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Sample records for renamed yucca mountain

  1. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    A.M. Simmons

    2004-04-16

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

  2. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2003-08-05

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

  3. Geology at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-05-01

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

  4. Yearly report, Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brune, J.N.

    1992-09-30

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

  5. 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.

  6. Engineered barrier environment, Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilder, D.G. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The suitability of Yucca Mountain (YM) as a potential nuclear waste repository site will ultimately depend on how well it provides for isolation of the waste. Analysis of isolation capabilities of YM must consider interactions between natural and engineered systems. In addition, environmental conditions are important to EBS design, materials testing, selection, design criteria, and waste-form characterization. Studies of environmental interactions with the EBS, have emphasized processes and changed (not ambient) conditions resulting from interaction with waste, since these are the pertinent conditions for the EBS. The results of these studies indicate that the radioactive heat-of-decay from spent nuclear fuel will play a dominant role in the performance of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. In addition, coupled hydrothermal-geochemical phenomena may significantly affect the performance of natural barriers surrounding the repository. Depending on the thermal-loading management strategy, as well as site conditions, repository heat may either substantially increase the likelihood of water contacting waste packages, with an associated potential increased magnitude of release and transport of radionuclides, or preclude, or at least minimize, these effects for extended periods of time, perhaps as much as hundreds of thousand years.

  7. Yucca Mountain reveals its secrets to scientists

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gertz, C.P. [Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Teitelbaum, S. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    US nuclear power plants have generated some 20,000 metric tons of waste, according to Carl P. Gertz, former Department of Energy (DOE) project manager for Yucca Mountain Site Characterization, and Sheldon Teitelbaum, senior writer for the Las Vegas-based Science Application International Corporation. In the search for disposal methods, DOE fixed on Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a {open_quotes}sprawling heap of volcanic tuff{close_quotes} situated on a parcel of federally owned land 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The authors maintain that Yucca Mountain`s sparse population, dry climate, deep watertable, and 5,000-foot-thick layer of compressed volcanic rock may make it a suitable long-term storage facility. Nevertheless, Gertz and Teitelbaum say, much research must be done before the site is formally adopted as a repository and begins to receive shipments of high-level nuclear waste.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-01-01

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

  13. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    D. Krier

    2004-10-04

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

  14. 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

  15. Yucca Mountain Task 4, Final report FY 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brune, J.N.

    1993-09-30

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

  16. Rail Access to Yucca Mountain: Critical Issues

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-02-25

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

  17. Revised mineralogic summary of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-03-01

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

  18. Nuclear Waste Disposal: Alternatives to Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

    2009-02-06

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

  19. 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.

  20. Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sharpe, Saxon E

    2007-10-23

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

  1. 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.

  2. Practical postcalibration uncertainty analysis: Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    James, Scott C; Doherty, John E; Eddebbarh, Al-Aziz

    2009-01-01

    The values of parameters in a groundwater flow model govern the precision of predictions of future system behavior. Predictive precision, thus, typically depends on an ability to infer values of system properties from historical measurements through calibration. When such data are scarce, or when their information content with respect to parameters that are most relevant to predictions of interest is weak, predictive uncertainty may be high, even if the model is "calibrated." Recent advances help recognize this condition, quantitatively evaluate predictive uncertainty, and suggest a path toward improved predictive accuracy by identifying sources of predictive uncertainty and by determining what observations will most effectively reduce this uncertainty. We demonstrate linear and nonlinear predictive error/uncertainty analyses as applied to a groundwater flow model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the United States' proposed site for disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Linear and nonlinear uncertainty analyses are readily implemented as an adjunct to model calibration with medium to high parameterization density. Linear analysis yields contributions made by each parameter to a prediction's uncertainty and the worth of different observations, both existing and yet-to-be-gathered, toward reducing this uncertainty. Nonlinear analysis provides more accurate characterization of the uncertainty of model predictions while yielding their (approximate) probability distribution functions. This article applies the above methods to a prediction of specific discharge and confirms the uncertainty bounds on specific discharge supplied in the Yucca Mountain Project License Application. Copyright © 2009 Authors(s). Journal Compilation © 2009 National Ground Water Association.

  3. Yucca Mountain drift scale test progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  4. Total system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boak, J.M. [USDOE Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Office, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-02-01

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

  7. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Valentine

    2001-12-20

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

  8. 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).

  9. Active versus passive radon monitoring at the Yucca Mountain site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Griffin, M.D. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Federal Regulations have mandated that a baseline assessment for the Yucca Mountain Site be performed. This includes the detection and monitoring of specific radionuclides present at the site. These radionuclides include radon 222, a decay progeny of naturally occurring uranium. Two radon monitoring systems are utilized at the Yucca Mountain site to detect ambient levels of radon. The first is a passive time integrated system, and the second is a continuous radon monitoring (CRM) system.

  10. Tectonic and neotectonic framework of the Yucca Mountain Region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1992-09-30

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-04-01

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

  12. Transportation cask decontamination and maintenance at the potential Yucca Mountain repository; Yucca Mountain Site characterization project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-04-01

    This study investigates spent fuel cask handling experience at existing nuclear facilities to determine appropriate cask decontamination and maintenance operations at the potential Yucca Mountain repository. These operations are categorized as either routine or nonroutine. Routine cask decontamination and maintenance tasks are performed in the cask preparation area at the repository. Casks are taken offline to a separate cask maintenance area for major nonroutine tasks. The study develops conceptual designs of the cask preparation area and cask maintenance area. The functions, layouts, and major features of these areas are also described.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-01

    The revised potentiometric-surface map presented in this report updates earlier maps of the Yucca Mountain area using mainly 1988 average water levels. Because of refinements in the corrections to the water-level measurements, these water levels have increased accuracy and precision over older values. The small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain is contoured with a 0.25-meter interval and ranges in water-level altitude from 728.5 to 73 1.0 meters. Other areas with different water levels, to the north and west of Yucca Mountain, are illustrated with shaded patterns. The potentiometric surface can be divided into three regions: (1) A small-gradient area to the southeast of Yucca Mountain, which may be explained by flow through high-transmissivity rocks or low ground-water flux through the area; (2) A moderate-gradient area, on the western side of Yucca Mountain, where the water-level altitude ranges from 775 to 780 meters, and appears to be impeded by the Solitario Canyon Fault and a splay of that fault; and (3) A large-gradient area, to the north-northeast of Yucca Mountain, where water level altitude ranges from 738 to 1,035 meters, possibly as a result of a semi-perched groundwater system. Water levels from wells at Yucca Mountain were examined for yearly trends using linear least-squares regression. Data from five wells exhibited trends which were statistically significant, but some of those may be a result of slow equilibration of the water level from drilling in less permeable rocks. Adjustments for temperature and density changes in the deep wells with long fluid columns were attempted, but some of the adjusted data did not fit the surrounding data and, thus, were not used.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1993-01-01

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

  15. Oil and gas exploration near Yucca Mountain, southern Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Grow, J.A.; Barker, C.E. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Harris, A.G. [Geological Survey, Reston, VA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Three oil exploration wells were drilled within 20 km of Yucca Mountain in 1991. Conodont samples from two of these new wells and 190 locations near Yucca Mountain and have been analyzed for color alteration indices (CAI), which can be correlated to thermal maturity and petroleum generation. Cambrian through Triassic rocks in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain have experienced temperatures too high to be capable of generating oil, except for a narrow zone (20 x 100 km) northeast of Yucca Mountain, where Mississippian through Triassic rocks are just within the upper limit of the oil generating window. Organic geochemical samples from the Mississippian Eleana Formation in this zone have low total organic carbon and low hydrogen indices, which, combined with overall pattern of CAI values, indicates that the entire Cambrian through Triassic sedimentary column is unfavorable as oil source rocks. While much of the Cambrian through Triassic rocks have thermal potential for gas, extensive Late Tertiary faulting at Yucca Mountain suggest that seals might be inadequate for retaining gas. No commercial gas fields have been found to date in Nevada or adjacent parts of California. Organic geochemistry on samples from a few Tertiary lacustrine deposits do show high carbon and hydrogen indices. However, the lacustrine deposits in these basin and range type valleys lack long range continuity and none of the present Nevada oil fields produce from such Tertiary valley-fill.

  16. The terrestrial ecosystem program for the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-06-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Characterization of a desert soil sequence at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guertal, W.R.; Hofmann, L.L. Hudson, D.B. [Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is currently being evaluated as a potential site for a geologic repository for high level radioactive waste. Hydrologic evaluation of the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain is being conducted as an integrated set of surface and subsurface-based activities with a common objective to characterize the temporal and spatial distribution of water flux through the potential repository. Yucca Mountain is covered with a thin to thick layer of colluvial/alluvial materials, where there are not bedrock outcrops. It is across this surface boundary that all infiltration and all exfiltration occurs. This surface boundary effects water movement through the unsaturated zone. Characterization of the hydrologic properties of surficial materials is then a necessary step for short term characterization goals and for long term modeling.

  1. Paleoclimatic and paleohydrologic records from secondary calcite: Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Whelan, J.F.; Stuckless, J.S.; Moscati, R.J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Vaniman, D.T. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Stable isotope analyses of calcite and opal, fluid inclusion formation conditions and gas compositions, Sr isotope ratios, and REE compositions all support formation of secondary calcite in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain from infiltration of surface-derived (and soil zone buffered) waters of meteoric origin. Detailed sampling of growth-banding preserved by the secondary calcite should provide a record of past variations in the stable isotope chemistry of these infiltrating waters, and, hence, of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, i.e., a proxy of past climate at Yucca Mountain. The precision of this record depends on how well it can be dated. The distribution and texture of secondary calcite occurrences, if mapped in careful detail from existing bore hole samples and underground workings (as exposures become accessible), could provide a time/space map of fracture and fault unsaturated-zone ground water flow-paths during past wetter climates which might prevail in the future with change in climate.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    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{sup 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.

  3. An assessment of future volcanic hazard at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-01

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

  4. The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository From A Corrosion Perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J.H. Payer

    2005-03-10

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

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-06-30

    The June 1, 1985 DOE/NRC Site-Specific Procedural Agreement for Geologic Repository Site Investigation and Characterization Program requires the DOE to develop and maintain a catalog of data which will be updated and provided to the NRC at least quarterly. This catalog is to include a description of the data; the time (date), place, and method of acquisition; and where it may be examined. The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) Technical Data Catalog is published and distributed in accordance with the requirements of the Site-Specific Agreement. The YMP Technical Data Catalog is a report based on reference information contained in the YMP Automated Technical Data Tracking System (ATDT). The reference information is provided by Participants for data acquired or developed in support of the YMP. The Technical Data Catalog is updated quarterly and published in the month following the end of each quarter. This edition of the Technical Data Catalog supersedes the edition dated March 31, 1992.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-12-01

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

  10. Understanding the Potential for Volcanoes at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NA

    2002-08-01

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

  11. Yucca Mountain: A potential trade-off in radiological hazards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spiegler, P. [Nuclear Waste Project Office, Carson City, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Simple and preliminary calculations show that the excess emanation of radon and radon daughter products resulting from the heating of the rock could produce effective dose equivalent rates comparable to or greater than those of background radiation over large areas surrounding the Yucca Mountain site. This important issue is not being properly addressed in the licensing and characterization strategy of the Yucca Mountain site. The excess emanation of radon and radon daughter product could be an important constraint on the aereal power density, which is a repository design parameter that is under review at the writing of this paper. The review became necessary because the DOE is considering the disposal of spent fuel in multi-purpose canisters and because the DOE has indicated the intention of storing more than 70,000 MTU of spent fuel at Yucca Mountain. Also very important, excess radon emanation could stimulate a debate that the Yucca Mountain site is a trade-off of one radiological hazard for another.

  12. Potential economic benefits of the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Babcock, R.A. [Univ. of Nevada, Reno, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This paper summarizes a larger document of the same title that examines some of the potential economic benefits that could accrue to the State of Nevada, the affected counties, and various businesses and institutions within the state as a function of the Yucca Mountain project. A copy of the original document is available from the author.

  13. Physical properties of ash flow tuff from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson, Philip H.; Anderson, Lennart A.

    1992-05-01

    The density and porosity of 198 samples of ash flow tuffs from three boreholes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, are measured and determined. The electrical properties, velocity, and permeability of many of these samples are also determined. Zeolites and clays are found to reduce the grain density, increase the electrical conductivity, reduce the compressional velocity, and reduce the permeability.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1994-12-31

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

  17. The Yucca Mountain probabilistic volcanic hazard analysis project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-03-17

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

  20. Yucca Mountain site characterization: The field testing program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Williams, D.R.; Matthusen, A.C.

    1994-12-31

    The Yucca Mountain area was first considered as a site for possible characterization as a high level waste repository in 1977. Since that time preliminary field testing and Congressional directive recommended continued testing and determined in 1987 that Yucca Mountain would be the only site characterized. Following environmental assessment, the development of a site characterization plan, and litigation with the State of Nevada testing from both surface-based perspective and underground in the Exploratory Studies Facility is underway. Data and analyses from the comprehensive testing program will be evaluated on a periodic basis of two year cycles to provide direction to the testing program. The entire testing program will culminate in a determination of site suitability near the end of the twentieth century.

  1. Analysis of potential highway routes to Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sathisan, S.K.; Parentela, E.M.; Lee, M.S. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    States have been provided the authority to designate routes for the transport of highway route controlled quantity shipments of radioactive materials. The state of Nevada is currently evaluating alternative routes for such designation. This paper provides a preliminary assessment of potential system impacts of Nevada`s highway route designation for the shipment of High Level Radioactive Waste (HLRW) to the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A potential route being evaluated by Nevada was used to specify routing constraints for highway shipments to Yucca Mountain. Individual routes were determined for shipments from each origin using the HIGHWAY model for unconstrained and constrained routing scenarios. Results of the analysis indicate that the imposition of the routing constraint would result in increased travel times and shipment distances. These increases range from about 1.25 percent to about 80 percent. However, the magnitude of such increases is highly dependent on the geographic location of the origin.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bish, D.L.

    1990-04-01

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

  3. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tucci, P.; Goemaat, R.L.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1996-07-01

    Water levels were monitored in 28 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1993. Seventeen wells were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 11 wells representing 18 intervals were monitored hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks, except one that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes and pressure transducers; steel-tape measurements were corrected for mechanical stretch, thermal expansion, and borehole deviation to obtain precise water-level altitudes. Water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 meters above sea level east of Yucca Mountain to about 1,034 meters above sea level north of Yucca Mountain. Water-level altitudes in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks varied between 752 and 753 meters above sea level during 1993. Water levels were an average of about 0.04 meter lower than 1992 water levels. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-07-01

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

  5. Modeling a ponded infiltration experiment at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hudson, D.B.; Guertal, W.R. [Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada is being evaluated as a potential site for a geologic repository for high level radioactive waste. As part of the site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, a field-scale ponded infiltration experiment was done to help characterize the hydraulic and infiltration properties of a layered dessert alluvium deposit. Calcium carbonate accumulation and cementation, heterogeneous layered profiles, high evapotranspiration, low precipitation, and rocky soil make the surface difficult to characterize.The effects of the strong morphological horizonation on the infiltration processes, the suitability of measured hydraulic properties, and the usefulness of ponded infiltration experiments in site characterization work were of interest. One-dimensional and two-dimensional radial flow numerical models were used to help interpret the results of the ponding experiment. The objective of this study was to evaluate the results of a ponded infiltration experiment done around borehole UE25 UZN {number_sign}85 (N85) at Yucca Mountain, NV. The effects of morphological horizons on the infiltration processes, lateral flow, and measured soil hydaulic properties were studied. The evaluation was done by numerically modeling the results of a field ponded infiltration experiment. A comparison the experimental results and the modeled results was used to qualitatively indicate the degree to which infiltration processes and the hydaulic properties are understood. Results of the field characterization, soil characterization, borehole geophysics, and the ponding experiment are presented in a companion paper.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

  7. Modeling heterogeneous unsaturated porous media flow at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robey, T.H. [Spectra Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Geologic systems are inherently heterogeneous and this heterogeneity can have a significant impact on unsaturated flow through porous media. Most previous efforts to model groundwater flow through Yucca Mountain have used stratigraphic units with homogeneous properties. However, modeling heterogeneous porous and fractured tuff in a more realistic manner requires numerical methods for generating heterogeneous simulations of the media, scaling of material properties from core scale to computational scale, and flow modeling that allows channeling. The Yucca Mountain test case of the INTRAVAL project is used to test the numerical approaches. Geostatistical methods are used to generate more realistic representations of the stratigraphic units and heterogeneity within units is generated using sampling from property distributions. Scaling problems are reduced using an adaptive grid that minimizes heterogeneity within each flow element. A flow code based on the dual mixed-finite-element method that allows for heterogeneity and channeling is employed. In the Yucca Mountain test case, the simulated volumetric water contents matched the measured values at drill hole USW UZ-16 except in the nonwelded portion of Prow Pass.

  8. Selenite transport in unsaturated tuff from Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Conca, J.L. [WSU Tri-Cities, Richland, WA (United States); Triay, I.R. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Direct measurements of unsaturated selenite retardation coefficients and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity were obtained on two tuff samples from Yucca Mountain using the UFA{trademark} technology. The retardation factor for the selenite species was only 2.5 in both Yucca Mountain vitric member at 62.6% saturation and zeolitized nonwelded tuff from G-tunnel at 52.8% saturation with respect to J-13 well water from the Nevada Test Site contaminated with selenium at 1.31 mg/l (ppm). In batch tests on the same material using 1.2 mg/l (ppm), the average K{sub d} was determined to be 13, giving retardation factors higher than the UFA column breakthrough tests by an order of magnitude. The difference could result from preferential flow paths in the UFA column as might occur in the field or differences in residence times between the two types of tests. The unsaturated hydraulic conductivities during the experiments were 2.49 {times} 10{sup {minus}8} cm/s for the Yucca Mountain vitric member and 1.16 {times} 10{sup {minus}8} cm/s for the zeolited nonwelded tuff.

  9. 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.

  10. Strain accumulation near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, 1983-1993

    Science.gov (United States)

    Savage, J. C.; Lisowski, M.; Gross, W. K.; King, N. E.; Svarc, J. L.

    1994-09-01

    Over the decade 1983-1993 the U.S. Geological Survey has measured the deformation of a 50-km-aperture trilateration network centered on Yucca Mountain, the proposed disposal site for high-level nuclear waste in the United States. The network was surveyed in 1983, 1984, and 1993. The average annual principal strain rates are 0.010 +/- 0.020 microstrain/yr N90 deg W +/- 24 deg and -0.009 +/- 0.021 microstrain/yr N00 deg E +/- 24 deg, indicating no significant strain accumulation. The southeast corner of the network was disturbed on June 29, 1992, by the Little Skull Mountain earthquake (M(sub s) = 5.4), the epicenter of which is about 20 km southeast of the Yucca Mountain site. Using the seismically determined fault plane (dip 54 deg S 55 deg E), we find that 0.580 +/- 0.075 m of normal slip to the observed deformation in the southeast corner of the network. The inferred seismic moment is (4.4 +/- 0.6) x 10(exp 17) N m, which compares well with the observed seismic moment of 4.1 x 10(exp 17) N m.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graves, R.P.

    1998-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Upadhye, R S

    2003-12-08

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

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-11-05

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forester, R.M. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

  17. Isotopic studies of Yucca Mountain soil fluids and carbonate pedogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McConnaughey, T.A.; Whelan, J.F.; Wickland, K.P.; Moscati, R.J.

    1994-12-31

    Secondary carbonates occurring within the soils, faults, and subsurface fractures of Yucca Mountain contain some of the best available records of paleoclimate and palehydrology for the potential radioactive waste repository site. This article discusses conceptual and analytical advances being made with regard to the interpretation of stable isotope data from pedogenic carbonates, specifically related to the {sup 13}C content of soil CO{sub 2}, CaCO{sub 3}, precipitation mechanisms, and isotopic fractionations between parent fluids and precipitating carbonates. The {sup 13}C content of soil carbon dioxide from Yucca Mountain and vicinity shows most of the usual patterns expected in such contexts: Decreasing {sup 13}C content with depth decreasing {sup 13}C with altitude and reduced {sup 13}C during spring. These patterns exist within the domain of a noisy data set; soil and vegetational heterogeneities, weather, and other factors apparently contribute to isotopic variability in the system. Several soil calcification mechanisms appear to be important, involving characteristic physical and chemical environments and isotopic fractionations. When CO{sub 2} loss from thin soil solutions is an important driving factor, carbonates may contain excess heavy isotopes, compared to equilibrium precipitation with soil fluids. When root calcification serves as a proton generator for plant absorption of soil nutrients, heavy isotope deficiencies are likely. Successive cycles of dissolution and reprecipitation mix and redistribute pedogenic carbonates, and tend to isotopically homogenize and equilibrate pedogenic carbonates with soil fluids.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.``

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K.J. Coppersmith

    2005-09-14

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

  2. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-02-14

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

  4. Assessing volcanic hazard at Yucca Mountain using expert judgment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1982-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Knox, E.; Slothouber, L.

    2003-02-25

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

  7. Evolution of the unsaturated zone testing at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, J.S.Y.; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2002-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-12-21

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    M.L. Wilson

    2001-12-13

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

  10. A tunnel boring system for the Yucca Mountain Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Short, S.N. [Construction & Tunneling Services, Inc., Kent, WA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Design of the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) tunnel boring machine (TBM) and backup began in June of 1993, with fabrication, machining and light assembly proceeding through to the end of the year. The original specifications for the project were contained in the request for quote for the YMP TBM and in Construction & Tunneling Services proposal document. As with all complex custom assignments, much of the finer details of the definition of the final scope of delivery was concurrent with the design effort itself. The summation of this effort is described in this paper. The major technical scope of the machine delivery is defined by the parameters listed in TABLE 1. Within the confines of the installed power and design excavation rates, the final product has been tailored to suit the particular needs of the project.

  11. Technical experts in public communication - the Yucca Mountain experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peck, J.H.; Hill, C.R. [SAIC, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The Yucca Mountain Project has developed a public outreach program that includes science centers and facility tours.The results of having technical experts engage the public and do the talking for the project have been very positive. The perspective of people has changed significantly after touring the site and meeting the scientists. Conversations with members of the public indicate that one of the most impressive things about the presentations, exhibits, and tours is the chance to talk with the people who are doing the work. Informal questionnaires show a major change in perspective about the project by members of the public, and they indicate that briefings by the experts is a prime reason.

  12. An evaluation of rail access routes to Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sathisan, S.K.; Parentela, E.M. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This paper provides a preliminary evaluation and characterization of potential rail routes for the transport of high level radioactive waste from their current storage locations (76 power plants and 4 federal facilities) to the proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Individual routes were determined for shipments from each origin using the INTERLINE model. They were characterized in terms of shipment distance, number of transfers and states transversed. Additionally, specific routing constraints were imposed for a selected subset of the origins to address policy and operational alternatives such as minimizing shipment distance, number of transfers or number of states traversed. Results of the analysis indicate that the imposition of the routing constraint count result in reducing shipment distances, and the number of states traversed. But a tradeoff between these factors and the number of transfers exists.

  13. Hydrologic property alterations due to elevated temperatures at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States); Nash, M.H.; Nash, M.S. [Foothill Engineering, Mercury (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Yucca Mountain is currently being evaluated as a potential site for a high level nuclear waste repository. The pre-emplacement hydrologic properties of the rock are important in determining the suitability of the site; however, post emplacement thermal loads and associated drying may permanently alter the character of the rock. A preliminary study was undertaken to determine the effects of elevated temperatures on hydrologic properties of the welded Topopah Spring member of the Paintbrush Tuff and a zeolitic, nonwelded tuff from the Tuffaceous Beds of Calico Hills. Rock outcrop samples were collected and dried in the laboratory at different temperatures (up to 400 degrees C). Hydrologic and physical properties -were tested before and after each of the drying cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1998-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    none,

    1998-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-03-01

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

  1. Isotopic studies of Yucca Mountain soil fluids and carbonate pedogenesis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McConnaughey, T.A.; Whelan, J.F.; Wickland, K.P.; Moscati, R.J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Secondary carbonates occurring within the soils, faults, and subsurface fractures of Yucca Mountain contain some of the best available records of paleoclimate and paleohydrology for the potential radioactive waste repository site. This article discusses conceptual and analytical advances being made with regard to the interpretation of stable isotope data from pedogenic carbonates, specifically related to the {sup 13}C content of soil CO{sub 2}, CaCO{sub 3} precipitation mechanisms, and isotopic fractionations between parent fluids and precipitating carbonates. The {sup 13}C content of soil carbon dioxide from Yucca Mountain and vicinity shows most of the usual patterns expected in such contexts: decreasing {sup 13}C content with depth (due mainly to increased importance of respired CO{sub 2}), decreasing {sup 13}C with altitude (partially due to relatively more C-3 vegetation), and reduced {sup 13}C during spring (due again to higher rates of respiration, and reduced gas permeability of wet soils). These patterns exist within the domain of a noisy data set; soil and vegetational heterogeneities, weather, and other factors apparently contribute to isotopic variability in the system. Several soil calcification mechanisms appear to be important, involving characteristic physical and chemical environments and isotopic fractionations. When CO{sub 2} loss from thin soil solutions is an important driving factor, carbonates may contain excess heavy isotopes, compared to equilibrium precipitation with soil fluids. When root calcification serves as a proton generator for plant absorption of soil nutrients, heavy isotope deficiencies are likely. Successive cycles of dissolution and reprecipitation mix and redistribute pedogenic carbonates, and tend to isotopically homogenize and equilibrate pedogenic carbonates with soil fluids.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    LeCain, Gary D.; Stuckless, John S.

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-04-01

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

  4. Systems engineering applied to the development of the Yucca Mountain project design requirements documents

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rindskopf, M.S. [TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States); Royer, D.C. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The Department of Energy`s (DOE) Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) along with its Management and Operating Contractor (M&O) developed a new document hierarchy. The development of the documents, which make up the primary elements of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project requirements baseline, was performed using Systems Engineering Processes tailored to meet the needs of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keiser, D.D.

    1996-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Keiser, D.D.

    1996-11-01

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

  8. Bedrock geologic Map of the Central Block Area, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    W.C. Day; C. Potter; D. Sweetkind; R.P. Dickerson; C.A. San Juan

    1998-09-29

    Bedrock geologic maps form the foundation for investigations that characterize and assess the viability of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. As such, this map focuses on the central block at Yucca Mountain, which contains the potential repository site. The central block is a structural block of Tertiary volcanic rocks bound on the west by the Solitario Canyon Fault, on the east by the Bow Ridge Fault, to the north by the northwest-striking Drill Hole Wash Fault, and on the south by Abandoned Wash. Earlier reconnaissance mapping by Lipman and McKay (1965) provided an overview of the structural setting of Yucca Mountain and formed the foundation for selecting Yucca Mountain as a site for further investigation. They delineated the main block-bounding faults and some of the intrablock faults and outlined the zoned compositional nature of the tuff units that underlie Yucca Mountain. Scott and Bonk (1984) provided a detailed reconnaissance geologic map of favorable area at Yucca Mountain in which to conduct further site-characterization studies. Of their many contributions, they presented a detailed stratigraphy for the volcanic units, defined several other block-bounding faults, and outlined numerous intrablock faults. This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Project to provide a detailed (1:6,000-scale) bedrock geologic map for the area within and adjacent to the potential repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Prior to this study, the 1:12,000-scale map of Scott and Bonk (1984) was the primary source of bedrock geologic data for the Yucca Mountain Project. However, targeted detailed mapping within the central block at Yucca Mountain revealed structural complexities along some of the intrablock faults that were not evident at 1:12,000 (Scott and Bonk, 1984). As a result, this study was undertaken to define the character and extent of the dominant structural features in the

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; B. Youngs

    2000-11-06

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schweickert, R.A.

    1993-09-30

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

  11. Volcanic hazard studies for the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-12-31

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

  12. Volcanic hazard studies for the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-05-01

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

  13. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graves, R.P.; Tucci, P.; Goemaat, R.L.

    1996-12-31

    Water levels were monitored in 28 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, during 1994. Twelve wells representing 13 intervals were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, 6 wells representing 10 intervals were monitored hourly, and 10 wells representing 13 intervals were monitored both periodically and hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks, except one, that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes, a multiconductor cable unit, and pressure transducers. Water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 to about 1,034 meters above sea level during 1994. The mean-annual water-level altitude in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks was about 753 meters above sea level during 1994. Water levels were only an average of about 0.01 meters lower than 1993 water levels. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graves, R.P.; Goemaat, R.L.

    1998-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

  16. Shallow infiltration processes in arid watersheds at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    A conceptual model of shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was developed for use in hydrologic flow models to characterize net infiltration (the penetration of the wetting front below the zone influenced by evapotranspiration). The model categorizes the surface of the site into four infiltration zones. These zones were identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels on the basis of water-content changes with depth and time. The maximum depth of measured water-content change at a specific site is a function of surface storage capacity, the timing and magnitude of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the degree of saturation of surficial materials overlying fractured bedrock. Measured water-content profiles for the four zones indicated that the potential for net infiltration is higher when evapotranspiration is low (i.e winter, cloudy periods), where surface concentration of water is likely to occur (i.e. depressions, channels), where surface storage capacity is low, and where fractured bedrock is close to the surface.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilems, R.E. [Del Mar Consulting, Corpus Christi, TX (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

  18. Testing conceptual unsaturated zone flow models for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brown, T.P.; Lehman, L.L. [L. Lehman & Associates, Inc., Burnsville, MN (United States); Nieber, J.L. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)

    1994-12-31

    An important component of site characterization and suitability assessment of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada is determination of the most appropriate conceptual model of the hydrologic mechanisms governing saturated and unsaturated flow for the site. As observers in the ITNRAVAL Unsaturated Zone Working Group, L. Lehman & Associates conducted a modeling exercise which numerically examined alternative conceptual flow models. Information was provided to the Working Group by the U.S. Geological Survey. Additional published data were utilized to fill in data gaps and to provide additional confidence in results. Data were modeled utilizing one and two dimensional matrix and fracture numerical models. Good agreement was obtained using a 2-dimensional dual porosity fracture flow model. Additional measures are needed to constrain the field conditions enough to validate conceptual models using numerical models. Geochemical data on tritium, chlorine-36, or carbon-14 concentrations or temperature profiles which can give estimates of time since recharge for water in the unsaturated zone, are needed to eliminate the non-uniqueness of various model solutions.

  19. Three-dimensional simulations of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Birdsell, K.H.; Eggert, K.G.; Travis, B.J. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This paper presents preliminary transport calculations for radionuclide movement at Yucca Mountain. The simulations were run with TRACRN using approximately 30 000 finite-difference zones to represent the unsaturated and saturated zones underlying the potential repository in three dimensions. The results are used to study the sensitivity of radionuclide migration to uncertainties in several factors that affect transport through porous media. These factors include recharge rate, dispersivity length scale, radionuclide species, and source term. The calculations show that the transport of weakly sorbing species like {sup 99}Tc and {sup 129}I is highly sensitive to all of these factors. The transport of strongly sorbing species like {sup 135}Cs is limited by retardation and is therefore fairly insensitive to these factors. In addition to showing the sensitivity of transport to physical processes, the results show that the calculations themselves are sensitive to problem dimensionality. The calculations indicate that modeling in three dimensions provides faster breakthrough than modeling in one or two dimensions. (author) 30 figs., 2 tabs., 13 refs.

  20. Characterization of a desert soil sequence at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guertal, W.R.; Hofmann, L.L.; Hudson, D.B. [Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Morphological descriptions, borehole geophysics, hydraulic properties from samples, and a ponding experiment were used to characterize a layered, heterogeneous, desert soil sequence at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Nine major horizon units were identified using standard morphologic techniques and borehole geophysics. The borehole geophysical logging data correlated well with the observed horizons from the exposure and/or the corresponding washout zones. In addition, the geophysical logs provide a quantitative estimate of porosity for the horizons with porosity ranging from 25 to 55 percent. As part of an infiltration experiment, over 50,000 liters of water were applied to a 3.5 m diameter ring during a 14 day period. The final wetting depth was 5 meters. When water application was stopped, redistribution allowed water to continue downward to a maximum depth of 7.4 meters in the next several months. Water content measurements made over time indicate that the horizons had a major influence on the flow of water in the soil and may have caused over 80 percent of the water applied to move laterally.

  1. Shallow infiltration processes in arid watersheds at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    A conceptual model of shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was developed for use in hydrologic flow models to characterize net infiltration (the penetration of the wetting front below the zone influenced by evapotranspiration). The model categorizes the surface of the site into four infiltration zones. These zones were identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels on the basis of water-content changes with depth and time. The maximum depth of measured water-content change at a specific site is a function of surface storage capacity, the timing and magnitude of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the degree of saturation of surficial materials overlying fractured bedrock. Measured water-content profiles for the four zones indicated that the potential for net infiltration is higher when evapotranspiration is low (i.e. winter, cloudy periods), where surface concentration of water is likely to occur (i.e. depressions, channels), where surface storage capacity is low, and where fractured bedrock is close to the surface.

  2. Status of the Yucca Mountain site characterization program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gertz, C.P.; Nelson, R.M. [Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Blanchard, M.B. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cloke, P.L. [Science Applications International Corporation, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    By its very nature the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Program (YMP) entails a complex set of activities and issues. Among these are planning for the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), site characterization surface-based testing, performance assessment, public outreach and information services, conceptual design of a potential repository, compliance with regulations, environmental issues, transportation of nuclear wastes, and systems engineering. Stringent safety and health standards apply to all these activities, which must also be carried out under rigorous quality assurance controls. This session includes individual papers on several of these topics. The present paper provides a less comprehensive overview. Project goals for fiscal year 1994 focus on the continuation of the following activities: Development of the ESF pursuant to the earliest possible determination of site suitability; advanced conceptual design of both the waste package and repository to the degree necessary for ESF development and the Mined Geologic Disposal system; implementation of the surface-based testing program pursuant to the earliest possible determination of site suitability; compilation of environmental data necessary for the earliest possible determination of site suitability; identification and pursuit of resolution of difficult technical issues that bear on the overall suitability of the site; support for development of a design for standardized spent-fuel containers for storage, transportation, and disposal; needed compliance with all applicable YMP commitments and Department of Energy order and regulations to ensure safety and regulatory compliance for all parts of the program; and definition and implementation of cost reduction initiatives consistent with the overall goals of the Project.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-03-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-03-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-02-01

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

  8. Bedrock geologic map of the central block area, Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Day, W.C.; Potter, C.J.; Sweetkind, D.S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Dickerson, R.P.; San Juan, C.A. [Pacific Western Technologies Ltd., Denver, CO (United States)

    1998-11-01

    Bedrock geologic maps form the foundation for investigations that characterize and assess the viability of the potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This study was funded by the US Department of Energy Yucca Mountain Project to provide a detailed (1:6,000-scale) bedrock geologic map for the area within and adjacent to the potential repository area at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Prior to this study, the 1:12,000-scale map of Scott and Bon, (1984) was the primary source of bedrock geologic data for the Yucca Mountain Project. However, targeted detailed mapping within the central block at Yucca Mountain revealed structural complexities along some of the intrablock faults that were not evident at 1:12,000 (Scott and Bonk, 1984). As a result, this study was undertaken to define the character and extent of the dominant structural features in the vicinity of the potential repository. In addition to structural considerations, ongoing subsurface excavation and geologic mapping within the exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), development of a three-dimensional-framework geologic model, and borehole investigations required use of a constituent stratigraphic system to facilitate surface to underground comparisons. The map units depicted in this report correspond as closely as possible to the proposed stratigraphic nomenclature by Buesch and others (1996), as described here.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Freifeld, Barry; Tsang, Yvonne

    2006-01-20

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    WoldeGabriel, G.

    1993-07-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-07-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marshall, B.D.; Mahan, S.A. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Szymanski, J.S.

    1992-04-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-01-01

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

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry; R. Youngs

    2004-10-14

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

  6. Physical limits on ground motion at Yucca Mountain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-09-25

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

  10. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-11-01

    This over-300 title publication list reflects the accomplishments of Los Alamos Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project researchers, who, since 1979, have been conducting multidisciplinary research to help determine if Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is a suitable site for a high-level waste repository. The titles can be accessed in two ways: by year, beginning with 1994 and working back to 1979, and by subject area: mineralogy/petrology/geology, volcanism, radionuclide solubility/groundwater chemistry; radionuclide sorption and transport; modeling/validation/field studies; summary/status reports, and quality assurance.

  12. Geophysical characterization of mineral and energy resources at Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langenheim, V.E.; Oliver, H.W. [Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA (United States); Hoover, D.B. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1991-12-31

    This report was prepared for the Yucca Mountain Project (Department of Energy) as part of the study of the mineral and energy resource potential of the site (Activity 8.3.1.9.2.1.5) under the Human Interference part of the program. Most of the 1991 geophysical scoping activities in the Mineral Resources Study were involved with the acquisition and evaluation of existing data. This report presents an overview of how geophysical data (existing and planned) will aid in the evaluation of the potential for mineral and energy resource potential at Yucca Mountain and vicinity.

  13. U and sr isotopes in ground water and calcite, yucca mountain, nevada: evidence against upwelling water.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-10-25

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-15

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

  15. Structural character of the northern segment of the Paintbrush Canyon fault, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dickerson, R.P. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Spengler, R.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Detailed mapping of exposed features along the northern part of the Paintbrush Canyon fault was initiated to aid in construction of the computer-assisted three-dimensional lithostratigraphic model of Yucca Mountain, to contribute to kinematic reconstruction of the tectonic history of the Paintbrush Canyon fault, and to assist in the interpretation of geophysical data from Midway Valley. Yucca Mountain is segmented into relatively intact blocks of east-dipping Miocene volcanic strata, bounded by north-striking, west-dipping high-angle normal faults. The Paintbrush Canyon fault, representing the easternmost block-bounding normal fault, separates Fran Ridge from Midway Valley and continues northward across Yucca Wash to at least the southern margin of the Timber Mountain Caldera complex. South of Yucca Wash, the Paintbrush Canyon Fault is largely concealed beneath thick Quaternary deposits. Bedrock exposures to the north reveal a complex fault, zone, displaying local north- and west-trending grabens, and rhombic pull-apart features. The fault scarp, discontinuously exposed along a mapped length of 8 km north of Yucca Wash, dips westward by 41{degrees} to 74{degrees}. Maximum vertical offset of the Rhyolite of Comb Peak along the fault measures about 210 m in Paintbrush Canyon and, on the basis of drill hole information, vertical offset of the Topopoah Spring Tuff is about 360 m near the northern part of Fran Ridge. Observed displacement along the fault in Paintbrush Canyon is down to the west with a component of left-lateral oblique slip. Unlike previously proposed tectonic models, strata adjacent to the fault dip to the east. Quaternary deposits do not appear displaced along the fault scarp north of Yucca Wash, but are displaced in trenches south of Yucca Wash.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-04-29

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Smith, Ken

    2007-11-26

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

  18. Modeling a ponded infiltration experiment at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hudson, D.B.; Guertal, W.R. [Foothill Engineering, Inc., Mercury, NV (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    One-dimensional and two-dimensional radial flow numerical models were used to evaluate the results for a 60.5 h ponded infiltration experiment done around a 24 m deep, 0.15 m diameter, cased borehole at Yucca Mountain, NV. Nine distinct morphological horizons in the soil profile has been identified; physical and hydraulic properties had been measured for each horizon; and a porosity profile at the borehole had been measured. During the infiltration experiment, 10 cm of water was ponded in a 3.5 m diameter infiltrometer around the borehole, the volume of water applied was measured, and water content profiles were measured with a neutron moisture meter. The infiltrometer applied 86.9 cm of water during the first 60.5 h of infiltration, but only 52.8 cm of additional water was measured in the borehole profiles. Assuming a linear relationship between cumulative infiltration (I) and the square root of time (t{sup 0.5}), an experimental sorptivity of 11.5 cm h{sup {minus}1} was estimated for the first 4.5 h of infiltration. An assumed washout zone around the borehole casing accounted for the discrepancy between the measured water content profiles and the applied water. A uniform property, 1-D model with an applied flux upper boundary described by the sorptivity confirmed the probable washout zone, and indicated that significant lateral flow into the dry soil around the infiltrometer could occur. A 2-D radial flow model with the same properties and upper boundary demonstrated that significant lateral flow occurred. The upper boundary in this model caused the upper portion of the profile to drain. This suggested using a saturated upper boundary to keep the upper portion of the profile saturated. When the saturated upper boundary was used, the permeability of the soil was decreased from the measured value of 3.28 E-11 m{sup 2} to 1.5E-12 m{sup 2} so that the simulated wetting front at a similar depth as the observed wetting front after 60.5 h.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Paces

    2006-08-28

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

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

  1. Earthquake and volcano clustering via stress transfer at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

    The proposed national high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is close to Quaternary cinder cones and faults with Quaternary slip. Volcano eruption and earthquake frequencies are low, with indications of spatial and temporal clustering, making probabilistic assessments difficult. In an effort to identify the most likely intrusion sites, we based a three-dimensional finite-element model on the expectation that faulting and basalt intrusions are sensitive to the magnitude and orientation of the least principal stress in extensional terranes. We found that in the absence of fault slip, variation in overburden pressure caused a stress state that preferentially favored intrusions at Crater Flat. However, when we allowed central Yucca Mountain faults to slip in the model, we found that magmatic clustering was not favored at Crater Flat or in the central Yucca Mountain block. Instead, we calculated that the stress field was most encouraging to intrusions near fault terminations, consistent with the location of the most recent volcanism at Yucca Mountain, the Lathrop Wells cone. We found this linked fault and magmatic system to be mutually reinforcing in the model in that Lathrop Wells feeder dike inflation favored renewed fault slip. ?? 2006 Geological Society of America.

