Contact Information

James D. Prikryl
(210) 522-5667
jprikryl@swri.org

Peña Blanca Data in Yucca Mountain Performance Assessment

image: Uranium contents in bulk rock samples collected across the the western margin of the Nopal I deposit (modified from Pearcy et al., 1995). The red line is a fit of the diffusion equation to the U concentrations. The dashed vertical line shows the position of the boundary of visible uranium mineralization.

Uranium contents in bulk rock samples collected across the the western margin of the Nopal I deposit (modified from Pearcy et al., 1995). The red line is a fit of the diffusion equation to the U concentrations. The dashed vertical line shows the position of the boundary of visible uranium mineralization.

Natural analog studies at Peña Blanca have provided information for recent performance assessments for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s proposed geologic repository at Yucca Mountain.

CNWRA staff used Peña Blanca information to perform Yucca Mountain performance assessments, as summarized in several articles, including Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XXIII, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings (Abstract).

Application of data from Peña Blanca to Yucca Mountain performance assessment has focused on issues of mineral paragenesis, source term modeling, and radionuclide transport. For example, staff tested the sensitivity of performance results using an alternate source term model based on the maximum average oxidation rate of uraninite estimated for the Nopal I uranium deposit and scaled to the proposed repository inventory. Results were published in Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XXII, Materials Research Society Symposium Proceedings (Abstract).

Details about these and other Peña Blanca studies that have contributed to conceptual modeling for performance assessments for Yucca Mountain are available (PDF).

Related Terminology

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)  •  Yucca Mountain Project (YMP)  •  Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM)  •  Sierra Peña Blanca  •  Nopal I uranium deposit  •  uraninite alteration  •  Yucca Mountain  •  performance assessment modeling of nuclear waste geologic repositories

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04/15/14