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Six month study of radiation concentrations and
transport mechanisms at the Maxey Flats area of Fleming County, Kentucky.
(1974). Louisville, KY: Kentucky Department for Human Resources, Bureau
for Health Services, Office of Consumer Health Protection, Radiation and
Product Safety Branch.
"All Test Well gross alpha analysis showed readily detectable
alpha concentrations in the suspended portion of the sample." (p.5)
Moab, Utah is a typical uranium mill tailings plume
source point, one of hundreds of sites like this. It has been in the news
because of possible leaking into groundwater.
"This uranium mill, which operated from 1956 until
1984, was purchased by Atlas [Corp.] in 1962. Atlas completed demolition
and disposal of the mill facilities in 1996. Under Atlas's proposed plan
to cap the mill tailings pile in place, the pile will be recontoured and
covered with earthen material and rock to control radon emanations and
prevent erosion." (PRNewswire, Denver, March 11, from Yahoo on the World
"In a draft environmental impact statement released
in January , the federal agency [NRC] says reclaiming the tailings
mountain on site - as the mining company has proposed - is the best option.
But simply capping 130 acres of radioactive debris with earth and rock
doesn't sit well with Grand County Councilman Bill Hedden. He, along with
the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management and the state of Utah,
wants the sandy tailings moved away from the river. 'It's 11 million tons
of really nasty junk and it's going right in the groundwater,' Hedden says.
The nuclear agency says moving the pile will cost up to 10 times more than
capping it." (High Country News, March 18, 1996).
Clifford, F. (April 20, 1997). Leaking nuclear waste
imperils Colorado River; pollution: U.S. Agency plans to cap 130-acre mound
that lies near popular wilderness recreation area. Los Angeles Times.
Part A, pg. 1.
"The owner of the mill site, Denver Atlas Corp., concedes that the plan
to cap the tailings pile in place won't entirely stop nuclear waste and
other hazardous material from seeping into the river."
Laboratory, Miamisburg, Ohio
Alberts, J.J., Bobula III, C.M. and Farrar, D.T. A
comparison of the distribution of industrially released 238Pu
and fallout 239,240Pu in temperate, Northern United States soils.
of Environmental Quality, 9, 4, 592-596.
"Studies of 238Pu dispersed from the stack
of a nuclear fabrication facility in southwestern Ohio indicate that the
predominant deposition occurs within 8 km of the site." (p. 592)
Fuel Recovery Plant (MFRP), Morris, Illinois
More information is sought about this fuel reprocessing
The Nevada Test Site (NTS) is located approximately
65 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, and it, along with the Tonopah
Test Range, are situated approximately 150 miles northwest of Los Angeles,
California. It was the scene of 100 atmospheric and 828 underground nuclear
tests lasting from 1951 to 1992 (United States Nuclear Tests [DOE/NV-209
(Rev. 14) December 1994, pg. viii]). In August 1996 a final Environmental
Impact Statement was completed for the NTS (NTS/EIS) and on December 13,
1996 the Record of Decision (ROD) for the NTS/EIS was published in the
Federal Register (61 FR 65551). The decision allowed for the expanded use
of the test site and leaves the option open to resume underground nuclear
testing. The sites' primary mission continues to be associated with nuclear
U.S. Department of Energy. (January 1, 1998). Drawing
Back the Curtain of Secrecy: Restricted Data Declassification Decisions,
1946 to the Present (RDD-4). Office of Declassification, U.S. Department
of Energy. Washington, D.C.
Radioactive surface contamination is an issue that is briefly covered
in the BEMR report. The BEMR report indicates a total of 27,000 acres have
been contaminated as a result of weapons tests, "safety shots and plutonium
dispersion tests" (BEMR: Nevada 5). Total life cycle remediation costs
are estimated at $3,644,434,000.
In 1994, the DOE announced the declassification of certain data categories
which appeared in RDD-3. Presently these items are listed in:
Benjamin, T.M. (1995). Memorandum from T.M. Benjamin to
M. Pankratz: Selected NTS Underground Inventory Data, June 23, 1995.
A public request was made for certain items (presently listed at RDD-4,
VI.C.3.i. through n). Over two months later the following document was
generated and provided to the requester:
Later it was determined, through a Freedom of Information Request Response
(FOIA Request NV96061702), that the data in the Benjamin memo was a selected
subset of information extracted from the following, still classified, document:
Goishi, W., Esser, B.K., Meadows, J.W., Naboodiri,
N., Smith, D.K., Wild, J.F., Bowen, S.M., Baca, P.L., Olivas, L.F., Geoffrion,
C.G., Thompson, J.L. and Miller, C.M. (1995). Total radionuclide inventory
associated with underground nuclear tests conducted at the Nevada Test
Site, 1955-1992 (U). LA-CP-94-0222. Los Alamos National Laboratory.
