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Remote sensing data exploiration for geologic characterization of difficult targets : Laboratory Directed Research and Development project 38703 final report.

Description: Characterizing the geology, geotechnical aspects, and rock properties of deep underground facility sites can enhance targeting strategies for both nuclear and conventional weapons. This report describes the results of a study to investigate the utility of remote spectral sensing for augmenting the geological and geotechnical information provided by traditional methods. The project primarily considered novel exploitation methods for space-based sensors, which allow clandestine collection of data from denied sites. The investigation focused on developing and applying novel data analysis methods to estimate geologic and geotechnical characteristics in the vicinity of deep underground facilities. Two such methods, one for measuring thermal rock properties and one for classifying rock types, were explored in detail. Several other data exploitation techniques, developed under other projects, were also examined for their potential utility in geologic characterization.
Date: September 1, 2003
Creator: Costin, Laurence S.; Walker, Charles A.; Lappin, Allen R.; Hayat, Majeed M. (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM); Ford, Bridget K.; Paskaleva, Biliana (University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM) et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The ''Drift Shadow'' is defined as the relatively drier region that forms below subsurface cavities or drifts in unsaturated rock. Its existence has been predicted through analytical and numerical models of unsaturated flow. However, these theoretical predictions have not been demonstrated empirically to date. In this project they plan to test the drift shadow concept through field investigations and compare our observations to simulations. Based on modeling studies they have an identified suitable site to perform the study at an inactive mine in a sandstone formation. Pretest modeling studies and preliminary characterization of the site are being used to develop the field scale tests.
Date: January 15, 2006
Creator: G. W. Su, T. J. Kneafsey, T. A. Ghezzehei, B. D. Marshall, and P. J. Cook
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Utility Locating in the DOE Environment

Description: Some advances have been made in utility locating in recent years and standards have been recently published to try and categorize the level of information known about the utility in the subsurface. At the same time some characterization about the level of effort or technology in the geophysicist approach to utility locating may be generalized. The DOE environment poses some added difficulties and this presentation covers these issues, costs and the technical approach that has been developed at the INEEL to prevent utility hits and how it fits into the generalized classification of effort.
Date: April 1, 2006
Creator: Scott, Clark & Heath, Gail
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Simulations of Underground Structures Subjected to Synamic Loading Using the Distinct Element Method

Description: The authors present results from a parameter study investigating the stability of underground structures in response to ground shock. Direct simulation requires detailed knowledge of both the facility itself and the surrounding geology. In practice, however, key details (joint spacing, joint stiffness, reinforcement) may not be available. Thus, in order to place bounds upon the predicted behavior of a given facility, an extensive series of simulations representing different realizations may be required. They will discuss the distinct element method (DEM) with particular emphasis on techniques for achieving improved computational efficiency, including the handling of contact detection and approaches to parallelization. Some continuum approaches to the simulation of underground facilities are discussed along with results from underground explosions. Finally, their DEM code is used to simulate dynamic loading of several generic subterranean facilities in hard rock for a range of joint properties and sources, demonstrating the suitability of the DEM for this application.
Date: April 17, 2002
Creator: Morris, J.P.; Glenn, L.A.; Heuze, F.E. & Blair, S.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Use of passive repeaters for tunnel surface communications

Description: Many times there is a need to establish ratio communication between the surface and a beam enclosure. When one solicits communication companies for solutions, the answer is often to purchase expensive communication equipment such as repeaters or radiax type cable which can cost in the tens of thousands of dollars. This TM will describe an inexpensive solution to this problem and the results that can be expected. The cost of a passive repeater is $100--$200 depending on how elaborate one wants to be. A passive repeater system consists of two antennas connected together with a transmission line. When using VHF or UHF transceivers, one can use 5/8 wave mobile antennas, such as the Larson NMO406-CK for the 400--420 MHz range, with the antenna connected to a 19 inch square piece of aluminum to act as a ground plane. This type of antenna has reasonably good gain, seems to be adequate, and is inexpensive. Another antenna choice is to cut a dipole out of bus wire and solder this wire to a female N connector. Using a dipole seems to work OK in the tunnel and avoids the problem of having a wire sticking down for people to poke their eye with. The cable connecting the antennas should be of good quality so that the signal lost in the cable is minimal. The authors chose Belden 9913 coax. This cable has a characteristic impedance of 50 ohms and has 2.7 dB/100 ft. of attenuation at 400 MHz.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Capista, D. & McDowell, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bentonite as a waste isolation pilot plant shaft sealing material

