Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Rio Blanco underground nuclear test site, Colorado

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Description

DOE is operating an environmental restoration program to characterize, remediate, and close non-Nevada Test Site locations used for nuclear testing. Evaluation of radionuclide transport by groundwater is part of preliminary risk analysis. These evaluations allow prioritization of test areas in terms of risk, provide a basis for discussions with regulators and the public about future work, and provide a framework for assessing site characterization data needs. The Rio Blanco site in Colorado was the location of the simultaneous detonation of three 30-kiloton nuclear devices. The devices were located 1780, 1899, and 2039 below ground surface in the Fort Union and ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: 33 p.

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Chapman, J.; Earman, S. & Andricevic, R. October 1996.

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Description

DOE is operating an environmental restoration program to characterize, remediate, and close non-Nevada Test Site locations used for nuclear testing. Evaluation of radionuclide transport by groundwater is part of preliminary risk analysis. These evaluations allow prioritization of test areas in terms of risk, provide a basis for discussions with regulators and the public about future work, and provide a framework for assessing site characterization data needs. The Rio Blanco site in Colorado was the location of the simultaneous detonation of three 30-kiloton nuclear devices. The devices were located 1780, 1899, and 2039 below ground surface in the Fort Union and Mesaverde formations. Although all the bedrock formations at the site are thought to contain water, those below the Green River Formation (below 1000 in depth) are also gas-bearing, and have very low permeabilities. The transport scenario evaluated was the migration of radionuclides from the blast-created cavity through the Fort Union Formation. Transport calculations were performed using the solute flux method, with input based on the limited data available for the site. Model results suggest that radionuclides from the test are contained entirely within the area currently administered by DOE. This modeling was performed to investigate how the uncertainty in various physical parameters affect radionuclide transport at the site, and to serve as a starting point for discussion regarding further investigation; it was not intended to be a definitive simulation of migration pathways or radionuclide concentration values. Given the sparse data, the modeling results may differ significantly from reality. Confidence in transport predictions can be increased by obtaining more site data, including the amount of radionuclides which would have been available for transport (i.e., not trapped in melt glass or vented during gas flow testing), and the hydraulic properties of the formation. 38 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab.

Physical Description

Medium: P; Size: 33 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97003548

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  • Other Information: PBD: Oct 1996

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  • Other: DE97003548
  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11508--19
  • Grant Number: AC08-95NV11508
  • DOI: 10.2172/444049 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 444049
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc677979

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  • October 1996

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  • July 25, 2015, 2:21 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 6:39 p.m.

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Chapman, J.; Earman, S. & Andricevic, R. Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Rio Blanco underground nuclear test site, Colorado, report, October 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc677979/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.