Risk Perspective on Potential Releases of ¹4C From the Geologic Repository at Yucca Mountain

by C. Quan, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
A. Livnat, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
D. Michlewicz, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,
R. Palabrica, U.S. Dep of Energy, United States,

Abstract: The objective of this paper is to provide a perspective on the individual and population risks from potential releases of 14C from a geologic repository at the candidate Yucca Mountain site by examining the quantity and release potential of the 14C available in the waste, its geohydrologic transport in the unsaturated setting of the site, and the potential radiological consequences of the releases. Dose estimates indicate that, even if the entire 14C inventory in the wastes were released instantaneously to the atmosphere, an average member of the global population would receive a peak annual dose rate of only approximately 10-2 mrem (or an average dose rate of 4×10-4 mrem per year if the release were averaged over 10,000 years) and a hypothetical maximum exposed individual in the vicinity of the repository would receive a dose of about 1 mrem from exposure pathways that are appropriate for the site.

Subject Headings: Radioactive wastes | Geology | Waste sites | Risk management | Radioactive materials | Inventories | Fuels

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