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B. Jonker - U.S. Department of Energy - Idaho Operations Office
R. Mitchell - S. M. Stoller Corporation
B. Anderson and M. Verdoorn - Battelle Energy Alliance
There are many environmental monitoring programs that help implement the Environmental Compliance Policy for the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site. Most of the regulatory compliance activity is performed through various environmental monitoring programs, the recently signed Accelerated Cleanup Agreement, the Environmental Restoration Program, and the Waste Management Program.
The major objectives of the various environmental monitoring programs conducted at the INL Site are to identify the key contaminants released to the environment, to evaluate different pathways through which contaminants move in the environment, and to determine the potential effects of these contaminants on the public and the environment. The various environmental monitoring programs are also used to detect, characterize, and report unplanned releases; evaluate the effectiveness of effluent treatment, control, and pollution abatement programs; and determine compliance with other U.S. Department of Energy commitments.
During 2005, Battelle Energy Alliance and CH2M-WG Idaho (CWI) had primary responsibility for environmental monitoring on the INL Site. The offsite environmental monitoring program was the responsibility of the Environmental Surveillance, Education and Research Program contractor who, during 2005, was a team led by the S. M. Stoller Corporation.
Environmental media sampled under these programs include ambient air; drinking water, surface water, and groundwater; soils; vegetation; agricultural products; wildlife; and direct radiation. Samples are analyzed for a wide array of constituents including but not limited to pH, inorganics, volatile organics, gases, and gross alpha and beta activity to specific radionuclides, such as tritium, strontium-90, and plutonium isotopes.
The Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) continued to make significant progress toward meeting its goals. Examples of ICP environmental cleanup and waste management successes in 2005 are:
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This chapter highlights the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) Site environmental programs that help implement the Environmental Policy for the INL Site (see front matter of this report). Much of the regulatory compliance activity is performed through the various environmental monitoring programs (Section 3.1), the recently signed Accelerated Cleanup Agreement (Section 3.2), Environmental Restoration (Section 3.3), and Waste Management (Section 3.4). Sections 3.5 and 3.6 summarize other significant INL Site environmental programs and activities.
Environmental monitoring consists of two separate activities: effluent monitoring and environmental surveillance. Effluent monitoring is the measurement of constituents within a waste stream before its release to the environment, such as the monitoring of stacks or discharge pipes. Environmental surveillance is the measurement of contaminants in the environment. Surveillance involves determining whether or not contaminants are present or measurable in environmental media and, if present, in what concentrations are they found.
Effluent monitoring is conducted by various INL Site organizations. Airborne effluent measurements and estimates, required under the Idaho State Implementation Plan, are the responsibility of the regulated facilities. At the INL Site, these facilities include Central Facilities Area (CFA), Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center (INTEC), Materials and Fuels Complex (MFC), Naval Reactors Facility (NRF), Critical Infrastructure Test Range/Power Burst Facility (CITR/PBF), Reactor Technology Complex (RTC), Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC), and Test Area North/Specific Manufacturing Capability (TAN/SMC). The Liquid Effluent Monitoring Program, conducted by the Idaho Cleanup Project (ICP) contractor, is designed to demonstrate compliance with the Clean Water Act, Wastewater Land Application Permits (WLAPs), and other associated permits.
Environmental surveillance is the major environmental monitoring activity conducted at the INL Site. As such, much of this report concentrates on this task. The remainder of this section summarizes environmental monitoring program objectives; the history of environmental monitoring at the INL Site; and information on monitoring of specific environmental media (air, water, agricultural products, animal tissue, and soil), direct radiation, and meteorology.
Results of the environmental monitoring programs for 2005 and additional information on major programs can be found in Chapter 4 (air), Chapters 5 and 6 (water), and Chapter 7 (agricultural, wildlife, soil, and direct radiation). Chapter 8 discusses radiological doses to humans and biota, and Chapter 9 presents 2005 results on current ecological research programs at the INL Site. Quality assurance activities of the various organizations conducting environmental monitoring are described in Chapter 10.
Operations of INL Site facilities have the potential to release materials,
which may include both radioactive and nonradioactive contaminants, into the
environment. These materials can enter the environment through two primary
routes: into the atmosphere as airborne effluents and into surface water and
groundwater as liquid effluents or storm water runoff. Through a variety of
exposure pathways (Figure 3-1), contaminants can be
transported away from INL Site facilities, where they could potentially impact
the surrounding environment and the population living in these areas.
The major objectives of the various environmental monitoring programs conducted at the INL Site are to identify the key pollutants released to the environment, to evaluate different pathways through which pollutants move in the environment, and to determine the potential effects of these pollutants on the public and on the environment.
As discussed previously, monitoring also provides the information to verify compliance with a variety of applicable environmental protection laws, regulations, and permits, described in Chapter 2. The establishment and conduct of an environmental monitoring program at the INL Site is required by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Order 450.1 (DOE 2003). The various environmental monitoring programs are also used to detect, characterize, and report unplanned releases; evaluate the effectiveness of effluent treatment, control, and pollution abatement programs; and determine compliance with commitments made in environmental impact statements, environmental assessments, safety analysis reports, and other official DOE documents.
Environmental monitoring has been performed at the INL Site by DOE and its predecessors, the Atomic Energy Commission and Energy Research and Development Agency, as well as by other federal agencies, various contractors, and State agencies since its inception in 1949.
The organization of environmental monitoring programs has remained fairly
constant throughout much of the history of the INL Site. The Atomic Energy
Commission’s Health Services Laboratory, later named the DOE’s Radiological and
Environmental Sciences Laboratory (RESL), was responsible for conducting most
environmental surveillance tasks from the early 1950s to 1993 both on and off
the INL Site. Contractors operating the various facilities were responsible for
monitoring activities performed within the facility boundaries and for effluent
Early monitoring activities focused on evaluating the potential of exposing the general public to a release of radioactive materials from INL Site facilities. Radionuclides were the major contaminants of concern because the INL Site was heavily involved in testing nuclear facilities. DOE and its predecessor agencies sampled and analyzed environmental media that could be affected by atmospheric releases. During those early years, the various INL Site contractors conducted sampling of liquid and airborne effluents from facilities to develop waste inventory information.
Throughout the history of the INL Site, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has
monitored groundwater quantity and quality in the Eastern Snake River Plain
Aquifer (ESRPA), with emphasis on the portion of the aquifer beneath the INL
Site. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has also
monitored weather conditions at the INL Site since the Site’s inception.
