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Worker and Environmental Protection Issues in the Remediation Of an Abandoned Source Manufacturing Facility

Hoffman, Daniel E.

A Guide to SI Units in Radiation Protection

The Gulf Nuclear Superfund Site located in Odessa, Texas, was an abandoned radioactive source production facility slated for cleanup as a Removal Action under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VI Superfund program. Prior to cessation of operations and abandonment of the facility in 1992, it was used for the production of radioactive sources used in the oil and gas industry and nuclear medicine applications. Pangea Group was contracted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Kansas City District to perform remediation of the site and other contaminated debris, cleaning of interior building surfaces, building demolition, and excavation/removal of contaminated soils and septic system. The project scope also included loading, containerization and transportation of low-level radioactive wastes for offsite disposal. Primary radionuclides present at the facility were 137Cs, 60Co, and 241Am. The project also included packaging and removal of radioactive sources and mixed waste consisting of radiologically contaminated lead shot and lead source containers. Included in the paper is a discussion of primary worker protection and environmental protection measures employed on the project. Worker protection issues included the control of industrial and construction safety hazards as well as control of external and internal radiation dose. Control of air emissions and contaminated wastewater were also very important, especially due to the location of the site. The site was located in an area containing both residential and commercial properties. Several residences and businesses were located immediately adjacent to the site. The project involved the participation of the USACE Kansas City District, EPA Region 6, and the Texas Bureau of Radiological Health. Field work on the project started in April 2001 and was completed approximately five months later.

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