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Radiological-dose assessments of atolls in the northern Marshall Islands

Description: The Marshall Islands in the Equatorial Pacific, specifically Enewetak and Bikini Atolls, were the site of US nuclear testing from 1946 through 1958. In 1978, the Northern Marshall Islands Radiological Survey was conducted to evaluate the radiological conditions of two islands and ten atolls downwind of the proving grounds. The survey included aerial external gamma measurements and collection of soil, terrestrial, and marine samples for radionuclide analysis to determine the radiological dose from all exposure pathways. The methods and models used to estimate doses to a population in an environment where natural processes have acted on the source-term radionuclides for nearly 30 y, data bases developed for the models, and results of the radiological dose analyses are described.
Date: April 1, 1983
Creator: Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Dose assessment, radioecology, and community interaction at former nuclear test sites

Description: The US conducted a nuclear testing program at Bikini and Enewetak Atolls in the Marshall Islands from 1946 through 1958. A total of 66 nuclear devices were tested--23 at Bikini Atoll (total yield of 77 megatons) and 43 at Enewetak Atoll (total yield of 33 megatons). This resulted in contamination of many of the islands at each atoll. The BRAVO test (yield 15 megatons) on March 1, 1954 contaminated several atolls to the east of Bikini Atoll some of which were inhabited. The author has conducted an experimental, monitoring, and dose assessment program at atolls in the northern Marshall Islands for the past 20 years. The goals have been to: (1) determine the radiological conditions at the atolls; (2) provide dose assessments for resettlement options and alternate living patterns; (3) develop and evaluate remedial measures to reduce the dose to people reinhabiting the atolls; and (4) discuss the results with each of the communities and the Republic of the Marshall Islands government officials to help them understand the data as a basis for resettlement decisions. The remaining radionuclides at the atolls that contribute any significant dose are {sup 137}Cs, {sup 90}Sr, {sup 239+240}Pu, and {sup 241}Am.
Date: November 1, 1994
Creator: Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiological conditions at the Southern Islands of Rongelap Atoll

Description: The data presented in the following tables is the total available for each southern island; they include both the data from the 1978 Northern Marshall Island Radiological Survey (NMIRS) and trips to Rongelap Atoll from 1986 through 1991. There are additional samples that were taken at Rongelap Island in 1990 and 1991, and the data are unavailable for this report. In one table we present the number of vegetation samples collected in the 1978 NMIRS and from 1986 through 1991. Again, the majority of the {sup 137}Cs is from the 1986-1991 trips. We have not made additional analyses of {sup 239+240}Pu, {sup 241}Am and {sup 90}Sr because the concentrations are very low and these radionuclides contribute less than 5% of an already very small dose. In another table we show the number of soil samples collected at each island in 1978 and the number collected since 1986. Most of the data are from 1986 through 1991. The major exception is {sup 90}Sr where all of the data are from the 1978 NMIRS. We have done some additional Pu analyses of soils from Rongelap Eniaetok, and Borukka Island but none of the other southern islands. A significant amount of new data for {sup 137}Cs and {sup 241}Am have been generated from the samples collected from 1986 through 1991. The data are presented in the form of summary tables, graphics, detailed appendices and aerial photographs of the islands with the sample locations marked. The identified sample locations from the 1978 NMIRS will be added later.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Robison, W.L. & Conrado, C.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radiological conditions at Naen, Yugui, Lomiulal, Kabelle and Mellu Islands in the northern half of Rongelap Atoll

Description: The data presented in the following tables is the total available for each northern island; they include both the data from the 1978 Northern Marshall Island Radiological Survey (NMIRS) and trips to Rongelap Atoll from 1986 through 1989. In one table we present the number of vegetation samples collected in the 1978 NMIRS and from 1986 through 1989. Again the majority of the {sup 137}Cs data is from the 1986-1989 trips. We have not made additional analyses of {sup 239+240}Pu, {sup 241}Am and {sup 90}Sr because the concentrations are very low and these radionuclides contribute less than 5% of an already very small dose. In another table we show the number of soil samples collected at each island in 1978 and the number collected since 1986. Most of the data are from 1986 through 1989. The major exception is {sup 90}Sr where all of the data are from the 1978 NMIRS. We have done some additional Pu analyses of surface soils (0-5 cm depth) in the northern islands. A significant amount of new data for {sup 137}Cs and {sup 241}Am have been generated from the samples collected from 1986 through 1989. The data are presented in the form of summary tables, graphics, detailed appendices and aerial photographs of the islands with the sample locations marked. The identified sample locations from the 1978 NMIRS will be added later.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Robison, W.L. & Conrado, C.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of the radionuclide concentrations in soil and plants from the 1975 terrestrial survey of Bikini and Eneu Islands

