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Title: Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability gas reservoirs. The third and final project in the program, Project Rio Blanco, was conducted in Rio Blanco County, in northwestern Colorado. In this experiment, three 33-kiloton nuclear explosives were simultaneously detonated in a single emplacement well in the Mesaverde Group and Fort Union Formation, at depths of 1,780, 1,899, and 2,039 m below land surface on May 17, 1973. The objective of this work is to estimate lateral distances that tritium released from the detonations may have traveled in the subsurface and evaluate the possible effect of postulated natural-gas development on radionuclide migration. Other radionuclides were considered in the analysis, but the majority occur in relatively immobile forms (such as nuclear melt glass). Of the radionuclides present in the gas phase, tritium dominates in terms of quantity of radioactivity in the long term and contribution to possible whole body exposure. One simulation is performed for {sup 85}Kr, the second most abundant gaseous radionuclide produced after tritium.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Desert Research Institute, Nevada System of Higher Education
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
877365
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/13609-45; 45215
TRN: US200607%%404
DOE Contract Number:  
AC52-00NV13609
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
03 NATURAL GAS; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; EXPLOSIONS; GLASS; NATURAL GAS; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES; POSITIONING; RADIOACTIVITY; RADIOISOTOPES; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; SIMULATION; STIMULATION; TRITIUM

Citation Formats

Clay A. Cooper, Ming Ye, Jenny Chapman, and Craig Shirley. Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir. United States: N. p., 2005. Web. doi:10.2172/877365.
Clay A. Cooper, Ming Ye, Jenny Chapman, & Craig Shirley. Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir. United States. doi:10.2172/877365.
Clay A. Cooper, Ming Ye, Jenny Chapman, and Craig Shirley. Sat . "Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir". United States. doi:10.2172/877365. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/877365.
@article{osti_877365,
title = {Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir},
author = {Clay A. Cooper and Ming Ye and Jenny Chapman and Craig Shirley},
abstractNote = {The U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability gas reservoirs. The third and final project in the program, Project Rio Blanco, was conducted in Rio Blanco County, in northwestern Colorado. In this experiment, three 33-kiloton nuclear explosives were simultaneously detonated in a single emplacement well in the Mesaverde Group and Fort Union Formation, at depths of 1,780, 1,899, and 2,039 m below land surface on May 17, 1973. The objective of this work is to estimate lateral distances that tritium released from the detonations may have traveled in the subsurface and evaluate the possible effect of postulated natural-gas development on radionuclide migration. Other radionuclides were considered in the analysis, but the majority occur in relatively immobile forms (such as nuclear melt glass). Of the radionuclides present in the gas phase, tritium dominates in terms of quantity of radioactivity in the long term and contribution to possible whole body exposure. One simulation is performed for {sup 85}Kr, the second most abundant gaseous radionuclide produced after tritium.},
doi = {10.2172/877365},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2005},
month = {10}
}