State-of-the-art for evaluating the potential impact of flooding on a radioactive waste repository

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This report is a review of the state-of-the-art for evaluating the potential impact of flooding on a deep radioactive-waste repository, namely, for predicting the future occurrence of catastrophic flooding and for estimating the effect of such flooding on waste containment characteristics. Several detrimental effects are identified: flooding can increase groundwater seepage velocities through a repository within the framework of the existing hydrologic system and thus increase the rate of radioactive-waste leakage to the biosphere; flooding may alter repository hydrology by reversing flow gradients, relocating sources of groundwater recharge and discharge, or shortening seepage paths, thereby producing unpredictable leakage; saturation of ... continued below

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Pages: 68

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Creator: Unknown. July 16, 1980.

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Description

This report is a review of the state-of-the-art for evaluating the potential impact of flooding on a deep radioactive-waste repository, namely, for predicting the future occurrence of catastrophic flooding and for estimating the effect of such flooding on waste containment characteristics. Several detrimental effects are identified: flooding can increase groundwater seepage velocities through a repository within the framework of the existing hydrologic system and thus increase the rate of radioactive-waste leakage to the biosphere; flooding may alter repository hydrology by reversing flow gradients, relocating sources of groundwater recharge and discharge, or shortening seepage paths, thereby producing unpredictable leakage; saturation of a vadose-zone repository during flooding can increase groundwater seepage velocities by several orders of magnitude; and flooding can damage repository-media containment properties by inducing seismic or chemical instability or increasing fracture permeability in relatively shallow repository rock as a result of redistributing in-situ stresses. Short-term flooding frequency and magnitude can be predicted statistically by analyzing historical records of flooding. However, long-term flooding events that could damage a permanent repository cannot be predicted with confidence because the geologic record is neither unique nor sufficienly complete for statistical analysis. It is more important to identify parameters characterizing containment properties (such as permeability, groundwater gradient, and shortest seepage path length to the biosphere) that could be affected by future flooding, estimate the maximum magnitude of flooding that could occur within the life of the repository by examining the geologic record, and determine the impact such flooding could have on the parameter values.

Physical Description

Pages: 68

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NTIS, PC A04/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: UCRL-15270
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • DOI: 10.2172/5058535 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 5058535
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1056412

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • July 16, 1980

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Jan. 22, 2018, 7:23 a.m.

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  • Jan. 24, 2018, 1:38 p.m.

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State-of-the-art for evaluating the potential impact of flooding on a radioactive waste repository, report, July 16, 1980; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1056412/: accessed September 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.