  2. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1996-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DOE

    1986-05-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-07-01

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

  7. Subsurface transport modeling of the Savannah River and Yucca Mountain Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunlap, B.E.; Pepper, D.W. [Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Stephenson, D.E. [Westinghouse Res. Tech. Center, Aiken, SC (United States)

    1994-12-31

    An adaptive two-dimensional finite element method is used to model groundwater flow and contaminant transport in variably saturated porous media. The model is applied to known groundwater contamination at the Savannah River Site, which consists of multiple ground strata. A simulation of the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository Site is also executed to assess potential burial of radioactive waste.

  8. Implications of environmental program planning for siting a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Malone, Charles R.

    1990-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) plans to conduct site characterization studies at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, to determine if the location is a suitable site for a nuclear waste repository. In lieu of traditional environmental review in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, the DOE is relying on an environmental assessment (EA) mandated by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 as the cornerstone of its environmental program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Because of statutory restrictions, the EA is not based on comprehensive baseline information. Neither does it address fundamentals of environmental analysis such as ecological integrity and assessment of cumulative impacts. Consequently, the present environmental program for Yucca Mountain reflects decisions made without complete information and integrated environmental review. The shortcomings of the program risk compromising the natural integrity of Yucca Mountain and invalidating future assessment of the ability of a nuclear waste repository located at the site to protect the environment. Significant improvements are needed in the repository siting program before it can serve as a model of how society can evaluate the long-term environmental consequences of advanced technologies, as has been suggested.

  9. A preliminary characterization of the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    Isohyetal maps of precipitation and numerical models for simulating precipitation are needed to characterize natural infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The objective of this study was to characterize the spatial variability of precipitation within the domain of the natural catchments overlying the potential repository, and to define preliminary geostatistical models based on differences in storm type for the numerical simulation of precipitation.

  10. Robust EBS design and source-term analysis for the partially saturated Yucca Mountain Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apted, M. [Intera Information Technologies, Inc., Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The concept of robust repository design and assessment is examined. Successful demonstration of decoupling of near-field and far-field performance is a central principle in achieving robustness. An innovative design for the engineered barrier system (EBS) for the partially saturated conditions at Yucca Mountain is described based on this principle of robustness.

  11. Eruptive probability calculation for the Yucca Mountain site, USA: statistical estimation of recurrence rates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang; Smith, Eugene I.; Feuerbach, Daniel L.; Naumann, Terry R.

    1991-12-01

    Investigations are currently underway to evaluate the impact of potentially adverse conditions (e.g. volcanism, faulting, seismicity) on the waste-isolation capability of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. This paper is the first in a series that will examine the probability of disruption of the Yucca Mountain site by volcanic eruption. In it, we discuss three estimating techniques for determining the recurrence rate of volcanic eruption (λ), an important parameter in the Poisson probability model. The first method is based on the number of events occurring over a certain observation period, the second is based on repose times, and the final is based on magma volume. All three require knowledge of the total number of eruptions in the Yucca Mountain area during the observation period ( E). Following this discussion we then propose an estimate of E which takes into account the possibility of polygenetic and polycyclic volcanism at all the volcanic centers near the Yucca Mountain site.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Coppersmith; R. Quittmeyer

    2005-02-16

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-09-23

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-09-23

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

  18. 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)

  19. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  1. A mountain-scale model for characterizing unsaturated flow and transport in fractured tuffs of Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Lu, Guoping; Zhang, Keni; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2003-07-18

    This paper presents a large-scale modeling study characterizing fluid flow and tracer transport in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The modeling study is conducted using a three-dimensional numerical model, which incorporates a wide variety of field data and takes into account the coupled processes of flow and transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated, fractured porous rock. The modeling approach is based on a dual-continuum formulation. Using different conceptual models of unsaturated flow, various scenarios of current and future climate conditions and their effects on the unsaturated zone are evaluated to aid in the assessment of the repository's system performance. These models are calibrated against field-measured data. Model-predicted flow and transport processes under current and future climates are discussed.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kaplan, P.G.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1999-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

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

  6. Analyzing flow patterns in unsaturated fractured rock of YuccaMountain using an integrated modeling approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wu, Yu-Shu; Lu, Guoping; Zhang, Keni; Pan, Lehua; Bodvarsson,Gudmundur S.

    2003-11-03

    This paper presents a series of modeling investigations to characterize percolation patterns in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a proposed underground repository site for storing high-level radioactive waste. The investigations are conducted using a modeling approach that integrates a wide variety of moisture, pneumatic, thermal, and isotopic geochemical field data into a comprehensive three-dimensional numerical model through model calibration. This integrated modeling approach, based on a dual-continuum formulation, takes into account the coupled processes of fluid and heat flow and chemical isotopic transport in Yucca Mountain's highly heterogeneous, unsaturated fractured tuffs. In particular, the model results are examined against different types of field-measured data and used to evaluate different hydrogeological conceptual models and their effects on flow patterns in the unsaturated zone. The objective of this work to provide understanding of percolation patterns and flow behavior through the unsaturated zone, which is a crucial issue in assessing repository performance.

  7. Massively parallel computing simulation of fluid flow in the unsaturated zone of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Keni; Wu, Yu-Shu; Bodvarsson, G.S.

    2001-08-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1997-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2006-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1988-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bolivar, S.L.

    1996-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-08-02

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rostami, J.; Ozdemir, L. [Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO (United States); Neil, D.M. [D. Neil & Associates, Golden, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

  15. The use of expert judgment elicitation to predict future climate for the Yucca Mountain Nevada vicinity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    DeWispelare, A.; Miklas, M.P. Jr. [Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses, San Antonio, TX (United States); Clemen, R.T. [Univ. of Oregon, Eugene, OR (United States); Herren, L.T. [Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, TX (United States); Park, J.R. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Rockville, MD (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Expert judgment elicitations are expected to supplement other data used to assess the long-term safety of a high-level waste (HLW) geologic repository. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is examining the applicability of expert judgment elicitation to the licensing process. This paper describes the basis and conduct of an expert judgment elicitation project focused on the future climate around Yucca Mountain, Nevada (YMNV). Results in terms of climate predictions over the next 10,000 years are presented.

  16. Public opinion polling and the Yucca Mountain controversy: A seven year inventory December 1986--August 1993

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Himmelberger, J.J. [Clark Univ., Worcester, MA (United States); Baughman, M.L. [Interch Services Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This paper presents an inventory of recent (12/87-6/93) public opinion polling activities related to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. The inventory of polls is discussed in terms of sponsor intentions/objectives, populations polled, survey design/implementation characteristics, and media attention to key findings. We close with some observations on {open_quotes}like{close_quotes} questions as asked over time to Nevadans to shed light on the state of public opinion related to the proposed repository.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barr, G.E.; Shannon, S.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Broxton, D.E.

    1987-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, H.W.; Ponce, D.A.; Sikora, R.F.; ,

    1991-01-01

    About 4,000 gravity stations have been obtained at Yucca Mountain and vicinity since the beginning of radioactive-waste studies there in 1978. These data have been integrated with data from about 29,000 stations previously obtained in the surrounding region to produce a series of Bouguer and isostatic-residual-gravity maps of the Nevada Test Site and southeastern Nevada. Yucca Mountain is characterized by a WNW-dipping gravity gradient whereby residual values of -10 mGal along the east edge of Yucca Mountain decrease to about -38 mGal over Crater Flat. Using these gravity data, two-dimensional modeling predicted the depth to pre-Cenozoic rocks near the proposed repository to be about 1,220??150 m, an estimate that was subsequently confirmed by drilling to be 1,244 m. Three-dimensional modeling of the gravity low over Crater Flat indicates the thickness of Cenozoic volcanic rocks and alluvial cover to be about 3,000 m. Gravity interpretations also identified the Silent Canyon caldera before geologic mapping of Pahute Mesa and provided an estimate of the thickness of the volcanic section there of nearly 5 km.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

  2. Water levels in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1990--91

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tucci, P.; O`Brien, G.M.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1996-07-01

    Water levels were monitored in 27 wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada during 1990--91. Twelve wells were monitored periodically, generally on a monthly basis, and 15 wells representing 24 intervals were monitored hourly. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks, except one that monitors levels in paleozoic carbonate rocks. Water levels were measured using calibrated steel tapes and pressure transducers; steel-tape measurements were corrected for mechanical stretch, thermal expansion, and borehole deviation to obtain precise water-level altitudes. Water-level altitudes in the Tertiary volcanic rocks ranged from about 728 meters above sea level east of Yucca Mountain to about 1,035 meters above sea level north of Yucca Mountain. Water-level altitudes in the well monitoring the Paleozoic carbonate rocks varied between 752 and 753 meters above sea level during 1990--91. All data were acquired in accordance with a quality-assurance program to support the reliability of the data.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Simecka, W.B.; Replogle, J.M. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Mckenzie, D.G. [Morrison Knudsen Corporation, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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 Design{close_quotes} is centered on the second of ten major design packages. Construction has begun on excavation of the {open_quotes}starter tunnel{close_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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-10-01

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

  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. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. Hydrogeologic analysis of the saturated-zone ground-water system, under Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fridrich, C. J.; Dudley, W. W.; Stuckless, J. S.

    1994-02-01

    The configuration of the southward-sloping water table under Yucca Mountain is dominated by an abrupt decline of 300 m over a distance of less than 2 km. This northeast-striking zone of large hydraulic gradient (of 0.15 or more) separates an area of moderate gradient (of about 0.015) to the north from an area of very small gradient (0.0001) to the south. The position of the large gradient does not correlate well with any evident geologic feature in the upper 0.5 km of the mountain, but we suggest that buried geologic features are present that can explain all the geohydrologic observations. The three areas of differing hydraulic gradient under Yucca Mountain are parts of hydrogeologic domains that extend more than 70 km to the northeast. On a regional basis, the moderate and very small gradients generally correspond to areas underlain by exceptionally thick Tertiary volcanic sections and a highly transmissive Paleozoic carbonate aquifer, respectively. The regional large gradient and water-table decline are spatially associated with a contact in the Paleozoic rocks between clastic rocks and carbonates. This contact marks a large abrupt drop in the effective base of the hydrologic system because it is the upgradient boundary of the deep carbonate aquifer, which has a thickness of 5 km. An aeromagnetic high follows the regional-scale domain of large gradient under northern Yucca Mountain from outcrops of a magnetite-bearing clastic confining unit to the east, indicating that the regional correlation of the steep water-table decline with the upgradient boundary of the deep carbonate aquifer may extend to Yucca Mountain. Five additional features may be related to an explanation for the large hydraulic gradient: (1) anomalously low heat flow has been measured deep in the volcanic section south of the water-table decline, suggesting underflow of cool water in the deep carbonate aquifer; (2) the lower tuff sequence, of 0.5-1 km in thickness, which underlies most of Yucca

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

    Surface, unsaturated-zone, and saturated-zone hydrologic conditions at Yucca Mountain responded to past climate variations and are at least partly preserved by sediment, fossil, and mineral records. Characterizing past hydrologic conditions in surface and subsurface environments helps to constrain hydrologic responses expected under future climate conditions and improve predictions of repository performance. Furthermore, these records provide a better understanding of hydrologic processes that operate at time scales not readily measured by other means. Pleistocene climates in southern Nevada were predominantly wetter and colder than the current interglacial period. Cyclic episodes of aggradation and incision in Fortymile Wash, which drains the eastern slope of Yucca Mountain, are closely linked to Pleistocene climate cycles. Formation of pedogenic cement is favored under wetter Pleistocene climates, consistent with increased soil moisture and vegetation, higher chemical solubility, and greater evapotranspiration relative to Holocene soil conditions. The distribution and geochemistry of secondary minerals in subsurface fractures and cavities reflect unsaturated-zone hydrologic conditions and the response of the hydrogeologic system to changes in temperature and percolation flux over the last 12.8 m.y. Physical and fluid-inclusion evidence indicates that secondary calcite and opal formed in air-filled cavities from fluids percolating downward through connected fracture pathways in the unsaturated zone. Oxygen, strontium, and carbon isotope data from calcite are consistent with a descending meteoric water source but also indicate that water compositions and temperatures evolved through time. Geochronological data indicate that secondary mineral growth rates are less than 1–5 mm/m.y., and have remained approximately uniform over the last 10 m.y. or longer. These data are interpreted as evidence for hydrological stability despite large differences in surface moisture

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Meike, A.; Stroes-Gascoyne, S.

    2000-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S.

    1994-12-31

    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.

  14. Temporal Damping Effect of the Yucca Mountain FracturedUnsaturated Rock on Transient Infiltration Pulses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Keni; Wu, Yu-Shu; Pan, Lehua

    2005-05-02

    Performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone (UZ) as the site for an underground repository of high-level radioactive waste relies on the crucial assumption that water percolation processes in the unsaturated zone can be approximated as a steady-state condition. Justification of such an assumption is based on temporal damping effects of several geological units within the unsaturated tuff formation. In particular, the nonwelded tuff of the Painbrush Group (PTn unit) at Yucca Mountain, because of its highly porous physical properties, has been conceptualized to have a significant capacity for temporally damping transient percolation fluxes. The objective of this study is to investigate these damping effects, using a three-dimensional (3-D) mountain-scale model as well as several one-dimensional (1-D) models. The 3-D model incorporates a wide variety of the updated field data for the highly heterogeneous unsaturated formation at Yucca Mountain. The model is first run to steady state and calibrated using field-measured data and then transient pulse infiltrations are applied to the model top boundary. Subsequent changes in percolation fluxes at the bottom of and within the PTn unit are examined under episodic infiltration boundary conditions. The 1-D model is used to examine the long-term response of the flow system to higher infiltration pulses, while the damping effect is also investigated through modeling tracer transport in the UZ under episodic infiltration condition. Simulation results show the existence of damping effects within the PTn unit and also indicate that the assumption of steady-state flow conditions below the PTn unit is reasonable. However, the study also finds that some fast flow paths along faults exist, causing vertical-flux quick responses at the PTn bottom to the episodic infiltration at the top boundary.

  15. Temporal Damping Effect of the Yucca Mountain Fractured Saturated Rock on Transient Infiltration Pulses

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    K. Zhang; Y.S. Wu; L. Pan

    2006-05-02

    Performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone (UZ) as the site for an underground repository of high-level radioactive waste relies on the crucial assumption that water percolation processes in the unsaturated zone can be approximated as a steady-state condition. Justification of such an assumption is based on temporal damping effects of several geological units within the unsaturated tuff formation. In particular, the nonwelded tuff of the Paintbrush Group (PTn unit) at Yucca Mountain, because of its highly porous nature, has been conceptualized to have a significant capacity for temporally damping transient percolation fluxes. The objective of this study is to investigate these damping effects, using a three-dimensional (3-D) mountain-scale model as well as several one-dimensional (1-D) models. The 3-D model incorporates a wide variety of the updated field data for the highly heterogeneous unsaturated formation at Yucca Mountain. The model is first run to steady state and calibrated using field-measured data and then transient pulse infiltrations are applied to the model top boundary. Subsequent changes in percolation fluxes at the bottom of and within the PTn unit are examined under episodic infiltration boundary conditions. The 1-D model is used to examine the long-term response of the flow system to higher infiltration pulses, while the damping effect is also investigated through modeling tracer transport in the UZ under episodic infiltration condition. Simulation results show the existence of damping effects within the PTn unit and also indicate that the assumption of steady-state flow conditions below the PTn unit is reasonable. However, the study also finds that some fast flow paths along faults exist, causing vertical-flux quick responses at the PTn bottom to the episodic infiltration at the top boundary.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-12-01

    Petrologic, bulk chemical, and mineralogic data are presented for 49 samples of tuffaceous rocks from core holes USW G-1 and UE-25a{number_sign}1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Included, in descending stratigraphic order, are 11 samples from the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff, 12 samples from the Tuffaceous Beds of Calico Hills, 3 samples from the Prow Pass Member of the Crater Flat Tuff, 20 samples from the Bullfrog Member of the Crater Flat Tuff and 3 samples from the Tram Member of the Crater Flat Tuff. The suite of samples contains a wide variety of petrologic types, including zeolitized, glassy, and devitrified tuffs. Data vary considerably between groups of samples, and include thin section descriptions (some with modal analyses for which uncertainties are estimated), electron microprobe analyses of mineral phases and matrix, mineral identifications by X-ray diffraction, and major element analyses with uncertainty estimates.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-05-01

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

  2. 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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Umari, A.M.J.; Geldon, A.; Patterson, G.; Gemmell, J.; Earle, J.; Darnell, J. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1982-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1982-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  9. Time trend analysis of basaltic volcanism for the Yucca Mountain site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang

    1991-05-01

    The possible recurrence of volcanic activity near the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, U.S.A. is evaluated 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. Analysis on the post-6-Ma volcanism near the Yucca Mountain region indicates a moderate developing time trend ( p-value = 0.01) of volcanic activity. A similar time trend is obtained by trimming the observation period to 3.7 Ma and younger (period of the youngest episode). Data from the Quaternary basaltic volcanism also show a slight developing time trend, although the developing volcanic activity is not significant at the 0.05 level. Thus, it would oversimplify the assessment of the volcanic risk to the proposed Yucca Mountain repository site if a simple Poisson model were used to model the volcanism. Based on the Quaternary data, the estimated instantaneous recurrence rate is about 5.5 × 10 -6/yr. An estimate of the mean time to the next eruption is about 1.8 × 10 5 years from now, if it is assumed that the intensity remains constant thereafter. Also, the risk (probability of at least one major eruption during the projected time frame) increases approximately linearly with the time frame chosen as the required interval for radioactive waste to decay to an acceptable level. Our study concludes that the estimated risk for an isolation time of 10 4 years is about 5%, which increases to 42% if 10 5 years is used as the required isolation time.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Apted, M.J. [Intera Information Technologies, Denver (United States)

    1994-12-31

    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, while the far-field includes the natural barriers. 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 Research Institute (EPRI). (author) 4 figs., 35 refs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1991-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1982-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-01-11

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-09-01

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

  17. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-06-01

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

  19. An auxiliary ventilation design approach for the ESF development at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mousset-Jones, P.; Calizaya, F. [Mackay School of Mines, Reno, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    This paper summarizes the current status of a research project directed at ventilation design for the construction of long and complex development headings and describes an approach developed to determine the ventilation design parameters. The approach is based on the principle of partitioning a long ductwork into segments of finite length and solving separately the resulting networks. It has been incorporated into a computer program, written in Turbo Pascal for IBM PC micro-computers and compatible machines. An application of the program is illustrated by the detailed solution of two auxiliary ventilation systems for the Exploratory Studies Facilities (ESF) at Yucca Mountain.

  20. A Summary of Properties Used to Evaluate INEEL Calcine Disposal in the Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dahl, C.A.

    2003-07-14

    To support evaluations of the direct disposal of Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory calcines to the repository at Yucca Mountain, an evaluation of the performance of the calcine in the repository environment must be performed. This type of evaluation demonstrates, through computer modeling and analysis, the impact the calcine would have on the ability of the repository to perform its function of containment of materials during the repository lifetime. This report discusses parameters that were used in the scoping evaluation conducted in FY 2003. It provides nominal values for the parameters, with explanation of the source of the values, and how the values were modified for use in repository analysis activities.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dole, LR

    2004-12-17

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Livingston, D.E. [ed.

