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: Satellites sees a question mark in Tropical Storm Ana

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Shale could be long-term home for problematic nuclear waste

Mar 17, 2014

Shale, the source of the United States' current natural gas boom, could help solve another energy problem: what to do with radioactive waste from nuclear power plants. The unique properties of the sedimentary rock and related ...

Nuclear waste burial debate produces odd alliances

Nov 26, 2013

Ordinarily, a proposal to bury radioactive waste in a scenic area that relies on tourism would inspire "not in my backyard" protests from local residents—and relief in places that were spared.

Erosion of the Yucca Mountain crest

May 05, 2009

The Yucca Mountain crest in Nevada, USA has been proposed as a permanent site for high level radioactive waste. But a new study, already published as an article in press by Elsevier's journal Geomorphology and recently includ ...

Recommended for you

Operation IceBridge turns five

Oct 17, 2014

In May 2014, two new studies concluded that a section of the land-based West Antarctic ice sheet had reached a point of inevitable collapse. Meanwhile, fresh observations from September 2014 showed sea ice ...

Is Australia's claim to Antarctica at risk?

Oct 17, 2014

While Australia's commitment to a 20-year plan for Antarctica has been welcomed by some it has also raised concerns over the nation's ability to fulfil a credible research role in the south polar region.

User comments : 0