Mitigative Techniques for Ground-Water Contamination Associated With Severe Nuclear Accidents, Case Study Analysis of Hydrologic Characterization and Mitigative Schemes (NUREG/CR-4251/PNL-5461, Volume 2, Part 1)

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Publication Information

Manuscript Completed: May 1985
Date Published: August 1985

Prepared by
P. L. Oberlander, R. L. Skaggs, J. M. Shafer

Pacific Northwest Laboratory
Richland, WA 99352

T. J. Nicholson, NRC Project Manager

Prepared for:
Division of Radiation Programs and Earth Sciences
Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission
Washington, D.C. 20555


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The Pacific Northwest Laboratory evauluated the feasibility of using ground-water contaminant mitigation techniques to control radionuclide migration following a servere commercial nuclear power reactor accident. The two types of server commercial reactor accidents investigated are: 1) containment basemat penetration of core melt debris which slowly cools and leaches radioclides to the subsurface environment, and 2) containment basemat penetration of sump water without full penetration of the core mass. Six generic hydrogeologic site classifications were developed form an evauluation of proposed commercial reactor sites. One-dimensional radionuclide transport analyses were conducted on each of the individual reactor sites to determine the generic characteristics of a radionuclide discharge to an accessible environment. Ground-water contaminant mitigation techniques that may be suitable, depending on specific site and accident conditions, for server power plant accidents on feasibility were determined for each of the six hydrogeologic site classification. Three case studies were conducted at the power plant site located along the Texax Gulf coast and the Ohio River. Mitigative strategies were evaluated for their impact on contaminant transport. Results show that the techniques evaluated signficantly increase ground-water travel times and reduced contaminant migration rates.

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