Response to"Analysis of the Treatment, by the U.S. Department of Energy, of the FEP Hydrothermal Activity in the Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment" by Yuri Dublyansky

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This paper presents a rebuttal to Dublyansky (2007), which misrepresents technical issues associated with hydrothermal activity at the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and their importance to the long-term performance of the repository. In this paper, questions associated with hydrothermal activity are reviewed and the justification for exclusion of hydrothermal activity from performance assessment is presented. The hypothesis that hydrothermal upwelling into the present-day unsaturated zone has occurred at Yucca Mountain is refuted by the unambiguous evidence that secondary minerals and fluid inclusions in the unsaturated zone formed in an unsaturated environment from downward percolating meteoric waters. The thermal ... continued below

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Houseworth, J.E. & Hardin, E. November 17, 2008.

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This paper presents a rebuttal to Dublyansky (2007), which misrepresents technical issues associated with hydrothermal activity at the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository and their importance to the long-term performance of the repository. In this paper, questions associated with hydrothermal activity are reviewed and the justification for exclusion of hydrothermal activity from performance assessment is presented. The hypothesis that hydrothermal upwelling into the present-day unsaturated zone has occurred at Yucca Mountain is refuted by the unambiguous evidence that secondary minerals and fluid inclusions in the unsaturated zone formed in an unsaturated environment from downward percolating meteoric waters. The thermal history at Yucca Mountain, inferred from fluid inclusion and isotopic data, is explained in terms of the tectonic extensional environment and associated silicic magmatism. The waning of tectonic extension over millions of years has led to the present-day heat flux in the Yucca Mountain region that is below average for the Great Basin. The long time scales of tectonic processes are such that any effects of a resumption of extension or silicic magmatism on hydrothermal activity at Yucca Mountain over the 10,000-year regulatory period would be negligible. The conclusion that hydrothermal activity was incorrectly excluded from performance assessment as asserted in Dublyansky (2007) is contradicted by the available technical and regulatory information.

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  • Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 12/2007

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  • Report No.: LBNL-1253E
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/993489 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 993489
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1015094

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  • November 17, 2008

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  • Oct. 14, 2017, 8:36 a.m.

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  • Oct. 18, 2017, 10:36 a.m.

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Houseworth, J.E. & Hardin, E. Response to"Analysis of the Treatment, by the U.S. Department of Energy, of the FEP Hydrothermal Activity in the Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment" by Yuri Dublyansky, report, November 17, 2008; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1015094/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.