Volume 46, Number 6, 2011ICRER 2011 – International Conference on Radioecology & Environmental Radioactivity: Environment & Nuclear Renaissance
|Page(s)||S717 - S722|
|Section||Management and General Considerations|
|Published online||09 January 2012|
Characterizing, modeling, monitoring and remediating radionuclides in the subsurface: What is needed?
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 11545 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, USA
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has the mission to protect people and the environment. To support this important mission, the U.S. NRC staff assesses techniques and methods to characterize, model, monitor, and remediate radionuclide releases and their migration through the subsurface. Insights from ongoing reviews of field investigations by NRC staff involving radionuclide transport in the subsurface illustrate the need to test and confirm conceptual site models (CSM). The assumptions and parameterization inherent to these CSMs which affect radionuclide release and transport should be tested. In particular, the unsaturated zone where many leaks and spills originate needs detailed characterization and confirmatory monitoring. A dose assessment to determine risk-informed compliance with regulatory criteria is used to evaluate the need for and selection of remediation methods. If remediation is warranted, the choice of remediation method(s) is based upon site- and source-characterization, modeling and monitoring data. These data should be used to the test the CSM. Remediation options range from highly-aggressive methods such as pump, treat, monitor, and recycle or release; to more passive methods such as monitored natural attenuation. All successful remediation strategies involve monitoring programs to determine their efficacy. This monitoring is coupled to performance assessment models using performance indicators (PIs). These PIs provide a measurable indication of remediation performance and are derived from analysis of the CSM and monitoring data.
© Owned by the authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2011
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