mediation of RRC—KI should contain an inventory of the nuclear material and waste remaining onsite. This permits decision makers to understand potential radiological and chemical risks as well as changes in risk profiles and dose rates resulting from remediation work. Written records, interviews with former workers, extrapolations, and new targeted site investigations form the basis for these inventories. Constructing such an inventory is challenging because of incomplete and sometimes conflicting data. The U.S. Department of Energy has faced similar challenges at its nuclear material production, weapons manufacturing, and testing sites.
This inventory could include, for example, information quantifying damaged vs. undamaged experimental spent fuel elements, buried waste, soil and groundwater contamination, surface facility hazards, and orphaned radioactive sources or scattered contaminated spots. Such knowledge assists decision makers in building factual cases for funding site remediation programs. According to the Government of Moscow’s Resolution No. 641-PP, On Accelerated Decommissioning of Radiation Hazard Facilities at RRC—KI, the goal of rehabilitation activities is to “eliminate all potentially hazardous sources of radiation that may produce adverse environmental effects, and to transform RRC—KI into a secure and safe nuclear research center within the Moscow city limits” (Volkov et al., 2003). Maintaining an up-to-date material and waste inventory is essential for achieving this resolution.
Underground Water Pipes and Drainage Systems. Rastorguev et al. (2005) spoke of a groundwater level rise averaging 3 m plus changes in groundwater flow directions and peak strontium-90 activities in the shallow aquifer beneath RRC—KI taking place between the late 1980s and the early 1990s. The report continued by stating that these changes were likely attributed to “leakage from the city sewer that crosses the radwaste disposal site,” resulting in the partial submergence of some buried waste sites and flushing out of contamination. Volkov et al. (2003) wrote that the institute’s sewerage system has “undergone no repairs” since construction, surveys have uncovered ruptured pipelines, and the city’s sewerage system, apparently crossing the site, is a potential “source of adverse environmental impacts” that could cause heavy flooding of the site. These are serious concerns in efforts to minimizing subsurface contaminant migration off the RRC—KI site.
Consideration should be given to testing the structural integrity of key water and waste pipelines, abandoning and grouting those of questionable integrity or those of “defunct branches” (Volkov et al., 2003), and installing new lines as necessary. Attention should also be given to RRC—KI installing its own water drainage system to intercept, control, and treat (if necessary) water runoff, especially during torrential downpours when the potential for resuspension of surface contamination is greatest. This would address one of the major uncertainties in the modeling of onsite hydrologic conditions and estimating offsite radiation doses through lessening a major source of contaminant spread as well as potential