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Natural vegetation at the proposed Reference Repository Location in southeastern Washington

Description: The dominant shrubs were sagebrush and spiny hopsage; the herbs were dominated by cheatgrass and Sandberg bluegrass. Spiny hopsage appeared to be vulnerable to burning and also to damage by off-road vehicular traffic. It appears to have little or no ability to reproduce through seedlings; once the existing plants are killed they are not likely to be replaced, even if seed-producing plants are nearby. The only pure stand of spiny hopsage known to exist on the Hanford Site is on and near study plot 2H. Sagebrush, like spiny hopsage, is killed by burning and by heavy vehicles. Sagebrush is capable of reproducing via seeds, indicating that it is an inherently aggressive species with a capacity to reestablish itself if parent plants are in the vicinity to act as seed sources. Alien, annual plants, especially cheatgrass, were a major contributor to the herbaceous canopy cover in plots 3S, 4S, and 5S. However, native perennial grasses, especially Sandberg bluegrass, were a major contributor to the canopy cover in plots 1S and 2H. These differences are probably caused by differences in soil properties (e.g., water retention capacity), rather than to historical disturbances such as livestock grazing or wildfire. Specimens of Sandwort, Arenaria franklinii, growing near the Reference Repository Location were collected for examination by taxonomists to determine if the specimens are of the variety A. f. thompsonii, a taxon currently listed as threatened in the state of Washington. 16 refs., 7 figs., 3 tabs.
Date: February 1, 1988
Creator: Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Land restoration after strip mining for coal

Description: Recent legislation requires that lands surface mined for coal be returned to approximate original topography and vegetative cover be restored. Spoils provide poor rooting habitat because of extreme stoniness or excessive slope steepness which provide few niches for seeds to become lodged and also spoil may provide poor mineral nutrition, poor water retention and sometimes the spoil may even have chemical properties detrimental to plant growth (acidity, alkalinity or even unusually large amounts of toxic mineral elements i.e., copper, sodium). To provide a substrate better suited for plant growth, recommendations for restoration call for deep burial of unfavorable substrate components i.e., rocks and materials of unusual chemistry and the dressing of reshaped spoil with topsoil i.e., material with the most favorable properties for plant growth. Even though all the substrate requirements for healthy plant growth may be met, such as adding a form of available nitrogen as fertilizer, plants will not grow if weather conditions are extreme. For example, in very dry (desert) climates precipitation may be too scanty or too erratic to permit the successful establishment of many kinds of plants. Even under the most favorable conditions plant productivity averaged over a period of years is low. Also in very cold climates the growing season may be limited to only a few weeks in summer e.g., arctic and alpine tundra regions. This shortens the time available for photosynthesis and keeps plant productivity low.
Date: January 1, 1977
Creator: Rickard, W. H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radionuclides in Canada goose eggs

Description: Low levels of radionuclides were measured in Canada goose eggs taken from deserted nests from Columbia River islands on the Energy Research and Development Administration's Hanford Reservation. Potassium-40, a naturally occurring radionuclide, was the most abundant radionuclide measured in egg contents and egg shell. Strontium-90 was incorporated into egg shells and cesium- 137 into inner egg contents. Manganese-54, cobalt-60, and zinc-65 were more abundant in inner egg contents than in egg shell. Cerium-144 was detected in egg shell but not in inner shell. (auth)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Rickard, W.H. & Sweany, H.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Descriptions of plant communities at the proposed reference repository location and implications for reclamation of disturbed ground

Description: This report presents an ecological description of the natural vegetation in the Cold Creek Valley located in the west central portion of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state. The description includes plant species composition, canopy cover, and shrub density obtained from 10 study plots distributed in three habitat-types: sagebrush/Sandberg's bluegrass, spiny hopsage/Sandberg's bluegrass, and sagebrush/needle-and-thread grass. Of the relatively few species of shrubs and herbs in the Cold Creek Valley, the most abundant were sagebrush and spiny hopsage. The most abundant herbs were cheatgrass, Sandberg's bluegrass, and needle-and-thread grass. The amount of canopy cover provided by shrubs ranged between 7.4 and 33% in seven plots without a history of recent burning. Herbaceous plants in these same plots provided canopy cover that ranged between 18 and 41%. The three plots placed in areas with a recent history of burning had more herbaceous cover than did adjacent plots without a recent burn history. This was attributed to absence of living shrubs and freedom from competition for soil water and nutrients. There was less living herb cover in 1987 than in 1986 which is likely due to the lesser amount of growing season precipitation in 1987 (i.e. 10.3 cm vs 17.1 cm). Even with the absence of livestock grazing for 44 years, cheatgrass, an exotic annual generally provided more canopy cover than native perennial grasses. However, in the few places with good stands of Sandberg's bluegrass, cheatgrass was less abundant. 12 refs., 6 figs., 6 tabs.
Date: March 1, 1988
Creator: Rickard, W.H. & Schuler, C.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical species of migrating radionuclides at commercial shallow land burial sites. Quarterly progress report, May-July, 1984

