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Sample records for yucca mountain nevada

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.``

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. A revised Litostragraphic Framework for the Southern Yucca Mountain Area, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-03-24

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    K. Coppersmith; R. Quittmeyer

    2005-02-16

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

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

  12. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  13. Geochemistry of Natural Components in the Near-Field Environment, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Peterman, Zell E.; Oliver, Thomas A.

    2007-07-01

    The natural near-field environment in and around the emplacement drifts of the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, includes the host rock, dust, seepage, and pore water. The chemical compositions of these components have been determined for assessing possible chemical and mineralogical reactions that may occur after nuclear waste is emplaced. The rock hosting the proposed repository is relatively uniform as shown by a mean coefficient of variation (CV) of 9 percent for major elements. In contrast, compositional variations of dust (bulk and water-soluble fractions), pore water, and seepage are large with mean CVs ranging from 28 to 64 percent. (authors)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ray, J.M.; Newsom, J.C.

    1994-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Sweeney, Robin L,; Lechel, David J.

    2003-02-25

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    G. Keating; W.Statham

    2004-02-12

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    J. Stuckless

    2006-03-10

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

  7. Chemistry of Water Collected From an Unventilated Drift, Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Marshall, Brian D.; Peterman, Zell E.

    2007-07-01

    Water samples (referred to as puddle water samples) were collected from the surfaces of a conveyor belt and plastic sheeting in the unventilated portion of the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block (ECRB) Cross Drift in 2003 and 2005 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The chemistry of these puddle water samples is very different than that of pore water samples from borehole cores in the same region of the Cross Drift or than seepage water samples collected from the Exploratory Studies Facility tunnel in 2005. The origin of the puddle water is condensation on surfaces of introduced materials and its chemistry is dominated by components of the introduced materials. Large CO{sub 2} concentrations may be indicative of localized chemical conditions induced by biologic activity. (authors)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    T.A. Oliver; J.F. Whelan

    2006-03-20

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    C. Harrington

    2004-10-25

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

  17. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  19. Geology of the USW SD-12 drill hole Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1996-11-01

    Drill hole USW SD-12 is one of several holes drilled under Site Characterization Plan Study 8.3.1.4.3.1, also known as the {open_quotes}Systematic Drilling Program,{close_quotes} as part of the U.S. Department of Energy characterization program at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which has been proposed as the potential location of a repository for high-level nuclear waste. The SD-12 drill hole is located in the central part of the potential repository area, immediately to the west of the Main Test Level drift of the Exploratory Studies Facility and slightly south of midway between the North Ramp and planned South Ramp declines. Drill hole USW SD-12 is 2166.3 ft (660.26 m) deep, and the core recovered essentially complete sections of ash-flow tuffs belonging to the lower half of the Tiva Canyon Tuff, the Pah Canyon Tuff, and the Topopah Spring Tuff, all of which are part of the Miocene Paintbrush Group. A virtually complete section of the Calico Hills Formation was also recovered, as was core from the entire Prow Pass Tuff formation of the Crater Flat Group.

  20. Current plans to characterize the design basis ground motion at the Yucca Mountain, Nevada Site

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Simecka, W.B.; Grant, T.A.; Voegele, M.D.; Cline, K.M.

    1992-12-31

    A site at Yucca Mountain Nevada is currently being studied to assess its suitability as a potential host site for the nation`s first commercial high level waste repository. The DOE has proposed a new methodology for determining design-basis ground motions that uses both deterministic and probabilistic methods. The role of the deterministic approach is primary. It provides the level of detail needed by design engineers in the characterization of ground motions. The probabilistic approach provides a logical structured procedure for integrating the range of possible earthquakes that contribute to the ground motion hazard at the site. In addition, probabilistic methods will be used as needed to provide input for the assessment of long-term repository performance. This paper discusses the local tectonic environment, potential seismic sources and their associated displacements and ground motions. It also discusses the approach to assessing the design basis earthquake for the surface and underground facilities, as well as selected examples of the use of this type of information in design activities.

