Mechanical Tunnel Excavation in Welded Tuff

by P. E. (Joe) Sperry, Tunnel Construction Consultant, Boulder City, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991

Abstract: The Technical Review Board for the United States high-level radioactive waste facility at Yucca Mountain has recommended maximum use of 'the most modern mechanical excavation techniques ... in order to reduce disturbance to the rock walls and to achieve greater economy of time and cost.' Tunnels for the waste repository at Yucca Mountain can be economically constructed with mechanical excavation equipment. This paper presents the results of mechanical excavation of a tunnel in welded tuff, similar to the tuffs of Yucca Mountain. These results are projected to excavation of emplacement drifts in Yucca Mountain using a current state-of-the-art tunnel boring machine (TBM).

Subject Headings: Excavation | Tunnels | Radioactive wastes | Welding | Equipment and machinery | Boring | Recycling | Rock mechanics | North America | United States

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