Status of evaluation of tuff in southern Nevada for geologic disposal of high level nuclear wastes

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Siliceous tuff in southern Nevada occurs in a complex and locally active geological environment. Regional thrust faulting, Basin and Range faulting, and present-day seismicity complicate exploration and site characterization activities. The inherent variability of tuff and the complexity of caldera complexes also complicate siting efforts, but may serve to enhance long-term containment. Time--space trends of silicic volcanism are moderately well-established, while those of recent basaltic volcanism are not. At present, the final consequences for repository siting of the geologic complexities described in this paper are not known. Evidence from laboratory cation exchange measurements indicate that tuff and tuffaceous alluvium can ... continued below

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16 p.

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Lappin, A. R. & Crowe, B. M. December 31, 1979.

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Description

Siliceous tuff in southern Nevada occurs in a complex and locally active geological environment. Regional thrust faulting, Basin and Range faulting, and present-day seismicity complicate exploration and site characterization activities. The inherent variability of tuff and the complexity of caldera complexes also complicate siting efforts, but may serve to enhance long-term containment. Time--space trends of silicic volcanism are moderately well-established, while those of recent basaltic volcanism are not. At present, the final consequences for repository siting of the geologic complexities described in this paper are not known. Evidence from laboratory cation exchange measurements indicate that tuff and tuffaceous alluvium can serve as effective natural barriers to migration of radionuclides. This fact, coupled with multiple hydrologic barriers and long flow paths, as in the vicinity of the Nevada Test Site, might well result in tuff being a suitable medium for the safe long-term geologic disposal of nuclear wastes. Preliminary thermal modeling indicates the strong influence of varying assumptions regarding in situ fluid pressures and geothermal heat flux on acceptable initial areal power loadings.

Physical Description

16 p.

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01

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  • 19. annual ASME symposium, geological disposal of nuclear waste, Albuquerque, NM (United States), 15-16 Mar 1979

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  • Report No.: SAND--79-0378C
  • Report No.: CONF-790304--6
  • Grant Number: EY-76-C-04-0789
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 59392
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc689751

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • December 31, 1979

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 3:42 p.m.

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Lappin, A. R. & Crowe, B. M. Status of evaluation of tuff in southern Nevada for geologic disposal of high level nuclear wastes, article, December 31, 1979; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc689751/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.