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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ABSTRACT: The closure measurements from a large scale, heated, in situ experimental room in salt are compared to numerical calculations using the most recent predictive technology, with very good agreement, limited potentially only by the unmodeled roof fracture and separation.
INTRODUCTION The mission of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) Project is to develop the technology for safe disposal of the radioactive Transuranic (TRU) waste forms generated by the U.S. defense programs. The WIPP facility, now in preliminary operation in anticipation of receipt of small quantities of radioactive waste for experimental purposes, has been constructed in the bedded salt deposits of Southeastern New Mexico. In the existing regulatory context, the requirement is to assure that the potential repository isolates the radioactive waste from the accessible environment and mankind. This requirement means, in part, that the creep closure and waste encapsulation of the salt must be predicted far into the future, a capability which requires a significant development of predictive technology. Very early in the development of the structural prediction technology, it was decided to rely where possible on first principles or, where that was impossible, on laboratory empirical data as the basis for the technology. A series of large scale in situ experiments were fielded at the WIPP specifically to provide a data base for validation of the independently developed prediction technology. In this paper, we present the results of one large scale, heated test as analyzed according to the most advanced predictive capability.
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