Honeyman, B.D. (January 7, 1999). Geochemistry: Colloidal
culprits in contamination. Nature. 397(6714). pg. 23.
Kersting, A.B. et. al. (May 1998). Migration of plutonium
in groundwater at the Nevada Test Site. In: Smith, D.K. et. al. Hydrologic
resources management program and underground test area operable unit:
FY1997 progress report. UCRL-ID-130792. Technical Information Department,
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA. pg. 76-92.
"Contaminant transport in ground water is a contentious issue -- especially
when it comes to possible movement of radionuclides from nuclear test sites
or storage facilities. Analyses carried out in Nevada now implicate colloids
in the movement of plutonium from a nuclear detonation site. The case,
however, has yet to be clinched, and the broader interest in this example
lies in the questions it raises about identifying colloid-associated transport
in general." (abstract).
"Trace amounts of plutonium were discovered in a well drilled four-fifths
of a mile from the site of an underground nuclear explosion at the Nevada
Test Site." (Keay Davidson, January 6, 1999, San Francisco Examiner,
U.S. Department of Energy. (August 1996). Final
environmental impact statement for the Nevada Test Site and off-site locations
in the state of Nevada. (DOE/EIS-0243). Environmental Management, Nevada
Operations Office, U.S. DOE, North Las Vegas, NV 89030-4134. Vol. 1. Chapters
Discussions in the NTS/EIS, regarding the Benjamin memo, indicate
that the data is a list of the "...remaining radionuclide inventory in,
or within, 100 m (328 ft) of the water table (as of January 1994..." It
goes on to explain that this subset of tests represents approximately 38%
of the underground nuclear tests that were performed at the NTS (pg. 4-84
By assuming the data in this subset was representative of the radionuclides
deposited by the full set of underground nuclear tests, a rough estimate
was calculated for the total radionuclides remaining as of January 1, 1994.
The results follow.
Curies remaining as of
January 1, 1994
* Mass of 239Pu = 2,010 kg
= ~ 2 metric tons.
The NTS/EIS contains an estimate of the total NTS inventory as of
January 1, 1994. This figure is 3.0E+08 Ci. This figure compares favorably
with the independently derived value for tritium, shown above.
The above inventory resides in millions of tons of buried rock and
water. None of it appears in the DOE's Waste Management Integrated Data
Base Report--1995, nor is this material scheduled for removal or treatment
within the DOE's Environmental Restoration program.
The figures shown in the above table were scaled from the radionuclide
data provided in the Benjamin memo. An independent NTS researcher requested
the recently declassified data and then utilized it to estimate the total
source term of buried nuclear test debris at the Nevada Test Site. The
researcher, Vernon Brechin, can be contacted at email@example.com.
U.S. Department of Energy. Final programmatic Environmental
Impact Statement for stockpile stewardship and management-September 1996.
DOE-EIS-0236. Reconfiguration Group, Office of Technical and Environmental
Support, Defense Programs, DP-45, U.S. DOE, Washington, DC.
This is among the first reports to come to the attention of RADNET which
attempt to estimate inventories of weapons testing derived isotopes at
the Nevada Test Site.
Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee
The Oak Ridge site is one of the most contaminated
locations among the many weapons production sites being remediated by the
Dept. of Energy. The 1996 DOE Baseline Environmental Management Report
(BEMR) subdivides the Oak Ridge site into six sections including reservation
off site sources, the laboratory grounds themselves, the K-25 site (this
facility produced enriched uranium for weapons production, 1945-1987),
and the Y12 plant (site of an electromagnetic process to separate uranium
isotopes). The BEMR summary of Oak Ridge remediation sites runs to 130
pages of descriptions of contaminated buildings and waste disposal areas;
a lifetime of research could be spent on this one military source point
without a complete understanding of the impact of the activities carried
out at this location. ORNL was the site of the controversial deep well
injection of radioactive waste at the hydrofracturing facility at this
location. Life cycle remediation costs are estimated in excess of 25 billion
dollars in the BEMR, (Vol. 3, pg. Tennessee 2) excluding geological disposal
and any future costs resulting from waste disposed in a manner that "no
feasible remediation approach [is] available." (BEMR, Vol. 1, pg. 3.9).
A recent report issued by the Dept. of Energy (Jan. 15, 1997) as a component
of current declassification efforts, indicates the Oak Ridge complex is
one of 22 sites where the storage of highly enriched uranium "could result
in the exposure of workers or the public to radiation." Out of 250 tons
of highly enriched uranium, three fourths of it is at the Oak Ridge Complex
(Associated Press, Jan. 15, 1997). Very little additional information is
available about the on site inventories of radioactive wastes at the Oak
Ridge facilities, which remain, along with Los Alamos, SRP, and Pantex,
among the most active weapons production and research facilities in the
United States. Important source points at Oak Ridge include the K25 plant
which was constructed beginning in 1943 and was the first diffusion facility
for large scale separation of 235U for nuclear weapons production,
and the Y12 plant which used an electro-magnetic process to separate uranium
isotopes. Extensive contamination at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
grounds, which are separated from these two plants, has also occurred since
its establishment in 1943. Environmental restoration activities at the
Oak Ridge facilities are so complicated that the description of these activities
in the BEMR report takes up a total of 128 pages. Total life cycle environmental
remediation for the entire complex of facilities at Oak Ridge are $25,137,392,000
including over 6 billion for the Y12 plant and over 7 billion for the K25
site as well as over 9 billion for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory itself.
ORNL is also the site of a recently constructed TSCA (Toxic Substances
Control Act) incinerator which is now accepting mixed wastes for incineration
from a variety of DOE facilities. The mixed wastes being burned in this
controversial incinerator include some ORNL wastes contaminated by a huge
mercury spill at ORNL which began in the 1950's and continued for over
a decade, as well as wastes from off-site facilities also contaminated
with mercury and heavy metals. The Oak Ridge Reservation is another example
of a plume source point where the effluents include not only radioactive
wastes, but also VOC's and heavy metals. The following descriptions and
quotations pertaining to ORNL facilities are taken from the 1996 Baseline
Environmental Management Report (BEMR) unless otherwise indicated.
OAK RIDGE K-25 SITE:
OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY:
"Most of the K-25 Site's process facilities were constructed in the
and 1950s. ... Environmental pollution resulted from accidental leaks,
spills, and discharges of radionuclides or chemicals into the environment.
It also resulted from the migration or deposition of contaminants from
the K-25 Site during gaseous diffusion operations or from storage and burial
grounds once deemed acceptable under standards in existence at that time.
... Some areas, such as old waste disposal grounds, will not be available
for other uses in the future." (pg. T-15, T-16).
"Major remedial action projects in the Main Plant are the K-1407 B and
C Ponds, the K-1070 C/D Burial Grounds, and the SW-31 Seep." These include
"... several ponds, waste accumulation areas, cooling towers, acid pits,
and burial grounds." (pg. T-17). The former ponds at K-1407 are considered
inactive "underground radioactive contamination areas. ... The assumed
remedial action for the remaining trenches and pits is capping, ground-water
monitoring, and institutional controls." (pg. T-18).
"The external plant area" includes two complex remediation sites, K-901
and K-770. These include burial grounds, disposal areas, holding ponds,
sludge beds, tanks, waste storage buildings, and other contaminated areas.
The pond waste management project includes dewatering, repacking and
disposing more than 70,000 drums of partially solidified sludge ... "remediation
of soil contamination around the K-1417 and K-1419 facilities is deferred
to future [C.E.R.C.L.A.] action." (pg. T-21). A summary of decommissioning
activities including an extensive description of non-radiological contaminants
is included on page T-23.
"In general order of priority, the wastestreams at the K-25 Site are
(1) mixed waste liquids to be treated in the Toxic Substances Control Act
Incinerator; (2) combustible solids also to be treated in the Incinerator;
(3) compressed gases; (4) aqueous liquids to be treated in existing facilities;
(5) unstabilized Pond Waste Management Project sludges ..." as well as
other wastes and toxic substance residues. (pg. T-29).