Description: The primary purposes of this project are to develop an understanding of chemical processes that significantly influence the migration of radionuclides at commercial low-level waste (LLW) burial sites and to evaluate ecological field sampling procedures for monitoring the performance of these sites. This project will produce information to support guidance for implementation of 10 CFR 61, particularly in the development of criteria for LLW disposal site selection, management, permanent closure, and monitoring. It will also produce information needed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky as they finalize plans to stabilize, close, and monitor the Maxey Flats site. Significant current research results are reported for the following tasks: inorganic and organic radionuclide species chemical forms; subsurface migration and infiltration studies; specific radionuclide mapping at Maxey Flats and commercial shallow land burial sites; ecological monitoring at commercial shallow land burial sites; and technical program coordination for LLW research. 13 references, 4 figures, 1 table.
Date: August 1, 1984
Creator: Kirby, L.J. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Restoration of surface-mined lands with rainfall harvesting

Description: Strip mining for coal in the arid western US will remove grazing land as energy demands are met. Conventional resotration usually includes leveling the spoil banks and covering them with top soil, fertilizing, seeding and irrigation with well or river water. An overview of research on an alternate method of restoring this land is reported. From 1976 through 1981 studies were conducted on the use of water harvesting, the collection and use of rainfall runoff, to restore the vegetative productivity of strip mined lands in arid regions. These studies tested the technical and economic feasibility of using partially leveled spoil banks at strip mines as catchment areas to collect and direct runoff to the topsoiled valley floor where crops were cultivated. Information was collected on the efficiency of seven treatments to increase runoff from the catchment areas and on the productivity of seven crops. The experiments were conducted in arid areas of Washington, Arizona, and Colorado. It was concluded that water harvesting can replace or augment expensive and inadequate supplies of well and river water in arid regions with a suitable climate. These studies showed that some treatments provided adequate runoff to produce a useful crop in the valleys, thus making this alternative approach to restoration technically feasible. This approach was also potentially economically feasible where the treatment costs of the catchment areas were low, the treatment was effective, the crop was productive and valuable, and earthmoving costs were lower than with conventional restoration involving complete leveling of spoil banks. It was also concluded that water harvesting can be made more effective with further information on catchment area treatments, which crops are most adaptable to water harvesting, the optimum incline of the catchment areas and climatic influences on water harvesting.
Date: December 1, 1982
Creator: Sauer, R.H. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Vascular plants of waste storage sites in the 200 areas of the Hanford reservation

Description: A brief accounting of terrestrial, riparian and semi-aquatic plants known to be associated with radioactive waste storage sites in the 200 Areas of the Hanford Reservation is given. In most cases the species are characteristic of those which generally inhabit the reservation, but some plants are restricted to specialized habitats provided by particular waste storage sites. It is impractical to list all species growing at each waste storage site because of seasonal variation and changes brought about by environmental management practices. An alpbabetical listing has been prepared with an example of where each species is known to occur. The list will be updated as needed and expanded to include other waste storage areas. Plant specimens were collected during spring and fall when flowering material was available. Herbarium mounts were prepared of many specimens and have been retained as part of the Hanford Reservation herbarium collection. Identification to species level was made whenever possible. Color photographs of the specimen mounts are used as training aids and demonstration material by ARHCO Radiation Monitoring personnel. (auth)
Date: December 1, 1973
Creator: Price, K.R. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bird associations with shrubsteppe plant communities at the proposed reference repository location in southeastern Washington

