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Title: Deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.

Abstract

Preliminary evaluation of deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel indicates the potential for excellent long-term safety performance at costs competitive with mined repositories. Significant fluid flow through basement rock is prevented, in part, by low permeabilities, poorly connected transport pathways, and overburden self-sealing. Deep fluids also resist vertical movement because they are density stratified. Thermal hydrologic calculations estimate the thermal pulse from emplaced waste to be small (less than 20 C at 10 meters from the borehole, for less than a few hundred years), and to result in maximum total vertical fluid movement of {approx}100 m. Reducing conditions will sharply limit solubilities of most dose-critical radionuclides at depth, and high ionic strengths of deep fluids will prevent colloidal transport. For the bounding analysis of this report, waste is envisioned to be emplaced as fuel assemblies stacked inside drill casing that are lowered, and emplaced using off-the-shelf oilfield and geothermal drilling techniques, into the lower 1-2 km portion of a vertical borehole {approx}45 cm in diameter and 3-5 km deep, followed by borehole sealing. Deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste in the United States would require modifications to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and to applicablemore » regulatory standards for long-term performance set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR part 191) and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (10 CFR part 60). The performance analysis described here is based on the assumption that long-term standards for deep borehole disposal would be identical in the key regards to those prescribed for existing repositories (40 CFR part 197 and 10 CFR part 63).« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Sandia National Laboratories
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
985495
Report Number(s):
SAND2009-4401
TRN: US1006206
DOE Contract Number:  
AC04-94AL85000
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; BASEMENT ROCK; BOREHOLES; DRILLING; EVALUATION; FLUID FLOW; FUEL ASSEMBLIES; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; MODIFICATIONS; NUCLEAR FUELS; NUCLEAR WASTE POLICY ACTS; OVERBURDEN; PERFORMANCE; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOISOTOPES; SAFETY; TRANSPORT; US EPA; WASTES; Waste disposal in the ground.; Radioactive waste disposal.; Boreholes.; High level radioactive waste disposal-Testing.

Citation Formats

Stein, Joshua S., Freeze, Geoffrey A., Brady, Patrick Vane, Swift, Peter N., Rechard, Robert Paul, Arnold, Bill Walter, Kanney, Joseph F., and Bauer, Stephen J. Deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.. United States: N. p., 2009. Web. doi:10.2172/985495.
Stein, Joshua S., Freeze, Geoffrey A., Brady, Patrick Vane, Swift, Peter N., Rechard, Robert Paul, Arnold, Bill Walter, Kanney, Joseph F., & Bauer, Stephen J. Deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.. United States. doi:10.2172/985495.
Stein, Joshua S., Freeze, Geoffrey A., Brady, Patrick Vane, Swift, Peter N., Rechard, Robert Paul, Arnold, Bill Walter, Kanney, Joseph F., and Bauer, Stephen J. Wed . "Deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.". United States. doi:10.2172/985495. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/985495.
@article{osti_985495,
title = {Deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste.},
author = {Stein, Joshua S. and Freeze, Geoffrey A. and Brady, Patrick Vane and Swift, Peter N. and Rechard, Robert Paul and Arnold, Bill Walter and Kanney, Joseph F. and Bauer, Stephen J.},
abstractNote = {Preliminary evaluation of deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel indicates the potential for excellent long-term safety performance at costs competitive with mined repositories. Significant fluid flow through basement rock is prevented, in part, by low permeabilities, poorly connected transport pathways, and overburden self-sealing. Deep fluids also resist vertical movement because they are density stratified. Thermal hydrologic calculations estimate the thermal pulse from emplaced waste to be small (less than 20 C at 10 meters from the borehole, for less than a few hundred years), and to result in maximum total vertical fluid movement of {approx}100 m. Reducing conditions will sharply limit solubilities of most dose-critical radionuclides at depth, and high ionic strengths of deep fluids will prevent colloidal transport. For the bounding analysis of this report, waste is envisioned to be emplaced as fuel assemblies stacked inside drill casing that are lowered, and emplaced using off-the-shelf oilfield and geothermal drilling techniques, into the lower 1-2 km portion of a vertical borehole {approx}45 cm in diameter and 3-5 km deep, followed by borehole sealing. Deep borehole disposal of radioactive waste in the United States would require modifications to the Nuclear Waste Policy Act and to applicable regulatory standards for long-term performance set by the US Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR part 191) and US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (10 CFR part 60). The performance analysis described here is based on the assumption that long-term standards for deep borehole disposal would be identical in the key regards to those prescribed for existing repositories (40 CFR part 197 and 10 CFR part 63).},
doi = {10.2172/985495},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2009},
month = {7}
}

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