Deep Storage of Nuclear Waste: Structural Issues

by David A. Day, (F.ASCE), Sr. Staff Engr.; Stearns-Roger Engrg. Corp., Denver, Colo.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Energy Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 2, Pg. 201-212

Document Type: Journal Paper


The storage of radioactive waste materials has a long-term impact on the geology of a salt dome used for a repository deep in the ground. The heat densities of decaying radioactive waste affect the storage capacity and layout, as well as other factors for the repository. A typical salt dome is described along with the reasons favoring a central shaft pillar. Appropriate and reasonable extraction rates for design of the various supporting pillars are included. The heating load for a repository to store high level, intermediate level, and cladding hull canisters as well as drums of low level transuranic waste may be as high as 150 kW per acre initially. The storage arrangements and the near-field thermal evaluation are considered for their heating effect on the supporting masses of the salt dome. Design of the storage rooms accounting for creep of the surrounding surfaces is described. With the aforementioned structural issues analyzed, the final design and operations for the repository in a salt dome are described to give a perspective on their interaction.

Subject Headings: Waste storage | Salts | Domes (structure) | Radioactive wastes | Temperature effects | Recycling | Radioactive materials | Hazardous materials

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