- planning and design of geological, hydrogeological, and geochemical data collection programs
- hydraulic and tracer testing and test interpretation
- groundwater sampling for geochemical analyses
- interpretation and synthesis of data into site conceptual (descriptive) models
Establishing a sound understanding of the geological, hydrogeological and geochemical properties at a site being considered for the disposal of radioactive wastes is a critical component of developing a reliable safety case. INTERA brings specialized expertise and experience in designing, managing, and conducting geologic formation testing programs using state-of-the-art equipment and interpretive software. We have performed testing programs to determine: the hydraulic properties (e.g., transmissivity, hydraulic conductivity, porosity, storativity, diffusion coefficient, flowing fracture frequency, etc.) that describe flow within hydrogeological units; the nature of flow within different hydrogeological units (e.g., contribution from matrix, role of structure, faults, fractures, joints, changes with depth, and other forms of spatial heterogeneity and anisotropy, etc.); the interaction between different hydrogeological units; spatial and temporal variations in groundwater pressures within the flow system; and the nature of driving forces (e.g., gravity, density, temperature, etc.). INTERA has completed hydraulic testing in deep, surface-based boreholes as well as boreholes drilled in underground research laboratories and test facilities, and in vertical repository access/ventilation shafts. Through work with national agencies that include the United States Department of Energy (USDOE), Andra (France), Nagra (Switzerland), and the Nuclear Waste Management Organization (Canada), our hydraulic testing and other site characterization experience encompasses a wide variety of repository host rock types including crystalline, sedimentary, evaporites, and volcanic rocks.