Help | Contact Us
NukeWorker.com
NukeWorker Menu Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE

Author Topic: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE  (Read 6303 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

SCMasterchef

  • Guest
I have been in the industry for 4 decades and have often thought of the issues that may not be recognized (openly discussed) associated with alpha contamination of DOE land currently and past from what was previously recognized as only beta/gamma contaminated materials.  What are the opinions of the rest of the community concerning this issue and has it been addressed openly and publicly? :o

Offline GLW

Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #1 on: Sep 05, 2012, 03:07 »
I have been in the industry for 4 decades and have often thought of the issues that may not be recognized (openly discussed) associated with alpha contamination of DOE land currently and past from what was previously recognized as only beta/gamma contaminated materials.  What are the opinions of the rest of the community concerning this issue and has it been addressed openly and publicly? :o

Can you translate that into plain speak please?

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Chimera

  • Guest
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #2 on: Sep 05, 2012, 05:04 »
I have been in the industry for 4 decades and have often thought of the issues that may not be recognized (openly discussed) associated with alpha contamination of DOE land currently and past from what was previously recognized as only beta/gamma contaminated materials.  What are the opinions of the rest of the community concerning this issue and has it been addressed openly and publicly? :o

Dang!  I've been in the industry for over four decades and that didn't make sense to me either.  I think there are some key words missing from the question.  Care to try again?

Offline HydroDave63

Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #3 on: Sep 05, 2012, 05:16 »
I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express once, and it sounds to me like the OP is fishing for Silkwood stories at DOE sites, maybe for a book or newspaper article?

Offline RDTroja

  • Site Heretic
  • Gold Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3942
  • Total likes: 163
  • Karma: 4553
  • Gender: Male
  • I knew I got into IT for a reason!
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #4 on: Sep 05, 2012, 05:25 »
I think he is trying to get someone to say that the industry does not know that alpha emitters require different detection methods and that somehow nobody knew they would be found where the DOE was playing with Uranium and Plutonium. But I could be wrong, my primary language is English.
"I won't eat anything that has intelligent life, but I'd gladly eat a network executive or a politician."

                                  -Marty Feldman

"Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to understand that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
                                  -Ronald Reagan

I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it.

                                  - Voltaire

SCMasterchef

  • Guest
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #5 on: Sep 06, 2012, 08:19 »
Let’s put it this way:  We know that the DOE has operated nuclear power plants at the DOE sites for a very long time, longer in most cases than the commercial facilities.  We know that fission product materials were generated and thusly contaminated equipment and materials.  This equipment and materials were then either buried on the site where the waste was created or transferred/shipped to other DOE sites for disposal.  We also know that over the years the containment material used for this waste was not exactly long lived and therefore potentially infiltrated the land or ground water of the burial site.  Several documents related to alpha contamination suggest that “caution should be exercised in performing work where “old/aged” alpha contamination may be present, but inaccessible. As stated above, some examples of such areas include radioactive waste storage buildings containing legacy waste, contamination beneath primary system component heat insulation that may have experienced primary fluid contamination during a fuel defect cycle, pressurizer heater sleeves, and Rx Head CRD Thermo Sleeves. Another potential source of alpha contamination can be equipment from another facility with an unknown history. In these cases, consideration should be given to determining a separate area-specific distribution, assigning a higher Area Level, or assuming the most restrictive nuclide in the mix.”  Based on this are we or have we been characterizing DOE land for residual alpha contamination on a routine bases since many of us work in the outer most areas of DOE sites that may have unknown waste burial locations or is it assumed that because it is in the far reaches of these sites it doesn’t exist.

I was trying not to go into this detail but I guess I should have.  No I am not writing a book and no I have no further intent with this subject other than opinions and discussion.

