National Library of Energy BETA

Sample records for unsaturated zone yucca

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

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    Montazer, P.; Wilson, W.E.

    1985-12-31

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

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

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

    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.

  3. Distribution of fast hydrologic paths in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain

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    Fabryka-Martin, J.T.; Wolfsberg, A.V.; Levy, S.S.; Roach, J.L.; Winters, S.T.; Wolfsberg, L.E.; Elmore, D.; Sharma, P.

    1998-12-31

    Development and testing of conceptual flow and transport models for hydrologic systems are strengthened when natural environmental tracers are incorporated into the process. One such tracer is chlorine-36 ({sup 36}Cl, half-life, 301,000 years), a radioactive isotope produced in the atmosphere and carried underground with percolating groundwater. High concentrations of this isotope were also added to meteoric water during a period of global fallout from atmospheric testing of nuclear devices, primarily in the 1950s. This bomb-pulse signal has been used to test for the presence of fast transport paths in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain and to provide the basis for a conceptual model for their distribution. Yucca Mountain is under investigation by the US Department of Energy as a potential site at which to host an underground high-level radioactive waste repository. Under wetter climatic conditions, fast-flow pathways will respond quickly to increases in infiltration and have the potential to become seeps in the tunnel drifts. The {sup 36}Cl data are also being used in numerical flow and transport models to establish lower bounds on infiltration rates, estimate ground water ages, and establish bounding values for hydrologic flow parameters governing fracture transport.

  4. Evidence for an unsaturated-zone origin of secondary minerals in Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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    Whelan, Joseph F.; Roedder, Edwin; Paces, James B.

    2001-04-29

    The unsaturated zone (UZ) in Miocene-age welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Secondary calcite and silica minerals deposited on fractures and in cavities in the UZ tuffs are texturally, isotopically, and geochemically consistent with UZ deposition from meteoric water infiltrating at the surface and percolating through the UZ along fractures. Nonetheless, two-phase fluid inclusions with small and consistent vapor to liquid (V:L) ratios that yield consistent temperatures within samples and which range from about 35 to about 80 C between samples have led some to attribute these deposits to formation from upwelling hydrothermal waters. Geochronologic studies have shown that calcite and silica minerals began forming at least 10 Ma and continued to form into the Holocene. If their deposition were really from upwelling water flooding the UZ, it would draw into question the suitability of the site as a waste repository.

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

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    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.

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

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    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.

  7. Isotope Geochemistry of Calcite Coatings and the Thermal History of the Unsaturated Zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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    B.D. Marshall; J.F. Whelan

    2000-07-27

    Calcite and opal coatings found on fracture footwalls and lithophysal cavity bottoms in the volcanic section at Yucca Mountain (exposed in a tunnel) contain a record of gradual chemical and isotopic changes that have occurred in the unsaturated zone. The thin (less than 6 cm) coatings are composed primarily of calcite, opal, chalcedony, and quartz. Fluid inclusions in calcite that homogenize at greater than ambient temperatures provide impetus for geochronologic studies in order to determine the thermal history. In the welded Topopah Spring Tuff (12.7 Ma), U-Pb ages of opal and chalcedony layers provide evidence of a long history of deposition throughout the past 10 m.y. However, these ages can constrain the ages of associated calcite layers only in samples with an easily interpretable microstratigraphy. Strontium isotope ratios in calcite increase with microstratigraphic position from the base up to the outermost surface of the coatings. The strontium incorporated in these coatings records the systematic change in pore-water isotopic composition due to water-rock interaction primarily in the overlying nonwelded tuffs. A one-dimensional advection-reaction model simulates strontium isotope ratios measured in pore water extracted from core in three vertical boreholes adjacent to the tunnel. By calculating the strontium isotope compositions of the rocks at various past times, the model predicts a history of the strontium isotope ratios in the water that matches the record in the calcite and therefore provides approximate ages. Oxygen isotope ratios measured in calcite gradually increase with decreasing model strontium age. Assuming that the oxygen isotope ratio of the percolating water was relatively constant, this trend indicates a gradual cooling of the rocks over millions of years, in agreement with thermal modeling of magma beneath the 12-Ma Timber Mountain caldera just north of Yucca Mountain. This model predicts that temperatures significantly exceeding current

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

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

    2001-08-20

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

  9. U-Pb ages of secondary silica at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: implications for the paleohydrology of the unsaturated zone

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

    2002-06-01

    This paper reports the results of analyses of uranium, thorium, and lead in layers of opal and chalcedony from individual mm- to cm-thick calcite and silica coatings at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA, a site that is being evaluated for a potential high-level nuclear waste repository.

  10. NaturAnalogs for the Unsaturated Zone

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    A. Simmons; A. Unger; M. Murrell

    2000-03-08

    The purpose of this Analysis/Model Report (AMR) is to document natural and anthropogenic (human-induced) analog sites and processes that are applicable to flow and transport processes expected to occur at the potential Yucca Mountain repository in order to build increased confidence in modeling processes of Unsaturated Zone (UZ) flow and transport. This AMR was prepared in accordance with ''AMR Development Plan for U0135, Natural Analogs for the UZ'' (CRWMS 1999a). Knowledge from analog sites and processes is used as corroborating information to test and build confidence in flow and transport models of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This AMR supports the Unsaturated Zone (UZ) Flow and Transport Process Model Report (PMR) and the Yucca Mountain Site Description. The objectives of this AMR are to test and build confidence in the representation of UZ processes in numerical models utilized in the UZ Flow and Transport Model. This is accomplished by: (1) applying data from Boxy Canyon, Idaho in simulations of UZ flow using the same methodologies incorporated in the Yucca Mountain UZ Flow and Transport Model to assess the fracture-matrix interaction conceptual model; (2) Providing a preliminary basis for analysis of radionuclide transport at Pena Blanca, Mexico as an analog of radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain; and (3) Synthesizing existing information from natural analog studies to provide corroborating evidence for representation of ambient and thermally coupled UZ flow and transport processes in the UZ Model.

  11. Unsaturated Zone and Saturated Zone Transport Properties (U0100)

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    J. Conca

    2000-12-20

    This Analysis/Model Report (AMR) summarizes transport properties for the lower unsaturated zone hydrogeologic units and the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain and provides a summary of data from the Busted Butte Unsaturated Zone Transport Test (UZTT). The purpose of this report is to summarize the sorption and transport knowledge relevant to flow and transport in the units below Yucca Mountain and to provide backup documentation for the sorption parameters decided upon for each rock type. Because of the complexity of processes such as sorption, and because of the lack of direct data for many conditions that may be relevant for Yucca Mountain, data from systems outside of Yucca Mountain are also included. The data reported in this AMR will be used in Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations and as general scientific support for various Process Model Reports (PMRs) requiring knowledge of the transport properties of different materials. This report provides, but is not limited to, sorption coefficients and other relevant thermodynamic and transport properties for the radioisotopes of concern, especially neptunium (Np), plutonium (Pu), Uranium (U), technetium (Tc), iodine (I), and selenium (Se). The unsaturated-zone (UZ) transport properties in the vitric Calico Hills (CHv) are discussed, as are colloidal transport data based on the Busted Butte UZTT, the saturated tuff, and alluvium. These values were determined through expert elicitation, direct measurements, and data analysis. The transport parameters include information on interactions of the fractures and matrix. In addition, core matrix permeability data from the Busted Butte UZTT are summarized by both percent alteration and dispersion.

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

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    Pruess, K.

    1998-08-01

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

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

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    Cooper, C.A.

    1990-01-01

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

  14. Vertical Variability in Saturated Zone Hydrochemistry Near Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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    G. Patterson; P. Striffler

    2007-02-17

    The differences in the saturated zone hydrochemistry with depth at borehole NC-EWDP-22PC reflect the addition of recharge along Fortymile Wash. The differences in water chemistry with depth at borehole NC-EWDP-19PB appear to indicate that other processes are involved. Water from the lower part of NC-EWDP-19PB possesses chemical characteristics that clearly indicate that it has undergone cation exchange that resulted in the removal of calcium and magnesium and the addition of sodium. This water is very similar to water from the Western Yucca Mountain facies that has previously been thought to flow west of NC-EWDP-19PB. Water from the lower zone in NC-EWDP-19PB also could represent water from the Eastern Yucca Mountain facies that has moved through clay-bearing or zeolitized aquifer material resulting in the altered chemistry. Water chemistry from the upper part of the saturated zone at NC-EWDP-19PB, both zones at NC-EWDP-22PC, and wells in the Fortymile Wash facies appears to be the result of recharge through the alluvium south of Yucca Mountain and within the Fortymile Wash channel.

  15. Yucca Mountain Area Saturated Zone Dissolved Organic Carbon Isotopic Data

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    Thomas, James; Decker, David; Patterson, Gary; Peterman, Zell; Mihevc, Todd; Larsen, Jessica; Hershey, Ronald

    2007-06-25

    groundwater ages. The DIC calculated groundwater ages were compared with DOC calculated groundwater ages and both of these ages were compared to travel times developed in ground-water flow and transport models. If nuclear waste is stored in Yucca Mountain, the saturated zone is the final barrier against the release of radionuclides to the environment. The most recent rendition of the TSPA takes little credit for the presence of the saturated zone and is a testament to the inadequate understanding of this important barrier. If radionuclides reach the saturated zone beneath Yucca Mountain, then there is a travel time before they would leave the Yucca Mountain area and flow down gradient to the Amargosa Valley area. Knowing how long it takes groundwater in the saturated zone to flow from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient areas is critical information for potential radionuclide transport. Radionuclide transport in groundwater may be the quickest pathway for radionuclides in the proposed Yucca Mountain repository to reach land surface by way of groundwater pumped in Amargosa Valley. An alternative approach to ground-water flow and transport models to determine the travel time of radionuclides from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient areas in the saturated zone is by carbon-14 dating of both inorganic and organic carbon dissolved in the groundwater. A standard method of determining ground-water ages is to measure the carbon-13 and carbon-14 of DIC in the groundwater and then correct the measured carbon-14 along a flow path for geochemical reactions that involve carbon containing phases. These geochemical reactions are constrained by carbon-13 and isotopic fractionations. Without correcting for geochemical reactions, the ground-water ages calculated from only the differences in carbon-14 measured along a flow path (assuming the decrease in carbon-14 is due strictly to radioactive decay) could be tens of thousands of years too old. The computer program NETPATH, developed by

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

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    Fernandez, J.A.; Case, J.B.; Givens, C.A.; Carney, B.C.

    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.

  17. UNSATURATED ZONE CALCITE 813C EVIDENCE OF SOUTHERN NEVADA CLIMATES DURING THE PAST 9 MILLION YEARS

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    JOSEPH F. WHELAN AND RICHARD J. MOSCATI

    1998-01-26

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is presently the object of intense study as a potential permanent repository for the Nation's high-level radioactive wastes. The mountain consists of a thick sequence of volcanic tuffs in which the depth to the water table ranges from 500 to 700 meters below the land surface. This thick unsaturated zone (UZ), which would host the projected repository, coupled with the present-day arid to semi-arid environment, is considered a positive argument for the site. Evaluation of the site includes defining the relationship between climate variability, as the input function or driver of site- and regional-scale ground-water flow, and the possible transport and release of radionuclides. Secondary calcite and opal have been deposited in the UZ by meteoric waters that infiltrated through overlying soils and percolated through the tuffs. The oxygen isotopic composition ({delta}{sup 18}O values) of these minerals reflect contemporaneous meteoric waters and the {delta}{sup 13}C values reflect soil organic matter, and hence the resident plant community, at the time of infiltration (Whelan et al., 1994). Recent U/Pb age determinations of opal in these occurrences allows the {delta}{sup 13}C values of associated calcite to be used to reconstruct general climate variations during the past 9 M.y.

  18. A saturated zone site-scale flow model for Yucca mountain

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    Eddebbarh, Al Aziz

    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

  19. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

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    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.

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

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    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.

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

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    Fernandez, J.A.; Case, J.B.; Tyburski, J.R.

    1993-05-01

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

  2. Hydrologic characterization of faults and other potentially conductive geologic features in the unsaturated zone

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    Javandel, I.; Shan, C.

    1990-01-01

    The capability of characterizing near-vertical faults and other potentially highly conductive geologic features in the vicinity of a high-level-waste repository is of great importance in site characterization of underground waste-isolation projects. The possibility of using transient air pressure data at depth for characterizing these features in the unsaturated zone are investigated. Analytical solutions for calculating the pressure response of such systems are presented. Solutions are given for two types of barometric pressure fluctuations, step function and sinusoidal. 3 refs., 9 figs.

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

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

    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.

  4. Code System Calculate One-Dimensional Vertical Transport Unsaturated Soil Zone

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (OSTI)

    1989-03-01

    SESOIL, as an integrated screening-level soil compartment model, is designed to simultaneously model water transport, sediment transport, and pollutant fate. SESOIL is a one-dimensional vertical transport model for the unsaturated soil zone. Only one compound at a time can be considered. The model is based on mass balance and equilibrium partitioning of the chemical between different phases (dissolved, sorbed, vapor, and pure). The SESOIL model was designed to perform long-term simulations of chemical transport andmore » transformations in the soil and uses theoretically derived equations to represent water transport, sediment transport on the land surface, pollutant transformation, and migration of the pollutant to the atmosphere and groundwater. Climatic data, compartment geometry, and soil and chemical property data are the major components used in the equations. SESOIL was developed as a screening-level model, utilizing less soil, chemical, and meteorological values as input than most other similar models. Output of SESOIL includes time-varying pollutant concentrations at various soil depths and pollutant loss from the unsaturated zone in terms of surface runoff, percolation to the groundwater, volatilization, and degradation. The February 1995 release corrects an error that caused the code to fail when average monthly air temperature was -10C and includes an improved iteration procedure for the mass balance equations in the model. PLEASE NOTE: The RISKPRO information management software (see OTHER PROG/OPER SYS INFO) was used by the developers of the New SESOIL User''s Guide in their study and revisions of SESOIL. Using RISKPRO in conjunction with SESOIL is an option, and it may provide the easiest way to use SESOIL. The other option, use of SESOIL in stand-alone mode, has been tested and used. The stand-alone option is covered in ''Instructions for Running Stand-Alone SESOIL Code'', and in ''A Seasonal Soil Compartment Model''.« less

  5. Pore-water extraction from unsaturated tuff by triaxial and one-dimensional compression methods, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Mower, T.E.; Higgins, J.D.; Yang, In C.; Peters, C.A.

    1994-07-01

    The hydrologic system in the unsaturated tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being evaluated for the US Department of Energy by the Yucca Mountain Project Branch of the US Geological Survey as a potential site for a high-level radioactive-waste repository. Part of this investigation includes a hydrochemical study that is being made to assess characteristics of the hydrologic system such as: traveltime, direction of flow, recharge and source relations, and types and magnitudes of chemical reactions in the unsaturated tuff. In addition, this hydrochemical information will be used in the study of the dispersive and corrosive effects of unsaturated-zone water on the radioactive-waste storage canisters. This report describes the design and validation of laboratory experimental procedures for extracting representative samples of uncontaminated pore water from welded and nonwelded, unsaturated tuffs from the Nevada Test Site.

  6. Stratigraphy of the unsaturated zone and the Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Anderson, S.R.; Liszewski, M.J.

    1997-08-01

    The unsaturated zone and the Snake River Plain aquifer at and near the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) are made up of at least 178 basalt-flow groups, 103 sedimentary interbeds, 6 andesite-flow groups, and 4 rhyolite domes. Stratigraphic units identified in 333 wells in this 890-mile{sup 2} area include 121 basalt-flow groups, 102 sedimentary interbeds, 6 andesite-flow groups, and 1 rhyolite dome. Stratigraphic units were identified and correlated using the data from numerous outcrops and 26 continuous cores and 328 natural-gamma logs available in December 1993. Basalt flows make up about 85% of the volume of deposits underlying the area.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hoxie, D.T.

    1995-04-01

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

  8. Hydrologic evaluation methodology for estimating water movement through the unsaturated zone at commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal sites

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Meyer, P.D.; Rockhold, M.L.; Nichols, W.E.; Gee, G.W. [Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (United States)

    1996-01-01

    This report identifies key technical issues related to hydrologic assessment of water flow in the unsaturated zone at low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities. In addition, a methodology for incorporating these issues in the performance assessment of proposed LLW disposal facilities is identified and evaluated. The issues discussed fall into four areas: estimating the water balance at a site (i.e., infiltration, runoff, water storage, evapotranspiration, and recharge); analyzing the hydrologic performance of engineered components of a facility; evaluating the application of models to the prediction of facility performance; and estimating the uncertainty in predicted facility performance. To illustrate the application of the methodology, two examples are presented. The first example is of a below ground vault located in a humid environment. The second example looks at a shallow land burial facility located in an arid environment. The examples utilize actual site-specific data and realistic facility designs. The two examples illustrate the issues unique to humid and arid sites as well as the issues common to all LLW sites. Strategies for addressing the analytical difficulties arising in any complex hydrologic evaluation of the unsaturated zone are demonstrated.

