Science.gov

Sample records for plant wipp repository

  1. Geochemistry of Salado Formation brines recovered from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository

    SciTech Connect

    Abitz, R.; Myers, J.; Drez, P.; Deal, D.

    1990-01-01

    Intergranular brines recovered from the repository horizon of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) have major- and trace-element compositions that reflect seawater evaporation and diagenetic processes. Brines obtained from repository drill holes are heterogenous with respect to composition, but their compositional fields are distinct from those obtained from fluid inclusions in WIPP halite. The heterogeneity of brine compositions within the drill-hole population indicates a lack of mixing and fluid homogenization within the salt at the repository level. Compositional differences between intergranular (drill hole) and intragranular (fluid inclusions) brines is attributed to isolation of the latter from diagenetic fluids that were produced from dehydration reactions involving gypsum and clay minerals. Modeling of brine-rock equilibria indicates that equilibration with evaporite minerals controls the concentrations of major elements in the brine. Drill-hole brines are in equilibrium with the observed repository minerals halite, anhydrite, magnesite, polyhalite and quartz. The equilibrium model supports the derivation of drill-hole brines from near-field fluid, rather than large-scale vertical migration of fluids from the overlying Rustler or underlying Castile Formations. 13 refs., 6 figs., 6 tabs.

  2. Thermomechanical response of WIPP repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Maxwell, D.E.; Wahi, K.K.; Dial, B.

    1980-05-01

    Coarsely zoned STEALTH 2D calculations were used to investigate two candidate WIPP repositories. The grid was designed for one hundred thousand years of response with modest computing costs. As a result, the early time mechanical response was compromised by non-real oscillations that could not be damped completely before a few thousand years. In spite of these oscillations, it was possible to see that the dominant effects of stress and strain peaked between one and two thousand years, at the time of maximum heat in the site. This time corresponded to the condition that the surface heat loss rate balanced the heat generation rate. Though the creep strains were quite small, a large volume of salt was involved and the effects were significant. The peak surface uplift of 75HLW was increased by about 25% due to creep. However, the deviatoric stress relaxation due to creep produced large changes in the stress fields. The Rustler layer survived reasonable failure criterion for the 75HLW case with creep, and failed both in tension and shear, according to these same criterion, when the calculation was repeated without creep. The deviatoric stress fields, with and without salt creep, concentrated near the repository as expected and also in the Rustler layer due to its relatively high Young's modulus compared to the neighboring layers. Since the time of interest is so much smaller than the 100,000 years this calculation was designed to examine, it is possible to model the WIPP stratigraphy in much more detail and still be able to calculate the response for the time of interest. A finer zoned calculation of the response of the WIPP stratigraphy to a repository similar to the 75 K watt/acre repository is modeled in this report. In this calculation the Rustler formation is modeled as a five layered formation using material properties derived from data taken at the Nome site.

  3. Scientific studies in support of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, M.S.Y.; Weart, W.D.

    1996-12-31

    The DOE submitted a Compliance Certification Application for WIPP in october, 1996. A critical part of this application was a Performance Assessment which predicts the cumulative radioactive release to the accessible environment over a time period of 10,000 years. Comparison of this predicted release to the EPA standard shows a comfortable margin of compliance. The scientific understanding that was critical to developing this assessment spans a broad range of geotechnical disciplines, and required a thorough understanding of the site`s geology and hydrology. Evaluation of the geologic processes which are active in the site region establishes that there will be no natural breach of site integrity for millions of years, far longer than the 10,000 year regulatory period. Inadvertent human intrusion is, therefore, the only credible scenario to lead to potential radioactive release to the accessible environment. To substantiate this conclusion and to quantify these potential releases from human intrusion, it has been necessary to develop an understanding of the following processes: salt creep and shaft seal efficacy; gas generation from organic decomposition of waste materials and anoxic corrosion of metals in the waste and waste packages; solubilities for actinides in brine; fluid flow in Salado formation rocks, and hydrologic transport of actinides in the overlying dolomite aquifers. Other issues which had to be evaluated to allow definition of breach scenarios were brine reservoir occurrences and their associated reservoir parameters, consequences of mining over the repository, and drilling for natural resources in the vicinity of the repository. Results of all these studies will be briefly summarized in this paper.

  4. A review of WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) repository clays and their relationship to clays of adjacent strata

    SciTech Connect

    Krumhansl, J.L.; Kimball, K.M.; Stein, C.L.

    1990-12-01

    The Salado Formation is a thick evaporite sequence located in the Permian Delaware Basin of southeastern New Mexico. This study focuses on the intense diagenetic alteration that has affected the small amounts of clay, feldspar, and quartz washed into the basin during salt deposition. These changes are of more than academic interest since this formation also houses the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant). Site characterization concerns warrant compiling a detailed data base describing the clays in and around the facility horizon. An extensive sampling effort was undertaken to address these programmatic issues as well as to provide additional insight regarding diagenetic mechanisms in the Salado. Seventy-five samples were collected from argillaceous partings in halite at the stratigraphic level of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These were compared with twenty-eight samples from cores of the Vaca Triste member of the Salado, a thin clastic unit at the top of the McNutt potash zone, and with a clay-rich sample from the lower contact of the Culebra Dolomite (in the overlying Rustler Formation). These settings were compared to assess the influence of differences in brine chemistry (i.e., halite and potash facies, normal to hypersaline marine conditions) and sediment composition (clays, sandy silt, dolomitized limestone) on diagenetic processes. 44 refs., 11 figs., 5 tabs.

  5. Geotechnical Perspectives on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Francke, Chris T.; Hansen, Frank D.; Knowles, M. Kathyn; Patchet, Stanley J.; Rempe, Norbert T.

    1999-08-05

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is the first nuclear waste repository certified by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Success in regulatory compliance resulted from an excellent natural setting for such a repository, a facility with multiple, redundant safety systems, and from a rigorous, transparent scientific and technical evaluation. The WIPP story, which has evolved over the past 25 years, has generated a library of publications and analyses. Details of the multifaceted program are contained in the cited references. Selected geotechnical highlights prove the eminent suitability of the WIPP to serve its congressionally mandated purpose.

  6. Coupled multiphase flow and closure analysis of repository response to waste-generated gas at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Freeze, G.A.; Larson, K.W.; Davies, P.B.

    1995-10-01

    A long-term assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository performance must consider the impact of gas generation resulting from the corrosion and microbial degradation of the emplaced waste. A multiphase fluid flow code, TOUGH2/EOS8, was adapted to model the processes of gas generation, disposal room creep closure, and multiphase (brine and gas) fluid flow, as well as the coupling between the three processes. System response to gas generation was simulated with a single, isolated disposal room surrounded by homogeneous halite containing two anhydrite interbeds, one above and one below the room. The interbeds were assumed to have flow connections to the room through high-permeability, excavation-induced fractures. System behavior was evaluated by tracking four performance measures: (1) peak room pressure; (2) maximum brine volume in the room; (3) total mass of gas expelled from the room; and (4) the maximum gas migration distance in an interbed. Baseline simulations used current best estimates of system parameters, selected through an evaluation of available data, to predict system response to gas generation under best-estimate conditions. Sensitivity simulations quantified the effects of parameter uncertainty by evaluating the change in the performance measures in response to parameter variations. In the sensitivity simulations, a single parameter value was varied to its minimum and maximum values, representative of the extreme expected values, with all other parameters held at best-estimate values. Sensitivity simulations identified the following parameters as important to gas expulsion and migration away from a disposal room: interbed porosity; interbed permeability; gas-generation potential; halite permeability; and interbed threshold pressure. Simulations also showed that the inclusion of interbed fracturing and a disturbed rock zone had a significant impact on system performance.

  7. Test plan: Sealing of the Disturbed Rock Zone (DRZ), including Marker Bed 139 (MB139) and the overlying halite, below the repository horizon, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. [Cementitious grout into fractured WIPP rock

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, E.H.

    1992-05-01

    This test plan describes activities intended to demonstrate equipment and techniques for producing, injecting, and evaluating microfine cementitious grout. The grout will be injected in fractured rock located below the repository horizon at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These data are intended to support the development of the Alcove Gas Barrier System (AGBS), the design of upcoming, large-scale seal tests, and ongoing laboratory evaluations of grouting efficacy. Degradation of the grout will be studied in experiments conducted in parallel with the underground grouting experiment.

  8. Groundwater occurrence and the dissolution of salt at the WIPP Radioactive Waste Repository Site

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chaturvedi, Lokesh; Rehfeldt, Kenneth

    1984-04-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located about 25 miles east of Carlsbad, in southeastern New Mexico, is slated to be the first deep geologic repository for permanent disposal of radioactive wastes in the United States. The repository will be located in bedded salt of Permian (225 m.y. B.P.) age, at a depth of 655 m below the ground surface. The present mission of WIPP calls for a permanent disposal of approximately 170,000 cubic meters of defense transuranic (TRU) wastes and for temporary, retrievable emplacement of 4.25 cubic meters of experimental high level wastes. The site will not be licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) but will comply with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards and all other federal and state regulations.

  9. Effects of microbial processes on gas generation under expected WIPP repository conditions: Annual report through 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.; Gillow, J.B.

    1993-09-01

    Microbial processes involved in gas generation from degradation of the organic constituents of transuranic waste under conditions expected at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository are being investigated at Brookhaven National Laboratory. These laboratory studies are part of the Sandia National Laboratories -- WIPP Gas Generation Program. Gas generation due to microbial degradation of representative cellulosic waste was investigated in short-term (< 6 months) and long-term (> 6 months) experiments by incubating representative paper (filter paper, paper towels, and tissue) in WIPP brine under initially aerobic (air) and anaerobic (nitrogen) conditions. Samples from the WIPP surficial environment and underground workings harbor gas-producing halophilic microorganisms, the activities of which were studied in short-term experiments. The microorganisms metabolized a variety of organic compounds including cellulose under aerobic, anaerobic, and denitrifying conditions. In long-term experiments, the effects of added nutrients (trace amounts of ammonium nitrate, phosphate, and yeast extract), no nutrients, and nutrients plus excess nitrate on gas production from cellulose degradation.

  10. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Waste Information System (Public Access)

    DOE Data Explorer

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a DOE facility located in the desert outside Carlsbad, New Mexico. Its mission is to safely dispose of defense-related transuranic radioactive waste. Disposal ôroomsö are carved out of the Permian Salt Formation deep below the desertÆs surface. The WIPP Waste Information Service (WWIS) was established in accordance with an Agreement between the United States Department of Energy and the New Mexico Environment Department, dated February 11, 2005, Docket Number HWB 04-07 (CO). The service provides information the containers emplaced at WIPP and the waste products they hold. The public may query by shipment number, location of waste stream or location of the container after it is placed at WIPP, date placed, and Haz Codes or other information about the waste stream profiles. For example, choosing the waste stream identified as ID-SDA-SLUDGE reveals that it may contain more than 20 chemical waste products, including arsenic, spent halogenated solvents, potassium cyanide, and chloroform. The system then tells you each numbered container that has this kind of sludge. Container data is available within 14 days after the containerÆs emplacement in the WIPP Repository.

  11. Regulatory Considerations Of Waste Emplacement Within The WIPP Repository: Random Versus Non-Random Distribution

    SciTech Connect

    Casey, S. C.; Patterson, R. L.; Gross, M.; Lickliter, K.; Stein, J. S.

    2003-02-25

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for disposing of transuranic waste in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico. As part of that responsibility, DOE must comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) radiation protection standards in Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Parts 191 and 194. This paper addresses compliance with the criteria of 40 CFR Section 194.24(d) and 194.24(f) that require DOE to either provide a waste loading scheme for the WIPP repository or to assume random emplacement in the mandated performance and compliance assessments. The DOE established a position on waste loading schemes during the process of obtaining the EPA's initial Certification in 1998. The justification for utilizing a random waste emplacement distribution within the WIPP repository was provided to the EPA. During the EPA rulemaking process for the initial certification, the EPA questioned DOE on whether waste would be loaded randomly as modeled in long-term performance assessment (PA) and the impact, if any, of nonrandom loading. In response, DOE conducted an impact assessment for non-random waste loading. The results of this assessment supported the contention that it does not matter whether random or non-random waste loading is assumed for the PA. The EPA determined that a waste loading plan was unnecessary because DOE had assumed random waste loading and evaluated the potential consequences of non-random loading for a very high activity waste stream. In other words, the EPA determined that DOE was not required to provide a waste loading scheme because compliance is not affected by the actual distribution of waste containers in the WIPP.

  12. Basic data report for drillhole WIPP 11 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-02-01

    Seismic reflection data from petroleum industry sources showed anomalous reflectors in the Castile Formation over a small area about 3 miles north of the center of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. Additional corroborative seismic reflection data were collected as part of WIPP investigations, and WIPP 11 was drilled to investigate the anomaly. WIPP 11 was drilled near the northwest corner of Section 9, T.22.S., R.31E. it penetrated, in descending order, sand dune deposits and the Gatuna Formation (29'), Santa Rosa Sandstone (132'), Dewey Lake Red Beds (502'), Rustler Formation (288'), Salado Formation (1379'), and most of the Castile Formation (1240'). Beds within the lower part of the Salado, and the upper anhydrite of the Castile, are thinner than normal; these beds are displaced upward structurally by the upper Castile halite which is highly thickened (about 968'). The lowest halite is thin (51') and the basal anhydrite was not completely penetrated. Subsequent seismic and borehole data has shown WIPP 11 to be in a structural complex now identified as the disturbed zone. The WIPP is a demonstration facility for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste from defense programs. The WIPP will also provide a research facility to investigate the interactions between bedded salt and high level waste, though there are no plans at this time to dispose of high level waste or spent fuel at WIPP.

  13. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Groundwater Monitoring Program

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hillesheim, M. B.; Beauheim, R. L.

    2006-12-01

    The development of a groundwater monitoring program is an integral part of any radioactive waste disposal facility. Monitoring improves our understanding of the geologic and hydrologic framework, which improves conceptual models and the quality of groundwater models that provide data input for performance assessment. The purpose of a groundwater monitoring program is to provide objective evidence that the hydrologic system is behaving as expected (i.e., performance confirmation). Monitoring should not be limited to near-field observations but should include the larger natural system in which the repository is situated. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility designed for the safe disposal of transuranic wastes resulting from U.S. defense programs, can serve as a model for other radioactive waste disposal facilities. WIPP has a long-established groundwater monitoring program that is geared towards meeting compliance certification requirements set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The primary task of the program is to measure various water parameters (e.g.., water level, pressure head, chemical and physical properties) using a groundwater monitoring network that currently consists of 85 wells in the vicinity of the WIPP site. Wells are completed to a number of water-bearing horizons and are monitored on a monthly basis. In many instances, they are also instrumented with programmable pressure transducers that take high-frequency measurements that supplement the monthly measurements. Results from higher frequency measurements indicate that the hydrologic system in the WIPP vicinity is in a transient state, responding to both natural and anthropogenic stresses. The insights gathered from the monitoring, as well as from hydrologic testing activities, provide valuable information that contributes to groundwater modeling efforts and performance assessment. Sandia is a multi program laboratory operated by

  14. Basic data report for drillhole WIPP 30 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-04-01

    WIPP 30 was drilled in east-central Eddy County, New Mexico, in NW 1/4, Sec. 33, T21S, R31E, to obtain drill core for the study of dissolution of near-surface rocks. The borehole encountered from top to bottom, the Dewey Lake Red Beds (449' including artificial fill for drill pad), Rustler Formation (299'), and the upper 160' of the Salado Formation. Continuous core was cut from the surface to total depth. Geophysical logs were taken the full length of the borehole to measure acoustic velocities, density, and distribution of potassium and other radioactive elements. Information from this borehole will be included in an interpretive report on dissolution in Nash Draw based on combined borehole data, surface mapping and laboratory analyses of rocks and fluids. The WIPP is to demonstrate (through limited operations) disposal technology for transuranic defense wastes and to then be converted to a repository. The WIPP will also provide research facilities for interactions between high-level waste and salt. Administration policy as of February 1980 is to hold the WIPP site in reserve until the first disposal site can be chosen from several potential sites, including the WIPP.

  15. Actinide chemistry research supporting the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP): FY94 results

    SciTech Connect

    Novak, C.F.

    1995-08-01

    This document contains six reports on actinide chemistry research supporting the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These reports, completed in FY94, are relevant to the estimation of the potential dissolved actinide concentrations in WIPP brines under repository breach scenarios. Estimates of potential dissolved actinide concentrations are necessary for WIPP performance assessment calculations. The specific topics covered within this document are: the complexation of oxalate with Th(IV) and U(VI); the stability of Pu(VI) in one WIPP-specific brine environment both with and without carbonate present; the solubility of Nd(III) in a WIPP Salado brine surrogate as a function of hydrogen ion concentration; the steady-state dissolved plutonium concentrations in a synthetic WIPP Culebra brine surrogate; the development of a model for Nd(III) solubility and speciation in dilute to concentrated sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate solutions; and the development of a model for Np(V) solubility and speciation in dilute to concentrated sodium Perchlorate, sodium carbonate, and sodium chloride media.

  16. Systems analysis, long-term radionuclide transport, and dose assessments, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico, September 1989

    SciTech Connect

    Lappin, A.R.; Hunter, R.L.; Davies, P.B.; Borns, D.J. ); Reeves, M.; Pickens, J. ); Iuzzolino, H.J. )

    1990-12-01

    This study supports the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement and has two main objectives. First, it describes current ideas about the characteristics and potential impacts of the disturbed-rock zone (DRZ) known to develop with time around excavations at the WIPP horizon. Second, it presents new calculations of radionuclide migration within and from the WIPP repository for steady-state undisturbed conditions and for two cases that consider human intrusion into the repository. At the WIPP, the presence of a DRZ has been confirmed by geophysical studies, gas-flow tests, and direct observations. The DRZ will allow gas or brine from waste-emplacement panels to bypass panel seals and flow into adjacent portions of the underground workings unless preventive measures are taken. Revised calculations of the undisturbed performance of the repository indicate that no radionuclides will be released into the Culebra Dolomite within the regulatory period of 10,000 years. The human-intrusion calculations included here assume a connection between the WIPP repository, an occurrence of pressurized brine within the underlying Castile Formation, and the overlying Culebra Dolomite. 61 refs., 40 figs., 16 tabs.

  17. Analysis of the potential formation of a Breccia chimney beneath the WIPP repository

    SciTech Connect

    Spiegler, P.

    1982-05-01

    This report evaluates the potential formation of a Breccia pipe beginning at the Bell Canyon aquifer beneath the WIPP repository and the resulting release of radioactivity to the surface. Rock mechanics considerations indicate that the formation of a Breccia pipe by collapse of a cavern is not reasonable. Even if rock mechanics is ignored, the overlying strata act as a barrier and would prevent the release of radioactivity to the biosphere. Gradual formation of a Breccia pipe is so slow that the plutonium-239 in the waste (one of the most important long-lived components) would decay during formation. If Bell Lake and San Simon Sinks are the surface manifestation of a regional deep dissolution wedge, such a wedge is too far removed to represent pipe forming activity near the WIPP site. The formation of a Breccia pipe under the WIPP repository is highly unlikely. If it did occur, the concentration of plutonium-239 in brine reaching the surface would be less than the maximum permissible concentration in water specified in the Code of Federal Regulation Title 10, part 20.

  18. Basic data report: borehole WIPP-12 deepening. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project, southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Black, S.R.

    1982-12-01

    Borehole WIPP-12 was originally drilled in 1978 as an exploratory borehole to characterize the geology of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in Eddy County, New Mexico. WIPP-12 was reentered and deepened in late 1981. WIPP-12 is located in Section 17, T22S, R31E, just outside the limit of Zone II, approximately one mile north of the exploratory shaft site. The deepening of WIPP-12 was undertaken for several reasons: to investigate the presence of an anticlinal or domal structure and thickening of halite indicated by surface seismic reflection surveys conducted in the area; to determine the nature and extent of deformation in the Castile Formation, in a location adjacent to the zone of anomalous seismic reflections found north of the well location (''Disturbed Zone''); and to characterize any fluid-bearing zones encountered in the Castile Formation while drilling. Field operations related to deepening of the borehole began November 16, 1981 and were completed January 1, 1982. The borehole was deepened through the Castile Formation to a total depth of 3927.5 ft by coring. Pressurized brine was encountered on November 22, 1981 at a depth of about 3016 ft. The brine reservoir is apparently related to a system of near-vertical fractures of unknown extent observed in Anhydrite III. The Halite I member is about 200 ft thicker than observed in undisturbed areas in the vicinity of WIPP (for example, Borehole DOE-1). Small-scale lithologic features such as folding of anhydrite stringers in halite and halite lineation appear to confirm the presence of a structural disturbance at this location. This Basic Data Report includes geologic information gathered during WIPP-12 deepening.

  19. Direct drilling related releases from the WIPP repository

    SciTech Connect

    Berglund, J.W.

    1993-12-31

    Two processes are identified that can influence the quantity of wastes brought to the ground surface when a waste disposal room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is inadvertently penetrated by an exploratory borehole. The first mechanism is that due to the erosion of the borehole wall adjacent to the waste caused by the flowing drilling fluid. The second concerns the borehole spall caused by the flow of waste-generated gas to the borehole. Available literature concerning both processes and a quantitative model for erosion are presented. Calculations are shown that confirm the importance of gas-induced spall but no definitive model is developed. It is concluded that constitutive data for decomposed waste must be developed and additional experiments performed to assess the full significance of this latter mechanism.

  20. Direct drilling related releases from the WIPP repository

    SciTech Connect

    Berglund, J.W.

    1993-04-01

    Two processes are identified that can influence the quantity of wastes brought to the ground surface when a waste disposal room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is inadvertently penetrated by an exploratory borehole. The first mechanism is that due to the erosion of the borehole wall adjacent to the waste caused by the flowing drilling fluid. The second concerns the borehole spall caused by the flow of waste-generated gas to the borehole. Available literature concerning both processes and a quantitative model for erosion are presented. Calculations are shown that confirm the importance of gas-induced spall but no definitive model is developed. It is concluded that constitutive data for decomposed waste must be developed and additional experiments performed to assess the full significance of this latter mechanism.

  1. Certifying the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: Lessons Learned from the WIPP Experience

    SciTech Connect

    Anderson, D.R.; Chu, Margaret S.Y.; Froehlich, Gary K.; Howard, Bryan A.; Howarth, Susan M.; Larson, Kurt W.; Pickering, Susan Y.; Swift, Peter N.

    1999-07-13

    In May 1998, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as being in compliance with applicable long-term regulations governing the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel, high-level, and transuranic radioactive wastes. The WIPP is the first deep geologic repository in the US to have successfully demonstrated regulatory compliance with long-term radioactive waste disposal requirements. The first disposal of TRU waste at WIPP occurred on March 26, 1999. Many of the lessons learned during the WIPP Project's transition from site characterization and experimental research to the preparation of a successful application may be of general interest to other repository programs. During a four-year period (1992 to 1996), the WIPP team [including the DOE Carlsbad Area Office (CAO), the science advisor to CAO, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), and the management and operating contractor of the WIPP site, Westinghouse Electric Corporation (WID)] met its aggressive schedule for submitting the application without compromising the integrity of the scientific basis for the long-term safety of the repository. Strong leadership of the CAO-SNL-WID team was essential. Within SNL, a mature and robust performance assessment (PA) allowed prioritization of remaining scientific activities with respect to their impact on regulatory compliance. Early and frequent dialog with EPA staff expedited the review process after the application was submitted. Questions that faced SNL are familiar to geoscientists working in site evaluation projects. What data should be gathered during site characterization? How can we know when data are sufficient? How can we know when our understanding of the disposal system is sufficient to support our conceptual models? What constitutes adequate ''validation'' of conceptual models for processes that act over geologic time? How should we use peer review and expert judgment? Other

  2. Successes and Experiences of the WIPP Project

    SciTech Connect

    CHU,MARGARET S. Y.; WEART,WENDELL D.

    2000-09-06

    In May 1998, the US Environmental Agency (EPA) certified the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as being in compliance with all of the applicable regulations governing the permanent disposal of spent nuclear fuel, high-level waste, and transuranic radioactive waste. The WIPP, a transuranic waste repository, is the first deep geologic repository in the US to have successfully demonstrated regulatory compliance with long-term radioactive waste disposal regulations and be certified to receive wastes. Many lessons were learned throughout the 25-year history of the WIPP--from site selection to the ultimate successful certification. The experiences and lessons learned from the WIPP may be of general interest to other repository programs in the world. The lessons learned include all facets of a repository program: programmatic, managerial, regulatory, technical, and social. This paper addresses critical issues that arose during the 25 years of WIPP history and how they influenced the program.

  3. The significance of certain Rustler aquifer parameters for predicting long-term radiation doses from WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    Wofsy, C.

    1980-09-01

    The purpose of the Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) is to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the potential radiation exposure to people from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a Federal radioactive waste repository proposed for construction underground in an area near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The objective of the EEG evaluation is to protect the public health and safety and ensure that there is no environmental degradation. 9 refs., 4 figs., 2 tabs.

  4. Construction of the thermal/structural interactions in situ tests at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Munson, D.E.; Matalucci, R.V.; Hoag, D.L.; Blankenship D.A.

    1997-02-01

    The Department of Energy has constructed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to develop the technology for the disposal of radioactive waste from defense programs. Sandia National Laboratories has the responsibility for experimental activities at the WIPP and has emplaced several large-scale Thermal/Structural Interactions (TSI) in situ tests to validate techniques used to predict repository performance. The construction of the tests relied heavily on earlier excavations at the WIPP site to provide a basis for selecting excavation, surveying, and instrumentation methods, and achievable construction tolerances. The tests were constructed within close tolerances to provide consistent room dimensions and accurate placement of gages. This accuracy has contributed to the high quality of data generated which in turn has facilitated the comparison of test results to numerical predictions. The purpose of this report is to detail the construction activities of the TSI tests.

  5. Approach to calculating upper bounds on maximum individual doses from the use of contaminated well water following a WIPP repository breach. Report EEG-9

    SciTech Connect

    Spiegler, P.

    1981-09-01

    As part of the assessment of the potential radiological consequences of the proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), this report evaluates the post-closure radiation dose commitments associated with a possible breach event which involves dissolution of the repository by groundwaters and subsequent transport of the nuclear waste through an aquifer to a well assumed to exist at a point 3 miles downstream from the repository. The concentrations of uranium and plutonium isotopes at the well are based on the nuclear waste inventory presently proposed for WIPP and basic assumptions concerning the transport of waste as well as treatment to reduce the salinity of the water. The concentrations of U-233, Pu-239, and Pu-240, all radionuclides originally emplaced as waste in the repository, would exceed current EPA drinking water limits. The concentrations of U-234, U-235, and U-236, all decay products of plutonium isotopes originally emplaced as waste, would be well below current EPA drinking water limits. The 50-year dose commitments from one year of drinking treated water contaminated with U-233 or Pu-239 and Pu-240 were found to be comparable to a one-year dose from natural background. The 50-year dose commitments from one year of drinking milk would be no more than about 1/5 the dose obtained from ingestion of treated water. These doses are considered upper bounds because of several very conservative assumptions which are discussed in the report.

  6. Proposed preoperational environmental monitoring program for WIPP (Wast Isolation Pilot Plant)

    SciTech Connect

    Spiegler, P.

    1984-11-01

    The purpose of the Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) is to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the potential radiation exposure to people from the proposed Federal radioactive Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, in order to protect the public health and safety and ensure that there is minimal environmental degradation. The EEG is part of the Environmental Improvement Division, a component of the New Mexico Health and Environment Department---the agency charged with the primary responsibility for protecting the health of the citizens of New Mexico. The Group is neither a proponent nor an opponent of WIPP. Analyses are conducted are available data concerning the proposed site, the design of the repository, its planned operation, and its long-term stability. These analyses include assessments of reports issued by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and its contractors, other Federal agencies and organizations, as they relate to the potential health, safety and environmental impacts from WIPP. 17 refs., 5 figs., 2 tabs.

  7. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) fact sheet

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-10-01

    Pursuant to the Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), as amended (42 USC 6901, et seq.), and the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (Section 74-4-1 et seq., NMSA 1978), Permit is issued to the owner and operator of the US DOE, WIPP site (hereafter called the Permittee(s)) to operate a hazardous waste storage facility consisting of a container storage unit (Waste Handling Building) and two Subpart X miscellaneous below-ground storage units (Bin Scale Test Rooms 1 and 3), all are located at the above location. The Permittee must comply with all terms and conditions of this Permit. This Permit consists of the conditions contained herein, including the attachments. Applicable regulations cited are the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Management Regulations, as amended 1992 (HWMR-7), the regulations that are in effect on the date of permit issuance. This Permit shall become effective upon issuance by the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department and shall be in effect for a period of ten (10) years from issuance. This Permit is also based on the assumption that all information contained in the Permit application and the administrative record is accurate and that the activity will be conducted as specified in the application and the administrative record. The Permit application consists of Revision 3, as well as associated attachments and clarifying information submitted on January 25, 1993, and May 17, 1993.

  8. Sealing concepts for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, C.L.; Gulick, C.W.; Lambert, S.J.

    1982-09-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility is proposed for development in the southeast portion of the State of New Mexico. The proposed horizon is in bedded salt located approximately 2150 ft below the surface. The purpose of the WIPP is to provide an R&D facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive wastes resulting from defense activities of the United States. As such, it will include a disposal demonstration for transuranic (TRU) wastes and an experimental area to address issues associated with disposal of defense high level wastes (DHLW) in bedded salt. All DHLW used in the experiments are planned for retrieval at the termination of testing; the TRU waste can be permanently disposed of at the site after the pilot phase is complete. This report addresses only the Plugging and Sealing program, which will result in an adequate and acceptable technology for final sealing and decommissioning of the facility at the WIPP site. The actual plugging operations are intended to be conducted on a commercial industrial basis through contracts issued by the DOE. This report is one in a series that is based on a technical program of modeling, laboratory materials testing and field demonstration which will provide a defensible basis for the actual plugging operations to be conducted by the DOE for final closure of the facility.

  9. Hanford Tank Waste to WIPP - Maximizing the Value of our National Repository Asset

    SciTech Connect

    Tedeschi, Allan R.; Wheeler, Martin

    2013-11-11

    Preplanning scope for the Hanford tank transuranic (TRU) waste project was authorized in 2013 by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of River Protection (ORP) after a project standby period of eight years. Significant changes in DOE orders, Hanford contracts, and requirements at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) have occurred during this time period, in addition to newly implemented regulatory permitting, re-evaluated waste management strategies, and new commercial applications. Preplanning has identified the following key approaches for reactivating the project: qualification of tank inventory designations and completion of all environmental regulatory permitting; identifying program options to accelerate retrieval of key leaking tank T-111; planning fully compliant implementation of DOE Order 413.3B, and DOE Standard 1189 for potential on-site treatment; and re-evaluation of commercial retrieval and treatment technologies for better strategic bundling of permanent waste disposal options.

  10. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B Permit Application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 4, Chapter D, Appendix D1 (beginning), Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Lappin, A. R.

    1993-03-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is designed for receipt, handling, storage, and permanent isolation of defense-generated transuranic wastes, is being excavated at a depth of approximately 655 m in bedded halites of the Permian Salado Formation of southeastern New Mexico. Site-characterization activities at the present WIPP site began in 1976. Full construction of the facility began in 1983, after completion of ``Site and Preliminary Design Validation`` (SPDV) activities and reporting. Site-characterization activities since 1983 have had the objectives of updating or refining the overall conceptual model of the geologic, hydrologic, and structural behavior of the WIPP site and providing data adequate for use in WIPP performance assessment. This report has four main objectives: 1. Summarize the results of WIPP site-characterization studies carried out since the spring of 1983 as a result of specific agreements between the US Department of Energy and the State of New Mexico. 2. Summarize the results and status of site-characterization and facility-characterization studies carried out since 1983, but not specifically included in mandated agreements. 3. Compile the results of WIPP site-characterization studies into an internally consistent conceptual model for the geologic, hydrologic, geochemical, and structural behavior of the WIPP site. This model includes some consideration of the effects of the WIPP facility and shafts on the local characteristics of the Salado and Rustler Formations. 4. Discuss the present limitations and/or uncertainties in the conceptual geologic model of the WIPP site and facility. The objectives of this report are limited in scope, and do not include determination of whether or not the WIPP Project will comply with repository-performance criteria developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency (40CFR191).

  11. Biogeochemical Investigations to Evaluate the Performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillow, J. B.

    2009-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a U.S. Department of Energy facility located in southeastern New Mexico, approximately 655 m (2150 ft.) below ground surface in a bedded salt, Permian evaporite formation. This mined geologic repository has been receiving transuranic (TRU) waste from defense-related and environmental-management activities since March 1999. TRU waste contains alpha-emitting transuranic nuclides with half-lives greater than twenty years at concentrations greater than 100 nCi/gram. These actinide-contaminated wastes were generated from nuclear-weapons production and related processing activities. They include various organics, adsorbed liquids, sludges, cellulosics, plastics, rubber, and a variety of metals and cemented materials. An extensive set of investigations were performed to establish the basis for TRU waste disposal at WIPP and to support initial certification from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A significant element of the conceptual geochemical model for WIPP is the microbiologically-driven reactions leading to biodegradation of organic constituents in TRU wastes, as well as interactions with actinides present in the waste. This presentation will discuss the biogeochemical investigations that were performed to evaluate microbiological activity at WIPP, including studies of gas generation due to biodegradation of cellulose, plastic, and rubber materials and actinide-microbe interactions leading to changes in actinide chemical speciation. Highlights of this work are discussed here. Cellulose biodegradation in salt-brine systems results in the generation of carbon dioxide and hydrogen, and aqueous fermentation products (low molecular weight organic acids). Hypersaline brine can limit the range of microbial metabolic pathways, due to the energetic stresses of maintaining osmotic balance compatible with metabolic processes. Methanogenesis yields the lowest free energy per mole of carbon and as such is often not detected in

  12. Technical basis for external dosimetry at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Bradley, E.W.; Wu, C.F.; Goff, T.E.

    1993-12-31

    The WIPP External Dosimetry Program, administered by Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Waste Isolation Division, for the US Department of Energy (DOE), provides external dosimetry support services for operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Site. These operations include the receipt, experimentation with, storage, and disposal of transuranic (TRU) wastes. This document describes the technical basis for the WIPP External Radiation Dosimetry Program. The purposes of this document are to: (1) provide assurance that the WIPP External Radiation Dosimetry Program is in compliance with all regulatory requirements, (2) provide assurance that the WIPP External Radiation Dosimetry Program is derived from a sound technical base, (3) serve as a technical reference for radiation protection personnel, and (4) aid in identifying and planning for future needs. The external radiation exposure fields are those that are documented in the WIPP Final Safety Analysis Report.

  13. Actinide Sorption in a Brine/Dolomite Rock System: Evaluating the Degree of Conservatism in Kd Ranges used in Performance Assessment Modeling for the WIPP Nuclear Waste Repository

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dittrich, T. M.; Reed, D. T.

    2015-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, NM is the only operating nuclear waste repository in the US and has been accepting transuranic (TRU) waste since 1999. The WIPP is located in a salt deposit approximately 650 m below the surface and performance assessment (PA) modeling for a 10,000 year period is required to recertify the operating license with the US EPA every five years. The main pathway of concern for environmental release of radioactivity is a human intrusion caused by drilling into a pressurized brine reservoir below the repository. This could result in the flooding of the repository and subsequent transport in the high transmissivity layer (dolomite-rich Culebra formation) above the waste disposal rooms. We evaluate the degree of conservatism in the estimated sorption partition coefficients (Kds) ranges used in the PA based on an approach developed with granite rock and actinides (Dittrich and Reimus, 2015; Dittrich et al., 2015). Sorption onto the waste storage material (Fe drums) may also play a role in mobile actinide concentrations. We will present (1) a conceptual overview of how Kds are used in the PA model, (2) technical background of the evolution of the ranges and (3) results from batch and column experiments and model predictions for Kds with WIPP dolomite and clays, brine with various actinides, and ligands (e.g., acetate, citrate, EDTA) that could promote transport. The current Kd ranges used in performance models are based on oxidation state and are 5-400, 0.5-10,000, 0.03-200, and 0.03-20 mL g-1 for elements with oxidation states of III, IV, V, and VI, respectively. Based on redox conditions predicted in the brines, possible actinide species include Pu(III), Pu(IV), U(IV), U(VI), Np(IV), Np(V), Am(III), and Th(IV). We will also discuss the challenges of upscaling from lab experiments to field scale predictions, the role of colloids, and the effect of engineered barrier materials (e.g., MgO) on transport conditions. Dittrich

  14. WIPP WAC REV. 5 applicability

    SciTech Connect

    Bisping, R.L.; Kelley, C.R.

