Modeling coupled thermal-hydrological-chemical processes in theunsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Heterogeneity andseepage

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An understanding of processes affecting seepage intoemplacement tunnels is needed for correctly predicting the performance ofunderground radioactive waste repositories. It has been previouslyestimated that the capillary and vaporization barriers in the unsaturatedfractured rock of Yucca Mountain are enough to prevent seepage underpresent day infiltration conditions. It has also been thought that asubstantially elevated infiltration flux will be required to causeseepage after the thermal period is over. While coupledthermal-hydrological-chemical (THC) changes in Yucca Mountain host rockdue to repository heating has been previously investigated, those THCmodels did not incorporate elements of the seepage model. In this paper,we combine the THC processes in ... continued below

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Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Sonnenthal, Eric L. & Spycher, Nicolas July 15, 2005.

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An understanding of processes affecting seepage intoemplacement tunnels is needed for correctly predicting the performance ofunderground radioactive waste repositories. It has been previouslyestimated that the capillary and vaporization barriers in the unsaturatedfractured rock of Yucca Mountain are enough to prevent seepage underpresent day infiltration conditions. It has also been thought that asubstantially elevated infiltration flux will be required to causeseepage after the thermal period is over. While coupledthermal-hydrological-chemical (THC) changes in Yucca Mountain host rockdue to repository heating has been previously investigated, those THCmodels did not incorporate elements of the seepage model. In this paper,we combine the THC processes in unsaturated fractured rock with theprocesses affecting seepage. We observe that the THC processes alter thehydrological properties of the fractured rock through mineralprecipitation and dissolution. We show that such alteration in thehydrological properties of the rock often leads to local flow channeling.We conclude that such local flow channeling may result in seepage undercertain conditions, even with nonelevated infiltrationfluxes.

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  • Journal Name: Physics and Chemistry of the Earth; Journal Volume: 31; Journal Issue: 10-14; Related Information: Journal Publication Date: 3 July 2006

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  • Report No.: LBNL--60163
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 900792
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888541

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  • July 15, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Sept. 29, 2016, 3:20 p.m.

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Mukhopadhyay, Sumit; Sonnenthal, Eric L. & Spycher, Nicolas. Modeling coupled thermal-hydrological-chemical processes in theunsaturated fractured rock of Yucca Mountain, Nevada: Heterogeneity andseepage, article, July 15, 2005; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888541/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.