It is rather disconcerting to note that total life cycle remediation
costs for this component of the Oak Ridge Reservation drop from over 20
billion dollars in 1995 to just over 7 billion dollars in 1996. The BEMR
report alleges that this saving is a result of accelerating the decommissioning
activities in an era when virtually all other DOE remediation efforts are
being delayed, either due to reduced funding or the political and scientific
difficulties of implementing a final geological repository for waste disposal.
OAK RIDGE Y-12 PLANT:
"...the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Isotopes project, includes 19
former isotope production facilities that contain contaminated hot cells,
lab hoods, radioactive isotope inventories, radioactive waste, and active
instrumentation and utilities systems. ... the Oak Ridge National Laboratory
'High Rankers' project, includes 31 facilities that received a high threat
score in the Surplus Facilities Inventory Assessment. Major facilities
include the Tower Shielding Facility and Reactor; the Bulk Shielding Reactor;
the Integrated Processing Demonstration Facility; and the High Radiation
Level Analytical Facility. The other 27 facilities are associated ancillary
facilities." (PG. t-44).
"...the Environmental Restoration Program has identified approximately
350 sites contaminated with radioactivity or hazardous chemicals. Because
of the large number of contaminated sites and the complexity of the hydrologic
conditions at Oak Ridge, these sites have been combined into 20 waste area
groupings at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. ... waste area groupings
at the Laboratory are consolidated according to geographical location."
(pg. T-46). A site map on page T-42 in the BEMR provides a graphic of the
interconnected waste area groupings south of the main laboratory site and
adjacent to or upstream from White Oak Lake.
"Although additional facilities may transfer to the Environmental Management
program over time, the [BEMR] report only makes estimates for those
facilities that are now or are projected to be surpluses over the next
five years." (pg. T-43).
Waste area grouping 1 for example includes "gunite and associated tanks,
surface impoundments, core hole 8 and liquid low-level radioactive waste
tanks... including landfills and spill and leak sites ... contaminated
groundwater from some of these sites reaches White Oak Creek and its tributaries
through seeps" (pg. T-47).
"Waste Area Grouping 3 includes Solid Waste Storage Area 3, a closed
scrap-metal yard, and an active landfill. Solid Waste Storage Area 3 and
the closed scrap-metal yard are inactive landfills known to contain radioactive
solid waste and surplus materials generated at Oak Ridge from 1946 to 1979.
... The Surface Impoundments Operable Unit consists of four surface impoundments
located in the south central portion of the Bethel Valley Oak Ridge National
Laboratory facilities complex. ... Principal radionuclide contaminants
are strontium-90, cesium-137, and tritium. ... The Core Hole 8 plume of
contaminated ground water was discovered during Phase I ground-water investigations."
(pg. T-48, T-49).
"Contaminants of concern identified to date within Waste Area Grouping
2 are strontium-90; cesium-137; cobalt-60; thorium; uranium; transuranics;
metals (mercury, zinc, and chromium); and some organic compounds (including
polychlorinated biphenyls) located primarily in bottom sediments. These
contaminants have migrated from sources within Waste Area groupings 1 and
3 through 9. Consequently, Waste Area Grouping 2 is considered both an
'integrator' and conduit for contaminants moving through the surface-water
system to White Oak Creek and to offsite areas." (pg. T-51).
"Waste Area Grouping 5 consists of Solid Waste Storage Area 5 and the
surrounding land. Solid Waste Storage Area 5 opened in 1959, when Solid
Waste Storage Area 4 neared capacity, and closed in 1973. Although both
the Old Hydrofracture Facility and the New Hydrofracture Facility are within
this waste area grouping's boundaries, they are not included in its scope
of work. Solid Waste Storage Area 5 includes two distinct areas: Storage
Area 5 North and Storage Area 5 South. Storage Area 5 North is used mainly
for long-term storage of legacy transuranic waste and is currently an active
waste management facility operated by the Waste Management program. Before
1970, transuranic waste was buried in unlined trenches and auger holes.
After 1970, retrievable storage was required." (pg. T-52).
"Waste burials started at Solid Waste Storage Area 6 in 1969, and were
expanded to full-scale operation in 1973 when Solid Waste Storage Area
5 was closed. ... The major sites in Waste Area Grouping 7 are seven pits
and trenches used from 1951 to 1966 to dispose of liquid low-level waste.
