind opportunity to examine, in minute detail, all facets of a sites' geology; its thermal, mechanical, and hydrologic properties; and to study the linkages between these properties

  9. Can we talk? Communications management for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a complex nuclear waste management project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goldstein, S.A.; Pullen, G.M.; Brewer, D.R.

    1995-07-01

    Sandia Nuclear Waste Management Program is pursuing for DOE an option for permanently disposing radioactive waste in deep geologic repositories. Included in the Program are the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project for US defense program mixed waste the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) for spent power reactor fuel and vitrified high-level waste, projects for other waste types, and development efforts in environmental decision support technologies. WIPP and YMP are in the public arena, of a controversial nature, and provide significant management challenges. Both projects have large project teams, multiple organization participants, large budgets, long durations, are very complex, have a high degree of programmatic risk, and operate in an extremely regulated environment requiring legal defensibility. For environmental projects like these to succeed, SNL`s Program is utilizing nearly all areas in PMI`s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) to manage along multiple project dimensions such as the physical sciences (e.g., geophysics and geochemistry; performance assessment; decision analysis) management sciences (controlling the triple constraint of performance, cost and schedule), and social sciences (belief systems; public participation; institutional politics). This discussion focuses primarily on communication challenges active on WIPP. How is the WIPP team meeting the challenges of managing communications?`` and ``How are you approaching similar challenges?`` will be questions for a dialog with the audience.

  10. 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

    Chapter six describes the basis for facility design, the completed facility conceptual design, the completed analytical work relating to the resolution of design issues, and future design-related work. The basis for design and the conceptual design information presented in this chapter meet the requirements of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, for a conceptual repository design that takes into account site-specific requirements. This information is presented to permit a critical evaluation of planned site characterization activities. Chapter seven describes waste package components, emplacement environment, design, and status of research and development that support the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) Project. The site characterization plan (SCP) discussion of waste package components is contained entirely within this chapter. The discussion of emplacement environment in this chapter is limited to considerations of the environment that influence, or which may influence, if perturbed, the waste packages and their performance (particularly hydrogeology, geochemistry, and borehole stability). The basis for conceptual waste package design as well as a description of the design is included in this chapter. The complete design will be reported in the advanced conceptual design (ACD) report and is not duplicated in the SCP. 367 refs., 173 figs., 68 tabs.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-01-01

    Chapter six describes the basis for facility design, the completed facility conceptual design, the completed analytical work relating to the resolution of design issues, and future design-related work. The basis for design and the conceptual design information presented in this chapter meet the requiremenrs of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, for a conceptual repository design that takes into account site-specific requirements. This information is presented to permit a critical evaluation of planned site characterization activities. Chapter seven describes waste package components, emplacement environment, design, and status of research and development that support the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) Project. The site characterization plan (SCP) discussion of waste package components is contained entirely within this chapter. The discussion of emplacement environment in this chapter is limited to considerations of the environment that influence, or which may influence, if perturbed, the waste packages and their performance (particularly hydrogeology, geochemistry, and borehole stability). The basis for conceptual waste package design as well as a description of the design is included in this chapter. The complete design will be reported in the advanced conceptual design (ACD) report and is not duplicated in the SCP. 367 refs., 173 figs., 68 tabs

  12. Effect of a low-permeability layer on calculated gas flow at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lu, Ning; Amter, S.; Ross, B.

    1990-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is being studied to determine its suitability as a location for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Amter and Ross developed a model called TGIF (Topographic Induced Flow) to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. The TGIF model differs significantly from previous gas flow models. It uses a governing equation that is based on the concept of freshwater head, thus avoiding the numerical problems associated with the near-cancellation of the forces due to gravity and the pressure gradient. Unlike most other models, dipping, layered media can be simulated. This paper describes a systematic sensitivity study that was designed to test several aspects of the TGIF model when used to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. Values of three important inputs to the model were systematically varied to form a matrix of 80 runs. The matrix consisted of five values of permeability contrast between a bedded tuff layer and surrounding welded units (in all cases, bulk permeabilities were used to represent the combined effect of both fractures and matrix permeability), four temperature profiles representing different stages of repository cooldown, and four finite-difference grids

