Computation Of The Residual Radionuclide Activity Within Three Natural Waterways At The Savannah River Site Page: 2 of 14
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WM2014 Conference, March 2-6, 2014, Phoenix, AZ, USA
Computation of the Residual Radionuclide Activity Within Three Natural
Waterways at the Savannah River Site - 14136
R.A. Hiergesell, M.A. Phifer
Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, SC 29808
In 2010 a Composite Analysis (CA) of the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's)
Savannah River Site (SRS) was completed . This investigation evaluated the dose
impact of the anticipated SRS End State residual sources of radionuclides to offsite
members of the public. Doses were assessed at the locations where SRS site streams
discharge into the Savannah River at the perimeter of the SRS. Although the model
developed to perform this computation indicated that the dose constraint of 0.3 mSv/yr
(30 mrem/yr), associated with CA, was not approached at the Points of Assessment
(POAs), a significant contribution to the total computed dose was derived from the
radionuclides (primarily Cs-137) bound-up in the soil and sediment of the drainage
corridors of several SRS streams.
DOE's Low Level Waste Federal Review Group (LFRG) reviewed the 2010 CA and
identified several items to be addressed in the SRS Maintenance Program. One of the
items recognized Cs-137 in the Lower Three Runs (LTR) Integrator Operable Unit (IOU),
as a significant CA dose driver. The item made the recommendation that SRS update
the estimated radionuclide inventory, including Cs-137, in the LTR IOU. That initial work
has been completed and its radionuclide inventory refined . There are five additional
streams at SRS and the next phase of the response to the LFRG concern was to obtain
a more accurate inventory and distribution of radionuclides in three of those streams,
Fourmile Branch (FMB), Pen Branch (PB) and Steel Creek (SC). Each of these streams
is designated as an IOU, which are defined for the purpose of this investigation as the
surface water bodies and associated wetlands, including the channel sediment,
floodplain sed/soil, and related biota. If present, radionuclides associated with IOUs are
adsorbed to the streambed sediment and soils of the shallow floodplains that lie
immediately adjacent to stream channels.
The scope of this effort included the evaluation of any previous sampling and analysis
data that had been collected for various SRS investigations, as well as the additional
streambed and floodplain sampling and analysis data acquired more recently as part of
the ongoing SRS IOU program, and associated specifically with the FMB, PB, and SC
IOUs. Samples have been acquired along the waterways, within the stream channels
themselves and in the adjacent floodplain zones. While Cs-137 is the most significant
and abundant radionuclide associated with the SRS waterways, it is not the only
radionuclide, hence work was conducted to evaluate all radionuclides present.
FMB, PB, and SC IOUs are located adjacent to one another in the south-central portion
of SRS. The watershed boundary associated with each IOU is shown by the areas
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Hiergesell, R. A. & Phifer, M. A. Computation Of The Residual Radionuclide Activity Within Three Natural Waterways At The Savannah River Site, article, January 7, 2014; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc865176/m1/2/: accessed February 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.