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Title: NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2018

Abstract

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Desert Research Institute (DRI) is conducting a field assessment of the potential for radionuclide-contaminated soil to be transported from the Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Contamination Area (CA) because of both wind and storm water runoff. This activity supports U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Nevada Program (EM NV) efforts to establish post-closure monitoring plans for the Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 366. The DRI work is intended to identify the likely mechanism(s) of transport and determine the meteorological conditions that might cause the movement of radionuclide-contaminated soils. The emphasis of the work is on collecting sediment transported by channelized storm runoff and measuring airborne dust concentrations and associated wind conditions. These data will facilitate an appropriate post-closure monitoring program. In 2011, DRI installed meteorological monitoring stations north (Pu Valley North) and south (Pu Valley South) of the Plutonium Valley CA, as well as a fluvial sediment sampling station within the CA. Since installation, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, precipitation, solar radiation, barometric pressure, soil temperature, volumetric soil moisture content, and airborne particulate concentrations have been collected at both meteorological stations. The maximum, minimum, and average or total (as appropriate) for each ofmore » these parameters are recorded for each 10-minute interval. The sediment sampling station includes an automatically activated ISCO sampling pump with collection bottles for suspended sediment, which is activated when sufficient flow is present in the channel, and passive traps for bedload material that is transported down the channel during runoff events. This report presents data collected from these stations during fiscal year (FY) 2018. During the FY2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) reporting period, the warmest month was July. The coldest months were February and December; the average air temperature for both months was 40.1 ºF (4.5 ºC). Average daily solar radiation was highest in June and lowest in January. Monthly mean wind speeds were highest during March and April. At Pu Valley South, winds were generally from the south to southeast. At Pu Valley North, winds were most frequently from the northwest. Winds above 15 miles per hour (mph) (24.14 kilometers per hour [km/hr]) were almost exclusively from the south at both stations. Monthly average relative humidity ranged from near 13 percent in June to approximately 50 percent in January. Monthly total precipitation ranged from zero at both stations (October, December, February, June, and August) to 1.0 inches (in) (25.4 millimeters [mm]) at Pu Valley South and 0.79 in (20.07 mm) at Pu Valley North. The highest monthly precipitation total occurred in January at both stations. From October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, the total precipitation was approximately 1.90 in (48.26 mm) at Pu Valley South and 1.68 in (42.67 mm) at Pu Valley North. Light breezes of 0 mph to 5 mph (0 km/hr to 8.05 km/hr) occurred most frequently (approximately 57 percent to 58 percent of the time). The frequency of occurrence diminished approximately exponentially as the wind speed increased, such that winds in excess of 25 mph (40.23 km/hr) occurred less than one percent of the time. Additionally, winds in excess of 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were most commonly from the south. This situation is most likely explained by the topography of the valley because the mountains that define the east and west sides of the valley converge toward the north. The concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 micrometers [μm]) and PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm) in the air generally increase as wind speed increases. Significant increases in windblown dust concentrations were observed when wind speeds exceeded 15 mph (24.14 km/hr). There was a notable, very sharp increase in airborne dust concentration at Pu Valley South when wind speeds exceeded 30 mph (48.28 km/hr). When all wind speeds were considered, high dust concentrations could come from any direction. However, at Pu Valley South, high dust concentrations were more frequently associated with winds from the south. At Pu Valley North, the high dust concentrations were more frequently associate with winds from either the north or the south. When wind speeds above 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were considered, the PM10 rose indicated that high dust concentrations were most likely to come from the south. However, when winds greater than 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were separated into the dominant wind directions, dust concentrations associated with northerly winds appeared to be