Description: Current designs of the shaft sealing system for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) propose using bentonite as a primary sealing component. The shaft sealing designs anticipate that compacted bentonite sealing components can perform through the 10,000-year regulatory period and beyond. To evaluate the acceptability of bentonite as a sealing material for the WIPP, this report identifies references that deal with the properties and characteristics of bentonite that may affect its behavior in the WIPP environment. This report reviews published studies that discuss using bentonite as sealing material for nuclear waste disposal, environmental restoration, toxic and chemical waste disposal, landfill liners, and applications in the petroleum industry. This report identifies the physical and chemical properties, stability and seal construction technologies of bentonite seals in shafts, especially in a saline brine environment. This report focuses on permeability, swelling pressure, strength, stiffness, longevity, and densification properties of bentonites.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Daemen, J. & Ran, Chongwei
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Geotechnical analysis report for July 1994--June 1995

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. They do not include data from tests performed by Sandia National Laboratories, the Scientific Advisor to the project in support of performance assessment studies. Geotechnical Analysis Reports have been prepared routinely and made available to the public since 1983. During the Site and Preliminary Design Validation Program, the Architect/Engineer for the project produced the reports on a quarterly basis to document the geomechanical performance during and immediately after construction of the underground. Upon completion of the constriction phase of the project in 1987, the reports have been prepared annually by the Management and Operating Contractor for the facility. This report describes the performance and conditions of selected areas from July 1, 1994, to June 30, 1995.
Date: September 1, 1996
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Privatization contractor transfer/feed line corridor obstructions

Description: One of the issues that came out of the Tank Waste Remediation System (TWRS) Privatization Interface Control Document (ICD) effort was the need to identify below grade obstructions that exist where the TWRS Privatization Phase 1 transfer/feed corridors pass through the former Grout complex (ICD Issue 9C). Due to the numerous phases of construction at the complex, and the lack of consolidated facility configuration drawings, as-built (or as-recorded) information on the area is difficult to find, let alone decipher. To resolve the issue, this study was commissioned to identify and consolidate the as-recorded information available (drawings and Engineering Change Notices, ECNS).
Date: May 20, 1998
Creator: Parazin, R.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of long-term impacts of TRU waste remaining at generator/storage sites for No Action Alternative 2

Description: This report is a supplement to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Disposal-Phase Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS-II). Described herein are the underlying information, data, and assumptions used to estimate the long-term human-health impacts from exposure to radionuclides and hazardous chemicals in transuranic (TRU) waste remaining at major generator/storage sites after loss of institutional control under No Action Alternative 2. Under No Action Alternative 2, TRU wastes would not be emplaced at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) but would remain at generator/storage sites in surface or near-surface storage. Waste generated at smaller sites would be consolidated at the major generator/storage sites. Current TRU waste management practices would continue, but newly generated waste would be treated to meet the WIPP waste acceptance criteria. For this alternative, institutional control was assumed to be lost 100 years after the end of the waste generation period, with exposure to radionuclides and hazardous chemicals in the TRU waste possible from direct intrusion and release to the surrounding environment. The potential human-health impacts from exposure to radionuclides and hazardous chemicals in TRU waste were analyzed for two different types of scenarios. Both analyses estimated site-specific, human-health impacts at seven major generator/storage sites: the Hanford Site (Hanford), Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS), and Savannah River Site (SRS). The analysis focused on these seven sites because 99 % of the estimated TRU waste volume and inventory would remain there under the assumptions of No Action Alternative 2.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Buck, J.W.; Bagaasen, L.M.; Bergeron, M.P. & Streile, G.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Compliance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant with 40 CFR 194.24(b)

Description: This paper presents aspects of DOE`s demonstration of compliance with the EPA regulation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The WIPP, a geologic repository for transuranic (TRU) waste, is located 2150 feet below the ground surface in a bedded salt formation about 20 miles east of Carlsbad, NM. Performance of the WIPP as a repository requires that releases to the accessible environment not exceed the limits of the regulation 40 CFR Part 191(1) either when the WIPP is undisturbed, or if there is intrusion into the repository by drilling. In 1996, the EPA promulgated 40 CFR Part 194(2): the implementing regulation for 40 CFR Part 191. The regulatory subsection addressed here, 40 CFR 194.24(b), directs the DOE to identify and analyze the components and characteristics of the TRU waste that can impact performance of the WIPP repository, and thereby possibly impact waste containment. DOE must also analyze those waste characteristics and components that will not affect repository performance.
Date: November 7, 1996
Creator: Chu, M. S. Y.; Papenguth, H. W. & Stockman, C. T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of explosive event scale model testing capability at Sandia`s large scale centrifuge facility