  9. Estimation of unsaturated zone traveltimes for Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, using a source-responsive preferential-flow model

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Brian A. Ebel; John R. Nimmo

    2009-09-11

    Traveltimes for contaminant transport by water from a point in the unsaturated zone to the saturated zone are a concern at Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain in the Nevada Test Site, Nevada. Where nuclear tests were conducted in the unsaturated zone, contaminants must traverse hundreds of meters of variably saturated rock before they enter the saturated zone in the carbonate rock, where the regional groundwater system has the potential to carry them substantial distances to a location of concern. The unsaturated-zone portion of the contaminant transport path may cause a significant delay, in addition to the time required to travel within the saturated zone, and thus may be important in the overall evaluation of the potential hazard from contamination. Downward contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone occurs through various processes and pathways; this can lead to a broad distribution of contaminant traveltimes, including exceedingly slow and unexpectedly fast extremes. Though the bulk of mobile contaminant arrives between the time-scale end members, the fastest contaminant transport speed, in other words the speed determined by the combination of possible processes and pathways that would bring a measureable quantity of contaminant to the aquifer in the shortest time, carries particular regulatory significance because of its relevance in formulating the most conservative hazard-prevention scenarios. Unsaturated-zone flow is usually modeled as a diffusive process responding to gravity and pressure gradients as mediated by the unsaturated hydraulic properties of the materials traversed. The mathematical formulation of the diffuse-flow concept is known as Richards' equation, which when coupled to a solute transport equation, such as the advection-dispersion equation, provides a framework to simulate contaminant migration in the unsaturated zone. In recent decades awareness has increased that much fluid flow and contaminant transport within the unsaturated

  10. MODELING COUPLED PROCESSES OF MULTIPHASE FLOW AND HEAT TRANSFER IN UNSATURATED FRACTURED ROCK

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Y. Wu; S. Mukhopadhyay; K. Zhang; G.S. Bodvarsson

    2006-02-28

    A mountain-scale, thermal-hydrologic (TH) numerical model is developed for investigating unsaturated flow behavior in response to decay heat from the radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA. The TH model, consisting of three-dimensional (3-D) representations of the unsaturated zone, is based on the current repository design, drift layout, and thermal loading scenario under estimated current and future climate conditions. More specifically, the TH model implements the current geological framework and hydrogeological conceptual models, and incorporates the most updated, best-estimated input parameters. This mountain-scale TH model simulates the coupled TH processes related to mountain-scale multiphase fluid flow, and evaluates the impact of radioactive waste heat on the hydrogeological system, including thermally perturbed liquid saturation, gas- and liquid-phase fluxes, and water and rock temperature elevations, as well as the changes in water flux driven by evaporation/condensation processes and drainage between drifts. For a better description of the ambient geothermal condition of the unsaturated zone system, the TH model is first calibrated against measured borehole temperature data. The ambient temperature calibration provides the necessary surface and water table boundary as well as initial conditions. Then, the TH model is used to obtain scientific understanding of TH processes in the Yucca Mountain unsaturated zone under the designed schedule of repository thermal load.

  11. Age constraints on fluid inclusions in calcite at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Neymark, Leonid A.; Amelin, Yuri V.; Paces, James B.; Peterman, Zell E.; Whelan, Joseph F.

    2001-04-29

    The {sup 207}Pb/{sup 235}U ages for 14 subsamples of opal or chalcedony layers younger than calcite formed at elevated temperature range between 1.88 {+-} 0.05 and 9.7 {+-} 1.5 Ma with most values older than 6-8 Ma. These data indicate that fluids with elevated temperatures have not been present in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain since about 1.9 Ma and most likely since 6-8 Ma. Discordant U-Pb isotope data for chalcedony subsamples representing the massive silica stage in the formation of the coatings are interpreted using a model of the diffusive loss of U decay products. The model gives an age estimate for the time of chalcedony formation around 10-11 Ma, which overlaps ages of clay minerals formed in tuffs below the water table at Yucca Mountain during the Timber Mountain thermal event.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Houseworth, J.E.; Hardin, E.

    2008-11-17

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

  14. User`s Guide: Database of literature pertaining to the unsaturated zone and surface water-ground water interactions at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hall, L.F.

    1993-05-01

    Since its beginnings in 1949, hydrogeologic investigations at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) have resulted in an extensive collection of technical publications providing information concerning ground water hydraulics and contaminant transport within the unsaturated zone. Funding has been provided by the Department of Energy through the Department of Energy Idaho Field Office in a grant to compile an INEL-wide summary of unsaturated zone studies based on a literature search. University of Idaho researchers are conducting a review of technical documents produced at or pertaining to the INEL, which present or discuss processes in the unsaturated zone and surface water-ground water interactions. Results of this review are being compiled as an electronic database. Fields are available in this database for document title and associated identification number, author, source, abstract, and summary of information (including types of data and parameters). AskSam{reg_sign}, a text-based database system, was chosen. WordPerfect 5.1{copyright} is being used as a text-editor to input data records into askSam.

  15. Briefing package for the Yucca Flat pre-emptive review, including overview, UZ model, SZ volcanics model and summary and conclusions sections

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kwicklis, Edward Michael; Keating, Elizabeth H

    2010-12-02

    Much progress has been made in the last several years in modeling radionuclide transport from tests conducted both in the unsaturated zone and saturated volcanic rocks of Yucca Flat, Nevada. The presentations to the DOE NNSA pre-emptive review panel contained herein document the progress to date, and discuss preliminary conclusions regarding the present and future extents of contamination resulting from past nuclear tests. The presentations also discuss possible strategies for addressing uncertainty in the model results.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Moscati, R.J.; Whelan, J.F.

    1996-09-01

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

  17. Yucca Mountain

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Yucca Mountain We are applying our unique scientific and engineering capabilities to ensure the safety of the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. 8 08 FACT SHEET ...

  18. Review and selection of unsaturated flow models

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Reeves, M.; Baker, N.A.; Duguid, J.O.

    1994-04-04

    Since the 1960`s, ground-water flow models have been used for analysis of water resources problems. In the 1970`s, emphasis began to shift to analysis of waste management problems. This shift in emphasis was largely brought about by site selection activities for geologic repositories for disposal of high-level radioactive wastes. Model development during the 1970`s and well into the 1980`s focused primarily on saturated ground-water flow because geologic repositories in salt, basalt, granite, shale, and tuff were envisioned to be below the water table. Selection of the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for potential disposal of waste began to shift model development toward unsaturated flow models. Under the US Department of Energy (DOE), the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) has the responsibility to review, evaluate, and document existing computer models; to conduct performance assessments; and to develop performance assessment models, where necessary. This document describes the CRWMS M&O approach to model review and evaluation (Chapter 2), and the requirements for unsaturated flow models which are the bases for selection from among the current models (Chapter 3). Chapter 4 identifies existing models, and their characteristics. Through a detailed examination of characteristics, Chapter 5 presents the selection of models for testing. Chapter 6 discusses the testing and verification of selected models. Chapters 7 and 8 give conclusions and make recommendations, respectively. Chapter 9 records the major references for each of the models reviewed. Appendix A, a collection of technical reviews for each model, contains a more complete list of references. Finally, Appendix B characterizes the problems used for model testing.

  19. Preparing to Submit a License Application for Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    W.J. Arthur; M.D. Voegele

    2005-03-14

    of the United States, approximately 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Las Vegas (Figure 1). The location is remote from population centers, and there are no permanent residents within approximately 14 miles (23 km) of the site. Overall, Nye County has a population density of about two persons per square mile (two persons per 2.5 square km); in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, it is significantly less. Yucca Mountain is a series of north-south-trending ridges extending approximately 25 miles (40 km), and consists of successive layers of fine-grained volcanic tuffs, millions of years old, underlain by older carbonate rocks. The alternating layers of welded and nonwelded volcanic tuffs have differing hydrologic properties that significantly impact the manner in which water moves through the mountain. The repository horizon will be in welded tuff located in the unsaturated zone, more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) above the water table in the present-day climate, and is expected to remain well above the water table during wetter future climate conditions. Future meteorology and climatology at Yucca Mountain are important elements in understanding the amount of water available to potentially interact with the waste.

  20. Calcite deposits in drill cores USW G-2 and USW GU-3/G-3 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Preliminary report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Vaniman, D.T.

    1994-04-01

    Yucca Mountain is being studied as a potential site for deep geologic disposal of high-level radioactive waste. Should a repository be developed at Yucca Mountain, the preferred location is within the upper unsaturated tuffaceous volcanic rocks. In this location, one factor of concern is the amount and rate of aqueous transport through the unsaturated rocks toward the underlying saturated intervals. Calcite, one of the most recently-formed minerals at Yucca Mountain, is of minor abundance in the unsaturated rocks but is widely distributed. Studies of calcite ages, isotopic systematics, chemistry and petrography could lead to a better understanding of transport processes at Yucca Mountain.

  1. 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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Gomberg, J.

    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.

  2. Predictions of tracer transport in interwell tracer tests at the C-Hole complex. Yucca Mountain site characterization project report milestone 4077

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  4. Impact of Quaternary Climate on Seepage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    J.F. Whelan; J.B. Paces; L.A. Neymark; A.K. Schmitt; M. Grove

    2006-03-17

    Uranium-series ages, oxygen-isotopic compositions, and uranium contents were determined in outer growth layers of opal and calcite from 0.5- to 3-centimeter-thick mineral coatings hosted by lithophysal cavities in the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, the proposed site of a permanent repository for high-level radioactive waste. Micrometer-scale growth layering in the minerals was imaged using a cathodoluminescence detector on a scanning electron microscope. Determinations of the chemistry, ages, and delta oxygen-18 values of the growth layers were conducted by electron microprobe analysis and secondary ion mass spectrometry techniques at spatial resolutions of 1 to about 20 micrometers ({micro}m) and 25 to 40 micrometers, respectively. Growth rates for the last 300 thousand years (k.y.) calculated from about 300 new high-resolution uranium-series ages range from approximately 0.5 to 1.5 {micro}m/k.y. for 1- to 3-centimeter-thick coatings, whereas coatings less than about I-centimeter-thick have growth rates less than 0.5 {micro}m/k.y. At the depth of the proposed repository, correlations of uranium concentration and delta oxygen-18 values with regional climate records indicate that unsaturated zone percolation and seepage water chemistries have responded to changes in climate during the last several hundred thousand years.

  5. Stratigraphy of the unsaturated zone and uppermost part of the Snake River Plain aquifer at test area north, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory, Idaho

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Anderson, S.R.; Bowers, B.

    1995-06-01

    A complex sequence of basalt flows and sedimentary interbeds underlies Test Area North (TAN) at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory in eastern Idaho. Wells drilled to depths of at least 500 feet penetrate 10 basalt-flow groups and 5 to 10 sedimentary interbeds that range in age from about 940,000 to 1.4 million years. Each basalt-flow group consists of one or more basalt flows from a brief, single or compound eruption. All basalt flows of each group erupted from the same vent, and have similar ages, paleomagnetic properties, potassium contents, and natural-gamma emissions. Sedimentary interbeds consist of fluvial, lacustrine, and eolian deposits of clay, silt, sand, and gravel that accumulated for hundreds to hundreds of thousands of years during periods of volcanic quiescence. Basalt and sediment are elevated by hundreds of feet with respect to rocks of equivalent age south and cast of the area, a relation that is attributed to past uplift at TAN. Basalt and sediment are unsaturated to a depth of about 200 feet below land surface. Rocks below this depth are saturated and make up the Snake River Plain aquifer. The effective base of the aquifer is at a depth of 885 feet below land surface. Detailed stratigraphic relations for the lowermost part of the aquifer in the depth interval from 500 to 885 feet were not determined because of insufficient data. The stratigraphy of basalt-flow groups and sedimentary interbeds in the upper 500 feet of the unsaturated zone and aquifer was determined from natural-gamma logs, lithologic logs, and well cores. Basalt cores were evaluated for potassium-argon ages, paleomagnetic properties, petrographic characteristics, and chemical composition. Stratigraphic control was provided by differences in ages, paleomagnetic properties, potassium content, and natural-gamma emissions of basalt-flow groups and sedimentary interbeds.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Karasaki, K.; Galloway, D.

    1991-06-01

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

  7. Unclassified Sources Term and Radionuclide Data for Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, Revision 2

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Peter Martian

    2009-08-01

    This report documents the evaluation of the information and data available on the unclassified source term and radionuclide contamination for CAU 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine. The total residual inventory of radionuclides associated with one or more tests is known as the radiologic source term (RST). The RST is comprised of radionuclides in water, glass, or other phases or mineralogic forms. The hydrologic source term (HST) of an underground nuclear test is the portion of the total RST that is released into the groundwater over time following the test. In this report, the HST represents radionuclide release some time after the explosion and does not include the rapidly evolving mechanical, thermal, and chemical processes during the explosion. The CAU 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine has many more detonations and a wider variety of settings to consider compared to other CAUs. For instance, the source term analysis and evaluation performed for CAUs 101 and 102: Central and Western Pahute Mesa and CAU 98: Frenchman Flat did not consider vadose zone attenuation because many detonations were located near or below the water table. However, the large number of Yucca Flat/Climax Mine tests and the location of many tests above the water table warrant a more robust analysis of the unsaturated zone. The purpose of this report is to develop and document conceptual models of the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine HST for use in implementing source terms for the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine models. This document presents future plans to incorporate the radionuclide attenuation mechanisms due to unsaturated/multiphase flow and transport within the Yucca Flat CAU scale modeling. The important processes that influence radionuclide migration for the unsaturated and saturated tests in alluvial, volcanic, and carbonate settings are identified. Many different flow and transport models developed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), including original

  8. Yucca Mountain - SRSCRO

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Yucca Mountain In 2009, the Department of Energy announced it was halting work on Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert which The Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 established as the ...

  9. Total-system performance assessment for Yucca Mountain -- SNL second iteration (TSPA-1993); Executive summary

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wilson, M.L.; Barnard, R.W.; Gauthier, J.H. |

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

  10. Unclassified Source Term and Radionuclide Data for Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine, Nevada Test Site, Nevada, Revision 1

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Peter Martian

    2009-05-01

    This report documents the evaluation of the information and data available on the unclassified source term and radionuclide contamination for CAU 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine. The total residual inventory of radionuclides associated with one or more tests is known as the radiologic source term (RST). The RST is comprised of radionuclides in water, glass, or other phases or mineralogic forms. The hydrologic source term (HST) of an underground nuclear test is the portion of the total RST that is released into the groundwater over time following the test. In this report, the HST represents radionuclide release some time after the explosion and does not include the rapidly evolving mechanical, thermal, and chemical processes during the explosion. The CAU 97: Yucca Flat/Climax Mine has many more detonations and a wider variety of settings to consider compared to other CAUs. For instance, the source term analysis and evaluation performed for CAUs 101 and 102: Central and Western Pahute Mesa and CAU 98: Frenchman Flat did not consider vadose zone attenuation because many detonations were located near or below the water table. However, the large number of Yucca Flat/Climax Mine tests and the location of many tests above the water table warrant a more robust analysis of the unsaturated zone.

  11. An Updated Site Scale Saturated Zone Ground Water Transport Model...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    An Updated Site Scale Saturated Zone Ground Water Transport Model for Yucca Mountain. Citation Details In-Document Search Title: An Updated Site Scale Saturated Zone Ground Water ...

  12. FITTING OF THE DATA FOR DIFFUSION COEFFICIENTS IN UNSATURATED POROUS MEDIA

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    B. Bullard

    1999-05-01

    The purpose of this calculation is to evaluate diffusion coefficients in unsaturated porous media for use in the TSPA-VA analyses. Using experimental data, regression techniques were used to curve fit the diffusion coefficient in unsaturated porous media as a function of volumetric water content. This calculation substantiates the model fit used in Total System Performance Assessment-1995 An Evaluation of the Potential Yucca Mountain Repository (TSPA-1995), Section 6.5.4.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1994-04-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    B. Faybishenko

    2006-09-11

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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

  17. Estimation of host rock thermal conductivities using thetemperature data from the drift-scale test at Yucca Mountain,Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  18. Mineralogic summary of Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Bish, D.L.; Vaniman, D.T.

    1985-10-01

    Quantitative x-ray powder diffraction analysis of tuffs and silicic lavas, using matrix-flushing techniques, has been used to obtain a model of three-dimensional mineral distributions at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. This method of analysis is especially useful in tuff, where the most abundant phases are commonly too fine grained for optical determination. The three-dimensional distributions of primary glass and of tridymite are particularly well constrained. Vitric nonwelded glasses occur above and below the welded devitrified Topopah Spring Member, but the glass in the lower nonwelded vitric zone is progressively altered to zeolites to the east where the zone is closer to the static water level. The zeolites clinoptilolite, mordenite, heulandite, and erionite have all been found at Yucca Mountain, but only mordenite and clinoptilolite are abundant and can be mapped between many drill holes and at many depths. Heulandite distribution is also mappable, but only below the densely welded devitrified part of the Topopah Storing Member. Erionite has been confirmed only once, as a fracture coating. There is a fairly continuous smectite-rich interval immediately above the basal vitrophyre of the Topopah Spring Member, but no evidence suggests that the smectites can provide information on the paleogroundwater table. There are at least four mappable zeolitized zones in Yucca Mountain, and the thicker zones tend to coincide with intervals that retained glass following early tuff devitrification. Problems in extrapolation occur where zones of welding pinch out. No phillipsite has been found, and some samples previously reported to contain phillipsite or erionite were reexamined with negative results. The deeper alteration to albite and analcime was not sampled in every drill hole, and the distribution of these phases is difficult to map.

  19. The Occurrence of Erionite at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NA

    2004-07-01

    The naturally-occurring zeolite mineral erionite has a fibrous morphology and is a known human carcinogen (inhalation hazard). Erionite has been found typically in very small quantities and restricted occurrences in the course of mineralogic characterization of Yucca Mountain as a host for a high-level nuclear waste repository. The first identification of erionite was made in 1984 on the basis of morphology and chemical composition and later confirmed by X-ray diffraction analysis. It was found in the lower vitrophyre (Tptpv3) of the Topopah Spring Tuff in a borehole sidewall sample. Most erionite occurrences identified at Yucca Mountain are in the Topopah Spring Tuff, within an irregular zone of transition between the lower boundary of devitrified tuff and underlying glassy tuff. This zone is fractured and contains intermingled devitrified and vitric tuff. In 1997, a second host of erionite mineralization was identified in the Exploratory Studies Facility within and adjacent to a high-angle fracture/breccia zone transgressing the boundary between the lowermost devitrified tuff (Tpcplnc) and underlying moderately welded vitric tuff (Tpcpv2) of the Tiva Canyon Tuff. The devitrified-vitric transition zones where erionite is found tend to have complex secondary-mineral assemblages, some of very localized occurrence. Secondary minerals in addition to erionite may include smectite, heulandite-clinoptilolite, chabazite, opal-A, opal-CT, cristobalite, quartz, kenyaite, and moganite. Incipient devitrification within the Topopah Spring Tuff transition zone includes patches that are highly enriched in potassium feldspar relative to the precursor volcanic glass. Geochemical conditions during glass alteration may have led to local evolution of potassium-rich fluids. Thermodynamic modeling of zeolite stability shows that erionite and chabazite stability fields occur only at aqueous K concentrations much higher than in present Yucca Mountain waters. The association of erionite

  20. 9 M.y. record of southern Nevada climate from Yucca Mountain secondary minerals

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Whelan, J.F.; Moscati, R.J.

