The CHESHIRE Migration Experiment A Summary Report Metadata

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  • Main Title The CHESHIRE Migration Experiment A Summary Report


  • Author: Sawyer, David A.
    Creator Type: Personal
  • Author: Thompson, Joseph L.
    Creator Type: Personal
  • Author: Smith, David K.
    Creator Type: Personal


  • Sponsor: United States. Department of Energy.
    Contributor Type: Organization
    Contributor Info: US Department of Energy (United States)


  • Name: Los Alamos National Laboratory
    Place of Publication: Los Alamos, New Mexico
    Additional Info: Los Alamos National Lab., Los Alamos, NM (United States)


  • Creation: 1999-10-01


  • English


  • Content Description: The CHESHIRE nuclear weapon test was detonated in 1976 in fractured volcanic rock at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). This testis representative of many other high-yield tests conducted below the water table in the Pahute Mesa area of the NTS. Since 1976 we have been studying the movement of test-related radionuclides within a few hundred meters of the explosion cavity. CHESHIRE is the only nuclear test characterized before, immediately after, and for decades following the detonation and provides data on both the prompt and long-term dispersal of radionuclides after an underground nuclear test. For this reason it is a unique field-scale transport experiment. Solid and fluid samples were collected from a drill back hole extending into and through the cavity in order to measure the initial distributions of radionuclides after the detonation. We subsequently pumped and sampled water from the cavity region and from a hydraulically transmissive zone about 400 m higher in the collapse chimney. A satellite well was also drilled 380 m down gradient from CHESHIRE and intercepted radionuclides (including tritium in high concentration) being transported through transmissive aquifers. Studies of radionuclide migration at CHESHIRE documented for the first time at the NTS the transport of relatively insoluble radionuclides (e.g., europium isotopes) with colloids moving in the groundwater. Water was pumped again from the cavity and chimney horizons in 1998 in order to observe the evolution of the hydrologic source term after several decades. Recent comprehensive studies of the geology and hydrology at the CHESHIRE site have improved predictions of radionuclide migration in the context of a regional groundwater flow model. This report provides unclassified data and describes a conceptual model for radionuclide migration associated with a nuclear test that is applicable to other tests on Pahute Mesa similar in yield, hydrogeologic setting, and age.
  • Physical Description: 42 p.


  • Keyword: Nuclear Explosions
  • STI Subject Categories: 98 Nuclear Disarmament, Safeguards, And Physical Protection
  • Keyword: Water Tables
  • Keyword: Radionuclide Migration
  • Keyword: Source Terms
  • Keyword: Nevada Test Site
  • STI Subject Categories: 58 Geosciences
  • Keyword: Radioisotopes
  • Keyword: Colloids
  • Keyword: Chimneys
  • Keyword: Europium Isotopes
  • Keyword: Flow Models
  • STI Subject Categories: 45 Military Technology, Weaponry, And National Defense
  • Keyword: Aquifers


  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Oct 1999


  • Name: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports
    Code: OSTI


  • Name: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department
    Code: UNTGD

Resource Type

  • Report


  • Text


  • Report No.: LA-13555-MS
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/15130
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 15130
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc622886


  • Display Note: OSTI as DE00015130
  • Display Note: Medium: P; Size: 42 pages