2012 Groundwater Monitoring Report Project Shoal Area Subsurface Corrective Action Unit 447

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The Project Shoal Area (PSA) in Nevada was the site of a 12-kiloton underground nuclear test in 1963. Although the surface of the site has been remediated, investigation of groundwater contamination resulting from the test is still in the corrective action process. Annual sampling and hydraulic head monitoring are conducted at the site as part of the subsurface corrective action strategy. Analytical results from the 2012 monitoring are consistent with those of the previous years, with tritium detected only in well HC-4. The tritium concentration in groundwater from well HC-4 remains far below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-established maximum contaminant ... continued below

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80 pages, 20.0 MB

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Creator: Unknown. March 1, 2013.

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The Project Shoal Area (PSA) in Nevada was the site of a 12-kiloton underground nuclear test in 1963. Although the surface of the site has been remediated, investigation of groundwater contamination resulting from the test is still in the corrective action process. Annual sampling and hydraulic head monitoring are conducted at the site as part of the subsurface corrective action strategy. Analytical results from the 2012 monitoring are consistent with those of the previous years, with tritium detected only in well HC-4. The tritium concentration in groundwater from well HC-4 remains far below the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-established maximum contaminant level of 20,000 picocuries per liter. Concentrations of total uranium and gross alpha were also detected during this monitoring period, with uranium accounting for nearly all the gross alpha activity. The total uranium concentrations obtained from this monitoring period were consistent with previous results and reflect a slightly elevated natural uranium concentration, consistent with the mineralized geologic terrain. Isotopic ratios of uranium also indicate a natural source of uranium in groundwater, as opposed to a nuclear-test-related source. Water level trends obtained from the 2012 water level data were consistent with those of previous years. The corrective action strategy for the PSA is currently focused on revising the site conceptual model (SCM) and evaluating the adequacy of the current monitoring well network. Some aspects of the SCM are known; however, two major concerns are the uncertainty in the groundwater flow direction and the cause of rising water levels in site wells west of the shear zone. Water levels have been rising in the site wells west of the shear zone since the first hydrologic characterization wells were installed in 1996. While water levels in wells west of the shear zone continue to rise, the rate of increase is less than in previous years. The SCM will be revised, and an evaluation of the groundwater monitoring network will be conducted when water levels at the site have stabilized.

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80 pages, 20.0 MB

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  • Report No.: LMS/SHL--S09338
  • Grant Number: DE-AM01-07LM00060
  • DOI: 10.2172/1110237 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1110237
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc870271

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  • March 1, 2013

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Sept. 25, 2017, 3:57 p.m.

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2012 Groundwater Monitoring Report Project Shoal Area Subsurface Corrective Action Unit 447, report, March 1, 2013; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc870271/: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.