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Simulation of Ventilation Efficiency, and Pre-Closure Temperatures in Emplacement Drifts at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, Using Monte Carlo and Composite Thermal-Pulse Methods

[+] Author Affiliations
John B. Case

Bechtel/SAIC Company, Las Vegas, NV

David C. Buesch

U.S. Geological Survey, Las Vegas, NV

Paper No. HT-FED2004-56617, pp. 1109-1115; 7 pages
  • ASME 2004 Heat Transfer/Fluids Engineering Summer Conference
  • Volume 2, Parts A and B
  • Charlotte, North Carolina, USA, July 11–15, 2004
  • Conference Sponsors: Heat Transfer Division and Fluids Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4691-1 | eISBN: 0-7918-3740-8
  • Copyright © 2004 by ASME


Predictions of waste canister and repository driftwall temperatures as functions of space and time are important to evaluate pre-closure performance of the proposed repository for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. Variations in the lithostratigraphic features in densely welded and crystallized rocks of the 12.8-million-year-old Topopah Spring Tuff, especially the porosity resulting from lithophysal cavities, affect thermal properties. A simulated emplacement drift is based on projecting lithophysal cavity porosity values 50 to 800 m from the Enhanced Characterization of the Repository Block cross drift. Lithophysal cavity porosity varies from 0.00 to 0.05 cm3 /cm3 in the middle nonlithophysal zone and from 0.03 to 0.28 cm3 /cm3 in the lower lithophysal zone. A ventilation model and computer program titled “Monte Carlo Simulation of Ventilation” (MCSIMVENT), which is based on a composite thermal-pulse calculation, simulates statistical variability and uncertainty of rock-mass thermal properties and ventilation performance along a simulated emplacement drift for a preclosure period of 50 years. Although ventilation efficiency is relatively insensitive to thermal properties, variations in lithophysal porosity along the drift can result in a range of peak driftwall temperatures can range from 40 to 85 °C for the preclosure period.

Copyright © 2004 by ASME



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