Salt disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste.

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This report summarizes the state of salt repository science, reviews many of the technical issues pertaining to disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in salt, and proposes several avenues for future science-based activities to further the technical basis for disposal in salt. There are extensive salt formations in the forty-eight contiguous states, and many of them may be worthy of consideration for nuclear waste disposal. The United States has extensive experience in salt repository sciences, including an operating facility for disposal of transuranic wastes. The scientific background for salt disposal including laboratory and field tests at ambient and elevated temperature, principles ... continued below

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110 p.

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Leigh, Christi D. (Sandia National Laboratories, Carlsbad, NM) & Hansen, Francis D. January 1, 2011.

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Description

This report summarizes the state of salt repository science, reviews many of the technical issues pertaining to disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in salt, and proposes several avenues for future science-based activities to further the technical basis for disposal in salt. There are extensive salt formations in the forty-eight contiguous states, and many of them may be worthy of consideration for nuclear waste disposal. The United States has extensive experience in salt repository sciences, including an operating facility for disposal of transuranic wastes. The scientific background for salt disposal including laboratory and field tests at ambient and elevated temperature, principles of salt behavior, potential for fracture damage and its mitigation, seal systems, chemical conditions, advanced modeling capabilities and near-future developments, performance assessment processes, and international collaboration are all discussed. The discussion of salt disposal issues is brought current, including a summary of recent international workshops dedicated to high-level waste disposal in salt. Lessons learned from Sandia National Laboratories' experience on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and the Yucca Mountain Project as well as related salt experience with the Strategic Petroleum Reserve are applied in this assessment. Disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste in a suitable salt formation is attractive because the material is essentially impermeable, self-sealing, and thermally conductive. Conditions are chemically beneficial, and a significant experience base exists in understanding this environment. Within the period of institutional control, overburden pressure will seal fractures and provide a repository setting that limits radionuclide movement. A salt repository could potentially achieve total containment, with no releases to the environment in undisturbed scenarios for as long as the region is geologically stable. Much of the experience gained from United States repository development, such as seal system design, coupled process simulation, and application of performance assessment methodology, helps define a clear strategy for a heat-generating nuclear waste repository in salt.

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110 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2011-0161
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/1005078 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1005078
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc839649

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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.

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  • January 1, 2011

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Dec. 1, 2016, 6:27 p.m.

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Leigh, Christi D. (Sandia National Laboratories, Carlsbad, NM) & Hansen, Francis D. Salt disposal of heat-generating nuclear waste., report, January 1, 2011; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc839649/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.