We have simulated gas phase transport of Carbon-14 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Three models were established to calculate travel time of Carbon-14 from the potential repository to the mountain surface: a geochemical model for retardation factors, a coupled gas-flow and heat transfer model for temperature and gas flow fields, and a particle tracker for travel time calculation. The simulations used three parallel, east-west cross-sections that were taken from the Sandia National Laboratories Interactive Graphics Information System (IGIS). Assuming that the repository is filled with 30- year-old waste at an initial areal power density of 57 kw/acre, we found that repository temperatures remain above 60??C for more than 10,000 years. For a tuff permeability of 10-7 cm2, Carbon-14 travel times to the surface are mostly less than 1,000 years, for particles starting at any time within the first 10,000 years. If the tuff permeability is 10-8 cm2, however, Carbon- 14 travel times to the surface range from 3,000 to 12,000 years, for particle starting within the 10,000 years.
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Simulation of gas phase transport of carbon-14 at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, USA