Geomechanics investigations in support of the large block test at Fran Ridge, Nye County, Nevada. Page: 4 of 11
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Geomechanics Investigations in Support of the Large Block Test
at Fran Ridge, Nye County, Nevada.
Stephen C. Blair, Patricia Berge, Edward Kansa, Wunan Lin, and Jeff Roberts
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is investigating the Topopah Spring
Tuff at Yucca Mountain, Nevada for its suitability as a host rock for the disposal of high
level nuclear wastes. The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is planning a large
block test (LBT) to investigate coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrological and geochemical
processes that may occur in the repository near-field environment. The LBT will be
performed on an excavated block of Topopah Spring Tuff with approximate dimensions of
3 m x 3 m x 4.5 m and will provide information at an intermediate scale that will help
evaluate existing models for repository performance. To simulate underground stress
conditions, a horizontal stress of about 4 MPa will be applied to the four sides of the block
and a vertical stress of similar magnitude will be applied to the top surface. The stresses
will be retained by a frame 4.9 m in dia. and 6 m high. The frame assembly will be
anchored to the outcrop with rock bolts. While these stress levels do not simulate the exact
stress conditions expected in the potential repository horizon, they do provide known
boundary conditions that are similar to conditions expected in the potential repository. The
block will also be loaded thermally by establishing a thermal gradient along its vertical axis.
This will be accomplished by heating a horizontal cross section located 1.5 m up from the
base of the block. The LBT is sketched in Figure 1. Additional detail regarding the large
block test has been presented in a paper by Lin et al.1 .
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Blair, S.C.; Berge, P.; Kansa, E.; Lin, Wunan & Roberts, J. Geomechanics investigations in support of the large block test at Fran Ridge, Nye County, Nevada., article, July 21, 1994; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc690627/m1/4/: accessed February 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.