Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Gasbuggy underground nuclear test site, New Mexico

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The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is operating an environmental restoration program to characterize, remediate, and close non-Nevada Test Site locations that were used for nuclear testing. Evaluation of radionuclide transport by groundwater from these sites is an important part of the preliminary risk analysis. These evaluations are undertaken to allow prioritization of the test areas in terms of risk, provide a quantitative basis for discussions with regulators and the public about future work at the sites, and provide a framework for assessing data needs to be filled by site characterization. The Gasbuggy site in northwestern New Mexico was the ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 34 p.

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Earman, S.; Chapman, J. & Andricevic, R. September 1, 1996.

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Description

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is operating an environmental restoration program to characterize, remediate, and close non-Nevada Test Site locations that were used for nuclear testing. Evaluation of radionuclide transport by groundwater from these sites is an important part of the preliminary risk analysis. These evaluations are undertaken to allow prioritization of the test areas in terms of risk, provide a quantitative basis for discussions with regulators and the public about future work at the sites, and provide a framework for assessing data needs to be filled by site characterization. The Gasbuggy site in northwestern New Mexico was the location of an underground detonation of a 29-kiloton nuclear device in 1967. The test took place in the Lewis Shale, approximately 182 m below the Ojo Alamo Sandstone, which is the aquifer closest to the detonation horizon. The conservative assumption was made that tritium was injected from the blast-created cavity into the Ojo Alamo Sandstone by the force of the explosion, via fractures created by the shot. Model results suggest that if radionuclides produced by the shot entered the Ojo Alamo, they are most likely contained within the area currently administered by DOE. The transport calculations are most sensitive to changes in the mean groundwater velocity, followed by the variance in hydraulic conductivity, the correlation scale of hydraulic conductivity, the transverse hydrodynamic dispersion coefficient, and uncertainty in the source size. This modeling was performed to investigate how the uncertainty in various physical parameters affects calculations of radionuclide transport at the Gasbuggy site, and to serve as a starting point for discussion regarding further investigation at the site; it was not intended to be a definitive simulation of migration pathways or radionuclide concentration values.

Physical Description

Medium: P; Size: 34 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE97003547

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1996

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  • Other: DE97003547
  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11508--16
  • Grant Number: AC08-95NV11508
  • DOI: 10.2172/442146 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 442146
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc676023

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  • September 1, 1996

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • June 14, 2016, 2:01 p.m.

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Earman, S.; Chapman, J. & Andricevic, R. Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Gasbuggy underground nuclear test site, New Mexico, report, September 1, 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676023/: accessed October 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.