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Title: Waste minimization measures associated with the analysis of {sup 137}Cs in coconut milk collected from the Marshall Islands

Abstract

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. We 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 storedmore » for future use.« less

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab., CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
651791
Report Number(s):
UCRL-JC-130890; CONF-980654-
ON: DE98057714; BR: YN0100000
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: 14. DOE pollution prevention conference, Seattle, WA (United States), 2-4 Jun 1998; Other Information: PBD: 1 May 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
56 BIOLOGY AND MEDICINE, APPLIED STUDIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CESIUM 137; COCONUTS; MARSHALL ISLANDS; SAMPLING; WASTE MANAGEMENT; RADIOMETERS; AMP

Citation Formats

Hamilton, T., Jones, H., Wong, K., and Robinson, W.. Waste minimization measures associated with the analysis of {sup 137}Cs in coconut milk collected from the Marshall Islands. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Hamilton, T., Jones, H., Wong, K., & Robinson, W.. Waste minimization measures associated with the analysis of {sup 137}Cs in coconut milk collected from the Marshall Islands. United States.
Hamilton, T., Jones, H., Wong, K., and Robinson, W.. Fri . "Waste minimization measures associated with the analysis of {sup 137}Cs in coconut milk collected from the Marshall Islands". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/651791.
@article{osti_651791,
title = {Waste minimization measures associated with the analysis of {sup 137}Cs in coconut milk collected from the Marshall Islands},
author = {Hamilton, T. and Jones, H. and Wong, K. and Robinson, W.},
abstractNote = {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. We 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.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri May 01 00:00:00 EDT 1998},
month = {Fri May 01 00:00:00 EDT 1998}
}

Conference:
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  • In this report, we examine whether the radiological dose equivalent due to the intake of /sup 137/Cs and /sup 90/Sr at a contaminated atoll in the Marshall Islands would be greater when intake begins as an adult than when intake begins as an infant or child. We found that generally /sup 137/Cs contributes 97 to 98% of the dose and /sup 90/Sr contributes only 2 to 3 %. We also found that the integral 30-, 50-, and 70-y effective dose equivalent estimated for intake beginning as adults is greater than that for intake beginning at any other age. There aremore » two factors that cause the adult estimated dose to be greater than the dose to infants and children. The major factor is the consistently higher intake of local foods, and consequently higher intake of /sup 137/Cs, for adults. The second is a combination of changing body weights, fractional deposits, and biological half-life for /sup 137/Cs with age, and the reduced concentration of /sup 137/Cs in food with time. Consequently, the estimated effective integral dose equivalents for adults due to ingestion of /sup 137/Cs and /sup 90/Sr can be used as a conservative estimate or intake beginning in infancy and childhood. 95 refs., 4 figs., 10 tabs.« less
  • The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) contracts Brookhaven National Laboratory- (BNL) scientists to perform a whole-body counting (WBC) program of the people living at Enewetak Island since 1980. Goals of the program are to monitor the intake of fission products and to assure the radiation safety of the residing population. Under the current direction of the DOE Office of International Health Programs, a WBC unit has been transported and installed at the Enewetak Field Station during a mission from 27 November to 11 December 1995. Previous WBC missions had been conducted aboard a vessel provided by DOE. The main objectivemore » of this land-based approach is to provide a self-monitoring capability for the Enewetakese in any season at any time. The purposes of this paper are to (1) describe the technical basis for this land-based WBC operation, (2) report current monitoring results, and (3) compare the average cesium dose rates from this mission with previous WBC results. The minimum detectable amount (MDA) of the WBC system is about 60 Bq in a 900 s interval. Due to local life style in a tropical environment, about 20 counting measurements can be made per day. The average cesium body content measured during this mission is 307{+-}218 Bq for male adults, which is the lowest value since 1980. Assuming a continuous steady state intake of cesium, the corresponding effective dose rate from {sup 137}Cs is about 11 {mu}Sv y{sup -1}.« less