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U.S. Military: Specific Source Points
The following listing of US military source points
is a summary of the most important contaminated areas out of a total of
150 military facilities now undergoing environmental remediation under
the Dept. of DOE Environmental Management program. The Baseline Environmental
Management Report (BEMR) cited at the beginning of this part of RADNET
Section 11 contains information about all of the following source points.
Additional site specific environmental reports will be reviewed and posted
as they are received from the Dept. of Energy by RADNET throughout the
winter and spring of 1997. For further information go to RADNET section
13, RADLINKS, and surf the many DOE links now available for persons interested
in evaluating weapons production related anthropogenic radioactivity source
points. Site specific environmental reports are available from the DOE
|Argonne National Laboratory
A research facility located within the confines of
the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory covering 1 sq. mile and consisting
of 40 buildings and associated discharge ditches, waste ponds, cooling
towers, etc. "The primary mission of the Argonne National Laboratory West
was to support liquid metal reactor research and development of the Integral
Fast Reactor Program (IFRP)" (BEMR, pg. Idaho-4), a fast breeder reactor
which has now been canceled. The site of current spent nuclear fuel and
waste treatment, including pyroprocessing, a type of fuel reprocessing.
Little or no information is currently available about ANL as a past or
present plume source point. ANL is the likely location of some french drains;
the BEMR indicates total life cycle environmental restoration and waste
management costs are $357,482,000. Included in remediation efforts are
radioactive wastes storage tanks and "waste water handling/disposal systems
such as ditches, ponds, pits, and drains" (BEMR, pg. Idaho-7). Dick Lindsay,
Director of Information, informs RADNET that the Argonne National Laboratory
not only is not "top secret," as previously described by the Editor of
RADNET, but that "it is not associated with the military nor has it been
except in trivial or peripheral ways. ... If you are a U.S. citizen and
wish to tour you may do so, and that has always been the case! Top secret
indeed." For a non-top secret installation, not associated with weapons
production activities, ANL has certainly run up a fairly large life-cycle
environmental waste restoration and waste management bill.
|Brookhaven National Laboratory
A U.S. DOE research and development laboratory within
2,265 acres located 75 miles east of New York City in Upton, Long Island.
This laboratory contains 24 separate facilities and "approximately 80 areas
of interest" (BEMR pg. New York-7) which are the subject of DOE environmental
remediation efforts or have been identified for further study. "The principal
environmental medium of concern at Brookhaven National Laboratory is ground
water. Because the Laboratory is situated over a sole-source aquifer providing
potable water for Long Island, the Environmental Protection Agency placed
it on the National Priorities List in 1989. ... Contaminants of concern
... that may have migrated through soils, surface water, and related transport
mechanisms into the aquifer ... include metals, organic compounds, and
radionuclides such as tritium and cesium-137. Contamination occurred as
a result of accidental spills and/or past operating practices." (BEMR pg.
New York-6). The Brookhaven site is the location of two nuclear research
reactors: the High Flux Beam Reactor and the Brookhaven Medical Research
Reactor. The High Flux Beam Reactor is currently the topic of intense public
EPA and DOE scrutiny due to the discovery of a tritium plume allegedly
originating from leaks in the 68,000 gallon spent fuel pool in the reactor's
lower level. Levels of tritium have been recorded as high as 651,000 picocuries
per liter, or 32 times the U.S. drinking water standard of 20,000 picocuries
per liter. (Lexis-Nexis: EPA update 2/6/97). This specific plume allegedly
bears no relationship to a number of other tritium plumes in the Brookhaven
area groundwater, all of which are supposedly below the EPA's drinking
water standard and probably originate from earlier uncontained releases
of radionuclides and mixed wastes. The Brookhaven facility is an example
of a small DOE facility with multiple source points of contamination overlying
an important aquifer and located in a highly populated area. Uncontained
releases of contaminants, including ethylene dibromide (EDB), originating
decades ago have the potential for significant impact on drinking water
supplies on Long Island; the multiple Brookhaven plumes have resulted in
the recent closing of hundreds of private wells and the transfer of these
residences to public water supply. The BEMR report focuses on 24 specific
sources of contamination grouped in five "operable units" as well as a
number of aboveground and underground waste storage tanks and cesspools.
Life cycle remediation costs are estimated at $866,778,000 excluding the
costs of disposing of spent fuel at the Savannah River facility. Brookhaven
may be an example of where the High Flux Beam Reactor spent fuel pool leak
may be used as a scapegoat to avoid the acknowledgment of the extensive
uncontained releases of radioactivity and volatile chemicals of the past.
No reference is made in the BEMR to a radiocesium source point, probably
located in the biology forest in the southeastern part of the facility
that was installed almost 40 years ago for the purpose of irradiating the
forest and studying the resulting radiobiological effects. A number of
the following citations reference this important and intense above ground
installation, the current location and environmental impact of which are
Flaccus, E., Armentano, T.V., and Archer, M. (1974).
Effects of chronic gamma radiation on the composition of the herb community
of an oak-pine forest. Radiat. Bot. 14. 263-271.
Franz, E.H. and Woodwell, G.M. (1973). Effects of chronic
gamma irradiation on the soil algal community of an oak-pine forest. Radiat.
Bot. 13. 323-329.
Gschenaur, S.E. and Woodwell, G.M. (1974). The soil
micro-fungi of a chronically-irradiated oak-pine forest. Ecology.
Holt, B.R. (1972). Radiosensitivity and distribution
of common macro-fungi in a chronically irradiated oak-pine forest. Radiat.
Bot. 12. 339-342.
U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. (February 1999).
report on Brookhaven reactor. U.S. NRC, Washington, DC. http://www.nrc.gov/OPA/reports/brookhvn.htm.
Wagner, R.H. (1966). Herbaceous recolonization of the
Brookhaven irradiated forest: the first three years. Radiat. Biol.
The report is focused on the high flux beam reactor safety programs.
"This NRC staff safety assessment identified no safety-significant issues,
although several apparent instances of noncompliance with DOE and BNL requirements
were noted." (Executive Summary).
Woodwell, G.M. and Rebuck, A.L. (1967). Effects of
chronic gamma radiation on the structure and diversity of an oak-pine forest.
Monogr. 37. 53-69.
|Fernald, Ohio (Feed Materials
This small facility (9 plants, 1,148 acres) was established
in 1951 for the purpose of processing uranium into a finished product suitable
for weapons production. While no DOE high-level wastes are located at this
facility, extensive contamination of the groundwater, soil, and air resulted
from the careless operation of this plant in the early years of the production
of almost a half million metric tons of uranium metal. Waste disposal in
pits and surface storage areas as well as in drums and silos resulted in
huge quantities of mixed wastes containing as much as 5,000 metric tons
of uranium (Makhijani, et. al., Nuclear Wastelands, 1995, pg. 214)
This site also contains radium-226 wastes, as well as thorium and a variety
of mixed wastes including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PCB's and
trichloroethane. Of particular concern has been the huge quantities of
uranium contaminated particulates released to the air during operation
of this facility. Political pressures have resulted in Fernald's position
among the top ranked DOE remediation sites; the result of the pressures
to clean up this facility are unclear. Makhijani (Nuclear Wastelands, 1995)
reports the Minimum Additive Wastes Stabilization (MAWS) program results
in extensive "off/gas" contamination from the vitrification process as
well as the creation of "approximately half a million metric tons of radioactive
marbles that would result from even partial conversions of Fernald's on-site
contaminated materials." (pg. 215).
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (June 16,
1993). Health and safety factors associated with DOE's management and
direction of environmental restoration management contracts. Recommendation
93-4 to the Secretary of Energy.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (September 29,
1994). Fernald Environmental Management Project - Uranium/thorium interim
storage safety review trip report (September 20-21, 1994). Memorandum
for G. W. Cunningham, Technical Director.
"The Board and its staff have been monitoring the efforts of the Department
of Energy (DOE) in technically managing the Uranyl Nitrate Hexahydrate
(UNH) stabilization project at the Fernald Environmental Management Project
since DOE began preparations for operational testing in early 1992. ...
The purpose of the project is to process the UNH into a filter cake for
interim nuclear waste storage onsite pending final disposition." (pg. 1).
"... the Board has noted recent events at other facilities under the
cognizance of EM, including the Defense Waste Processing Facility at SRS
and the Uranium Oxide Plant at Hanford, that appear to indicate fundamental
safety problems resulting from defective discipline of operations." (pg.
"... the Board has concern stemming from health and safety considerations
that (1) DOE may not have sufficient numbers of competent, trained headquarters
and field personnel to technically manage such contracts, and (2) contracts
may be negotiated and signed before DOE has developed internal plans on
how to carry out its technical management and oversight responsibilities."
Makhijani, A. (July 7, 1989). Release estimates of
radioactive and non-radioactive materials to the environment by the Feed
Materials Production Center 1951-85. Institute for Energy and Environmental
Research, Takoma Park, Maryland.
"The DNFSB staff has some concerns about the pyrophoric
and reactive material stored at the FEMP. Hydrogen explosions caused two
drums in 1989 and one in 1992 to violently rupture and blow their lids
off. Corrosion of drums storing uranium and thorium is severe. Fernald
Environmental Restoration Management Corporation (FERMCO) personnel believe
that up to fourteen hundred drums may still be breached. As a result, FERMCO
has overpacked or repacked thousands of drums since 1992."
"The FEMP uranium inventory, counting only material with
uranium concentrations above the economic discard limit, is about 6600
metric tons uranium (MTU), of which 90% is separated material and the remainder
is recoverable residues. Of the separated material, 67% is depleted, 8%
is natural, and 25% is enriched (up to 19.9%). The forms of the separated
material are metal (54%), UF4 (33%), and UO3 (13%). An additional 1600
MTU is contained in over 11,000 MT of low-level radioactive waste (LLRW).
The total volume of uranium product, residues, and waste is equivalent
to 147,000 55-gallon drums, of which 42% is LLRW. The uranium is predominately
stored in 55-gallon drums and 10-gallon cans. Metal fuel element cores
are stored in A1-lined wooden boxes and metal ingots (a casting product)
and derbies (UF4 and Mg reaction product) are stored unpackaged on metal
and wooden skids."
"The FEMP also has 927 MT of thorium in the forms of thorium
nitrate gel (contains 4.3 kg of U-233) and solution, residues, metal, oxides,
and other miscellaneous compositions. All of this material is classified
The DNFSB staff believes that container degradation, especially
for drums, is a significant problem at FEMP because containers have been
stored unprotected outside. FERMCO personnel stated that the median lifetime
of these outside containers is only three years because of the high humidity.
Although they are trying to transfer containers into buildings (especially
those material types considered to be more hazardous), approximately 23,000
drums are still stored outside, often with little or no protection from
the rain. In addition, uranium metal is allowed to be stored outside if
it is under a shelter, but these shelters often consist of only a metal
roof and minimal siding around the sides which would probably not prevent
rain from blowing onto the containers. Furthermore, there are leaks in
the roof of Plant 6 which can allow rain to fall directly on the drums
and materials below. The presence of leaks is a concern because unprotected
uranium metal ingots and skulls were also stored in the same building."
"Preparations are being made to overpack approximately
5600 drums of thorium hydroxides, oxides, and oxalate stored in Building
65 and ship them to the Nevada Test Site (NTS) for burial. These drums
date from the 1970s and early 1980s and are in such poor condition that
respirators are required in the building. The reason for the severe corrosion
is that the drums were stored on plywood sheets rather than pallets. This
allowed rain, which came in through holes in the roof and windows (no money
was funded for repairs for eight years), to pool and collect around the
drums. The Preliminary Safety Analysis Report estimates that up to 1400
drums may have been breached."
"The FEMP was not designed for extensive on-site storage
of nuclear material and no safety analysis reports examining uranium storage
have been completed. The sheer volume of nuclear material and waste has
resulted in containers being stored in the old plants, the pilot plant,
warehouses, aluminum huts, tension support buildings, outside shelters,
and any free space outside."
"The inventory has been reduced from 61 million pounds
in 1991 to 43 million pounds today. This is predominately due to shipping
over 2,000 drum equivalents per week of LLRW to the NTS. FERMCO is also
disposing of some mixed waste with Envirocare in Utah and shipping Toxic
Substances Control Act (TSCA) waste (i.e., contaminated polychlorinated
biphenyl and asbestos) to the Oak Ridge TSCA incinerator."
Makhijani, A. (October, 1996). Radioactivity in the
Fernald neighborhood. Science for Democratic Action. An IEER (Institute
for Energy and Environmental Research) publication. 5(3). pp. 16.
U. S. Department of Energy. (February, 1991). Closure
plan for the Feed Materials Production Center: Fernald's main priority
is cleanup. U.S. DOE, Washington, D.C.
This is the first in a series of 5 articles in vol. 5 no. 3 of the IEER
series Science for Democratic Action, the entire issue of which
is devoted to the impact of the Fernald facility.
The first of the five articles includes a detailed description of the
uranium processing sequence at the 9 plants comprising the Fernald facility.
"The six waste pits at the site contain both radioactive and non-radioactive
chemicals, including uranium isotopes, thorium-230 (a waste material from
the uranium production process), thorium-232, and barium salts. In addition,
the K-65 silos located on the site contain radium-226, a decay product
of uranium which emits radon." (pg. 2).
Another article in this volume is entitled Radiation exposure at
Fernald: the dirty details: "Radon from the decay of radium-226 in
the K-65 silos located on the site was the cause of the largest off-site
doses. ... Inhalation of uranium dust was the next most important." (pg.
"Between March 15, 1978 and June 14, 1978 'a significant dust loss occurred
in the Plant 9 dust collector serving the NPR furnace and the crucible
burnout area.' The cause of the loss was 'extensive damage to the blow
ring assembly and two bags pulled loose from their upper mountings.'" (pg.
This is a particularly interesting report detailing the environmental
consequences of uranium metal production and the plumes and worker's radiation
exposure which results from uranium releases during processing activities
at this location.
This report includes a summary of uranium release estimates to the air
and surface water, and is another example of the clear and concise reporting
of the IEER, the publications of which are among the most important documents
pertaining to anthropogenic radioactivity. This IEER publication as well
as other IEER reports on the uranium component of the weapons production
cycle are important reminders that these plumes (thorium-230, 232, radium-226
and uranium-234, 235, 238, depleted uranium oxide, and depleted uranium
hexafluoride) have a health physics significance equal to that of the fission
products which also derive from the weapons production cycle.
In January 1943 the Hanford Site was established as
the nation's first full time plutonium production facility. As part of
the Manhattan project, plutonium production reactors were built along the
Columbia River (100 Area); processing plants and associated facilities
were constructed on a plateau in the center of the site (200 Areas); and
fuel fabrication facilities were constructed in the southern component
of the reservation (300 Area). The total size of the Hanford site is 560
sq. miles; the site is located in the southeastern part of the state of
Washington in an isolated and desiccated area; the Columbia River forms
the sites eastern boundary. An excellent site map is contained in the BEMR
on page Washington 5; this report includes a summary of the stages of plutonium
production at Hanford, including the fabrication of plutonium from uranium,
fuel irradiation which converted small amounts of uranium to plutonium,
and chemical processing in which the irradiated fuel elements were chemically
processed to extract the plutonium. In the early days of operation of the
Hanford facility, large amounts of uncontained radioactive wastes of every
description were disposed of in the natural environment. Some effluents
went directly into the Columbia River; other effluents went into burial
trenches, partially lined underground vaults and other surface locations.
Extensive use of deep well and shallow well injection technologies resulted
in the disposal of unknown quantities of radioactive wastes in subsurface
geological formations. By 1972 eight of nine production reactors had been
shut down and most fuel separation facilities had also ceased operations.
A fast flux test facility at the Hanford Reservation continues to be on
hot standby (the facility is cooled by liquid sodium); the Clinton administration
is considering restarting this facility to produce tritium for use in future
nuclear weapons production. Radioactive wastes in contaminated material
and liquid by-products are stored in 1,391 locations on this Reservation;
"environmental contamination is found in surface and subsurface soils ...
liquids (principally liquid low-level waste effluents) have been discharged
into the soils and has contaminated 520 sq. km. of ground water ... the
chemical processing of irradiated fuels generated the largest volume of
Hanford's wastes" (BEMR, pg. Washington 6-7). Total life cycle remediation
costs are estimated at $50,208,297,000. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Integrated Data Base reports the Hanford Reservation inventory of high-level
waste as of Jan. 1, 1996 at 347,900,000 Ci. (Also see additional comments
on missing U.S. military (DOE) high-level
wastes in part 14 of this section.)
The Panel on Radioactivity in the Marine Environment
(1971) prepared an incomplete list of Annual discharges of radioactivity
from the Hanford Reactor Operations to the Pacific Ocean (Ci). (p.28)
part of which is included below.
The Panel on Radioactivity in the Marine Environment (1971)
prepared an incomplete list of Annual average concentrations of several
radionuclides in Columbia River Water, 1966. (p.29) part of which is
Agnew, S.F. and Corbin, R.A. (August 1998). Analysis
of SX Farm leak histories -- historical leak model. LA-UR-96-3537.
Chemical Science and Technology Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Since 1966 Columbia River concentrations have gradually
fallen, but many of the long-lived radioisotopes generated at the time
these activation products were released are still to be accounted for.
Beasley, T.M. (1986). Nickel-63 in Columbia River sediments
below the Hanford Reservation. J. Environ. Radioactivity. 4. 1-10.
Beasley, T.M., Ball, L.A. and Andrews, J.E. (1981). Hanford-derived
plutonium in Columbia River sediments. Science. 214(20). 913-915.
"Nickel-63 (t1/2=100 y) has been measured in Columbia
River sediments below the Hanford Reservation. The present-day inventory
between the confluence of the Snake and Columbia Rivers and the Columbia
River mouth is estimated at near 4.6 TBq (~125 Ci)." (pg. 1).
Beasley, T.M., Ball, L.A., Andrews, J.E. and Halverson,
J.E. (1980). 243,244Cm in Columbia River sediments. Nature,
"The lower Columbia River received large amounts of artificial
radioactivity during the period from 1944 to 1970 as a consequence of the
operation of single-pass plutonium production reactors located on the Hanford
Reservation." (pg. 913).
"...Additional plutonium-239 (in Columbia River sediments)
arises from the decay of neptunium-239 produced in reactor effluent water
from the old plutonium production reactors located on the Hanford Reservation."
"Even though the Columbia River received large amounts
of radioactivity as a consequence of the operation of plutonium production
reactors on the Hanford Reservation, we believe that the 243,244Cm
reported here is entirely derived from fallout and that our ability to
detect these isotopes in river sediment is due to the concentrating effect
of erosional processes on land which mobilize material containing 243,244Cm
(and other transuranic radionuclides) to the river, where they are subsequently
sedimented." (pg. 624).
Benson, A.B. and Shook, L. (1985). Blowing in
the wind: Radioactive contamination of the soil around the Hanford Nuclear
Reservation. Hanford Education Action League, Spokane, WA.
New regulations change Hanford guidelines for plutonium
in soil from 10 nanocuries per gram to 100 nanocuries per gram (0.1 millicuries/kg).
12 million cubic meters of soil in the Hanford reservation
had become "so contaminated as to constitute high level waste." (pg. 1).
Americium-241, a decay product of 241Pu, is
expected to become as much of a radiation problem as total plutonium radioactivity
in seventy to eighty years. (pg. 5).
Connor, T. (1986). Hot water: Groundwater contamination
at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation. Hanford Education Action League,
Naturally flowing groundwater provides a pathway for Hanford
derived radionuclides to travel to the Columbia River.
Includes tank waste inventories and PUREX tritium plume
contamination data, etc.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (October
11, 1990). Safety at Single-Shell Hanford Waste Tanks. Recommendation
90-7 to the Secretary of Energy pursuant to Section 312(5) of the Atomic
Energy Act of 1954, as amended.
"Immediate steps should be taken to add instrumentation
as necessary to the single shell tanks containing ferrocyanide that will
establish whether hot spots exist or may develop in the future in the stored
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (July
Hanford Waste Tanks Characterization Studies. Recommendation
93-5 to the Secretary of Energy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 2286a(5) Atomic Energy
Act of 1954, as amended.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (October 1997).
of the Hanford spent nuclear fuel project. DNFSB/TECH-17. Washington,
"In Recommendation 90-7, the Board emphasized the urgent
need for more rapid and complete sampling and analysis of tank wastes.