Offline Marlin

  • Forum Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 13145
  • Total likes: 534
  • Karma: 5129
  • Gender: Male
  • Stop Global Whining!!!
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #6 on: Sep 06, 2012, 09:48 »
Let’s put it this way:  We know that the DOE has operated nuclear power plants at the DOE sites for a very long time, longer in most cases than the commercial facilities.  We know that fission product materials were generated and thusly contaminated equipment and materials.  This equipment and materials were then either buried on the site where the waste was created or transferred/shipped to other DOE sites for disposal.  We also know that over the years the containment material used for this waste was not exactly long lived and therefore potentially infiltrated the land or ground water of the burial site.  Several documents related to alpha contamination suggest that “caution should be exercised in performing work where “old/aged” alpha contamination may be present, but inaccessible. As stated above, some examples of such areas include radioactive waste storage buildings containing legacy waste, contamination beneath primary system component heat insulation that may have experienced primary fluid contamination during a fuel defect cycle, pressurizer heater sleeves, and Rx Head CRD Thermo Sleeves. Another potential source of alpha contamination can be equipment from another facility with an unknown history. In these cases, consideration should be given to determining a separate area-specific distribution, assigning a higher Area Level, or assuming the most restrictive nuclide in the mix.”  Based on this are we or have we been characterizing DOE land for residual alpha contamination on a routine bases since many of us work in the outer most areas of DOE sites that may have unknown waste burial locations or is it assumed that because it is in the far reaches of these sites it doesn’t exist.

I was trying not to go into this detail but I guess I should have.  No I am not writing a book and no I have no further intent with this subject other than opinions and discussion.

   This is a little off topic but simular. I worked one site that was not suppose to have any radiological contamination. It was discovered when the site was monitored for demolition and site cleanup. Early attitudes toward uranium was that if it did not fall on your head it was not that hazardous it was a low specific activity natural material. Equipment contaminated with uranium in the late 40s early 50s had been shipped to this site resulting in a radiological cleanup. I worked another site that had no enriched uranium on site before the NORM regulations and only used alpha instruments for surveys. When beta-gamma instruments where introduced many carpets, fabric chairs, and tools from tool boxes were confiscated from the clean side of the facility. Legacy Manhattan Project facilities and other facilities built before today's regulatory environment may pose some discovery issues whether that be alpha contaminated material or other hazardous material (gives me a paycheck). You can include asbestos, mercury, lead and a host of other materials that were used liberally prior to RCRA regulations in 1975, that describes almost all of the DOE facilities being demolished/remediatied. Radiological/hazardous material handling has changed drastically in the last forty years I have worked in the industry and much more so since the early part of the last century which has left legacy waste to be disposed of that was generated in a much different regulatory and social environment.

Offline GLW

Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #7 on: Sep 06, 2012, 10:47 »
Let’s put it this way:  We know that the DOE has operated nuclear power plants at the DOE sites for a very long time, longer in most cases than the commercial facilities.  We know that fission product materials were generated and thusly contaminated equipment and materials.  This equipment and materials were then either buried on the site where the waste was created or transferred/shipped to other DOE sites for disposal.  We also know that over the years the containment material used for this waste was not exactly long lived and therefore potentially infiltrated the land or ground water of the burial site.  Several documents related to alpha contamination suggest that “caution should be exercised in performing work where “old/aged” alpha contamination may be present, but inaccessible. As stated above, some examples of such areas include radioactive waste storage buildings containing legacy waste, contamination beneath primary system component heat insulation that may have experienced primary fluid contamination during a fuel defect cycle, pressurizer heater sleeves, and Rx Head CRD Thermo Sleeves. Another potential source of alpha contamination can be equipment from another facility with an unknown history. In these cases, consideration should be given to determining a separate area-specific distribution, assigning a higher Area Level, or assuming the most restrictive nuclide in the mix.”  Based on this are we or have we been characterizing DOE land for residual alpha contamination on a routine bases since many of us work in the outer most areas of DOE sites that may have unknown waste burial locations or is it assumed that because it is in the far reaches of these sites it doesn’t exist.

I was trying not to go into this detail but I guess I should have.  No I am not writing a book and no I have no further intent with this subject other than opinions and discussion.

