Contaminant Boundary at the Faultless Underground Nuclear Test

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Comprehensively one have shown that no technical construction obstacles for siting a nuclear power plant underground exist that the additional costs for underground siting with price level mid are some MSwCr In today's price level MSwCr will probably correspond to some MSwCr per unit and that the construction time is some one year longer than for an above ground plant.

A study ought to examine more closely the consequences of underground siting from a radiological point of view and what demands on that occasion ought to be put on the technical design.

A survey of the underground siting of nuclear power plants. The idea of locating nuclear power plants underground is not new, since in the period of time between the late fifties and the early sixties, four small nuclear plants have been built in Europe in rock cavities. Safety has been, in general, the main motivation for such a siting solution. In the last years several factors such as increasing power transmission costs, decreasing number of suitable sites above ground, increased difficulties in obtaining site approval by the licensing authorities, increasing opposition to nuclear power, increasing concern for extreme - but highly improbable - accidents, together with the possibility of utilizing the waste heat and the urban siting concept have renewed the interest for the underground siting as an alternative to surface siting.

The author presents a survey of the main studies carried out on the subject of underground siting. Case study of siting technology for underground nuclear power plant. Underground siting method is one of new feasible siting methods for nuclear power plants. This report presents the results on case studies on underground siting. Two sites of a steeply inclined and plateau like configurations were selected. The following designs were carried out for these two sites as case studies; 1 conceptual designs, 2 geological surveys and rock mechanics tests, 3 stability analysis during cavern excavations, 4 seismic stability analysis of caverns during earthquake, 5 reinforcement designs for caverns, 6 drainage designs.

The case studies showed that these two cases were fully feasible, and comparison between two cases revealed that the 'shaft type semi-cavern; partial underground siting' method was more suitable for Japanese islands. As a first step of underground siting, therefore, the authors recommend to construct a nuclear power plant by this method. Review of Soviet studies related to peaceful underground nuclear explosions.

Theoretical and empirical studies of contained and crater-forming underground nuclear explosions by USSR investigators are reviewed and summarized. Published data on U. Empirical studies on U. The parameters governing an excavation explosion are reviewed. Study of the cavity radius. An underground nuclear explosion creates a cavity due to the expansion of the surrounding medium vaporized by the shot.

The cavity radius is related to the energy of explosion and to the overburden pressure of the medium. The introduction of new elements such as the environment of the device in a deep hole or in a tunnel and the cohesion of the medium leads to a relationship which determines this radius. The known French and American underground explosions performed in various media, energy and overburden conditions, satisfy this relationship with a good precision.

Chapter 2. Peculiarities of radioactive particle formation and isotope fractionation resulted from underground nuclear explosions. Radioactive particles, forming terrain fallouts from underground nuclear explosion differ sufficiently from radioactive particles, produced by atmospheric nuclear explosions. Patterns of underground nuclear explosion development, release of radioactivity to the atmosphere, formation of a cloud and base surge, peculiarities of formed radioactive particles, data on isotope fractionation in radioactive particles are presented.

Scheme of particle activation, resulted from underground explosions is given. A biomonitoring plan for assessing potential radionuclide exposure using Amchitka Island in the Aleutian chain of Alaska as a case study. With the ending of the Cold War, the US and other nations were faced with a legacy of nuclear wastes.

For some sites where hazardous nuclear wastes will remain in place, methods must be developed to protect human health and the environment. Biomonitoring is one method of assessing the status and trends of potential radionuclide exposure from nuclear waste sites, and of providing the public with early warning of any potential harmful exposure.


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Following a substantive study of radionuclide levels in biota from the marine environment around Amchitka and a reference site, we developed a suite of bioindicators with suggested isotopes that can serve as a model for other sites contaminated with radionuclides. Although the species selection was site-specific, the methods can provide a framework for other sites.

We selected bioindicators using five criteria: 1 occurrence at all three test shots and reference site , 2 receptor groups subsistence foods, commercial species, and food chain nodes , 3 species groups plants, invertebrates, fish, and birds , 4 trophic levels, and 5 an accumulator of one or several radionuclides. Our major objective was to identify bioindicators that could serve for both human health and the ecosystem, and were abundant enough to collect adjacent to the three test sites and at the reference site.

