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Title: Granite disposal of U.S. high-level radioactive waste.

Abstract

This report evaluates the feasibility of disposing U.S. high-level radioactive waste in granite several hundred meters below the surface of the earth. The U.S. has many granite formations with positive attributes for permanent disposal. Similar crystalline formations have been extensively studied by international programs, two of which, in Sweden and Finland, are the host rocks of submitted or imminent repository license applications. This report is enabled by the advanced work of the international community to establish functional and operational requirements for disposal of a range of waste forms in granite media. In this report we develop scoping performance analyses, based on the applicable features, events, and processes (FEPs) identified by international investigators, to support generic conclusions regarding post-closure safety. Unlike the safety analyses for disposal in salt, shale/clay, or deep boreholes, the safety analysis for a mined granite repository depends largely on waste package preservation. In crystalline rock, waste packages are preserved by the high mechanical stability of the excavations, the diffusive barrier of the buffer, and favorable chemical conditions. The buffer is preserved by low groundwater fluxes, favorable chemical conditions, backfill, and the rigid confines of the host rock. An added advantage of a mined granite repository is thatmore » waste packages would be fairly easy to retrieve, should retrievability be an important objective. The results of the safety analyses performed in this study are consistent with the results of comprehensive safety assessments performed for sites in Sweden, Finland, and Canada. They indicate that a granite repository would satisfy established safety criteria and suggest that a small number of FEPs would largely control the release and transport of radionuclides. In the event the U.S. decides to pursue a potential repository in granite, a detailed evaluation of these FEPs would be needed to inform site selection and safety assessment.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1029794
Report Number(s):
SAND2011-6203
TRN: US1200045
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; BOREHOLES; BUFFERS; GRANITES; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; IGNEOUS ROCKS; LICENSE APPLICATIONS; METAMORPHIC ROCKS; PRESERVATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOISOTOPES; SAFETY; SAFETY ANALYSIS; SITE SELECTION; STABILITY; TRANSPORT; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; WASTE FORMS

Citation Formats

Freeze, Geoffrey A., Mariner, Paul E., Lee, Joon H., Hardin, Ernest L., Goldstein, Barry, Hansen, Francis D., Price, Ronald H., and Lord, Anna Snider. Granite disposal of U.S. high-level radioactive waste.. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.2172/1029794.
Freeze, Geoffrey A., Mariner, Paul E., Lee, Joon H., Hardin, Ernest L., Goldstein, Barry, Hansen, Francis D., Price, Ronald H., & Lord, Anna Snider. Granite disposal of U.S. high-level radioactive waste.. United States. doi:10.2172/1029794.
Freeze, Geoffrey A., Mariner, Paul E., Lee, Joon H., Hardin, Ernest L., Goldstein, Barry, Hansen, Francis D., Price, Ronald H., and Lord, Anna Snider. Mon . "Granite disposal of U.S. high-level radioactive waste.". United States. doi:10.2172/1029794. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1029794.
@article{osti_1029794,
title = {Granite disposal of U.S. high-level radioactive waste.},
author = {Freeze, Geoffrey A. and Mariner, Paul E. and Lee, Joon H. and Hardin, Ernest L. and Goldstein, Barry and Hansen, Francis D. and Price, Ronald H. and Lord, Anna Snider},
abstractNote = {This report evaluates the feasibility of disposing U.S. high-level radioactive waste in granite several hundred meters below the surface of the earth. The U.S. has many granite formations with positive attributes for permanent disposal. Similar crystalline formations have been extensively studied by international programs, two of which, in Sweden and Finland, are the host rocks of submitted or imminent repository license applications. This report is enabled by the advanced work of the international community to establish functional and operational requirements for disposal of a range of waste forms in granite media. In this report we develop scoping performance analyses, based on the applicable features, events, and processes (FEPs) identified by international investigators, to support generic conclusions regarding post-closure safety. Unlike the safety analyses for disposal in salt, shale/clay, or deep boreholes, the safety analysis for a mined granite repository depends largely on waste package preservation. In crystalline rock, waste packages are preserved by the high mechanical stability of the excavations, the diffusive barrier of the buffer, and favorable chemical conditions. The buffer is preserved by low groundwater fluxes, favorable chemical conditions, backfill, and the rigid confines of the host rock. An added advantage of a mined granite repository is that waste packages would be fairly easy to retrieve, should retrievability be an important objective. The results of the safety analyses performed in this study are consistent with the results of comprehensive safety assessments performed for sites in Sweden, Finland, and Canada. They indicate that a granite repository would satisfy established safety criteria and suggest that a small number of FEPs would largely control the release and transport of radionuclides. In the event the U.S. decides to pursue a potential repository in granite, a detailed evaluation of these FEPs would be needed to inform site selection and safety assessment.},
doi = {10.2172/1029794},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2011},
month = {8}
}

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