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Title: Design and performance evaluation of a 1000-year evapotranspiration-capillary surface barrier

Abstract

Surface barrier technology is used to isolate radioactive waste and to reduce or eliminate recharge water to the waste zone for 1000 years or longer. However, the design and evaluation of such a barrier is challenging because of the extremely long design life. The Prototype Hanford Barrier (PHB) was designed as a 1000-year barrier with pre-determined design and performance objectives and demonstrated in field from 1994 to present. The barrier was tested to evaluate surface-barrier design and performance at the field scale under conditions of enhanced and natural precipitation and of no vegetation. The monitoring data demonstrate that the barrier satisfied nearly all key objectives. The PHB far exceeded the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act criteria, functioned in Hanford’s semiarid climate, limited drainage to well below the 0.5 mm yr-1 performance criterion, limited runoff, and minimized erosion. Given the two-decade record of successful performance and consideration of all the processes and mechanisms that could degrade the stability and hydrology in the future, the results suggest the PHB is very likely to perform for its 1000-year design life. This conclusion is based on two assumptions: (1) the exposed subgrade receives protection against erosion and (2) institutional controls prevent inadvertent human activitymore » at the barrier. The PHB design can serve as the base for site-specific barriers over waste sites containing underground nuclear waste, uranium mine tailings, and hazardous mine waste.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1339808
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-121353
Journal ID: ISSN 0301-4797; 830403000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Environmental Management; Journal Volume: 187
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
Surface Cover; Nuclear Waste; Infiltration Control; Waste Isolation

Citation Formats

Zhang, Zhuanfang Fred, Strickland, Christopher E., and Link, Steven O. Design and performance evaluation of a 1000-year evapotranspiration-capillary surface barrier. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.007.
Zhang, Zhuanfang Fred, Strickland, Christopher E., & Link, Steven O. Design and performance evaluation of a 1000-year evapotranspiration-capillary surface barrier. United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.007.
Zhang, Zhuanfang Fred, Strickland, Christopher E., and Link, Steven O. Wed . "Design and performance evaluation of a 1000-year evapotranspiration-capillary surface barrier". United States. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.007.
@article{osti_1339808,
title = {Design and performance evaluation of a 1000-year evapotranspiration-capillary surface barrier},
author = {Zhang, Zhuanfang Fred and Strickland, Christopher E. and Link, Steven O.},
abstractNote = {Surface barrier technology is used to isolate radioactive waste and to reduce or eliminate recharge water to the waste zone for 1000 years or longer. However, the design and evaluation of such a barrier is challenging because of the extremely long design life. The Prototype Hanford Barrier (PHB) was designed as a 1000-year barrier with pre-determined design and performance objectives and demonstrated in field from 1994 to present. The barrier was tested to evaluate surface-barrier design and performance at the field scale under conditions of enhanced and natural precipitation and of no vegetation. The monitoring data demonstrate that the barrier satisfied nearly all key objectives. The PHB far exceeded the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act criteria, functioned in Hanford’s semiarid climate, limited drainage to well below the 0.5 mm yr-1 performance criterion, limited runoff, and minimized erosion. Given the two-decade record of successful performance and consideration of all the processes and mechanisms that could degrade the stability and hydrology in the future, the results suggest the PHB is very likely to perform for its 1000-year design life. This conclusion is based on two assumptions: (1) the exposed subgrade receives protection against erosion and (2) institutional controls prevent inadvertent human activity at the barrier. The PHB design can serve as the base for site-specific barriers over waste sites containing underground nuclear waste, uranium mine tailings, and hazardous mine waste.},
doi = {10.1016/j.jenvman.2016.11.007},
journal = {Journal of Environmental Management},
number = ,
volume = 187,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2017}
}