Results from the Second Performance Assessment Iteration for the Greater Confinement Disposal Facility

by T. A. Baer, GRAM Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
N. E. Olague, GRAM Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
L. L. Price, GRAM Inc, Albuquerque, United States,
S. H. Conrad, GRAM Inc, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


The Greater Confinement Disposal (GCD) facility was established by the Nevada office of the Department of Energy (DOE) in Area 5 at the Nevada Test Site for containment of waste inappropriate for shallow land burial. Some transuranic (TRU) waste has been disposed of at the GCD facility, and compliance of this disposal system with Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations 40 CFR 191 must be evaluated by performance assessment calculations. We have adopted an iterative approach where performance assessment results guide site data collection which in turn influences the parameters and models used in performance assessment. The first iteration was based upon readily available data. The first iteration indicated that the GCD facility would likely comply with 40 CFR 191 and that the downward recharge rate had a major influence on the results. As a result, a site characterization project was initiated to study recharge in Area 5 by use of three environmental tracers. This study resulted in the conclusion that recharge was extremely small, if not negligible. Thus, downward advection to the water table is no longer considered a viable release pathway, leaving upward liquid diffusion as the sole release pathway. This second performance assessment iteration refined the upward pathway models and parameters. The results of the performance assessment using these models still indicate that the GCD site is likely to comply with all sections of 40 CFR 191.

Subject Headings: Data collection | Parameters (statistics) | Waste sites | Site investigation | Commercial buildings | Waste containment | Protective structures | Geology | Nevada | United States

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