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26
Use of GIS Technology for Assessing Territories Contaminated with Radioactive Materials

A. N. Plate and A. V. Vesselovsky, Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ore Deposits and Geology


The geographic information system Radiation Safety of Russia (RSR) is being used at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Ore Deposits and Geology (IGEM) in accordance with a state program. RSR is designed to facilitate the monitoring, analysis, and simulation of nuclear and radiation hazards in various regions of the country. Using this system, information may be exchanged with other data systems. The system maintains the data in digital form and provides insights on the radiation situation in Russia as a whole, in adjacent territories, and in specific regions, oblasts, and districts. Thus, it provides information of broad interest concerning radioecological monitoring.

The RSR’s cartographic database, one of its central features, includes a set of heteroscale digital maps with indications of potentially hazardous objects. Data on objects in specific territories are presented in different layers (see Table 26-1).

The following types of digital maps show radioecological loads:

  • Major radiation-hazard sites are shown on the digital topographic maps of Russia and adjacent countries (scale 1:5,000,000). These sites include enterprises involved in the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium deposits, chemical complexes, metallurgical and radiochemical plants, and nuclear power plants), nuclear scientific research and training centers, enterprises with nuclear research reactors, nuclear test sites and locations of underground peaceful nuclear explosions,



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26 Use of GIS Technology for Assessing Territories Contaminated with Radioactive Materials A. N. Plate and A. V. Vesselosky, Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Ore Deposits and Geology The geographic information system Radiation Safety of Russia (RSR) is being used at the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Institute of Ore Deposits and Geology (IGEM) in accordance with a state program. RSR is designed to facilitate the monitoring, analysis, and simulation of nuclear and radiation haz- ards in various regions of the country. Using this system, information may be exchanged with other data systems. The system maintains the data in digital form and provides insights on the radiation situation in Russia as a whole, in adjacent territories, and in specific regions, oblasts, and districts. Thus, it provides infor- mation of broad interest concerning radioecological monitoring. The RSR’s cartographic database, one of its central features, includes a set of heteroscale digital maps with indications of potentially hazardous ob- jects. Data on objects in specific territories are presented in different layers (see Table 26-1). The following types of digital maps show radioecological loads: • Major radiation-hazard sites are shown on the digital topographic maps of Russia and adjacent countries (scale 1:5,000,000). These sites include enter- prises involved in the nuclear fuel cycle (uranium deposits, chemical complexes, metallurgical and radiochemical plants, and nuclear power plants), nuclear sci- entific research and training centers, enterprises with nuclear research reactors, nuclear test sites and locations of underground peaceful nuclear explosions, 20

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20 USE OF GIS TECHNOLOGY TABLE 26-1 Cartographic Database Number of Object Locations Uranium deposits 40 Plants and complexes of the nuclear fuel sector 17 Facilities with nuclear reactors (power, research, other) 69 Base ports for nuclear-powered ships 15 Shipbuilding and ship repair facilities 14 Nuclear weapons enterprises 7 Peaceful nuclear explosions 62 Nuclear test sites 8 Radiation-related accidents 10 Chernobyl accident consequences 11 Kyshtym accident—East Urals Trace 4 Radioactive waste storage sites and regional repositories 51 Concentrations of fission products of radioactive elements from reactors 25 Major nuclides from uranium ore reprocessing wastes and refining concentrates 13 bases for nuclear-powered ships, nuclear weapons plants, and radioactive waste disposal sites on land and at sea (263 site descriptions). • A digital map of the Barents and Karsk seas at a scale of 1:5,000,000 (G. G. Matishev, D. G. Matishev, and V. V. Nazimov, RAS Murmansk Marine Biological Institute) serves as an illustration of levels and main directions of ra- dionuclide transfer in these bodies of water. The graphic database also includes information on cesium-137, cobalt-60, and plutonium-239/240 in bottom sedi- ments, as well as cesium-137 in the water, lichens, soil, and fish. • A digital map presents radioactive contamination from cesium-137 in the European part of Russia, the Urals region, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, the Baltic countries, and western Georgia (scale 1:5,000,000). The Institute of Global Climate and Ecology of the Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring (Rosgidromet) and RAS collected this data in 1993. • Digital maps of the East Urals Radioactive Trace (EURT) (edited by V. N. Chukanov, Ekaterinburg) at scales of 1:1,000,000 and 1:200,000 illustrate strontium-90 distribution in Kamensk Region at the time of an accident and later. Also included is the first officially published EURT status map with data provided by the Mayak enterprise (scale 1:1,000,000). It illustrates reconstructed levels of initial strontium-90 contamination of Kamensk Region as well as current levels in the area (scale 1:200,000). Table 26-2 presents information about nuclear fuel cycle operations. The RSR is being updated as new operating conditions develop. The follow- ing activities are of interest: estimation of radionuclide migration direction and intensity depending on the lithological, geochemical, and hydrological situation;

