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Title: Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP)

Abstract

The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) was undertaken to environmentally characterize a portion of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Washington State as a potential host for the nation's first mined commercial nuclear waste repository. Studies were terminated by Congress in 1987. Between 1976 and 1987, 72 areas located across the Hanford Site were disturbed by the BWIP. These areas include borehole pads, a large Exploratory Shaft Facility, and the Near Surface Test Facility. Most boreholes were cleared of vegetation, leveled, and stabilized with a thick layer of compacted pit-run gravel and sand. The Near Surface Test Facility consists of three mined adits, a rock-spoils bench, and numerous support facilities. Restoration began in 1988 with the objective of returning sites to pre-existing conditions using native species. The Hanford Site retains some of the last remnants of the shrub-steppe ecosystem in Washington. The primary constraints to restoring native vegetation at Hanford are low precipitation and the presence of cheatgrass, an extremely capable alien competitor. 5 figs.

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest Lab., Richland, WA (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6329366
Report Number(s):
PNL-SA-16486; CONF-890192-1
ON: DE89008250
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: Symposium on restoration: the new management challenge, Oakland, CA, USA, 16 Jan 1989; Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; RADIOACTIVE WASTE FACILITIES; REVEGETATION; BOREHOLES; DECOMMISSIONING; HANFORD RESERVATION; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; REMEDIAL ACTION; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; CAVITIES; MANAGEMENT; MATERIALS; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; NUCLEAR FACILITIES; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; US DOE; US ERDA; US ORGANIZATIONS; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTES; 052002* - Nuclear Fuels- Waste Disposal & Storage; 053000 - Nuclear Fuels- Environmental Aspects; 054000 - Nuclear Fuels- Health & Safety

Citation Formats

Brandt, C.A., Rickard, W.H. Jr., Biehert, R.W., Newell, R.L., and Page, T.L.. Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP). United States: N. p., 1989. Web.
Brandt, C.A., Rickard, W.H. Jr., Biehert, R.W., Newell, R.L., & Page, T.L.. Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP). United States.
Brandt, C.A., Rickard, W.H. Jr., Biehert, R.W., Newell, R.L., and Page, T.L.. Sun . "Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP)". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6329366,
title = {Restoration of areas disturbed by site studies for a mined commercial radioactive waste repository: The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP)},
author = {Brandt, C.A. and Rickard, W.H. Jr. and Biehert, R.W. and Newell, R.L. and Page, T.L.},
abstractNote = {The Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) was undertaken to environmentally characterize a portion of the US Department of Energy's Hanford Site in Washington State as a potential host for the nation's first mined commercial nuclear waste repository. Studies were terminated by Congress in 1987. Between 1976 and 1987, 72 areas located across the Hanford Site were disturbed by the BWIP. These areas include borehole pads, a large Exploratory Shaft Facility, and the Near Surface Test Facility. Most boreholes were cleared of vegetation, leveled, and stabilized with a thick layer of compacted pit-run gravel and sand. The Near Surface Test Facility consists of three mined adits, a rock-spoils bench, and numerous support facilities. Restoration began in 1988 with the objective of returning sites to pre-existing conditions using native species. The Hanford Site retains some of the last remnants of the shrub-steppe ecosystem in Washington. The primary constraints to restoring native vegetation at Hanford are low precipitation and the presence of cheatgrass, an extremely capable alien competitor. 5 figs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989},
month = {Sun Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1989}
}

Conference:
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  • The excavation of shafts and entries for a Nuclear Waste Repository in Basalt (NWRB) will alter the hydrologic properties of the basalt in a zone adjacent to the openings. This study is an evaluation of the extent of these changes which may occur on the performance of repository shaft seals and on the isolation of radionuclides from the environment.
  • The report evaluates the methods and instrumentation technology which may be needed to detect geologic features representing possible hazards during the construction of a nuclear waste repository in basalt at Hanford. The types of anomalous features and their characteristics are first reviewed and their potential hazards identified. The features of greatest concern are judged to be flow top and bottom thickness irregularities, faults and tectonic breccias, and local jointing irregularities. The capabilities of available methods of anomaly detection ahead of construction are evaluated with respect to the Hanford site conditions. Direct (e.g. borehole drilling) and indirect (geophysical) methods are considered.more » Some of the more promising geophysical methods including seismic, radar and resistivity are examined in more detail. The manner in which both direct and indirect detection methods could be applied during construction of a repository is reviewed. 18 refs., 11 figs., 3 tabs.« less
  • The general corrosion studies program consists of three types of tests to determine the corrosion behavior of candidate container materials for the Basalt Waste Repository. Air/Steam tests simulate conditions in the repository operating period, and static and refreshed pressure vessel tests simulate post-closure conditions. Copper and iron-base alloys and their weldments are being tested. Weight loss and surface analysis data from two short-term tests are reported. In these, the effect of weldments in static groundwater, and that of packing material in air/steam environment were studied. Early results from long-term testing are alos included.
  • Technical information in the form of waste package design guidelines for a repository in basalt are needed to support the National Waste Terminal Storage (NWTS) waste package design effort. The guidelines are based on results of the BWIP repository design, site characterization and waste package studies. Discussions of factors to be considered in waste package design approaches are provided, along with preferred and undesirable approaches identified during BWIP studies. 9 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.
  • The socioeconomic program for the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) requires the collection of information about economic, social and cultural conditions, demographic, housing and settlement patterns, and the provision of public services and facilities in order to monitor and assess the impacts of the project on the study area. Much of the information needed by the socioeconomic program is compiled, maintained, and used by officials or staff members of local, regional, state, or tribal agencies or organizations. Because much of this information is prepared for internal use, the documents are often not published or advertised and it can be difficultmore » for researchers to identify many obscure, yet useful, sources of information. In order to identify and gain access to this information, it is often most efficient to talk directly with officials and staff members of pertinent agencies or organizations who may have knowledge of these documents or who may have useful information themselves. Consequently, interviews in the study communities with persons knowledgeable about the socioeconomic or sociocultural characteristics of the area constitute an important source of data for the socioeconomic program. In addition to identifying various data sources, these interviews provide a mechanism for understanding and interpreting those data. Knowledge of specific local conditions is often necessary to correctly interpret quantitative data. The purpose of this paper is to summarize the objectives of the community interviews task and the general methods that will be used in conducting the community interviews. 3 refs.« less