Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Rulison Underground Nuclear Test Site, Colorado

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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 Rulison site in west-central Colorado was the location ... continued below

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30 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 Rulison site in west-central Colorado was the location of an underground detonation of a 40-kiloton nuclear device in 1969. The test took place 2,568 m below ground surface in the Mesaverde Formation. Though located below the regional water table, none of the bedrock formations at the site yielded water during hydraulic tests, indicating extremely low permeability conditions. The scenario evaluated was the migration of radionuclides from the blast-created cavity through the Mesaverde 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. The transport calculations are most sensitive to changes in the mean groundwater velocity and the correlation scale of hydraulic conductivity, with transport of strontium and cesium also sensitive to the sorption coefficient.

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30 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE97003932

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  • Other Information: PBD: Sep 1996

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  • Other: DE97003932
  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11508--17
  • Report No.: DRI--45149
  • Grant Number: AC08-95NV11508
  • DOI: 10.2172/459872 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 459872
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc681444

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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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 13, 2016, 6:39 p.m.

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Earman, S.; Chapman, J. & Andricevic, R. Assessment of hydrologic transport of radionuclides from the Rulison Underground Nuclear Test Site, Colorado, report, September 1, 1996; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc681444/: accessed August 16, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.