Demonstration of a decision analysis methodology for assessing the performance of the Yucca Mountain site in Southern Nevada

F. W. Schwartz, R. K. McGuire, D. B. Bullen, N. Cook, K. J. Coppersmith, John M Kemeny, A. Long, F. J. Pearson, M. Sheridan, R. R. Youngs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This study develops a methodology for making decisions involving complex earth science systems and demonstrates its feasibility in relation to issues of radioactive waste storage at Yucca Mountain, Nevada. The basic approach involves a team of experts working together to identify and evaluate the key events, processes and parameters that are critical to the decision process. This basic information and calculational models required to represent various phenomena are integrated in a logic tree. The logic tree for the Yucca Mountain analysis is composed of 11 nodes that represent climatic, volcanic and tectonic events, various chemical and mass transport processes, and engineering factors that bear on the performance of the repository. These inputs are integrated into a software package to make calculations of expected releases of radioactivity as a function of time at the accessible environment. The demonstration application identified infiltration, container design and waste leaching rates, and various mass transport parameters as key factors that critically affect releases. At this stage, the most important outcome of the modeling effort is the demonstration that this approach to decision analysis of a radioactive waste repository is feasible with current knowledge and technology. Further, it shows that rational and defensible decisions can be made regarding the acceptability of a site even in the face of recognized uncertainties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)287-306
Number of pages20
JournalWaste Management
Volume11
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

decision analysis
Decision theory
mass transport
repository
radioactive waste
Radioactive waste storage
Demonstrations
Mass transfer
Earth sciences
mountain
methodology
Radioactivity
Tectonics
Earth science
Radioactive wastes
transport process
Infiltration
radioactivity
Software packages
Leaching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Pollution
  • Waste Management and Disposal

Cite this

Demonstration of a decision analysis methodology for assessing the performance of the Yucca Mountain site in Southern Nevada. / Schwartz, F. W.; McGuire, R. K.; Bullen, D. B.; Cook, N.; Coppersmith, K. J.; Kemeny, John M; Long, A.; Pearson, F. J.; Sheridan, M.; Youngs, R. R.

In: Waste Management, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1991, p. 287-306.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schwartz, FW, McGuire, RK, Bullen, DB, Cook, N, Coppersmith, KJ, Kemeny, JM, Long, A, Pearson, FJ, Sheridan, M & Youngs, RR 1991, 'Demonstration of a decision analysis methodology for assessing the performance of the Yucca Mountain site in Southern Nevada', Waste Management, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 287-306. https://doi.org/10.1016/0956-053X(91)90076-H
Schwartz, F. W. ; McGuire, R. K. ; Bullen, D. B. ; Cook, N. ; Coppersmith, K. J. ; Kemeny, John M ; Long, A. ; Pearson, F. J. ; Sheridan, M. ; Youngs, R. R. / Demonstration of a decision analysis methodology for assessing the performance of the Yucca Mountain site in Southern Nevada. In: Waste Management. 1991 ; Vol. 11, No. 4. pp. 287-306.
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