skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Reference design and operations for deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

Abstract

A reference design and operational procedures for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in deep boreholes have been developed and documented. The design and operations are feasible with currently available technology and meet existing safety and anticipated regulatory requirements. Objectives of the reference design include providing a baseline for more detailed technical analyses of system performance and serving as a basis for comparing design alternatives. Numerous factors suggest that deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste is inherently safe. Several lines of evidence indicate that groundwater at depths of several kilometers in continental crystalline basement rocks has long residence times and low velocity. High salinity fluids have limited potential for vertical flow because of density stratification and prevent colloidal transport of radionuclides. Geochemically reducing conditions in the deep subsurface limit the solubility and enhance the retardation of key radionuclides. A non-technical advantage that the deep borehole concept may offer over a repository concept is that of facilitating incremental construction and loading at multiple perhaps regional locations. The disposal borehole would be drilled to a depth of 5,000 m using a telescoping design and would be logged and tested prior to waste emplacement. Waste canisters would be constructed of carbon steel,more » sealed by welds, and connected into canister strings with high-strength connections. Waste canister strings of about 200 m length would be emplaced in the lower 2,000 m of the fully cased borehole and be separated by bridge and cement plugs. Sealing of the upper part of the borehole would be done with a series of compacted bentonite seals, cement plugs, cement seals, cement plus crushed rock backfill, and bridge plugs. Elements of the reference design meet technical requirements defined in the study. Testing and operational safety assurance requirements are also defined. Overall, the results of the reference design development and the cost analysis support the technical feasibility of the deep borehole disposal concept for high-level radioactive waste.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1029790
Report Number(s):
SAND2011-6749
TRN: US1200044
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; BASEMENT ROCK; BENTONITE; BOREHOLES; CARBON STEELS; CEMENTS; CONSTRUCTION; CONTAINERS; DESIGN; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; PERFORMANCE; POSITIONING; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOISOTOPES; SAFETY; SALINITY; SOLUBILITY; STRATIFICATION; TESTING; TRANSPORT

Citation Formats

Herrick, Courtney Grant, Brady, Patrick Vane, Pye, Steven, Arnold, Bill Walter, Finger, John Travis, and Bauer, Stephen J. Reference design and operations for deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.2172/1029790.
Herrick, Courtney Grant, Brady, Patrick Vane, Pye, Steven, Arnold, Bill Walter, Finger, John Travis, & Bauer, Stephen J. Reference design and operations for deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.. United States. doi:10.2172/1029790.
Herrick, Courtney Grant, Brady, Patrick Vane, Pye, Steven, Arnold, Bill Walter, Finger, John Travis, and Bauer, Stephen J. Sat . "Reference design and operations for deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.". United States. doi:10.2172/1029790. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1029790.
@article{osti_1029790,
title = {Reference design and operations for deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.},
author = {Herrick, Courtney Grant and Brady, Patrick Vane and Pye, Steven and Arnold, Bill Walter and Finger, John Travis and Bauer, Stephen J.},
abstractNote = {A reference design and operational procedures for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste in deep boreholes have been developed and documented. The design and operations are feasible with currently available technology and meet existing safety and anticipated regulatory requirements. Objectives of the reference design include providing a baseline for more detailed technical analyses of system performance and serving as a basis for comparing design alternatives. Numerous factors suggest that deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste is inherently safe. Several lines of evidence indicate that groundwater at depths of several kilometers in continental crystalline basement rocks has long residence times and low velocity. High salinity fluids have limited potential for vertical flow because of density stratification and prevent colloidal transport of radionuclides. Geochemically reducing conditions in the deep subsurface limit the solubility and enhance the retardation of key radionuclides. A non-technical advantage that the deep borehole concept may offer over a repository concept is that of facilitating incremental construction and loading at multiple perhaps regional locations. The disposal borehole would be drilled to a depth of 5,000 m using a telescoping design and would be logged and tested prior to waste emplacement. Waste canisters would be constructed of carbon steel, sealed by welds, and connected into canister strings with high-strength connections. Waste canister strings of about 200 m length would be emplaced in the lower 2,000 m of the fully cased borehole and be separated by bridge and cement plugs. Sealing of the upper part of the borehole would be done with a series of compacted bentonite seals, cement plugs, cement seals, cement plus crushed rock backfill, and bridge plugs. Elements of the reference design meet technical requirements defined in the study. Testing and operational safety assurance requirements are also defined. Overall, the results of the reference design development and the cost analysis support the technical feasibility of the deep borehole disposal concept for high-level radioactive waste.},
doi = {10.2172/1029790},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {10}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: