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Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
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Conference: Presented at: Expert Group on Legacy Management, Oslo, Norway, Nov 17 - Nov 19, 2015
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United States

Citation Formats

Worthington, P, and Hamilton, T F. LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MARSHALL ISLANDS. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Worthington, P, & Hamilton, T F. LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MARSHALL ISLANDS. United States.
Worthington, P, and Hamilton, T F. 2016. "LESSONS LEARNED FROM THE MARSHALL ISLANDS". United States. doi:.
author = {Worthington, P and Hamilton, T F},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 9

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  • No abstract prepared.
  • The Marshall Islands Environmental Characterization and Dose Assessment Program has recently implemented waste minimization measures to reduce low level radioactive (LLW) and low level mixed (LLWMIXED) waste streams at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). Several thousand environmental samples are collected annually from former US nuclear test sites in the Marshall Islands, and returned to LLNL for processing and radiometric analysis. In the past, we analyzed coconut milk directly by gamma-spectrometry after adding formaldehyde (as preservative) and sealing the fluid in metal cans. This procedure was not only tedious and time consuming but generated storage and waste disposal problems. Wemore » have now reduced the number of coconut milk samples required for analysis from 1500 per year to approximately 250, and developed a new analytical procedure which essentially eliminates the associated mixed radioactive waste stream. Coconut milk samples are mixed with a few grams of ammonium-molydophosphate (AMP) which quantitatively scavenges the target radionuclide cesium 137 in an ion-exchange process. The AMP is then separated from the mixture and sealed in a plastic container. The bulk sample material can be disposed of as a non- radioactive non-hazardous waste, and the relatively small amount of AMP conveniently counted by gamma-spectrometry, packaged and stored for future use.« less
  • Concentrations of /sup 239 + 240/Pu are reported in tissues of several species of reef and pelagic fish caught at 14 different atolls in the northern Marshall Islands. Several regularities that are species dependent are evident in the distribution of /sup 239 + 240/Pu among different body tissues. Concentrations in liver always exceeded those in bone and concentrations were lowest in the muscle of all fish analyzed. A progressive discrimination against /sup 239 + 240/Pu was observed at successive trophic levels at all atolls except Bikini and Enewetak, where it was difficult to conclude if any real difference exists betweenmore » the average concentration factor for /sup 239 + 240/Pu among all fish, which include bottom feeding and grazing herbivores, bottom feeding carnivores, and pelagic carnivores from different atoll locations. The average concentration of /sup 239 + 240/Pu in the muscle of surgeonfish from Bikini and Enewetak was not significantly different from the average concentrations determined in these fish at the other, lesser contaminated atolls. Concentrations among all 3rd, 4th, and 5th trophic level species are highest at Bikini where higher environmental concentrations are found. The reasons for the anomalously low concentrations in herbivores from Bikini and Enewetak are not known.« less
  • Until 2004, the K Basins at Hanford, in southeastern Washington State, held the largest collection of spent nuclear fuel in the United States Department of Energy (DOE) complex. The K East and K West Basins are massive pools each holding more than 4 million liters of water - that sit less than 450 meters from the Columbia River. In a significant multi-year campaign that ended in 2004, Fluor Hanford removed all of the fuel from the two Basins, over 2,300 metric tons (4.6 million pounds), dried it, and then placed it into dry storage in a specially designed facility awaymore » from the River. Removing the fuel, however, did not finish the cleanup work at the K Basins. The years of underwater storage had corroded the metallic uranium fuel, leaving behind a thick and sometimes hard-packed layer of sludge that coated the walls, floors and equipment inside the Basins. In places, the depth of the sludge was measured in feet rather than inches, and its composition was definitely not uniform. Together the Basins held an estimated 50 cubic meters of sludge (42 cubic meters in K East and 8 cubic meters in K West). The K East sludge retrieval and transfer work was completed in May 2007. Vacuuming up the sludge into large underwater containers in each of the Basins and then consolidating it all in containers in the K West Basin have presented significant challenges, some unexpected. This paper documents some of those challenges and presents the lessons learned so that other nuclear cleanup projects can benefit from the experience at Hanford.« less
  • In many regards the study of materials and minerals by powder diffraction techniques are complimentary, with techniques honed in one field equally applicable to the other. As a long-time materials researcher many of the examples are of techniques developed for materials analysis applied to minerals. However in a couple of cases the study of new minerals was the initiation into techniques later used in materials-based studies. Hopefully they will show that the study of new minerals structures can provide opportunities to add new methodologies and approaches to future problems. In keeping with the AXAA many of the examples have anmore » Australian connection, the materials ranging from organics to battery materials.« less