United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission - Protecting People and the Environment

Information on Hydrologic Conceptual Models, Parameters, Uncertainty Analysis, and Data Sources for Dose Assessments at Decommissioning Sites (NUREG/CR-6656, PNNL-13091)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: November 1999
Date Published:
December 1999

Prepared by:
P.D. Meyer, G.W. Gee
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
P.O. Box 999
Richland, Washington 99352

T.J. Nicholson, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Risk Analysis and Applications
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, DC 20555-0001

NRC Job Code W6933

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Introduction

This report addresses issues related to the analysis of uncertainty in dose assessments conducted as part of decommissioning analyses. The analysis is limited to the hydrologic aspects of the exposure pathway involving infiltration of water at the ground surface, leaching of contaminants, and transport of contaminants through the groundwater to a point of exposure. The basic conceptual models and mathematical implementations of three dose assessment codes are outlined along with the site-specific conditions under which the codes may provide inaccurate, potentially nonconservative results. In addition, the hydrologic parameters of the codes are identified and compared. A methodology for parameter uncertainty assessment is outlined that considers the potential data limitations and modeling needs of decommissioning analyses. This methodology uses generic parameter distributions based on national or regional databases, sensitivity analysis, probabilistic modeling, and Bayesian updating to incorporate site-specific information. Data sources for best-estimate parameter values and parameter uncertainty information are also reviewed. A follow-on report will illustrate the uncertainty assessment methodology using decommissioning test cases.

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