    1994-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    1997-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-10-01

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

  6. Preliminary U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence ages of surficial deposits and paleosols associated with Quaternary fault, Eastern Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paces, J.B.; Menges, C.M.; Bush, C.A.; Futa, K.; Millard, H.T.; Maat, P.B.; Whitney, J.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Widmann, B. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Wesling, J.R. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Geochronological control is an essential component of paleoseismic evaluation of faults in the Yucca Mountain region. New U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence age estimates for pedogenic deposits that bracket surface-rupture events are presented from four sites exposing the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge and Stagecoach Road faults. Ages show an internal consistency with stratigraphic relationships as well as an overall concordancy between the two independent geochronometers. Age estimates are therefore interpreted to date depositional events or episodes of pedogenic carbonate mobility that can be used to establish a paleoseismic fault chronology. Ultimately, this type of chronological information will be used to evaluate seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain.

  7. Preliminary U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence ages of surficial deposits and paleosols associated with Quaternary faults, eastern Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paces, J.B.; Menges, C.M.; Bush, C.A.; Futa, K.; Millard, H.T.; Maat, P.B.; Whitney, J.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Widmann, B. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Wesling, J.R. [Geomatrix Consultants, Inc., San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Geochronological control is an essential component of paleoseismic evaluation of faults in the Yucca Mountain region. New U-series disequilibrium and thermoluminescence age estimates for pedogenic deposits that bracket surface-rupture events are presented from four sites exposing the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge and Stagecoach Road faults. Ages show an internal consistency with stratigraphic relationships as well as an overall concordancy between the two independent geochronometers. Age estimates are therefore interpreted to date depositional events or episodes of pedogenic carbonate mobility that can be used to establish a paleoseismic fault chronology. Ultimately, this type of chronological information will be used to evaluate seismic hazards at Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoover, D.L.

    1989-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterman, Zell E.; Stuckless, John S.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gomberg, J. [ed.

    1991-12-31

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

  13. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-06-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie

    2006-02-24

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N. Chapman; A. Dansie; C. McCombie

    2006-08-29

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1989-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kevin Skinner; Greg Housley; Colleen Shelton-Davis

    2011-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-08-01

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

  4. A preliminary characterization of the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hevesi, J.A.; Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States); Ambos, D.S. [Foothill Eng. Consultants, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Isohyetal maps of precipitation and numerical models for simulating precipitation are needed to help characterize natural infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. A geostatistical analysis of measured precipitation accumulated from storm periods. Precipitation was measured during a 3.8 year period from January 1990 to October, 1993 using a network of precipitation gages. A total of 34 winter-type storms and 12 summer-type storm, categorized using synoptic weather records, were analyzed using the 1st and 2nd statistical moments and sample variograms. Average standardized variograms indicated good spatial correlation for both storm types with only slight differences in the general spatial structure. Coefficients of variation and average relative variograms indicated that summer storms are characterized by greater variability as compared to winter storms. Models were fitted to the average summer and winter standarized variograms for each storm using the mean storm depth and the coefficient of variation as scaling parameters. Isohyetal maps of 4 representative storms were created using the standarized models. Results indicate that standarized models can be used to simulate the spatial distribution of precipitation depth, provided that the 1st and 2nd moments are known or can be estimated, and that identifiable deterministic trends can be included in the models. A single, fixed model representing the spatial variability of precipitation at Yucca Mountain is not recommended.

  5. Paleomagnetic constraints on the geometry and timing of deformation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosenbaum, J. G.; Hudson, M. R.; Scott, R. B.

    1991-02-01

    Paleomagnetic data from Miocene ash flow sheets indicate that southern Yucca Mountain has undergone about 30° of clockwise vertical-axis rotation since emplacement of the Tiva Canyon Member of the Paintbrush Tuff at about 13 Ma. Declinations of remanent magnetization from 32 sites in the reversely magnetized Tiva Canyon Member display a systematic southward increase over the 25 km north-south extent of Yucca Mountain. Probable errors in estimating structural attitudes are a major source of uncertainty in determining the amount of rotation between any two sites. Analysis of tilt-corrected directions of remanent magnetization from the Tiva Canyon sites indicates that structural attitudes determined from outcrop patterns on geologic maps are generally more accurate than field measurements of attitudes of compaction foliation or contacts. Attitudes determined from map patterns apparently minimize effects of (1) initial dips, (2) poorly defined compaction foliation, and (3) tilting that occurred after compaction but before blocking of remanence; however, such attitudes cannot accurately represent tilting related to unmapped local structures. Rotations implied by data from three older ash flow sheets, the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff (seven sites), and the Prow Pass (four sites) and Bullfrog (three sites) Members of the Crater Flat Tuff are generally consistent with the amount and sense of rotation documented by data from the Tiva Canyon Member. Uncertainties in the declinations of tilt-corrected site mean directions from these older units preclude evaluating whether older units have undergone more rotation than the Tiva Canyon Member.

  6. Preliminary analysis of three-dimensional moisture flow within Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bodvarsson, G.; Chen, Gang [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States); Wittwer, C. [BRGM, Orleans (France)

    1994-12-31

    The continuous development of the three-dimensional site-scale model of Yucca Mountain, Nevada is described. Three-dimensional moisture flow simulations are conducted, that show how the stratigraphic units and faults offsets and properties at Yucca Mountain created complex three-dimensional flow patterns. Even for areally uniform infiltration rates, these geological complexities result in large lateral flow components and often concentrated flow into the water table. When the major faults are assumed to act as capillary barriers, moisture buildup occurs close to the faults. Conversely, when the faults are assumed to readily absorb water and allow for vertical migration, lateral flow is greatly enhanced and relatively dry conditions are found in the rock matrix adjacent to the faults. These results suggest that careful observations of saturations and rock matrix conditions in rock masses near major faults may help determine the hydrological characteristics of the faults. The site-scale model has been used to predict conditions in wells UZ-16 and other wells, in order to investigate the predictive capabilities of the model. Gas flow and the geothermal gradient have been incorporated into the model.

  7. An updated fracture-flow model for total-system performance assessment of Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gauthier, J.H. [SPECTRA Research Institute, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Improvements have been made to the fracture-flow model being used in the total-system performance assessment of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The {open_quotes}weeps model{close_quotes} now includes (1) weeps of varied sizes, (2) flow-pattern fluctuations caused by climate change, and (3) flow-pattern perturbations caused by repository heat generation. Comparison with the original weeps model indicates that allowing weeps of varied sizes substantially reduces the number of weeps and the number of containers contacted by weeps. However, flow-pattern perturbations caused by either climate change or repository heat generation greatly increases the number of containers contacted by weeps. In preliminary total-system calculations, using a phenomenological container-failure and radionuclide-release model, the weeps model predicts that radionuclide releases from a high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain will be below the EPA standard specified in 40 CFR 191, but that the maximum radiation dose to an individual could be significant. Specific data from the site are required to determine the validity of the weep-flow mechanism and to better determine the parameters to which the dose calculation is sensitive.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

  10. Technical issues relevant to hydrological performance assessment at Yucca Mountain: a hierarchial perspective

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; Wang, J.S.Y. [Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Earth Science Div., Berkeley (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Hydrological Performance Assessment (PA) is an important component of Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). The goal of PA is to assess, as far quantitatively as possible, whether radioactive contaminants will be released to the groundwater and transported to the accessible environment in adverse quantities should a potential repository for high level radioactive wastes (HLW) be constructed and operated at Yucca Mountain. Ideally, it would be desirable to demonstrate with certitude, using scientific data, that the wastes could be safely contained at the site over a 10,000-year time frame. Nevertheless, the scientific issues involved are many and the necessary data cannot be gathered and interpreted over the next several years to answer all the questions. Yet, available evidence suggests that the site has many attributes favorable for long-term containment of high level radioactive wastes. Under the circumstances, phased, long-term approach to site characterization appears prudent. Integral to such an approach will be long-term data acquisition and monitoring, should construction be permitted. Considering the complex, difficult-to-access nature of earth systems, the long-term approach should provide for an open-endedness to accommodate unforeseen contingencies which may come to light during long-term monitoring. To guide data acquisition and monitoring, it is necessary to identify the various technical issues relevant to repository performance. We present these issues in a systematic, hierarchial frame-work. (author) 1 fig., 14 refs.

  11. Simulation modeling of the probability of magmatic disruption of the potential Yucca Mountain Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Crowe, B.M.; Perry, F.V.; Valentine, G.A. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States); Wallmann, P.C.; Kossik, R. [Golder Associates, Inc., Redmond, WA (United States)

    1993-11-01

    The first phase of risk simulation modeling was completed for the probability of magmatic disruption of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. E1, the recurrence rate of volcanic events, is modeled using bounds from active basaltic volcanic fields and midpoint estimates of E1. The cumulative probability curves for El are generated by simulation modeling using a form of a triangular distribution. The 50% estimates are about 5 to 8 {times} 10{sup 8} events yr{sup {minus}1}. The simulation modeling shows that the cumulative probability distribution for E1 is more sensitive to the probability bounds then the midpoint estimates. The E2 (disruption probability) is modeled through risk simulation using a normal distribution and midpoint estimates from multiple alternative stochastic and structural models. The 50% estimate of E2 is 4.3 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} The probability of magmatic disruption of the potential Yucca Mountain site is 2.5 {times} 10{sup {minus}8} yr{sup {minus}1}. This median estimate decreases to 9.6 {times} 10{sup {minus}9} yr{sup {minus}1} if E1 is modified for the structural models used to define E2. The Repository Integration Program was tested to compare releases of a simulated repository (without volcanic events) to releases from time histories which may include volcanic disruptive events. Results show that the performance modeling can be used for sensitivity studies of volcanic effects.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-02-12

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F.V. Perry

    2005-10-13

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luckey, R.R.; Tucci, P.; Faunt, C.C.; Ervin, E.M. [and others

    1996-12-31

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

  16. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-05-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1998-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1986-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-05-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C.R. Wilson; T.A. Grant

    2000-08-03

    This data qualification report uses technical assessment and corroborating data methods according to Attachment 2 of AP-SIII.2Q, Rev. 0, ICN 2, ''Qualification of Unqualified Data and the Documentation of Rationale for Accepted Data'', to qualify flowing interval data. This report was prepared in accordance with Data Qualification Plan TDP-NBS-GS-000035, Revision 1. Flowing interval location data from borehole tracejector surveys and fracture dip data from acoustic televiewer logging are evaluated in this report. These data were collected under the direction of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The data qualification team considers the data collection protocols of the USGS during the time period of data acquisition to be state-of-the-art. The acoustic televiewer continues to be an important tool for fracture logging and the early methodology for that technique has evolved with little change into the current fracture logging procedure that supports the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP)--approved USGS Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP). Consequently, the data collection methods, documentation, and results are reasonable and appropriate in view of standard practice at the time the data were collected. Extensive independent corroborative evidence is available from other borehole survey and logging techniques as well as from independent hydrological pump and injection testing. This evidence supports the conclusion that the tracejector surveys adequately detected the more significant flowing intervals in the system and that the acoustic televiewer data are representative of the dips of major fracture sets at Yucca Mountain. The parallels in time, location, purpose, personnel and technique in testing the boreholes that were sources for the flowing interval data support the application of corroborative evidence to all boreholes in the series. The data qualification team has concluded that the tracejector and acoustic televiewer data are adequate for

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kryder, Levi

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C.R. Wilson; T.A. Grant

    2000-08-03

    This data qualification report uses technical assessment and corroborating data methods according to Attachment 2 of AP-SIII.2Q, Rev. 0, ICN 2, ''Qualification of Unqualified Data and the Documentation of Rationale for Accepted Data'', to qualify flowing interval data. This report was prepared in accordance with Data Qualification Plan TDP-NBS-GS-000035, Revision 1. Flowing interval location data from borehole tracejector surveys and fracture dip data from acoustic televiewer logging are evaluated in this report. These data were collected under the direction of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The data qualification team considers the data collection protocols of the USGS during the time period of data acquisition to be state-of-the-art. The acoustic televiewer continues to be an important tool for fracture logging and the early methodology for that technique has evolved with little change into the current fracture logging procedure that supports the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP)--approved USGS Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP). Consequently, the data collection methods, documentation, and results are reasonable and appropriate in view of standard practice at the time the data were collected. Extensive independent corroborative evidence is available from other borehole survey and logging techniques as well as from independent hydrological pump and injection testing. This evidence supports the conclusion that the tracejector surveys adequately detected the more significant flowing intervals in the system and that the acoustic televiewer data are representative of the dips of major fracture sets at Yucca Mountain. The parallels in time, location, purpose, personnel and technique in testing the boreholes that were sources for the flowing interval data support the application of corroborative evidence to all boreholes in the series. The data qualification team has concluded that the tracejector and acoustic televiewer data are adequate for

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. Harrington

    2004-10-25

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

  10. 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.

  11. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 1, Research report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-05-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1995-12-01

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

  13. Characterization of seepage in the exploratory studies facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, T.A.; Whelan, J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Following a 5-month period of above-average precipitation during the winter of 2004-2005, water was observed seeping into the South Ramp section of the Exploratory Studies Facility of the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples of the seepage were collected and analyzed for major ions, trace metals, and delta deuterium and delta oxygen-18 values in an effort to characterize the water and assess the interaction of seepage with anthropogenic materials used in the construction of the proposed repository. As demonstrated by the changes in the chemistry of water dripping from a rock bolt, interaction of seepage with construction materials can alter solution chemistry and oxidation state.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.

    1991-11-01

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

  15. Scaling of material properties for Yucca Mountain: literature review and numerical experiments on saturated hydraulic conductivity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-08-01

    A review of pertinent literature reveals techniques which may be practical for upscaling saturated hydraulic conductivity at Yucca Mountain: geometric mean, spatial averaging, inverse numerical modeling, renormalization, and a perturbation technique. Isotropic realizations of log hydraulic conductivity exhibiting various spatial correlation lengths are scaled from the point values to five discrete scales through these techniques. For the variances in log{sub 10} saturated hydraulic conductivity examined here, geometric mean, numerical inverse and renormalization adequately reproduce point scale fluxes across the modeled domains. Fastest particle velocities and dispersion measured on the point scale are not reproduced by the upscaled fields. Additional numerical experiments examine the utility of power law averaging on a geostatistical realization of a cross-section similar to the cross-sections that will be used in the 1995 groundwater travel time calculations. A literature review on scaling techniques for thermal and mechanical properties is included. 153 refs., 29 figs., 6 tabs.

  16. Debate heats up over potential Interim Nuclear Waste Repository, as studies of Yucca Mountain continue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    With spent nuclear fuel piling up at power plants around the United States, and with a potential permanent nuclear waste repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain not scheduled to accept waste until 11 years from now in the year 2010, the nuclear energy industry and many members of Congress have renewed their push to establish an interim repository at the adjacent Nevada Test Site of nuclear bombs.At a sometimes contentious March 12 hearing to consider the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1999 (House Resolution 45) that would require an interim facility to begin accepting waste in 2003, bill cosponsor Rep. Jim Barton (R-Tex.) told Energy Secretary Bill Richardson that he preferred that Congress and the Clinton Administration negotiate rather than fight over the measure.

  17. Uncertainty analysis of preclosure accident doses for the Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ma, C.W.; Miller, D.D.; Zavoshy, S.J. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Jardine, L.J. [Jardine (L.J.) and Associates, Livermore, CA (USA)

    1990-12-31

    This study presents a generic methodology that can be used to evaluate the uncertainty in the calculated accidental offsite doses at the Yucca Mountain repository during the preclosure period. For demonstration purposes, this methodology is applied to two specific accident scenarios: the first involves a crane dropping an open container with consolidated fuel rods, the second involves container failure during emplacement or removal operations. The uncertainties of thirteen parameters are quantified by various types of probability distributions. The Latin Hypercube Sampling method is used to evaluate the uncertainty of the offsite dose. For the crane-drop scenario with concurrent filter failure, the doses due to the release of airborne fuel particles are calculated to be 0.019, 0.32, and 2.8 rem at confidence levels of 10%, 50%, and 90%, respectively. For the container failure scenario with concurrent filter failure, the 90% confidence-level dose is 0.21 rem. 20 refs., 4 figs., 3 tabs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    J. Stuckless

    2006-03-10

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Y. V. Dublyansky

    2012-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-12-31

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

  1. Comparison of the Microbial Community Composition at Yucca Mountain and Laboratory Test Nuclear Repository Environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horn, J; Carrillo, C; Dias, V

    2002-10-09

    The microbiological community structure within a proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), NV was determined. Microbial growth from collected rock was detected using simulated ground water as a growth medium, with or without amendment of a carbon source. Grown isolates were identified by 16s ribosomal DNA (rDNA) sequence analysis. A more complete compositional analysis of the microbial community located at the proposed nuclear waste repository site was performed using environmental DNA isolation and subsequent identification of amplified 16s rDNA genes. Concurrently, a series of corrosion testing tanks that simulate the evolution of anticipated environmental conditions within the proposed repository have been subjected to the same type of analyses.

  2. Yucca Mountain transportation routes: Preliminary characterization and risk analysis; Volume 1, Research report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-05-31

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

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

  4. Water levels in continuously monitored wells in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1985--88

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Luckey, R.R.; Lobmeyer, D.H.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1993-07-01

    Water levels have been monitored hourly in 15 wells completed in 23 depth intervals in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada. Water levels were monitored using pressure transducers and were recorded by data loggers. The pressure transducers were periodically calibrated by raising and lowering them in the wells. The water levels were normally measured at approximately the same time that the transducers were calibrated. Where the transducer output appeared reasonable, it was converted to water levels using the calibrations and manual water- level measurements. The amount of transducer output that was converted to water levels ranged from zero for several intervals to about 98 percent for one interval. Fourteen of the wells were completed in Tertiary volcanic rocks and one well was completed in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Each well monitored from one to four depth intervals. Water-level fluctuation caused by barometric pressure changes and earth tides were observed.

  5. Tectonic characterization of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whitney, John W.; O'Leary, Dennis W.

    1993-01-01

    Tectonic characterization of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is needed to assess seismic and possible volcanic hazards that could affect the site during the preclosure (next 100 years) and the behavior of the hydrologic system during the postclosure (the following 10,000 years) periods. Tectonic characterization is based on assembling mapped geological structures in their chronological order of development and activity, and interpreting their dynamic interrelationships. Addition of mechanistic models and kinematic explanations for the identified tectonic processes provides one or more tectonic models having predictive power. Proper evaluation and application of tectonic models can aid in seismic design and help anticipate probable occurrence of future geologic events of significance to the repository and its design.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1990-02-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Saturation levels and trends in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nelson, P.H. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Water content and porosity within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain are computered from the caliper, density, and epithermal neutron logs obtained in 15 WT-boreholes. Separation between the water content and porosity logs clearly demarcate the lithophysal zones within the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff. Lithophysal and nonlithophysal zones constitute regionally correlatable intervals across the area penetrated by the WT-boreholes. Lithophysal abundance appears to be nearly zero in the lower lithophysal zone in the southernmost borehole. Total porosity increases as lithophysal abundance increases, and water saturation decreases in the zones with high lithophysal abundance. Averages of water content for two lithophysal zones in the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush Tuff show that water content decreases with height above the static water level; the trends in water content versus elevation are a function of geological zone. Thus, the pore size distribution spectrum appears to be preserved in the lithophysal zones.

  9. Water levels in wells J-11 and J-12, 1989-91, Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boucher, M.S.

    1994-12-31

    Water levels have been measured in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, since 1981 in order to gain a better understanding of the ground-water flow system in the area. Water levels in wells J-11 and J-12 have been periodically measured using calibrated reeled steel tapes since 1989, however, calculation of water-level altitude was not possible prior to 1993 due to missing reference elevations. These elevations were determined in 1993 by the U.S. Geological Survey. During 1989-91, water-level altitudes for well J-11 ranged from 732.09 to 732.40 meters and the mean water-level altitude was 732.19 meters. During 1989-91, water-level altitudes for well J-12 ranged from 727.84 to 728.03 meters, and the mean water-level altitude was 727.95 meters.