  13. Effect of a low-permeability layer on calculated gas flow at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-12-31

    Yucca Mountain is being studied to determine its suitability as a location for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Amter and Ross developed a model called TGIF (Topographic Induced Flow) to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. The TGIF model differs significantly from previous gas flow models. It uses a governing equation that is based on the concept of freshwater head, thus avoiding the numerical problems associated with the near-cancellation of the forces due to gravity and the pressure gradient. Unlike most other models, dipping, layered media can be simulated. This paper describes a systematic sensitivity study that was designed to test several aspects of the TGIF model when used to simulate gas flow under Yucca Mountain. Values of three important inputs to the model were systematically varied to form a matrix of 80 runs. The matrix consisted of five values of permeability contrast between a bedded tuff layer and surrounding welded units (in all cases, bulk permeabilities were used to represent the combined effect of both fractures and matrix permeability), four temperature profiles representing different stages of repository cooldown, and four finite-difference grids.

  14. Overview of the US nuclear industry; Le panorama nucleaire aux Etats-Unis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2004-04-01

    This article makes a brief summary of the nuclear industry activity in the USA: present day nuclear park availability, next generation of nuclear reactors (Generation IV), nuclear power 2010 initiative (early site permit, design certification, construction and operating licence), fuel cycle (enrichment, USEC company, USA-Russia highly-enriched uranium (HEU) agreement, SILEX and centrifugation separation processes, Louisiana Energy Services (LES) consortium and the National Enrichment Facility project, waste management, problem of storage and disposal sites for low-level radioactive wastes, trans-uranian wastes, and the Yucca Mountain project (Nevada) of disposal site for high level radioactive wastes). (J.S.)

  15. Nuclear waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pligt, J. van der

    1989-01-01

    This chapter present a brief overview of the current situation of siting radioactive wastes. This is followed by an overview of various psychological approaches attempting to analyse public reactions to nuclear facilities. It will be argued that public reactions to nuclear waste factilities must be seen in the context of more general attitudes toward nuclear energy. The latter are not only based upon perceptions of the health and environmental risks but are built on values, and sets of attributes which need not be similar to the representations o the experts and policy-makers. The issue of siting nuclear waste facilities is also embedded in a wider moral and political domain. This is illustrated by the importance of equity issues in siting radioactive wastes. In the last section, the implications of the present line of argument for risk communication and public participation in decisions about siting radioactive wastes will be briefly discussed. (author). 49 refs

  16. Japanese Nuclear Waste Avatars

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wynn Kirby, Peter; Stier, Daniel

    2016-01-01

    Japan's cataclysmic 2011 tsunami has become a vast, unwanted experiment in waste management. The seismic event and resulting Fukushima Daiichi radiation crisis created an awkwardly fortuitous rupture in Japanese nuclear practice that exposed the lax and problematic management of nuclear waste in this country to broader scrutiny, as well as distortions in its very conception. This article looks at the full spectrum of nuclear waste in post-tsunami Japan, from spent fuel rods to contorted reactor containment, and the ways that nuclear waste mirrors or diverges from more quotidian waste practices in Japanese culture. Significantly, the Fukushima Daiichi plant itself and its erstwhile banal surroundings have themselves transmuted into an unwieldy form of nuclear waste. The immense challenges of the Fukushima Daiichi site have stimulated a series of on-the-fly innovations that furnish perspective on more everyday nuclear waste practices in the industry. While some HLW can be reprocessed for limited use in today's reactors, it cannot be ignored that much of Japan's nuclear waste is simply converted into other forms of waste. In a society that has long been fixated on segregating filth, maintaining (imagined) purity, and managing proximity to pollution, the specter of nuclear waste looms over contemporary Japan and its ongoing debates over resources, risk, and Japanese nuclear identity itself

  17. Geothermal reservoir simulation to enhance confidence in predictions for nuclear waste disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kneafsey, Timothy J.; Pruess, Karsten; O'Sullivan, Michael J.; Bodvarsson, Gudmundur S.

