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Title: In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192

Abstract

There are two primary regulatory requirements for Panel Closures at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's only deep geologic repository for defense related Transuranic (TRU) and Mixed TRU waste. The Federal requirement is through 40 CFR 191 and 194, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The state requirement is regulated through the authority of the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) under the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (HWA), New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA) 1978, chap. 74-4-1 through 74-4-14, in accordance with the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (HWMR), 20.4.1 New Mexico Annotated Code (NMAC). The state regulations are implemented for the operational period of waste emplacement plus 30 years whereas the federal requirements are implemented from the operational period through 10,000 years. The 10,000 year federal requirement is related to the adequate representation of the panel closures in determining long-term performance of the repository. In Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking for 40 CFR Part 194, the EPA required a specific design for the panel closure system. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) has requested, through the Planned Change Request (PCR) process, that the EPA modify Conditionmore » 1 via its rulemaking process. The DOE has also requested, through the Permit Modification Request (PMR) process, that the NMED modify the approved panel closure system specified in Permit Attachment G1. The WIPP facility is carved out of a bedded salt formation 655 meters below the surface of southeast New Mexico. Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking specifies that the waste panels be closed using Option D which is a combination of a Salado mass concrete (SMC) monolith and an isolation/explosion block wall. The Option D design was also accepted as the panel closure of choice by the NMED. After twelve years of waste handling operations and a greater understanding of the waste and the behavior of the underground salt formation, the DOE has established a revised panel closure design. This revised design meets both the short-term NMED Permit requirements for the operational period, and also the Federal requirements for long-term repository performance. This new design is simpler, easier to construct and has less of an adverse impact on waste disposal operations than the originally approved Option D design. The Panel Closure Redesign is based on: (1) the results of in-situ constructability testing performed to determine run-of-mine salt reconsolidation parameters and how the characteristics of the bedded salt formation affect these parameters and, (2) the results of air flow analysis of the new design to determine that the limit for the migration of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) will be met at the compliance point. Waste panel closures comprise a repository feature that has been represented in WIPP performance assessment (PA) since the original Compliance Certification Application of 1996. Panel closures are included in WIPP PA models principally because they are a part of the disposal system, not because they play a substantive role in inhibiting the release of radionuclides to the outside environment. The 1998 rulemaking that certified WIPP to receive transuranic waste placed conditions on the panel closure design to be implemented in the repository. The revised panel closure design, termed the Run-of-Mine (ROM) Panel Closure System (ROMPCS), is comprised of 30.48 meters of ROM salt with barriers at each end. The ROM salt is generated from ongoing mining operations at the WIPP and may be compacted and/or moistened as it is emplaced in a panel entry. The barriers consist of bulkheads, similar to those currently used in the panels as room closures. A WIPP performance assessment has been completed that incorporates the ROMPCS design into the representation of the repository, and compares repository performance to that achieved with the approved Option D design. Several key physical processes and rock mechanics principles are incorporated into the performance assessment. First, creep closure of the salt rock surrounding a panel entry results in consolidation of the ROM salt emplaced in the entry. Eventually, the ROM salt comprising the ROMPCS will approach a condition similar to intact salt. As the ROM salt reaches higher fractional densities during consolidation, back stress will be imposed on the surrounding rock mass leading to eventual healing of the disturbed rock zone above and below the panel closure. Healing of the disturbed rock zone above and below the ROMPCS reduces the porosity and permeability in those areas. Analysis of the new design demonstrates that: (1) the WIPP continues to meet regulatory compliance requirements when the ROMPCS design is implemented instead of Option D, and (2) there is no impact on the short-term effectiveness of the panel closure to limit the concentration of VOCs at the WIPP site boundary to a fraction of the health-based exposure limits (HBLs) during the operational period. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]; ; ; ; ;  [3];  [4]
  1. URS-Professional Solutions, 4021 National Parks Highway Carlsbad, NM 88220 (United States)
  2. Department of Energy-Carlsbad Field Office, 4021 National Parks Highway Carlsbad, NM 88220 (United States)
  3. Sandia National Laboratories-Carlsbad, 4100 National Parks Highway Carlsbad, NM 88220 (United States)
  4. SM Stoller Corporation-Carlsbad, 4100 National Parks Highway Carlsbad, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22224956
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-13-WM-13192
TRN: US14V0399045911
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2013: Waste Management Conference: International collaboration and continuous improvement, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 24-28 Feb 2013; Other Information: Country of input: France; 11 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; AIR FLOW; ALPHA-BEARING WASTES; CERTIFICATION; CLOSURES; DESIGN; LICENSES; MINING; NEW MEXICO; PANELS; RADIOISOTOPES; REGULATIONS; UNDERGROUND; US DOE FIELD OFFICES; US EPA; WASTE DISPOSAL; WIPP

