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Practical Applications of Geological Methods at the West Valley Low-level Radioactive Waste Burial Ground, Western New York

TitlePractical Applications of Geological Methods at the West Valley Low-level Radioactive Waste Burial Ground, Western New York
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1985
AuthorsFakundiny, RH
JournalNortheastern Environmental Science
Volume4
Pagination116-148
Keywordsgeology
Abstract

Geologic studies and a radioactive-waste landfill near the hamlet of West Valley, in northern Cattaraugus County, N.Y., evaluated the feasibility of low-level radioactive waste disposal by shallow burial in glacial deposits of the humid northeastern United States. The 8-year series of studies, funded by several Federal and New York State agencies, has shown that, although remedial maintenance at the site is necessary, the technique is safe and feasible if the waste is catalogued properly upon arrival and is compacted and buried in a manner that prevents later changes in waste volume and if water is prevented from infiltrating the burial trench. Major topics addressed in the studies included regional geology of glacial deposits, site stratigraphy and petrography, engineering and fluid properties of burial-host material measured in situ and in the laboratory, geomorphic processes, ground-water movement and chemistry, burial-trench dynamics in relation to atmospheric pressure and precipitation, surface-water flow, and biological paths for radionuclide movement.