Geology exam 3

Geology exam 3 - Nuclear Energy Safety NRC estimates there...

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Nuclear Energy - Safety? NRC estimates there is a 15-45 % chance of complete Core meltdown in the US in the next 20 years. Waste disposal… - Security? In 1998, almost half of the operating nuclear power plants is US failed mock ground based terrorist security tests. Nuclear Energy and the Uranium fuel cycle Nuclear waste disposal: - temporary storage - permanent storage Even after ten years of cooling, spent nuclear fuel emits dangerous levels of gamma and neutron radiation. A person standing one yard away from an unshielded spent fuel assembly could receive a lethal dose of radiation (about 500 rems) in less than tree minutes Water is housed in a multi-layered containment structure that keeps all radiation from escaping. Geologic Disposal History -1980s: Congress required Department of Energy (DOE) to figure out where to put nuclear waste, 9 sites investigated. 3 sites of focus are: - Hanford, Wa, basalt - Yucca Mountain, NV, tuff - Deaf Smith, TX, bedded salt The Department of Energy’s plant is to store the spent rods in a repository at Yucca Mountain. In 2002, the Senate gave the final vote to approve the development of the repository at Yucca Mountain. President Bush signed. But, Yucca Mountain still needs to get a license from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Many factors need to be considered to insure that the nuclear waste will be contained - proximity to population - geology - climate - hydrology - potential hazards Yucca Mountain is 100 miles from Las Vegas, located within the Nevada Test Site. Sparse population is surrounding areas but nearby Las Vegas Valley has population of >1 million Nevada Test Site is a secure location. The repository horizon is located 500-1000 feet above the water table and is in an arid climate. Yucca Mountain is composed of young (<10 million years old) volcanic rocks. Rock is tuff from ash deposits. Presence of tuff indicates that the area once had volcanic activity. In geologic time, these volcanic rocks are very young. Geological considerations related to repository safety Trench 14 in Yucca Mountain. Earthquakes: the western US is a seismically active region. Volcanic eruptions: two small volcanoes located 12 and 27 miles from YM have been active within the past 10000 years. Possible future hazards include earthquakes in YM.
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Over the past 30 years there have been >600 seismic events (>2,5 on Richter scale) in YM There are 33 faults in, or near the repository fault in YM Safe transportation of waste to the site is critical Waste will be transported via highways, rail and barge. The US presently has stored waste that will require a site to take 7 truckloads a day for the next 30 years. During shipment, waste will be housed in canisters that have been tested under extreme conditions . Testing requirement: thermal, pressure, structural and immersion in water.
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This note was uploaded on 12/11/2009 for the course GEOS 1004 taught by Professor Aksinha during the Fall '08 term at Virginia Tech.

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Geology exam 3 - Nuclear Energy Safety NRC estimates there...

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