The wastes in the Hanford tanks differ markedly from tank to tank. Identification
of what specifically is in each tank is essential and urgent."
"The Board has repeatedly expressed its dismay at the
continued slow rate of conduct of this characterization program and has
urged a greater rate of progress. At last count only 22 of the 177 tanks
on the site have been sampled. Only four of those sampled were among the
54 tanks on the watch list of tanks that generate the greatest safety concerns."
"The Board notes that a recently released DOE/RL audit
(DOE-RL/OPA Audit 93-02, April 1993) of the sampling programs revealed
significant weaknesses in the control, management, and technical implementation
of core sampling, laboratory, and supporting activities."
Emery, R.M. and McShane, M.C. (1980). Nuclear waste
ponds and streams on the Hanford Site: an ecological search for radiation
effects. Health Physics. 38. 787-809.
Eslinger, P.W., Huesties, L.R., Maughan, A.D., Miley,
T.B. and Walters, W.H. (1994). Data Compendium for the Columbia River
Comprehensive Impact Assessment. PNL-9785, Pacific Northwest Laboratory,
Gerber, M. S. (1992). On the home front: the cold
war legacy of the Hanford nuclear site. University of Nebraska Press,
Lincoln. 312 pp.
Martin, T. (Winter, 1993). Waste by any other name
... Deciding what goes into Hanford Grout. Perspective. Hanford
Education Action League, Hanford, Washington. pg. 8-9.
Miley, T.B., and Huesties, L.R. (1995). List of
currently classified documents relative to Hanford operations and of potential
use in the Columbia River Comprehensive Impact Assessment. January 1, 1973-June
20, 1994. PNL-10459, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington.
Napier, B.A., Batishko, N.C., Heise-Craff, D.A., Jarvis,
M.F. and Synder, D.F. (1995). Identification of contaminants of concern.
PNL-10400, Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington.
Napier, B.A., Harper, B.L., Lane, N.K., Strenge, D.L.
and Spivey, R.B. (1996). Human scenarios for the screening assessment:
Columbia River Comprehensive Impact Assessment. DOE/RL-96-16-a, U.
S. Department of Energy, Richland, Washington.
Robertson, D.E., Silker, W.B., Langford, J.C., Petersen,
M.R. and Perkins, R.W. (1973). Transport and depletion of radionuclides
in the Columbia River. In: Radioactive Contamination of the Marine Environment.
Report No. IAEA-SM-158/9. IAEA, Vienna. 141-158.
Saleska, S. and Makhijani, A. (July, 1990). To process
or not to process: the PUREX question: the alternatives for the management
of N-Reactor irradiated fuel at the U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford
Nuclear Reservation. Report prepared for the Hanford Education Action
League. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Takoma Park, Maryland.
The last of nine plutonium production reactors were shut
in January of 1971.
"Some long-lived radionuclides have remained, being associated
mainly with sedimentary deposits in the reservoir behind McNary Dam." (pg.
Typical concentrations for the three most common isotopes
in sediment (64%, 14% and 7% respectively) are: 55Fe: 1,100
d.p.m/g (18,300 Bq/kg); 65Zn: 240 d.p.m./g (4,000 Bq/kg); 46Sc:
120 d.p.m./g (2,000 Bq/kg).
Sanger, S.L. (1989). Hanford and the Bomb: An Oral
History of World War II. Living History Press, Seattle, Washington.
Scheibe, T. and Yabusaki, S. (1993). Scaling of
flow and transport behavior in heterogeneous groundwater systems. PNL-SA-25636.
EOS Trans. AGU. 74(43) 251.
Schmel, G.A. (1978). Airborne plutonium-239 and americium-241
transport measured from the 125-m Hanford meteorological tower. In: Selected
environmental plutonium research reports of the Nevada Applied Ecology
Group. White, M.G. and Dunaway, P.B. eds. Las Vegas, NV. 707-722.
"Three-dimensional numerical simulations using a detailed synthetic
hydraulic conductivity field developed from geological considerations provide
insight into the scaling of subsurface flow and transport processes. Flow
and advective transport in the highly resolved, detailed field have been
modeled using massively parallel computers, providing a realistic baseline
for comparison of scaling techniques." (abstract).
This report is available on the Internet at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory,
Environmental Technology Division, Richland, Washington URL:
Serber, R., (1992). The Los Alamos Primer. University
of California Press, Berkeley, California.
Shook, L. and Benson, A. The storm of Hanford's radioactive
iodine, "Ominous implications". The Hanford Journal, 5, 1-3.
U. S. Department of Energy. (1995). Hanford Site environmental
report for calendar year 1994. Department of Energy, Richland Operations
Office, Richland, Washington.
"Between 1944 and 1956, Hanford plutonium production facilities
released about 530,000 curies of radioactive iodine-131 to the atmosphere
of Eastern Washington." (pg. 1).
U. S. Department of Energy. (August, 1995). Registration
of Hanford Site Class V underground injection wells. Revision 1. Report
no. DOE/RL--88-11-Rev.1. NTIS order no. DE95017148. Westinghouse Hanford
Co., Richland, Washington. 59 pp.
Comprehensive description of the Hanford Site (560 sq. miles), its history,
and the principal installation and sites used for the production of nuclear
"Current waste management activities at the Hanford Site include primarily
managing wastes with high and low levels of radioactivity (from the nuclear
materials production activities) in the 200-East and 200-West Areas. Key
waste management facilities include the waste storage tanks, Plutonium
Uranium Extraction (PUREX) Plant, Plutonium Finishing Plant, Central Waste
complex, Low-Level Burial Grounds, B Plant, and 242-A Evaporator. In addition,
irradiated nuclear fuel is stored in the 100-K Area in fuel storage basins."
"Environmental restoration includes activities to decontaminate and
decommission facilities and to clean up or restore inactive waste sites.
The Hanford surplus facilities program conducts surveillance and maintenance
of such facilities, and has begun to clean up and dispose of more than
"The preliminary assessments conducted for the Hanford Site revealed
approximately 1,100 known individual waste sites where hazardous substances
may have been disposed of in a manner that requires further evaluation
to determine impact to the environment."
"Environmental monitoring of the Hanford Site consists of 1) effluent
monitoring and 2) environmental surveillance including ground-water monitoring.
... The MEI [maximally exposed individual] potentially received 0.05% of
the DOE dose limit and 0.02% of the national average background dose from
natural sources. ... Special exposure scenarios not included in the above
dose estimates include the potential consumption of game residing on the
Hanford Site and exposure to radiation at the publicly accessible location
with the maximum exposure rate."
"Near-Facility Environmental Monitoring ... analytical results showed
a large degree of variability; in general, the samples collected from media
located on or directly adjacent to the waste disposal and other nuclear
facilities had significantly higher concentrations than those farther away.
