Unsaturated-zone fast-path flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time analyses (GWTT-94)

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Description

Evaluation of groundwater travel time (GWTT) is required as part of the investigation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential high-level nuclear-waste repository site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission`s GWTT regulation is considered to be a measure of the intrinsic ability of the site to contain radionuclide releases from the repository. The work reported here is the first step in a program to provide an estimate of GWTT at the Yucca Mountain site in support of the DOE`s Technical Site Suitability and as a component of a license application. Preliminary estimation of the GWTT distribution in the unsaturated zone ... continued below

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150 p.

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Arnold, B.W.; Altman, S.J. & Robey, T.H. August 1, 1995.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Evaluation of groundwater travel time (GWTT) is required as part of the investigation of the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a potential high-level nuclear-waste repository site. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission`s GWTT regulation is considered to be a measure of the intrinsic ability of the site to contain radionuclide releases from the repository. The work reported here is the first step in a program to provide an estimate of GWTT at the Yucca Mountain site in support of the DOE`s Technical Site Suitability and as a component of a license application. Preliminary estimation of the GWTT distribution in the unsaturated zone was accomplished using a numerical model of the physical processes of groundwater flow in the fractured, porous medium of the bedrock. Based on prior investigations of groundwater flow at the site, fractures are thought to provide the fastest paths for groundwater flow; conditions that lead to flow in fractures were investigated and simulated. Uncertainty in the geologic interpretation of Yucca Mountain was incorporated through the use of geostatistical simulations, while variability of hydrogeologic parameters within each unit was accounted for by the random sampling of parameter probability density functions. The composite-porosity formulation of groundwater flow was employed to simulate flow in both the matrix and fracture domains. In this conceptualization, the occurrence of locally saturated conditions within the unsaturated zone is responsible for the initiation of fast-path flow through fractures. The results of the GWTT-94 study show that heterogeneity in the hydraulic properties of the model domain is an important factor in simulating local regions of high groundwater saturation. Capillary-pressure conditions at the surface boundary influence the extent of the local saturation simulated.

Physical Description

150 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96002221

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  • Other Information: PBD: Aug 1995

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  • Other: DE96002221
  • Report No.: SAND--95-0857
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/125424 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 125424
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624258

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  • August 1, 1995

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 14, 2016, 2:03 p.m.

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Arnold, B.W.; Altman, S.J. & Robey, T.H. Unsaturated-zone fast-path flow calculations for Yucca Mountain groundwater travel time analyses (GWTT-94), report, August 1, 1995; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624258/: accessed September 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.