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Title: Conceptual Model of Iodine Behavior in the Subsurface at the Hanford Site

Abstract

Isotopes of iodine were generated during plutonium production within the nine production reactors at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site. The short half-life 131I that was released from the fuel into the atmosphere during the dissolution process (when the fuel was dissolved) in the Hanford Site 200 Area is no longer present at concentrations of concern in the environment. The long half-life 129I generated at the Hanford Site during reactor operations was (1) stored in single-shell and double-shell tanks, (2) discharged to liquid disposal sites (e.g., cribs and trenches), (3) released to the atmosphere during fuel reprocessing operations, or (4) captured by off-gas absorbent devices (silver reactors) at chemical separations plants (PUREX, B-Plant, T-Plant, and REDOX). Releases of 129I to the subsurface have resulted in several large, though dilute, plumes in the groundwater. There is also 129I remaining in the vadose zone beneath disposal or leak locations. The fate and transport of 129I in the environment and potential remediation technologies are currently being studied as part of environmental remediation activities at the Hanford Site. A conceptual model describing the nature and extent of subsurface contamination, factors that control plume behavior, and factors relevant to potential remediation processes is neededmore » to support environmental remedy decisions. Because 129I is an uncommon contaminant, relevant remediation experience and scientific literature are limited. In addition, its behavior in subsurface is different from that of other more common and important contaminants (e.g., U, Cr and Tc) in terms of sorption (adsorption and precipitation), and aqueous phase species transformation via redox reactions. Thus, the conceptual model also needs to both describe known contaminant and biogeochemical process information and identify aspects about which additional information is needed to effectively support remedy decisions.« less

Authors:
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  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1419157
Report Number(s):
PNNL-24709 Rev. 2
830403000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Truex, Michael J., Lee, Brady D., Johnson, Christian D., Qafoku, Nikolla, Szecsody, James E., Kyle, Jennifer E., Tfaily, Malak M., Snyder, Michelle MV, Cantrell, Kirk J., Saunders, Danielle L., Lawter, Amanda R., Oostrom, Martijn L., Tartakovsky, Guzel D., Leavy, Ian I., McElroy, Erin M., Appriou, Delphine, Sahajpal, Rahul, Carroll, Matthew M., Chu, Rosalie K., Cordova, Elsa, Last, George V., Lee, Hope, Kaplan, Daniel I., Garcia, Whitney L., Kerisit, Sebastien N., Qafoku, Odeta, Bowden, Mark E., Smith, Frances N., Toyoda, Jason G., and Plymale, Andrew E. Conceptual Model of Iodine Behavior in the Subsurface at the Hanford Site. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1419157.
Truex, Michael J., Lee, Brady D., Johnson, Christian D., Qafoku, Nikolla, Szecsody, James E., Kyle, Jennifer E., Tfaily, Malak M., Snyder, Michelle MV, Cantrell, Kirk J., Saunders, Danielle L., Lawter, Amanda R., Oostrom, Martijn L., Tartakovsky, Guzel D., Leavy, Ian I., McElroy, Erin M., Appriou, Delphine, Sahajpal, Rahul, Carroll, Matthew M., Chu, Rosalie K., Cordova, Elsa, Last, George V., Lee, Hope, Kaplan, Daniel I., Garcia, Whitney L., Kerisit, Sebastien N., Qafoku, Odeta, Bowden, Mark E., Smith, Frances N., Toyoda, Jason G., & Plymale, Andrew E. Conceptual Model of Iodine Behavior in the Subsurface at the Hanford Site. United States. doi:10.2172/1419157.
Truex, Michael J., Lee, Brady D., Johnson, Christian D., Qafoku, Nikolla, Szecsody, James E., Kyle, Jennifer E., Tfaily, Malak M., Snyder, Michelle MV, Cantrell, Kirk J., Saunders, Danielle L., Lawter, Amanda R., Oostrom, Martijn L., Tartakovsky, Guzel D., Leavy, Ian I., McElroy, Erin M., Appriou, Delphine, Sahajpal, Rahul, Carroll, Matthew M., Chu, Rosalie K., Cordova, Elsa, Last, George V., Lee, Hope, Kaplan, Daniel I., Garcia, Whitney L., Kerisit, Sebastien N., Qafoku, Odeta, Bowden, Mark E., Smith, Frances N., Toyoda, Jason G., and Plymale, Andrew E. 2017. "Conceptual Model of Iodine Behavior in the Subsurface at the Hanford Site". United States. doi:10.2172/1419157. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1419157.
@article{osti_1419157,
title = {Conceptual Model of Iodine Behavior in the Subsurface at the Hanford Site},
author = {Truex, Michael J. and Lee, Brady D. and Johnson, Christian D. and Qafoku, Nikolla and Szecsody, James E. and Kyle, Jennifer E. and Tfaily, Malak M. and Snyder, Michelle MV and Cantrell, Kirk J. and Saunders, Danielle L. and Lawter, Amanda R. and Oostrom, Martijn L. and Tartakovsky, Guzel D. and Leavy, Ian I. and McElroy, Erin M. and Appriou, Delphine and Sahajpal, Rahul and Carroll, Matthew M. and Chu, Rosalie K. and Cordova, Elsa and Last, George V. and Lee, Hope and Kaplan, Daniel I. and Garcia, Whitney L. and Kerisit, Sebastien N. and Qafoku, Odeta and Bowden, Mark E. and Smith, Frances N. and Toyoda, Jason G. and Plymale, Andrew E.},
abstractNote = {Isotopes of iodine were generated during plutonium production within the nine production reactors at the U.S. Department of Energy Hanford Site. The short half-life 131I that was released from the fuel into the atmosphere during the dissolution process (when the fuel was dissolved) in the Hanford Site 200 Area is no longer present at concentrations of concern in the environment. The long half-life 129I generated at the Hanford Site during reactor operations was (1) stored in single-shell and double-shell tanks, (2) discharged to liquid disposal sites (e.g., cribs and trenches), (3) released to the atmosphere during fuel reprocessing operations, or (4) captured by off-gas absorbent devices (silver reactors) at chemical separations plants (PUREX, B-Plant, T-Plant, and REDOX). Releases of 129I to the subsurface have resulted in several large, though dilute, plumes in the groundwater. There is also 129I remaining in the vadose zone beneath disposal or leak locations. The fate and transport of 129I in the environment and potential remediation technologies are currently being studied as part of environmental remediation activities at the Hanford Site. A conceptual model describing the nature and extent of subsurface contamination, factors that control plume behavior, and factors relevant to potential remediation processes is needed to support environmental remedy decisions. Because 129I is an uncommon contaminant, relevant remediation experience and scientific literature are limited. In addition, its behavior in subsurface is different from that of other more common and important contaminants (e.g., U, Cr and Tc) in terms of sorption (adsorption and precipitation), and aqueous phase species transformation via redox reactions. Thus, the conceptual model also needs to both describe known contaminant and biogeochemical process information and identify aspects about which additional information is needed to effectively support remedy decisions.},
doi = {10.2172/1419157},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 9
}

