Estimates of potential radionuclide migration at the Bullion site

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Description

The Bullion site in Area 20 of the Nevada Test Site has been selected for an intensive study of the hydrologic consequences of underground testing, including subsequent radionuclide migration. The bulk of the chimney and cavity lie in zeolitized tuffs of low hydraulic conductivity, while the base of the cavity may extend downward into more conductive rhyolite flows. A mathematical analog to the Bullion setting is used here to estimate expected radionuclide migration rates and concentrations. Because of a lack of hydrologic data at the site, two contrasting scenarios are considered. The first is downward-transport, in which downward hydraulic gradients ... continued below

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33 p.

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Brikowski, T.H. April 1, 1992.

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Description

The Bullion site in Area 20 of the Nevada Test Site has been selected for an intensive study of the hydrologic consequences of underground testing, including subsequent radionuclide migration. The bulk of the chimney and cavity lie in zeolitized tuffs of low hydraulic conductivity, while the base of the cavity may extend downward into more conductive rhyolite flows. A mathematical analog to the Bullion setting is used here to estimate expected radionuclide migration rates and concentrations. Because of a lack of hydrologic data at the site, two contrasting scenarios are considered. The first is downward-transport, in which downward hydraulic gradients flush chimney contents into the conductive underlying units, enhancing migration. The other is upward-transport, in which upward gradients tend to drive chimney contents into the low-conductivity zeolitized tuffs, discouraging migration. In the downward-transport scenario, radionuclide travel times and concentrations are predicted to be similar to those encountered at Cheshire, requiring approximately 10 years to reach a proposed well 300 m downgradient. The upward transport scenario yields predicted travel times on the order of 2,000 years to the downgradient well. The most likely scenario is a combination of these results, with vertical movement playing a limited role. Radionuclides injected directly into the rhyolites should migrate laterally very quickly, with travel times as in the downward-transport scenario. Those in the zeolitized tuff-walled portion of the chimney should migrate extremely slowly, as in the upward-transport scenario.

Physical Description

33 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE93003157

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  • Other Information: PBD: Apr 1992

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  • Other: DE93003157
  • Report No.: DOE/NV/10845--15
  • Grant Number: AC08-90NV10845
  • DOI: 10.2172/138468 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 138468
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc620147

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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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  • April 1, 1992

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2015, 8:21 p.m.

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Brikowski, T.H. Estimates of potential radionuclide migration at the Bullion site, report, April 1, 1992; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc620147/: accessed April 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.