Nuclear waste repositories, with decay heat generation beneath the mine drift floors, are force-cooled with air so that re-entrance is possible many years after the waste has been buried. A numerical model has been developed which uses heat transfer coefficients as input. It has been demonstrated that mixed (forced and free) convective and surface roughness effects are significant and must be included in future experiments if reliable predictions are to be made of the time required to cool the repository. For example, when repository mine drifts in volcanic tuff are force-cooled, with forced convection being the only energy transport mechanism, it takes approx.= 0.1 year to cool the mine surface to a safe temperature. However, when mixed convection is the primary transport mechanism it takes approx.= 1.0 year to cool the mine. In addition to mixed convection, other effects are delineated.