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Variability of the physical properties of tuff at Yucca Mountain, NV

Description: Lateral and vertical variabilities in the bulk and mechanical properties of silicic volcanic tuff at the potential nuclear waste repository site in Yucca Mountain, NV have been evaluated. Laboratory measurements have been performed on tuff specimens recovered from boreholes located to support the design of the Exploratory Studies Facility/North Ramp. The data include dry and saturated bulk densities, average grain density, porosity, compressional and shear wave velocities, elastic moduli, and compressional and tensional fracture strengths. Data from eight boreholes aligned in a northwest-southeast direction have been collected under the required quality assurance program. Three boreholes have penetrated the potential repository horizon. The information collected provides for an accurate appraisal of the variability of rock properties in the vicinity of the boreholes. As expected, there is substantial variability in the bulk and mechanical properties of the tuff with depth (lithology). This is due to variations in gross characteristics of the tuffs (e.g., cooling units, mode of deposition, etc.), as well as smaller scale features (welding, porosity, and internal structures) that have developed as a result of depositional and post-depositional mechanisms. An evaluation of the lateral variability in bulk and mechanical properties is somewhat limited, at this time, due to a lack of borehole control to the north and south (parallel to the depositional flow direction). Initial observations indicate that there is minimal lateral variability within lithologic units. There are observable differences however, that can be related to variability in specific properties (e.g., porosity, and internal structures).
Date: December 31, 1994
Creator: Boyd, P. J.; Martin, R. J., III & Price, R. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Thermodynamic properties of pulverized coal during rapid heating devolatilization processes

Description: The thermodynamic properties of coal under conditions of rapid heating have been determined using a combination of UTRC facilities including a proprietary rapid heating rate differential thermal analyzer (RHR-DTA), a microbomb calorimeter (MBC), an entrained flow reactor (EFR), an elemental analyzer (EA), and a FT-IR. The total heat of devolatilization, was measured for a HVA bituminous coal (PSOC 1451D, Pittsburgh No. 8) and a LV bituminous coal (PSOC 1516D, Lower Kittaning). For the HVA coal, the contributions of each of the following components to the overall heat of devolatilization were measured: the specific heat of coal/char during devolatilization, the heat of thermal decomposition of the coal, the specific heat capacity of tars, and the heat of vaporization of tars. Morphological characterization of coal and char samples was performed at the University of Pittsburgh using a PC-based image analysis system, BET apparatus, helium pcynometer, and mercury porosimeter. The bulk density, true density, CO{sub 2} surface area, pore volume distribution, and particle size distribution as a function of extent of reaction are reported for both the HVA and LV coal. Analyses of the data were performed to obtain the fractal dimension of the particles as well as estimates for the external surface area. The morphological data together with the thermodynamic data obtained in this investigation provides a complete database for a set of common, well characterized coal and char samples. This database can be used to improve the prediction of particle temperatures in coal devolatilization models. Such models are used both to obtain kinetic rates from fundamental studies and in predicting furnace performance with comprehensive coal combustion codes. Recommendations for heat capacity functions and heats of devolatilization for the HVA and LV coals are given. Results of sample particle temperature calculations using the recommended thermodynamic properties are provided.
Date: July 1, 1994
Creator: Proscia, W.M.; Freihaut, J.D.; Rastogi, S. & Klinzing, G.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Water permeability and related rock properties measured on core samples from the Yucca Mountain USW GU-3/G-3 and USW G-4 boreholes, Nevada Test Site, Nevada

Description: Core samples were measured for bulk density, grain density, porosity, resistivity, and water permeability as part of a comprehensive geologic investigation designed to determine the suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the containment of high-level radioactive waste products. The cores were selected at the drill sites so as to be representative of the major lithologic variations observed within stratigraphic units of the Paintbrush Tuff, Calico Hills Tuff, Crater Flat Tuff, Lithic Ridge Tuff, and Older Tuffs. Dry and saturated bulk density, grain density, and porosity measurements were made on the core samples principally to establish that a reasonable uniformity exists in the textural and mineral character of the sample pairs. Electrical resistivity measured on sample pairs tended to be lower along the plane transverse to the vertical axis of the drill core herein referred to as the horizontal plane. Permeability values, ranging from virtually zero (<.02 microdarcies) to over 200 millidarcies, also indicate a preferential flow direction along the horizontal plane of the individual tuff units. Permeability decreases with flow duration in all but the non-welded tuffs as unconsolidated particles within the pore network are repositioned so as to impede the continued flow of water through the rock. Reversing flow direction initially restores the permeability of the rock to its original or maximum value.
Date: September 1, 1994
Creator: Anderson, L.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An experimental comparison of laboratory techniques in determining bulk properties of tuffaceous rocks; Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Project

Description: Samples of tuffaceous rock were studied as part of the site characterization for a potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada. These efforts were scoping in nature, and their results, along with those of other investigations, are being used to develop suitable procedures for determining bulk properties of tuffaceous rock in support of thermal and mechanical properties evaluations. Comparisons were made between various sample preparation, handling, and measurement techniques for both zeolitized and nonzeolitized tuff in order to assess their effects on bulk property determinations. Laboratory tests included extensive drying regimes to evaluate dehydration behavior, the acquisition of data derived from both gas and water pycnometers to compare their suitability in determining grain densities, a comparison of particle size effects, and a set of experiments to evaluate whole core saturation methods. The results affirm the added complexity of these types of measurements where there is a zeolite component in the sample mineralogy. Absolute values for the bulk properties of zeolitized tuff are immeasurable due to the complex nature of their dehydration behavior. However, the results of the techniques that were investigated provide a basis for the development of preferred, consistent methods for determining the grain density, dry and saturated bulk densities, and porosity of tuffaceous rock, including zeolitic tuff in support of thermal and mechanical properties evaluations.
Date: April 1, 1994
Creator: Boyd, P.J.; Martin, R.J. III & Price, R.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department