Description: In June 1975 a radiological survey was conducted of the terrestrial environment of Bikini and Eneu islands (Bikini Atoll) to evaluate the potential radiation dose to the returning Bikini population. In this report, we present measurements of the radionuclide concentration in soil profiles and in dominant species of edible and nonedible, indicator plants. The use of these data to derive relationships to predict the plant uptake of radionuclides from soil is described. Approximately 620 soil and vegetation samples from Bikini and Eneu Islands were analyzed by Ge(Li) gamma spectrometry and by wet chemistry. The predominant radionuclides in these samples were /sup 60/Co, /sup 90/Sr, /sup 137/Cs, /sup 239,240/Pu, /sup 241/Pu, and /sup 241/Am.
Date: January 21, 1977
Creator: Colsher, C.S.; Robison, W.L. & Gudiksen, P.H.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

137Cs Inter-Plant Concentration Ratios Provide a Predictive Tool for Coral Atolls with Distinct Benefits Over Transfer Factors

Description: Inter-plant concentration ratios (IPCR), [Bq g{sup -1} {sup 137}Cs in coral atoll tree food-crops/Bq g{sup -1} {sup 137}Cs in leaves of native plant species whose roots share a common soil volume], can replace transfer factors (TF) to predict {sup 137}Cs concentration in tree food-crops in a contaminated area with an aged source term. The IPCR strategy has significant benefits relative to TF strategy for such purposes in the atoll ecosystem. IPCR strategy applied to specific assessments takes advantage of the fact tree roots naturally integrate 137Cs over large volumes of soil. Root absorption of {sup 137}Cs replaces large-scale, expensive soil sampling schemes to reduce variability in {sup 137}Cs concentration due to inhomogeneous radionuclide distribution. IPCR [drinking-coconut meat (DCM)/Scaevola (SCA) and Tournefortia (TOU) leaves (native trees growing on all atoll islands)] are log normally distributed (LND) with geometric standard deviation (GSD) = 1.85. TF for DCM from Enewetak, Eneu, Rongelap and Bikini Atolls are LND with GSD's of 3.5, 3.0, 2.7, and 2.1, respectively. TF GSD for Rongelap copra coconut meat is 2.5. IPCR of Pandanus fruit to SCA and TOU leaves are LND with GSD = 1.7 while TF GSD is 2.1. Because IPCR variability is much lower than TF variability, relative sampling error of an IPCR field sample mean is up 6- to 10-fold lower than that of a TF sample mean if sample sizes are small (10 to 20). Other IPCR advantages are that plant leaf samples are collected and processed in far less time with much less effort and cost than soil samples.
Date: July 17, 2007
Creator: Robison, W L; Hamilton, T F; Bogen, K; Corado, C L & Kehl, S R
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Long-Term Reduction in 137Cs Concentration in Food Crops on Coral Atolls Resulting from Potassium Treatment

Description: Bikini Island was contaminated March 1, 1954 by the Bravo detonation (U.S nuclear test series, Castle) at Bikini Atoll. About 90% of the estimated dose from nuclear fallout to potential island residents is from cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) transferred from soil to plants that are consumed by residents. Thus, radioecology research efforts have been focused on removing {sup 137}Cs from soil and/or reducing its uptake into vegetation. Most effective was addition of potassium (K) to soil that reduces {sup 137}Cs concentration in fruits to 3-5% of pretreatment concentrations. Initial observations indicated this low concentration continued for some time after K was last applied. Long-term studies were designed to evaluate this persistence in more detail because it is very important to provide assurance to returning populations that {sup 137}Cs concentrations in food (and, therefore, radiation dose) will remain low for extended periods, even if K is not applied annually or biennially. Potassium applied at 300, 660, 1260, and 2070 kg ha{sup -1} lead to a {sup 137}Cs concentration in drinking coconut meat that is 34, 22, 10, and about 4% of original concentration, respectively. Concentration of {sup 137}Cs remains low 8 to 10 y after K is last applied. An explanation for this unexpected result is discussed.
Date: April 14, 2004
Creator: Robison, W L; Stone, E L; Hamilton, T F & Conrado, C L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Current radiological status of Utirik Atoll