Validation of Numerical Ground Water Models Used to Guide Decision Making

Site-specific information on both biota availability and isotope levels was essential in the final selection of bioindicators. Actinides bioaccumulated in algae and invertebrates, while radiocesium accumulated in higher trophic level birds and fish. Thus, unlike biomonitoring schemes developed for heavy metals or other contaminants, top-level predators are not sufficient to evaluate potential radionuclide exposure at Amchitka.

The process described in this paper resulted in the selection of Fucus, Alaria fistulosa, blue. Concept for Underground Disposal of Nuclear Waste. Packaged waste placed in empty oil-shale mines. Concept for disposal of nuclear waste economically synergistic with earlier proposal concerning backfilling of oil-shale mines. New disposal concept superior to earlier schemes for disposal in hard-rock and salt mines because less uncertainty about ability of oil-shale mine to contain waste safely for millenium. Underground nuclear explosion effects in granite rock fracturing.

On the Saharan nuclear test site in Hoggar granite, mechanical properties of the altered zones were studied by in situ and laboratory measurements. In situ methods of study are drillings, television, geophysical and permeability measurements. Fracturing is one of the most important nuclear explosion effects. Several altered zones were identified. There are: crushed zone, fractured zone and stressed zone. Collapse of crushed and fractured zone formed the chimney. The extent of each zone can be expressed in terms of yield and of characteristic parameters.

Such results are of main interest for industrial uses of underground nuclear explosives in hard rock. Managing nuclear waste: the underground perspective. A simplified, very-general overview of the history of nuclear waste management is presented. The sources of different wastes of different levels of radioactivity are discussed. The current governmental program, including three DOE programs currently studying the problems of isolating waste in geological repositories, is discussed briefly.

The general thrust of ensuing articles in the same magazine dealing with different facets of the waste-management program is outlined. As part of the corrective action strategy reached between the U. Department of Energy and the State of Nevada, the extent and potential impact of radionuclide contamination of groundwater at underground nuclear test locations must be addressed.

This report provides the contaminant boundary for the Project Shoal Site, based on the groundwater flow and transport model for the site, by Pohlmann and others. Felsenkeller shallow- underground accelerator laboratory for nuclear astrophysics. Bemmerer, D. Favored by the low background in underground laboratories, low-background accelerator-based experiments are an important tool to study nuclear reactions involving stable charged particles. This technique has been used for many years with great success at the 0.

However, the nuclear reactions of helium and carbon burning and the neutron source reactions for the astrophysical s-process require higher beam energies than those available at LUNA. Also the study of solar fusion reactions necessitates new data at higher energies. As a result, in the present NuPECC long range plan for nuclear physics in Europe, the installation of one or more higher-energy underground accelerators is strongly recommended. An intercomparison exercise has been carried out using the same HPGe detector in a typical nuclear astrophysics setup at several sites, including the Dresden Felsenkeller underground laboratory.

It was found that its rock overburden of 45m rock, together with an active veto against the remaining muon flux, reduces the background to a level that is similar to the deep underground scenario. Work on an additional radio-frequency ion source on the high voltage terminal is underway. The project is now fully funded. The installation of the accelerator in the Felsenkeller is expected for the near future.

The status of the project and the planned access possibilities for external users will be reported. Origins of displacements caused by underground nuclear explosions. Elastic theory has been used to calculate the relative displacement that will occur between the two sides of a loose boundary when a plane wave strikes the boundary obliquely. The calculations suggest that the displacements produced along loose fractures and faults close in to the underground nuclear explosions are a direct consequence of reflection of the transient stress wave at this loose boundary.

Quantitatively the results agree fairly well with the limited data that are available. Natural gas production from underground nuclear explosions. New Mexico, is being considered as the site for an experiment in the use of a nuclear explosive to increase production from a natural gas field. Atomic Energy commission, and the U. Bureau of Mines. As presently conceived, a nuclear explosive would be set in an emplacement hole and detonated.

The explosion would create a cylinder or ''chimney'' of collapsed rock, and a network of fractures extending beyond the chimney.

