Preliminary Methodology for Design of Stable Drifts for the Yucca Mountain Project

by S. J. Bauer, Sandia Natl Lab, United States,
B. L. Ehgartner, Sandia Natl Lab, United States,
M. P. Hardy, Sandia Natl Lab, United States,

Abstract: The Yucca Mountain Project is investigating the feasibility of locating a high-level radioactive nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The conceptual design of the repository has shafts and ramps to access the repository horizon some 200 to 300 m below the surface in the nonlithophysal section of the Topopah Spring Member of the Paintbrush formation. At that depth, main access and emplacement drifts will be mined to allow disposal of the waste in either horizontal or vertical boreholes. The drifts must provide safe access for waste emplacement; inspection and maintenance following emplacement; closure; and possibly waste retrieval. The design methodology presented illustrates the steps for design of repository drifts, ensuring that the drifts will remain stable and meet other regulatory requirements until the completion of repository decommissioning.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Mine wastes | Shafts | Waste disposal | Conceptual design | Feasibility studies | Nevada | North America | United States

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