    1998-12-01

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is presently the object of intense study as a potential permanent repository for the Nation`s high-level radioactive wastes. The mountain consists of a thick sequence of volcanic tuffs within which the depth to water table ranges from 500 to 700 meters below the land surface. This thick unsaturated zone (UZ), which would host the projected repository, coupled with the present day arid to semi-arid climate, is considered a favorable attribute of the site. Evaluation of the site includes defining the relation between climate variability, as the input function or driver of site- and regional-scale ground-water flow, and the possible future transport and release of radionuclides to the accessible environment. Secondary calcite and opal have been deposited in the UZ by meteoric waters that infiltrated through overlying soils and percolated through the tuffs. The oxygen isotopic composition ({delta}{sup 18}O values) of these minerals reflect contemporaneous meteoric waters and the {delta}{sup 13}C values reflect soil organic matter, and hence the resident plant community, at the time of infiltration. Recent U/Pb age determinations of opal in these occurrences, coupled with the {delta}{sup 13}C values of associated calcite, allow broadbrush reconstructions of climate patterns during the past 9 M.y.

  1. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wittwer, C.; Chen, G.; Bodvarsson, G.S.; Chornack, M.; Flint, A.; Flint, L.; Kwicklis, E.; Spengler, R.

    1995-06-01

    A 3-D model of moisture flow within the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain is being developed at LBL in cooperation with USGS. This site-scale model covers an area of about 34 km{sup 2} and is bounded by major faults to the north, east, and west. The relatively coarse-grid model includes about 300 horizontal grid-blocks and 17 layers. Contour maps and isopach maps are presented defining different types of infiltration zones, and the spatial distribution of Tiva Canyon, Paintbrush, and Topopah Spring hydrogeological units. Matrix flow is approximated using the van Genuchten model, and the equivalent continuum approximation is used to account for fracture flow in the welded units. One-, two-, and three-dimensional simulations are conducted using the TOUGH2 computer program. Steady-state simulations are performed with various uniform and nonuniform infiltration rates; results are interpreted in terms of effect of fault characteristics on moisture flow distribution, and on the location and formation of preferential pathways.

  3. Saturated Zone Colloid Transport

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    H. S. Viswanathan

    2004-10-07

    This scientific analysis provides retardation factors for colloids transporting in the saturated zone (SZ) and the unsaturated zone (UZ). These retardation factors represent the reversible chemical and physical filtration of colloids in the SZ. The value of the colloid retardation factor, R{sub col} is dependent on several factors, such as colloid size, colloid type, and geochemical conditions (e.g., pH, Eh, and ionic strength). These factors are folded into the distributions of R{sub col} that have been developed from field and experimental data collected under varying geochemical conditions with different colloid types and sizes. Attachment rate constants, k{sub att}, and detachment rate constants, k{sub det}, of colloids to the fracture surface have been measured for the fractured volcanics, and separate R{sub col} uncertainty distributions have been developed for attachment and detachment to clastic material and mineral grains in the alluvium. Radionuclides such as plutonium and americium sorb mostly (90 to 99 percent) irreversibly to colloids (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170025], Section 6.3.3.2). The colloid retardation factors developed in this analysis are needed to simulate the transport of radionuclides that are irreversibly sorbed onto colloids; this transport is discussed in the model report ''Site-Scale Saturated Zone Transport'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170036]). Although it is not exclusive to any particular radionuclide release scenario, this scientific analysis especially addresses those scenarios pertaining to evidence from waste-degradation experiments, which indicate that plutonium and americium may be irreversibly attached to colloids for the time scales of interest. A section of this report will also discuss the validity of using microspheres as analogs to colloids in some of the lab and field experiments used to obtain the colloid retardation factors. In addition, a small fraction of colloids travels with the groundwater without any significant retardation

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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 to each other. Section 6 also discusses

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-03-24

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

  6. Yucca Mountain | Department of Energy

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    production of nuclear power Nuclear fuel pellets 2 of 13 Nuclear fuel pellets Aerial view of north end of the Yucca Mountain crest in February 1993 3 of 13 Aerial view of north...

  7. YUCCA Mountain project.

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ebert, W. L.; Fortner, J. A.; Finch, R. J.; Jerden, J. L.; Cunnane, J. C.

    2005-03-28

    This report describes the experimental work performed at Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) during fiscal year 2004 (FY 04) under the Bechtel SAIC Company, LLC (BSC) Memorandum Purchase Order (MPO), contract number B004210CM3X. Important results related to the technical bases, uncertainties, validation, and conservatism in current source term models are summarized below. An examination of specimens of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF) that had been subjected to corrosion testing for up to 10 years under hydrologically unsaturated conditions was undertaken to elucidate radionuclide release pathways and mechanisms.

  8. Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

    Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report describes the results of scientific and engineering studies of the Yucca Mountain site, the waste forms to be disposed, the repository and waste...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lance Prothro

    2005-09-01

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

  10. Numerical evaluation of effective unsaturated hydraulic properties...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    unsaturated hydraulic properties for fractured rocks Citation Details In-Document Search Title: Numerical evaluation of effective unsaturated hydraulic properties for ...

  11. Numerical evaluation of effective unsaturated hydraulic properties...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    for upscaling the van Genuchten parameters of unsaturated fractured rocks by conducting Monte Carlo simulations of the unsaturated flow in a domain under gravity-dominated regime. ...

  12. FORMATION OF CALCIUM AND SILICA FROM PERCOLATION IN A HYDROLOGICALLY UNSATURATED SETTING, Y.M.,NV

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    J.B. Paces; J.F. Whelan; Z.E. Peterman; B.D. Marshall

    2000-07-27

    Geological, mineralogical, chemical, and isotopic evidence from coatings of calcite and silica on open fractures and lithophysal cavities within welded tuffs at Yucca Mountain indicate an origin from meteoric water percolating through a thick (500 to 700 m) unsaturated zone (UZ) rather than from pulses of ascending ground water. Geologic evidence for a UZ setting includes the presence of coatings in only a small percentage of cavities, the restriction of coatings to fracture footwalls and cavity floors, and an absence of mineral high-water marks indicative of water ponding. Systematic mineral sequences (early calcite, followed by chalcedony with minor quartz and fluorite, and finally calcite with intercalated opal forming the bulk of the coatings) indicate progressive changes in UZ conditions through time, rather than repeated saturation by flooding. Percolation under the influence of gravity also results in mineral textures that vary between steeply dipping sites (thinner coatings of blocky calcite) and shallowly dipping sites (thicker coatings of coarse, commonly bladed calcite, with globules and sheets of opal). Micrometer-scale growth banding in both calcite and opal reflects slow average growth rates (scale of mm/m.y.) over millions of years rather than only a few rapidly deposited growth episodes. Isotopic compositions of C, O, Sr, and U from calcite and opal indicate a percolation-modified meteoric water source, and collectively refute a deeper ground-water source. Chemical and isotopic variations in coatings also indicate long-term evolution of water compositions. Although some compositional changes are related to shifts in climate, growth rates in the deeper UZ are buffered from large changes in meteoric input. Coatings most likely formed from films of water flowing down connected fracture pathways. Mineral precipitation is consistent with water vapor and carbon dioxide loss from films at very slow rates. Data collectively indicate that mineral coatings

  13. Yucca Mountain Press Conference | Department of Energy

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Yucca Mountain Press Conference Yucca Mountain Press Conference June 3, 2008 - 12:51pm Addthis Remarks as Prepared for Delivery for Secretary Bodman Thank you all for being here. I'm pleased to announce that this morning the Department of Energy submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking authorization to build America's first national repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. We are confident that the

  14. Microsoft Word - Yucca PCard Report.doc

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA Inspection Report Yucca Mountain Project Purchase Card Programs INS-O-09-04 August 2009 U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General Office of Inspections MEMORANDUM FOR DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF CILIVIAN RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT FROM: Herbert Richardson Principal Deputy Inspector General SUBJECT: INFORMATION: Inspection Report on "Yucca Mountain Purchase Card Programs" BACKGROUND Yucca Mountain Project (Project) is the Nation's first proposed storage facility

  15. Department of Energy Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain...

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application Department of Energy Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application March 3, 2010 - 12:00am Addthis ...

  16. Statement from Ward Sproat on Yucca Mountain, Director of the...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Ward Sproat on Yucca Mountain, Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Statement from Ward Sproat on Yucca Mountain, Director of the Office of Civilian ...

  17. Motion to Withdraw from Yucca Mountain application | Department...

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    Motion to Withdraw from Yucca Mountain application Motion to Withdraw from Yucca Mountain application DOE's withdraws it's pending license application for a permanent geologic ...

  18. DOE Announces Yucca Mountain License Application Schedule | Department...

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    Yucca Mountain License Application Schedule DOE Announces Yucca Mountain License Application Schedule July 19, 2006 - 3:13pm Addthis New Director Ward Sproat Testifies on Revised ...

  19. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  20. Getting Beyond Yucca Mountain - 12305

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Halstead, Robert J.; Williams, James M.

    2012-07-01

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

  1. Calcite Fluid Inclusion, Paragenetic, and Oxygen Isotopic Records of Thermal Event(s) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    B. Peterman; R. Moscati

    2000-08-10

    Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository situated above the water table in 12.7 Ma tuffs. A wealth of textural and geochemical evidence from low-temperature deposits of calcite and silica, indicates that their genesis is related to unsaturated zone (UZ) percolation and that the level of the potential repository has never been saturated. Nonetheless, some scientists contend that thermal waters have periodically risen to the surface depositing calcite and opal in the tuffs and at the surface. This hypothesis received some support in 1996 when two-phase fluid inclusions (FIs) with homogenization temperatures (Th) between 35 and 75 C were reported from UZ calcite. Calcite deposition likely followed closely on the cooling of the tuffs and continues into the present. The paragenetic sequence of calcite and silica in the UZ is early stage calcite followed by chalcedony and quartz, then calcite with local opal during middle and late stages. Four types of FIs are found in calcite assemblages: (1) all-liquid (L); (2) all-vapor (V); (3) 2-phase with large and variable V:L ratios; and (4) a few 2-phase with small and consistent V:L ratios. Late calcite contains no FI assemblages indicating elevated depositional temperatures. In early calcite, the Th of type 4 FIs ranges from {approx} 40 to {approx} 85 C. Such temperatures (sub-boiling) and the assemblage of FIs are consistent with deposition in the UZ. Some delta 18O values < 10 permil in early calcite support such temperatures. Type 4 FIs, however, seem to be restricted to the early calcite stage, during which either cooling of the tuffs or regional volcanism were possible heat sources. Nonetheless, at present there is no compelling evidence of upwelling water as a source for the calcite/opal deposits.

  2. February 14, 2002: Yucca Mountain | Department of Energy

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    14, 2002: Yucca Mountain February 14, 2002: Yucca Mountain February 14, 2002: Yucca Mountain February 14, 2002 Secretary Abraham formally recommends to President Bush that the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada be developed as the nation's first long-term geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste. "I have considered whether sound science supports the determination that the Yucca Mountain site is scientifically and technically suitable for the development of a repository," the

  3. Process for the synthesis of unsaturated alcohols

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Maughon, Bob R.; Burdett, Kenneth A.; Lysenko, Zenon

    2007-02-13

    A process of preparing an unsaturated alcohol (olefin alcohol), such as, a homo-allylic mono-alcohol or homo-allylic polyol, involving protecting a hydroxy-substituted unsaturated fatty acid or fatty acid ester, such as methyl ricinoleate, derived from a seed oil, to form a hydroxy-protected unsaturated fatty acid or fatty acid ester; homo-metathesizing or cross-metathesizing the hydroxy-protected unsaturated fatty acid or fatty acid ester to produce a product mixture containing a hydroxy-protected unsaturated metathesis product; and deprotecting the hydroxy-protected unsaturated metathesis product under conditions sufficient to prepare the unsaturated alcohol. Preferably, methyl ricinoleate is converted by cross-metathesis or homo-metathesis into the homo-allylic mono-alcohol 1-decene-4-ol or the homo-allylic polyol 9-octadecene-7,12-diol, respectively.

  4. The unsaturated hydraulic characteristics of the Bandelier Tuff

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rogers, D.B.; Gallaher, B.M.

    1995-09-01

    This report summarizes the physical and, unsaturated hydraulic properties of the Bandelier Tuff determined from laboratory measurements made on core samples collected at Los Alamos National Laboratory. We fit new van Genuchten-type moisture retention curves to this data, which was categorized according to member of the Bandelier Tuff and subunit of the Tshirege Member. Reasonable consistency was observed for hydraulic properties and retention curves within lithologic units, while distinct differences were observed for those properties between units. With the moisture retention data, we constructed vertical profiles of in situ matric suction and hydraulic head. These profiles give an indication of the likely direction of liquid water movement within the unsaturated zone and allow comparison of core-scale and field-scale estimates of water flow and solute transport parameters. Our core-derived transport velocities are much smaller than values estimated from tritium, Cl, and NO{sub 3} contamination found recently in boreholes. The contaminant tracer-derived transport velocities from Los Alamos Canyon are greater than corederived values found for the Otowi Member, and for Mortandad Canyon, greater than core-derived values for that borehole. The significant difference found for Mortandad Canyon suggests that fracture or other fast-path transport may be important there. The relatively small difference between observed and predicted velocities at Los Alamos Canyon may mean that vadose zone transport there occurs by unsaturated matrix flow.

  5. April 25, 1997: Yucca Mountain exploratory drilling

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    April 25, 1997Workers complete drilling of the five-mile long, horseshoe-shaped exploratory tunnel through Yucca Mountain at the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository in Nevada.

  6. STRONTIUM ISOTOPE EVOLUTION OF PORE WATER AND CALCITE IN THE TOPOPAH SPRING TUFF, YUCCA MOUNTAIN , NEVADA

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    B.D. Marshall; K. Futa

    2001-02-07

    Yucca Mountain, a ridge of Miocene volcanic rocks in southwest Nevada, is being characterized as a site for a potential high-level radioactive waste repository. One issue of concern for the future performance of the potential repository is the movement of water in and around the potential repository horizon. Past water movement in this unsaturated zone is indicated by fluid inclusions trapped in calcite coatings on fracture footwall surfaces and in some lithophysal cavities. Some of the fluid inclusions have homogenization temperatures above the present-day geotherm (J.F. Whelan, written communication), so determining the ages of the calcite associated with those fluid inclusions is important in understanding the thermal history of the potential repository site. Calcite ages have been constrained by uranium-lead dating of silica polymorphs (opal and chalcedony) that are present in most coatings. The opal and chalcedony ages indicate that deposition of the calcite and opal coatings in the welded part of the Topopah Spring Tuff (TSw hydrogeologic unit) spanned nearly the entire history of the 12.8-million-year-old rock mass at fairly uniform overall long-term rates of deposition (within a factor of five). Constraining the age of a layer of calcite associated with specific fluid inclusions is complicated. Calcite is commonly bladed with complex textural relations, and datable opal or chalcedony may be millions of years older or younger than the calcite layer or may be absent from the coating entirely. Therefore, a more direct method of dating the calcite is presented in this paper by developing a model for strontium evolution in pore water in the TSw as recorded by the strontium coprecipitated with calcium in the calcite. Although the water that precipitated the calcite in fractures and cavities may not have been in local isotopic equilibrium with the pore water, the strontium isotope composition of all water in the TSw is primarily controlled by water

  7. Vadose zone water fluxmeter

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Faybishenko, Boris A.

    2005-10-25

    A Vadose Zone Water Fluxmeter (WFM) or Direct Measurement WFM provides direct measurement of unsaturated water flow in the vadose zone. The fluxmeter is a cylindrical device that fits in a borehole or can be installed near the surface, or in pits, or in pile structures. The fluxmeter is primarily a combination of tensiometers and a porous element or plate in a water cell that is used for water injection or extraction under field conditions. The same water pressure measured outside and inside of the soil sheltered by the lower cylinder of the fluxmeter indicates that the water flux through the lower cylinder is similar to the water flux in the surrounding soil. The fluxmeter provides direct measurement of the water flow rate in the unsaturated soils and then determines the water flux, i.e. the water flow rate per unit area.

  8. DOE - NNSA/NFO -- News & Views Yucca Mountain

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Yucca Mountain Studies Authorized in 1976 Photo - Yucca Mountain on Sept. 25, 1985. In 1982, Congress passed the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) to set national policy to help ...

  9. Uranium, thorium isotopic analyses and uranium-series ages of calcite and opal, and stable isotopic compositions of calcite from drill cores UE25a No. 1, USW G-2 and USW G-3/GU-3, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Szabo, B.J.; Kyser, T.K.