    1996-08-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing for disposal operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in 1998. WIPP is a deep geological repository designed for the safe and efficient disposal of transuranic (TRU) wastes. The Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) for WIPP were initially developed by a DOE steering committee in 1980. Revision 5 reflects the latest negotiations and permit requirements from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State of New Mexico Environment Department (NMED), and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The regulatory requirements are combined with the requirements derived from the WIPP safety analysis performed for disposal operations and the original criteria established for safe waste handling operations. The WIPP WAC provides a comprehensive overview of the requirements and basis for developing waste acceptance criteria to meet today`s rules and regulations for transportation and disposal of TRU wastes. The authors believe that it is a comprehensive criteria and a guidance manual for generator/storage sites who must characterize and certify TRU waste for disposal at WIPP. It also provides valuable insight to future projects that may develop their own waste acceptance criteria. The WIPP WAC presents the requirements from the following sources: 1) Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Permit Application; 2) Land Disposal No-migration Variance Petition; 3) 40 CFR 191 Draft Compliance Certification Application; 4) Certificate of Compliance (C of C) from the NRC for a Type B shipping container; 5) Federal Land Withdrawal Act for WIPP; WIPP Safety Analysis Report; 7) WIPP System Design Descriptions (SDDs). The WIPP WAC combines operations and nuclear safety requirements with transportation and hazardous waste regulatory requirements to provide a comprehensive set of criteria and requirements that ensure the safe disposal of TRU waste.

  15. Basic data report for drillhole WIPP 32 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    1980-11-01

    WIPP 32 is an exploratory borehole drilled to examine the subsurface at a small topographic high in Nash Draw. The borehole is located in east-central Eddy County, New Mexico, in NE 1/4 SE 1/4 Sec. 33, T.22S., R.29E. and was drilled in August, 1979. The hole was drilled to a depth of 390 feet, and encountered, from top to bottom, the Rustler Formation (166') and the upper Salado Formation (224'). Core was taken from 4 to 353 feet. Geophysical logs were run the full length of the hole to measure formation properties. The WIPP is to demonstrate (through limited operations) disposal technology for transuranic defense wastes. The WIPP will also provide facilities to research interactions between high-level waste and salt.

  16. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for two-phase flow in the vicinity of the repository in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: Disturbed conditions

    SciTech Connect

    HELTON,JON CRAIG; BEAN,J.E.; ECONOMY,K.; GARNER,J.W.; MACKINNON,ROBERT J.; MILLER,JOEL D.; SCHREIBER,J.D.; VAUGHN,PALMER

    2000-05-22

    Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results obtained in the 1996 performance assessment (PA) for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are presented for two-phase flow in the vicinity of the repository under disturbed conditions resulting from drilling intrusions. Techniques based on Latin hypercube sampling, examination of scatterplots, stepwise regression analysis, partial correlation analysis and rank transformations are used to investigate brine inflow, gas generation repository pressure, brine saturation and brine and gas outflow. Of the variables under study, repository pressure and brine flow from the repository to the Culebra Dolomite are potentially the most important in PA for the WIPP. Subsequent to a drilling intrusion repository pressure was dominated by borehole permeability and generally below the level (i.e., 8 MPa) that could potentially produce spallings and direct brine releases. Brine flow from the repository to the Culebra Dolomite tended to be small or nonexistent with its occurrence and size also dominated by borehole permeability.

  17. Source term estimation and the isotopic ratio of radioactive material released from the WIPP repository in New Mexico, USA.

    PubMed

    Thakur, P

    2016-01-01

    After almost 15 years of operations, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) had one of its waste drums breach underground as a result of a runaway chemical reaction in the waste it contained. This incident occurred on February 14, 2014. Moderate levels of radioactivity were released into the underground air. A small portion of the contaminated underground air also escaped to the surface through the ventilation system and was detected approximately 1 km away from the facility. According to the source term estimation, the actual amount of radioactivity released from the WIPP site was less than 1.5 mCi. The highest activity detected on the surface was 115.2 μBq/m(3) for (241)Am and 10.2 μBq/m(3) for (239+240)Pu at a sampling station located 91 m away from the underground air exhaust point and 81.4 μBq/m(3) of (241)Am and 5.8 μBq/m(3) of (239+240)Pu at a monitoring station located approximately 1 km northwest of the WIPP facility. The dominant radionuclides released were americium and plutonium, in a ratio that matches the content of the breached drum. Air monitoring across the WIPP site intensified following the first reports of radiation detection underground to determine the extent of impact to WIPP personnel, the public, and the environment. In this paper, the early stage monitoring data collected by an independent monitoring program conducted by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center (CEMRC) and an oversight monitoring program conducted by the WIPP's management and operating contractor, the Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP) LLC were utilized to estimate the actual amount of radioactivity released from the WIPP underground. The Am and Pu isotope ratios were measured and used to support the hypothesis that the release came from one drum identified as having breached that represents a specific waste stream with this radionuclide ratio in its inventory. This failed drum underwent a heat and gas producing reaction that overpowered its vent and

  18. Basic data report for Drillhole WIPP 22 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-03-01

    WIPP 22 is an exploratory borehole whose objective is to determine the nature of the near-surface formations after seismic information indicated a possible fault. The borehole is located in section 20, T.22S., R.31E., in eastern Eddy County, New Mexico, and was drilled between March 14 and 30, 1978. The hole was drilled to a depth of 1448 feet and encountered, from top to bottom, surficial Holocene deposits (6', including artificial fill for drill pad), the Mescalero caliche (7'), the Santa Rosa Sandstone (68'), the Dewey Lake Red Beds (492'), the Rustler Formation (311'), and the upper portion of the Salado Formation (565'). Cuttings were collected at 10-foot intervals. A suite of geophysical logs was run to measure acoustic velocities, density, and radioactivity. On the basis of comparison with other geologic sections drilled in the area, the WIPP 22 section is a normal stratigraphic sequence and it does not show structural disruption. The WIPP is to demonstrate (through limited operations) disposal technology for transuranic defense wastes. The WIPP will also provide facilities to research interactions between high-level waste and salt.

  19. Basic data report for drillhole WIPP 21 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-03-01

    WIPP 21 is an exploratory borehole whose objective is to determine the nature of the near-surface formations after seismic information indicated a possible fault. The borehole is located in section 20, T.22S., R.31E., in eastern Eddy County, New Mexico, and was drilled between May 24 and 26, 1978. The hole was drilled to a depth of 1046 feet and encountered, from top to bottom, surficial Holocene deposits (6', including artificial fill for drill pad), the Mescalero caliche (6'), the Santa Rosa Sandstone (34'), the Dewey Lake Red Beds (487'), the Rustler Formation (308'), and the upper portion of the Salado Formation (178'). Cuttings were collected at 10-foot intervals. A suite of goephysical logs was run to measure acoustic velocities, density, and radioactivity. On the basis of comparison with other geologic sections drilled in the area, the WIPP 21 section is a normal stratigraphic sequence and it does not show structural disruption. The WIPP is to demonstrate (through limited operations) disposal technology for transuranic defense wastes. The WIPP will also provide facilities to research interactions between high-level waste and salt.

  20. Sealing concepts for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site

    SciTech Connect

    Christensen, C.L.; Gulick, C.W.; Lambert, S.J.

    1983-02-01

    This report presents the current intentions and directions of the WIPP Plugging and Sealing Program and provides a basic structure for the engineering activities that may be required for final WIPP decommissioning and abandonment. It is intended as a guide in determining further directions for the sealing program. Obvious issues that require further development and understanding are identified.

  1. Environmental management assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), Carlsbad, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-07-01

    This document contains the results of the Environmental Management Assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). This Assessment was conducted by EH-24 from July 19 through July 30, 1993 to advise the Secretary of Energy of the adequacy of management systems established at WIPP to ensure the protection of the environment and compliance with Federal, state, and DOE environmental requirements. The mission of WIPP is to demonstrate the safe disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. During this assessment, activities and records were reviewed and interviews were conducted with personnel from the management and operating contractors. This assessment revealed that WIPP`s environmental safety and health programs are satisfactory, and that all levels of the Waste Isolation Division (WID) management and staff consistently exhibit a high level of commitment to achieve environmental excellence.

  2. Critical scientific issues in the demonstration of WIPP compliance with EPA repository standards

    SciTech Connect

    Weart, W.D.; Chu, M.S.Y.

    1997-12-01

    The Department of Energy submitted a Compliance Certification Application for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October, 1996. A critical part of this application was a Performance Assessment which predicts the cumulative radioactive release to the accessible environment over a time period of 10,000 years. Comparison of this predicted release to the EPA standard shows a comfortable margin of compliance. The scientific understanding that was critical to developing this assessment spans a broad range of geotechnical disciplines, and required a thorough understanding of the site`s geology and hydrology. Evaluation of the geologic processes which are active in the site region establishes that there will be no natural breach of site integrity for millions of years, far longer than the 10,000 year regulatory period. Inadvertent human intrusion is, therefore, the only credible scenario to lead to potential radioactive release to the accessible environment. To substantiate this conclusion and to quantify these potential releases from human intrusion, it has been necessary to develop an understanding of the following processes: (1) salt creep and shaft seal efficacy; (2) gas generation from organic decomposition of waste materials and anoxic corrosion of metals in the waste and waste packages; (3) solubilities for actinides in brine; (4) fluid flow in Salado formation rocks, and (5) hydrologic transport of actinides in the overlying dolomite aquifers. Other issues which had to be evaluated to allow definition of breach scenarios were brine reservoir occurrences and their associated reservoir parameters, consequences of mining over the repository, and drilling for natural resources in the vicinity of the repository. Results of all these studies will be briefly summarized in this paper.

  3. Instrumentation of the thermal/structural interactions in situ tests at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Munson, D.E.; Hoag, D.L.; Blankenship, D.A.; DeYonge, W.F.; Schiermeister, D.M.

    1997-04-01

    The Department of Energy has constructed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) to develop the technology for the disposal of radioactive waste from defense programs. Sandia National Laboratories had the responsibility for the experimental activities at the WIPP and fielded several large-scale Thermal/Structural Interactions (TSI) in situ tests to validate techniques used to predict repository performance. The instrumentation of these tests involved the placement of over 4,200 gages including room closure gages, borehole extensometers, stress gages, borehole inclinometers, fixed reference gages, borehole strain gages, thermocouples, thermal flux meters, heater power gages, environmental gages, and ventilation gages. Most of the gages were remotely read instruments that were monitored by an automated data acquisition system, but manually read instruments were also used to provide early deformation information and to provide a redundancy of measurement for the remote gages. Instruments were selected that could operate in the harsh environment of the test rooms and that could accommodate the ranges of test room responses predicted by pretest calculations. Instruments were tested in the field prior to installation at the WIPP site and were modified to improve their performance. Other modifications were made to gages as the TSI tests progressed using knowledge gained from test maintenance. Quality assurance procedures were developed for all aspects of instrumentation including calibration, installation, and maintenance. The instrumentation performed exceptionally well and has produced a large quantity of quality information.

  4. Actinide (III) solubility in WIPP Brine: data summary and recommendations

    SciTech Connect

    Borkowski, Marian; Lucchini, Jean-Francois; Richmann, Michael K.; Reed, Donald T.

    2009-09-01

    The solubility of actinides in the +3 oxidation state is an important input into the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) performance assessment (PA) models that calculate potential actinide release from the WIPP repository. In this context, the solubility of neodymium(III) was determined as a function of pH, carbonate concentration, and WIPP brine composition. Additionally, we conducted a literature review on the solubility of +3 actinides under WIPP-related conditions. Neodymium(III) was used as a redox-invariant analog for the +3 oxidation state of americium and plutonium, which is the oxidation state that accounts for over 90% of the potential release from the WIPP through the dissolved brine release (DBR) mechanism, based on current WIPP performance assessment assumptions. These solubility data extend past studies to brine compositions that are more WIPP-relevant and cover a broader range of experimental conditions than past studies.

  5. Basic data report for Drillhole WIPP 33 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant-WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    1981-02-01

    WIPP 33 is an exploratory borehole to investigate the nature of unusually thick fill material in the northwest portion of the WIPP site; a breccia pipe was considered a possible, though unlikely, cause of the fill. The borehole is located in Section 13, T22S, R30E, in east central Eddy County, New Mexico and was drilled during July, 1979. The hole was drilled to a depth of 840 feet, and encountered, from top to bottom, surficial Holocene deposits (44 ft including artificial fill for drill pad), the Dewey Lake Red Beds (457 ft), the Rustler Formation (276 ft) and the upper portion of the Salado Formation (163 ft). Selected intervals were cored, and cuttings were taken for examination by geologists. Geophysical logs were taken the full length of the borehole to measure radioactivity, resistivity and density. The stratigraphic profile was found to be normal, and no breccia was observed.

  6. Parameter sensitivity studies of selected components of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository/shaft system

    SciTech Connect

    Rechard, R.P. ); Beyeler, W.; Schreiber, J.D. ); McCurley, R.D.; Rudeen, D.K.; Bean, J.E. )

    1990-03-01

    This status report presents preliminary analyses of flow through the rooms, drifts, seals, and shafts of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The purpose of these analyses is to evaluate the importance of various components and parameters of the transuranic waste repository. These analyses are presented to show the current status of repository/shaft system modeling, and to provide input for evaluating proposed engineered modifications to the waste and rooms to ensure compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency's Environmental Standards for the Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Waste. Detailed descriptions are given for nine computational models of the WIPP repository for either undisturbed or human intrusion conditions. Some models are refined versions of earlier models; others include rudimentary studies of an additional phenomenon, flow of generated gas. The models of an undisturbed repository substantiated the results of earlier models by showing that no waste leaves the vicinity of the disposal area in 10,000 yr. The models that studies gas flow agreed with this position; however, the models are too rudimentary to permit conclusive statements. The five models of the human intrusion event explored the importance of parameters that influence the flow of brine through the waste, establishing a base for understanding the behavior of the waste disposal rooms, drifts,and interbeds in the host rock. 63 refs., 92 figs., 29 tabs.

  7. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Deep Geological Repository: A Domestic and Global Blueprint for Safe Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Waste - 12081

    SciTech Connect

    Eriksson, Leif G.; Dials, George E.

    2012-07-01

    At the end of 2011, the world's first used/spent nuclear fuel and other long-lived high-level radioactive waste (HLW) repository is projected to open in 2020, followed by two more in 2025. The related pre-opening periods will be at least 40 years, as it also would be if USA's candidate HLW-repository is resurrected by 2013. If abandoned, a new HLW-repository site would be needed. On 26 March 1999, USA began disposing long-lived radioactive waste in a deep geological repository in salt at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. The related pre-opening period was less than 30 years. WIPP has since been re-certified twice. It thus stands to reason the WIPP repository is the global proof of principle for safe deep geological disposal of long-lived radioactive waste. It also stands to reason that the lessons learned since 1971 at the WIPP site provide a unique, continually-updated, blueprint for how the pre-opening period for a new HLW repository could be shortened both in the USA and abroad. (authors)

  8. Basic Data Report for Drillholes on the H-19 Hydropad (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant--WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Mercer, J.W.; Cole, D.L.; Holt, R.M.

    1998-10-09

    Seven holes were drilled and wells (H-19b0, H-19b2, H-19b3, H-19b4, H-19b5, H-19b6, and H-19b7) were constructed on the H-19 hydropad to conduct field activities in support of the Culebra Transport Program. These wells were drilled and completed on the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site during February to September 1995. An eighth hole, H-19b1, was drilled but had to be abandoned before the target depth was reached because of adverse hole conditions. The geologic units penetrated at the H-19 location include surficial deposits of Holocene age, rocks from the Dockum Group of Upper Triassic age, the Dewey Lake Redbeds, and Rustler Formation of the Permian age. The Rustler Formation has been further divided into five informal members which include the Forty-niner Member, Magenta Member, Tamarisk Member, Culebra Dolomite Member, and an unnamed lower member. The Rustler Formation, particularly the Culebra Dolomite Member, is considered critical for hydrologic site characterization. The Culebra is the most transmissive saturated unit above the WIPP repository and, as such, is considered to be the most likely pathway for radionuclide transport to the accessible environment in the unlikely event the repository is breached. Seven cores from the Culebra were recovered during drilling activities at the H-19 hydropad and detailed descriptions of these cores were made. On the basis of geologic descriptions, four hydrostratigraphic units were identified in the Culebra cores and were correlated with the mapping units from the WFP air intake shaft. The entire length of H-19b1 was cored and was described in detail. During coring of H-19b1, moisture was encountered in the upper part of the Dewey Lake Redbeds. A 41-ft-thick section of this core was selected for detailed description to qualify the geologic conditions related to perched water in the upper Dewey Lake. In addition to cuttings and core, a suite of geophysical logs run on the drillholes was used to identify and

  9. Basic data report for drillhole WIPP 15 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant-WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1981-11-01

    WIPP 15 is a borehole drilled in Marformation.h, 1978, in section 18, T.23S., R. 35E. of south-central Lea County. The purpose of WIPP 15 was to examine fill in San Simon Sink in order to extract climatic information and to attempt to date the collapse of the sink. The borehole was cored to total depth (810.5 feet) and encountered, from top to bottom, Quaternary calcareous clay, marl and sand, the claystones and siltstones of the Triassic Santa Rosa Formation. Neutron and gamma ray geophysical logs were run to measure density and radioactivity. The sink was about 547 feet of Quaternary fill indicating subsidence and deposition. Diatomaceous beds exposed on the sink margin yielded samples dated by /sup 14/C at 20,570 +- 540 years BP and greater than 32,000 years BP; these beds are believed stratigraphically equivalent to ditomaceous beds at 153 to 266 feet depth in the core. Aquatic fauna and flora from the upper 98 feet of core indicate a pluvial period (probably Tohokan) followed by an arid or very arid time before the present climate was established. Aquifer pump tests performed in the Quaternary sands and clays show transmissivities to be as high as 600 feet squared per day. As the water quality was good, the borehole was released to the lessee as a potential water well.

  10. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B Permit Application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Chapter E, Appendix E1, Chapter L, Appendix L1: Volume 12, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-01-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project was authorized by the US Department of Energy 5 (DOE) National Security and Military Applications of the Nuclear Energy Authorization Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-164). Its legislative mandate is to provide a research and development facility to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive waste resulting from national defense programs and activities. To fulfill this mandate, the WIPP facility has been designed to perform scientific investigations of the behavior of bedded salt as a repository medium and the interactions between the soft and radioactive wastes. In 1991, DOE proposed to initiate a experimental Test Phase designed to demonstrate the performance of the repository. The Test Phase activities involve experiments using transuranic (TRU) waste typical of the waste planned for future disposal at the WIPP facility. Much of this TRU waste is co-contaminated with chemical constituents which are defined as hazardous under HWMR-7, Pt. II, sec. 261. This waste is TRU mixed waste and is the subject of this application. Because geologic repositories, such as the WIPP facility, are defined under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) as land disposal facilities, the groundwater monitoring requirements of HWMR-7, PLV, Subpart X, must be addressed. HWMR-7, Pt. V, Subpart X, must be addressed. This appendix demonstrates that groundwater monitoring is not needed in order to demonstrate compliance with the performance standards; therefore, HWMR-7, Pt.V, Subpart F, will not apply to the WIPP facility.

  11. Use of Performance Assessment in Support of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Programmatic Activity Planning

    SciTech Connect

    BASABILVAZO,GEORGE; JOW,HONG-NIAN; LARSON,KURT W.; MARIETTA,MELVIN G.

    1999-09-22

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is being developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the geologic (deep underground) disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. A Compliance Certification Application (CCA) of the WIPP for such disposal was submitted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October 1996, and was approved by EPA in May 1998. In June 1998, two separate, but related, lawsuits were filed, one against DOE and one against EPA. On March 22, 1999, the court ruled in favor of DOE, and on March 26, 1999, DOE formally began disposal operations at the WIPP for non-mixed (non-hazardous) TRU waste. Before the WIPP can begin receiving mixed (hazardous) TRU waste, a permit from the State of New Mexico for hazardous waste disposal needs to be issued. It is anticipated that the State of New Mexico will issue a hazardous waste permit by November 1999. It is further anticipated that the EPA lawsuit will be resolved by July 1999. Congress (Public Law 102-579, Section 8(f)) requires the WIPP project to be recertified by the EPA at least as frequently as once every five years from the first receipt of TRU waste at the WIPP site. As part of the DOE's WIPP project recertification strategy, Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has used systems analysis and performance assessment to prioritize its scientific and engineering research activities. Two 1998 analyses, the near-field systems analysis and the annual sensitivity analysis, are discussed here. Independently, the two analyses arrived at similar conclusions regarding important scientific activities associated with the WIPP. The use of these techniques for the recent funding allocations at SNL's WIPP project had several beneficial effects. It increased the level of acceptance among project scientists that management had fairly and credibly compared alternatives when making prioritization decisions. It improved the ability of SNL and its project sponsor, the Carlsbad Area Office of the DOE, to

  12. Preservation of artifacts in salt mines as a natural analog for the storage of transuranic wastes at the WIPP repository

    SciTech Connect

    Martell, M.A.; Hansen, F.; Weiner, R.

    1998-10-01

    Use of nature`s laboratory for scientific analysis of complex systems is a largely untapped resource for understanding long-term disposal of hazardous materials. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the US is a facility designed and approved for storage of transuranic waste in a salt medium. Isolation from the biosphere must be ensured for 10,000 years. Natural analogs provide a means to interpret the evolution of the underground disposal setting. Investigations of ancient sites where manmade materials have experienced mechanical and chemical processes over millennia provide scientific information unattainable by conventional laboratory methods. This paper presents examples of these pertinent natural analogs, provides examples of features relating to the WIPP application, and identifies potential avenues of future investigations. This paper cites examples of analogical information pertaining to the Hallstatt salt mine in Austria and Wieliczka salt mine in Poland. This paper intends to develop an appreciation for the applicability of natural analogs to the science and engineering of a long-term disposal facility in geomedia.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Rechard, R.P.

    1998-04-01

    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.

  14. Comparative study of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) transportation alternatives

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1994-02-01

    WIPP transportation studies in the Final Supplement Environmental Impact Statement for WIPP are the baseline for this report. In an attempt to present the most current analysis, this study incorporates the most relevant data available. The following three transportation options are evaluated for the Disposal Phase, which is assumed to be 20 years: Truck shipments, consisting of a tractor and trailer, with three TRUPACT-IIs or one RH-72B; Regular commercial train shipments consisting of up to three railcars carrying up to 18 TRUPACT-IIs or up to six RH-72Bs; Dedicated train shipments consisting of a locomotive, an idle car, railcars carrying 18 TRUPACT-IIs or six RH-72Bs, another idle car, and a caboose or passenger car with an emergency response specialist. No other cargo is carried. This report includes: A consideration of occupational and public risks and exposures, and other environmental impacts; A consideration of emergency response capabilities; and An extimation of comparative costs.

  15. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site gravity survey and interpretation

    SciTech Connect

    Barrows, L.J.; Fett, J.D.

    1983-04-01

    A portion of the WIPP site has been extensively surveyed with high-precision gravity. The main survey (in T22S, R31E) covered a rectangular area 2 by 4-1/3 mi encompassing all of WIPP site Zone II and part of the disturbed zone to the north of the site. Stations were at 293-ft intervals along 13 north-south lines 880 ft apart. The data are considered accurate to within a few hundredths of a milligal. Long-wavelength gravity anomalies correlate well with seismic time structures on horizons below the Castile Formation. Both the gravity anomalies and the seismic time structures are interpreted as resulting from related density and velocity variations within the Ochoan Series. Shorter wavelength negative gravity anomalies are interpreted as resulting from bulk density alteration in the vicinity of karst conduits. The WIPP gravity survey was unable to resolve low-amplitude, long-wavelength anomalies that should result from the geologic structures within the disturbed zone. It did indicate the degree and character of karst development within the surveyed area.

  16. Permeability of natural rock salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during damage evolution and healing

    SciTech Connect

    Pfeifle, T.W.

    1998-06-01

    The US Department of Energy has developed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the bedded salt of southeastern New Mexico to demonstrate the safe disposal of radioactive transuranic wastes. Four vertical shafts provide access to the underground workings located at a depth of about 660 meters. These shafts connect the underground facility to the surface and potentially provide communication between lithologic units, so they will be sealed to limit both the release of hazardous waste from and fluid flow into the repository. The seal design must consider the potential for fluid flow through a disturbed rock zone (DRZ) that develops in the salt near the shafts. The DRZ, which forms initially during excavation and then evolves with time, is expected to have higher permeability than the native salt. The closure of the shaft openings (i.e., through salt creep) will compress the seals, thereby inducing a compressive back-stress on the DRZ. This back-stress is expected to arrest the evolution of the DRZ, and with time will promote healing of damage. This paper presents laboratory data from tertiary creep and hydrostatic compression tests designed to characterize damage evolution and healing in WIPP salt. Healing is quantified in terms of permanent reduction in permeability, and the data are used to estimate healing times based on considerations of first-order kinetics.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Borns, D.J.

    1997-03-05

    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.

  18. INTRAVAL Phase 2 WIPP 1 test case report: Modeling of brine flow through halite at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant site

    SciTech Connect

    Beauheim, R.L.

    1997-05-01

    This report describes the WIPP 1 test case studied as part of INTRAVAL, an international project to study validation of geosphere transport models. The WIPP 1 test case involved simulation of measured brine-inflow rates to boreholes drilled into the halite strata surrounding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository. The goal of the test case was to evaluate the use of Darcy`s law to describe brine flow through halite. The general approach taken was to try to obtain values of permeability and specific capacitance that would be: (1) consistent with other available data and (2) able to provide reasonable simulations of all of the brine-inflow experiments performed in the Salado Formation. All of the teams concluded that the average permeability of the halite strata penetrated by the holes was between approximately 10{sup {minus}22} and 10{sup {minus}21} m{sup 2}. Specific capacitances greater than 10{sup {minus}10} Pa{sup {minus}1} are inconsistent with the known constitutive properties of halite and are attributed to deformation, possibly ongoing, of the halite around the WIPP excavations. All project teams found that Darcy-flow models could replicate the experimental data in a consistent and reasonable manner. Discrepancies between the data and simulations are attributed to inadequate representation in the models of processes modifying the pore-pressure field in addition to the experiments themselves, such as ongoing deformation of the rock around the excavations. Therefore, the conclusion from the test case is that Darcy-flow models can reliably be used to predict brine flow to WIPP excavations, provided that the flow modeling is coupled with measurement and realistic modeling of the pore-pressure field around the excavations. This realistic modeling of the pore-pressure field would probably require coupling to a geomechanical model of the stress evolution around the repository.

  19. Representation of two-phase flow in the vicinity of the repository in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    VAUGHN,PALMER; BEAN,J.E.; HELTON,JON CRAIG; LORD,MICHAEL E.; MACKINNON,ROBERT J.; SCHREIBER,JAMES D.

    2000-05-18

    The following topics related to the representation of two-phase (gas and brine) flow in the vicinity of the repository in the 1996 performance assessment (PA) for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) are discussed: (1) system of nonlinear partial differential equations used to model two-phase flow, (2) incorporation of repository shafts into model (3) creep closure of repository. (4) interbed fracturing, (5) gas generation (6) capillary action in waste, (7) borebole model (8) numerical solution and (9) gas and brine flow across specified boundaries. Two-phase flow calculations are a central part of the 1996 WIPP PA and supply results that are subsequently used in the calculation of releases to the surface at the time of a drilling intrusion (i.e., spallings, direct brine releases) and long-term releases due to radionuclide transport by flowing groundwater.

  20. WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT (WIPP): THE NATIONS' SOLUTION TO NUCLEAR WASTE STORAGE AND DISPOSAL ISSUES

    SciTech Connect

    Lopez, Tammy Ann

    2014-07-17

    In the southeastern portion of my home state of New Mexico lies the Chihuahauan desert, where a transuranic (TRU), underground disposal site known as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) occupies 16 square miles. Full operation status began in March 1999, the year I graduated from Los Alamos High School, in Los Alamos, NM, the birthplace of the atomic bomb and one of the nation’s main TRU waste generator sites. During the time of its development and until recently, I did not have a full grasp on the role Los Alamos was playing in regards to WIPP. WIPP is used to store and dispose of TRU waste that has been generated since the 1940s because of nuclear weapons research and testing operations that have occurred in Los Alamos, NM and at other sites throughout the United States (U.S.). TRU waste consists of items that are contaminated with artificial, man-made radioactive elements that have atomic numbers greater than uranium, or are trans-uranic, on the periodic table of elements and it has longevity characteristics that may be hazardous to human health and the environment. Therefore, WIPP has underground rooms that have been carved out of 2,000 square foot thick salt formations approximately 2,150 feet underground so that the TRU waste can be isolated and disposed of. WIPP has operated safely and successfully until this year, when two unrelated events occurred in February 2014. With these events, the safety precautions and measures that have been operating at WIPP for the last 15 years are being revised and improved to ensure that other such events do not occur again.

  1. Continuous Improvement and the Safety Case for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Geologic Repository - 13467

    SciTech Connect

    Van Luik, Abraham; Patterson, Russell; Nelson, Roger; Leigh, Christi

    2013-07-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a geologic repository 2150 feet (650 m) below the surface of the Chihuahuan desert near Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP permanently disposes of transuranic waste from national defense programs. Every five years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) submits an application to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to request regulatory-compliance re-certification of the facility for another five years. Every ten years, DOE submits an application to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) for the renewal of its hazardous waste disposal permit. The content of the applications made by DOE to the EPA for re-certification, and to the NMED for permit-renewal, reflect any optimization changes made to the facility, with regulatory concurrence if warranted by the nature of the change. DOE points to such changes as evidence for its having taken seriously its 'continuous improvement' operations and management philosophy. Another opportunity for continuous improvement is to look at any delta that may exist between the re-certification and re-permitting cases for system safety and the consensus advice on the nature and content of a safety case as being developed and published by the Nuclear Energy Agency's Integration Group for the Safety Case (IGSC) expert group. DOE at WIPP, with the aid of its Science Advisor and teammate, Sandia National Laboratories, is in the process of discerning what can be done, in a reasonably paced and cost-conscious manner, to continually improve the case for repository safety that is being made to the two primary regulators on a recurring basis. This paper will discuss some aspects of that delta and potential paths forward to addressing them. (authors)

  2. Overview of actinide chemistry in the WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Borkowski, Marian; Lucchini, Jean - Francois; Richmann, Michael K; Reed, Donald T; Khaing, Hnin; Swanson, Juliet

    2009-01-01

    The year 2009 celebrates 10 years of safe operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the only nuclear waste repository designated to dispose defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste in the United States. Many elements contributed to the success of this one-of-the-kind facility. One of the most important of these is the chemistry of the actinides under WIPP repository conditions. A reliable understanding of the potential release of actinides from the site to the accessible environment is important to the WIPP performance assessment (PA). The environmental chemistry of the major actinides disposed at the WIPP continues to be investigated as part of the ongoing recertification efforts of the WIPP project. This presentation provides an overview of the actinide chemistry for the WIPP repository conditions. The WIPP is a salt-based repository; therefore, the inflow of brine into the repository is minimized, due to the natural tendency of excavated salt to re-seal. Reducing anoxic conditions are expected in WIPP because of microbial activity and metal corrosion processes that consume the oxygen initially present. Should brine be introduced through an intrusion scenario, these same processes will re-establish reducing conditions. In the case of an intrusion scenario involving brine, the solubilization of actinides in brine is considered as a potential source of release to the accessible environment. The following key factors establish the concentrations of dissolved actinides under subsurface conditions: (1) Redox chemistry - The solubility of reduced actinides (III and IV oxidation states) is known to be significantly lower than the oxidized forms (V and/or VI oxidation states). In this context, the reducing conditions in the WIPP and the strong coupling of the chemistry for reduced metals and microbiological processes with actinides are important. (2) Complexation - For the anoxic, reducing and mildly basic brine systems in the WIPP, the most important

  3. Pretest characterization of WIPP experimental waste

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, J.; Davis, H.; Drez, P.E.; Devarakonda, M.

    1991-12-31

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is an underground repository designed for the storage and disposal of transuranic (TRU) wastes from US Department of Energy (DOE) facilities across the country. The Performance Assessment (PA) studies for WIPP address compliance of the repository with applicable regulations, and include full-scale experiments to be performed at the WIPP site. These experiments are the bin-scale and alcove tests to be conducted by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Prior to conducting these experiments, the waste to be used in these tests needs to be characterized to provide data on the initial conditions for these experiments. This characterization is referred to as the Pretest Characterization of WIPP Experimental Waste, and is also expected to provide input to other programmatic efforts related to waste characterization. The purpose of this paper is to describe the pretest waste characterization activities currently in progress for the WIPP bin-scale waste, and to discuss the program plan and specific analytical protocols being developed for this characterization. The relationship between different programs and documents related to waste characterization efforts is also highlighted in this paper.

  4. WIPP shaft seal system parameters recommended to support compliance calculations

    SciTech Connect

    Hurtado, L.D.; Knowles, M.K.; Kelley, V.A.; Jones, T.L.; Ogintz, J.B.; Pfeifle, T.W.

    1997-12-01

    The US Department of Energy plans to dispose of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is sited in southeastern New Mexico. The WIPP disposal facility is located approximately 2,150 feet (650 m) below surface in the bedded halite of the Salado Formation. Prior to initiation of disposal activities, the Department of Energy must demonstrate that the WIPP will comply with all regulatory requirements. Applicable regulations require that contaminant releases from the WIPP remain below specified levels for a period of 10,000 years. To demonstrate that the WIPP will comply with these regulations, the Department of Energy has requested that Sandia National Laboratories develop and implement a comprehensive performance assessment of the WIPP repository for the regulatory period. This document presents the conceptual model of the shaft sealing system to be implemented in performance assessment calculations conducted in support of the Compliance Certification Application for the WIPP. The model was developed for use in repository-scale calculations and includes the seal system geometry and materials to be used in grid development as well as all parameters needed to describe the seal materials. These calculations predict the hydrologic behavior of the system. Hence conceptual model development is limited to those processes that could impact the fluid flow through the seal system.

  5. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B permit application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 6, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    This volume contains Appendix D2, engineering design basis reports. Contents include: Design considerations for the waste hoist of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP); A site-specific study of wind and tornado probabilities at the WIPP Site in southeast New Mexico; Seismic evaluation report of underground facilities; and calculations for analysis of wind loads and tornado loads for WHB, seismic calculations, calculations for VOC-10 monitoring system, and for shaft at station A.

  6. A comparison of two potential repositories: The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant and Yucca Mountain

    SciTech Connect

    Pflum, C.G.

    1994-07-11

    Two repositories in the same country, yet Congress and the DOE manage them differently. While Congress encumbers WIPP with unanticipated oversight and inappropriate regulations, Congress streamlines the commercial repository program and promises improved regulations for Yucca Mountain. While DOE encouraged science at the expense of the WIPP infrastructure, DOE postponed its scientific investigations at Yucca Mountain and constructed an infrastructure, large enough to support an ambitious program that was never realized. Somewhere between WIPP and Yucca Mountain lies an ideal repository program. A program where consistent national policy promotes progress; where lucid regulations inspire confidence; where science and infrastructure are balanced; and where oversight groups do not become the tail that wags the dog. Neither WIPP nor Yucca Mountain are ideal programs, but each has its advantages that approach the ideal. Consistent national policy would steer the ideal repository program in a predictable direction. Here Yucca Mountain has the advantage. Successive legislation has streamlined the siting process and promises better regulations. From the beginning, the ideal program would know its regulators and regulations. Again, Yucca Mountain has the advantage. More familiar with regulators and regulations, the Yucca Mountain program had the foresight not to declare HLW to be hazardous and subject to dual regulations. The ideal program would equitably balance its science and infrastructure. Here neither program has the advantage and could possibly represent extremes. The WIPP`s emphasis on scientific investigations left it with little or no infrastructure to deal with regulations and oversight. A regulatory infrastructure, for example, could have forewarned WIPP that its in situ tests were not relevant to the regulations. On the opposite extreme, the Yucca Mountain`s emphasis on infrastructure left it with less money for scientific investigations.

  7. Technical operations and data collection details of the in situ WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) Materials Interface Interaction Test

    SciTech Connect

    Molecke, M.A.

    1988-01-01

    The WIPP Materials Interface Interaction Tests (MIIT) experiments involve the in situ testing of multiple ''pineapple-slice'' shaped samples of simulated (nonradioactive) waste glasses, potential canister and overpack metals, brine, and rock salt in the salt repository environment at WIPP. This series of experiments involves multiple emplacements of various US and foreign glass waste forms (all nonradioactive) in contact with/interacting with several container metals, rock salt, brine, etc., all maintained at approximately 90 /+-/ 5/degree/C. The focus of this paper is on the technical aspects and operations of the MIIT experimental program, including assorted repository-relevant observations and experience gathered after more than two years of in situ test operation. As such, this is primarily a descriptive ''hardware'' and test operations document; test data are presented in parallel documents. 12 refs., 1 fig.

