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Title: The Off-Site Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs: Assessing Potential Environmental Liabilities through an Examination of Proposed Nuclear Projects,High Explosive Experiments, and High Explosive Construction Activities Volume 3 of 3

Abstract

This document presents the results of nearly six years (2002-2008) of historical research and field studies concerned with evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projects from the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs. The Plowshare Program's primary purpose was to develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. The Vela Uniform Program focused on improving the capability of detecting, monitoring and identifying underground nuclear detonations. As a result of the Project Chariot site restoration efforts in the early 1990s, there were concerns that there might be other project locations with potential environmental liabilities. The Desert Research Institute conducted archival research to identify projects, an analysis of project field activities, and completed field studies at locations where substantial fieldwork had been undertaken for the projects. Although the Plowshare and Vela Uniform nuclear projects are well known, the projects that are included in this research are relatively unknown. They are proposed nuclear projects that were not executed, proposed and executed high explosive experiments, and proposed and executed high explosive construction activities off the Nevada Test Site. The research identified 170 Plowshare and Vela Uniform off-site projects and many of these had little or no field activity associated with them. However, theremore » were 27 projects that merited further investigation and field studies were conducted at 15 locations.« less

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Desert Research Institute, Nevada University, Reno, NV (United States); Desert Research Institute (DRI), Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno,NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
OSTI Identifier:
1046576
Report Number(s):
Tech Rpt 111 DOE/NV/26383-22
TRN: US1203881
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC52-06NA26383
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Related Information: VOLUME 3 OF 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CHEMICAL EXPLOSIVES; CONSTRUCTION; DESERTS; EXPLOSIONS; EXPLOSIVES; LIABILITIES; MONITORING; NEVADA TEST SITE; NUCLEAR ENERGY; NUCLEAR EXPLOSIVES; UNDERGROUND EXPLOSIONS; This document presents the results of nearly six years (2002-2008) of historical research and field studies concerned with evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projects from the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs. The Plowshare Program’s primary purpose was to develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. The Vela Uniform Program focused on improving the capability of detecting, monitoring and identifying underground nuclear detonations. As a result of the Project Chariot site restoration efforts in the early 1990s, there were concerns that there might be other project locations with potential environmental liabilities. The Desert Research Institute conducted archival research to identify projects, an analysis of project field activities, and completed field studies at locations where substantial fieldwork had been undertaken for the projects. Although the Plowshare and Vela Uniform nuclear projects are well known, the projects that are included in this research are relatively unknown. They are proposed nuclear projects that were not executed, proposed and executed high explosive experiments, and proposed and executed high explosive construction activities off the Nevada Test Site. The research identified 170 Plowshare and Vela Uniform off-site projects and many of these had little or no field activity associated with them. However, there were 27 projects that merited further investigation and field studies were conducted at 15 locations.

Citation Formats

Beck Colleen M.,Edwards Susan R.,King Maureen L.. The Off-Site Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs: Assessing Potential Environmental Liabilities through an Examination of Proposed Nuclear Projects,High Explosive Experiments, and High Explosive Construction Activities Volume 3 of 3. United States: N. p., 2011. Web. doi:10.2172/1046576.
Beck Colleen M.,Edwards Susan R.,King Maureen L.. The Off-Site Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs: Assessing Potential Environmental Liabilities through an Examination of Proposed Nuclear Projects,High Explosive Experiments, and High Explosive Construction Activities Volume 3 of 3. United States. doi:10.2172/1046576.
Beck Colleen M.,Edwards Susan R.,King Maureen L.. Thu . "The Off-Site Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs: Assessing Potential Environmental Liabilities through an Examination of Proposed Nuclear Projects,High Explosive Experiments, and High Explosive Construction Activities Volume 3 of 3". United States. doi:10.2172/1046576. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1046576.
@article{osti_1046576,
title = {The Off-Site Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs: Assessing Potential Environmental Liabilities through an Examination of Proposed Nuclear Projects,High Explosive Experiments, and High Explosive Construction Activities Volume 3 of 3},
author = {Beck Colleen M.,Edwards Susan R.,King Maureen L.},
abstractNote = {This document presents the results of nearly six years (2002-2008) of historical research and field studies concerned with evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projects from the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs. The Plowshare Program's primary purpose was to develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. The Vela Uniform Program focused on improving the capability of detecting, monitoring and identifying underground nuclear detonations. As a result of the Project Chariot site restoration efforts in the early 1990s, there were concerns that there might be other project locations with potential environmental liabilities. The Desert Research Institute conducted archival research to identify projects, an analysis of project field activities, and completed field studies at locations where substantial fieldwork had been undertaken for the projects. Although the Plowshare and Vela Uniform nuclear projects are well known, the projects that are included in this research are relatively unknown. They are proposed nuclear projects that were not executed, proposed and executed high explosive experiments, and proposed and executed high explosive construction activities off the Nevada Test Site. The research identified 170 Plowshare and Vela Uniform off-site projects and many of these had little or no field activity associated with them. However, there were 27 projects that merited further investigation and field studies were conducted at 15 locations.},
doi = {10.2172/1046576},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2011},
month = {Thu Sep 01 00:00:00 EDT 2011}
}

