b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEpublic became more concerned aboutthe possible migration of contaminantsto the aquifer. 27With respect to the liquid wastes gener-ated at the NRTS, Doan and Horandescribed for the JCAE the NRTS strat-egy. The philosophy was similar to thatfollowed at AEC facilities elsewhere. Itdepended on whether the waste wascontaminated with radioactivity or not,and if so, whether the hazard washigh-level or low-level. If it werelow-level, the strategy was to dilute itand disperse it to natureinto the air,water table, or soil. High-level wasteswere those for which such dispersionwould endanger the environment. Here,the strategy was to hold onto the mater-INEEL58-1450 ial, typically in stainless-steel tanks atthe Burial Ground was intended to be a the Chem Plant, concentrating it if pos-permanent facility. No one at the time sible to reduce the cost of managing it. 28imagined that someone would ever wishto disturb it. 25 As John Horan said to the Water was by far the major constituentJCAE at the hearing: of most low-level liquid radioactive(and non-radioactive) waste. ReactorSenator [John O.] Pastore: For how operations used water by the billions oflong will that burial ground be consid - gallons every year as a reactor coolantered quarantined? and in canals to store irradiated fuel.Water was used in decontamination. AtINEEL 69-6138 Mr. Horan: Indefinitely. the Chem Plant water was used in a26Above. Workers unload and stack drums of Rocky variety of waysfor cooling, to makeFlats waste in 1958. Delivery truck required no Likewise, environmental monitoring up chemical reagents, for dilution, andshielding. Below. A load of drums containing 1969 improvements came gradually to the to clean up process equipment.fire debris tumbles into a burial pit. Burial Ground. The USGS drilled a Evaporator condensate at the Chemsystem of ten monitoring holes west of Plant produced large volumes of water.the burial trenches in 1960 so that theprogress of any subsurface moisture Depending on how it had been used, acould be detected. Film badges went up stream of waste water might be contami-around the perimeter fence to monitor nated by virtue of irradiation, as when itdirect radiation levels at the boundary passed through a reactor, or because itof the Burial Ground. Later years had picked up particles in the clean-up ofbrought additional monitoring holes, spills or equipment. To determine whattest wells, and more sophisticated mon- level of dilution, if any, were neededitoring techniques, particularly after the before a watery waste could be dispersed8 2'