  10. 40Ar/39Ar Age of the Lathrop Wells Volcanic Center, Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-08-09

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

  11. Subrepository scale hydrothermal analysis in support of total system performance assessment at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mishra, S. [CRWMS M& O/INTERA Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    A coupled thermo-hydrologic model is developed to investigate the impact of emplacing high-level nuclear wastes on heat and fluid flow at the subrepository scale, and to develop abstracted results for input to the current total system performance assessment (TSPA) of Yucca Mountain. Numerical computations are carried out in 2-D axisymmetric geometry, using a range of thermal loads, to generate spatial/temporal evolutions in temperature and saturation fields within individual emplacement panels. These results are analyzed to understand the general nature of liquid movement in the repository due to waste heat, and also to define various temperature dependent mechanistic and phenomenological coefficients for predicting waste package and geosphere performance.

  12. A preliminary total-system performance assessment for the potential repository site Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.; Barnard, R.W.; Dockerey, H.A. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gauthier, J.H. [Spectra Research Inst., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    We present a preliminary performance assessment of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, U.S.A., as a potential site for a radioactive-waste repository. Models and results are discussed for four basic categories of processes and events: groundwater flow and aqueous transport, gas flow and gaseous transport, human intrusion, and basaltic volcanism. Calculated releases of radioactivity to the accessible environment are compared with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements. The preliminary results show releases from human intrusion and volcanisms to fall well below the regulatory limits, though not all aspects of those categories have yet been considered. Calculated releases for nominal gaseous transport (of {sup 14}CO{sub 2}) are closest to the limits, indicating that models and data relating to gaseous releases may need to receive higher priority. (author) 15 figs., 33 refs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quade, J; Cerling, T E

    1990-12-14

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

  14. Thermal and seismic impacts on the North Ramp at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    The impacts of thermal and seismic loads on the stability of the Exploratory Studies Facility North Ramp at Yucca Mountain were assessed using both empirical and analytical approaches. This paper presents the methods and results of the analyses. Thermal loads were first calculated using the computer code STRES3D. This code calculates the conductive heat transfer through a semi-infinite elastic, isotropic, homogeneous solid and the resulting thermally-induced stresses. The calculated thermal loads, combined with simulated earthquake motion, were then modeled using UDEC and DYNA3D, numerical codes with dynamic simulation capabilities. The thermal- and seismic-induced yield zones were post-processed and presented for assessment of damage. Uncoupled bolt stress analysis was also conducted to evaluate the seismic impact on the ground support components.

  15. Some results from the second iteration of total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The second preliminary total-system performance assessment for the potential radioactive-waste-repository site at Yucca Mountain has recently been completed. This paper summarizes results for nominal aqueous and gaseous releases using the composite-porosity flow model. The results are found to be sensitive to the type of unsaturated-zone flow, to percolation flux and climate change, to saturated-zone dilution, to container-wetting processes and container-corrosion processes, to fuel-matrix alteration rate and radionuclide solubilities (especially for {sup 237}Np), and to bulk permeability and retardation of gases {sup 14}C. There are areas that should be given priority in the site-characterization program. Specific recommendations are given in the full report of the study.

  16. Charecterization of Seepage in the Exploratory Studies Facility, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    T.A. Oliver; J.F. Whelan

    2006-03-20

    Following a 5-month period of above-average precipitation during the winter of 2004-2005, water was observed seeping into the South Ramp section of the Exploratory Studies Facility of the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Samples of the seepage were collected and analyzed for major ions, trace metals, and delta deuterium and delta oxygen-18 values in an effort to characterize the water and assess the interaction of seepage with anthropogenic materials used in the construction of the proposed repository. As demonstrated by the changes in the chemistry of water dripping from a rock bolt, interaction of seepage with construction materials can alter solution chemistry and oxidation state.

  17. MRS system study for the repository: Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinagra, T.A. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Harig, R. [Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA)

    1990-12-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), has initiated a waste management system study to identify the impacts of the presence or absence of a monitored retrievable storage facility (hereinafter referred to as ``MRS``) on system costs and program schedules. To support this study, life-cycle cost estimates and construction schedules have been prepared for the surface and underground facilities and operations geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Nine different operating scenarios (cases) have been identified by OCRWM for inclusion in this study. For each case, the following items are determined: the repository design and construction costs, operating costs, closure and decommissioning costs, required staffing, construction schedules, uncertainties associated with the costs and schedules, and shipping cask and disposal container throughputs. This document contains A-D.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sinagra, T.A. [Bechtel National, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA); Harig, R. [Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, Inc., San Francisco, CA (USA)

    1990-12-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), has initiated a waste management system study to identify the impacts of the presence or absence of a monitored retrievable storage facility (hereinafter referred to as ``MRS``) on system costs and program schedules. To support this study, life-cycle cost estimates and construction schedules have been prepared for the surface and underground facilities and operations of a geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada. Nine different operating scenarios (cases) have been identified by OCRWM for inclusion in this study. For each case, the following items are determined: the repository design and construction costs, operating costs, closure and decommissioning costs, required staffing, construction schedules, uncertainties associated with the costs and schedules, and shipping cask and disposal container throughputs. 6 refs., 83 figs., 57 tabs.

  19. Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada. October 1, 1996--March 31, 1997

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-10-01

    The report is the sixteenth in a series issued approximately every six months to report progress and results of site characterization activities being conducted to evaluate Yucca Mountain as a possible geologic repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. This report highlights work started, in progress, and completed during the reporting period. In addition, this report documents and discusses changes to the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) Site Characterization Program (Program) resulting from the ongoing collection and evaluation of site information, systems analyses, development of repository and waste package designs, and results of performance assessment activities. Details on the activities summarized can be found in the numerous technical reports cited throughout the progress report. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (Project) activities this period focused on implementing the near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan issued last period. Near-term objectives of the revised Program Plan include updating the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) repository siting guidelines to be consistent with a more focused performance-driven program; supporting an assessment in 1998 of the viability of continuing with actions leading to the licensing of a repository; and if the site is suitable, submittal of a Secretarial site recommendation to the President in 2001 and license application the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in 2002. During this reporting period, the Project developed and baselined its long-range plan in December 1996. That revision reflected the detailed fiscal year (FY) 1997 work scope and funding plan previously baselined at the end of FY 1996. Site characterization activities have been focused to answer the major open technical issues and to support the viability assessment.

  20. Paleohydrologic investigations in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain: Late Quaternary paleobotanical and polynological records

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spaulding, W.G.

    1994-10-05

    The primary objective of this research in the vicinity of the proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository is the detection of episodes of increased runoff and groundwater discharge in this presently arid area. Ancient, inactive spring deposits in nearby valley bottoms (Haynes, 1967; Quade, 1986; Quade and Pratt, 1989), evidence for perennial water in presently dry canyons (Spaulding, 1992), and recent claims for extraordinary increases in precipitation during the last glacial age (Forester, 1994), provide good reason to further investigate both lowland spring-discharge habitats, and upland drainages. The ultimate purpose is to assess the long-term variability of the hydrologic system in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain in response to naturally occurring climatic changes. The data generated in the course of this study are derived from radiocarbon dated packrat (Neotoma) middens. This report presents the results of an initial assessment of the hydrologic stability of the candidate area based on a limited suite of middens from localities that, on geomorphic and hydrologic grounds, could have been close to ancient stream-side or spring environments. Paleoclimatic reconstructions are another means of studying the long-term climatic hydrologic stability of the Candidate Area include, and are also generated from packrat midden data. A different flora characterized the Candidate Area during the last glacial age in response to a cooler and wetter climate, and the plant species that comprised this flora can be used to reconstruct specific components of past climatic regimes. Thus, a secondary objective of this study is to compare the plant macrofossil data generated in this study to other records from the Candidate Area (Spaulding, 1985; Wigand, 1990) to determine if these new data are consistent with prior reconstructions. 66 refs., 4 figs., 13 tabs.

  1. Making the Postclosure Safety Case for the Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    P. Swift; A.V. Luik

    2006-08-28

    The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), in its advisory standard for geological repositories promulgated jointly with the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, explicitly distinguishes between the concepts of a safety case and a safety assessment. As defined in the advisory standard, the safety case is a broader set of arguments that provide confidence and substantiate the formal analyses of system safety made through the process of safety assessment. Although the IAEAYs definitions include both preclosure (i.e., operational) safety and post-closure performance in the overall safety assessment and safety case, the emphasis in here is on long-term performance after waste has been emplaced and the repository has been closed. This distinction between pre- and postclosure aspects of the repository is consistent with the U.S. regulatory framework defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (Chapter 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 197, or 40 CFR 197) [2] and implemented by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (Chapter 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 63, or 10 CFR 63) [3]. The separation of the pre- and postclosure safety cases is also consistent with the way in which the U.S. Department of Energy has assigned responsibilities for developing the safety case. Bechtel SAIC Company is the Management and Operating contractor responsible for the design and operation of the Yucca Mountain facility and is therefore responsible for the preparation of the preclosure aspects of the safety case. Sandia National Laboratories has lead responsibility for scientific work evaluating post-closure performance, and therefore is responsible for developing the post-closure aspects of the safety case. In the context of the IAEA definitions, both preclosure and postclosure safety, including safety assessment and the safety case, will be documented in the license application being prepared for the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Yu, P. [Taipower Co., Taipei (Taiwan, Province of China); Ryan, J.N. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

    1998-11-01

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past.

  4. Incorporating uncertainties into risk assessment with an application to the exploratory studies facilities at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fathauer, Paul M. [Clemson Univ., SC (United States)

    1995-08-01

    A methodology that incorporates variability and reducible sources of uncertainty into the probabilistic and consequence components of risk was developed. The method was applied to the north tunnel of the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain in Nevada. In this assessment, variability and reducible sources of uncertainty were characterized and propagated through the risk assessment models using a Monte Carlo based software package. The results were then manipulated into risk curves at the 5% and 95% confidence levels for both the variability and overall uncertainty analyses, thus distinguishing between variability and reducible sources of uncertainty. In the Yucca Mountain application, the designation of the north tunnel as an item important to public safety, as defined by 10 CFR 60, was determined. Specifically, the annual frequency of a rock fall breaching a waste package causing an off-site dose of 500 mrem (5x10-3 Sv) was calculated. The annual frequency, taking variability into account, ranged from 1.9x10-9 per year at the 5% confidence level to 2.5x10-9 per year at the 95% confidence level. The frequency range after including all uncertainty was 9.5x10-10 to 1.8x10-8 per year. The maximum observable frequency, at the 100% confidence level, was 4.9x10-8 per year. This is below the 10-6 per year frequency criteria of 10 CFR 60. Therefore, based on this work, the north tunnel does not fall under the items important to public safety designation for the event studied.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  6. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain - SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993); Volume 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.; Gauthier, J.H.; Barnard, R.W.; Barr, G.E.; Dockery, H.A.; Dunn, E.; Eaton, R.R.; Guerin, D.C.; Lu, N.; Martinez, M.J. [and others

    1994-04-01

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). These analyses estimate the future behavior of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site under consideration by the Department of Energy. TSPA-93 builds upon previous efforts by emphasizing YMP concerns relating to site characterization, design, and regulatory compliance. Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. Hydrologic parameters and parameter probability distributions have been derived from available site data. Possible future climate changes are modeled by considering two separate groundwater infiltration conditions: {open_quotes}wet{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 10 mm/yr, and {open_quotes}dry{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 0.5 mm/yr. Two alternative waste-package designs and two alternative repository areal thermal power densities are investigated. One waste package is a thin-wall container emplaced in a vertical borehole, and the second is a container designed with corrosion-resistant and corrosion-allowance walls emplaced horizontally in the drift. Thermal power loadings of 57 kW/acre (the loading specified in the original repository conceptual design) and 114 kW/acre (a loading chosen to investigate effects of a {open_quotes}hot repository{close_quotes}) are considered. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone.

  7. Influence of long term climate change on net infiltration at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, Alan I.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Hevesi, Joseph A.

    1993-01-01

    Net infiltration and recharge at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, a potential site for a high level nuclear waste repository, are determined both by the rock properties and past and future changes in climate. A 1-dimensional model was constructed to represent a borehole being drilled through the unsaturated zone. The rock properties were matched to the lithologies expected to be encountered in the borehole. As current paleoclimate theory assumes that 18O increases with wetter and cooler global climates, a past climate scenario, built on depletion of 18O from ocean sediments was used as a basis for climate change over the past 700,000 years. The climate change was simulated by assigning net infiltration values as a linear function of 8O. Assuming the rock properties, lithologies and climate scenarios are correct, simulations indicated that Yucca Mountain is not in steady state equilibrium at the surface (250 meters. Based on the cyclic climate inputs, the near surface is currently in a long term drying trend (for the last 3,000 years) yet recharge into the water table is continuing to occur at an average rate equivalent to the average input rate of the climate model, indicating that conditions at depth are damped out over very long time periods. The Paintbrush Tuff nonwelded units, positioned between the Tiva Canyon and Topopah Spring welded Tuff Members, do not appear to act as capillary barrier and therefore would not perch water. The low porosity vitric caprock and basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member, however, act as restrictive layers. The higher porosity rock directly above the caprock reduces the potential for the caprock to perch water leaving the basal vitrophyre as the most likely location for perched water to develop.

  8. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation`s commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives set forward by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. As additional site and design information is generated, performance assessment analyses can be revised to become more representative of the expected conditions and remove some of the conservative assumptions necessitated by the incompleteness of site and design data. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993. These analyses have been documented in Barnard, Eslinger, Wilson and Andrews.

  9. Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Atkins, J.E.; Lee, J.H.; Lingineni, S.; Mishra, S; McNeish, J.A.; Sassani, D.C.; Sevougian, S.D.

    1995-11-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation`s commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives of the US NRC and the US EPA. The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). Total system performance assessments require the explicit quantification of the relevant processes and process interactions. In addition assessments are useful to help define the most significant processes, the information gaps and uncertainties and therefore the additional information required for more robust and defensible assessment of the overall performance. The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993.

  10. An approximate calculation of advective gas-phase transport of 14C at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knapp, R. B.

    1990-01-01

    A quasilinear partial differential equation, which describes gas-phase transport of a 14C kinematic wave through a porous medium, is derived, its sensitivity to system variables is analyzed and it is applied to one possible release scenarion at the porposed Yucca Mountain, Nevada high-level radioactive waste repository. Advection, isotope exchange between CO 2 in a flowing gas phase and HCO 3- in a static aqueous phase, and radioactive decay are incorporated. The governing equation is solved analytically by the method of characteristics. The mass fraction of 14C in the gas phase,X 14g, is controlled by radioactive decay. The relatively long half-line of 14C, about 5720 years, and the relatively shallow proposed burial depth of the radioactive waste, about 350m, requires significant retardation of the 14C wave velocity for significant reduction in X 14g. 14C wave velocity is most sensitive to temperature and pH which control the distribution of total carbon between gas and liquid phase; the greater the partitioning of carbon into the liquid phase, the greater the retardation of the 14C wave velocity and the greater the ultimate reduction in X 14g from initial conditions. Partitioning of total carbon into the liquid phase is greatest at low temperatures, 8. Increasing water saturation also tends to retard 14C wave velocity but to a lesser extent. The governing equation has been applied using conditions that may possibly occur at the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. Calculations indicate that the 14C wave takes about 5900 years to reach the surface with a X 14g equal to 25 ppm. Diffusion and dispersion are not of major importance for these conditions. These calculations are approximate due to the number of assumptions involved. Discharge of 14C into the gas before the selected time would accelerate wave arrival and increase the amount of 14C reaching the surface.

  11. Hydrochemical investigations in characterizing the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.; Rattray, G.W.; Ferarese, J.S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Yu, P. [Taipower Co., Taipei (Taiwan, Province of China); Ryan, J.N. [Univ. of Colorado, Boulder, CO (United States). Dept. of Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering

    1998-11-01

    Hydrochemical and isotopic investigations of ground water at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential permanent national nuclear-waste repository, demonstrate that younger rocks are dominated by calcium-sulfate or calcium-chloride water and that older rocks contain sodium-carbonate or sodium-bicarbonate water. Furthermore, unsaturated-zone pore water has significantly larger concentrations of major ions and dissolved solids than does the saturated-zone water. Recharge of perched or saturated-zone water, therefore, requires rapid flow through fractures or permeable regions in the unsaturated zone to avoid mixing with the chemically concentrated water in the unsaturated zone. This conceptual model is consistent with observations of rapidly moved post-bomb (post-1954) tritium and chlorine-36 in the deep unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain. Presence of post-bomb tritium in matrix water away from fracture zones further indicates that parts of the fast-flow water that moves through fractures have been diverted laterally into nonwelded units. Experimental data show that different lithologic units require specific water-extraction methods for stable-isotope analyses of hydrogen and oxygen to ensure accurate characterization. Vacuum-distillation and compression-extraction methods both can yield accurate data but must be used with specific lithologies. Column experiments demonstrate that percolating water can exchange with pore water of the core as well as water held in zeolite minerals in the core. Exchange rates range from days to months. Pore-water samples from core, therefore, reflect the most recently infiltrated water but do not reflect percolating water of the distant past.

  12. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain - SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993); Volume 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wilson, M.L.; Barnard, R.W.; Barr, G.E.; Dockery, H.A.; Dunn, E.; Eaton, R.R.; Martinez, M.J. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Gauthier, J.H.; Guerin, D.C.; Lu, N. [and others

    1994-04-01

    Sandia National Laboratories has completed the second iteration of the periodic total-system performance assessments (TSPA-93) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). These analyses estimate the future behavior of a potential repository for high-level nuclear waste at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site under consideration by the Department of Energy. TSPA-93 builds upon previous efforts by emphasizing YMP concerns relating to site characterization, design, and regulatory compliance. Scenarios describing expected conditions (aqueous and gaseous transport of contaminants) and low-probability events (human-intrusion drilling and volcanic intrusion) are modeled. The hydrologic processes modeled include estimates of the perturbations to ambient conditions caused by heating of the repository resulting from radioactive decay of the waste. Hydrologic parameters and parameter probability distributions have been derived from available site data. Possible future climate changes are modeled by considering two separate groundwater infiltration conditions: {open_quotes}wet{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 10 mm/yr, and {open_quotes}dry{close_quotes} with a mean flux of 0.5 mm/yr. Two alternative waste-package designs and two alternative repository areal thermal power densities are investigated. One waste package is a thin-wall container emplaced in a vertical borehole, and the second is a container designed with corrosion-resistant and corrosion-allowance walls emplaced horizontally in the drift. Thermal power loadings of 57 kW/acre (the loading specified in the original repository conceptual design) and 114 kW/acre (a loading chosen to investigate effects of a {open_quotes}hot repository{close_quotes}) are considered. TSPA-93 incorporates significant new detailed process modeling, including two- and three-dimensional modeling of thermal effects, groundwater flow in the saturated-zone aquifers, and gas flow in the unsaturated zone.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bill Carey; Gordon Keating; Peter C. Lichtner

    1999-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2007-08-14

    Yucca Mountain has been proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy as the nation’s long-term, permanent geologic repository for spent nuclear fuel or high-level radioactive waste. The potential repository would be located in Yucca Mountain’s unsaturated zone (UZ), which acts as a critical natural barrier delaying arrival of radionuclides to the water table. Since radionuclide transport in groundwater can pose serious threats to human health and the environment, it is important to understand how much and how fast water and radionuclides travel through the UZ to groundwater. The UZ system consists of multiple hydrogeologic units whose hydraulic and geochemical properties exhibit systematic and random spatial variation, or heterogeneity, at multiple scales. Predictions of radionuclide transport under such complicated conditions are uncertain, and the uncertainty complicates decision making and risk analysis. This project aims at using geostatistical and stochastic methods to assess uncertainty of unsaturated flow and radionuclide transport in the UZ at Yucca Mountain. Focus of this study is parameter uncertainty of hydraulic and transport properties of the UZ. The parametric uncertainty arises since limited parameter measurements are unable to deterministically describe spatial variability of the parameters. In this project, matrix porosity, permeability and sorption coefficient of the reactive tracer (neptunium) of the UZ are treated as random variables. Corresponding propagation of parametric uncertainty is quantitatively measured using mean, variance, 5th and 95th percentiles of simulated state variables (e.g., saturation, capillary pressure, percolation flux, and travel time). These statistics are evaluated using a Monte Carlo method, in which a three-dimensional flow and transport model implemented using the TOUGH2 code is executed with multiple parameter realizations of the random model parameters. The project specifically studies uncertainty of unsaturated

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Inyo County

    2006-07-26

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

  16. Extension of in-situ stress test analysis to rapid hole evacuation at Yucca Mountain due to a network of open conduits

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1994-01-01

    Yucca Mountain is underlain by tuffaceous rocks that are highly fractured and jointed. During drilling of bore-holes at Yucca Mountain there were numerous occurrences of lost circulation when whole mud was taken by the formation. This evidence suggests that parts of Yucca Mountain are controlled hydrologicaly by a network of open conduits along the existing joints and fractures. Also at Yucca Mountain, stress tests have been performed in-situ by charging a small section along the boreholes with an excess pressure head of water. For many of these tests, the initial drop in water head was so rapid that within seconds up to hundreds of meters of fall had occurred. The opening of fractures as the excess head increases has previously been proposed as an important factor in explaining the shape of the stress test curves at lower pressures. We propose that such induced hydraulic fractures, under increasing water heads, can grow to a length sufficient to intersect the existing network of open joints and fractures. We extend our previous model to incorporate flow out along these open conduits and examine the initial rapid drop in terms of these extended models. We show that this rapid evacuation model fits the observed data from many slug tests in wells in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain. This result is confirmation of the drilling evidence that a network of open conduits exists at various depths below the water table and over a large geographic region around Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-01

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

  18. Estimation of the impact of water movement from sewage and settling ponds near a potential high level radioactive waste repository in Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sobolik, S.R.; Fewell, M.E.

    1992-02-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Site characterization includes surface-based and underground testing. Analyses have been performed to design site characterization activities with minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste, and on tests performed as part of the characterization process. One activity of site characterization is the construction of an Exploratory Studies Facility, which may include underground shafts, drifts, and ramps, and the accompanying ponds used for the storage of sewage water and muck water removed from construction operations. The information in this report pertains to the two-dimensional numerical calculations modelling the movement of sewage and settling pond water, and the potential effects of that water on repository performance and underground experiments. This document contains information that has been used in preparing Appendix I of the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements document (ESF DR) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project.

  19. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.

    1994-12-31

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages.

  20. Spatial distribution of potential near surface moisture flux at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E. [Geologic Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    An estimate of the areal distribution of present-day surface liquid moisture flux at Yucca Mountain was made using field measured water contents and laboratory measured rock properties. Using available data for physical and hydrologic properties (porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, moisture retention functions) of the volcanic rocks, surface lithologic units that are hydrologically similar were delineated. Moisture retention and relative permeability functions were assigned to each surface unit based on the similarity of the mean porosity and saturated hydraulic conductivity of the surface unit to laboratory samples of the same lithology. The potential flux into the mountain was estimated for each surface hydrologic unit using the mean saturated hydraulic conductivity for each unit and assuming all matrix flow. Using measured moisture profiles for each of the surface units, estimates were made of the depth at which seasonal fluctuations diminish and steady state downward flux conditions are likely to exist. The hydrologic properties at that depth were used with the current relative saturation of the tuff, to estimate flux as the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. This method assumes a unit gradient. The range in estimated flux was 0.02 mm/yr for the welded Tiva Canyon to 13.4 mm/yr for the nonwelded Paintbrush Tuff. The areally averaged flux was 1.4 mm/yr. The major zones of high flux occur to the north of the potential repository boundary where the nonwelded tuffs are exposed in the major drainages.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yang, I.C.

    1997-12-01

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

  2. Site characterization plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 1, Part A: Chapters 1 and 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 750 refs., 123 figs., 42 tabs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-04-02

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1989-07-01

    In late 1987 Congress issued an amendment to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 which directed the characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as the only remaining potential site for the Nation`s first underground high-level radioactive waste repository. The evaluation of a potential underground repository is guided and regulated by policy established by the Department of Energy (DOE), Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Transportation (DOT), and the US Congress. The Yucca Mountain Project is the responsibility of the DOE. The purpose of this field trip is to introduce the present state of geologic and hydrologic knowledge concerning this site. This report describes the field trip. 108 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  6. Evaluation of minderal resource potential, Caldera geology, and volcano-tectonic framework at and near Yucca Mountain, Task 3

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-09-30

    This report summarizes the results of Task 3 work that was initially discussed in our monthly reports for the period October 1, 1992 through September 30, 1993, and contained in our various papers and abstracts, both published and currently in press or in review. Our work during this period was involved (a) the continuation of studies begun prior to October, 1992, focussed mainly on aspects of the caldera geology, volcanic stratigraphy, magmatic activity, hydrothermal mineralization and extensional tectonics of the western and northwestern parts of the southwestern and Nevada volcanic field (SWNVF), studies of the subsurface rocks of Yucca Mountain utilizing drill hole samples obtained in 1991 and 1992, and (b) new studies of veins and siliceous rocks cropping out in northwestern Yucca Mountain that provide evidence for previously unrecognized hydrothermal activity during the Crater Flat Tuff period of volcanism.

  7. Petrographic and geochemical characteristics of a section through the Tiva Canyon Tuff at Antler Ridge, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singer, F.R.; Widmann, B.L.; Dickerson, R.P. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States); Byers, F.M. Jr. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The Tiva Canyon Tuff of the Paintbrush Group of Miocene age caps much of Yucca Mountain, Nevada and is a compositionally zoned, compound cooling, pyroclastic flow that ranges from a dominantly high-silica rhyolitic base to a quartz-latitic caprock. Petrographic and geochemical studies have focused on rigorously defining the internal stratigraphy of this unit to support the detailed mapping of the Ghost Dance fault and other structures in the central fault block of Yucca Mountain. This study shows that devitrification textures and vapor phase mineralogy, in addition to other physical attributes such as pumice variability (flattening) and crystal content, can be used as distinguishing criteria to better define lithologic zones within the Tiva Canyon Tuff. In addition, the study also shows that the petrographic textures and chemistry of the groundmass vary systematically within recognizable lithologic zones and may be used to characterize and vertically divide litho-stratigraphic zones within the Tiva Canyon Tuff.

  8. Site Characterization Plan: Yucca Mountain Site, Nevada Research and Development Area, Nevada: Volume 3, Part A: Chapters 6 and 7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 218 figs., 50 tabs.

  9. Detailed petrographic descriptions and microprobe data for tertiary silicic volcanic rocks in drill hole USW G-1, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Caporuscio, F.A.; Warren, R.G.; Broxton, D.E.

    1985-12-01

    This report contains detailed petrographic descriptions of 74 thin sections from drill hole USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These descriptions are keyed to the distinctions between devitrified, vitrophyre, vitric, and zeolitized intervals below the Topopah Spring Member repository horizon. The petrographic features of the zeolitized intervals down through the Crater Flat tuff, as well as the sorption properties determined from these intervals, suggest that these zeolite occurrences may each have comparable sorptive capability.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    F. Perry

    2002-10-15

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

  11. Selected ground-water data for Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada and eastern California, through December 1999

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, G.L.

    2001-01-01

    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 34 wells and a fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs and a flowing well, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are presented for calendar year 1999. Data collected prior to 1999 are graphically presented and data collected by other agencies (or as part of other Geological Survey programs) are included to further indicate variations of ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the number of measurements, the maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and the average deviation of measured water-level altitudes for selected baseline periods and for calendar years 1992-99. At two water-supply wells median water levels for calendar year 1999 were unchanged from their respective baseline periods. At a nearby observation well, the 1999 median water level was slightly lower (0.1 foot) than its baseline period. At the remaining four wells in Jackass Flats, median water levels for 1999 were slightly higher (0.2 foot to 1.6 feet) than for their respective baseline periods.

  12. Selected Ground-Water Data of Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, January 2000-December 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Glenn L.; La Camera, Richard J.

    2003-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Project, collects, compiles, and summarizes hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region. The data are collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during activities to determine the potential suitability or development of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data on ground-water levels at 35 wells and a fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs and a flowing well, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are tabulated from January 2000 through December 2002. Historical data on water levels, discharges, and withdrawals are graphically presented to indicate variations through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented for 1992-2002 to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the annual number of measurements, maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and average deviation of measured water-level altitudes compared to selected baseline periods. Baseline periods varied for 1985-93. At six of the seven wells in Jackass Flats, the median water levels for 2002 were slightly higher (0.3-2.4 feet) than for their respective baseline periods. At the remaining well, data for 2002 was not summarized statistically but median water-level altitude in 2001 was 0.7 foot higher than that in its baseline period.

  13. Selected ground-water data for Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada and eastern California, through December 1998

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Glenn L.

    2001-01-01

    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 34 wells and a fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs and a flowing well, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are presented for calendar year 1998. Data collected prior to 1998 are graphically presented and data collected by other agencies (or as part of other Geolgical Survey programs) are included to further indicate variations of ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the number of measurements, the maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and the average deviation of measured water-level altitudes for selected baseline periods and for calendar years 1992-98. At two water-supply wells and a nearby observation well, median water levels for calendar year 1998 were slightly lower (0.2 to 0.3 foot) than for their respective baseline periods. At the remaining four wells in Jackass Flats, median water levels for 1998 were unchanged at two wells and slightly higher (0.4 and 1.4 foot) at two wells than those for their respective baseline periods.

  14. Extension of in-situ stress test analysis to fractured media with reference to Yucca Mountain data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Yucca Mountain is underlain by highly fractured rock containing a deep water table. Stress tests have been performed in boreholes in-situ and under high head pressures. For a pre-fractured rock system, data analysis must incorporate the effects of opening and closing of fractures. As the head pressure increases form ambient, the aperture of the existing dilated fractures increase. The fracture surface area remains constant until the excess head increases to above a critical pressure, when induced fractures can open and existing fractures may propagate. These will furnish a larger rock surface area thereby allowing a more rapid percolation of the water into the rock matrix. We have extended previous models by specifying a functional dependence of both existing fracture aperture and induced fracture surface area and volume on the excess water pressure. Relationships are obtained through the mass conservation laws and these predictions are used as discriminative graphs, with the most useful being pressure versus rate of pressure change. Such type-curves are applied to; Yucca Mountain data with interpretation in terms of the applicable fracture systems and the critical pressure. Estimates of the critical pressure are obtained and usually lie in the range of 10 to 30 bars which is appreciably lower than that expected from the lithostatic pressure effects. This implies that large dilational stresses exist at Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2001-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kume, J.; Rousseau, J.P.

    1989-12-31

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

  17. Selected hydrologic data from Fortymile Wash in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, water years 1993--94

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S.

    1996-09-01

    The Yucca Mountain area is being evaluated by the US Department of Energy for its suitability to store high-level nuclear waste in a mined, underground repository. Hydrologic data are being collected by the US Geological Survey throughout a 150 Km{sup 2} study area about 15- Km northwest of Las Vegas in southern Nevada for site characterization studies. Ongoing hydrologic studies are investigating atmospheric precipitation, stream-flow, movement of water through the unsaturated zone, movement of water through the saturated zone, and paleohydrology. This study at Fortymile Wash involves some components of each of these studies. Fortymile Wash is an ephemeral stream near Yucca Mountain with tributaries draining the east side of Yucca Mountain and then forming a distributary system in the Amargosa Desert. An objective of the study is to determine the amount of recharge from Fortymile Wash to the ground-water flow system that has been proposed. Understanding the ground-water flow system is important because it is a possible mechanism for radionuclide migration from the repository to the accessible environment. An adequate understanding of the ground-water flow system is necessary for an evaluation of the safety issues involved in siting the potential repository.

  18. Selected Ground-Water Data for Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, January-December 2005

    Science.gov (United States)

    Locke, Glenn L.

    2008-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, collected, compiled, and summarized hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region of southern Nevada and eastern California. These data were collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during activities to determine the potential suitability or development of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data collected from January through December 2005 are provided for ground-water levels at 35 boreholes and 1 fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs, ground-water levels and discharge at 1 flowing borehole, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert. Ground-water level, discharge, and withdrawal data collected by other agencies, or as part of other programs, are provided. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven boreholes in Jackass Flats is presented for 1992-2005 to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the annual number of measurements; maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes; and average deviation of measured water-level altitudes compared to the 1992-93 baseline period. At seven boreholes in Jackass Flats, median water levels for 2005 were slightly higher (0.4-2.7 feet) than the median water levels for 1992-93.

  19. Selected ground-water data for Yucca Mountain region, southern Nevada and eastern California, through December 1994

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1996-01-01

    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, and ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are presented for calendar year 1994. Data collected prior to 1994 are graphically presented and data collected by other agencies (or as part of other programs) are included to further indicate variations of ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented. The statistical summary includes the number of measurements, the maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and the average deviation of measured water-level altitudes for selected baseline periods and for calendar years 1992-94.

  20. Ages and Origins of Calcite and Opal in the Exploratory Studies Facility Tunnel, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paces, James B.; Neymark, Leonid A.; Marshall, Brian D.; Whelan, Joseph F.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2001-01-01

    Deposits of calcite and opal are present as coatings on open fractures and lithophysal cavities in unsaturated-zone tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, site of a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. Outermost layers of calcite and opal have radiocarbon ages of 16,000 to 44,000 years before present and thorium-230/uranium ages of 28,000 to more than 500,000 years before present. These ages are young relative to the 13-million-year age of the host rocks. Multiple subsamples from the same outer layer typically show a range of ages with youngest ages from the thinnest subsamples. Initial uranium-234/uranium-238 activity ratios between 1 and 9.5 show a distinct negative correlation with thorium-230/uranium age and are greater than 4 for all but one sample younger than 100,000 years before present. These data, along with micrometer-scale layering and distinctive crystal morphologies, are interpreted to indicate that deposits formed very slowly from water films migrating through open cavities. Exchanges of carbon dioxide and water vapor probably took place between downward-migrating liquids and upward-migrating gases at low rates, resulting in oversaturation of mineral constituents at crystal extremities and more or less continuous deposition of very thin layers. Therefore, subsamples represent mixtures of older and younger layers on a scale finer than sampling techniques can resolve. Slow, long-term rates of deposition (less than about 5 millimeters of mineral per million years) are inferred from subsamples of outermost calcite and opal. These growth rates are similar to those calculated assuming that total coating thicknesses of 10 to 40 millimeters accumulated over 12 million years. Calcite has a wide range of delta carbon-13 values from about -8.2 to 8.5 per mil and delta oxygen-18 values from about 10 to 21 per mil. Systematic microsampling across individual mineral coatings indicates basal (older) calcite tends to have the largest delta carbon-13 values

  1. Use of Irrigation to Extend the Seeding Window for Final Reclamation at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    TRW Environmental Safety

    2000-08-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy has implemented a program to investigate the feasibility of various techniques for reclaiming lands disturbed during site characterization at Yucca Mountain. As part of this program, two studies were conducted in 1997 to assess the effects of combinations of seeding date (date that seeds are planted) and supplemental irrigation on densities of native plant species at Yucca Mountain. Study objectives were to (1) determine whether the traditional seeding window (October-December) could be extended through combinations of seeding date and irrigation date, (2) determine which combination of seeding date and irrigation was most successful, and (3) assess the effects of irrigation versus natural precipitation on seedling establishment. In the first study, a multi-species seed mix of 16 native species was sown into plots on four dates (12/96, 2/97, 3/97, and 4/97). Irrigation treatments were control (no irrigation) or addition of 80 mm of supplemental water applied over a one month period. Plant densities were sampled in August and again in October, 1997. In the second study, Larrea tridentata and Lycium andersonii, two species that are common at Yucca Mountain, but difficult to establish from seed, were sown together into plots in January and August, 1997. Half the plots were irrigated with approximately 250 mm of water between August 18 and September 11, while the remaining plots received no irrigation (control). Plant densities were sampled in October, 1997. The August census for the multi-species mix study showed irrigated plots that were sown in February, March and April had higher plant densities and more species than plots that were not irrigated. Irrigation had no effect on plant densities on plots that were seeded in December. Plots were used again in October following 18 mm of precipitation in September. Densities of three species, Ambrosia dumosa, Hymenoclea salsola, and L. tridentata, (warm-season species) were lower on irrigated

  2. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 4: License Application Plan and Costs

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

    Volume 4 provides the DOE plan and cost estimate for the remaining work necessary to proceed from completing this VA to submitting an LA to NRC. This work includes preparing an EIS and evaluating the suitability of the site. Both items are necessary components of the documentation required to support a decision in 2001 by the Secretary of Energy on whether or not to recommend that the President approve the site for development as a repository. If the President recommends the site to Congress and the site designation becomes effective, then DOE will submit the LA to NRC in 2002 for authorization to construct the repository. The work described in Volume 4 constitutes the last step in the characterization of the Yucca Mountain site and the design and evaluation of the performance of a repository system in the geologic setting of this site. The plans in this volume for the next 4 years' work are based on the results of the previous 15 years' work, as reported in Volumes 1, 2, and 3 of this VA. Volume 1 summarizes what DOE has learned to date about the Yucca Mountain site. Volume 2 describes the current, reference repository design, several design options that might enhance the performance of the reference design, and several alternative designs that represent substantial departures from the reference design. Volume 2 also summarizes the results of tests of candidate materials for waste packages and for support of the tunnels into which waste would be emplaced. Volume 3 provides the results of the latest performance assessments undertaken to evaluate the performance of the design in the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain. The results described in Volumes 1, 2, and 3 provide the basis for identifying and prioritizing the work described in this volume. DOE believes that the planned work, together with the results of previous work, will be sufficient to support a site suitability evaluation for site recommendation and, if the site is recommended and designated, a

  3. 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.

  4. The Enhanced Plan for Features, Events, and Processes (FEPS) at Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    G. Freeze

    2002-03-25

    A performance assessment is required to demonstrate compliance with the post-closure performance objectives for the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP), as stated in 10 CFR Part 63.1 13 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). A performance assessment is defined in 10 CFR 63.2 (66 FR 55732, p. 55794) as an analysis that: (1) identifies the features, events, and processes (FEPs) that might affect the potential geologic repository; (2) examines the effects of those FEPs upon the performance of the potential geologic repository; and (3) estimates the expected dose incurred by a specified reasonably maximally exposed individual as a result of releases caused by significant FEPs. The performance assessment must also provide the technical basis for inclusion or exclusion of specific FEPs in the performance assessment as stated in 10 CFR 63.114 (66 FR 55732, p. 55807). An initial approach for FEP development, in support of the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (CRWMS M&O 2000e), was documented in Freeze et al. (2001). The development of a comprehensive list of FEPs potentially relevant to the post-closure performance of the potential Yucca Mountain repository is an ongoing, iterative process based on site-specific information, design, and regulations. Although comprehensiveness of the FEPs list cannot be proven with absolute certainty, confidence can be gained through a combination of formal and systematic reviews (both top-down and bottom-up), audits, and comparisons with other FEP lists and through the application of more than one classification scheme. To support TSPA-SR, DOE used a multi-step approach for demonstrating comprehensiveness of the initial list of FEPs. Input was obtained from other international radioactive waste disposal programs as compiled by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) to establish a general list of FEPs. The list was subsequently refined to include YMP

  5. Analysis of water-level data in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada, 1985--95

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Graves, R.P.; Tucci, P.; O`Brien, G.M.

    1997-12-31

    From 1985 through 1995, a water-level network that consists of 28 wells for monitoring 36 depth intervals has been maintained in the Yucca Mountain area. The network includes wells that were measured manually, approximately monthly, and/or measured hourly with a transducer/data logger system. Manual water-level measurements were made with either calibrated steel tapes or single or multiconductor-cable units. All wells monitor water levels in Tertiary volcanic rocks, except one that monitors water levels in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Annual mean water-level altitudes for all wells for the period 1985-95 ranged from 727.93 to 1,034.60 meters. The maximum range in water-level change between monthly measurements and/or monthly mean values was 12.22 meters in well USW H-3 lower interval, and the minimum range was 0.31 meter in wells UE-25 b-1 upper interval, and J-11. In 31 of the 36 depth intervals monitored, the range of water-level change was less than 1 meter. The range of standard deviation of all depth interval measurements for all wells that were monitored was 0.053 to 3.098 meters. No seasonal water-level trends were detected in any of the wells, and regional ground-water withdrawals did not appear to cause water-level changes. Most annual water-level fluctuations can be attributed to barometric and Earth-tide changes. Regional earthquakes, which occurred on June 28--29, 1992, might have simultaneously affected the water level in seven wells. Periods of rising and declining water levels were observed in most wells. However, 11 years of record were not sufficient to determine if these periods were cyclic. Because a goal of monitoring water levels at Yucca Mountain is to determine if there are water-level trends that could affect the potential repository, observed water-level changes over the period of this report may not be representative of the overall long-term trends in water levels.

