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Title: Comparison of Near-field and Far-field Air Monitoring of Plutonium-contaminated Soils from the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada

Abstract

Operation Roller Coaster, a series of nuclear material dispersal experiments, resulted in three areas (Clean Slates 1, 2, and 3) of widespread surface soil plutonium (Pu) contamination on the Tonopah Test Range (TTR), located 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. The State's Division of Environmental Protection raised concerns that dispersal of airborne Pu particles from the sites could result in undetected deposition further downwind that the background monitoring stations. Air monitoring data from different distances from the Clean Slate sites but during the same period of time were compared. From the available data, there is no indication that airborne PM10 particles are being transported to the farther distance,however, the data are statistically insufficient to conclude whether there is a difference in transport of respirable Pu particles to the closer verses the farther sites from the Clean Slate sites.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Desert Research Institute, Reno, NV (US); Desert Research Inst., Las Vegas, NV (US)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM) (US)
OSTI Identifier:
786230
Report Number(s):
45181; DOE/NV/13609-08
TRN: US0108915
DOE Contract Number:
AC08-00NV13609
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 1 May 2001
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 45 MILITARY TECHNOLOGY, WEAPONRY, AND NATIONAL DEFENSE; AIR POLLUTION MONITORING; RADIATION MONITORING; PLUTONIUM; SOILS; TONOPAH TEST RANGE; ENVIRONMENTAL TRANSPORT; AMERICIUM; AIRBORNE PLUTONIUM AND AMERICIUM; AIR MONITORING; PM10; CONTAMINANT TRANSPORT; CLEAN SLATE SITES

Citation Formats

John L. Bowen, and David S. Shafer. Comparison of Near-field and Far-field Air Monitoring of Plutonium-contaminated Soils from the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada. United States: N. p., 2001. Web. doi:10.2172/786230.
John L. Bowen, & David S. Shafer. Comparison of Near-field and Far-field Air Monitoring of Plutonium-contaminated Soils from the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada. United States. doi:10.2172/786230.
John L. Bowen, and David S. Shafer. 2001. "Comparison of Near-field and Far-field Air Monitoring of Plutonium-contaminated Soils from the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada". United States. doi:10.2172/786230. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/786230.
@article{osti_786230,
title = {Comparison of Near-field and Far-field Air Monitoring of Plutonium-contaminated Soils from the Tonopah Test Range, Nevada},
author = {John L. Bowen and David S. Shafer},
abstractNote = {Operation Roller Coaster, a series of nuclear material dispersal experiments, resulted in three areas (Clean Slates 1, 2, and 3) of widespread surface soil plutonium (Pu) contamination on the Tonopah Test Range (TTR), located 225 miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada. The State's Division of Environmental Protection raised concerns that dispersal of airborne Pu particles from the sites could result in undetected deposition further downwind that the background monitoring stations. Air monitoring data from different distances from the Clean Slate sites but during the same period of time were compared. From the available data, there is no indication that airborne PM10 particles are being transported to the farther distance,however, the data are statistically insufficient to conclude whether there is a difference in transport of respirable Pu particles to the closer verses the farther sites from the Clean Slate sites.},
doi = {10.2172/786230},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2001,
month = 5
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report summarizes the environmental surveillance activities conducted by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECO) for the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) operated by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Other environmental compliance programs such as the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), environmental permits, environmental restoration, and waste management programs are also included. The 1991 SNL, TTR, operations had no discernible impact on the general public or the environment. This report 3-s prepared for the US Department of Energy (DOE) in compliance with DOE Order 5400.1.
  • There is no routine radioactive emission from Sandia National Laboratories, Tonopah Test Range (SNL, TTR). However, based on the types of test activities such as air drops, gun firings, ground- launched rockets, air-launched rockets, and other explosive tests, possibilities exist that small amounts of depleted uranium (DU) (as part of weapon components) may be released to the air or to the ground because of unusual circumstances (failures) during testing. Four major monitoring programs were used in 1990 to assess radiological impact on the public. The EPA Air Surveillance Network (ASN) found that the only gamma ({gamma}) emitting radionuclide on themore » prefilters was beryllium-7 ({sup 7}Be), a naturally-occurring spallation product formed by the interaction of cosmic radiation with atmospheric oxygen and nitrogen. The weighted average results were consistent with the area background concentrations. The EPA Thermoluminescent Dosimetry (TLD) Network and Pressurized Ion Chamber (PIC) reported normal results. In the EPA Long-Term Hydrological Monitoring Program (LTHMP), analytical results for tritium ({sup 3}H) in well water were reported and were well below DOE-derived concentration guides (DCGs). In the Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo) Drinking Water Sampling Program, analytical results for {sup 3}H, gross alpha ({alpha}), beta ({beta}), and {gamma} scan, strontium-90 ({sup 90}Sr) and plutonium-239 ({sup 239}Pu) were within the EPA's primary drinking water standards. 29 refs., 5 figs., 15 tabs.« less
  • This report summarizes the environmental surveillance activities conducted by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Company (REECo) for the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) operated by Sandia National Laboratories (SNL). Other environmental compliance programs such as National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NEPA), environmental permits, environmental restoration, and waste management programs are also included. The maximum offsite dose impact from 1989 operations was 8.7 {times} 10{sup {minus}4} mrem as a result of an unusual occurrence. The population received a collective dose of 1.2 {times} 10{sup {minus}5} person-rem from this incidence, while the same populations received 4.94 person-rem frommore » natural background radiation. The 1989 SNL, TTR operations had no adverse impact on the general public or the environment. 18 refs., 2 figs., 14 tabs.« less
  • The Tonopah Test Range is located about 140 air miles northwest of Las Vegas, Nevada, and covers 624 square miles within the Nellis Air Force Base Bombing and Gunnery Range. The range is used for various USDOE and USDOD program tests that are critical to national defense. Activities that affect the environment are mainly road construction, preparation of instrumentation sites, and disturbance of the terrain from weapons testing. Monitoring of the test range is done routinely by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to supplement Sandia's monitoring effort associated with Sandia test activities. EPA monitoring results for 1986 indicate thatmore » test range operations do not adversely affect the off-site environment or the public.« less
  • The Tonopah Test Range is located about 140 air miles north of Las Vegas, Nevada, and covers 624 square miles within the Nellis Air Force base Bombing and Gunnery Range. The range is used for various USDOE and USDOD program tests that are critical to national defense. Activities that affect the environment are mainly road construction, preparation of instrumentation sites, and disturbance of the terrain from weapons testing. Monitoring of the test range is done routinely by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to supplement Sandia's monitoring effort associated with Sandia test activities. EPA monitoring results for 1988 indicate thatmore » test range operations do not adversely affect the off-site environment or the public. 14 refs., 2 figs., 11 tabs.« less