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Title: Assessment of strontium in the Savannah River Site environment

Abstract

This document on strontium is published as a part of the Radiological Assessment Program (RAP). It is the sixth in a series of eight documents on individual radioisotopes released to the environment as a result of SRS (Savannah River Site) operations. Strontium exists in the environment as a result of above-ground nuclear weapons tests, the Chernobyl accident, the destruction of satellite Cosmos 954, small releases from reactors and reprocessing plants, and the operation of industrial, medical, and educational facilities. Strontium has been produced at SRS during the operation of 5 production reactors. About 300 curies of radiostrontium were released into streams in the late 50s and 60s, primarily from leaking fuel elements in reactor storage basins. Smaller quantities were released from the fuel reprocessing operations. About 400 Ci were released to seepage basins. A much smaller quantity, about 2 Ci, was released to the atmosphere. The overall radiological impact of SRS releases on the offsite maximum individual can be characterized by total doses of 6.2 mrem (atmospheric) and 1.4 mrem (liquid), compared with a dose of 12,960 mrem from non-SRS sources during the same period of time. Radiostrontium releases have resulted in a negligible risk to the environment and themore » population it supports.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Westinghouse Savannah River Co., Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
10114315
Report Number(s):
WSRC-RP-92-984
ON: DE94005139; TRN: 94:002119
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-89SR18035
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: [1992]
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; 12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; RADIOACTIVE EFFLUENTS; STRONTIUM ISOTOPES; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; RADIATION HAZARDS; RISK ASSESSMENT; RADIATION DOSES; FUEL ELEMENTS; NUCLEAR WEAPONS; PRODUCTION REACTORS; REPROCESSING; MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE DOSE; FISSION PRODUCT RELEASE; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; PUBLIC HEALTH; HEALTH HAZARDS; 054000; 053000; 052000; HEALTH AND SAFETY; ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS; WASTE MANAGEMENT

Citation Formats

Carlton, W.H., Evans, A.G., Geary, L.A., Murphy, C.E. Jr., and Strom, R.N. Assessment of strontium in the Savannah River Site environment. United States: N. p., 1992. Web. doi:10.2172/10114315.
Carlton, W.H., Evans, A.G., Geary, L.A., Murphy, C.E. Jr., & Strom, R.N. Assessment of strontium in the Savannah River Site environment. United States. doi:10.2172/10114315.
Carlton, W.H., Evans, A.G., Geary, L.A., Murphy, C.E. Jr., and Strom, R.N. Thu . "Assessment of strontium in the Savannah River Site environment". United States. doi:10.2172/10114315. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10114315.
@article{osti_10114315,
title = {Assessment of strontium in the Savannah River Site environment},
author = {Carlton, W.H. and Evans, A.G. and Geary, L.A. and Murphy, C.E. Jr. and Strom, R.N.},
abstractNote = {This document on strontium is published as a part of the Radiological Assessment Program (RAP). It is the sixth in a series of eight documents on individual radioisotopes released to the environment as a result of SRS (Savannah River Site) operations. Strontium exists in the environment as a result of above-ground nuclear weapons tests, the Chernobyl accident, the destruction of satellite Cosmos 954, small releases from reactors and reprocessing plants, and the operation of industrial, medical, and educational facilities. Strontium has been produced at SRS during the operation of 5 production reactors. About 300 curies of radiostrontium were released into streams in the late 50s and 60s, primarily from leaking fuel elements in reactor storage basins. Smaller quantities were released from the fuel reprocessing operations. About 400 Ci were released to seepage basins. A much smaller quantity, about 2 Ci, was released to the atmosphere. The overall radiological impact of SRS releases on the offsite maximum individual can be characterized by total doses of 6.2 mrem (atmospheric) and 1.4 mrem (liquid), compared with a dose of 12,960 mrem from non-SRS sources during the same period of time. Radiostrontium releases have resulted in a negligible risk to the environment and the population it supports.},
doi = {10.2172/10114315},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1992},
month = {Thu Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 1992}
}

Technical Report:

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  • The current plan to dispose of high-level waste at the Savannah River Site uses monosodium titanate (MST) to remove soluble strontium and alpha-emitting radionuclides to levels acceptable for disposal in the Saltstone Production Facility. This report assesses the merits of the process using sodium permanganate, instead of monosodium titanate (MST), to remove soluble strontium and actinides from Savannah River Site high-level waste. It also describes the major elements of the recommended research and engineering.
  • This document summarizes the impact of radionuclide releases from Savannah River Site (SRS) facilities from 1954 through 1996. The radionuclides reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS.
  • A series of documents has been published that assesses the impact of various radionuclides released to the environment by Savannah River Site operations. The quantity released, the disposition of the radionuclides in the environment, and the dose to offsite individuals has been presented for carbon, cesium, iodine, plutonium, strontium, technetium, tritium, and uranium. An assessment of the impact of non-radioactive mercury also has been published.
  • Mercury has been valued by humans for several millennia. Its principal ore, cinnabar, was mined for its distinctive reddish-gold color and high density. Mercury and its salts were used as medicines and aphrodisiacs. At SRS, mercury originated from one of the following: as a processing aid in aluminum dissolution and chloride precipitation; as part of the tritium facilities` gas handling system; from experimental, laboratory, or process support facilities; and as a waste from site operations. Mercury is also found in Par Pond and some SRS streams as the result of discharges from a mercury-cell-type chlor-alkali plant near the city ofmore » Augusta, GA. Reactor cooling water, drawn from the Savannah River, transported mercury onto the SRS. Approximately 80,000 kg of mercury is contained in the high level waste tanks and 10,000 kg is located in the SWDF. Additional quantities are located in the various seepage basins. In 1992, 617 wells were monitored for mercury contamination, with 47 indicating contamination in excess of the 0.002-ppm EPA Primary Drinking Water Standard. More than 20 Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) reports and publications pertinent to mercury (Hg) have been generated during the last two decades. They are divided into three groupings: SRS-specific studies, basic studies of bioaccumulation, and basic studies of effect. Many studies have taken place at Par Pond and Upper Three Runs Creek. Mercury has been detected in wells monitoring the groundwater beneath SRS, but not in water supply wells in excess of the Primary Drinking Water Limit of 0.002 ppm. There has been no significant release of mercury from SRS to the Savannah River. While releases to air are likely, based on process knowledge, modeling of the releases indicates concentrations that are well below the SCDHEC ambient standard.« less
  • This document assesses the impact of radioactive activation products released from SRS facilities since the first reactor became operational late in 1953. The isotopes reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS: {sup 32}P, {sup 51}Cr, {sup 60}C, and {sup 65}Zn. Release pathways, emission control features, and annual releases to the aqueous and atmospheric environments are discussed. No single incident has resulted in a major acute release of activation products to the environment. The releases were the result of normal operations of the reactors and separations facilities. Releases declined over the yearsmore » as better controls were established and production was reduced. The overall radiological impact of SRS activation product atmospheric releases from 1954 through 1994 on the offsite maximally exposed individual can be characterized by a total dose of 0.76 mrem. During the same period, such an individual received a total dose of 14,400 mrem from non-SRS sources of ionizing radiation present in the environment. SRS activation product aqueous releases between 1954 and 1994 resulted in a total dose of 54 mrem to the offsite maximally exposed individual. The impact of SRS activation product releases on offsite populations also has been evaluated.« less