  1. Uranium-Series Constraints on Subrepository Water Flow at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    L.A. Neymark; J.B. Paces; S.J. Chipera; D.T. Vaniman

    2006-03-10

    Mineral abundances and whole-rock chemical and uranium-series isotopic compositions were measured in unfractured and rubble core samples from borehole USWSD-9 in the same layers of variably zeolitized tuffs that underlie the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions also were measured in pore water from core samples from the same rock units and rock leachates representing loosely bound U adsorbed on mineral surfaces or contained in readily soluble secondary minerals. The chemical and isotopic data were used to evaluate differences in water-rock interaction between fractured and unfractured rock and between fracture surfaces and rock matrix. Samples of unfractured and rubble fragments (about 1 centimeter) core and material from fracture surfaces show similar amounts of uranium-series disequilibrium, recording a complex history of sorption and loss of uranium over the past 1 million years. The data indicate that fractures in zeolitized tuffs may not have had greater amounts of water-rock interaction than the rock matrix. The data also show that rock matrix from subrepository units is capable of scavenging uranium with elevated uranium-234/uranium-238 from percolating water and that retardation of radionuclides and dose reduction may be greater than currently credited to this aspect of the natural barrier. Uranium concentrations of pore water and the rock leachates are used to estimate long-term in situ uranium partition coefficient values greater than 7 milliliters per gram.

  2. Letter Report: Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Crater Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  3. Letter Report: Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Tonopah Airport, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  5. Letter Report: Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Caliente, Lincoln County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2008-08-01

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

  6. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Crater Flat, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-04-02

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

  7. Letter Report Yucca Mountain Environmental Monitoring Systems Initiative - Air Quality Scoping Study for Tonopah Airport, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-04-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-04-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1992-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 ...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NONE

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 74 figs., 32 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1--5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Sections 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 575 refs., 84 figs., 68 tabs.

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Not Available

    1999-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-03-17

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

  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. Thrust faults of southern Diamond Mountains, central Nevada: Implications for hydrocarbons in Diamond Valley and at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    French, D.E.

    1993-04-01

    Overmature Mississippian hydrocarbon source rocks in the southern Diamond Mountains have been interpreted to be a klippe overlying less mature source rocks and represented as an analogy to similar conditions near Yucca Mountain (Chamberlain, 1991). Geologic evidence indicates an alternative interpretation. Paleogeologic mapping indicates the presence of a thrust fault, referred to here as the Moritz Nager Thrust Fault, with Devonian rocks emplaced over Permian to Mississippian strata folded into an upright to overturned syncline, and that the overmature rocks of the Diamond Mountains are in the footwall of this thrust. The upper plate has been eroded from most of the Diamond Mountains but remnants are present at the head of Moritz Nager Canyon and at Sentinel Mountain. Devonian rocks of the upper plate comprised the earliest landslide megabreccia. Later, megabreccias of Pennsylvanian and Permian rocks of the overturned syncline of the lower plate were deposited. By this interpretation the maturity of lower-plate source rocks in the southern Diamond Mountains, which have been increased by tectonic burial, is not indicative of conditions in Diamond Valley, adjacent to the west, where upper-plate source rocks might be present in generating conditions. The interpretation that overmature source rocks of the Diamond Mountains are in a lower plate rather than in a klippe means that this area is an inappropriate model for the Eleana Range near Yucca Mountain.

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Mineralogy of drill holes J-13, UE-25A No. 1, and USW G-1 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1986-09-01

    The mineralogy of drill holes J-13, UE-25A No. 1, and USW G-1 was previously determined using qualitative and semiquantitative techniques, and most of the available data were neither complete nor accurate. New quantitative x-ray diffraction data were obtained for rocks from all three of these drill holes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. These quantitative analyses employed both external and internal standard x-ray powder diffraction methods and permitted the precise determination of all phases commonly found in the tuffs at Yucca Mountain, including glass and opal-CT. These new data supplant previous analyses and include numerous additional phases. New findings of particular importance include better constraints on the distribution of the more soluble silica polymorphs, cristobalite and opal-CT. Opal-CT was associated solely with clinoptilolite-bearing horizons, and cristobalite disappearance coincided with the appearance of analcime in USW G-1. Unlike previous analyses, we identified significant amounts of smectite in drill hole J-13. We found no evidence to support previous reports of the occurrence of erionite or phillipsite in these drill holes.

  12. Volcanic episodes near Yucca Mountain as determined by paleomagnetic studies as Lathrop Wells, Crater Flat, and Sleeping Butte, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Champion, D.E.

