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Title: Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico

Abstract

The significance of the Pena Blanca uranium deposits in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico as potential natural analogs for a nuclear waste repository in unsaturated welded tuff was first recognized in the 1980s. In the 1970s, the Pena Blanca region was a major target of uranium exploration and exploitation by the Mexican government. Since then the Nopal I uranium deposit has been studied extensively by researchers in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. The Nopal I deposit represents an environment similar to that of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain in many ways. Both are located in semi-arid regions. Both are located in Tertiary rhyolitic tuffs overlying carbonate rocks that have been subjected to basin and range-style tectonic deformation. Both are located in a chemically oxidizing, unsaturated zone 200 m or more above the water table. The alteration of uraninite to secondary minerals at Nopal I may be similar to the alteration of uranium fuel rods in this type of setting. Investigations at Nopal I and in the surrounding Sierra Pena Blanca have included detailed outcrop mapping, hydrologic and isotopic studies of flow and transport, studies of mineral alteration, modeling, and performance assessment.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
YMP (Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
859064
Report Number(s):
NA
MOL.20050824.0147 DC#45003; TRN: US0600556
DOE Contract Number:  
NA
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; CARBONATE ROCKS; EXPLORATION; FUEL RODS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; MEXICO; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; SIMULATION; TARGETS; TECTONICS; TUFF; URANINITES; URANIUM; URANIUM DEPOSITS; WATER TABLES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

Simmons, A M. Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/859064.
Simmons, A M. Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico. United States. doi:10.2172/859064.
Simmons, A M. Mon . "Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico". United States. doi:10.2172/859064. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/859064.
@article{osti_859064,
title = {Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico},
author = {Simmons, A M},
abstractNote = {The significance of the Pena Blanca uranium deposits in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico as potential natural analogs for a nuclear waste repository in unsaturated welded tuff was first recognized in the 1980s. In the 1970s, the Pena Blanca region was a major target of uranium exploration and exploitation by the Mexican government. Since then the Nopal I uranium deposit has been studied extensively by researchers in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. The Nopal I deposit represents an environment similar to that of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain in many ways. Both are located in semi-arid regions. Both are located in Tertiary rhyolitic tuffs overlying carbonate rocks that have been subjected to basin and range-style tectonic deformation. Both are located in a chemically oxidizing, unsaturated zone 200 m or more above the water table. The alteration of uraninite to secondary minerals at Nopal I may be similar to the alteration of uranium fuel rods in this type of setting. Investigations at Nopal I and in the surrounding Sierra Pena Blanca have included detailed outcrop mapping, hydrologic and isotopic studies of flow and transport, studies of mineral alteration, modeling, and performance assessment.},
doi = {10.2172/859064},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {7}
}