Temperature, humidity and air flow in the emplacement drifts using convection and dispersion transport models

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A coupled thermal-hydrologic-airflow model is developed, solving for the transport processes within a waste emplacement drift and the surrounding rockmass together at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Natural, convective air flow as well as heat and mass transport in a representative emplacement drift during post-closure are explicitly simulated, using the MULTIFLUX model. The conjugate, thermal-hydrologic transport processes in the rockmass are solved with the TOUGH2 porous-media simulator in a coupled way to the in-drift processes. The new simulation results show that large-eddy turbulent flow, as opposed to small-eddy flow, dominate the drift air space for at least ... continued below

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Danko, G.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Bahrami, D. & Halecky, N. October 1, 2009.

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A coupled thermal-hydrologic-airflow model is developed, solving for the transport processes within a waste emplacement drift and the surrounding rockmass together at the proposed nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. Natural, convective air flow as well as heat and mass transport in a representative emplacement drift during post-closure are explicitly simulated, using the MULTIFLUX model. The conjugate, thermal-hydrologic transport processes in the rockmass are solved with the TOUGH2 porous-media simulator in a coupled way to the in-drift processes. The new simulation results show that large-eddy turbulent flow, as opposed to small-eddy flow, dominate the drift air space for at least 5000 years following waste emplacement. The size of the largest, longitudinal eddy is equal to half of the drift length, providing a strong axial heat and moisture transport mechanism from the hot to the cold drift sections. The in-drift results are compared to those from simplified models using a surrogate, dispersive model with an equivalent dispersion coefficient for heat and moisture transport. Results from the explicit, convective velocity simulation model provide higher axial heat and moisture fluxes than those estimated from the previously published, simpler, equivalent-dispersion models, in addition to showing differences in temperature, humidity and condensation rate distributions along the drift length. A new dispersive model is also formulated, giving a time- and location-variable function that runs generally about ten times higher in value than the highest dispersion coefficient currently used in the Yucca Mountain Project as an estimate for the equivalent dispersion coefficient in the emplacement drift. The new dispersion coefficient variation, back-calculated from the convective model, can adequately describe the heat and mass transport processes in the emplacement drift example.

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  • Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Technology; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 2010

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  • Report No.: LBNL-3060E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 986870
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1013841

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  • October 1, 2009

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 17, 2017, 7 p.m.

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Danko, G.; Birkholzer, J.T.; Bahrami, D. & Halecky, N. Temperature, humidity and air flow in the emplacement drifts using convection and dispersion transport models, article, October 1, 2009; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1013841/: accessed July 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.