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Title: The occurrence and distribution of erionite at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

We have conducted an investigation to determine the occurrence and distribution of erionite, a potential carcinogen, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using x-ray powder diffraction techniques yielding detection limits to below 0.05 wt %, we positively identified erionite in only 3 out of 76 bulk and 12 fracture samples investigated. The three erionite-bearing samples (J12-620/630, UE-25aNo.1-1296.2, and USW G4-1314) all occur above the static water level in clay/zeolite-rich horizons near the top of vitrophyres. Erionite occurs as trace amounts of less than 1 wt % in the whole rock, although it may occur locally in significant amounts as fracture fillings (e.g., UE-25aNo.1-1296.2 where it comprises approximately 45 wt % of the fracture filling material). All three occurrences appear to be extremely isolated cases since erionite was not detected in neighboring samples. Erionite at Yucca Mountain apparently formed only in localized microenvironments, possibly restricted to fractures. Since erionite occurs in trace amounts only in extremely isolated instances, it should pose little or no health hazard to workers in the potential repository at Yucca Mountain or to the public. The amounts of erionite liberated to the biosphere should be negligible, particularly when compared with the amounts of erionite occurring naturally at the surfacemore » in Nevada and surrounding states. 24 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
137523
Report Number(s):
LA-11663-MS
ON: DE89017905; TRN: 89:025898
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Sep 1989
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; ZEOLITES; HEALTH HAZARDS; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; CARCINOGENS; SAMPLING; EVALUATION; BIOLOGICAL EFFECTS; Yucca Mountain Project