Detachment Faults—Regulatory Implications for the Yucca Mountain Site

by K. Michael Cline, TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Washington, United States,
David F. Fenster, TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Washington, United States,
Ralph Rogers, TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Washington, United States,
Jane R. Summerson, TRW Environmental Safety Systems, Washington, United States,



Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993

Abstract: Site characterization investigations at the Yucca Mountain site, Nye County, Nevada consist of a combination of scientific data collection and analyses, and compliance with regulatory requirements. These investigations include studies to evaluate the presence or absence of detachment faults and their significance to assessing site suitability and complying with NRC regulatory requirements. This paper discusses selected structural/tectonic models proposed for Yucca Mountain and the surrounding region that include detachment faults. The presence of detachment faults and their significance are some of the more controversial aspects of the tectonic models and of the geologic setting of Yucca Mountain. The implications of these models with respect to regulatory compliance is addressed. Based on a preliminary evaluation, and depending on the tectonic model(s) adopted, the presence of detachment faults must be considered as potential pathways for long-term performance evaluations, and as a mechanism for marking buried strike-slip faults and distributed faulting at the surface. The detachment faults recognized in the field thus far have no suggestion of being seismogenic sources.

Subject Headings: Geological faults | Radioactive wastes | Site investigation | Structural models | Data collection | Federal government | Data analysis | Nevada | North America | United States

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