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The fractures are the key effect. These would consist of new fractures, enlargement of existing ones, and movement along planes where strata overlap. In addition, there are a number of intangible but important benefits that could accrue from the stimulating effect. Among these are the great increase in recoverable reserves and the deliverability of large volumes of gas during the periods of high demand. It is believed that this type of well stimulation may increase the total gas production of these low permeability natural gas fields by about 7 times the amounts now attainable.

Full text: Cossetted deep underground , sheltered from cosmic ray noise, has always been a favourite haunt of neutrino physicists. Already in the s, significant limits were obtained by taking a geiger counter down in Holborn 'tube' station, one of the deepest in London's underground system.

Since then, neutrino physicists have popped up in many unlikely places - gold mines, salt mines, and road tunnels deep under mountain chains. Purpose-built underground laboratories have made life easier, notably the Italian Gran Sasso Laboratory near Rome, 1. Salt creep design consideration for underground nuclear waste storage. This paper summarizes the creep consideration in the design of nuclear waste storage facilities in salt, describes the non-linear analysis method for evaluating the design adequacy, and presents computational results for the current storage design.

The application of rock mechanics instrumentation to assure the appropriateness of the design is discussed. It also describes the design evolution of such a facility, starting from the conceptual design, through the preliminary design, to the detailed design stage.

The empirical design method, laboratory tests and numerical analyses, and the underground in situ tests have been incorporated in the design process to assure the stability of the underground openings, retrievability of waste during the operation phase and encapsulation of waste after decommissioning. Directory of Open Access Journals Sweden. Full Text Available Jinping Underground lab for Nuclear Astrophysics JUNA will take the advantage of the ultralow background in Jinping underground lab, high current accelerator based on an ECR source and highly sensitive detector to study directly a number of crucial reactions to the hydrostatic stellar evolution for the first time at their relevant stellar energies.

The experimental setup, which include the accelerator system with high stability and high intensity, the detector system, and the shielding material with low background, will be established during the above research. The current progress of JUNA will be given.

Confirming the occurrence of an underground nuclear explosion can require capturing short-lived noble gas radioisotopes produced by the explosion, sometimes referred to as the "smoking gun" for nuclear explosion detection. It is well known that the radioisotopic distribution resulting from the detonation evolves with time in the explosion cavity. In effect, the explosion cavity or chimney behaves as a chemical reactor. As long as the parent and daughter radionuclides remain in a closed and well-mixed cavity, parameters, such as radioxenon isotopic ratios, can be calculated analytically from a decay-chain network model.

When gases from the cavity migrate into the containment regime, consideration of a "leaky reactor" model is more appropriate. We consider several implications of such a leaky reactor model relevant to interpretations of gas samples from the subsurface during an on-site inspection that could potentially be carried out under the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

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Additionally, we have attempted to validate our leaky reactor model against atmospheric observations of radioactive xenon isotopes detected by radionuclide monitoring stations in Japan and Russia following the February DPRK underground nuclear explosion Carrigan et al. While both model uncertainty and observational error are significant, our model of isotopic evolution appears to be in broad agreement with radionuclide observations, and for the first time links atmospheric measurements of radioxenon isotopic ratios to estimates of seismic yield.

Carrigan et al. The consequences of underground nuclear testing in French Polynesia. France began atmospheric nuclear testing at Mururoa and Fangataufa atolls in the South Pacific in July Following international protest, atmospheric testing ceased in August In late , an International Geomechanical Commission IGC was created to assess the short- and long-term effects of underground nuclear testing on the stability and hydrology of Mururoa and Fangataufa.

With the aid of its consultants, the Commission sought to develop its own understanding of the mechanics and consequences of the underground nuclear tests. It carried out extensive numerical analyses of shock wave effects, seismic wave propagation, slope stability and pre- and post-test hydrology. However, in its studies, the IGC was constrained to use the data made available to it by the French authorities.

This article draws heavily on parts of that report. The Commission's observations and analyses show that there has been no apparent change, on the atoll scale, to the overall mechanical stability of either atoll as a consequence of the underground nuclear tests. The main observable consequences of the tests are underwater slope failures, open fractures on the rim surface and surface settlements.

The fractures visible on the surface are generally associated with subsurface slope displacements and occur only in the carbonates. There is no evidence that slope failures or settlements have occurred in the underlying volcanics. There has been no significant change in the long-term beyond years hydrology of either atoll. There are, however, significant short-term changes locally around the test sites, which are briefly outlined.

Nuclear reactors sited deep underground in steel containment vessels. Although nuclear power plants are certainly very safe, they are not perceived as safe by the general populace. Also, there are concerns about overland transport of spent fuel rods and other irradiated components. It is hereby proposed that the nuclear components of nuclear power plants be placed in deep underground steel vessels with secondary coolant fed from them to turbines at or near the surface. All irradiated components, including spent fuel, would remain in the chamber indefinitely.

This general concept was suggested by the late Edward Teller, generated some activity years ago and appears to be recently reviving in interest. Previous work dealt with issues of geologic stability of underground , possibly reinforced, caverns. This paper presents another approach that makes siting independent of geology by placing the reactor components in a robust steel vessel capable of resisting full overburden pressure as well as pressures resulting from accident scenarios.

Structural analysis of the two vessel concepts and approximate estimated costs are presented. This work clears the way for the extensive discussions required to evaluate the advantages of this concept. Over a period in underground nuclear tests and explosions of different purpose and in different rocks were conducted in the Soviet Union at Semipalatinsk and anovaya Zemlya Test Sites. A total of underground nuclear tests were conducted at the Semipalatinsk Test Site. One hundred seventy-nine explosions Thirty-nine nuclear tests had been conducted at the Novaya Zemlya Test Site; six of them - in shafts.

Twenty-three tests have been accompanied by RNG release into the atmosphere without sedimental contamination. Nonstandard radiation situation occurred in two tests. Sometimes gas release took place for several days, and it occurred either through tunnel portal or epicentral zone, depending on atmospheric air temperature. Radioactive rare gases emission at underground nuclear explosions. The examples of radioactive rare gases emission at underground nuclear explosions conducted in the USSR on the Novaya Zemlya and Semipalatinsk test sites are considered.

It is pointed out that in the case of evasive explosion in vertical wells without apparent radioactive gases emission the samples of subsurface gas must contain the traces of radioactive rare gases. Under the inspection of evasive explosion in horizontal workings of rock massif, one should guided by the analysis of atmospheric air samples in the inspected area [ru. Damage caused to houses and equipment by underground nuclear explosions. A description is given of the damaged caused to various structures, buildings, houses, mechanical equipment and electrical equipment by underground nuclear explosions in granite.

For each type of equipment or building are given the limiting distances for a given degree of damage. These distances have been related to a parameter characterizing the movement of the medium; it is thus possible to generalize the results obtained in granite, for different media. The problem of estimating the damage caused at a greater distance from the explosion is considered. Inherent security benefits of underground dry storage of nuclear materials.

This paper, augmented by color slides and handouts, will examine the inherent security benefits of underground dry storage of nuclear materials. Specific items to be presented include: the successful implementation of this type of storage configuration at Argonne National Laboratory - West; facility design concepts with security as a primary consideration; physical barriers achieved by container design; detection, assessment, and monitoring capabilities; and open-quotes self protectionclose quotes strategies.

This is a report on the security features of such a facility. The technical operational aspects of the facility are beyond the scope of this paper. Department of Energy DOE and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection NDEP have reached agreement on a corrective action strategy applicable to address the extent and potential impact of radionuclide contamination of groundwater at underground nuclear test locations.

As part of the corrective action strategy, the nuclear detonations that occurred underground were identified as geographically distinct corrective action units CAUs. The strategic objective for each CAU is to estimate over a 1,yr time period, with uncertainty quantified, the three-dimensional extent of groundwater contamination that would be considered unsafe for domestic and municipal use. Two types of boundaries contaminant and compliance are discussed in the FFACO that will map the three-dimensional extent of radionuclide contamination. The contaminant boundary will identify the region wi th 95 percent certainty that contaminants do not exist above a threshold value.