... Waste Area Grouping 8 consists of the inactive Molten-Salt Reactor
(included in the Decontamination Section of this report) and the operating
High Flux Isotope Reactor with associated tank and piping systems, six
pipeline leak sites and an old transfer line, five surface impoundments,
a spoils area, and waste storage facilities operated with a Resource Conservation
and Recovery Act permit." (pg. T-52, T-53).
"Waste Area Grouping 9 is composed of four primary contaminated sites:
the Homogeneous Reactor Experiment settling pond impoundment, two buried
liquid low-level waste collection and evaporator tanks, a septic tank,
and the Homogeneous Reactor Experiment parking lot." (pg. T-53, T-54).
"Waste Area Grouping 10 consists of injection wells and subsurface grout
sheets constructed for hydrofracturing experiments conducted in the late
1950s and 1960s, followed by waste disposal operations until 1984. Although
the facilities built for these experiments, the Old Hydrofracture Facility
and the New Hydrofracture Facility, are located in Waste Area Grouping
5, they are included in the scope of this waste area grouping. In 1959,
grout consisting of diatomaceous earth and cement was experimentally injected
into an underground shale formation to observe the fracture pattern created
in the shale and to identify potential operating problems. The site of
the second hydrofracture experiment is in Waste Area Grouping 8. This experiment
was designed to duplicate and to scale actual disposal operation; however,
radioactive tracers were used instead of actual waste. Bentonite, cement,
and water tagged with cesium-137 were used in formulating the grout. ...
Preliminary data indicate that three of these wells are under artesian
pressure and may be providing a pathway for contaminated deep ground water
to reach zones overlying the waste injection zone, approximately 275 meters
(900 feet) below ground surface." (pg. T-54). The Integrated DataBase (IDB),
1994 indicates that 1.5 million curies of radioactive waste were injected
into the underground shale deposits as grout during the years of operation
of the Old Hydrofracture Facility. There is currently no way to verify
the accuracy of this estimate. Additional description of the Old Hydrofracture
Facility is contained on page T-59.
A number of additional Oak Ridge facilities are the object of DOE remediation
efforts. The X-10 site was the location of a graphite pilot reactor which
produced large quantities of lanthanum-140. Accidents involving the rupture
of radioactive slugs and associated chemical processing effluents resulted
in the release of substantial but unknown quantities of radioactive contamination;
the X-10 facility may be the only reactor where a contractor has overestimated
the reactor releases during the 1940's and 1950's (see comments in Nuclear
Wastelands, 1995, p. 232-233 by Makhijani et. al.). Other facilities undergoing
decommissioning at ORNL are the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment Facility,
the Homogeneous Reactor Experiment, the Shielded Transfer Tanks Facility,
the Oak Ridge Research Reactor, the Metal Recovery Facility "Building 3505",
the Fission Product Development Laboratory "Building 3517", the Graphite
Reactor "Building 3001", three buildings at the Low-intensity Test Reactor,
the Fission Product Pilot Plant (currently entombed), and the High-level
Chemical Development Laboratory "Building 4505".
A component of ORNL remediation includes in situ vitrification
involving "melting the entire mass of contaminated soil into a chemically
homogeneous and durable glass microcrystalline waste form. The melt dissolves
and incorporates radionuclides and nonvolatile hazardous elements such
as heavy metals and destroys organic components. Most semivolatile organics
are retained in the melt, and the small quantity of material escaping from
the melt is captured and treated. In situ vitrification could be
applied to other pits in Waste Area Grouping 7 and 'hot spots' in other
burial areas on the Oak Ridge Reservation and across the Department of
Energy complex to destroy organics and incorporate other components into
the chemically homogeneous and durable glassy product." (pg. T-53).
"Spent nuclear fuel ... Currently, spent nuclear fuel is stored in underground
retrievable dry storage units, above-grade buildings, hot cells, and wet
storage basins." (pg. T-69). The Integrated DataBase lists current inventories
of DOE spent fuel at ORNL as 21,988 kg located in a total of 10 buildings
or reactors; the BEMR lists 13 facilities as being used to store spent
fuel. No final repository is yet available for the disposal of this spent
fuel nor are any costs for this disposal included in the $9,351,000,000
remediation estimate for the ORNL laboratory component of the Oak Ridge
Transuranic mixed and transuranic wastes is divided into 3 categories
in the BEMR: remote handled transuranic sludges; contact handled transuranic
solids; and remote handled transuranic solids. No estimate of the radioactivity
of these transuranic wastes is provided in this report.
