Beatty, Nevada: A section in U.S. Geological Survey research in radioactive waste disposal - Fiscal years 1986-1990 (WRI 91-4084)

By: , and 
Compiled by: N.J. Trask and P.R. Stevens

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Abstract

A low-level radioactive-waste disposal facility in the Amargosa Desert of Nevada, about 17 km southeast of Beatty and 169 km northwest of Las Vegas, has been operating since 1962. This was the first commercially operated radioactive waste disposal facility in the United States. Wastes at the facility are emplaced in 2 to 15-m deep trenches and covered by backfilling with previously excavated materials. Annual precipitation in the area averages about 112 mm. Vegetation is sparse with creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) being the dominant species. Soils in the area are skeletal and are underlain by more than 170 m of unconsolidated alluvial-fan, fluvial, and ephemeral-lake deposits. Depth to water is about 85 m.

Initial field investigations (1976-1980) included monitoring of soil-water content and water potential in an unvegetated soil profile, and collection of meteorological data at the disposal facility. Design of additional hydrogeologic investigations and long-term studies of soil-water movement in a vegetated soil profile began in 1982 and field data collection has been ongoing since 1984. Studies to evaluate the modifying effects of trench construction on the natural site environment and to determine changes in trench structural stability began in 1987. Design of studies to measure gas and vapor movement in the trenches at the facility began in 1989.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Beatty, Nevada: A section in U.S. Geological Survey research in radioactive waste disposal - Fiscal years 1986-1990 (WRI 91-4084)
Year Published 1991
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Nevada Water Science Center
Description 7 p.
Larger Work Type Report
Larger Work Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Larger Work Title U.S. Geological Survey research in radioactive waste disposal - Fiscal years 1986-1990 (WRI 91-4084)
First page 34
Last page 40
Country United States
State Nevada
City Beatty
Other Geospatial Amargosa Desert