The compliance boundary will be produced as a result of negotiation between the DOE and NDEP, and can be coincident with, or differ from, the contaminant boundary. Two different thresholds are considered for the contaminant boundary. The other is a risk-based threshold considering applicable lifetime excess cancer-risk-based criteria The contaminant boundary for the Faultless underground nuclear test at the Central Nevada Test Area CNTA is calculated using a newly developed groundwater flow and radionuclide transport model that incorporates aspects of both the original three-dimensional model Pohlmann et al.

Analysis on one underground nuclear waste repository rock mass in USA. When analyzing the rock mass of a underground nuclear waste repository, the current studies are all based on the loading mechanical condition, and the unloading damage of rock mass is unconsidered. According to the different mechanical condition of actual engineering rock mass of loading and unloading, this paper implements a comprehensive analysis on the rock mass deformation of underground nuclear waste repository through the combination of present loading and unloading rock mass mechanics.

It is found that the results of comprehensive analysis and actual measured data on the rock mass deformation of underground nuclear waste repository are basically the same, which provide supporting data for the underground nuclear waste repository. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss state-of-the-art advances in numerical simulations of nuclear explosion phenomenology for the purpose of test ban monitoring.

Another goal of the symposium was to promote discussion between seismologists and explosion source-code calculators. Presentation topics include the following: numerical model fits to data, measurement and characterization of material response models, applications of modeling to monitoring problems, explosion source phenomenology, numerical simulations and seismic sources. Darr, Paul S. Office of Legacy Management. Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc. The Contractor has procured Tetra Tech, Inc. The mud pit caps were damaged during a 7. The goals of the current project are to investigate conditions at the mud pit impoundments, identify feasible alternatives for repair of the cover systems and the contents, and estimate relative costs of repair alternatives.

The role of underground laboratories in nuclear waste disposal programmes. Underground research laboratories URLs are essential to provide the scientific and technical information and practical experience that are needed for the design and construction of nuclear waste disposal facilities, as well as for the development of the safety case that must be presented at various stages of repository development.

This report provides an overview of the purpose of URLs within repository development programmes; the range of URLs that have been developed, or are planned, in NEA Member countries to date; the various contributions that such facilities can make to repository development programmes and the development of a safety case; considerations on the timing of developing a URL within a national programme; and the opportunities and benefits of international co-operation in relation to URLs.

Consideration of impact of atmospheric intrusion in subsurface sampling for investigation of suspected underground nuclear explosions. Radioactive noble gases radioxenon and radioargon constitute the primary smoking gun of an underground nuclear explosion. The aim of subsurface sampling of soil gas as part of an on-site inspection OSI is to search for evidence of a suspected underground nuclear event. It has been hypothesized that atmospheric gas can disturb soil gas concentrations and therefore potentially add to problems in civilian source discrimination verifying treaty compliance under the comprehensive nuclear -test ban treaty.

This work describes a study of intrusion of atmospheric air into the subsurface and its potential impact on an OSI using results of simulations from the underground transport of environmental xenon UTEX model. The 20th nuclear explosion test of the Peoples' Republic of China underground nuclear test. However, no exact data concerning the data, the place and the scale of this test was stated in above announcement. Safety consideration and economic advantage of a new underground nuclear power plant design. A conceptual design of an underground nuclear power plant is proposed to make undergrounding of nuclear reactors not only environmentally desirable but also economically feasible.

Expedient to the underground environment, this design capitalizes on the pressure-containing and radiation filtering characteristics of the new underground boundary conditions. Design emphasis is on the containment of a catastrophic accident - that of a reactor vessel rupture caused by external means. The end product is a radiation-release-proof plant which, in effect, divorces the public from the safety of the reactor.

As part of its environmental stewardship program the U. Department of Energy DOE is reevaluating three sites where underground nuclear tests were conducted in the deep subsurface of Amchitka Island, Alaska. The tests i. Extensive investigations were conducted on these tests and their effect on the environment. Evaluations at the time of testing indicated limited release of radionuclides and absence of risk related to the testing; however, these are being reevaluated under the current DOE environmental stewardship program.

A screening risk assessment of potential radionuclide release into the marine environment is an important part of this reevaluation. The risk assessment is one of three interrelated activities: a groundwater model and this screening risk assessment, both of which guide the decisions in the third activity, the site closure plan. Thus, the overall objective of the work is to understand, and subsequently manage, any risk to humans and the environment through a closure and long-term stewardship plan. The objective of this screening risk assessment is to predict whether possible releases of radionuclides at the ocean floor would represent potential risks to Native Alaskans by consumption of marine subsistence species.

