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Title: The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment

Abstract

The safety strategy for geological disposal of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain relies on a multi-barrier system to contain the waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The multi-barrier system consists of the natural barrier provided by the geological setting and the engineered barrier system (EBS). In the case of Yucca Mountain (YM) the geologic setting is the unsaturated-zone host rock, consisting of about 600 meters of layered ash-flow volcanic tuffs above the water table, and the saturated zone beneath the water table. Both the unsaturated and saturated rocks are part of a closed hydrologic basin in a desert surface environment. The waste is to be buried about halfway between the desert surface and the water table. The primary engineered barriers at YM consist of metal components that are highly durable in an oxidizing environment. The two primary components of the engineered barrier system are highly corrosion-resistant metal waste packages, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, Alloy 22, and titanium drip shields that protect the waste packages from corrosive dripping water and falling rocks. Design and performance assessment of the EBS requires models that describe how the EBS and near field behave under anticipated repository-relevant conditions. These models must describe coupledmore » hydrologic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) processes that drive radionuclide transport in a highly fractured host rock, consisting of a relatively permeable network of conductive fractures in a setting of highly impermeable tuff rock matrix. An integrated performance assessment of the EBS must include a quantification of the uncertainties that arise from (1) incomplete understanding of processes and (2) from lack of data representative of the large spatial scales and long time scales relevant to radioactive waste disposal (e.g., long-term metal corrosion rates and heterogeneities in rock properties over the large 5 km{sup 2} emplacement area of the repository). A systematic approach to EBS model development and performance assessment should include as key elements: (1) implementation of a systematic FEPs approach, (2) quantification of uncertainty and variability, (3) sensitivity analyses, and (4) model validation and limitations. The approaches used for these key elements in the Yucca Mountain repository program are described in Section 2 of this paper. A specific example of Yucca Mountain EBS model development and integration, related to the modeling of localized corrosion of Alloy 22, is discussed in Sections 3 and 4.« less

Authors:
; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Yucca Mountain Project, Las Vegas, Nevada
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
894817
Report Number(s):
SAND2006-0172P
MOL.20061026.0022, DC# 46839; TRN: US0700413
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; ALLOYS; BIOSPHERE; CORROSION; FRACTURES; IMPLEMENTATION; POSITIONING; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOISOTOPES; SAFETY; SHIELDS; TITANIUM; TUFF; WASTES; WATER; WATER TABLES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN

Citation Formats

S.D. Sevougian, V. Jain, and A.V. Luik. The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment. United States: N. p., 2006. Web. doi:10.2172/894817.
S.D. Sevougian, V. Jain, & A.V. Luik. The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment. United States. doi:10.2172/894817.
S.D. Sevougian, V. Jain, and A.V. Luik. Wed . "The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment". United States. doi:10.2172/894817. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/894817.
@article{osti_894817,
title = {The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment},
author = {S.D. Sevougian and V. Jain and A.V. Luik},
abstractNote = {The safety strategy for geological disposal of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain relies on a multi-barrier system to contain the waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The multi-barrier system consists of the natural barrier provided by the geological setting and the engineered barrier system (EBS). In the case of Yucca Mountain (YM) the geologic setting is the unsaturated-zone host rock, consisting of about 600 meters of layered ash-flow volcanic tuffs above the water table, and the saturated zone beneath the water table. Both the unsaturated and saturated rocks are part of a closed hydrologic basin in a desert surface environment. The waste is to be buried about halfway between the desert surface and the water table. The primary engineered barriers at YM consist of metal components that are highly durable in an oxidizing environment. The two primary components of the engineered barrier system are highly corrosion-resistant metal waste packages, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, Alloy 22, and titanium drip shields that protect the waste packages from corrosive dripping water and falling rocks. Design and performance assessment of the EBS requires models that describe how the EBS and near field behave under anticipated repository-relevant conditions. These models must describe coupled hydrologic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) processes that drive radionuclide transport in a highly fractured host rock, consisting of a relatively permeable network of conductive fractures in a setting of highly impermeable tuff rock matrix. An integrated performance assessment of the EBS must include a quantification of the uncertainties that arise from (1) incomplete understanding of processes and (2) from lack of data representative of the large spatial scales and long time scales relevant to radioactive waste disposal (e.g., long-term metal corrosion rates and heterogeneities in rock properties over the large 5 km{sup 2} emplacement area of the repository). A systematic approach to EBS model development and performance assessment should include as key elements: (1) implementation of a systematic FEPs approach, (2) quantification of uncertainty and variability, (3) sensitivity analyses, and (4) model validation and limitations. The approaches used for these key elements in the Yucca Mountain repository program are described in Section 2 of this paper. A specific example of Yucca Mountain EBS model development and integration, related to the modeling of localized corrosion of Alloy 22, is discussed in Sections 3 and 4.},
doi = {10.2172/894817},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jan 11 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Jan 11 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report examines the use of continuum and discontinuum numerical methods for analysis of the thermomechanical response of the rock mass at Yucca Mountain. Continuum numerical methods consider the rock to be a solid, unfractured body, whereas the discontinuum method is formulated specifically to account for the effects of discrete fractures. The fractures within the rock introduce overall non-linear material response due to slip and separation of rock blocks. Continuum models attempt to simulate this response through the use of non-linear constitutive laws. Discontinuum methods attempt to simulate the true response of the rock mass by correctly modeling the behaviormore » of the joints as well as the deformability of the intact rock blocks. It is shown that, as the joint spacing, s, becomes small with respect to the size of the excavations, the behavior of the jointed rock approaches that of a solid with a form of elasto-plastic constitutive behavior. It is concluded that a continuum model with a form of ``ubiquitous`` or ``compliant joint`` plasticity law is probably sufficient for analysis of the thermomechanical response of excavations in welded tuff. However, one of the questions concerning Yucca Mountain which remains is the effect of fault structures on the stability performance of the repository, particularly under thermal and dynamic loads. Here, a true discontinuum approach seems necessary. 45 refs., 42 figs., 4 tabs.« less
  • The authors of this report have been participating in the Sandia National Laboratory`s hydrologic performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain, Nevada, since 1983. The scope of this work is restricted to the unsaturated zone at Yucca Mountain and to technical questions about hydrology and chemical transport. The issues defined here are not to be confused with the elaborate hierarchy of issues that forms the framework of the US Department of Energy plans for characterizing the site (DOE, 1989). The overall task of hydrologic performance assessment involves issues related to hydrology, geochemistry, and energy transport in a highly heterogeneous natural geologicmore » system which will be perturbed in a major way by the disposal activity. Therefore, a rational evaluation of the performance assessment issues must be based on an integrated appreciation of the aforesaid interacting processes. Accordingly, a hierarchical approach is taken in this report, proceeding from the statement of the broad features of the site that make it the site for intensive studies and the rationale for disposal strategy, through the statement of the fundamental questions that need to be answered, to the identification of the issues that need resolution. Having identified the questions and issues, the report then outlines the tasks to be undertaken to resolve the issues. The report consists essentially of two parts. The first part deals with the definition of issues summarized above. The second part summarizes the findings of the authors between 1983 and 1989 under the activities of the former Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations (NNWSI) and the current YMP.« less
  • This report describes an assessment of the long-term performance of a repository system that contains deeply buried highly radioactive waste; the system is assumed to be located at the potential site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The study includes an identification of features, events, and processes that might affect the potential repository, a construction of scenarios based on this identification, a selection of models describing these scenarios (including abstraction of appropriate models from detailed models), a selection of probability distributions for the parameters in the models, a stochastic calculation of radionuclide releases for the scenarios, and a derivation of complementary cumulativemore » distribution functions (CCDFs) for the releases. Releases and CCDFs are calculated for four categories of scenarios: aqueous flow (modeling primarily the existing conditions at the site, with allowances for climate change), gaseous flow, basaltic igneous activity, and human intrusion. The study shows that models of complex processes can be abstracted into more simplified representations that preserve the understanding of the processes and produce results consistent with those of more complex models.« less
  • This volume reports the development of TSPA for the VA. This first section defines the general process involved in developing any TSPA, it describes the overall TSPA process as implemented by programs in the US and elsewhere in the world, and discusses the acceptability of TSPA as a process or tool for analyzing a nuclear waste repository system. Section 2 discusses the more specific use of the TSPA process for the TSPA-VA for Yucca Mountain, including goals, approach, and methods. It also includes a very brief synopsis of TSPA-VA results. Section 3 briefly discusses each of the component models thatmore » comprise the TSPA-VA. Each TSPA component model represents a discrete set of processes. The TSPA-VA components are: unsaturated zone flow, thermal hydrology, near- field geochemical environment, waste package degradation, waste form alteration and mobilization, unsaturated zone transport, saturated zone flow and transport, and biosphere. For each of these components, this section introduces the conceptualization of each individual process, describes the data sources, and discusses model parameter development and computer methods used to simulate each component. Section 4 explains the mechanics of how the individual TSPA components were combined into a ''base case'' and then provides the ''expected value'' results of a deterministic base case analysis. Section 4 also contains a description of the probabilistic analyses and results that help determine the relative importance of the various TSPA components and the data used to describe the components. Section 5 addresses sensitivity studies run for each of the TSPA components to understand how uncertainty in various parameters within a component change the TSPA results. Section 6 presents the findings of the sensitivity studies run on the various components in Section 5, and prioritizes the findings of the entire set of uncertainty and sensitivity studies of the components relative to each other. Section 6 also discusses the DOE assessment of potential activities to increase the confidence in future TSPAs based on the results of TSPA-VA, gives a synopsis of the insights provided by the TSPA Peer Review Panel, includes a discussion of comments received by DOE from NRC, and closes with concluding remarks.« less