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The Integration and Abstracyion of EBS Models in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment

Description: The safety strategy for geological disposal of radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain relies on a multi-barrier system to contain the waste and isolate it from the biosphere. The multi-barrier system consists of the natural barrier provided by the geological setting and the engineered barrier system (EBS). In the case of Yucca Mountain (YM) the geologic setting is the unsaturated-zone host rock, consisting of about 600 meters of layered ash-flow volcanic tuffs above the water table, and the saturated zone beneath the water table. Both the unsaturated and saturated rocks are part of a closed hydrologic basin in a desert surface environment. The waste is to be buried about halfway between the desert surface and the water table. The primary engineered barriers at YM consist of metal components that are highly durable in an oxidizing environment. The two primary components of the engineered barrier system are highly corrosion-resistant metal waste packages, made from a nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy, Alloy 22, and titanium drip shields that protect the waste packages from corrosive dripping water and falling rocks. Design and performance assessment of the EBS requires models that describe how the EBS and near field behave under anticipated repository-relevant conditions. These models must describe coupled hydrologic, thermal, chemical, and mechanical (THCM) processes that drive radionuclide transport in a highly fractured host rock, consisting of a relatively permeable network of conductive fractures in a setting of highly impermeable tuff rock matrix. An integrated performance assessment of the EBS must include a quantification of the uncertainties that arise from (1) incomplete understanding of processes and (2) from lack of data representative of the large spatial scales and long time scales relevant to radioactive waste disposal (e.g., long-term metal corrosion rates and heterogeneities in rock properties over the large 5 km{sup 2} emplacement area of the repository). A ...
Date: January 11, 2006
Creator: Sevougian, S.D.; Jain, V. & Luik, A.V.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Total system performance predictions (TSPA-1995) for the potential high-level waste repository at Yucca Mountain

Description: The management and operating contractor for the potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, has been recently completed a new performance assessment of the ability of the repository to isolate and contain nuclear waste for long time periods (up to 1,000,000 years). Sensitivity analyses determine the most important physical parameters and processes, using the most current information and models.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Sevougian, S.D.; Andrews, R.W. & McNeish, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Enhancing the design of in situ chemical barriers with multicomponent reactive transport modeling

Description: This paper addresses the need for systematic control of field-scale performance in the emplacement and operation of in situ chemical treatment barriers; in particular, it addresses the issue of how the local coupling of reaction kinetics and material heterogeneities at the laboratory or bench scale can be accurately upscaled to the field. The authors have recently developed modeling analysis tools that can explicitly account for all relevant chemical reactions that accompany the transport of reagents and contaminants through a chemically and physically heterogeneous subsurface rock or soil matrix. These tools are incorporated into an enhanced design methodology for in situ chemical treatment technologies, and the new methodology is demonstrated in the ongoing design of a field experiment for the In Situ Redox Manipulation (ISRM) project at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site. The ISRM design approach, which systematically integrates bench-scale and site characterization information, provides an ideal test for the new reactive transport techniques. The need for the enhanced chemistry capability is demonstrated by an example that shows how intra-aqueous redox kinetics can affect the transport of reactive solutes. Simulations are carried out on massively parallel computer architectures to resolve the influence of multiscale heterogeneities on multicomponent, multidimensional reactive transport. The technology will soon be available to design larger-scale remediation schemes.
Date: November 1, 1994
Creator: Sevougian, S. D.; Steefel, C. I. & Yabusaki, S. B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Important parameters in the performance of a potential repository at Yucca Mountain (TSPA-1995)

Description: A total system performance assessment (TSPA) was conducted to determine how a potential repository at Yucca Mountain would behave. Using the results of this TSPA, regression was done to determine which parameters had the most important effect on the repository performance. These results were consistent with the current conceptual understanding of the repository.
Date: June 1, 1996
Creator: Atkins, J.E.; Sevougian, S.D.; Lee, J.H.; Andrews, R.W. & McNeish, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Methodology Used for Total System Performance Assessment of the Potential Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain (USA)

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy and its contractors are currently evaluating a site in Nevada (Yucca Mountain) for disposal of high-level radioactive waste from U.S. commercial nuclear plants and U.S. government-owned facilities. The suitability of the potential geologic repository is assessed, based on its performance in isolating the nuclear waste from the environment. Experimental data and models representing the natural and engineered barriers are combined into a Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model [1]. Process models included in the TSPA model are unsaturated zone flow and transport, thermal hydrology, in-drift geochemistry, waste package degradation, waste form degradation, engineered barrier system transport, saturated zone flow and transport, and biosphere transport. Because of the uncertainty in the current data and in the future evolution of the total system, simulations follow a probabilistic approach. Multiple realization simulations using Monte Carlo analysis are conducted over time periods of up to one million years, which estimates a range of possible behaviors of the repository. The environmental impact is measured primarily by the annual dose received by an average member of a critical population group residing 20 km down-gradient of the potential repository. In addition to the nominal scenario, other exposure scenarios include the possibility of disruptive events such as volcanic eruption or intrusion, or accidental human intrusion. Sensitivity to key uncertain processes is analyzed. The influence of stochastic variables on the TSPA model output is assessed by ''uncertainty importance analysis'', e.g., regression analysis and classification tree analysis. Further investigation of the impact of parameters and assumptions is conducted through ''one-off analysis'', which consists in fixing a parameter at a particular value, using an alternative conceptual model, or in making a different assumption. Finally, robustness analysis evaluates the performance of the repository when various natural or engineered barriers are assumed to be degraded. The objective of ...
Date: March 15, 2001
Creator: Devibec, E.; Sevougian, S.D.; Mattie, P.D.; McNeish, J.A. & Mishra, S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of One-On Analysis to Evaluate Total System Performance of the Proposed Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository

Description: The Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project is currently evaluating the future performance of the proposed U.S. high-level nuclear waste repository. Using the Total System Performance Assessment (TSPA) model, a stylized analysis was conducted to evaluate the relative importance of natural and engineered barriers to movement of radionuclides from the proposed repository. These stylized ''one-on'' analyses consist of sequentially adding features, components, and processes, associated with the natural and engineered barriers, incorporated within the TSPA model and evaluating the effect of these elements on repository performance, as measured by the total mean annual dose to a reasonably maximally exposed individual. The analyses are ''stylized'' in the sense that they are performed to gain insight only. They are not meant to represent a real physical system in most cases, and in some cases allow the TSPA model to simulate results using parameter ranges outside the normal bounds of the TSPA model. In particular, the analyses provide insight into the relative contributions of repository features and processes in a way that is not possible using the full TSPA performance-assessment model. For example, in the nominal scenario of the TSPA model, the contribution of the natural system is masked by the contribution of the engineered system.
Date: September 12, 2002
Creator: Saulnier, G. J., Jr.; Lee, K. P.; Mehta, S.; Sevougian, S. D.; Kalinich, D. & McNeish, J. A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Total system performance assessment - 1995: An evaluation of the potential Yucca Mountain repository

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently investigating the feasibility of permanently disposing the nation`s commercial high-level radioactive wastes (in the form of spent fuel from the over 100 electric power-generating nuclear reactors across the U.S.) and a portion of the defense high-level radioactive wastes (currently stored at federal facilities around the country) in the unsaturated tuffaceous rocks at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Quantitative predictions based on the most current understanding of the processes and parameters potentially affecting the long-term behavior of the disposal system are used to assess the ability of the site and its associated engineered designs to meet regulatory objectives of the US NRC and the US EPA. The evaluation of the ability of the overall system to meet the performance objectives specified in the applicable regulatory standards has been termed total system performance assessment (TSPA). Total system performance assessments require the explicit quantification of the relevant processes and process interactions. In addition assessments are useful to help define the most significant processes, the information gaps and uncertainties and therefore the additional information required for more robust and defensible assessment of the overall performance. The aim of any total system performance assessment is to be as complete and reasonably conservative as possible and to assure that the descriptions of the predictive models and parameters are sufficient to ascertain their accuracy. Total system performance assessments evolve with time. Previous iterations of total system performance assessment of the Yucca Mountain site and associated engineered barriers have been conducted in 1991 and 1993.
Date: November 1, 1995
Creator: Atkins, J. E.; Lee, J. H.; Lingineni, S.; Mishra, S.; McNeish, J. A.; Sassani, D. C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Supplemental Performance Analyses for the Potential High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain

Description: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering the possible recommendation of a site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the potential development of a geologic repository for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel. To facilitate public review and comment, in May 2001 the DOE released the Yucca Mountain Science and Engineering Report (S&ER) (1), which presents technical information supporting the consideration of the possible site recommendation. The report summarizes the results of more than 20 years of scientific and engineering studies. Based on internal reviews of the S&ER and its key supporting references, the Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation (TSPA-SR) (2) and the Analysis Model Reports and Process Model Reports cited therein, the DOE has recently identified and performed several types of analyses to supplement the treatment of uncertainty in support of the consideration of a possible site recommendation. The results of these new analyses are summarized in the two-volume report entitled FY01 Supplemental Science and Performance Analysis (SSPA) (3,4). The information in this report is intended to supplement, not supplant, the information contained in the S&ER. The DOE recognizes that important uncertainties will always remain in any assessment of the performance of a potential repository over thousands of years (1). One part of the DOE approach to recognizing and managing these uncertainties is a commitment to continued testing and analysis and to the continued evaluation of the technical basis supporting the possible recommendation of the site, such as the analysis contained in the SSPA. The goals of the work described here are to provide insights into the implications of newly quantified uncertainties, updated science, and evaluations of lower operating temperatures on the performance of a potential Yucca Mountain repository and to increase confidence in the results of the TSPA described in the ...
Date: February 26, 2002
Creator: Sevougian, S. D.; McNeish, J. A.; Coppersmith, K.; Jenni, K. E.; Rickertsen, L. D.; Swift, P. N. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department