The occurrence and distribution of erionite at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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We have conducted an investigation to determine the occurrence and distribution of erionite, a potential carcinogen, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using x-ray powder diffraction techniques yielding detection limits to below 0.05 wt %, we positively identified erionite in only 3 out of 76 bulk and 12 fracture samples investigated. The three erionite-bearing samples (J12-620/630, UE-25aNo.1-1296.2, and USW G4-1314) all occur above the static water level in clay/zeolite-rich horizons near the top of vitrophyres. Erionite occurs as trace amounts of less than 1 wt % in the whole rock, although it may occur locally in significant amounts as fracture fillings (e.g., ... continued below

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20 p.

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Chipera, S.J. & Bish, D.L. September 1, 1989.

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Description

We have conducted an investigation to determine the occurrence and distribution of erionite, a potential carcinogen, at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Using x-ray powder diffraction techniques yielding detection limits to below 0.05 wt %, we positively identified erionite in only 3 out of 76 bulk and 12 fracture samples investigated. The three erionite-bearing samples (J12-620/630, UE-25aNo.1-1296.2, and USW G4-1314) all occur above the static water level in clay/zeolite-rich horizons near the top of vitrophyres. Erionite occurs as trace amounts of less than 1 wt % in the whole rock, although it may occur locally in significant amounts as fracture fillings (e.g., UE-25aNo.1-1296.2 where it comprises approximately 45 wt % of the fracture filling material). All three occurrences appear to be extremely isolated cases since erionite was not detected in neighboring samples. Erionite at Yucca Mountain apparently formed only in localized microenvironments, possibly restricted to fractures. Since erionite occurs in trace amounts only in extremely isolated instances, it should pose little or no health hazard to workers in the potential repository at Yucca Mountain or to the public. The amounts of erionite liberated to the biosphere should be negligible, particularly when compared with the amounts of erionite occurring naturally at the surface in Nevada and surrounding states. 24 refs., 7 figs., 2 tabs.

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20 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE89017905

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1989

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  • Other: DE89017905
  • Report No.: LA--11663-MS
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/137523 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 137523
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc625941

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  • September 1, 1989

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 29, 2016, 10:06 p.m.

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Chipera, S.J. & Bish, D.L. The occurrence and distribution of erionite at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, report, September 1, 1989; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc625941/: accessed June 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.