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Title: Effect of Selected Modeling Assumptions on Subsurface Radionuclide Transport Projections for the Potential Environmental Management Disposal Facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management recently revised a Remedial Investigation/ Feasibility Study (RI/FS) that included an analysis of subsurface radionuclide transport at a potential new Environmental Management Disposal Facility (EMDF) in East Bear Creek Valley near Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The effect of three simplifying assumptions used in the RI/FS analyses are investigated using the same subsurface pathway conceptualization but with more flexible modeling tools. Neglect of vadose zone dispersion was found to be conservative or non-conservative, depending on the retarded travel time and the half-life. For a given equilibrium distribution coefficient, a relatively narrow range of half-life was identified for which neglect of vadose zone transport is non-conservative and radionuclide discharge into surface water is non-negligible. However, there are two additional conservative simplifications in the reference case that compensate for the non-conservative effect of neglecting vadose zone dispersion: the use of a steady infiltration rate and vadose zone velocity, and the way equilibrium sorption is used to represent transport in the fractured material of the saturated aquifer. With more realistic representations of all three processes, the RI/FS reference case was found to either provide a reasonably good approximation to the peak concentration or was significantly conservative (pessimistic)more » for all parameter combinations considered.« less
Authors:
 [1]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Environmental Sciences Division
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1325470
Report Number(s):
ORNL/TM--2016/235
EY6526411; TRN: US1700076
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-00OR22725
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Environmental Management (EM)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; OAK RIDGE; RADIONUCLIDE MIGRATION; Y-12 PLANT; SIMULATION; STREAMS; EQUILIBRIUM; HALF-LIFE; UNDERGROUND; WATER INFLUX; FEASIBILITY STUDIES; ABUNDANCE; AQUIFERS; SORPTION; VELOCITY