skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Nevada National Security Site 2015 Waste Management Monitoring Report Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites

Abstract

Environmental monitoring data are collected at and around the Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites (RWMSs) within the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). These data include direct radiation exposure, as well as radiation from the air, groundwater, meteorology, and vadose zone. This report summarizes the 2015 environmental data to provide an overall evaluation of RWMS performance and to support environmental compliance and performance assessment (PA) activities. Some of these data (e.g., radiation exposure, air, and groundwater) are presented in other reports developed by National Security Technologies, LLC. Direct radiation monitoring data indicate exposure levels at the RWMSs are within the range of background levels measured at the NNSS. Slightly elevated exposure levels outside the Area 3 RWMS are attributed to nearby historical aboveground nuclear weapons tests. Air monitoring data show that tritium concentrations in water vapor and americium and plutonium concentrations in air particles are below Derived Concentration Standards for these radionuclides. Groundwater monitoring data indicate the groundwater in the uppermost aquifer beneath the Area 5 RWMS is not impacted by RWMS operations. Results of groundwater analysis from wells around the Area 5 RWMS were all below established investigation levels. Leachate samples collected from the leachate collectionmore » system at the mixed low-level waste cell were below established contaminant regulatory limits. During 2015, precipitation at the Area 3 RWMS was 0.9% above average, and precipitation at the Area 5 RWMS was 25% above average. Water balance measurements indicate that evapotranspiration from the vegetated weighing lysimeter dries the soil and prevents downward percolation of precipitation more effectively than evaporation as measured from the bare-soil weighing lysimeter. The 1.8 inches of precipitation in September reached the lowest sensors at 180 cm on the Cell 5S and 5N covers, however the sensors on the floor do not indicate any signs of the precipitation percolating thru the waste to the floor. Moisture from precipitation did not percolate below 150 centimeters (cm) (5 feet [ft]) in the vegetated final cover on the U-3ax/bl disposal unit at the Area 3 RWMS. A second remedial revegetation trial was done on the southern portion of the North Cover. In March 2015 it was determined that germination occurred on both the mulched and non-mulched treatments that were irrigated, but that no germination occurred on the non-irrigated treatments. By June the seedlings observed in March were gone, possibly grazed by rabbits which were observed inside the rabbit-proof fence. In August the entire area was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate in an attempt to minimize weed seed production. During 2015, there was no drainage through 2.4 meters (8 ft) of soil as indicated from the Area 3 drainage lysimeters that received only natural precipitation. Thirty-one percent of the applied precipitation and irrigation drained from the bare-soil drainage lysimeter, which received 3 times the natural precipitation. All 2015 monitoring data indicate that the Area 3 and Area 5 RWMSs are performing within expectations of the model and parameter assumptions for the facilities’ PAs.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1]
  1. National Security Technologies, LLC. (NSTec), Mercury, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
National Security Technologies, LLC. (NSTec), Mercury, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA); USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1378834
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/25946-2908
TRN: US1800504
DOE Contract Number:
AC52-06NA25946
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; LOW-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; GROUND WATER; RADIOACTIVE WASTE MANAGEMENT; RADIATION MONITORING; Environmental monitoring; Nevada National Security Site; radiation; air; groundwater; meteorology; vadose zone; tritium; plutonium; americium; lysimeter; precipitation; percolation; mixed low-level waste

Citation Formats

Black, David, and Hudson, David. Nevada National Security Site 2015 Waste Management Monitoring Report Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites. United States: N. p., 2016. Web. doi:10.2172/1378834.
Black, David, & Hudson, David. Nevada National Security Site 2015 Waste Management Monitoring Report Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites. United States. doi:10.2172/1378834.
Black, David, and Hudson, David. Sat . "Nevada National Security Site 2015 Waste Management Monitoring Report Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites". United States. doi:10.2172/1378834. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1378834.
@article{osti_1378834,
title = {Nevada National Security Site 2015 Waste Management Monitoring Report Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites},
author = {Black, David and Hudson, David},
abstractNote = {Environmental monitoring data are collected at and around the Area 3 and Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Sites (RWMSs) within the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS). These data include direct radiation exposure, as well as radiation from the air, groundwater, meteorology, and vadose zone. This report summarizes the 2015 environmental data to provide an overall evaluation of RWMS performance and to support environmental compliance and performance assessment (PA) activities. Some of these data (e.g., radiation exposure, air, and groundwater) are presented in other reports developed by National Security Technologies, LLC. Direct radiation monitoring data indicate exposure levels at the RWMSs are within the range of background levels measured at the NNSS. Slightly elevated exposure levels outside the Area 3 RWMS are attributed to nearby historical aboveground nuclear weapons tests. Air monitoring data show that tritium concentrations in water vapor and americium and plutonium concentrations in air particles are below Derived Concentration Standards for these radionuclides. Groundwater monitoring data indicate the groundwater in the uppermost aquifer beneath the Area 5 RWMS is not impacted by RWMS operations. Results of groundwater analysis from wells around the Area 5 RWMS were all below established investigation levels. Leachate samples collected from the leachate collection system at the mixed low-level waste cell were below established contaminant regulatory limits. During 2015, precipitation at the Area 3 RWMS was 0.9% above average, and precipitation at the Area 5 RWMS was 25% above average. Water balance measurements indicate that evapotranspiration from the vegetated weighing lysimeter dries the soil and prevents downward percolation of precipitation more effectively than evaporation as measured from the bare-soil weighing lysimeter. The 1.8 inches of precipitation in September reached the lowest sensors at 180 cm on the Cell 5S and 5N covers, however the sensors on the floor do not indicate any signs of the precipitation percolating thru the waste to the floor. Moisture from precipitation did not percolate below 150 centimeters (cm) (5 feet [ft]) in the vegetated final cover on the U-3ax/bl disposal unit at the Area 3 RWMS. A second remedial revegetation trial was done on the southern portion of the North Cover. In March 2015 it was determined that germination occurred on both the mulched and non-mulched treatments that were irrigated, but that no germination occurred on the non-irrigated treatments. By June the seedlings observed in March were gone, possibly grazed by rabbits which were observed inside the rabbit-proof fence. In August the entire area was sprayed with the herbicide glyphosate in an attempt to minimize weed seed production. During 2015, there was no drainage through 2.4 meters (8 ft) of soil as indicated from the Area 3 drainage lysimeters that received only natural precipitation. Thirty-one percent of the applied precipitation and irrigation drained from the bare-soil drainage lysimeter, which received 3 times the natural precipitation. All 2015 monitoring data indicate that the Area 3 and Area 5 RWMSs are performing within expectations of the model and parameter assumptions for the facilities’ PAs.},
doi = {10.2172/1378834},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Sat Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016},
month = {Sat Aug 20 00:00:00 EDT 2016}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share: