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HEALTH CONSULTATION

Kelly Air Force Base
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

CERCLIS No. TX2571724333


August 23, 2000

Prepared by:

U. S. Department of Health and Human Services
Public Health Service

Federal Facilities Assessment Branch
Division of Health Assessment and Consultation
Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
Atlanta, GA 30333

 

BACKGROUND AND STATEMENT OF ISSUES

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) regional office in Dallas,Texas (Region VI) requested that ATSDR headquarters review recent radiological data collectedat Kelly Air Force Base (KAFB). This review was to determine if radiological contaminationlevels were within acceptable limits for release to the public or if additional actions would beneeded prior to its release. Previous information supplied to the ATSDR Region VI officeindicated that at least 2 facilities at the base appeared to be contaminated with radioactivesubstances. The purpose of the performed surveys was to determine if other buildings werecontaminated and which buildings could be released to the public for unrestricted use.

The data reviewed for this public health consultation consist of radiation surveys performedduring 1999 in 14 buildings associated with KAFB. The buildings surveyed included formerradium paint shops, storage, shipping and receiving areas, and maintenance facilities. Thisdocument discusses the pertinent issues associated with those surveys which were supplied toATSDR as draft documents (1).

DISCUSSION

The radiological surveys for these facilities were designed to detect radiological contaminationon surfaces (walls and floors) and, if present, to determine if the contamination was in a formthat was easily removed (radiological smears). The survey designs followed the protocoldescribed by the Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual (MARSIMM) (2). Other types of analyses performed included gamma radiation exposure rates and evaluationof radiation levels based on the computer model RESRAD-BUILD. The RESRAD family ofcomputer codes were developed at Argonne National Laboratory for the U.S. Department ofEnergy to calculate site-specific residual radioactive material guidelines as well as radiation doseand excess lifetime cancer risk to individual and/or collective receptors. RESRAD-BUILD isdesigned to perform residual radioactive material dose assessments in buildings for one or moreindividuals. To assist in the survey design and implementation, the survey group interviewed theKAFB Radiation Safety Officer and reviewed historical site documents.

ATSDR did not verify the model results for these facilities as we did not have the specific knowledge of each facility. However, the agency did compare the survey results with regulatory guidelines in place for surface contamination limits. These guidelines included the regulations of the Department of Energy, codified in Title 10 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Section 835 and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission guidelines originally published by the former Atomic Energy Commission in 1974 (3).

This public health consultation only pertains to the following buildings or locations: Building129; Building 133; Building 306; Building 326; Building 329; Building 374; Building 375 andits service area 2LM; Building 385; Building 620; Building 1420; Building 1470; Building 1562and; Building 3810.

 

CONCLUSIONS and RECOMMENDATIONS

ATSDR has reviewed the findings of the survey team and has agreed with their results. A brief summary of the survey appears in Table I with the complete survey in Table II of this public health consultation. For those buildings that ATSDR believes additional surveying should performed, the following recommendations as listed in Table I are put forth:

  • Resurvey Buildings 129 and Building 133 following demolition of structures;
  • Survey Building 326 for radon;
  • Remove floor materials in Building 374, resurvey for contamination as well as radon; and
  • Survey floor drains in Building 385.
  • Table I.

    Results of Kelly Air Force Base Building Surveys
    BuildingATSDR Conclusions and Recommendations
    Building 129;
    Building 133
    Recommending additional surveys when hanger structuresremoved
    Building 306Can be released for public use.
    Building 326Recommend radon monitoring
    Building 329Can be released for public use
    Building 374 Follow recommendations of survey team and recommend radonmonitoring
    Building 375;
    service area 2LM
    Can be released for public use
    Building 385Recommend that drains be checked; if negative, can be releasedfor public use
    Building 620Can be released for public use
    Building 1420Can be released for public use
    Building 1470-ICan be released for public use
    Building 1562Can be released for public use
    Building 3810Can be released for public use

     

    Table II.

    Results of Kelly Air Force Base Building Surveys
    BuildingUseSurvey ResultsATSDR findings
    Building 129;Building 133Radium paint shop;demolished in the 1930s/40stime frame for hangerconstructionNo contamination found;however, could not adequatelysurvey the hanger facilitiesbecause of existing structuresRecommendingadditional surveys whenhanger structuresremoved
    Building 306Former radioactive wasteofficeNo contamination found. Can be released forpublic use.
    Building 326Former radium paint shopRadioactive materials levels arein excess of surfacecontamination guidelinesmentioned aboveRecommend radonmonitoring
    Building 329Electrical shop storage area;Thought that Cesium 137 orKrypton 85 may have been inbuildingScans showed no values inexcess of release criteria orbackground measurements.Can be released forpublic use
    Building 374 Former radium paint shopUnable to characterize becauseof floor constructionFollowrecommendations ofsurvey team andrecommend radonmonitoring
    Building 375;
    service area 2LM
    Former instrument room,tool/parts crib, cafeteria,breakroom; refurbisheddepleted uraniumcounterweightsNo contamination found. Can be released forpublic use
    Building 385Aircraft wash rack - somediscussion that depleteduranium-containing partsmay have been washedNo contamination found abovesurface contamination limits Did not sample floor drainsRecommend that drainsbe checked; if negative,can be released forpublic use
    Building 620Sludge digesters storageroomNo contamination found abovesurface contamination limits Can be released forpublic use
    Building 1420Mixing room for depleteduranium and epoxyNo contamination found abovesurface contamination limits Can be released forpublic use
    Building 1470-IFenced storage area andshipping/receiving areaNo contamination foundCan be released forpublic use
    Building 1562Shipping/receiving areadestroyed by a tornado in1989, only concrete padremains at siteNo contamination foundCan be released forpublic use
    Building 3810Depleted uranium storageNo loose contamination found;no radioactivity abovebackground.Can be released forpublic use



    Paul A. Charp, Ph.D.
    Senior Health Physicist

     

    REFERENCES

    1. Transmittal letter from Charles R. Williams, chief of Environmental CompliancePrograms, Kelly Air Force Base to Michael L. Carrillo, Environmental ProtectionAgency, Region VI, Dallas, Texas.

    2. MARSIMM (1997). Multi-Agency Radiation Survey and Site Investigation Manual.Nuclear Regulatory Commission NUREG-1575 and US Environmental ProtectionAgency EPA 402-R-97-016.

    3. Atomic Energy Commission (1974). Termination of Operating Licenses for NuclearReactors, Regulatory Guide 1.86. U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.,June 1974.

      
     
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    Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, 4770 Buford Hwy NE, Atlanta, GA 30341
    Contact CDC: 800-232-4636 / TTY: 888-232-6348

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