b'C H A P T E R 9H O T S T U F Fto the environment, the IDO used as its The USGS had advised the IDO that radioisotope and obliged all of its con-guide a National Bureau of Standards water flowed through the aquifer at a tractors to follow them when sendinghandbook known as Handbook 52. Thi s rate of thirty-five feet per day. Horan any liquids into the environment. 32 book identified the maximum allowable continued:concentrations of each radioisotope that To reduce the uncertainties pertainingcould be permitted in public water sup- Since this cannot be a precise determito water flow in the aquifer, Horan-plies. In lieu of any other guidance from nation, and recognizing that there are stepped up environmental research. HeAEC Headquarters, the NRTS used this variations from location to location, a hired, among other specialists, soils sci-handbook in its own way, as Horan safety factor of 10 has been incorporatentist-Bruce Schmalz to work with thedescribed for the JCAE: 29ed into our calculations. Therefore, we USGS on further investigations of thehave assumed a linear velocity of 350 interplay between the waste, the soils,Liquid radioactive wastes discharged tofeet per day. and the aquifer. Early research was con-31the ground are maintained at such levels ducted at a 600-foot-deep low-levelthat the concentration in water at the Thus, the IDO had evaluated the risk waste injection well at the Chem Plant,n e a rest point of use down gradient will inherent in discharging above an into which went water that had beennot exceed one-tenth of the maximum aquifer and developed formulas con- treated with sodium chloridesalt. Thepermissible concentration. Solutions taining several safety factors. The for- USGS drilled fifteen monitoring wellswhich are within the prescribed limits mulas exaggerated the rate of flow by down-gradient from the injection well,may be discharged to the gro u n d w a t e r ten times and reduced the allowable thinking that the salt in the injectedtable through wells, pits, or ponds. maximums (at the point of use) by ten water would act as a convenient tracer.Adsorption, dilution, and decay factors times. Against these factors, the half- Each day, the Chem Plant dischargedetermined by IDO may be used in life of each isotope was considered. contained up to two tons of salt. Whenestablishing allowable concentrations atThe IDO Health and Safety Division normal sampling methods repeatedlypoints of discharge in order to comply then translated all of these factors into a failed to detect any salt in the monitor-with our basic guide. set of disposal guidelines for each ing wells, Schmaltz tried something3 0else:One of the first things I did was todecide that something different neededto be done. We werent getting any -where, so to speak. Id heard about theuse of a florescent dye. So I and anoth -er fellow mixed up a fifty-gallon drumof this fluorescent dye and put it downthe well together with a big slug of salt.The slug was, I think about fifteen tonsall at once. We never did find the salt,but we found the fluorescent dye. Thisstarted the analysis of the rate of move -ment [of water in the aquifer] and thediminution of concentrations as a func -tion of distance.33Settling pond at the Test Reactor Area in 1967.INEEL 67-51918 3'