Description: Geotechnical structures such as underground bunkers, tunnels, and building foundations are subjected to stress fields produced by the gravity load on the structure and/or any overlying strata. These stress fields may be reproduced on a scaled model of the structure by proportionally increasing the gravity field through the use of a centrifuge. This technology can then be used to assess the vulnerability of various geotechnical structures to explosive loading. Applications of this technology include assessing the effectiveness of earth penetrating weapons, evaluating the vulnerability of various structures, counter-terrorism, and model validation. This document describes the development of expertise in scale model explosive testing on geotechnical structures using Sandia`s large scale centrifuge facility. This study focused on buried structures such as hardened storage bunkers or tunnels. Data from this study was used to evaluate the predictive capabilities of existing hydrocodes and structural dynamics codes developed at Sandia National Laboratories (such as Pronto/SPH, Pronto/CTH, and ALEGRA). 7 refs., 50 figs., 8 tabs.
Date: February 1, 1998
Creator: Blanchat, T.K.; Davie, N.T. & Calderone, J.J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Support and control system of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant gas generation experiment glovebox

Description: A glovebox was designed and fabricated to house test containers loaded with contact handled transuranic (CH-TRU) waste. The test containers were designed to simulate the environmental characteristics of the caverns at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The support and control systems used to operate and maintain the Gas Generation Experiment (GGE) include the following: glovebox atmosphere and pressure control, test container support, glovebox operation support, and gas supply and exhaust systems. The glovebox atmosphere and pressure control systems consist of various components used to control both the pressure and quality of the argon atmosphere inside the glovebox. The glovebox pressure is maintained by three separate pressure control systems. The primary pressure control system is designed to maintain the glovebox at a negative pressure with the other two control systems serving as redundant safety backups. The quality of the argon atmosphere is controlled using a purifying bed system that removes oxygen and moisture. Glovebox atmosphere contaminants that are monitored on a continuous or periodic basis include moisture, oxygen, and nitrogen. The gas generation experiment requires the test containers to be filled with brine, leak tested, maintained at a constant temperature, and the gas head space of the test container sampled on a periodic basis. Test container support systems consisting of a brine addition system, leak test system, heating system, and gas sampling system were designed and implemented. A rupture disk system was constructed to provide pressure relief to the test containers. Operational requirements stipulated that test container temperature and pressure be monitored and collected on a continuous basis. A data acquisition system (DAS) was specifically designed to meet these requirements.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Benjamin, W.W.; Knight, C.J.; Michelbacher, J.A. & Rosenberg, K.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Novel micro-calorimetric spectroscopy for mine detection

Description: The authors have developed a novel micro-calorimetric spectroscopy technique that can be used in mine detection applications. In this technique target molecules are allowed to adsorb on the surface of sub-femtojoule sensitive micromechanical thermal detectors. The adsorption of molecules on the thermal detector surface causes a differential surface stress resulting in an initial trigger. By exposing each element in an array of thermal detectors to different photon wavelengths, an extremely sensitive and unique photothermal signature response can be obtained. The authors present their results on target chemicals adsorbed on the detector surface at sub-monolayer coverage levels. They will present infrared photothermal spectra for trace concentrations of diisopropyl methylphosphonate (DIMP), and trinitrotoluene (TNT) over the wavelength region 2.5 to 14.5 microns. They found that in the wavelength region 2.5 to 14.5 microns the photothermal spectra of DIMP and TNT exhibit a number of peaks and are in excellent agreement with infrared absorption spectra found in the literature. Chemical detectors based on micro-calorimetric spectroscopy can be used to sensitively sense small number of molecules adsorbed on a thermal detector surface. The photothermal signature resulting from photon irradiation can be used for improved chemical characterization.
Date: March 1, 1998
Creator: Datskos, P.G.; Rajic, S.; Egert, C.M. & Datskou, I.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Report of the tunnel safety working group

Description: On 18 February 1991 the Project Manager formed a working group to address the safety guidelines and requirements for the underground facilities during the period of accelerator construction, installation, and commissioning. The following report summarizes the research and discussions conducted by the group and the recommended guidelines for safety during this phase of the project.
Date: April 1, 1991
Creator: Gannon, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Milestones for disposal of radioactive waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the United States