As expected, certain radionuclides were found in higher concentrations
within different operational areas. Generally speaking, the predominant
radionuclides were activation products/gamma emitters in the 100 Areas,
fission products in the 200/600 Areas, and uranium in the 300 Area."
"Air Monitoring. ... Air samplers were primarily located at or near
sites and/or facilities having the potential or history for release, with
an emphasis on the prevailing downwind directions. Of the radionuclide
analyses performed, cesium-137, plutonium-239,240, strontium-90, and uranium
were consistently detectable in the 200 Areas; cobalt-60 was detectable
in the 100-N Area. Air concentrations for these radionuclides were elevated
near facilities when compared to the concentrations measured offsite by
the Surface Environmental Surveillance Project."
"Radiological Surveys. There were approximately 2,756 hectares (6,364
acres) of outdoor posted surface contamination and 981 hectares (2,423
acres) of posted underground radioactive material sitewide in 1994. These
areas were typically associated with cribs, burial grounds, tank farms,
and covered ponds, trenches, and ditches. The number of posted surface
contamination areas varied because of an ongoing effort to clean, stabilize,
and remediate areas of known contamination while new areas of contamination
were being identified. New areas may have been identified because of contamination
migration or the increased effort being made to investigate outdoor areas
for radiological contamination."
"The Columbia River was one of the primary environmental exposure pathways
to the public during 1994 as a result of operations at the Hanford Site.
Radiological and chemical contaminants entered the river along the Hanford
Reach primarily through the seepage of contaminated ground water."
"During 1994, samples were collected from seven Columbia River shoreline
springs, contaminated as a result of past waste disposal practices at the
Hanford Site. Contaminant concentrations in the springs were similar to
those found in the ground water. All radionuclide concentrations measured
in riverbank springs in 1994 were less than applicable DOE Derived Concentration
Guides. However, strontium-90 in the 100-D and 100-H Areas, tritium in
the 100-N Area and along the old Hanford Townsite, and total alpha in the
300 Area exceeded Washington State and federal Drinking Water Standards."
"During 1994, approximately 800 Hanford Site wells were sampled to satisfy
ground-water monitoring needs. ... Radiological monitoring results indicated
that cesium-137, cobalt-60, iodine-129, strontium-90, technetium-99, total
alpha, total beta, tritium, uranium, and plutonium concentrations were
detected in levels greater than the Drinking Water Standard in one or more
"Extensive tritium plumes extend from the 200-East and 200-West Areas
into the 600 Area. The plume from the 200-East Area extends east and southeast,
discharging to the Columbia River. This plume has impacted tritium concentrations
in the 300 Area but at levels less than the Drinking Water Standard. The
spread of this plume farther south than the 300 Area is restricted by the
ground-water flow away from the Yakima River and the North Richland well
field. Ground water with tritium at levels above the Drinking Water Standard
also discharges to the Columbia River in the 100-N Area and immediate vicinity.
A small but high concentration tritium plume near the 100-K East Reactor
also may discharge to the river. Tritium at levels greater than the Drinking
Water Standard was also found in the 100-D and 100-F Areas."
"An extensive plume of carbon tetrachloride at levels greater than the
Drinking Water Standard was found in ground water at the 200-West Area
and extends into the 600 Area. This plume is associated with a less extensive
plume of chloroform which may be a degradation product of the carbon tetrachloride.
Maximum chloroform levels are also greater than its Drinking Water Standard."
"Trichloroethylene was found at levels greater than the Drinking Water
Standard in the 100-F Area and in the 600 Area to the west. Trichloroethylene
was also detected at levels greater than the Drinking Water Standard in
the 100-K and 200-West Areas. Trichloroethylene in the 300 Area was also
measured at levels greater than the Drinking Water Standard."
"A few wells [in the deeper confined aquifer] near source areas exhibited
impacts of past site disposal practices."
This report is available on the Internet at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory,
Richland, Washington URL: http://www.pnl.gov/env/env_home.html
U. S. Department of Energy. (February 20, 1996). Request
for proposals (RFP) No. DE-RP06-96RL13308: Tank Waste Remediation System
(TWAS). Department of Energy, Richland Operations Office, Richland,
"The purpose of this document ... to identify all injection wells on
the Hanford Site. New injection wells will not be constructed on the Hanford
Site except to receive uncontaminated stormwater or groundwater heatpump
return flow." (abstract).
Washington State Department of Ecology, U. S. Environmental
Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Energy. (1994). Hanford Federal
Facility Agreement and Consent Order. Document No. 89-10, Rev. 3 (The
Tri-Party Agreement), Ecology, Olympia, Washington.
"The overall goal of the privatization framework embodied in the RFP
is to sharpen mission focus, improve performance, and save taxpayer dollars
without, in any way, sacrificing the standards of radiological and industrial
safety and environmental protection." (pg. 1).
"Approximately 56 million gallons of waste containing approximately
240,000 metric tons of processed chemicals and 177 mega-curies of radionuclides
are currently being stored in 177 tanks. These caustic wastes are in the
form of liquids, slurries, saltcakes, and sludge. In 1991, the Tank Waste
Remediation System (TWRS) Program was established to manage, retrieve,
treat, immobilize, and dispose of these wastes in a safe, environmentally
sound, and cost-effective manner." (pg. 2).
"DOE's approach is to utilize, to the extent possible, established and
functioning external regulatory authorities without requiring the contractor
to go through DOE." (pg. 2).
"...current uncertainties [include] with regard to waste characteristics,
the effectiveness of [vendor] technology with Hanford waste, and the regulatory
framework for protection of workers and the general public." (TWRS Privatization
"...the approach to privatization will be conducted in two phases. The
first phase will be a Proof-of-Concept/Commercial Demonstration Phase.
Based upon the feasibility study, the first phase would involve the pretreatment,
low-level waste vitrification of approximately 6-13 percent of the waste
over a five year period. ... The second phase will be the Full-Scale Production
phase. Facilities will be sized so all of the remaining waste can be processed
and immobilized on a schedule that will accommodate removing the waste
in single-shell tanks by 2018." (TWRS Privatization Background: http://twins.pnl.gov:8001/twrs_rfp/background.htm).
"Within this context, the Department pays for and will continue to pay
for activities until the remediation process is complete, no matter how
ineffectual the contractor is or how long it takes to complete the effort."
(TWRS Privatization Background: http://twins.pnl.gov:8001/twrs_rfp/background.htm).
The DOE Integrated Database Report for 1994 indicates the total on-site
inventory of contained high-level waste is 348 megacuries. (pg.
15). The tank waste data is helpful in providing the information that 171
million curies of high-level waste is located somewhere on the Hanford
Reservation other than in the 177 tanks now in the preliminary stages
Woodruf, R.K., Hanf, R.W. and Lundgren, R.E. (1993).
Site environmental report for calendar year 1992. PNL-8682. Pacific
Northwest Laboratory, Richland, Washington.
