b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEabout a week. In the canal, the claddingon a spent fuel element occasionallydeveloped a pinhole leak. Fission prod-ucts within the element then leached intothe canal water. The water was constant-ly bled off and replaced with freshwae , so after such a leak, it containedt rtraces of fission products. The waterwent to a soil-lined pond after passingthrough a filtration system. Solids settledto the bottom of the pond, the smallerparticles adsorbed or absorbed by thecl a y. The particles continued their radioactive decay while the water evapo-rated. These procedures were part of thegeneral routine, although unofficial sideexperiments were not unknown, accord-ing to HP John Byrom. 35 INEEL 56-3203 Some interested fisherman conductedSodium potassium (NaK) waste is flammable and potentially explosive in contact with water or moist air. his own experiment by dumping a fewShooting the barrels containing it introduced air in the container, causing combustion. A fire hose was used to fertilized trout eggs into one of the hotcomplete the burn of any waste not initially burned. This Nak disposal took place in Trench 7 in 1956. settlement ponds. We noticed a fewlarge healthy(?) trout swimming aroundElsewhere at the NRTS, settling ponds could be pumped out in a pipe that ran in the pond for several years after.or disposal to a drain were used instead underground until it reached a French These ponds were sampled monthly forof injection wells. This was done main- drain in the southeastern area outside many yearsor more frequently whenan incident indicated that radioactively to prevent accidental discharges of the fence. The Navy reactors that camematerial greater than normal had beenconcentrations above the allowed con- after the STR [S1W] were held to a 36centrations. The ponds worked in con- zero-leakage design standard. Little accidentally released to the ponds.cert with holding tanks and monitoring radioactive material appeared in the The IDO operated a hot laundry toroutines. Horan described the early sys- waste holding tanks from those plants.34 wash coveralls and other protectivetem used at the Naval Reactors Facility clothing that had served its mission in(NRF): At TRA, Phillips used retention basins. the course of someones work. LocatedMTR operations used demineralized at Central Facilities, the laundry drainThe NRF had two waste tanks, 125,000water to cool the reactor and to shield went to a septic tank and drainfieldgallons each, into which all of the liq - the spent fuel in the canals. Despite this with other sanitary waste. 37uid drainage of the reactor building pretreatment to remove impurities, thewere collected. The liquid was then water contained traces of sodium that Also at Central was a landfill for non-sampled when a tank was filled and were activated while passing through the radioactive waste. As a fully equippedanalyzed in the health physics countingreactor core and had a half-life of about industrial complex, the NRTS support-room.[The analysis determined what fifteen hours. This then became part of ed machine shops, carpentry shops, fab-radioactive constituents were in the the waste stream, but had to be held ricating centers, paint shops,water.] After measurement, the waste until the sodium had time to decay, automotive and bus garages, electric8 4'