The plutonium processing facility at Los Alamos has adopted the strategic goal of becoming a facility that processes plutonium in a way that produces only environmentally benign waste streams. Pollution prevention through source reduction and environmentally sound recycling are being pursued. General approaches to waste reductions are administrative controls, modification of process technologies, and additional waste polishing. Recycling of waste materials, such as spent acids and salts, are technical possibilities and are being pursued to accomplish additional waste reduction. Liquid waste stream polishing to remove final traces of plutonium and hazardous chemical constituents is accomplished through (a) process modifications, (b) use of alternative chemicals and sorbents for residue removal, (c) acid recycling, and (d) judicious use of a variety of waste polishing technologies. Technologies that show promise in waste minimization and pollution prevention are identified. Working toward this goal of pollution prevention is a worthwhile endeavor, not only for Los Alamos, but for the Nuclear Complex of the future.
Two programmes of work are described involving the measurement of environmental pollution over periods from two hours to many
years. The long period measurements are deduced from neutron activation analysis of whole wood samples taken from individual
tree rings for trees grown in various locations, and some results for cadmium, antimony and germanium levels are reported.
In a second series of experiments the concentration of airborne particulate matter is being measured using a moving filter
(streak sampler) technique to give a continuous record with two hour resolution. The filter samples are being analysed by
proton induced X-ray emission (PIXE) and preliminary data is presented.
Authors:J. Datta, D. Chowdhury, R. Verma, and A. Reddy
The intake of leafy vegetables in daily diet is very important to meet our nutritional needs. Vegetables provide the essential
elements which are necessary and recommended for human growth. However, due to rapid industrialization and urbanization our
environment becomes polluted and this affects the normal growth of agricultural products and composition of environmental
species. The elemental concentrations present in the environmental samples are good indicators to assess the toxicological
levels due to pollution affects. In the present work we have analysed several vegetable plant samples by instrumental neutron
activation analysis to determine the elemental concentrations at major, minor and trace levels. The leafy vegetables like
spinach, red leafy veagetable, pui, gourd leaf, lettuce and katoua were chosen as these are extensively consumed by local
peple in eastern part of India. We have determined 15 elements in the above mentioned vegetable samples and some of these
are essential elements and some are toxic elements. It was found that Na and K were present as major elements, Fe and Zn as
minor elements and As, Ce, Cr, Co, La, Mo, Rb, Sc, Sm, Sr as trace elements. The concentration level of Cr was found to be
higher than that of recommended value certified by WHO and National environment quality control for human consumption. The
validation of our analytical results have been performed by the Z-score tests through the determination of concentrations of the elements of interest in certified reference materials.
Authors:Z. Győri, K. Alapi, J. Prokisch, T. Németh, D. Adriano, and P. Sipos
et al., 1999. Heavy metal pollution of soils affected by the Guadiamar toxic flood. Sci. Total Environ.
Diaz-Barrientos, E., Madrid, L. & Cardo, I.,
1999. Effect of flood with mine
Variations in concentration of elements with different washing methods of hair-EDTA Method and Acetone Method-and different lead work employees (lead processing workers and lead glass-making workers) were studied by nondestructive neutron activation analysis. The EDTA Method removed not only the external, elements bound by surface adhesion but also the internal elements, such as Mg and Ca, existing in hair. With the Acetone Method, Zn, As and Sb concentrations in hair of lead processing workers show very high values (>2) and Cd and Co concentrations in hair of both groups show high values (1<<2), except for Pb. This suggests the effect of environmental pollution in that factory.
k0-Based instrumental neutron activation analysis (k0 INAA) was used to determine the concentrations of Cr, Fe, Co, Zn, Se, Sb and Hg in the vascular plantsCistus salvifolius andInula viscosa and in the lichenParmelia sulcata. The samples were collected in the neighbourhood of industrial complexes. The elemental accumulation in the vascular plants and the lichen are compared to optimize the choice of the bioaccumulator. It is concluded thatP. sulcata seems to be the best accumulator of the three species for the elements studied;Cistus salvifolius is sensitive to the contents of Zn, Fe, Cr and Sb in the air;Inula viscosa seems to accumulate Fe, Sb, Co, Cr and Zn. Nevertheless, it is concluded that lichen is a good air pollution indicator, while the vascular plants are not due to the large seasonal variations found in the elemental concentrations.
Authors:G. Capannesi, A. Cecchi, C. Ciavola, and A. Sedda
The present paper confirms that evergreen oak leaves (Ouercus ilex) are a reliable biological monitor for pollution originating from vehicular traffic. By treating of experimental data statistically a simple model was obtained which explains pollution levels in terms of vehicular density and particulate resuspension effects. An extensive list of current literature in this field is also included.
Evergreen oak was chosen as a possible biological monitor of environmental pollution. It was shown that there is a direct relationship between the concentration of elements in leaves and the presence of pollution sources, i.e. the density of vehicular traffic.
Thermal neutron activation analysis technique was used in air pollution and aerosol elemental content and size distribution
investigations. Air pollution samples were collected on Whatman 41 paper filters which were activated along with known quantities
of standards in a flux of ∼1013 n·cm−2·s−1. The activity of the samples was measured with a 40 cm3 Ge(Li) detector and analyzed with the computer program JANE, which identified the isotopes and found their quantities by
normalization with the standard measurement results. Correlation between the various elements, in particular those belonging
to dust from the desert and those considered typical urban air pollution, is investigated.
The potential of five species of trees as historical monitors of heavy metal air pollution has been investigated. The study was carried out at a site 2 km from an industrial complex including several metal refineries. Using neutron activation, heavy metal concentrations were measured in the xylem as a function of the year of wood formation. The manganese concentrations were by far the highest. In maple trees the high natural level of this essential trace element masked any increases due to pollution. In ash and cedar increased Mn concentrations were found, relative to control trees, but there is evidence for radial translocation. In hemlock the time variations of the average Mn concentrations followed the production rates of the refineries but large variations among individual trees were observed. Hemlock was estimated to accumulate up to 0.3% of the atmospheric Mn input.