Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Shonali Laha

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Second Advisor's Name

Berrin Tansel

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Yelena Katsenovich

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


environmental engineering

Date of Defense



The long-term storage and disposal of radioactive waste is considered a challenging and costly endeavor to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) tasked with the safe management of radioactive wastes. The search for effective ways to manage radioactive waste has increasingly grown due to the large inventory of legacy transuranic wastes (TRU) from defense programs in the 1940s and nuclear power plants. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) is a unique repository for the permanent disposition of Transuranic Waste (TRU). The WIPP, located near Carlsbad in New Mexico, is sited ~655 m below the surface in a salt formation ~610-meter thick that was formed ~250 million years ago through evaporation cycles of the ancient Permian Sea. These salt beds are found in the Salado Formation which consists mainly of interbedded halite (NaCl) and anhydrite layers considered as an ideal repository for storage of TRU wastes due to the absence of free-flowing water, ease of mining, insignificant permeability, and geological stability.





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