Accession Number : ADA331640

Title :   Department of Energy: Information on the Tritium Leak and Contractor Dismissal at the Brookhaven National Laboratory

Corporate Author : GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE WASHINGTON DC RESOURCES COMMUNITY AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT DIV

PDF Url : ADA331640

Report Date : 04 NOV 1997

Pagination or Media Count : 48

Abstract : As requested, we reviewed the events surrounding the leak of the radioactive element tritium from a research reactor at the Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and the resulting termination of Associated Universities, Inc. (AUI), as the laboratory's contractor. BNL is a federally funded research facility located in Suffolk County, Long Island, New York, that is owned by the Department of UUI is a not-for-profit corporation that has operated the laboratory since it was created in 1947. In January 1997, ground water samples taken by BNL Staff revealed concentrations of tritium that were twice the allowable federal drinking water standards -some samples taken later were 32 times the standard. The tritium was found to be leaking from the laboratory's High Flux Beam Reactor's spent-fuel pool into the aquifer that provides drinking water for nearby Suffolk County residents. In response to DOE'S investigation and other factors, we identified the events leading up to discovery of the tritium leak, evaluated why these events occurred, and determined the reasons used by the Secretary of Energy to terminate DOE'S contract with AUI.

Descriptors :   *WATER POLLUTION, *RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION, *TRITIUM, RESEARCH FACILITIES, DRINKING WATER, SAMPLING.

Subject Categories : Water Pollution and Control
      Radiation Pollution and Control

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE