200-BP-1 Prototype Hanford Barrier - 15 Years of Performance Monitoring

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Engineered surface barriers are recognized as a remedial alternative to the removal, treatment and disposal of near-surface contaminants at a variety of waste sites within the DOE complex. One issue impacting their acceptance by stakeholders the use of limited data to predict long-term performance. In 1994, a 2-ha multi-component barrier was constructed over an existing waste disposal site at Hanford using natural materials. Monitoring has been almost continuous for the last 15 yrs and has focused on barrier stability, vegetative cover, plant and animal intrusion, and the components of the water balance, including precipitation, runoff, storage, drainage, and percolation. The ... continued below

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Ward, Anderson L.; Link, Steven O.; Draper, Kathryn E. & Clayton, Ray E. September 1, 2009.

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Engineered surface barriers are recognized as a remedial alternative to the removal, treatment and disposal of near-surface contaminants at a variety of waste sites within the DOE complex. One issue impacting their acceptance by stakeholders the use of limited data to predict long-term performance. In 1994, a 2-ha multi-component barrier was constructed over an existing waste disposal site at Hanford using natural materials. Monitoring has been almost continuous for the last 15 yrs and has focused on barrier stability, vegetative cover, plant and animal intrusion, and the components of the water balance, including precipitation, runoff, storage, drainage, and percolation. The total precipitation received from October 1994 through August 2008 was 3311 mm on the northern half (formerly irrigated), and 2638 mm on the southern, non-irrigated half. Water storage in the fine-soil layer shows a cyclic pattern, increasing in the winter and decreasing in the spring and summer to a lower limit of around 100 mm, regardless of precipitation, in response to evapotranspiration. Topographic surveys show the barrier and side slopes to be stable and the pea-gravel admix has proven effective in minimizing erosion through the creation of a desert pavement during deflationary periods. Three runoff events have been observed but the 600-mm design storage capacity has never been exceeded. Total percolation ranged from near zero amounts under the soil-covered plots to over 600 mm under the side slopes. The asphaltic concrete prevented any of this water from reaching the buried waste thereby eliminating the driving force for the contaminant remobilization. Plant surveys show a relatively high coverage of native plants still persists after the initial revegetation although the number of species decreased from 35 in 1994 to 10 in 2009. Ample evidence of insect and small mammal use suggests that the barrier is behaving like a recovering ecosystem. In September 2008, the north half of the barrier was burned to remove vegetation and study the effects of fire on barrier performance. The most immediate effects has been on water storage patterns with the bare surface showing a slower accumulation of water, a smaller peak storage and a delayed release relative to the unburned side due to evaporation . Nonetheless the residual storage at the end of the year was similar for the burned and unburned sides.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-18845
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1025099 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1025099
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc832917

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  • September 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 1:52 p.m.

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Ward, Anderson L.; Link, Steven O.; Draper, Kathryn E. & Clayton, Ray E. 200-BP-1 Prototype Hanford Barrier - 15 Years of Performance Monitoring, report, September 1, 2009; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc832917/: accessed December 10, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.