  6. 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

  7. Geology of the USW SD-12 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-11-01

    Drill hole USW SD-12 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the {open_quotes}Systematic Drilling Program,{close_quotes} as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-12 drill hole is located in the central part of the potential repository area, immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility and slightly south of midway between the North Ramp and planned South Ramp declines. Drill hole USW SD-12 is 2166.3 ft (660.26 m) deep, and the core recovered essentially complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. A virtually complete section of the Calico Hills Formation was also recovered, as was core from the entire Prow Pass Tuff formation of the Crater Flat Group.

  8. Yucca Mountain socioeconomic project report on the 1987 risk perception telephone surveys

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kunreuther, H. [Pennsylvania Univ., Philadelphia, PA (United States). Wharton School of Finance and Commerce; Slovic, P. [Decision Research, Eugene, OR (United States); Nigg, J. [Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States); Desvousges, W.H. [Research Triangle Inst., Research Triangle Park, NC (United States)

    1987-09-01

    The measurement of the risk-related impacts from the siting of a high-level nuclear waste (HLNW) repository represents a new and important addition to conventional socioeconomic impact studies. In particular, the driving forces behind these impacts are the risks people perceive to be associated with the repository. Measuring the risk impacts requires a complementary set of approaches, of which, risk surveys are the cornerstone.a The purpose of these surveys is to provide scientifically defensible measures of the risk-related impacts. The risk surveys follow directly from a conceptual framework of how the HLNW repository affects peoples` perceptions and, ultimately, their behaviors. These surveys describe and measure: Characteristics of individuals, Risks people perceive from the HLNW repository, Views, or mind sets, they form about the HLNW repository, Changes in behaviors--e.g., changes in retirement decisions or industrial relocations--induced by the location of the repository, and Changes in well-being of Nevada citizens, if the repository were located at Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-06-01

    A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 {times} 10{sup 5} seconds and for as long as 1.8 {times} 10{sup 6} seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress.

  10. Uranium-Series Constraints on Subrepository Water Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces; S.J. Chipera; D.T. Vaniman

    2006-03-10

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USWSD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble fragments (about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram.

  11. Fluid inclusion studies of calcite veins from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Tuffs: Environment of formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roedder, E. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Whelan, J.F. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Vaniman, D.T. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Calcite vein and vug fillings at four depths (130-314m), all above the present water table in USW G-1 bore hole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain primary fluid inclusions with variable vapor/liquid raitos: Most of these inclusions are either full of liquid or full of vapor. The liquid-filled inclusions show that most of the host calcite crystallized from fluids at <100{degrees}C. The vapor-filled inclusions provide evidence that a separate vapor phase was present in the fluid during crystallization. Studies of these vapor-filled inclusions on the microscope crushing stage were interpreted in an earlier paper as indicating trapping of an air-water-CO{sub 2} vapor phase at ``<100{degrees}C``. Our new studies reveal the additional presence of major methane in the vapor-filled inclusion, indicating even lower temperatures of trapping, perhaps at near-surface temperatures. They also show that the host calcite crystals grew from a flowing film of water on the walls of fractures open to the atmosphere, the vapor-filled inclusions representing bubbles that exsolved from this film onto the crystal surface.

  12. 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.

  13. Criteria for design of the Yucca Mountain structures, systems and components for fault displacement

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stepp, C. [Woodward-Clyde Federal Services, Austin, TX (United States); Hossain, Q. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Nesbit, S. [M and O/Duke Engineering, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Pezzopane, S. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Hardy, M. [A.F.T. Agapito and Associates, Inc., Grand Junction, CO (United States)

    1995-12-31

    The DOE intends to design the Yucca Mountain high-level waste facility structures, systems and components (SSCs) for fault displacements to provide reasonable assurance that they will meet the preclosure safety performance objectives established by 10 CFR Part 60. To the extent achievable, fault displacement design of the facility will follow guidance provided in the NRC Staff Technical Position. Fault avoidance will be the primary design criterion, especially for spatially compact or clustered SSCs. When fault avoidance is not reasonably achievable, expected to be the case for most spatially extended SSCs, engineering design procedures and criteria or repair and rehabilitation actions, depending on the SSC`s importance to safety, are provided. SSCs that have radiological safety importance will be designed for fault displacements that correspond to the hazard exceedance frequency equal to their established seismic safety performance goals. Fault displacement loads are generally localized and may cause local inelastic response of SSCs. For this reason, the DOE intends to use strain-based design acceptance criteria similar to the strain-based criteria used to design nuclear plant SSCs for impact and impulsive loads.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Niles, W.E.; Leary, P.J.; Holland, J.S.; Landau, F.H.

    1994-12-01

    A survey of the vascular flora of Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, was conducted from March to June 1994. An annotated checklist of recorded taxa was compiled. Voucher plant specimens were collected and accessioned into the Herbarium at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Collection data accompanying these specimens were entered into that herbarium`s electronic data base. Combined results from this survey and the works of other investigators reveal the presence of a total of 325 specific and intraspecific taxa within the area, these allocated to 162 genera and 53 families. Owing to drought conditions prevalent throughout the area, the annual floristic component was largely absent during the period of study, and it is likely much under-represented in the tabulation of results. No taxon currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act was encountered during this study. Several candidate species for listing under this Act were present, and distributional data for these were recorded. No change in the status of these candidate species is recommended as the result of this survey.

  15. Thermodynamic data base needs for modeling studies of the Yucca Mountain project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palmer, C.E.A.; Silva, R.J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States). Nuclear Chemistry Div.; Bucher, J.J. [Lawrence Berkeley Lab., CA (United States). Materials and Chemical Sciences Div.

    1996-07-12

    This document is the first in a series of documents outlining the thermodynamic data needs for performing geochemical modeling calculations in support of various waste package performance assessment activities for the Yucca Mountain Project. The documents are intended to identify and justify the critical thermodynamic data needs for the data base to be used with the models. The Thermodynamic Data Determinations task supplies data needed to resolve performance or design issues and the development of the data base will remain an iterative process as needs change or data improve. For example, data are needed to predict: (1) major ion groundwater chemistry and its evolution, (2) mineral stabilities and evolution, (3) engineered barrier near-field transport and retardation properties, (4) changes in geochemical conditions and processes, (5) solubilities, speciation and transport of waste radionuclides and (6) the dissolution of corrosion of construction and canister materials and the effect on groundwater chemistry and radionuclide solubilities and transport. The system is complex and interactive, and data need to be supplied in order to model the changes and their effect on other components of the system, e.g., temperature, pH and redox conditions (Eh). Through sensitivity and uncertainty analyses, the critical data and system parameters will be identified and the acceptable variations in them documented.

  16. Fluid flows due to earthquakes with reference to Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Davies, J.B.

    1993-05-01

    Yucca Mountain geohydrology is dominated by a deep water table in volcanic tuffa beds which are cut by numerous faults. Certain zones in these tuffas and most of the fault apertures are filled with a fine-grained calcitic cement. Earthquakes have occured in this region with the most recent being of magnitude 5.6 and at a distance of about 20 km. Earthquakes in western U.S.A. have been observed to cause fluid flows through and out of the crust of the Earth. These flows are concentrated along the faults with normal faulting producing the largest flows. An earthquake produces rapid pressure changes at and below the ground surface, thereby forcing flows of gas, water, slurries and dissolved salts. In order to examine the properties of flows produced by earthquakes, we simulate the phenomena using computer-based modeling. We investigate the effects of adults and high permeability zones on the pattern of flows induced by the earthquake. We demonstrate that faults act as conduits to the surface and that the higher the permeability of a zone, the more the flows will concentrate there. Numerical estimates of flow rates from these simulations compare favorably with data from observed flows due to earthquakes. Simple volumetric arguments demonstrate the ease with which fluids from the deep water table can reach the surface along fault conduits.

  17. Total System Performance Assessment, 1993: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Andrews, R.W.; Dale, T.F.; McNeish, J.A.

    1994-03-01

    Total System Performance Assessments are an important component in the evaluation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of high-level radioactive wastes in the United States. The Total System Performance Assessments are conducted iteratively during site characterization to identify issues which should be addressed by the characterization and design activities as well as providing input to regulatory/licensing and programmatic decisions. During fiscal years 1991 and 1992, the first iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1991) was completed by Sandia National Laboratories and Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Beginning in fiscal year 1993, the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor was assigned the responsibility to plan, coordinate, and contribute to the second iteration of Total System Performance Assessment (hereafter referred to as TSPA 1993). This document presents the objectives, approach, assumptions, input, results, conclusions, and recommendations associated with the Management and Operating Contractor contribution to TSPA 1993. The new information incorporated in TSPA 1993 includes (1) revised estimates of radionuclide solubilities (and their thermal and geochemical dependency), (2) thermal and geochemical dependency of spent fuel waste alteration and glass dissolution rates, (3) new distribution coefficient (k{sub d}) estimates, (4) revised estimates of gas-phase velocities and travel times, and (5) revised hydrologic modeling of the saturated zone which provides updated estimates of the advective flux through the saturated zone.

  18. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE CHARACTERIZATIONS PROJECT TUNNEL BORING MACHINE (TBM) SYSTEM SAFETY ANALYSIS

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    N/A

    1997-02-19

    The purpose of this analysis is to systematically identify and evaluate hazards related to the tunnel boring machine (TBM) used in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) at the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. This process is an integral part of the systems engineering process; whereby safety is considered during planning, design, testing, and construction. Since the TBM is an ''as built'' system, the M&O is conducting the System Safety Analysis during the construction or assembly phase of the TBM. A largely qualitative approach was used since a radiological System Safety Analysis is not required. The risk assessment in this analysis characterizes the accident scenarios associated with the TBM in terms of relative risk and includes recommendations for mitigating all identified risks. The priority for recommending and implementing mitigation control features is: (1) Incorporate measures to reduce risks and hazards into the system/subsystem/component design, (2) add safety features and capabilities to existing designs, and (3) develop procedures and conduct training to increase worker awareness of potential hazards, on methods to reduce exposure to hazards, and on the actions required to avoid accidents or correct hazardous conditions. The scope of this analysis is limited to the TBM during normal operations, excluding hazards occurring during assembly and test of the TBM or maintenance of the TBM equipment.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-01

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

  20. Water levels in continuously monitored wells in the Yucca Mountain Area, Nevada, 1989

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lobmeyer, D.H.; Luckey, R.R.; O`Brien, G.M.; Burkhardt, D.J.

    1995-02-01

    Water levels have been monitored hourly in 16 wells representing 24 intervals in the Yucca Mountain area, Nevada. Water levels were monitored using pressure transducers and were recorded by data loggers. The pressure transducers were periodically calibrated by raising and lowering them in the wells. The water levels were normally measured at approximately the same time that the transducers were calibrated. Where the transducer output appeared reasonable, it was converted to water levels using the calibrations and manual water-level measurements. The amount of transducer output that was converted to water levels ranged from zero for one interval to 100 percent for one interval. Fifteen of the wells were completed in Tertiary volcanic rocks and one well was completed in Paleozoic carbonate rocks. Each well monitored from one to four depth intervals. Water-level fluctuation caused by barometric pressure changes and earth tides were observed. Transducer output is presented in graphic form and, where appropriate, water-level altitude is presented in graphical and tabular form.

  1. Cost estimate of high-level radioactive waste containers for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, E.W.; Clarke, W. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States); Domian, H.A. [Babcock and Wilcox Co., Lynchburg, VA (United States); Madson, A.A. [Kaiser Engineers California Corp., Oakland, CA (United States)

    1991-08-01

    This report summarizes the bottoms-up cost estimates for fabrication of high-level radioactive waste disposal containers based on the Site Characterization Plan Conceptual Design (SCP-CD). These estimates were acquired by Babcock and Wilcox (B&S) under sub-contract to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP). The estimates were obtained for two leading container candidate materials (Alloy 825 and CDA 715), and from other three vendors who were selected from a list of twenty solicited. Three types of container designs were analyzed that represent containers for spent fuel, and for vitrified high-level waste (HLW). The container internal structures were assumed to be AISI-304 stainless steel in all cases, with an annual production rate of 750 containers. Subjective techniques were used for estimating QA/QC costs based on vendor experience and the specifications derived for the LLNL-YMP Quality Assurance program. In addition, an independent QA/QC analysis is reported which was prepared by Kasier Engineering. Based on the cost estimates developed, LLNL recommends that values of $825K and $62K be used for the 1991 TSLCC for the spent fuel and HLW containers, respectively. These numbers represent the most conservative among the three vendors, and are for the high-nickel anstenitic steel (Alloy 825). 6 refs., 7 figs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1996-12-01

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

  4. Potential for water-table excursions induced by seismic events at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrigan, Charles R.; King, Geoffrey C. P.; Barr, George E.; Bixler, Nathan E.

    1991-12-01

    The possibility that 100-200 m changes in water-table elevation can be mechanically induced by earthquakes is a consideration in site studies of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. However, numerical simulations of tectonohydrologic coupling involving earthquakes typical of the Basin and Range province produce 2-3 m excursions of a water table that is 500 m below the land surface. Even displacements corresponding to extraordinary seismic events drive water-table excursions of less than 20 m. Flow resulting from earthquake-induced pore-pressure fields below the water table tends to be mainly horizontal; vertical flows that cause changes of the level of the water table are secondary. Strongly anisotropic permeability, intended to enhance vertical flow within fault zones, only doubles water-table rise in the models considered. These simulations of water-table rise compare well with observations following large earthquakes in the Basin and Range. Our models suggest that exceptional hydrologic and/or tectonic conditions would be required to produce substantially larger water-table rises.

  5. Fluid inclusion studies of calcite veins from Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Tuffs: Environment of formation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Roedder, E. [Harvard Univ., Cambridge, MA (United States); Whelan, J.F. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Vaniman, D.T. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Calcite vein and vug fillings at fourth depths (130-314m), all above the present water table in USW G-1 bore hole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, contain primary fluid inclusions with variable vapor/liquid ratios: most of these inclusions are either full of liquid or full of vapor. The liquid-filled inclusions show that most of the host calcite crystallized from fluids at <100{degrees}C. The vapor-filled inclusions provide evidence that a separate vapor phase was present in the fluid during crystallization. Studies of these vapor-filled inclusions on the microscope crushing stage were interpreted in an earlier paper as indicating trapping of an air-water-CO{sub 2} vapor phase at {open_quotes}100{degrees}C{close_quotes}. Our new studies reveal the additional presence of major methane in the vapor-filled inclusion, indicating even lower temperatures of trapping, perhaps at near-surface temperatures. They also show that the host calcite crystals grew from a flowing film of water on the walls of fractures open to the atmosphere, the vapor-filled inclusions representing bubbles that exsolved from this film onto the crystal surface.

  6. U.S. NRC staff views on the technical bases for Yucca Mountain standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Federline, M.V.; Kotra, J.P.; Firth, J.R. [Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Washington, DC (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has established a committee to examine the scientific and technical issues that underlie the health and safety standards for high-level waste (HLW) disposal. The NAS Committee is developing recommendations for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning an appropriate standard for evaluating a potential HLW repository at Yucca Mountain. Because of its regulatory role for the protection of public health and safety, the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has a significant interest in the progress and outcome of the NAS study as well as in the form and content of any standards EPA ultimately promulgates. The NRC will be required to revise its regulations for consistency with EPA`s environmental standards and, subsequently, to evaluate compliance of any proposed repository with NRC`s regulations. This paper discusses those issues which, in the NRC staff`s view, are critical to the formulation of disposal standards for high-level waste and spent fuel, and which the NAS and, eventually, EPA and NRC will need to address.

  7. Simulation of flow in the unsaturated zone beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kwicklis, E.M.; Healy, R.W. [Geological Survey, Lakewood, CO (United States); Flint, A.L. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    A one-dimensional numerical model was created to simulate water movement beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Model stratigraphy and properties were based on data obtained from boreholes UE-25 UZ No. 4 and UE-25 UZ No. 5, which was drilled in the alluvial channel and bedrock sideslope of Pagany Wash. Although unable to account for multidimensional or preferential flowpaths beneath the wash, the model proved a useful conceptual tool with which to develop hypotheses and, in some cases, provide bounding calculations. The model indicated that liquid flux decreases with depth in the upper 120 m beneath the wash, with fluxes of several tens mm/yr in the nonwelded base of the Tiva Canyon Member and fluxes on the order of a tenth mm/yr in the upper Topopah Spring Member. Capillary barrier effects were indicated by the model to significantly delay the entry of large fluxes into the potential repository horizon during periods of increasing net infiltration, and to inhibit rapid drainage of water from the nonwelded and bedded intervals into the potential repository horizon during periods of moisture redistribution. Lateral moisture redistribution can be expected to be promoted by these effects.

  8. Results of air-permeability testing in a vertical borehole at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    LeCain, G.D. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Walker, J.N. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Air-injection testing to determine air permeabilities was conducted in borehole UE-25 UZ No.16 as part of the Yucca Mountain Surface-Based Borehole Investigations Project. Air permeabilities of the rocks tested are: (1) Tiva Canyon Member; 2.0 E-13 m{sup 2} to 88.0 E-13 m{sup 2}; (2) Topopah Spring Member; 1.1 E-13 m{sup 2} to 12.0 E-13 m{sup 2}. Based on the moisture observed on the downhole equipment, the borehole wall is dry down to 268.3 meters below surface level and wet below this depth. Testing above 268.3 meters showed no wellbore storage or skin effects. Tests conducted below 268.3 meters showed both wellbore storage and skin effects. Tests that forced water out of the rock exhibited a characteristic pressure drop in the arithmetic pressure plots. The stabilization pressure of the steady-state testing following this pressure drop provides an estimate of the test interval in-situ capillary pressure. Permeabilities calculated from the steady-state period following the pressure drop were less than those calculated from the transient tests, because the steady-state analysis did not account for skin effects.

  9. Analyses of releases due to drilling at the potential Yucca Mountain repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barnard, R.W. [Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Radionuclide releases due to drilling into the potential Yucca Mountain nuclear-waste repository have been evaluated as part of a recent total-system performance assessment. The probability that a drilling event intersects a waste package is a function of the sizes of the drill bit and the waste package, and the density of placement of the containers in the repository. The magnitude of the release is modeled as a random function that also depends on the amount of decay the radionuclides have undergone. Four cases have been analyzed, representing the combinations of two waste-package designs (small-capacity, thin-wall, vertically emplaced; and large-capacity, thick-wall, horizontally emplaced) and two repository layouts (lower thermal power dissipation, low waste-package placement density; and higher thermal power dissipation, high waste-package placement density). The results show a fairly pronounced dependence on waste-package design and slight dependence on repository layout. Given the assumptions in the model, releases from the larger containers are 4-5 times greater than from the smaller packages.

  10. Simulation of flow in the unsaturated zone beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thamir, F.; Kwicklis, E.M. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Hampson, D. [Foothills Engineering Consultants Inc., Golden, CO (United States); Anderton, S. [ROCKTECH, West Jordan, UT (United States)

    1994-12-31

    A one-dimensional numerical model was created simulate water movement beneath Pagany Wash, Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Model stratigraphy and properties were on data obtained from boreholes UE-25 UZ {number_sign}4 UE-25 UZ {number_sign}5, which were drilled in the alluvial channel and bedrock sideslope of Pagany Wash. Although unable to account for multidimensional or preferential flowpaths beneath the wash, the model proved a useful conceptual tool with which to develop hypotheses and, in some cases, provide bounding calculations. The model indicated that liquid flux decreases with depth in the upper 120 m beneath the wash, with fluxes of several tens mm/yr in the nonwelded base of the Tiva Canyon Member and fluxes on the order of a tenth mm/yr in the upper Topopah Spring Member. Capillary barrier effects were indicated by the model to significantly delay the entry of large fluxes into the potential repository horizon during periods of increasing net infiltration, and to inhibit rapid drainage of water from the nonwelded and bedded intervals into the potential repository horizon during periods of moisture redistribution. Lateral moisture redistribution can be expected to be promoted by these effects.

