We now have a look at DOE’s predicted contamination spread, available at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) update page.
This model is based on three air samplers, and no samplers to the Northeast. There are still many questions, including:
What caused this release in the first place?
How contaminated is the underground?
Are soil samples being collected? From where?
Modeling has been done to estimate onsite worker and offsite public dose that may have resulted from the February 14, 2014, event. The results of the modeling indicate that all potential doses were well below the applicable regulatory limits (see results below). The modeling results are consistent with actual worker bioassay results. For modeling data see: (http://www.wipp.energy.gov/Special/Modeling Results.pdf)
Estimated Dose Maximum estimated worker dose 10 mrem Maximum estimated public dose 0.1 < 1 mrem
Natural Background 310 mrem
Applicable Regulatory Limit
5000 mrem per year
DOE all?paths limit (adults) 100 mrem per year
DOE all?paths limit for children/pregnant women 25 mrem per year
EPA Air (NESHAPs) Standard for inhalation is 10 mrem per year