  8. Basic data report for drillhole ERDA 6 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    ERDA 6 was drilled in eastern Eddy County, New Mexico, to investigate a candidate site for a nuclear waste repository. The site was subsequently rejected on the basis of geological data. ERDA 6 was drilled in the NE 1/4 SE 1/4, section 35, T21S,R31E. The borehole encountered, from top to bottom, 17 ft of Quaternary deposits, 55 ft of the Triassic Santa Rosa Sandstone, 466 ft of the Dewey Lake Red Beds, 273 ft of the Rustler Formation, 1785.5 ft of the Salado Formation and 374.5 ft of the upper Castile Formation, all of Permian age. Cores or drill cuttings were taken throughout the hole. A suite of wireline geophysical logs was run to a depth of 883 ft to facilitate the recognition and correlation of rock units, to assure identification of major lithologies and to provide depth determinations independent of drill-pipe measurements. The site at ERDA 6 was rejected because the structure of the lower Salado and the Castile is too severe to develop a repository along a single set of beds. The borehole also intersected a reservoir of pressurized brine and gas at about 2710'. The pore volume for the reservoir was estimated to be in the range from about 200,000 to about 2 million barrels. ERDA 6 was re-entered in 1981 by the Department of Energy (DOE) for the purpose of further testing the brine reservoir. Those tests are described in separate reports by the DOE and its contractors. The WIPP is a demonstration facility for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste from defense programs. The WIPP will also provide a research facility to investigate the interactions between bedded salt and high level wastes.

  9. The Effect of Congress' Mandate to Create Greater Efficiencies in the Characterization of Transuranic Waste through the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Hazardous Waste Facility Permit

    SciTech Connect

    Johnson, G.J.; Kehrman, R.F.

    2008-07-01

    Effective December 1, 2003, the U.S. Congress directed the Department of Energy (DOE) to file a permit modification request with the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) to amend the Hazardous Waste Facility Permit (hereinafter 'the Permit') at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). This legislation, Section 311 of the 2004 Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, was designed to increase efficiencies in Transuranic (TRU) waste characterization processes by focusing on only those activities necessary to characterize waste streams, while continuing to protect human health and the environment. Congressionally prescribed changes would impact DOE generator site waste characterization programs and waste disposal operations at WIPP. With this legislative impetus, in early 2004 the DOE and Washington TRU Solutions (WTS), co-permittee under the Permit, submitted a permit modification request to the NMED pursuant to Section 311. After a lengthy process, including extensive public and other stakeholder input, the NMED granted the Permittees' request in October 2006, as part of a modification authorizing disposal of Remote-Handled (RH) TRU waste at WIPP. In conclusion: Implementation of the Permit under the revised Section 311 provisions is still in its early stages. Data are limited, as noted above. In view of these limited data and fluctuations in waste feed due to varying factors, at the current time it is difficult to determine with accuracy the impacts of Section 311 on the costs of characterizing TRU waste. It is safe to say, however, that the there have been many positive impacts flowing from Section 311. The generator sites now have more flexibility in characterizing waste. Also, RH TRU waste is now being disposed at WIPP - which was not possible before the 2006 Permit modification. As previously noted, the RH modification was approved at the same time as the Section 311 modification. Had the Section 311 changes not been implemented, RH TRU waste may not

  10. The WIPP journey to waste receipt

    SciTech Connect

    Barnes, G.J.; Whatley, M.E.

    1997-04-01

    In the early 1970s the federal government selected an area in southeastern New Mexico containing large underground salt beds as potentially suitable for radioactive waste disposal. An extensive site characterization program was initiated by the federal government. This site became the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, better known as WIPP. It is now 1997, over two decades after the initial selection of the New Mexico site as a potential radioactive waste repository. Numerous scientific studies, construction activities, and environmental compliance documents have been completed. The US Department of Energy (DOE) has addressed all relevant issues regarding the safety of WIPP and its ability to isolate radioactive waste from the accessible environment. Throughout the last two decades up to the present time, DOE has negotiated through a political, regulatory, and legal maze with regard to WIPP. New regulations have been issued, litigation initiated, and public involvement brought to the forefront of the DOE decision-making process. All of these factors combined to bring WIPP to its present status--at the final stages of working through the licensing requirements for receipt of transuranic (TRU) waste for disposal. Throughout its history, the DOE has stayed true to Congress` mandates regarding WIPP. Steps taken have been necessary to demonstrate to Congress, the State of New Mexico, and the public in general, that the nation`s first radioactive waste repository will be safe and environmentally sound. DOE`s compliance demonstrations are presently under consideration by the cognizant regulatory agencies and DOE is closer than ever to waste receipt. This paper explores the DOE`s journey towards implementing a permanent disposal solution for defense-related TRU waste, including major Congressional mandates and other factors that contributed to program changes regarding the WIPP project.

  11. Probability of failure of the waste hoist brake system at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Greenfield, M.A.; Sargent, T.J. |

    1998-01-01

    In its most recent report on the annual probability of failure of the waste hoist brake system at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the annual failure rate is calculated to be 1.3E({minus}7)(1/yr), rounded off from 1.32E({minus}7). A calculation by the Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) produces a result that is about 4% higher, namely 1.37E({minus}7)(1/yr). The difference is due to a minor error in the US Department of Energy (DOE) calculations in the Westinghouse 1996 report. WIPP`s hoist safety relies on a braking system consisting of a number of components including two crucial valves. The failure rate of the system needs to be recalculated periodically to accommodate new information on component failure, changes in maintenance and inspection schedules, occasional incidents such as a hoist traveling out-of-control, either up or down, and changes in the design of the brake system. This report examines DOE`s last two reports on the redesigned waste hoist system. In its calculations, the DOE has accepted one EEG recommendation and is using more current information about the component failures rates, the Nonelectronic Parts Reliability Data (NPRD). However, the DOE calculations fail to include the data uncertainties which are described in detail in the NPRD reports. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission recommended that a system evaluation include mean estimates of component failure rates and take into account the potential uncertainties that exist so that an estimate can be made on the confidence level to be ascribed to the quantitative results. EEG has made this suggestion previously and the DOE has indicated why it does not accept the NRC recommendation. Hence, this EEG report illustrates the importance of including data uncertainty using a simple statistical example.

  12. WIPP Recertification - An Environmental Evaluation Group Perspective

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, L. E.; Silva, M. K.

    2003-02-25

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a repository for defense transuranic (TRU) waste, was built and is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). The WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) required initial certification of compliance of the WIPP by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In addition, a recertification decision is required by the LWA every five years, dated from the initial receipt of TRU waste. The first TRU waste shipment arrived at the WIPP on March 26, 1999, and therefore the first recertification application is due from DOE to EPA by March 25, 2004. The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) provides technical oversight of the WIPP project on behalf of the State of New Mexico. The EEG considers the first recertification as a precedent setting event. Therefore, the EEG began the identification of recertification issues immediately following the initial certification decision. These issues have evolved since that time, based on discussions with the DOE and EEG's understanding of DOE's ongoing research. Performance assessment is required by the EPA certification and its results are needed to determine whether the facility remains in compliance at the time of the recertification application. The DOE must submit periodic change reports to the EPA which summarize activities and conditions that differ from the compliance application. Also, the EPA may request additional information from the DOE that may pertain to continued compliance. These changes and new information must be considered for recertification performance assessment.

  13. Laboratory creep and mechanical tests on salt data report (1975-1996): Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) thermal/structural interactions program

    SciTech Connect

    Mellegard, K.D.

    1997-02-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a facility located in a bedded salt formation in Carlsbad, New Mexico, is being used by the U.S. Department of Energy to demonstrate the technology for safe handling and disposal of transuranic wastes produced by defense activities in the United States. In support of that demonstration, mechanical tests on salt were conducted in the laboratory to characterize material behavior at the stresses and temperatures expected for a nuclear waste repository. Many of those laboratory test programs have been carried out in the RE/SPEC Inc. rock mechanics laboratory in Rapid City, South Dakota; the first program being authorized in 1975 followed by additional testing programs that continue to the present. All of the WIPP laboratory data generated on salt at RE/SPEC Inc. over the last 20 years is presented in this data report. A variety of test procedures were used in performance of the work including quasi-static triaxial compression tests, constant stress (creep) tests, damage recovery tests, and multiaxial creep tests. The detailed data is presented in individual plots for each specimen tested. Typically, the controlled test conditions applied to each specimen are presented in a plot followed by additional plots of the measured specimen response. Extensive tables are included to summarize the tests that were performed. Both the tables and the plots contain cross-references to the technical reports where the data were originally reported. Also included are general descriptions of laboratory facilities, equipment, and procedures used to perform the work.

  14. Development and field placement of an expansive salt-saturated concrete (ESC) for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Wakeley, L.D.; Walley, D.M.

    1986-09-01

    An expansive salt-saturated concrete (ESC) was proportioned for placement underground in halite rock at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site, near Carlsbad, New Mexico. Requirements for this concrete were: (1) to be chemically compatible with the host rock; (2) to remain pumpable for four hours: (3) to give net volume increase beginning at an early age, and continuing until creep closure of the salt assures sealing at the rock interface; and (4) to cure to a solid with extremely low permeability and fairly high strength. ESC was proportioned and placed underground at the WIPP in two successful field tests during FY 85 and FY 86. This report is the first of three reports about this concrete. It describes (1) the development of ESC in the laboratory, and (2) the mixture properties prior to final set. It summarizes field-placement activities in July 1985 and February 1986, when ESC was placed in test holes underground at the WIPP for two series of Small-Scale Seal Performance Tests (SSSPT). It gives data from tests of expansive behavior of the concrete at early ages and under simulated repository conditions. The second report will describe expansive behavior of ESC relative to several variables that could have an impact on its field performance and long-term stability, as determined during laboratory testing. It also will discuss possible explanations of the rather extraordinary suite of properties exhibited by ESC, as controlled by its chemical composition. The third report will describe laboratory studies of the mechanism of set retardation in a grout derived from this concrete.

  15. Geomechanical analyses in support of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Ehgartner, B.

    1990-04-01

    A variety of geomechanical analyses are presented that support the WIPP project. The scale of the analyses ranged through laboratory experiments, small-scale in-situ tests, large-scale in-situ tests, underground rooms, shafts and shaft keys, and multi-room panels. The structural behavior of underground rooms, shafts, and experiments was investigated using the finite element method. Both two and three dimensional analyses simulated the time-dependent behavior of the salt host rock. Two different constitutive models were used to represent the creeping motion of the salt. The investigations aided in experimental planning, code validation, and assessing excavation responses for safety and performance assessment. This report compiles ten different structural analyses which assess the performance of excavations and experiments located at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, NM. Chapter 2 discusses the constitutive models used to represent the salt behavior. Each of Chapters 3 through 12 presents an analysis. Chapter 13 concludes the report. 36 refs., 48 figs., 17 tabs.

  16. Preliminary performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, December 1992. Volume 3, Model parameters: Sandia WIPP Project

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-12-29

    This volume documents model parameters chosen as of July 1992 that were used by the Performance Assessment Department of Sandia National Laboratories in its 1992 preliminary performance assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Ranges and distributions for about 300 modeling parameters in the current secondary data base are presented in tables for the geologic and engineered barriers, global materials (e.g., fluid properties), and agents that act upon the WIPP disposal system such as climate variability and human-intrusion boreholes. The 49 parameters sampled in the 1992 Preliminary Performance Assessment are given special emphasis with tables and graphics that provide insight and sources of data for each parameter.

  17. The magnitude and relevance of the February 2014 radiation release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository in New Mexico, USA.

    PubMed

    Thakur, P; Lemons, B G; White, C R

    2016-09-15

    After almost fifteen years of successful waste disposal operations, the first unambiguous airborne radiation release from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was detected beyond the site boundary on February 14, 2014. It was the first accident of its kind in the 15-year operating history of the WIPP. The accident released moderate levels of radioactivity into the underground air. A small but measurable amount of radioactivity also escaped to the surface through the ventilation system and was detected above ground. The dominant radionuclides released were americium and plutonium, in a ratio consistent with the known content of a breached drum. The radiation release was caused by a runaway chemical reaction inside a transuranic (TRU) waste drum which experienced a seal and lid failure, spewing radioactive materials into the repository. According to source-term estimation, approximately 2 to 10Ci of radioactivity was released from the breached drum into the underground, and an undetermined fraction of that source term became airborne, setting off an alarm and triggering the closure of seals designed to force exhausting air through a system of filters including high-efficiency-particulate-air (HEPA) filters. Air monitoring across the WIPP site intensified following the first reports of radiation detection underground to determine the extent of impact to WIPP personnel, the public, and the environment, if any. This article attempts to compile and interpret analytical data collected by an independent monitoring program conducted by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center (CEMRC) and by a compliance-monitoring program conducted by the WIPP's management and operating contractor, the Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), LLC., in response to the accident. Both the independent and the WIPP monitoring efforts concluded that the levels detected were very low and localized, and no radiation-related health effects among local workers or the public would be expected

  18. Deformation history of competent interbeds in layered evaporites, waste isolation pilot plant (WIPP), SE New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Borns, D.J.

    1985-01-01

    Evaporite sequence have been studied as hosts for radioactive wastes. In addition to halite, layered evaporites are characterized by anhydritic, dolomitic and argillitic interbeds. Such interbeds range in thickness from centrimeters to meters. Questions regarding such interbeds are: 1) are there structural events masked in halite but exhibited in the interbeds; 2) will the interbeds have structurally distinct behavior, relative to halite, during creep closure of a repository; 3) can fluid migrate in the interbeds. With the development of the WIPP site, an interbed was exposed in shafts and drillcore at 2200ft below ground level. Study of this interbed addresses the questions above. 1) Structural events: As exhibited in the anhydritic interbed, some structures formed during deposition and diagenesis. Depositional structures are evident in the reworking of the interbed during the transition back into halite deposition. Post-diagenetic fractures, now partially infilled by polyhalite and halite, formed in the interbed. Later-stage fluids have become concentrated in fractures of the interbed. Such fluids are pressurized but irregularly distributed. Such fluid concentrations, whether in the geologic past or in the present as a response to the mined environment, could result from the migration of in situ fluids down pressure gradients into a fracture system, as it propagated in the past and/or present.

  19. Plutonium in the WIPP environment: its detection, distribution and behavior.

    PubMed

    Thakur, P; Ballard, S; Nelson, R

    2012-05-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is the only operating deep underground geologic nuclear repository in the United States. It is located in southeastern New Mexico, approximately 655 m (2150 ft) below the surface of the Earth in a bedded Permian evaporite salt formation. This mined geologic repository is designed for the safe disposal of transuranic (TRU) wastes generated from the US defense program. Aerosol and soil samples have been collected near the WIPP site to investigate the sources of plutonium in the WIPP environment since the late 1990s, well before WIPP received its first shipment. Activities of (238)Pu, (239+240)Pu and (241)Am were determined by alpha spectrometry following a series of chemical separations. The concentrations of Al and U were determined in a separate set of samples by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The annual airborne concentrations of (239+240)Pu during the period from 1998 to 2010 show no systematic interannual variations. However, monthly (239+240)Pu particulate concentrations show a typical seasonal variation with a maximum in spring, the time when strong and gusty winds frequently give rise to blowing dust. Resuspension of soil particles containing weapons fallout is considered to be the predominant source of plutonium in the WIPP area. Further, this work characterizes the source, temporal variation and its distribution with depth in a soil profile to evaluate the importance of transport mechanisms affecting the fate of these radionuclides in the WIPP environment. The mean (137)Cs/(239+240)Pu, (241)Am/(239+240)Pu activity ratio and (240)Pu/(239)Pu atom ratio observed in the WIPP samples are consistent with the source being largely global fallout. There is no evidence of any release from the WIPP contributing to radionuclide concentrations in the environment. PMID:22549140

  20. Implications of the presence of petroleum resources on the integrity of the WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, M.K. |

    1994-06-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a facility of the US Department of Energy (DOE), designed and constructed for the permanent disposal of transuranic (TRU) defense waste. The WIPP is surrounded by reserves of potash, crude oil, and natural gas. These are attractive targets for exploratory drilling which could disrupt the integrity of the transuranic waste repository. The performance assessment calculations published to date have identified future drilling for oil and gas reserves as an event that may disrupt the repository and may release radionuclides in excess of the standards. Therefore, the probability of inadvertent human intrusion into the repository by drilling and its impact on the integrity of the repository must be carefully assessed. This report evaluates: (1) the studies funded by the DOE to examine the crude oil potential in the immediate vicinity of the WIPP; (2) the use of an elicitation exercise to predict future drilling rates for use in the calculation of the repository performance; and (3) the observed limitations of institutional controls. This report identifies the following issues that remain to be resolved: (1) the limited performance of blowout preventers after drilling into high pressure zones immediately adjacent to the WIPP Site Boundary; (2) reported problems with waterflooding operations in southeastern New Mexico; (3) reported water level rises in several wells completed in the Rustler Formation, south of the WIPP Site, possibly due to oil and gas wells or leaking injection wells; and (4) reports of inadequate well abandonment practices on BLM leases and the continued absence of enforceable regulations.

  1. WIPP site and vicinity geological field trip. A report of a field trip to the proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant project in Southeastern New Mexico, June 16 to 18, 1980

    SciTech Connect

    Chaturvedi, L

    1980-10-01

    The Environmental Evaluation Group is conducting an assessment of the radiological health risks to people from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. As a part of this work, EEG is making an effort to improve the understanding of those geological issues concerning the WIPP site which may affect the radiological consequences of the proposed repository. One of the important geological issues to be resolved is the timing and the nature of the dissolution processes which may have affected the WIPP site. EEG organized a two-day conference of geological scientists, on January 17-18, 1980. On the basis of the January conference and the June field trip, EEG has formed the following conclusions: (1) it has not been clearly established that the site or the surrounding area has been attacked by deep dissolution to render it unsuitable for the nuclear waste pilot repository; (2) the existence of an isolated breccia pipe at the site unaccompanied by a deep dissolution wedge, is a very remote possibility; (3) more specific information about the origin and the nature of the brine reservoirs is needed. An important question that should be resolved is whether each encounter with artesian brine represents a separate pocket or whether these occurrences are interconnected; (4) Anderson has postulated a major tectonic fault or a fracture system at the Basin margin along the San Simon Swale; (5) the area in the northern part of the WIPP site, identified from geophysical and bore hole data as the disturbed zone, should be further investigated to cleary understand the nature and significance of this structural anomaly; and (6) a major drawback encountered during the discussions of geological issues related to the WIPP site is the absence of published material that brings together all the known information related to a particular issue.

  2. PGP repository: a plant phenomics and genomics data publication infrastructure.

    PubMed

    Arend, Daniel; Junker, Astrid; Scholz, Uwe; Schüler, Danuta; Wylie, Juliane; Lange, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plant genomics and phenomics represents the most promising tools for accelerating yield gains and overcoming emerging crop productivity bottlenecks. However, accessing this wealth of plant diversity requires the characterization of this material using state-of-the-art genomic, phenomic and molecular technologies and the release of subsequent research data via a long-term stable, open-access portal. Although several international consortia and public resource centres offer services for plant research data management, valuable digital assets remains unpublished and thus inaccessible to the scientific community. Recently, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research and the German Plant Phenotyping Network have jointly initiated the Plant Genomics and Phenomics Research Data Repository (PGP) as infrastructure to comprehensively publish plant research data. This covers in particular cross-domain datasets that are not being published in central repositories because of its volume or unsupported data scope, like image collections from plant phenotyping and microscopy, unfinished genomes, genotyping data, visualizations of morphological plant models, data from mass spectrometry as well as software and documents.The repository is hosted at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research using e!DAL as software infrastructure and a Hierarchical Storage Management System as data archival backend. A novel developed data submission tool was made available for the consortium that features a high level of automation to lower the barriers of data publication. After an internal review process, data are published as citable digital object identifiers and a core set of technical metadata is registered at DataCite. The used e!DAL-embedded Web frontend generates for each dataset a landing page and supports an interactive exploration. PGP is registered as research data repository at BioSharing.org, re3data.org and OpenAIRE as valid EU Horizon 2020 open

  3. PGP repository: a plant phenomics and genomics data publication infrastructure

    PubMed Central

    Arend, Daniel; Junker, Astrid; Scholz, Uwe; Schüler, Danuta; Wylie, Juliane; Lange, Matthias

    2016-01-01

    Plant genomics and phenomics represents the most promising tools for accelerating yield gains and overcoming emerging crop productivity bottlenecks. However, accessing this wealth of plant diversity requires the characterization of this material using state-of-the-art genomic, phenomic and molecular technologies and the release of subsequent research data via a long-term stable, open-access portal. Although several international consortia and public resource centres offer services for plant research data management, valuable digital assets remains unpublished and thus inaccessible to the scientific community. Recently, the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research and the German Plant Phenotyping Network have jointly initiated the Plant Genomics and Phenomics Research Data Repository (PGP) as infrastructure to comprehensively publish plant research data. This covers in particular cross-domain datasets that are not being published in central repositories because of its volume or unsupported data scope, like image collections from plant phenotyping and microscopy, unfinished genomes, genotyping data, visualizations of morphological plant models, data from mass spectrometry as well as software and documents. The repository is hosted at Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research using e!DAL as software infrastructure and a Hierarchical Storage Management System as data archival backend. A novel developed data submission tool was made available for the consortium that features a high level of automation to lower the barriers of data publication. After an internal review process, data are published as citable digital object identifiers and a core set of technical metadata is registered at DataCite. The used e!DAL-embedded Web frontend generates for each dataset a landing page and supports an interactive exploration. PGP is registered as research data repository at BioSharing.org, re3data.org and OpenAIRE as valid EU Horizon 2020 open

  4. WIPP hydrology program, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, southeastern New Mexico: Hydrologic Data Report No. 8

    SciTech Connect

    Stensrud, W.A.; Bame, M.A.; Lantz, K.D.; Palmer, J.B.; Saulnier, G.J. Jr. )

    1990-04-01

    Hydrologic Data Report No. 8 is organized into six parts, A, B, C, D, E, and F, and contains hydrologic-testing and water-level data from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site from May 1988 through August 1989. Part A describes a multipad-pumping and four-well convergent-flow tracer test at the H-11 hydropad. Part B describes a 72-hour airlift pumping test of the Culebra dolomite conducted at P-14 after the well was reperforated and acid treated. Part C describes slug-injection/withdrawal testing of the Culebra dolomite at wells AEC-7 and D-268. Part D describes slug- injection/withdrawal and pulse-injection/withdrawal testing of the Magenta dolomite at wells H-2bl and H-3bl, and of the Forty-niner Member at well H-3d. Part E contains data regarding hydraulic effects of drilling the Air-Intake Shaft pilot hole and upreaming of the Air-Intake Shaft. Fluid-pressure responses were observed by transducers installed with a multipacker completion tool in well H-16, 56 ft from the shaft, and water-level responses were observed in other nearby wells. Part E also contains a log of shaft-construction activities. Part F contains water-level and fluid-pressure data collected from May 1988 through August 1989 in observation wells completed in the Dewey Lake Red Beds; the Forty-niner, Magenta Dolomite, Culebra Dolomite, and unnamed lower Members of the Rustler Formation; the contact between the Rustler and Salado Formations; and the Bell Canyon Formation at and near the WIPP site. 50 refs., 163 figs., 98 tabs.

  5. Chemistry of brines in salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico: a preliminary investigation

    SciTech Connect

    Stein, C.L.; Krumhansl, J.L.

    1986-03-01

    We present here analyses of macro- and microscopic (intracrystalline) brines observed within the WIPP facility and in the surrounding halite, with interpretations regarding the origin and history of these fluids and their potential effect(s) on long-term waste storage. During excavation, several large fluid inclusions were recovered from an area of highly recrystallized halite in a thick salt bed at the repository horizon (2150 ft below ground level). In addition, 52 samples of brine ''weeps'' were collected from walls of recently excavated drifts at the same stratigraphic horizon from which the fluid inclusion samples are assumed to have been taken. Analyses of these fluids show that they differ substantially in composition from the inclusion fluids and cannot be explained by mixing of the fluid inclusion populations. Finally, holes in the facility floor that filled with brine were sampled but with no stratographic control; therefore it is not possible to interpret the compositions of these brines with any accuracy, except insofar as they resemble the weep compositions but with greater variation in both K/Mg and Na/Cl ratios. However, the Ca and SO/sub 4/ values for the floor holes are relatively close to the gypsum saturation curve, suggesting that brines filling floor holes have been modified by the presence of gypsum or anhydrite, possibly even originating in one or more of the laterally continuous anhydrite units referred to in the WIPP literature as marker beds. In conclusion, the wide compositional variety of fluids found in the WIPP workings suggest that (1) an interconnected hydrologic system which could effectively transport radonuclides away from the repository does not exist; (2) brine migration studies and experiments must consider the mobility of intergranular fluids as well as those in inclusions; and (3) near- and far-field radionuclide migration testing programs need to consider a wide range of brine compositions rather than a few reference brines.

  6. Prediction of dissolved actinide concentrations in concentrated electrolyte solutions: a conceptual model and model results for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Novak, C.F.; Moore, R.C.; Bynum, R.V.

    1996-10-25

    The conceptual model for WIPP dissolved concentrations is a description of the complex natural and artificial chemical conditions expected to influence dissolved actinide concentrations in the repository. By a set of physical and chemical assumptions regarding chemical kinetics, sorption substrates, and waste-brine interactions, the system was simplified to be amenable to mathematical description. The analysis indicated that an equilibrium thermodynamic model for describing actinide solubilities in brines would be tractable and scientifically supportable. This paper summarizes the conceptualization and modeling approach and the computational results as used in the WIPP application for certification of compliance with relevant regulations for nuclear waste repositories. The WIPP site contains complex natural brines ranging from sea water to 10x more concentrated than sea water. Data bases for predicting solubility of Am(III) (as well as Pu(III) and Nd(III)), Th(IV), and Np(V) in these brines under potential repository conditions have been developed, focusing on chemical interactions with Na, K, Mg, Cl, SO{sub 4}, and CO{sub 3} ions, and the organic acid anions acetate, citrate, EDTA, and oxalate. The laboratory and modeling effort augmented the Harvie et al. parameterization of the Pitzer activity coefficient model so that it could be applied to the actinides and oxidation states important to the WIPP system.

  7. The Road to Re-certification: WIPP TRU Waste Inventory

    SciTech Connect

    Crawford, B.A.; Lott, S.A.; Sparks, L.D.; Van Soest, G.; Mclnroy, B.

    2006-07-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located near Carlsbad, New Mexico, is a deep geologic repository for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) wastes generated by atomic energy defense activities. The WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) [1] requires the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to submit documentation to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that demonstrates WIPP's continuing compliance with the disposal regulations in Title 40 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 191 Subparts B and C, not later than five years after initial receipt of waste for disposal at the repository, and every five years thereafter until the decommissioning of the facility is completed. On May 18, 1998, after review of the Compliance Certification Application (CCA) (63 FR 27405), the EPA certified that the WIPP did comply with the final disposal regulations and criteria of 40 CFR parts 191 and 194. On March 26, 1999, the first receipt of contact-handled (CH) TRU waste was received at WIPP thus initiating the 5-year countdown to the first re-certification. Five years after the first receipt of waste at WIPP, on March 26, 2004, the DOE submitted a Compliance Re-certification Application (CRA) [2]. The CRA includes TRU waste inventory as a key factor. The TRU waste inventory defines what is expected to be emplaced in the repository; and, therefore, how the performance of the repository will be affected. Performance of the WIPP is determined via the Performance Assessment (PA), a set of complex algorithms used to model the long-term performance of the repository. The TRU waste inventory data that are important to this assessment include: 1) volumes of stored, projected and emplaced waste; 2) radionuclide activity concentrations; 3) waste material parameter densities; 4) estimates of the masses of chelating agents; 5) estimates of the oxyanions; 6) estimates of expected cement masses; and 7) estimates of the types and amounts of materials that will be used to emplace the waste

  8. WIPP site and vicinity geological field trip

    SciTech Connect

    Chaturvedi, L.

    1980-10-01

    The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) is conducting an assessment of the radiological health risks to people from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). As a part of this work, EEG is making an effort to improve the understanding of those geological issues concerning the WIPP site which may affect the radiological consequences of the proposed repository. One of the important geological issues to be resolved is the timing and the nature of the dissolution processes which may have affected the WIPP site. EEG organized a two-day conference of geological scientists, titled Geotechnical Considerations for Radiological Hazard Assessment of WIPP on January 17-18, 1980. During this conference, it was realized that a field trip to the site would further clarify the different views on the geological processes active at the site. The field trip of June 16-18, 1980 was organized for this purpose. This report provides a summary of the field trip activities along with the participants post field trip comments. Important field stops are briefly described, followed by a more detailed discussion of critical geological issues. The report concludes with EEG's summary and recommendations to the US Department of Energy for further information needed to more adequately resolve concerns for the geologic and hydrologic integrity of the site.

  9. A Historical Review of WIPP Backfill Development

    SciTech Connect

    Brush, L.H.; Krumhansl, J.L.; Molecke, M.A.; Papenguth, H.W.

    1999-07-15

    Backfills have been part of Sandia National Laboratories' [Sandia's] Waste Isolation Pilot Plant [WIPP] designs for over twenty years. Historically, backfill research at Sandia has depended heavily on the changing mission of the WIPP facility. Early testing considered heat producing, high level, wastes. Bentonite/sand/salt mixtures were evaluated and studies focused on developing materials that would retard brine ingress, sorb radionuclides, and withstand elevated temperatures. The present-day backfill consists of pure MgO [magnesium oxide] in a pelletized form and is directed at treating the relatively low contamination level, non-heat producing, wastes actually being disposed of in the WIPP. It's introduction was motivated by the need to scavenging CO{sub 2} [carbon dioxide] from decaying organic components in the waste. However, other benefits, such as a substantial desiccating capacity, are also being evaluated. The MgO backfill also fulfills a statutory requirement for assurance measures beyond those needed to demonstrate compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] regulatory release limits. However, even without a backfill, the WIPP repository design still operates within EPA regulatory release limits.

  10. Seismic Response of a Deep Underground Geologic Repository for Nuclear Waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Sanchez, P.E.

    1998-11-02

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a deep underground nuclear waste repository certified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ,(EPA) to store transuranic defense-related waste contaminated by small amounts of radioactive materials. Located at a depth of about 655 meters below the surface, the facility is sited in southeastern New Mexico, about 40 Department of Energy underground facilities, waste disposal. kilometers east of the city of Carlsbad, New Mexico. The U.S. (DOE) managed the design and construction of the surface and and remains responsible for operation and closure following The managing and operating contractor for the DOE at the WIPP, Westinghouse Electric Corporation, maintains two rechmiant seismic monitoring systems located at the surface and in the underground. This report discusses two earthquakes detected by the seismic monitoring system, one a duratior magnitude 5.0 (Md) event located approximately 60 km east-southeast of the facility, and another a body-wave magnitude 5.6 (rob) event that occurred approximately 260 kilometers to the south-southeast.

  11. Brine and Gas Flow Patterns Between Excavated Areas and Disturbed Rock Zone in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant for a Single Drilling Intrusion that Penetrates Repository and Castile Brine Reservoir

    SciTech Connect

    ECONOMY,KATHLEEN M.; HELTON,JON CRAIG; VAUGHN,PALMER

    1999-10-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is located in southeastern New Mexico, is being developed for the geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Waste disposal will take place in panels excavated in a bedded salt formation approximately 2000 ft (610 m) below the land surface. The BRAGFLO computer program which solves a system of nonlinear partial differential equations for two-phase flow, was used to investigate brine and gas flow patterns in the vicinity of the repository for the 1996 WIPP performance assessment (PA). The present study examines the implications of modeling assumptions used in conjunction with BRAGFLO in the 1996 WIPP PA that affect brine and gas flow patterns involving two waste regions in the repository (i.e., a single waste panel and the remaining nine waste panels), a disturbed rock zone (DRZ) that lies just above and below these two regions, and a borehole that penetrates the single waste panel and a brine pocket below this panel. The two waste regions are separated by a panel closure. The following insights were obtained from this study. First, the impediment to flow between the two waste regions provided by the panel closure model is reduced due to the permeable and areally extensive nature of the DRZ adopted in the 1996 WIPP PA, which results in the DRZ becoming an effective pathway for gas and brine movement around the panel closures and thus between the two waste regions. Brine and gas flow between the two waste regions via the DRZ causes pressures between the two to equilibrate rapidly, with the result that processes in the intruded waste panel are not isolated from the rest of the repository. Second, the connection between intruded and unintruded waste panels provided by the DRZ increases the time required for repository pressures to equilibrate with the overlying and/or underlying units subsequent to a drilling intrusion. Third, the large and areally extensive DRZ void volumes is a

  12. Background Underground at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Esch, Ernst-Ingo; Hime, A.; Bowles, T. J.

    2001-04-01

    Recent interest to establish a dedicated underground laboratory in the United States prompted an experimental program at to quantify the enviromental backgrounds underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico. An outline of this program is provided along with recent experimental data on the cosmic ray muon flux at the 650 meter level of WIPP. The implications of the cosmic ray muon and fast neutron background at WIPP will be discussed in the context of new generation, low background experiments envisioned in the future.

  13. Mineralogy in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility stratigraphic horizon

    SciTech Connect

    Stein, C.L.

    1985-09-01

    Forty-six samples were selected for this study from two cores, one extending 50 ft up through the roof of the WIPP facility and the other penetrating 50 ft below the facility floor. These samples, selected from approximately every other foot of core length, represent the major lithologies present in the immediate vicinity of the WIPP facility horizon: ''clean'' halite, polyhalitic halite, argillaceous halite, and mixed polyhalitic-argillaceous halite. Samples were analyzed for non-NaCl mineralogy by determining weight percents of water- and EDTA-insoluble residues, which were then identified by x-ray diffraction. In general, WIPP halite contains at most 5 wt % non-NaCl residue. The major mineral constituents are quartz, magnesite, anhydrite, gypsum, polyhalite, and clays. Results of this study confirm that, in previous descriptions of WIPP core, trace mineral quantities have been visually overestimated by approximately an order of magnitude. 9 refs., 5 figs., 5 tabs.

  14. Geochemistry of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Site, Southeastern New Mexico, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, S.J.

    1992-05-01

    An extensive geochemical data base, including analyses of major and minor solutes, mineralogical studies of core samples, and isotopic studies of waters, carbonates and sulfates, has been assembled for evaporites and related rocks in the northern Delaware Basin of southeastern New Mexico. These data were compiled for the geological and hydrological characterization of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is excavated in the evaporites of the Salado Formation. These data were evaluated in order: 1. to determine the stability of the evaporite mineralogy over geological time; 2. to compare the aqueous geochemistry with host rock mineralogy; 3. to delineate the nature and timing of water-rock interactions, such as dissolution and recrystallization; and 4. to determine the geological and climatic conditions that have governed groundwater recharge. The resulting synthesis of data and current hypotheses concerning the origin, composition and history of waters in the evaporite rocks and related units of the Delaware Basin provides a tentative conceptual model for the behavior of the water-rock system since the deposition of the evaporites in the Permian. Essential components of this model include: 1. widespread Late Triassic/Early Jurassic evaporite recrystallization; 2. accumulation of deep-basin brines isolated from meteoric recharge; 3. evaporite dissolution by meteoric waters flowing in carbonates and sulfates interbedded in the uppermost Permian section and at the basin margin; 4. lateral rather than vertical infiltration of pre-Holocene meteoric waters in the uppermost Permian section; 5. climatic conditions presently less conducive to recharge than in the late Pleistocene.

  15. Basic data report for drillholes at the H-11 complex (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant-WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Mercer, J.W. ); Snyder, R.P. )

    1990-05-01

    Drillholes H-11b1, H-11b2, and H-11b3 were drilled from August to December 1983 for site characterization and hydrologic studies of the Culebra Dolomite Member of the Upper Permian Rustler Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site in southeastern New Mexico. In October 1984, the three wells were subjected to a series of pumping tests designed to develop the wells, provide information on hydraulic communication between the wells, provide hydraulic properties information, and to obtain water samples for quality of water measurements. Based on these tests, it was determined that this location would provide an excellent pad to conduct a convergent-flow non-sorbing tracer test in the Culebra dolomite. In 1988, a fourth hole (H-11b4) was drilled at this complex to provide a tracer-injection hole for the H-11 convergent-flow tracer test and to provide an additional point at which the hydraulic response of the Culebra H-11 multipad pumping test could be monitored. A suite of geophysical logs was run on the drillholes and was used to identify different lithologies and aided in interpretation of the hydraulic tests. 4 refs., 6 figs., 6 tabs.