    1985-12-31

    Fracture and cavity filling calcite and opal in the unsaturated zone of three drill cores at Yucca Mountain were analyzed for uranium and stable isotope contents, and were dated by the uranium-series method. Stable isotope data indicate that the water from which the calcite precipitated was meteoric in origin. The decrease in {sup 18}O and increase in {sup 13}C with depth are interpreted as being due to the increase in temperature in drill holes corresponding to an estimated maximum geothermal gradient of 43{sup 0} per km. Of the eighteen calcite and opal deposits dated, four of the calcite and all four of the opal deposits yield dates older than 400,000 years and ten of the remaining calcite deposits yield dates between 26,000 and 310,000 years. The stable isotope and uranium data together with the finite uranium-series dates of precipitation suggest a complex history of fluid movements, rock and water interactions, and episodes of fracture filling during the last 310,000 years. 10 refs., 7 figs., 4 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    P. Sanchez

    2001-05-30

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

  12. ADVANCES IN YUCCA MOUNTAIN DESIGN

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Harrington, P.G.; Gardiner, J.T.; Russell, P.R.Z.; Lachman, K.D.; McDaniel, P.W.; Boutin, R.J.; Brown, N.R.; Trautner, L.J.

    2003-02-27

    Since site designation of the Yucca Mountain Project by the President, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has begun the transition from the site characterization phase of the project to preparation of the license application. As part of this transition, an increased focus has been applied to the repository design. Several evolution studies were performed to evaluate the repository design and to determine if improvements in the design were possible considering advances in the technology for handling and packaging nuclear materials. The studies' main focus was to reduce and/or eliminate uncertainties in both the pre-closure and post-closure performance of the repository and to optimize operations. The scope and recommendations from these studies are the subjects of this paper and include the following topics: (1) a more phased approach for the surface facility that utilize handling and packaging of the commercial spent nuclear fuel in a dry environment rather than in pools as was presented in the site recommendation; (2) slight adjustment of the repository footprint and a phased approach for construction and emplacement of the repository subsurface; and (3) simplification of the construction, fabrication and installation of the waste package and drip shield.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1995-05-01

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

  14. Biodegradation of petroleum hydrocarbons in fractured, unsaturated dolomite at a field site

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    McLinn, E.L.; Rehm, B.W.

    1997-12-31

    Gasoline constituents were detected in unsaturated soil and rock during abandonment of a leaky underground storage tank (UST). The unsaturated sequence beneath the former UST consists of 90 feet of silty till, fractured dolomite, and friable sandstone. Pore gas probes were installed in each of the unsaturated units, both in the source area and in a background on-site location. Pore gas samples were collected to evaluate the nature, extent, and fate of residual hydrocarbons in the vadose zone. Pore gas from the till and dolomite in the source area was enriched in petroleum hydrocarbons and carbon dioxide, and was depleted in oxygen, relative to pore gas from the background area. During two years of ground water monitoring at the site, methyl tertiary butyl ether was periodically detected in the ground water beneath the source area as pulses of recharge passed through the unsaturated zone, but not other gasoline constituents were detected. Apparently, the most degradable fraction of the gasoline (aromatic hydrocarbons) is being attenuated in the vadose zone before the water table is reached.

  15. Rapid imbibition of water in fractures within unsaturated sedimentary rock

    DOE Public Access Gateway for Energy & Science Beta (PAGES Beta)

    Cheng, Chu-Lin; Perfect, Edmund; Donnelly, B.; Bilheux, Hassina Z.; Tremsin, Anton S.; McKay, L. D.; Distefano, Victoria H.; Cai, J. C.; Santodonato, Louis J.

    2015-01-27

    The spontaneous imbibition of water and other liquids into gas-filled fractures in variably-saturated porous media is important in a variety of engineering and geological contexts. However, surprisingly few studies have investigated this phenomenon. In this paper, we present a theoretical framework for predicting the 1-dimensional movement of water into air-filled fractures within a porous medium based on early-time capillary dynamics and spreading over the rough surfaces of fracture faces. The theory permits estimation of sorptivity values for the matrix and fracture zone, as well as a dispersion parameter which quantifies the extent of spreading of the wetting front. Quantitative datamore » on spontaneous imbibition of water in unsaturated Berea sandstone cores were acquired to evaluate the proposed model. The cores with different permeability classes ranging from 50 to 500 mD and were fractured using the Brazilian method. Spontaneous imbibition in the fractured cores was measured by dynamic neutron radiography at the Neutron Imaging Prototype Facility (beam line CG-1D, HFIR), Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Water uptake into both the matrix and the fracture zone exhibited square-root-of-time behavior. The matrix sorptivities ranged from 2.9 to 4.6 mm s-0.5, and increased linearly as the permeability class increased. The sorptivities of the fracture zones ranged from 17.9 to 27.1 mm s-0.5, and increased linearly with increasing fracture aperture width. The dispersion coefficients ranged from 23.7 to 66.7 mm2 s-1 and increased linearly with increasing fracture aperture width and damage zone width. Both theory and observations indicate that fractures can significantly increase spontaneous imbibition in unsaturated sedimentary rock by capillary action and surface spreading on rough fracture faces. Fractures also increase the dispersion of the wetting front. In conclusion, further research is needed to investigate this phenomenon in other natural and engineered

  16. Design of dry barriers for containment of contaminants in unsaturated soils

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Morris, C.E.; Thomson, B.M.; Stormont, J.C.

    1997-12-31

    A dry barrier is a region of very dry conditions in unsaturated soil that prevents vertical migration of water created by circulating dry air through the formation. Dry soil creates a barrier to vertical water movement by decreasing the soil`s hydraulic conductivity, a concept also used in capillary barriers. A dry barrier may be a viable method for providing containment of a contaminant plume in a setting with a thick unsaturated zone and dry climate. The principal factors which determine the feasibility of a dry barrier include: (1) an and environment, (2) thick vadose zone, and (3) the ability to circulate air through the vadose zone. This study investigated the technical and economic considerations associated with creating a dry barrier to provide containment of a hypothetical 1 ha aqueous contaminant plume. The concept appears to be competitive with other interim containment methods such as ground freezing.

  17. Characterize Eruptive Processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  18. YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE PACKAGE CLOSURE SYSTEM

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    G. Housley; C. Shelton-davis; K. Skinner

    2005-08-26

    The method selected for dealing with spent nuclear fuel in the US is to seal the fuel in waste packages and then to place them in an underground repository at the Yucca Mountain Site in Nevada. This article describes the Waste Package Closure System (WPCS) currently being designed for sealing the waste packages.

  19. Detailed Geophysical Fault Characterization in Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Theodore H. Asch; Donald Sweetkind; Bethany L. Burton; Erin L. Wallin

    2009-02-10

    Yucca Flat is a topographic and structural basin in the northeastern part of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) in Nye County, Nevada. Between the years 1951 and 1992, 659 underground nuclear tests took place in Yucca Flat; most were conducted in large, vertical excavations that penetrated alluvium and the underlying Cenozoic volcanic rocks. Radioactive and other potential chemical contaminants at the NTS are the subject of a long-term program of investigation and remediation by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office, under its Environmental Restoration Program. As part of the program, the DOE seeks to assess the extent of contamination and to evaluate the potential risks to humans and the environment from byproducts of weapons testing. To accomplish this objective, the DOE Environmental Restoration Program is constructing and calibrating a ground-water flow model to predict hydrologic flow in Yucca Flat as part of an effort to quantify the subsurface hydrology of the Nevada Test Site. A necessary part of calibrating and evaluating a model of the flow system is an understanding of the location and characteristics of faults that may influence ground-water flow. In addition, knowledge of fault-zone architecture and physical properties is a fundamental component of the containment of the contamination from underground nuclear tests, should such testing ever resume at the Nevada Test Site. The goal of the present investigation is to develop a detailed understanding of the geometry and physical properties of fault zones in Yucca Flat. This study was designed to investigate faults in greater detail and to characterize fault geometry, the presence of fault splays, and the fault-zone width. Integrated geological and geophysical studies have been designed and implemented to work toward this goal. This report describes the geophysical surveys conducted near two drill holes in Yucca Flat, the data analyses performed, and the

  20. Two Independent Assessments Find the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Project is on Track | Department of Energy Independent Assessments Find the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project is on Track Two Independent Assessments Find the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project is on Track December 13, 2007 - 4:44pm Addthis WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Director of the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM) today released two independent assessments addressing areas critical to the overall success of the Yucca

  1. Department of Energy Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Application | Department of Energy Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application Department of Energy Files Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain License Application March 3, 2010 - 12:00am Addthis WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Department of Energy today filed a motion with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to withdraw the license application for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain with prejudice. "President Obama is fully committed to ensuring that the

  2. DOE Defends Its Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain Application | Department

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    of Energy Defends Its Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain Application DOE Defends Its Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain Application May 27, 2010 - 2:22pm Addthis Today, the United States Department of Energy filed with the NRC's Atomic Safety and Licensing Board a reply brief making clear that its motion to withdraw the pending application to license the Yucca Mountain geologic repository is authorized by the Atomic Energy Act (AEA) and consistent with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA). As

  3. DOE Marks Milestone in Submitting Yucca Mountain License Application |

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Department of Energy Milestone in Submitting Yucca Mountain License Application DOE Marks Milestone in Submitting Yucca Mountain License Application June 3, 2008 - 12:51pm Addthis WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced submittal of a license application (LA) to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) seeking authorization to construct America's first repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The 8,600 page

  4. Shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Neutron logging data 1984--1993

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1995-12-31

    To determine site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository, a study was devised to characterize net infiltration. This study involves a detailed data set produced from 99 neutron boreholes that consisted of volumetric water-content readings with depth from 1984 through 1993 at Yucca Mountain. Boreholes were drilled with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil or rock in order to best represent field conditions. Boreholes were located in topographic positions representing infiltration zones identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels. Through careful field calibration, neutron moisture logs, collected on a monthly basis and representing most of the areal locations at Yucca Mountain, illustrated that the depth of penetration of seasonal moisture, important for escaping loss to evapotranspiration, was influenced by several factors. It was increased (1) by thin soil cover, especially in locations where thin soil is underlain by fractured bedrock; (2) on ridgetops; and (3) during the winter when evapotranspiration is low and runoff is less frequent. This data set helps to provide a seasonal and areal distribution of changes in volumetric water content with which to assess hydrologic processes contributing to net infiltration.

  5. Shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada - neutron logging data 1984-93

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1995-11-01

    To determine site suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential high-level radioactive waste repository, a study was devised to characterize net infiltration. This study involves a detailed data set produced from 99 neutron boreholes that consisted of volumetric water-content readings with depth from 1984 through 1993 at Yucca Mountain. Boreholes were drilled with minimal disturbance to the surrounding soil or rock in order to best represent field conditions. Boreholes were located in topographic positions representing infiltration zones identified as ridge-tops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels. Through careful field calibration, neutron moisture logs, collected on a monthly basis and representing most of the areal locations at Yucca Mountain, illustrated that the depth of penetration of seasonal moisture, important for escaping loss to evapotranspiration, was influenced by several factors. It was increased (1) by thin soil cover, especially in locations where thin soil is underlain by fractured bedrock; (2) on ridgetops; and (3) during the winter when evapotranspiration is low and runoff is less frequent. This data set helps to provide a seasonal and areal distribution of changes in volumetric water content with which to assess hydrologic processes contributing to net infiltration.

  6. Two Independent Assessments Find the Department of Energy's Yucca...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    ... For more information on the Yucca Mountain Project and a copy of the independent assessments visit the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. Media contact(s): Allen ...

  7. Streamflow and selected precipitation data for Yucca Mountain...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    water years 1983--85 Citation Details In-Document Search Title: Streamflow and selected precipitation data for Yucca Mountain and vicinity, Nye County, Nevada, water years ...

  8. Yucca Valley, California: Energy Resources | Open Energy Information

    Open Energy Info (EERE)

    Yucca Valley, California: Energy Resources Jump to: navigation, search Equivalent URI DBpedia Coordinates 34.1141743, -116.432235 Show Map Loading map... "minzoom":false,"mapp...

  9. YUMMY: The Yucca Mountain MCNP-Library

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Alpan, FA

    2004-12-10

    Point-wise libraries provided with the MCNP code contain neutron data for a limited number of temperatures. However, it is important to have the option of using data from a wide range of temperatures for transport calculations. For this purpose, a multi-temperature, ACE-format neutron library was generated for 134 nuclides, as requested by Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) staff. The library is referred to as YUMMY (YUcca Mountain MCNP-librarY). The neutron cross section data are based on ENDF/B-V or ENDF/B-VI evaluations that were requested by YMP staff. This document provides the details of the new library and its use in criticality safety benchmark problems, a Pressurized Water Reactor design and waste package models in MCNP4C.

  10. Testimony of Greg Friedman Yucca Mountain

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Environment and the Economy of the Committee on Energy and Commerce U.S. House of Representatives FOR RELEASE ON DELIVERY 1:00 PM Wednesday, June 1, 2011 1 Mr. Chairman and members of the Subcommittee, I am pleased to be here at your request to testify on matters relating to the Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project. As you know, issues surrounding the termination of the Project have been widely publicized. They directly impact the Department's responsibilities to manage legacy waste

  11. Microsoft Word - Yucca Mountain Press Conference

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Angela Hill, (202) 586-4940 Tuesday, June 3, 2008 Remarks as Prepared for Delivery for Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman Yucca Mountain Press Conference National Press Club Washington, D.C. Thank you all for being here. I'm pleased to announce that this morning the Department of Energy submitted a license application to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission seeking authorization to build America's first national repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive

  12. Approaches to Quantify Potential Contaminant Transport in the Lower Carbonate Aquifer from Underground Nuclear Testing at Yucca Flat, Nevada National Security Site, Nye County, Nevada - 12434

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Andrews, Robert W.; Birdie, Tiraz; Wilborn, Bill; Mukhopadhyay, Bimal

    2012-07-01

    Quantitative modeling of the potential for contaminant transport from sources associated with underground nuclear testing at Yucca Flat is an important part of the strategy to develop closure plans for the residual contamination. At Yucca Flat, the most significant groundwater resource that could potentially be impacted is the Lower Carbonate Aquifer (LCA), a regionally extensive aquifer that supplies a significant portion of the water demand at the Nevada National Security Site, formerly the Nevada Test Site. Developing and testing reasonable models of groundwater flow in this aquifer is an important precursor to performing subsequent contaminant transport modeling used to forecast contaminant boundaries at Yucca Flat that are used to identify potential use restriction and regulatory boundaries. A model of groundwater flow in the LCA at Yucca Flat has been developed. Uncertainty in this model, as well as other transport and source uncertainties, is being evaluated as part of the Underground Testing Area closure process. Several alternative flow models of the LCA in the Yucca Flat/Climax Mine CAU have been developed. These flow models are used in conjunction with contaminant transport models and source term models and models of contaminant transport from underground nuclear tests conducted in the overlying unsaturated and saturated alluvial and volcanic tuff rocks to evaluate possible contaminant migration in the LCA for the next 1,000 years. Assuming the flow and transport models are found adequate by NNSA/NSO and NDEP, the models will undergo a peer review. If the model is approved by NNSA/NSO and NDEP, it will be used to identify use restriction and regulatory boundaries at the start of the Corrective Action Decision Document Corrective Action Plan (CADD/CAP) phase of the Corrective Action Strategy. These initial boundaries may be revised at the time of the Closure Report phase of the Corrective Action Strategy. (authors)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    von Seggern, David; Smith, Ken

    2007-10-15

    greater than M 2.00. This is the second year since the LSM event that no M ≥ 3.00 earthquake was recorded within 65 km of Yucca Mountain. (FY2003 was the first.) For FY2004, focal mechanisms were developed for 24 earthquakes. These focal mechanisms show predominantly strike-slip motion with a tension axis oriented WNW-ESE. Four earthquakes in FY2004 were within 10 km of Yucca Mountain, all having M < 0. A total of 31 earthquakes have occurred in this immediate zone around Yucca Mountain since the digital network operations started in October 1995. Activity in the Death Valley area was monitored by several analog stations still maintained in conjunction with the Yucca Mountain monitoring. There is continuing aftershock activity in the zone of the 1993 M 6.1 Eureka Valley and 1999 M 5.6 Scotty’s Junction earthquakes. Overall, the seismicity level of the Death Valley area is significantly greater than that in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain.

  14. The appropriateness of one-dimensional Yucca Mountain hydrologic calculations; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Eaton, R.R.

    1993-07-01

    This report brings into focus the results of numerous studies that have addressed issues associated with the validity of assumptions which are used to justify reducing the dimensionality of numerical calculations of water flow through Yucca Mountain, NV. it is shown that, in many cases, one-dimensional modeling is more rigorous than previously assumed.

  15. Review of Yucca Mountain Disposal Criticality Studies

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Scaglione, John M; Wagner, John C

    2011-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, submitted a license application for construction authorization of a deep geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in June of 2008. The license application is currently under review by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. However,on March 3, 2010 the DOE filed a motion requesting withdrawal of the license application. With the withdrawal request and the development of the Blue Ribbon Commission to seek alternative strategies for disposing of spent fuel, the status of the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain is uncertain. What is certain is that spent nuclear fuel (SNF) will continue to be generated and some long-lived components of the SNF will eventually need a disposition path(s). Strategies for the back end of the fuel cycle will continue to be developed and need to include the insights from the experience gained during the development of the Yucca Mountain license application. Detailed studies were performed and considerable progress was made in many key areas in terms of increased understanding of relevant phenomena and issues regarding geologic disposal of SNF. This paper reviews selected technical studies performed in support of the disposal criticality analysis licensing basis and the use of burnup credit. Topics include assembly misload analysis, isotopic and criticality validation, commercial reactor critical analyses, loading curves, alternative waste package and criticality control studies, radial burnup data and effects, and implementation of a conservative application model in the criticality probabilistic evaluation as well as other information that is applicable to operations regarding spent fuel outside the reactor. This paper summarizes the work and significant accomplishments in these areas and provides a resource for future, related activities.

  16. Determination of Transport Properties From Flowing Fluid Temperature LoggingIn Unsaturated Fractured Rocks: Theory And Semi-Analytical Solution

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Tsang, Yvonne W.

