Dose Estimates from Irrigation with Tritiated Water at the Savannah River Site


P .L. Lee, A. A. Simpkins, G. T. Jannik


Chronically high tritium concentrations in Four Mile Creek (FMC) indicated a need for corrective action as part of the environmental stewardship. Although FMC is an onsite stream originating approximately near the center of the Savannah River Site, yielding no direct ingestion of this tritiated water by offsite people, it flows into the Savannah River. Water from the Savannah River is used by two drinking water treatment plants, which are located over 160 kilometers downriver near Savannah, Georgia. The propose action to reduce the tritium concentration in FMC is to pump the tritiated water from the stream and use it to irrigate pine trees onsite. This would result in a diversion of the liquid release of tritium to an atmospheric release of tritium via evapotranspiration from the trees and evaporation from wetted and pond surfaces. Dosimetry estimates were made to assess the effectiveness of reducing dose for this proposed corrective action. Potential doses from the evaporation of tritiated water were estimated and compared to those for the current surface water exposure assuming that stream water containing 111 TBq/tr was diverted.


This abstract was presented at the 34th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Radiation Safety and ALARA Considerations for the 21st Century", Regulatory Considerations Session, 2/4/2001 - 2/7/2001, held in Anaheim, CA.

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