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Title: Assessment of Radionuclides in the Savannah River Site Environment Summary

Abstract

This document summarizes the impact of radionuclide releases from Savannah River Site (SRS) facilities from 1954 through 1996. The radionuclides reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
US Department of Energy (US)
OSTI Identifier:
4786
Report Number(s):
WSRC-TR-98-00162
TRN: US0101521
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-96SR18500
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 26 Jan 1999
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOSIMETRY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; RADIOISOTOPES; SAVANNAH RIVER PLANT; RADIOECOLOGICAL CONCENTRATION; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; RADIATION DOSES

Citation Formats

Carlton, W.H. Assessment of Radionuclides in the Savannah River Site Environment Summary. United States: N. p., 1999. Web. doi:10.2172/4786.
Carlton, W.H. Assessment of Radionuclides in the Savannah River Site Environment Summary. United States. doi:10.2172/4786.
Carlton, W.H. Tue . "Assessment of Radionuclides in the Savannah River Site Environment Summary". United States. doi:10.2172/4786. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/4786.
@article{osti_4786,
title = {Assessment of Radionuclides in the Savannah River Site Environment Summary},
author = {Carlton, W.H.},
abstractNote = {This document summarizes the impact of radionuclide releases from Savannah River Site (SRS) facilities from 1954 through 1996. The radionuclides reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS.},
doi = {10.2172/4786},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 26 00:00:00 EST 1999},
month = {Tue Jan 26 00:00:00 EST 1999}
}

Technical Report:

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  • A series of documents has been published that assesses the impact of various radionuclides released to the environment by Savannah River Site operations. The quantity released, the disposition of the radionuclides in the environment, and the dose to offsite individuals has been presented for carbon, cesium, iodine, plutonium, strontium, technetium, tritium, and uranium. An assessment of the impact of non-radioactive mercury also has been published.
  • Mercury has been valued by humans for several millennia. Its principal ore, cinnabar, was mined for its distinctive reddish-gold color and high density. Mercury and its salts were used as medicines and aphrodisiacs. At SRS, mercury originated from one of the following: as a processing aid in aluminum dissolution and chloride precipitation; as part of the tritium facilities` gas handling system; from experimental, laboratory, or process support facilities; and as a waste from site operations. Mercury is also found in Par Pond and some SRS streams as the result of discharges from a mercury-cell-type chlor-alkali plant near the city ofmore » Augusta, GA. Reactor cooling water, drawn from the Savannah River, transported mercury onto the SRS. Approximately 80,000 kg of mercury is contained in the high level waste tanks and 10,000 kg is located in the SWDF. Additional quantities are located in the various seepage basins. In 1992, 617 wells were monitored for mercury contamination, with 47 indicating contamination in excess of the 0.002-ppm EPA Primary Drinking Water Standard. More than 20 Savannah River Ecology Laboratory (SREL) reports and publications pertinent to mercury (Hg) have been generated during the last two decades. They are divided into three groupings: SRS-specific studies, basic studies of bioaccumulation, and basic studies of effect. Many studies have taken place at Par Pond and Upper Three Runs Creek. Mercury has been detected in wells monitoring the groundwater beneath SRS, but not in water supply wells in excess of the Primary Drinking Water Limit of 0.002 ppm. There has been no significant release of mercury from SRS to the Savannah River. While releases to air are likely, based on process knowledge, modeling of the releases indicates concentrations that are well below the SCDHEC ambient standard.« less
  • This document assesses the impact of radioactive activation products released from SRS facilities since the first reactor became operational late in 1953. The isotopes reported here are those whose release resulted in the highest dose to people living near SRS: {sup 32}P, {sup 51}Cr, {sup 60}C, and {sup 65}Zn. Release pathways, emission control features, and annual releases to the aqueous and atmospheric environments are discussed. No single incident has resulted in a major acute release of activation products to the environment. The releases were the result of normal operations of the reactors and separations facilities. Releases declined over the yearsmore » as better controls were established and production was reduced. The overall radiological impact of SRS activation product atmospheric releases from 1954 through 1994 on the offsite maximally exposed individual can be characterized by a total dose of 0.76 mrem. During the same period, such an individual received a total dose of 14,400 mrem from non-SRS sources of ionizing radiation present in the environment. SRS activation product aqueous releases between 1954 and 1994 resulted in a total dose of 54 mrem to the offsite maximally exposed individual. The impact of SRS activation product releases on offsite populations also has been evaluated.« less
  • Most of the radioactivity produced by the operation of a nuclear reactor results from the fission process, during which the nucleus of a fissionable atom (such as 235U) splits into two or more nuclei, which typically are radioactive. The Radionuclide Assessment Program (RAP) has reported on fission products cesium, strontium, iodine, and technetium. Many other radionuclides are produced by the fission process. Releases of several additional fission products that result in dose to the offsite population are discussed in this publication. They are 95Zr, 95Nb, 103Ru, 106Ru, 141Ce, and 144Ce. This document will discuss the production, release, migration, and dosemore » to humans for each of these selected fission products.« less
  • A series of documents has been published in which the impact of various radionuclides released to the environment by Savannah River Site (SRS) operations has been assessed. The quantity released, the disposition of the radionuclides in the environment, and the dose to offsite individuals has been presented for activation products, carbon cesium, iodine, plutonium, selected fission products, strontium, technetium, tritium, uranium, and the noble gases. An assessment of the impact of nonradioactive mercury also has been published.This document assesses the impact of radioactive transuranics released from SRS facilities since the first reactor became operational late in 1953. The isotopes reportedmore » here are 239Np, 241Am, and 244Cm.« less