    2008-08-01

    Flowing fluid temperature logging (FFTL) has been recently proposed as a method to locate flowing fractures. We argue that FFTL, backed up by data from high-precision distributed temperature sensors, can be a useful tool in locating flowing fractures and in estimating the transport properties of unsaturated fractured rocks. We have developed the theoretical background needed to analyze data from FFTL. In this paper, we present a simplified conceptualization of FFTL in unsaturated fractured rock, and develop a semianalytical solution for spatial and temporal variations of pressure and temperature inside a borehole in response to an applied perturbation (pumping of air from the borehole). We compare the semi-analytical solution with predictions from the TOUGH2 numerical simulator. Based on the semi-analytical solution, we propose a method to estimate the permeability of the fracture continuum surrounding the borehole. Using this proposed method, we estimated the effective fracture continuum permeability of the unsaturated rock hosting the Drift Scale Test (DST) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Our estimate compares well with previous independent estimates for fracture permeability of the DST host rock. The conceptual model of FFTL presented in this paper is based on the assumptions of single-phase flow, convection-only heat transfer, and negligible change in system state of the rock formation. In a sequel paper [Mukhopadhyay et al., 2008], we extend the conceptual model to evaluate some of these assumptions. We also perform inverse modeling of FFTL data to estimate, in addition to permeability, other transport parameters (such as porosity and thermal conductivity) of unsaturated fractured rocks.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  18. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    D. Krier

    2005-08-29

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

  19. Yucca Mountain Climate Technical Support Representative

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  20. Oxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes to unsaturated hydrocarbons

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Kung, H.H.; Chaar, M.A.

    1988-10-11

    Oxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes to unsaturated hydrocarbons is carried out over metal vanadate catalysts under oxidizing conditions. The vanadate catalysts are represented by the formulas M[sub 3](VO[sub 4])[sub 2] and MV[sub 2]O[sub 6], M representing Mg, Zn, Ca, Pb, or Cd. The reaction is carried out in the presence of oxygen, but the formation of oxygenate by-products is suppressed.

  1. Oxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes to unsaturated hydrocarbons

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Kung, Harold H. (Wilmette, IL); Chaar, Mohamed A. (Homs, SY)

    1988-01-01

    Oxidative dehydrogenation of alkanes to unsaturated hydrocarbons is carried out over metal vanadate catalysts under oxidizing conditions. The vanadate catalysts are represented by the formulas M.sub.3 (VO.sub.4).sub.2 and MV.sub.2 O.sub.6, M representing Mg, Zn, Ca, Pb, or Cd. The reaction is carried out in the presence of oxygen, but the formation of oxygenate by-products is suppressed.

  2. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    The Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain describes the nuclear waste problem and explains why the United States and other nations are considering deep geologic disposal as the solution.

  3. DOE Files Report Confirming Intent to Preserve and Archive Yucca...

    Broader source: Energy.gov (indexed) [DOE]

    Energy filed today a report with the NRC detailing the extensive steps it is taking to preserve and protect its document collection created in connection with the Yucca Mountain...

  4. Hazards and scenarios examined for the Yucca Mountain disposal...

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Hazards and scenarios examined for the Yucca Mountain disposal system for spent nuclear fuel and ... For PSHA, two expert panels were convened. The first panel consisted of six teams ...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    C. D. Scism

    2006-02-15

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Voegele, Michael; McCracken, Robert; Herrera, Troy

    2012-07-01

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

  7. Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Cations in an Unsaturated Fractured...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Fractured Soil Under Transient Conditions Citation Details In-Document Search Title: Colloid-Facilitated Transport of Cations in an Unsaturated Fractured Soil Under Transient ...

  8. SATURATED ZONE IN-SITU TESTING

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    P.W. REIMUS

    2004-11-08

    The purpose of this scientific analysis is to document the results and interpretations of field experiments that test and validate conceptual flow and radionuclide transport models in the saturated zone (SZ) near Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The test interpretations provide estimates of flow and transport parameters used in the development of parameter distributions for total system performance assessment (TSPA) calculations. These parameter distributions are documented in ''Site-Scale Saturated Zone Flow Model (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170037]), Site-Scale Saturated Zone Transport'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170036]), Saturated Zone Colloid Transport (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170006]), and ''Saturated Zone Flow and Transport Model Abstraction'' (BSC 2004 [DIRS 170042]). Specifically, this scientific analysis contributes the following to the assessment of the capability of the SZ to serve as part of a natural barrier for waste isolation for the Yucca Mountain repository system: (1) The bases for selection of conceptual flow and transport models in the saturated volcanics and the saturated alluvium located near Yucca Mountain. (2) Results and interpretations of hydraulic and tracer tests conducted in saturated fractured volcanics at the C-wells complex near Yucca Mountain. The test interpretations include estimates of hydraulic conductivities, anisotropy in hydraulic conductivity, storativities, total porosities, effective porosities, longitudinal dispersivities, matrix diffusion mass transfer coefficients, matrix diffusion coefficients, fracture apertures, and colloid transport parameters. (3) Results and interpretations of hydraulic and tracer tests conducted in saturated alluvium at the Alluvial Testing Complex (ATC) located at the southwestern corner of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The test interpretations include estimates of hydraulic conductivities, storativities, total porosities, effective porosities, longitudinal dispersivities, matrix diffusion mass transfer coefficients, and colloid

  9. Soil characterization methods for unsaturated low-level waste sites

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wierenga, P.J.; Young, M.H. . Dept. of Soil and Water Science); Gee, G.W.; Kincaid, C.T. ); Hills, R.G. . Dept. of Mechanical Engineering); Nicholson, T.J.; Cady, R.E. )

    1993-01-01

    To support a license application for the disposal of low-level radioactive waste (LLW), applicants must characterize the unsaturated zone and demonstrate that waste will not migrate from the facility boundary. This document provides a strategy for developing this characterization plan. It describes principles of contaminant flow and transport, site characterization and monitoring strategies, and data management. It also discusses methods and practices that are currently used to monitor properties and conditions in the soil profile, how these properties influence water and waste migration, and why they are important to the license application. The methods part of the document is divided into sections on laboratory and field-based properties, then further subdivided into the description of methods for determining 18 physical, flow, and transport properties. Because of the availability of detailed procedures in many texts and journal articles, the reader is often directed for details to the available literature. References are made to experiments performed at the Las Cruces Trench site, New Mexico, that support LLW site characterization activities. A major contribution from the Las Cruces study is the experience gained in handling data sets for site characterization and the subsequent use of these data sets in modeling studies.

  10. An Evaluation of Unsaturated Flow Models in an Arid Climate

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Dixon, J.

    1999-12-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of two unsaturated flow models in arid regions. The area selected for the study was the Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site (RWMS) at the Nevada Test Site in Nye County, Nevada. The two models selected for this evaluation were HYDRUS-1D [Simunek et al., 1998] and the SHAW model [Flerchinger and Saxton, 1989]. Approximately 5 years of soil-water and atmospheric data collected from an instrumented weighing lysimeter site near the RWMS were used for building the models with actual initial and boundary conditions representative of the site. Physical processes affecting the site and model performance were explored. Model performance was based on a detailed sensitivity analysis and ultimately on storage comparisons. During the process of developing descriptive model input, procedures for converting hydraulic parameters for each model were explored. In addition, the compilation of atmospheric data collected at the site became a useful tool for developing predictive functions for future studies. The final model results were used to evaluate the capacities of the HYDRUS and SHAW models for predicting soil-moisture movement and variable surface phenomena for bare soil conditions in the arid vadose zone. The development of calibrated models along with the atmospheric and soil data collected at the site provide useful information for predicting future site performance at the RWMS.

  11. Bibliography of Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) publications at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, September 1977--March 1997

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1997-03-01

    This report consists of a listing of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory`s research items on the Yucca Mountain Project.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P.; Jung, J.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P.; Jung, J.

    1994-05-01

    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 rafts 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.

  14. Structure in continuously cored, deep drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, with notes on calcite occurrence; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Carr, W.J.

    1992-12-01

    A study of more than 22,000 feet of core from five deep drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, provided data on the attitude and vertical distribution of faults and fractures, the sense of fault displacement, and the occurrence of calcite. The study was done mainly to look for evidence of fault flattening at depth, but no consistent downward decrease in dip of faults was found, and no increase in strata rotation was evident with increasing depth. In the two drill holes located near prominent faults that dip toward the holes (USW G-3 and G-2), an apparent increase in the frequency of faults occurs below the tuffs and lavas of Calico Hills. Some of this increase occurs in brittle lavas and flow breccias in the lower part of the volcanic section. In the two holes presumed to be relatively removed from the influence of important faults at depth, the vertical distribution of faults is relatively uniform. Calcite occurs mainly in two general zones, voids in welded portions of the Paintbrush Tuff, and in a deeper zone, mostly below 3,500 feet. Calcite is least abundant in USW G-4, which may reflect the fewer faults and fractures encountered in that drill hole.

  15. Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of cuttings, core, and rock formation in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada Hammermeister, D.P.; Blout, D.O.;...

  16. "Title","Creator/Author","Publication Date","OSTI Identifier...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of cuttings, core, and rock formation in the unsaturated zone, Yucca Mountain, Nevada","Hammermeister, D.P.; Blout, D.O.;...

  17. TITLE AUTHORS SUBJECT SUBJECT RELATED DESCRIPTION PUBLISHER AVAILABILI...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Drilling and coring methods that minimize the disturbance of cuttings core and rock formation in the unsaturated zone Yucca Mountain Nevada Hammermeister D P Blout D O McDaniel J C...

  18. The Proposed Yucca Mountain Repository From A Corrosion Perspective

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  19. Potential effects of low-volume effluent discharges on past-practice vadose zone contamination

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Barnett, D.B., Westinghouse Hanford

    1996-07-30

    Collard, L. B., J. D. Davis, D. B. Barnett, 1996, Potential Effects of Low-Volume Effluent Discharges on Past Practice Vadose Zone Contamination: WHC-SD-LEF-ER-001, Westinghouse Hanford Company, Richland Washington. This document estimates the behavior of extremely low-discharges of water in the unsaturated zone in the vicinity of past-practice facilities.

  20. Scenarios constructed for basaltic igneous activity at Yucca Mountain and vicinity; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Barr, G.E.; Dunn, E.; Dockery, H.; Barnard, R.; Valentine, G.; Crowe, B.

    1993-08-01

    Basaltic volcanism has been identified as a possible future event initiating a release of radionuclides from a potential repository at the proposed Yucca Mountain high-level waste repository site. The performance assessment method set forth in the Site Characterization Plan (DOE, 1988) requires that a set of scenarios encompassing all significant radionuclide release paths to the accessible environment be described. This report attempts to catalogue the details of the interactions between the features and processes produced by basaltic volcanism in the presence of the presumed groundwater flow system and a repository structure, the engineered barrier system (EBS), and waste. This catalogue is developed in the form of scenarios. We define a scenario as a well-posed problem, starting from an initiating event or process and proceeding through a logically connected and physically possible combination or sequence of features, events, and processes (FEPs) to the release of contaminants.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ozdemir, L.; Gertsch, L.; Neil, D.; Friant, J.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  3. Uranium and Neptunium Desorption from Yucca Mountain Alluvium

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    C.D. Scism; P.W. Reimus; M. Ding; S.J. Chipera

    2006-03-16

    Uranium and neptunium were used as reactive tracers in long-term laboratory desorption studies using saturated alluvium collected from south of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The objective of these long-term experiments is to make detailed observations of the desorption behavior of uranium and neptunium to provide Yucca Mountain with technical bases for a more realistic and potentially less conservative approach to predicting the transport of adsorbing radionuclides in the saturated alluvium. This paper describes several long-term desorption experiments using a flow-through experimental method and groundwater and alluvium obtained from boreholes along a potential groundwater flow path from the proposed repository site. In the long term desorption experiments, the percentages of uranium and neptunium sorbed as a function of time after different durations of sorption was determined. In addition, the desorbed activity as a function of time was fit using a multi-site, multi-rate model to demonstrate that different desorption rate constants ranging over several orders of magnitude exist for the desorption of uranium from Yucca Mountain saturated alluvium. This information will be used to support the development of a conceptual model that ultimately results in effective K{sub d} values much larger than those currently in use for predicting radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain.

  4. Synthesis and study of novel silicon-based unsaturated polymers

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lin, J.

    1995-06-19

    Novel unsaturated polymers have been synthesized and studied as precursors to silicon carbide and third order nonlinear optical materials. X ray structures were obtained. Kinetic and mechanistic studies of the unique thermal isomerization of dimethylenedisilacyclobutane to a carbene were conducted.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rautman, C.A.; Engstrom, D.A.

    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.

  7. Characterization of unsaturated hydraulic conductivity at the Hanford Site

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rockhold, M.L.; Fayler, M.J.; Gee, G.W.

    1988-07-01

    This report details some recent field measurements and compares predicted and measured values of hydraulic conductivities for three locations at the Hanford Site. Measurements from small (6-cm-dia) /open quotes/point/close quotes/ and large (2-m by 2-m) /open quotes/plot/close quotes/ areas utilized inflitration and drainage techniques to obtain in situ data for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity. The Guelph permeameter was used for point sampling, and the unsteady drainage-flux method was used on plots for field-saturated and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity measurements. Steady-state techniques were used to measure unsaturated hydraulic conductivities in small columns in the laboratory for one of the three soils tested to provide a comparison with data obtained from the field. Measured unsaturated hydraulic conductivities and those predicted from particle-size distribution and bulk density data agree within one-half to one and one-half orders of magnitude, depending on soil type. To use a particle-size distribution to estimate water retention characteristics and, subsequently, to predict unsaturated hydraulic conductivities, measurements of water-retention characteristics are necessary to determine a parameter value used in one of the models. No single method for measuring or calculating unsaturated hydraulic conductivities was found appropriate for all Hanford Site soils. Ideally, several methods should be used to take advantage of the strengths of each method, considering the data needs and resources available. 45 refs., 24 figs., 19 tabs.

  8. DOE Does Not Oppose Petitions to Intervene in Yucca Mountain NRC Proceeding

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    | Department of Energy Does Not Oppose Petitions to Intervene in Yucca Mountain NRC Proceeding DOE Does Not Oppose Petitions to Intervene in Yucca Mountain NRC Proceeding March 30, 2010 - 9:57am Addthis The U.S. Department of Energy yesterday filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission a response to Petitions to Intervene filed by several parties seeking to oppose the Department's motion to withdraw its license application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. DOE said it is

  9. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project technical data catalog; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-09-30

    The June 1, 1985, 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. Each new publication of the Technical Data Catalog supersedes the previous edition.

  10. Nonlinear dynamics in flow through unsaturated fractured-porous media: Status and perspectives

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Faybishenko, Boris

    2002-11-27

    The need has long been recognized to improve predictions of flow and transport in partially saturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock of the vadose zone for many practical applications, such as remediation of contaminated sites, nuclear waste disposal in geological formations, and climate predictions. Until recently, flow and transport processes in heterogeneous subsurface media with oscillating irregularities were assumed to be random and were not analyzed using methods of nonlinear dynamics. The goals of this paper are to review the theoretical concepts, present the results, and provide perspectives on investigations of flow and transport in unsaturated heterogeneous soils and fractured rock, using the methods of nonlinear dynamics and deterministic chaos. The results of laboratory and field investigations indicate that the nonlinear dynamics of flow and transport processes in unsaturated soils and fractured rocks arise from the dynamic feedback and competition between various nonlinear physical processes along with complex geometry of flow paths. Although direct measurements of variables characterizing the individual flow processes are not technically feasible, their cumulative effect can be characterized by analyzing time series data using the models and methods of nonlinear dynamics and chaos. Identifying flow through soil or rock as a nonlinear dynamical system is important for developing appropriate short- and long-time predictive models, evaluating prediction uncertainty, assessing the spatial distribution of flow characteristics from time series data, and improving chemical transport simulations. Inferring the nature of flow processes through the methods of nonlinear dynamics could become widely used in different areas of the earth sciences.

  11. Ground water of Yucca Mountain: How high can it rise?; Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-12-31

    This report describes the geology, hydrology, and possible rise of the water tables at Yucca Mountain. The possibilities of rainfall and earthquakes causing flooding is discussed.

  12. Yucca Mountain - U.S. Department of Energy's Response to the...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Commission in the proceeding on DOE's applciation to construct a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; DOE opposes the motion of Washington, South Carolina,...

  13. Yucca Mountain - U.S. Department of Energy's Brief in Support...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Proceeding before the Nuclear Regulatory Commission on DOE's application for a license to construct a high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; DOE brief...

  14. Yucca Mountain and the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kim, D.; Cotton, A.T.

    2007-07-01

    Renewed U.S. interest in advanced nuclear fuel cycles involving reprocessing and recycling, embodied in the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) initiative, has raised questions about the role of a Yucca Mountain repository - what it will be used for, and when. While the repository is widely recognized as a key part of U.S. waste management strategy, the potential for advanced fuel cycles to improve the capacity and performance of a repository have led some to question whether its development can be deferred pending resolution of questions about the fuel cycle and the fate of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF). This paper discusses the rationale for the Department of Energy's (DOE's) goal of completing the proposed Yucca Mountain repository by 2017 in parallel with pursuit of its goals for GNEP, as well as issues posed for the repository program by deployment of the initial facilities of an advanced fuel cycle. (authors)

  15. Climate Zones

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    Building America determines building practices based on climate zones to achieve the most energy savings in a home. This page offers some general guidelines on the definitions of the various...

  16. Hydraulic properties of adsorbed water films in unsaturated porous media

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Tokunaga, Tetsu K.

