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Title: Brine Generation Study

Abstract

In a May 1995 inspection of the WIPP-site Exhaust Shaft indicated that water was seeping through the shaft's concrete liner at depths of 50 to 85 feet below ground surface. In March 1996 a catch basin was installed at the base of the Exhaust Shaft to intercept and prevent fluid from entering the repository horizon. Analyses of fluid samples collected from the catch basin indicated that some samples had concentration levels that exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicity characteristics for lead under Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) {section} 261.24. Ventilation system operations, weather conditions, and seepage into the Exhaust Shaft have resulted in operational problems. First, increased moisture in the shaft has affected air filters on sampling probes located near the top of the Exhaust Shaft, thus preventing analysis of air samples. Second, production of fluid in the shaft reporting to the catch basin created a disposal problem of the fluid which has been classified as a hazardous material under 40 CFR {section} 261.24 for lead. Though these problems do not effect the stability of the shaft they are a nuisance in that they increase operational costs and impact operation of the Exhaust Shaft air-monitoring system.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Carlsbad, NM (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
815183
Report Number(s):
DOE/WIPP 00-2000
TRN: US0304880
DOE Contract Number:
04-01AL66444
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 May 2000
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; AIR FILTERS; BRINES; CONCRETES; HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; LINERS; MOISTURE; PROBES; PRODUCTION; REGULATIONS; SAMPLING; TOXICITY; US EPA; VENTILATION SYSTEMS; WATER; BRINE; WIPP; TRU; CATCH BASIN; WASTE; DISPOSAL; PRECIPITATION; VENTILATION; EXHAUST SHAFT; LEAD; EPA; AIRFLOW; WALLS

Citation Formats

Westinghouse TRU Solutions. Brine Generation Study. United States: N. p., 2000. Web. doi:10.2172/815183.
Westinghouse TRU Solutions. Brine Generation Study. United States. doi:10.2172/815183.
Westinghouse TRU Solutions. Mon . "Brine Generation Study". United States. doi:10.2172/815183. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/815183.
@article{osti_815183,
title = {Brine Generation Study},
author = {Westinghouse TRU Solutions},
abstractNote = {In a May 1995 inspection of the WIPP-site Exhaust Shaft indicated that water was seeping through the shaft's concrete liner at depths of 50 to 85 feet below ground surface. In March 1996 a catch basin was installed at the base of the Exhaust Shaft to intercept and prevent fluid from entering the repository horizon. Analyses of fluid samples collected from the catch basin indicated that some samples had concentration levels that exceeded U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) toxicity characteristics for lead under Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) {section} 261.24. Ventilation system operations, weather conditions, and seepage into the Exhaust Shaft have resulted in operational problems. First, increased moisture in the shaft has affected air filters on sampling probes located near the top of the Exhaust Shaft, thus preventing analysis of air samples. Second, production of fluid in the shaft reporting to the catch basin created a disposal problem of the fluid which has been classified as a hazardous material under 40 CFR {section} 261.24 for lead. Though these problems do not effect the stability of the shaft they are a nuisance in that they increase operational costs and impact operation of the Exhaust Shaft air-monitoring system.},
doi = {10.2172/815183},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2000},
month = {Mon May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2000}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Two brine production methods were compared with respect to available power at the wellhead: self flowing (brine lifted by steam from vaporization of the brine), and pumped (brine lifted by a mechanical pump and kept in the liquid state). Five conversion processes were compared with respect to fraction of available power converted to electric power: flash steam (steam turbines operating on steam from flash vaporization of the brine), dual steam (flash steam with two-phase expanders to recover the flash vaporization mechanical energy), total flow (two-phase expanders only), binary (heat transferred from the brine to a secondary working fluid), and flashmore » binary (heat transferred from flashed steam to a secondary working fluid). The conclusions of this study are: (1) The flow rate from a self-flowing well can be substantially increased by increasing well bore diameter at and above the flashing level. (2) Self-flowing stepped diameter wells provide more wellhead power than pumped wells (for equal production zone diameters) at nearly all reservoir conditions. (3) Multi-stage flash steam systems using steam turbines provide more output power than binary systems at all reservoir temperatures, using reasonable values for component performance. (4) Total flow machines, used alone, offer no performance advantage as compared to multi-stage direct flash steam, unless efficiency of total flow devices can be increased above current projections. (5) Two-phase expanders in combination with steam turbines provide the highest output power.« less
  • A set of coupled field equations is developed for transport of brine in natural rock salt. Transport of brine inclusions within individual crystals is considered to be thermally driven, whereas transport along crystal interfaces or grain boundaries is considered to be pressure driven. The field equations are incorporated in a finite element program. A sensitivity study is performed to determine the significant system parameters which must be quantified with greater certainty to permit a more certain prediction of brine flow into a borehole containing commercial high-level waste. According to this analysis, the most significant system parameter uncertainties are the ratiomore » of interconnected porosity to total porosity, initial brine inclusion density, and the threshold gradient below which brine inclusions are immobile. 15 refs., 19 figs., 4 tabs.« less
  • The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a US Department of Energy facility designed to demonstrate the safe underground disposal of transuranic waste. Following waste emplacement, each room will be backfilled with crushed salt. Due to deviatoric stress introduced by excavation, the walls of the waste disposal rooms in the repository will deform over time, consolidating waste containers and salt backfill, thereby decreasing the void volume of the repository. Long-term repository assessment must consider the processes of gas generation, room closure and expansion due to salt creep, and multiphase (brine and gas) fluid flow, as well as the complex couplingmore » between these three processes. Stone (1992) used the mechanical creep closure code SANCHO to simulate the closure of a single, perfectly sealed disposal room filled with waste and backfill. The results of the SANCHO f-series simulations provide a relationship between gas generation, room closure, and room pressure. Several methods for coupling this relationship with multiphase fluid flow into and out of a room were examined by Freeze et al. TOUGH2 was employed to couple the processes of gas generation, room closure/consolidation, and multiphase brine and gas flow. Two empirically-based methods for approximating salt creep and room consolidation were implemented in TOUGH2: the pressure-time-porosity line interpolation approach and the fluid-phase-salt approach. Both approaches utilized links to the SANCHO f-series simulation results to calculate room-void-volume changes with time during a simulation.« less
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