Description: A preliminary radiological survey was conducted at Utirik Atoll in 1978 as part of the Northern Marshall Islands Radiological Survey (NMIRS). A dose assessment based on these limited data indicated a relatively low dose of about 0.12 mSv to people living on Utirik in 1978 (Robison et al., 1982). A much more detailed radiological survey was conducted in April of both 1993 and 1994. Aerial photos of the islands of Utirik Atoll were taken as part of the 1978 NMIRS. The sampling grids for the 1993 and 1994 surveys are shown overlaid on these aerial photos in Figures 1, 2, 3, and 4. External gamma measurements and a collection of either drinking coconuts or copra coconuts were made at each location. Pandanus, breadfruit, lime, and banana were collected where available. Ground water was collected in 1993/94 from four wells on Utirik Island and two wells on Aon Island. Surface soil and soil profiles were collected at some of the grid points on each of the islands at the atoll in 1993/94. A comparison of the number of samples collected in 1978 and 1993/94 are shown in Table 1. A detailed listing of the samples collected in the 1993/94 radiological survey at Utirik Atoll is given in Table 2. The number of vegetation samples collected in 1993/94 is nearly a factor of 7 greater than in 1978. Soil samples collected in 1993/94 exceeded the number collected in 1978 by more than a factor of 4. Consequently, extensive data are now available for the islands at Utirik Atoll and form the basis for the current dose assessment for the atoll.
Date: August 1, 1998
Creator: Robison, W L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Radionuclide characterization and associated dose from long-lived radionuclides in close-in fallout delivered to the marine environment at Bikini and Enewetak Atoll

Description: Between June 1946 and October 1958, Enewetak and Bikini Atolls were used by the United States as testing grounds for 66 nuclear devices. The combined explosive yield from these tests was 107 Mt (Mt TNT equivalents). This testing produced close-in fallout debris that was contaminated with quantities of radioactive fission and particle activated products, and unspent radioactive nuclear fuel that entered the aquatic environment of the atolls. Today, the sediments in the lagoons are reservoirs for 10's of TBq of the transuranics and some long-lived fission and activation products. The larger amounts of contamination are associated with fine and coarse sediment material adjacent to the locations of the high yield explosions. Radionuclides are also distributed vertically in the sediment column to various depths in all regions of the lagoons. Concentrations greater than fallout background levels are found in filtered water sampled over several decades from all locations and depths in the lagoons. This is a direct indication that the radionuclides are continuously mobilized to solution from the solid phases. Of particular importance is the fact that the long-lived radionuclides are accumulated to different levels by indigenous aquatic plants and organisms that are used as food by resident people. One might anticipate finding continuous high contamination levels in many of the edible marine organisms from the lagoons, since the radionuclides associated with the sediments are not contained and are available to the different organisms in a relatively shallow water environment. This is not the case. We estimate that the radiological dose from consumption of the edible parts of marine foods at Enewetak and Bikini is presently about 0.05% of the total 50-year integral effective dose from all other exposure pathways that include ingestion of terrestrial foods and drinking water, external exposure and inhalation. The total radiological dose from the marine pathway ...
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Noshkin, V. E. & Robison, W. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sediment studies at Bikini Atoll part 1. distribution of fine and coarse components in surface sediments

Description: In 1979, 21 years after the moratorium on nuclear testing in the Marshall Islands, surface sediment samples (to depths of 2 and 4 cm) were collected from 87 locations over the floor of Bikini lagoon. The main purpose for the collections was to map the distribution of long- lived man-made radionuclides associated with the bottom material. In addition the samples were processed to estimate the fraction of fine and coarse components to show what modifications occurred since the sediment composition was first described in samples collected before testing in 1946. In this report a comparison is made of the amount and distribution of fine material associated with the lagoon surface sediment before and after the testing of nuclear devices. Nuclear testing produced more finely divided material in-the surface sediment layer over large areas of the lagoon and especially in regions of the lagoon and reef adjacent to test sites. Five cratering events at Bikini Atoll generated sufficient material to account for the inventory of new fine material found over the bottom surface of the lagoon. Although the fraction of fine material in the bottom sediments was altered by the nuclear events, the combined processes of formation, transport and deposition were not sufficiently dynamic to alter the geographical features of the major sedimentary components over most of the lagoon floor.
Date: January 1, 1997
Creator: Noshkin, V. E.; Eagle, R.J. & Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Uncertainty analysis for an updated dose assessment for a US nuclear test site: Bikini Atoll