As a result of a large scale, comprehensive audit in 1993, the DOE environmental monitoring program was divided into separate onsite and offsite programs. Responsibility for the onsite program was transferred to the INL Site contractor. During 2005, Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA) was the prime INL contractor. CH2M-WG Idaho (CWI) assumed responsibility for the ICP on May 1, 2005. The offsite monitoring program is performed by the Environmental Surveillance, Education and Research (ESER) Program contractor. During 2005, ESER offsite monitoring activities were performed by a team led by the S. M. Stoller Corporation.
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Historical Background – Low-volume air samplers have been operating on and in the vicinity of the INL Site since 1952. Table 3-1 lists the areas where samplers have been located and the dates of operation for these samplers (derived from DOE-ID 1991). Before 1960, radiation detection devices, such as a Geiger-Műller tube, were used to record the amount of radioactivity on the filters. Gross beta measurements were made starting in 1960, and by 1967 the present series of analytical measurements were being performed.
High-volume air samplers were operated at the Experimental Field Station (EFS) and CFA from 1973 until October 1996. In 1996, a program evaluation determined that the cost of operating the high-volume samplers was not commensurate with the data being collected, and operations were suspended. Also in 1973, a high-volume sampler began operation in Idaho Falls as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) nationwide Environmental Radiation Ambient Monitoring System, now known as RadNet.
Tritium in atmospheric moisture has been measured at a minimum of two locations since at least 1973. Some limited monitoring may have been performed before this time.
One monitoring location at CFA collected samples of noble gases, with specific interest in krypton-85 (85Kr) from approximately 1984 until 1992. This station was used to monitor releases of 85Kr from the INTEC during periods when fuel reprocessing was taking place.
Nitrogen dioxide and sulfur dioxide were first monitored for a nine-week period at five onsite locations in 1972. A nitrogen dioxide sampling station operated from 1983 to 1985 to monitor waste calcining operations at INTEC. A sulfur dioxide sampler was also used from 1984 to 1985. The two sampling locations were reactivated in 1988 for nitrogen dioxide and operated through 2003, and one station operated from 1989 through 2001 for sulfur dioxide.
The National Park Service, in cooperation with other federal land management agencies, began the Interagency Monitoring of Protected Visual Environments (IMPROVE) program in 1985. This program was an extension of an earlier EPA program to measure fine particles of less than 2.5 μm in diameter (PM2.5). These particles are the largest cause of degraded visibility. In May 1992, one IMPROVE sampler was established at CFA on the INL Site and a second was located at Craters of the Moon National Monument as part of the nationwide network. Each of the two samplers collected two 24-hr PM2.5 samples a week. Analyses were performed for particulate mass, optical absorption, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen and the common elements from sodium through lead on the periodic table. Operation of the CFA sampler ceased in May 2000 when the EPA removed it from the nationwide network.
Current Programs – Both the ESER and INL contractors maintain a network of low‑volume air samplers to monitor for airborne radioactivity (Figure 3-2). ESER operates 13 samplers at offsite locations and three onsite samplers. ESER added a thirteenth offsite sampler in June 2001 at Jackson, Wyoming. Two samplers were also moved to new locations in July 2001 when the landlords terminated the leases at the previous stations. The sampler at Blackfoot was moved to Dubois and the sampler at Reno Ranch/Birch Creek was moved to Blue Dome. The INL contractor maintains 17 onsite and four offsite sampling locations. Additional samplers were added at SMC, Gate 4, the RTC and INTEC due to increased decontamination and dismantlement activity.
Each low-volume air sampler maintains an average airflow of 50 L/minute (1.8 ft3/minute) through a set of filters consisting of a 1.2 μm pore membrane filter followed by a charcoal cartridge. The membrane filters are 99 percent efficient for airborne particulates with an aerodynamic diameter of 0.32 μm, and higher for larger diameter particulates.
Filters from the low-volume air samplers are collected and analyzed weekly. Charcoal cartridges are analyzed for iodine‑131 (131I) either individually or in batches of up to ten cartridges. During batch counting, if any activity is noted in a batch, each cartridge in that batch is recounted individually.
Particulate filters are analyzed weekly using a proportional counting system. Filters are analyzed after waiting a minimum of four days to allow naturally occurring radon progeny to decay. Gross alpha and beta analyses are used as a screening technique to provide timely information on levels of radioactivity in the environment.
Specific radionuclide analyses are more sensitive than gross alpha and gross beta analyses for detecting concentrations of anthropogenic (human-made) radionuclides in air. The particulate filters of the low-volume samplers are composited by location at the end of each quarter, and all composites are analyzed for specific radionuclides by gamma spectrometry. Composites are then submitted for analyses for specific transuranic radionuclides (americium‑241 [241Am], plutonium-238 [238Pu], plutonium-239/240 [239/240Pu]), and strontium-90 (90Sr).
Measurements of suspended particulates are also performed on the 1.2 μm pore membrane filters from the low-volume air samplers. Both ESER and the INL contractor weigh their filters weekly before and after sampling to determine the amount of material collected. In both cases, the amount of material collected is determined by subtracting the presampling (clean filter) weight from the postsampling (used filter) weight. The concentration of suspended particulates is calculated by dividing the amount of material collected on the filters by the total volume of air that passed through the filters.
Samplers for tritium in atmospheric moisture are located at two onsite and four offsite locations. In these samplers, air is pulled through a column of desiccant material (i.e., silica gel or molecular sieve) at 0.3–0.5 L/hour (0.01-0.02 ft3/hour). The material in the column absorbs water vapor. Columns are changed when sufficient moisture to obtain a sample is absorbed (typically from one to three times per quarter). The absorbed water is removed from the desiccant through heat distillation. Tritium concentrations in air are then determined from the absorbed water (distillate) by liquid scintillation counting. Atmospheric concentrations are determined from the tritium concentration in the distillate, quantity of moisture collected, and the volume of air sampled.
Tritium is also monitored using precipitation samples collected on the INL Site monthly at CFA and weekly at EFS. A monthly sample is also obtained offsite in Idaho Falls. Each precipitation sample is submitted for tritium analysis by liquid scintillation counting.
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Historical Background – The USGS has conducted groundwater studies at the INL Site since its inception in 1949. The USGS was initially assigned the task to characterize water resources of the area. They have since maintained a groundwater quality and water level measurement program to support research and monitor the movement of radioactive and chemical constituents in the ESRPA. The first well, USGS 1, was completed and monitored in December 1949. USGS personnel have maintained an INL Project Office since 1958 (USGS 1998). During 2005, the USGS released a report documenting their monitoring programs for the period 1949-2001 (Knobel et al. 2005).
In 1993, the DOE Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) initiated a program to integrate all of the various groundwater monitoring programs at the Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) Site. This resulted in the development of the INEL Groundwater Monitoring Plan (DOE-ID 1993a) and the INEL Groundwater Protection Management Plan (DOE-ID 1993b). The monitoring plan described historical conditions and monitoring programs, and it included an implementation plan for each facility. The protection management plan established policy and identified programmatic requirements.
