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Prediction of the Dosage to Man From the Fallout of Nuclear Devices. 6. Transport of Nuclear Debris by Surface and Groundwater

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This report presents a two-part discussion of the surface and ground- water transport of the radionuclides and debris produced by a large-scale nuclear cratering detonation such as might be used in the course of a nu- clear excavation project. The first section briefly discusses the transfer of crater debris to surface- water systems associated with the excavation site as the result of erosion and the subsequent transport of debris, through the combined actions of rainfall and runoff. It makes two major points. First, the amount of debris that can be eroded as the result of a single storm, or a series of storms, is a function of 1 the amount of rainfall, its intensity, and the distribution of intensity with time, 2 the infiltration and erosibility characteristics of the debris, 3 the topography, length, slope, and size of the area being eroded, and 4 the type and nature of vegetative cover, if any. Second, the amount of debris that can actually be transported to the surface water system of concern is governed by 1 the amount of debris eroded, 2 the amount, velocity and turbulence of the run-off water, and 3 the distance from the erosion site to the stream channel. Since most of these variables vary widely from area to area, each proposed excavation site presents a unique problem that requires hydrologic and topographic study specifically directed to the determination of the amount of crater debris that can be transferred to an aquatic system associated with that site. The second section of this report briefly examines the Darcys Law description of groundwater flow and shows that in certain geologic situations, the groundwater travel-times and paths predicted on the basis of standard field measurements of aquifer properties, especially the permeability, can be high misleading with regard to the actual movement of a significant portion of the contaminated water.

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  • Water Pollution and Control
  • Radiation Pollution and Control
  • Radiobiology

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