Collective Dose to Minority and Low-Income Populations from Radionuclide Air Emissions at the Hanford Site

E.J. Antonio and K. Rhoads (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Department of Energy (DOE) facilities are required to report radioactive air emissions on an annual basis, and to estimate the resulting doses to a maximally exposed member of the public, as well as to the collective population surrounding each site. The collective dose estimates typically include all residents within an 80-km (50-mile) radius of the DOE facility. Following the 2000 Census, the population surrounding the Hanford Site was updated to support the collective dose estimates. As part of the updated census, the distribution of minority and low-income groups was determined to aid in assessing whether these groups might be subject to "disproportionately high and adverse" impacts as required by the federal executive order on environmental justice and regulations implementing the National Environmental Policy Act. Members of minority groups comprise about 37% of the population surrounding the Hanford Site, and low-income residents comprise about 17% of the total population. Collective doses to the total population and to the minority and low income populations surrounding the site during the years 2000-2004 are estimated using atmospheric dispersion and exposure models similar to those employed for annual compliance reporting. The average doses to individual members of the minority and low income groups are compared to those for the total population to determine whether any of these population groups might receive a disproportionate share of the dose from Hanford Site emissions.

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