slightly higher than dust concentrations associated with southerly winds. The ratio of PM10 to PM2.5 is a qualitative indicator of the proximity of dust sources to the observation point and the values of the PM10 to PM2.5 ratio tend to be higher nearer to the source. The PM10 to PM2.5 ratio ranged from approximately 2.5 to 3.1 for Pu Valley North and Pu Valley South, respectively, for winds below 15 mph (24.14 km/hr), but it increased to approximately 4.2 at Pu Valley North and to 6.4 at Pu Valley South for winds in the 30 mph to 35 mph (48.28 km/hr to 56.33 km/hr) class. This increase suggests that some locally sourced PM10 was present in the air when local winds exceeded 15 mph (24.14 km/hr). The largest daily precipitation totals at Pu Valley South: were 0.35 in (8.89 mm) on January 8, 2018, and 0.64 in (16.26 mm) on January 9, 2018. The ISCO station datalogger was not operating during these precipitation events, and therefore there are no records of flow in the channel and the ISCO sampler was not activated. The January 2018 precipitation events were compared with events recorded in previous years of data collection to determine if a flow event might have been missed. The comparison suggested that the January 2018 events likely did not produce sufficient runoff in the channel for sampling. Other precipitation events during FY2018 were of short duration with intensities less than approximately 0.06 in (1.52 mm) in 10 minutes. None of the FY2018 precipitation events produced sufficient runoff through the channel to activate the sampler at the ISCO station. Because no significant runoff was recorded, no suspended sediment or bedload sediment samples were collected during FY2018.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [2];  [1];  [1]
  1. Desert Research Inst. (DRI), Las Vegas, NV (United States)
  2. Desert Research Inst. (DRI), Reno, NV (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Desert Research Institute, Nevada University, Reno, NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
1545379
Report Number(s):
DRI 45288
DOE/NV/0003590-37
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-NA333590
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; DRI, NNSS, NNSA/NFO, NRHP, Desert Research Institute, US DOE, Department of Energy, NNSA/NFO, Nevada National Security Site, National Register for Historic Properties, Plutonium Valley, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, precipitation, and relative humidity.

Citation Formats

Nikolich, George, Mizell, Steve A., McCurdy, Greg, Campbell, Scott A., and Miller, Julianne J. NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2018. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1545379.
Nikolich, George, Mizell, Steve A., McCurdy, Greg, Campbell, Scott A., & Miller, Julianne J. NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2018. United States. doi:10.2172/1545379.
Nikolich, George, Mizell, Steve A., McCurdy, Greg, Campbell, Scott A., and Miller, Julianne J. Mon . "NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2018". United States. doi:10.2172/1545379. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1545379.
@article{osti_1545379,
title = {NNSS Soils Monitoring: Plutonium Valley (CAU 366) FY2018},
author = {Nikolich, George and Mizell, Steve A. and McCurdy, Greg and Campbell, Scott A. and Miller, Julianne J.},
abstractNote = {EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Desert Research Institute (DRI) is conducting a field assessment of the potential for radionuclide-contaminated soil to be transported from the Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Contamination Area (CA) because of both wind and storm water runoff. This activity supports U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Environmental Management Nevada Program (EM NV) efforts to establish post-closure monitoring plans for the Plutonium Valley Dispersion Sites Corrective Action Unit (CAU) 366. The DRI work is intended to identify the likely mechanism(s) of transport and determine the meteorological conditions that might cause the movement of radionuclide-contaminated soils. The emphasis of the work is on collecting sediment transported by channelized storm runoff and measuring airborne dust concentrations and associated wind conditions. These data will facilitate an appropriate post-closure monitoring program. In 2011, DRI installed meteorological monitoring stations north (Pu Valley North) and south (Pu Valley South) of the Plutonium Valley CA, as well as a fluvial sediment sampling station within the CA. Since installation, temperature, wind speed, wind direction, relative humidity, precipitation, solar radiation, barometric pressure, soil temperature, volumetric soil moisture content, and airborne particulate concentrations have been collected at both meteorological stations. The maximum, minimum, and average or total (as appropriate) for each of these parameters are recorded for each 10-minute interval. The sediment sampling station includes an automatically activated ISCO sampling pump with