In addition, risks were predicted for consumers of commercial catches of marine organisms. These risks were calculated beginning with estimates of possible radionuclide release at the seafloor from a groundwater modeling study , into the seawater, through possible uptake by marine organisms, and finally possible consumption by humans. The risk assessment model has 11 elements, progressing from potential release at the seafloor through water and food chains to human intake. Data for each of these elements were systematically found and synthesized from many sources, and represent the best available knowledge.

Whenever precise data were lacking. Recognition of underground nuclear explosion and natural earthquake based on neural network.


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Many features are extracted to improve the identified rate and reliability of underground nuclear explosion and natural earthquake. But how to synthesize these characters is the key of pattern recognition. Based on the improved Delta algorithm, features of underground nuclear explosion and natural earthquake are inputted into BP neural network, and friendship functions are constructed to identify the output values.

The identified rate is up to Numerical simulation of stress wave propagation from underground nuclear explosions. This paper presents a numerical model of stress wave propagation SOC which uses material properties data from a preshot testing program to predict the stress-induced effects on the rock mass involved in a Plowshare application.

SOC calculates stress and particle velocity history, cavity radius, extent of brittle failure, and the rock's efficiency for transmitting stress. The calculations are based on an equation of state for the rock, which is developed from preshot field and laboratory measurements of the rock properties. The field measurements, made by hole logging, determine in situ values of the rock's density, water content, and propagation velocity for elastic waves.

These logs also are useful in judging the layering of the rock and in choosing which core samples to test in the laboratory. The laboratory analysis of rock cores includes determination of hydrostatic compressibility to 40 kb, triaxial strength data, tensile strength, Hugoniot elastic limit, and, for the rock near the point of detonation, high-pressure Hugoniot data. Equation-of-state data are presented for rock from three sites subjected to high explosive or underground nuclear shots, including the Hardhat and Gasbuggy sites.

SOC calculations of the effects of these two shots on the surrounding rock are compared with the observed effects. In both cases SOC predicts the size of the cavity quite closely. Results of the Gasbuggy calculations indicate that useful predictions of cavity size and chimney height can be made when an adequate preshot testing program is run to determine the rock's equation of state. Seismic coupling is very sensitive to the low-pressure part of the equation of state, and its successful prediction depends on agreement between the logging data and the static compressibility data.

In general, it appears that enough progress has been made in calculating stress wave propagation to begin looking at derived numbers, such as number of cracks per zone, for some insight into the.

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Originally known as the ''Nevada Proving Ground'', the NTS hosted a total of nuclear detonations, of which were conducted underground U. Department of Energy, Underground detonations at Yucca Flat and Pahute Mesa were typically emplaced in vertical drill holes, while others were tunnel emplacements.

Of the three testing areas, Yucca Flat was the most extensively used, hosting underground tests detonations located at individual sites Allen and others, , p. Figure 2 shows the locations of underground nuclear detonation sites at Yucca Flat. Table 1 lists the number of underground nuclear detonations conducted, the number of borehole sites utilized, and the number of detonations mapped for surface effects at Yucca Flat by NTS Operational Area.

Pro and con decision criteria to underground nuclear power plants. In general, basic design criteria for underground siting define increased safety margins which are mostly step-wise augmentated. The larger those postulated additional impacts become, the more the general concept might already be previously determined. Depending on site availability in general two ways may be practised - the berm-contained concept as well as mined rock caverns.

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According to the present technical feasibility the cut-and-cover burial seems to be favoured more. If increased external artificial impacts are postulated underground facilities have considerable advantages since the earth coverage provides an excellent stopping medium. In case of internal influences the features suggested mostly are additional pressure relief systems which cannot be considered typical for undergrounding. The problem of the access-way sealing is a key-point of a 'real' supplemental underground containment.

