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Sample records for yucca mountain repository

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.``

  11. 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)

  12. Evaluating the Long-Term Safety of a Repository at Yucca Mountain 

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Van Luik, Abe

    2009-07-17

    Regulations require that the repository be evaluated for its health and safety effects for 10,000 years for the Site Recommendation process. Regulations also require potential impacts to be evaluated for up to a million years in an Environmental Impact Statement. The Yucca Mountain Project is in the midst of the Site Recommendation process. The Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) that supports the Site Recommendation evaluated safety for these required periods of time. Results showed it likely that a repository at this site could meet the licensing requirements promulgated by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The TSPA is the tool that integrates the results of many years of scientific investigations with design information to allow evaluations of potential far-future impacts of building a Yucca Mountain repository. Knowledge created in several branches of physics is part of the scientific basis of the TSPA that supports the Site Recommendation process.

  13. Factors Affecting the Disposal Capacity of a Repository at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Nutt, W.M.; Peters, M.T.; Wigeland, R.A.; Kouts, C.; Kim, D.; Gomberg, S.

    2007-07-01

    The development of a repository at Yucca Mountain is proceeding in accordance with the Nuclear Waste Policy Act (NWPA). The current design of the proposed repository emplaces 63,000 metric tons of heavy metal (MTHM) of commercial spent nuclear fuel and 7,000 MTHM-equivalent of Department of Energy-owned spent nuclear fuel and high level nuclear waste. Efforts are underway to complete the pre-closure and postclosure safety analyses in accordance with 10 CFR 63. This will be included in a license application for construction of the repository that is currently planned to be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) no later than June of 2008. The Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) aims to 'recycle nuclear fuel using new proliferation-resistant technologies to recover more energy and reduce waste'. The Nation's decision to choose to recycle spent nuclear fuel in an advanced nuclear fuel cycle, such as that being considered under the GNEP, would present the opportunity to change the current approach for managing and disposing nuclear waste. The total amount of waste that could be disposed in a repository at Yucca Mountain would be a key component of a new waste management strategy should a decision be made in the future to utilize the proposed Yucca Mountain repository to dispose of wastes generated under the GNEP. (authors)

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

    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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    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

  17. 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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1990-02-01

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

  19. Assessing microbiologically induced corrosion of waste package materials in the Yucca Mountain repository

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Horn, J. M., LLNL

    1998-01-01

    The contribution of bacterial activities to corrosion of nuclear waste package materials must be determined to predict the adequacy of containment for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain (YM), NV. The program to evaluate potential microbially induced corrosion (MIC) of candidate waste container materials includes characterization of bacteria in the post-construction YM environment, determination of their required growth conditions and growth rates, quantitative assessment of the biochemical contribution to metal corrosion, and evaluation of overall MIC rates on candidate waste package materials.

  20. A FRAMEWORK FOR THE ANALYSIS OF LOCALIZED CORROSION AT THE PROPOSED YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Dr. J.H. Payer

    2006-04-18

    Corrosion is a primary determinant of waste package performance at the proposed Yucca Mountain Repository: (1) the most likely degradation process; (2) controls the delay time for radionuclide transport from the waste package; and (3) determines when packages will be penetrated and the shape size and distribution of those penetrations. In this presentation a framework for the analysis of localized corrosion is presented and demonstrated for a scenario: (1) water chemistry of mixed salt solutions (sodium chloride-potassium nitrate); and (2) time-temperature-relative humidity profiles for a hot, mid and cool temperature waste package.

  1. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING --

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    NA

    2003-08-05

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Barrett, L. H.

    2002-02-25

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    P. Swift; A.V. Luik

    2006-08-28

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

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. Scenarios constructed for nominal flow in the presence of a repository at Yucca Mountain and vicinity

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Barr, G.E.; Hunter, R.L.; Dunn, E.; Flint, A.

    1995-03-01

    Scenario development for the system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project defines a scenario as a well-posed problem connecting an initiating event with radionuclide release to the accessible environment by a logical and physically possible combination or sequence of features, events, and processes. Drawing on the advice and assistance of the Project`s principal investigators (PIs), a collection of release scenarios initiated by the nominal ground-water flow occurring in the vicinity of the potential Yucca Mountain high-level-waste repository is developed and described in pictorial form. This collection of scenarios is intended to provide a framework to assist PIs in recognizing essential field and calculational analyses, to assist performance assessment in providing guidance to site characterization, and to continue the effort to exhaustively identify all features, events, and processes important to releases. It represents a step in the iterative process of identifying what details of the potential site are important for safe disposal. 67 refs.

  7. WORKSHOP ON DEVELOPMENT OF RADIONUCLIDE GETTERS FOR THE YUCCA MOUNTAIN WASTE REPOSITORY

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    K.C. Holt

    2006-03-13

    One of the important that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently undertaking is the development of a high-level nuclear waste repository to be located at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Concern is generated by the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) is due to potential releases as groundwater contamination, as described in the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA). The dose to an off-site individual using this groundwater for drinking and irrigation is dominated by four radionuclides: Tc-99, I-127, Np-237, and U-238. Ideally, this dose would be limited to a single radionuclide, U-238; in other words, YMP would resemble a uranium ore body, a common geologic feature in the Western U.S. For this reason and because of uncertainties in the behavior of Tc-99, I-127, and Np-237, it would be helpful to limit the amount of Tc, I, and Np leaving the repository, which would greatly increase the confidence in the long-term performance of YMP. An approach to limiting the migration of Tc, I, and Np that is complementary to the existing YMP repository design plans is to employ sequestering agents or ''getters'' for these radionuclides such that their migration is greatly hindered, thus decreasing the amount of radionuclide leaving the repository. Development of such getters presents a number of significant challenges. The getter must have a high affinity and high selectivity for the radionuclide in question since there is approximately a 20- to 50-fold excess of other fission products and a 1000-fold excess of uranium in addition to the ions present in the groundwater. An even greater challenge is that the getters must function over a period greater than the half-life of the radionuclide (greater than 5 half-lives would be ideal). Typically, materials with a high affinity for Tc, I, or Np are not sufficiently durable. For example, strong-base ion exchange resins have a very high affinity for TcO{sub 4}{sup -} but are not expected to be durable. On the other hand, durable

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Inyo County

    2006-07-26

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

  12. Monte Carlo Simulations of the Degradation of the Engineered Barriers System in the Yucca Mountain Repository Using the EBSPA Code

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Qin, Z.; Shoesmith, D.W.

    2007-07-01

    Based on a probabilistic model previously proposed, a Monte Carlo simulation code (EBSPA) has been developed to predict the lifetime of the engineered barriers system within the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The degradation modes considered in the EBSPA are general passive corrosion and hydrogen-induced cracking for the drip shield; and general passive corrosion, crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking for the waste package. Two scenarios have been simulated using the EBSPA code: (a) a conservative scenario for the conditions thought likely to prevail in the repository, and (b) an aggressive scenario in which the impact of the degradation processes is overstated. (authors)

  13. 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 ...

  14. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    R.A. Levich; J.S. Stuckless

    2006-09-25

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

  16. 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. Environmental impact of Yucca Mountain repository after Urex+1a separation

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Djokic, Denia; Ahn, Joonhong