    2009-03-01

    Adsorbed water films strongly influence residual water saturations and hydraulic conductivities in porous media at low saturations. Hydraulic properties of adsorbed water films in unsaturated porous media were investigated through combining Langmuir's film model with scaling analysis, without use of any adjustable parameters. Diffuse double layer influences are predicted to be important through the strong dependence of adsorbed water film thickness (f) on matric potential ({Psi}) and ion charge (z). Film thickness, film velocity, and unsaturated hydraulic conductivity are predicted to vary with z{sup -1}, z{sup -2}, and z{sup -3}, respectively. In monodisperse granular media, the characteristic grain size ({lambda}) controls film hydraulics through {lambda}{sup -1} scaling of (1) the perimeter length per unit cross sectional area over which films occur, (2) the critical matric potential ({Psi}{sub c}) below which films control flow, and (3) the magnitude of the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity when {Psi} < {Psi}{sub c}. While it is recognized that finer textured sediments have higher unsaturated hydraulic conductivities than coarser sands at intermediate {Psi}, the {lambda}{sup -1} scaling of hydraulic conductivity predicted here extends this understanding to very low saturations where all pores are drained. Extremely low unsaturated hydraulic conductivities are predicted under adsorbed film-controlled conditions (generally < 0.1 mm y{sup -1}). On flat surfaces, the film hydraulic diffusivity is shown to be constant (invariant with respect to {Psi}).

  17. 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)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  19. International safeguards concepts for the Yucca Mountain Geological Repository

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Case, R.S.

    1991-12-31

    This paper reports that the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 assigns DOE the responsibility to develop a mined geological repository for the long-term storage and isolation from the biosphere of spent civilian nuclear fuel and high level waste from U.S. defense and civilian reprocessing activities. In fulfilling this Congressional mandate, DOE has performed preliminary site characterization on several possible repository sites over the last decade. Recently, Congress delimited site characterization to the site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada for the US`s first mined geologic repository. Although the actual repository is not scheduled to begin operation until the first decade of the next century, planning ahead for international safeguards application to the site will allow resolution of issues which arise. This is especially true for geological repositories because of the large amount of material to be safeguarded and the materials` inaccessibility following repository closure. Further, these unique features of geological repositories may require the IAEA to reexamine its present safeguard philosophy with respect to the roles of Containment and Surveillance (C/S) and Material Control and Accountancy (MC and A). In light of these issues, a C/S based international safeguard concept for Yucca Mountain has been developed and is presented here, using the DOE`s baseline conceptual design of the Yucca Mountain site.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  1. Fracture analysis and rock quality designation estimation for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P.; Bauer, S.J.

    1993-02-01

    Within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, the design of drifts and ramps and evaluation of the impacts of thermomechanical loading of the host rock requires definition of the rock mass mechanical properties. Ramps and exploratory drifts will intersect both welded and nonwelded tuffs with varying abundance of fractures. The rock mass mechanical properties are dependent on the intact rock properties and the fracture joint characteristics. An understanding of the effects of fractures on the mechanical properties of the rock mass begins with a detailed description of the fracture spatial location and abundance, and includes a description of their physical characteristics. This report presents a description of the abundance, orientation, and physical characteristics of fractures and the Rock Quality Designation in the thermomechanical stratigraphic units at the Yucca Mountain site. Data was reviewed from existing sources and used to develop descriptions for each unit. The product of this report is a data set of the best available information on the fracture characteristics.

  2. The Hydrogeologic Character of the Lower Tuff Confining Unit and the Oak Springs Butte Confining Unit in the Tuff Pile Area of Central Yucca Flat

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Drellack, Jr., Sigmund L.; Prothro, Lance B.; Gonzales, Jose L.; Mercadante, Jennifer M.

    2010-07-30

    The lower tuff confining unit (LTCU) in the Yucca Flat Corrective Action Unit (CAU) consists of a monotonous sequence of pervasively zeolitized volcanic tuff (i.e., mostly bedded with lesser nonwelded to poorly welded tuff; not fractured) (Bechtel Nevada, 2006). The LTCU is an important confining unit beneath Yucca Flat because it separates the alluvial and volcanic aquifers, where many underground nuclear tests were conducted, from the regional lower carbonate aquifer. Recent sub-CAU-scale modeling by Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Tuff Pile area of Yucca Flat (Boryta, et al., in review) includes postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones (i.e., fractured welded-tuff aquifers) within the LTCU. This scenario indicates that such postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones could provide fast-path lateral conduits to faults, and eventually to the lower carbonate aquifer. A fractured and faulted lower carbonate aquifer is postulated to provide a flow path(s) for underground test-derived contaminants to potential offsite receptors. The ramifications of such a scenario are obvious for groundwater flow and contaminant migration beneath Yucca Flat. This paper describes the reasoning for not including postulated low-porosity, high-permeability zones within the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area or within the LTCU in the Yucca Flat CAU-scale model. Both observational and analytical data clearly indicate that the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area consists of pervasively zeolitic, nonwelded to poorly welded tuffs that are classified as tuff confining units (i.e., high-porosity, low-permeability). The position regarding the LTCU in the Tuff Pile area is summarized as follows: The LTCU in the Tuff Pile area consists of a monotonous sequence of predominantly zeolitic nonwelded to poorly welded tuffs, and thus is accurately characterized hydrogeologically as a tuff confining unit (aquitard) in the Yucca Flat-Climax Mine hydrostratigraphic framework model (Bechtel Nevada, 2006

  3. Site-Scale Saturated Zone Flow Model

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    G. Zyvoloski

    2003-12-17

    The purpose of this model report is to document the components of the site-scale saturated-zone flow model at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in accordance with administrative procedure (AP)-SIII.lOQ, ''Models''. This report provides validation and confidence in the flow model that was developed for site recommendation (SR) and will be used to provide flow fields in support of the Total Systems Performance Assessment (TSPA) for the License Application. The output from this report provides the flow model used in the ''Site-Scale Saturated Zone Transport'', MDL-NBS-HS-000010 Rev 01 (BSC 2003 [162419]). The Site-Scale Saturated Zone Transport model then provides output to the SZ Transport Abstraction Model (BSC 2003 [164870]). In particular, the output from the SZ site-scale flow model is used to simulate the groundwater flow pathways and radionuclide transport to the accessible environment for use in the TSPA calculations. Since the development and calibration of the saturated-zone flow model, more data have been gathered for use in model validation and confidence building, including new water-level data from Nye County wells, single- and multiple-well hydraulic testing data, and new hydrochemistry data. In addition, a new hydrogeologic framework model (HFM), which incorporates Nye County wells lithology, also provides geologic data for corroboration and confidence in the flow model. The intended use of this work is to provide a flow model that generates flow fields to simulate radionuclide transport in saturated porous rock and alluvium under natural or forced gradient flow conditions. The flow model simulations are completed using the three-dimensional (3-D), finite-element, flow, heat, and transport computer code, FEHM Version (V) 2.20 (software tracking number (STN): 10086-2.20-00; LANL 2003 [161725]). Concurrently, process-level transport model and methodology for calculating radionuclide transport in the saturated zone at Yucca Mountain using FEHM V 2.20 are being

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-09-18

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

  5. Process for making unsaturated hydrocarbons using microchannel process technology

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Tonkovich, Anna Lee; Yuschak, Thomas; LaPlante, Timothy J.; Rankin, Scott; Perry, Steven T.; Fitzgerald, Sean Patrick; Simmons, Wayne W.; Mazanec, Terry Daymo, Eric

    2011-04-12

    The disclosed invention relates to a process for converting a feed composition comprising one or more hydrocarbons to a product comprising one or more unsaturated hydrocarbons, the process comprising: flowing the feed composition and steam in contact with each other in a microchannel reactor at a temperature in the range from about 200.degree. C. to about 1200.degree. C. to convert the feed composition to the product, the process being characterized by the absence of catalyst for converting the one or more hydrocarbons to one or more unsaturated hydrocarbons. Hydrogen and/or oxygen may be combined with the feed composition and steam.

  6. Saturated Zone In-Situ Testing

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    P. W. Reimus; M. J. Umari

    2003-12-23

    The purpose of this scientific analysis is to document the results and interpretations of field experiments that have been conducted to test and validate conceptual flow and radionuclide transport models in the saturated zone (SZ) near Yucca Mountain. The test interpretations provide estimates of flow and transport parameters that are used in the development of parameter distributions for Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) calculations. These parameter distributions are documented in the revisions to the SZ flow model report (BSC 2003 [ 162649]), the SZ transport model report (BSC 2003 [ 162419]), the SZ colloid transport report (BSC 2003 [162729]), and the SZ transport model abstraction report (BSC 2003 [1648701]). Specifically, this scientific analysis report provides the following information that contributes to the assessment of the capability of the SZ to serve as a barrier for waste isolation for the Yucca Mountain repository system: (1) The bases for selection of conceptual flow and transport models in the saturated volcanics and the saturated alluvium located near Yucca Mountain. (2) Results and interpretations of hydraulic and tracer tests conducted in saturated fractured volcanics at the C-wells complex near Yucca Mountain. The test interpretations include estimates of hydraulic conductivities, anisotropy in hydraulic conductivity, storativities, total porosities, effective porosities, longitudinal dispersivities, matrix diffusion mass transfer coefficients, matrix diffusion coefficients, fracture apertures, and colloid transport parameters. (3) Results and interpretations of hydraulic and tracer tests conducted in saturated alluvium at the Alluvium Testing Complex (ATC), which is located at the southwestern corner of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The test interpretations include estimates of hydraulic conductivities, storativities, total porosities, effective porosities, longitudinal dispersivities, matrix diffusion mass transfer coefficients, and

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Flynn, T.; Buchanan, P.; Trexler, D.; Shevenell, L., Garside, L.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1997-10-02

    for ground water flow through pre-Tertiary rocks beneath the Yucca Flat and northern Frenchman Flat areas, and has consequences for ground water modeling and model validation. Our data indicate that the Mississippian Chainman Shale is not laterally extensive confining unit in the western part of the basin because it is folded back onto itself by the convergent structures of the Belted Range and CP thrust systems. Early and Middle Paleozoic limestone and dolomite are present beneath most of both basins and, regardless of structural complications, are interpreted to form a laterally continuous and extensive carbonate aquifer. Structural culmination that marks the French Peak accommodation zone along the topographic divide between the two basins provides a lateral pathway through highly fractured rock between the volcanic aquifers of Yucca Flat and the regional carbonate aquifer. This pathway may accelerate the migration of ground-water contaminants introduced by underground nuclear testing toward discharge areas beyond the Nevada Test Site boundaries. Predictive three-dimensional models of hydrostratigraphic units and ground-water flow in the pre-Tertiary rocks of subsurface Yucca Flat are likely to be unrealistic due to the extreme structural complexities. The interpretation of hydrologic and geochemical data obtained from monitoring wells will be difficult to extrapolate through the flow system until more is known about the continuity of hydrostratigraphic units. 1 plate

  9. Preparation of {alpha},{beta}-unsaturated carboxylic acids and esters

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Gogate, M.R.; Spivey, J.J.; Zoeller, J.R.

    1998-09-15

    Disclosed is a process for the preparation of {alpha},{beta}-unsaturated carboxylic acids and esters thereof which comprises contacting formaldehyde or a source of formaldehyde with a carboxylic acid, ester or anhydride in the presence of a catalyst comprising an oxide of niobium.

  10. Preparation of {alpha}, {beta}-unsaturated carboxylic acids and anhydrides

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Spivey, J.J.; Gogate, M.R.; Zoeller, J.R.; Tustin, G.C.

    1998-01-20

    Disclosed is a process for the preparation of {alpha},{beta}-unsaturated carboxylic acids and anhydrides thereof which comprises contacting formaldehyde or a source of formaldehyde with a carboxylic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst comprising mixed oxides of vanadium, phosphorus and, optionally, a third component selected from titanium, aluminum or, preferably silicon.

  11. Preparation of .alpha.,.beta.-unsaturated carboxylic acids and esters

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Gogate, Makarand Ratnakar; Spivey, James Jerry; Zoeller, Joseph Robert

    1998-01-01

    Disclosed is a process for the preparation of .alpha.,.beta.-unsaturated carboxylic acids and esters thereof which comprises contacting formaldehyde or a source of formaldehyde with a carboxylic acid, ester or anhydride in the presence of a catalyst comprising an oxide of niobium.

  12. Preparation of .alpha., .beta.-unsaturated carboxylic acids and anhydrides

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Spivey, James Jerry; Gogate, Makarand Ratnakav; Zoeller, Joseph Robert; Tustin, Gerald Charles

    1998-01-01

    Disclosed is a process for the preparation of .alpha.,.beta.-unsaturated carboxylic acids and anhydrides thereof which comprises contacting formaldehyde or a source of formaldehyde with a carboxylic anhydride in the presence of a catalyst comprising mixed oxides of vanadium, phosphorus and, optionally, a third component selected from titanium, aluminum or, preferably silicon.

  13. Review of Upscaling Methods for Describing Unsaturated Flow

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wood, Brian D.

    2000-09-26

    Representing samll-scale features can be a challenge when one wants to model unsaturated flow in large domains. In this report, the various upscaling techniques are reviewed. The following upscaling methods have been identified from the literature: stochastic methods, renormalization methods, volume averaging and homogenization methods. In addition, a final technique, full resolution numerical modeling, is also discussed.

  14. Electropositive bivalent metallic ion unsaturated polyester complexed polymer concrete

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Sugama, Toshifumi; Kukacka, Lawrence E.; Horn, William H.

    1985-01-01

    Quick setting polymer concrete compositions with excellent structural properties are disclosed; these polymer concrete compositions are mixtures of unsaturated polyesters and crosslinking monomers together with appropriate initiators and promoters in association with aggregate, which may be wet, and with a source of bivalent metallic ions.

  15. Electropositive bivalent metallic ion unsaturated polyester complexed polymer concrete

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Sugama, T.; Kukacka, L.E.; Horn, W.H.

    1981-11-04

    Quick setting polymer concrete compositions which are mixtures of unsaturated polyesters and crosslinking monomers together with appropriate initiators and promoters in association with aggregate which may be wet and a source of bivalent metallic ions which will set to polymer concrete with excellent structural properties.

  16. Electropositive bivalent metallic ion unsaturated polyester complexed polymer concrete

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Sugama, T.; Kukacka, L.E.; Horn, W.H.

    1983-05-13

    Quick setting polymer concrete compositions are described which are mixtures of unsaturated polyesters and crosslinking monomers together with appropriate initiators and promoters in association with aggregate which may be wet and a source of bivalent metallic ions which will set to polymer concrete with excellent structural properties.

  17. Evaluation of the corrosivity of dust deposited on waste packages at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wolery, Thomas J.; Bryan, Charles R.; Barr, Deborah; Jarek, Russell L.; Hardin, Ernest L.; Shields, David R.; Sutton, Mark A.

    2005-08-01

    Potentially corrosive brines can form during post-closure by deliquescence of salt minerals in dust deposited on the surface of waste packages at Yucca Mountain during operations and the pre-closure ventilation period. Although thermodynamic modeling and experimental studies of brine deliquescence indicates that brines are likely to form, they will be nitrate-rich and noncorrosive. Processes that modify the brines following deliquescence are beneficial with respect to inhibition of corrosion. For example, acid degassing (HCl, HNO{sub 3}) could dry out brines, but kinetic limitations are likely to limit the effect to increasing their passivity by raising the pH and increasing the NO{sub 3}/Cl ratio. Predicted dust quantities and maximum brine volumes on the waste package surface are small, and physical isolation of salt minerals in the dust may inhibit formation of eutectic brines and decrease brine volumes. If brines do contact the WP surface, small droplet volumes and layer thicknesses do not support development of diffusive gradients necessary for formation on separate anodic-cathodic zones required for localized corrosion. Finally, should localized corrosion initiate, corrosion product buildup will stifle corrosion, by limiting oxygen access to the metal surface, by capillary retention of brine in corrosion product porosity, or by consumption of brine components (Cl{sup -}).

  18. Products of an Artificially Induced Hydrothermal System at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    S. Levy

    2000-08-07

    Studies of mineral deposition in the recent geologic past at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, address competing hypotheses of hydrothermal alteration and deposition from percolating groundwater. The secondary minerals being studied are calcite-opal deposits in fractures and lithophysal cavities of ash-flow tuffs exposed in the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), a 7.7-km tunnel excavated by the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project within Yucca Mountain. An underground field test in the ESF provided information about the minerals deposited by a short-lived artificial hydrothermal system and an opportunity for comparison of test products with the natural secondary minerals. The heating phase lasted nine months, followed by a nine-month cooling period. Natural pore fluids were the only source of water during the thermal test. Condensation and reflux of water driven away from the heater produced fluid flow in certain fractures and intersecting boreholes. The mineralogic products of the thermal test are calcite-gypsum aggregates of less than 4-micrometer crystals and amorphous silica as glassy scale less than 0.2 mm thick and as mounds of tubules with diameters less than 0.7 micrometers. The minute crystal sizes of calcite and gypsum from the field test are very different from the predominantly coarser calcite crystals (up to cm scale) in natural secondary-mineral deposits at the site. The complex micrometer-scale textures of the amorphous silica differ from the simple forms of opal spherules and coatings in the natural deposits, even though some natural spherules are as small as 1 micrometer. These differences suggest that the natural minerals, especially if they were of hydrothermal origin, may have developed coarser or simpler forms during subsequent episodes of dissolution and redeposition. The presence of gypsum among the test products and its absence from the natural secondary-mineral assemblage may indicate a higher degree of evaporation during the test than

  19. Near-field/altered-zone models report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hardin, E. L., LLNL

    1998-03-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is studying Yucca Mountain as the possible site for the first underground repository for permanent disposal of spent fuel from commercial nuclear reactors as well as for other types high-level nuclear waste. Emplacement of high-level radioactive waste, especially commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF), in Yucca Mountain will release a large amount of heat into the rock above and below the repository. The heating rate will decrease with time, creating a thermal pulse. Over a period of several thousand years, the rock temperature will rise initially, then drop when the production of decay heat falls below the rate at which heat escapes from the hot zone. Besides raising the rock temperature, much of this heat will vaporize water, which will then condense in cooler regions. The condensate is likely to form a gravity-driven heat pipe above the repository, creating the possibility that water may drain back onto the waste packages (WPs) or that it may ''shed'' through the pillars between emplacement drifts. The long-term importance of these effects has been investigated through the development, testing, and application of thermohydrologic (TH) models. Other effects, such coupled chemical and mechanical processes, may also influence the movement of water above, within, and below the emplacement drifts. A recent report on thermally driven coupled processes (Hardin and Chesnut, 1997) provides a qualitative assessment of the probable significance of these processes for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project (YMSCP) and is the phenomenological framework for the present report. This report describes the conceptual and numerical models that have been developed to predict the thermal, mechanical, hydrologic, and chemical responses to the cumulative heat production of the potential host rock at Yucca Mountain. As proposed, the repository horizon will be situated within the Topopah Spring tuff, in the adjacent middle nonlithophysal and lower

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1990-04-01

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

  1. Vadose Zone Contaminant Migration Multi-Layer Model Software (Version 4.0)

    Energy Science and Technology Software Center (OSTI)

    2009-08-12

    The Version 4.0 model is designed to improve functionality and addresses a greater range of unsaturated zone scenarios than previous versions. The additional flexibility is accomplished in the model by including user-defined hydraulic layer functions and hydraulic parameters.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Stuckless, J.S.; Whelan, J.F.; Steinkampf, W.C.

