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Title: Corrective Action Site 02-37-02 Background Information and Comparison to Corrective Action Site 09-99-06

Corrective Action Site (CAS) 02-37-02, Gas Sampling Assembly, is associated with nuclear test MULLET. MULLET was an underground safety test conducted on October 17, 1963. The experiment also involved prompt sampling of particulate material from the detonation, similar to CAS 09-99-06, Gas Sampling Assembly, which is associated with PLAYER/YORK. The sampling system at MULLET was similar to that of PLAYER/YORK and was used to convey gas from the MULLET emplacement hole (U2ag) to a sampling assembly. Beyond the sampling assembly, the system had a 'Y' junction with one branch running to a filter unit and the other running to a scrubber unit. The total system length was approximately 250 feet and is depicted on the attached drawing. According to the available background information, retrieval of the sample material from the MULLET event caused significant alpha (plutonium) contamination, limited to an area near ground zero (GZ). Test support Radiological Control Technicians did not detect contamination outside the immediate GZ area. In addition, vehicles, equipment, and workers that were contaminated were decontaminated on site. Soil contamination was addressed through the application of oil, and the site was decommissioned after the test. Any equipment that could be successfully decontaminated and had a futuremore » use was removed from the site. The contaminated equipment and temporary buildings erected to support the test were buried on site, most likely in the area under the dirt berm. The exact location of the buried equipment and temporary buildings is unknown. No information was found describing the disposition of the filter and scrubber, but they are not known to be at the site. The COMMODORE test was conducted at U2am on May 20, 1967, and formed the crater next to CAS 02-37-02. The COMMODORE test area had been surveyed prior to the test, and alpha contamination was not identified. Furthermore, alpha contamination was not identified during the COMMODORE re-entry survey, and routine surveys around the crater lip did not identify alpha contamination. Background information includes several radiological surveys conducted after these two tests. The MULLET area has been surveyed frequently. The early surveys indicate the area as both contaminated and containing buried radioactive material. A survey conducted in 1970 found the radiological/chemical piping partially intact, including the 'Y' junction, and shows two runs of intact piping running past the U2am crater lip. The survey focused on the piping system itself and detected alpha contamination from 4 counts per minute (cpm) to 900,000 cpm. The highest value was at a pipe flange between a dirt pile and a dirt berm within the current site fence line. All readings were direct, and no smears were taken. A 1972 survey was essentially a repeat of the 1970 survey; however, it does not show the 'Y' junction nor does it show piping extending past the U2am crater lip. It also shows a new fence line separating the radiological/chemical piping from the U2am crater area with all piping within the fence. Alpha contamination was detected on pipe flanges during the survey, but alpha contamination was not detected on the dirt pile or the dirt berm. All readings were direct, and no smears were taken. Additional surveys were conducted in 1986, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1996. One of the surveys focused on determining the extent of soil contamination around GZ. An alpha contamination plume extending approximately 200 feet south of GZ was detected in a swath approximately 100 feet wide. The maximum measurement was 15,000 cpm alpha. All surveys show the piping within the fence line. Recent surveys (2007 and 2008) were performed around the current fence line by the demarcation group. No removable contamination was identified during these surveys. In late 2008, a visual inspection of the site was conducted by the National Security Technologies, LLC, Environmental Restoration group. All piping is within the fence line. Photos taken during this site visit are attached.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1300333
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Nevada Test Site/National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Contributing Orgs:
NSTec Environmental Restoration (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States