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Title: Technical Basis Document: A Statistical Basis for Interpreting Urinary Excretion of Plutonium Based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for Selected Atoll Populations in the Marshall Islands

Abstract

We have developed refined statistical and modeling techniques to assess low-level uptake and urinary excretion of plutonium from different population group in the northern Marshall Islands. Urinary excretion rates of plutonium from the resident population on Enewetak Atoll and from resettlement workers living on Rongelap Atoll range from <1 to 8 {micro}Bq per day and are well below action levels established under the latest Department regulation 10 CFR 835 in the United States for in vitro bioassay monitoring of {sup 239}Pu. However, our statistical analyses show that urinary excretion of plutonium-239 ({sup 239}Pu) from both cohort groups is significantly positively associated with volunteer age, especially for the resident population living on Enewetak Atoll. Urinary excretion of {sup 239}Pu from the Enewetak cohort was also found to be positively associated with estimates of cumulative exposure to worldwide fallout. Consequently, the age-related trends in urinary excretion of plutonium from Marshallese populations can be described by either a long-term component from residual systemic burdens acquired from previous exposures to worldwide fallout or a prompt (and eventual long-term) component acquired from low-level systemic intakes of plutonium associated with resettlement of the northern Marshall Islands, or some combination of both.

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
908128
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-230705
TRN: US0703638
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
61 RADIATION PROTECTION AND DOCIMETRY; 99 GENERAL AND MISCELLANEOUS//MATHEMATICS, COMPUTING, AND INFORMATION SCIENCE; 38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; BIOASSAY; ENIWETOK; EXCRETION; FALLOUT; IN VITRO; MARSHALL ISLANDS; MASS SPECTROSCOPY; MONITORING; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM 239; REGULATIONS