    1991-05-01

    Analytical data for stable isotopes in ground water from beneath Yucca Mountain, when examined in map view, show areal patterns of heterogeneity that can be interpreted in terms of mixing of at least three end members. One end member must be isotopically heavy in terms of hydrogen and oxygen and have a young apparent {sup 14}C age such as water found at the north end of Yucca Mountain beneath Fortymile Wash. A second end member must contain isotopically heavy carbon and have an old apparent {sup 14}C age such as water from the Paleozoic aquifer. The third end member cannot be tightly defined. It must be isotopically lighter than the first with respect of hydrogen and oxygen and be intermediate to the first and second end members with respect to both apparent {sup 14}C age and {delta}{sup 13}C. The variable isotopic compositions of hydrogen and oxygen indicate that two of the end members are waters, but the variable carbon isotopic composition could represent either a third water end member or reaction of water with a carbon-bearing solids such as calcite. 15 refs., 4 figs., 1 tab.

  3. MIC evaluation and testing for the Yucca Mountain repository

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Horn, J.M.; Rivera, A.; Lain, T.; Jones, D.A.

    1997-10-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential deep geological repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, for the containment and storage of high-level nuclear waste. There is growing awareness that biotic factors could affect the integrity of the repository directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC) of waste package (WP) materials and other repository elements. A program to determine the degree that microorganisms, especially bacteria, influence the corrosion of waste package materials has therefore been undertaken. These studies include testing candidate waste package materials for their susceptibility to MIC, and also seek to determine rates of biocorrosion under varying environmental conditions, as well as predict rates of waste package corrosion over the long term. Previous characterization of bacterial isolates derived from YM geologic material showed that many possessed biochemical activities associated with MIC, 2. Various Yucca Mountain microbes demonstrated the abilities to oxidize iron, reduce sulfate to sulfide, produce acids, and generate exopolysaccharides (or `slime`). Table 1 summarizes previously characterized YM organisms and their associated relevant activities. A subset of the characterized YM bacteria were spread on WP alloy coupons in systems designed to collect polarization resistance (Rp) data for corrosion rate calculations, and to determine cathodic and anodic potentiodynamic polarization to assess corrosion mechanisms. Coupons inoculated with bacteria were compared to those that remained sterile, to determine the bacterial contribution to overall corrosion rates.

  4. COVE 2A Benchmarking calculations using NORIA; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1991-10-01

    Six steady-state and six transient benchmarking calculations have been performed, using the finite element code NORIA, to simulate one-dimensional infiltration into Yucca Mountain. These calculations were made to support the code verification (COVE 2A) activity for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. COVE 2A evaluates the usefulness of numerical codes for analyzing the hydrology of the potential Yucca Mountain site. Numerical solutions for all cases were found to be stable. As expected, the difficulties and computer-time requirements associated with obtaining solutions increased with infiltration rate. 10 refs., 128 figs., 5 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.``

  6. Role of unsaturated soil in a waste containment system

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lim, P.C.; Tay, J.H.

    1996-12-31

    The role of the unsaturated properties of sand as a drainage layer in a composite liner system for landfills is investigated. The effect of the unsaturated properties of coarse-grained soil on contaminant migration was evaluated by means of a series of simulations using a one-dimensional model of a two- and a three-layer soil liner system for advection and diffusion, respectively. The results showed that under seepage conditions, the effect of an unsaturated sand layer on the advancement of the concentration front was quite insignificant. The arrival time of the C/C{sub o} = 0.5 concentration front increased from 651 days for the case with no sand layer to approximately 951 days for the case with a 1.0-m sand layer. A steady-state flow condition was ultimately established in the sand, and this fact suggests that the capillary action might not be effective. For diffusion, the arrival time of the concentration front increased nonlinearly with a decrease in the degree of saturation and linearly with increasing depths of the sand layer. At a residual degree of saturation, the arrival times of the C/C{sub o} = 0.01 and 0.5 concentration front at the base of the 1-m sand layer were 26.9 and 877.4 years as compared to 1.52 and 2.62 years by advection, respectively. 17 refs., 11 figs.

  7. Analysis of pumping-induced unsaturated regions beneath aperennial river

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Su, G.W.; Jasperse, J.; Seymour, D.; Constantz, J.; Zhou, Q.

    2007-05-15

    The presence of an unsaturated region beneath a streambedduring groundwater pumping near streams reduces the pumping capacity whenit reaches the well screens, changes flow paths, and alters the types ofbiological transformations in the streambed sediments. Athree-dimensional, multi-phase flow model of two horizontal collectorwells along the Russian River near Forestville, California was developedto investigate the impact of varying the ratio of the aquifer tostreambed permeability on (1) the formation of an unsaturated regionbeneath the stream, (2) the pumping capacity, (3) stream-water fluxesthrough the streambed, and (4) stream-water travel times to the collectorwells. The aquifer to streambed permeability ratio at which theunsaturated region was initially observed ranged from 10 to 100. The sizeof the unsaturated region beneath the streambed increased as the aquiferto streambed permeability ratio increased. The simulations also indicatedthat for a particular aquifer permeability, decreasing the streambedpermeability by only a factor of 2-3 from the permeability wheredesaturation initially occurred resulted in reducing the pumpingcapacity. In some cases, the stream-water fluxes increased as thestreambed permeability decreased. However, the stream water residencetimes increased and the fraction of stream water that reached that thewells decreased as the streambed permeability decreased, indicating thata higher streambed flux does not necessarily correlate to greaterrecharge of stream water around the wells.

  8. Pore-Water Extraction from Unsaturated Porous Media: Intermediate-Scale Laboratory

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Oostrom, Martinus; Truex, Michael J.; Wietsma, Thomas W.; Tartakovsky, Guzel D.

    2014-08-15

    As a remedial approach, vacuum-induced pore-water extraction offers the possibility of contaminant and water removal from the vadose zone, which may be beneficial in reducing the flux of vadose zone contaminants to groundwater. Vadose zone water extraction is being considered at the Hanford Site in Washington State as a means to remove technetium-99 contamination from low permeability sediments with relatively high water contents. A series of intermediate-scale laboratory experiments have been conducted to improve the fundamental understanding and limitations of the technique. Column experiments were designed to investigate the relations between imposed suctions, water saturations, and water production. Flow cell experiments were conducted to investigate the effects of high-permeability layers and near-well compaction on pore-water extraction efficiency. Results show that water extraction from unsaturated systems can be achieved in low permeability sediments, provided that the initial water saturations are relatively high. The presence of a high-permeability layer decreased the yield, and compaction near the well screen had a limited effect on overall performance. In all experiments, large pressure gradients were observed near the extraction screen. Minimum requirements for water extraction include an imposed vacuum-induced suction larger than the initial sediment capillary pressure, in combination with a fully saturated seepage-face boundary. A numerical multiphase simulator with a coupled seepage-face boundary conditions was used to simulate the experiments. Reasonable matches were obtained between measured and simulated results for both water extraction and capillary pressures, suggesting that numerical simulations may be used as a design tool for field-scale applications of pore-water extraction.

  9. Yucca Mountain - U.S. Department of Energy's Reply to the Responses...

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Reply to the Responses to the Motion to Withdraw Yucca Mountain - U.S. Department of Energy's Reply to the Responses to the Motion to Withdraw Department of Energy's reply brief in...

  10. DOE Replies Support NRC Commissioners and Authority to Withdraw Yucca Application

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    In a reply brief filed with the NRC today, DOE explained that the arguments that it lacked authority to withdraw the pending Yucca Mountain license application are uniformly without merit. DOE's...

  11. Remarks by Rick McLeod Yucca Mountain Blue Ribbon Panel

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    Rick McLeod Yucca Mountain Blue Ribbon Panel Executive Director March 25, 2010 Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization 1 GOOD MORNING. I AM RICK MCLEOD...EXECUTIVE ...

  12. DOE Makes Filing with NRC in Support OF Authority to Withdraw Yucca Application

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    DOE today urged the NRC to conclude that DOE has the legal authority to withdraw the pending Yucca Mountain license application.  DOE argued that the NRC should review and reverse the contrary...

  13. Government Decision to Abandon Yucca Mountain Negatively Impacts Central Savannah River Area

    Broader source: All U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office Webpages (Extended Search)

    For Immediate Release Contact: Rick McLeod Monday, November 9, 2009 803.593.9954 x1411 Government Decision to Abandon Yucca Mountain Negatively Impacts Central Savannah River Area AIKEN, SC - The Federal Government's failure to complete construction of its only option for long-term nuclear waste storage at Yucca Mountain in the Nevada desert will result in the Savannah River Site becoming the permanent home to tons of high- level nuclear waste, a local community group says. The SRS Community

  14. New Yucca Mountain Repository Design to be Simpler, Safer and More

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    Cost-Effective | Department of Energy New Yucca Mountain Repository Design to be Simpler, Safer and More Cost-Effective New Yucca Mountain Repository Design to be Simpler, Safer and More Cost-Effective untitled (30.54 KB) More Documents & Publications Audit Report: OAS-L-07-08 EIS-0250-S1: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement EIS-0250-S1: Notice of Intent to Prepare a Supplement to the Final Environmental Impact Statement

  15. Microsoft Word - IG-0708 -Yucca Rpt- FINAL Nov 10-05.doc

    Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Indexed Site

    F U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General Office of Inspections and Special Inquiries Inspection Report Quality Assurance Weaknesses in the Review of Yucca Mountain Electronic Mail for Relevancy to the Licensing Process DOE/IG-0708 November 2005 QUALITY ASSURANCE WEAKNESSES IN THE REVIEW OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN ELECTRONIC MAIL FOR RELEVANCY TO THE LICENSING PROCESS TABLE OF CONTENTS OVERVIEW Introduction and Objectives...................................... 1 Observations and

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  17. Passive Seismic Monitoring for Rockfall at Yucca Mountain: Concept Tests

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Cheng, J; Twilley, K; Murvosh, H; Tu, Y; Luke, B; Yfantis, A; Harris, D B

    2003-03-03

    For the purpose of proof-testing a system intended to remotely monitor rockfall inside a potential radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain, a system of seismic sub-arrays will be deployed and tested on the surface of the mountain. The goal is to identify and locate rockfall events remotely using automated data collecting and processing techniques. We install seismometers on the ground surface, generate seismic energy to simulate rockfall in underground space beneath the array, and interpret the surface response to discriminate and locate the event. Data will be analyzed using matched-field processing, a generalized beam forming method for localizing discrete signals. Software is being developed to facilitate the processing. To date, a three-component sub-array has been installed and successfully tested.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1995-06-30

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

  20. [Paleoclimatology studies for Yucca Mountain site characterization]. Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NONE

    1996-05-03

    This report consists of two separate papers: Fernley Basin studies; and Influence of sediment supply and climate change on late Quaternary eolian accumulation patterns in the Mojave Desert. The first study involved geologic mapping of late Quaternary sediments and lacustrine features combined with precise control of elevations and descriptions of sediments for each of the major sedimentary units. The second paper documents the response of a major eolian sediment transport system in the east-central Mojave Desert: that which feeds the Kelso Dune field. Information from geomorphic, stratigraphic, and sedimentologic studies of eolian deposits and landforms is combined with luminescence dating of these deposits to develop a chronology of periods of eolian deposition. Both studies are related to site characterization studies of Yucca Mountain and the forecasting of rainfall patterns possible for the high-level radioactive waste repository lifetime.

  1. Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Clark, R. L.

    2002-02-27

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued radiation protection standards for the potential spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste disposal system in Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These standards are found in Part 197 of Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR Part 197). The Energy Policy Act of 1992 directed, and gave the authority to, EPA to take this action based upon input from the National Academy of Sciences (NAS). The final standards were published in the Federal Register (66 FR 32073) on 13 June 2001. The 40 CFR Part 197 standards have four major parts: (1) individual-protection during storage activities; (2) individual-protection following closure of the repository; (3) human-intrusion; and (4) ground-water protection. The storage standard is 150 microsieverts (Sv) annual committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE) to any member of the general public. The disposal standards are: (1) 150 Sv annual CEDE for the reasonably maximally exposed individual (RMEI) for 10,000 years after disposal; (2) 150 Sv received by the RMEI within 10,000 years after disposal as a result of human intrusion; and (3) the levels of radionuclides in the ground water cannot exceed 40 Sv from beta and gamma emitters, 5 picocuries per liter (pCi/L) of radium-226 and -228, and 15 pCi/L of gross alpha activity. There are also requirements related to the post-10,000-year period, the basis of compliance judgments, and performance assessments. The Agency has published its responses to the comments received, its technical background document, and its economic impact analysis. In addition to printed form, the documents are available on the World Wide Web at http://www.epa.gov/radiation/yucca/index.html.

  2. GEOCHEMISTRY OF ROCK UNITS AT THE POTENTIAL REPOSITORY LEVEL, YUCCA MOUNTAIN, NEVADA

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Z.E. Peterman; P.L. Cloke

    2000-12-13

    The compositional variability of the phenocryst-poor member of the 12.8-million-year Topopah Spring Tuff at the potential repository level was assessed by duplicate analysis of 20 core samples from the cross drift at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Previous analyses of outcrop and core samples of the Topopah Spring Tuff showed that the phenocryst-poor rhyolite, which includes both lithophysal and nonlithophysal zones, is relatively uniform in composition. Analyses of rock samples from the cross drift, the first from the actual potential repository block, also indicate the chemical homogeneity of this unit excluding localized deposits of vapor-phase minerals and low-temperature calcite and opal in fractures, cavities, and faults, The possible influence of vapor-phase minerals and calcite and opal coatings on rock composition at a scale sufficiently large to incorporate these heterogeneously distributed deposits was evaluated and is considered to be relatively minor. Therefore, the composition of the phenocryst-poor member of the Topopah Spring Tuff is considered to be adequately represented by the analyses of samples from the cross drift. The mean composition as represented by the 10 most abundant oxides in weight percent or grams per hundred grams is: SiO{sub 2}, 76.29; Al{sub 2}O{sub 3}, 12.55; FeO, 0.14; Fe{sub 2}O{sub 3}, 0.97; MgO, 0.13; CaO, 0.50; Na{sub 2}O, 3.52; K{sub 2}O, 4.83; TiO{sub 2}, 0.11; and MnO, 0.07.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  4. Air-injection testing in vertical boreholes in welded and nonwelded Tuff, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    LeCain, G.D.

    1997-12-31

    Air-injection tests, by use of straddle packers, were done in four vertical boreholes (UE-25 UZ-No.16, USW SD-12, USW NRG-6, and USW NRG-7a) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The geologic units tested were the Tiva Canyon Tuff, nonwelded tuffs of the Paintbrush Group, Topopah Spring Tuff, and Calico Hills Formation. Air-injection permeability values of the Tiva Canyon Tuff ranged from 0.3 x 10{sup -12} to 54.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}(square meter). Air-injection permeability values of the Paintbrush nonwelded tuff ranged from 0.12 x 10{sup -12} to 3.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. Air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff ranged from 0.02 x 10{sup -12} to 33.0 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The air-injection permeability value of the only Calico Hills Formation interval tested was 0.025 x 10{sup -12} m{sup 2}. The shallow test intervals of the Tiva Canyon Tuff had the highest air-injection permeability values. Variograms of the air-injection permeability values of the Topopah Spring Tuff show a hole effect; an initial increase in the variogram values is followed by a decrease. The hole effect is due to the decrease in permeability with depth identified in several geologic zones. The hole effect indicates some structural control of the permeability distribution, possibly associated with the deposition and cooling of the tuff. Analysis of variance indicates that the air-injection permeability values of borehole NRG-7a of the Topopah Spring Tuff are different from the other boreholes; this indicates areal variation in permeability.

  5. Structural geology of the French Peak accommodation zone, Nevada Test Site, southwestern Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hudson, M.R.

