Independent Assessment of the Hazards of Proposed Plutonium Processing Facilities at the Pantex Plant


J. M. Thompson, E. A. Thompson, I. S. Hamilton


When the U.S. Department of Energy proposed the Pantex Plant as one of the possible sites for new plutonium processing facilities, a group was assembled by the State of Texas to independently assess potential risks to the public. Four groups of professionals were assembled by the Amarillo National Resource Center for Plutonium (ANRCP) to perform the assessments: process identification, risk assessment, environmental transportation, and agricultural issues. A characterization of relative societal risk between existing and proposed missions at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Pantex Plant was performed. The preliminary risk assessment considered a wide range of accident scenarios, consistent with existing DOE analyses, due to the comparative nature of the study. The basis for the initial assessment of societal risk was preliminary design data. As the designs for the facilities become better defined, new source terms and accident probabilities will be derived. The new factors will then be used to revise estimates of the potential societal risks.


This abstract was presented at the 32nd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Creation and Future Legacy of Stockpile Stewardship Isotope Production, Applications, and Consumption", Stockpile Stewardship - History, Management, and Safety of Materials Session, 1/24/1999 - 1/27/1999, held in Albuquerque, NM.

Index of Midyear Meeting Abstracts