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RE: [Fwd: [OEM] DOE: History of Releases of Recycled U]


I once worked at one of these DOE facilities.  I do not know how the study

is being conducted.  However, if they sre not considering certain factors,

the study will be flawed.

Furnaces were used both for the recycling of combustible products that had

economically recoverable levels of uranium in them (eg: baghouse filter

bags, and for the incineration of solid waste with "low levels" of

radioactive contamination. Since the exhausts used scrubbers, Sample filter

media were not used on the monitoring stacks.  The release rates were

"estimated" using method 5 stack testing.  The estimated release rates,

assumed that the scrubbers were mechanically maintained.  There were not.

Another factor is that by procedure, stack filters were changed at

frequncies that gave laboratory results that were too close to the detection

limit.  Therefore not satisfying the 95% confidence factor.

Then the laboratory results were "rounded off" to the 0.1 KG.  Therefore,

any release below 0.05 KG per filter change was called "0".  With so many

stack filters changed on a shiftly basis for thirty eight years, that is a

significant error term.

I would hope that these factors, and others that I may not be aware of, are

considered.  To not consider them, could result in one of two problems.  One

would be that the total amount released is less than actual.  The other is

that, any adverse health effects to the public seen in epidemiologic

studies, would result in overestimated risk, since the health effects were a

result of releases that were actually larger than reported.

-----Original Message-----

From: Chuck Cooper

To: radsafe@list.vanderbilt.edu

Sent: 3/31/01 12:56 PM

Subject: [Fwd: [OEM] DOE: History of Releases of Recycled U]

Gary Greenberg wrote:

> http://tis.eh.doe.gov/legacy/releases/pr01045.html



> March 29, 2001



> Dolline Hatchett, 202/586-5806

> Joe Davis, 202/586-4940


> Energy Department Releases Historical Studies of Recycled Uranium


> Differing Operational Practices Result in Data Inconsistencies Among

> Studies


> The Department of Energy (DOE) today released nine site-specific


> that examined the historical movement of recycled uranium throughout


> Department's complex. The studies represent the fifth installment of a

> comprehensive effort begun by the department in September 1999 to

> address worker concerns associated with the historical use of recycled

> uranium at the Gaseous Diffusion Plants in Paducah, Kentucky,

> Portsmouth, Ohio, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.


> The nine reports cover the following 12 sites: Hanford, Wash.;


> River, S.C.; Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory,

> Idaho; Fernald, Ohio; (including West Valley, N.Y.; Weldon Springs,


> and RMI Inc. Ohio); the Gaseous Diffusion Plants in Paducah, Ky.;

> Portsmouth, Ohio; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; the Y-12 Plant, Tenn.; and Rocky

> Flats, Colo.


> The reports, as well as a project overview that describes the approach

> used to prepare the reports, are available on the web at

> http://tis.eh.doe.gov/legacy/. The reports provide a general

> understanding of the flow and characteristics of recycled uranium at

> individual sites. They identify where recycled uranium and trace


> of other radioactive contaminants could have concentrated or been

> released, including historical periods, activities and concentrations,

> which may be useful for identifying potential worker exposure.


> Thousands of historical records were retrieved and analyzed to compile

> the data used in these studies. Based on this information, DOE has a

> good preliminary understanding of the characteristics and trace

> contaminants in the major streams of recycled uranium.


> However, because of differing operational practices, different

> designations for recycled uranium used by the sites in historical

> records dating back to 1952, and the extensive blending operations


> by the sites, there are data inconsistencies among the reports.


> of these inconsistencies, the numeric totals of the sites cannot be

> calculated to yield an accurate accounting of the amount of recycled

> uranium across the DOE complex.


> To resolve these inconsistencies, and build on historical records, the

> Department's Office of Plutonium, Uranium, and Special Materials

> Inventory has been charged with conducting a follow-on study to


> a historical mass balance for uranium -- including recycled uranium.


> nine recycled uranium reports will be used in the study.


> A brief press conference call will be held today at 3 p.m. for

> interested media who would like more specific information on the

> recycled uranium project. Please call (202) 586-5806 to receive the

> call-in number and to confirm your participation by noon today.

> - DOE -


> R-01-045


> --

> Gary N. Greenberg, MD MPH    Sysop / Moderator Occ-Env-Med-L MailList

> gary.greenberg@duke.edu     Duke Occupat, Environ, Int & Fam Medicine

> OEM-L Maillist Website:                      http://occhealthnews.com

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