United States
Environmental Protection
Agency
Office of Radiation Programs
Eastern Environmental
Radiation Facility
P O Box 3009
Montgomery AL 36109
EPA-520/5-79-003
   July 1979
Radian
Radiological  Survey of
Portsmouth Naval  Shipyard,
Kittery, Maine, and Environs

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                                             EPA-520/5-79-003
             RADIOLOGICAL SURVEY
                       OF
PORTSMOUTH NAVAL SHIPYARD, KITTERY, MAINE,
                 AND ENVIRONS
                     R. S. Califs

                   S. T. Windham

                    C. R. Phillips
          Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility
                   P. O. Box 3009
             Montgomery, Alabama  36109
                     July 1979
       U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
              Office of Radiation Programs
                  Waterside Mall East
                  401 M Street, S. W.
               Washington, DC  20460

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                               EPA Review Notice

This report has been reviewed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and approved
for publication. Approval does not signify that the contents necessarily reflect the views and
policies of the  EPA, nor does mention of trade names or commercial products constitute
endorsement or recommendation for use.

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                                   FOREWORD

    The Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility (EERF) provides environmental surveil-
lance and analytical capability  in support of the Office of Radiation Programs (ORP)
activities.

    This report presents results of a harbor survey conducted by EERF personnel which was
designed to assess environmental radioactivity resulting from normal operations of nuclear-
powered vessels.

    Readers of our reports are encouraged to bring comments, omissions or errors to our
attention.
                                                    Charles R. Porter
                                                        Director
                                          Eastern Environmental Radiation Facility
                                            at

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                                   CONTENTS
                                                                             Page
 FOREWORD	 jjj
 List of Tables	v
 List of Figures	v
 I.   Introduction	  1
 11.   Characteristics of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard	  1
 III.  Survey and Analytical Methods	  1
 IV.  Results and Discussion	  6
 V.   Conclusions	16
 REFERENCES	19
                                    TABLES
                                                                            Page
 1.  Results of Aquatic Life Sample Gamma Analysis 	  7
 2.  Results of Air Sample Analysis 	 8
 3.  Results of Tritium Analysis	 9
 4.  Results of Vegetation Sample Analysis	10
 5.  Results of Silt Sample Analysis	12
 6.  Results of Core Sample Analysis 	14
 7.  Exposure Measurements at Sampling Sites	17
8.  Exposure Measurements at Locations Other than Sampling Sites	18
                                    FIGURES
                                                                            Page
 1.  Sampling locations in the general survey area	 2
 2.  Sampling locations in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) area	 3
 3.  Gamma probe measurement locations	 5
 4.  Silt sampling locations	11
 5.  Core sampling locations 	13
6.  Locations of external gamma radiation measurements	15

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I.   Introduction

        The  Eastern  Environmental  Radiation  Facility  (EERF),  U.S.  Environmental
    Protection Agency (USEPA), in cooperation with the U.S. Naval Sea System Command
    (NAVSEA) has conducted several radiological surveys of ports which serve  nuclear
    powered vessels. The first of these surveys was completed in 1963. Subsequently, surveys
    have been conducted at ports on the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts including Pearl
    Harbor. The following references are examples of two surveys conducted at ports which
    serve nuclear powered vessels (1,2).

        These studies were undertaken to determine if nuclear powered vessel operations,
    including berthing, repair, and servicing have created environmental radioactivity levels
    which could result in significant radiation exposure to the public. These surveys are
    conducted with emphasis on sampling those areas and pathways which would indicate
    exposure to the public. This survey of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) was conducted
    July 1977. Representatives from the States of Maine and New Hampshire participated in
    the survey.

II.  Characteristics of Portsmouth Naval Shipyard

        The facility  is located in Portsmouth Harbor on Seavey Island. The shipyard is
    accessible via bridge from Kittery, Maine, and occupies all of the island (figure 1). The
    facility is approximately 1981  meters (east-west) by 1158 meters (north-south), an area of
    277.8 acres. The Piscataqua River empties into the harbor on the west-northwest side.
    The deepest part of the harbor is approximately 23 meters in the channel at low tide. The
    shipyard is a major repair facility for the Navy's nuclear submarine fleet.

        Observations made during the survey indicated that the harbor bottom surface is
    rock at several locations. The bottom at other areas is mud. Tidal action supplemented by
    the river flow results in a swift current around the shipyard. This current results in the lack
    of sediment on the bottom surface at several locations.

