skip to main content

Title: Amchitka Island, Alaska, Biological Monitoring Report 2011 Sampling Results

The Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance (LTS&M) Plan for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) Amchitka Island sites describes how LM plans to conduct its mission to protect human health and the environment at the three nuclear test sites located on Amchitka Island, Alaska. Amchitka Island, near the western end of the Aleutian Islands, is approximately 1,340 miles west-southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Amchitka is part of the Aleutian Island Unit of the Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge, which is administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Since World War II, Amchitka has been used by multiple U.S. government agencies for various military and research activities. From 1943 to 1950, it was used as a forward air base for the U.S. Armed Forces. During the middle 1960s and early 1970s, the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) used a portion of the island as a site for underground nuclear tests. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, the U.S. Navy constructed and operated a radar station on the island. Three underground nuclear tests were conducted on Amchitka Island. DOD, in conjunction with AEC, conducted the first nuclear test (namedmore » Long Shot) in 1965 to provide data that would improve the United States' capability of detecting underground nuclear explosions. The second nuclear test (Milrow) was a weapons-related test conducted by AEC in 1969 as a means to study the feasibility of detonating a much larger device. Cannikin, the third nuclear test on Amchitka, was a weapons-related test detonated on November 6, 1971. With the exception of small concentrations of tritium detected in surface water shortly after the Long Shot test, radioactive fission products from the tests remain in the subsurface at each test location As a continuation of the environmental monitoring that has taken place on Amchitka Island since before 1965, LM in the summer of 2011 collected biological and seawater samples from the marine and terrestrial environment of Amchitka Island adjacent to the three detonation sites and at a background or reference site, Adak Island, 180 miles to the east. Consistent with the goals of the Amchitka LTS&M Plan, four data quality objectives (DQOs) were developed for the 2011 sampling event.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
TRN: US1400174
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
USDOE Office of Legacy Management (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Legacy Management (LM)
Country of Publication:
United States