    2007-07-01

    The environmental impact of Yucca Mountain Repository (YMR), expressed as the radiotoxicity of radionuclides released from failed waste packages, has been evaluated for the case of partitioning and vitrification the 63,000 MT of commercial spent nuclear fuel (CSNF) currently designated for disposal. A parametric study on the effect of fuel cycle parameters on environmental impact has also been conducted. CSNF inventory has been evaluated by using ORIGEN2. UREX+1a separation is considered as the base case, and the removal of individual nuclide groups has also been investigated. Of particular interest is the effect of Cs/Sr removal on the waste loading of a canister. An existing waste-conditioning model for high-level liquid waste (HLLW) solidification with borosilicate glass is used to determine the composition and waste loading of a vitrified waste canister by a set of waste loading constraints. A previously developed release model has been applied to evaluate the environmental impact of the vitrified waste packages in YMR. Numerical results show that while the removal of Tc and Cs/Sr does not have an effect on the environmental impact profile, it is linearly sensitive to separation efficiency of actinides. The uncertainty associated with the environmental impact resulting from the uncertainties of radionuclide solubility values has been computed. It was determined that in the case of U, TRU, Tc, and Cs/Sr inventory reduction by a factor of 100 and subsequent vitrification, the repository footprint would decrease by a factor of 3.4, implying that 3.4 times more electricity generation could be accommodated while the environmental impact is up to a factor of 100 smaller than the direct disposal case. (authors)

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1998-12-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-01-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2005-09-19

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

  3. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Michael B. Heiser; Clark B. Millet

    2005-10-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Modeling the inhalation exposure pathway in performance assessment of Geologic Radioactive Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Wasiolek, M.A.; Rautenstrauch, K.R.

    2007-07-01

    This paper describes the inhalation model for estimating radiation exposure to resuspended particles of contaminated soil. The source of radionuclides is from the use of contaminated water for crop irrigation. The choice of conceptual model and input parameter values strongly depends on site-specific conditions. This paper explains how the site-specific conditions influenced the inhalation exposure model for the Yucca Mountain performance assessment. The model parameters that were developed with consideration of the local conditions represent characteristics of the environment as well as the characteristic of the receptor occupying that environment. The model is based on the mass loading approach and the key parameters are mass loading levels that the receptor might be exposed to. Also important is the degree to which human soil disturbance results in higher mass loading levels, - the degree of enhancement (enrichment) in radionuclide content of the resuspended dust, and - the occupancy periods for exposure to various levels of particulate concentration in air. The significance of dosimetric parameters is also discussed. (authors)

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2002-02-26

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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).

  11. Estimations of the extent of migration of surficially applied water for various surface conditions near the potential repository perimeter; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-12-01

    The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is studying Yucca Mountain in southwestern Nevada as a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository. Site characterization includes surface-based and underground testing. Analyses have been performed to support the design of site characterization activities so to have minimal impact on the ability of the site to isolate waste, and on tests performed as part of the characterization process. Two examples of site characterization activities are the construction of an Exploratory Studies Facility, which may include underground shafts, drifts, and ramps, and surface-based testing activities, which may require borehole drilling, excavation of test pits, and road watering for dust control. The information in this report pertains to two-dimensional numerical calculations modeling the movement of surficially applied water and the potential effects of that water on repository performance and underground experiments. This document contains information that has been used in preparing recommendations for two Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project documents: Appendix I of the Exploratory Studies Facility Design Requirements document, and the Surface-Based Testing Field Requirements Document.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2010-09-03

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

  13. Acceptance of waste for disposal in the potential United States repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Stahl, D.; Svinicki, K.

    1996-07-01

    This paper addresses the process for the acceptance of waste into the waste management system (WMS) with a focus on the detailed requirements identified from the Waste Acceptance System Requirements Document. Also described is the recent dialogue between OCRWM and the Office of Environmental Management to resolve issues, including the appropriate interpretation and application of regulatory and system requirements to DOE-owned spent fuel. Some information is provided on the design of the repository system to aid the reader in understanding how waste that is accepted into the WMS is received and emplaced in the repository.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY EXPERIENCE IN CREATING AND COMMUNICATING THE CASE FOR THE SAFETY OF A POTENTIAL YUCCA MOUNTAIN REPOSITORY

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    W.J. Boyle; A.E. Van Luik

    2005-08-30

    Experience gained by the U.S. Department of Energy (the Department) in making the recommendation for the development of the Yucca Mountain site as the nation's first high-level waste and spent nuclear fuel repository is useful for creating documents to support the next phase in the repository program, the licensing phase. The experience that supported the successful site-recommendation process involved a three-tiered approach. First, was making a highly technical case for regulatory compliance. Second, was making a broader case for safety in an Environmental Impact Statement. And third, producing plain language brochures, made available to the public in hard copy and on the Internet, to explain the Department's action and its legal and scientific bases. This paper reviews lessons learned from this process, and makes suggestions for the next stage of the repository program: licensing.

