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Title: Tonopah Test Range Air Monitoring: CY2013 Meteorological, Radiological, and Airborne Particulate Observations

In 1963, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission [AEC]), implemented Operation Roller Coaster on the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and an adjacent area of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) (formerly the Nellis Air Force Range). This test resulted in radionuclide-contaminated soils at Clean Slate I, II, and III. This report documents observations made during on-going monitoring of radiological, meteorological, and dust conditions at stations installed adjacent to Clean Slate I and Clean Slate III and at the TTR Range Operations Control center. The primary objective of the monitoring effort is to determine if winds blowing across the Clean Slate sites are transporting particles of radionuclide-contaminated soils beyond both the physical and administrative boundaries of the sites. Results for the calendar year (CY) 2013 monitoring include: (1) the gross alpha and gross beta values from the monitoring stations are approximately equivalent to the highest values observed during the CY2012 reporting at the surrounding Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) stations (this was the latest documented data available at the time of this writing); (2) only naturally occurring radionuclides were identified in the gamma spectral analyses; (3) the ambient gamma radiation measurements indicate that the averagemore » annual gamma exposure is similar at all three monitoring stations and periodic intervals of increased gamma values appear to be associated with storm fronts passing through the area; and (4) the concentrations of both resuspended dust and saltated sand particles generally increase with increasing wind speed. However, differences in the observed dust concentrations are likely due to differences in the soil characteristics immediately adjacent to the monitoring stations. Neither the resuspended particulate radiological analyses nor the ambient gamma radiation measurements suggest wind transport of radionuclide-contaminated soils.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. DRI
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1164528
Report Number(s):
45258
DOE/NV/0000939-20
DOE Contract Number:
DE-NA0000939
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Desert Research Institute, Nevada University, Reno, NV (United States); Desert Research Institute (DRI), Nevada System of Higher Education, Reno,NV (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES In 1963, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) (formerly the Atomic Energy Commission [AEC]), implemented Operation Roller Coaster on the Tonopah Test Range (TTR) and an adjacent area of the Nevada Test and Training Range (NTTR) (formerly the Nellis Air Force Range). This test resulted in radionuclide-contaminated soils at Clean Slate I, II, and III. This report documents observations made during on-going monitoring of radiological, meteorological, and dust conditions at stations installed adjacent to Clean Slate I and Clean Slate III and at the TTR Range Operations Control center. The primary objective of the monitoring effort is to determine if winds blowing across the Clean Slate sites are transporting particles of radionuclide-contaminated soils beyond both the physical and administrative boundaries of the sites. Results for the calendar year (CY) 2013 monitoring include: (1) the gross alpha and gross beta values from the monitoring stations are approximately equivalent to the highest values observed during the CY2012 reporting at the surrounding Community Environmental Monitoring Program (CEMP) stations (this was the latest documented data available at the time of this writing); (2) only naturally occurring radionuclides were identified in the gamma spectral analyses; (3) the ambient gamma radiation measurements indicate that the average annual gamma exposure is similar at all three monitoring stations and periodic intervals of increased gamma values appear to be associated with storm fronts passing through the area; and (4) the concentrations of both resuspended dust and saltated sand particles generally increase with increasing wind speed. However, differences in the observed dust concentrations are likely due to differences in the soil characteristics immediately adjacent to the monitoring stations. Neither the resuspended particulate radiological analyses nor the ambient gamma radiation measurements suggest wind transport of radionuclide-contaminated soils.