Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico

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The significance of the Pena Blanca uranium deposits in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico as potential natural analogs for a nuclear waste repository in unsaturated welded tuff was first recognized in the 1980s. In the 1970s, the Pena Blanca region was a major target of uranium exploration and exploitation by the Mexican government. Since then the Nopal I uranium deposit has been studied extensively by researchers in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. The Nopal I deposit represents an environment similar to that of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain in many ways. Both are located in semi-arid ... continued below

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Simmons, A.M. July 11, 2005.

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Description

The significance of the Pena Blanca uranium deposits in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico as potential natural analogs for a nuclear waste repository in unsaturated welded tuff was first recognized in the 1980s. In the 1970s, the Pena Blanca region was a major target of uranium exploration and exploitation by the Mexican government. Since then the Nopal I uranium deposit has been studied extensively by researchers in the U.S., Mexico, and Europe. The Nopal I deposit represents an environment similar to that of the proposed high-level radioactive waste repository at Yucca Mountain in many ways. Both are located in semi-arid regions. Both are located in Tertiary rhyolitic tuffs overlying carbonate rocks that have been subjected to basin and range-style tectonic deformation. Both are located in a chemically oxidizing, unsaturated zone 200 m or more above the water table. The alteration of uraninite to secondary minerals at Nopal I may be similar to the alteration of uranium fuel rods in this type of setting. Investigations at Nopal I and in the surrounding Sierra Pena Blanca have included detailed outcrop mapping, hydrologic and isotopic studies of flow and transport, studies of mineral alteration, modeling, and performance assessment.

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  • Report No.: NA
  • Grant Number: NA
  • DOI: 10.2172/859064 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 859064
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc785029

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  • July 11, 2005

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 5:40 p.m.

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Simmons, A.M. Natural Analog Studies at Pena Blanca, Mexico, report, July 11, 2005; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc785029/: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.