EPA`s Response to Fukushima Japan Nuclear Emergency

Report
Jen Mosser
Center for Radiological Emergency
Management
Office of Radiation & Indoor Air
August 16, 2011

An introduction to EPA’s Office of Radiation
and Indoor Air (ORIA)
◦ Who we are
◦ Our role in radiological emergency response
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EPA’s response to the Fukushima Japan
nuclear incident
◦ RadNet monitoring program
◦ What we found
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Personnel from ORIA and our regional radiation
counterparts contribute to radiation emergency
response by providing:
◦ Leadership of U.S. domestic response to foreign incidents,
support for responses under Nuclear/Radiological Incident
Annex of National Response Framework
◦ Support to OSCs and Special Teams under National Oil and
Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan (NCP)
◦ Advice to the EPA Emergency Coordinator (OSWER/OEM) on
radiation
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Center for Radiological Emergency Management
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Nuclear Incident Response Team
Protective Action Guides (PAGs)
MARSSIM, MARSAME, MARLAP
EPA-RERP
Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT)
◦ Technical advice and assistance related to: prevention;
containment; cleanup; and recovery from a radiological incident
◦ Provide advice on protective measures
◦ Perform assessments of dose and impact of any release
◦ Conduct monitoring, sampling, laboratory analyses and data
assessments to assess and characterize environmental impacts
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Regional Support Roles
◦ Regional RERT Liaison - Coordinates between the regional
radiation program and the RERT
◦ Regional Radiation Advisor - Provides radiological technical advice
to the regional OSC, management, and personnel
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Provide guidance and on-scene
assistance at Superfund and ER sites
to OSCs and in the Federal
Radiological Monitoring and
Assessment Center (FRMAC)
Field-deployable RERT
◦ Focus is on identifying and assessing potential
impacts of low-level contamination
◦ Field monitoring instruments and sample
collection equipment
◦ Mobile laboratories and capabilities
Two “fixed” laboratories capable of
providing comprehensive
environmental analytical services
Scenario 1
◦ Impacts one or more sites within U.S.
◦ OSWER is EPA’s response lead
◦ OSC serves as Incident Commander
◦ Special Teams support response
◦ RERT Commander serves as Senior EPA
Representative in the FRMAC if established
Example: Las Conchas Fire Response (2011)
Scenario 2
◦ Does not create a specific site within U.S.
◦ ORIA is EPA’s response lead
◦ Limited field activities expected (no Incident
Commander)
◦ ORIA conducts sampling, RadNet deployment
Example: Japan Foreign Nuclear Incident (2011)
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Review the Incident – What Happened
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Describe the EPA Response
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Review EPA’s RadNet Monitoring Program
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Present Illustrative Monitoring Results
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Discuss results, potential impacts and risks
from the Fukushima in US
Friday, March 11, 2011

9.0 Earthquake – 2:46 pm
◦ Automatic shutdown /
Control rods lowered
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14 Meter Tsunami– 3:42 pm
◦ Loss of power, incl. backup
◦ Sea water pumps disabled
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2011/03/11/world/asia/
maps-of-earthquake-and-tsunami-damage-in-japan.html
Damage to the Reactors

