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Title: PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
883067
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC08-91RW00134
Resource Type:
Conference
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; DESERTS; DESIGN; GREAT BASIN; MIDDLE EAST; OPENINGS; PERFORMANCE; PRESERVATION; STABILITY; WASTES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie. PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie. PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN. United States.
N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie. Fri . "PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/883067.
@article{osti_883067,
title = {PRESERVATION OF ARCHAEOLOGICAL MATERIALS IN ARID ENVIRONMENTS RELEVANT TO YUCCA MOUNTAIN},
author = {N. Chapman, A. Dansie, C. McCombie},
abstractNote = {The objective of this study was to evaluate archaeological materials from underground openings or shallow burial in arid environments relevant to Yucca Mountain and to draw conclusions about how their state and their environment of preservation could be of relevance to design and operational aspects of the high-level waste repository. The study has evaluated materials from cultures in the arid regions of the ancient Middle East and compared them with the preservation of ancient materials in dry cave sites in the Great Basin desert area of Nevada. The emphasis has been on materials found in undisturbed underground openings such as caves and un-backfilled tombs. Long-term preservation of such materials in underground openings and the stability of the openings themselves provide useful analogue information that serves as a reference point for considering the operation and evolution of the Yucca Mountain repository. Being able to shed light, by close physical and environmental analogy, on what happens in underground openings over many thousands of years provides valuable underpinning to illustrations of expected system performance and offers pointers towards optimizing repository system and operational design.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 24 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Fri Feb 24 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Conference:
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  • Containment of spent nuclear fuel and vitrified forms of high level nuclear waste require use of materials that are highly corrosion resistant to all of the anticipated environmental scenarios that can occur in a geological repository. Ni-Cr-Mo Alloy 22 (UNS N60622) is proposed for the corrosion resistant outer barrier of a two-layer waste package container at the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain. A range of water compositions that may contact the outer barrier is under consideration, and a testing program is underway to characterize the forms of corrosion and to quantify the corrosion rates. Results from the testing supportmore » models for long term prediction of the performance of the container. Results obtained to date indicate a very low general corrosion rate for Alloy 22 and very high resistance to all forms of localized and environmentally assisted cracking in environments tested to date.« less
  • In its current design, the high level nuclear waste containers will include an external layer of Alloy 22 (Ni-22Cr-13Mo-3W-3Fe). Since over their life-time the containers may be exposed to multi-ionic aqueous environments, a potential degradation mode of the outer layer could be environmental assisted cracking (EAC). The objective of the current research work was to quantify the susceptibility of Alloy 22 to EAC in a several environmental conditions including solution composition, temperature and electrochemical potential. The susceptibility to EAC was evaluated using the constant deformation technique, the compact specimen--low cycle fatigue method and the slow strain rate test (SSRT). Themore » alloy was tested in the wrought mill annealed (MA) and in the as-welded conditions. Results show that Alloy 22 was extremely resistant to EAC in a wide range of environmental conditions. Using SSRT, Alloy 22 was found susceptible to EAC in one electrolyte at one temperature and at one electrochemical potential.« less
  • Archaeological surveys, limited surface collections and selected test excavations in the Yucca Mountain Project Area have revealed four distinct aboriginal hunting and gathering adaptive strategies and a separate historic Euroamerican occupation. The four aboriginal adaptations are marked by gradual shifts in settlement locations that reflect changing resource procurement strategies. Whereas the earliest hunters and gatherers focused their activities around the exploitation of toolstone along ephemeral drainages and the hunting of game animals in the uplands, the latest aboriginal settlements reflect intensive procurement of early spring plant resources in specific upland environments. The final Euroamerican occupation in the area is markedmore » by limited prospecting activities and travel through the area by early immigrants.« less
  • No abstract prepared.
  • A conceptual model of shallow infiltration processes at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, was developed for use in hydrologic flow models to characterize net infiltration (the penetration of the wetting front below the zone influenced by evapotranspiration). The model categorizes the surface of the site into four infiltration zones. These zones were identified as ridgetops, sideslopes, terraces, and active channels on the basis of water-content changes with depth and time. The maximum depth of measured water-content change at a specific site is a function of surface storage capacity, the timing and magnitude of precipitation, evapotranspiration, and the degree of saturation of surficialmore » materials overlying fractured bedrock. Measured water-content profiles for the four zones indicated that the potential for net infiltration is higher when evapotranspiration is low (i.e. winter, cloudy periods), where surface concentration of water is likely to occur (i.e. depressions, channels), where surface storage capacity is low, and where fractured bedrock is close to the surface.« less