Inderscience Publishers

Cleanup criteria for radionuclides in US surface soil

The maximum concentrations of individual contaminants that will be allowed to remain in the environment after cleanup are developed on a case-by-case basis and may depend on site-specific risk analyses as well as stakeholder concerns. A database of cleanup criteria has been established from site-specific agreements at US Department of Energy (DOE) remediation sites and was used to analyse the ranges and variations in surface soil cleanup criteria for selected radiological contaminants (137Cs, 238U, 90Sr, 60Co, and 238Pu) commonly found at DOE sites. Criteria were compared to pre-cleanup concentration, background level, date of agreement, and assumed future land use. The assumption of future residential land use predominates for radionuclide contaminants in the database and suggests a parameter to investigate for cost and policy implications.

Keywords: cleanup criteria, environmental standards, radionuclides, land use scenario, surface soil

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