        Discussions with shipyard personnel indicated that most of the water is accessible to
    the public by boat with the exception of certain areas which are restricted for security
    reasons. There are extensive commercial fishing and recreational activities in the area,
    the most significant being lobster fishing. There are many lobster traps (commercial and
    private) in the immediate vicinity of the shipyard.

        The shoreline of the harbor is utilized primarily for residential, recreational, and some
    commercial activity.

III.  Survey and Analytical Methods

        The sampling locations covered a large area extending  from Great Bay to Wallis
    Sands Beach off Rye, New Hampshire, (figure 1). Concentrated sampling was performed
    in close proximity of the  PNS and primarily  in locations where, based on shipyard
    operations, radioactivity most likely could be found (figure 2). Discussions were held at
    the shipyard with representatives of NAVSEA and local shipyard personnel to assist in
    determining the sampling locations.

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.:
                                                                                                      KITTERY
                                                                                                     ATLANTIC OCEAN
                                            Figure 1.  Sampling locations in the general survey area.

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         SCALE
I   I  I  I 1  I  I I  I  I  I  |
 .04
                       Kilometer
    Figure 2.  Sampling locations in the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard (PNS) area.

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    An underwater scintillation probe utilizing a 10-centimeter by 10-centimeter sodium
 iodide detector was used with a 1024 channel pulse height analyzer to assist in locating
 and delineating areas of radioactivity. Some problems were encountered in being able to
 position the probe on the harbor bottom due to the swift current. However, readings were
 taken at most desired locations. A 15-minute background spectrum was taken in Great
 Bay for subtracting from counts taken at other sampling locations. All probe counts were
 made for 15 minutes. Locations of probe measurements are shown in figure 3.

    The underwater scintillation probe has been useful in past surveys to delineate areas
 for dredge sampling of bottom sediment. No radioactivity above background could be
 found  by  the  underwater  probe.  Dredge  samples were taken  at locations where
 radioactivity seemed most probable, based on shipyard operations both current and past.

    Extensive sampling was performed at all dry docks,  berthing areas, and repair
 facilities.

    A  Peterson dredge was used to sample approximately the top 10 centimeters of
 sediment. The samples were dried at 110 C, ground to a fine powder, placed in a400-cm3
 container and counted on a 10-centimeter by 10-centimeter Nal (Tl) detector or a 40-cm3
 Ge(Li) detector.

    Core samples in past surveys have been useful in defining the vertical distribution of
 radioactivity. Also, radioactive materials from past operations which were subsequently
 covered with silt might be observed in the deep core samples. These samples were taken
 by divers at several locations. A 2.4-centimeter diameter by 61-centimeter tube is used for
 sample collection. The tube is pushed into the bottom as far as possible and then the ends
 are capped. When the core samples arrive at the laboratory they are frozen, cut into 2.5-
 centimeter sections and counted in the wet state.

    Vegetation  samples were collected where available in  the vicinity  of  the PNS.
 Vegetation was  the most abundant on pier pilings and on rock near the shoreline. These
 samples were dried at 110 C, ground to a fine powder, and analyzed for gamma emitting
 radionuclides. Several water samples were also collected and analyzed for gamma
 emitting nuclides and tritium.

    Divers  were used  for collection of most of the aquatic life samples consisting of
 lobster, crab, flounder, mussel, and starfish. These samples were analyzed for gamma
 emitting radionuclides. Sample preparation for counting  consisted of cutting  and
 packing the material in a 400-cm3 container.

    Air samples were collected specifically for determining the presence of airborne
 gamma emitters. Also,  a moisture  sample was collected to determine if tritium was
 present. A  high volume air  sampler with an MSA Dust Filter was  used for collecting
 particulate gamma emitters,  and a low volume air pump was used with a Drierite column
for the collection of moisture in the air to be analyzed for tritium.

    Direct radiation exposure measurements were made using a pressurized ionization
chamber (PIC) (3). Those areas accessible to the public were of particular interest.

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         SCALE
I  I   I  i ii i i  i r r
 .04                 .4
                       Kilometer
                      Figure 3.  Gamma probe measurement locations.

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IV.  Results and Discussion
        Cobalt-60 is the only isotope that could be attributed to nuclear ship operation that
    has been found during the survey conducted several years ago (4). All samples during this
    survey were analyzed  for gamma emitting radionuclides with particular emphasis on
    cobalt-60. In addition to the gamma analysis, air and water samples were analyzed for
    tritium.