    1991-12-31

    It has been suggested that mafic volcanism in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is both recent (20 ka) and a product of complex {open_quotes}polycyclic{close_quotes} eruptions. This pattern of volcanism, as interpreted by some workers at the Lathrop Wells volcanic complex, comprises a sequence of numerous small-volume eruptions that become more tephra-producing over time. Such sequences are thought to occur over timespans as long as 100,000 years. However, paleomagnetic studies of the tephra and lava flows from mafic volcanoes near Yucca Mountain fail to find evidence of repeated eruptive activity over timespans of 10{sup 3} to 10{sup 5} years, even though samples have been taken that represent approximately 95% of the products of these volcanoes. Instead, the eruptions seem to have occurred as discrete episodes at each center and thus can be considered to be {open_quotes}monogenetic.{close_quotes} Dates of these episodes have been obtained by the proven radiometric-geochronometer methods of K-Ar or {sup 40}Ar/{sup 39}Ar dating.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1994-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Tsang, Y.W.; Pruess, K.

    1991-06-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1997-04-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1997-10-01

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

  18. EIS-0250-S2: Supplemental EIS for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada- Nevada Rail Transportation Corridor

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    This SEIS is to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of constructing and operating a railroad for shipments of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from an existing rail line in Nevada to a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. The purpose of the evaluation is to assist the Department in deciding whether to construct and operate a railroad in Nevada, and if so, in which corridor and along which specific alignment within the selected corridor.

  19. 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.

  20. 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 -}).

  1. 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

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-09-01

    In accordance with the requirements of section 113(b)(3) of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA) and 10 CFR 60.18(g), the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the period October 1, 1991, through March 31, 1992. This report is the sixth in a series of reports that are issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization. Also included in this report are activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not officially part of site characterization. Information on these activities is provided in order to fully integrate all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-04-02

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  10. 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,...

  11. 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...

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Characterization, propagation and analysis of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty in the 2008 performance assessment for the proposed repository for radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2010-10-01

    The 2008 performance assessment (PA) for the proposed repository for high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain (YM), Nevada, illustrates the conceptual structure of risk assessments for complex systems. The 2008 YM PA is based on the following three conceptual entities: a probability space that characterizes aleatory uncertainty; a function that predicts consequences for individual elements of the sample space for aleatory uncertainty; and a probability space that characterizes epistemic uncertainty. These entities and their use in the characterization, propagation and analysis of aleatory and epistemic uncertainty are described and illustrated with results from the 2008 YM PA.

  16. Seismicity in the Vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the Period October 1, 2002, to September 30, 2003

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Smith, Ken; von Seggern, David

    2007-12-04

    Earthquake activity in the Yucca Mountain from October 1, 2002 through September 30, 2003 (FY03) is assessed and compared with previous activity in the region. FY03 is the first reporting year since the 1992 M 5.6 Little Skull Mountain earthquake with no earthquakes greater than M 3.0 within 65 km of Yucca Mountain. In addition, FY03 includes the fewest number of earthquakes greater than M 2.0 in any reporting year since the LSM event. With 3075 earthquakes in the catalog, FY03 represents the second largest number of earthquakes (second to FY02) since FY96 when digital seismic network operations began. The largest event during FY03 was M 2.78 in eastern NTS and there were only 8 earthquakes greater than M 2.0.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Ho, Chih-Hsiang

    1994-10-17

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-06-18

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Locke, Glenn L. [US Geological Survey, Carson City, NV (United States); La Camera, Richard J. [US Geological Survey, Carson City, NV (United States)

    2003-12-31

    The U.S. Geological Survey, in support of the U.S. Department of Energy, Yucca Mountain Project, collects, compiles, and summarizes hydrologic data in the Yucca Mountain region. The data are collected to allow assessments of ground-water resources during activities to determine the potential suitability or development of Yucca Mountain for storing high-level nuclear waste. Data on ground-water levels at 35 wells and a fissure (Devils Hole), ground-water discharge at 5 springs and a flowing well, and total reported ground-water withdrawals within Crater Flat, Jackass Flats, Mercury Valley, and the Amargosa Desert are tabulated from January 2000 through December 2002. Historical data on water levels, discharges, and withdrawals are graphically presented to indicate variations through time. A statistical summary of ground-water levels at seven wells in Jackass Flats is presented for 19922002 to indicate potential effects of ground-water withdrawals associated with U.S. Department of Energy activities near Yucca Mountain. The statistical summary includes the annual number of measurements, maximum, minimum, and median water-level altitudes, and average deviation of measured water-level altitudes compared to selected baseline periods. Baseline periods varied for 198593. At six of the seven wells in Jackass Flats, the median water levels for 2002 were slightly higher (0.32.4 feet) than for their respective baseline periods. At the remaining well, data for 2002 was not summarized statistically but median water-level altitude in 2001 was 0.7 foot higher than that in its baseline period.

