Published: April 1999
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of a document relating to the environmental restoration activities at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL). The Action Memorandum: Building 830 Underground Storage Tanks Removal Action is available for review at the libraries listed below.
This action memorandum describes a removal action that is taking place on BNL property. A removal action is an accelerated cleanup response to a known or potential contamination source. This removal action concerns low-level radioactive contamination found within the soils, underground tanks, associated piping, valve pit, and trees adjacent to Building 830 on the BNL site.
Leak tests conducted in 1986 and 1987 revealed a leak in the pipe transfer line between Building 830 and two underground tanks. These tanks held low-level liquid radioactive waste. Testing did not find any leaks in the tanks themselves.
Soil sampling in the area of the transfer line piping showed elevated levels of cesium-137 and cobalt-60. The transfer line piping and surrounding soils were excavated and disposed of in 1988. In addition to this soil removal, the two underground tanks were emptied of their contents and sealed in 1994. The tank contents were disposed of at an off-site licensed waste disposal facility.
In 1995, additional soil sampling found that levels of cesium-137 near the tanks and valve pit were above the cleanup level for residential areas of 23 picoCuries per gram (pCi/g). Groundwater samples collected as part of the Operable Unit III remedial investigation did not show any cesium-137 above the screening level of 120 picoCuries per liter (pCi/l). Cobalt-60 was detected at concentrations up to 242 pCi/l, which is above the screening level for cobalt-60 of 200 pCi/l. The Operable Unit III Remedial Investigation Report, released on March 1, 1999, contains detailed information on the nature and extent of contamination in this area.
For this removal action, excavation and removal of the underground storage tanks, valve pit, associated piping, trees and contaminated surface and subsurface soils has been completed. All soils contaminated above the residential soil cleanup level for cesium-137 of 23 pCi/g were excavated. Contaminated materials will be disposed of off site at an approved waste management facility. Backfilling of the excavated areas is expected to be completed by April 1999.
Located in Upton, N.Y., BNL is classified as an Inactive Hazardous Waste Site by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. BNL is on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's National Priority List.
The Action Memorandum: Building 830 Underground Storage Tanks Removal Action can be found at the following libraries:
Longwood Public Library
800 Middle Country Road
Middle Island, NY
Mastics-Moriches-Shirley Community Library
301 WIlliam Floyd Parkway
BNL Research Library
U.S. EPA, Region II Library
For more information, contact:
U.S. Department of Energy
Brookhaven National Laboratory