Wurstner, S.K. and Freshley, M.D. (December 1994).
impacts of future water level decline on monitoring wells using a ground-water
model of the Hanford site. Report Number PNL-10196 UC-903. Prepared
for the U.S. Department of Energy by Pacific Northwest Laboratory, Richland,
"Since Hanford Site operations were curtailed in 1987, and the Site
mission has shifted from the production of nuclear materials to environmental
restoration, waste management, and technology development, the volume of
water discharged to the ground has been greatly reduced. As a result, the
water table has begun to decline, potentially impacting existing monitoring
wells used by contractors on the Hanford Site."
"Monthly effluent discharges from 1980 to 1992 were based on WHC effluent
reports. Figure 2 shows the location of these discharge sites, and Figure
3 summarizes and compares the aggregate volumes in the 200 East, 200 West,
100-BC, and 100-N areas."
This report is available on the Internet at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory,
Richland, Washington URL: http://terrassa.pnl.gov:2080/~sig/reports/pnl-10196.html
National Engineering Laboratory
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory Integrated Data Base
reports the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory inventory of high-level
waste as of Jan. 1, 1996 at 51,600,000 Ci. (Also see additional comments
on missing U.S. military (DOE) high-level wastes in part 11 of this section;
on site uncontained inventories of weapons production high-level waste
and spent nuclear fuel are likely to be much higher than the amount noted
in the ORNL data base.)
Environmental Science and Research Foundation. (August
1996). Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site Environmental Report
for Calendar Year 1995. Environmental Science and Research Foundation
Report Series, Number 014 (ISSN 1089-5469). Environmental Science and Research
Foundation, Idaho Falls, ID.
Environmental Science and Research Foundation. (September
1996). In Summary: Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Site Environmental
Report for Calendar Year 1995. Environmental Science and Research Foundation
Report Series, Number 015 (ISSN 1089-5469). Environmental Science and Research
Foundation, Idaho Falls, ID.
Section 1.2 of this report lists INEL missions and facilities which
include Argonne National Laboratory West which is the Integral Fast (breeder)
Reactor (IFR) located at the University of Chicago. On site facilities
include: Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (ICPP) (US Navy nuclear fuel storage
facility); Test Area North (TAN) (former test site for nuclear powered
airplanes; now houses TMI fuel rods); Test Reactor Area (TRA); Power Burst
Facility (PBF) (low-level waste processing); Naval Reactors Facility (NRF);
Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) (low-level waste and transuranic
waste management); and a Central Facilities Area (CFA) (offices and laboratories).
Nowhere in this report does it mention any facilities utilized for the
storage of high-level waste; the INEL inventory as of December 31, 1994
is listed at 51.6 million curies in DOE's Integrated DataBase, pg. 15.
This report includes a detailed description of the environmental restoration
program without mentioning any specific locations of high-level waste,
other than the dry rod consolidation project where radiation fields as
high as 7,000 R/hr result from shearing fuel assembly skeletons now stored
in TAN hot shop north silo (pg. 3-24).
This report notes "the most economical option for dry storage of Three
Mile Island spent fuel stored at the INEL was to build a new facility at
ICPP ... currently only industrial and low-level radioactive wastes are
being disposed at the INEL. Other waste types are being stored for eventual
disposal at the site or elsewhere, or until treatment technologies are
available" (pg. 3-25).
Figure 4.16 illustrates average mesoscale dispersion isopleths of air
concentrations at ground level normalized to unit release. This figure,
which uses the MESODIF model (see pg. 4-40) illustrates significant releases
from the TRA (test reactor area) and the ICPP, although a PhD in advanced
mathematics would be useful in interpreting the data illustrated. Table
4.13 gives the radionuclide composition of airborne effluents, the principle
sources of which are also the TRA and the ICPP. Total 137Cs
airborne emissions are listed as 3.0 x 10-4curies; 239Pu
airborne emissions as 1.6 x 10-7 ci.
Figure 4.17 (pg. 4-43) illustrates radionuclides contributing to maximum
individual dose in 1995: 129I, 59.7%; 41Ar, 38.6%;
No specific mention is made of the locations of deep well injection
sites for low-level waste, but Fig. 5.1 plus 5.2 (pg. 5-4,5) contain a
detailed map of US geological survey well locations for monitoring the
Snake River plain aquifer. No USGS data is printed in this report pertaining
to these test wells. Figure 5.3 provides a description of the distribution
of tritium in the Snake River plain aquifer; Fig. 5.4 of the distribution
of 90Sr (pg. 5-6,7).
One of the more bizarre aspects of the INEL annual Site Environmental
Report, as well as other National Laboratory reports, is the measurement
of air concentrations of radioactive contaminants in millionths of curies
per thousandths of liters. Traditionally air contamination has been measured
in picocuries per cubic meter; the more up to date reporting units in use
throughout European communities are microbecquerels per cubic meter. One
milliliter equals one millionth of a cubic meter; use of this much smaller
reporting unit makes it almost impossible to record small changes in air
concentrations in contaminants deriving from source points at INEL or elsewhere
which might be indicative of ongoing releases. The minimum detectable air
concentration for gross beta analysis is listed at 5x10-15µCi/ml;
this data would be much easier to interpret if stated in microbecquerels
/ cubic meter, but ease of interpretation is the opposite of the goal of
this and other site environmental reports.
Ghuman, G.S. (1993). Distribution of Antimony-125, Cesium-137,
and Iodine-129 in the soil-plant system around a nuclear fuel reprocessing
plant. J. Environ. Radioactivity, 21, 161-176.
"Radiological environmental surveillance for 1995 found that most radioactivity
from INEL operations could not be distinguished from worldwide weapons
testing fallout and natural radioactivity" (pg. 17).
A total of 1,380 curies of airborne radionuclides were released in 1995;
99% of which was short-lived and nonreactive gasses. Of 84 curies released
to seepage ponds, 80 curies were from tritium. "All discharges directly
into the Snake River plains aquifer ceased in 1984" (pg. 17).
High volume air filters failed to detect any man-made radionuclides;
low volume air filters detected 12 man-made radionuclides at 9 locations
Three on-site wells showed detectable concentrations of strontium; one
food sample showed a trace of radioactive iodine; INEL cesium and cobalt
contaminated soils resulted in slight contamination of prong-horned antelope
and mule deer. Waterfowl continued to show INEL derived cesium contamination,
but at much lower levels than documented in earlier reports (pg. 20-22).
This report makes the following observation "most concentrations represented
background radiation the source of which is natural processes in world
wide fallout" (pg. 22), another reminder that background radiation now
includes weapons derived and Chernobyl derived fallout.
Neither this nor the previous site environmental report contains any
detailed listing of nuclide specific or media specific data which would
enable the reader to better understand the INEL source points which might
contribute to the presence of anthropogenic radioactivity near this facility.
