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Optimization of electrochemical-etching parameters for highly sensitive CR-39 fast neutron dosimeters

Description: Voltage gradient and frequency were studied for their influence on the electrochemical etching of CR-39 plastic irradiated with fission spectrum, fast neutrons. A power supply having outputs of up to 1.5 kV (rms) and 5 kHz was used. Differential leakage current measurements under non-etching conditions indicated that the optimal values in electrochemical etching would be 20 kV/cm and 1.3 kHz. That these parameters produced a maximum sensitivity was verified in subsequent electrochemical etching experiments with foils that were both unirradiated and irradiated. The introduction of a proton irradiator cover and a conventional etching step prior to the electrochemical etching, increased the sensitivity to neutrons (approx. 30-fold) and decreased the background track density to 4.4 +- 0.6 tracks/cm/sup 2/. The corresponding sensitivity was then 1.3 tracks/cm/sup 2//mrem with a minimum level of detectability (3sigma) of 1.4 mrem.
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Gammage, R.B. & Chowdhury, A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Field site investigation: Effect of mine seismicity on groundwater hydrology

Description: The results of a field investigation on the groundwater-hydrologic effect of mining-induced earthquakes are presented in this report. The investigation was conducted at the Lucky Friday Mine, a silver-lead-zinc mine in the Coeur d`Alene Mining District of Idaho. The groundwater pressure in sections of three fracture zones beneath the water table was monitored over a 24-mo period. The fracture zones were accessed through a 360-m-long inclined borehole, drilled from the 5,700 level station of the mine. The magnitude, source location, and associated ground motions of mining-induced seismic events were also monitored during the same period, using an existing seismic instrumentation network for the mine, augmented with additional instruments installed specifically for the project by the center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA). More than 50 seismic events of Richter magnitude 1.0 or larger occurred during the monitoring period. Several of these events caused the groundwater pressure to increase, whereas a few caused it to decrease. Generally, the groundwater pressure increased as the magnitude of seismic event increased; for an event of a given magnitude, the groundwater pressure increased by a smaller amount as the distance of the observation point from the source of the event increased. The data was examined using regression analysis. Based on these results, it is suggested that the effect of earthquakes on groundwater flow may be better understood through mechanistic modeling. The mechanical processes and material behavior that would need to be incorporated in such a model are examined. They include a description of the effect of stress change on the permeability and water storage capacity of a fracture rock mass; transient fluid flow; and the generation and transmission of seismic waves through the rock mass.
Date: April 1, 1995
Creator: Ofoegbu, G.I.; Hsiung, S.; Chowdhury, A.H. & Philip, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An experimental scale-model study of seismic response of an underground opening in jointed rock mass

Description: This report describes an experimental investigation conducted by the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA) to (i) obtain a better understanding of the seismic response of an underground opening in a highly-fractured and jointed rock mass and (ii) generate a data set that can be used to evaluate the capabilities (analytical methods) to calculate such response. This report describes the design and implementation of simulated seismic experiments and results for a 1/15 scale model of a jointed rock mass with a circular tunnel in the middle. The discussion on the design of the scale model includes a description of the associated similitude theory, physical design rationale, model material development, preliminary analytical evaluation, instrumentation design and calibration, and model assembly and pretest procedures. The thrust of this discussion is intended to provide the information necessary to understand the experimental setup and to provide the background necessary to understand the experimental results. The discussion on the experimental procedures and results includes the seismic input test procedures, test runs, and measured excitation and response time histories. The closure of the tunnel due to various levels of seismic activity is presented. A threshold level of seismic input amplitude was required before significant rock mass motion occurred. The experiment, though designed as a two-dimensional representation of a rock mass, behaved in a somewhat three-dimensional manner, which will have an effect on subsequent analytical model comparison.
Date: February 1, 1997
Creator: Kana, D.D.; Fox, D.J.; Hsiung, S. & Chowdhury, A.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Seismic response of rock joints and jointed rock mass

Description: Long-term stability of emplacement drifts and potential near-field fluid flow resulting from coupled effects are among the concerns for safe disposal of high-level nuclear waste (HLW). A number of factors can induce drift instability or change the near-field flow patterns. Repetitive seismic loads from earthquakes and thermal loads generated by the decay of emplaced waste are two significant factors. One of two key technical uncertainties (KTU) that can potentially pose a high risk of noncompliance with the performance objectives of 10 CFR Part 60 is the prediction of thermal-mechanical (including repetitive seismic load) effects on stability of emplacement drifts and the engineered barrier system. The second KTU of concern is the prediction of thermal-mechanical-hydrological (including repetitive seismic load) effects on the host rock surrounding the engineered barrier system. The Rock Mechanics research project being conducted at the Center for Nuclear Waste Regulatory Analyses (CNWRA) is intended to address certain specific technical issues associated with these two KTUs. This research project has two major components: (i) seismic response of rock joints and a jointed rock mass and (ii) coupled thermal-mechanical-hydrological (TMH) response of a jointed rock mass surrounding the engineered barrier system (EBS). This final report summarizes the research activities concerned with the repetitive seismic load aspect of both these KTUs.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Ghosh, A.; Hsiung, S.M. & Chowdhury, A.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A literature review of coupled thermal-hydrologic-mechanical-chemical processes pertinent to the proposed high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain

Description: A literature review has been conducted to determine the state of knowledge available in the modeling of coupled thermal (T), hydrologic (H), mechanical (M), and chemical (C) processes relevant to the design and/or performance of the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The review focuses on identifying coupling mechanisms between individual processes and assessing their importance (i.e., if the coupling is either important, potentially important, or negligible). The significance of considering THMC-coupled processes lies in whether or not the processes impact the design and/or performance objectives of the repository. A review, such as reported here, is useful in identifying which coupled effects will be important, hence which coupled effects will need to be investigated by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission in order to assess the assumptions, data, analyses, and conclusions in the design and performance assessment of a geologic reposit``. Although this work stems from regulatory interest in the design of the geologic repository, it should be emphasized that the repository design implicitly considers all of the repository performance objectives, including those associated with the time after permanent closure. The scope of this review is considered beyond previous assessments in that it attempts with the current state-of-knowledge) to determine which couplings are important, and identify which computer codes are currently available to model coupled processes.
Date: July 1, 1993
Creator: Manteufel, R. D.; Ahola, M. P.; Turner, D. R. & Chowdhury, A. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department