Environmental Engineering Services to Solve Civil, Geotechnical and Hydrogeological Issues at Operating and Decommissioning Radiological Sites
Our Environmental and Engineering Services Division delivers a wide range of specialty solutions to clients dealing with civil, geotechnical, and hydrogeological issues. The RSCS site investigation and geotechnical consulting staff includes ABHP Certified Health Physicists and many professional and technical experts in various fields including: Project Management, Regulatory Affairs, Engineering, Operational Health Physics, Geology, Hydrogeology, Soil Science, Chemistry and Final Status Survey. We have become a recognized industry expert in the area of nuclear power and industrial site characterization and decommissioning.
RSCS staff have been primary contributors to several guideline documents pertaining to environmental characterization at nuclear sites published by the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). Such topics include:
- Groundwater Monitoring Guidance for Nuclear Power Plants
- Groundwater Plant Assessment Team
- Tritium Soil Gas Monitoring for Nuclear Power Facilities
- Dose Modeling Techniques
- Remediation Decision Making
- Fate and Transport Software Evaluation
- New Technologies for Groundwater Monitoring and Remediation
- Applicability of High-Density Polyethylene in Nuclear Piping Systems with Internal Radionuclides
Our team has considerable experience with planning and implementing a broad spectrum of geotechnical investigation methods to support the needs of your site. We are equipped with a variety of tools that allow our team to work in a wide range of locations and environments. The compact size of our equipment allows for borings in areas that would be inaccessible to standard equipment. Our assessment methods provide our clients with the data they need for on-going plant maintenance and remediation.
High quality geospatial data sets support characterization and site investigations and can support a broad range of projects including groundwater protection/investigation, buried pipe investigations, subsurface mapping and construction, aging asset management/mitigation/risk assessment, license renewal support, and infrastructure modeling. We can support your project with planning, implementing and interpretation of a broad spectrum of geotechnical investigation methods with seamless integration with Computer Aided Design (CAD), Geospatial Information Systems (GIS) and Building Information Model (BIM) software platforms to support the needs of you site including:
- Aquifer Testing (pump tests)
- Down-hole data logging instrumentation
- Down-hole Geophysical Logging
- Extraction/dewatering Well System Design and Installation
- Geotechnical Soil and Bedrock Boring Description
- Numerical Groundwater Fate and Transport Modeling (MODFLOW)
- Groundwater Sampling
- Monitoring Well Design and Installation
- Aquifer Slug Testing
- Soil and Sediment Sampling
- Soil Resistivity Measurements/Assessment
- NEI 09-14 Soil Corrosivity Assessments for Buried Asset Management
- Cathodic Protection System Assessment, Design Support and Installation
- Surface Geophysical Survey Techniques (GPR, EM, T. Conductivity) for Leak Detection and/or Subsurface Evaluation
- Structural, Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing, Geologic Subsurface etc.
- Asset Tracking with Full Schedule of Attributes and Characterization Data Retained in BIM/GIS Environments
- Realistic Model of Hi Risk/Hazard Areas
- Work Planning and Mockup Support
RSCS conducts comprehensive groundwater investigations and assessments in support of nuclear facilities. Tasks include consulting and field support to implement Nuclear Energy Institute’s (NEI) 07-07 initiative, the development and implementation of investigation strategies, characterization of local groundwater flow to identify plant-related radionuclides in the environment, the development and field implementation of groundwater investigation work plans, conceptual site model development, groundwater fate and transport numerical modeling, as well as the development of hydrogeologic input parameters for modeling dose using the RESRAD numerical model code.
NEI 07-07 Groundwater Protection Initiative Support
Our team conducts comprehensive groundwater investigations and assessments in support of nuclear facilities. Tasks include consulting and field support to implement the Nuclear Energy Institute’s 07-07 groundwater protection initiative. Our support includes development and revisions to site Hydrogeological Conceptual Site Models (CSMs), implementation of investigation and monitoring strategies, characterization of local groundwater flow to identify plant-related radionuclides in the environment, the development and field implementation of groundwater fate and transport numerical modeling, as well as the development of hydrogeologic input parameters for modeling dose using the RESRAD numerical model code.
Soil Vapor Extraction Technology
In conjunction with the Electrical Power Research Institute (EPRI), we have developed an innovative Soil Vapor Extraction System (SVES) for monitoring subsurface soils above the water table for tritium contamination. Tritium (H-3) is a radioisotope of hydrogen and typically occurs in the environment as tritiated water (HTO or T2O). The EPRI SVES extracts and collects water vapor from the subsurface as a distillate that can be analyzed for the presence of tritium. RSCS has extensive experience researching this technique and successfully deploying the system in the field. The technology has been used to characterize contaminated soil/soil volumes, estimate the extent of shallow groundwater plumes and investigate pipe leaks in unsaturated soil. The Tritium SVES is minimally invasive and can be deployed rapidly using a variety of instillation methods including direct push (geo probeTM) soil coring, conventional drilling and soil vacuums. These installation methods create an excavation in which a soil vapor extraction point can be installed. Soil vacuum techniques provide the fastest and safest installation option in areas of dense underground utilities.
SVES provide several advantages and cost benefits for tritium analysis, including:
- Provides large volume, subsurface, monitoring area
- Easily installed using common geo-probe/soil coring technologies
- Implemented regularly, SVES can be useful as an early leak detection tool.
- A means to optimize monitoring well location and remedial systems/actions.
Soil Screening Concentration Assessment
RSCS develops site-specific soil screening concentrations to be applied during decommissioning activities as a decision tool for soil remediation. Soil screening concentration assessments include:
- Development of biota benchmark effects concentrations for soil, surface water and sediment
- Protocols for the use of environmental remediation soil screening criteria
- Off-site human game ingestion scenarios and biota exposure modeling
- Conceptual site models for the development of scenario specific radiological soil screening criteria
Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI) 09-14 Buried Piping Initiative Program Support
RSCS provides technical and field support for the implementation of NEI’s Buried Pipe Initiative. RSCS has the experience and expertise to evaluate potentially corrosive soil conditions proximal to target System Structures and Components (SSC’s). RSCS staff is experienced in numerous soil collection methods as well as soil sample and in-situ soil condition analysis. Using minimally invasive direct-push soil sampling methods, RSCS is able to collect environmental samples at depth, providing a highly cost effective alternative to open excavation. Additionally, RSCS can provide extensive sample planning support as well as data analysis and interpretation.
Smart Stack and Half-Cell Installation
Using direct-push methods, RSCS has developed innovative methods to install permanent corrosion monitoring devices at depth, which include half-cell electrodes and Smart Stack corrosion rate monitoring devices, a proprietary technology developed by CorrTech, Inc. that can provide real time corrosion rate information for subsurface locations proximal to underground piping.
RSCS combines surface geophysical NDE and 3D data processing to evaluates pipe backfill characteristics. Methods include the uses Wenner 4-Pin soil resistivity measurements along with ground penetrating radar data to assess the backfill characteristics and corrosion rates for buried pipes.
Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material
Several members of our team are considered industry experts in managing NORM and technically enhanced NORM (TNORM) in decommissioning , internal dosimetry evaluations, and other projects.