  20. Status of aeromagnetic survey coverage of Yucca Mountain and vicinity to a radius of about 140 kilometers, southwestern Nevada and southeastern California, 1992

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-12-31

    Fifty aeromagnetic surveys in the southwestern part of Nevada and the southeastern part of California have been evaluated to assess the quality and coverage of aeromagnetic data within 140 kilometers (km) of a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The compilation shows that all the study area is covered by aeromagnetic surveys, but in some areas, particularly in the Death Valley region, new surveys flown with closer flight line spacing and lower elevations than the existing coverage are needed. In addition, the California part of the study area needs to be analytically continued downward to 305 meters (m) above ground level to provide a consistent data set for interpretation of subsurface geologic structures.

  1. Progress report on the scientific investigation program for the Nevada Yucca Mountain site, September 15, 1988--September 30, 1989; Nuclear Waste Policy Act (Section 113), Number 1

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1990-02-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this report on the progress of site characterization activities at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. This report is the first of a series of reports that will hereafter be issued at intervals of approximately 6-months during site characterization. The DOE`s plans for site characterization are described in the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) for the Yucca Mountain site. The SCP has been reviewed and commented on by the NRC, the State of Nevada, the affected units of local government, other interested parties, and the public. More detailed information on plans for site characterization is being presented in study plans for the various site characterization activities. This progress report presents short summaries of the status of site characterization activities and cites technical reports and research products that provide more detailed information on the activities. The report provides highlights of work started during the reporting period, work in progress, and work completed and documented during the reporting period. In addition, the report is the vehicle for discussing major changes, if any, to the DOE`s site characterization program resulting from ongoing collection and evaluation of site information; the development of repository and waste-package designs; receipt of performance-assessment results; and changes, if any, that occur in response to external comments on the site characterization programs. 80 refs.

  2. 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...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-12-01

    This site characterization plan (SCP) has been developed for the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain in the State of Nevada. The SCP includes a description of the Yucca Mountain site (Chapters 1-5), a conceptual design for the repository (Chapter 6), a description of the packaging to be used for the waste to be emplaced in the repository (Chapter 7), and a description of the planned site characterization activities (Chapter 8). The schedules and milestones presented in Section 8.3 and 8.5 of the SCP were developed to be consistent with the June 1988 draft Amendment to the DOE`s Mission Plan for the Civilian Radioactive Waste Management Program. The five month delay in the scheduled start of exploratory shaft construction that was announced recently is not reflected in these schedules. 88 figs., 42 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-09-10

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1995-08-01

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

  7. 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...

  8. 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)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Bradbury, J A

    1986-12-01

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

  12. EIS-0250: Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    This EIS analyzes DOE's proposed action to construct, operate, monitor, and eventually close a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain  for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1998-04-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Helton, Jon Craig; Sallaberry, Cedric J. PhD.

    2007-04-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. Preparing to Submit a License Application for Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    W.J. Arthur; M.D. Voegele

    2005-03-14

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1988-10-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Bullard, K.L.

    1994-08-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. EIS-0250-S1: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-Level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    The Proposed Action defined in the Yucca Mountain FEIS is to construct, operate, monitor, and eventually close a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain to dispose of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. The Proposed Action includes transportation of these materials from commercial and DOE sites to the repository.

  9. Overview of calcite/opal deposits at or near the proposed high-level nuclear waste site, Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA: Pedogenic, hypogene, or both?

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hill, C.A.; Dublyansky, Y.V.; Harmon, R.S.

    1995-09-01

    Calcite/opal deposits (COD) at Yucca Mountain were studied with respect to their regional and field geology, petrology and petrography, chemistry and isotopic geochemistry, and fluid inclusions. They were also compared with true and pedogenic deposits (TPD), groundwater spring deposits (GSD), and calcite vein deposits (CVD) in the subsurface. Some of the data are equivocal and can support either a hypogene or pedogenic origin for these deposits. However, Sr-, C-, and O-isotope, fluid inclusion, and other data favor a hypogene interpretation. A hypothesis that may account for all currently available data is that the COD precipitated from warm, CO{sub 2}-rich water that episodically upwelled along faults during the Pleistocene, and which, upon reaching the surface, flowed down-slope within existing alluvial, colluvial, eluvial, or soil deposits. Being formed near, or on, the topographic surface, the COD acquired characteristics of pedogenic deposits. This subject relates to the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a high-level nuclear waste site. 64 refs., 21 figs., 3 tabs.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Fowler, C.S.