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-06-18

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

  1. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rechard, Robert P.

    2014-02-01

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

  3. 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

  4. Viability Assessment of a Repository at Yucca Mountain. Volume 2: Preliminary Design Concept for the Repository and Waste Package

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1998-12-01

    This volume describes the major design features of the Monitored Geologic Repository. This document is not intended to provide an exhaustive, detailed description of the repository design. Rather, this document summarizes the major systems and primary elements of the design that are radiologically significant, and references the specific technical documents and design analyses wherein the details can be found. Not all portions of the design are at the same level of completeness. Highest priority has been given to assigning resources to advance the design of the Monitored Geologic Repository features that are important to radiological safety and/or waste isolation and for which there is no NRC licensing precedent. Those features that are important to radiological safety and/or waste isolation, but for which there is an NRC precedent, receive second priority. Systems and features that have no impact on radiological safety or waste isolation receive the lowest priority. This prioritization process, referred to as binning, is discussed in more detail in Section 2.3. Not every subject discussed in this volume is given equal treatment with regard to the level of detail provided. For example, less detail is provided for the surface facility design than for the subsurface and waste package designs. This different level of detail is intentional. Greater detail is provided for those functions, structures, systems, and components that play key roles with regard to protecting radiological health and safety and that are not common to existing nuclear facilities already licensed by NRC. A number of radiological subjects are not addressed in the VA, (e.g., environmental qualification of equipment). Environmental qualification of equipment and other radiological safety considerations will be addressed in the LA. Non-radiological safety considerations such as silica dust control and other occupational safety considerations are considered equally important but are not addressed in

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-02-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-07-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Rechard, Robert P.

    2015-02-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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,...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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).

  18. Magma Dynamics at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    D. Krier

    2005-08-29

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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)

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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)

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. Preclosure seismic design methodology for a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain. Topical report YMP/TR-003-NP

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1996-10-01

    This topical report describes the methodology and criteria that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) proposes to use for preclosure seismic design of structures, systems, and components (SSCs) of the proposed geologic repository operations area that are important to safety. Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60 (10 CFR 60), Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes in Geologic Repositories, states that for a license to be issued for operation of a high-level waste repository, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) must find that the facility will not constitute an unreasonable risk to the health and safety of the public. Section 60.131 (b)(1) requires that SSCs important to safety be designed so that natural phenomena and environmental conditions anticipated at the geologic repository operations area will not interfere with necessary safety functions. Among the natural phenomena specifically identified in the regulation as requiring safety consideration are the hazards of ground shaking and fault displacement due to earthquakes.

  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. 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.

  12. Scenarios constructed for the effects of tectonic processes on the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Barr, G.E.; Borns, D.J.; Fridrich, C.

    1996-10-01

    A comprehensive collection of scenarios is presented that connect initiating tectonic events with radionuclide releases by logical and physically possible combinations or sequences of features, events and processes. The initiating tectonic events include both discrete faulting and distributed rock deformation developed through the repository and adjacent to it, as well as earthquake-induced ground motion and changes in tectonic stress at the site. The effects of these tectonic events include impacts on the engineered-barrier system, such as container rupture and failure of repository tunnels. These effects also include a wide range of hydrologic effects such as changes in pathways and flow rates in the unsaturated and saturated zones, changes in the water-table configuration, and in the development of perched-water systems. These scenarios are intended go guide performance-assessment analyses and to assist principal investigators in how essential field, laboratory, and calculational studies are used. This suite of scenarios will help ensure that all important aspects of the system disturbance related to a tectonic scenario are captured in numerical analyses. It also provides a record of all options considered by project analysts to provide documentation required for licensing agreement. The final portion of this report discusses issues remaining to be addressed with respect to tectonic activity. 105 refs.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Use of Integrated Decay Heat Limits to Facilitate Spent Nuclear Fuel Loading to Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Li, Jun; Yim, Man-Sung; McNelis, David; Piet, Steven

