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Analogues as a check of predicted drift stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada

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Abstract

Calculations made by the U.S. Department of Energy's Yucca Mountain Project as part of the licensing of a proposed geologic repository in southwestern Nevada for the disposal of high-level radioactive waste, predict that emplacement tunnels will remain open with little collapse long after ground support has disintegrated. This conclusion includes the effects of anticipated seismic events. Natural analogues cannot provide a quantitative test of this conclusion, but they can provide a reasonableness test by examining the naturally occuring and anthropogenic examples of stability of subterranean openings. Available data from a variety of sources, combined with limited observations by the author, show that natural underground openings tend to resist collapse for millions of years and that anthropogenic subterranean openings have remained open from before recorded history through today. This stability is true even in seismically active areas. In fact, the archaeological record is heavily skewed toward preservation of underground structures relative to those found at the surface.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Conference Paper
Publication Subtype:
Conference Paper
Title:
Analogues as a check of predicted drift stability at Yucca Mountain, Nevada
ISBN:
0894486918; 9780894486913
Volume
2006
Year Published:
2006
Language:
English
First page:
244
Last page:
256
Number of Pages:
13
Conference Title:
11th International High Level Radioactive Waste Management Conference
Conference Location:
Las Vegas, NV
Conference Date:
30 April 2006 through 4 May 2006