Discontinuities, Rock Deformation and Fluid Flow Around Emplacement Rooms

by Gemei Yang, Univ of California, Berkeley, United States,
Neville G. W. Cook, Univ of California, Berkeley, United States,
Larry R. Myer, Univ of California, Berkeley, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


One of the major concerns for the design of the potential nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain is how to identify the fast flow paths and how to minimize the flow of the fast paths. To analyze the problem, we take two steps. First, the displacements and deformations of discontinuous rock masses around an underground excavation (emplacement room) must be determined so that increments of fracture width caused by the relaxation process can be estimated. Second, we must identify the fast paths so that proper measures can be taken to minimize or prevent the flow. In this study, a numerical model for rock deformation, Discontinuous Deformation Analysis developed by Shi, is used to accomplish the first task. To meet the second goal, the authors utilized techniques of graph theory to search through all the possible flow paths after rock deformation and highlighted the fast ones. The identification of fast paths may also provide the information needed to minimize the flow, which could lead to potential methods to secure the repository. The simulation results of Travis et al. and some further assumptions have been based to accomplish the analysis. However, the major interest of this study is the methodology to find the fast path, not the fundamentals of vadose zone flow.

Subject Headings: Fluid flow | Potential flow | Discontinuities | Rocks | Deformation (mechanics) | Rock masses | Flow measurement | Numerical analysis | Alabama | United States

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