Yucca Mountain High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository Studies
The U.S. is engaged in attempting to license a high-level nuclear repository for construction at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The repository is to be located within the mined unsaturated volcanic tuffs beneath the mountain.
Since 1997, Hydrodynamics has conducted studies to evaluate whether radionuclides will flow from the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository into Inyo County via groundwater transport. Our oversight research indicates that there is groundwater flow in a deep carbonate aquifer beneath Yucca Mountain into Death Valley National Park.
SCOPE OF YUCCA MOUNTAIN RESEARCH
- Regional Groundwater Modeling
- Regional Spring Water Sampling & Chemical Modeling
- Shallow & Extremely Deep Exploration Drilling & Hydraulic Testing
- Regional Geological Mapping
- Exploration Geophysical Surveys
The specific purpose of our research was to acquire geological, subsurface geology, and hydrologic data to:
- Establish the existence of inter-basin flow between the Amargosa Basin and Death Valley Basin,
- Characterize groundwater flow paths in the LCA through the Southern Funeral Mountain Range, and
- Evaluate the hydraulic connection between the Yucca Mt repository and the major springs in Death Valley through the LCA.
Ontario Power Generation (OPG) Research
Hydrodynamics conducted a gaseous radioactive isotope migration simulation model of OPG’s planned deep geological repository at the Bruce Nuclear Facility. Our model design was based on our air storage models of the Norton Mine CAES project. Gas migration from the repository was simulated for a million-year period. The model evaluated the mixing of radioactive methane, air, oxygen, and tritium, and the migration of each compound/element through the repository reservoir system.
The model evaluated the mixing of radioactive m ethane, air, oxygen, and tritium, and the migration of each compound/element through the repository reservoir system.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE):
Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Work
The DOE WIPP Carlsbad New Mexico facility is a low-level nuclear waste disposal repository.
Currently low-level nuclear waste is packaged and disposed of in an excavated long wall deep salt bed mine. Hydrodynamics investigated the potential impact of the WIPP nuclear waste on oil wells near the facility for the State of New Mexico. Dr. Bredehoeft developed a numerical groundwater model of the study area to evaluate potential impact.