Critical Radionuclide/Critical Pathway Analysis for the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site

Abstract

Many different radionuclides have been released to the environment from the Savannah River Site (SRS) during the facility's operational history. However, as shown by this analysis, only a small number of the released radionuclides have been significant contributors to potential doses and risks to off-site people. This article documents the radiological critical contaminant/critical pathway analysis performed for SRS. If site missions and operations remain constant over the next 30 years, only tritium oxide releases are projected to exceed a maximally exposed individual (MEI) risk of 1.0E-06 for either the airborne or liquid pathways. The critical exposure pathways associated with site airborne releases are inhalation and vegetation consumption, whereas the critical exposure pathways associated with liquid releases are drinking water and fish consumption. For the SRS-specific, nontypical exposure pathways (i.e., recreational fishing and deer and hog hunting), cesium-137 is the critical radionuclide.

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Jannik, G.T. Critical Radionuclide/Critical Pathway Analysis for the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah River Site. Risk Anal 19, 417–426 (1999). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1007096511628

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  • Pathway analysis
  • radiological risk assessment
  • dose assessment