  16. DISPOSAL OF TRU WASTE FROM THE PLUTONIUM FINISHING PLANT IN PIPE OVERPACK CONTAINERS TO WIPP INCLUDING NEW SECURITY REQUIREMENTS

    SciTech Connect

    Hopkins, A.M.; Sutter, C.; Hulse, G.; Teal, J.

    2003-02-27

    The Department of Energy is responsible for the safe management and cleanup of the DOE complex. As part of the cleanup and closure of the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP) located on the Hanford site, the nuclear material inventory was reviewed to determine the appropriate disposition path. Based on the nuclear material characteristics, the material was designated for stabilization and packaging for long term storage and transfer to the Savannah River Site or, a decision for discard was made. The discarded material was designated as waste material and slated for disposal to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Prior to preparing any residue wastes for disposal at the WIPP, several major activities need to be completed. As detailed a processing history as possible of the material including origin of the waste must be researched and documented. A technical basis for termination of safeguards on the material must be prepared and approved. Utilizing process knowledge and processing history, the material must be characterized, sampling requirements determined, acceptable knowledge package and waste designation completed prior to disposal. All of these activities involve several organizations including the contractor, DOE, state representatives and other regulators such as EPA. At PFP, a process has been developed for meeting the many, varied requirements and successfully used to prepare several residue waste streams including Rocky Flats incinerator ash, Hanford incinerator ash and Sand, Slag and Crucible (SS&C) material for disposal. These waste residues are packed into Pipe Overpack Containers for shipment to the WIPP.

  17. Numerical simulation of ground-water flow in the Culebra dolomite at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site: Second interim report

    SciTech Connect

    LaVenue, A.M.; Haug, A.; Kelley, V.A.

    1988-03-01

    This hydrogeologic modeling study has been performed as part of the regional hydrologic characterization of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Site in southeastern New Mexico. The study resulted in an estimation of the transmissivity distrubution, hydraulic potentials, flow field, and fluid densities in the Culebra Dolomite Member of the Permian Rustler Formation at the WIPP site. The three-dimensional finite-difference code SWIFT-II was employed for the numerical modeling, using variable-fluid-density and a single-porosity formulation. The modeled area includes and extends beyond the WIPP controlled zone (Zone 3). The work performed consisted of modeling the hydrogeology of the Culebra using two approaches: (1) steady-state modeling to develop the best estimate of the undisturbed head distribution, i.e., of the situation before sinking if the WIPP shafts, which began in 1981; and (2) superimposed transient modeling of local hydrologic responses to excavation of the three WIPP shafts at the center of the WIPP site, as well as to various well tests. Boundary conditions (prescribed constant fluid pressures and densities) were estimated using hydraulic-head and fluid-density data obtained from about 40 wells at and near the WIPP site. The transient modeling used the calculated steady-state freshwater heads as initial conditions. 107 refs., 112 figs., 22 tabs.

  18. WIPP Gas-Generation Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Frank S. Felicione; Steven M. Frank; Dennis D. Keiser

    2007-05-01

    An experimental investigation was conducted for gas generation in contact-handled transuranic (CH TRU) wastes subjected for several years to conditions similar to those expected to occur at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) should the repository eventually become inundated with brine. Various types of actual CH TRU wastes were placed into 12 corrosion-resistant vessels. The vessels were loosely filled with the wastes, which were submerged in synthetic brine having the same chemical composition as that in the WIPP vicinity. The vessels were also inoculated with microbes found in the Salado Formation at WIPP. The vessels were sealed, purged, and the approximately 750 ml headspace in each vessel was pressurized with nitrogen gas to approximately 146 atmospheres to create anoxic conditions at the lithostatic pressure estimated in the repository were it to be inundated. The temperature was maintained at the expected 30°C. The test program objective was to measure the quantities and species of gases generated by metal corrosion, radiolysis, and microbial activity. These data will assist in the specification of the rates at which gases are produced under inundated repository conditions for use in the WIPP Performance Assessment computer models. These experiments were very carefully designed, constructed, instrumented, and performed. Approximately 6 1/2 years of continuous, undisturbed testing were accumulated. Several of the vessels showed significantly elevated levels of generated gases, virtually all of which was hydrogen. Up to 4.2% hydrogen, by volume, was measured. Only small quantities of other gases, principally carbon dioxide, were detected. Gas generation was found to depend strongly on the waste composition. The maximum hydrogen generation occurred in vessels containing carbon steel. Visual examination of carbon-steel coupons confirmed the correspondence between the extent of observable corrosion and hydrogen generation. Average corrosion penetration rates

  19. Report of biological investigations at the Los Medanos Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) area of New Mexico during FY 1978

    SciTech Connect

    Best, T.L.; Neuhauser, S.

    1980-03-01

    The US Department of Energy is considering the construction of a Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Eddy County, NM. This location is approximately 40 km east of Carlsbad, NM. Biological studies during FY 1978 were concentrated within a 5-mi radius of drill hole ERDA 9. Additional study areas have been established at other sites in the vicinity, e.g., the Gnome site, the salt lakes and several stations along the Pecos River southward from Carlsbad, NM, to the dam at Red Bluff Reservoir in Texas. The precise locations of all study areas are presented and their biology discussed.

  20. Resource conservation and recovery act draft hazardous waste facility permit: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Attachments: Volume 4 of 4

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-08-01

    Volume IV contains the following attachments for Module IV: VOC monitoring plan for bin-room tests (Appendix D12); bin emission control and VOC monitoring system drawings; bin scale test room ventilation drawings; WIPP supplementary roof support system, underground storage area, room 1, panel 1, DOE/WIPP 91-057; and WIPP supplementary roof support system, room 1, panel 1, geotechnical field data analysis bi-annual report, DOE/WIPP 92-024.

  1. Radiometric dating of Ochoan (Permian) evaporites, WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) site, Delaware Basin, New Mexico, USA

    SciTech Connect

    Brookins, D.G.; Lambert, S.J.

    1986-01-01

    We have attempted radiometric dating of halide-sulfate salts and clay minerals from the Delaware Basin, New Mexico, USA, as part of geochemical study of the stability of the evaporite sequence at the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - a US DOE facilty) site. We undertook this dating to determine: (1) primary age of evaporite genesis or time(s) of recrystallization; (2) if previously undated evaporite minerals (leonite, polyhalite, kieserite) give useful data; and (3) if the detrital clay minerals have been radiometrically reset at any time following their incorporation into the evaporite medium. We have shown earlier that polyhalites can indeed be successfully dated by the K-Ar method, and once corrections are applied for admixed halide minerals, dates of 210-230 Ma for the Delaware Basin are obtained. Rb-Sr isochrons from early stage sylvites-polyhalites- anhydrites yield 220 +- 10 Ma, even when some sylvites yield lower K-Ar dates due to loss of *40-Ar. K-Ar dates on leonites and kieserities are also low due to *40-Ar loss, but their Rb-Sr dates are higher. Detrital clay minerals from the Delaware Basin collectively yield a highly scattered isochron (390 +- 77 Ma), but samples from a local area, such as the WIPP Site, give a much better age of 428 +- 7 Ma. These dates show that the interaction between the clay minerals and the evaporitic brines was insufficient to reset the clay minerals Rb-Sr systematics. In a related study, we note that a dike emplaced into the evaporite at 34 Ma had only very limited effect on the intruded rocks; contact phenomena were all within 2 m of the dike. All of our geochemical (radio-metric and trace element) studies of the WIPP site argue for preservation of the isotopic and chemical integrity of the major minerals for the past 200 Ma.

  2. Supplements to the release scenario analyses for the waste isolation pilot plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Bingham, F.W.; Merritt, M.L.; Tierney, M.S.

    1980-01-01

    This paper summarizes three analyses of long-term environmental impacts of the WIPP that were made subsequent to the publication of the DEIS in response to agency and public comments. Three supplemental scenarios are described in which activity is transported to the biosphere by groundwater. The scenarios are entitled: brine pocket rupture scenario, effects of water on domestic wells; and agricultural use of the Pecos River Water.

  3. Selection of actinide chemical analogues for WIPP tests

    SciTech Connect

    Villarreal, R.; Spall, D.

    1995-07-05

    The Department of Energy must demonstrate the effectiveness of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as a permanent repository for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. Performance assessments of the WIPP require that estimates of the transportability and outcome of the radionuclides (actinides) be determined from disposal rooms that may become either partially or completely filled with brine. Federal regulations limit the amount of radioactivity that may be unintentionally released to the accessible environment by any mechanism during the post closure phase up to 10,000 years. Thermodynamic models have been developed to predict the concentrations of actinides in the WIPP disposal rooms under various situations and chemical conditions. These models are based on empirical and theoretical projections of the chemistry that might be present in and around the disposal room zone for both near and long-term periods. The actinides that are known to be present in the TRU wastes (and are included in the model) are Th, U, Np, Pu, and Am. Knowledge of the chemistry that might occur in the disposal rooms when the waste comes in contact with brine is important in understanding the range of oxidation states that might be present under different conditions. There is a need to establish the mechanisms and resultant rate of transport, migration, or effective retardation of actinides beyond the disposal rooms to the boundary of the accessible environment. The influence of the bulk salt rock, clay sediments and other geologic matrices on the transport behavior of actinides must be determined to establish the overall performance and capability of the WIPP in isolating waste from the environment. Tests to determine the capabilities of the WIPP geologic formations in retarding actinide species in several projected oxidation states would provide a means to demonstrate the effectiveness of the WIPP in retaining TRU wastes.

  4. Status and Growth of Underground Science at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rempe, Norbert T.

    2008-10-01

    The science community is increasingly taking advantage of research opportunities in the government-owned Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), 655m underground near Carlsbad, NM. Discoveries so far include viable bacteria, cellulose, and DNA in 250 million-year old salt, preserved in an ultra-low background-radiation setting. Supplementing the overburden's shielding against cosmic radiation, terrestrial background from the host formation is less than five percent that of average crustal rock. In the past, WIPP accommodated development and testing of neutral current detectors for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory and dark matter research, and it currently hosts two experiments pursuing neutrino-less double-beta decay. That scientists can listen to whispers from the universe in proximity to megacuries of radioactive waste lends, of course, credibility to the argument that WIPP itself is very safe. Almost a century of regional petroleum and potash extraction history and more than three decades of WIPP studies have generated a comprehensive body of knowledge on geology, mining technology, rock mechanics, geochemistry, and other disciplines relevant to underground science. Existing infrastructure is being used and can be expanded to fit experimental needs. WIPP's exemplary safety and regulatory compliance culture, low excavating and operating cost, and the high probability of the repository operating at least another 40 years make its available underground space attractive for future research and development. Recent proposals include low-photon energy counting to study internal dose received decades ago, investigations into ultra-low radiation dose response in cell cultures and laboratory animals (e.g., hormesis vs. linear no-threshold) and detectors for dark matter, solar and supernova neutrinos, and proton decay. Additional proposals compatible with WIPP's primary mission are welcome.

  5. Test plan: Sealing of the Disturbed Rock Zone (DRZ), including Marker Bed 139 (MB139) and the overlying halite, below the repository horizon, at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Small-scale seal performance test-series F

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, E.H.

    1992-05-01

    This test plan describes activities intended to demonstrate equipment and techniques for producing, injecting, and evaluating microfine cementitious grout. The grout will be injected in fractured rock located below the repository horizon at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). These data are intended to support the development of the Alcove Gas Barrier System (AGBS), the design of upcoming, large-scale seal tests, and ongoing laboratory evaluations of grouting efficacy. Degradation of the grout will be studied in experiments conducted in parallel with the underground grouting experiment.

  6. The role of regional groundwater flow in the hydrogeology of the Culebra member of the Rustler formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Corbet, T.F.; Knupp, P.M.

    1996-12-01

    Numerical simulation has been used to enhance conceptual understanding, of the hydrogeology of the Culebra Dolomite in the context of regional groundwater flow. The hydrogeology is of interest because this unit is a possible pathway for offsite migration of radionuclides from a proposed repository for defense-generated transuranic wastes (the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant). The numerical model used is three-dimensional, extends laterally to topographic features that form the actual boundaries of a regional groundwater system, and uses a free-surface upper boundary condition to simulate the effect of change in the rate of recharge on groundwater flow. Steady-state simulations were performed to examine the sensitivity of simulation results to assumed values for hydraulic conductivity and recharge rate. Transient simulations, covering the time period from 14,000 years in the past to 10,000 years in the future, provided insight into how patterns of groundwater flow respond to changes in climate. Simulation results suggest that rates and directions of Groundwater flow in the Culebra change with time due to interaction between recharge, movement of the water table, and the topography of the land surface. The gentle east-to-west slope of the land surface in the vicinity of the WIPP caused groundwater in the Culebra to flow toward and discharge into Nash Draw, a topographic depression. Modern-day flow directions in the Culebra reflect regional rather than local features of the topography. Changes in Groundwater flow, however, lagged behind changes in the rate of recharge. The present-day position of the water table is still adjusting to the decrease in recharge that ended 8,000 years ago. Contaminants introduced into the Culebra will travel toward the accessible environment along the Culebra rather than by leaking upward or downward into other units. Natural changes in flow over the next 10,000 years will be small and will mainly reflect future short-term wet periods.

  7. Revised Earthquake Catalog and Relocated Hypocenters Near Fluid Injection Wells and the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Southeastern New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Edel, S.; Bilek, S. L.; Garcia, K.

    2014-12-01

    Induced seismicity is a class of crustal earthquakes resulting from human activities such as surface and underground mining, impoundment of reservoirs, withdrawal of fluids and gas from the subsurface, and injection of fluids into underground cavities. Within the Permian basin in southeastern New Mexico lies an active area of oil and gas production, as well as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a geologic nuclear waste repository located just east of Carlsbad, NM. Small magnitude earthquakes have been recognized in the area for many years, recorded by a network of short period vertical component seismometers operated by New Mexico Tech. However, for robust comparisons between the seismicity patterns and the injection well locations and rates, improved locations and a more complete catalog over time are necessary. We present results of earthquake relocations for this area by using data from the 3-component broadband EarthScope Flexible Array SIEDCAR experiment that operated in the area between 2008-2011. Relocated event locations tighten into a small cluster of ~38 km2, approximately 10 km from the nearest injection wells. The majority of events occurred at 10-12 km depth, given depth residuals of 1.7-3.6 km. We also present a newly developed more complete catalog of events from this area by using a waveform cross-correlation algorithm and the relocated events as templates. This allows us to detect smaller magnitude events that were previously undetected with the short period network data. The updated earthquake catalog is compared with geologic maps and cross sections to identify possible fault locations. The catalog is also compared with available well data on fluid injection and production. Our preliminary results suggest no obvious connection between seismic moment release, fluid injection, or production given the available monthly industry data. We do see evidence in the geologic and well data of previously unidentified faults in the area.

  8. Actinide Speciation and Solubility in a Salt Repository (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reed, D.; Borkowski, M.; Richmann, M.; Lucchini, J.; Khaing, H.; Swanson, J.

    2009-12-01

    The use of bedded salt deposits for the permanent disposal of nuclear waste continues to receive much attention in the United States and internationally. This is largely based on the highly successful Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) transuranic waste repository that was opened in 1999 in Southeastern New Mexico. A bedded salt formation, such as the one in which the WIPP is located, has many advantages that make it an ideal geology for permanent disposal of nuclear waste. This includes well established mining techniques, self-sealing that lead to a naturally-induced geologic isolation, a relatively dry environment, and a favorable chemistry. Herein we report on recent progress in our investigations, as part of ongoing recertification effort for the operating WIPP repository, to establish the redox distribution and overall solubility of actinides in brine. The overall ranking of actinides, from the perspective of potential contribution to release from the WIPP, is: Pu ~ Am >>U > Th >> Np, Cm. Our recent research emphasis has centered on the redox chemistry of multivalent actinides (e.g., U, Pu and Np) with the use of oxidation-state-invariant analogs (Th and Nd) to establish the solubilities. Under a wide range of conditions investigated, the predominant oxidation states established are Pu(III) and Pu(IV) for plutonium, U(IV) and U(VI) for uranium, and Am (III) for americium. Reduction pathways for plutonium include reaction with organics, reaction with reduced iron, and bioreduction by halophiles under anaerobic conditions. Uranium(VI) can also be reduced to U(IV) by reduced iron and microbial processes. Solubility data for neodymium (+3 analog), Uranium (+6 analog) and thorium (+4 analog) in brine are also reported. These data extend our past understanding of WIPP-specific actinide chemistry and show the WIPP, and salt-based repositories in general, to be a robust repository design from the perspective of actinide containment and immobilization.

  9. Basic data report for drillhole AEC 8 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant - WIPP). [Eddy County, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    AEC 8 was originally drilled in 1974 to a depth of 3028 ft by Oak Ridge National Laboratory as part of the initial investigations of a site for radioactive waste disposal. In 1976, Sandia National Laboratories deepened the borehole from the top of the Castile Formation into the Bell Canyon Formation to test the hydraulic properties of the Bell Canyon. The borehole encountered in descending order Holocene sands (20 ft), Mescalero caliche (6 ft), Santa Rosa Sandstone (143 ft), Dewey Lake Redbeds (491 ft), Rustler Formation (322 ft), Salado Formation (1990 ft), Castile Formation (1335 ft), and the upper Bell Canyon Formation (603 ft). The borehole stratigraphy is in normal order and there is no significant deformation. An extensive suite of geophysical logs provides information on the lithology and stratigraphy. The potentiometric surfaces of Bell Canyon fluid-bearing zones are 550 ft (for the zone at 4821 ft to 4827 ft) and 565 ft below land surface (for the zone at 4844 to 4860 ft). The WIPP is a demonstration facility for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste from defense programs. The WIPP will also provide a research facility to investigate the interactions between bedded salt and high level wastes.

  10. Petrographic study of evaporite deformation near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Borns, D.J.

    1983-06-01

    The Delaware Basin of southeastern New Mexico contains about 1000 m of layered evaporites. Areas in the northern Delaware Basin, bordering the Capitan reef, have anomalous seismic reflection characteristics, such as loss in reflector continuity. Core from holes within this zone exhibits complex mesoscopic folds and extension structures. On a larger scale, anticlines and synclines are indicated by structure contours based on boreholes. The deformation is probably gravity-driven. Such a process is initiated by basin tilting during either a Mesozoic or Cenozoic period of uplift. Small-scale structures suggest that deformation was episodic with an early, syndepositional stage of isoclinal folding. Later, open-to-tight asymmetric folding is more penetrative and exhibits a sense of asymmetry opposite to that of the earlier isoclinal folding. The younger folds are associated with development of zonal crenulation cleavage and microboundinage of more competent carbonate layers. At the same time, halite beds developed dimensional fabrics and convolute folds in anhydrite stringers. Late-stage, near-vertical fractures formed in competent anhydrite layers. Microscopic textures exhibit rotated anhydrite porphyroblasts, stress shadow growth, and microboundinage. Except during late-stage deformation, anhydrite and halite recrystallized synkinematically. Drastic strength reduction in anhydrites through dynamic recrystallization occurs experimentally near 200/sup 0/C. However, evaporites of the WIPP site never experienced temperatures > 40/sup 0/C. Microscopic fabrics and P, T history of the evaporites suggest that pressure solution was the active mechanism during deformation of evaporites at the WIPP site.

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

    SciTech Connect

    RECHARD,ROBERT P.

    2000-03-01

    The opening of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant on March 26, 1999, was the culmination of a regulatory assessment process that had taken 25 years. National policy issues, negotiated agreements, and court settlements during the first 15 years of the project had a strong influence on the amount and type of scientific data collected up to this point. Assessment activities before the mid 1980s were undertaken primarily (1) to satisfy needs for environmental impact statements, (2) to satisfy negotiated agreements with the State of New Mexico, or (3) to develop general understanding of selected natural phenomena associated with nuclear waste disposal. In the last 10 years, federal compliance policy and actual regulations were sketched out, and continued to evolve until 1996. During this period, stochastic simulations were introduced as a tool for the assessment of the WIPP's performance, and four preliminary performance assessments, one compliance performance assessment, and one verification performance assessment were performed.

  12. Microbial gas generation under expected Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository conditions

    SciTech Connect

    Francis, A.J.; Gillow, J.B.; Giles, M.R.

    1997-03-01

    Gas generation from the microbial degradation of the organic constituents of transuranic waste under conditions expected at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository was investigated at Brookhaven National Laboratory. The biodegradation of mixed cellulosics (various types of paper) and electron-beam irradiated plastic and rubber materials (polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, neoprene, hypalon, and leaded hypalon) was examined. The rate of gas production from cellulose biodegradation in inundated samples incubated for 1,228 days at 30 C was biphasic, with an initial rapid rate up to approximately 600 days incubation, followed by a slower rate. The rate of total gas production in anaerobic samples containing mixed inoculum was as follows: 0.002 mL/g cellulose/day without nutrients; 0.004 mL/g cellulose/day with nutrients; and 0.01 mL/g cellulose/day in the presence of excess nitrate. Carbon dioxide production proceeded at a rate of 0.009 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day in anaerobic samples without nutrients, 0.05 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day in the presence of nutrients, and 0.2 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day with excess nitrate. Adding nutrients and excess nitrate stimulated denitrification, as evidenced by the accumulation of N{sub 2}O in the headspace (200 {micro}mol/g cellulose). The addition of the potential backfill bentonite increased the rate of CO{sub 2} production to 0.3 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day in anaerobic samples with excess nitrate. Analysis of the solution showed that lactic, acetic, propionic, butyric, and valeric acids were produced due to cellulose degradation. Samples incubated under anaerobic humid conditions for 415 days produced CO{sub 2} at a rate of 0.2 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day in the absence of nutrients, and 1 {micro}mol/g cellulose/day in the presence of bentonite and nutrients. There was no evidence of biodegradation of electron-beam irradiated plastic and rubber.

  13. Constitutive representation of damage development and healing in WIPP salt

    SciTech Connect

    Chan, K.S.; Bodner, S.R.; Fossum, A.F

    1994-12-31

    There has been considerable interest in characterizing and modeling the constitutive behavior of rock salt with particular reference to long-term creep and creep failure. The interest is motivated by the projected use of excavated rooms in salt rock formations as repositories for nuclear waste. It is presumed that closure of those rooms by creep ultimately would encapsulate the waste material, resulting in its effective isolation. A continuum mechanics approach for treating damage healing is formulated as part of a constitutive model for describing coupled creep, fracture, and healing in rock salt. Formulation of the healing term is, described and the constitutive model is evaluated against experimental data of rock salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. The results indicate that healing anistropy in WIPP salt can be modeled with an appropriate power-conjugate equivalent stress, kinetic equation, and evolution equation for damage healing.

  14. Engineered Barriers in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Ghose, Shankar

    2002-07-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a deep geological repository being developed by the Department of Energy as a research and disposal facility in the bedded salt deposit of New Mexico. WIPP is essentially an underground salt mine at 2150 feet (655 meters) below the surface and operates on multiple barrier mechanism. Engineered barriers provide an additional protective measure to prevent the movement of fluid towards the accessible environment. Four types of engineered barriers are used in the WIPP disposal system. This paper presents an analysis of the effectiveness of the engineered barriers in various repository environments. (authors)

  15. Wellbore enlargement investigation: Potential analogs to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant during inadvertent intrusion of the repository

    SciTech Connect

    Boak, D.M.; Dotson, L.; Aguilar, R.

    1997-01-01

    This study involved the evaluation and documentation of cases in which petroleum wellbores were enlarged beyond the nominal hole diameter as a consequence of erosion during exploratory drilling, particularly as a function of gas flow into the wellbore during blowout conditions. A primary objective was to identify analogs to potential wellbore enlargement at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during inadvertent human intrusion. Secondary objectives were to identify drilling scenarios associated with enlargement, determine the physical extent of enlargement, and establish the physical properties of the formation in which the enlargement occurred. No analogs of sufficient quality to establish quantitative limits on wellbore enlargement at the WIPP disposal system were identified. However, some information was obtained regarding the frequency of petroleum well blowouts and the likelihood that such blowouts would bridge downhole, self-limiting the surface release of disposal-system material. Further work would be necessary, however, to determine the conditions under which bridging could occur and the extent to which the bridging might be applicable to WIPP. In addition, data on casing sizes of petroleum boreholes in the WIPP vicinity support the use of a 12-{1/4} inch borehole size in WIPP performance assessment calculations. Finally, although data are limited, there was no evidence of significant wellbore enlargement in any of three blowouts that occur-red in wellbores in the Delaware Basin (South Culebra Bluff Unit No. 1, Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) 6, and WIPP 12).

  16. Seismicity on the area of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Sanford, A.; Sanford, S.; Wallace, T.; Barrows, L.; Sheldon, J.; Ward, R.; Johansen, S.; Merritt, L.

    1980-05-01

    Since April 1974, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMIMT) has operated a short-period vertical-component seismograph 7 km from the center of the WIPP site. Peak magnifications ranged from 405 K to 1400 K. In the time period from April 1974 to February 1979, approximately 500 earthquakes were recorded by the instrument to distances as great as 660 km. With the aid of readings from stations operated by other organizations, epicenters and magnitudes for 159 earthquakes within about 300 km of the WIPP site were obtained. The greatest concentration of seismic activity is centered on the Central Basin Platform. This zone of activity, approximately 120 km in a NS direction and 100 km in an EW direction, approaches to within 60 km of the site. Other significant clusters of earthquakes occur near Synder, Big Springs and Valentine, Texas. Comparable levels of earthquake activity are observed within 100, 200, and 300 km of the site. Most reported Quaternary faulting lies to the west of 104.3/sup 0/W longitude. Comparable levels of activity were observed to the east and west of this longitude indicating the observed distribution of earthquake activity is probably not representative of the long-term (500,000 years) seismicity of the region. Several lines of evidence suggest that most earthquakes from the Delaware Basin eastward are induced by the production of hydrocarbons, but absolutely convincing proof is lacking. If due to natural tectonic forces, an extrapolation of the observed earthquake-frequency relation indicates an earthquake of magnitude 5 1/2 is possible somewhere within 300 km of the site each 100 years.

  17. Basic data report for drillhole ERDA 9 (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1983-01-01

    ERDA 9 was drilled in eastern Eddy County, New Mexico, to investigate and test salt beds for the disposal of nuclear wastes. The hole was placed near the SE corner of section 20, T22S,R31E. It was drilled between April 28 and June 4, 1976, to a depth of 2889 ft (measured from a kelly bushing altitude of 3,420.4 ft MSL). The borehole encountered, from top to bottom, Holocene deposits (including artificial fill) of 22 ft, the Pleistocene Mescalero Caliche (5 ft) and Gatuna Formation (27 ft), 9 ft of the Triassic Santa Rosa Sandstone, and 487 ft of the Dewey Lake Red Beds, 290 ft of the Rustler Formation, 1976 ft of the Salado Formation and 53 ft of the Castile Formation, all of Permian age. Cuttings were collected at 5-ft intervals for the land surface to a depth of 1090 ft, and consecutive cores were taken to a depth of 2876.6 ft. A suite of wireline geophysical logs was run the full length of the borehole to measure distribution of radioactive elements and hydrogen, and variations in rock density and elastic velocity. On the basis of the borehole findings and related hydrological and geophysical programs, the site was judged suitable to pursue the extensive geological characterization program which followed. The core from ERDA 9 provided a suite of samples extensively tested for rock mechanics, physical properties, and mineralogy. Drill-stem tests in ERDA 9 indicated no significant fluids or permeability in the Salado beds of interest. The WIPP is a demonstration facility for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste from defense programs. The WIPP will also provide a research facility to investigate the interactions between bedded salt and high level wastes.

  18. Assessment of near-surface dissolution at and near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Bachman, G.O.

    1985-07-01

    The area at and near the WIPP site was examined for evidence of karst development on the geomorphic surface encompassing the site. Certain surficial depressions of initial concern were identified as blowouts in sand dune fields (shallow features unrelated to karstification). An ancient stream system active more than 500,000 yr ago contained more water than any system since. During that time (Gatuna, Middle Pleistocene), many karst features such as Clayton Basin and Nash Draw began to form in the region. Halite was probably dissolved from parts of the Rustler Formation at that time. Dissolution of halite and gypsum from intervals encountered in Borehole WIPP-33 west of the WIPP site occurred during later Pleistocene time (i.e., <450,000 yr ago). However, there is no evidence of active near-surface dissolution within a belt to the east of WIPP-33 in the vicinity of the WIPP shaft. 26 refs., 11 figs., 1 tab.

  19. PROBABILITY OF FAILURE OF THE TRUDOCK CRANE SYSTEM AT THE WASTE ISOLATION PILOT PLANT (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Greenfield, M.A.; Sargent, T.J.

    2000-05-01

    This probabilistic analysis of WIPP TRUDOCK crane failure is based on two sources of failure data. The source for operator errors is the report by Swain and Guttman, NUREG/CR-1278-F, August 1983. The source for crane cable hook breaks was initially made by WIPP/WID-96- 2196, Rev. O by using relatively old (1970s) U.S. Navy data (NUREG-0612). However, a helpful analysis by R.K. Deremer of PLG guided the authors to values that were more realistic and more conservative, with the recommendation that the crane cable/hook failure rate should be 2.5 x 10-6 per demand. This value was adopted and used. Based on these choices a mean failure rate of 9.70 x 10-3(1/yr) was calculated. However, a mean rate by itself does not reveal the level of confidence to be associated with this number. Guidance to making confidence calculations came from the report by Swain and Guttman, who stated that failure data could be described by lognormal distributions. This is in agreement with the widely use d reports (by DOE and others) NPRD-95 and NPRD-91, on failure data. The calculations of confidence levels showed that the mean failure rate of 9.70x 10-3(1/yr) corresponded to a percentile value of approximately 71; i.e. there is a 71% likelihood that the failure rate is less than 9.70x 10-3(1/yr). One also calculated that there is a 95% likelihood that the failure rate is less than 29.6x 10-3(1/yr). Or, as stated previously, there is a 71% likelihood that not more than one dropped load will occur in 103 years. Also, there is a 95% likelihood that not more than one dropped load will occur in approximately 34 years. It is the responsibility of DOE to select the confidence level at which it desires to operate.

  20. Fluid injection for salt water disposal and enhanced oil recovery as a potential problem for the WIPP: Proceedings of a June 1995 workshop and analysis

    SciTech Connect

    Silva, M.K.

    1996-08-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a facility of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), designed and constructed for the permanent disposal of transuranic (TRU) defense waste. The repository is sited in the New Mexico portion of the Delaware Basin, at a depth of 655 meters, in the salt beds of the Salado Formation. The WIPP is surrounded by reserves and production of potash, crude oil and natural gas. In selecting a repository site, concerns about extensive oil field development eliminated the Mescalero Plains site in Chaves County and concerns about future waterflooding in nearby oil fields helped eliminate the Alternate II site in Lea County. Ultimately, the Los Medanos site in Eddy County was selected, relying in part on the conclusion that there were no oil reserves at the site. For oil field operations, the problem of water migrating from the injection zone, through other formations such as the Salado, and onto adjacent property has long been recognized. In 1980, the DOE intended to prohibit secondary recovery by waterflooding in one mile buffer surrounding the WIPP Site. However, the DOE relinquished the right to restrict waterflooding based on a natural resources report which maintained that there was a minimal amount of crude oil likely to exist at the WIPP site, hence waterflooding adjacent to the WIPP would be unlikely. This document presents the workshop presentations and analyses for the fluid injection for salt water disposal and enhanced oil recovery utilizing fluid injection and their potential effects on the WIPP facility.

  1. Preoperational radiation surveillance of the WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) Project by EEG, 1985--1988

    SciTech Connect

    Kenney, J.; Shenk, K. ); Rodgers, J. ); Chapman, J. . Desert Research Inst.)

    1990-01-01

    Since the beginning of the preoperational radiation monitoring program in late 1985, the EEG has collected 815 air particulate samples, 123 water samples, 12 biota samples and three sediment samples. Analysis of the majority of these samples have provided 3749 specific radionuclide concentrations in the WIPP environment and in surrounding communities. As would be expected, analyses of air particulates frequently indicated a detectable presence of naturally occurring Ra-226, Ra-228, Th-228, Th-230, and Th-232. Cs-137 was detected in air samples collected during the calendar quarter of the Soviet disaster at Chernobyl. Fallout from this event was detected by air surveillance networks worldwide. Radionuclide data from the analyses of water samples were consistent with other published findings for water from this area. Observed concentration of naturally occurring decay products of U-238 were not in equilibrium with the parent. This is consistent with differential radionuclide mobility in the environment. Ra-226 and Ra-228 were detected in a large number of samples with a high chloride content. 27 refs., 21 figs., 24 tabs.

  2. Science to compliance: The WIPP success story

    SciTech Connect

    Howarth, S.M.; Chu, M.S.; Shephard, L.E.

    1997-11-14

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeast New Mexico has been studied as a transuranic waste repository for the past 23 years. During this time, an extensive site characterization, design, construction, and experimental program was completed to provide in-depth understanding of the dominant processes that are most likely to influence the containment of radionuclides for 10,000 years. The success of the program, however, is defined by the regulator in the context of compliance with performance criteria, rather than by the in-depth technical understanding typical of most scientific programs. The WIPP project was successful in making a transformation from science to compliance by refocusing and redirecting programmatic efforts toward the singular goal of meeting regulatory compliance requirements while accelerating the submittal of the Compliance Certification Application (CCA) by two months from the April 1994 Disposal Decision Plan (DDP) date of December 1996, and by reducing projected characterization costs by more than 40%. This experience is unparalleled within the radioactive waste management community and has contributed to numerous lessons learned from which the entire community can benefit.

  3. Database of Mechanical and Hydrological Properties of WIPP Anhydrite Derived from Laboratory-Scale Experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Hansen, F.D.; Pfeifle, T.W.

    1998-10-01

    The Department of Energy (DOE) has developed the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) for the purpose of demonstrating safe management, storage, and disposal of radioactive transuranic (TRU) waste generated by U.S. defense programs. The WIPP is located in southeastern New Mexico, and the underground facilities of the WIPP (i.e., experimental rooms, disposal rooms, etc.) are sited in the bedded salt of the Salado Formation at a depth of about 660 meters. The DOE has authorized the continuance of scientific research and engineering analysis related to the performance of the WIPP repository. One area of additional research relates to characterization of the mechanical and hydrological properties of anhydrite interbeds within the Salado Formation. These anhydrite interbeds have been penetrated by the shafts that provide access to the underground facilities and also lie in close proximity to the proposed radioactive waste disposal rooms at the repository horizon. Properties of particular interest are mechanical strength, deforrnational behavior, and fluid transport properties such as permeability. These properties will be used in calculationskmalyses of the mechanical and hydrological behavior of the anhydrite, in particular, and the shaft sealing system and disposal rooms, in general.

  4. Shipment and Disposal of Solidified Organic Waste (Waste Type IV) to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    D'Amico, E. L; Edmiston, D. R.; O'Leary, G. A.; Rivera, M. A.; Steward, D. M.

    2006-07-01

    In April of 2005, the last shipment of transuranic (TRU) waste from the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site to the WIPP was completed. With the completion of this shipment, all transuranic waste generated and stored at Rocky Flats was successfully removed from the site and shipped to and disposed of at the WIPP. Some of the last waste to be shipped and disposed of at the WIPP was waste consisting of solidified organic liquids that is identified as Waste Type IV in the Contact-Handled Transuranic Waste Authorized Methods for Payload Control (CH-TRAMPAC) document. Waste Type IV waste typically has a composition, and associated characteristics, that make it significantly more difficult to ship and dispose of than other Waste Types, especially with respect to gas generation. This paper provides an overview of the experience gained at Rocky Flats for management, transportation and disposal of Type IV waste at WIPP, particularly with respect to gas generation testing. (authors)

  5. License for the Konrad Deep Geological Repository

    SciTech Connect

    Biurrun, E.; Hartje, B.

    2003-02-24

    Deep geological disposal of long-lived radioactive waste is currently considered a major challenge. Until present, only three deep geological disposal facilities have worldwide been operated: the Asse experimental repository (1967-1978) and the Morsleben repository (1971-1998) in Germany as well as the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in the USA (1999 to present). Recently, the licensing procedure for the fourth such facility, the German Konrad repository, ended with a positive ''Planfeststellung'' (plan approval). With its plan approval decision, the licensing authority, the Ministry of the Environment of the state of Lower Saxony, approved the single license needed pursuant to German law to construct, operate, and later close down this facility.

  6. Tracing early breccia pipe studies, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, southeastern New Mexico: A study of the documentation available and decision-making during the early years of WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Power, D.W.

    1996-01-01

    Breccia pipes in southeastern New Mexico are local dissolution-collapse features that formed over the Capitan reef more than 500,000 years ago. During early site studies for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the threat to isolation by these features was undetermined. Geophysical techniques, drilling, and field mapping were used beginning in 1976 to study breccia pipes. None were found at the WIPP site, and they are considered unlikely to be a significant threat even if undetected. WIPP documents related to breccia pipe studies were assembled, inspected, and analyzed, partly to present a history of these studies. The main objective is to assess how well the record reflects the purposes, results, and conclusions of the studies from concept to decision-making. The main record source was the Sandia WIPP Central File (SWCF). Early records (about 1975 to 1977) are very limited, however, about details of objectives and plans predating any investigation. Drilling programs from about 1977 were covered by a broadly standardized statement of work, field operations plan, drilling history, and basic data report. Generally standardized procedures for peer, management, and quality assurance review were developed during this time. Agencies such as the USGS conducted projects according to internal standards. Records of detailed actions for individual programs may not be available, though a variety of such records were found in the SWCF. A complete written record cannot be reconstructed. With persistence, a professional geologist can follow individual programs, relate data to objectives (even if implied), and determine how conclusions were used in decision-making. 83 refs.

  7. WIPP Case Study - Compliance Monitoring, Passive Institutional Controls, and Record Keeping

    SciTech Connect

    WAGNER, STEPHEN W; BEAUHEIM, RICHARD L.; PFEIFLE, TOM W.; BETHEL, AMY; SOSA-YATES, GRACE ANN; WILLIAMS, CECELIA V.; MILLIGAN, MARGARET; FOX, MICHAEL

    2002-07-01

    The WIPP Case Study describes the compliance monitoring program, record keeping requirements, and passive institutional controls that are used to help ensure the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) will safety contain radioactive waste and indicate dangers and location of the wastes. The radioactive components in the waste are regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) while the hazardous components in the waste are regulated by the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED). This paper addresses monitoring relating to radionuclide containment performance, passive institutional controls, and record keeping over a 10,000-year time frame. Monitoring relating to the hazardous components and the associated regulator are not addressed in this paper. The WIPP containment performance is mandated by release limits set by regulation. Regulations also require the radioactive waste containment performance of the WIPP to be predicted by a ''Performance Assessment.'' The EPA did not base the acceptance of the WIPP solely on predicted containment but included additional assurance measures. One such assurance measure is monitoring, which may be defined as the on-going measurement of conditions in and around the repository. This case study describes the evolution of the WIPP monitoring program as the WIPP project progressed through the planning, site characterization, regulatory promulgation, and eventual operational stages that spanned a period of over 25 years. Included are discussions of the regulatory requirements for monitoring, selection of monitoring parameters, trigger values used to identify unexpected conditions, assessment of monitoring data against the trigger values, and plans for post-closure monitoring. The United EPA established the requirements for Passive Institutional Controls (PICs) for disposal sites. The requirements state the a disposal site must be designated by the most permanent markers, records, and other passive institutional controls

  8. Natural-analog studies for partial validation of conceptual models of radionuclide retardation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, D.B.; Brookins, D.G. . Dept. of Geology); Siegel, M.D.; Lambert, S.J. )

    1990-01-01

    Transport by groundwater within the Culebra Dolomite, an aquifer above the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), is the most probable mechanism for long-term release of radionuclides to the accessible environment. Radionuclides could be retarded by sorption if the groundwater is exposed to sufficient amounts of fracture-lining clays. In this natural-analog study, distributions of U and trace metals have been examined to constrain the strength of clay/solute interactions within the Culebra. Uranium solid/liquid distribution ratios, calculated from U concentrations of groundwaters and consanguineous fracture-filling clays, range from {approximately}80 to 800 m{ell}/g and imply retardation factors of 60 to 500 using a fracture-flow model. Retardation factors inferred from uranium-series disequilibria and {sup 14}C ages in Culebra groundwaters alone are much lower ({approximately}10), implying that clays may contain a significant unreactive component of U. Such a possibility is corroborated by Rb/Sr ages; these imply long-term stability of the clays,with resetting occurring more than 250 Ma ago. Factor analysis and mass-balance calculations suggest, however, that Mg-rich clays are dissolving in Pleistocene-age groundwaters and/or are converting to Na-rich smectites, and that B and Li are taken up from the water by the clays. Apparently, the solution chemistry reflects gradual equilibration of clays with groundwater, but thus far the bulk of the clays remain structurally intact. Measurements of the distribution of U in the Culebra will be more meaningful if the inert and exchangeable components of the U content of the clays can be quantified. 26 refs., 3 figs., 2 tabs.

  9. Development of Modern Performance Assessment Tools and Capabilities for Underground Disposal of Transuranic Waste at WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zeitler, T.; Kirchner, T. B.; Hammond, G. E.; Park, H.

    2014-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) has been developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the geologic (deep underground) disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. Containment of TRU waste at the WIPP is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The DOE demonstrates compliance with the containment requirements by means of performance assessment (PA) calculations. WIPP PA calculations estimate the probability and consequence of potential radionuclide releases from the repository to the accessible environment for a regulatory period of 10,000 years after facility closure. The long-term performance of the repository is assessed using a suite of sophisticated computational codes. In a broad modernization effort, the DOE has overseen the transfer of these codes to modern hardware and software platforms. Additionally, there is a current effort to establish new performance assessment capabilities through the further development of the PFLOTRAN software, a state-of-the-art massively parallel subsurface flow and reactive transport code. Improvements to the current computational environment will result in greater detail in the final models due to the parallelization afforded by the modern code. Parallelization will allow for relatively faster calculations, as well as a move from a two-dimensional calculation grid to a three-dimensional grid. The result of the modernization effort will be a state-of-the-art subsurface flow and transport capability that will serve WIPP PA into the future. Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory managed and operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin Corporation, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000. This research is funded by WIPP programs administered by the Office of Environmental Management (EM) of the U.S Department of Energy.

  10. Microbial Gas Generation Under Expected Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Repository Conditions: Final Report

    SciTech Connect

    Gillow, J.B.; Francis, A.

    2011-07-01

    Gas generation from the microbial degradation of the organic constituents of transuranic (TRU) waste under conditions expected in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was investigated. The biodegradation of mixed cellulosic materials and electron-beam irradiated plastic and rubber materials (polyethylene, polyvinylchloride, hypalon, leaded hypalon, and neoprene) was examined. We evaluated the effects of environmental variables such as initial atmosphere (air or nitrogen), water content (humid ({approx}70% relative humidity, RH) and brine inundated), and nutrient amendments (nitogen phosphate, yeast extract, and excess nitrate) on microbial gas generation. Total gas production was determined by pressure measurement and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) and methane (CH{sub 4}) were analyzed by gas chromatography; cellulose degradation products in solution were analyzed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Microbial populations in the samples were determined by direct microscopy and molecular analysis. The results of this work are summarized.

  11. GAS-GENERATION EXPERIMENTS FOR LONG-TERM STORAGE OF TRU WASTES AT WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Felicione, F.S.; Carney, K.P.; Dwight, C.C.; Cummings, D.G.; Foulkrod, L.E.

    2003-02-27

    An experimental investigation was conducted for gas generation in contact-handled transuranic (CH-TRU) wastes subjected for several years to conditions similar to those expected to occur at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) should the repository eventually become inundated with brine. Various types of actual CH-TRU wastes were placed into 12 corrosion-resistant vessels. The vessels were loosely filled with the wastes, which were submerged in synthetic brine having the same chemical composition as that in the WIPP vicinity. The vessels were also inoculated with microbes found in the Salado Formation at WIPP. The vessels were sealed, purged, and the approximately 750-ml headspace was pressurized with nitrogen gas to approximately 146 atmospheres to create anoxic conditions at the lithostatic pressure expected in the repository were it inundated. The temperature was maintained at the expected 30 C. The test program objective was to measure the quantities and species of gases generate d by metal corrosion, radiolysis, and microbial activity. These data will assist in the specification of the rates at which gases are produced under inundated repository conditions for use in the WIPP Performance Assessment computer models. These experiments were very carefully designed, constructed, instrumented, and performed. Approximately 6-1/2 years of continuous, undisturbed testing were accumulated. Several of the vessels showed significantly elevated levels of generated gases, virtually all of which was hydrogen. One vessel measured over 4.2% hydrogen, by volume. Two other vessels generated well over 1% hydrogen, and another was at nearly 1%. Only small quantities of other gases, principally carbon dioxide, were detected. Gas generation was found to depend strongly on the waste composition. The maximum hydrogen generation occurred in tests containing carbon steel. Average corrosion penetration rates in carbon-steel of up to 2.3 microns per year were deduced. Conversion of

  12. Interactions between concrete and brine at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Site, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, S.J.; Nowak, E.J. ); Wakeley, L.D.; Poole, T.S. . Structures Lab.)

    1992-05-01

    A concrete liner emplaced in 1984 in a shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has served as a natural laboratory for observing interactions among concrete, evaporite rocks, and brine. During a routine inspection of the liner in the spring of 1990, discoloration, deposition of secondary salts, wet areas with exposed aggregate grains, softening of paste, surficial spalling, and cracking were observed locally on the concrete surface of the liner. Some construction joints showed apparent leakage of brine from behind the liner, which was nominally 50 cm thick. Seepage brines were nearly saturated relative to CaCI{sub 2} and contained lesser amounts of MgCI{sub 2} and KCI, and minor NaCl. The liner surface was locally altered to a 1-2 cm friable hygroscopic layer containing little cement paste; concrete cores (7 or 10 cm diameter) through the liner at depths of 248, 254, 255, and 271 m showed similar degrees of alteration at the liner/rock interface. The most profound alteration of concrete was developed in a {approximately}7 cm zone subparallel to and straddling the construction joint cored at a depth of {approximately}254.5 m. This zone was extensively microfractured, transected aggregate grains, and contained brucite, gypsum, magnesium hydroxychloride hydrate, and locally calcium chloroaluminate instead of the usual phases of hydrated portland cement. Several mechanisms of chemical degradation have been proposed, the most likely being attack by magnesium ions.

  13. Interactions between concrete and brine at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Site, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Lambert, S.J.; Nowak, E.J.; Wakeley, L.D.; Poole, T.S.

    1991-12-31

    A concrete liner emplaced in 1984 in a shaft at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant has served as a natural laboratory for observing interactions among concrete, evaporite rocks, and brine. During a routine inspection of the liner in the spring of 1990, discoloration, deposition of secondary salts, wet areas with exposed aggregate grains, softening of paste, surficial spalling, and cracking were observed locally on the concrete surface of the liner. Some construction joints showed apparent leakage of brine from behind the liner, which was nominally 50 cm thick. Seepage brines were nearly saturated relative to CaCl{sub 2} and contained lesser amounts of MgCl{sub 2} and KCl, and minor NaCl. The liner surface was locally altered to a 1--2 cm friable hygroscopic layer containing little cement paste; concrete cores (7 or 10 cm diameter) through the liner at depths of 248, 254, 255, and 271 m showed similar degrees of alteration at the liner/rock interface. The most profound alteration of concrete was developed in a {approximately}7 cm zone subparallel to and straddling the construction joint cored at a depth of {approximately}254.5 m. This zone was extensively microfractured, transected aggregate grains, and contained brucite, gypsum, magnesium hydroxychloride hydrate, and locally calcium chloroaluminate instead of the usual phases of hydrated portland cement. Several mechanisms of chemical degradation have been proposed, the most likely being attack by magnesium ions.

  14. Potential microbial impact on transuranic wastes under conditions expected in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Annual report, October 1, 1978-September 30, 1979

    SciTech Connect

    Barnhart, B.J.; Campbell, E.W.; Martinez, E.; Caldwell, D.E.; Hallett, R.

    1980-07-01

    Previous results were confirmed showing elevated frequencies of radiation-resistant bacteria in microorganisms isolated from shallow transuranic (TRU) burial soil that exhibits nanocurie levels of beta and gamma radioactivity. Research to determine whether plutonium could be methylated by the microbially produced methyl donor, methylcobalamine, was terminated when literature and consulting radiochemists confirmed that other alkylated transuranic elements are extremely short-lived in the presence of oxygen. Emphasis was placed on investigation of the dissolution of plutonium dioxide by complex formation between plutonium and a polyhydroxamate chelate similar to that produced by microorganisms. New chromatographic and spectrophotometric evidence supports previous results showing enhanced dissolution of alpha radioactivity when /sup 239/Pu dioxide was mixed with the chelate Desferol. Microbial degradation studies of citrate, ethylenediamine tetraacetate (EDTA), and nitrilo triacetate (NTA) chelates of europium are in progress. Current results are summarized. All of the chelates were found to degrade. The average half-life for citrate, NTA, and EDTA was 3.2, 8.0, and 28 years, respectively. Microbial CO/sub 2/ generation is also in progress in 72 tests on several waste matrices under potential WIPP isolation conditions. The mean rate of gas generation was 5.97 ..mu..g CO/sub 2//g waste/day. Increasing temperature increased rates of microbial gas generation across treatments of brine, varying water content, nutrient additions, and anaerobic conditions. No microbial growth was detected in experiments to enumerate and identify the microorganisms in rocksalt cores from the proposed WIPP site. This report contains the year's research results and recommendations derived for the design of safe storage of TRU wastes under geologic repository conditions.

  15. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B Permit Application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 5, Chapter D, Appendix D1 (conclusion), Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Cook, Neville G.W.; Heuze, Francois E.; Miller, Hamish D.S.; Thoms, Robert L.

    1993-03-01

    The reference design for the underground facilities at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant was developed using the best criteria available at initiation of the detailed design effort. These design criteria are contained in the US Department of Energy document titled Design Criteria, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Revised Mission Concept-IIA (RMC-IIA), Rev. 4, dated February 1984. The validation process described in the Design Validation Final Report has resulted in validation of the reference design of the underground openings based on these criteria. Future changes may necessitate modification of the Design Criteria document and/or the reference design. Validation of the reference design as presented in this report permits the consideration of future design or design criteria modifications necessitated by these changes or by experience gained at the WIPP. Any future modifications to the design criteria and/or the reference design will be governed by a DOE Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) covering underground design changes. This procedure will explain the process to be followed in describing, evaluating and approving the change.

  16. Significance of certain rustler aquifer parameters for predicting long-term radiation doses from WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Wofsy, C

    1980-09-01

    This report considers some aspects of the radionuclide transport modeling presented in documents published by the US Department of Energy (DOE) regarding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) nuclear waste repository proposed for development in Southeastern New Mexico. The radionuclide transport modeling is used to predict worst possible consequences of a WIPP repository breach event in which waste enters groundwater. The aim of this report is to determine whether plausible changes in the parameters used by DOE to describe the flow of groundwater near the WIPP site could result in: (a) significantly faster radionuclide movement in groundwater; and (b) significantly higher concentrations of radionuclides in Pecos River water and correspondingly higher radiation doses than predicted by DOE. The conclusion reached is that while plausible changes in hydrologic conditions and waste-rock interactions might result in a significant reduction in the time it takes for radionuclides to reach the Pecos River, the shorter travel times do not result in significant increases in the estimated concentrations of radionuclides in the Pecos River nor in the radiation doses associated with the use of such water. Other ways in which parameter changes might affect these concentrations and doses are mentioned in the Conclusions section of the report, but are not the subject of this analysis.

  17. The influence of salt aerosol on alpha radiation detection by WIPP continuous air monitors

    SciTech Connect

    Bartlett, W.T.; Walker, B.A.

    1997-08-01

    Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) alpha continuous air monitor (CAM) performance was evaluated to determine if CAMs could detect accidental releases of transuranic radioactivity from the underground repository. Anomalous alpha spectra and poor background subtraction were observed and attributed to salt deposits on the CAM sampling filters. Microscopic examination of salt laden sampling filters revealed that aerosol particles were forming dendritic structures on the surface of the sampling filters. Alpha CAM detection efficiency decreased exponentially as salt deposits increased on the sampling filters, suggesting that sampling-filter salt was performing like a fibrous filter rather than a membrane filter. Aerosol particles appeared to penetrate the sampling-filter salt deposits and alpha particle energy was reduced. These findings indicate that alpha CAMs may not be able to detect acute releases of radioactivity, and consequently CAMs are not used as part of the WIPP dynamic confinement system. 12 refs., 12 figs., 1 tab.

  18. 3D thermal stress analysis of WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) Room T RH TRU (Remote Handled Transuranic) experiments

    SciTech Connect

    Argueello, J.G.; Beraun, R.; Molecke, M.A.

    1989-08-01

    A three-dimensional finite element thermal stress analysis of the RH TRU experiments in WIPP Room T has been performed. This analysis aids in the interpretation of the borehole closure results being obtained from the Room T experiments and helps in assessing potential performance impacts in a typical storage room, during the waste retrieval period. Computed results are presented and compared to available in situ data, and a qualitative agreement between measured and computed closures is seen. 9 refs., 10 figs.

  19. WIPP 2004 Site Environmental Report

    SciTech Connect

    None, None

    2005-09-30

    The mission of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is to safely and permanently dispose of transuranic (TRU) radioactive waste generated by the production of nuclear weapons and other activities related to the national defense of the United States (U.S.). In 2004, 8,839 cubic meters (m3) of TRU waste were emplaced at WIPP. From the first receipt of waste in March 1999 through the end of 2004, 25,809 m3 of TRU waste had been emplaced at WIPP. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) and Washington TRU Solutions LLC (WTS) are dedicated to maintaining high quality management of WIPP environmental resources. DOE Order 450.1, Environmental Protection Program; DOE Order 231.1A, Environment, Safety, and Health Reporting; and DOE Order 5400.5, Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment, require that the environment at and near DOE facilities be monitored to ensure the safety and health of the public and the environment. This Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2004 Site Environmental Report (SER) summarizes environmental data from 2004 that characterize environmental management performance and demonstrate compliance with applicable federal and state regulations. This report was prepared in accordance with DOE Order 231.1A, and Guidance for the Preparation of DOE Annual Site Environmental Reports (ASERs) for Calendar Year 2004 (DOE, 2005). The order and the guidance require that DOE facilities submit an annual SER to the DOE Headquarters Office of the Assistant Secretary for Environment, Safety, and Health. The WIPP Hazardous Waste Facility Permit (HWFP) further requires that the SER be provided to the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED).

  20. Leveraging Radioactive Waste Disposal at WIPP for Science

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rempe, N. T.

    2008-12-01

    Salt mines are radiologically much quieter than other underground environments because of ultra-low concentrations of natural radionuclides (U, Th, and K) in the host rock; therefore, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a government-owned, 655m deep geologic repository that disposes of radioactive waste in thick salt near Carlsbad, New Mexico, has for the last 15 years hosted highly radiation-sensitive experiments. Incidentally, Nature started her own low background experiment 250ma ago, preserving viable bacteria, cellulose, and DNA in WIPP salt. The Department of Energy continues to make areas of the WIPP underground available for experiments, freely offering its infrastructure and access to this unique environment. Even before WIPP started disposing of waste in 1999, the Room-Q alcove (25m x 10m x 4m) housed a succession of small experiments. They included development and calibration of neutral-current detectors by Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory, a proof-of-concept by Ohio State University of a flavor-sensitive neutrino detector for supernovae, and research by LANL on small solid- state dark matter detectors. Two currently active experiments support the search for neutrino-less double beta decay as a tool to better define the nature and mass of the neutrino. That these delicate experiments are conducted in close vicinity to, but not at all affected by, megacuries of radioactive waste reinforces the safety argument for the repository. Since 2003, the Majorana collaboration is developing and testing various detector designs inside a custom- built clean room in the Room-Q alcove. Already low natural background readings are reduced further by segmenting the germanium detectors, which spatially and temporally discriminates background radiation. The collaboration also demonstrated safe copper electro-forming underground, which minimizes cosmogenic background in detector assemblies. The largest currently used experimental

  1. Vertical Flume Testing of WIPP Surrogate Waste Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, C. G.; Schuhen, M.; Kicker, D.

    2012-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a U.S. Department of Energy geological repository for the permanent disposal of defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste. The waste is emplaced in rooms excavated in the bedded Salado salt formation at a depth of 655 m below ground surface. After emplacement of the waste, the repository will be sealed and decommissioned. The DOE demonstrates compliance with 40 CFR 194 by means of performance assessment (PA) calculations conducted by Sandia National Laboratories. WIPP PA calculations estimate the probability and consequences of radionuclide releases for a 10,000 year regulatory period. Human intrusion scenarios include cases in which a future borehole is drilled through the repository. Drilling mud flowing up the borehole will apply a hydrodynamic shear stress to the borehole wall which could result in erosion of the waste and radionuclides being carried up the borehole. WIPP PA uses the parameter TAUFAIL to represent the shear strength of the degraded waste. The hydrodynamic shear strength can only be measured experimentally by flume testing. Flume testing is typically performed horizontally, mimicking stream or ocean currents. However, in a WIPP intrusion event, the drill bit would penetrate the degraded waste and drilling mud would flow up the borehole in a predominantly vertical direction. In order to simulate this, a flume was designed and built so that the eroding fluid enters an enclosed vertical channel from the bottom and flows up past a specimen of surrogate waste material. The sample is pushed into the current by a piston attached to a step motor. A qualified data acquisition system controls and monitors the fluid's flow rate, temperature, pressure, and conductivity and the step motor's operation. The surrogate materials used correspond to a conservative estimate of degraded TRU waste at the end of the regulatory period. The recipes were previously developed by SNL based on anticipated future states of the waste

  2. Vertical Flume Testing of WIPP Surrogate Waste Materials

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, C. G.; Schuhen, M.; Kicker, D.

    2013-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a U.S. Department of Energy geological repository for the permanent disposal of defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste. The waste is emplaced in rooms excavated in the bedded Salado salt formation at a depth of 655 m below ground surface. After emplacement of the waste, the repository will be sealed and decommissioned. The DOE demonstrates compliance with 40 CFR 194 by means of performance assessment (PA) calculations conducted by Sandia National Laboratories. WIPP PA calculations estimate the probability and consequences of radionuclide releases for a 10,000 year regulatory period. Human intrusion scenarios include cases in which a future borehole is drilled through the repository. Drilling mud flowing up the borehole will apply a hydrodynamic shear stress to the borehole wall which could result in erosion of the waste and radionuclides being carried up the borehole. WIPP PA uses the parameter TAUFAIL to represent the shear strength of the degraded waste. The hydrodynamic shear strength can only be measured experimentally by flume testing. Flume testing is typically performed horizontally, mimicking stream or ocean currents. However, in a WIPP intrusion event, the drill bit would penetrate the degraded waste and drilling mud would flow up the borehole in a predominantly vertical direction. In order to simulate this, a flume was designed and built so that the eroding fluid enters an enclosed vertical channel from the bottom and flows up past a specimen of surrogate waste material. The sample is pushed into the current by a piston attached to a step motor. A qualified data acquisition system controls and monitors the fluid's flow rate, temperature, pressure, and conductivity and the step motor's operation. The surrogate materials used correspond to a conservative estimate of degraded TRU waste at the end of the regulatory period. The recipes were previously developed by SNL based on anticipated future states of the waste

  3. Sandia WIPP calibration traceability

    SciTech Connect

    Schuhen, M.D.; Dean, T.A.

    1996-05-01

    This report summarizes the work performed to establish calibration traceability for the instrumentation used by Sandia National Laboratories at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during testing from 1980-1985. Identifying the calibration traceability is an important part of establishing a pedigree for the data and is part of the qualification of existing data. In general, the requirement states that the calibration of Measuring and Test equipment must have a valid relationship to nationally recognized standards or the basis for the calibration must be documented. Sandia recognized that just establishing calibration traceability would not necessarily mean that all QA requirements were met during the certification of test instrumentation. To address this concern, the assessment was expanded to include various activities.

  4. Khazar Iodine Production Plant Site Remediation in Turkmenistan. NORM Contaminated Waste Repository Establishment - 12398

    SciTech Connect

    Gelbutovskiy, Alexander B.; Cheremisin, Peter I.; Troshev, Alexander V.; Egorov, Alexander J.; Boriskin, Mikhail M.; Bogod, Mikhail A.

    2012-07-01

    Radiation safety provisions for NORM contaminated areas are in use in a number of the former Soviet republics. Some of these areas were formed by absorbed radionuclides at the iodine and bromine extraction sites. As a rule, there are not any plant radiation monitoring systems nor appropriate services to ensure personnel, population and environmental radiation safety. The most hazardous sites are those which are situated in the Caspian Sea coastal zone. The bulk of the accumulated waste is represented by a loose mixture of sand and charcoal, which was basically used as the iodine extraction sorbent. The amounts of these wastes were estimated to be approximately 20,000 metric tons. The waste contamination is mainly composed of Ra-226 (U-238 decay series) and Ra-224, Ra-228 (Th-232 decay series). In 2009, the 'ECOMET-S', a Closed Joint-Stock Company from St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, was authorized by the Turkmenistan government to launch the rehabilitation project. The project includes D and D activities, contaminated areas remediation, collected wastes safe transportation to the repository and its disposal following repository closure. The work at the Khazar chemical plant started in September, 2010. Comprehensive radiological surveys to estimate the waste quantities were carried out in advance. In course of the rehabilitation work at the site of the Khazar chemical plant additional waste quantities (5,000 MT, 10,000 m{sup 3}) were discovered after the sludge was dumped and drained. Disposal volumes for this waste was not provided initially. The additional volume of the construction wastes was required in order to accommodate all the waste to be disposed. For the larger disposal volume the project design enterprise VNIPIET, offered to erect a second wall outside the existing one and this solution was adopted. As of May, 2011, 40,575 m{sup 3} of contaminated waste were collected and disposed safely. This volume represents 96.6% of the initial repository volume

  5. The interaction of plutonium with bacteria in the repository environment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gillow, J. B.; Francis, A. J.; Lucero, D. A.; Papenguth, H. W.

    2000-07-01

    Microorganisms in the nuclear waste repository environment may interact with plutonium through (i) sorption, (ii) intracellular accumulation, and (iii) transformation of chemical speciation. These interactions may retard or enhance the mobility of Pu by precipitation reactions, biocolloid formation, or production of more soluble species. Current and planned radioactive waste repository environments, such as deep subsurface halite and granite formations, are considered extreme relative to life processes in the near-surface terrestrial environment. There is a paucity of information on the biotransformation of radionuclides by microorganisms present in such extreme environments. In order to gain a better understanding of the interaction of plutonium with microorganisms present in the waste repository sites we investigated a pure culture (Halomonas sp.) and a mixed culture of bacteria (Haloarcula sinaiiensis, Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, Altermonas sp., and a g-proteobacterium) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site and an Acetobacterium sp. from alkaline groundwater at the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland.

  6. Interaction of Plutonium with Bacteria in the Repository Environment

    SciTech Connect

    Gillow, J. B.; Francis, A. J.; Lucero, D. A.; Papenguth, H. W.

    2000-07-01

    Microorganisms in the nuclear waste repository environment may interact with plutonium through (1) sorption, (2) intracellular accumulation, and (3) transformation speciation. These interactions may retard or enhance the mobility of Pu by precipitation reactions, biocolloid formation, or production of more soluble species. Current and planned radioactive waste repository environments, such as deep subsurface halite and granite formations, are considered extreme relative to life processes in the near-surface terrestrial environment. There is a paucity of information on the biotransformation of radionuclides by microorganisms present in such extreme environments. In order to gain a better understanding of the interaction of plutonium with microorganisms present in the waste repository sites we investigated a pure culture (Halomonas sp.) and a mixed culture of bacteria (Haloarcula sinaiiensis, Marinobacter hydrocarbonoclasticus, Altermonas sp., and a {gamma}-proteobacterium) isolated from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site and an Acetobacterium sp. from alkaline groundwater at the Grimsel Test Site in Switzerland.

  7. Actinide Solubility and Speciation in the WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Reed, Donald T.

    2015-11-02

    The presentation begins with the role and need for nuclear repositories (overall concept, international updates (Sweden, Finland, France, China), US approach and current status), then moves on to the WIPP TRU repository concept (design, current status--safety incidents of February 5 and 14, 2014, path forward), and finally considers the WIPP safety case: dissolved actinide concentrations (overall approach, oxidation state distribution and redox control, solubility of actinides, colloidal contribution and microbial effects). The following conclusions are set forth: (1) International programs are moving forward, but at a very slow and somewhat sporadic pace. (2) In the United States, the Salt repository concept, from the perspective of the long-term safety case, remains a viable option for nuclear waste management despite the current operational issues/concerns. (3) Current model/PA prediction (WIPP example) are built on redundant conservatisms. These conservatisms are being addressed in the ongoing and future research to fill existing data gaps--redox control of plutonium by Fe(0, II), thorium (analog) solubility studies in simulated brine, contribution of intrinsic and biocolloids to the mobile concentration, and clarification of microbial ecology and effects.

  8. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B permit application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 4, Revision 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-31

    The US Department of Energy is currently constructing the Waste Isolation Pilot near Carlsbad, New Mexico. The full-scale pilot plant will demonstrate the feasibility of the safe disposal of defense-related nuclear waste in a bedded salt formation at a depth of 2160 feet below the surface. WIPP will provide for the permanent storage of 25,000 cu ft of remote-handled (RH) transuranic waste and 6,000,000 cu ft of contact-handled (CH) transuranic waste. This paper covers the major mechanical/structural design considerations for the waste hoist and its hoist tower structure. The design of the hoist system and safety features incorporates state-of-the-art technology developed in the hoist and mining industry to ensure safe operation for transporting nuclear waste underground. Also included are design specifications for VOC-10 monitoring system.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Munson, D.E.; Hoag, D.L.; Ball, J.R.

    1995-07-01

    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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Chu, M.S.Y.; Papenguth, H.W.; Stockman, C.T.

    1996-11-07

    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.

  11. Evaluation of the WIPP Project`s compliance with the EPA radiation protection standards for disposal of transuranic waste

    SciTech Connect

    Neill, R.H.; Chaturvedi, L.; Rucker, D.F.; Silva, M.K.; Walker, B.A.; Channell, J.K.; Clemo, T.M. |

    1998-03-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA) proposed rule to certify that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) meets compliance with the long-term radiation protection standards for geologic repositories (40CFR191 Subparts B and C), is one of the most significant milestones to date for the WIPP project in particular, and for the nuclear waste issue in general. The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) has provided an independent technical oversight for the WIPP project since 1978, and is responsible for many improvements in the location, design, and testing of various aspects of the project, including participation in the development of the EPA standards since the early 1980s. The EEG reviewed the development of documentation for assessing the WIPP`s compliance by the Sandia National Laboratories following the 1985 promulgation by EPA, and provided many written and verbal comments on various aspects of this effort, culminating in the overall review of the 1992 performance assessment. For the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) compliance certification application (CCA), the EEG provided detailed comments on the draft CCA in March, 1996, and additional comments through unpublished letters in 1997 (included as Appendices 8.1 and 8.2 in this report). Since the October 30, 1997, publication of the EPA`s proposed rule to certify WIPP, the EEG gave presentations on important issues to the EPA on December 10, 1997, and sent a December 31, 1997 letter with attachments to clarify those issues (Appendix 8.3). The EEG has raised a number of questions that may have an impact on compliance. In spite of the best efforts by the EEG, the EPA reaction to reviews and suggestions has been slow and apparently driven by legal considerations. This report discusses in detail the questions that have been raised about containment requirements. Also discussed are assurance requirements, groundwater protection, individual protection, and an evaluation of EPA`s responses to EEG`s comments.

  12. Long-Term Environmental Monitoring of an Operating Deep Geologic Nuclear Waste Repository

    SciTech Connect

    Conca, J.; Kirchner, Th.; Monk, J.; Sage, S.

    2008-07-01

    In the present energy dilemma in which we find ourselves, the magnitude of humanity's energy needs requires that we embrace a multitude of various energy sources and applications. Nuclear energy must be a major portion of the distribution. One often-cited strategic hurdle to the commercial production of nuclear energy is the apparent lack of an acceptable nuclear waste repository. This issue has been quietly addressed at the U. S. Department of Energy (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP; see http://www.wipp.energy.gov), the closest population center of significant size being Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP has been operating for about nine years, disposing of over 250,000 drum-equivalents of nuclear waste. From the standpoint of addressing operational and environmental risk, as well as public fear, WIPP has had extensive human health and environmental monitoring. The Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring and Research Center is in the Institute for Energy and the Environment, in the College of Engineering at New Mexico State University. Located in Carlsbad, NM, CEMRC has been the independent monitoring facility for the area around WIPP from 1993 to the present, i.e., from six years before disposal operations began to nine years of waste disposal operations (www.cemcr.org). Based on the radiological analyses of monitoring samples completed to date for area residents and site workers, and for selected aerosols, soils, sediments, drinking water and surface waters, there is no evidence of increases in radiological contaminants in the region of WIPP that could be attributed to releases from WIPP. Levels of radiological and non-radiological analytes measured since operations began in 1999 have been within the range of baseline levels measured previously, and are within the ranges measured by other entities at the State and local levels since well before disposal phase operations began in 1999. (authors)

  13. PFLOTRAN Simulation of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Single Waste Panel

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Park, H.; Hammond, G. E.

    2015-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in southeastern New Mexico, has been developed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for the deep geologic disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. WIPP performance assessment (PA) calculations estimate the probability and consequence of potential radionuclide releases from the repository to the accessible environment arising from events and processes that could occur over the 10,000 year regulatory period. The conceptual model estimates three possible cases and the combinations of these cases: 1) undisturbed condition of the repository, 2) human borehole intrusion condition that penetrates the repository, and 3) human borehole intrusion that penetrates pressurized brine underlying the repository. To date, WIPP PA calculations have employed multiple two-dimensional (2D) numerical models requiring simplification of the mesh and processes including homogenization of materials and regions while maintaining volume aspect ratio. Introducing three-dimensional (3D) numerical models within WIPP PA enables increasingly realistic representations of the WIPP subsurface domain and improved flexibility for incorporating relevant features. PFLOTRAN is a state-of-art massively parallel subsurface flow and reactive transport code that will be implemented to enhance PA with more physically realistic 3D flow and transport models; eliminating the need for multiple related, but decoupled 2D models. This paper demonstrates PFLOTRAN simulation of a single waste panel of the WIPP undisturbed condition in 3D. The simulation also employs newly implemented WIPP specific functionalities to PFLOTRAN: 1) gas generation from the wastes, 2) creep closure of bedded salt formation, 3) fractures of marker beds near the excavation, 4) Klinkenberg effect on gas permeability in low-permeable materials, and 5) Redlich-Kwong-Soave equation of state for gas density.

  14. Predictions of Actinide Solubilities under Near-Field Conditions Expected in the WIPP

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brush, L. H.; Xiong, Y.

    2009-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) repository in southeast New Mexico for defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste. The repository, which opened in March 1999, is located at a subsurface depth of 655 m (2150 ft) in the Salado Fm., a Permian bedded-salt formation. The repository will eventually contain the equivalent of 844,000 208 L (55 gal) drums of TRU waste. After filling the rooms and access drifts and installing panel closures, creep closure of the salt will crush the steel waste containers in most cases and encapsulate the waste. The WIPP actinide source term model used for long-term performance assessment (PA) of the repository comprises dissolved and suspended submodels (solubilities and colloids). This presentation will describe the solubilities. From the standpoint of long-term PA, the order of importance of the radioelements in the TRU waste to be emplaced in the WIPP is Pu ~ Am >> U > Th >> Np ~ Cm and fission products. The DOE has included all of these actinides, but not fission products, in the WIPP Actinide Source Term Program (ASTP). Anoxic corrosion of Fe- and Al-base metals and microbial consumption of cellulosic, plastic, and rubber materials will produce gas and create strongly reducing conditions in the WIPP after closure. The use of MgO as an engineered barrier to consume microbially produced CO2 will result in low fCO2 and basic pH. Under these conditions, Th, U, Np, Pu, and Am will speciate essentially entirely as Th(IV), U(IV), Np(IV), Pu(III), and Am(III); or Th(IV), U(VI), Np(V), Pu(IV), and Am(III). The DOE has developed thermodynamic speciation-and-solubility models for +III, +IV, and +V actinides in brines. Experimental data for Nd, Am, and Cm species were used to parameterize the +III Pitzer activity-coefficient model; data for Th species were used for the +IV model; and data for Np(V) species were used for the +V model. These models include the effects of the organic ligands acetate, citrate

  15. Geochemistry of two pressurized brines from the Castile Formation in the vicinity of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site

    SciTech Connect

    Faith, S.; Spiegler, P.; Rehfeldt, K.R.

    1983-04-01

    The major and minor element data and isotopic data from the ERDA-6 and WIPP-12 testing indicate that the brine reservoirs encountered in the Upper Castile Formation are largely in equilibrium with their surrounding host rock environment. This contention is supported by thermodynamic and stable isotope data. It is not possible to assign an absolute age to the brine based on uranium disequilibrium considerations, but the data do indicate that the brine reequilibrated with a new rock environment at least two million years ago. Information and data evaluated herein indicate the likelihood that the brines encountered are predominantly, if not entirely, derived from a trapped seawater source subsequently modified by diagenesis. Major ion/bromide ratios indicate that halite dissolution has occurred to some extent subsequent to deposition of the Castile anhydrites and entrapment of the seawater brine. Mechanisms for additional halite dissolution are discussed. Based on the degree of present halite saturation, it is concluded that the potential for future dissolution of halite is minimal.