    2002-01-01

    Numerical simulation of geothermal reservoirs is useful and necessary in understanding and evaluating reservoir structure and behavior, designing field development, and predicting performance. Models vary in complexity depending on processes considered, heterogeneity, data availability, and study objectives. They are evaluated using computer codes written and tested to study single and multiphase flow and transport under nonisothermal conditions. Many flow and heat transfer processes modeled in geothermal reservoirs are expected to occur in anthropogenic thermal (AT) systems created by geologic disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste. We examine and compare geothermal systems and the AT system expected at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, and their modeling. Time frames and spatial scales are similar in both systems, but increased precision is necessary for modeling the AT system, because flow through specific repository locations will affect long-term ability radionuclide retention. Geothermal modeling experience has generated a methodology, used in the AT modeling for Yucca Mountain, yielding good predictive results if sufficient reliable data are available and an experienced modeler is involved. Codes used in geothermal and AT modeling have been tested extensively and successfully on a variety of analytical and laboratory problems

  18. Commercial nuclear-waste management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Andress, D.A.

    1981-04-01

    This report is primarily concerned with nuclear waste generated by commercial power operations. It is clear, however, that the total generation of commercial nuclear waste does not tell the whole story, there are sizeable stockpiles of defense nuclear wastes which will impact areas such as total nuclide exposure to the biosphere and the overall economics of waste disposal. The effects of these other nuclear waste streams can be factored in as exogenous inputs. Their generation is essentially independent of nuclear power operations. The objective of this report is to assess the real-world problems associated with nuclear waste management and to design the analytical framework, as appropriate, for handling nuclear waste management issues in the International Nuclear Model. As such, some issues that are not inherently quantifiable, such as the development of environmental Impact Statements to satisfy the National Environmental Protection Act requirements, are only briefly mentioned, if at all

  19. WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPMENT OF RADIONUCLIDE GETTERS FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE REPOSITORY: PROCEEDINGS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    K.C. Holt

    2006-01-01

    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 4 - but are not expected to be durable. On the other hand, durable materials, such as

  20. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project exploratory studies facilities construction status

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Allan, J.N.; Leonard, T.M.

    1993-01-01

    This paper discusses the progress to date on the construction planning and development of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Exploratory Studies Facilities (ESF). The purpose of the ESF is to determine early site suitability and to characterize the subsurface of the Yucca Mountain site to assess its suitability for a potential high level nuclear waste repository. The present ESF configuration concept is for two main ramps to be excavated by tunnel boring machines (TBM) from the surface to the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff Formation. From the main ramps, slightly above Topopah Spring level, supplemental ramps will be penetrated to the Calico Hills formation below the potential repository. There will be exploratory development drifts driven on both levels with the Main Test Area being located on the Topopah Spring level, which is the level of the proposed repository. The Calico Hills formation lies below the Topopah Spring member and is expected to provide the main geo-hydrologic barrier between the potential repository and the underlying saturated zones in the Crater Flat Tuff

  1. TBM performance prediction in Yucca Mountain welded tuff from linear cutter tests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gertsch, R.; Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses performance prediction which were developed for tunnel boring machines operating in welded tuff for the construction of the experimental study facility and the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. The predictions were based on test data obtained from an extensive series of linear cutting tests performed on samples of Topopah String welded tuff from the Yucca Mountain Project site. Using the cutter force, spacing, and penetration data from the experimental program, the thrust, torque, power, and rate of penetration were estimated for a 25 ft diameter tunnel boring machine (TBM) operating in welded tuff. The result show that the Topopah Spring welded tuff (TSw2) can be excavated at relatively high rates of advance with state-of-the-art TBMs. The result also show, however, that the TBM torque and power requirements will be higher than estimated based on rock physical properties and past tunneling experience in rock formations of similar strength

  2. Suitability of natural soils for foundations for surface facilities at the prospective Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ho, D.M.; Sayre, R.L.; Wu, C.L.

