The 31th U.S. Symposium on Rock Mechanics (USRMS),
1990. A. A. Balkema, Rotterdam. Permission to Distribute - American Rock Mechanics Association
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The Yucca Mountain Project, managed by the Nevada Operations Office of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), is examining the feasibility of siting a repository for high-level nuclear waste at Yucca Mountain, on and adjacent to the Nevada Test Site. The need for detailed investigation and characterization of the thermomechanical behavior of the rock mass at Yucca Mountain has been the impetus for developing new experimental and analytical technologies for rock mechanics applications. Close interaction between the experimental and analytical efforts has resulted in substantial benefit to both.
This paper presents an example of the application of linear and nonlinear models for jointed rock mass behavior to the analysis of flatjack tests conducted in G-Tunnel at the Nevada Test Site. Several of the field tests proposed for the Yucca Mountain site characterization effort involve the use of large flatjacks inserted into narrow slots to provide a controlled means to load a volume of rock. These flatjacks must sustain moderately high pressures (40 to 60 MPa) and resist failures that may result from a large localized displacement caused by fracturing or slip along existing joints in the rock mass. As part of the effort to develop the technology for cutting narrow slots in fractured welded tuff and using high-pressure flatjacks to load the rock, flatjack inflation tests have been conducted in vertical slots cut in the rib of drifts in G-Tunnel. Detailed analyses of some of these tests have been performed to assist the experimenters in developing the test procedure and to evaluate the effects of joint orientation and frequency on the rock mass displacements near the slot. In addition, these analyses permit some assessment of the predictive capability of current models and provide valuable experience in modeling complex structures.
From an analyst's point of view, one can rarely define or quantify the physical and mechanical characteristics of a rock mass in sufficient detail to model its behavior accurately and unambiguously. Modeling of rock mechanics problems requires the development of a distinctive and appropriate methodology, which may be quite different from the conventional engineering approach
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