Sampling and analyses of drinking water both onsite and offsite began in 1958. Analysis for tritium began in 1961. Up to 28 locations were sampled before increased knowledge of the movement of groundwater beneath the INL Site led to a decrease in the number of sampling locations. In 1988, a centralized drinking water program was established. Each contractor participates in the INL Site Drinking Water Program. The Drinking Water Program was established to monitor drinking water and production wells, which are multiple use wells for industrial use, fire safety, and drinking water. Drinking water is monitored to ensure it is safe for consumption and to demonstrate that it meets federal and state regulations. The Idaho Regulations for Public Drinking Water Systems and the federal Safe Drinking Water Act establish requirements for the Drinking Water Program. A program to monitor lead and copper in drinking water in accordance with EPA regulations has been in place since 1992. Three successive years of monitoring lead and copper levels in drinking water were concluded in 1995. Since regulatory values were not exceeded, this monitoring has been reduced to once every three years beginning in 1998.
As one of the requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit effective October 1, 1992, the INL Site was obligated to develop a storm water monitoring program. Sampling of snowmelt and rain runoff began in 1993, and it included 16 sites at eight INL Site facilities. Samples were collected from storms of at least 0.25 cm (0.1 in.) of precipitation preceded by a minimum of 72 hours without precipitation.
In September 1998, the EPA issued the “Final Modification of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Multi-Sector General Permit for Industrial Activities” (63 FR 189). The permit requires sample collection and laboratory analyses for two of the years during every five-year cycle at potential discharge locations. This usually occurs during years two and four; the INL Site last collected and analyzed storm water samples in 2003. The permit also required continued annual monitoring from coal piles at INTEC whenever there was a discharge to the Big Lost River System. In addition, quarterly visual monitoring was required at all other designated locations.
Current Programs – USGS personnel collect samples from 167 observation or production wells and auger holes and have them analyzed for selected organic, inorganic, and radioactive substances. Sampling is performed on schedules ranging from monthly to annually. These samples are submitted to the RESL at CFA for analysis of radioactive substances and to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory in Lakewood, Colorado, for analyses of organic and inorganic substances. The USGS also records water levels at 210 selected wells on schedules ranging from monthly to annually.
The USGS also conducts special studies of the groundwater resources of the ESRPA. The abstract of each study published in 2005 is provided in Appendix C. These special studies provide more specific geological, chemical, and hydrological information on the characteristics of the aquifer and the movements of chemical and radiochemical contaminants in the groundwater. One special USGS investigation of particular interest was the ongoing annual sampling effort in the area between the INL Site’s southern boundary and the Twin Falls/Hagerman area, known as the Magic Valley Study. This study was prompted by public concern that radiochemical and chemical constituents generated by INL Site facilities could migrate through the Eastern Snake River Plain Aquifer (ESRPA) to the Snake River in the Twin Falls/Hagerman area. The final results of this study are summarized in USGS Open File Report 2005-1125 (Rattray et al. 2005).
The INEL Groundwater Monitoring Plan was updated in 2003 to include the monitoring wells, constituent lists, and sampling frequencies of current programs. The updated plan does not replace the 1993 plan but uses it as the basis for the information previously presented regarding operational history, contaminant sources, and monitoring networks for each INL Site facility. The updated plan modifies groundwater monitoring recommendations in accordance with more recent information (i.e., requirements in records of decision), relying on existing multiple groundwater programs rather than a single comprehensive program.
The INL contractor conducts sampling on the wastewater treatment systems at MFC, CFA, RTC, and SMC and monitors for nonradioactive and radioactive parameters in liquid waste effluents as required by the applicable WLAP and DOE environmental protection objectives. The INL contractor also is responsible for groundwater monitoring at MFC in support of the Record of Decision (ROD) and proposed monitoring associated with WLAP applications at MFC and RTC facilities. The ICP contractor owns and performs sampling on the wastewater treatment systems at INTEC and TAN. Monitoring is also performed for nonradioactive and radioactive parameters in liquid waste effluents generated at INTEC and TAN as required by their applicable WLAPs and DOE environmental protection objectives. The ICP contractor is also responsible for groundwater monitoring conducted at all other CERCLA site monitoring locations, WLAP compliance at INTEC and TAN, and RCRA closure monitoring at INTECs Waste Calcine Facility.
The INL contractor performs drinking water monitoring at all INL Site facilities except NRF. The INL contractor monitors 19 wells and 11 distribution systems across the INL Site for radiological and nonradiological parameters. Transient noncommunity water systems on the INL Site are EBR-I, the Gun Range, and the Main Gate. Nontransient water systems at the INL Site are INTEC, RWMC, CFA, RTC, TAN/Contained Test Facility, CITRC, and MFC.
Personnel collect quarterly onsite drinking water samples from active systems for radiological analysis. Each water sample is submitted for gross analyses for alpha- and beta-emitting radionuclides. Tritium analyses are also performed on all drinking water samples collected for radiological analysis. Strontium‑90 analyses are performed on quarterly samples from CFA and INTEC because historical water quality data from some monitoring and observation wells indicate 90Sr concentrations are above background levels.
Drinking water samples are analyzed monthly for microbiological contaminants,
such as coliform bacteria. If indications of contamination by bacteria are found
in a sample, that particular drinking water system is taken out of service until
it can be disinfected, resampled, and tested again until it is clear of
bacteria. Corrective actions to purify the water may vary among facilities.
The INL contractor’s Drinking Water Program also samples drinking water from wells and distribution systems at INL Site facilities for volatile organic compounds. Environmental Health Laboratories (now Underwriters Laboratories) performs organic analyses. Chlorinated drinking water systems are also monitored for total trihalomethanes (bromoform, bromodichloromethane, chloroform, and dibromochloromethane). Additional sampling is conducted for a variety of inorganic constituents, including metals, nitrates, and dissolved solids.
ESER collects drinking water samples semiannually from boundary and distant communities. Surface water samples are collected from springs in the Twin Falls/Hagerman area and the Snake River at Idaho Falls and Bliss. Each water sample is analyzed for gross alpha and gross beta activity and tritium.
Historically, storm water monitoring locations were based upon drainage patterns and proximity to potential sources of pollutants. The General NPDES Permit requires visual examinations of storm water for obvious indications of storm water pollution. In addition, visual examinations were conducted for surveillance purposes at some locations whether or not storm water discharged to the Big Lost River System.
In 2003, EPA Region 10 determined that three sites at the INL Site (RWMC, INTEC, and the north part of the INL Site near Birch Creek [area around TAN]) do not have a reasonable potential to discharge storm water to waters of the United States. As a result of this determination, construction and industrial storm water inspections, data collection, and reports have ceased for projects located at these facilities.