    1986-11-01

    In this report, the natural soils at the Yucca Mountain site are evaluated for the purpose of assessing the suitability of the soils for the foundations of the surface facilities at the prospective repository. The areas being considered for locating the surface facilities are situated on an alluvial plain at the base of Yucca Mountain. Preliminary parameters for foundation design have been developed on the basis of limited field and laboratory study of soils at four test pit locations conducted during May and June 1984. Preliminary recommendations for construction are also included in this report. The gravel-sand alluvial deposits were found to be in a dense to very dense state, which is suitable for foundations of the surface facilities. The design parameters described in this report have been developed for conceptual design, but need to be verified before final design

  3. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  4. Overview of the United States' nuclear waste repository programme

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surles, T.G.

    2002-01-01

    Regardless of the future of civilian or defense-based nuclear materials, the United States will be responsible for a vast array of these materials for generations to come. The cornerstone programme for the disposal of waste materials is the Yucca Mountain Programme. Based on the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982, as amended in 1987, it has been the United States' policy to develop a geological repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste materials. This presentation will discuss the process and strategy leading to the present and will include the scientific and management activities required to support the recent Viability Assessment. Also to be discussed are the timeline and milestones leading to the opening of the repository. The focus will be on the scientific and engineering studies required for a successful Site Recommendation, and then for a similarly successful License Application. Both of these activities will require considerable management efforts in addressing legal and regulatory issues. Finally, the presentation will discuss projections for the future operation of the facility, including emplacement projections, coupled with the required locations of nuclear materials. Additional scientific research and engineering studies will also be conducted to determine the longer-term viability of the facility, which is designed, by policy, for permanent storage. Retrievability is currently not an option, although access to the facility will be maintained for several decades. The focus of the discussion will be on the scientific and engineering advances made on understanding the natural systems for preventing migration of radionuclides, coupled with new developments in engineered systems in areas such as cask cladding, drip shields, and related materials engineering developments. The coupling of engineered and natural systems is designed to offer safety factors that are several orders of magnitude greater than what is estimated to be necessary

  5. The importance of independent research and evaluation in assessing nuclear fuel cycle and waste management facility safety

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Downing, Walter D.; Patrick, Wesley C.; Sagar, Budhi

    2009-01-01

    In 1987, the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established at Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) a federally funded research and development center. Known as the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA), its overall mission is to provide NRC with an independent assessment capability on technical and regulatory issues related to a potential geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste, as well as interim storage and other nuclear fuel-cycle facilities. For more than 20 years, the CNWRA has supported NRC through an extensive pre-licensing period of establishing the framework of regulations and guidance documents, developing computer codes and other review tools, and conducting independent laboratory, field, and numerical analyses. In June 2008, the United States Department of Energy (DOE) submitted a license application and final environmental impact statement to NRC seeking authorization to construct the nation's first geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The CNWRA will assist NRC in conducting a detailed technical review to critically evaluate the DOE license application to assess whether the potential repository has been designed and can be constructed and operated to safely dispose spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. NRC access to independent, unbiased, technical advice from the CNWRA is an important aspect of the evaluation process. This paper discusses why an independent perspective is important when dealing with nuclear fuel cycle and waste management issues. It addresses practical considerations such as avoiding conflicts of interest while at the same time maintaining a world-class research program in technical areas related to the nuclear fuel cycle. It also describes an innovative approach for providing CNWRA scientists and engineers a creative outlet for professional development through an internally funded research program that is focused on future nuclear waste

  6. Yucca L.: yucca

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert R. Alexander; Floyd W. Pond; Jane E. Rodgers

    2008-01-01

    There are about 30 species of yucca native to North America and the West Indies. Although most of these long-lived, evergreen plants grow in the arid southwestern United States and on Mexican tablelands, yuccas are found up to 2,400 m in elevation in the mountains of Colorado (Arnott 1962; Webber 1953). Four western species are considered here (table 1). Great Plains...

