Determining preliminary remediation goals for contaminated Hanford sites Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/vm40xt799

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  • The Hanford nuclear reservation in Washington state was initially created during World War II for the production of plutonium to be used in atomic bombs. A perceived need for a large increase in the number of nuclear weapons spurred expansions in production facilities at Hanford through the 1960's, and production was continued through the mid 1980's. The production process included irradiation of uranium fuel in reactors followed by chemical separation of the plutonium from the other fuel constituents, and finally transformation of plutonium nitrate to plutonium metal. The various steps in the process produced large amounts of radioactive as well as chemical hazardous waste. Some of this waste was released to the environment either through deliberate disposal methods or by leaks in transfer and storage systems. As a result, the soil at many areas of Hanford is contaminated to a point at which it would be unsafe for human contact for more than a short period of time. The current focus of efforts at Hanford is cleanup of the environment as well as decommissioning of the facilities. As part of the cleanup process, future land use must be determined which will then affect the scale of the remediation effort. The proposed land use will determine the residual contamination which will be left after all remediation is complete and access is allowed to the site. This document details the process for determining the residual contamination levels associated with various land use options. Some possible land use options are explained in the form of exposure scenarios. These scenarios give data in the form of exposure factors which describe the possible exposure level of an individual to contaminated media. Once the exposure factors are determined, they can be used in the equations outlined in the Hanford Site Risk Assessment Methodology to calculate preliminary remediation goals. These goals are presented as contaminant concentrations in environmental media which are the maximum allowable in order to meet regulatory limits. The limits are expressed either as a risk for carcinogens, or as a hazard quotient for non-carcinogens.
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