Other Oak Ridge Reservation remediation sites include the downtown Oak
Ridge Operations Office (total life cycle costs estimated at 2 billion
dollars) and the Oak Ridge Reservation Offsite Program involving the Clinch
River and Watts Bar Reservoir system encompassing 120 river miles which
has been contaminated by effluents from the White Oak Creek (life cycle
costs estimated at 267 million dollars). Radionuclides of interest in the
Clinch River included 60Co,137Cs, tritium, and 90Str.
Boyns, P.K. (June 1, 1980). An aerial radiological
survey of the Oak Ridge Reservation. Doc. No. EGG-10282-1001; EGG102821001.
Accession No. ORF01419. Never classified. Opennet entry date: 05/21/1996.
EG&G - Las Vegas Area Operations. 31 pp.
The Y-12 plant operated between 1943 and 1993 producing uranium isotopes
for weapons fabrication using an electromagnetic process which resulted
in the contamination of 23 facilities. Since this facility is still in
active use, the BEMR only estimates remediation costs in those buildings
which have been declared surplus; this includes 3 buildings with 1 million
sq. feet of floor space which were used for weapons production functions.
"Altogether over 200 areas of concern have been identified ... consolidated
into three hydrologic, geographic units." (pg. T-105).
Access and use of the sites in the Chestnut Ridge Hydrologic Region
"will remain restricted for the life cycle of this estimate ... The Bear
Creek Valley Watershed includes the following potential contaminant sources:
the S-3 Ponds (four unlined surface impoundments used for disposal of process
effluent), oil-retention ponds, an oil landfarm, waste burial grounds,
a site used for a boneyard and burnyard, two spoil areas, and a storage
yard. ... Numerous primary and secondary sources of contamination have
been identified within the Upper East Fork Poplar Creek Characterization
Area. Infiltration from the S-3 Area dominates contamination in the western
end of the area. The salvage yard, the S-2 Area, and the 81-10 Area have
also been identified as potentially significant sources. In addition, over
200 areas of concern have been identified as low-priority contaminant sources."
(pg. T-106, T-107, T-109).
"Low-level waste generated and managed at the Oak Ridge Y-12 plant is
predominantly contaminated with uranium isotopes ... This baseline report
assumes that a total of 390,000 cubic meters (510,900 cubic yards) of solid
low-level waste will transfer to the waste management program over the
life cycle of this program." (pg. T-119).
An excellent summary of hazardous substances released to the environment
at the Oak Ridge Reservation is contained in Nuclear Wastelands
p. 230-231, Table 6.6, (Makhijani et. al. 1995). These substances include
groundwater contamination by a variety of radionuclides, heavy metals,
and the numerous volatile organic compounds (VOC's) used in weapons production
and fuel reprocessing and other activities at ORNL.
Carrigan, P.H., Jr. (1969). Inventory of Radionuclides
in Bottom Sediment of the Clinch River, Eastern Tennessee. U.S. Geological
Survey Professional Paper 433-I. U.S. Geological Survey, Washington, D.C.
"This survey was the third for Oak Ridge Reservation, the first two
being conducted in 1973 and 1974. Such surveys are part of the routine
environmental surveillance program conducted by the Department of Energy."
ChemRisk. (June 1993). Identification of important
environmental pathways for materials released from the Oak Ridge Reservation.
report of project tasks 3 and 4 prepared for the Tennessee Department of
Health Division of Environmental Epidemiology. McLaren/Hart Environmental
Engineering, Alameda, CA.
For another clincher of a survey, also see Paper 433-G.
Cletcher, J.W. (July-September 1996). Reactor shutdown
experience. Nuclear Safety: Technical Progress Journal. 37(3). pg.
Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board. (September
27, 1994). Y-12 Plant Conduct of Operations. Recommendation 94-4
to the Secretary of Energy pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 2286a(5) Atomic Energy
Act of 1954, as amended.
Garten, C.T., Bondietti, E.A. and Walker, R.L. (1981).
Comparative uptake of uranium, thorium, and plutonium by biota inhabiting
a contaminated Tennessee floodplain. J. Environ. Qual. 10(2). 207-210.
"...a number of recent events have led the Board to the conclusion that
more aggressive and comprehensive management actions are required to bring
the level of conduct of operations at Y-12 to a satisfactory level."