  7. 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.

  8. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    D. Krier

    2005-01-01

    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

  9. Factors limiting microbial growth and activity at a proposed high-level nuclear repository, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kieft, T.L.; Kovacik, W.P. Jr.; 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(1) to 2.0 X 10(5) cells g-1 [dry weight]); plate counts of aerobic heterotrophs ranged from 1.0 X 10(1) to 3.2 X 10(3) CFU g-1 (dry weight). Phospholipid fatty acid concentrations (0.1 to 3.7 pmol g-1) also indicated low microbial biomasses: diglyceride fatty acid concentrations, indicative of dead cells, were in a similar range (0.2 to 2.3 pmol g-1). Potential microbial activity was quantified as 14CO2 production in microcosms containing radiolabeled substrates (glucose, acetate, and glutamic acid); amendments with water and nutrient solutions (N and P) were used to test factors potentially limiting this activity. Similarly, the potential for microbial growth and the factors limiting growth were determined by performing plate counts before and after incubating volcanic tuff samples for 24 h under various conditions: ambient moisture, water-amended, and amended with various nutrient solutions (N, P, and organic C). A high potential for microbial activity was demonstrated by high rates of substrate mineralization (as much as 70% of added organic C in 3 weeks). Water was the major limiting factor to growth and microbial activity, while amendments with N and P resulted in little further stimulation. Organic C amendments stimulated growth more than water alone

  10. The importance of thermal loading conditions to waste package performance at Yucca Mountain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buscheck, T.A.; Nitao, J.J.

    1994-10-01

    Temperature and relative humidity are primary environmental factors affecting waste package corrosion rates for the potential repository in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Under ambient conditions, the repository environment is quite humid. If relative humidity is low enough (<70%), corrosion will be minimal. Under humid conditions, corrosion is reduced if the temperature is low (<60 C). Using the V-TOUGH code, the authors model thermo-hydrological flow to investigate the effect of repository heat on temperature and relative humidity in the repository for a wide range of thermal loads. These calculations indicate that repository heat may substantially reduce relative humidity on the waste package, over hundreds of years for low thermal loads and over tens of thousands of year for high thermal loads. Temperatures associated with a given relative humidity decrease with increasing thermal load. Thermal load distributions can be optimized to yield a more uniform reduction in relative humidity during the boiling period

  11. Nuclear waste issue

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryhanen, V.

    2000-01-01

    A prerequisite for future use of nuclear energy in electricity production is safe management of the radioactive wastes generated by nuclear power industry. A number of facilities have been constructed for different stages of nuclear waste management around the world, for example for conditioning of different kind of process wastes and for intermediate storage of spent nuclear fuel. Difficulties have often been encountered particularly when trying to advance plans for final stage of waste management, which is permanent disposal in stable geological formations. The main problems have not been technical, but poor public acceptance and lack of necessary political decisions have delayed the progress in many countries. However, final disposal facilities are already in operation for low- and medium-level nuclear wastes. The most challenging task is the development of final disposal solutions for long-lived high-level wastes (spent fuel or high-level reprocessing waste). The implementation of deep geological repositories for these wastes requires persistent programmes for technology development, siting and safety assessments, as well as for building public confidence in long-term safety of the planned repositories. Now, a few countries are proceeding towards siting of these facilities, and the first high-level waste repositories are expected to be commissioned in the years 2010 - 2020. (author)

  12. Disruption scenarios for a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ross, B.

    1986-01-01

    A high-level waste repository located in unsaturated welded tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, would rely on six different, although not entirely independent, barriers to prevent escape of radioactivity. These barriers are the waste canister, fuel cladding, slow dissolution of the spent fuel itself, and slow movement of released contaminants in three different hydrogeologic units: the unsaturated Topopah Spring welded tuff unit, the unsaturated Calico Hills nonwelded tuff unit, and the saturated tuff aquifer. Fifty-eight processes and events that might affect such a repository were reviewed. Eighty-three different sequences were identified by which these processes and events could lead to failure of one or more barriers. Sequences which had similar consequences were grouped, yielding 17 categories. The repository system has considerable redundancy; most of the more likely disruptions affect only one or a few barriers. Occurrence of more than one disruption is needed before such disruptions would cause release of radioactivity. Future studies of repository performance must assess the likelihood and consequences of multiple-disruption scenarios to evaluate how well the repository meets performance standards