No mention is made of the cumulative fallout record of strontium, cesium,
or plutonium, nor is any necessary since the overall environmental monitoring
report is not detailed enough to differentiate the source points of these
radionuclides, nor to confirm the report observations that most contamination
does not derive from INEL operations.
||Total activity (mean)
Halford, D.K. et al. (February 1981). Radionuclide
Concentrations in Waterfowl using a Liquid Radioactive Disposal Area and
the Potential Radiation Dose to Man. Health Physics. 40. p. 173-181.
|Unknown, before 1980
||Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
||5,400,000 pCi/kg (200,000 Bq/kg fresh weight)
|Unknown, before 1980
||Idaho National Engineering Laboratory
||1,300,000,000 pCi/kg fresh weight (4,816,000 Bq/kg)
Lockheed Martin Idaho Technologies Company. (August 1995).
comprehensive inventory of radiological and nonradiological contaminants
in waste buried in the subsurface disposal area of the INEL RWMC during
the years 1952-1983. INEL-95/0310, Rev. 1. Idaho National Engineering
Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID.
These are the highest levels ever recorded in unclassified
literature for contamination of waterfowl within the U.S.A. Prior to capture,
these waterfowl had been feeding in the high-level waste effluent percolation
ponds located in the Test Reactor Area at
Deconstruction and deactivation of components of this
Test Reactor Area were begun in June of 1995 (see INEL Site Environmental
Report for Calendar Year 1995 referenced below, page 3-14.) The TRA
ponds are the probable locations of significant discharges of uncontained
high-level wastes during the early years of the operation of this facility.
Livermore National Laboratory
|Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Environmental
Report 1995. (September 3, 1996). Howard L. Lentzner, Editor. UCRL-50027-95,
Distribution Category UC-702. http://www.llnl.gov/saer.
One of a number of US DOE nuclear weapons research laboratories,
the two sites comprising the LLNL, while not probable locations of a significant
quantity of missing military high-level wastes, are the subject of federally
mandated environmental monitoring reports as a result of weapons research
and testing activities.
"Typical gross alpha activity (median value) for the LLNL
[air monitoring] perimeter network is 2.2 x 10-13 Bq/mL (2.2
x 10-7 Bq/m3...) typical gross beta activity (median
value) for the LLNL perimeter is 4.1 x 10-10 Bq/mL (4.1 x 10-4
Bq/m3)" (pg. 4-5).
Soil and sediment monitoring produced the following average
"Background levels of 239+240Pu are given as
.22 x 10-3 Bq/gm (.22 Bq/Kg)." (pg. 10.5)
"The slightly higher values near the Livermore site have
been attributed to historic operations, which included the operation of
solar evaporators for plutonium-containing liquid waste in the south east
quadrant... LLNL no longer operates solar evaporators or any other open
air treatment of plutonium containing waste, nonetheless, 239+240Pu
from historic operations is carried off site by resuspension of soil by
wind." (pg. 10.5)
239+240Pu levels are noted as follows: Livermore
Valley .09 x 10-3 Bq/dry g (.09 Bq/Kg) median; 1.1 Bq/Kg maximum;
Livermore Water Reclamation Plant (LWRP) 3.5 Bq/Kg median; 25 Bq/Kg maximum;
Livermore site sediments .07 Bq/Kg median; 3.3 Bq/Kg maximum. (pg. 10.5).
While most plutonium is attributed to stratospheric weapons
testing fallout, "an estimated 1.2 x 109 Bq (32 mCi) plutonium
released to the sewer in 1967 and first observed in soils near LWRP during
the early 1970's again were detected at LWRP sampling locations." (pg.
10.5). One related location was identified in a 1993 EPA sampling "as containing
more than the EPA industrial preliminary remediation goal (PRG) of 0.37
Bq/g (10 pCi/g); the location contained up to 11.5 pCi/g of 239/240Pu."
137Cs levels are noted as follows: Livermore
Valley soils 2.6 x 10-3 Bq/dry g (2.6 Bq/Kg) median; 8.1 Bq/Kg
maximum; LWRP and Livermore site sediment contamination is noted as slightly
lower than the off site levels of contamination for this weapons fallout
radionuclide. (pg. 10.6).
This detailed environmental report, along with providing
excellent circa 1995 baseline data on levels of anthropogenic radioactivity
in a California location upwind of most weapons testing sites, contains
an extensive list of LLNL Environmental Protection Department publications
which provide extensive documentation of the history of weapons testing
contamination and monitoring at this location, as well as an excellent
Gallegos, G. (1995). Surveillance monitoring of soils
for radioactivity: Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 1976 to 1992.
Physics. 69(4). pg. 487-493.
Sullivan, T.J., Nasstrom, J.S. and Greenly, G.D. ARAC:
Early phase dose assessment for the DOE FRMAP. UCRL--101355-Rev.1,
DE90 001052. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
"239+240Pu data for locations downwind from
the Livermore site were found to be statistically significantly higher
than for upwind locations." (pg. 487).
"In the event of a radiological accident that leads to implementation
of the FRERP [U.S. Federal Radiological Emergency Response Plan], DOE is
responsible for activating the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment
Program (FRMAP). ARAC [Atmospheric Release Advisory Capability] is the
modeling o...mulation capability that would provide the FRMAP with initial
consequence assessments and visual depictions of an accident's impact.
From first alert until full staffing and activation of the Federal Radiological
Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC), ARAC's calculations would be
a primary source of consequence estimation. Once the FRMAC measurement
and monitoring systems are activated (18-24 hours), the ARAC calculations
begin to transition over to roles such as (1) a reference for measurement
data consistency checks, (2) source term derivation (if unknown) from measurements
and model simulations, (3) material mass budget reconciliations, and (4)
long range consequence, detectability, and ultimate fate in the environment."
This 43 square mile national laboratory was established
in 1943 to design develop and test nuclear weapons. The BEMR report (1996)
cited at the beginning of this part of RADNET section 11 notes "an important
function of the laboratory has been processing plutonium metal and alloys
from nitrates solution feedstock provided by other production facilities
... 1945 - 1978. Other operations included reprocessing nuclear fuel, processing
polonium and actinium, and producing nuclear weapons components" (BEMR
vol. 3, pg. New Mexico 26). "A major source of environmental contamination
was waste being discharged into the environment or buried in material disposal
areas ... residual contamination may exist in more than 7 million cubic
meters, primarily soils and sediments ... in approximately 2100 potential
release sites" (BEMR vol. 3, pg. New Mexico 27). The BEMR report divides
major environmental restoration activities into six field units, with a
detailed description of restoration activities in each unit. Total life
cycle cost estimates for this location are $623,650,000. Excellent maps
are included in the BEMR summary.
Graf, William L., (1994). Plutonium and the Rio Grande:
Environmental Change and Contamination in the Nuclear Age. Oxford University
Press, New York, Oxford.
Haagenstad, H.T., Gonzales, G., and Suazo, I. L., (November,
1993). Radioactive liquid waste treatment facility: environmental information
document. DOE Contract W7405ENG36. Sup.Doc.Num. E 1.99:DE95003618.