    2007-07-01

    As an alternative to the use of the linear loading or areal power density (APD) concept, using integrated decay heat limits based on the use of mountain-scale heat transfer analysis is considered to represent the thermal impact from the deposited spent nuclear fuel (SNF) to the Yucca Mountain repository. Two different integrated decay heat limits were derived to represent both the short-term (up to 50 years from the time of repository closure) and the long-term decay heat effect (up to 1500 years from the time of repository closure). The derived limits were found to appropriately represent the drift wall temperature limit (200 deg. C) and the midway between adjacent drifts temperature limit (96 deg. C) as long as used fuel is uniformly loaded into the mountain. These limits can be a useful practical guide to facilitate the loading of used fuel into Yucca Mountain. (authors)

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

  13. U.S. Department of Energy Awards a Contract to USA Repository Services for Management and Operating Contractor Support for the Yucca Mountain Project

    Broader source: Energy.gov [DOE]

    Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today awarded a $2.5 billion management and operating (M&O) contract to USA Repository Services (USA-RS), a wholly-owned subsidiary of...

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

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

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. Social impacts of hazardous and nuclear facilities and events: Implications for Nevada and the Yucca Mountain high-level nuclear waste repository; [Final report

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Freudenburg, W.R.; Carter, L.F.; Willard, W.; Lodwick, D.G.; Hardert, R.A.; Levine, A.G.; Kroll-Smith, S.; Couch, S.R.; Edelstein, M.R.

    1992-05-01

    Social impacts of a nuclear waste repository are described. Various case studies are cited such as Rocky Flats Plant, the Feed Materials Production Center, and Love Canal. The social impacts of toxic contamination, mitigating environmental stigma and loss of trust are also discussed.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Szymanski, J.S.

    1992-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Report to Congress on the potential use of lead in the waste packages for a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1989-12-01

    In the Report of the Senate Committee on Appropriations accompanying the Energy and Water Appropriation Act for 1989, the Committee directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to evaluate the use of lead in the waste packages to be used in geologic repositories for spent nuclear fuel and high-level waste. The evaluation that was performed in response to this directive is presented in this report. This evaluation was based largely on a review of the technical literature on the behavior of lead, reports of work conducted in other countries, and work performed for the waste-management program being conducted by the DOE. The initial evaluation was limited to the potential use of lead in the packages to be used in the repository. Also, the focus of this report is post closure performance and not on retrievability and handling aspects of the waste package. 100 refs., 8 figs., 15 tabs.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  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. 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.

  1. Potential increases in natural radon emissions due to heating of the Yucca Mountain rock mass

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Pescatore, C.; Sullivan, T.M.

    1992-02-01

    Heating of the rock mass by the spent fuel in the proposed repository at Yucca Mountain will cause extra amounts of natural radon to diffuse into the fracture system and to migrate faster to the accessible environment. Indeed, free-convection currents due to heating will act to shorten the radon travel times and will cause larger releases than would be possible under undistributed conditions. To estimate the amount of additional radon released due to heating of the Yucca Mountain rock mass, we obtain an expression for the release enhancement factor, E. This factor is defined as the ratio between the total flux of radon at the surface of the mountain before and after closure of the repository assuming the only cause of disturbance to be the heating of the rock mass. With appropriate approximations and using a heat load representative of that expected at Yucca Mountain, the present calculations indicate that the average enhancement factor over the first 10,000 years will be 4.5 as a minimum. These calculations are based on the assumption that barometric pumping does not significantly influence radon release. The latter assumption will need to be substantiated.

  2. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Souleyrette, R.R. II; Sathisan, S.K.; di Bartolo, R.

