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Title: Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir

Abstract

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is located in southeastern New Mexico, is being developed for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Waste disposal will take place in panels excavated in a bedded salt formation approximately 2000 ft (610 m) below the land surface. The BRAGFLO computer program which solves a system of nonlinear partial differential equations for two-phase flow, was used to investigate brine and gas flow patterns in the vicinity of the repository for the 1996 WIPP performance assessment (PA). The present study examines the implications of modeling assumptions used in conjunction with BRAGFLO in the 1996 WIPP PA that affect brine and gas flow patterns involving two waste regions in the repository (i.e., a single waste panel and the remaining nine waste panels), a disturbed rock zone (DRZ) that lies just above and below these two regions, and a borehole that penetrates the single waste panel and a brine pocket below this panel. The two waste regions are separated by a panel closure. The following insights were obtained from this study. First, the impediment to flow between the two waste regions provided by the panel closure model ismore » reduced due to the permeable and areally extensive nature of the DRZ adopted in the 1996 WIPP PA, which results in the DRZ becoming an effective pathway for gas and brine movement around the panel closures and thus between the two waste regions. Brine and gas flow between the two waste regions via the DRZ causes pressures between the two to equilibrate rapidly, with the result that processes in the intruded waste panel are not isolated from the rest of the repository. Second, the connection between intruded and unintruded waste panels provided by the DRZ increases the time required for repository pressures to equilibrate with the overlying and/or underlying units subsequent to a drilling intrusion. Third, the large and areally extensive DRZ void volumes is a significant source of brine to the repository, which is consumed in the corrosion of iron and thus contributes to increased repository pressures. Fourth, the DRZ itself lowers repository pressures by providing storage for gas and access to additional gas storage in areas of the repository. Fifth, given the pathway that the DRZ provides for gas and brine to flow around the panel closures, isolation of the waste panels by the panel closures was not essential to compliance with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency's regulations in the 1996 WIPP PA.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (US); Sandia National Labs., Livermore, CA (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
14814
Report Number(s):
SAND99-1043
TRN: US0106801
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 Oct 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; WIPP; HUMAN INTRUSION; TESTING; BRINES; WELL DRILLING; GAS FLOW; PARTIAL DIFFERENTIAL EQUATIONS; PERFORMANCE; TWO-PHASE FLOW; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; SALT DEPOSITS; B CODES; LIQUID FLOW

Citation Formats

ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M., HELTON,JON CRAIG, and VAUGHN,PALMER. Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/14814.
ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M., HELTON,JON CRAIG, & VAUGHN,PALMER. Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir. United States. doi:10.2172/14814.
ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M., HELTON,JON CRAIG, and VAUGHN,PALMER. Fri . "Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir". United States. doi:10.2172/14814. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/14814.
@article{osti_14814,
title = {Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir},
author = {ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M. and HELTON,JON CRAIG and VAUGHN,PALMER},
abstractNote = {The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is located in southeastern New Mexico, is being developed for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Waste disposal will take place in panels excavated in a bedded salt formation approximately 2000 ft (610 m) below the land surface. The BRAGFLO computer program which solves a system of nonlinear partial differential equations for two-phase flow, was used to investigate brine and gas flow patterns in the vicinity of the repository for the 1996 WIPP performance assessment (PA). The present study examines the implications of modeling assumptions used in conjunction with BRAGFLO in the 1996 WIPP PA that affect brine and gas flow patterns involving two waste regions in the repository (i.e., a single waste panel and the remaining nine waste panels), a disturbed rock zone (DRZ) that lies just above and below these two regions, and a borehole that penetrates the single waste panel and a brine pocket below this panel. The two waste regions are separated by a panel closure. The following insights were obtained from this study. First, the impediment to flow between the two waste regions provided by the panel closure model is reduced due to the permeable and areally extensive nature of the DRZ adopted in the 1996 WIPP PA, which results in the DRZ becoming an effective pathway for gas and brine movement around the panel closures and thus between the two waste regions. Brine and gas flow between the two waste regions via the DRZ causes pressures between the two to equilibrate rapidly, with the result that processes in the intruded waste panel are not isolated from the rest of the repository. Second, the connection between intruded and unintruded waste panels provided by the DRZ increases the time required for repository pressures to equilibrate with the overlying and/or underlying units subsequent to a drilling intrusion. Third, the large and areally extensive DRZ void volumes is a significant source of brine to the repository, which is consumed in the corrosion of iron and thus contributes to increased repository pressures. Fourth, the DRZ itself lowers repository pressures by providing storage for gas and access to additional gas storage in areas of the repository. Fifth, given the pathway that the DRZ provides for gas and brine to flow around the panel closures, isolation of the waste panels by the panel closures was not essential to compliance with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency's regulations in the 1996 WIPP PA.},
doi = {10.2172/14814},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1999},
month = {10}
}