Description: One option for disposing of excess weapons plutonium is to place it near the base of deep boreholes in stable crystalline rocks. The technology exists to immediately begin the design of this means of disposition and there are many attractive sites available within the conterminous US. The borehole system utilizes mainly natural barriers to preven migration of Pu and U to the Earth`s surface. Careful site selection ensures favorable geologic conditions that provide natural long-lived migration barriers; they include deep, extremely stable rock formations, strongly reducing brines that exhibit increasing salinity with depth, and most importantly, demonstrated isolation or non-communication of deep fluids with the biosphere for millions of years. This isolation is the most important characteristic, with the other conditions mainly being those that will enhance the potential of locating and maintaining the isolated zones. Candidate sites will probably be located on the craton in very old Precambrian crystalline rocks, most likely the center of a granitic pluton. The sites will be located in tectonically stable areas with no recent volcanic or seismic activity, and situated away from tectonic features that might become active in the near geologic future.
Date: May 1, 1996
Creator: Heiken, G.; WoldeGabriel, G.; Morley, R. & Plannerer, H
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department