Well siting recommendation to DOE from the Nevada Test Site Community Advisory Board: A case study on public involvement

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International Waste Management Symposium Proceedings


The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has the responsibility to characterize and monitor the potential movement of residual radioactivity from underground nuclear weapons testing at the Nevada Test Site (NTS). Many underground tests in the Western Pahute Mesa area of the NTS were emplaced at or below the water table, where groundwater could be contaminated. The DOE's underground test area (UGTA) environmental management program is developing a flow path model for the Western Pahute Mesa corrective action unit, to characterize and predict contaminant movement in groundwater from the NTS toward off-site communities. A community advisory board (CAB) has been established to give the DOE public feedback on environmental management decisions for the NTS. This advisory board has spent several years studying the DOE's UGTA EM program, and expressed concerns about serious data gaps in the Pahute Mesa groundwater flow model. In response, the DOE invited the advisory board to recommend a location for a new data well in this area. This paper analyzes the NTS Community Advisory Board's research and decision-making process in developing a well siting recommendation to the DOE.


Monitoring wells; Nevada – Nevada Test Site; Nevada – Pahute Mesa; Radioactive pollution of water; Groundwater – Monitoring


Environmental Health and Protection | Environmental Sciences | Water Resource Management




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