"Most recently, the Board's staff identified a substantial violation
of nuclear criticality safety limits within a special nuclear material
storage vault at Y-12."
"Reviews of compliance with nuclear criticality safety limits at the
Y-12 Plant revealed that a widespread level of non-compliance exists."
"An evaluation of compliance with Operational Safety Requirements and
Criticality Safety Approvals (CVAs), including a determination of the root
cause of any identified violations. In performing this assessment, DOE
should use the experience gained during similar reviews at the Los Alamos
plutonium facility and during the recent 'maintenance mode' at the Pantex
"A comprehensive review of the nuclear criticality safety program at
the Y-12 Plant, including: the adequacy of procedural controls, the utility
of the nuclear criticality safety approvals, and a root cause analysis
of the extensive level of non-compliance found in recent reviews."
Garten, C.T. (1990). Dispersal of radioactivity by wildlife
from contaminated sites in a forested landscape. J. Environ. Radioactivity.
"U:Pu ratios in small mammal carcasses (shrews, mice, and rats) and
bone samples from larger mammals (rabbit, woodchuck, opossum, and raccoon)
were significantly greater (P<0.05) than U/Pu ratios in soil... The
order of actinide accumulation by biota from the site relative to contaminated
soil was U>Th ~/= Pu." (pg. 207).
||White Oak Lake
||Mallards: breast muscle average
||700 Bq/kg (19,900 PCi/kg)
King, L. and McCarley, W. (February 1, 1961). Plutonium
release incident of November 20, 1959. ORNL-2989. Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
"The emigration of frogs and turtles from waste ponds also presents
a potential for dispersal of radioactivity but over distances < 5 km."
"Radioactively contaminated areas at ORNL include floodplains which
received outfalls from past operations, sites of transfer line leaks, pits
and trenches used 25 years ago for the disposal of liquid radioactive wastes,
burial grounds for solid low-level radioactive wastes, and retired radioactive
waste treatment ponds or retention basins." (pg. 139).
King, A.L., Smyre, J.L. and Evers, T.K. (February 1995).
Environmental Research and Development Project FY 1994: Assessing national
remote sensing technologies for use in US Department of Energy Environmental
Restoration Activities, Oak Ridge Solid Waste Storage Area 4 case study.
Report no. ORNL/TM--12926. NTIS order no. DE95008962. Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, TN. 12 pp.
Marietta, M. (December 1990). The ultimate disposition
of depleted uranium. DE91-006414, K/ETO-44. Martin Marietta Energy
Systems, Inc., U. S. Department of Energy, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
"During FY 1994, the Oak Ridge Environmental Restoration (ER) Remote
Sensing Program [etc.] ... conduct[ed] a test and demonstration of the
uses of national remote sensing technologies at DOE hazardous waste sites
located in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Objectives of the Oak Ridge study were
to determine if national remote sensing technologies are useful in conducting
prescreening, characterization, and/or monitoring activities to expedite
the clean-up process at hazardous waste sites and to cut clean-up costs
wherever possible." (abstract).
Oak Ridge National Laboratory. (May 1960). Radioisotopes:
Special materials and services: Catalog and price list. 3rd Revision
5-60. ORNL, Oak Ridge, TN.
Stow, S.H. (July - September 1996). Attitudes and practices
regarding disposal of liquid nuclear waste at Clinton Laboratories in the
very early years: A historical analysis. Nuclear Safety: Technical Progress
Journal. 37(3). pg. 181-202.
"Since August 2, 1946, Oak Ridge National Laboratory has been distributing
radioisotopes for commercial, educational, research, and medical use. During
this time the techniques of manufacturing, handling, packaging, and shipping
relatively large amounts of highly purified radioisotopes have been developed
to the point where most of the operations are now routine and similar to
those of regular industry. At the present time, more than 100 different
radioisotope preparations are produced and distributed by the Laboratory
to customers licensed by the United States Atomic Energy Commission." (forward).
"Cesium-137 - Barium-137m gamma sources. ... Chemical form: CsCl ...
Price: 0-20,000 c $2.00/c or fraction
20,000-100,000 c $150/c
Over 100,000 c $ 1.00/c
Source fabrication - Radiographic - $250 - up to 130 curies
Teletherapy - $500 - 500 to 2000 curies" (pg. 160).
