Routine radiological environmental monitoring
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Routine Radiological Environmental Monitoring. Ronald Warren Ecological & Environmental Monitoring National Security Technologies, LLC Community Environmental Monitoring Program Workshop July 26, 2011. Overview. Routine Radiological Environmental Monitoring Plan (RREMP) overview

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Routine radiological environmental monitoring l.jpg

Routine RadiologicalEnvironmental Monitoring

Ronald Warren

Ecological & Environmental Monitoring

National Security Technologies, LLC

Community Environmental Monitoring Program Workshop

July 26, 2011

Overview l.jpg

  • Routine Radiological Environmental Monitoring Plan (RREMP) overview

  • Operations evaluations against regulatory limits

  • Evaluation that indicated soil re-suspension less than National Emissions Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAPs)

  • Standards vs. RREMP results

  • NESHAPs standards vs. results

  • Compliance is demonstrated at the on-site locations, so the off-site dose is much less

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  • Identifies requirements for radiological monitoring at Nevada Site Office facilities, primarily the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS)

  • Focuses on

  • the need to ensure that the public and

  • the environment are protected,

  • that compliance with the letter and the

  • spirit of the law is achieved, and

  • that good land stewardship is

  • practiced.

  • Uses a decision based approach to identify

  • the data that must be collected and

  • provides Quality Assurance, Analysis, and

  • Sampling Plans which ensure that

  • defensible data is generated.






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Pathway Approach

  • Inhalation (Air)

  • Ingestion

    • Groundwater

    • Game Animals

  • Direct Exposure

(External Dose)

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Pre-Operational Evaluations

  • Projects with a potential for airborne radionuclide emissions are evaluated (modeled) in accordance with 40 CFR 61 for the potential to cause a 0.1 mrem dose to the public under the assumption no pollution controls are in place.

  • If the modeled emission exceeds 0.1 mrem, the regulator is required to be involved with the design, and monitoring will likely be required (e.g. JASPER).

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Modeling of Potential Off-site Dose

  • For potential emissions (before a new potential emission source is created to determine off-site dose)

  • To estimate dose from actual emissions because concentrations of radionuclides from most emissions are so low they cannot be measured even relatively near the emission source.

How do we know modeled results are valid (conservative)?

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Air Monitoring

Air Particulate Sampling

Atmospheric Moisture Sampling

Emergency Response

(e.g. wildfires) or for

Special Projects

Air Sampler – Solar Power

Air Sampler – Line Power

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239+240Pu Annual Mean Trends

Average Trend Lines for Locations With > 15-Year Histories Since 1971

3 to 9% avg. annual decrease

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3H Average Trends by Area Group

~15% avg. annual reduction

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Water Monitoring

Surface Water


Monitoring Wells (ER-OV-01 and -06A)

E Tunnel Ponds

E Tunnel


Off-Site Springs

Water Supply (Last Trails Ranch)

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Biota Monitoring Elevated Concentrations

Game Birds

Big Game

(opportunistic sampling – e.g. road kills)


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Biota Monitoring Sites Elevated Concentrations

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Dose from Animal Consumption Elevated Concentrations

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Direct Radiation Monitoring Elevated Concentrations

Thermoluminescent Dosimeters

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ETLD Monitoring Locations Elevated Concentrations

Area 3


Area 5


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Estimated Annual Exposures Elevated Concentrations

Locations With at Least 10-Year Histories

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Calendar Year 2010 Radiological Dose Elevated Concentrations

to a Person Breathing Air on the NNSS (Gate 510)

and Eating 20 Jackrabbits from near the Sedan Crater

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Conclusions Elevated Concentrations

  • Concentrations of radionuclides from legacy contamination show decreasing trends primarily due to immobilization, dilution, and physical decay.

  • On-site operations involving radioactive materials are evaluated for air emissions.

  • Current pathways for radionuclides to off-site public are air and game animals (no current pathway for groundwater or direct radiation).

  • Concentrations of radionuclides measured in air at on-site compliance stations and in water at on and off-site environmental monitoring locations are much less than limits for exposure to the public.