Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir

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The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is located in southeastern New Mexico, is being developed for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Waste disposal will take place in panels excavated in a bedded salt formation approximately 2000 ft (610 m) below the land surface. The BRAGFLO computer program which solves a system of nonlinear partial differential equations for two-phase flow, was used to investigate brine and gas flow patterns in the vicinity of the repository for the 1996 WIPP performance assessment (PA). The present study examines the implications of modeling assumptions ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 321 pages

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ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M.; HELTON,JON CRAIG & VAUGHN,PALMER October 1, 1999.

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

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Description

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is located in southeastern New Mexico, is being developed for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Waste disposal will take place in panels excavated in a bedded salt formation approximately 2000 ft (610 m) below the land surface. The BRAGFLO computer program which solves a system of nonlinear partial differential equations for two-phase flow, was used to investigate brine and gas flow patterns in the vicinity of the repository for the 1996 WIPP performance assessment (PA). The present study examines the implications of modeling assumptions used in conjunction with BRAGFLO in the 1996 WIPP PA that affect brine and gas flow patterns involving two waste regions in the repository (i.e., a single waste panel and the remaining nine waste panels), a disturbed rock zone (DRZ) that lies just above and below these two regions, and a borehole that penetrates the single waste panel and a brine pocket below this panel. The two waste regions are separated by a panel closure. The following insights were obtained from this study. First, the impediment to flow between the two waste regions provided by the panel closure model is reduced due to the permeable and areally extensive nature of the DRZ adopted in the 1996 WIPP PA, which results in the DRZ becoming an effective pathway for gas and brine movement around the panel closures and thus between the two waste regions. Brine and gas flow between the two waste regions via the DRZ causes pressures between the two to equilibrate rapidly, with the result that processes in the intruded waste panel are not isolated from the rest of the repository. Second, the connection between intruded and unintruded waste panels provided by the DRZ increases the time required for repository pressures to equilibrate with the overlying and/or underlying units subsequent to a drilling intrusion. Third, the large and areally extensive DRZ void volumes is a significant source of brine to the repository, which is consumed in the corrosion of iron and thus contributes to increased repository pressures. Fourth, the DRZ itself lowers repository pressures by providing storage for gas and access to additional gas storage in areas of the repository. Fifth, given the pathway that the DRZ provides for gas and brine to flow around the panel closures, isolation of the waste panels by the panel closures was not essential to compliance with the U.S. Environment Protection Agency's regulations in the 1996 WIPP PA.

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Medium: P; Size: 321 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00014814

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Oct 1999

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  • Report No.: SAND99-1043
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/14814 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14814
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc624346

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  • October 1, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2016, 3:19 p.m.

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ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M.; HELTON,JON CRAIG & VAUGHN,PALMER. Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir, report, October 1, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc624346/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.