Citation Formats

Bogen, K, Hamilton, T F, Brown, T A, Martinelli, R E, Marchetti, A A, Kehl, S R, and Langston, R G. Technical Basis Document: A Statistical Basis for Interpreting Urinary Excretion of Plutonium Based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for Selected Atoll Populations in the Marshall Islands. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/908128.
Bogen, K, Hamilton, T F, Brown, T A, Martinelli, R E, Marchetti, A A, Kehl, S R, & Langston, R G. Technical Basis Document: A Statistical Basis for Interpreting Urinary Excretion of Plutonium Based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for Selected Atoll Populations in the Marshall Islands. United States. doi:10.2172/908128.
Bogen, K, Hamilton, T F, Brown, T A, Martinelli, R E, Marchetti, A A, Kehl, S R, and Langston, R G. Tue . "Technical Basis Document: A Statistical Basis for Interpreting Urinary Excretion of Plutonium Based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for Selected Atoll Populations in the Marshall Islands". United States. doi:10.2172/908128. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/908128.
@article{osti_908128,
title = {Technical Basis Document: A Statistical Basis for Interpreting Urinary Excretion of Plutonium Based on Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) for Selected Atoll Populations in the Marshall Islands},
author = {Bogen, K and Hamilton, T F and Brown, T A and Martinelli, R E and Marchetti, A A and Kehl, S R and Langston, R G},
abstractNote = {We have developed refined statistical and modeling techniques to assess low-level uptake and urinary excretion of plutonium from different population group in the northern Marshall Islands. Urinary excretion rates of plutonium from the resident population on Enewetak Atoll and from resettlement workers living on Rongelap Atoll range from <1 to 8 {micro}Bq per day and are well below action levels established under the latest Department regulation 10 CFR 835 in the United States for in vitro bioassay monitoring of {sup 239}Pu. However, our statistical analyses show that urinary excretion of plutonium-239 ({sup 239}Pu) from both cohort groups is significantly positively associated with volunteer age, especially for the resident population living on Enewetak Atoll. Urinary excretion of {sup 239}Pu from the Enewetak cohort was also found to be positively associated with estimates of cumulative exposure to worldwide fallout. Consequently, the age-related trends in urinary excretion of plutonium from Marshallese populations can be described by either a long-term component from residual systemic burdens acquired from previous exposures to worldwide fallout or a prompt (and eventual long-term) component acquired from low-level systemic intakes of plutonium associated with resettlement of the northern Marshall Islands, or some combination of both.},
doi = {10.2172/908128},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Tue May 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • During the summer 2000, I was given the opportunity to work for about three months as a technical trainee at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, or LLNL as I will refer to it hereafter. University of California runs this Department of Energy laboratory, which is located 70 km east of San Francisco, in the small city of Livermore. This master thesis in Radioecology is based on the work I did here. LLNL, as a second U.S.-facility for development of nuclear weapons, was built in Livermore in the beginning of the 1950's (Los Alamos in New Mexico was the other one). Itmore » has since then also become a 'science center' for a number of areas like magnetic and laser fusion energy, non-nuclear energy, biomedicine, and environmental science. The Laboratory's mission has changed over the years to meet new national needs. The following two statements were found on the homepage of LLNL (http://www.llnl.gov), at 2001-03-05, where also information about the laboratory and the scientific projects that takes place there, can be found. 'Our primary mission is to ensure that the nation's nuclear weapons remain safe, secure, and reliable and to prevent the spread and use of nuclear weapons worldwide'. 'Our goal is to apply the best science and technology to enhance the security and well-being of the nation and to make the world a safer place.' The Marshall Islands Dose Assessment and Radioecology group at the Health and Ecological Assessments division employed me, and I also worked to some extent with the Centre for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) group. The work I did at LLNL can be divided into two parts. In the first part Plutonium (Pu) measurements in sediments from the Rongelap atoll in Marshall Islands, using Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (AMS) were done. The method for measuring these kinds of samples is well understood at LLNL since soil samples have been measured with AMS for Pu in the past. Therefore it was the results that were of main interest and not the technique. The second part was to take advantage of AMS's very high sensitivity by measure the Pu-concentrations in small volumes (0.04-1 L) of seawater. The technique for using AMS at Pu-measurements in seawater is relatively new and the main task for me was to find out a method that could work in practice. The area where the sediment samples and the water samples were collected are high above background levels for many radionuclides, including Pu, because of the detonation of the nuclear bomb code-named Castle Bravo, in 1954.« less
  • Two sets of benthic (bottom-surface) samples were taken from the lagoon on Enewetak Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, during the PEACE Program (1984-1985). These samples were collected to (1) familiarize project geologists with the distribution of sediment types and facies within Enewetak lagoon, (2) increase understanding of the distribution of modern microfaunas in the lagoon, and (3) supplement studies of the sea-floor features both within and near OAK and KOA craters. The benthic sample studies aided both evaluation of the stratigraphic sequence penetrated during the Drilling Phase and interpretation of the litho- and biostratigraphic framework used in analysis ofmore » OAK and KOA.« less
  • Boring of the carbonate sequence at the northern end of Enewetak Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, was conducted in 1985, as part of the Pacific Enewetak Atoll Crater Exploration (PEACE) Program. The overall goal of the program was to characterize physical effects of large-scale nuclear blasts, which were conducted in the early 1950's, on the sediments of the atoll. In the report the authors document the occurrences of stratigraphically diagnostic planktic microfossils in samples from Enewetak (generally referred to as core) and outline the rationale for incorporating all available diagnostic planktic assemblages into a composite sequence that was usedmore » to date the Enewetak benthic zonation.« less
  • Larger foraminiferal assemblages, including Lepidocyclina orientalis, Miogypsina thecideaeformis, Miogypsinoides dehaartii, etc., and a smaller foraminifer, Austrotrillina striata, are used to correlate upper Oligocene and lower Miocene strata in the Pacific Atoll Exploration Program (PEACE) boreholes at Enewetak Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, western Pacific Ocean, with the Te and Tf zones of the previously established Tertiary Far East Letter Zonation. Correlation using these two benthic groups is critical because calcareous nannofossils and planktic foraminifers are absent in the lower Miocene strata. Biostratigraphic data from these boreholes delineate a thick (greater than 700 feet) sequence of upper Oligocene and lowermore » Miocene strata corresponding to lower and upper Te zone. These strata document a major period of carbonate accumulation at Enewetak during the Late Oligocene and early Miocene (26 to 18 million years ago).« less
  • The purpose of the PEACE Program was to provide a highly credible, multidisciplinary set of geologic, geophysical, and material-properties data in order to identify crater dimensions and features for two high-yield nuclear craters and to better understand the dynamic processes that initially formed these craters and that subsequently modified them. These data are essential to the Department of Defense to better understand the survivability of strategic defense systems in the event of a nuclear attack. Subjects include: physical Stratigraphic Framework; Sr-Isotope Framework; Mineralogy; Organic Content; Insoluble Residues; Downhole Geophysical Logs; Borehole gravity Surveys; Seismic Reference Surveys; Benthic Samples; Additional Paleontologicmore » Studies; Radiation Chemistry ; Additional Sea-Floor Observations; Crater Interpretation.« less