Description: Since its identification as a potential deep geologic repository in about 1973, the regulatory assessment process for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico has developed over the past 25 years. National policy issues, negotiated agreements, and court settlements over the first half of the project had a strong influence on the amount and type of scientific data collected. Assessments and studies before the mid 1980s were undertaken primarily (1) to satisfy needs for environmental impact statements, (2) to develop general understanding of selected natural phenomena associated with nuclear waste disposal, or (3) to satisfy negotiated agreements with the State of New Mexico. In the last third of the project, federal compliance policy and actual regulations were sketched out, but continued to evolve until 1996. During this eight-year period, four preliminary performance assessments, one compliance performance assessment, and one verification performance assessment were performed.
Date: April 1, 1998
Creator: Rechard, R.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Material protection, control, and accounting enhancements through the Russian/US cooperative MPC & A program

Description: The cooperative Russian/US Mining and Chemical Combine (Gorno-Khimichesky Kombinat, GKhK, also referred to as Krasnoyarsk-26) Materials Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC & A) project was initiated in June 1996. Since then, the GKhK has collaborated with Brookhaven, Lawrence Livermore, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest, and Sandia National Laboratories to test, evaluate, and implement MPC & A elements including bar codes, computerized nuclear material accounting software, nondestructive assay technologies, bulk measurement systems, seals, video surveillance systems, radio communication systems, metal detectors, vulnerability assessment tools, personnel access control systems, and pedestrian nuclear material portal monitors. This paper describes the strategy for implementation of these elements at the GKhK and the status of the collaborative efforts. 8 refs., 7 figs., 1 tab.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Scott, S.C.; Sude, S. & Buckley, W.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: In 2002, the Richland Operations Office (RL) of the US Department of Energy (DOE), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) developed milestones for transitioning the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) facility to a clean slab-on-grade configuration. These milestones required developing an engineering evaluation/cost analysis (EF/CA) for the facility's sub-grade structures and installations as part of a series of evaluations intended to provide for the transition of the facility to a clean slab-on-grade configuration. In addition to supporting decisions for interim actions, the analyses of sub-grade structures and installations performed through this EE/CA will contribute to the remedial investigation feasibility study(ies) and subsequently to the final records of decision for the relevant operable units responsible for site closure in the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site.
Date: January 25, 2007
Creator: HOPKINS, A.M. & KLOS, D.B.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: Several theoretical studies have indicated that the presence of subsurface cavities in the vadose zone results in complete or partial diversion of flow around cavities. As a result, the region immediately below the cavities is partially shielded from the downward flux. This shadowing effect of cavities can be exploited in the design of dry subsurface storage facilities as an additional barrier to contain waste within or around the cavities. However, empirical evidence that supports these theories is lacking. This study is motivated by the inherent difficulty to make direct observation of the shadow zone as it occurs under very dry conditions. To aid future field and laboratory scale investigations of the shadow zone, we performed rigorous theoretical scrutiny of the conditions that result in the shadowing effect. We formulated relative permeability and saturation based criteria to identify the boundaries of the shadow zone. Analytical and numerical tools were used to develop dimensionless scaling laws that define the size of the shadow zone. Moreover, we analyzed the effect of natural perturbations (heterogeneity and fracturing) on the integrity of the shadow zone. The results will be used in selecting study sites; identifying observation locations and methods; and designing active tests to test the concept of shadow zone.
Date: September 7, 2005
Creator: Ghezzehei, T.A.; Kneafsey, T.J. & Su, G.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final report on feasibility of real-time geochemical analysis at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, using LIBS technology

Description: Laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy (LIBS) is an analytic method whereby an intense laser pulse is used to vaporize and excite a small volume of material into atomic emission. Calibrated spectral analysis of the laser spark light provides detection and quantification of the elemental composition of the target material. We performed laboratory and field tests to assess the feasibility of developing field-portable LIBS-based instruments for real-time analyses of Yucca Mountain rocks in conjunction with Yucca Mountain Project drilling, coring, sampling, and characterization tasks. We developed one prototype instrument designed to analyze air core drilling dust and another prototype instrument designed to analyze rock and fracture surfaces. In realistic field tests at the Exploratory Studies Facility at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, we demonstrated that the LIBS prototypes are capable of measuring major, minor, and some trace elements in real time. Laboratory LIBS analyses show that we can identify characteristic element ratios in a range of manganese oxide minerals present at Yucca Mountain as fracture surface coatings and matrix grains. Preliminary LIBS analyses also indicate that the U/Na ratio may distinguish tuffs containing the hazardous zeolite mineral erionite from non-erionite bearing tuffs, and that a LIBS-based instrument may be useful to detect in real time the probable presence of erionite encountered in core drilling and other operations at Yucca Mountain.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Blacic, J.D.; Pettit, D.R. & Cremers, D.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department