Radionuclide Contaminant Analysis of Small Mammals at Area G, Technical Area 54, 1997 (with cumulative summary 1994-1997)

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In 1997, small mammals were sampled at four locations at Area G, Technical Area 54, a control site within the proposed Area G expansion area, and a background site on Frijoles Mesa. The purpose of the sampling was to (1) identify radionuclides that are present within rodent tissues at waste burial sites, (2) compare the amount of radionuclide uptake by small mammals at waste burial sites to a control site, and (3) identifi the primary mode of contamination to small mammals, either through surface contact or ingestion/inhalation. Three composite samples of approximately five animals per sample were collected at each ... continued below

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Biggs, James R.; Bennett, Kathryn D. & Fresquez, P. R. December 1, 1998.

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In 1997, small mammals were sampled at four locations at Area G, Technical Area 54, a control site within the proposed Area G expansion area, and a background site on Frijoles Mesa. The purpose of the sampling was to (1) identify radionuclides that are present within rodent tissues at waste burial sites, (2) compare the amount of radionuclide uptake by small mammals at waste burial sites to a control site, and (3) identifi the primary mode of contamination to small mammals, either through surface contact or ingestion/inhalation. Three composite samples of approximately five animals per sample were collected at each site. Pelts and carcasses of each animal were separated and analyzed independently. Samples were analyzed for 241Am, 90Sr, 238Pu, 239Pu, total U, 137Cs, and 3H. Higher levels of total U and 137CS were detected in pelts as compared to the carcasses of small mammals, and 90Sr was found to be higher in carcasses. Concentrations of other measured radionuclides in carcasses were not found to be statistically different (p< 0.05) from that measured in pelts. However, pelts generally had higher concentrations than carcasses, indicating surface contamination may be the primary contamination mode. Low sample sizes in total number of animals captured during 1997 prevented statistical analysis to compare site to site to all but four sites. Mean concentrations of 241Am, 238Pu, 239Pu, and 3H in small mammal carcasses were found to be statistically greater at the transuranic (TRU) waste pad #2. In addition, mean concentrations of total U, ~lAm, and 3H in pelts of small mammals were also statistically greater. The Control Site and Background Site consistently had the lowest mean concentrations of radionuclides. Year to year comparison of mean radionuclide concentrations was conducted where suftlcient sample size existed. We found 241Am, 238Pu, 239Pu, and 3H mean concentrations in carcasses to be statistically greater in 1997 than previous years at TRU waste pad #2. However, mean concentrations of 137CS in small mammal carcasses were higher at the TRU waste pad #2 and Pits 17 and 18 during 1996.

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  • Other: DE00002614
  • Report No.: LA-13517-MS
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • DOI: 10.2172/2614 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 2614
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc667136

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  • December 1, 1998

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 1:50 p.m.

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Biggs, James R.; Bennett, Kathryn D. & Fresquez, P. R. Radionuclide Contaminant Analysis of Small Mammals at Area G, Technical Area 54, 1997 (with cumulative summary 1994-1997), report, December 1, 1998; Los Alamos, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc667136/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.