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Title: Considerations of the Differences between Bedded and Domal Salt Pertaining to Disposal of Heat-Generating Nuclear Waste

Abstract

Salt formations hold promise for eternal removal of nuclear waste from our biosphere. Germany and the United States have ample salt formations for this purpose, ranging from flat-bedded formations to geologically mature dome structures. As both nations revisit nuclear waste disposal options, the choice between bedded, domal, or intermediate pillow formations is once again a contemporary issue. For decades, favorable attributes of salt as a disposal medium have been extoled and evaluated, carefully and thoroughly. Yet, a sense of discovery continues as science and engineering interrogate naturally heterogeneous systems. Salt formations are impermeable to fluids. Excavation-induced fractures heal as seal systems are placed or natural closure progresses toward equilibrium. Engineering required for nuclear waste disposal gains from mining and storage industries, as humans have been mining salt for millennia. This great intellectual warehouse has been honed and distilled, but not perfected, for all nuances of nuclear waste disposal. Nonetheless, nations are able and have already produced suitable license applications for radioactive waste disposal in salt. A remaining conundrum is site location. Salt formations provide isolation, and geotechnical barriers reestablish impermeability after waste is placed in the geology. Between excavation and closure, physical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and hydrological processes ensue. Positivemore » attributes for isolation in salt have many commonalities independent of the geologic setting. In some cases, specific details of the environment will affect the disposal concept and thereby define interaction of features, events and processes, while simultaneously influencing scenario development. Here we identify and discuss high-level differences and similarities of bedded and domal salt formations. Positive geologic and engineering attributes for disposal purposes are more common among salt formations than are significant differences. Developing models, testing material, characterizing processes, and analyzing performance all have overlapping application regardless of the salt formation of interest.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE), Fuel Cycle Technologies (NE-5). Used Fuel Disposition Campaign (UFDC)
OSTI Identifier:
1333710
Report Number(s):
SAND2016-6522R
644840; TRN: US1700777
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; PERFORMANCE; TESTING; SALT DEPOSITS; GEOLOGIC STRUCTURES; COMPARATIVE EVALUATIONS

Citation Formats

Hansen, Francis D., Kuhlman, Kristopher L., and Sobolik, Steven R. Considerations of the Differences between Bedded and Domal Salt Pertaining to Disposal of Heat-Generating Nuclear Waste. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1333710.
Hansen, Francis D., Kuhlman, Kristopher L., & Sobolik, Steven R. Considerations of the Differences between Bedded and Domal Salt Pertaining to Disposal of Heat-Generating Nuclear Waste. United States. doi:10.2172/1333710.
Hansen, Francis D., Kuhlman, Kristopher L., and Sobolik, Steven R. Thu . "Considerations of the Differences between Bedded and Domal Salt Pertaining to Disposal of Heat-Generating Nuclear Waste". United States. doi:10.2172/1333710. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1333710.
@article{osti_1333710,
title = {Considerations of the Differences between Bedded and Domal Salt Pertaining to Disposal of Heat-Generating Nuclear Waste},
author = {Hansen, Francis D. and Kuhlman, Kristopher L. and Sobolik, Steven R.},
abstractNote = {Salt formations hold promise for eternal removal of nuclear waste from our biosphere. Germany and the United States have ample salt formations for this purpose, ranging from flat-bedded formations to geologically mature dome structures. As both nations revisit nuclear waste disposal options, the choice between bedded, domal, or intermediate pillow formations is once again a contemporary issue. For decades, favorable attributes of salt as a disposal medium have been extoled and evaluated, carefully and thoroughly. Yet, a sense of discovery continues as science and engineering interrogate naturally heterogeneous systems. Salt formations are impermeable to fluids. Excavation-induced fractures heal as seal systems are placed or natural closure progresses toward equilibrium. Engineering required for nuclear waste disposal gains from mining and storage industries, as humans have been mining salt for millennia. This great intellectual warehouse has been honed and distilled, but not perfected, for all nuances of nuclear waste disposal. Nonetheless, nations are able and have already produced suitable license applications for radioactive waste disposal in salt. A remaining conundrum is site location. Salt formations provide isolation, and geotechnical barriers reestablish impermeability after waste is placed in the geology. Between excavation and closure, physical, mechanical, thermal, chemical, and hydrological processes ensue. Positive attributes for isolation in salt have many commonalities independent of the geologic setting. In some cases, specific details of the environment will affect the disposal concept and thereby define interaction of features, events and processes, while simultaneously influencing scenario development. Here we identify and discuss high-level differences and similarities of bedded and domal salt formations. Positive geologic and engineering attributes for disposal purposes are more common among salt formations than are significant differences. Developing models, testing material, characterizing processes, and analyzing performance all have overlapping application regardless of the salt formation of interest.},
doi = {10.2172/1333710},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jul 07 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Thu Jul 07 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

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