Geochemical Modeling: An Integrated Approach to Nuclear Waste Disposal Issues

by Carol J. Bruton, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, United States,
Brian E. Viani, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, United States,
William L. Bourcier, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, United States,
Kenneth J. Jackson, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, United States,
Roger D. Aines, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


To meet nuclear waste repository licensing requirements, the response of repository components and of the enclosing host rocks and fluids to temperature fluctuations, fluid flow, radionuclide releases, and other factors must be predicted over time periods of up to 100,000 years. Quantitative geochemical models must be developed which are capable of predicting system response over extended time periods. Confidence in the geochemical models will be increased if the basic chemical mechanisms controlling system response are understood, and if process-oriented and mechanistic, rather than empirical, models are developed. Experimental programs form the basis for many of the conclusions made thus far about system performance. However, geochemical modeling is required to supplement experimental programs because laboratory experiments: 1) cannot determine the effect of extended time periods on waste form degradation rates and geochemical changes in the repository and host rock; and 2) can reproduce only a limited number of potential variations and combinations of variables that may impact the system.

Subject Headings: Waste disposal | Radioactive wastes | Fluid flow | Chemical wastes | Licensure and certification | Computer software | Computer models

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