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History of geophysical studies at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico

Description: A variety of geophysical methods including the spectrum of seismic, electrical, electromagnetic and potential field techniques have supported characterization, monitoring and experimental studies at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The geophysical studies have provided significant understanding of the nature of site deformation, tectonics and stability. Geophysical methods have delineated possible brine reservoirs beneath the underground facility and have defined the disturbed rock zone that forms around underground excavations. The role of geophysics in the WIPP project has evolved with the project. The early uses were for site characterization to satisfy site selection criteria or factors. As the regulatory framework for WIPP grew since 1980, the geophysics program supported experimental and field programs such as Salado hydrogeology and underground room systems and excavations. In summary, the major types of issues that geophysical studies addressed for WIPP are: Site Characterization; Castile Brine Reservoirs; Rustler/Dewey Lake Hydrogeology; Salado Hydrogeology; and Excavation Effects. The nature of geophysics programs for WIPP has been to support investigation rather than being the principal investigation itself. The geophysics program has been used to define conceptual models (e.g., the Disturbed Rock Zone-DRZ) or to test conceptual models (e.g., high transmissivity zones in the Rustler Formation). The geophysics program primarily supported larger characterization and experimental programs. Funding was not available for the complete documentation and interpretation. Therefore, a great deal of the geophysics survey information resides in contractor reports.
Date: March 5, 1997
Creator: Borns, D.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

U1h shaft project

Description: The U1h shaft project is a design/build subcontract to construct one 20 foot (ft) finished diameter shaft to a depth of 1,045 ft at the Nevada Test Site. Atkinson Construction was subcontracted by Bechtel Nevada to construct the U1h Shaft for the Department of Energy. The project consists of furnishing and installing the sinking plant, construction of the 1,045 ft of concrete lined shaft, development of a shaft station at a depth of 976 ft, and construction of a loading pocket at the station. The outfitting of the shaft and installation of a new hoist may be incorporated into the project at a later date. This paper should be of interest to those involved with the construction of relatively deep shafts and underground excavations.
Date: June 30, 2000
Creator: Briggs, Brian & Musick, R. G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Shaft Sinking at the Nevada Test Site, U1h Shaft Project

Description: The U1h Shaft Project is a design/build subcontract to construct one 6.1 meter (m) (20 feet (ft)) finished diameter shaft to a depth of 321.6 m (1,055 ft.) at the Nevada Test Site. Atkinson Construction was subcontracted by Bechtel Nevada to construct the U1h Shaft for the U.S. Department of Energy. The project consists of furnishing and installing the sinking plant, construction of the 321.6 m (1,055 ft.) of concrete lined shaft, development of a shaft station at a depth of 297.5 m (976 ft.), and construction of a loading pocket at the station. The outfitting of the shaft and installation of a new hoist may be incorporated into the project at a later date. This paper will describe the design phase, the excavation and lining operation, shaft station construction and the contractual challenges encountered on this project.
Date: March 1, 2001
Creator: Briggs, B. & Musick, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Basis for in-situ geomechanical testing at the Yucca Mountain site

Description: This report presents an analysis of the in-situ geomechanical testing needs for the Exploratory Shaft (ES) test facility at the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada. The testing needs are derived from 10CFR60 regulations and simple thermomechanical canister- and room-scale numerical studies. The testing approach suggested is based on an ``iterative`` procedure of full-scale testing combined with numerical and empirical modeling. The testing suggested is based heavily on demonstration of excavation and thermal loading of full-scale repository excavations. Numerical and/or empirical models are compared to the full-scale response, allowing for adjustment of the model and evaluation of confidence in their predictive ability. Additional testing may be specified if confidence in prediction of the rock mass response is low. It is suggested that extensive drifting be conducted within the proposed repository area, including exploration of the bounding Drill Hole Wash and Imbricate fault structures, as well as the Ghost Dance fault. This approach is opposed to an a priori statistical specification of a number of ``point`` tests which attempt to measure a given property at a specific location. 40 refs., 49 figs., 6 tabs.
Date: July 1, 1989
Creator: Board, M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Palanquin post-shot exploration

Description: This report defines the plan and purpose for the Palanquin post-shot exploration program. This program is necessary to obtain data that is needed in the understanding of the Palanquin experiment, and related explosion phenomena, which can be obtained in no other way.
Date: July 28, 1965
Creator: Meyer, L.; Hansen, S. & Toman, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dynamic compaction of salt: Initial demonstration and performance testing

