The Constructive Use of Heat in an Unsaturated Tuff Repository

by Lawrence D. Ramspott, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, Livermore, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


By designing the engineered barrier system in an unsaturated tuff repository to constructively use heat, the waste containers can be kept dry for hundreds of years. Without water, the aqueous processes that release and transport radionuclides do not operate. In the plans of most international programs, waste is cooled prior to disposal in granite or salt. For these rocks there are technical issues favoring reduced heat. Recently, it has been suggested that the U.S. Program adopt a strategy of cooling nuclear waste prior to disposal. This paper reviews technical issues associated with the role of heat in an unsaturated tuff repository and concludes that the overall effect of heat in such a setting appears to be beneficial to waste isolation.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Recycling | Radioactive materials | Water supply systems | Salts | Rocks | Hazardous materials | Cooling (wastewater treatment)

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