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Total-System Performance Assessment for the Yucca Mountain Site

  • Michael L. Wilson (a1), Peter N. Swift (a1), Jerry A. McNeish (a2) and S. David Sevougian (a2)


Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is under consideration as a potential site for a repository for high-level radioactive waste. Total-system performance-assessment simulations are performed to evaluate the safety of the site. Features, events, and processes have been systematically evaluated to determine which ones are significant to the safety assessment. Computer models of the disposal system have been developed within a probabilistic framework, including both engineered and natural components. Selected results are presented for three different total-system simulations, and the behavior of the disposal system is discussed. The results show that risk is dominated by igneous activity at early times, because the robust waste-package design prevents significant nominal (non-disruptive) releases for tens of thousands of years or longer. The uncertainty in the nominal performance is dominated by uncertainties related to waste-package corrosion at early times and by uncertainties in the natural system, most significantly infiltration, at late times.



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1. Total System Performance Assessment for the Site Recommendation, Civilian Radioactive Waste Management System Management and Operating Contractor (CRWMS M&O) report TDR-WIS-PA-000001 REV 00 ICN 01 (2000).
2. FY01 Supplemental Science and Performance Analyses, Volume 2: Performance Analyses, Bechtel SAIC Company report TDR-MGR-PA-000001 REV 00 (2001).
3.40 CFR Part 197, Public Health and Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Yucca Mountain, NV; Final Rule, Federal Register 66 (114), 3207432135 (2001).
4.10 CFR Parts 2, 19, 20, 21, etc., Disposal of High-Level Radioactive Wastes in a Proposed Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada; Final Rule, Federal Register 66 (213), 5573255816 (2001).
5. Cranwell, R. M., Guzowski, R. V., Campbell, J. E., and Ortiz, N. R., Risk Methodology for Geologic Disposal of Radioactive Waste: Scenario Selection Procedure, U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission report NUREG/CR-1667 (1982; revised 1990).
6. Systematic Approaches to Scenario Development (Nuclear Energy Agency, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, Paris, 1992).
7. GoldSim Graphical Simulation Environment, versions 6.04.000, 6.04.007, and 7.17.200 (Golder Associates, Redmond, Washington, 2000, 2001).

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Total-System Performance Assessment for the Yucca Mountain Site

  • Michael L. Wilson (a1), Peter N. Swift (a1), Jerry A. McNeish (a2) and S. David Sevougian (a2)


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