NTIS Order Number DE95003618. Primary Report Number: LA-UR--94-1507. 115pp.
An excellent bioregional survey of the plutonium inventory
of sediments in the northern Rio Grande system, with a central focus on
the mass budgets of surface water and plutonium bearing river sediments.
Two primary source points of plutonium are considered
in this study: the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the nearby (upwind)
Nevada Test Site.
"between 1945 and 1952 LANL handled large amounts of plutonium
as part of the Manhattan project ... during this time the laboratory emptied
untreated plutonium waste into the alluvium of Los Alamos Canyon. After
1952, the laboratory released relatively small amounts of treated plutonium
waste ... the plutonium was absorbed onto sedimentary particles ... the
fate of those sediments is also the fate of the plutonium" (pg. 3).
"Acid sewers, consisting mostly of buried pipes with some
links above ground, carried the untreated liquid across the mesa top at
Los Alamos through a main line that ended on the north edge of Acid Canyon
... a short distance down stream it joins Pueblo Canyon ... to Los Alamos
Canyon, which leads to the Rio Grande." (pg. 113).
1943 - 1950 releases are possibly as high as 3,000 mCi
(Lane, 1985) ... Graf uses a minimum estimate of 150 mCi distributed at
an average rate of 25 mCi/year .... "If the empirical data that Lane used
are correct, the rate could have been 3 to 30 times higher than this minimum
value" (pg. 123, 124).
Table 7.2 (pg. 125) summarizes Graf's release estimates;
the text itself provides a detailed history of LANL facility activities
and waste processing treatment.
Contribution of Los Alamos' LANL to the annual plutonium
flux in the entire system is estimated at 9%. (pg. 149). "90% of the plutonium
released at Los Alamos is still in the tributary canyon." (pg. 150). "The
canyon will contribute plutonium from Los Alamos for another 100 to 600
years depending on the magnitude of the original inventory." (pg. 240).
A definitive study of the relationship between plutonium
transport and geological processes, this excellent study provides a preliminary
glimpse of Los Alamos as a source point of anthropogenic radioactivity.
The comprehensive bibliography includes many interesting
Los Alamos related environmental surveys as well as the most important
of thousands of studies of plutonium and its behavior in the environment.
Hopefully the typographical error on page 30 (one picocurie
is not equal to 2.2 disintegrations per second) is not replicated
in the very liberal (i.e. low) estimates of LANL discharges in the early
years of its operation. Exactly 25 mCi/year 1945-1950?? And what other
radionuclides accompanied the discharge of plutonium at this location?
Hakonson, T.E. and Bostick, K.V. (1976). Cesium-137 and
Plutonium in Liquid Waste Discharge Areas at Los Alamos. In Radioecology
and Energy Resources. Edited by Cushing, C.E. Jr. Special Publication
1, Ecological Society of America. Dowden, Hutchinson & Ross, Stroudsburg,
PA. pg. 40-48.
"The RLWTF is 30 years old and nearing the end of its useful design
life. The facility was designed at a time when environmental requirements,
as well as more effective treatment technologies, were not inherent in
engineering design criteria. The evolution of engineering design criteria
has resulted in the older technology becoming less effective in treating
radioactive liquid wastestreams in accordance with current National Pollutant
Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and Department of Energy (DOE) regulatory
requirements. Therefore, ... LANL is in need of capabilities to efficiently
treat radioactive liquid waste onsite or to transport the waste off site
for treatment and/or disposal." (abstract summary).
Hanson, W.C. (1975). Ecological considerations of the
behavior of plutonium in the environment. Health Physics, 28,
Lane, L.J., Purtymun, W.D., and Becker, N.M. (1985).
Estimating Procedures for Surface Runoff, Sediment Yield, and Contaminant
Transport in Los Alamos County, New Mexico. Los Alamos National Laboratory
Report LA-10335-MS, UC-11. Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos,
"At Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory... three different
canyons have received Pu effluents at different time periods, providing
study areas of various "environmental ages" of Pu up to 30 yr." (p.533)
"The chronic input of low-level radioactive liquid effluent
into one of the canyons (Mortandad) over the past 10 yr has resulted in
and 239Pu concentrations in alluvial soils that are 2-3 orders
of magnitude higher than background samples and about 1000 times the concentration
in the discharge water." (p.533)
"Los Alamos Canyon, with the largest watershed of the
three, essentially "flushes" along its length each year. This apparently
accounts for Pu transport throughout its length to the Rio Grande River."
"Resuspension of Pu into the air mass above contaminated
soil occurs over a highly variable range of 10-2 to 10-11m-1..." (p. 529)
Nyhan, J.W., Drennon, B.J., Abeele, W.V., Wheeler,
M.L., Purtymun, W.D., Trujillo, G., Herrera, W.J., and Booth, J.W. (1985).
Distribution of Plutonium and Americium Beneath a 33-Year-Old Liquid Waste
Disposal Site. Journal of Environmental Quality. vol. 14. pg. 501-9.
Purtymun, W.D., Johnson, G.L., and John, E.C. (1966).
of Radioactivity in the Alluvium of a Disposal Area at Los Alamos, New
Mexico. U. S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 550-D. U. S. Geological
Survey, Washington, D.C.
Purtymun, W.D. (1971). Plutonium in Stream Channel
Alluvium in the Los Alamos Area, New Mexico. (USAEC Report No. LA-4561).
Los Alamos, NM: Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.
Purtymun, W.D. (1974). Storm Runoff and Transport
of Radionuclides in DP Canyon, Los Alamos County, New Mexico. Los Alamos
National Laboratory Report LA-5744. Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los
Purtymun, W.D., Peters, R.J., Buhl, T.E., Maes, M.N.,
and Brown, F.H. (1987). Background concentrations of Radionuclides in
Soils and River Sediments in Northern New Mexico, 1974-1986. Los Alamos
National Laboratory Report LA-11134-MS, UC-11. Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Los Alamos, N.M.
Purtymun, W.D., Peters, R.J., and Maes, M.N. (1990).
of Plutonium in Snowmelt Runoff. Los Alamos National Laboratory Report
LA-11795-MS, UC-902. Los Alamos National Laboratory. Los Alamos, N.M.
Shroyer, J.A. (1998). Peering into Los Alamos; Secret
Mesa: Inside Los Alamos National Laboratory. John Wiley &
Sons, Inc., New York, NY.
Stoker, A., Ahlquist, A.J., Mayfield, D.L., Hanson,
W.R., Talley, A.D., and Purtymun, W.D. (1981). Radiological Survey of
the Site of a Former Radioactive Liquid Waste Treatment Plant (TA-45) and
the Effluent Receiving Areas of Acid, Pueblo, and Los Alamos Canyons, Los
Alamos, New Mexico. Los Alamos National Laboratory and U.S. Department
of Energy Report LA-8890-ENV, UC-70. Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los
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