Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir

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The U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability gas reservoirs. The third and final project in the program, Project Rio Blanco, was conducted in Rio Blanco County, in northwestern Colorado. In this experiment, three 33-kiloton nuclear explosives were simultaneously detonated in a single emplacement well in the Mesaverde Group and Fort Union Formation, at depths of 1,780, 1,899, and 2,039 m below land surface on May 17, 1973. The objective of this work is to estimate lateral distances that tritium released from ... continued below

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Cooper, Clay A.; Ye, Ming; Chapman, Jenny & Shirley, Craig October 1, 2005.

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Description

The U.S. Department of Energy and its predecessor agencies conducted a program in the 1960s and 1970s that evaluated technology for the nuclear stimulation of low-permeability gas reservoirs. The third and final project in the program, Project Rio Blanco, was conducted in Rio Blanco County, in northwestern Colorado. In this experiment, three 33-kiloton nuclear explosives were simultaneously detonated in a single emplacement well in the Mesaverde Group and Fort Union Formation, at depths of 1,780, 1,899, and 2,039 m below land surface on May 17, 1973. The objective of this work is to estimate lateral distances that tritium released from the detonations may have traveled in the subsurface and evaluate the possible effect of postulated natural-gas development on radionuclide migration. Other radionuclides were considered in the analysis, but the majority occur in relatively immobile forms (such as nuclear melt glass). Of the radionuclides present in the gas phase, tritium dominates in terms of quantity of radioactivity in the long term and contribution to possible whole body exposure. One simulation is performed for {sup 85}Kr, the second most abundant gaseous radionuclide produced after tritium.

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9.25 Mb

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/13609-45
  • Report No.: 45215
  • Grant Number: AC52-00NV13609
  • DOI: 10.2172/877365 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 877365
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875089

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  • October 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Dec. 1, 2016, 1:06 p.m.

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Cooper, Clay A.; Ye, Ming; Chapman, Jenny & Shirley, Craig. Radionuclide Migration at the Rio Blanco Site, A Nuclear-stimulated Low-permeability Natural Gas Reservoir, report, October 1, 2005; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875089/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.