Thermally induced natural convection effects in Yucca Mountain drifts

Stephen W. Webb, Nicholas D. Francis, Sandra Dalvit Dunn, Michael T. Itamura, Darryl L. James

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Thermally induced natural convection from the heat produced by emplaced waste packages is an important heat and mass transfer mechanism within the Yucca Mountain Project (YMP) drifts. Various models for analyzing natural convection have been employed. The equivalent porous medium approach using Darcy's law has been used in many YMP applications. However, this approach has questionable fidelity, especially for turbulent flow conditions. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD), which is based on the fundamental Navier-Stokes equations, is currently being evaluated as a technique to calculate thermally induced natural convection in YMP. Data-model comparisons for turbulent flow conditions show good agreement of CFD predictions with existing experiments including YMP-specific data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-730
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Contaminant Hydrology
StatePublished - 2003


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Heat and mass transfer
  • Natural convection
  • Yucca Mountain Project (YMP)


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