"Cesium-137 is one of the most important long-lived gamma-ray-emitting
isotopes found in the by-products of nuclear fission. It is adaptable for
use in teletherapy machines and by industry for radiography and various
other radiation work where a compact, long-lived source of gamma radiation
is required." (pg. 161).
Turner, R., Kamp, G., Bogle, M., Switek, J. and McElhaney,
R. (June 1985). Sources and discharges of mercury in drainage waters
at the Oak Ridge Y-12 Plant. Y/TS-90. Oak Ridge National Laboratory,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
"Liquid wastes were generated primarily from the separations building
(Building 205) where neutron-irradiated slugs of uranium were dissolved
to recover plutonium; resulting from this were liquid wastes rich in fission
products, organics, uranium, some plutonium, and nitrate. In addition,
similar wastes were produced at the research buildings (e.g., Building
706) and elsewhere. Amounts on the order of 30,000 gal/day were generated."
"Lower activity wastes were then sent directly to a 1.6-million-gal
settling basin; higher activity wastes went to storage in a series of underground
(gunite) tanks where radionuclides decayed and further precipitation occurred
... When the activity was low enough, the wastes were sent to retention
ponds, held for an average of 3 days, and then sent to the settling basin.
Out-flow from the basin was mixed (ratio 1:35) with clean process water
and released to White Oak Creek, which flowed into White Oak Lake, an artificial
lake specifically created to retain the drainage before controlled release
to the Clinch River, where further dilution (about 500 000:1) occurred."
"This method for disposal was used until the turn of the decade when
an evaporator was built to reduce total volume. Then wastes were disposed
of directly into seepage pits in shale; in the mid-1960s, these liquids
were mixed with cement and injected deep into the ground, a process known
as 'hydrofracture.'" (pg. 183).
An important analysis of radioactive waste treatment policies at only
one of the hundreds of U.S. military radioactive waste source points. Great
photos, especially of the first graphite reactor ("pile") at this facility.
Tuttle, M. and Pace, P. (1996). The ORNL Basemapping
and Imagery Project: data collection, processing and dissemination.
Report no. CONF-9603148--1. NTIS order no. DE96008802. Oak Ridge National
Laboratory, TN. 10 pp.
U. S. Department of Energy. (November 1987). Environmental
survey preliminary report, Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee. U.S. DOE,
"Over the past three years, the GIS and Computer Modeling (GCM) Group
at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), has been engaged in creating a
very comprehensive geospatial data base for Department of Energy (DOE)
installations managed by the DOE Oak Ridge Operations Office (DOE-ORO).
This effort encompasses topographic, planimetric, land use/land cover,
flood plain, digital elevation, and digital imagery data for the Oak Ridge
Reservation (ORR) and surrounding areas. The ORR covers approximately 34,800
acres and includes ORNL, the K-25 Site and the Y-12 Plant." (abstract).
U. S. Department of Energy. (October 1992). Oak
Ridge Reservation environmental report for 1991: Volume 1: narrative, summary,
and conclusions. ES/ESH-22/V1. U. S. DOE, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
U. S. Department of Energy. (January 15, 1993). Environmental
restoration and waste management Site-Specific Plan for the Oak Ridge Reservation;
FY 1993. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
"The purpose of this Site-Specific Plan (SSP) is to
describe the activities undertaken to implement the FYP goals at the DOE
Oak Ridge Field Office (DOE/OR) installations and programs specifically
for the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) and surrounding areas." (DOE EM abstract
U. S. Department of Energy. (September 1994). Fiscal
year 1993 well plugging and abandonment program summary report Y-12 Plant,
Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Report no. Y/SUB--94-99069C(Y13)/2. NTIS order
no. DE956009187. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, TN. 459 pp.
U. S. Department of Energy. (May 1998). Comprehensive
Integrated Planning: A Process for the Oak Ridge Reservation, Oak Ridge,
Tennessee. ORNL/M-6545. Prepared by Lockheed Martin Energy Research
Corporation and Lockheed Martin Energy Systems, Inc. for the U.S. DOE.
"This report is a synopsis of the progress of the well plugging and
abandonment program at the Y-12 Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, from October
1993 through August 1994. A total of 57 wells and borings were plugged
and abandoned during the period of time covered in this report. All wells
and borings were plugged and abandoned in accordance with the Monitoring
Well Plugging and Abandonment Plan for the U.S. Department of Energy, Y-12
Plant, Oak Ridge, Tennessee." (abstract).
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