The remaining projects were evaluated through a technical analysis to determine any other areas under the INL Site’s control that would also have the same or less potential to discharge storm water to waters of the United States. Required storm water inspections and reporting continued for these projects until October 2004. At that time, inspections and reports at any additional projects that had no reasonable potential to discharge to waters of the United States, as determined through a preliminary technical analysis (finalized in early 2005), ceased.
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Historical Background – Milk was the first agricultural product
to be monitored, beginning in at least 1957. The number of samples collected per
year has been relatively constant since about 1962. Because of improvements in
counting technology, the detection limit for 131I has decreased from
about 15,000 pCi/L in early sampling to the current detection level of about 2
Wheat was first sampled as part of the radioecology research program in about 1962. The current monitoring program dates back to 1963. Potatoes were first collected in 1976 as part of an ecological research project. Regular potato sampling was resumed in 1994 in response to public interest. Lettuce has been collected since 1977.
Current Programs – Milk samples are collected from both commercial and single-family dairies. A 2 L (0.5 gal) sample is obtained from Idaho Falls weekly. Other locations are sampled monthly. Each milk sample is analyzed for 131I and other gamma-emitting radionuclides. One sample at each location is analyzed for 90Sr and tritium during the year.
Wheat samples are collected from farms or grain elevators in the region surrounding the INL Site. All wheat samples are analyzed for 90Sr and gamma-emitting radionuclides.
Potato samples are collected from farms or storage warehouses in the vicinity of the INL Site, with three to five samples from distant locations. The potatoes, with skins included, are cleaned and weighed before processing. All potato samples are analyzed for 90Sr and gamma-emitting radionuclides.
Lettuce samples are obtained from private gardens in communities in the vicinity of the INL Site. In addition, self-contained growing boxes are distributed throughout the region, usually at existing air monitoring locations. Lettuce is grown from seed at each location and collected when mature. The use of self-contained growing boxes allowed the collection of samples at areas on the INL Site (e.g., EFS) and at boundary locations where lettuce could not previously be obtained (e.g., Atomic City). Samples are washed to remove any soil as in normal food preparation, dried, reduced to a powdered form, and weighed. All lettuce samples are analyzed for 90Sr and gamma-emitting radionuclides.
The ICP contractor annually collects perennial and grass samples from around the major waste management facilities. These samples are analyzed for gamma-emitting radionuclides.
Historical Background – Monitoring of game animals has focused on research concerning the movement of radionuclides through the food chain. Rabbit thyroids and bones were first sampled in 1956. In 1973, routine sampling of game animal tissues was instituted. The first studies on waterfowl that were using wastewater disposal ponds containing various amounts of radionuclides occurred the following year. Waterfowl studies have covered the periods 1974–1978, 1984–1986, and 1994–present. In 1998, the collection of waterfowl became part of the regular surveillance program.
Mourning doves were collected in 1974 and 1975 as part of a radioecology research project. Periodic dove sampling as part of the environmental surveillance program was initiated in 1996. In 1998, periodic sampling of yellow-bellied marmots was added to the sampling program.
Sheep that have grazed onsite have been part of the routine monitoring program since a special study was conducted in 1975. Beef cattle grazing in the vicinity of RWMC were also monitored biennially during the period 1978 to 1986. Grazing near RWMC was discontinued due to drought conditions.
Current Programs – All INL Site animal tissue monitoring is performed by the ESER Program. Selected tissues (muscle, liver, and thyroid) are collected from game animals accidentally killed on INL Site roads. Thyroid samples are placed in vials and analyzed within 24-hours by gamma spectrometry specifically for 131I. Muscle and liver samples are processed, placed in a plastic container, and weighed before gamma spectrometry analysis.
Waterfowl samples are collected from waste disposal ponds at up to four facilities on the INL Site. Control samples are also taken in areas distant from the INL Site. Waterfowl samples are separated into an external portion (consisting of the skin and feathers); edible portion (muscle, liver, and gizzard tissue); and the remaining portion. All samples are analyzed by gamma spectrometry. Selected samples are also analyzed for 90Sr and transuranic radionuclides.
Mourning doves are collected in some years from the vicinity of INTEC and RTC wastewater ponds and from a control area distant to the INL Site. Because of the small size of a typical dove, muscle tissues from several doves collected at the same location are composited into one sample. Samples are analyzed for gamma-emitting radionuclides.
Historical Background – Soil sampling has been included as part of routine monitoring programs since the early 1970s, although some limited soil collection was performed around various facilities as far back as 1960. Offsite soil sampling at distant and boundary locations was conducted annually from 1970 to 1975. The collection interval was extended to every two years starting in 1978. Soil samples in 1970, 1971, and 1973 represented a composite of five cores of soil 5 cm (2 in.) in depth from a 1 mi2 (approximately 0.9 m2 [10 ft2]) area. In all other years, the five cores were collected from two depths: 0–5 cm (0–2 in.) and 5–10 cm (2–4 in.) within a 100 m2 (~1076 ft2) area.
A soil sampling program began in 1973 around onsite facilities. Soils at each facility were sampled every seven years. In 2001, all locations were sampled as the frequency was increased to every two years.
Current Programs – Twelve offsite locations are sampled by the ESER Program in even numbered years by the ESER contractor. Following collection, soil samples are dried for at least three hours at 120°C (250°F) and sieved. Only soil particles less than 500 μm in diameter (35 mesh) are analyzed. All offsite samples are analyzed for gamma-emitting radionuclides, 90Sr, and transuranic radionuclides.
The INL contractor now performs soil sampling on a two-year rotation. One hundred seventy-five sites were sampled in 2005. All sites are analyzed in situ for gamma emitting radionuclides and 90Sr. Approximately 10 percent of the sites have a physical sample collected for laboratory analysis of gamma-emitting and transuranic radionuclides. Samples are collected from 0–5 cm (0–2 in.) and sieved at the sample site with the 35-mesh fraction being collected. The INL contractor also performs annual sampling of the CFA sewage treatment plant irrigation spray field to show compliance with the WLAP soil loading limits.
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Historical Background – Measurements of radiation in the environment have been made on the INL Site since 1958. The technology used for radiation measurements at fixed locations has evolved from film badges to thermoluminescent dosimeters (TLDs). In addition to these locations, surveys using hand-held and vehicle-mounted radiation instruments have been conducted since at least 1959. Aerial radiological surveys were also performed in 1959, 1966, 1974, 1982, and 1990.