    1991-10-15

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

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 ...

  16. Multiscale Thermohydrologic Model Supporting the Licence Application for the Yucca Mountain Repository

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    T.A> Buscheck; Y. Sun; Y. Hao

    2006-03-28

    The MultiScale ThermoHydrologic Model (MSTHM) predicts thermal-hydrologic (TH) conditions within emplacement tunnels (drifts) and in the adjoining host rock at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, which is the proposed site for a radioactive waste repository in the US. Because these predictions are used in the performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain repository, they must address the influence of variability and uncertainty of the engineered- and natural-system parameters that significantly influence those predictions. Parameter-sensitivity studies show that the MSTHM predictions adequately propagate the influence of parametric variability and uncertainty. Model-validation studies show that the influence of conceptual-model uncertainty on the MSTHM predictions is insignificant compared to that of parametric uncertainty, which is propagated through the MSTHM.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Fowler, C.S.

    1991-10-15

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Magnetotelluric Data, Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada.

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Jackie M. Williams; Jay A. Sampson; Brian D. Rodriguez; and Theodore H. Asch.

    2006-11-03

    The United States Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at their Nevada Site Office (NSO) are addressing ground-water contamination resulting from historical underground nuclear testing through the Environmental Management (EM) program and, in particular, the Underground Test Area (UGTA) project. From 1951 to 1992, 828 underground nuclear tests were conducted at the Nevada Test Site northwest of Las Vegas. Most of these tests were conducted hundreds of feet above the ground-water table; however, more than 200 of the tests were near or within the water table. This underground testing was limited to specific areas of the Nevada Test Site, including Pahute Mesa, Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain, Frenchman Flat, and Yucca Flat. One issue of concern is the nature of the somewhat poorly constrained pre-Tertiary geology, and its effects on ground-water flow. 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 Rainier Mesa/Shoshone Mountain Corrective Action Unit (Bechtel Nevada, 2006). During 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the DOE and NNSA-NSO, collected and processed data from twenty-six magnetotelluric (MT) and audio-magnetotelluric (AMT) sites at the Nevada Test Site. The 2005 data stations were located on and near Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain to assist in characterizing the pre-Tertiary geology in those areas. These new stations extend the area of the hydrogeologic study previously conducted in Yucca Flat. This work will help refine what is known about the character, thickness, and lateral extent of pre-Tertiary confining units. In particular, a major goal has been to define the upper clastic confining unit (UCCU late Devonian to Mississippian-age siliciclastic rocks assigned to the Eleana Formation and Chainman Shale) from the Yucca Flat area and west towards

  2. 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.

  3. Deep Resistivity Structure of Rainier Mesa-Shoshone Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Theodore H. Asch; Brian D. Rodriguez; Jay A. Sampson; Jackie M. Williams; Maryla Deszcz-Pan

    2006-12-12

    The U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) at their Nevada Site Office (NSO) are addressing groundwater contamination resulting from historical underground nuclear testing through the Environmental Management (EM) program and, in particular, the Underground Test Area (UGTA) project. During 2005, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), funded by the DOE and NNSA-NSO, collected and processed data from twenty-six Magnetotelluric (MT) and Audio-Magnetotelluric (AMT) sites at the Nevada Test Site. Data stations were located in and near Rainier Mesa and Shoshone Mountain to assist in characterizing the pre-Tertiary geology in those areas. These new stations extend to the west the hydrogeologic study that was conducted in Yucca Flat in 2003. This work has helped 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 (UCCU late Devonian to Mississippian-age siliciclastic rocks assigned to the Eleana Formation and Chainman Shale(Bechtel Nevada, 2006)) in the Yucca Flat area and west towards Shoshone Mountain in the south, east of Buckboard Mesa, and onto Rainier Mesa in the north. 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 within the region. The character, thickness, and lateral extent of the Chainman Shale and Eleana Formation that comprise the Upper Clastic Confining Unit (UCCU) are generally characterized in the upper 5 km. The interpretation is not well determined where conductive TCU overlies conductive Chainman Shale, where resistive Eleana Formation overlies resistive LCA units, or where resistive VTA rock overlies units of the Eleana Formation. The nature of the

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-06-01

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

  9. Analysis of slot cutting methods for the Yucca Mountain heated block test using a compliant-joint model

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Chen, E.P.; Costin, L.S.