    1997-12-31

    The French Peak accommodation zone (FPAZ) forms an east-trending bedrock structural high in the Nevada Test Site region of southwestern Nevada that formed during Cenozoic Basin and Range extension. The zone separates areas of opposing directions of tilt and downthrow on faults in the Yucca Flat and Frenchman Flat areas. Paleomagnetic data show that rocks within the accommodation zone adjacent to Yucca Flat were not strongly affected by vertical-axis rotation and thus that the transverse strikes of fault and strata formed near their present orientation. Both normal- and oblique strike-slip faulting in the FPAZ largely occurred under a normal-fault stress regime, with least principal stress oriented west-northwest. The normal and sinistral faults in the Puddle Peka segment transfers extension between the Plutonium Valley normal fault zone and the Cane Spring sinistral fault. Recognition of sinistral shear across the Puddle Peak segment allows the Frenchman Flat basin to be interpreted as an asymmetric pull-apart basin developed between the FPAZ and a zone of east-northeast-striking faults to the south that include the Rock Valley fault. The FPAZ has the potential to influence ground-water flow in the region in several ways. Fracture density and thus probably fracture conductivity is high within the FPAZ due to the abundant fault splays present. Moreover,, fractures oriented transversely to the general southward flow of ground water through Yucca Flat area are significant and have potential to laterally divert ground water. Finally, the FPAZ forms a faulted structural high whose northern and southern flanks may permit intermixing of ground waters from different aquifer levels, namely the lower carbonate, welded tuff, and alluvial aquifers. 42 refs.

  6. Rock mass mechanical property estimations for the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lin, M.; Hardy, M.P.; Bauer, S.J.

    1993-06-01

    Rock mass mechanical properties are important in the design of drifts and ramps. These properties are used in evaluations of the impacts of thermomechanical loading of potential host rock within the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project. Representative intact rock and joint mechanical properties were selected for welded and nonwelded tuffs from the currently available data sources. Rock mass qualities were then estimated using both the Norwegian Geotechnical Institute (Q) and Geomechanics Rating (RMR) systems. Rock mass mechanical properties were developed based on estimates of rock mass quality, the current knowledge of intact properties, and fracture/joint characteristics. Empirical relationships developed to correlate the rock mass quality indices and the rock mass mechanical properties were then used to estimate the range of rock mass mechanical properties.

  7. Statement from U.S. Secretary of Energy Samuel W. Bodman Regarding the Docketing of DOE's Yucca Mountain License Application

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    WASHINGTON, DC - Today, September 8, 2008, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) announced it has docketed the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Yucca Mountain license application seeking...

  8. Colloid suspension stability and transport through unsaturated porous media

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    McGraw, M.A.; Kaplan, D.I.

    1997-04-01

    Contaminant transport is traditionally modeled in a two-phase system: a mobile aqueous phase and an immobile solid phase. Over the last 15 years, there has been an increasing awareness of a third, mobile solid phase. This mobile solid phase, or mobile colloids, are organic or inorganic submicron-sized particles that move with groundwater flow. When colloids are present, the net effect on radionuclide transport is that radionuclides can move faster through the system. It is not known whether mobile colloids exist in the subsurface environment of the Hanford Site. Furthermore, it is not known if mobile colloids would likely exist in a plume emanating from a Low Level Waste (LLW) disposal site. No attempt was made in this study to ascertain whether colloids would form. Instead, experiments and calculations were conducted to evaluate the likelihood that colloids, if formed, would remain in suspension and move through saturated and unsaturated sediments. The objectives of this study were to evaluate three aspects of colloid-facilitated transport of radionuclides as they specifically relate to the LLW Performance Assessment. These objectives were: (1) determine if the chemical conditions likely to exist in the near and far field of the proposed disposal site are prone to induce flocculation (settling of colloids from suspension) or dispersion of naturally occurring Hanford colloids, (2) identify the important mechanisms likely involved in the removal of colloids from a Hanford sediment, and (3) determine if colloids can move through unsaturated porous media.

  9. Review of Upscaling Methods for Describing Unsaturated Flow

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    BD Wood

    2000-09-26

    The representation of small-scale features can be a challenge when attempting to model unsaturated flow in large domains. Upscaling methods offer the possibility of reducing the amount of resolution required to adequately simulate such a problem. In this report, the various upscaling techniques that are discussed in the literature are reviewed. The following upscaling methods have been identified from the literature: (1) stochastic methods, (2) renormalization methods, and (3) volume averaging and homogenization methods; in addition, a final technique, full resolution numerical modeling, is also discussed. Each of these techniques has its advantages and disadvantages. The trade-off is a reduction in accuracy in favor of a method that is easier to employ. For practical applications, the most reasonable approach appears to be one in which any of the upscaling methods identified above maybe suitable for upscaling in regions where the variations in the parameter fields are small. For regions where the subsurface structure is more complex, only the homogenization and volume averaging methods are probably suitable. With the continual increases in computational capacity, fill-resolution numerical modeling may in many instances provide a tractable means of solving the flow problem in unsaturated systems.

  10. Zone separator for multiple zone vessels

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    Jones, John B.

    1983-02-01

    A solids-gas contact vessel, having two vertically disposed distinct reaction zones, includes a dynamic seal passing solids from an upper to a lower zone and maintaining a gas seal against the transfer of the separate treating gases from one zone to the other, and including a stream of sealing fluid at the seal.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lacy, Darrell; Voegele, Michael; Jaszczak, Casmier

    2012-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Shrader-Frechette, K.

    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.

  15. Yucca Mountain Project - Science & Technology Radionuclide Absorbers Development Program Overview

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hong-Nian Jow; R.C. Moore; K.B. Helean; S. Mattigod; M. Hochella; A.R. Felmy; J. Liu; K. Rosso; G. Fryxell; J. Krumhansl; Y. Wang

    2005-01-14

    The proposed Yucca Mountain repository is anticipated to be the first facility for long-term disposal of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States. The facility, located in the southern Nevada desert, is currently in the planning stages with initial exploratory excavations completed. It is an underground facility mined into the tuffaceous volcanic rocks that sit above the local water table. The focus of the work described in this paper is the development of radionuclide absorbers or ''getter'' materials for neptunium (Np), iodine (I), and technetium (Tc) for potential deployment in the repository. ''Getter'' materials retard the migration of radionuclides through sorption, reduction, or other chemical and physical processes, thereby slowing or preventing the release and transport of radionuclides. An overview of the objectives and approaches utilized in this work with respect to materials selection and modeling of ion ''getters'' is presented. The benefits of the ''getter'' development program to the United States Department of Energy (US DOE) are outlined.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  17. Temperature Effects on seepage Fluid Compositions at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Nicolas Spycher; Eric Sonnenthal

    2001-06-01

    This project investigated the effect of two repository operating temperature modes on coupled thermal, hydrological, and chemical processes around potential nuclear waste-emplacement tunnels (drifts) at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the composition of fluids (water and gas) that could enter the drifts, because these data directly relate to the performance of waste canisters and other in-drift engineered systems over the life of the potential repository. Multicomponent reactive transport simulations were performed using TOUGHREACT, initially written by T. Xu and K. Pruess at LBNL and modified here to handle high-temperature and boiling environments. Two repository operating temperature modes were investigated: (1) a ''high-temperature'' mode, which considered a short preclosure ventilation period (50 years) and gave rise to above-boiling temperatures in rocks around the drift for hundreds of years, and (2) a ''low-temperature'' mode with a smaller heat load and longer preclosure ventilation (300 years), yielding temperatures at the surface of the waste package below 85 C (a design threshold) and thus below boiling conditions. Simulations under ambient conditions (no heat load) were also conducted to serve as a baseline for comparing results of thermal-loading simulations.

  18. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Technical Data Catalog (Quarterly supplement)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1993-12-31

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  20. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Technical Data Catalog

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-12-31

    The June 1, 1985, 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. Each new publication of the Technical Data Catalog supersedes the previous edition.

  1. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project Technical Data Catalog (quarterly supplement)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1993-06-30

    The June 1, 1985, 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 December 31, 1992, should be retained as the baseline document for the supplements until the end-of-year revision is published and distributed in October 1993.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1995-03-31

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

  3. Two Dimensional Polyamides Prepared From Unsaturated Carboxylic Acids And Amines.

    DOE Patents [OSTI]

    McDonald, William F.; Huang, Zhi Heng; Wright, Stacy C.; Danzig, Morris; Taylor, Andrew C.

    2002-07-17

    A polyamide and a process for preparing the polyamide are disclosed. The process comprises reacting in a reaction mixture a monomer selected from unsaturated carboxylic acids, esters of unsaturated carboxylic acids, anhydrides of unsaturated carboxylic acids, and mixtures thereof, and a first amine to form an intermediate reaction product in the reaction mixture, wherein the first amine is selected from RR.sub.1 NH, RNH.sub.2, RR.sub.1 NH.sub.2.sup.+, RNH.sub.3.sup.+ and mixtures thereof, wherein R and R.sub.1 can be the same or different and each contain between about 1 and 50 carbon atoms and are optionally substituted with heteroatoms oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus and combinations thereof, and reacting the intermediate reaction product and a second amine to form a polyamide, wherein the second amine is selected from R.sub.2 R.sub.3 NH, R.sub.2 NH.sub.2, R.sub.2 R.sub.3 NH.sub.2.sup.+, R.sub.2 NH.sub.3.sup.+ and mixtures thereof wherein R.sub.2 and R.sub.3 can be the same or different and each contain between about 1 and 50 carbon atoms and are optionally substituted with heteroatoms oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur, and phosphorus and combinations thereof, wherein multiple of the R, R.sub.1, R.sub.2, and R.sub.3 are in vertically aligned spaced relationship along a backbone formed by the polyamide. In one version of the invention, the monomer is selected from maleic anhydride, maleic acid esters, and mixtures thereof. In another version of the invention, the first amine is an alkylamine, such as tetradecylamine, and the second amine is a polyalkylene polyamine, such as pentaethylenehexamine. In yet another version of the invention, the first amine and the second amine are olefinic or acetylenic amines, such as the reaction products of an alkyldiamine and an acetylenic carboxylic acid. The first amine and the second amine may be the same or different depending on the desired polyamide polymer structure.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Oliver, H.W.; Hardin, E.L.; Nelson, P.H.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Stephan, P.M.

    1996-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Stephan, P.M.

    1995-01-01

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

  13. Progress report on colloid-facilitated transport at Yucca Mountain: Yucca Mountain site characterization program milestone 3383

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Triay, I.R.; Degueldre, C.; Wistrom, A.O.; Cotter, C.R.; Lemons, W.W.

    1996-06-01

    To assess colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport in groundwaters at the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, it is very important to understand the generation and stability of colloids, including naturally occurring colloids. To this end, we measured the colloid concentration in waters from Well J-13, which is on the order of 106 particles per milliliter (for particle sizes larger than 100 manometers). At this low particle loading, the sorption of radionuclides to colloids would have to be extremely high before the colloids could carry a significant amount of radionuclides from the repository to the accessible environment. We also performed aggregation experiments to evaluate the stability of silica (particle diameter: 85 nm) and clay colloids (particle diameter: 140 nm) as a function of ionic strength in a carbonate-rich synthetic groundwater. When the concentration of electrolyte is increased to induce aggregation, the aggregation is irreversible and the rate of aggregation increases with increasing electrolyte strength. We used autocorrelation photon spectroscopy to estimate the rate of particle aggregation for both types of colloids. By relating the measured aggregation rate to the Smoluchowski rate expression, we determined the stability ratio, W. Aggregation of silica particles and kaolinite clay particles decreased dramatically for an electrolyte concentration, C{sub NaCl}, below 300 mM and 200 mM, respectively.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hill, C.A.; Schluter, C.M.; Harmon, R.S.

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  20. Mass transport of volatile organic compounds between the saturated and vadose zones. Master`s thesis

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Harner, M.S.

    1996-12-01

    Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) dissolved in the saturated zone are transported into the vadose zone primarily by gaseous phase diffusion. If the saturated zone is remediated, VOCs present in the vadose zone may become a secondary source of contamination for the groundwater. The amount of VOCs that remain in the vadose zone is dependent on site hydrology, soil properties, and the chemical properties of the contaminants. The purpose of this study was to determine what conditions caused VOC concentrations in the vadose zone to significantly recontaminate the saturated zone. A one-dimensional numerical model was developed to investigate the transport of a VOC, trichioroethylene, between the saturated and vadose zones under a variety of conditions. The model featured steady-state unsaturated water flow and transient contaminant transport. Transport mechanisms included aqueous phase advection-dispersion and gaseous phase diffusion. Partitioning between the water, gas, and soil compartments were modeled as equilibrium processes. Sensitivity analyses were performed on several variables including soil type (homogeneous and heterogeneous profiles), water infiltration rate and vadose zone depth. Results indicated that recontamination was most significant rate, and vadose zone depth. Results indicated that recontamination was most significant in the presence of heterogeneous soils, low infiltration rates and deep vadose zones.

  1. Completion Report for the Well ER-6-2 Site Corrective Action Unit 97: Yucca Flat - Climax Mine

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NSTec Environmental Management

    2008-03-01

    Well ER-6-2 and its satellite hole, Well ER-6-2 No.1, were drilled for the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Site Office in support of the Nevada Environmental Restoration Project at the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. Well ER-6-2 was drilled in two stages in 1993 and 1994; the satellite hole, Well ER-6-2 No.1 was drilled nearby in 1993 but was abandoned. The wells were drilled as part of a hydrogeologic investigation program for the Yucca Flat-Climax Mine Corrective Action Unit Number 97, in the northeastern portion of the Nevada Test Site. The wells are located in Yucca Flat, within Area 6 of the Nevada Test Site. The wells provided information regarding the radiological and hydrogeological environment in a potentially down-gradient position from tests conducted in northern and central Yucca Flat. Construction of Well ER-6-2 began with a 1.2-meter-diameter surface conductor hole, which was drilled and cased off to a depth of 30.8 meters below the surface. A 50.8-centimeter diameter surface hole was then rotary drilled to the depth of 578.5 meters and cased off to the depth of 530.4 meters. The hole diameter was then reduced to 27.0 centimeters, and the borehole was advanced to a temporary depth of 611.4 meters. The borehole was conventionally cored to a total depth of 1,045 meters with a diameter of 14.0 centimeters. Borehole sloughing required cementing and re-drilling of several zones. The open-hole completion accesses the lower carbonate aquifer, the CP thrust fault, and the upper clastic confining unit. A fluid level depth of 543.2 meters was most recently measured in the open borehole in September 2007. No radionuclides were encountered during drilling. The satellite hole Well ER-6-2 No.1 was drilled approximately 15.2 meters north of Well ER-6-2 on the same drill pad. This was planned to be used as an observation well during future hydrologic testing at Well ER-6-2; however, the satellite hole was abandoned at

  2. Ammonia Gas Transport and Reactions in Unsaturated Sediments: Implications for Use as an Amendment to Immobilize Inorganic Contaminants

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Zhong, Lirong; Szecsody, James E.; Truex, Michael J.; Williams, Mark D.; Liu, Yuanyuan

    2015-05-01

    Use of gas-phase amendments for in situ remediation of inorganic contaminants in unsaturated sediments of the vadose zone may be advantageous, but there has been limited development and testing of gas remediation technologies. Treatment with ammonia gas has been studied and has a potential for use in treating inorganic contaminants such as uranium because it induces a high pore-water pH causing mineral dissolution and subsequent formation of stable precipitates that decrease the mobility of some contaminants. For field application, knowledge of ammonia transport and the geochemical reactions induced by ammonia is needed. Laboratory studies were conducted to support calculations needed for field treatment design, to quantify advective and diffusive ammonia transport in unsaturated sediments, to evaluate reactions among gas, sediment, and water, and to study reaction-induced pore-water chemistry changes as a function of ammonia delivery conditions. Ammonia gas quickly partitions into sediment pore water and increases pH up to 13.2. Injected ammonia gas front movement can be reasonably predicted by gas flow rate and equilibrium partitioning. The ammonia gas diffusion rate is a function of the water content in the sediment. Measured diffusion front movement was 0.05, 0.03, and 0.02 cm/hr. in sediments with 2.0%, 8.7%, and 13.0% water content, respectively. Sodium, aluminum, and silica pore-water concentrations increase on exposure to ammonia and then decline as aluminosilicates precipitate with declining pH. When uranium is present in the sediment and pore water, up to 85% of the water-leachable uranium was immobilized by ammonia treatment.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Lance Prothro

    2008-03-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-05-31

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  8. SITE-SCALE SATURATED ZONE TRANSPORT

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    S. KELLER

    2004-11-03

    This work provides a site-scale transport model for calculating radionuclide transport in the saturated zone (SZ) at Yucca Mountain, for use in the abstractions model in support of ''Total System Performance Assessment for License Application'' (TSPA-LA). The purpose of this model report is to provide documentation for the components of the site-scale SZ transport model in accordance with administrative procedure AP-SIII.10Q, Models. The initial documentation of this model report was conducted under the ''Technical Work Plan For: Saturated Zone Flow and Transport Modeling and Testing'' (BSC 2003 [DIRS 163965]). The model report has been revised in accordance with the ''Technical Work Plan For: Natural System--Saturated Zone Analysis and Model Report Integration'', Section 2.1.1.4 (BSC 2004 [DIRS 171421]) to incorporate Regulatory Integration Team comments. All activities listed in the technical work plan that are appropriate to the transport model are documented in this report and are described in Section 2.1.1.4 (BSC 2004 [DIRS 171421]). This report documents: (1) the advection-dispersion transport model including matrix diffusion (Sections 6.3 and 6.4); (2) a description and validation of the transport model (Sections 6.3 and 7); (3) the numerical methods for simulating radionuclide transport (Section 6.4); (4) the parameters (sorption coefficient, Kd ) and their uncertainty distributions used for modeling radionuclide sorption (Appendices A and C); (5) the parameters used for modeling colloid-facilitated radionuclide transport (Table 4-1, Section 6.4.2.6, and Appendix B); and (6) alternative conceptual models and their dispositions (Section 6.6). The intended use of this model is to simulate transport in saturated fractured porous rock (double porosity) and alluvium. The particle-tracking method of simulating radionuclide transport is incorporated in the finite-volume heat and mass transfer numerical analysis (FEHM) computer code, (FEHM V2.20, STN: 10086

  9. Zoning and Permitting Resources

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    Zoning and permitting is commonly controlled by local governments and may be applicable to both residential and commercial properties.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.