Description: Reconsolidated crushed salt is proposed as the sole long-term shaft seal between the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and the biosphere. The concept for a long-term shaft seal for the WIPP repository is to place crushed salt in the four shafts and to develop an effective seal as the surrounding salt creeps into the shafts, reconsolidating the salt. Permeability of the salt components is calculated to achieve performance objectives at some acceptable time in the future, an expectation which is a key to performance assessment calculations for the WIPP. Such a seal has never been constructed, and until now no performance measurements have been made on an appropriately large scale. A full understanding of construction methods, achievable initial density and permeability and time-wise performance of reconsolidating salt is required. This paper discusses nearly full-scale dynamic compaction of mine-run WIPP salt, preliminary measurements of density and permeability, and their variability within a relatively large volume of compacted material
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Hansen, F.D.; Ahrens, E.H.; Tidwell, V.C.; Tillerson, J.R & Brodsky, N.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Controlled blasting and its implications for the NNWSI project exploratory shaft

Description: This report reviews controlled blasting techniques for shaft sinking. Presplitting and smooth blasting are the techniques of principal interest. Smooth blasting is preferred for the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations exploratory shaft. Shaft damage can be monitored visually or by peak velocity measurements and refractive techniques. Damage into the rock should be limited to 3 ft. 40 refs., 22 figs., 7 tabs.
Date: September 1, 1987
Creator: Van Eeckhout, E.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A method of modeling time-dependent rock damage surrounding underground excavations in multiphase groundwater flow

Description: Underground excavations produce damaged zones surrounding the excavations which have disturbed hydrologic and geomechanical properties. Prediction of fluid flow in these zones must consider both the mechanical and fluid flow processes. Presented here is a methodology which utilizes a mechanical model to predict damage and disturbed rock zone (DRZ) development around the excavation and then uses the predictions to develop time-dependent DRZ porosity relationships. These relationships are then used to adjust the porosity of the DRZ in the fluid flow model based upon the time and distance from the edge of the excavation. The application of this methodology is presented using a site-specific example from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, a US Department of Energy facility in bedded salts being evaluated for demonstration of the safe underground disposal of transuranic waste from US defense-related activities.
Date: July 1, 1997
Creator: Christian-Frear, T. & Freeze, G.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Monitoring of heat and moisture migration from radioactive waste disposed in an augered shaft

Description: Soil temperature and moisture data have been collected for the past 4 years at the Greater Confinement Disposal Test (GCDT) being conducted at the Nevada Test Site. High-specific-activity radioactive waste with a thermal output of 3.4 kW was buried at a depth of 30 m in tuffaceous alluvium. Prior to waste emplacement the ambient subsurface temperature was about 17{sup 0}C and the volumetric soil moisture content was 10 to 12%. Two years after waste emplacement the soil temperature exceeded 100{sup 0}C and the soil moisture content dropped below 4% at a radius of approximately 3 m from the thermal waste. Drying of the soil has occurred as the high temperature radiating from the thermal sources propels water vapor from the waste zone to a zone where dew-point temperatures are reached. The temperature and moisture data will be used in combination with data from gaseous tracer release tests in predicting and appraising the long-term performance of the GCDT.
Date: February 1987
Creator: Williams, R. E.; McGrath, D. A. & Boland, J. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Post-piledriver re-entry

Description: This report details post-Piledriver Re-entry. Re-entry down the Piledriver shaft went slowly. The shaft collar had bounced so high and hard that there was a separation directly under the collar and approximately 30 feet vertically of shaft wall in that area spalled off and fell into the skip Docket. The collar area had to be packed with new concrete prior to advancing further downshaft. Drilling, sampling, gas analysis, and radiation monitoring activities are detailed.
Date: November 17, 1967
Creator: Rabb, D. D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Construction features of the exploratory shaft at Yucca Mountain