collection bottles for suspended sediment, which is activated when sufficient flow is present in the channel, and passive traps for bedload material that is transported down the channel during runoff events. This report presents data collected from these stations during fiscal year (FY) 2018. During the FY2018 (October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018) reporting period, the warmest month was July. The coldest months were February and December; the average air temperature for both months was 40.1 ºF (4.5 ºC). Average daily solar radiation was highest in June and lowest in January. Monthly mean wind speeds were highest during March and April. At Pu Valley South, winds were generally from the south to southeast. At Pu Valley North, winds were most frequently from the northwest. Winds above 15 miles per hour (mph) (24.14 kilometers per hour [km/hr]) were almost exclusively from the south at both stations. Monthly average relative humidity ranged from near 13 percent in June to approximately 50 percent in January. Monthly total precipitation ranged from zero at both stations (October, December, February, June, and August) to 1.0 inches (in) (25.4 millimeters [mm]) at Pu Valley South and 0.79 in (20.07 mm) at Pu Valley North. The highest monthly precipitation total occurred in January at both stations. From October 1, 2017, through September 30, 2018, the total precipitation was approximately 1.90 in (48.26 mm) at Pu Valley South and 1.68 in (42.67 mm) at Pu Valley North. Light breezes of 0 mph to 5 mph (0 km/hr to 8.05 km/hr) occurred most frequently (approximately 57 percent to 58 percent of the time). The frequency of occurrence diminished approximately exponentially as the wind speed increased, such that winds in excess of 25 mph (40.23 km/hr) occurred less than one percent of the time. Additionally, winds in excess of 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were most commonly from the south. This situation is most likely explained by the topography of the valley because the mountains that define the east and west sides of the valley converge toward the north. The concentrations of PM2.5 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 2.5 micrometers [μm]) and PM10 (particulate matter with an aerodynamic diameter ≤ 10 μm) in the air generally increase as wind speed increases. Significant increases in windblown dust concentrations were observed when wind speeds exceeded 15 mph (24.14 km/hr). There was a notable, very sharp increase in airborne dust concentration at Pu Valley South when wind speeds exceeded 30 mph (48.28 km/hr). When all wind speeds were considered, high dust concentrations could come from any direction. However, at Pu Valley South, high dust concentrations were more frequently associated with winds from the south. At Pu Valley North, the high dust concentrations were more frequently associate with winds from either the north or the south. When wind speeds above 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were considered, the PM10 rose indicated that high dust concentrations were most likely to come from the south. However, when winds greater than 15 mph (24.14 km/hr) were separated into the dominant wind directions, dust concentrations associated with northerly winds appeared to be slightly higher than dust concentrations associated with southerly winds. The ratio of PM10 to PM2.5 is a qualitative indicator of the proximity of dust sources to the observation point and the values of the PM10 to PM2.5 ratio tend to be higher nearer to the source. The PM10 to PM2.5 ratio ranged from approximately 2.5 to 3.1 for Pu Valley North and Pu Valley South, respectively, for winds below 15 mph (24.14 km/hr), but it increased to approximately 4.2 at Pu Valley North and to 6.4 at Pu Valley South for winds in the 30 mph to 35 mph (48.28 km/hr to 56.33 km/hr) class. This increase suggests that some locally sourced PM10 was present in the air when local winds exceeded 15 mph (24.14 km/hr). The largest daily precipitation totals at Pu Valley South: were 0.35 in (8.89 mm) on January 8, 2018, and 0.64 in (16.26 mm) on January 9, 2018. The ISCO station datalogger was not operating during these precipitation events, and therefore there are no records of flow in the channel and the ISCO sampler was not activated. The January 2018 precipitation events were compared with events recorded in previous years of data collection to determine if a flow event might have been missed. The comparison suggested that the January 2018 events likely did not produce sufficient runoff in the channel for sampling. Other precipitation events during FY2018 were of short duration with intensities less than approximately 0.06 in (1.52 mm) in 10 minutes. None of the FY2018 precipitation events produced sufficient runoff through the channel to activate the sampler at the ISCO station. Because no significant runoff was recorded, no suspended sediment or bedload sediment samples were collected during FY2018.},
doi = {10.2172/1545379},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {7}
}