    1991-12-31

    Pretest analysis of a heated block test, proposed for the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was conducted in this investigation. Specifically, the study focuses on the evaluation of the various designs to drill holes and cut slots for the block. The thermal/mechanical analysis was based on the finite element method and a compliant-joint rock-mass constitutive model. Based on the calculated results, relative merits of the various test designs are discussed.

  10. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1989-11-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NA

    2002-03-26

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

  17. Criteria for the recognition of pedogenic/supergene and nonpedogenic/hypogene deposits and their relationship to the origin of calcite/opal deposits at Yucca Mountain. Special report No. 14

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hill, C.A.; Schluter, C.M.; Monger, H.C.

    1993-10-01

    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 report is to try and establish criteria for the recognition of pedogenic/supergene deposits of calcite/opal versus non-pedogenic/hypogene deposits of calcite/opal. Far from being of esoteric concern, this subject is of paramount importance to the pedogenic-hypogene debate which rages around the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a high-level radioactive waste repository site.

  18. 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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2007-06-25

    Groundwater samples in the Yucca Mountain area were collected for chemical and isotopic analyses and measurements of water temperature, pH, specific conductivity, and alkalinity were obtained at the well or spring at the time of sampling. For this project, groundwater samples were analyzed for major-ion chemistry, deuterium, oxygen-18, and carbon isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) performed all the fieldwork on this project including measurement of water chemistry field parameters and sample collection. The major ions dissolved in the groundwater, deuterium, oxygen-18, and carbon isotopes of dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) were analyzed by the USGS. All preparation and processing of samples for DOC carbon isotopic analyses and geochemical modeling were performed by the Desert Research Institute (DRI). Analysis of the DOC carbon dioxide gas produced at DRI to obtain carbon-13 and carbon-14 values was conducted at the University of Arizona Accelerator Facility (a NSHE Yucca Mountain project QA qualified contract facility). The major-ion chemistry, deuterium, oxygen-18, and carbon isotopes of DIC were used in geochemical modeling (NETPATH) to determine groundwater sources, flow paths, mixing, and ages. The carbon isotopes of DOC were used to calculate groundwater ages that are independent of DIC model corrected carbon-14 ages. The DIC model corrected carbon-14 calculated ages were used to evaluate groundwater travel times for mixtures of water including water beneath Yucca Mountain. When possible, groundwater travel times were calculated for groundwater flow from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient sample sites. DOC carbon-14 groundwater ages were also calculated for groundwaters in the Yucca Mountain area. When possible, groundwater travel times were estimated for groundwater flow from beneath Yucca Mountain to down gradient groundwater sample sites using the DOC calculated

  20. 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.

  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. EIS-0250: Notice of Preferred Nevada Rail Corridor

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1995-02-01

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

  4. 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.

  5. Geothermal Drilling Success at Blue Mountain, Nevada | Open Energy...

    Open Energy Info (EERE)

    Jump to: navigation, search OpenEI Reference LibraryAdd to library Conference Paper: Geothermal Drilling Success at Blue Mountain, Nevada Abstract Exploration in a blind prospect...

  6. Battle Mountain, Nevada: Energy Resources | Open Energy Information

    Open Energy Info (EERE)

    Battle Mountain, Nevada: Energy Resources Jump to: navigation, search Equivalent URI DBpedia Coordinates 40.6421334, -116.9342671 Show Map Loading map... "minzoom":false,"mapp...

  7. 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.

  8. Chemical analyses of rocks, minerals, and detritus, Yucca Mountain--Preliminary report, special report No. 11

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Hill, C.A.; Livingston, D.E.

    1993-09-01

    This chemical analysis 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. This report is preliminary in the sense that more chemical analyses may be needed in the future and also in the sense that these chemical analyses should be considered as a small part of a much larger geological data base. The interpretations discussed herein may be modified as that larger data base is examined and established. All of the chemical analyses performed to date are shown in Table 1. There are three parts to this table: (1) trace element analyses on rocks (limestone and tuff) and minerals (calcite/opal), (2) rare earth analyses on rocks (tuff) and minerals (calcite/opal), and (3) major element analyses + CO{sub 2} on rocks (tuff) and detritus sand. In this report, for each of the three parts of the table, the data and its possible significance will be discussed first, then some overall conclusions will be made, and finally some recommendations for future work will be offered.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Brechtel, C.E.; Lin, Ming; Martin, E.; Kessel, D.S.

    1995-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2002-02-26

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

  11. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wilson, M.L.

    1991-11-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1992-05-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-07-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    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.

  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. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. Determining importance and grading of items and activities for the Yucca Mountain Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    DeKlever, R.; Verna, B.

    1993-12-31

    Raytheon Services Nevada (RSN), in support of the Department of Energy`s (DOE) Yucca Mountain Project, has been responsible for the Title 2 designs of the initial structures, systems, and components for the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), and the creation of the design output documents for the Surface-Based Testing (SBT) programs. The ESF and SBT programs are major scientific contributors to the overall site characterization program which will determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain to contain a proposed High Level Nuclear Waste (HLNW) repository. Accurate, traceable and objective characterization and testing documentation that is germane to the protection of public health and safety, and the environment, and that satisfies all the requirements of 10 CFR Part 60(1), must be established, evaluated and accepted. To assure that these requirements are satisfied, specific design functions and products, including items and activities depicted within respective design output documents, are subjected to the requirements of an NRC and DOE-approved Quality Assurance (QA) program. An evaluation (classification) is applied to these items and activities to determine their importance to radiological safety (ITS) and waste isolation (ITWI). Subsequently, QA program controls are selected (grading) for the items and activities. RSN has developed a DOE-approved classification process that is based on probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) techniques and that uses accident/impact scenarios. Results from respective performance assessment and test interference evaluations are also integrated into the classification analyses for various items. The methodology and results of the RSN classification and grading processes, presented herein, relative to ESF and SBT design products, demonstrates a solid, defensible methodological basis for classification and grading.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    I. Wong

    2004-11-05

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

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Preliminary analysis of gravity and aeromagnetic surveys of the Timber Mountain Area, southern Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kane, M.F.; Webring, M.W.; Bhattacharyya, B.K.

    1981-12-31

    Recent (1977 to 1978) gravity and aeromagnetic surveys of the Timber Mountain region, southern Nevada, have revealed new details of subsurface structure and lithology. The data strongly suggest that deformation caused by volcanic events has been accommodated along straight-line faults combining in such a fashion as to given a curvilinear appearance to regional structure. The magnetic data suggest that rock units in the central graben and along the southeast margin of Timber Mountain may have been altered, perhaps thermally, from their original state. The gravity data indicate that the south part of the Timber Mountain is underlain by relatively dense rock possibly intrusive rock, like that which crops out along its southeast side. The gravity data also suggest that the Silent Canyon caldera may extend considerably south of its presently indicated southern limit and may underlie much of the area of Timber Mountain. The moat areas appear to be more rectangular or triangular than annular in shape. The southern part of Timber Mountain caldera is separated from the Yucca Mountain area to the south by a triangular horst. The structural relations of the rock units making up the horst are complex. Several linear terrain features in the southern part of the caldera area are closely aligned with geophysical features, implying that the terrain features are fault-controlled.

  19. 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

  20. Hydraulic Characterization of Overpressured Tuffs in Central Yucca Flat, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    K.J. Halford; R.J. Laczniak; D.L. Galloway

    2005-10-07

    A sequence of buried, bedded, air-fall tuffs has been used extensively as a host medium for underground nuclear tests detonated in the central part of Yucca Flat at the Nevada Test Site. Water levels within these bedded tuffs have been elevated hundreds of meters in areas where underground nuclear tests were detonated below the water table. Changes in the ground-water levels within these tuffs and changes in the rate and distribution of land-surface subsidence above these tuffs indicate that pore-fluid pressures have been slowly depressurizing since the cessation of nuclear testing in 1992. Declines in ground-water levels concurrent with regional land subsidence are explained by poroelastic deformation accompanying ground-water flow as fluids pressurized by underground nuclear detonations drain from the host tuffs into the overlying water table and underlying regional carbonate aquifer. A hydraulic conductivity of about 3 x 10-6 m/d and a specific storage of 9 x 10-6 m-1 are estimated using ground-water flow models. Cross-sectional and three-dimensional ground-water flow models were calibrated to measured water levels and to land-subsidence rates measured using Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar. Model results are consistent and indicate that about 2 million m3 of ground water flowed from the tuffs to the carbonate rock as a result of pressurization caused by underground nuclear testing. The annual rate of inflow into the carbonate rock averaged about 0.008 m/yr between 1962 and 2005, and declined from 0.005 m/yr in 2005 to 0.0005 m/yr by 2300.