Description: The Exploratory Shaft (ES) at Yucca Mountain is planned to be constructed during 1985 and 1986 as part of the detailed site characterization for one of three sites which may be selected as candidates for location of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Conventional mining methods will be used for the shaft sinking phase of the ES project. The ES will be comprised of surface support facilities, a 1480-ft-deep circular shaft lined with concrete to a finished inside diameter of 12 ft, lateral excavations and test installations extending up to 200 ft from the shaft, and long lateral borings extending up to 2300 ft from the shaft. The estimated time for sinking the shaft to a total depth of about 1480 ft and completing the lateral excavations and borings is about two years. The major underground development planned for the primary test level at a depth of 1200 ft consists of the equivalent of 1150 ft of 15- by 15-ft drift. The total volume of rock to be removed from the shaft proper and the lateral excavations totals about 1/2 million cubic feet. Construction equipment for the shaft and underground excavation phases consists of conventional mine hoisting equipment, shot hole and rock bolt drilling jumbos, mucking machines, and hauling machines. The desire to maintain relatively uniform and even walls in selected shaft and drift intervals will require that controlled blasting techniques be employed. Certain lateral boring operations associated with tests to be conducted in the underground development may pose some unusual problems or require specialized equipment. One of the operations is boring and lining a 30-in.-diam by 600-ft-long horizontal hole with a boring machine being developed under the direction of Sandia National Laboratories. Another special operation is coring long lateral holes (500 to 2000 ft) with minimum use of liquid circulating ...
Date: December 31, 1984
Creator: Adair, G.W. & Fiore, J.N.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

G-Tunnel Welded Tuff Mining Experiment instrumentation evaluations; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: Designers and analysts of radioactive waste repositories must be able to predict the mechanical behavior of the host rock. Sandia National Laboratory has conducted a mine-by experiment in welded tuff so that information could be obtained regarding the response of the rock to a drill and blast excavation process, where smooth-blasting techniques were used. This report describes the results of the evaluations of nine different instrument or measurement systems used in conjunction with these mining activities.
Date: April 1, 1992
Creator: Zimmerman, R.M.; Bellman, R.A. Jr.; Mann, K.L. & Thompson, T.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Site characterization progress report: Yucca Mountain, Nevada, October 1, 1993--March 31, 1994

Description: This report is the tenth in a series issued at intervals of approximately six months during site characterization of Yucca Mountain as a possible site for a geologic repository for the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste. Also included in this report are descriptions of activities such as public outreach and international programs that are not formally part of the site characterization process. Information on these activities is provided to report on all aspects of the Yucca Mountain studies. The Executive Summary is intended to provide a summary of major decisions, activities, accomplishments, and issues of interest during the reporting period. Chapter 1, Introduction, provides background information to assist the reader in understanding the current status of the program. Chapter 2 provides specific detailed discussions of activities conducted during the current reporting period and has two major divisions. Section 2.1, Preparatory Activities, provides information on select preparatory activities necessary to conduct site characterization and design activities. Sections 2.2 through 2.8 provide specific details on studies and activities conducted during the reporting period and follow the original structure of the Department`s 1988 Site Characterization Plan. Chapter 3 contains the current summary schedule, while Chapter 4 provides a description of the program outreach, including activities during the reporting period, in both the international program and public outreach. Chapter 5 presents an epilogue of significant events that occurred after the end of the reporting period.
Date: October 1994
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Overview of raise boring and blind shaft drilling with practical applications and particular reference to design limits for accuracy

Description: The current excavation technology of raise boring and blind shaft drilling operations is reviewed. Examples are presented of recent applications of both downhole boring machines and surface-mounted rotary shaft drilling equipment, with comparisons made of operational characteristics, shaft sizes, and accuracy limits of each system. Raise-boring and box-drilling machines are described and current operating practices of these systems are reviewed. The increased interest in slant hole or inclined shaft construction is noted, and techniques and equipment for these special shafts are presented. Practical accuracy limits are discussed for each shaft drilling technique and trade-offs between accuracy, drilling rates, and shaft utilization factors are noted. Finally, the current status of ongoing research and development efforts will be described, and some predictions made regarding worthwhile improvement trends in shaft construction methods.
Date: April 18, 1984
Creator: Neudecker, J.W. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of transient history of underground excavations for radioactive waste isolation

Description: The constraints and phenomena which must be modeled in realizing a rational prediction of temperature history in a radioactive waste repository are presented. The effects of conductive and radiative heat transfer between the waste package and host rock are presented. Results of numerical investigations are utilized to present specific situations wherein analytical approximations to the waste canister geometry may be utilized. The paper also presents the results of approximations to the mean underground repository temperatures. The reliability of both methods of predicting temperatures is assessed through the comparison of predicted temperatures with measured temperatures from the Project Salt Vault field experiment. The design of experiments for model verification is discussed and a specific heater experiment which has been proposed is presented.
Date: August 1, 1977
Creator: Ratigan, J. & Van Sambeek, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Air intake shaft performance tests (Shaft 5): In situ data report (May 1988--July 1995). Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Thermal/Structural Interactions Program