Current Programs – Environmental TLDs are used to measure ambient ionizing radiation exposures. The TLDs measure ionizing radiation exposures from all external sources. External sources include natural radioactivity in the air and soil, cosmic radiation from space, residual fallout from nuclear weapons tests, radioactivity from fossil fuel burning, and radioactive effluents from INL Site operations and other industrial processes.
At each location, a TLD holder containing four individual chips is placed one meter (3.3 ft) above ground level. The INL contractor maintains dosimeters at 13 offsite locations and approximately 135 locations onsite. The ESER contractor has dosimeters at 17 offsite locations. The dosimeter card at each location is changed semiannually, and cumulative gamma radiation is measured by the INL contractor Dosimetry Unit.
In addition to TLDs, a radiometric scanner arrangement is used to conduct gamma radiation surveys onsite. Two plastic scintillation detectors and global positioning system equipment are mounted on a four-wheel drive vehicle. The vehicle is driven slowly across the area to be surveyed while radiometric and location data are continuously recorded.
Historical Background – The NOAA Air Resources Laboratory-Field Research Division (NOAA ARL-FRD) began work at the INL Site in 1948 as a Weather Bureau Research Station. The first meteorological observation station established to support the onsite activities began operation in 1949 at CFA. The network of stations expanded in the 1950s to provide more closely spaced data. The current mesonet was designed and constructed in the 1990s.
Current Programs – NOAA ARL-FRD currently maintains a network of 36 meteorological stations in the vicinity of the INL Site. These stations provide continuous measurements of a variety of parameters, including air temperature at two or three elevations, wind direction and speed, relative humidity, barometric pressure, solar radiation, and precipitation. In addition, continuous measurements of wind speed/direction and air temperature at various heights above the ground are taken using a radar wind profiling system and a radio acoustic sounding system. Data are transmitted via radio and telephone to the NOAA ARL-FRD Idaho Falls facility, where they are stored in a computerized archive.
A Monitoring and Surveillance Committee was formed in March 1997 and holds bimonthly meetings to coordinate activities between groups involved in INL Site-related onsite and offsite environmental monitoring. This standing committee brings together representatives of DOE-ID; INL Site contractors; Shoshone-Bannock Tribes; state of Idaho INL Oversight Program; NOAA; and USGS. The Monitoring and Surveillance Committee has served as a valuable forum to review monitoring, analytical, and quality assurance methodologies; to coordinate efforts; and to avoid unnecessary duplication.
The Drinking Water Committee was established in 1994 to coordinate drinking water related activities across the INL Site and to provide a forum for exchanging information related to drinking water systems. The committee includes DOE-ID and INL Site contractors.
The Water Resources Committee serves as a forum for coordinating and exchanging technical information on water-related activities. The committee was established in 1991 and includes DOE-ID, INL Site contractors, USGS, NOAA, and other agencies that have an interest in INL Site water issues but are not necessarily part of the governing agencies.
Table 3-2, Table 3-3 and Table 3-4 present a summary of the environmental surveillance programs conducted by the ESER contractor, the INL contractor, and the USGS, respectively, in 2005.
In May 2002, DOE, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality, and the EPA signed a letter of intent formalizing an agreement to pursue accelerated risk reduction and cleanup at the INL Site. The letter provides the foundation for a collaborative plan for the accelerated cleanup.
DOE-ID and its contractors, in consultation with the state of Idaho and EPA, developed a Performance Management Plan describing the approach to accelerate the reduction of environmental risk at the INL Site by completing its cleanup responsibility faster and more efficiently. The plan will fulfill the following two visions:
The vision for accelerating cleanup results in two objectives: (1) risk reduction and continued protection of the ESRPA and (2) consolidation of Environmental Management (EM) activities and reinvestment of savings into cleanup.
Nine strategic initiatives were developed around these objectives. They include:
At the 2020 end state, some activities will continue: shipment of spent nuclear fuel to a repository; retrieval, treatment, packaging, and shipment of calcined HLW to a repository; and final dismantlement of remaining EM buildings. These activities will be completed by 2035 with the exception of some minor activities leading to long-term stewardship. The accelerated cleanup vision is now embodied in DOE’s new performance-based cleanup contract with CWI that will achieve accelerated cleanup priorities through 2012. The INL Site made significant progress in 2005, most notably:
Accelerated cleanup activities are further discussed through this Chapter in specific program emphasis areas.
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Since the Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order (FFA/CO) was signed in December 1991, the INL Site has cleaned up release sites containing asbestos, petroleum products, acids and bases, radionuclides, unexploded ordnance and explosive residues, polychlorinated biphenyls, heavy metals, and other hazardous materials. Cleanup of this contamination is being conducted under CERCLA. By the end of 2005:
By progressing on these cleanup projects, workers were able to significantly reduce risks posed by past contamination at INL Site facilities. Also, by reducing the number of unneeded buildings, money that would otherwise have been applied to upkeep can now be applied to cleanup projects.
Comprehensive RI/FSs have been completed for WAGs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, and 10 (6 is combined with 10). The comprehensive RI/FSs, which take an average of 40 months to complete, accomplish the following:
The information in the RI/FS is summarized in a Proposed Plan, which is
provided for public comment. Proposed Plans present cleanup alternatives and
recommend a preferred cleanup alternative to the public. After consideration of
public comments DOE, EPA and the state of Idaho develop a ROD selecting a
cleanup approach from the alternatives evaluated.
The general procedure for all comprehensive investigations begins with developing a work plan outlining potential data gaps and release sites that may require more field sampling. When the investigation is complete, DOE, EPA and the state of Idaho hold public comment meetings on the proposed cleanup alternative. Three investigations remain to be completed:
A complete catalog of documentation associated with the FFA/CO is contained in the CERCLA Administrative Record at http://ar.inel.gov/ . The location of each WAG is shown on Figure 3-3.
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During 2005, the remediation of the PM-2A tanks was completed and remediation of V-tanks 1, 2, 3, and 9 was initiated. This V-tanks site consists of four out-of-service underground storage tanks, related structures, and the surrounding contaminated soil. There are three 37,854 L (10,000 gal) and one 1514 L (400 gal) underground storage tanks. The contents are contaminated with radionuclides, heavy metals, and organic compounds. The remedy consists of soil and tank removal, treatment of tank contents using air sparging followed by stabilization, and disposal. The treatment activities taking place at the V-tanks site and adjacent areas were ongoing at the end of 2005.
Remediation of the two PM-2A tanks (V-13 and V-14) began in 2004. The two 190,000 L (50,000 gal) tanks were first removed from the ground. Tank V-13 did not require treatment and was then disposed directly in the ICDF. Tank V-14 was moved to the ICDF and its contents treated via air sparging to remove tetrachloroethene prior to disposal in the ICDF landfill.
