Yucca Mountain

The U.S. is engaged in attempting to license a high-level nuclear repository for construction at Yucca Mountain, Nevada—just to the west of the Nevada Test Site. The repository is to be a mine in unsaturated volcanic tuffs beneath the mountain.

Hydrodynamics has conducted studies since 1997 to evaluate potential transport, by ground water, of radionuclide into Inyo County from the Yucca Mountain Nuclear Waste Repository. Our oversight research indicates that there is groundwater flow in a deep carbonate aquifer beneath Yucca Mountain into Death Valley National Park.

The specific purpose of our research was to acquire geological, subsurface geology, and hydrologic data to:

  1. Establish the existence of inter-basin flow between the Amargosa Basin and Death Valley Basin,
  2. Characterize groundwater flow paths in the LCA through the Southern Funeral Mountain Range, and
  3. Evaluate the hydraulic connection between the Yucca Mountain repository and the major springs in Death Valley through the LCA.

Scope of Yucca Mountain Research

  • Regional Groundwater Modeling
  • Regional Spring Water Sampling & Chemical Modeling
  • Shallow and Extremely Deep Exploratory Drilling & Hydraulic Testing
  • Regional Geologic Mapping
  • Exploratory Geophysical Surveys
  • Testimony to U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Publications of Research Results & Host of Devils Hole Workshop
  • U.S. DOE License Application Contention Technical Support