Determination of Background Uranium Concentration in the Snake River Plain Aquifer under the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory's Radioactive Waste Management Complex

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Uranium occurs naturally in the environment and is also a contaminant that is disposed of at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. To determine whether uranium concentrations in the Snake River Plain Aquifer, which underlies the laboratory, are elevated as a result of migration of anthropogenic uranium from the Subsurface Disposal Area in the RWMC, uranium background concentrations are necessary. Guideline values are calculated for total uranium, 234U, 235U, and 238U from analytical results from up to five datasets. Three of the datasets include results of samples analyzed using isotope dilution thermal ... continued below

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Leecaster, Molly K.; Koeppen, L. Don & Olson, Gail L. June 1, 2003.

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Description

Uranium occurs naturally in the environment and is also a contaminant that is disposed of at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC) at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. To determine whether uranium concentrations in the Snake River Plain Aquifer, which underlies the laboratory, are elevated as a result of migration of anthropogenic uranium from the Subsurface Disposal Area in the RWMC, uranium background concentrations are necessary. Guideline values are calculated for total uranium, 234U, 235U, and 238U from analytical results from up to five datasets. Three of the datasets include results of samples analyzed using isotope dilution thermal ionization mass spectrometry (ID-TIMS) and two of the datasets include results obtained using alpha spectrometry. All samples included in the statistical testing were collected from aquifer monitoring wells located within 10 miles of the RWMC. Results from ID-TIMS and alpha spectrometry are combined when the data are not statistically different. Guideline values for total uranium were calculated using four of the datasets, while guideline values for 234U were calculated using only the alpha spectrometry results (2 datasets). Data from all five datasets were used to calculate 238U guideline values. No limit is calculated for 235U because the ID-TIMS results are not useful for comparison with routine monitoring data, and the alpha spectrometry results are too close to the detection limit to be deemed accurate or reliable for calculating a 235U guideline value. All guideline values presented represent the upper 95% coverage 95% confidence tolerance limits for background concentration. If a future monitoring result is above this guideline, then the exceedance will be noted in the quarterly monitoring report and assessed with respect to other aquifer information. The guidelines (tolerance limits) for total U, 234U, and 238U are 2.75 pCi/L, 1.92 pCi/L, and 0.90 pCi/L, respectively.

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  • Report No.: INEEL/EXT-03-00367
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/910725 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910725
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888513

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  • June 1, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 7:36 p.m.

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Leecaster, Molly K.; Koeppen, L. Don & Olson, Gail L. Determination of Background Uranium Concentration in the Snake River Plain Aquifer under the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory's Radioactive Waste Management Complex, report, June 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888513/: accessed August 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.