An area containing unsaturated fractured tuffs at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is one of the potential sites for geologic storage of high-level radioactive waste. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 40 CFR 191 Regulation limits the cumulative releases of many radionuclides from the repository to the accessible environment for 10,000 years after disposal [I]. Numerical models can be used to determine if the EPA containment requirement is met.
In this paper a preliminary set of transport calculations for uranium and technetium is discussed. First, a foundation for the calculations, a comprehensive, referenced geochemical/geophysical model containing the current stratigraphic, petrologic, hydrogeologic, geochemical, and material data for the Yucca Mountain site was compiled. Second, the integrated transport of uranium and technetium from the repository to the water table was modeled. An expected-case flow scenario and a worse-case flow scenario were used in the calculations. The sorption of technetium was neglected in the worse-case scenario. Results show that in the case of uranium, the estimated transport was only moderately sensitive to the magnitude of the flow because sorption had a significant effect on the retardation. In the case of technetium, when sorption was neglected, the flow dominated the transport. The EPA contain- ment requirements were met for all cases. These preliminary calculations will be used as a basis to investigate the effects of physical and geochemi- cal processes on the long-term transport of radionuclides at Yucca Mountain.