Description: A detailed analysis of uncertainty and interindividual variability in estimated doses was conducted for a rehabilitation scenario for Bikini Island at Bikini Atoll, in which the top 40 cm of soil would be removed in the housing and village area, and the rest of the island is treated with potassium fertilizer, prior to an assumed resettlement date of 1999. Predicted doses were considered for the following fallout-related exposure pathways: ingested Cesium-137 and Strontium-90, external gamma exposure, and inhalation and ingestion of Americium-241 + Plutonium-239+240. Two dietary scenarios were considered: (1) imported foods are available (IA), and (2) imported foods are unavailable (only local foods are consumed) (IUA). Corresponding calculations of uncertainty in estimated population-average dose showed that after {approximately}5 y of residence on Bikini, the upper and lower 95% confidence limits with respect to uncertainty in this dose are estimated to be approximately 2-fold higher and lower than its population-average value, respectively (under both IA and IUA assumptions). Corresponding calculations of interindividual variability in the expected value of dose with respect to uncertainty showed that after {approximately}5 y of residence on Bikini, the upper and lower 95% confidence limits with respect to interindividual variability in this dose are estimated to be approximately 2-fold higher and lower than its expected value, respectively (under both IA and IUA assumptions). For reference, the expected values of population-average dose at age 70 were estimated to be 1.6 and 5.2 cSv under the IA and IUA dietary assumptions, respectively. Assuming that 200 Bikini resettlers would be exposed to local foods (under both IA and IUA assumptions), the maximum 1-y dose received by any Bikini resident is most likely to be approximately 2 and 8 mSv under the IA and IUA assumptions, respectively.
Date: November 1, 1995
Creator: Bogen, K.T.; Conrado, C.L. & Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Evaluation of critical pathways, radionuclides, and remedial measures for reducing the radiological dose to returning populations at a former nuclear test site

Description: Bikini Island, the major residence island at Bikini Atoll, was contaminated with radioactive fallout as a result of the BRAVO test conducted on March 1, 1954. We have identified the critical radionuclides and supplied radiological data needed to develop dose estimates for all possible exposure pathways. These estimates show that the major dose to returning populations would result from ingestion of cesium-137 (137 Cs) in locally grown terrestrial foods where the predicted population average effective dose exceeds current federal guidelines. Consequently, we designed several long-term field experiments to develop and evaluate methods to reduce the 137 Cs content in locally grown foods.This paper gives a general outline of the remediation experiments with a more detailed description of a preferred combined option. Our comparative evaluation on various remedial methods show that the combined option--potassium treatment of the entire islands with limited excavation of soil in village an d housing areas--will be effective in reducing the dose to about 10% of pretreatment levels, and offers very significant benefits with respect to adverse environmental impacts as well as savings in overall costs, time, and required expert resources.
Date: November 1, 1997
Creator: Robison, W. L., LLNL
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An updated dose assessment for a U.S. Nuclear Test Site - Bikini Atoll