Level 7 - "Major Accident" on International Nuclear Event Scale
◦ "A major release of radioactive material with widespread health and environmental
effects requiring implementation of planned and extended countermeasures"
◦ Loss of cooling
◦ Damage to secondary containment vessels
◦ Fuel meltdown
Releases of Radiation to the Environment
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“More than several tens of thousands of terabequerels of I-131”
◦ Air releases – intentional venting and hydrogen explosions
◦ Ocean Releases – intentional release of cooling water and leakage
http://www.dae.gov.in/daiichi/japan130411.pdf
NOAA Projection of Plume Deposition 3/22-3/25/2011
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HQ EOC Activation – March 15
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Radnet Increased Operations
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National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory
(NAREL )
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Advisory Team for Environment, Food and Health
Science Tiger Team set up for technical issues
Public Information
Environmental Unit
◦ Deployable air monitors set up in Regions 9 and 10
◦ Additional milk & drinking water samples late March & April;
increased analysis of precipitation samples
◦ 24/7 Operation to count samples
◦ Increased attention to “near-real time” RadNet data
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EPA Japan Incident Website
http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/
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Data posting notifications to HHS, FDA, CDC and
CRCPD
Twice weekly calls with ASTHO, NCCHO, and ECOS
ESF-8 conference calls
EPA Senior Leadership worked with Governors,
Congress
California example : CalEPA formed MAC on March
22
- Management / Policy level with reps from USEPA RIX, CDPH,
Cal/EPA, CDFA, CalEMA, CCLHO, CCDEH and CAPCOA
- Technical group with RHB and USEPA to evaluate state and
fed data
- MAC met 3 times and learned it should form earlier
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EPA's RadNet monitors across the
US show typical fluctuations in
background radiation levels
Deployable monitors were sent to
Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Guam and
Saipan to improve monitoring
coverage (add’l units staged in
Region 10 warehouses)
The levels detected are far below
levels of concern
15
Nome
Juneau
Nome
Saipan
Guam
Setting up
monitors
in Guam
Juneau
Inside of a
deployable
Nome
Detector Assembly
Working in the
rain in Buffalo
RadNet Monitoring during Japan FNI
Fixed Monitors
Near-real time data transmitted hourly
Filters changed twice a week
Deployables
Near-real time data transmitted hourly
2” and 4” Filters changed daily
Charcoal cartridges changed daily
Precipitation
Each event sampled and analyzed separately
Drinking Water
Second quarter sampling accelerated
Additional round of samples collected
Milk
Second quarter sampling accelerated
Additional round of samples collected
Returned to normal RadNet operatioins in May
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Fixed Monitors
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Deployables
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Precipitation
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Drinking Water
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Milk
◦ 1,600 filters collected
◦ 151,000 data sets received in near-real time
◦ 350 charcoal cartridges collected
◦ 335 2-inch filters and 335 4-inch filters collected
◦ 31,000 data sets received in near-real time
◦ 32 cities sampled, 170 samples collected
◦ 71 cities sampled, 154 samples collected
◦ 36 cities sampled, 67 samples collected
Samples collected from March 11 to May 5, 2011
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Why focus on Iodine-131?
◦ Primary Component of Fukushima release
◦ Gaseous Phase
 Transported great distance in atmosphere
◦ Sensitivity
 Easily detected and measured
◦ Clearly Illustrates impacts and trends
◦ Primary Source of Potential Exposure
3
2.5
2
1.5
1
0.5
0
03/18
03/20
03/22
03/24
03/26
03/28
03/30
04/01
04/03
04/05
Saipan
Guam
Kauai
Oahu
Boise
Juneau
Nome
Dutch Harbor
Las Vegas
Maximum Concentration: 2.8 pCi/m3, Dutch Harbor, 20 March 2011
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
3/15/2011
3/22/2011
Atlanta
Albany
Kansas City
3/29/2011
Denver
Boston
Boise
4/5/2011
4/12/2011
Knoxville
Olympia
Jacksonville
4/19/2011
4/26/2011
Concord
Richmond, CA
Charlotte
Salt Lake
EPA’s Drinking Water Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL )for Iodine-131 is 3 pCi/L.
This Drinking Water MCL is based on long-term chronic exposures over a 70 year lifetime.
Maximum Concentration: 390 pCi/L, Boise, 27 March 2011
http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-sampling-data.html
Boise, ID
Maximum Precipitation and Drinking Water Concentrations
Precipitation
390 pCi/L
March 27
Drinking Water
0.2 pCi/L
March 28
http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-sampling-data.html
18
16
14
pCi/L
12
10
8
6
4
2
0
Hilo
Initial Sampling
3/25 – 4/4/2011
SPOKANE
Los Angeles
Follow-Up Sampling
4/12-4/13/2011
SFO/OAK
Jefferson City
Little Rock
FDA's Derived Intervention Level (DIL) for Iodine-131 in milk is 4,770 pCi/L
Maximum Concentration: 18 pCi/L, Hilo, 4 April 2011
http://www.epa.gov/japan2011/rert/radnet-sampling-data.html
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Highest I-131 Highest I-131 Highest I-131
in Milk
in Air
in Rain
Chernobyl 1986
136 pCi/L
Spokane, WA
1.6 pCi/m3
Boise, ID &
Phoenix, AZ
6,620 pCi/L
Spokane, WA
Fukushima 2011
18 pCi/L
Hilo, HI
0.84 pCi/m3
Boise, ID
390 pCi/L
Boise, ID
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Sea Water
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Seafood
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Intentional release of contaminated water used for cooling*
Leakage from damaged reactor
Iodine-131:
3 May - below drinking water MCL 30km offshore of Fukushima
4 June - Not Detectable at Japanese offshore sampling locations
Modeling indicates greater potential impact to US coastal areas from precipitation than from transport
No levels above MDC seen in migratory fish species; Migratory patterns of North American Pacific
Salmon most commonly do not reach the coastal or offshore waters of Japan; The majority of Alaska
Salmon spend most of their ocean residence in the Gulf of Alaska
Japanese sand lance is only fish that exceeded radiation standards - does not migrate
FDA Monitoring seafood shipments to US
Cargo Screening
◦ Analyze DOT regulations and applicable CBP detection methods
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Revisiting the 50-mile evacuation zone for US Citizens in Japan
Calculate your estimated annual radiation dose:
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/calculate.html
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Trace levels of radioactive isotopes measured are
consistent with the Japanese nuclear incident and
far below levels of public health concern.
Additional exposure from well below 1 mrem
for individuals in US and Territories
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Measured levels hundreds to thousands of times
lower than FDA Derived Intervention Levels (DILs)
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Greater risk from Radon - 212 mrem/yr
NCRP 160, 2009
http://www.epa.gov/radiation/understand/perspective.html
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Overall RadNet program and technology
- Near real time RadNet data
- Detection limits extremely low
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Reasonable turnaround on lab sample data
Unprecedented web attention
State/local voluntary support of RadNet
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Communication
Communication
Communication !
Better procedures for radiation emergency incidents
Timely data transfer to regions, states, local agencies,
tribes
Better data interpretation & messaging to public &
press
Quicker coordination with NOAA and DOE to get plume
trajectory model info
EPA’s Radiation Protection Division is collecting
observations, lessons, and improvement ideas – will
share
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“While we do not expect radiation from the damaged Japanese
reactors to reach the United States at harmful levels, I want to assure
you that EPA will continue our coordination with our federal partners
to monitor the air, milk, precipitation and drinking water for any
changes, and we will continue our outreach to the public and the
elected officials to provide information on our monitoring results.”
– Administrator Lisa P. Jackson

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