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TABLE 26-2 Radioactive Products Resulting from Nuclear Fuel Cycle Operations 20 Nuclear Fuel Accumulation Radioactive Product Quantity Cycle Operation Radioactive Products Site Elements Product Type and Activity Location Mining Uranium ore Tailings pond Ra-226, Rn Uranium ore deposits Reprocessing U oxide of nuclear purity Tailings pond Ra-226, Rn Mining-chemical complexes U hexafluoride Steel vessels HF (toxic at Six plants in Angarsk, Tomsk, destruction) Yekaterinburg, and Krasnoyarsk Enrichment by U-235 U-235 isotope Production of fuel, U hexafluoride, dioxide, U hexafluoride Novosibirsk Chemical ~1.6 × 106 m3 fuel rods, and tablets, TEEs, thermo- Concentrates Plant, Electrostal ~9.3 × 104 Ci complete products emitting assemblies Mechanical Plant Radiochemical Enriched U, irradiated U, Np-237, Pu Liquid (high-, Chelyabinsk-65 (Mayak), From n × 106 Ci up reprocessing of Np-237, weapons-grade medium-, low- Siberian Chemical Complex to n × 108Ci from nuclear materials Pu level), solid (Tomsk), Krasnoyarsk-26 0.1g up to >1,000g Spent fuel Uranyl nitrate, U U, Pu, Np RT-1 Plant (Mayak) regeneration monoxide-oxide, Pu dioxides, Np-237 Production from Sr-90, Cs-137, Liquid, solid, RT-1 Plant (Mayak) residual solutions Am, Tc and other gaseous Secondary fuel Commodity U (alloy of Repository U, dioxide Pu 30 metric tons RT-1 Plant (Mayak) production hexa-anhydrite nitrate of Pu uranyl), Pu dioxide Pu recycling for U-Pu fuel 400 fuel rods Mayak pilot plants energy material fabricated (“quick neutrons”)

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20 USE OF GIS TECHNOLOGY environmental changes at uranium deposits; and identification of geological con- ditions favorable for radioactive waste disposal. The expanded system can handle the analysis and simulation of radiation- hazard situations. It allows for the accumulation of insights on radioactive con- tamination sources and can present information in the form of separate graphic (mapping) layers or combinations of layers. The system includes a mapping data- base featuring a set of digital topographic maps of various scales with indications of potentially hazardous facilities and contaminated areas. Facility and site char- acteristics are compiled in a graphic database, and insights may then be obtained with the help of interfaces with the appropriate layer and the object of interest on the screen. According to the digital topographic map of Russia and adjacent countries (scale 1:5,000,000), 263 sites present potential radiation hazards. For example, radionuclide transfer in the waters of the Barents and Karsk seas are of concern. The overall activity of liquid radioactive waste dumped into the Barents Sea from 1960 to 1990 is about 5,000 Ci. From 1964 to 1990, about 11,000 containers of radioactive waste with a total activity of more than 175,000 Ci were deposited in the Novaya Zemlya Depression. Nuclear accidents and disasters are another example of thematic coverage offered by the RSR. The Kyshtym disaster of September 29, 1957, led to the East Urals Trace, which extends more than 1,000 km with a width of 10 km. The total radioactivity discharge was about 20 million Ci. As a result of the Chernobyl ac- cident, 50 million Ci of various nuclides and 50 million Ci of radioactive gases were discharged. About 1.5 million ha of Russian territory were contaminated by cesium-137 and strontium-90. In connection with the database, reference material is provided for specific sites, such as characteristics of liquid, solid, and gaseous wastes; major radionu- clides in the wastes from uranium ore processing and concentrate refining; and fission products generated as a result of reactor operations. Thus, the particular characteristics of technological cycles causing possible alterations of the ecologi- cal situation are taken into account. REFERENCES Bulatov, V. I. 1993. Two hundred nuclear test sites of the USSR: geography of radiation disasters and contaminations. Novosibirsk, 16 pp. Chukanov, V. N., ed. 1996. East Urals Radioactive Trace. Ekaterinburg, 167 pp. Egorov, N. N., V. F. Kudryavtsev, B. V. Nikipelov, et al. 1993. Regeneration and localization of nuclear fuel cycle radioactive wastes. Atomic Energy 74(4):307-312. Matishov G. G., D. G. Matishov, V. V. Podobelov, and L. G. Pavlova. 1993. Radiation situation at Kola Peninsula, Novaya Zemlya, Zemlya Franz-Iosif and at Barentsevo Sea water area. Reports of the Academy of Science 330(4). RAS Murmansk Marine Biology Institute. 1994. Map (one sheet). St. Petersburg. Rosgidromet and RAS Institute of Global Climate and Ecology. 1993. Chernobyl Accident Conse- quences (Map). Moscow. USSR National Report to 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development: Proj- ect. 1991. Moscow, 193 pp.

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