Technical Report:

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  • The fate and transport of 129I in the environment and potential remediation technologies are currently being studied as part of environmental remediation activities at the Hanford Site. A conceptual model describing the nature and extent of subsurface contamination, factors that control plume behavior, and factors relevant to potential remediation processes is needed to support environmental remedy decisions. Because 129I is an uncommon contaminant, relevant remediation experience and scientific literature are limited. Thus, the conceptual model also needs to both describe known contaminant and biogeochemical process information and to identify aspects about which additional information needed to effectively support remedy decisions.more » this document summarizes the conceptual model of iodine behavior relevant to iodine in the subsurface environment at the Hanford site.« less
  • Carbon tetrachloride (CT) was discharged to the 216-Z-9, Z-1A, and Z-18 waste sites that are included in the 200-PW-1 Operable Unit in Hanford 200 West Area. Fluor Hanford, Inc. is conducting a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) remedial investigation/feasibility study (RI/FS) for the 200-PW-1 Operable Unit. As part of this overall effort, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) was contracted to improve the conceptual model of how CT is distributed in the Hanford 200 West Area subsurface through use of numerical flow and transport modeling. This work supports the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) efforts to characterize themore » nature and distribution of CT in the 200 West Area and subsequently select an appropriate final remedy.« less
  • The baseline three-dimensional transient inverse model for the estimation of site-wide scale flow parameters, including their uncertainties, using data on the transient behavior of the unconfined aquifer system over the entire historical period of Hanford operations, has been modified to account for the effects of basalt intercommunication between the Hanford unconfined aquifer and the underlying upper basalt confined aquifer. Both the baseline and alternative conceptual models (ACM-1) considered only the groundwater flow component and corresponding observational data in the 3-Dl transient inverse calibration efforts. Subsequent efforts will examine both groundwater flow and transport. Comparisons of goodness of fit measures andmore » parameter estimation results for the ACM-1 transient inverse calibrated model with those from previous site-wide groundwater modeling efforts illustrate that the new 3-D transient inverse model approach will strengthen the technical defensibility of the final model(s) and provide the ability to incorporate uncertainty in predictions related to both conceptual model and parameter uncertainty.« less
  • The baseline three-dimensional transient inverse model for the estimation of site-wide scale flow parameters, including their uncertainties, using data on the transient behavior of the unconfined aquifer system over the entire historical period of Hanford operations, has been modified to account for the effects of basalt intercommunication between the Hanford unconfined aquifer and the underlying upper basalt confined aquifer. Both the baseline and alternative conceptual models (ACM-1) considered only the groundwater flow component and corresponding observational data in the 3-Dl transient inverse calibration efforts. Subsequent efforts will examine both groundwater flow and transport. Comparisons of goodness of fit measures andmore » parameter estimation results for the ACM-1 transient inverse calibrated model with those from previous site-wide groundwater modeling efforts illustrate that the new 3-D transient inverse model approach will strengthen the technical defensibility of the final model(s) and provide the ability to incorporate uncertainty in predictions related to both conceptual model and parameter uncertainty. These results, however, indicate that additional improvements are required to the conceptual model framework. An investigation was initiated at the end of this basalt inverse modeling effort to determine whether facies-based zonation would improve specific yield parameter estimation results (ACM-2). A description of the justification and methodology to develop this zonation is discussed.« less
  • The Hanford Environmental Dose Reconstruction (HEDR) Project was established to estimate the radiological dose impact that Hanford Site operations may have made on the local and regional population. This impact is estimated by examining operations involving radioactive materials that were conducted at the Hanford Site from the startup of the first reactor in 1944 to the present. HEDR Project work is divided among several technical tasks. One of these tasks, Source Terms, is designed to develop quantitative estimates of all significant emissions of radionuclides by Hanford Site operations since 1944. Radiation doses can be estimated from these emissions by accountingmore » for specific radionuclide transport conditions and population demography. This document provides technical information to assist in the evaluation of iodine releases. 115 refs., 5 figs., 3 tabs.« less