  16. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act: Part B, Permit application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 1, Revison 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-03-01

    This report contains information related to the permit application for the WIPP facility. Information is presented on solid waste management; personnel safety; emergency plans; site characterization; applicable regulations; decommissioning; and ground water monitoring requirements.

  17. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Part B permit application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 7: Revision 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-07-01

    This permit application (Vol. 7) for the WIPP facility contains appendices related to the following information: Ground water protection; personnel; solid waste management; and memorandums concerning environmental protection standards.

  18. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B Permit Application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Chapter D, Appendix D1 (conclusion): Volume 3, Revision 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1992-06-01

    This report, Part B (Vol. 3) of the permit application for the WIPP facility, contains information related to the site characterization of the facility, including geology, design, rock salt evaluations, maps, drawings, and shaft excavations. (CBS)

  19. Achieving WIPP certification for software: A white paper

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, S.D.; Adams, K.; Twitchell, K.E.

    1998-07-01

    The NMT-1 and NMT-3 organizations within the Chemical and Metallurgical Research (CMR) facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is working to achieve Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) certification to enable them to transport their TRU waste to WIPP. In particular, the NMT-1 management is requesting support from the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) to assist them in making the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) software WIPP certifiable. Thus, LIMS must be compliant with the recognized software quality assurance (SQA) requirements stated within the QAPD. Since the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) has achieved WIPP certification, INEEL personnel can provide valuable assistance to LANL by sharing lessons learned and recommendations. Thus, this white paper delineates the particular software quality assurance requirements required for WIPP certification.

  20. Review of the WIPP draft application to show compliance with EPA transuranic waste disposal standards

    SciTech Connect

    Neill, R.H.; Chaturvedi, L.; Clemo, T.M.

    1996-03-01

    The purpose of the New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) is to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project to ensure the protection of the public health and safety and the environment. The WIPP Project, located in southeastern New Mexico, is being constructed as a repository for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive wastes generated by the national defense programs. The EEG was established in 1978 with funds provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to the State of New Mexico. Public Law 100-456, the National Defense Authorization Act, Fiscal Year 1989, Section 1433, assigned EEG to the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and continued the original contract DE-AC04-79AL10752 through DOE contract DE-AC04-89AL58309. The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, Public Law 103-160, continues the authorization. EEG performs independent technical analyses of the suitability of the proposed site; the design of the repository, its planned operation, and its long-term integrity; suitability and safety of the transportation systems; suitability of the Waste Acceptance Criteria and the generator sites` compliance with them; and related subjects. These analyses include assessments of reports issued by the DOE and its contractors, other federal agencies and organizations, as they relate to the potential health, safety and environmental impacts from WIPP. Another important function of EEG is the independent environmental monitoring of background radioactivity in air, water, and soil, both on-site and off-site.

  1. Determination of Uncertainties for +III and +IV Actinide Solubilities in the WIPP Geochemistry Model for the 2009 Compliance Recertification Application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ismail, A. E.; Xiong, Y.; Nowak, E. J.; Brush, L. H.

    2009-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) repository in southeast New Mexico for defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste. Every five years, the DOE is required to submit an application to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) demonstrating the WIPP’s continuing compliance with the applicable EPA regulations governing the repository. Part of this recertification effort involves a performance assessment—a probabilistic evaluation of the repository performance with respect to regulatory limits on the amount of releases from the repository to the accessible environment. One of the models used as part of the performance assessment process is a geochemistry model, which predicts solubilities of the radionuclides in the brines that may enter the repository in the different scenarios considered by the performance assessment. The dissolved actinide source term comprises actinide solubilities, which are input parameters for modeling the transport of radionuclides as a result of brine flow through and from the repository. During a performance assessment, the solubilities are modeled as the product of a “base” solubility determined from calculations based on the chemical conditions expected in the repository, and an uncertainty factor that describes the potential deviations of the model from expected behavior. We will focus here on a discussion of the uncertainties. To compute a cumulative distribution function (CDF) for the uncertainties, we compare published, experimentally measured solubility data to predictions made using the established WIPP geochemistry model. The differences between the solubilities observed for a given experiment and the calculated solubilities from the model are used to form the overall CDF, which is then sampled as part of the performance assessment. We will discuss the methodology used to update the CDF’s for the +III actinides, obtained from data for Nd, Am, and Cm, and the +IV actinides, obtained

  2. Test Plan: WIPP bin-scale CH TRU waste tests

    SciTech Connect

    Molecke, M.A.

    1990-08-01

    This WIPP Bin-Scale CH TRU Waste Test program described herein will provide relevant composition and kinetic rate data on gas generation and consumption resulting from TRU waste degradation, as impacted by synergistic interactions due to multiple degradation modes, waste form preparation, long-term repository environmental effects, engineered barrier materials, and, possibly, engineered modifications to be developed. Similar data on waste-brine leachate compositions and potentially hazardous volatile organic compounds released by the wastes will also be provided. The quantitative data output from these tests and associated technical expertise are required by the WIPP Performance Assessment (PA) program studies, and for the scientific benefit of the overall WIPP project. This Test Plan describes the necessary scientific and technical aspects, justifications, and rational for successfully initiating and conducting the WIPP Bin-Scale CH TRU Waste Test program. This Test Plan is the controlling scientific design definition and overall requirements document for this WIPP in situ test, as defined by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL), scientific advisor to the US Department of Energy, WIPP Project Office (DOE/WPO). 55 refs., 16 figs., 19 tabs.

  3. Design criteria, Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). Revised Mission Concept-IIA (RMC-IIA). Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1982-12-01

    This document provides design criteria which shall be used by the architect-engineer in the Title II detail design of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. The design criteria present requirements which the architect-engineer must address in the design of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant.

  4. Planting Seeds for a Successful Institutional Repository: Role of the Archivist as Manager, Designer, and Policymaker

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Watterworth, Melissa

    2009-01-01

    Recent surveys indicate that many colleges and universities have reached a pivotal moment in assessing the function and future development of their institutional repositories. Other surveys convey that archivists are participating in the development and implementation of institutional repositories at a variety of levels and have contributed to the…

  5. Final environmental impact statement. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1980-10-01

    In accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this document as environmental input to future decisions regarding the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which would include the disposal of transuranic waste, as currently authorized. The alternatives covered in this document are the following: (1) Continue storing transuranic (TRU) waste at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) as it is now or with improved confinement. (2) Proceed with WIPP at the Los Medanos site in southeastern New Mexico, as currently authorized. (3) Dispose of TRU waste in the first available repository for high-level waste. The Los Medanos site would be investigated for its potential suitability as a candidate site. This is administration policy and is the alternative preferred by the DOE. (4) Delay the WIPP to allow other candidate sites to be evaluated for TRU-waste disposal. This environmental impact statement is arranged in the following manner: Chapter 1 is an overall summary of the analysis contained in the document. Chapters 2 and 4 set forth the objectives of the national waste-management program and analyze the full spectrum of reasonable alternatives for meeting these objectives, including the WIPP. Chapter 5 presents the interim waste-acceptance criteria and waste-form alternatives for the WIPP. Chapters 6 through 13 provide a detailed description and environmental analysis of the WIPP repository and its site. Chapter 14 describes the permits and approvals necessary for the WIPP and the interactions that have taken place with Federal, State, and local authorities, and with the general public in connection with the repository. Chapter 15 analyzes the many comments received on the DEIS and tells what has been done in this FEIS in response. The appendices contain data and discussions in support of the material in the text.

  6. In-Situ Testing and Performance Assessment of a Redesigned WIPP Panel Closure - 13192

    SciTech Connect

    Klein, Thomas; Patterson, Russell; Camphouse, Chris; Herrick, Courtney; Kirchner, Thomas; Malama, Bwalya; Zeitler, Todd; Kicker, Dwayne

    2013-07-01

    There are two primary regulatory requirements for Panel Closures at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), the nation's only deep geologic repository for defense related Transuranic (TRU) and Mixed TRU waste. The Federal requirement is through 40 CFR 191 and 194, promulgated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The state requirement is regulated through the authority of the Secretary of the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) under the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Act (HWA), New Mexico Statutes Annotated (NMSA) 1978, chap. 74-4-1 through 74-4-14, in accordance with the New Mexico Hazardous Waste Management Regulations (HWMR), 20.4.1 New Mexico Annotated Code (NMAC). The state regulations are implemented for the operational period of waste emplacement plus 30 years whereas the federal requirements are implemented from the operational period through 10,000 years. The 10,000 year federal requirement is related to the adequate representation of the panel closures in determining long-term performance of the repository. In Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking for 40 CFR Part 194, the EPA required a specific design for the panel closure system. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) has requested, through the Planned Change Request (PCR) process, that the EPA modify Condition 1 via its rulemaking process. The DOE has also requested, through the Permit Modification Request (PMR) process, that the NMED modify the approved panel closure system specified in Permit Attachment G1. The WIPP facility is carved out of a bedded salt formation 655 meters below the surface of southeast New Mexico. Condition 1 of the Final Certification Rulemaking specifies that the waste panels be closed using Option D which is a combination of a Salado mass concrete (SMC) monolith and an isolation/explosion block wall. The Option D design was also accepted as the panel closure of choice by the NMED. After twelve years of waste handling

  7. Getting waste ready for shipment to the WIPP: integration of characterization and certification activities

    SciTech Connect

    Sinkule, B.; Knudsen, K.; Rogers, P.

    1996-06-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC) serve as the primary directive for assuring the safe handling, transportation, and disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste generated at Department of Energy (DOE) sites. The WIPP WAC address fulfillment of WIPP`s operational safety and performance assessment criteria, compliance with Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) requirements, and preparation of waste packages that meet all transportation criteria. At individual generator sites, preparation of transuranic waste for final disposal at WIPP includes characterizing the waste to meet the requirements of the transuranic Waste Characterization Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP) and certifying waste containers to meet the WIPP WAC and the Transuranic Package Transporter-II Authorized Methods for Payload Control (TRAMPAC). This paper compares the quality assurance and quality control requirements specified in the WIPP WAC, QAPP, and TRAMPAC and discusses the potential to consolidate activities to comply with the TRU waste characterization and certification program requirements.

  8. Variable-density ground-water flow and paleohydrology in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) region, southeastern New Mexico

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Davies, P.B.

    1989-01-01

    Variable-density groundwater flow was studied near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in southeastern New Mexico. An analysis of the relative magnitude of pressure-related and density-related flow-driving forces indicates that density-related gravity effects are not significant at the plant and to the west but are significant in areas to the north, northeast, and south. A regional-scale model of variable-density groundwater flow in the Culebra Dolomite member of the Rustler Formation indicates that the flow velocities are relatively rapid (10 to the minus 7th power m/sec) west of the site and extremely slow (10 to the minus 11th power m/sec) east and northeast of the site. In the transition zone between those two extremes, which includes the plant, velocities are highly variable. Sensitivity simulations indicate that the central and western parts of the region, including the plant, are fairly well isolated from the eastern and northeastern boundaries. Vertical-flux simulations indicate that as much as 25% of total inflow to the Culebra could be entering as vertical flow, with most of this flow occurring west of the plant. A simple cross-sectional model was developed to examine the flow system as it drains through time following recharge during a past glacial pluvial. This model indicates that the system as a whole drains very slowly and that it apparently could have sustained flow from purely transient drainage following recharge of the system during the Pleistocene. (USGS)

  9. Blending mining and nuclear industries at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Walls, J.R.

    1990-01-01

    At the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) traditional procedures for underground mining activities have been significantly altered in order to assure underground safety and project adherence to numerous regulatory requirements. Innovative techniques have been developed for WIPP underground procedures, mining equipment, and operating environments. The mining emphasis at WIPP is upon the quality of the excavation, not (as in conventional mines) on the production of ore. The WIPP is a United States Department of Energy (DOE) project that is located 30 miles southeast of Carlsbad, New Mexico, where the nation's first underground engineered nuclear repository is being constructed. The WIPP site was selected because of its location amidst a 607 meter thick salt bed, which provides a remarkably stable rock formation for the permanent storage of nuclear waste. The underground facility is located 655 meters below the earth's surface, in the Salado formation, which comprises two-hundred million year old halites with minor amounts of clay and anhydrites. When completed, the WIPP underground facility will consist of two components: approximately 81 square kilometers of experimental areas, and approximately 405 square kilometers of repository. 3 figs.

  10. An analysis of the annual probability of failure of the waste hoist brake system at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)

    SciTech Connect

    Greenfield, M.A.; Sargent, T.J.

    1995-11-01

    The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) previously analyzed the probability of a catastrophic accident in the waste hoist of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) and published the results in Greenfield (1990; EEG-44) and Greenfield and Sargent (1993; EEG-53). The most significant safety element in the waste hoist is the hydraulic brake system, whose possible failure was identified in these studies as the most important contributor in accident scenarios. Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Waste Isolation Division has calculated the probability of an accident involving the brake system based on studies utilizing extensive fault tree analyses. This analysis conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) used point estimates to describe the probability of failure and includes failure rates for the various components comprising the brake system. An additional controlling factor in the DOE calculations is the mode of operation of the brake system. This factor enters for the following reason. The basic failure rate per annum of any individual element is called the Event Probability (EP), and is expressed as the probability of failure per annum. The EP in turn is the product of two factors. One is the {open_quotes}reported{close_quotes} failure rate, usually expressed as the probability of failure per hour and the other is the expected number of hours that the element is in use, called the {open_quotes}mission time{close_quotes}. In many instances the {open_quotes}mission time{close_quotes} will be the number of operating hours of the brake system per annum. However since the operation of the waste hoist system includes regular {open_quotes}reoperational check{close_quotes} tests, the {open_quotes}mission time{close_quotes} for standby components is reduced in accordance with the specifics of the operational time table.

  11. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B permit application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 1, Revision 3

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    This volume includes the following chapters: Waste Isolation Pilot Plant RCRA A permit application; facility description; waste analysis plan; groundwater monitoring; procedures to prevent hazards; RCRA contingency plan; personnel training; corrective action for solid waste management units; and other Federal laws.

  12. Environmental protection implementation plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, November 9, 1989--November 9, 1990

    SciTech Connect

    Bitner, K.A.; Flynn, D.T.; Ice, L.G. ); Goodbar, A.K.; Jones, S.B.; Wilt, B.M. . Waste Isolation Div.)

    1990-02-09

    This Environmental Protection Implementation Plan (EPIP) has been prepared in accordance with US Department Energy (DOE) Order 5400.1 and covers the time period of January 1, 1990 through December 31, 1990. The purpose of this EPIP is to provide management direction to ensure that the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is operated and managed in a manner that will protect, maintain, and, where necessary, restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to public health and the environment, and comply with environmental regulations and DOE policies. The WIPP was authorized by Public Law 96-164 to provide a research and development facility for demonstrating the safe disposal of radioactive wastes produced by national defense activities. The DOE is developing the WIPP facility as deep geologic repository constructed in a thick bedded salt formation 655 meters (2,150 feet) below the land surface. It is currently planned that the WIPP facility will operate in a pilot plant mode for the first five years of operation. During this phase, DOE proposes to conduct certain tests designed to demonstrate safe handling and disposal operations. Procedures for evaluating facility performance relative to standards promulgated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ((40 CFR Part 191)) will be evaluated during the first five years of operation. At the end of the five year pilot plant phase a decision will be made as to whether to make the WIPP facility a permanent repository. 33 refs., 5 figs.

  13. Information Lag in Certification and Recertification of WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Casey, S. C.; Patterson, R. L.; Shoemaker, P. E.

    2003-02-25

    The DOE established a Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Recertification Project to ensure the timely completion of the documentation to meet the requirement of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA) (1) to demonstrate continued compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disposal regulations at five-year intervals. This paper describes the reason for the self-imposed ''blackout'' period and provides an outline of the compliance process.

  14. Will salt repositories be dry?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bredehoeft, John D.

    The National Academy of Science committee that considered geologic disposal of nuclear waste in the mid-1950s recommended salt as a repository medium, partly because of its high thermal conductivity and because it was believed to be “dry” (perhaps the appropriate thought is “impermeable”). Certainly, the fact that Paleozoic salt deposits exist in many parts of t h e world is evidence for very low rates of dissolution by moving groundwater. The fact that the dissolution rates were so small led many scientists to the conclusion that the salt beds were nearly impermeable. The major source of brine within the salt beds was thought to be fluid inclusions within salt crystals, which could migrate through differential solution toward a source of high heat. The idea that salt was uniformly “dry” was revised when exploratory drilling in the vicinity of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico encountered brines within the Castile Formation, an evaporite deposit below the Salado Formation. The brine reservoirs were thought to be isolated pockets of brine in an otherwise “impermeable” salt section.

  15. Radiation release at the nation's only operating deep geological repository--an independent monitoring perspective.

    PubMed

    Thakur, P; Ballard, S; Hardy, R

    2014-11-01

    Recent incidents at the nation's only operating deep geologic nuclear waste repository, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), resulted in the release of americium and plutonium from one or more defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste containers into the environment. WIPP is a U.S. Department of Energy mined geologic repository that has been in operation since March, 1999. Over 85,000 m3 of waste in various vented payload containers have been emplaced in the repository. The primary radionuclides within the disposed waste are 239+240Pu and 241Am, which account for more than 99% of the total TRU radioactivity disposed and scheduled for disposal in the repository. For the first time in its 15 years of operation, there was an airborne radiation release from the WIPP at approximately 11:30 PM Mountain Standard Time (MST) on Friday, February 14, 2014. The radiation release was likely caused by a chemical reaction inside a TRU waste drum that contained nitrate salts and organic sorbent materials. In a recent news release, DOE announced that photos taken of the waste underground showed evidence of heat and gas pressure resulting in a deformed lid, in material expelled through that deformation, and in melted plastic and rubber and polyethylene in the vicinity of that drum. Recent entries into underground Panel 7 have confirmed that at least one waste drum containing a nitrate salt bearing waste stream from Los Alamos National Laboratory was breached underground and was the most likely source of the release. Further investigation is underway to determine if other containers contributed to the release. Air monitoring across the WIPP site intensified following the first reports of radiation detection underground to ascertain whether or not there were releases to the ground surface. Independent analytical results of air filters from sampling stations on and near the WIPP facility have been released by us at the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center and confirmed

  16. Identification of issues relevant to the first recertification of WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Lawrence E.; Silva, Matthew K.; Channell, James K.

    2002-09-30

    One goal of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act was to assure the safe disposal of the nation’s defense transuranic waste into a deep repository in southeast New Mexico. The governing legislation required the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to provide to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) analyses of the anticipated performance of the repository. Disposal operations could not begin until the EPA determined that the project demonstrated compliance with EPA Standards (40 CFR 191) and EPA Criteria (40 CFR 194) for such disposal. The Land Withdrawal Act inherently recognized that the EPA Certification would have to rely on best available knowledge at the time when the application was submitted. The Act also recognized that after the initial certification of WIPP and start of disposal operations, operating experience and ongoing research would result in new technical and scientific information. Thus, the legislation requires recertification of the WIPP every five years, following the first receipt of waste. This report updates issues that the Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) considers important as the Department of Energy (DOE) works towards the first recertification. These issues encompass a variety of technical areas including actinide solubility, fluid injection scenarios, solution mining, Culebra flow and transport, spallings modeling, and non-random waste emplacement. Given the 24,000-year half life of 239Pu, understanding the characteristics of plutonium in the WIPP environment is obviously important to the validity of long-term performance assessment of the repository. Some uncertainty remains in the understanding of the persistence of higher oxidation states because of reliance on modeling (with its associated assumptions) and limited experimental results. The EEG recommends additional experimental work towards parameters for a proposed conceptual kinetic model of plutonium solubility. In addition, the EEG recommends an intrusion scenario

  17. Analysis of hydraulic tests of the Culebra and Magenta Dolomites and Dewey Lake Redbeds conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Site

    SciTech Connect

    Beauheim, R.L.; Ruskauff, G.J.

    1998-09-01

    This report presents interpretations of hydraulic tests conducted at 15 well locations in the vicinity of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico between 1980 and 1996. The WIPP is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility to demonstrate safe disposal of transuranic wastes arising form the nation`s defense programs. The WIPP repository lies within bedded halite of the Salado Formation, 2,155 ft below ground surface. The tests reported herein were, with two exceptions, conducted in the Culebra Dolomite member of the Rustler Formation, which overlies the Salado Formation. The remaining tests were conducted in the Magenta Member of the Rustler and in the overlying formation, the Dewey Lake Redbeds. This report completes the documentation of hydraulic-test interpretations used as input to the WIPP Compliance Certification Application (US DOE, 1996).

  18. Large-scale dynamic compaction demonstration using WIPP salt: Fielding and preliminary results

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, E.H.; Hansen, F.D.

    1995-10-01

    Reconsolidation of crushed rock salt is a phenomenon of great interest to programs studying isolation of hazardous materials in natural salt geologic settings. Of particular interest is the potential for disaggregated salt to be restored to nearly an impermeable state. For example, reconsolidated crushed salt is proposed as a major shaft seal component for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project. The concept for a permanent shaft seal component of the WIPP repository is to densely compact crushed salt in the four shafts; an effective seal will then be developed as the surrounding salt creeps into the shafts, further consolidating the crushed salt. Fundamental information on placement density and permeability is required to ensure attainment of the design function. The work reported here is the first large-scale compaction demonstration to provide information on initial salt properties applicable to design, construction, and performance expectations. The shaft seals must function for 10,000 years. Over this period a crushed salt mass will become less permeable as it is compressed by creep closure of salt surrounding the shaft. These facts preclude the possibility of conducting a full-scale, real-time field test. Because permanent seals taking advantage of salt reconsolidation have never been constructed, performance measurements have not been made on an appropriately large scale. An understanding of potential construction methods, achievable initial density and permeability, and performance of reconsolidated salt over time is required for seal design and performance assessment. This report discusses fielding and operations of a nearly full-scale dynamic compaction of mine-run WIPP salt, and presents preliminary density and in situ (in place) gas permeability results.

  19. Permeability and hydraulic diffusivity of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository salt inferred from small-scale brine inflow experiments

    SciTech Connect

    McTigue, D.F.

    1993-06-01

    Brine seepage to 17 boreholes in salt at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility horizon has been monitored for several years. A simple model for one-dimensional, radial, darcy flow due to relaxation of ambient pore-water pressure is applied to analyze the field data. Fits of the model response to the data yield estimates of two parameters that characterize the magnitude of the flow and the time scale over which it evolves. With further assumptions, these parameters are related to the permeability and the hydraulic diffusivity of the salt. For those data that are consistent with the model prediction, estimated permeabilities are typically 10{sup {minus}22} to 10{sup {minus}21} m{sup 2}. The relatively small range of inferred permeabilities reflects the observation that the measured seepage fluxes are fairly consistent from hole to hole, of the order of 10{sup {minus}10} m/s. Estimated diffusivities are typically 10{sup {minus}10} to 10{sup {minus}8} m{sup 2}/s. The greater scatter in inferred hydraulic diffusivities is due to the difficulty of matching the idealized model history to the observed evolution of the flows. The data obtained from several of the monitored holes are not consistent with the simple model adopted here; material properties could not be inferred in these cases.

  20. An evaluation of the 1992 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.W.L.

    1994-12-31

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a federal repository for disposal of defense-generated transuranic waste, including hazardous components. To demonstrate that such disposal will be safe, the Department of Energy has prepared a series of performance assessments to show the system safety under a range of conditions. The Environmental Evaluation Group performs independent technical analysis of health and safety issues for WIPP on behalf of the people of New Mexico. This paper presents selected highlights from EEG`s review of the 1992 Performance Assessment.

  1. Assessment of the potential for karst in the Rustler Formation at the WIPP site.

    SciTech Connect

    Lorenz, John Clay

    2006-01-01

    This report is an independent assessment of the potential for karst dissolution in evaporitic strata of the Rustler Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site. Review of the available data suggests that the Rustler strata thicken and thin across the area in depositional patterns related to lateral variations in sedimentary accommodation space and normal facies changes. Most of the evidence that has been offered for the presence of karst in the subsurface has been used out of context, and the different pieces are not mutually supporting. Outside of Nash Draw, definitive evidence for the development of karst in the Rustler Formation near the WIPP site is limited to the horizon of the Magenta Member in drillhole WIPP-33. Most of the other evidence cited by the proponents of karst is more easily interpreted as primary sedimentary structures and the localized dissolution of evaporitic strata adjacent to the Magenta and Culebra water-bearing units. Some of the cited evidence is invalid, an inherited baggage from studies made prior to the widespread knowledge of modern evaporite depositional environments and prior to the existence of definitive exposures of the Rustler Formation in the WIPP shafts. Some of the evidence is spurious, has been taken out of context, or is misquoted. Lateral lithologic variations from halite to mudstone within the Rustler Formation under the WIPP site have been taken as evidence for the dissolution of halite such as that seen in Nash Draw, but are more rationally explained as sedimentary facies changes. Extrapolation of the known karst features in Nash Draw eastward to the WIPP site, where conditions are and have been significantly different for half a million years, is unwarranted. The volumes of insoluble material that would remain after dissolution of halite would be significantly less than the observed bed thicknesses, thus dissolution is an unlikely explanation for the lateral variations from halite to mudstone and siltstone

  2. DRSPALL :spallings model for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant 2004 recertification.

    SciTech Connect

    Gilkey, Amy P.; Hansen, Clifford W.; Schatz, John F. (John F. Schatz Research & Consulting, Inc., Del Mar, CA); Rudeen, David Keith (GRAM Inc., Albuquerque, NM); Lord, David L.

    2006-02-01

    This report presents a model to estimate the spallings releases for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant Performance Assessment (WIPP PA). A spallings release in the context of WIPP PA refers to a portion of the solid waste transported from the subsurface repository to the ground surface due to inadvertent oil or gas drilling into the WIPP repository at some time after site closure. Some solid waste will be removed by the action of the drillbit and drilling fluid; this waste is referred to as cuttings and cavings. If the repository is pressurized above hydrostatic at the time of intrusion, solid waste material local to the borehole may be subject to mechanical failure and entrainment in high-velocity gases as the repository pressure is released to the borehole. Solid material that fails and is transported into the wellbore and thus to the surface comprise the spallings releases. The spallings mechanism is analogous to a well blowout in the modern oil and gas drilling industry. The current spallings conceptual model and associated computer code, DRSPALL, were developed for the 2004 recertification because the prior spallings model used in the 1996 WIPP Compliance Certification Application (CCA) was judged by an independent peer review panel as inadequate (DOE 1996, 9.3.1). The current conceptual model for spallings addresses processes that take place several minutes before and after a borehole intrusion of a WIPP waste room. The model couples a pipe-flow wellbore model with a porous flow repository model, allowing high-pressure gas to flow from the repository to the wellbore through a growing cavity region at the well bottom. An elastic stress model is applied to the porous solid domain that allows for mechanical failure of repository solids if local tensile stress exceeds the tensile strength of the waste. Tensile-failed solids may be entrained into the wellbore flow stream by a fluidized bed model, in which case they are ultimately transported to the land surface

  3. WIPP Remote Handled Waste Facility: Performance Dry Run Operations

    SciTech Connect

    Burrington, T. P.; Britain, R. M.; Cassingham, S. T.

    2003-02-24

    The Remote Handled (RH) TRU Waste Handling Facility at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was recently upgraded and modified in preparation for handling and disposal of RH Transuranic (TRU) waste. This modification will allow processing of RH-TRU waste arriving at the WIPP site in two different types of shielded road casks, the RH-TRU 72B and the CNS 10-160B. Washington TRU Solutions (WTS), the WIPP Management and Operation Contractor (MOC), conducted a performance dry run (PDR), beginning August 19, 2002 and successfully completed it on August 24, 2002. The PDR demonstrated that the RHTRU waste handling system works as designed and demonstrated the handling process for each cask, including underground disposal. The purpose of the PDR was to develop and implement a plan that would define in general terms how the WIPP RH-TRU waste handling process would be conducted and evaluated. The PDR demonstrated WIPP operations and support activities required to dispose of RH-TRU waste in the WIPP underground.

  4. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: An International Center of Excellence

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, Mark

    2003-02-25

    The United States Department of Energy's Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) is responsible for the successful management of transuranic radioactive waste (TRUW) in the United States. TRUW is a long-lived radioactive waste/material (LLRM). CBFO's responsibilities includes the operation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), which is a deep geologic repository for the safe disposal of U.S. defense-related TRUW and is located 42 kilometers (km) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. WIPP is the only deep-geological disposal site for LLRM that is operating in the world today. CBFO also manages the National Transuranic Waste Program (NTP), which oversees TRU waste management from generation to disposal. As of February 2003, approximately 1500 shipments of waste have been safely transported to the WIPP, which has been operating since March 1999.

  5. Technical Evaluations of Proposed Remote-Handled Transuranic Waste Characterization Requirements at WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Anastas, G.; Channell, J. K.

    2002-02-26

    Characterization, packaging, transport, handling and disposal of remotely handled transuranic (RH TRU) waste at WIPP will be different than similar operations with contact handled transuranic (CH TRU) waste. This paper presents results of technical evaluations associated with the planned disposal of remotely handled transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

  6. Environmental and health impacts of February 14, 2014 radiation release from the nation's only deep geologic nuclear waste repository.

    PubMed

    Thakur, P; Lemons, B G; Ballard, S; Hardy, R

    2015-08-01

    The environmental impact of the February 14, 2014 radiation release from the nation's only deep geologic nuclear waste repository, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was assessed using monitoring data from an independent monitoring program conducted by the Carlsbad Environmental Monitoring & Research Center (CEMRC). After almost 15 years of safe and efficient operations, the WIPP had one of its waste drums rupture underground resulting in the release of moderate levels of radioactivity into the underground air. A small amount of radioactivity also escaped to the surface through the ventilation system and was detected above ground. It was the first unambiguous release from the WIPP repository. The dominant radionuclides released were americium and plutonium, in a ratio that matches the content of the breached drum. The accelerated air monitoring campaign, which began following the accident, indicates that releases were low and localized, and no radiation-related health effects among local workers or the public would be expected. The highest activity detected was 115.2 μBq/m(3) for (241)Am and 10.2 μBq/m(3) for (239+240)Pu at a sampling station located 91 m away from the underground air exhaust point and 81.4 μBq/m(3) of (241)Am and 5.8 μBq/m(3) of (239+240)Pu at a monitoring station located approximately one kilometer northwest of the WIPP facility. CEMRC's recent monitoring data show that the concentration levels of these radionuclides have returned to normal background levels and in many instances, are not even detectable, demonstrating no long-term environmental impacts of the recent radiation release event at the WIPP. This article presents an evaluation of almost one year of environmental monitoring data that informed the public that the levels of radiation that got out to the environment were very low and did not, and will not harm anyone or have any long-term environmental consequence. In terms of radiological risk at or in the vicinity of the

  7. Structural evaluation of WIPP disposal room raised to Clay Seam G.

    SciTech Connect

    Park, Byoung Yoon (Sandia National Laboratories, Carlsbad, NM); Holland, John F. (Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM)

    2007-09-01

    An error was discovered in the ALGEBBRA script used to calculate the disturbed rock zone around the disposal room and the shear failure zone in the anhydrite layers in the original version. To correct the error, a memorandum of correction was submitted according to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Quality Assurance program. The recommended course of action was to correct the error, to repeat the post-process, and to rewrite Section 7.4, 7.5, 8, and Appendix B in the original report. The sections and appendix revised by the post-process using the corrected ALGEBRA scripts are provided in this revision. The original report summarizes a series of structural calculations that examine effects of raising the WIPP repository horizon from the original design level upward 2.43 meters. Calculations were then repeated for grid changes appropriate for the new horizon raised to Clay Seam G. Results are presented in three main areas: (1) Disposal room porosity, (2) Disturbed rock zone characteristics, and (3) Anhydrite marker bed failure. No change to the porosity surface for the compliance re-certification application is necessary to account for raising the repository horizon, because the new porosity surface is essentially identical. The disturbed rock zone evolution and devolution are charted in terms of a stress invariant criterion over the regulatory period. This model shows that the propagation of the DRZ into the surrounding rock salt does not penetrate through MB 139 in the case of both the original horizon and the raised room. Damaged salt would be expected to heal in nominally 150 years. The shear failure does not occur in either the upper or lower anhydrite layers at the moment of excavation, but appears above and below the middle of the pillar one day after the excavation. The damaged anhydrite is not expected to heal as the salt in the DRZ is expected to.

  8. Plutonium chemistry under conditions relevant for WIPP performance assessment. Review of experimental results and recommendations for future work

    SciTech Connect

    Oversby, Virginia M.

    2000-09-30

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located at a depth of 650 m in bedded salt at a site approximately 40 km east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, was constructed by the US Department of Energy for the disposal of transuranic wastes arising from defense-related activities. The disposal site is regulated by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). During the process leading to certification of the site for initial emplacement of waste, EEG and their contractors reviewed the DOE Compliance Certification Application (CCA) and raised a number of issues. This report reviews the issues related to the chemistry of plutonium as it will affect the potential for release of radioactivity under WIPP conditions. Emphasis is placed on conditions appropriate for the Human Intrusion scenario(s), since human intrusion has the largest potential for releasing radioactivity to the environment under WIPP conditions. The most significant issues that need to be addressed in relation to plutonium chemistry under WIPP conditions are (1) the effects of heterogeneity in the repository on Pu concentrations in brines introduced under the human intrusion scenario, (2) the redox state of Pu in solution and potential for plutonium in solid phases to have a different redox state from that in the solution phase, (3) the effect of organic ligands on the solubility of Pu in WIPP-relevant brines, and (4) the effects of TRU waste characteristics in determining the solubility of Pu. These issues are reviewed with respect to the treatment they received in the DOE CCA, DOE’s response to EEG’s comments on the CCA, and EPA’s response to those comments as reflected in the final EPA rule that led to the opening of the WIPP. Experimental results obtained in DOE’s Actinide Source-Term Test Program (STTP) during the last two years are reviewed and interpreted in the light of other developments in the field of Pu solution chemistry. This analysis is used as the basis for a conceptual model for Pu

  9. Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for two-phase flow in the vicinity of the repository in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: Undisturbed conditions

    SciTech Connect

    HELTON,JON CRAIG; BEAN,J.E.; ECONOMY,K.; GARNER,J.W.; MACKINNON,ROBERT J.; MILLER,JOEL D.; SCHREIBER,JAMES D.; VAUGHN,PALMER

    2000-05-19

    Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis results obtained in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant are presented for two-phase flow the vicinity of the repository under undisturbed conditions. Techniques based on Latin hypercube sampling, examination of scatterplots, stepwise regression analysis, partial correlation analysis and rank transformation are used to investigate brine inflow, gas generation repository pressure, brine saturation and brine and gas outflow. Of the variables under study, repository pressure is potentially the most important due to its influence on spallings and direct brine releases, with the uncertainty in its value being dominated by the extent to which the microbial degradation of cellulose takes place, the rate at which the corrosion of steel takes place, and the amount of brine that drains from the surrounding disturbed rock zone into the repository.

  10. Consideration of nuclear criticality when disposing of transuranic waste at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    RECHARD,ROBERT P.; SANCHEZ,LAWRENCE C.; STOCKMAN,CHRISTINE T.; TRELLUE,HOLLY R.

    2000-04-01

    Based on general arguments presented in this report, nuclear criticality was eliminated from performance assessment calculations for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a repository for waste contaminated with transuranic (TRU) radioisotopes, located in southeastern New Mexico. At the WIPP, the probability of criticality within the repository is low because mechanisms to concentrate the fissile radioisotopes dispersed throughout the waste are absent. In addition, following an inadvertent human intrusion into the repository (an event that must be considered because of safety regulations), the probability of nuclear criticality away from the repository is low because (1) the amount of fissile mass transported over 10,000 yr is predicted to be small, (2) often there are insufficient spaces in the advective pore space (e.g., macroscopic fractures) to provide sufficient thickness for precipitation of fissile material, and (3) there is no credible mechanism to counteract the natural tendency of the material to disperse during transport and instead concentrate fissile material in a small enough volume for it to form a critical concentration. Furthermore, before a criticality would have the potential to affect human health after closure of the repository--assuming that a criticality could occur--it would have to either (1) degrade the ability of the disposal system to contain nuclear waste or (2) produce significantly more radioisotopes than originally present. Neither of these situations can occur at the WIPP; thus, the consequences of a criticality are also low.

