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Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

Description: This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impacts to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination from past activities at the former uranium processing site in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The US Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has placed contaminated material from this site in an on-site disposal cell. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the UMTRA Ground Water Project. Currently, no domestic or drinking water well tap into contaminated ground water of the two distinct ground water units: the unconsolidated materials and the bedrock. Because there is no access, no current health or environmental risks are associated with the direct use of the contaminated ground water. However, humans and ecological organisms could be exposed to contaminated ground water if a domestic well were to be installed in the unconsolidated materials in that part of the site being considered for public use (Area C). The first step is evaluating ground water data collected from monitor wells at the site. For the Canonsburg site, this evaluation showed the contaminants in ground water exceeding background in the unconsolidated materials in Area C are ammonia, boron, calcium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, strontium, and uranium.
Date: September 1994

Field Demonstration of Two Pneumatic Backfilling Technologies

Description: Abstract: This U.S. Bureau of Mines (USBM) report summarizes a field demonstration of pneumatic backfiling technologies conducted at the abandoned Hillside Coal and Iron Slope in Vandling, PA. Researchers demonstrated tro pneumatic backfilling technologies recently developed under the USBM's Abandoned Mine Reclamation Research Program, the Pneumatic Pipefeeder and the High-Efficiency Ejector. Both systems had previously been evaluated at the USBM's subsidence abatement investigation laboratory near Fairchance, PA. The objective of the demonstration was to fill 100% of the abandoned tunnel with backfill stone to prevent further subsidence. The Pneumatic Pipefeeder was used for 21 days, at a rate of 63 to 124 t/d (69 to 136 st/d), to fill 88% of the tunnel. The High-Efficiency Ejector was used for 2 days, at a rate of 125 to 132 t/d (138 to 146 st/d) to fill the remaining 12% of the tunnel. The backfill placed by both systems was tightly compacted. The major problem encountered was wear on the polyethylene pipeline from the abrasion of the high-velocity backfill. The use of heavier steel pipe minimized the problem. A cost analysis for the entire project is given.
Date: 1995
Creator: Dyni, Robert C.; Burnett, Mackenzie & Philbin, David

Slope and Bank Erosional Stability of the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, UMTRA Disposal Site

Description: This report was prepared in response to US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) comments received in a letter of 8 March 1994. This letter included discussions of the US Department of Energy (DOE) 21 May 1993 geomorphic report for the Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, site. To clarify the NRC`s position, a DOE/NRC conference call was held on 12 April 1994. The NRC clarified that it did not require a preliminary erosion protection design for the Canonsburg site, but directed the DOE to address a ``one-bad-year`` scenario. The NRC wants confirmation that one bad year of stream flooding and landsliding will not release residual radioactive material (RRM) from the Canonsburg site into the creek. The NRC is concerned that a bad year theoretically could occur between postcell-closure inspections. These annual inspections are conducted in September or October. The NRC suggested that the following procedures should be conducted in this analysis: a flooding analysis, including the maximum saturation levels (flood water elevations) anticipated during a 100-year flood; a stream bank erosion analysis to determine how much of the bank adjacent to the site may be removed in a bad year; a slope stability analysis to determine how far back the site would be disturbed by slope instability that could be triggered by a bad year of stream bank erosion; and a ``critical cross section`` study to show the relationship of the RRM located outside the disposal cell to the maximum computer estimated erosion/landslide activity.
Date: December 1994

UMTRA Project Water Sampling and Analysis Plan: Canonsburg and Burrell, Pennsylvania

Description: Surface remedial action was completed at the Canonsburg and Burrell UMTRA Project sites in southwestern Pennsylvania in 1985 and 1987, respectively. Results of 1993 water sampling indicate ground water flow conditions and ground water quality at both sites have remained relatively consistent with time. Uranium concentrations in ground water continue to exceed the maximum concentration limit (MCL) at the Canonsburg site; no MCLs are exceeded in ground water at the Burrell site. Surface water quality shows no evidence of impact from the sites.
Date: March 1994