    1991-05-31

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Mineralogical Charecteristics of Yucca Mountain Alluvium and Effects on Neptunium (V) Sorption

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    M. Ding; S.J. Chipera; P.W. Reimus

    2006-09-05

    Saturated alluvium is expected to serve as an important natural barrier to radionuclide transport at Yucca Mountain, the proposed geological repository for disposal of high-level nuclear wastes. {sup 237}Np(V) (half-life = 2.4 x 10{sup 5} years) has been identified as one of the radionuclides that could potentially contribute the greatest dose to humans because of its relatively high solubility and weak adsorption to volcanic tuffs under oxidizing conditions. The previous studies suggested that the mineralogical characteristics of the alluvium play an important role in the interaction between Np(V) and the alluvium. The purpose of this study is to further evaluate the mineralogical basis for Neptunium (V) sorption by saturated alluvium located down-gradient of Yucca Mountain.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  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. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1994-04-01

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Kevin Skinner; Greg Housley; Colleen Shelton-Davis

    2011-11-01

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

  9. Testimony of Greg Friedman Yucca Mountain

    Energy Savers [EERE]

    nuclear fuel is critical to ongoing environmental remediation efforts at many Department of Energy legacy sites and to ... Further, unless a repository or other alternative strategy ...

  10. Yucca Mountain Waste Package Closure System Robotic Welding and Inspection System

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    C. I. Nichol; D. P. Pace; E. D. Larsen; T. R. McJunkin; D. E. Clark; M. L. Clark; K. L. Skinner; A. D. Watkins; H. B. Smartt

    2011-10-01

    The Waste Package Closure System (WPCS), for the closure of radioactive waste in canisters for permanent storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste in the Yucca Mountain Repository was designed, fabricated, and successfully demonstrated at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL). This article focuses on the robotic hardware and tools necessary to remotely weld and inspect the closure lid welds. The system was operated remotely and designed for use in a radiation field, due to the SNF contained in the waste packages being closed.

  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. 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.

  13. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1995-08-01

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2009-05-01

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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2006-04-30

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Coupled In-Rock and In-Drift Hydrothermal Model Stuudy For Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    G. Danko; J. Birkholzer; D. Bahrami

    2006-12-18

    A thermal-hydrologic-natural-ventilation model is configured for simulating temperature, humidity, and condensate distributions in the coupled domains of the in-drift airspace and the near-field rockmass in the proposed Yucca Mountain repository. The multi-physics problem is solved with MULTIFLUX in which a lumped-parameter computational fluid dynamics model is iterated with TOUGH2. The solution includes natural convection, conduction, and radiation for heat as well as moisture convection and diffusion for moisture transport with half waste package scale details in the drift, and mountain-scale heat and moisture transport in the porous and fractured rock-mass. The method provides fast convergence on a personal computer computational platform. Numerical examples and comparison with a TOUGH2 based, integrated model are presented.

  5. 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.

  6. Generic Repository Concepts and Thermal Analysis for Advanced...

    Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI)

    Enclosed modes have less capacity to dissipate heat than open modes such as that proposed for a repository at Yucca Mountain. Thermal analysis has identified important ...

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1998-12-31

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1992-09-01

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

  11. Natural convection in tunnels at Yucca Mountain and impact on drift seepage

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Halecky, N.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Peterson, P.

    2010-04-15

    The decay heat from radioactive waste that is to be disposed in the once proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain (YM) will significantly influence the moisture conditions in the fractured rock near emplacement tunnels (drifts). Additionally, large-scale convective cells will form in the open-air drifts and will serve as an important mechanism for the transport of vaporized pore water from the fractured rock in the drift center to the drift end. Such convective processes would also impact drift seepage, as evaporation could reduce the build up of liquid water at the tunnel wall. Characterizing and understanding these liquid water and vapor transport processes is critical for evaluating the performance of the repository, in terms of water-induced canister corrosion and subsequent radionuclide containment. To study such processes, we previously developed and applied an enhanced version of TOUGH2 that solves for natural convection in the drift. We then used the results from this previous study as a time-dependent boundary condition in a high-resolution seepage model, allowing for a computationally efficient means for simulating these processes. The results from the seepage model show that cases with strong natural convection effects are expected to improve the performance of the repository, since smaller relative humidity values, with reduced local seepage, form a more desirable waste package environment.

