Tectonic Characterization of a Potential High-Level Nuclear Waste Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

by John W. Whitney, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, United States,
Dennis W. O'Leary, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Dynamic Analysis and Design Considerations for High-Level Nuclear Waste Repositories

Abstract: Tectonic characterization of a potential high-level nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is needed to assess seismic and possible volcanic hazards that could affect the site during the preclosure (next 100 years) and the behavior of the hydrologic system during the postclosure (the following 10,000 years) periods. Tectonic characterization is based on assembling mapped geological structures in their chronological order of development and activity, and interpreting their dynamic interrelationships. Addition of mechanistic models and kinematic explanations for the identified tectonic processes provides one or more tectonic models having predictive power. Proper evaluation and application of tectonic models can aid in seismic design and help anticipate probable occurrence of future geologic events of significance to the repository and its design.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Seismic design | Waste sites | Mathematical models | Geology | Seismic tests | Occupational safety | Nevada | North America | United States

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