Radioelements and their occurrence with secondary minerals in heated and unheated tuff at the Nevada Test Site

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Samples of devitrified welded tuff near and away from the site of a heater test in Rainier Mesa were examined with regard to whole-rock radioelement abundances, microscopic distribution of U, and oxygen isotope ratios. Wholerock U averages between 4 and 5 ppM, and U is concentrated at higher levels secondary opaque minerals as well as in accessory grains. U in primary and secondary sites is most commonly associated with Mn phases, which average {approximately}30 ppM U in more uraniferous occurrences. This average is consistent and apparently unaffected by proximity to the heater. The Mn phases differ compositionally from Mn minerals ... continued below

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34 p.

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Flexser, S. & Wollenberg, H.A. June 1, 1992.

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Samples of devitrified welded tuff near and away from the site of a heater test in Rainier Mesa were examined with regard to whole-rock radioelement abundances, microscopic distribution of U, and oxygen isotope ratios. Wholerock U averages between 4 and 5 ppM, and U is concentrated at higher levels secondary opaque minerals as well as in accessory grains. U in primary and secondary sites is most commonly associated with Mn phases, which average {approximately}30 ppM U in more uraniferous occurrences. This average is consistent and apparently unaffected by proximity to the heater. The Mn phases differ compositionally from Mn minerals in other NTS tuffs, usually containing abundant Fe, Ti, and sometimes Ce, and are often poorly crystalline. Oxygen isotope ratios show some depletion in {delta}{sup 18}O in tuff samples very close to the heater; this depletion is consistent with isotopic exchange between the tuff and interstitial water, but it may also reflect original heterogeneity in isotopic ratios of the tuff unrelated to the heater test. Seismic properties of several tuff samples were measured. Significant differences correlating with distance from the heater occur in P- and S-wave amplitudes; these may be due to loss of bound water. Seismic velocities are nearly constant and indicate a lack of significant microcracking. The absence of clearer signs of heater-induced U mobilization or isotopic variations may be due to the short duration of the heater test, and to insufficient definition of pre-heater-test heterogeneities in the tuff.

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34 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE93007659

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  • 3. international high level radioactive waste management (IHLRWM) conference, Las Vegas, NV (United States), 12-16 Apr 1992

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  • Other: DE93007659
  • Report No.: LBL--31666
  • Report No.: CONF-920430--103
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 138774
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc618512

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  • June 1, 1992

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 5, 2016, 12:06 p.m.

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Flexser, S. & Wollenberg, H.A. Radioelements and their occurrence with secondary minerals in heated and unheated tuff at the Nevada Test Site, article, June 1, 1992; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc618512/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.