Citation Formats

Klein, Thomas, Patterson, Russell, Camphouse, Chris, Herrick, Courtney, Kirchner, Thomas, Malama, Bwalya, Zeitler, Todd, and Kicker, Dwayne. In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192. United States: N. p., 2013. Web.
Klein, Thomas, Patterson, Russell, Camphouse, Chris, Herrick, Courtney, Kirchner, Thomas, Malama, Bwalya, Zeitler, Todd, & Kicker, Dwayne. In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192. United States.
Klein, Thomas, Patterson, Russell, Camphouse, Chris, Herrick, Courtney, Kirchner, Thomas, Malama, Bwalya, Zeitler, Todd, and Kicker, Dwayne. Mon . "In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192". United States.
@article{osti_22224956,
title = {In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192},
author = {Klein, Thomas and Patterson, Russell and Camphouse, Chris and Herrick, Courtney and Kirchner, Thomas and Malama, Bwalya and Zeitler, Todd and Kicker, Dwayne},
abstractNote = {There are two primary regulatory requirements for Panel Closures at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's only deep geologic repository for defense related Transuranic (TRU) and Mixed TRU waste. The Federal requirement is through 40 CFR 191 and 194, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The state requirement is regulated through the authority of the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) under the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (HWA), New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA) 1978, chap. 74-4-1 through 74-4-14, in accordance with the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (HWMR), 20.4.1 New Mexico Annotated Code (NMAC). The state regulations are implemented for the operational period of waste emplacement plus 30 years whereas the federal requirements are implemented from the operational period through 10,000 years. The 10,000 year federal requirement is related to the adequate representation of the panel closures in determining long-term performance of the repository. In Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking for 40 CFR Part 194, the EPA required a specific design for the panel closure system. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) has requested, through the Planned Change Request (PCR) process, that the EPA modify Condition 1 via its rulemaking process. The DOE has also requested, through the Permit Modification Request (PMR) process, that the NMED modify the approved panel closure system specified in Permit Attachment G1. The WIPP facility is carved out of a bedded salt formation 655 meters below the surface of southeast New Mexico. Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking specifies that the waste panels be closed using Option D which is a combination of a Salado mass concrete (SMC) monolith and an isolation/explosion block wall. The Option D design was also accepted as the panel closure of choice by the NMED. After twelve years of waste handling operations and a greater understanding of the waste and the behavior of the underground salt formation, the DOE has established a revised panel closure design. This revised design meets both the short-term NMED Permit requirements for the operational period, and also the Federal requirements for long-term repository performance. This new design is simpler, easier to construct and has less of an adverse impact on waste disposal operations than the originally approved Option D design. The Panel Closure Redesign is based on: (1) the results of in-situ constructability testing performed to determine run-of-mine salt reconsolidation parameters and how the characteristics of the bedded salt formation affect these parameters and, (2) the results of air flow analysis of the new design to determine that the limit for the migration of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) will be met at the compliance point. Waste panel closures comprise a repository feature that has been represented in WIPP performance assessment (PA) since the original Compliance Certification Application of 1996. Panel closures are included in WIPP PA models principally because they are a part of the disposal system, not because they play a substantive role in inhibiting the release of radionuclides to the outside environment. The 1998 rulemaking that certified WIPP to receive transuranic waste placed conditions on the panel closure design to be implemented in the repository. The revised panel closure design, termed the Run-of-Mine (ROM) Panel Closure System (ROMPCS), is comprised of 30.48 meters of ROM salt with barriers at each end. The ROM salt is generated from ongoing mining operations at the WIPP and may be compacted and/or moistened as it is emplaced in a panel entry. The barriers consist of bulkheads, similar to those currently used in the panels as room closures. A WIPP performance assessment has been completed that incorporates the ROMPCS design into the representation of the repository, and compares repository performance to that achieved with the approved Option D design. Several key physical processes and rock mechanics principles are incorporated into the performance assessment. First, creep closure of the salt rock surrounding a panel entry results in consolidation of the ROM salt emplaced in the entry. Eventually, the ROM salt comprising the ROMPCS will approach a condition similar to intact salt. As the ROM salt reaches higher fractional densities during consolidation, back stress will be imposed on the surrounding rock mass leading to eventual healing of the disturbed rock zone above and below the panel closure. Healing of the disturbed rock zone above and below the ROMPCS reduces the porosity and permeability in those areas. Analysis of the new design demonstrates that: (1) the WIPP continues to meet regulatory compliance requirements when the ROMPCS design is implemented instead of Option D, and (2) there is no impact on the short-term effectiveness of the panel closure to limit the concentration of VOCs at the WIPP site boundary to a fraction of the health-based exposure limits (HBLs) during the operational period. (authors)},
doi = {},
url = {https://www.osti.gov/biblio/22224956}, journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2013},
month = {7}
}

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