An Appraisal of Hard Rock for Potential Underground Repositories of Radioactive Wastes

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Description

Underground burial of radioactive wastes in hard rock may be an effective and safe means of isolating them from the environment and from man. The mechanical safety and stability of such an underground repository depends largely on the virgin state of stress in the rock, groundwater pressures, the strengths of the rocks, heating by the decay of the radioactive wastes, and the layout of the excavations and the disposition of waste cannisters within them. A large body of pertinent data exists in the literature, and each of these factors has been analysed in the light of this information. The results ... continued below

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15 p.

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Cook, N. C. W. October 1, 1977.

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Description

Underground burial of radioactive wastes in hard rock may be an effective and safe means of isolating them from the environment and from man. The mechanical safety and stability of such an underground repository depends largely on the virgin state of stress in the rock, groundwater pressures, the strengths of the rocks, heating by the decay of the radioactive wastes, and the layout of the excavations and the disposition of waste cannisters within them. A large body of pertinent data exists in the literature, and each of these factors has been analysed in the light of this information. The results indicate that there are no fundamental geological nor mechanical reasons why repositories capable of storing radioactive wastes should not be excavated at suitable sites in hard rock. However, specific tests to determine the mechanical and thermal properties of the rocks at a site would be needed to provide the data for the engineering design of a repository. Also, little experience exists of the effects on underground excavations of thermal loads, so that this aspect requires theoretical study and experimental validation. The depths of these potential repositories would lie in the range from 0.5 km to 2.0 km below surface, depending upon the strength of the rock. Virgin states of stress have been measured at such depths which would retard the ingress of groundwater and obviate the incidence of faulting. A typical repository comprising three horizons each with a total area of 5 km{sup 2} would have the capacity to store wastes with thermal output of 240 MW.

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15 p.

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  • Report No.: LBL-7004
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/1001352 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1001352
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832468

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • October 1, 1977

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2017, 4:09 p.m.

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Cook, N. C. W. An Appraisal of Hard Rock for Potential Underground Repositories of Radioactive Wastes, report, October 1, 1977; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832468/: accessed December 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.