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Title: Hydrologic Resources Management Program and Underground Test Area Project FY2005 Progress Report

Abstract

This report describes FY 2005 technical studies conducted by the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division (CBND) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in support of the Hydrologic Resources Management Program (HRMP) and the Underground Test Area Project (UGTA). These programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) through the Defense Programs and Environmental Restoration Divisions, respectively. HRMP-sponsored work is directed toward the responsible management of the natural resources at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), enabling its continued use as a staging area for strategic operations in support of national security. UGTA-funded work emphasizes the development of an integrated set of groundwater flow and contaminant transport models to predict the extent of radionuclide migration from underground nuclear testing areas at the NTS. The report is organized on a topical basis and contains five chapters that highlight technical work products produced by CBND. However, it is important to recognize that most of this work involves collaborative partnerships with the other HRMP and UGTA contract organizations. These groups include the Energy and Environment Directorate at LLNL (LLNL-E&E), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Stoller-Navarromore » Joint Venture (SNJV), and Bechtel Nevada (BN).« less

Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
919618
Report Number(s):
UCRL-TR-229708
TRN: US0807393
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 07 ISOTOPES AND RADIATION SOURCES; 38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; 37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; BIOLOGY; DESERTS; GEOLOGIC SURVEYS; JOINT VENTURES; LANL; LAWRENCE LIVERMORE NATIONAL LABORATORY; MANAGEMENT; NATIONAL SECURITY; NEVADA; NEVADA TEST SITE; PROGRESS REPORT; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; SECURITY; TESTING; TRANSPORT

Citation Formats

Eaton, G F, Genetti, V, Hu, Q, Hudson, G B, Kersting, A B, Lindvall, R E, Moran, J E, Nimz, G J, Ramon, E C, Rose, T P, Shuller, L, Williams, R W, Zavarin, M, and Zhao, P. Hydrologic Resources Management Program and Underground Test Area Project FY2005 Progress Report. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/919618.
Eaton, G F, Genetti, V, Hu, Q, Hudson, G B, Kersting, A B, Lindvall, R E, Moran, J E, Nimz, G J, Ramon, E C, Rose, T P, Shuller, L, Williams, R W, Zavarin, M, & Zhao, P. Hydrologic Resources Management Program and Underground Test Area Project FY2005 Progress Report. United States. doi:10.2172/919618.
Eaton, G F, Genetti, V, Hu, Q, Hudson, G B, Kersting, A B, Lindvall, R E, Moran, J E, Nimz, G J, Ramon, E C, Rose, T P, Shuller, L, Williams, R W, Zavarin, M, and Zhao, P. Fri . "Hydrologic Resources Management Program and Underground Test Area Project FY2005 Progress Report". United States. doi:10.2172/919618. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/919618.
@article{osti_919618,
title = {Hydrologic Resources Management Program and Underground Test Area Project FY2005 Progress Report},
author = {Eaton, G F and Genetti, V and Hu, Q and Hudson, G B and Kersting, A B and Lindvall, R E and Moran, J E and Nimz, G J and Ramon, E C and Rose, T P and Shuller, L and Williams, R W and Zavarin, M and Zhao, P},
abstractNote = {This report describes FY 2005 technical studies conducted by the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division (CBND) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in support of the Hydrologic Resources Management Program (HRMP) and the Underground Test Area Project (UGTA). These programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) through the Defense Programs and Environmental Restoration Divisions, respectively. HRMP-sponsored work is directed toward the responsible management of the natural resources at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), enabling its continued use as a staging area for strategic operations in support of national security. UGTA-funded work emphasizes the development of an integrated set of groundwater flow and contaminant transport models to predict the extent of radionuclide migration from underground nuclear testing areas at the NTS. The report is organized on a topical basis and contains five chapters that highlight technical work products produced by CBND. However, it is important to recognize that most of this work involves collaborative partnerships with the other HRMP and UGTA contract organizations. These groups include the Energy and Environment Directorate at LLNL (LLNL-E&E), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Stoller-Navarro Joint Venture (SNJV), and Bechtel Nevada (BN).},
doi = {10.2172/919618},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Fri Mar 23 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}

Technical Report:

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  • This report describes FY 2006 technical studies conducted by the Chemical Biology and Nuclear Science Division (CBND) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in support of the Hydrologic Resources Management Program (HRMP) and the Underground Test Area Project (UGTA). These programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) through the Defense Programs and Environmental Restoration Divisions, respectively. HRMP-sponsored work is directed toward the responsible management of the natural resources at the Nevada Test Site (NTS), enabling its continued use as a staging area for strategic operations in support of national security.more » UGTA-funded work emphasizes the development of an integrated set of groundwater flow and contaminant transport models to predict the extent of radionuclide migration from underground nuclear testing areas at the NTS. The report is organized on a topical basis and contains four chapters that highlight technical work products produced by CBND. However, it is important to recognize that most of this work involves collaborative partnerships with the other HRMP and UGTA contract organizations. These groups include the Energy and Environment Directorate at LLNL (LLNL-E&E), Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the Desert Research Institute (DRI), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Stoller-Navarro Joint Venture (SNJV), and National Security Technologies (NSTec). Chapter 1 is a summary of FY 2006 sampling efforts at near-field 'hot' wells at the NTS, and presents new chemical and isotopic data for groundwater samples from four near-field wells. These include PM-2 and U-20n PS 1DDh (CHESHIRE), UE-7ns (BOURBON), and U-19v PS No.1ds (ALMENDRO). Chapter 2 is a summary of the results of chemical and isotopic measurements of groundwater samples from three UGTA environmental monitoring wells. These wells are: ER-12-4 and U12S located in Area 12 on Rainier Mesa and USGS HGH No.2 WW2 located in Yucca Flat. In addition, three springs were sampled White Rock Spring and Captain Jack Spring in Area 12 on Rainier Mesa and Topopah Spring in Area 29. Chapter 3 is a compilation of existing noble gas data that has been reviewed and edited to remove inconsistencies in presentation of total vs. single isotope noble gas values reported in the previous HRMP and UGTA progress reports. Chapter 4 is a summary of the results of batch sorption and desorption experiments performed to determine the distribution coefficients (Kd) of Pu(IV), Np(V), U(VI), Cs and Sr to zeolitized tuff (tuff confining unit, TCU) and carbonate (lower carbonate aquifer, LCA) rocks in synthetic NTS groundwater Chapter 5 is a summary of the results of a series of flow-cell experiments performed to examine Np(V) and Pu(V) sorption to and desorption from goethite. Np and Pu desorption occur at a faster rate and to a greater extent than previously reported. In addition, oxidation changes occurred with the Pu whereby the surface-sorbed Pu(IV) was reoxidized to aqueous Pu(V) during desorption.« less
  • This report highlights the results of FY 2000 technical studies conducted by the Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry Division (ANCD) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in support of the Hydrology and Radionuclide Migration Program (HRMP) and Underground Test Area (UGTA) Project. This is the latest in a series of annual reports published by LLNL-ANCD to document recent investigations of radionuclide migration and transport processes at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The HRMP is sponsored by Defense Programs (DP) at the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Operations Office (DOENV), and supports DP operations at the NTS through studies of radiochemical andmore » hydrologic processes that are relevant to the DP mission. Other organizations that support the HRMP include Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Desert Research Institute (DRI) of the University of Nevada, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPS), and Bechtel Nevada (BN). The UGTA Project is sponsored by the Environmental Management (EM) program at DOENV; its goal is to determine the extent of radionuclide contamination in groundwater resulting from underground nuclear testing at the NTS. The project strategy follows guidelines set forth in a Federal Facilities Agreement and Consent Order between the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Department of Defense, and the State of Nevada. Participating contractors include LLNL (both ANCD and the Energy and Environmental Sciences Directorate), LANL, USGS, DRI, BN, and IT Corporation (with subcontract support from Geotrans Inc.).« less
  • This report contains highlights of FY 2001 and 2002 technical studies conducted by the Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry Division (ANCD) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in support of the Hydrologic Resources Management Program (HRMP) and the Underground Test Area (UGTA) Project. These programs are administered by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration, Nevada Site Office (NNSA/NSO) through the Defense Programs and Environmental Restoration Divisions, respectively. HRMP-sponsored work emphasizes the Defense Programs goal of responsible management of natural resources at the NTS, while UGTA-funded work focuses on defining the extent of radionuclide contamination in NTS groundwater resultingmore » from underground nuclear testing. The report is organized on a topical basis, and contains eight chapters that reflect the range of technical work performed by LLNL-ANCD in support of HRMP and UGTA. Chapter 1 describes recent hot well sampling efforts at the NTS, and presents the results of chemical and isotopic analyses of groundwater samples from six near-field wells. These include the Cambric (UE-5n), Bilby (U-3cn PS No.2), Bourbon (UE-7nS), Nash (UE-2ce), Tybo/Benham (ER-20-5 No.3), and Almendro (U-19v PS No.1ds) sites. The data generated by the hot well program is vital to the development and validation of contaminant transport models at the NTS. Chapter 2 discusses the results of xenon isotope measurements of groundwater samples from the six near-field wells described in Chapter 1. This work demonstrates that fission xenon is present in the water at levels that are readily measurable and highlights the significant differences in xenon concentrations and isotopic abundances at different sites. These differences provide insight into the early cooling history of nuclear test cavities, and may assist in predicting the distribution of the source term in the near-field environment. Chapter 3 is an investigation of the distribution and abundance of actinides in a nuclear test cavity and chimney. This work demonstrates that early-time processes can widely disperse actinides at low concentrations outside the melt glass, implying