Development of Scenarios for the Long-Term Release of Radionuclides from the Proposed Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Southeastern New Mexico
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a project of the U.S. Department of Energy. At the plant, radioactive waste produced in defense programs will be buried in bedded-salt formations lying deep below the Delaware basin in southeâstern New Mexico. The principal contaminants in this waste will be transuranic elements; little of the waste will contain fission products. Because the time required for isolating these long-lived elements is still under discussion, the safety analyses of the WIPP repository must deal with conditions in the far distant future, at times as long as hundreds of thousands of years. The analyses must, in fact, estimate the consequences of unexpected releases of waste from the repository at such distant times. Computer codes for predicting these consequences are available, but they must be supplied with descriptions of the mechanisms that can be assumed to release the waste. Users of these codes, in other words, must develop scenarios--hypothetical sequences of events that could conceivably release waste from a repository.
KeywordsRadioactive Waste Fault Tree Hydraulic Connection Analyze Fault Tree Radionuclide Transport
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