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Title: Historical records of radioactive contamination in biota at the 200 Areas of the Hanford Site

Abstract

This document summarizes and reports a literature search of 85 environmental monitoring records of wildlife and vegetation (biota) at the 200 East Area and the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site since 1965. These records were published annually and provided the majority of the data in this report. Additional sources of data have included records of specific facilities, such as site characterization documents and preoperational environmental surveys. These documents have been released for public use. Records before 1965 were still being researched and therefore not included in this document. The intent of compiling these data into a single source was to identify past and current concentrations of radionuclides in biota at specific facilities and waste sites within each operable unit that may be used to help guide cleanup activities in the 200 Areas to be completed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA). The 200 East Area and 200 West Area were the locations of the Hanford Site separation and process facilities and waste management units. For the purposes of this document, a sample was of interest if a Geiger-Mueller counter equipped with a pancake probe-indicated beta/gamma emitting radioactivity above 200 counts per minute (cpm), or ifmore » laboratory radioanalyses indicated a radionuclide concentration equaled or exceeded 10 picocuries per gram (pCi/g). About 4,500 individual cases of monitoring for radionuclide uptake or transport in biota in the 200 Areas environs were included in the documents reviewed. About 1,900 (i.e., 42%) of these biota had radionuclide concentrations in excess of 10 pCi/g. These radionuclide transport or uptake cases were distributed among 45 species of wildlife (primarily small mammals and feces) and 30 species of vegetation. The wildlife species most commonly associated with radioactive contamination were the house mouse and the deer mouse and of vegetation species, the Russian thistle.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Westinghouse Hanford Co., Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
10191138
Report Number(s):
WHC-MR-0418
ON: DE95001986; TRN: 94:022716
DOE Contract Number:
AC06-87RL10930
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Jun 1994
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; WILD ANIMALS; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; PLANTS; HANFORD RESERVATION; RADIOACTIVITY; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; CONTAMINATION; WASTE MANAGEMENT; ENVIRONMENTAL EXPOSURE PATHWAY; 053000; 054000; 052000; ENVIRONMENTAL ASPECTS; HEALTH AND SAFETY

Citation Formats

Johnson, A.R., Markes, B.M., Schmidt, J.W., Shah, A.N., Weiss, S.G., and Wilson, K.J. Historical records of radioactive contamination in biota at the 200 Areas of the Hanford Site. United States: N. p., 1994. Web. doi:10.2172/10191138.
Johnson, A.R., Markes, B.M., Schmidt, J.W., Shah, A.N., Weiss, S.G., & Wilson, K.J. Historical records of radioactive contamination in biota at the 200 Areas of the Hanford Site. United States. doi:10.2172/10191138.
Johnson, A.R., Markes, B.M., Schmidt, J.W., Shah, A.N., Weiss, S.G., and Wilson, K.J. 1994. "Historical records of radioactive contamination in biota at the 200 Areas of the Hanford Site". United States. doi:10.2172/10191138. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10191138.
@article{osti_10191138,
title = {Historical records of radioactive contamination in biota at the 200 Areas of the Hanford Site},
author = {Johnson, A.R. and Markes, B.M. and Schmidt, J.W. and Shah, A.N. and Weiss, S.G. and Wilson, K.J.},
abstractNote = {This document summarizes and reports a literature search of 85 environmental monitoring records of wildlife and vegetation (biota) at the 200 East Area and the 200 West Area of the Hanford Site since 1965. These records were published annually and provided the majority of the data in this report. Additional sources of data have included records of specific facilities, such as site characterization documents and preoperational environmental surveys. These documents have been released for public use. Records before 1965 were still being researched and therefore not included in this document. The intent of compiling these data into a single source was to identify past and current concentrations of radionuclides in biota at specific facilities and waste sites within each operable unit that may be used to help guide cleanup activities in the 200 Areas to be completed under the Comprehensive Environmental Response and Liability Act (CERCLA). The 200 East Area and 200 West Area were the locations of the Hanford Site separation and process facilities and waste management units. For the purposes of this document, a sample was of interest if a Geiger-Mueller counter equipped with a pancake probe-indicated beta/gamma emitting radioactivity above 200 counts per minute (cpm), or if laboratory radioanalyses indicated a radionuclide concentration equaled or exceeded 10 picocuries per gram (pCi/g). About 4,500 individual cases of monitoring for radionuclide uptake or transport in biota in the 200 Areas environs were included in the documents reviewed. About 1,900 (i.e., 42%) of these biota had radionuclide concentrations in excess of 10 pCi/g. These radionuclide transport or uptake cases were distributed among 45 species of wildlife (primarily small mammals and feces) and 30 species of vegetation. The wildlife species most commonly associated with radioactive contamination were the house mouse and the deer mouse and of vegetation species, the Russian thistle.},
doi = {10.2172/10191138},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1994,
month = 6
}

