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Modeling to Support Groundwater Contaminant Boundaries for the Shoal Underground Nuclear Test

Description: The purpose of this work is to characterize groundwater flow and contaminant transport at the Shoal underground nuclear test through numerical modeling using site-specific hydrologic data. The ultimate objective is the development of a contaminant boundary, a model-predicted perimeter defining the extent of radionuclide-contaminated groundwater from the underground test throughout 1,000 years at a prescribed level of confidence. This boundary will be developed using the numerical models described here, after they are approved for that purpose by DOE and NDEP.
Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: Pohlmann, K.; Pohll, G.; Chapman, J.; Hassan, A.; Carroll, R. & Shirley, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Underground reactor containments: An option for the future?

Description: Changing world conditions and changing technologies suggest that serious consideration should be given to siting of nuclear power plants underground. Underground siting is not a new concept. Multiple research reactors, several weapons production reactors, and one power reactor have been built underground. What is new are the technologies and incentives that may now make underground siting a preferred option. The conditions and technologies, along with their implications, are discussed herein. Underground containments can be constructed in mined cavities or pits that are then backfilled with thick layers of rock and soil. Conventional above-ground containments resist assaults and accidents because of the strength of their construction materials and the effectiveness of their safety features that are engineered to reduce loads. However, underground containments can provide even more resistance to assaults and accidents because of the inertia of the mass of materials over the reactor. High-technology weapons or some internal accidents can cause existing strong-material containments to fail, but only very-high energy releases can move large inertial masses associated with underground containments. New methods of isolation may provide a higher confidence in isolation that is independent of operator action.
Date: February 18, 1997
Creator: Forsberg, C.W. & Kress, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Completely automated nuclear reactors for long-term operation

Description: The authors discuss new types of nuclear fission reactors optimized for the generation of high-temperature heat for exceedingly safe, economic, and long-duration electricity production in large, long-lived central power stations. These reactors are quite different in design, implementation and operation from conventional light-water-cooled and -moderated reactors (LWRs) currently in widespread use, which were scaled-up from submarine nuclear propulsion reactors. They feature an inexpensive initial fuel loading which lasts the entire 30-year design life of the power-plant. The reactor contains a core comprised of a nuclear ignitor and a nuclear burn-wave propagating region comprised of natural thorium or uranium, a pressure shell for coolant transport purposes, and automatic emergency heat-dumping means to obviate concerns regarding loss-of-coolant accidents during the plant`s operational and post-operational life. These reactors are proposed to be situated in suitable environments at {approximately}100 meter depths underground, and their operation is completely automatic, with no moving parts and no human access during or after its operational lifetime, in order to avoid both error and misuse. The power plant`s heat engine and electrical generator subsystems are located above-ground.
Date: January 1, 1996
Creator: Teller, E.; Ishikawa, M. & Wood, L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department