In addition to the V-tank work, the OU 1-07B groundwater cleanup continued throughout 2005. The in situ bioremediation nutrient injection system continued to reduce contaminant concentrations in the aquifer. The New Pump and Treat Facility was placed on standby to test rebound of aquifer contamination levels. Significant rebound did not occur through the end of 2005.
All active remediation in WAG 2 is complete. Some elements of the remedy, including monitoring of perched water and groundwater under the facility area and maintenance of caps and covers will continue until the risk posed by contamination left in place is acceptable. In 2005, all of these Institutional Controls were maintained.
Operations continued at the ICDF during 2005, disposing of contaminated soil and debris in the landfill cell as well as liquid waste to the evaporation pond. This site consolidates low-level contaminated soils and debris from CERCLA cleanup operations and segregates those wastes from potential migration to the aquifer, reducing risk to the public and environment. During 2005, construction of the second phase of the ICDF landfill was completed and put into operation to bring the landfill to its full capacity of about 390,000 m3 (13,772,721 ft3). Construction of the Staging, Storage, Sizing, and Treatment Facility was also completed, which provides the capability to treat soils that do not meet Land Disposal Restriction requirements so that they can be disposed in the ICDF landfill. As of the end of 2005, treatment was ongoing of 403 metric tons (1216 tons) of mercury-contaminated soil staged on an asphalt pad in the ICDF area. The soil came from a cleanup project at CFA. Other major accomplishments at WAG 3 include:
Remediation of WAG 4 was completed in 2004. As with WAG 2, Institutional Controls are in place to maintain and monitor the completed remediation.
Cleanup activities at WAG 5 are complete. This area supported two reactor facilities–the Power Burst Facility (PBF) and the Auxiliary Reactor Area. The Remedial Action Report was completed during 2005.
Ecological and groundwater monitoring continued during 2005. Work on the INL Site-wide groundwater model also continued. These activities are to prepare for the upcoming OU 10-08 RI/FS. The OU 10-04 ROD is being implemented in four phases. The Phase I Remedial Action Report, documenting implementation of institutional controls and ecological monitoring, was completed during 2005. The Phase II remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) Work Plan to address remediation of TNT contaminated soils sites was completed during 2004. The Phase III RD/RA Work Plan was completed during 2005. The Phase IV RD/RA Work Plan to address unexploded ordnance will be completed during 2006.
Waste Area Group 7 includes the Subsurface Disposal Area (SDA), a 39 hectare (ha) (97 acre) disposal area containing buried hazardous and radioactive waste. Organic solvents contained in this waste are a source of groundwater contamination and are being removed by an ongoing cleanup action. The state, EPA, and DOE-ID agreed on a revised technical approach, the Glovebox Excavator Method project (GEM), to demonstrate retrieval from a small area of Pit 9. Workers remotely excavated wastes and examined them in a shielded confinement structure or glovebox. The waste is to be treated for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. Waste retrieved during this successful excavation has been used to validate the characterization data generated by several noninvasive techniques and by ground probes. The ongoing Accelerated Retrieval Project (ARP), and ARP-II project to be initiated during 2006, are larger-scale excavations (one-half acre) in Pits 4 and 6 using many of the safe operating concepts developed during the GEM project. These projects are being performed as CERCLA Removal Actions. Additional excavations are anticipated in future years as the retrieval approach is proven effective.
The following accomplishments were achieved at WAG 7 in 2005:
All WAG 9 remediation activities have been completed. Three sites will remain under institutional controls until 2097 to allow for natural decay of Cesium-137 to background levels.
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The INL Site’s waste management activities provide safe, compliant, and cost-effective management services for facility waste streams. Waste management and disposition covers a variety of operations and functions including: (1) storage of waste pending disposition, (2) characterization of waste in order to allow it to be placed in storage or offered for transportation/treatment/disposal, (3) transportation of waste to onsite and/or offsite locations for treatment and/or disposal, (4) treatment of waste prior to disposal, and (5) disposal. Safe operations and compliance with applicable federal, state, and local regulations are the highest priorities along with meeting the commitments made in the Idaho Settlement Agreement and the INL Site Treatment Plan.
The Federal Facility Compliance Act requires the preparation of a site treatment plan for the treatment of mixed wastes (those containing both radioactive and nonradioactive hazardous materials) at the INL Site.
In accordance with the Site Treatment Plan, the INL Site began receiving offsite mixed waste for treatment in January 1996. The INL Site received mixed waste from other sites within the DOE complex including Hanford, Los Alamos, Paducah, Pantex, Sandia, and six locations managed by the Office of Naval Reactors. The INL Site is storing the backlog of mixed waste in permitted storage at the Waste Reduction Operations Complex and INTEC. The Site Treatment Plan covers the treatment and disposal of legacy waste by means of a backlog schedule. Below is a list of backlog waste and amounts that were disposed in 2005 in accordance with the milestone schedules.
The Site Treatment Plan covers the development of a treatment facility for sodium-bearing waste and the research process to identify treatment options for calcine waste.
The overall goal of the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) is the treatment of alpha-containing low‑level mixed and transuranic (TRU) mixed wastes for final disposal by a process that minimizes overall costs while ensuring safety. This will be accomplished through a private sector treatment facility with the capability to treat specified INL Site waste streams and the flexibility to treat other INL Site and DOE regional and national waste streams. The facility will treat waste to meet the most current requirements, reduce waste volume and life-cycle cost to DOE, and perform tasks in a safe, environmentally compliant manner.
A contract for treatment services was awarded to British Nuclear Fuels Limited (BNFL), Inc. in December 1996. BNFL completed construction of the facility in December 2002, fulfilling a Settlement Agreement milestone. AMWTP retrieval operations commenced in March 2003 and treatment facility operations commenced in August 2004. The BNFL contract was terminated effective April 30, 2005, and BBWI assumed operations of AMWTP on May 1, 2005. Certification of the treatment facility was obtained in May 2005 allowing for certification and shipment of treated TRU waste to WIPP. The first shipment of treated TRU waste from AMWTP was sent to WIPP on May 31, 2005.
In 1953, reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel began at the INTEC, resulting in the generation of liquid HLW and sodium-bearing liquid waste (SBW). Those wastes were placed into interim storage in underground tanks at the INTEC Tank Farm. Treatment of those wastes began in 1963 through a process called calcining. The resultant waste form, known as calcine, was placed in storage in stainless steel bins at the Calcine Solids Storage Facility. DOE announced the decision to stop processing spent nuclear fuel in 1992. Calcining of all non-sodium-bearing liquid HLW was completed on February 20, 1998, four months ahead of the June 30, 1998, Idaho Settlement Agreement milestone. Calcining of remaining SBW began immediately following completion of non-sodium liquid HLW treatment, more than three years ahead of the Idaho Settlement Agreement milestone. Per that Agreement, all such waste is required to be calcined by the end of the year 2012.
