Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Nuclear Waste

Authors


Abstract

How many projects with major issues involving geophysics, geochemistry, hydrology, and essentially every other Earth science discipline have had expenditures of approximately U.S.$8 billion over the past 25 years? No wonder characterization of Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is a subject that inspires awe, admiration, concern, disbelief, and other reactions from Earth scientists.

Finding a suitable site for geological disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste in the United States has been a tortuous process at best. Scientists, engineers, laypersons, and policy makers need access to information about this important venture, but heretofore no book has been available summarizing the project. The central theme of Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation's High-Level Waste is the technical issues and related uncertainties underlying evaluation of Yucca Mountain as an underground repository with a subtheme of potential problems in performance assessment of the repository resulting from these uncertainties.