Assessment of effectiveness of geologic isolation systems. Geologic factors in the isolation of nuclear waste [electronic resource] : evaluation of long-term geomorphic processes and catastrophic events
- Washington, D.C. : United States. Dept. of Energy, 1980.
Oak Ridge, Tenn. : Distributed by the Office of Scientific and Technical Information, U.S. Dept. of Energy.
- Physical Description:
- 54 pages : digital, PDF file
- Additional Creators:
- Battelle Memorial Institute
United States. Department of Energy
United States. Department of Energy. Office of Scientific and Technical Information
- SRI International has projected the rate, duration, and magnitude of geomorphic processes and events in the Southwest and Gulf Coast over the next million years. This information will be used by the Department of Energy`s Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) as input to a computer model, which will be used to simulate possible release scenarios and the consequences of the release of nuclear waste from geologic containment. The estimates in this report, although based on best scientific judgment, are subject to considerable uncertainty. An evaluation of the Quaternary history of the two study areas revealed that each had undergone geomorphic change in the last one million years. Catastrophic events were evaluated in order to determine their significance to the simulation model. Given available data, catastrophic floods are not expected to occur in the two study areas. Catastrophic landslides may occur in the Southwest, but because the duration of the event is brief and the amount of material moved is small in comparison to regional denudation, such events need not be included in the simulation model. Ashfalls, however, could result in removal of vegetation from the landscape, thereby causing significant increases in erosion rates. Because the estimates developed during this study may not be applicable to specific sites, general equations were presented as a first step in refining the analysis. These equations identify the general relationships among the important variables and suggest those areas of concern for which further data are required. If the current model indicates that geomorphic processes (taken together with other geologic changes) may ultimately affect the geologic containment of nuclear waste, further research may be necessary to refine this analysis for application to specific sites.
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- Funding Information:
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