DOE issued, in October 2002, the Final Idaho HLW and Facilities Disposition Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) that included alternatives other than calcination for treatment of the SBW. DOE issued a ROD for this FEIS on December 13, 2005. This ROD chose steam reforming technology to treat the remaining SBW in the tank farm. DOE plans on completing SBW treatment using this technology by December 31, 2012. The state of Idaho in a letter dated November 17, 2005, to the Honorable James A. Rispoli, Assistant Secretary for Environmental Management, U.S. Department of Energy, from Kathleen Trever, Administrator, Division of INL Oversight and Radiation Control, states: “Solidification via steam reforming is, therefore, an acceptable substitute technology for meeting DOE’s commitment under the 1995 court settlement in Public Service Company of Colorado v. Kempthorne, CV-91-0035-S-EJL to ‘complete calcination of sodium-bearing liquid HLWs by December 31, 2012…’” “The State notes that steam reformed waste shall be subject to other 1995 court settlement requirements for treatment and removal of calcined waste from the state of Idaho.” This technology will treat the remaining approximately 3.4 million L (900,000 gal) of liquid SBW that has been consolidated into three 1.14 million L (300,000 gal) below grade tanks at the INTEC Tank Farm for interim storage. Seven other 1.14 million L (300,000 gal) Tank Farm tanks have been emptied, cleaned, and removed from service in preparation for final closure.
In addition, the final Idaho HLW and FEIS issued in October 2002 included analysis of alternatives for treatment of the calcined waste. Work continues to investigate technologies for efficient retrieval of the existing HLW calcine from the consolidated calcine storage facilities (bin sets). The ROD that will be issued by December 31, 2009, will provide for the treatment, if necessary, of the calcine waste to meet the completion date of December 31, 2035.
In 2005, the INL Site treated and disposed offsite more than 830 m3 (29,311 ft3) of mixed low-level waste. Approximately 6535 m3 (231,841 ft3) of legacy and newly generated low-level waste were disposed at the SDA in 2005.
In 2005, the INL Site shipped a total of 4267 m3 (150,688 ft3) of transuranic waste out of Idaho. This represents an increase of over 4000 m3 (141,259 ft3) from the volume shipped in 2004. The increase was the result of implementing efficiency, reliability, and maintainability improvements as well as increasing staffing levels. Since 1999, more than 10,000 m3 (353,147 ft3) of waste have been shipped offsite.
The mission of the Pollution Prevention Program is to reduce the generation and release of wastes and pollutants by implementing cost-effective pollution prevention techniques, practices, and policies. Pollution prevention is required by various federal statutes including, but not limited to, the Pollution Prevention Act and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act; Executive Order 13101, Greening the Government through Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Federal Acquisition, and Executive Order 13148, Greening the Government through Leadership in Environmental Management.
It is the policy of the INL Site to incorporate pollution prevention into every activity onsite and in the Idaho Falls facilities. Pollution prevention is one of the key underpinnings of the INL Site Environmental Management System (see Section 3.5). It functions as an important preventive mechanism because generating less waste reduces waste management costs, compliance vulnerabilities, and the potential for releases to the environment. The INL Site is promoting the inclusion of pollution prevention into all planning activities as well as the concept that pollution prevention is integral to mission accomplishment.
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The INL contractor continued to make progress on the effort initiated in 1997 to develop and implement a sitewide Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS meets the requirements of International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14001, an international voluntary standard for environmental management systems. This standard is being vigorously embraced worldwide as well as within the DOE complex. An EMS provides an underlying structure to make the management of environmental activities more systematic and predictable. The EMS focuses on three core concepts: pollution prevention, environmental compliance, and continuous improvement. The primary system components are (1) environmental policy, (2) planning, (3) implementation and operation, (4) checking and corrective action, and (5) management review.
An audit and onsite readiness review conducted in 2001 by an independent ISO 14001 auditor concluded that the INL Site was ready for a formal registration audit. A registration audit was conducted May 6–10, 2002, by a third-party registrar. There were no nonconformances identified during the audit and the lead auditor recommended ISO 14001 registration for INL Site facilities, which was received in June 2002. In February and May of 2005, DOE brought two new contractors on board to run the future development of the INL (BEA) and the cleanup of legacy facilities and waste under the Idaho Cleanup Project (CWI), along with changing the operating contractor at the AMWTP from BNFL to BBWI. Because these contract changes occurred during the ISO 14001 registration audit period, the new contractors allowed the former system to lapse while focusing on a new system under the new contracts (for BEA and CWI; BBWI remained exempt under terms of the contract). In November 2005, both BEA and CWI successfully applied and passed the registration audit to regain ISO 14001 registration. In early December 2005, the DOE-ID Manager was able to certify to DOE Headquarters that a successful Environmental Management System was being implemented at the INL Site.
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The INL Site continued with an aggressive approach to reducing the EM “footprint” through accelerated DD&D activities of EM-owned buildings and structures. This effort achieved significant cost and risk reductions by eliminating aging facilities no longer necessary for the INL mission. In total, 7440 m2 (80,082 ft2) of buildings and structures were demolished in 2005. Specific projects at various facilities are described below.
Test Area North – Only minor structures and buildings that no
longer have a mission were demolished at TAN. In 2005 a total of 268 m2
(2887 ft2) of footprint reduction was achieved at TAN.
Critical Infrastructure Test Range/Power Burst Facility – Significant effort was placed on reducing the risks within the PBF Reactor. The PBF Reactor was placed in a cold, dark and dry state; the reactor in-pile tube was removed, water was pumped out of the reactor vessel, and two thirds of the shielding lead was removed from the facility. The PBF reactor evaporation tank was demolished in 2005. The footprint reduction reported for PBF was 465 m2 (5010 ft2); credit for work accomplished in the PBF Reactor facility will not be counted until facility DD&D is complete.
Reactor Technology Complex – Emphasis was placed on demolishing the Material Test Reactor and Engineering Test Reactor support facilities. A total of 2942 m2 (31,665 ft2) of buildings and structures was demolished in 2005. Decontamination work started in the Engineering Test Reactor to reduce personnel and environmental risks.
Idaho Nuclear Technology and Engineering Center – Significant effort was placed on completing the demolition of CPP-627 (Remote Analytical Laboratory), which was part of the Fuel Reprocessing Complex and represented one of the highest risk facilities at the INL Site. The CPP-627 along with several other buildings and structures, were decommissioned in 2005, resulting in a total footprint reduction of 3764 m2 (40,520 ft2).