  11. Variability of the physical properties of tuff at Yucca Mountain, NV

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

    Lateral and vertical variabilities in the bulk and mechanical properties of silicic volcanic tuff at the potential nuclear waste repository site in Yucca Mountain, NV have been evaluated. Laboratory measurements have been performed on tuff specimens recovered from boreholes located to support the design of the Exploratory Studies Facility/North Ramp. The data include dry and saturated bulk densities, average grain density, porosity, compressional and shear wave velocities, elastic moduli, and compressional and tensional fracture strengths. Data from eight boreholes aligned in a northwest-southeast direction have been collected under the required quality assurance program. Three boreholes have penetrated the potential repository horizon. The information collected provides for an accurate appraisal of the variability of rock properties in the vicinity of the boreholes. As expected, there is substantial variability in the bulk and mechanical properties of the tuff with depth (lithology). This is due to variations in gross characteristics of the tuffs (e.g., cooling units, mode of deposition, etc.), as well as smaller scale features (welding, porosity, and internal structures) that have developed as a result of depositional and post-depositional mechanisms. An evaluation of the lateral variability in bulk and mechanical properties is somewhat limited, at this time, due to a lack of borehole control to the north and south (parallel to the depositional flow direction). Initial observations indicate that there is minimal lateral variability within lithologic units. There are observable differences however, that can be related to variability in specific properties (e.g., porosity, and internal structures).

  12. The Sundance fault: A newly recognized shear zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Spengler, R.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Braun, C.A.; Martin, L.G.; Weisenberg, C.W. [Science Applications International Corp., Golden, CO (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Ongoing detailed mapping at a scale of 1:240 of structural features within the potential repository area indicates the presence of several previously unrecognized structural features. Minor north-trending west-side-down faults occur east and west of the Ghost Dance fault and suggest a total width of the Ghost Dance fault system of nearly 366 m (1200 ft). A zone of near-vertical N30{degrees}-40{degrees} W-trending faults, at least 274 m (900 ft) wide, has been identified in the northern part of our study area and may traverse across the potential repository area. On the basis of a preliminary analysis of available data, we propose to name this zone the {open_quotes}Sundance fault system{close_quotes} and the dominant structure, occurring near the middle of the zone, the {open_quotes}Sundance fault{close_quotes}. Some field relations suggest left-stepping deflections of north-trending faults along a pre-existing northwest-trending structural fabric. Other field observations suggest that the {open_quotes}Sundance fault system{close_quotes} offsets the Ghost Dance fault system in an apparent right lateral sense by at least 52 m (170 ft). Additional detailed field studies are needed to better understand structural complexities at Yucca Mountain.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Menges, C.M.; Oswald, J.A.; Coe, J.A.; Whitney, J.W. [Geological Survey, Denver, CO (United States); Swan, F.H.; Wesling, J.R.; Thomas, A.P. [Geomatrix Consultants, San Francisco, CA (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Site characterization of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, requires detailed knowledge of the displacement histories of nearby Quaternary faults. Ongoing paleoseismic studies provide data on the amount and rates of Quaternary activity on the Paintbrush Canyon, Bow Ridge, and Stagecoach Road faults along the eastern margin of the mountain over varying time spans of 0-700 ka to perhaps 0-30 ka, depending on the site. Preliminary stratigraphic interpretations of deposits and deformation at many logged trenches and natural exposures indicate that each of these faults have experienced from 3 to 8 surface-rupturing earthquakes associated with variable dip-slip displacements per event ranging from 5 to 115 cm, and commonly in the range of 20 to 85 cm. Cumulative dip-slip offsets of units with broadly assigned ages of 100-200 ka are typically less than 200 cm, although accounting for the effects of possible left normal-oblique slip could increase these displacements by factors of 1.1 to 1.7. Current age constraints indicate recurrence intervals of 10{sup 4} to 10{sup 5} years (commonly between 30 and 80 k.y.) and slip rates of 0.001 to 0.08 mm/yr (typically 0.01-0.02 mm/yr). Based on available timing data, the ages of the most recent ruptures among the faults; they appear younger on the Stagecoach Road Fault ({approximately} 5.20 ka) relative to the southern Paintbrush Canyon and Bow Ridge faults ({approximately} 30-100 ka).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-09-25

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-01

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

  18. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Viswanathan, Hari Selvi

    1999-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-03-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-02-14

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-08-01

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

  4. Selected Ground-Water Data for Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, Through December 1992

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Camera, Richard J.; Westenburg, Craig L.

    1994-01-01

    Tne U.S. Geological Survey. in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Site- Characterization Project, collects, compiles, and summarizes water-resource data in the Yucca Mountain region. The data are collected to document the historical and current condition of ground-water resources, to detect and document changes in those resources through time, and to allow assessments of ground-water resources during investigations 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 Fiat, 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. A statistical summary of ground-water levels and median annual ground-water withdrawals in Jackass Flats is presented. The statistical summary includes the number of measurements, the maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and the average deviation of a11 water-level altitudes for selected baseline periods and for calendar year 1992. Data on ground-water quality are compared to established, proposed, or tentative primary and secondary drinking-water standards, and measures which exceeded those standards are listed for 18 sites. Detected organic compounds for which established, proposed, or tentative drinking-water standards exist also are listed.

  5. Selected Ground-Water Data for Yucca Mountain Region, Southern Nevada and Eastern California, January-December 2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    La Camera, Richard J.; Locke, Glenn L.; Habte, Aron M.; Darnell, Jon G.

    2006-01-01

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Repository Development, collects, compiles, and summarizes hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region of southern Nevada and eastern California. These data are collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during activities to determine the potential suitability or development of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data on ground-water levels at 35 boreholes and 1 fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs, both ground-water levels and discharge at 1 flowing borehole, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are tabulated from January through December 2004. Also tabulated are ground-water levels, discharges, and withdrawals collected by other agencies (or collected as part of other programs) and data revised from those previously published at monitoring sites. Historical data on water levels, discharges, and withdrawals are presented graphically to indicate variations through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven boreholes in Jackass Flats is presented for the period 1992-2004 to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the annual number of measurements, maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and average deviation of measured water-level altitudes compared to the 1992-93 baseline period. At six boreholes in Jackass Flats, median water levels for 2004 were slightly higher (0.3-2.7 feet) than their median water levels for 1992-93. At one borehole in Jackass Flats, median water level for 2004 equaled the median water level for 1992-93.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1981-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-01-09

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Y. Chen

    2001-12-19

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  13. A saturated zone site-scale flow model for Yucca mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Eddebbarh, Al Aziz [Los Alamos National Laboratory

    2008-01-01

    A saturated zone site-scale flow model (YMSZFM) was developed for licensing requirements for the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository to incorporate recent data and analyses including recent stratigraphic and water-level data from Nye County wells, single-and multiple-well hydraulic testing data, and recent hydrochemistry data. Analyses include use of data from the 2004 transient Death Valley Regional (ground-water) Flow System (DVRFS) model, the 2003 unsaturated zone flow model, and the latest hydrogeologic framework model (HFM). This model includes: (1) the latest understanding of SZ flow, (2) enhanced model validation and uncertainty analyses, (3) improved locations and definitions of fault zones, (4) refined grid resolution (500-to 250-m grid spacing), and (5) use of new data. The flow model was completed using the three-dimensional, Finite-Element Heat and Mass Transfer computer code (FEHM). The SZ site-scale flow model was calibrated with the commercial parameter estimation code, PEST to achieve a minimum difference between observed water levels and predicted water levels, and also between volumetric/mass flow rates along specific boundary segments as supplied by the DVRFS. A total of 161 water level and head measurements with varied weights were used for calibration. A comparison between measured water-level data and the potentiometric surface yielded an RMSE of 20.7 m (weighted RMSE of 8.8 m). The calibrated model was used to generate flow paths and specific discharge predictions. Model confidence was built by comparing: (l) calculated to observed hydraulic heads, and (2) calibrated to measured permeabilities (and therefore specific discharge). In addition, flowpaths emanating from below the repository footprint are consistent with those inferred both from gradients of measured head and from independent water-chemistry data. Uncertainties in the SZ site-scale flow model were quantified because all uncertainty contributes to inaccuracy in system

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-04-01

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

  15. 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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McCright, R D

    1998-04-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    McGraw, D.; Oberlander, P.

    2007-12-18

    The purpose of this study is to report on the results of a preliminary modeling framework to investigate the causes of the large hydraulic gradient north of Yucca Mountain. This study builds on the Saturated Zone Site-Scale Flow and Transport Model (referenced herein as the Site-scale model (Zyvoloski, 2004a), which is a three-dimensional saturated zone model of the Yucca Mountain area. Groundwater flow was simulated under natural conditions. The model framework and grid design describe the geologic layering and the calibration parameters describe the hydrogeology. The Site-scale model is calibrated to hydraulic heads, fluid temperature, and groundwater flowpaths. One area of interest in the Site-scale model represents the large hydraulic gradient north of Yucca Mountain. Nearby water levels suggest over 200 meters of hydraulic head difference in less than 1,000 meters horizontal distance. Given the geologic conceptual models defined by various hydrogeologic reports (Faunt, 2000, 2001; Zyvoloski, 2004b), no definitive explanation has been found for the cause of the large hydraulic gradient. Luckey et al. (1996) presents several possible explanations for the large hydraulic gradient as provided below: The gradient is simply the result of flow through the upper volcanic confining unit, which is nearly 300 meters thick near the large gradient. The gradient represents a semi-perched system in which flow in the upper and lower aquifers is predominantly horizontal, whereas flow in the upper confining unit would be predominantly vertical. The gradient represents a drain down a buried fault from the volcanic aquifers to the lower Carbonate Aquifer. The gradient represents a spillway in which a fault marks the effective northern limit of the lower volcanic aquifer. The large gradient results from the presence at depth of the Eleana Formation, a part of the Paleozoic upper confining unit, which overlies the lower Carbonate Aquifer in much of the Death Valley region. The

  18. A biosphere modeling methodology for dose assessments of the potential Yucca Mountain deep geological high level radioactive waste repository.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Watkins, B M; Smith, G M; Little, R H; Kessler, J

    1999-04-01

    Recent developments in performance standards for proposed high level radioactive waste disposal at Yucca Mountain suggest that health risk or dose rate limits will likely be part of future standards. Approaches to the development of biosphere modeling and dose assessments for Yucca Mountain have been relatively lacking in previous performance assessments due to the absence of such a requirement. This paper describes a practical methodology used to develop a biosphere model appropriate for calculating doses from use of well water by hypothetical individuals due to discharges of contaminated groundwater into a deep well. The biosphere model methodology, developed in parallel with the BIOMOVS II international study, allows a transparent recording of the decisions at each step, from the specification of the biosphere assessment context through to model development and analysis of results. A list of features, events, and processes relevant to Yucca Mountain was recorded and an interaction matrix developed to help identify relationships between them. Special consideration was given to critical/potential exposure group issues and approaches. The conceptual model of the biosphere system was then developed, based on the interaction matrix, to show how radionuclides migrate and accumulate in the biosphere media and result in potential exposure pathways. A mathematical dose assessment model was specified using the flexible AMBER software application, which allows users to construct their own compartment models. The starting point for the biosphere calculations was a unit flux of each radionuclide from the groundwater in the geosphere into the drinking water in the well. For each of the 26 radionuclides considered, the most significant exposure pathways for hypothetical individuals were identified. For 14 of the radionuclides, the primary exposure pathways were identified as consumption of various crops and animal products following assumed agricultural use of the contaminated

  19. Site characterization and related activities at the potential high-level radioactive waste repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gertz, C.P.; Nelson, R.M. Jr.; Blanchard, M.B. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Cloke, P.L. [Science Applications International Corp., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP) involves a complex set of activities and issues. These include the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), site characterization surface-based testing, performance assessment, public outreach and information services, conceptual design of a potential repository, compliance with regulations, environmental issues, transportation of nuclear wastes, and systems engineering. Integration among the scientific and technical activities requires constant attention to keep work focused on determining the suitability of the site and on avoiding irretrievable loss of data. All activities must be conducted with due regard to quality assurance and safety and health. This paper provides a brief summary of the status of these activities as of December, 1993.

  20. A Summary of INEEL Calcine Properties Used to Evaluate Direct Calcine Disposal in the Yucca Mountain Repository

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    C. A. Dahl

    2003-07-01

    To support evaluations of the direct disposal of Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory calcines to the repository at Yucca Mountain, an evaluation of the performance of the calcine in the repository environment must be performed. This type of evaluation demonstrates, through computer modeling and analysis, the impact the calcine would have on the ability of the repository to perform its function of containment of materials during the repository lifetime. This report discusses parameters that were used in the scoping evaluation conducted in FY 2003. It provides nominal values for the parameters, with explanation of the source of the values, and how the values were modified for use in repository analysis activities.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Resnikoff, M. [Radioactive Waste Management Associates, New York, NY (United States)

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Glanzman, V.M.

    1991-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-10-15

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1995-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Byers, F.M. Jr.

    1985-12-01

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

  6. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dunn, E.; Sobolik, S.R.

    1993-12-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1989-08-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1998-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1994-12-31

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bogen, K T

    2003-11-05

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2008-09-05

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2000-06-09

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Savard, C.S. [Geological Survey, Mercury, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

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

  1. Magnetism and magnetic mineralogy of ash flow tuffs from Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schlinger, Charles M.; Veblen, David R.; Rosenbaum, Joseph G.

    1991-04-01

    The magnetic susceptibility (χ) and remanent magnetization of an ash flow sheet are profoundly influenced by cooling history after emplacement. Spatial variations in these properties, therefore, provide a potentially useful tool for geological studies. Maxima and minima in χ measured along profiles at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, identify persistent magnetic marker horizons within vitric portions of the Tiva Canyon and underlying Topopah Spring Members of the Paintbrush Tuff. The correlatable variations of χ with vertical position in these units exist over the 8 km of strike examined. The observed stratigraphic changes in magnetic properties reflect variations in amounts and mineralogy of Fe-Ti oxide phenocrysts, and the presence, shape, size, and mineralogy of magnetic Fe-oxide microcrystals that precipitated at high temperature after emplacement of each sheet. Vitrophyre near the top of the Topopah Spring Member has a distinctive maximum in χ, due to titanomagnetite phenocrysts. Susceptibility in the lower portion of the overlying Tiva Canyon Member reaches maximum values of about 1.3×10-2 (SI) near the base of the member, beneath the columnarly jointed vitrophyre, due to the presence of abundant superparamagnetic cubic Fe-oxide. These elongate microcrystals are several tens of nm long, and are typically deformed and tapered. Up section in the Tiva Canyon Member, the susceptibility decreases, going to a minimum within the columnar vitrophyre. At this stratigraphic level the precipitated Fe-oxides are larger and carry intense NRM of up to 30 A/m; χ is only 3×10-3. The whisker-like microcrystals of Fe-oxide, which typically nucleated on what appears to be chain silicate, grew as needles up to 25 μm in length. The size variations of the precipitated Fe-oxides, which were established using transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and petrographic observation, are consistent both with variations in magnetic susceptibility measured at the outcrop and with variations

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1993-11-01

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

  3. 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)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    I. Wong

    2004-11-05

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

  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

    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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoesmith, D.W

    2000-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shoesmith, D.W

    2000-03-01

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

  8. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-09-03

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

  10. 206Pb-230Th-234U-238U and 207Pb-235U geochronology of Quaternary opal, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-03-17

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  13. Late cenozoic evolution of Fortymile Ash: Major change in drainage pattern in the Yucca Mountain, Nevada region during late miocene volcanism

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lundstrom, S.C. [Geological Survey, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Warren, R.G. [Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)

    1994-12-31

    Analysis of sedimentary provenance and altitude distribution of volcanic strata along Fortymile Wash, the primary desert wash east of Yucca Mountain, NV, indicates a major change in surface drainage basins related to late Miocene volcanic disruption. This event resulted in the establishment of the modern Fortymile Wash basin before 3 Ma, and probably by latest Miocene time. An understanding of this event is useful for evaluation of extensive alluviation east of Yucca Mountain and its relation to paleoclimate, hydrology and tectonics. To the northeast of Yucca Mountain, Fortymile Wash provides southward surface drainage from 60% of the area of the 11 Ma Timber Mountain caldera via Fortymile Canyon, a major breach in the caldera wall. In the southeast caldera moat, the distribution of volcanic units that predate and include the 9.4 Ma Thirsty Canyon Group and the characteristics of intercalated sediments indicate a northward paleoslope and sediment transport from a major drainage divide near Dome Mountain, a shield volcano now deeply incised by Fortymile Canyon. Eruption of the Thirsty Canyon Group from the Black Mountain area, 10 km northwest of the Timber Mountain caldera, is likely to have dammed a counterclockwise drainage system of the east moat. Following drainage disruption, the east moat filled with sediment up to the level of a new southward outlet at the saddle between Dome Mountain and the onlapping rhyolite of Shoshone Mountain. An older canyon south of this saddle received the overflow from the east moat and became the throughgoing Fortymile Canyon, integrating the east moat basin with a lower base level in Jackass Flats. Well-integrated southward drainage existed by the time the trachybasalt flows of Buckboard Mesa (2.8 Ma) were emplaced, because basal elevations of these flows slope southward about 100 m above modern Fortymile Wash.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Loeven, C.

    1993-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1999-07-01

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

  16. Evaluation of mineral resource potential, caldera geology, and volcano-tectonic framework at and near Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-09-30

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-09-01

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

  18. The ins the outs and the ups and downs of constituent involvement: The Yucca Mountain project, a case study

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robison, A.C.; Seidler, P.; Ulick, M. [Science Applications International Corporation, Las Vegas, NV (United States); Smith, L. [Department of Energy, Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    1994-12-31

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has talked about the need and planned for the involvement of external parties in department decision making for some time. Until recently, however, DOE has not aggressively pursued the implementation of real pre-decisional involvement by its constituents. At the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMP), substantive constituent involvement has become the focus of external interactions. In an effort to determine the most effective means to accomplish this, the YMP has initiated a program in which the Project {open_quotes}involves constituents in determining how best to involve them{close_quotes}. Though still embryonic in its development, this process has yeilded some early positive results.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-10-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Estimation of host rock thermal conductivities using thetemperature data from the drift-scale test at Yucca Mountain,Nevada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sumitra; Tsang, Y.W.

    2003-11-25

    A large volume of temperature data has been collected from a very large, underground heater test, the Drift Scale Test (DST) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The DST was designed to obtain thermal, hydrological, mechanical, and chemical (THMC) data in the unsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain. Sophisticated numerical models have been developed to analyze the collected THMC data. In these analyses, thermal conductivities measured from core samples have been used as input parameters to the model. However, it was not known whether these core measurements represented the true field-scale thermal conductivity of the host rock. Realizing these difficulties, elaborate, computationally intensive geostatistical simulations have also been performed to obtain field-scale thermal conductivity of the host rock from the core measurements. In this paper, we use the temperature data from the DST as the input (instead of the measured core-scale thermal conductivity values) to develop an estimate of the field-scale thermal conductivity values. Assuming a conductive thermal regime, we develop an analytical solution for the temperature rise in the host rock of the DST; and using a nonlinear fitting routine, we obtain a best-fit estimate of field-scale thermal conductivity for the DST host rock. The temperature data collected from the DST shows clear evidence of two distinct thermal regimes: a zone below boiling (wet) and a zone above boiling (dry). We obtain estimates of thermal conductivity for both the wet and dry zones. We also analyze the sensitivity of these estimates to the input heating power of the DST.

  2. 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.

  3. Predictions of tracer transport in interwell tracer tests at the C-Hole complex. Yucca Mountain site characterization project report milestone 4077

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reimus, P.W.

    1996-09-01

    This report presents predictions of tracer transport in interwell tracer tests that are to be conducted at the C-Hole complex at the Nevada Test Site on behalf of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. The predictions are used to make specific recommendations about the manner in which the tracer test should be conducted to best satisfy the needs of the Project. The objective of he tracer tests is to study flow and species transport under saturated conditions in the fractured tuffs near Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the site of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. The potential repository will be located in the unsaturated zone within Yucca Mountain. The saturated zone beneath and around the mountain represents the final barrier to transport to the accessible environment that radionuclides will encounter if they breach the engineered barriers within the repository and the barriers to flow and transport provided by the unsaturated zone. Background information on the C-Holes is provided in Section 1.1, and the planned tracer testing program is discussed in Section 1.2.

  4. A Practical View on Renaming

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marija Kulaš

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available We revisit variable renaming from a practitioner's point of view, presenting concepts we found useful in dealing with operational semantics of pure Prolog. A concept of relaxed core representation is introduced, upon which a concept of prenaming is built. Prenaming formalizes the intuitive practice of renaming terms by just considering the necessary bindings, where now some passive "bindings" x/x may be necessary as well. As an application, a constructive version of variant lemma for implemented Horn clause logic has been obtained. There, prenamings made it possible to incrementally handle new (local variables.

  5. Sensitivity Analysis of Hydrological Parameters in Modeling Flow and Transport in the Unsaturated Zone of Yucca Mountain

    Energy Technology Data