Description: This report provides information on te seasonal use of shrubsteppe vegetation by bird species at the RRL. Bird abundance and distribution were studied at the RRL to ensure that the DOE monitored migratory bird species pursuant to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and to assess potential impacts of site characterization activities on bird populations. Birds were counted on two transects that together sampled an areas of 1.39 km/sup 2/. The relative abundance of birds, species richness, seasonal distribution, and the association of breeding shrubsteppe birds with major vegetation types were determined from Janurary through December 1987. Only 38 species were counted during 82 surveys. Total bird density during the nesting season (March-June) was 42.96 birdskm/sup 2/ and the density for the entire year was 26.74 birdskm/sup 2/. The characteristic nesting birds in shrubsteppe habitats were western meadowlark, sage sparrow, burrowing owl, mourning dove, horned lark, long-billed curlew, lark sparrow, and loggerhead shrike. Western meadowlark and sage sparrows were the most abundant breeding birds with an average density of 11.25 and 7.76 birdskm/sup 2/, respectively. Seasonal distribution of birds varied with species, but most species were present from March to September. Distribution and abunandance of nesting birds were correlated with habitat type. About 63% of the habitat surveyed was sagebrush, 26% was cheatgrass, and 11% was spiny hopsage. Sagebrush habitat supproted a greeater total bird density than cheatgrass or hopsage habitats. Sage sparrows were closely associated with sagebrush habitats, while western meadowlarks showed no strong habitat affinities. 22 refs., 9 figs., 6 tabs
Date: March 1, 1988
Creator: Schuler, C.A.; Rickard, W.H. & Sargeant, G.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radionuclides in a deciduous forest surrounding a shallow-land-burial site in the eastern United States

Description: The objective of this study was to determine if radioactive materials buried in trenches at the Maxey Flats burial ground in eastern Kentucky have migrated into the surrounding oak-hickory forest. Forest floor litter, minearl soil, and tree leaves were sampled and the radionuclide content measured. (ACR)
Date: June 1, 1981
Creator: Rickard, W.H.; Kirby, L.J. & McShane, M.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical species of migrating radionuclides at commercial shallow land burial sites. Quarterly progress report, July-September 1983

Description: The primary purpose of this project is to develop an understanding of chemical processes that significantly influence the migration of radionuclides at commercial low-level waste burial sites. Chemical measurements of waste trench leachate and identification of chemical changes in leachate during migration will provide a basis for geochemical waste transport models. This project will produce for the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) information to support guidance for implementation of 10 CFR 61, particularly in the development of criteria for low level waste disposal site selection, management, permanent closure and monitoring. This project will also produce information needed by the Commonwealth of Kentucky as they finalize plans to stabilize, close and monitor the Maxey Flats site. Current research results are presented for the following tasks: (1) chemical forms inorganic and organic radionuclide species; (2) subsurface migration and infiltration studies; (3) specific radionuclide mapping at Maxey Flats and other commercial shallow land burial sites; (4) ecological monitoring at commercial shallow land burial sites; and (5) technical program coordination for low-level waste research. 17 references, 6 figures, 3 tables.
Date: November 1, 1983
Creator: Kirby, L.J.; Rickard, W.H. & Toste, A.P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Tagging studies of mule deer fawns on the Hanford Site, 1969 to 1977

Description: From 1969 to 1977, 346 mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) fawns were tagged and released on islands and shoreline habitat associated with the Columbia River on the Hanford Site in south-central Washington. The purpose was to determine the movement of mule deer along the Columbia River shoreline from the Hanford Site through tag recovery. Twenty-one tagged deer have been killed primarily by hunters near the Hanford Site or on areas of the Hanford Site open to public access. Movements of up to 113 km from Hanford have been documented. Although the Columbia River at Hanford is one of the largest and most swift-flowing rivers in North America it is not an impassable barrier to mule deer. River islands are important and perhaps critical fawining habitat for the local deer herd. The selection of these islands by pregnant female deer is apparently influenced by predation, human access, and recreational use of islands. The number of fawns captured decreased during the latter years of the study (1974 to 1977). This is probably a reflection of an actual decrease in deer productivity, particularly along the upper stretch of the Columbia flowing through the Hanford Site. The reasons for this apparent decrease are unkown.
Date: October 1, 1979
Creator: Eberhardt, L.E.; Hedlund, J.D. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Final Reclamation Report: Basalt Waste Isolation Project exploratory shaft site

Description: The restoration of areas disturbed by activities of the Basalt Waste Isolation Project (BWIP) constitutes a unique operation at the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Hanford Site, both from the standpoint of restoration objectives and the time frame for accomplishing these objectives. The BWIP reclamation program comprises three separate projects: borehole reclamation, Near Surface Test Facility (NSTF) reclamation, and Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF) reclamation. The main focus of this report is on determining the success of the revegetation effort 1 year after work was completed. This report also provides a brief overview of the ESF reclamation program. 21 refs., 7 figs., 14 tabs.
Date: June 1, 1990
Creator: Brandt, C.A. & Rickard, W.H. Jr.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bald eagles of the Hanford National Environmental Research Park