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  • This document presents the results of nearly six years (2002-2008) of historical research and field studies concerned with evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projects from the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs. The Plowshare Program's primary purpose was to develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. The Vela Uniform Program focused on improving the capability of detecting, monitoring and identifying underground nuclear detonations. As a result of the Project Chariot site restoration efforts in the early 1990s, there were concerns that there might be other project locations with potential environmental liabilities. The Desert Research Institute conducted archivalmore » research to identify projects, an analysis of project field activities, and completed field studies at locations where substantial fieldwork had been undertaken for the projects. Although the Plowshare and Vela Uniform nuclear projects are well known, the projects that are included in this research are relatively unknown. They are proposed nuclear projects that were not executed, proposed and executed high explosive experiments, and proposed and executed high explosive construction activities off the Nevada Test Site. The research identified 170 Plowshare and Vela Uniform off-site projects and many of these had little or no field activity associated with them. However, there were 27 projects that merited further investigation and field studies were conducted at 15 locations.« less
  • This document presents the results of nearly six years (2002-2008) of historical research and field studies concerned with evaluating potential environmental liabilities associated with U.S. Atomic Energy Commission projects from the Plowshare and Vela Uniform Programs. The Plowshare Program's primary purpose was to develop peaceful uses for nuclear explosives. The Vela Uniform Program focused on improving the capability of detecting, monitoring and identifying underground nuclear detonations. As a result of the Project Chariot site restoration efforts in the early 1990s, there were concerns that there might be other project locations with potential environmental liabilities. The Desert Research Institute conducted archivalmore » research to identify projects, an analysis of project field activities, and completed field studies at locations where substantial fieldwork had been undertaken for the projects. Although the Plowshare and Vela Uniform nuclear projects are well known, the projects that are included in this research are relatively unknown. They are proposed nuclear projects that were not executed, proposed and executed high explosive experiments, and proposed and executed high explosive construction activities off the Nevada Test Site. The research identified 170 Plowshare and Vela Uniform off-site projects and many of these had little or no field activity associated with them. However, there were 27 projects that merited further investigation and field studies were conducted at 15 locations.« less
  • In order to assure development of a comprehensive and coordinated State response to the Nevada draft EA, the State Nuclear Waste Project Office (NWPO) performed an extensive review of the draft document and its supporting references. Comments were also solicited from other State agencies and from local governments in southern Nevada. The results of this overall State effort are contained in subsequent sections of this document. Because the draft EA and the decision process of which it is a part are of major importance to the state as a whole as well as to individual local communities (especially those inmore » southern Nevada), we have attempted to organize the State response in such a way as to clearly reflect areas of commonality without abridging the need for a clear delineation of issues of specific concern to local governments and individual State agencies. Part I of our response document focuses on those issues and topics that are considered to be of major concern. These comments are relatively general in nature and are organized according to subject area--not according to chapter or location in the draft EA. As such, this section represents something of an overview of our response to the document.« less
  • A page by page review of the geologic and mineral-resources considerations in DOE`s Yucca Mountain EA is included. This review does not cover geohydrological or earthquake/faulting considerations in any detail, as they are being reviewed in detail by others. Other, non-geologic errors of fact are also pointed out. It appears that the process of evaluation has been done backwards---possible sites have been selected for nongeologic reasons, then efforts made to make the geologic settings (for example: rock type) appear favorable. Additional, more detailed studies need to be made by organizations other than DOE or the US Geological Survey to cross-checkmore » the accuracy, completeness, and conclusions of existing studies.« less
  • Geochemical information relevant to the potential mobility of radionuclides at the Hanford Site and the Yucca Mountain site, candidate sites for high-level nuclear waste geologic repositories being developed by Department of Energy projects, is being evaluated by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Neptunium(V) sorption isotherms in three different basalt/synthetic groundwater systems were initiated this quarter. Uranium(VI) sorption isotherms were completed with McCoy Canyon basalt and synthetic groundwater GR-2. The control of U(VI) solutions at a level of {similar_to}10{sup -4} mol/L is apparently dominated by the precipitation of sodium boltwoodite. Different apparent concentration limits formore » uranium were obtained with GR-2 and GR-4 solutions. The results suggest that uranium sorption/solubility behavior could be substantially different in the various basalt units likely to be encountered by groundwater during migration from the waste package to the accessible environment. The EQ3/6 software package was implemented and tested on the ORNL computer system. 13 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.« less