Review of a field study of radionuclide migration from an underground nuclear explosion at the Nevada Test Site

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Results from a long-term (9 year) field study of the distribution of radionuclides around an underground nuclear explosion cavity at the Nevada Test Site are reviewed. The goals of this Radionuclide Migration project are to examine the rates of migration underground in various media and to determine the potential for movement, both on and off the Nevada Test Site, of radioactivity from such explosions, with particular interest in possible contamination of water supplies. Initial studies were undertaken near the site of the low-yield test Cambric, which was detonated 73 m beneath the water table in tuffaceous alluvium. Solid samples were ... continued below

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17 p.

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Hoffman, D.C.; Daniels, W.R.; Wolfsberg, K.; Thompson, J.L.; Rundberg, R.S.; Fraser, S.L. et al. December 31, 1983.

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Description

Results from a long-term (9 year) field study of the distribution of radionuclides around an underground nuclear explosion cavity at the Nevada Test Site are reviewed. The goals of this Radionuclide Migration project are to examine the rates of migration underground in various media and to determine the potential for movement, both on and off the Nevada Test Site, of radioactivity from such explosions, with particular interest in possible contamination of water supplies. Initial studies were undertaken near the site of the low-yield test Cambric, which was detonated 73 m beneath the water table in tuffaceous alluvium. Solid samples were obtained from just below ground surface to 50 m below the detonation point, and water was sampled from five different regions in the vicinity of the explosion. Ten years after the test, most of the radioactivity was found to be retained in the fused debris in the cavity region and no activity above background was found 50 m below. Only tritium and {sup 90}Sr were presented in water in the cavity at levels greater than recommended concentration guides for water in uncontrolled areas. A satellite well is being used to remove water 91 m from the detonation point. During seven years (7 x 10{sup 6} m{sup 3}) of pumping, tritium, {sup 85}Kr, {sup 36}Cl, and {sup 129}I have been detected in the water. Approximately 40% of the total tritium from the cavity region has been removed by pumping at the satellite well, and the maximum in the tritium concentration is clearly defined. Use of sensitive analytical techniques has permitted measurement of the very low concentrations of {sup 36}Cl and {sup 129}I present in the water. The {sup 36}Cl peak precedes the tritiated water, possibly as a result of anion exclusion. Additional analyses are in progress to better define the shape of the {sup 129}I concentration curve.

Physical Description

17 p.

Notes

NTIS, PC A02/MF A01; OSTI as DE83007563

Source

  • International conference on radioactive waste management, Seattle, WA (United States), 16-20 May 1983

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  • Other: DE83007563
  • Report No.: LA-UR--83-493
  • Report No.: CONF-830523--;IAEA-CN--43/469
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 60289
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc697618

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  • December 31, 1983

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • Feb. 26, 2016, 4:23 p.m.

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Hoffman, D.C.; Daniels, W.R.; Wolfsberg, K.; Thompson, J.L.; Rundberg, R.S.; Fraser, S.L. et al. Review of a field study of radionuclide migration from an underground nuclear explosion at the Nevada Test Site, article, December 31, 1983; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc697618/: accessed September 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.