ASCE Convention, Portland, Oregon, 15 April 1990
Authors: M. Hardy (AAI) and G. Hocking (Dames & Moore)

Rock mechanics design criteria for temperatures, opening stability, nuclide transport, and deformation of rock masses are essential for investigations into the feasibility and eventual design of high-level nuclear waste repositories. The development of rock mechanics design criteria relies on an understanding of the rock mass thermomechanical and hydrological behavior specifically in determining parameters such as strength, diffusivity, deformability, thermal expansion, and permeability. These properties are dependent on the spatial distribution of joints and their strength, deformational, and hydrological characteristics. In repository design, many of these parameters need to be quantified from a limited database determined predominately from drill hole data and some full-scale in situ experiments. A design methodology used for a repository site at depth in hard rock is presented. Preliminary criteria have been presented for temperature limits on geological materials and for operational constraints, room stability criteria in terms of rock mass properties and factors of safety, permeability changes, and rock mass deformational constraints. Results from thermomechanical and contaminant transport analyses are presented for a repository in basalt.

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