The Analysis of Horizontal Cooling Enhancement for Nuclear Waste Container Emplacement

by G. Danko, Univ of Nevada, United States,
P. Mousset-Jones, Univ of Nevada, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1990


This paper presents a novel method for distributing the heat generated by waste containers emplaced in the proposed high-level nuclear waste site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The method represents an alternative solution to the current waste site layout design and provides several major advantages both in safety and cost. The key element of the method is a closed-loop cooling enhancement system, which transfers heat dissipated from the immediate area surrounding the container to a more distant location, using gravity-assisted heat pipes. For the proposed new container arrangement, several simulations were carried out assuming a variety of cooling enhancement characteristics and techniques. This method has the following advantages: (1) the underground development needed for the radioactive waste emplacement can be reduced to one-third of that in the currently proposed plan, while maintaining the same number of waste containers and repository size, (2) the emplacement drift surface temperature can be reduced by 20-30%, assuming no additional cooling by the ventilating air, (3) the geological barrier system will be more effective, due to the reduced excavation, (4) there will be a reduced demand on ventilation, due to the reduction in the number of emplacement drifts, (5) the retrieval of the waste will be simpler, due to the more concentrated emplacements in short, vertical or horizontal holes.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Waste sites | HVAC | Heat transfer | Finite element method | Cooling (wastewater treatment) | Waste storage | Nevada | United States

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