DISTRIBUTION OF RADIOACTIVE JACKRABBIT PELLETS IN THE VICINITY OF THE B-C CRIBS, 200 EAST AREA U.S.A.E.C. HANFORD RESERVATION

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During 1972 and 1973 a study was conducted in the B-C Cribs, 200 East Area, to learn the extent to which jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and their predators had dispersed buried radioactive wastes in their fecal pellets and scats. The specific objective was to gather sufficient data on the pattern of dispersal so that statistically valid sampling strategies could be developed in future programs, depending upon management planning objectives for the area. A secondary objective was to relate these data with parameters, such as topography, wind direction, vegetation types, animal behavior, that might help explain the pattern of dispersal. In 1972, ... continued below

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O'Farrell, Thomas P.; Fitzner, R. E. & Gilbert, Richard O. September 1, 1973.

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During 1972 and 1973 a study was conducted in the B-C Cribs, 200 East Area, to learn the extent to which jackrabbits (Lepus californicus) and their predators had dispersed buried radioactive wastes in their fecal pellets and scats. The specific objective was to gather sufficient data on the pattern of dispersal so that statistically valid sampling strategies could be developed in future programs, depending upon management planning objectives for the area. A secondary objective was to relate these data with parameters, such as topography, wind direction, vegetation types, animal behavior, that might help explain the pattern of dispersal. In 1972, 2625 circular sampling sites were surveyed along 30 transects radiating out 2.4 to 3.2 km from the B-C Cribs. Radioactive contaminated feces, urine, soil and vegetation were distributed in all directions from the cribs, but the area to the south and southwest was more densely and uniformly contaminated. Of the ultimate sampling units surveyed, 278 or 10.6% had activity in excess o f 10,000 counts per minute (cprn) measured with a Geiger-Mueller counter. Of these 278 circular areas, 179 or 64% were found within 0.5 km of the cribs, 23.4% were between 0.5 and 1.0 km, and the remaining 12.2% were further than 1 km from the central point. Although most droppings with a count rate greater than 20,000 cpm were found within 400 meters of the crib, pellets registering in excess of 100,000 cprn were found up to 1.6 km from the cribs. The pellets appeared to be distributed into the prevailing wind directions and contrary to the immediate contours: the only correlation seemed to be with increased vegetation density to the south and southwest, vegetation that is prime jackrabbit habitat. In May-June, 1973, 48 additional transects were run: 7 were parallel to lines established in the B-C Crib Area during 1972; 18 radiated from an abandoned gun battery site 3.2 km east of the cribs; and 23 were run from power lines 5 km south to southwest of the cribs back towards the source of contamination. No contaminated jackrabbit pellets were found at these distances, but one contaminated coyote scat was found near the gun battery site. During 1972 and 1973 field crews walked 106.7 km along 78 radii and recorded observations on 6671 ultimate sampling units of approximately 1.4 m{sup 2}.

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  • Report No.: BNWL-1794
  • Grant Number: AT(45-1)-2130
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1087570
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842412

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

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  • September 1, 1973

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 21, 2016, 8:57 p.m.

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O'Farrell, Thomas P.; Fitzner, R. E. & Gilbert, Richard O. DISTRIBUTION OF RADIOACTIVE JACKRABBIT PELLETS IN THE VICINITY OF THE B-C CRIBS, 200 EAST AREA U.S.A.E.C. HANFORD RESERVATION, report, September 1, 1973; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842412/: accessed November 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.