Description: On March 1, 1954, a nuclear weapon test, code-named BRAVO, conducted at Bikini Atoll in the northern Marshall Islands contaminated the major residence island. There has been a continuing effort since 1977 to refine dose assessments for resettlement options at Bikini Atoll. Here we provide a radiological dose assessment for the main residence island, Bikini, using extensive radionuclide concentration data derived from analysis of food crops, ground water, cistern water, fish and other marine species, animals, air, and soil collected at Bikini Island as part of our continuing research and monitoring program that began in 1975. The unique composition of coral soil greatly alters the relative contribution of cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) and strontium-90 ({sup 90}Sr) to the total estimated dose relative to expectations based on North American and European soils. Without counter measures, cesium-137 produces 96% of the estimated dose for returning residents, mostly through uptake from the soil to terrestrial food crops but also from external gamma exposure. The doses are calculated assuming a resettlement date of 1999. The estimated maximum annual effective dose for current island conditions is 4.0 mSv when imported foods, which are now an established part of the diet, are available. The corresponding 30-, 50-, and 70-y integral effective doses are 9.1 cSv, 13 cSv, and 15 cSv, respectively. A corresponding uncertainty analysis showed that after about 5 y of residence, the 95% confidence limits on population-average dose would be {plus_minus}35% of its expected value. We have evaluated various countermeasures to reduce {sup 137}Cs in food crops. Treatment with potassium reduces the uptake of {sup 137}Cs into food crops, and therefore the ingestion dose, to about 5% of pretreatment levels and has essentially no negative environmental consequences.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Robison, W.L.; Bogen, K.T. & Conrado, C.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Northern Marshall Islands radiological survey: A quality control program for radiochemical and gamma spectroscopy analysis

Description: From 1979 to 1989, approximately 25,000 Post Northern Marshall Islands Radiological Survey (PNMIRS) samples were collected, and over 71,400 radiochemical and gamma spectroscopy analyses were performed to establish the concentration of {sup 90}Sr, {sup 137}Cs, {sup 241}Am, and plutonium isotopes in soil, vegetation, fish, and animals in the Northern Marshall Islands. While the Low Level Gamma Counting Facility (B379) in the Health and Ecological Assessment (HEA) division accounted for over 80% of all gamma spectroscopy analyses, approximately 4889 radiochemical and 5437 gamma spectroscopy analyses were performed on 4784 samples of soil, vegetation, terrestrial animal, and marine organisms by outside laboratories. Four laboratories were used by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to perform the radiochemical analyses: Thermo Analytical Norcal, Richmond, California (TMA); Nuclear Energy Services, North Carolina State University (NCSU); Laboratory of Radiation Ecology, University of Washington (LRE); and Health and Ecological Assessment (HEA) division, LLNL, Livermore, California. Additionally, LRE and NCSU were used to perform gamma spectroscopy analyses. The analytical precision and accuracy were monitored by including blind duplicates and natural matrix standards in each group of samples analyzed. On the basis of reported analytical values for duplicates and standards, 88% of the gamma and 87% of the radiochemical analyses in this survey were accepted. By laboratory, 93% of the radiochemical analyses by TMA; 88% of the gamma-ray spectrometry and 100% of the radiochemistry analyses by NCSU; 89% of the gamma spectroscopy and 87% of the radiochemistry analyses by LRE; and 90% of the radiochemistry analyses performed by HEA`s radiochemistry department were accepted.
Date: September 1, 1995
Creator: Kehl, S.R.; Mount, M.E. & Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Bikini Atoll ionizing radiation survey, May 1985-May 1986

Description: Between 1946 and 1958, the United States conducted 23 nuclear tests at the Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands, which resulted in extensive radioactive contamination of a number of islands in the atoll and prevented the timely resettlement of the native population. Although the external dose rates from beta and gamma radiation have been previously determined by aerial survey and a variety of ground measurement techniques, technical constraints limited the assessment of external beta dose rates that result from the /sup 137/Cs and /sup 90/Sr//sup 90/Y contamination on the islands. Now, because of the recent development of very thin thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs), the external beta dose rates can be measured. 18 refs., 7 figs., 5 tabs.
Date: October 1, 1987
Creator: Shingleton, K.L.; Cate, J.L.; Trent, M.G. & Robison, W.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Northern Marshall Islands radiological survey: sampling and analysis summary