Description: Data are presented from the Air Intake Shaft Test, an in situ test fielded at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The construction of this shaft, well after the initial three access shafts, presented an unusual opportunity to obtain valuable detailed data on the mechanical response of a shaft for application to seal design. These data include selected fielding information, test configuration, instrumentation activities, and comprehensive results from a large number of gages. Construction of the test began in December 1987; gage data in this report cover the period from May 1988 through July 1995, with the bulk of the data obtained after obtaining access in November, 1989 and from the heavily instrumented period after remote gage installation between May, 1990, and October, 1991.
Date: July 1, 1995
Creator: Munson, D.E.; Hoag, D.L.; Ball, J.R.; Baird, G.T. & Jones, R.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations: exploratory shaft. Phase I. Conceptual design report

Description: It is proposed that an Exploratory Shaft (ES) be constructed in Yucca Mountain on or near the southwest portion of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) as part of the Nevada Nuclear Waste Storage Investigations. This document describes a conceptual design for an ES and a cost estimate based on a set of construction assumptions. Included in this document are appendixes consisting of supporting studies done at NTS by Fenix and Scisson, Inc. and Holmes and Narver, Inc. These appendixes constitute a history of the development of the design and are included as part of the record.
Date: June 1, 1982
Creator: Nelson, D.C.; Merson, T.J.; McGuire, P.L. & Sibbitt, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Shaft Siting and Configuration for Flexible Operating Mode

Description: The purpose of this document as stated in the ''Technical Work Plan for Subsurface Design Section FY 01 Work Activities'' (CRWMS M&O 2001a, pg. 14) is to review and evaluate the most current concepts for shaft siting and configuration. The locations of the shaft sites will be evaluated in reference to the overall subsurface ventilation layout shown in Figure 1. The scope will include discussions on pad size requirements, shaft construction components such as collars, shaft stations, sumps, ground support and linings, head frames, fan ducting and facility equipping. In addition to these, shaft excavation methodologies and integration with the overall subsurface construction schedule will be described. The Technical Work Plan (TWP), (CRWMS M&O 2001a), for this document has been prepared in accordance with AP-2.21Q, ''Quality Determinations and Planning for Scientific, Engineering and Regulatory Compliance Activities''. This document will be prepared in accordance with AP-3.10Q, ''Analysis and Models''. This document contributes to Site Recommendation (SR). The intended use of this document is to provide an analysis for shaft siting and configuration criteria for subsequent construction. This document identifies preliminary design concepts that should not be used for procurement, fabrication, or construction.
Date: August 2, 2001
Creator: Boutin, Robert
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Excavation and drilling at a spent-fuel test facility in granitic rock

Description: Funding for a project to test the feasibility of safe and reliable storage and retrieval of spent fuel from a commercial nuclear reactor was approved by the Department of Energy on June 2, 1978. By May 28, 1980, 11 spent-fuel assemblies had been emplaced 420 m below the surface in the Climax granitic stock at the Nevada Test Site. Design and construction of the Spent Fuel Test-Climax, including fuel emplacement, had taken less than two years, at a total cost of $18.4 million. Construction activities were preceded by geologic exploration using four cored holes and existing underground workings. The sinking of a 0.76-m-diam shaft to the 420-m level initiated construction at the site. Effective rates of sinking varied from 0.16 m/h with a rotary tricone drill to 0.5 m/h with a hammer drill. Underground excavation included a central canister-storage drift 4.6 x 6.1 x 64 m long, two parallel 3.4 x 3.4-m heater drifts, and a tail drift. About 6700 m{sup 3} were excavated at an average rate of 2 m{sup 3}/h, and 178 cored holes, with diameters from 38 to 152 mm, were drilled. A total length of nearly 1100 m was drilled at rates ranging from 0.4 m/h to 1 m/h, depending on hole size and drilling equipment. Eighteen 610-mm-diam canister emplacement holes were hammer-drilled at an average rate of 1.4 m/h. The use of the critical path method, integrated contractors, and close cooperation between project participants facilitated completion of the project on schedule.
Date: October 1, 1981
Creator: Patrick, W.C. & Mayr, M.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Status of SHAFT 78 with respect to modeling radioactive waste burial in Eleana argillite, including calculations to date

