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Weapons test seismic investigations at Yucca Mountain

Description: Yucca Mountain, located on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site, is being characterized as part of an ongoing effort to identify a potential high-level nuclear waste repository. This site will be subjected to seismic ground motions induced by underground nuclear explosions. A knowledge of expected ground motion levels from these tests will enable the designers to provide for the necessary structural support in the designs of the various components of the repository. The primary objective of the Weapons Test Seismic Investigation project is to develop a method to predict the ground motions expected at the repository site as a result of future weapons tests. This paper summarizes the data base presently assembled for the Yucca Mountain Project, characteristics of expected ground motions, and characterization of the two-dimensional seismic properties along paths between Yucca Mountain and the testing areas of the Nevada Test Site.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Phillips, J.S.; Shephard, L.E. & Walck, M.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An experimental program for testing the validity of flow and transport models in unsaturated tuff: The Yucca Mountain Project

Description: Groundwater flow and contaminant transport through the unsaturated zone are receiving increased attention as options for waste disposal in saturated media continue to be considered as a potential means for resolving the nation`s waste management concerns. An experimental program is being developed to test the validity of conceptual flow and transport models that are being formulated to predict the long-term performance at Yucca Mountain. This program is in the developmental stage and will continue to evolve as information is acquired and knowledge is improved with reference to flow and transport in unsaturated fractured media. The general approach for directing the validation effort entails identifying those processes which may cause the site to fail relative to imposed regulatory requirements, evaluating the key assumptions underlying the conceptual models used or developed to describe these processes, and developing new conceptual models as needed. Emphasis is currently being placed in four general areas: flow and transport in unsaturated fractures; fracture-matrix interactions; infiltration flow instability; and evaluation of scale effects in heterogeneous fractured media. Preliminary results and plans or each of these areas for both the laboratory and field investigation components will be presented in the manuscript. 1 ref.
Date: October 1, 1990
Creator: Shephard, L.E.; Glass, R.J.; Siegel, M.D. & Tidwell, V.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Science to compliance: The WIPP success story

Description: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeast New Mexico has been studied as a transuranic waste repository for the past 23 years. During this time, an extensive site characterization, design, construction, and experimental program was completed to provide in-depth understanding of the dominant processes that are most likely to influence the containment of radionuclides for 10,000 years. The success of the program, however, is defined by the regulator in the context of compliance with performance criteria, rather than by the in-depth technical understanding typical of most scientific programs. The WIPP project was successful in making a transformation from science to compliance by refocusing and redirecting programmatic efforts toward the singular goal of meeting regulatory compliance requirements while accelerating the submittal of the Compliance Certification Application (CCA) by two months from the April 1994 Disposal Decision Plan (DDP) date of December 1996, and by reducing projected characterization costs by more than 40%. This experience is unparalleled within the radioactive waste management community and has contributed to numerous lessons learned from which the entire community can benefit.
Date: November 14, 1997
Creator: Howarth, S.M.; Chu, M.S. & Shephard, L.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

Description: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is under development by the US Department of Energy (DOE) for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste that has been generated at government defense installations in the United States. The WIPP is located in an area of low population density in southeastern New Mexico. Waste disposal will take place in excavated chambers in a bedded salt formation approximately 655 m below the land surface. This presentation describes a performance assessment (PA) carried out at Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) to support the Compliance Certification Application (CCA) made by the DOE to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October, 1996, for the certification of the WIPP for the disposal of TRU waste. Based on the CCA supported by the PA described in this presentation, the EPA has issued a preliminary decision to certify the WIPP for the disposal of TRU waste. At present (April 1998), it appears likely that the WIPP will be in operation by the end of 1998.
Date: July 1, 1998
Creator: Anderson, D.R.; Jow, H.N.; Marietta, M.G.; Chu, M.S.Y.; Shephard, L.E.; Helton, J.C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Report of early site suitability evaluation of the potential repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: This study evaluated the technical suitability of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as a potential site for a mined geologic repository for the permanent disposal of radioactive waste. The evaluation was conducted primarily to determine early in the site characterization program if there are any features or conditions at the site that indicate it is unsuitable for repository development. A secondary purpose was to determine the status of knowledge in the major technical areas that affect the suitability of the site. This early site suitability evaluation (ESSE) was conducted by a team of technical personnel at the request of the Associate Director of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Geologic Disposal, a unit within the DOE`s Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management. The Yucca Mountain site has been the subject of such evaluations for over a decade. In 1983, the site was evaluated as part of a screening process to identify potentially acceptable sites. The site was evaluated in greater detail and found suitable for site characterization as part of the Environmental Assessment (EA) (DOE, 1986) required by the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA). Additional site data were compiled during the preparation of the Site Characterization Plan (SCP) (DOE, 1988a). This early site suitability evaluation has considered information that was used in preparing both-documents, along with recent information obtained since the EA and SCP were published. This body of information is referred to in this report as ``current information`` or ``available evidence.``
Date: January 1, 1992
Creator: Younker, J.L.; Andrews, W.B.; Fasano, G.A.; Herrington, C.C.; Mattson, S.R.; Murray, R.C. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department