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NA

    2005-10-25

    The objective of the Waste Package Closure System (WPCS) project is to assist in the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and associated high-level wastes (HLW) at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. Materials will be transferred from the casks into a waste package (WP), sealed, and placed into the underground facility. The SNF/HLW transfer and closure operations will be performed in an aboveground facility. The objective of the Control System is to bring together major components of the entire WPCS ensuring that unit operations correctly receive, and respond to, commands and requests for data. Integrated control systems will be provided to ensure that all operations can be performed remotely. Maintenance on equipment may be done using hands-on or remote methods, depending on complexity, exposure, and ease of access. Operating parameters and nondestructive examination results will be collected and stored as permanent electronic records. Minor weld repairs must be performed within the closure cell if the welds do not meet the inspection acceptance requirements. Any WP with extensive weld defects that require lids to be removed will be moved to the remediation facility for repair.

  3. Preclosure radiological safety evaluation: Exploratory Studies Facility; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Schelling, F.J.; Smith, J.D.

    1993-07-01

    A radiological safety evaluation is performed to determine the impacts of Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) design changes on the preclosure public radiological safety for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Although the ESF design has undergone significant modification, incorporation of the modified design requires only modest changes to the conceptual repository configuration. To the extent feasible, the results of earlier safety evaluations presented in SAND84-2641, SAND88-7061, and SAND89-7024, which were based on the original ESF configuration, are compared with the results for the modified configuration. This comparison provides an estimate of the range of analysis uncertainty. This preliminary analysis indicates that there are no Q-scenarios, which are defined as those scenarios with a net occurrence probability of greater than 10{sup {minus}6}/yr and produce a radiological dose at the 5-km controlled area boundary of greater than 0.5 rem. The analysis yielded estimates for an underground accident of a probability of 3.8 {times} 10{sup {minus}15}/yr and a dose of 1.5 rem. For a surface-initiated accident, a probability of 1.5 {times} 10{sup {minus}12}/yr and a dose of 0.6 rem was estimated.

  4. Basis for in-situ geomechanical testing at the Yucca Mountain site

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Board, M.

    1989-07-01

    This report presents an analysis of the in-situ geomechanical testing needs for the Exploratory Shaft (ES) test facility at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. The testing needs are derived from 10CFR60 regulations and simple thermomechanical canister- and room-scale numerical studies. The testing approach suggested is based on an ``iterative`` procedure of full-scale testing combined with numerical and empirical modeling. The testing suggested is based heavily on demonstration of excavation and thermal loading of full-scale repository excavations. Numerical and/or empirical models are compared to the full-scale response, allowing for adjustment of the model and evaluation of confidence in their predictive ability. Additional testing may be specified if confidence in prediction of the rock mass response is low. It is suggested that extensive drifting be conducted within the proposed repository area, including exploration of the bounding Drill Hole Wash and Imbricate fault structures, as well as the Ghost Dance fault. This approach is opposed to an a priori statistical specification of a number of ``point`` tests which attempt to measure a given property at a specific location. 40 refs., 49 figs., 6 tabs.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Martin, R.J. III; Boyd, P.J.; Noel, J.S.; Price, R.H.

    1995-06-01

    A laboratory investigation has been carried out to determine the effects of elevated temperature and stress on the creep deformation of welded tuffs recovered from Busted Butte in the vicinity of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Water saturated specimens of tuff from thermal/mechanical unit TSw2 were tested in creep at a confining pressure of 5.0 MPa, a pore pressure of 4.5 MPa, and temperatures of 25 and 250 C. At each stress level the load was held constant for a minimum of 2.5 {times} 10{sup 5} seconds and for as long as 1.8 {times} 10{sup 6} seconds. One specimen was tested at a single stress of 80 MPa and a temperature of 250 C. The sample failed after a short time. Subsequent experiments were initiated with an initial differential stress of 50 or 60 MPa; the stress was then increased in 10 MPa increments until failure. The data showed that creep deformation occurred in the form of time-dependent axial and radial strains, particularly beyond 90% of the unconfined, quasi-static fracture strength. There was little dilatancy associated with the deformation of the welded tuff at stresses below 90% of the fracture strength. Insufficient data have been collected in this preliminary study to determine the relationship between temperature, stress, creep deformation to failure, and total failure time at a fixed creep stress.

  6. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Gdowski, G.E.

    1997-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Dunn, E.; Sobolik, S.R.

    1993-12-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.