  13. Environmental impact of Yucca Mountain Repository

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ahn, Joonhong

    2005-01-01

    Environmental impact of the Yucca Mountain Repository (YMR) has been quantitatively evaluated in terms of the radiotoxicity of transuranic (TRU) and fission-product radionuclides existing in the environment after released from failed packages. Inventory abstraction has been made based on the data published in Final Environmental Impact Statement published by US DOE. Mathematical model and computation code have been developed based on analytical solutions. Environmental impact from the commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF) packages is about 90% of the total impact including the contribution from defense waste (DW) packages. Impacts due to isotopes of Cm, Am, Pu and Np, and their decay daughters are dominant, compared with those from fission-product nuclides. Numerical results show that reduction of the TRU nuclides by a factor of 100 makes the impact from CSNF smaller than that from DW. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1998-01-01

    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 ( than about 7 x 10 -8 events yr -1 . Simple probability estimates are used to assess possible implications of not drilling aeromagnetic anomalies in the Amargosa Valley. The sensitivity of the disruption probability to the location of northeast boundaries of volcanic zones near the Yucca Mountain sit

  15. Hydrological flow analysis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    This final report, prepared by Hydro Geo Chem staff for Los Alamos National Laboratory, summarizes work conducted by the company under Subcontract 52OHHOOI 5-3G, which was terminated by LANL effective 7 February 1995 for practical reasons, in that responsibilities for all tasks in the Statement of Work had been transitioned to LANL employees. 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 U.S. 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 focused 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 period of performance for the original Subcontract was I October 1994 to 31 December 1996. Obviously, we have not completed, nor are we expected to complete, all of the scope of work in the Subcontract. The following discussion summarizes progress made on the tasks outlined in the Statement of Work for this Subcontract Details of this work and all data acquired by Hydro Geo Chem for this Subcontract have, been systematically organized in logbooks and - laboratory notebooks (Appendices A and B). 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. The current status of this work and its relevance for the Yucca Mountain Project are described in a LANL report co-authored by Hydro Geo Chem staff

  16. Surveys for desert tortoise on the proposed site of a high-level nuclear waste repository at the Nevada Test Site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Collins, E.; Sauls, M.L.; O'Farrell, T.P.

    1983-01-01

    The National Waste Terminal Storage Program is a national search for suitable sites to isolate commercial spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste. The Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigation (NNWSI) managed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Nevada Operations Office, was initiated to study the suitability of a portion of Yucca Mountain on the DOE's Nevada Test Site (NTS) as a location for such a repository. EG and G was contracted to provide information concerning the ecosystems encountered on the site. A comprehensive literature survey was conducted to evaluate the status and completeness of the existing biological information for the previously undisturbed area. Site specific studies were begun in 1981 when preliminary field surveys confirmed the presence of the desert tortoise (Gopherus agassizi) within the project area FY82 studies were designed to determine the overall distribution and abundance of the tortoise within the area likely to be impacted by NNWSI activities. The Yucca Mountain area of the Nevada Test Site is situated close to the northern range limit of the desert tortoise. Prior to the 1982 surveys, the desert tortoise was reported from only nine locations on NTS. A known population had been under study in Rock Valley about 25 miles southeast of the project area. However, the distribution and population densities of tortoise in the southwest portion of NTS were virtually unknown. Results of our surveys indicate that desert tortoise can be expected, albeit in small numbers, in a wide range of Mojavean and Transitional habitats

  17. A demonstration of dose modeling at Yucca Mountain