  12. Preliminary paper - Development of the Reference Design Description for a geologic repository

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Daniel, Russell B.; Rindskopf, M. Sam

    1997-11-20

    This report describes the current Reference Design Description (RDD) design expectations for a potential geologic repository that could be located at Yucca Mountain in Nevada.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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.

  19. 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

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1994-04-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Yucca Mountain: How Do Global and Federal Initiatives Impact Clark County's Nuclear Waste Program?

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Navis, I.; McGehee, B.

    2008-07-01

    Since 1987, Clark County has been designated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as an 'Affected Unit of Local Government' (AULG). The AULG designation is an acknowledgement by the federal government that activities associated with the Yucca Mountain proposal could result in considerable impacts on Clark County residents and the community as a whole. As an AULG, Clark County is authorized to identify 'any potential economic, social, public health and safety, and environmental impacts of a repository', 42 U.S.C. Section 10135(c)(1)(B)(i) under provisions of the Nuclear Waste Policy Act Amendments (NWPAA). Clark County's oversight program contains key elements of (1) technical and scientific analysis (2) transportation analysis (3) impact assessment and monitoring (4) policy and legislative analysis and monitoring, and (5) public outreach. Clark County has conducted numerous studies of potential impacts, many of which are summarized in Clark County's Impact Assessment Report that was submitted DOE and the President of the United States in February 2002. Given the unprecedented magnitude and duration of DOE's proposal, as well as the many unanswered questions about the transportation routes, number of shipments, and the modal mix that will ultimately be used, impacts to public health and safety and security, as well as socioeconomic impacts, can only be estimated. In order to refine these estimates, Clark County Comprehensive Planning Department's Nuclear Waste Division updates, assesses, and monitors impacts on a regular basis. Clark County's Impact Assessment program covers not only unincorporated Clark County but all five jurisdictions of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas, Henderson, Mesquite, and Boulder City as well as tribal jurisdictions that fall within Clark County's geographic boundary. National and global focus on nuclear power and nuclear waste could have significant impact on the Yucca Mountain Program, and therefore, Clark County's oversight of that program

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. An overview of the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project field test program for evaluating seal performance

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    1993-12-31

    Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), a participant in the Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project, is responsible for implementing the repository sealing program. One aspect of this program is the definition and fielding of tests related to sealing components which comprise the sealing subsystem. The sealing components are identified in the Site Characterization Plan (U.S. DOE, 1988) and Fernandez et al. (1987). These include an anchor-to-bedrock plug, single dams (or single bulkheads with not settlement), general shaft fill, drift backfill, station and shaft plugs, double bulkheads, backfilled sumps, and channels in a backfilled room. The materials used to create these components are cementitious and earthen. Earthen materials will be used for as many applications as possible to minimize potential degradation of physical properties and potential adverse effects on ground-water chemistry in the repository environment. In places where low strength is acceptable, earthen materials may be used. The most likely application for cementitious materials is where high strength and low deformability may be required. (Hinkebein and Fernandez, 1989). The basis for performing seal component testing is divided into two parts: regulatory requirements and technical requirements. The regulatory requirements are derived primarily from Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 60 (10 CFR 60) (U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 1986). The technical requirements are defined by the uncertainties associated with seal performance and seal emplacement. Both categories of requirements are discussed below.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    Houseworth, J.E.; Hardin, E.

    2008-11-17

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. The National Repository at Yucca Mountain, Russ Dyer

    Office of Environmental Management (EM)

    for construction, receipt, and emplacement of waste - A description of the physical protection plan for safeguarding the facility - A description of the material control and ...

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

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

    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 ...

  8. Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project: Technical data catalog,(quarterly supplement)

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

    1993-03-31

    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. A complete revision to the Catalog is published at the end of each fiscal year.

  9. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect (OSTI)

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

    2002-02-28

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