Summary Statement of Findings Related to the Distribution, Characteristics, and Biological Availability of Fallout Debris Originating From Testing Programs at the Nevada Test Site

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Summary statements are given of significant findings related to the distribution characteristics, and biological availability of fall-out debris originating from testing programs at the Nevada Test Site during the past decade. The delineation of fall-out patterns has been accomplished by the use of aenial and ground monitoring surveys. Only about 25% of the total amount of fission products produced by tower-supported detonations were deposited within distances corresponding to fall-out time of H + 12 hr; a much smaller quantity was deposited by halloon-supported detonations. Fall-out particles less than 44 (For in diameter are presumed to be of the greatest biological ... continued below

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Pages: 40

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Larson, K. H. & Neel, J. W. September 14, 1960.

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Summary statements are given of significant findings related to the distribution characteristics, and biological availability of fall-out debris originating from testing programs at the Nevada Test Site during the past decade. The delineation of fall-out patterns has been accomplished by the use of aenial and ground monitoring surveys. Only about 25% of the total amount of fission products produced by tower-supported detonations were deposited within distances corresponding to fall-out time of H + 12 hr; a much smaller quantity was deposited by halloon-supported detonations. Fall-out particles less than 44 (For in diameter are presumed to be of the greatest biological significance. About 30% of the fall-out radioactivity from tower-supported detonations was contained in the 0 to 44 (For particles as compared to almost 70% for balloon-supported detonations. Fall-out debris from halloon- supported detonations was also much more water and acid soluble than was the debris from towel-supported detonations. The <44 (For fallout particles contained a higher percentage of Sr/sup 89/, Sr/sup 90/, Ru/sup 10/ / sup 3/, and Ru/sup 106/ than did larger sized particles. There was a higher percentage of these radioelements in the particles from balloon-supported detonations. Within distances corresponding to H + 12 hr fall-out time, balloon- supported detonations deposited a maximum of 0.13% of the theoretical total Sr/ sup 89/ produced; tower-supported detonations deposited a maximum of 2%. Tower- supported detonations also deposited a maximum of 7.2% of the theoretical total amount of Sr/sup 90/ produced. Beta decay curves approximated the T/sup -1.//sup 2/ decay expression from H + 12 to H + 6000 hr; gamma decay curves deviated to the extent that irradiation doses calculated by the observed decay values were 1.5 to 2 times > those calculated by the T/sup -1.//sup 2/ relationship. Fall- out radioactivity is apparently confined to the first 2 in. of the soil surface unless the surface has been mechanically disturbed. Most of the fall-out debris that was redistributed by various environmental factors after original deposition consisted of particles < 44 (For in diameter; the particles in this size range also represented the predominant contamination on plant foliage. Sr/ sup 90/ levels in surface soil ranged from 31.9 to 142 mc/sq. mile in virgin areas near known fall-out pattern midlines and from 7.5 to 22.7 mc/sq. mile in agricultural areas that in some cases did not coincide with fall-out pattern midlines. The accumulation of radioiodine by native animals was observed to be a function of distance from GZ. Ba/sup 140/, Y/sup 91/, Sr/sup 89/, and Sr/sup 90/ were major bone contaminants. Post-series sampling of native aminals indicated that the accumulation of Sr/sup 89/ was also a function of distance from the point of detonation; however, the Sr/sup 90/ accumulation by animals correlated poorly with the strontium unit levels in soils. The strontium unit levels increased in milk immediately following contamition of the farm with fall-out debris and then decreased with time as well as the amount of strontium associated with the cattle's diet. Observations during the past decade indicate that less than 10% of the total strontium produced from nuclear detonations at NTS has been deposited with 200 miles from the point of detonation. (auth)

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Pages: 40

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  • Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-61

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  • Report No.: UCLA-438
  • Grant Number: AT-04-1-GEN-12
  • DOI: 10.2172/4124261 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4124261
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc865146

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  • September 14, 1960

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • April 13, 2018, 5:24 p.m.

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Larson, K. H. & Neel, J. W. Summary Statement of Findings Related to the Distribution, Characteristics, and Biological Availability of Fallout Debris Originating From Testing Programs at the Nevada Test Site, report, September 14, 1960; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc865146/: accessed July 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.