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Title: Investigation of CTBT OSI Radionuclide Techniques at the DILUTED WATERS Nuclear Test Site

Abstract

Under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a verification regime that includes the ability to conduct an On-Site Inspection (OSI) will be established. The Treaty allows for an OSI to include many techniques, including the radionuclide techniques of gamma radiation surveying and spectrometry and environmental sampling and analysis. Such radioactivity detection techniques can provide the “smoking gun” evidence that a nuclear test has occurred through the detection and quantification of indicative recent fission products. An OSI faces restrictions in time and manpower, as dictated by the Treaty; not to mention possible logistics difficulties due to the location and climate of the suspected explosion site. It is thus necessary to have a good understanding of the possible source term an OSI will encounter and the proper techniques that will be necessary for an effective OSI regime. One of the challenges during an OSI is to locate radioactive debris that has escaped an underground nuclear explosion (UNE) and settled on the surface near and downwind of ground zero. To support the understanding and selection of sampling and survey techniques for use in an OSI, we are currently designing an experiment, the Particulate Release Experiment (PRex), to simulate a small-scale vent from an undergroundmore » nuclear explosion. PRex will occur at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). The project is conducted under the National Center for Nuclear Security (NCNS) funded by the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA). Prior to the release experiment, scheduled for Spring of 2013, the project scheduled a number of activities at the NNSS to prepare for the release experiment as well as to utilize the nuclear testing past of the NNSS for the development of OSI techniques for CTBT. One such activity—the focus of this report—was a survey and sampling campaign at the site of an old UNE that vented: DILUTED WATERS. Activities at DILUTED WATERS included vehicle-based survey, in situ measurements with high-purity germanium (HPGe) and hand-held LaBr3 systems, soil sampling with a variety of tools, and laboratory gamma spectrometric analysis of those samples. A further benefit of the measurement campaign was to gain familiarity with the many logistical aspects of performing radiological field work at NNSS ahead of the PRex. Many practical lessons concerning the proper methodologies and logistics of using the surveying and sampling equipment were noted. These Lessons Learned are compiled together in Appendix A. The vehicle-based survey was successful in that it found a previously unknown hotspot (determined to be 232Th) while it demonstrated that a better method for keeping a serpentine track without staking was needed. Some of the soil sampling equipment was found to be impractical for the application, though core sampling would not be the correct way to take soil samples for a fresh vent deposit (as opposed to an old site like DILUTED WATERS). Due to the site’s age, 137Cs was the only fission radioisotope identified, though others were searched for. While not enough samples were taken and analyzed to definitively link the 137Cs to DILUTED WATERS as opposed to other NNSS activities, results were consistent with the historical DILUTED WATERS plume. MDAs were compared for soil sampling and in situ measurements.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1083425
Report Number(s):
PNNL-22494
830403000
DOE Contract Number:  
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
CTBT, OSI, on-site inspection, in-situ measurements

Citation Formats

Baciak, James E., Milbrath, Brian D., Detwiler, Rebecca S., Kirkham, Randy R., Keillor, Martin E., Lepel, Elwood A., Seifert, Allen, Emer, Dudley, and Floyd, Michael. Investigation of CTBT OSI Radionuclide Techniques at the DILUTED WATERS Nuclear Test Site. United States: N. p., 2012. Web. doi:10.2172/1083425.
Baciak, James E., Milbrath, Brian D., Detwiler, Rebecca S., Kirkham, Randy R., Keillor, Martin E., Lepel, Elwood A., Seifert, Allen, Emer, Dudley, & Floyd, Michael. Investigation of CTBT OSI Radionuclide Techniques at the DILUTED WATERS Nuclear Test Site. United States. doi:10.2172/1083425.
Baciak, James E., Milbrath, Brian D., Detwiler, Rebecca S., Kirkham, Randy R., Keillor, Martin E., Lepel, Elwood A., Seifert, Allen, Emer, Dudley, and Floyd, Michael. Thu . "Investigation of CTBT OSI Radionuclide Techniques at the DILUTED WATERS Nuclear Test Site". United States. doi:10.2172/1083425. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1083425.
@article{osti_1083425,
title = {Investigation of CTBT OSI Radionuclide Techniques at the DILUTED WATERS Nuclear Test Site},
author = {Baciak, James E. and Milbrath, Brian D. and Detwiler, Rebecca S. and Kirkham, Randy R. and Keillor, Martin E. and Lepel, Elwood A. and Seifert, Allen and Emer, Dudley and Floyd, Michael},
abstractNote = {Under the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT), a verification regime that includes the ability to conduct an On-Site Inspection (OSI) will be established. The Treaty allows for an OSI to include many techniques, including the radionuclide techniques of gamma radiation surveying and spectrometry and environmental sampling and analysis. Such radioactivity detection techniques can provide the “smoking gun” evidence that a nuclear test has occurred through the detection and quantification of indicative recent fission products. An OSI faces restrictions in time and manpower, as dictated by the Treaty; not to mention possible logistics difficulties due to the location and climate of the suspected explosion site. It is thus necessary to have a good understanding of the possible source term an OSI will encounter and the proper techniques that will be necessary for an effective OSI regime. One of the challenges during an OSI is to locate radioactive debris that has escaped an underground nuclear explosion (UNE) and settled on the surface near and downwind of ground zero. To support the understanding and selection of sampling and survey techniques for use in an OSI, we are currently designing an experiment, the Particulate Release Experiment (PRex), to simulate a small-scale vent from an underground nuclear explosion. PRex will occur at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). The project is conducted under the National Center for Nuclear Security (NCNS) funded by the National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA). Prior to the release experiment, scheduled for Spring of 2013, the project scheduled a number of activities at the NNSS to prepare for the release experiment as well as to utilize the nuclear testing past of the NNSS for the development of OSI techniques for CTBT. One such activity—the focus of this report—was a survey and sampling campaign at the site of an old UNE that vented: DILUTED WATERS. Activities at DILUTED WATERS included vehicle-based survey, in situ measurements with high-purity germanium (HPGe) and hand-held LaBr3 systems, soil sampling with a variety of tools, and laboratory gamma spectrometric analysis of those samples. A further benefit of the measurement campaign was to gain familiarity with the many logistical aspects of performing radiological field work at NNSS ahead of the PRex. Many practical lessons concerning the proper methodologies and logistics of using the surveying and sampling equipment were noted. These Lessons Learned are compiled together in Appendix A. The vehicle-based survey was successful in that it found a previously unknown hotspot (determined to be 232Th) while it demonstrated that a better method for keeping a serpentine track without staking was needed. Some of the soil sampling equipment was found to be impractical for the application, though core sampling would not be the correct way to take soil samples for a fresh vent deposit (as opposed to an old site like DILUTED WATERS). Due to the site’s age, 137Cs was the only fission radioisotope identified, though others were searched for. While not enough samples were taken and analyzed to definitively link the 137Cs to DILUTED WATERS as opposed to other NNSS activities, results were consistent with the historical DILUTED WATERS plume. MDAs were compared for soil sampling and in situ measurements.},
doi = {10.2172/1083425},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {11}
}

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