The thermal environment has been modeled in a simple reference waste package in a tuff repository for a variety of variables. The waste package was composed of the waste form, canister, overpack and backfill. The emplacement hole was 122cm dia. Waste forms used in the calculations were commercial high level waste (CHLW) and spent fuel (SF). Canister loadings varied from 50 to 100 kW/acre. Primary attention was focused on the backfill behavior in the thermal and chemical environment. Results are related to the maximum temperature calculated for the backfill. These calculations raise serious concerns about the effectiveness of the backfill within the context of the total waste package.