  11. Test phase plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this Test Phase Plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to satisfy the requirements of Public Law 102-579, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Land Withdrawal Act (LWA). The Act provides seven months after its enactment for the DOE to submit this Plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review. A potential geologic repository for transuranic wastes, including transuranic mixed wastes, generated in national-defense activities, the WIPP is being constructed in southeastern New Mexico. Because these wastes remain radioactive and chemically hazardous for a very long time, the WIPP must provide safe disposal for thousands of years. The DOE is developing the facility in phases. Surface facilities for receiving waste have been built and considerable underground excavations (2150 feet below the surface) that are appropriate for in-situ testing, have been completed. Additional excavations will be completed when they are required for waste disposal. The next step is to conduct a test phase. The purpose of the test phase is to develop pertinent information and assess whether the disposal of transuranic waste and transuranic mixed waste in the planned WIPP repository can be conducted in compliance with the environmental standards for disposal and with the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) (as amended by RCRA, 42 USC. 6901 et. seq.). The test phase includes laboratory experiments and underground tests using contact-handled transuranic waste. Waste-related tests at WIPP will be limited to contact-handled transuranic and simulated wastes since the LWA prohibits the transport to or emplacement of remote-handled transuranic waste at WIPP during the test phase.

  12. Overview of the Quality Assurance Program Applied to the Performance Assessment of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Pickering, S.Y.

    1999-03-29

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is the first deep geologic repository for radioactive waste disposal in the world to be certified by a regulator. Rigorous, nuclear-industry quality assurance (QA) requirements were imposed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. As the Scientific Advisor to the US Department of Energy, Sandia National Laboratories applied these standards to the experimental studies and performance assessment used in the certification process. The QA program ensured that activities conducted by SNL were traceable, transparent, reviewed, reproducible, and retrievable. As a result, regulators and stakeholders were able to evaluate and ultimately certify and accept the WIPP.

  13. Prospects for regional groundwater contamination due to karst landforms in Mescalero caliche at the WIPP site near Carlsbad, New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, R.H.

    1987-01-01

    Plutonium from nuclear weapons production will be permanently buried in Permian salt beds at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in the Nash Draw watershed. Overlying the salt beds are cavernous Rustler dolomite aquifers, the most likely flow paths for contaminated water from WIPP to the biosphere. Overlying the Rustler are sandstones, siltstones, Mescalero caliche, and windblown sand. The WIPP site contains thousands of closed topographic depressions. If some are karst features, the ability of WIPP to isolate nuclear waste cannot be demonstrated. A water balance and geochemical analysis of the Nash Draw watershed and nearby brine springs were undertaken to determine: (1) which Rustler aquifers discharge where, and in what quantities; (2) the rates of evapotranspiration and natural groundwater recharge; (3) the most likely discharge point for contaminated water from WIPP. Laguna Grande, a natural salt lake in Nash Draw, is the outlet for the Rustler dolomite aquifers and for plutonium contaminations from WIPP. The recharge time for the Rustler may be only 6 to 8 years. WIPP is unsuitable for nuclear waste isolation because: (1) Rustler groundwater flow paths and travel times are inherently unpredictable; (2) caliche and sandstones allow rainwater recharge of the Rustler; (3) pressurized brine underneath WIPP can carry dissolved waste up the WIPP shafts to the Rustler; (4) geologic barriers between the brine and WIPP are unreliable; and (5) WIPP is vulnerable to human intrusion.

  14. Plant Omics Data Center: An Integrated Web Repository for Interspecies Gene Expression Networks with NLP-Based Curation

    PubMed Central

    Ohyanagi, Hajime; Takano, Tomoyuki; Terashima, Shin; Kobayashi, Masaaki; Kanno, Maasa; Morimoto, Kyoko; Kanegae, Hiromi; Sasaki, Yohei; Saito, Misa; Asano, Satomi; Ozaki, Soichi; Kudo, Toru; Yokoyama, Koji; Aya, Koichiro; Suwabe, Keita; Suzuki, Go; Aoki, Koh; Kubo, Yasutaka; Watanabe, Masao; Matsuoka, Makoto; Yano, Kentaro

    2015-01-01

    Comprehensive integration of large-scale omics resources such as genomes, transcriptomes and metabolomes will provide deeper insights into broader aspects of molecular biology. For better understanding of plant biology, we aim to construct a next-generation sequencing (NGS)-derived gene expression network (GEN) repository for a broad range of plant species. So far we have incorporated information about 745 high-quality mRNA sequencing (mRNA-Seq) samples from eight plant species (Arabidopsis thaliana, Oryza sativa, Solanum lycopersicum, Sorghum bicolor, Vitis vinifera, Solanum tuberosum, Medicago truncatula and Glycine max) from the public short read archive, digitally profiled the entire set of gene expression profiles, and drawn GENs by using correspondence analysis (CA) to take advantage of gene expression similarities. In order to understand the evolutionary significance of the GENs from multiple species, they were linked according to the orthology of each node (gene) among species. In addition to other gene expression information, functional annotation of the genes will facilitate biological comprehension. Currently we are improving the given gene annotations with natural language processing (NLP) techniques and manual curation. Here we introduce the current status of our analyses and the web database, PODC (Plant Omics Data Center; http://bioinf.mind.meiji.ac.jp/podc/), now open to the public, providing GENs, functional annotations and additional comprehensive omics resources. PMID:25505034

  15. Evaluation of the suitability of the WIPP site

    SciTech Connect

    Neill, R.H.; Channell, J.K.; Chaturvedi, L.; Little, M.S.; Rehfeldt, K.; Spiegler, P.

    1983-05-01

    Determination of the suitability of the site for WIPP is only the first major phase in the evaluation of the radiological impact of the repository on the public health and safety. The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) will continue to independently review the design of the facility, the operational procedures, the criteria for packaging and shipment of the waste, the plans, procedures and results of the WIPP experiments, emergency preparedness, adherence to EPA and pertinent NRC regulations, and other important features of the project. EEG has concluded from existing evidence that the Los Medanos site for the WIPP project has been characterized in sufficient detail to warrant confidence in the validation of the site for the permanent emplacement of approximately 6 million cubic feet of defense transuranic waste. This conclusion is based on the assumption that the maximum surface dose rate for the unshielded remote-handled transuranic waste canisters will be 100 rem/hr with a maximum radionuclide concentration of 23 Ci/liter. The Site and Preliminary Design Validation program, through the drilling of two shafts to the selected repository level at 2160 ft below the surface and excavation of about 9000 ft of tunnels, has confirmed the interpretations made about the subsurface geological conditions at the site. For an assessment of the potential radiation effects of the nuclear waste repository on the public health and safety, it is necessary to understand the regional geological and hydrological setting. Much work has been done to understand these conditions and to address several specific issues which have arisen as a result of such studies. However, it is almost inevitable that some questions remain unanswered at a given time in the decision-making process. EEG has identified work which still needs to be done at the Los Medanos site in order to improve confidence in the worst case scenario models of possible breaches of the repository.

  16. Post burial alteration of the Permian Rustler Formation Evaporites, WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) site, New Mexico: Textural, stratigraphic and chemical evidence

    SciTech Connect

    Lowenstein, T.K.

    1987-04-01

    The Rustler Formation is a Late Permian (Ochoan Series) evaporite found in the subsurface and in outcrop in New Mexico and west Texas. The main rock types of the Rustler Formation are anhydrite, gypsum, halite, dolostone and siliciclastic sandstone and mudstone. Across the WIPP site, located in southeastern New Mexico, some of the Rustler rock types and their thicknesses change dramatically over short lateral distances. These lateral variations have mainly been attributed to post-burial dissolution of evaporites. The aim of the present study is to distinguish syndepositional features from post burial alteration features in the Rustler Formation. Four borehole cores of the complete Rustler Formation were examined. Primary sedimentary structures, textures and fabrics were identified, based on comparison with modern evaporite deposits. Vertical and lateral patterns of primary sedimentary features were recorded. From this information, depositional settings have been assembled which best account for the observed types of primary features and their vertical and lateral distribution. With this framework, post-depositional diagenetic overprints were identified in the Rustler Formation. The question of whether subsurface diagenetic alteration is presently active at the WIPP site is addressed.

  17. Conclusions after eleven years of studying brine at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Deal, D.E.; Bills, R.A.

    1994-12-31

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was established to demonstrate the safe disposal of defense-generated transuranic waste in the United States. When excavations began at the WIPP in 1982, small brine seepages (weeps) were observed on the walls. WIPP performance assessment activities raised the concern that the brine could cause anoxic corrosion of metal in the waste storage drums and waste inventory, potentially producing large quantities of hydrogen gas, which would affect the long-term performance of Thee repository. Th WIPP Brine Sampling and Evaluation Program was developed to investigate the origins, hydraulic characteristics, extent, and composition of brine occurrences. The WIPP is excavated in the Salado Formation, which is bedded salt of Permian age. The sediments exposed in the excavations consist of clear halite and polyhalitic halite, halite containing clay, thin clay seams, and interbedded anhydrite layers. The clear halite beds contain little brine and are effectively impermeable. The clay within the salt and in the clay seams contains brine that is released to the excavations, although virtually all of the brine release occurs within the first few years of mining. Consequently, by the time the waste storage rooms at the WIPP are filled and sealed, most of the brine that can be derived from the clay will have evaporated. These is no observed evidence from the WIPP excavations that brine will seep into the working from the anhydrite beds. It has been postulated, however, that brine could seep through the underlying anhydrite Marker Bed 139 (MB139). Recently acquired data on the hydrologic properties of MB139 show that, even if flow through the anhydrite occurs, the brine released to the storage rooms could only corrode a small percentage of the susceptible metal in the repository.

  18. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant: A Success Story with International Cooperation

    SciTech Connect

    Matthews, M.

    2002-02-26

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) administers and operates the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site, which hosts a deep geologic repository for safe disposal of U.S. defense-related TRU waste and is located 42 kilometers (km) east of Carlsbad, New Mexico. CBFO also manages the National Transuranic Waste Program (NTP), which oversees TRU waste management from generation to disposal. The WIPP began receiving waste in March 1999. In some areas of broad international interest, the CBFO has developed a leading expertise through its 25-year WIPP repository and TRU waste characterization activities. In addition to participating in relevant and beneficial experiments, the CBFO will provide the international community convenient access to this information by sponsoring and hosting symposia and workshops on relevant topics and by participation in international waste management organizations and topical meetings. In recognition of the successes at WIPP, the Inter national Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has designated WIPP as an International Center of Excellence and part of IAEA's Network of Centers of Excellence. The IAEA will foster cooperative training in and demonstration of waste disposal technologies in underground research facilities (URFs).such as WIPP. The CBFO, supported by its Science Advisor, has agreed to exchange scientific information with eight foreign radioactive waste management organizations, and three more national radioactive waste management and disposal organizations have expressed interest in similar agreements. These activities result in the cost-effective acquisition of scientific information in support of increased WIPP facility operational and post-closure assurance and reliability. It also demonstrates the CBFO's intent and resolve to honor international commitments and obligations.

  19. Ultrafine cement grout for sealing underground nuclear waste repositories

    SciTech Connect

    Ahrens, E.H.; Onofrei, M.

    1996-02-01

    Sealing fractures in nuclear waste repositories concerns all programs investigating deep burial as a means of disposal. Because the most likely mechanism for contaminant migration is by dissolution and movement through groundwater, sealing programs are seeking low-viscosity sealants that are chemically, mineralogically, and physically compatible with their host. This paper presents the results of collaborative work between Whitesell Laboratories, operated by Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd., and Sandia National Laboratories; the work was undertaken in support of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). This effort addresses the technology associated with long-term isolation of nuclear waste in a natural salt medium. The work presented is part of the plugging and sealing program, specifically the development and optimization of Ultrafine cementitious grout that can be injected to adequately lower excessive, strain-induced permeability in the Distributed Rock Zone (DRZ) surrounding underground excavations. Innovative equipment and procedures employed in the laboratory produced a usable cement-based grout whose particles are 90% smaller than 8 microns and average 4 microns. The process involved simultaneous wet pulverization and mixing. The grout was used for a successful in situ test underground at the WIPP. Injection of grout sealed microfractures as small as 8 microns and lowered the gas permeability of the DRZ by three orders of magnitude. Following the WIPP test, additional work produced an improved version of the grout containing particles 90% smaller than 6 microns and averaging 2 microns. This grout can be produced in the dry form at a competitive cost ready to mix.

  20. Basic data report for borehole Cabin Baby-1 deepening and hydrologic testing. Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) project, southeastern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Beauheim, R.L.; Hassinger, B.W.; Klaiber, J.A.

    1983-12-01

    Borehole Cabin Baby-1 was originally drilled to a depth of 4159.0 feet below kelly bushing (8.0 feet above ground surface) in 1974 and 1975 as a ''wildcat'' hydrocarbon exploratory well. Control of the borehole was given to the US Department of Energy (DOE) after it was found to be a ''dry hole''. Cabin Baby-1 was reentered, deepened, and hydrologically tested in August and September 1983. The well is located in Section 5, T23S, R31E, just outside the limit of WIPP Zone III, approximately 2.5 miles south of the WIPP exploratory shaft. The deepening and testing of Cabin Baby-1 was undertaken for several reasons: to provide data on the hydrologic properties, including hydrostatic head potential of selected permeable zones in the Bell Canyon Formation; to provide representative fluid samples from selected permeable zones in the Bell Canyon Formation for determination of fluid composition and density; and to define further the stratigraphy of the upper Bell Canyon Formation at the Cabin Baby-1 location. The borehole was deepened from the previous total depth to a new depth of 4298.6 feet below kelly bushing by continuous coring. Field operations related to deepening and logging of the borehole began August 12, 1983 and were completed August 30, 1983. Hydrologic testing activities began August 30, 1983 and were completed September 29, 1983. Drill-stem tests were conducted in four zones in the Bell Canyon Formation, and one test of the Salado Formation was performed. Fluid samples were collected from the Hays and Olds sandstones of the Bell Canyon Formation.

  1. Historical Background on the Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    RECHARD, ROBERT P

    1999-10-21

    In 1979, six years after selecting the Delaware Basin as a potential disposal area, Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Energy to build the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, as a Research and development facility for the safe management storage, and disposal of waste contaminated with transuranic radioisotopes. In 1998, 19 years after authorization and after site selection, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified that the WIPP disposal system complied with its regulations. The EPA's decision was primarily based on the results from a performance. assessment conducted in 1996, which is summarized in this special issue of Reliability Engineering and System Safety. This performance assessment was the culmination of four preliminary performance assessments conducted between 1989 and 1992. This paper provides a historical setting and context for how the performance of the deep geologic repository at the WIPP was analyzed. Also included is background on political forces acting on the project.

  2. Recent progress in scenario development for the WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Galson, D.A.; Swift, P.N.

    1995-01-19

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing to request the US Environmental Protection Agency to certify compliance with the radioactive waste disposal standards found in 40 CFR Part 191 for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). The DOE will also need to demonstrate compliance with a number of other State and Federal standards and, in particular, the Land Disposal Restrictions of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), 40 CFR Part 268. Demonstrating compliance with these regulations requires an assessment of the long-term performance of the WIPP disposal system. Re-evaluation and extension of past scenario development for the WIPP forms an integral part of the ongoing performance assessment (PA) process.

  3. Extent of the Disturbed Rock Zone Around a WIPP Disposal Room

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herrick, C. G.; Park, B. Y.; Holcomb, D. J.

    2008-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in southeastern New Mexico, is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) as the underground disposal facility for transuranic (TRU) nuclear waste. It is located in a bedded salt formation at a depth of about 650 m. Salt at this depth behaves as a viscous material having an initially lithostatic state of stress. Mining of an opening disturbs the static equilibrium to a degree where fracturing of the rock surrounding a room occurs, changing its mechanical and hydrologic properties. This disturbed rock zone (DRZ) is an important geomechanical feature included in the performance assessment process models used to predict future repository conditions as a part of certification by the EPA as meeting regulatory compliance. Based on ongoing scientific investigations and evaluation of published data since the original certification in 1998, our understanding of the DRZ has continued to progress. Three deformation processes are activated as deviatoric stresses are induced upon excavation of a room in a salt formation: (1) elastic response, (2) inelastic viscoplastic flow, and (3) inelastic- damage induced flow. Damage, the least understood of these processes, is manifested by the time- dependent initiation, growth, coalescence, and healing of microfractures with a deviatoric stress state. Since the ability to model the spatial and temporal changes in salt damage is not available at this time, various means to measure it have been attempted. At the WIPP, for this study, we used sonic velocity measurements obtained over a 12 year period as the principal field method to describe the extent of the DRZ. Predictions of the DRZ extent based on these experimental results are substantiated by permeability measurements and microfracture density analysis from other places in the repository. Extensive laboratory salt creep data demonstrate that damage can be assessed in terms of volumetric strain and principal stresses. Stress states

  4. Experimental Work Conducted on MgO Inundated Hydration in WIPP-Relevant Brines

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Deng, H.; Xiong, Y.; Nemer, M. B.; Johnsen, S.

    2009-12-01

    Magnesium oxide (MgO) is being emplaced in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as an engineered barrier to mitigate the effect of microbial CO2 generation on actinide mobility in a postclosure repository environment. MgO will sequester CO2 and consume water in brine or water vapor in the gaseous phase. Martin Marietta (MM) MgO is currently being emplaced in the WIPP. A fractional-factorial experiment has been performed to study the inundated-hydration of MM MgO as a function of its particle size, solid-to-liquid ratio, and brine type. MgO hydration experiments have been carried out with three MgO particle sizes and two solid-to-liquid ratios in three WIPP-related brines: ERDA-6, GWB and simplified GWB. ERDA-6 is a synthetic NaCl-rich brine typical of a Castile brine reservoir below the repository. GWB is a synthetic MgCl2- and NaCl-rich brine representative of intergranular brines from the Salado Formation at or near the stratigraphic horizon of the repository. Simplified GWB contains amounts of Mg, Na, and Cl similar to those in GWB without other minor constituents. The hydration products include brucite (Mg(OH)2) and phase 5 (Mg3(OH)5Cl4H2O). In addition to phase 5, MgO hydration in GWB or simplified GWB produces brucite, whereas MgO hydrated in ERDA-6 only produces brucite. The MgO particle size has had a significant effect on the formation of hydration products: small MgO particles have hydrated before the large particles. MgO has hydrated faster in simplified GWB than in the other two brines. In ERDA-6, the solid-to-liquid ratio has affected the brine pH due to the presence of CaO (~1 wt %) as an impurity in MM MgO. GWB has sufficient dissolved Mg to buffer pH despite small amounts of CaO. Both our results and thermodynamic modeling indicate that phase-5 is the stable Mg-OH-Cl phase in Mg-Na-Cl-dominated brines with ionic strengths and chemical compositions similar to that of GWB. In contrast, phase-3 (Mg2(OH)3Cl4H2O) is the stable phase in the MgCl2

  5. Use of MgO to mitigate the effect of microbial CO{sub 2} production in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Wang, Y.; Brush, L.H.; Bynum, R.V.

    1997-01-29

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), located in a salt bed in southern New Mexico, is designed by US Department of Energy to demonstrate the safe and permanent disposal of design-basis transuranic waste. WIPP performance assessment requires consideration of radionuclide release in brines in the event of inadvertent human intrusion. The mobility of radionuclides depends on chemical factors such as brine pmH (-log molality of H{sup +}) and CO{sub 2} fugacity. According to current waste inventory estimates, a large quantity ({approximately} 10{sup 9} moles C) of organic materials will be emplaced in the WIPP. Those organic material will potentially be degraded by halophilic or halotolerant microorganisms in the presence of liquid water in the repository, especially if a large volume of brine is introduced into the repository by human intrusions. Organic material biodegradation will produce a large amount of CO{sub 2}, which will acidify the WIPP brine and thus significantly increase the mobility of actinides. This communication addresses (1) the rate of organic material biodegradation and the quantity of CO{sub 2} to be possibly generated, (2) the effect of microbial CO{sub 2} production on overall WIPP performance, and (3) the mechanism of using MgO to mitigate this effect.

  6. Waste retrieval plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The US DOE has prepared this plan to meet the requirements of Public Law 102579, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) LWA, The purpose. is to demonstrate readiness to retrieve from the WIPP underground transuranic radioactive waste that will be used for testing should retrieval be needed. The WIPP, a potential geologic repository for transuranic wastes generated in national-defense activities, has been constructed in southeastern New Mexico. Because the transuranic wastes will remain radioactive for a very long time, the WIPP must reasonably ensure safe performance over thousands of years. The DOE therefore decided to develop the facility in phases, to preclude premature decisions and to conduct the performance assessments needed to demonstrate long-term safety. Surface facilities for receiving waste have been built, and considerable underground excavation, 2150 feet below the surface, has been completed. The next step is a test phase, including underground experiments called bin tests'' and alcove test(s)'' with contact-handled transuranic waste. The objective of these waste tests is to collect relevant data about the gas-generation potential and volatile organic compound (VOC) source term of the waste for developing a basis for demonstrating long term safety by compliance with the applicable disposal regulations (40 CFR 191, 264 and 268). The test phase will end when a decision is made to begin disposal in the WIPP or to terminate the project if regulatory compliance cannot be determined and demonstrated. Authorization to receive transuranic waste at the WIPP for the test phase is given by the WIPP LWA provided certain requirements are met.

  7. Test phase plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this Test Phase Plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to satisfy the requirements of Public Law 102-579, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Land Withdrawal Act (LWA). The Act provides seven months after its enactment for the DOE to submit this Plan to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for review. A potential geologic repository for transuranic wastes, including transuranic mixed wastes, generated in national-defense activities, the WIPP is being constructed in southeastern New Mexico. Because these wastes remain radioactive and chemically hazardous for a very long time, the WIPP must provide safe disposal for thousands of years. The DOE is developing the facility in phases. Surface facilities for receiving waste have been built and considerable underground excavations (2150 feet below the surface) that are appropriate for in-situ testing, have been completed. Additional excavations will be completed when they are required for waste disposal. The next step is to conduct a test phase. The purpose of the test phase is to develop pertinent information and assess whether the disposal of transuranic waste and transuranic mixed waste in the planned WIPP repository can be conducted in compliance with the environmental standards for disposal and with the Solid Waste Disposal Act (SWDA) (as amended by RCRA, 42 USC. 6901 et. seq.). The test phase includes laboratory experiments and underground tests using contact-handled transuranic waste. Waste-related tests at WIPP will be limited to contact-handled transuranic and simulated wastes since the LWA prohibits the transport to or emplacement of remote-handled transuranic waste at WIPP during the test phase.

  8. Coupled Biological-Geomechanical-Geochemical Effects of the Disturbed Rock Zone on the Performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dunagan, S. C.; Herrick, C. G.; Lee, M. Y.

    2008-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is located at a depth of 655 m in bedded salt in southeastern New Mexico and is operated by the U.S. Department of Energy as a deep underground disposal facility for transuranic (TRU) waste. The WIPP must comply with the EPA's environmental regulations that require a probabilistic risk analysis of releases of radionuclides due to inadvertent human intrusion into the repository at some time during the 10,000-year regulatory period. Sandia National Laboratories conducts performance assessments (PAs) of the WIPP using a system of computer codes representing the evolution of underground repository and emplaced TRU waste in order to demonstrate compliance. One of the important features modeled in a PA is the disturbed rock zone (DRZ) surrounding the emplacement rooms in the repository. The extent and permeability of DRZ play a significant role in the potential radionuclide release scenarios. We evaluated the phenomena occurring in the repository that affect the DRZ and their potential effects on the extent and permeability of the DRZ. Furthermore, we examined the DRZ's role in determining the performance of the repository. Pressure in the completely sealed repository will be increased by creep closure of the salt and degradation of TRU waste contents by microbial activity in the repository. An increased pressure in the repository will reduce the extent and permeability of the DRZ. The reduced DRZ extent and permeability will decrease the amount of brine that is available to interact with the waste. Furthermore, the potential for radionuclide release from the repository is dependent on the amount of brine that enters the repository. As a result of these coupled biological-geomechanical-geochemical phenomena, the extent and permeability of the DRZ has a significant impact on the potential radionuclide releases from the repository and, in turn, the repository performance. Sandia is a multi program laboratory operated by Sandia

  9. Performance Assessment for the Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Stein, J. S.; Hansen, C. W.; Lord, D. L.

    2002-12-01

    Permanent, safe, and efficient disposal methods for nuclear waste need to be demonstrated. The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), run by the US Department of Energy (DOE), is the only licensed, operational geologic repository in the world for transuranic nuclear waste generated by defense activities associated with nuclear weapons production. WIPP is located near Carlsbad, New Mexico within the Salado Formation, a bedded, Permian evaporite deposit 655 meters beneath the surface of the Delaware Basin. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates the repository, approved the Compliance Certification Application (CCA) in 1998. WIPP opened for disposal activities in 1999, setting the clock for the periodic recertification that is required every five years until the repository is closed. The first Compliance Recertification Application (CRA) is due to the EPA before May 2004. An integral part of the CRA will be an updated Performance Assessment (PA). PA consists of a linked series of models and computer codes used to make a probabilistic assessment of the possible future states of the repository based on the best available scientific knowledge. Sandia National Laboratories, as the Scientific Advisor to the DOE, designs and runs the PA calculations. The PA for the CRA must account for any changes in activities or assumptions since the CCA. A summary of the PA used for the original certification and specific challenges associated with updating the PA for the CRA will be presented.

  10. Development of the Conceptual Models for Chemical Conditions and Hydrology Used in the 1996 Performance Assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    LARSON, KURT W

    2000-05-24

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a US Department of Energy (DOE) facility for the permanent disposal of defense-related transuranic (TRU) waste. US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations specify that the DOE must demonstrate on a sound basis that the WIPP disposal system will effectively contain long-lived alpha-emitting radionuclides within its boundaries for 10,000 years following closure. In 1996, the DOE submitted the ''40 CFR Part 191 Compliance Certification Application for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant'' (CCA) to the EPA. The CCA proposed that the WIPP site complies with EPA's regulatory requirements. Contained within the CCA are descriptions of the scientific research conducted to characterize the properties of the WIPP site and the probabilistic performance assessment (PA) conducted to predict the containment properties of the WIPP disposal system. In May 1998, the EPA certified that the TRU waste disposal at the WIPP complies with its regulations. Waste disposal operations at WIPP commenced on March 28, 1999. The 1996 WIPP PA model of the disposal system included conceptual and mathematical representations of key hydrologic and geochemical processes. These key processes were identified over a 22-year period involving data collection, data interpretation, computer models, and sensitivity studies to evaluate the importance of uncertainty and of processes that were difficult to evaluate by other means. Key developments in the area of geochemistry were the evaluation of gas generation mechanisms in the repository; development of a model of chemical conditions in the repository and actinide concentrations in brine; selecting MgO backfill and demonstrating its effects experimentally; and determining the chemical retardation capability of the Culebra. Key developments in the area of hydrology were evacuating the potential for groundwater to dissolve the Salado Formation (the repository host formation), development of a regional model for

  11. The effect of stratigraphic dip on brine inflow and gas migration at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Webb, S.W.; Larson, K.W.

    1996-02-01

    The natural dip of the Salado Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), although regionally only about 111, has the potential to affect brine inflow and gas-migration distances due to buoyancy forces. Current models, including those in WIPP Performance Assessment calculations, assume a perfectly horizontal repository and stratigraphy. With the addition of buoyancy forces due to the dip, brine and gas flow patterns can be affected. Brine inflow may increase due to countercurrent flow, and gas may preferentially migrate up dip. This scoping study has used analytical and numerical modeling to evaluate the impact of the dip on brine inflow and gas-migration distances at the WIPP in one, two, and three dimensions. Sensitivities to interbed permeabilities, two-phase curves, gas-generation rates, and interbed fracturing were studied.

  12. Crack closure and healing studies in WIPP (Waste Isolation Pilot Plant) salt using compressional wave velocity and attenuation measurements: Test methods and results

    SciTech Connect

    Brodsky, N.S. )

    1990-11-01

    Compressional wave ultrasonic data were used to qualitatively assess the extent of crack closure during hydrostatic compression of damaged specimens of WIPP salt. Cracks were introduced during constant strain-rate triaxial tests at low confining pressure (0.5 MPa) as specimens were taken to either 0.5, 1.0, or 1.5 percent axial strain. For three specimens taken to 1.0 percent axial strain, the pressure was increased to 5, 10 or 15 MPa. For the remaining specimens, pressure was raised to 15 MPa. Waveforms for compressional waves traveling both parallel and perpendicular to the direction of maximum principal stress were measured in the undamaged state, during constant strain-rate tests, and then monitored as functions of time while the specimens were held at pressure. Both wave velocities and amplitudes increased over time at pressure, indicating that cracks closed and perhaps healed. The recovery of ultrasonic wave characteristics depended upon both pressure and damage level. The higher the pressure, the greater the velocity recovery; however, amplitude recovery showed no clear correlation with pressure. For both amplitudes and velocities, recoveries were greatest in the specimens with the least damage. 13 refs., 15 figs., 1 tab.

  13. Waste isolation pilot plant disposal room model

    SciTech Connect

    Butcher, B.M.

    1997-08-01

    This paper describes development of the conceptual and mathematical models for the part of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) repository performance assessment that is concerned with what happens to the waste over long times after the repository is decommissioned. These models, collectively referred to as the {open_quotes}Disposal Room Model,{close_quotes} describe the repository closure process during which deformation of the surrounding salt consolidates the waste. First, the relationship of repository closure to demonstration of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standard (40 CFR 191 Appendix C) and how sensitive performance results are to it are examined. Next, a detailed description is provided of the elements of the disposal region, and properties selected for the salt, waste, and other potential disposal features such as backfill. Included in the discussion is an explanation of how the various models were developed over time. Other aspects of closure analysis, such as the waste flow model and method of analysis, are also described. Finally, the closure predictions used in the final performance assessment analysis for the WIPP Compliance Certification Application are summarized.

  14. Mechanisms governing the direct removal of wastes from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant repository caused by exploratory drilling

    SciTech Connect

    Berglund, J.W.

    1992-12-01

    Two processes are identified that can influence the quantity of wastes brought to the ground surface when a waste disposal room of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is inadvertently penetrated by an exploratory borehole. The first mechanism is due to the erosion of the borehole wall adjacent to the waste caused by the flowing drilling fluid (mud); a quantitative computational model based upon the flow characteristics of the drilling fluid (laminar or turbulent) and other drilling parameters is developed and example results shown. The second mechanism concerns the motion of the waste and borehole spall caused by the flow of waste-generated gas to the borehole. Some of the available literature concerning this process is discussed, and a number of elastic and elastic-plastic finite-difference and finite-element calculations are described that confirm the potential importance of this process in directly removing wastes from the repository to the ground surface. Based upon the amount of analysis performed to date, it is concluded that it is not unreasonable to expect that volumes of waste several times greater than that resulting from direct cutting of a gauge borehole could eventually reach the ground surface. No definitive quantitative model for waste removal as a result of the second mechanism is presented; it is concluded that decomposed waste constitutive data must be developed and additional experiments performed to assess further the full significance of this latter mechanism.

  15. 2002 WIPP Environmental Monitoring Plan

    SciTech Connect

    Washington TRU Solutions LLC

    2002-09-30

    DOE Order 5400.1, General Environmental Protection Program, requires each DOE | facility to prepare an environmental management plan (EMP). This document is | prepared for WIPP in accordance with the guidance contained in DOE Order 5400.1; DOE Order 5400.5, Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment; applicable sections of Environmental Regulatory Guide for Radiological Effluent Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance (DOE/EH-0173T; DOE, 1991); and the Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 834, ''Radiation Protection of the Public and Environment'' (draft). Many sections of DOE Order 5400.1 have been replaced by DOE Order 231.1, which is the driver for the annual Site Environmental Report (SER) and the guidance source for preparing many environmental program documents. The WIPP Project is operated by Westinghouse TRU Solutions (WTS) for the DOE. This plan defines the extent and scope of WIPP's effluent and environmental | monitoring programs during the facility's operational life and also discusses WIPP's quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) program as it relates to environmental monitoring. In addition, this plan provides a comprehensive description of environmental activities at WIPP including: A summary of environmental programs, including the status of environmental monitoring activities A description of the WIPP Project and its mission A description of the local environment, including demographics An overview of the methodology used to assess radiological consequences to the public, including brief discussions of potential exposure pathways, routine and accidental releases, and their consequences Responses to the requirements described in the Environmental Regulatory Guide for Radiological Effluent Monitoring and Environmental Surveillance.

  16. Status Report on the Microbial Characterization of Halite and Groundwater Samples from the WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Swanson, Juliet S.; Reed, Donald T.; Ams, David A.; Norden, Diana; Simmons, Karen A.

    2012-07-10

    This report summarizes the progress made in the ongoing task of characterizing the microbial community structures within the WIPP repository and in surrounding groundwaters. Through cultivation and DNA-based identification, the potential activity of these organisms is being inferred, thus leading to a better understanding of their impact on WIPP performance. Members of the three biological domains - Bacteria, Archaea, and Eukarya (in this case, Fungi) - that are associated with WIPP halite have been identified. Thus far, their activity has been limited to aerobic respiration; anaerobic incubations are underway. WIPP halite constitutes the near-field microbial environment. We expect that microbial activity in this setting will proceed from aerobic respiration, through nitrate reduction to focus on sulfate reduction. This is also the current WIPP performance assessment (PA) position. Sulfate reduction can occur at extremely high ionic strengths, and sulfate is available in WIPP brines and in the anhydrite interbeds. The role of methanogenesis in the WIPP remains unclear, due to both energetic constraints imposed by a high-salt environment and substrate selectivity, and it is no longer considered in PA. Archaea identified in WIPP halite thus far fall exclusively within the family Halobacteriaceae. These include Halobacterium noricense, cultivated from both low- and high-salt media, and a Halorubrum-like species. The former has also been detected in other salt mines worldwide; the latter likely constitutes a new species. Little is known of its function, but it was prevalent in experiments investigating the biodegradation of organic complexing agents in WIPP brines. Bacterial signatures associated with WIPP halite include members of the phylum Proteobacteria - Halomonas, Pelomonas, Limnobacter, and Chromohalobacter - but only the latter has been isolated. Also detected and cultivated were Salinicoccus and Nesterenkonia spp. Fungi were also isolated from halite. Although

  17. Analysis Repository

    SciTech Connect

    DOE

    2012-03-16

    The Analysis Repository is a compilation of analyses and analytical models relevant to assessing hydrogen fuel and fuel cell issues. Projects in the repository relate to: hydrogen production, delivery, storage, fuel cells, and hydrogen vehicle technology; hydrogen production feedstock cost and availability; electricity production, central and distributed; energy resource estimation and forecasting.

  18. Characterization of stochastic uncertainty in the 1996 performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    HELTON,JON CRAIG; DAVIS,FREDDIE J.; JOHNSON,J.D.

    2000-05-19

    The 1996 performance assessment (PA) for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) maintains a separation between stochastic (i.e., aleatory) and subjective (i.e., epistemic) uncertainty, with stochastic uncertainty arising from the possible disruptions that could occur at the WIPP over the 10,000 yr regulatory period specified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (40 CFR 191, 40 CFR 194) and subjective uncertainty arising from an inability to uniquely characterize many of the inputs required in the 1996 WIPP PA. The characterization of stochastic uncertainty is discussed including drilling intrusion time, drilling location penetration of excavated/nonexcavated areas of the repository, penetration of pressurized brine beneath the repository, borehole plugging patterns, activity level of waste, and occurrence of potash mining. Additional topics discussed include sampling procedures, generation of individual 10,000 yr futures for the WIPP, construction of complementary cumulative distribution functions (CCDFs), mechanistic calculations carried out to support CCDF construction the Kaplan/Garrick ordered triple representation for risk and determination of scenarios and scenario probabilities.

  19. The Geologic and Hydrogeologic Setting of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Swift, P.N.; Corbet, T.F.

    1999-03-04

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a mined repository constructed by the US Department of Energy for the permanent disposal of transuranic wastes generated since 1970 by activities related to national defense. The WIPP is located 42 km east of Carlsbad, New Mexico, in bedded salt (primarily halite) of the Late Permian (approximately 255 million years old) Salado Formation 655 m below the land surface. Characterization of the site began in the mid-1970s. Construction of the underground disposal facilities began in the early 1980s, and the facility received final certification from the US Environmental Protection Agency in May 1998. Disposal operations are planned to begin following receipt of a final permit from the State of New Mexico and resolution of legal issues. Like other proposed geologic repositories for radioactive waste, the WIPP relies on a combination of engineered and natural barriers to isolate the waste from the biosphere. Engineered barriers at the WIPP, including the seals that will be emplaced in the access shafts when the facility is decommissioned, are discussed in the context of facility design elsewhere in this volume. Physical properties of the natural barriers that contribute to the isolation of radionuclides are discussed here in the context of the physiographic, geologic, and hydrogeologic setting of the site.

