Regional Thermohydrological Effects of an Underground Repository for Nuclear Wastes in Hard Rock

  • J. S. Y. Wang
  • C. F. Tsang
Part of the Advances in Nuclear Science & Technology book series (ANST)


The principal mechanism for underground migration of radionuclides is transport with groundwater. In the selection and assessment of suitable sites as potential repositories of nuclear wastes, it is important to predict the effects of heat generated by the wastes upon the water movement between the repository and the biosphere. With the absence of relevant engineering experience and the limitation on duration of in situ testing, simulation of global and long term thermal responses of the rock mass in hypothetical models is the main method for the understanding of the mechanism and the identification of the sensitive parameters controlling groundwater flow. This paper presents results of two sets of calculations:
  1. 1)

    Regional temperature effects are studied for different waste forms, repository dimensions and rock formations. The type of reprocessing treatment and the length of cooling period of the nuclear wastes before emplacement into the repository are found to be two of the more important factors.

  2. 2)

    Thermally induced fluid flow is calculated assuming a simple two-fracture system to make a “worst case” estimate of the transit time of water from repository to ground surface. Recharge capacity from the surrounding formation is found to be a controlling factor.



Rock Mass Nuclear Waste Spend Fuel Recharge Zone Vertical Fracture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    M. Hood, “Some Results from Field Investigation of Thermomechanical Loading of Rock Mass when Heater Canisters are Emplaced in Rock,” 20th U. S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics, Austin, TX, June (1979).Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    H. S. Carslaw and J. C. Jaeger, Conduction of Heat in Solids (Oxford at the Clarendon Press, 2nd Ed. 1959 ).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    R. A. Kisher, J. R. Marshall, D. W. Turner and J. E. Vath, Nuclear Waste Projections and Source-term Data for FY 1977, Y/OWI/TM-34, Office of Waste Isolation, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, April (1978).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. S. Y. Wang, C. F. Tsang, N. G. W. Cook and P. A. Witherspoon, A Study of Regional Temperature and Thermohydrological Effects of an Underground Repository for Nuclear Waste in Hard Rock, LBL8271, Lawrence Berkeley Lab., U. of California, Berkeley (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Groundwater Movements Around a Repository, KBS Teknisk Rapport 54:01–06, Karnbransksakerhet, Stockholm, Sweden, Sept. (1977).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    H. Lamb, Hydrodynamics (Cambridge University Press, New York, 6th Ed. 1932 ).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    P. A. Witherspoon, J. S. Y. Wang, K. Iwai and J. E. Gale, Validity of Cubic Law for Fluid Flow in a Deformable Rock Fracture, LBL-9557, Lawrence Berkeley Lab., U. of California, Berkeley (1979).CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. S. Y. Wang
    • 1
  • C. F. Tsang
    • 1
  1. 1.Lawrence Berkeley LaboratoryUniversity of CaliforniaBerkeleyUSA

Personalised recommendations