SciTech Connect

Title: Strontium-90 at the Hanford Site and its ecological implications

Strontium-90 at the Hanford Site and its ecological implications Strontium-90, a radioactive contaminant from historical operations at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Hanford Site, enters the Columbia River at several locations associated with former plutonium production reactors at the Site. Strontium-90 is of concern to humans and the environment because of its moderately long half-life (29.1 years), its potential for concentrating in bone tissue, and its relatively high energy of beta decay. Although strontium-90 in the environment is not a new issue for the Hanford Site, recent studies of near-river vegetation along the shoreline near the 100 Areas raised public concern about the possibility of strontium-90-contaminated groundwater reaching the riverbed and fall chinook salmon redds. To address these concerns, DOE asked Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to prepare this report on strontium-90, its distribution in groundwater, how and where it enters the river, and its potential ecological impacts, particularly with respect to fall chinook salmon. The purpose of the report is to characterize groundwater contaminants in the near-shore environment and to assess the potential for ecological impact using salmon embryos, one of the most sensitive ecological indicators for aquatic organisms. Section 2.0 of the report provides background information on strontium-90 at the Hanford Site related to historical operations. more » Public access to information on strontium-90 also is described. Section 3.0 focuses on key issues associated with strontium-90 contamination in groundwater that discharges in the Hanford Reach. The occurrence and distribution of fall chinook salmon redds in the Hanford Reach and characteristics of salmon spawning are described in Section 4.0. Section 5.0 describes the regulatory standards and criteria used to set action levels for strontium-90. Recommendations for initiating additional monitoring and remedial action associated with strontium-90 contamination at the Hanford Site are presented in Section 6.0. Appendix A describes monitoring methods. Appendix B discusses uncertainties associated with plume characterizations, and Appendix C provides an overview of studies on fish immuno-suppression and exposure to tritium. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:OSTI ID: 755352
Report Number(s):PNNL-13127; EW02J1110
R&D Project: 12674; EW02J1110; TRN: US0003451
DOE Contract Number:AC06-76RL01830
Resource Type:Technical Report
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: 22 May 2000
Research Org:Pacific Northwest National Lab., Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:US Department of Energy (US)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; HANFORD RESERVATION; ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS; STRONTIUM 90; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; CONTAMINATION; GROUND WATER; COLUMBIA RIVER; RADIATION MONITORING; BIOLOGICAL INDICATORS; SALMON