Seismic Considerations in Sealing a Potential High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository

by Joseph A. Fernandez, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
Archie M. Richardson, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,
Ming Lin, Sandia Natl Lab, Albuquerque, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Dynamic Analysis and Design Considerations for High-Level Nuclear Waste Repositories


The potential repository system is intended to isolate high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain according to the performance objective - 10 CFR 60.112. One subsystem that may contribute to achieving this objective is the sealing subsystem. This subsystem is comprised of sealing components in the shafts, ramps, underground network of drifts, and the exploratory boreholes. Sealing components can be rigid, as in the case of a shaft seal, or can be more compressible, as in the case of drift fill comprised of mined rockfill. This paper presents the preliminary seismic response of discrete sealing components in welded and nonwelded tuff. Special consideration is given to evaluating the stress in the seal, and the behavior of the interface between the seal and the rock. The seismic responses are computed using both static and dynamic analyses. Also presented is an evaluation of the maximum seismic response encountered by a drift seal with respect to the angle of incidence of the seismic wave. Mitigation strategies and seismic design considerations are proposed which can potentially enhance the overall response of the sealing component and subsequently, the performance of the overall repository system.

Subject Headings: Seismic tests | Sealing | Seismic waves | Seismic design | Radioactive wastes | Seismic loads | Dynamic loads

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