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Title: OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL BARRIERS THRUST OVERVIEW

Abstract

The Natural Barriers Thrust supports scientific studies of the natural system at the proposed repository site of Yucca Mountain. It stresses the realistic representation of the natural system with respect to processes and parameters, by means of laboratory, field, and modeling studies. It has the objectives to demonstrate that the natural barriers can make large contributions to repository performance, supporting the multiple-barrier concept for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste; and to reduce the overall cost of repository development by elimination of unnecessary engineered components, given the demonstrated natural barriers performance. In this overview we enumerate the research projects within the Natural Barriers Thrust grouped under five elements: (1) Drift Seepage, (2) In-drift Environment, (3) Drift Shadow, (4) Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport, and (5) Saturated Zone Flow and Transport. The long-term strategic plan of the Natural Barriers Thrust and some key results are also briefly described.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
884900
Report Number(s):
NA
MOL.20060404.0190, DC#47058; TRN: US0603710
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; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; PERFORMANCE; SIMULATION; STRESSES; TRANSPORT; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

B. Bodvarsson, and Y. Tsang. OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL BARRIERS THRUST OVERVIEW. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/884900.
B. Bodvarsson, & Y. Tsang. OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL BARRIERS THRUST OVERVIEW. United States. doi:10.2172/884900.
B. Bodvarsson, and Y. Tsang. Tue . "OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL BARRIERS THRUST OVERVIEW". United States. doi:10.2172/884900. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/884900.
@article{osti_884900,
title = {OFFICE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND INTERNATIONAL, NATURAL BARRIERS THRUST OVERVIEW},
author = {B. Bodvarsson and Y. Tsang},
abstractNote = {The Natural Barriers Thrust supports scientific studies of the natural system at the proposed repository site of Yucca Mountain. It stresses the realistic representation of the natural system with respect to processes and parameters, by means of laboratory, field, and modeling studies. It has the objectives to demonstrate that the natural barriers can make large contributions to repository performance, supporting the multiple-barrier concept for geological disposal of high-level radioactive waste; and to reduce the overall cost of repository development by elimination of unnecessary engineered components, given the demonstrated natural barriers performance. In this overview we enumerate the research projects within the Natural Barriers Thrust grouped under five elements: (1) Drift Seepage, (2) In-drift Environment, (3) Drift Shadow, (4) Unsaturated Zone Flow and Transport, and (5) Saturated Zone Flow and Transport. The long-term strategic plan of the Natural Barriers Thrust and some key results are also briefly described.},
doi = {10.2172/884900},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Feb 21 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Tue Feb 21 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The purpose of the Advanced Technologies Thrust (ATT) is to: (1) identify/develop technologies and processes; (2) reduce the cost of proposed repository development, construction, and operation with the application of these new technologies and processes; and (3) provide the data necessary to demonstrate feasibility of new technologies and processes. Fiscal Year 2005 was the inaugural year for this thrust. Several of the projects were already under way when this thrust team was formed; however, it was not until this year that a focused approach to managing these projects was established. The nine projects supporting the initiatives listed below are described:more » (1) The Evaluation of Improved Waste Package Materials and Fabrication Processes; (2) Advanced Approaches for Improved Waste Package Closure Welds; (3) Advanced Tunneling Technology; and (4) Improved Understanding of Extreme Ground Motions Predicted Using Probabilistic Seismic Hazard Analysis.« less
  • This program plan articulates the five-year goals and objectives for the Science and Technology (S and T) Program within the Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). The S and T Program is intended to reduce the cost of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository and enhance the understanding of the processes affecting its performance through the application of new scientific understanding and technology. While the design for the proposed repository will provide a safe and effective disposition of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) and high-level waste (HLW), it is unreasonable to assume the science and technology supporting themore » repository today will remain unchanged over the more than 50 years that the repository will be in operation. In fact, continuous improvement in operations and enhanced knowledge of the disposal process is expected to a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) license holder. therefore, it is prudent to support an effort within OCRWM to assure that the proposed repository will be able to use advanced technology that becomes available in the future to reduce cost to the taxpayer and utility ratepayer. As a separate office within OCRWM, the S and T Program supports the proposed Yucca Mountain repository operations and transportation activities; together these are henceforth referred to as the Repository System.« less
  • Source Term, Materials Performance, Radionuclide Getters, Natural Barriers, and Advanced Technologies, a brief introduction in each section describes the overall organization and goals of each program area. All of these areas have great potential for improving our understanding of the safety performance of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository, as processes within these areas are generally very conservatively represented in the Total System Performance Assessment. In addition, some of the technology thrust areas in particular may enhance system efficiency and reduce risk to workers. Thus, rather modest effort in the S&T Program could lead to large savings in the lifetime repositorymore » total cost and significantly enhanced understanding of the behavior of the proposed Yucca Mountain repository, without safety being compromised, and in some instances being enhanced. An overall strength of the S&T Program is the significant amount of integration that has already been achieved after two years of research. As an example (illustrated in Figure 1), our understanding of the behavior of the total waste isolation system has been enhanced through integration of the Source Term, Materials Performance, and Natural Barriers Thrust areas. All three thrust areas contribute to the integration of different processes in the in-drift environment. These processes include seepage into the drift, dust accumulation on the waste package, brine formation and precipitation on the waste package, mass transfer through the fuel cladding, changes in the seepage-water chemical composition, and transport of released radionuclides through the invert and natural barriers. During FY2005, each of our program areas assembled a team of external experts to conduct an independent review of their respective projects, research directions, and emphasis. In addition, the S&T Program as a whole was independently reviewed by the S&T Programmatic Evaluation Panel. As a result of these reviews, adjustments to the S&T Program will be implemented in FY2006 to ensure that the Program is properly aligned with OCRWM's priorities. Also during FY2005, several programmatic documents were published, including the Science and Technology Program Strategic Plan, the Science and Technology Program Management Plan, and the Science and Technology Program Plan. These and other communication products are available on the OCRWM web site under the Science and Technology section (http://www.ocrwm.doe.gov/osti/index.shtml).« less
  • Presidential Science Adviser Dr. George Keyworth, Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, gave his annual (1985) report on US Science and Technology posture at a hearing of the Committee on Science and Technology of the US House of Representatives (99th Congress) on 5 Feb. 1985. He spoke of critical choices in three areas, i.e., how to reduce nuclear weapons, thereby to enhance the national security, how to ensure US technological superiority in the face of rapidly growing international competition, and how to accomplish the foregoing while reducing government deficits. US government support for Research and Development willmore » total $60 billion this year, $20 billion of which are for non-defense programs, and $8 billion for basic research. He emphasized the importance of the latter to the nation's economic wellbeing, and the need to make every research dollar count in the face of rising costs and soaring deficits. Dr. Keyworth urges aggressive US efforts to maintain its world leadership in science and technology.« less