Description: The SHAFT 78 Code (multidimensional, two fluid phases, porous medium) has been used to begin assessment of the consequences of nuclear waste burial in a 1000-acre repository emplaced in argillite. The methodology used can well be applied to other argillaceous rocks as well as to hard rocks in general so long as their in-situ rock permeability can reasonably be assumed to be temperature- and stress-independent. The repository is assumed to contain spent fuel (SF) UO{sub 2} at an initial power loading of 150 kW/acre and located at a depth of 600 m. It was found that with perfect backfill (permeabilty = 1 x 10{sup 7} darcy), a maximum fluid pressure of 770 bars existed in the repository at a time of 55 y after burial. Holding all other input variables constant, the maximum fluid pressure in the repository never exceeded the local lithostatic pressure when the permeability of the backfill material was increased to 1 x 10{sup -1} darcy. The calculated temperature histories are essentially independent of backfill permeability and porosity, indicating that heat transfer is conduction-dominated.
Date: May 1, 1980
Creator: Eaton, R.R.; Sundberg, W.D.; Larson, D.E. & Sherman, M.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A decision analysis of an exploratory studies facility

Description: An Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF) is planned to support the characterization of a potential site for a high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, NV. The selection of a design for the ESF is a critical decision, because the ESF design may affect the accuracy of characterization testing and subsequent repository design. The assist the design process, a comparative evaluation was conducted to rank 34 alternative relied on techniques from formal decision analysis, including decision trees and multiattribute utility analysis (MUA). The results helped to identify favorable design features and convinced the Department of Energy to adopt the top-ranked option as the preferred ESF design.
Date: November 25, 1991
Creator: Merkhofer, M. W. & Gnirk, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Documentation and verification of the SHAFT code; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: The SHAFT code incorporates equations to compute stresses in a shaft liner when the rock through which a shaft passes is subject to known three-dimensional states of stress or strain. The deformation modes considered are hoop deformation, axial deformation, and shear on a plane normal to the shaft axis. Interaction between the liner and the soil and rock is considered, and it is assumed that the liner is in place before loading is applied. This code is intended to be used interactively but creates a permanent record complete with necessary quality assurance information. The code has been carefully verified for the case of generalized plane strain, in which an arbitrary axial strain can be defined. It may also be used for plane stress analysis. Output is given in the form of stresses at selected sample points in the linear and the rock and a simple graphical representation of the distribution of stress through the liner. 12 figs., 13 tabs.
Date: December 1991
Creator: St. John, C. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuffs

Description: A research effort of four phases is in progress at the Colorado School of Mines. The overall program will evaluate the cutability of welded tuff and other lithologies likely to be excavated at Yucca Mountain in the site characterization process. Several mechanical systems are considered with emphasis given to the tunnel boring machine. The research comprises laboratory testing, linear drag bit and disc cutter tests and potentially large-scale laboratory demonstrations to support potential use of a tunnel boring machine in welded tuff. Preliminary estimates of mechanical excavator performance in Yucca Mountain tuff are presented here. As phases of the research project are completed, well quantified estimates will be made of performance of mechanical excavators in the Yucca Mountain tuffs. 3 refs., 2 tabs.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Ozdemir, L. & Hansen, F.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geotechnical analysis report for July 1993--June 1994

Description: The geotechnical data from the underground excavations at the WIPP are interpreted and presented in this Geotechnical Analysis Report. The data are used to characterize conditions, assess design assumptions, and understand and predict the performance of the underground excavations during operations. The data are obtained as part of a regular monitoring program. The format of the Geotechnical Analysis Report was selected to meet the needs of several audiences. This report focuses on the geotechnical performance of the various underground facilities including the shafts, shaft stations, access drifts, experimental rooms, and waste storage areas. The results of excavation effects, investigations, stratigraphic mapping, and other geologic studies are also included. The report provides an evaluation of the geotechnical aspects of performance in the context of the relevant design criteria and also describes the techniques used to acquire the data and the performance history of the instruments. The depth and breadth of the evaluation for the different underground facilities varies according to the types and quantities of data that are available, and the complexity of the recorded geotechnical responses.
Date: August 1, 1995
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department