TYBO/BENHAM: Model Analysis of Groundwater Flow and Radionuclide Migration from Underground Nuclear Tests in Southwestern Pahute Mesa, Nevada

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Recent field studies have led to the discovery of trace quantities of plutonium originating from the BENHAM underground nuclear test in two groundwater observation wells on Pahute Mesa at the Nevada Test Site. These observation wells are located 1.3 km from the BENHAM underground nuclear test and approximately 300 m from the TYBO underground nuclear test. In addition to plutonium, several other conservative (e.g. tritium) and reactive (e.g. cesium) radionuclides were found in both observation wells. The highest radionuclide concentrations were found in a well sampling a welded tuff aquifer more than 500m above the BENHAM emplacement depth. These measurements ... continued below

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24.2 MB; OS: Mac

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Wolfsberg, Andrew; Glascoe, Lee; Lu, Guoping; Olson, Alyssa; Lichtner, Peter; McGraw, Maureen et al. September 1, 2002.

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Description

Recent field studies have led to the discovery of trace quantities of plutonium originating from the BENHAM underground nuclear test in two groundwater observation wells on Pahute Mesa at the Nevada Test Site. These observation wells are located 1.3 km from the BENHAM underground nuclear test and approximately 300 m from the TYBO underground nuclear test. In addition to plutonium, several other conservative (e.g. tritium) and reactive (e.g. cesium) radionuclides were found in both observation wells. The highest radionuclide concentrations were found in a well sampling a welded tuff aquifer more than 500m above the BENHAM emplacement depth. These measurements have prompted additional investigations to ascertain the mechanisms, processes, and conditions affecting subsurface radionuclide transport in Pahute Mesa groundwater. This report describes an integrated modeling approach used to simulate groundwater flow, radionuclide source release, and radionuclide transport near the BENHAM and TYBO underground nuclear tests on Pahute Mesa. The components of the model include a flow model at a scale large enough to encompass many wells for calibration, a source-term model capable of predicting radionuclide releases to aquifers following complex processes associated with nonisothermal flow and glass dissolution, and site-scale transport models that consider migration of solutes and colloids in fractured volcanic rock. Although multiple modeling components contribute to the methodology presented in this report, they are coupled and yield results consistent with laboratory and field observations. Additionally, sensitivity analyses are conducted to provide insight into the relative importance of uncertainty ranges in the transport parameters.

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24.2 MB; OS: Mac

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  • Report No.: LA-13977
  • Grant Number: DOE-W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/821548 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 821548
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc788074

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 1, 2002

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Sept. 21, 2017, 9:11 p.m.

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Wolfsberg, Andrew; Glascoe, Lee; Lu, Guoping; Olson, Alyssa; Lichtner, Peter; McGraw, Maureen et al. TYBO/BENHAM: Model Analysis of Groundwater Flow and Radionuclide Migration from Underground Nuclear Tests in Southwestern Pahute Mesa, Nevada, report, September 1, 2002; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc788074/: accessed December 10, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.