that melt glass dissolution may not be the sole mechanism for the release of actinides to groundwater. The study also provides evidence for the isotopic fractionation of plutonium under the extreme conditions accompanying nuclear explosions. In Chapter 4, X-ray absorption spectroscopy measurements were used to determine the redox state of Fe and U in nuclear melt glass samples from the NTS. Both elements were found to occur in mixed valence states (Fe{sup 2+}/Fe{sup 3+} and U{sup 5+}/U{sup 6+}) in all samples. Comparison of the Fe and U redox states with published redox studies of synthetic glasses suggests that plutonium is predominantly in the Pu{sup 4+} oxidation state in the melt glasses. In Chapter 5, alpha autoradiography is used in a NTS field study to investigate the spatial distribution and transport of actinides in soils, and to help identify the size distribution and morphology of the actinide particles. It was found that {alpha}-emitting radionuclides have moved to at least 39 cm depth in the soil profile, far deeper than expected. The methodology that was developed could easily be applied to other field locations where actinides are dispersed in the soil zone. Chapter 6 summarizes the development of a method for measuring environmental levels of {sup 241}Am on the multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer. The method detection limit of 0.017 pCi/L is about two times lower than the best analyses possible by alpha spectrometry. Chapter 7 describes a chlorine-36 study of vertical groundwater transport processes in Frenchman Flat. Mass balance calculations developed from a {sup 36}Cl mixing model at well ER-5-3 No.2 are used to estimate vertical transport fluxes and average vertical flow velocities through the thick volcanic section underlying the basin. The study also documents the variations in {sup 36}Cl/Cl ratios within the three principal hydrostratigraphic units in Frenchman Flat. Chapter 8 discusses an ongoing stable isotope investigation of precipitation and recharge processes in central Nevada. Precipitation, spring water, and shallow infiltration samples have been collected at four locations on a biannual basis since 1999. The results show that winter precipitation accounts for >90% of the recharge at these sites. Lysimeter data suggest that most of the evaporation occurring during recharge is due to water vapor loss through the soil zone during periods of slow infiltration. In addition to the topical investigations described above, LLNL-ANCD contributed to several other major collaborative technical products during FY 2001 and 2002.« less
  • This report details the work of Chemistry Division personnel from Los Alamos National Laboratory in FY 2000 for the US Department of Energy/Nevada Operations Office under their Defense Programs and Environmental Restoration Divisions. Los Alamos is one of a number of agencies collaborating in an effort to describe the present and future movement of radionuclides in the underground environment of the Nevada Test Site. This fiscal year we collected and analyzed water samples from a number of expended test locations at the Nevada Test Site. We give the results of these analyses and summarize the information gained over the quartermore » century that we have been studying several of these sites. We find that by far most of the radioactive residues from a nuclear test are contained in the melt glass in the cavity. Those radionuclides that are mobile in water can be transported if the groundwater is moving due to hydraulic or thermal gradients. The extent to which they move is a function of their chemical speciation, with neutral or anionic materials traveling freely relative to cationic materials that tend to sorb on rock surfaces. However, radionuclides sorbed on colloids may be transported if the colloids are moving. Local conditions strongly influence the distribution and movement of radionuclides, and we continue to study sites such as Almendro, which is thermally quite hot, and Bilby where radionuclides do not appear to have moved a short distance from the cavity. We have begun field use of a tool that allows us to measure important groundwater properties in situ. We conclude our report by noting document reviews and publications produced in support of this program.« less
  • This report presents the results from fiscal year (FY) 1999 technical studies conducted by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) as part of the Hydrology and Radionuclide Migration Program (HRMP) and Underground Test Area (UGTA) work-for-others project. This report is the latest in a series of annual reports published by LLNL to document the migration of radionuclides and controls of radionuclide movement at the Nevada Test Site. The FY 1999 studies highlighted in this report are: (1) Chapter 1 provides the results from flow-through leaching of nuclear melt glasses at 25 C and near-neutral pH using dilute bicarbonate groundwaters. (2) Chaptermore » 2 reports on a summary of the size and concentration of colloidal material in NTS groundwaters. (3) Chapter 3 discusses the collaboration between LLNL/ANCD (Analytical and Nuclear Chemistry Division) and the Center for Accelerator Mass Spectrometry (CAMS) to develop a technique for analyzing NTS groundwater for 99-Technicium ({sup 99}Tc) using accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). Since {sup 99}Tc is conservative like tritium in groundwater systems, and is not sorbed to geologic material, it has the potential for being an important tool for radionuclide migration studies. (4) Chapter 4 presents the results of secondary ion mass spectrometry measurements of the in-situ distribution of radionuclides in zeolitized tuffs from cores taken adjacent to nuclear test cavities and chimneys. In-situ measurements provide insight to the distribution of specific radionuclides on a micro-scale, mineralogical controls of radionuclide sorption, and identification of migration pathways (i.e., matrix diffusion, fractures). (5) Chapter 5 outlines new analytical techniques developed in LLNL/ANCD to study hydrologic problems at the NTS using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). With costs for thermal-ionization mass spectrometry (TIMS) increasing relative to sample preparation time and facility support, ICP-MS technology provides a means for rapidly measuring dilute concentrations of radionuclides with precision and abundance sensitivity comparable to TIMS. (6) Chapter 6 provides results of a characterization study of alluvium collected from the U-1a complex approximately 300 meters below ground surface in Yucca Flat. The purpose of this investigation was to provide information on particle size, mineralogical context, the proportion of primary and secondary minerals, and the texture of the reactive surface area that could be used to accurately model radionuclide interactions within Nevada Test Site alluvial basins (i.e., Frenchman Flat and Yucca Flat).« less