LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS ON HEAT-DRIVEN TWO-PHASE FLOWS IN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL ROCK FRACTURES

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Water flow in partially saturated fractures under thermal drive may lead to fast flow along preferential localized pathways and heat pipe conditions. At the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, water flowing in fast pathways may ultimately contact waste packages and transport radionuclides to the accessible environment. Sixteen experiments were conducted to visualize heat-driven liquid flow in fracture models that included (1) assemblies of roughened glass plates, (2) epoxy replicas of rock fractures, and (3) a fractured specimen of Topopah Spring tuff. Continuous rivulet flow was observed for high liquid flow rates, intermittent rivulet flow and drop flow ... continued below

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PRUESS, TIMOTHY J. KNEAFSEY AND KARSTEN May 21, 1998.

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Water flow in partially saturated fractures under thermal drive may lead to fast flow along preferential localized pathways and heat pipe conditions. At the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, water flowing in fast pathways may ultimately contact waste packages and transport radionuclides to the accessible environment. Sixteen experiments were conducted to visualize heat-driven liquid flow in fracture models that included (1) assemblies of roughened glass plates, (2) epoxy replicas of rock fractures, and (3) a fractured specimen of Topopah Spring tuff. Continuous rivulet flow was observed for high liquid flow rates, intermittent rivulet flow and drop flow for intermediate flow rates, and film flow for lower flow rates and wide apertures. Heat pipe conditions (vapor-liquid counterflow with phase change) were identified in five of the seven experiments in which spatially resolved thermal monitoring was performed, but not when liquid-vapor counterflow was hindered by very narrow apertures, and when inadequate working fluid volume was used.

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  • Report No.: MOL.19980904.0255
  • Grant Number: DE-AC01-91RW00134
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 778893
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc724451

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  • May 21, 1998

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  • Sept. 29, 2015, 5:31 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 6:14 p.m.

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PRUESS, TIMOTHY J. KNEAFSEY AND KARSTEN. LABORATORY EXPERIMENTS ON HEAT-DRIVEN TWO-PHASE FLOWS IN NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL ROCK FRACTURES, report, May 21, 1998; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc724451/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.