Description: A radiological survey was conducted in the Northern Marshall Islands to document reamining external gamma exposures from nuclear tests conducted at Enewetak and Bikini Atolls. An additional program was later included to obtain terrestrial and marine samples for radiological dose assessment for current or potential atoll inhabitants. This report is the first of a series summarizing the results from the terrestrial and marine surveys. The sample collection and processing procedures and the general survey methodology are discussed; a summary of the collected samples and radionuclide analyses is presented. Over 5400 samples were collected from the 12 atolls and 2 islands and prepared for analysis including 3093 soil, 961 vegetation, 153 animal, 965 fish composite samples (average of 30 fish per sample), 101 clam, 50 lagoon water, 15 cistern water, 17 groundwater, and 85 lagoon sediment samples. A complete breakdown by sample type, atoll, and island is given here. The total number of analyses by radionuclide are 8840 for /sup 241/Am, 6569 for /sup 137/Cs, 4535 for /sup 239 +240/Pu, 4431 for /sup 90/Sr, 1146 for /sup 238/Pu, 269 for /sup 241/Pu, and 114 each for /sup 239/Pu and /sup 240/Pu. A complete breakdown by sample category, atoll or island, and radionuclide is also included.
Date: July 23, 1981
Creator: Robison, W.L.; Conrado, C.L.; Eagle, R.J. & Stuart, M.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Concentration and Distribution of Depleted Uranium (DU) and Beryllium (Be) in Soil and Air on Illeginni Island at Kwajalein Atoll

Description: Re-entry vehicles on missiles launched at Vandenberg Air Force base in California re-enter at the Western Test Range, the Regan Test Site (RTS) at Kwajalein Atoll. An environmental Assessment (EA) was written at the beginning of the program to assess potential impact of Depleted Uranium (DU) and Beryllium (Be), the major RV materials of interest from a health and environmental perspective. The chemical and structural form of DU and Be in RVs is such that they are insoluble in soil water and sea water. Consequently, residual concentrations of DU and Be observed in soil on the island are not expected to be toxic to plant life because there is essentially no soil to plant uptake. Similarly, due to their insolubility in sea water there is no uptake of either element by marine biota including fish, mollusks, shellfish and sea mammals. No increase in either element has been observed in sea life around Illeginni Island where deposition of DU and Be has occurred. The critical terrestrial exposure pathway for U and Be is inhalation. Concentration of both elements in air over the test period (1989 to 2006) is lower by a factor of 10,000 than the most restrictive U.S. guideline for the general public. Uranium concentrations in air are also lower by factors of 10 to 100 than concentrations of U in air in the U.S. measured by the EPA (Keith et al., 1999). U and Be concentrations in air downwind of deposition areas on Illeginni Island are essentially indistinguishable from natural background concentrations of U in air at the atolls. Thus, there are no health related issues associated with people using the island.
Date: April 27, 2006
Creator: Robison, W L; Hamilton, T F; Martinelli, R E; Gouveia, F J; Lindman, T R & Yakuma, S C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Evaluation of Activated Bismuth Isotopes in Environmental Samples From the Former Western Pacific Proving Grounds

Description: {sup 207}Bi (t{sub 1/2}=32.2 y) was generated by activation of weapons material during a few ''clean'' nuclear tests at the U.S. Western Pacific Proving Grounds of Enewetak and Bikini Atolls. The radionuclides first appeared in the Enewetak environment during 1958 and in the environment of Bikini during 1956. Crater sediments from Bikini with high levels of {sup 207}Bi were analyzed by gamma spectrometry in an attempt to determine the relative concentrations of {sup 208}Bi (t{sup 1/2} = 3.68 x 10{sup 5} y). The bismuth isotopes were probably generated during the ''clean'', 9.3 Mt Poplar test held on 7/12/58. The atom ratio of {sup 208}Bi to {sup 207}Bi (R value) ranges from {approx}12 to over 200 in sections of core sediments from the largest nuclear crater at Bikini atoll. The presence of bismuth in the device is suggested to account for R values in excess of 10.
Date: March 21, 2000
Creator: Robison, W.L.; Brunk, J.A. & Jokela, T.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Growing plants on atoll soils

