Evaluation of the use of sludge containing plutonium as a soil conditioner for food crops

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An experiment was conducted to assess the potential hazard associated with the use of sludge containing plutonium as a soil conditioner for food crops. Conditions were chosen that would maximize exposure to the $sup 239$Pu in the sludge through resuspension and in plant content and thus approximated the maximum potential hazards due to the inhalation and ingestion pathways. The estimated 50-year radiation doses to the pulmonary region of the lung, bone, and liver based on the results of the inhalation experiment are 6 x 10$sup -4$ rem, 1.2 x 10$sup -3$ rem, and 0.55 x 10$sup -4$ rem, respectively. Similarly, ... continued below

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19 p.

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Myers, D.S.; Silver, W.J.; Coles, D.G.; Lamson, K.C.; McIntyre, D.R. & Mendoza, B. September 17, 1975.

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An experiment was conducted to assess the potential hazard associated with the use of sludge containing plutonium as a soil conditioner for food crops. Conditions were chosen that would maximize exposure to the $sup 239$Pu in the sludge through resuspension and in plant content and thus approximated the maximum potential hazards due to the inhalation and ingestion pathways. The estimated 50-year radiation doses to the pulmonary region of the lung, bone, and liver based on the results of the inhalation experiment are 6 x 10$sup -4$ rem, 1.2 x 10$sup -3$ rem, and 0.55 x 10$sup -4$ rem, respectively. Similarly, the 50- year radiation doses attributable to ingestion of the sludge-grown vegetables were 2.2 x 10$sup -5$ rem to the bone and 1.5 x 10$sup -5$ rem to the liver. Thus, the inhalation pathway is the more critical of the two. The maximum permissible annual doses to the lungs, bone, and the liver for a member of the general public are 1.5, 3.0, and 1.5 rem, respectively. Thus, the maximum credible 50-year lung, bone, and liver dose commitments associated with the use of the $sup 239$Pu-contaminated sludge as a soil conditioner are approximately 4.0 x 10$sup -2$ percent of the annual maximum permissible dose. Under more realistic exposure circumstances, one might expect less drying of the sludge, less resuspension of dust and flying dirt before and during rototilling, and a much smaller sludge vegetable consumption rate. The conservative assumptions made in this analysis tend to assure that actual radiation doses would be even less than those calculated. (auth)

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19 p.

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  • IAEA international symposium on transuranium nuclides in the environment, San Francisco, California, USA, 17 Nov 1975

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  • Report No.: UCRL--77318
  • Report No.: SM--199/42
  • Report No.: CONF-751105--3
  • Grant Number: None
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4183090
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc868477

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

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Creation Date

  • September 17, 1975

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Oct. 12, 2017, 2:51 p.m.

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Myers, D.S.; Silver, W.J.; Coles, D.G.; Lamson, K.C.; McIntyre, D.R. & Mendoza, B. Evaluation of the use of sludge containing plutonium as a soil conditioner for food crops, article, September 17, 1975; Livermore, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc868477/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.