Simulation of Radionuclide Retardation at Yucca Mountain Using a Stochastic Mineralogical/Geochemical Model

by Kay H. Birdsell, Los Alamos Natl Lab, United States,
Katherine Campbell, Los Alamos Natl Lab, United States,
Kenneth G. Eggert, Los Alamos Natl Lab, United States,
Bryan J. Travis, Los Alamos Natl Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Abstract: This paper presents preliminary transport calculations for radionuclide movement at Yucca Mountain using preliminary data for retardation parameter distributions based on mineral distributions. Several different realizations of spatially distributed sorption coefficients are used to study the sensitivity of radionuclide migration to uncertainties in this retardation parameter. These sorption coefficients are assumed to be functions of the mineralogic assemblages of the underlying rock. The simulations were run with TRACRN, a finite-difference porous flow and radionuclide transport code developed for the Yucca Mountain Project. Approximately 30,000 nodes are used to represent the unsaturated and saturated zones underlying the repository in three dimensions. Transport calculations for a representative radionuclide cation, 135Cs, and anion, 99Tc, are presented. Calculations such as these will be used to study the effectiveness of the site's geochemical barriers at a mechanistic level and to help guide the geochemical site characterization program.

Subject Headings: Radioactive materials | Radioactive wastes | Mathematical models | Hydrologic models | Parameters (statistics) | Sorption | Flow simulation | Porous media flow

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