   This is a little off topic but simular. I worked one site that was not suppose to have any radiological contamination. It was discovered when the site was monitored for demolition and site cleanup. Early attitudes toward uranium was that if it did not fall on your head it was not that hazardous it was a low specific activity natural material. Equipment contaminated with uranium in the late 40s early 50s had been shipped to this site resulting in a radiological cleanup. I worked another site that had no enriched uranium on site before the NORM regulations and only used alpha instruments for surveys. When beta-gamma instruments where introduced many carpets, fabric chairs, and tools from tool boxes were confiscated from the clean side of the facility. Legacy Manhattan Project facilities and other facilities built before today's regulatory environment may pose some discovery issues whether that be alpha contaminated material or other hazardous material (gives me a paycheck). You can include asbestos, mercury, lead and a host of other materials that were used liberally prior to RCRA regulations in 1975, that describes almost all of the DOE facilities being demolished/remediatied. Radiological/hazardous material handling has changed drastically in the last forty years I have worked in the industry and much more so since the early part of the last century which has left legacy waste to be disposed of that was generated in a much different regulatory and social environment.

Remediation and closeouts already accomplished are just that - accomplished.

To reopen investigation and remediation based on contemporary standards, guidelines and regulations means asking people to reopen their wallets for something they have already been assured was "done".

It also opens the door to an avalanche of torts, compensations, et al.

The vast majority of previous remediation and closeout accomplishments are defensible within the parameters of current dose based risk assessment models. Properly backfitting the data into a defensible model can be a challenge, but that's why we get paid good coin to do it.

The contemporary MARSSIM model works well enough, at the end of the day comprehensive Historical Site Assessment is the answer SCMasterchef is looking for.

As to Marlin's post, it is a good illustration that regulations, thresholds, standards, technology and implementation is constantly evolving. There is no right and wrong in these endeavours, only legal and illegal. You can evolve with it or be unemployed, your choice.

ETD,... 8)

been there, dun that,... the doormat to hell does not read "welcome", the doormat to hell reads "it's just business"

Offline Marlin

  • Forum Staff
  • *
  • Posts: 13145
  • Total likes: 534
  • Karma: 5129
  • Gender: Male
  • Stop Global Whining!!!
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #8 on: Sep 06, 2012, 11:34 »
Remediation and closeouts already accomplished are just that - accomplished.

As to Marlin's post, it is a good illustration that regulations, thresholds, standards, technology and implementation is constantly evolving. There is no right and wrong in these endeavours, only legal and illegal. You can evolve with it or be unemployed, your choice.

ETD,... 8)

You might add improving technologies and best practices. Yesterdays accomplished closeout can be tomorrow's new project.  ;)

 [coffee]

Offline SloGlo

  • meter reader
  • Very Heavy User
  • *****
  • Posts: 5749
  • Total likes: 185
  • Karma: 2641
  • Gender: Male
  • trust me, i'm an hp
Re: Legacy Alpha contamination at lands currently DOE
« Reply #9 on: Sep 10, 2012, 11:33 »
oh my garsh!  alpha radiation!  quick!  run four the hills!  belay that thought, hills is out of business, go to wal-mart!  shop til ewe drop!  when you drop, sheep deeply...
now, watt where we talking about?   ;)
quando omni flunkus moritati

dubble eye, dubble yew, dubble aye!

dew the best ya kin, wit watt ya have, ware yinze are!

 


NukeWorker ™ is a registered trademark of NukeWorker.com ™, LLC © 1996-2021 All rights reserved.
All material on this Web Site, including text, photographs, graphics, code and/or software, are protected by international copyright/trademark laws and treaties. Unauthorized use is not permitted. You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit or distribute, in any manner, the material on this web site or any portion of it. Doing so will result in severe civil and criminal penalties, and will be prosecuted to the maximum extent possible under the law.
Privacy Statement | Terms of Use | Code of Conduct | Spam Policy | Advertising Info | Contact Us | Forum Rules | Password Problem?