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Environmental effects of a tritium gas release from the Savannah River Plant on December 31, 1975

Description: At 10:00 p.m. EST on December 31, 1975, 182,000 Ci of tritium gas was released within about 1.5 min from a tritium processing facility at the Savannah River Plant. The release was caused by the failure of a vacuum gage and was exhausted to the atmosphere by way of a 200-ft-high stack. Winds averaging 20 mph carried the tritium offplant toward the east. Calculations indicate that the puff passed out to sea about 35 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina, about 7 hr after the release occurred. Samples from the facility exhaust system indicated that 99.4 percent of the tritium was in elemental form and 0.6 percent was in the more biologically active oxide (water) form. The maximum potential dose to a person (from inhalation and skin absorption) at the puff centerline on the plant boundary was calculated to be 0.014 mrem, or about 0.01 percent of the annual dose received from natural radioactivity. The integrated dose to the population under the release path was calculated to be 0.2 man-rem before the tritium passed out to sea. Over 300 environmental samples were collected and analyzed following the release. These samples included air moisture, atmospheric hydrogen, vegetation, soil, surface water, milk, and human urine. Positive results were obtained in some onplant and plant perimeter samples; these results aided in confirming the close-in puff trajectory. Tritium concentrations in nearly all samples taken beyond the plant perimeter fell within normal ranges; no urine samples indicated any tritium uptakes as a result of the release. Two milk samples did indicate a measurable tritium uptake; the maximum potential dose to an individual drinking this milk was calculated to be about 0.1 mrem. Because calculated doses from assumed exposure to the tritium are low and analyses of environmental samples indicated no significant accumulation of tritium, it ...
Date: March 1, 1976
Creator: Jacobsen, W. R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department


Description: The chemical behavior of iodine-131 in stack air from this site's Purex process is reported. The radioiodine in the stack gases apparently consists of variable proportions of molecular vapor and other forms of iodine, thus causing the efficiencies for most collection media to vary widely. Activated charcoal is a satisfactory collection medium although Process gases (ammonia and oxides of nitrogen) lower the efficiency of the charcoal from 99 to 88%. Ambient temperature and humidity had no effect on deposition and retention of iodine in long stainless steel sampling lines. Process conditions did have an effect and estimates of iodine released were 10 to 15% low due to this line loss. (auth)
Date: May 1, 1963
Creator: Jacobsen, W.R. & Jolly, L. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control and treatment of radioactive liquid waste effluents at the Savannah River Plant

Description: Radioactive waste effluents at the Savannah River Plant are treated on the basis of potential off-site effects. Those wastes that are not stored in tanks or released directly to plant streams are either discharged to seepage basins or treated further to reduce their activity before being discharged. Administrative controls require that releases not result in hamnful consequences and that they are also kept as low as practical. This document describes the controls, documents the releases of radionuclides to seepage basins, and describes other methods used to treat radioactive liquid wastes. (auth)
Date: February 1, 1974
Creator: Jacobsen, W.R.; Marter, W.L.; Orth, D.A. & Ross, C.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department