The Development Process for Unique Underground Equipment for Waste Handling

by John M. Karhnak, UTD Inc, Newington, United States,
Naiem S. Tanious, UTD Inc, Newington, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


The Department of Energy (DOE) is currently planning to site, construct, and operate a geologic repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste (HLW). The repository resembles an underground mine, but with a more severe environment due to the radiation and heat given off by the waste. Construction and operation of the repository will require the development of unique equipment for transportation, emplacement, and retrieval of the waste. Reliability will be an important consideration throughout the conception, design, fabrication, and test of the equipment. Creating a plan, staying with it, but knowing when to change requires a blend of knowledge of all the factors that will influence the acceptance and suitability of the new equipment. This paper is based on the authors' experiences in developing unique equipment for mining applications. It reviews the salient points that need to be included in a development plan, with examples of application of these points, and some suggestions for the development plan for equipment for waste handling operations.

Subject Headings: Industrial wastes | Equipment and machinery | Waste management | Radioactive wastes | Construction equipment | Underground storage | Nuclear power | Waste sites | Nevada | United States

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