20 years of Yucca Mountain research now available for scientific review

May 09, 2007

The scientific community can now take a long-awaited look at the research behind the selection of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, as the nation's high-level radioactive waste repository.

The Geology and Climatology of Yucca Mountain and Vicinity, Southern Nevada and California, published by the Geological Society of America, presents important results of a significant part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Yucca Mountain site characterization study. The study was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the DOE National Laboratories. The book includes discussion of the mountain's tectonic setting and detailed structural geology and stratigraphy, evaluation of tectonic models that have been proposed, and a study of the climate history and possible climate change that could affect the mountain's ability to isolate radioactive waste.

According to co-editor John Stuckless, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO, more than $6 billion has been spent thus far to study geologic, engineering, and transportation issues associated with Yucca Mountain. The site characterization study contained results of more than 20 years of scientific research and analysis by hundreds of scientists.

"A major challenge of producing the book was coping with the sheer volume of research," said Stuckless. "We needed to boil it down and make it usable, retaining key findings as well as important nuances."

Stuckless expects the book to draw significant interest from beyond the scientific community. "This research will be the prime support for DOE's application for licensing, which will be submitted to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 2008," he said. "The research reported in this Memoir will be studied and used by the legal community, Congressional staffs, and virtually everyone involved with or having a stake in Yucca Mountain."

Stuckless and co-editor Robert Levich, U.S. Department of Energy (retired), are now at work on a second volume. It will summarize current understanding of the hydrology and geochemistry of the Yucca Mountain area. They hope to have it ready to submit to GSA by the end of 2007.


Source: Geological Society of America

Explore further: Arson to blame for Argentine forest fires

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Boy or girl? Lemur scents have the answer

6 hours ago

Dozens of pregnancy myths claim to predict whether a mom-to-be is carrying a boy or a girl. Some say you can tell by the shape of a woman's bump, or whether she craves salty or sweet.

SOHO sees something new near the sun

7 hours ago

An unusual comet skimmed past the sun on Feb 18-21, 2015, as captured by the European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA's Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, or SOHO.

Train car design reduced impact in Southern California crash

8 hours ago

(AP)—After a horrific crash a decade ago that killed 11 people and injured 180 more, Southern California's commuter train network began investing heavily in passenger cars designed to protect passengers from the full force ...

Recommended for you

Lightning plus volcanic ash make glass

2 hours ago

In their open-access paper for Geology, Kimberly Genareau and colleagues propose, for the first time, a mechanism for the generation of glass spherules in geologic deposits through the occurrence of volcan ...

A new level of earthquake understanding

7 hours ago

As everyone who lives in the San Francisco Bay Area knows, the Earth moves under our feet. But what about the stresses that cause earthquakes? How much is known about them? Until now, our understanding of ...

Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss

10 hours ago

It's no surprise that Arctic sea ice is thinning. What is new is just how long, how steadily, and how much it has declined. University of Washington researchers compiled modern and historic measurements to ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.