Spent nuclear fuel (SNF) is defined as fuel that has been irradiated in a nuclear reactor, has produced power, has been removed from the reactor and has not been reprocessed to separate any constituent elements. SNF contains some unused enriched uranium and radioactive fission products. Because of its radioactivity (primarily from gamma rays), it must be properly shielded. DOE’s SNF is from development of nuclear energy technology (including foreign and domestic research reactors), national defense and other programmatic missions. Several DOE Offices manage SNF. Fuel is managed by EM INTEC, by the Naval Propulsion Program at NRF, and by Nuclear Energy at RTC and MFC. Over 220 different types of SNF ranging in size from 0.9 kg (2 lbs), to 0.45 metric ton (0.5 ton) are managed at the INL Site.
Between 1952 and 1992, SNF was reprocessed at the Idaho Chemical Processing Plant (now called INTEC) to recover fissile material for reuse. However, the need for fuel grade uranium and plutonium decreased. A 1992 decision to stop reprocessing left a large quantity of SNF in storage pending the licensing and operation of a monitored geologic repository. The Idaho Settlement Agreement requires all INL Site fuel be removed from the state of Idaho by 2035. The INL Site’s goal is to begin shipping SNF to a monitored geologic repository by September 30, 2015.
In 2005, INL Site SNF was stored in both wet and dry condition. Dry storage is preferred because it reduces concerns about corrosion and is less expensive to monitor. An effort is underway to put all INL Site SNF into standard canisters, in dry storage, so that it can be ready for transport once a repository is licensed. SNF storage facilities are described below. All Environmental Management managed SNF was consolidated at INTEC in 2003.
Fluorinel Dissolution Process and Fuel Storage Facility (CPP-666) – This INTEC facility, also called FAST, is divided into two parts: a SNF storage area and the Fluorinel Dissolution Facility which operated from 1983 to 1992. The storage area consists of six storage basins currently storing SNF under about 11 million L (3 million gal) of water, which provides protective shielding and cooling. Eventually, all SNF will be removed from this underwater storage pool and placed in dry storage in preparation for shipment to a repository. In 2005, the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) sent shipments of SNF to FAST for storage and aluminum-plate SNF was transferred from the basins to dry storage in the Irradiated Fuel Storage Facility.
Irradiated Fuel Storage Facility (CPP-603) – This INTEC facility, also called the IFSF, is the dry side of the Wet & Dry Fuel Storage Facility. It has 636 storage positions and has provided dry storage for SNF since 1973. In 2005, the DD&D of the old fuel storage basin was started. The IFSF was approximately 60 percent full at the end of 2005 and will continue to receive SNF from the CPP-666 basin, and foreign and domestic research reactors SNF in 2006.
TMI-2 Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (CPP-1774) – This INTEC facility, also called the ISFSI, is an NRC-licensed dry storage area for SNF and debris from the Three Mile Island reactor accident. Fuel and debris were transferred to TAN for examination, study, and storage following the accident. After the examination, the SNF and debris were transferred to the ISFSI. The ISFSI provides safe, environmentally secure, aboveground storage for the SNF and debris, which is kept in metal casks inside the concrete vaults.
Peach Bottom Fuel Storage Facility (CPP-749) – This INTEC facility consists of below-ground vaults for the dry storage of SNF. Located on approximately 2 ha (5 acres), this facility houses 193 underground vaults of various sizes for the dry storage of nuclear fuel rods. The vaults are generally constructed of carbon steel tubes with some of them containing concrete plugs. All of the tubes are completely below grade and are accessed from the top using specially designed equipment. This facility stores Peach Bottom fuel as well as other unirradiated fuels.
Fort Saint Vrain Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation – The DOE-ID manages this offsite NRC-licensed dry storage facility located in Colorado. It contains about two-thirds of the SNF generated over the operational life of the Fort Saint Vrain reactor. The rest of the SNF from the Fort Saint Vrain reactor is stored in IFSF, described above.
Advanced Test Reactor (TRA-670) – The ATR is located at the RTC. The ATR is a research reactor that performs materials testing for domestic and foreign customers. During routine maintenance outages, spent fuel elements are removed and placed in underwater racks in the ATR canal, also located in building TRA-670. Fuel elements are allowed to cool before being transferred to FAST, as described above. The ATR canal is designated as a working facility rather than a storage facility. The ultimate disposition of ATR spent fuel will be a monitored geologic repository.
The 2000 Environmental Oversight and Monitoring Agreement between DOE-ID; DOE Naval Reactors; Idaho Branch Office; and the state of Idaho maintains the state’s program of independent oversight and monitoring established under the first agreement in 1990 that created the state of Idaho INL Oversight Program. The main objectives of the current five‑year agreement are to:
The INL Oversight Program’s main activities include environmental surveillance, radiological emergency planning and response, impact assessment, and public information. More information can be found on the Oversight Program website at http://www.deq.idaho.gov/ .
The Idaho National Laboratory Site Environmental Management Citizens Advisory
Board, one of the EM Site‑Specific Advisory Boards, was formed in March 1994.
Its charter is to provide input and recommendations on DOE EM site-specific
topics. These topics include cleanup standards and environmental restoration,
waste management and disposition, stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile
nuclear materials, excess facilities, future land use and long-term stewardship,
risk assessment and management, and cleanup science and technology activities.
The Citizens Advisory Board has produced over 125 recommendations during its tenure. Currently, the Board is working on the following issues, in addition to numerous others:
More information about the Board’s recommendations, membership, and meeting dates and topics can be found at http://www.inlemcab.org/ .
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Knobel, L.L., Bartholomay, R.C., and Rousseau, J.P., 2005, Historical Development of the U.S. Geological Survey Hydrologic Monitoring and Investigative Programs at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho, 1949-2001, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1223, DOE/ID-22195, 93 p.
Rattray, G.W., Wehnke, A.J., Hall, L.F., and Campbell, L.J., 2005, Radiochemical and Chemical Constituents in Water from Selected Wells and Springs from the Southern Boundary of the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory to the Hagerman Area, Idaho, 2003, U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1125, DOE/ID-22193, 25 p.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) DOE Order 450.1, 2003 “Environmental Protection Program,” U.S. Department of Energy, January.
U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID), 1993a, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Groundwater Monitoring Plan, DOE/ID-10441.
U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID) 1993b, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Groundwater Protection Management Plan, DOE/ID-10274, March.
U.S. Department of Energy Idaho Operations Office (DOE-ID), 1991, Idaho National Engineering Laboratory Historical Dose Evaluation, Appendix E, Environmental Surveillance, DOE/ID-12119, Vol. 2, August.
USGS, 1998, http://water.usgs.gov/pubs/FS/FS-130-97/ , April.
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