With a very high safety degree a reliable closure of the penetrations must be guaranteed in case extreme external as well as internal events occur. To come to a final conclusion wheter the benefits or penalties predominate, valuation criteria and matrices are elaborated from the view of different initial points. Department of Energy P. Box Washington, D. Establishing this vision is also commendable, given the enormous task at hand, i. We also acknowledge that other barriers must be overcome to achieve the stated vision, such as the institutional relationships between DOE defense programs and EM, as well as the unique and historical role played by private sector contractors throughout the complex.

In reviewing the Plan, we recognize the goal of reducing the out- year mortgage of EM cleanup activities, as well as defining the long-term stewardship requirements to reflect the "end state" at any given site. According to the Plan, definition of these "end states" will be developed in consultation with representatives of tribal nations, regulatory agencies, states, and others. We further recognize that in pursuing these goals, DOE intends to maintain full compliance with applicable environmental and other legal requirements.

We also understand that regardless of the "performance enhancements" that might be achieved, DOE officials acknowledge that remediation and waste management activities would continue beyond at several major DOE sites. It also appears that DOE will continue to foster the involvement of Native Americans and stakeholders, as well as address worker transition issues as part of the Plan process. State officials contend that all of these principles are admirable and necessary, if DOE is to maintain a credible program to address the legacy of hazardous and radioactive contamination that exists throughout the weapons complex.

To help the Department in this endeavor, we offer the following perspective on how the Nevada Test Site fits into the Plan concept. More than nuclear tests were conducted at NTS, and of these, over tests were conducted within the vicinity of the groundwater. Underground testing alone left more than million curies of radioactive contamination spread through millions of cubic meters of environmental media NTS Site-Wide EIS.

In fact, no other site in the DOE complex contains a comparable volume of contamination, and no other site is faced with the mounting uncertainties concerning how this contamination can be effectively characterized, monitored, and contained over the long-term. Given these unique contamination issues, in October , Governor Bob Miller advised DOE Assistant Secretary Alvin Alm that "implementing the proposed ten-year cleanup plan [ Plan] for the NTS site is premature and may in fact increase Nevada's mortgage while hampering, if not forgoing, an orderly long-term site investigation, monitoring, and corrective action program.

In this regard, Governor Miller suggested that the plan "would greatly increase Nevada's mortgage" since the intent of the plan is to institutionalize a ten- year "flat-line" cleanup budget for the DOE complex. In essence, by flat- lining the EM budget [at least at the NTS], DOE will negate its ability to maintain full compliance with applicable environmental laws and other legal requirements. We note that maintaining legal requirements is a tenant of the Plan. This means that the responsible stewardship of the NTS will require an active long-term monitoring, surveillance, and maintenance program for the foreseeable future.

The national Plan states that the completion of site cleanup would be accomplished when groundwater contamination has been contained, and long-term treatment or monitoring is in place [page ]. While the Plan assumes this definition, DOE officials at headquarters should realize that the NTS site specific plan does not make this assumption. Accordingly, long-term stewardship of the contaminated groundwater at the NTS will require an active, evolving, and ongoing monitoring, surveillance, and maintenance program for at least years.

State officials also believe the life-cycle cost estimates presented in the NTS Site-specific Plan that are needed to fund long-term surveillance and maintenance of the Under Ground Test Area UTA program, are inaccurate and must be re-assessed. For example, under the most favorable assumptions such as allowing DOE to develop acceptable Corrective Action Unit CAU characterization models with limited, albeit new well data, DOE would nevertheless need additional [new] well monitoring information to validate existing models.

Thus, new monitoring data [wells] will be needed every decade or so over the year period to validate these models. A December Energy Department document said the site "is on land administered by the U. DOE established two land withdrawals through Public Land Orders and in and , respectively.


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Public land surrounding the CNTA is used for livestock grazing and ranching, with recreational use during hunting season. No major changes in land use are anticipated. BLM approves all surface land uses, as long as it does not interfere with long-term performance and monitoring of the surface-remediated areas. Land associated with the remediated areas is restricted from any use that could.

Waste Lands. America's forgotten nuclear legacy.

Central Nevada Test Site

Central Nevada Test Site. Note: May not be an exhaustive list; Department of Energy records focus on "primary" materials handled while under contract with its predecessor agencies. Source: Department of Energy.



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