Description: Since 1961, near-yearly aerial surveys of bald eagles along the Hanford reach of the Columbia River have been conducted. Prey resources available to the eagles have also been monitored and we have thus been able to examine predator-prey relationships in a statistical fashion. We report on a unique set of data which provides insight into one of the factors (prey availability) controlling bald eagle wintering populations. The winter distribution of the bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) has been reported to closely follow the availability of prey (Servheen 1975, Southern 1963, Shea 1973, Spencer 1976). Fitzner and Hanson (1979) compared twelve years of eagle winter survey data on the Hanford DOE Site with waterfowl numbers and salmon redd densities over the same period and provided some statistical evidence that eagle wintering numbers varied somewhat dependently with changing salmon redd numbers but not with changing waterfowl numbers. This report re-examines Fitzner and Hanson's (1979) twelve year data set and supplies two additional years of data for the Hanford DOE Site in order to gain additional insight into predator-prey interactions.
Date: June 1, 1980
Creator: Fitzner, R.E.; Watson, D.G. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Growth of barley exposed to solvent refined coal (SRC) materials added to soil

Description: The growth of barley plants (Hordeum vulgare) grown in Ritzville silt loam soil, treated with solvent refined coal material, SRC solid (SRC I) and SRC liquid (SRC II) was examined. Although the SRC materials will not be introduced to soil or surface waters in normal uses, they could be spilled during transportation. Such spills could contaminate surface waters and agricultural, rangeland and forest soils, possibly causing acute or chronic damage to plants and also provide a way for certain inorganic and organic materials to enter food chains.
Date: January 1, 1980
Creator: Cline, J.F.; Rickard, W.H. & Thiede, M.E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biological intrusion barriers for large-volume waste-disposal sites. [Rocks and chemical barriers, trifluralin beads]

Description: intrusion of plants and animals into shallow land burial sites with subsequent mobilization of toxic and radiotoxic materials has occured. Based on recent pathway modeling studies, such intrusions can contribute to the dose received by man. This paper describes past work on developing biological intrusion barrier systems for application to large volume waste site stabilization. State-of-the-art concepts employing rock and chemical barriers are discussed relative to long term serviceability and cost of application. The interaction of bio-intrusion barrier systems with other processes affecting trench cover stability are discussed to ensure that trench cover designs minimize the potential dose to man. 3 figures, 6 tables.
Date: January 1, 1982
Creator: Hakonson, T.E.; Cline, J.F. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Chemical Species of Migrating Radionuclides at Commercial Shallow Land Burial Sites Quarterly Progress Report October-December, 1983 Quarterly Progress Report October-December, 1983

Description: The primary purpose of this project is to develop an understanding of chemical processes that significantly influence the migration of radionuclides at commercial low-level waste (LLW} burial sites. Chemical measurements of waste trench leachate and identification of chanical changes in leachate during migration will provide a basis for geochemical waste transport models. This project will produce for the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory C011mission (NRC) information to support guidance for implementation of 10 CFR 61, particularly in the developnent of criteria for low level waste disposal site selection, management, permanent closure and monitoring. This project will also produce information needed by the Canmonwealth of Kentucky as they finalize plans to stabilize. close and monitor the Maxey Flats site.
Date: February 1, 1984
Creator: Kirby,, L. J.; RIckard,, W. H. & Toste,, A. P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Characterization of plant communities adjacent to the B-C Cribs controlled area and REDOX pond areas on the 200 area plateau

Description: The plant communities at the Hanford B-C Cribs controlled area and REDOX study areas are characterized. It is concluded that they are probably very much like the communities that existed prior to 1943 when the Hanford Reservation was established. (CH)
Date: January 1, 1975
Creator: Cline, J.F.; Uresk, D.W. & Rickard, W.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Biota of the 300-FF-1 operable unit. [Westinghouse Hanford Company]

Description: This report summarizes Task 5a-2 of the Phase I Remedial Investigation -- Operable Unit Characterization of the 300-FF-1 Operable Unit on the Hanford Site, near Richland, Washington. The ultimate goal of Phase I is to determine the nature and extent of the threat to public health and the environment from releases of hazardous substances from the operable unit. The purpose of Task 5a-2 was to determine what species inhabit the 300-FF-1 Operable Unit and how they use the unit. The focus is on those species listed as endangered or threatened, those that are economically important, or those that constitute significant components of the human food chain. 39 refs., 5 figs., 5 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1990
Creator: Rickard, W.H. Jr.; Fitzner, R.E. & Brandt, C.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department