Closure of a Nuclear Waste Repository Deeply Imbedded in a Stratified Salt Bed

[+] Author and Article Information
Wei Xu, Joseph Genin

Department of Mechanical Engineering, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, NM 88003

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 116(4), 567-573 (Oct 01, 1994) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2904330 History: Received August 12, 1992; Revised July 09, 1993; Online April 29, 2008


The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a repository vault, mined deep into a salt strata. It eventually closes in on itself, encapsulating its contents. At room temperature salt may be regarded as a linear, isotropic, viscoelastic material. In this study, using triaxial compression test results on salt, we determine the relaxation functions and set up the boundary value problem for the encapsulation mechanism of a salt vault. Closure of the repository as a function of time is determined using a three-dimensional finite element model. The Tresca failure criterion is used to predict the stability of the repository. Finally, the study is validated by comparing our results to in-situ measured data.

Copyright © 1994 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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