Description: Many years ago people living on atolls depended entirely on foods gathered from the sea and reefs and grown on land. Only a few plants, such as coconut (ni), Pandanus (bob), and arrowroot (mok-mok), could be grown on the lower rainfall atolls, although adequate groundwater conditions also allowed taro (iaraj, kotak, wot) to be cultivated. On higher rainfall atolls, breadfruit (ma) was a major food source, and banana (binana, kepran), lime (laim), and taros (iaraj, kotak, wot) could be grown. The early atoll populations were experts in growing plants that were vital to sustaining their nutrition requirements and to providing materials for thatch, basketry, cordage, canoe construction, flowers, and medicine. They knew which varieties of food plants grew well or poorly on their atolls, how to propagate them, and where on their atoll they grew best. They knew the uses of most native plants and what the various woods were well suited for. Many varieties of Pandanus (bob) and breadfruit (ma) grew well with high rainfall, but only a few produced well on drier atolls. Such information had been passed down through the generations although some of it has been lost in the last century. Today there are new plants and new varieties of existing plants that can be grown on atolls. There are also new materials and information on how to grow both the old and new plants more effectively. However, there are also introduced weeds and pests to control. Today, there is also an acute need to grow more of the useful plants adapted to atolls. Increasing numbers of people living on an atoll without an equal increase in income or food production stretches the available food supplies. Much has been written about the poor conditions for plant growth on atolls. As compared with many places in the ...
Date: February 16, 2000
Creator: Stone, E L; Migvar, L & Robison, W L
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The effect of carbonate soil on transport and dose estimates for long-lived radionuclides at a U.S. Pacific test site

Description: The US conducted a series of nuclear tests from 1946 to 1958 at Bikini, a coral atoll, in the Marshall Islands (MI). The aquatic and terrestrial environments of the atoll are still contaminated with several long-lived radionuclides that were generated during testing. The four major radionuclides found in terrestrial plants and soils are Cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs), Strontium-90 ({sup 90}Sr), Plutonium-239+240 ({sup 239+240}Pu) and Americium-241 ({sup 241}Am). {sup 137}Cs in the coral soils is more available for uptake by plants than {sup 137}Cs associated with continental soils of North America or Europe. Soil-to-plant {sup 137}Cs median concentration ratios (CR) (kBq kg{sup {minus}1} dry weight plant/kBq kg{sup {minus}1} dry weight soil) for tropical fruits and vegetables range between 0.8 and 36, much larger than the range of 0.005 to 0.5 reported for vegetation in temperate zones. Conversely, {sup 90}Sr median CRs range from 0.006 to 1.0 at the atoll versus a range from 0.02 to 3.0 for continental silica-based soils. Thus, the relative uptake of {sup 137}Cs and {sup 90}Sr by plants in carbonate soils is reversed from that observed in silica-based soils. The CRs for {sup 239+240}Pu and {sup 241}Am are very similar to those observed in continental soils. Values range from 10{sup {minus}6} to 10{sup {minus}4} for both {sup 239+240}Pu and {sup 241}Am. No significant difference is observed between the two in coral soil.
Date: January 1, 1999
Creator: Conrado, C L; Hamilton, T F; Robison, W L & Stoker, A C
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Utirik Atoll Dose Assessment

Description: On March 1, 1954, radioactive fallout from the nuclear test at Bikini Atoll code-named BRAVO was deposited on Utirik Atoll which lies about 187 km (300 miles) east of Bikini Atoll. The residents of Utirik were evacuated three days after the fallout started and returned to their atoll in May 1954. In this report we provide a final dose assessment for current conditions at the atoll based on extensive data generated from samples collected in 1993 and 1994. The estimated population average maximum annual effective dose using a diet including imported foods is 0.037 mSv y{sup -1} (3.7 mrem y{sup -1}). The 95% confidence limits are within a factor of three of their population average value. The population average integrated effective dose over 30-, 50-, and 70-y is 0.84 mSv (84, mrem), 1.2 mSv (120 mrem), and 1.4 mSv (140 mrem), respectively. The 95% confidence limits on the population-average value post 1998, i.e., the 30-, 50-, and 70-y integral doses, are within a factor of two of the mean value and are independent of time, t, for t > 5 y. Cesium-137 ({sup 137}Cs) is the radionuclide that contributes most of this dose, mostly through the terrestrial food chain and secondarily from external gamma exposure. The dose from weapons-related radionuclides is very low and of no consequence to the health of the population. The annual background doses in the U. S. and Europe are 3.0 mSv (300 mrem), and 2.4 mSv (240 mrem), respectively. The annual background dose in the Marshall Islands is estimated to be 1.4 mSv (140 mrem). The total estimated combined Marshall Islands background dose plus the weapons-related dose is about 1.5 mSv y{sup -1} (150 mrem y{sup -1}) which can be directly compared to the annual background effective dose of 3.0 mSv y{sup -1} (300 mrem ...
Date: October 6, 1999
Creator: Robison, W.L.; Conrado, C.L. & Bogen, K.T
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department