Technical Report:

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  • An estimation of plutonium in the Hanford Site waste storage tanks is important to nuclear criticality concerns. A reasonable approach for estimating the plutonium in the tanks can be established by considering the recovery efficiency of the chemical separation plants on the plutonium produced in the Hanford reactors. The waste loss from the separation processes represents the bulk of the plutonium in the waste tanks. The lesser contributor of plutonium to the waste tanks was the Plutonium Finishing Plant (PFP). When the PFP waste is added to the plutonium waste from separations, the result is the total estimated amount ofmore » plutonium discharged to the waste tanks at the Hanford Site. This estimate is for criticality concerns, and therefore is based on conservative assumptions (giving higher plutonium values). The estimate has been calculated to be {approx}981 kg of plutonium in the single- and double-shell high-level waste tanks.« less
  • The purpose of this report is to identify and evaluate the state-of-the-art techniques for characteriza¬tion of chromate contamination in the vadose zone of the 100 Areas at the Hanford Site. The techniques include direct techniques for analysis of chromium in the subsurface as well as indirect techniques to identify contamination through geophysical properties, soil moisture, or co-contaminants. Characteri¬zation for the distribution of chromium concentration in the vadose zone is needed to assess potential sources for chromate contamination plumes in groundwater at the 100-D, 100-K, and 100-B/C Areas.
  • This report contains the results of a study sponsored by UNC Nuclear Industries to determine Allowable Residual Contamination Levels (ARCL) for five generic categories of facilities in the 100 Areas of the Hanford Site. The purpose of this study is to provide ARCL data useful to UNC engineers in conducting safety and cost comparisons for decommissioning alternatives. The ARCL results are based on a scenario/exposure-pathway analysis and compliance with an annual dose limit for three specific modes of future use of the land and facilities. These modes of use are restricted, controlled, and unrestricted. The information on ARCL values formore » restricted and controlled use provided by this report is intended to permit a full consideration of decommissioning alternatives. ARCL results are presented both for surface contamination remaining in facilities (in dpm/100 cm/sup 2/), and for unconfined surface and confined subsurface soil conditions (in pCi/g). Two confined soil conditions are considered: contamination at depths between 1 and 4 m, and contamination at depths greater than or equal to 5 m. A set of worksheets are presented in an appendix for modifying the ARCL values to accommodate changes in the radionuclide mixture or concentrations, to consider the impacts of radioactive decay, and to predict instrument responses. Finally, a comparison is made between the unrestricted release ARCL values for the 100 Area facilities and existing decommissioning and land disposal regulations. For surface contamination, the comparison shows good agreement. For soil contamination, the comparison shows good agreement if reasonable modification factors are applied to account for the differences in modeling soil contamination and licensed low-level waste.« less
  • The 200 East and 200 West Areas at the Department of Energy`s Hanford site in southeastern Washington, contain chemical and nuclear fuel processing facilities that disposed of large volumes of chemical and radionuclide effluents to the ground via various structures such as ponds, cribs and ditches. A geophysical logging investigation was implemented in 1992 to assess the nature and extent of contamination beneath select liquid disposal sites in the 200 Areas. The borehole geophysical logging was accomplished with a recently developed spectral gamma-ray logging system called the Radionuclide Logging System (RLS). This system has a high-resolution, intrinsic germanium detector mountedmore » in a downhole probe and is calibrated and operated specifically for use in a borehole environment. It provides a means to develop in-situ, gamma-emitting radioelement concentration profiles. Approximately 50 boreholes were logged in this study. The RLS log data provided information about the migration and deposition patterns of specific radionuclides in the unsaturated zone and their impacts on the groundwater. Approximately 10 radionuclide species were detected and quantified. Results of the field investigation are being used to refine site specific conceptual models, support Hanford Site remediation decisions and focus future characterization activities.« less
  • The Decommissioning and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act Closure Program ensures safe and cost-effective surveillance, maintenance, and decommissioning of surplus facilities and Resource Conservation and Recovery Act closures at the Hanford Site and reports to the US Department of Energy, Richland Field Office. This program also manages the Radiation Area Remedial Action, which includes the surveillance, maintenance, decontamination, and/or interim stabilization of inactive burial grounds, cribs, ponds, trenches, and unplanned release sites. This report addresses only the Radiation Area Remedial Action activity requirements for managing and controlling the contaminated surface soil areas associated with these inactive sites until they aremore » remediated as part of the Hanford Site environmental restoration process.« less