Drill-Back Studies Examine Fractured, Heated Rock

by H. A. Wollenberg, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,
S. Flexser, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,
L. R. Myer, Lawrence Berkeley Lab, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


To investigate the effects of heating on the mineralogical, geochemical, and mechanical properties of rock by high-level radioactive waste, cores are being examined from holes penetrating locations where electric heaters simulated the presence of a waste canister, and from holes penetrating natural hydrothermal systems. Results to date indicate the localized mobility and deposition of uranium in an open fracture in heated granitic rock, the mobility of U in a breccia zone in an active hydrothermal system in tuff, and the presence of U in relatively high concentration in fracture-lining material in tuff. Mechanical - property studies indicate that differences in compressional- and shear-wave parameters between heated and less heated rock can be attributed to differences in the density of microcracks. Emphasis has shifted from initial studies of granitic rock at Stripa, Sweden to current investigations of welded tuff at the Nevada Test Site.

Subject Headings: Rock properties | Drilling | Cracking | Rocks | Site investigation | Mine wastes | Hydraulic fracturing | Radioactive wastes | Sweden | Europe | Nevada | United States

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