  20. Repository disposal requirements for commercial transuranic wastes (generated without reprocessing)

    SciTech Connect

    Daling, P.M.; Ludwick, J.D.; Mellinger, G.B.; McKee, R.W.

    1986-06-01

    This report forms a preliminary planning basis for disposal of commercial transuranic (TRU) wastes in a geologic repository. Because of the unlikely prospects for commercial spent nuclear fuel reprocessing in the near-term, this report focuses on TRU wastes generated in a once-through nuclear fuel cycle. The four main objectives of this study were to: develop estimates of the current inventories, projected generation rates, and characteristics of commercial TRU wastes; develop proposed acceptance requirements for TRU wastes forms and waste canisters that ensure a safe and effective disposal system; develop certification procedures and processing requirements that ensure that TRU wastes delivered to a repository for disposal meet all applicable waste acceptance requirements; and identify alternative conceptual strategies for treatment and certification of commercial TRU first objective was accomplished through a survey of commercial producers of TRU wastes. The TRU waste acceptance and certification requirements that were developed were based on regulatory requirements, information in the literature, and from similar requirements already established for disposal of defense TRU wastes in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) which were adapted, where necessary, to disposal of commercial TRU wastes. The results of the TRU waste-producer survey indicated that there were a relatively large number of producers of small quantities of TRU wastes.

  1. Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Part B Permit Application [for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP)]. Volume 6, Chapter D, Appendices D4--D13: Revision 1.0

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-12-31

    This report (Vol. 6) for the WIPP facility contains appendices on the following information: Site characterization; general geology; ecological monitoring; and chemical compatibility of waste forms and container materials.

  2. OE-WIPP Event Presentation

    SciTech Connect

    Erickson, Randall Mark

    2015-02-03

    Information is given on waste generation at TA-55 and remediation needed to meet WIPP acceptance criteria, including the role of nitrate salts. Breaching of a particular waste-filled drum is reviewed, along with an accident analysis and steps for corrective actions and improved process management.

  3. An introduction to the mechanics of performance assessment using examples of calculations done for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant between 1990 and 1992

    SciTech Connect

    Rechard, R.P.

    1995-10-01

    This document provides an overview of the process used to assess the performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), a proposed repository for transuranic wastes that is located in southeastern New Mexico. The quantitative metrics used in the performance-assessment (PA) process are those put forward in the Environmental Protection Agency`s Environmental Standards for the Management and Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel, High-Level and Transuranic Radioactive flasks (40 CFR 191). Much has been written about the individual building blocks that comprise the foundation of PA theory and practice, and that WIPP literature is well cited herein. However, the present approach is to provide an accurate, well documented overview of the process, from the perspective of the mechanical steps used to perform the actual PA calculations. Specifically, the preliminary stochastic simulations that comprise the WIPP PAs of 1990, 1991. and 1992 are summarized.

  4. Preparations and Planning for EPA Recertification of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Casey, S. C.; Shoemaker, P. E.; Patterson, R. L.

    2002-02-25

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Recertification Project was established to meet the requirement of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (LWA)1 to demonstrate continued compliance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disposal regulations at five-year intervals. This paper delineates the objective of the first recertification effort, sets out project goals, and establishes guiding assumptions. It describes the overall direction for a highly complex and interdependent set of tasks leading to recertification of the WIPP repository in 2004. This paper also lays out a high-level schedule for producing the WIPP Compliance Recertification Application (CRA). The major principle behind recertification is that the EPA recertification decision will not involve rulemaking or judicial review. To ensure that the EPA is able to retain this principle, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will not be incorporating changes through the recertification process. Only changes previously approved by the EPA will be included in the CRA. The EPA can approve significant changes to the current WIPP Certification through rulemaking. Non-significant changes are approved without rulemaking through the planned change reporting process [Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Section 194.4(b)].

  5. Summary of the WIPP materials interface interactions test: Metal corrosion

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, N.R.; Molecke, M.A.

    1992-12-31

    Several series of in situ, high-level and transuranic waste form-leaching and waste form-engineered barrier materials interactions tests were conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility, near Carlsbad, New Mexico, in the USA. This multi-national effort, the WIPP Materials Interface Interactions Tests (MIIT), involves the underground testing of about 2000 (nonradioactive) waste form, metal, and geologic samples in the bedded salt at the WIPP. This test program started on July 22, 1986 and has achieved its projected five-year lifetime. All in situ samples have been retrieved and sent to multiple laboratories for posttest analyses. Most of the analyses on metal samples have been completed and the results are summarized in this paper. The tested metal alloys proposed for waste canister or overpack use included titanium alloys (grade-2 and grade-12), Hastelloy C4, Inconel 625, austenitic stainless steels (304L, 316, and NS 24/AISI 309), carbon steels (Belgian C and ASTM A216/WCA), copper, and lead. After five-years of test exposure immersed in WIPP brine A and/or salt at about 90{degree}C, the corrosion-resistant materials (Ti; Inconel, Hastelloy) exhibited very little corrosion. The austenitic stainless steels suffered pitting, crevice corrosion, and some evidence of stress corrosion cracking. The carbon steels, copper, and lead exhibited both extensive general and localized attack. Details of the test, analyses, and results obtained will be discussed.

  6. Summary of the WIPP materials interface interactions test: Metal corrosion

    SciTech Connect

    Sorensen, N.R.; Molecke, M.A.

    1992-01-01

    Several series of in situ, high-level and transuranic waste form-leaching and waste form-engineered barrier materials interactions tests were conducted at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) facility, near Carlsbad, New Mexico, in the USA. This multi-national effort, the WIPP Materials Interface Interactions Tests (MIIT), involves the underground testing of about 2000 (nonradioactive) waste form, metal, and geologic samples in the bedded salt at the WIPP. This test program started on July 22, 1986 and has achieved its projected five-year lifetime. All in situ samples have been retrieved and sent to multiple laboratories for posttest analyses. Most of the analyses on metal samples have been completed and the results are summarized in this paper. The tested metal alloys proposed for waste canister or overpack use included titanium alloys (grade-2 and grade-12), Hastelloy C4, Inconel 625, austenitic stainless steels (304L, 316, and NS 24/AISI 309), carbon steels (Belgian C and ASTM A216/WCA), copper, and lead. After five-years of test exposure immersed in WIPP brine A and/or salt at about 90[degree]C, the corrosion-resistant materials (Ti; Inconel, Hastelloy) exhibited very little corrosion. The austenitic stainless steels suffered pitting, crevice corrosion, and some evidence of stress corrosion cracking. The carbon steels, copper, and lead exhibited both extensive general and localized attack. Details of the test, analyses, and results obtained will be discussed.

  7. Waste retrieval plan for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Revision 1

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1993-03-01

    The US DOE has prepared this plan to meet the requirements of Public Law 102579, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) LWA, The purpose. is to demonstrate readiness to retrieve from the WIPP underground transuranic radioactive waste that will be used for testing should retrieval be needed. The WIPP, a potential geologic repository for transuranic wastes generated in national-defense activities, has been constructed in southeastern New Mexico. Because the transuranic wastes will remain radioactive for a very long time, the WIPP must reasonably ensure safe performance over thousands of years. The DOE therefore decided to develop the facility in phases, to preclude premature decisions and to conduct the performance assessments needed to demonstrate long-term safety. Surface facilities for receiving waste have been built, and considerable underground excavation, 2150 feet below the surface, has been completed. The next step is a test phase, including underground experiments called ``bin tests`` and ``alcove test(s)`` with contact-handled transuranic waste. The objective of these waste tests is to collect relevant data about the gas-generation potential and volatile organic compound (VOC) source term of the waste for developing a basis for demonstrating long term safety by compliance with the applicable disposal regulations (40 CFR 191, 264 and 268). The test phase will end when a decision is made to begin disposal in the WIPP or to terminate the project if regulatory compliance cannot be determined and demonstrated. Authorization to receive transuranic waste at the WIPP for the test phase is given by the WIPP LWA provided certain requirements are met.

  8. An appraisal of the 1992 preliminary performance assessment for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Lee, W.W.L.; Chaturvedi, L.; Silva, M.K.; Weiner, R.; Neill, R.H. |

    1994-09-01

    The purpose of the New Mexico Environmental Evaluation Group is to conduct an independent technical evaluation of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project to ensure the protection of the public health and safety and the environment. The WIPP Project, located in southeastern New Mexico, is being constructed as a repository for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive wastes generated by the national defense programs. The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) has reviewed the WIPP 1992 Performance Assessment (Sandia WIPP Performance Assessment Department, 1992). Although this performance assessment was released after the October 1992 passage of the WIPP Land Withdrawal Act (PL 102-579), the work preceded the Act. For individual and ground-water protection, calculations have been done for 1000 years post closure, whereas the US Environmental Protection Agency`s Standards (40 CFR 191) issued in 1993 require calculations for 10,000 years. The 1992 Performance Assessment continues to assimilate improved understanding of the geology and hydrogeology of the site, and evolving conceptual models of natural barriers. Progress has been made towards assessing WIPP`s compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency`s Standards (40 CFR 191). The 1992 Performance Assessment has addressed several items of major concern to EEG, outlined in the July 1992 review of the 1991 performance assessment (Neill et al., 1992). In particular, the authors are pleased that some key results in this performance assessment deal with sensitivity of the calculated complementary cumulative distribution functions (CCDF) to alterative conceptual models proposed by EEG -- that flow in the Culebra be treated as single-porosity fracture-flow; with no sorption retardation unless substantiated by experimental data.

  9. The WIPP transportation system: Dedicated to safety

    SciTech Connect

    Ward, T.; McFadden, M.

    1993-12-01

    When developing a transportation system to transport transuranic (TRU) waste from ten widely-dispersed generator sites, the Department of Energy (DOE) recognized and addressed many challenges. Shipments of waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) were to cover a twenty-five year period and utilize routes covering over twelve thousand miles in twenty-three states. Enhancing public safety by maximizing the payload, thus reducing the number of shipments, was the primary objective. To preclude the requirement for overweight permits, the DOE started with a total shipment weight limit of 80,000 pounds and developed an integrated transportation system consisting of a Type ``B`` package to transport the material, a lightweight tractor and trailer, stringent driver requirements, and a shipment tracking system referred to as ``TRANSCOM``.

  10. Evaluation of the Effects of Potash Mining in the Region of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, Carlsbad, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lowry, T. S.; Beauheim, R. L.

    2003-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeast New Mexico has been developed for underground disposal of transuranic waste in halite beds of the Permian Salado Formation. Managed by the Department of Energy (DOE), the WIPP has been operational since March 1999. Regulatory requirements call for the DOE to submit a Compliance Recertification Application (CRA) every five years, the first of which is due to the Environmental Protection Agency in 2004. In support of the CRA, performance assessment (PA) analysis is being conducted. PA is a series of linked models that make probabilistic assessments of possible future states of the WIPP and its performance under each of those states. One possible future state involves human intrusion into the repository creating pathways for upward migration of radionuclides into the Culebra dolomite aquifer. The Culebra is about 200 m below ground surface and 400 m above the repository. Current and future potash mining in the upper Salado Formation, within and outside the WIPP boundary, will likely cause subsidence of the Culebra, resulting in higher transmissivities that may change regional groundwater flow patterns. This analysis evaluates the impact of potash mining on the Culebra flow patterns and the resulting influence on repository performance. The impacts are modeled by creating 100 calibrated transmissivity (T) fields through stochastic inverse modeling using the parameter estimation code, PEST. Transmissivities in each field are then scaled in areas deemed to contain extractable potash by a random mining factor between 1 and 1000. Two mining scenarios are modeled: mining in all extractable areas within the WIPP boundary and across the entire region and mining everywhere except within the WIPP boundary. Three random mining factors are applied to each calibrated T-field for both mining scenarios, creating 600 instances of modified T-fields. Steady-state flow models are run for each instance and particle tracking is used to

  11. WIPP waste characterization program sampling and analysis guidance manual

    SciTech Connect

    Not Available

    1991-01-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Waste Characterization Program Sampling and Analysis Guidance Manual (Guidance Manual) provides a unified source of information on the sampling and analytical techniques that enable Department of Energy (DOE) facilities to comply with the requirements established in the current revision of the Quality Assurance Program Plan (QAPP) for the WIPP Experimental-Waste Characterization Program (the Program). This Guidance Manual includes all of the sampling and testing methodologies accepted by the WIPP Project Office (DOE/WPO) for use in implementing the Program requirements specified in the QAPP. This includes methods for characterizing representative samples of transuranic (TRU) wastes at DOE generator sites with respect to the gas generation controlling variables defined in the WIPP bin-scale and alcove test plans, as well as waste container headspace gas sampling and analytical procedures to support waste characterization requirements under the WIPP test program and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The procedures in this Guidance Manual are comprehensive and detailed and are designed to provide the necessary guidance for the preparation of site specific procedures. The use of these procedures is intended to provide the necessary sensitivity, specificity, precision, and comparability of analyses and test results. The solutions to achieving specific program objectives will depend upon facility constraints, compliance with DOE Orders and DOE facilities' operating contractor requirements, and the knowledge and experience of the TRU waste handlers and analysts. With some analytical methods, such as gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, the Guidance Manual procedures may be used directly. With other methods, such as nondestructive/destructive characterization, the Guidance Manual provides guidance rather than a step-by-step procedure.

  12. Performance assessment in support of compliance certification application for the WIPP project

    SciTech Connect

    Jow, H.N.; Anderson, D.R.; Marietta, M.; Helton, J.; Basabilvazo, G.

    1998-03-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is being developed by the US Department of Energy for the geologic (deep underground) disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. A Compliance Certification Application (CCA) of the WIPP (1) for such disposal was submitted to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in October, 1996, and is currently under review, with a decision anticipated in late 1997. An important component of the CCA is a performance assessment (PA) for the WIPP carried out by Sandia National Laboratories. The final outcome of the PA is a complementary cumulative distribution function (CCDF) for radionuclide releases from the WIPP to the accessible environment and an assessment of the confidence with which this CCDF can be estimated. This paper describes the computational process used to develop the CCDF. The results of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis are also presented.

  13. Porosity, single-phase permeability, and capillary pressure data from preliminary laboratory experiments on selected samples from Marker Bed 139 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. Volume 1 of 3: Main report, appendix A

    SciTech Connect

    Howarth, S.M.; Christian-Frear, T.

    1997-08-01

    Three groups of core samples from Marker Bed 139 of the Salado Formation at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) were analyzed to provide data to support the development of numerical models used to predict the long-term hydrologic and structural response of the WIPP repository. These laboratory experiments, part of the FY93 Experimental Scoping Activities of the Salado Two-Phase Flow Laboratory Program, were designed to (1) generate WIPP-specific porosity and single-phase permeability data, (2) provide information needed to design and implement planned tests to measure two-phase flow properties, including threshold pressure, capillary pressure, and relative permeability, and (3) evaluate the suitability of using analog correlations for the Salado Formation to assess the long-term performance of the WIPP. This report contains a description of the boreholes core samples, the core preparation techniques used, sample sizes, testing procedures, test conditions, and results of porosity and single-phase permeability tests performed at three laboratories: TerraTek, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT), RE/SPEC, Inc. (Rapid City, SD), and Core Laboratories-Special Core Analysis Laboratory (Carrollton, TX) for Rock Physics Associates. In addition, this report contains the only WIPP-specific two-phase-flow capillary-pressure data for twelve core samples. The WIPP-specific data generated in this laboratory study and in WIPP field-test programs and information from suitable analogs will form the basis for specification of single- and two-phase flow parameters for anhydrite markers beds for WIPP performance assessment calculations.

  14. A historical review of Waste Isolation Pilot Plant backfill development

    SciTech Connect

    KRUMHANSL,JAMES L.; MOLECKE,MARTIN A.; PAPENGUTH,HANS W.; BRUSH,LAURENCE H.

    2000-06-05

    Backfills have been part of Sandia National Laboratories' [Sandia's] Waste Isolation Pilot Plant [WIPP] designs for over twenty years. Historically, backfill research at Sandia has depended heavily on the changing mission of the WIPP facility. Early testing considered heat producing, high level, wastes. Bentonite/sand/salt mixtures were evaluated and studies focused on developing materials that would retard brine ingress, sorb radionuclides, and withstand elevated temperatures. The present-day backfill consists of pure MgO [magnesium oxide] in a pelletized form and is directed at treating the relatively low contamination level, non-heat producing, wastes actually being disposed of in the WIPP. Its introduction was motivated by the need to scavenging CO{sub 2} [carbon dioxide] from decaying organic components in the waste. However, other benefits, such as a substantial desiccating capacity, are also being evaluated. The MgO backfill also fulfills a statutory requirement for assurance measures beyond those needed to demonstrate compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency [EPA] regulatory release limits. However, even without a backfill, the WIPP repository design still operates within EPA regulatory release limits.

  15. Software Repository

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Merwarth, P., D.

    1983-01-01

    The Common Software Module Repository (CSMR) is computerized library system with high product and service visibility to potential users. Online capabilities of system allow both librarian and user to interact with library. Librarian is responsible for maintaining information in CSMR library. User searches library to locate software modules that meet his or her current needs.

  16. Krypton-81 and Groundwater Flow in the Culebra Dolomite Near the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, New Mexico

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sturchio, N. C.; Kuhlman, K. L.; Yokochi, R.; Jiang, W.; Lu, Z.; Müller, P.; Yang, G.

    2013-12-01

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico is the first geologic repository for disposal of transuranic nuclear waste from defense-related programs of the US Department of Energy. It is constructed within halite beds of the Permian-age Salado Formation. The Culebra Dolomite, confined within Rustler Formation evaporites, is a potential pathway for radionuclide transport from the repository to the accessible environment in the human-disturbed repository scenario. Although extensive subsurface characterization and numerical flow modeling of groundwater has been done in the vicinity of the WIPP, few studies have used natural isotopic tracers to validate the flow models at this site. We performed measurements of the cosmogenic isotopic tracer 81Kr (half-life 229,000 yr) in two Culebra monitoring wells near the WIPP site, and compared 81Kr model ages with the results of an ensemble of flow models. The 81Kr model ages were ~130,000 and ~330,000 yr for high-transmissivity and low-transmissivity portions of the aquifer, respectively. These model ages are in broad agreement with flow model results, when taking into account diffusive exchange of Kr between the aquifer and the stagnant zones of the confining formations.

  17. Performance assessment requirements for the identification and tracking of transuranic waste intended for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Snider, C.A.; Weston, W.W.

    1997-11-01

    To demonstrate compliance with environmental radiation protection standards for management and disposal of transuranic (TRU) radioactive wastes, a performance assessment (PA) of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) was made of waste-waste and waste-repository interactions and impacts on disposal system performance. An estimate of waste components and accumulated quantities was derived from a roll-up of the generator/storage sites` TRU waste inventories. Waste components of significance, and some of negligible effect, were fixed input parameters in the model. The results identified several waste components that require identification and tracking of quantities to ensure that repository limits are not exceeded. The rationale used to establish waste component limits based on input estimates is discussed. The distinction between repository limits and waste container limits is explained. Controls used to ensure that no limits are exceeded are identified. For waste components with no explicit repository based limits, other applicable limits are contained in the WIPP Waste Acceptance Criteria (WAC). The 10 radionuclides targeted for identification and tracking on either a waste container or a waste stream basis include Am-241, Pu-238, Pu-239, Pu-240, Pu-242, U-233, U-234, U-238, Sr-90, and Cs-137. The accumulative activities of these radionuclides are to be inventoried at the time of emplacement in the WIPP. Changes in inventory curie content as a function of radionuclide decay and ingrowth over time will be calculated and tracked. Due to the large margin of compliance demonstrated by PA with the 10,000 year release limits specified, the quality assurance objective for radioassay of the 10 radionuclides need to be no more restrictive than those already identified for addressing the requirements imposed by transportation and WIPP disposal operations in Section 9 of the TRU Waste Characterization Quality Assurance Program Plan. 6 refs.

  18. Consequence Assessment of the WIPP Radiological Release from February 2014.

    PubMed

    Hayes, Robert Bruce

    2016-04-01

    On 14 February 2014, a continuous air monitor (CAM) alarm at the exit of panel 7 in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) underground facility caused the mine ventilation to shift from unfiltered air over to HEPA filtration for its effluent. Subsequent measurements of the effluent at both pre- and post-HEPA filtration using representative sampling demonstrated that a release had occurred. Using modeling based on measured effluent activity, onsite dose estimates were calculated and later measured via bioassay to be less than 0,1 mSv from intakes of radioactivity. The maximum offsite dose potential to nearby dwellings was modeled to be 1 µSv or less, which was consistent with air samples being taken at those dwellings during the release, demonstrating impressive accuracy and precision. No worker or public dose limits have been exceeded, and the release was substantially below the annual release limits for the WIPP site. PMID:26910027

  19. SELECTION OF SURPLUS PLUTONIUM MATERIALS FOR DISPOSITION TO WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Allender, J.; Mcclard, J.; Christopher, J.

    2012-06-08

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing a Surplus Plutonium Disposition (SPD) Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS). Included in the evaluation are up to 6 metric tons (MT) of plutonium in the form of impure oxides and metals for which a disposition plan has not been decided, among options that include preparation as feed for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility; disposing to high-level waste through the Savannah River Site (SRS) HB Line and H Canyon; can-in-canister disposal using the SRS Defense Waste Processing Facility; and preparation for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). DOE and SRS have identified at least 0.5 MT of plutonium that, because of high levels of chemical and isotopic impurities, is impractical for disposition by methods other than the WIPP pathway. Characteristics of these items and the disposition strategy are discussed.

  20. Evaluation of proposed panel closure modifications at WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Allen, Lawrence E.; Silva, Matthew K.; Channell, James K.; Abel, John F.; Morgan, Dudley R.

    2001-12-31

    A key component in the design of the WIPP repository is the installation of concrete structures as panel seals in the intake and exhaust drifts after a panel has been filled with waste containers. As noted in the EPA final rule, the panel seal closure system is intended to block brine flow between the waste panels at the WIPP. On April 17, 2001, the DOE proposed seven modifications to the EPA concerning the design of the panel closure system. EPA approval of these modifications is necessary since the details of the panel design are specified in EPA’s final rule as a condition for WIPP certification. However, the EPA has not determined whether a rulemaking would be required for these proposed design modifications. On September 4, 2001, the DOE withdrew the request, noting that it would be resubmitted on a future date. The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) contracted with two engineers, Dr. John Abel and Dr. Rusty Morgan, to evaluate the proposed modifications. The EEG has accepted the conclusions and recommendations from these two experts: 1) replacement of Salado Mass Concrete with a generic salt-based concrete; 2) replacement of the explosion wall with a construction wall; 3) replacement of freshwater grouting with salt-based grouting; 4) option to allow surface or underground mixing; and 5) option to allow up to one year for completion of closure. The proposed modification to allow local carbonate river rock as aggregate is acceptable pending demonstration that no problems will exist in the resulting concrete. The proposed modification to give the contractor discretion in removal of steel forms is not supported. Instead, several recommendations are made to specifically reduce the number of forms left, thereby reducing potential migration pathways.

  1. EEG operational radiation surveillance of the WIPP Project during 2001

    SciTech Connect

    Gray, Donald H.; Ballard, Sally C.; Channell, James K.

    2002-12-31

    The Environmental Evaluation Group (EEG) has measured the levels of 241Am, 238Pu, 239/240Pu, 137Cs, and 90Sr in samples of air and water collected at and in the vicinity of the U. S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) during 2001. The WIPP received the first shipment of waste in March 1999 and became operational at that time. The EEG has compared these levels to those measured in the preoperational phase, prior to receipt of waste, as well as to the results of other monitoring organizations and to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dose standards established for the WIPP at 40 CFR 191, Subpart A, and, by an agreement between the DOE and the EPA, at 40 CFR 61, Subpart H. Based on these analyses and applying a t test for significant differences for normally-distributed data (Taylor 1987), or analysis of variance (ANOVA) for non-normal data, the EEG concludes that: 1. Three measurements of radionuclides in the environment around WIPP during 2001 were different from the preoperational baseline levels. Only two of these – 241Am in both the Loving and WIPP3 low volume air sampler (LVAS) samples, first quarter and second quarter, respectively – exceeded the minimum detectable activity (MDA). These measurements were carefully investigated, but no clearly assignable cause was discovered. No measurements of 241Am in effluent air from the WIPP underground exceeded the action level, and converting the highest LVAS measured concentration to radiation dose yielded a committed dose of much less than 1% of the limit allowable under the EPA standard. 2. Comparison of the EEG’s 2001 results with those of other monitoring organizations revealed two sets of measurements which did not agree. One set – 241Am in surface water – was found to be in agreement with the corresponding EEG baseline. The other – 90Sr in groundwater – was

  2. Salt drying: a low-cost, simple and efficient method for storing plants in the field and preserving biological repositories for DNA diversity research.

    PubMed

    Carrió, Elena; Rosselló, Josep A

    2014-03-01

    Although a variety of methods have been optimized for the collection and storage of plant specimens, most of these are not suited for field expeditions for a variety of logistic reasons. Drying specimens with silica gel in polyethylene bags is currently the standard for field-sampling methods that are suitable for subsequent DNA extraction. However, silica-gel repositories are not readily available in remote areas, and its use is not very cost-effective for the long-term storage of collections or in developing countries with limited research budgets. Salting is an ancient and traditional drying process that preserves food samples by dehydrating tissues and inhibiting water-dependent cellular metabolism. We compared salt and silica-gel drying methods with respect to dehydration rates overtime, DNA quality and polymerase chain reaction(PCR) success to assess whether dry salting can be used as an effective plant preservation method for DNA analysis. Specimens from eleven plant species covering a variety of leaf structures, leaf thicknesses and water contents were analysed. Experimental work indicated that (i) levels of dehydration in sodium chloride were usually comparable to those obtained when silica gel was used, (ii) no spoilage, fungal or bacterial growth was observed for any of the species with all drying treatments and (iii) good yields of quality genomic DNA suitable for PCR applications were obtained in the salt-drying treatments. The preservation of plant tissues in commercial table salt appears to be a satisfactory, and versatile method that may be suitable in remote areas where cryogenic resources and silica repositories are not available. PMID:24103361

  3. Permeability of WIPP Salt During Damage Evolution and Healing

    SciTech Connect

    BODNER,SOL R.; CHAN,KWAI S.; MUNSON,DARRELL E.

    1999-12-03

    The presence of damage in the form of microcracks can increase the permeability of salt. In this paper, an analytical formulation of the permeability of damaged rock salt is presented for both initially intact and porous conditions. The analysis shows that permeability is related to the connected (i.e., gas accessible) volumetric strain and porosity according to two different power-laws, which may be summed to give the overall behavior of a porous salt with damage. This relationship was incorporated into a constitutive model, known as the Multimechanism Deformation Coupled Fracture (MDCF) model, which has been formulated to describe the inelastic flow behavior of rock salt due to coupled creep, damage, and healing. The extended model was used to calculate the permeability of rock salt from the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) site under conditions where damage evolved with stress over a time period. Permeability changes resulting from both damage development under deviatoric stresses and damage healing under hydrostatic pressures were considered. The calculated results were compared against experimental data from the literature, which indicated that permeability in damaged intact WIPP salt depends on the magnitude of the gas accessible volumetric strain and not on the total volumetric strain. Consequently, the permeability of WIPP salt is significantly affected by the kinetics of crack closure, but shows little dependence on the kinetics of crack removal by sintering.

  4. A coupled mechanical/hydrologic model for WIPP shaft seals

    SciTech Connect

    Ehgartner, B.

    1991-06-01

    Effective sealing of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) shafts will be required to isolate defense-generated transuranic wastes from the accessible environment. Shafts penetrate water-bearing hard rock formations before entering a massive creeping-salt formation (Salado) where the WIPP is located. Short and long-term seals are planned for the shafts. Short-term seals, a composite of concrete and bentonite, will primarily be located in the hard rock formations separating the water-bearing zones from the Salado Formation. These seals will limit water flow to the underlying long-term seals in the Salado. The long-term seals will consist of lengthly segments of initially unsaturated crushed salt. Creep closure of the shaft will consolidate unsaturated crushed salt, thereby reducing its permeability. However, water passing through the upper short-term seals and brine inherent to the salt host rock itself will eventually saturate the crushed salt and consolidation could be inhibited. Before saturating, portions of the crushed salt in the shafts are expected to consolidate to a permeability equivalent to the salt host rock, thereby effectively isolating the waste from the overlying water-bearing formations. A phenomenological model is developed for the coupled mechanical/hydrologic behavior of sealed WIPP shafts. The model couples creep closure of the shaft, crushed salt consolidation, and the associated reduction in permeability with Darcy's law for saturated fluid flow to predict the overall permeability of the shaft seal system with time. 17 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

  5. Mineralogy of the Rustler Formation in the WIPP-19 core

    SciTech Connect

    Sewards, T.; Glenn, R.; Keil, K. )

    1991-03-01

    The mineralogy of the Rustler Formation is a critical element in many of the radionuclide release models for the Waste isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP), and it is necessary to know the abundances of the various minerals present, their compositions, their textures and locations with respect to water-bearing features, and their interrelationships. Clay mineralogy in particular is of vital importance because of the ability of clay minerals to sorb contaminant cations. Furthermore, the minerals present in the different units of the Rustler Formation are possible sources for solutes present in waters taken from various boreholes in the vicinity of the WIPP site. This report characterizes the mineralogy of the Rustler Formation as represented in core from borehole WIPP-19. The major components, as determined by x-ray diffraction (XRD), are halite, anhydrite, gypsum, dolomite, magnesite, quartz, and clay. Minor components include calcite, pyrite, feldspar and phyllosilicates of metamorphic origin (muscovite, biotite, and chlorite). Clay minerals, identified by XRD, include illite, serpentine, chlorite, and mixed-layer chlorite/smectite (including corrensite). In general, this study should be considered a detailed analysis of the Rustler section mineralogy. It is unlikely that any other minerals are present elsewhere in the Rustler Formation in any great quantity. Abundances of individual minerals may vary considerably in other areas of the formation. 20 refs., 39 figs., 5 tabs.

  6. Development and application of an analysis methodology for interpreting ambiguous historical pressure data in the WIPP gas-generation experiments.

    SciTech Connect

    Felicione, F. S.

    2006-01-23

    The potential for generation of gases in transuranic (TRU) waste by microbial activity, chemical interactions, corrosion, and radiolysis was addressed in the Argonne National Laboratory-West (ANL-West) Gas-Generation Experiments (GGE). Data was collected over several years by simulating the conditions in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) after the eventual intrusion of brine into the repository. Fourteen test containers with various actual TRU waste immersed in representative brine were inoculated with WIPP-relevant microbes, pressurized with inert gases, and kept in an inert-atmosphere environment for several years to provide estimates of the gas-generation rates that will be used in computer models for future WIPP Performance Assessments. Modest temperature variations occurred during the long-term ANL-West experiments. Although the experiment temperatures always remained well within the experiment specifications, the small temperature variation was observed to affect the test container pressure far more than had been anticipated. In fact, the pressure variations were so large, and seemingly erratic, that it was impossible to discern whether the data was even valid and whether the long-term pressure trend was increasing, decreasing, or constant. The result was that no useful estimates of gas-generation rates could be deduced from the pressure data. Several initial attempts were made to quantify the pressure fluctuations by relating these to the measured temperature variation, but none was successful. The work reported here carefully analyzed the pressure measurements to determine if these were valid or erroneous data. It was found that a thorough consideration of the physical phenomena that were occurring can, in conjunction with suitable gas laws, account quite accurately for the pressure changes that were observed. Failure of the earlier attempts to validate the data was traced to the omission of several phenomena, the most important being the variation in

  7. CHARACTERIZATION THROUGH DATA QUALITY OBJECTIVES AND CERTIFICATION OF REMOTE-HANDLED TRANSURANIC WASTE GENERATOR/STORAGE SITES FOR SHIPMENT TO THE WIPP

    SciTech Connect

    Spangler, L.R.; Most, Wm.A.; Kehrman, R.F.; Gist, C.S.

    2003-02-27

    The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is operating to receive and dispose of contact-handled (CH) transuranic (TRU) waste. The Department of Energy (DOE) Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) is seeking approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) of the remote-handled (RH) TRU characterization plan to allow disposal of RH TRU waste in the WIPP repository. In addition, the DOE-CBFO has received approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) to use two shipping casks for transporting RH TRU waste. Each regulatory agency (i.e., EPA, NMED, and NRC) has different requirements that will have to be met through the use of information collected by characterizing the RH TRU waste. Therefore, the DOE-CBFO has developed a proposed characterization program for obtaining the RH TRU waste information necessary to demonstrate that the waste meets the applicable regulatory requirements. This process involved the development of a comprehensive set of Data Quality Objectives (DQOs) comprising the various regulatory requirements. The DOE-CBFO has identified seven DQOs for use in the RH TRU waste characterization program. These DQOs are defense waste determination, TRU waste determination, RH TRU determination, activity determination, RCRA physical and chemical properties, prohibited item determination, and EPA physical and chemical properties. The selection of the DQOs were based on technical, legal and regulatory drivers that assure the health and safety of the workers, the public, to protect the environment, and to comply with the requirements of the regulatory agencies. The DOE-CBFO also has the responsibility for the certification of generator/storage sites to ship RH TRU mixed waste to the WIPP for disposal. Currently, thirteen sites across the DOE complex are generators of RH TRU waste or store the waste at their location for other generators. Generator/storage site certification involves review and approval of site

  8. Historical Background on Assessment the Performance of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    Rechard, R.P.

    1999-06-01

    In 1979, six years after selecting the Delaware Basin as a potential disposal area, Congress authorized the US Department of Energy to build the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico, as a research and development facility for the safe management, storage, and disposal of waste contaminated with transuranic radioisotopes. In 1998, 19 years after authorization and 25 years after site selection, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certified that the WIPP disposal system complied with its regulations. The EPA's decision was primarily based on the results from a performance assessment conducted in 1996. This performance assessment was the culmination of four preliminary performance assessments conducted between 1989 and 1992. This report provides a historical setting and context for how the performance of the deep geologic repository at the WIPP was analyzed. Also included is background on political forces acting on the project. For example, the federal requirement to provide environmental impact statements and negotiated agreements with the State of New Mexico influenced the type of scientific areas that were investigated and the engineering analysis prior to 1989 for the WIPP.

  9. Radioactive and nonradioactive waste intended for disposal at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant

    SciTech Connect

    SANCHEZ,LAWRENCE C.; DREZ,P.E.; RATH,JONATHAN S.; TRELLUE,H.R.

    2000-05-19

    Transuranic (TRU) waste generated by the handling of plutonium in research on or production of US nuclear weapons will be disposed of in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP). This paper describes the physical and radiological properties of the TRU waste that will be deposited in the WIPP. This geologic repository will accommodate up to 175,564 m{sup 3} of TRU waste, corresponding to 168,485 m{sup 3} of contact-handled (CH-) TRU waste and 7,079 m{sup 3} of remote-handled (RH-) TRU waste. Approximately 35% of the TRU waste is currently packaged and stored (i.e., legacy) waste, with the remainder of the waste to be packaged or generated and packaged in activities before the year 2033, the closure time for the repository. These wastes were produced at 27 US Department of Energy (DOE) sites in the course of generating defense nuclear materials. The radionuclide and nonradionuclide inventories for the TRU wastes described in this paper were used in the 1996 WIPP Compliance Certification Application (CCA) performance assessment calculations by Sandia National Laboratories/New Mexico (SNL/NM).

  10. Dose consequence of repository failure and leach events for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. [Dose-to-age-specific maximum

    SciTech Connect

    Marchetti, S.

    1980-11-01

    The consequence of repository breaching followed by hydrogeologic transport of radioactivity to the biosphere has been assessed in terms of dose to age specific maximum individuals. The dose assessment calculations include environmental transport via drinking water, irrigation pathways, stock watering, and water related recreation pathways where applicable. A principal assumption in this analysis is that the radioactice material and its containers undergo dissolution at the same rate as the repository media. The analysis concludes that postulated releases to the Pecos River at Malaga Bend and subsequent use of the contaminated water for 1 yr would not result in exceeding the recommended dose limit of 500 mrem/yr for the total body of the maximum individual of a population group. Additionally, 4.5 x 10/sup 4/ years of release at the worst release rate assuming no decay or other environmental removal would be required before the total body dose limit would be exceeded. For the bone, 7.1 x 10/sup 4/ yrs of continuous release at the worst level would be required before the 1500 mrem/yr limit would be exceeded. Thus, it is apparent that when environmental removal by decay and other mechanisms is considered , long-term impact of accumulation of nuclides in the environment as a result of these scenarios is insignificant with respect to maximum individual exposure. In conclusion, neither the hypothetical and conservative repsitory failure events leading to discharges of contaminated water at Malaga bend nor discharges to a postulated well in the Rustler aquifer with subsequent use by humans results in any dose limit being exceeded.