        There is considerable fishing in the area, both commercial and sport, with some in
    very close proximity to the shipyard. Aquatic life samples were collected in the waters of
    the shipyard which are most accessible to the public. No radioactivity (other than natural
    
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                                     Table 1

                   Results of Aquatfc Life Sample Gamma Analysis
       Sample Type
                                     Collection
                                      Location
                                  Specific Gamma Activity
                                    (pCi/g wet weight)
Lobster (composite)



Flounder (composite)



Muscle


Crab
End of Dry Dock 3 (Site 7)
Berth 12 (Site 10)
Sound Pier (Site 20)

Discharge at Dry Dock 1  (Site 15)
End of Dry Dock 3 (Site 7)
Berth 1 (Site 58)

Berth 11-Bad Barge (Site 56)
                         Berth 12 (Site 10)
                                                          95Zr-95Nb   0.02  60%
                                                          *K        1.70 12%
                                                                     0.02 66%
                                                                     2.48+  8%
0.05 73%
1.30 37%

0.10 77%
1.87 54%
                                                          oK
                                                          40K
Site locations are approximate since these are aquatic life samples collected underwater.

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Location
           Table 2

 Results of Air Sample Analysis


	     Radionuclide
      Activity
       (pCi/l)
Building H.2 (Site 63)
Niagara Falls (ERAMS station)
(for reference purpose)
                3H

              iCe

                7Be

               95Zr-95Nb

              214Bj


              <"Ce

               7Be

              95Zr-95Nb

              214Bi
 0.02   8.7%

 6.85 x 10-5 11%

 Trace

 8.17 x 10-5   2%

 1.58x 10-5 56%

 7.05 x 10-5 10%

Trace

7.86 x 10-5   2%

7.85 x 10-6 97%

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                                    Table 3

                           Results of Tritium Analysis
Location
Little Bay (Site 1)
Berth 13 (Site 9)
Berth 11 (Site 12)
Berth 5 (Site 25)
Poughkeepsie, NY
Radionuclide
3H
3H
3H
3H
3H
Activity
nCi/l
0.2 .2
0.2  .2
0.2  .2
0.3  .2
0.4  .2
(Background station for
ERAMS surface water
network)

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                                      Table 4

                        Results of Vegetation Sample Analysis
Location
    Specific Gamma Activity
  Radionuclide	(pCi/g)
Pier by bridge to Spruce Creek (Site 4)
End of Dry Dock 3 (Site 8)
Southeast of yard in Piscataqua River (Site 11)
Outboard of Rad. Barge (Site 13)
 Discharge of Dry Dock 2 (Site 26)
 Berth 6 (Site 27)
 Southwest of Building 233 (Site 34)
 South of Building 233 (Site 35)
 Pier on Gerrish Island (Site 49)
 9SZr.95Nb

232Tn

 40K



 95Zr.95Nb
 95Zr-95Nb
232Tn
 40K

214Bi


 95Zr-MNb
232Th
 40K


 9SZr_95Nb

232Th
 40K
 95Zr-*Nb
 232-m
                                                      232-Th
                                                       40K
 0.76  6%
 0.22 48%
13.73  5%

 1.29  5%
18.21  5%

 1.09 6%
 0.20  74%
18.40  5%
 0.53  95%

 1.59 5%
 0.26  68%
53.30  2%

 2.23  4%
 0.27  60%
29.29  4%

 0.65  9%
 0.17 82%
21.29 4%

 0.98  7%
      ND
21.46+ 4%

 0.91  7%
      ND
19.17   5%

 1.95   6%
      ND
24.09 +  6%
                                       10

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                                  SEAVEY ISLAND
       SCALE
   I  i f  I I  I I
.04
                   Kilometer
                       Figure 4.  Silt sampling locations.

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Location
                           Table 5

                 Results of Silt Sample Analysis

 (Partial Listing - These results are typical of all samples analyzed)

	    	Activity pCi/g Dry Weight
Site 09 (Berth 13)
Site 13 (Berth 1)
Site 15 (Dry Dock 1)
Site 17* (Berth 1}
Site 25 (Berth 5)
Site 26 (Discharge Point of Dry Dock 2}
Site 38 (Back channel by Public Works Pier)
Site 45 (Entrance to Little Harbor)
Site 1 (Background)
                                          137Cs
                                           40K
                                          214Bj
                                                     137
                                            Cs
                                          21 4Bj


                                          137Cs
                                           40K
                                          214Bj


                                          137Cs
                                           40K

                                          214Bi

                                          137Cs
                                           40K

                                          214Bi
                                                     137
                                            Cs
                                          214Bj


                                          137Cs
                                          40K
                                          214Bi

                                          137Cs
                                           40K
                                          214Bi

                                          137Cs
                                           40K
                                          214Bi

                                           9SZr-95Nb
                                          232Th
 0.29 + 21%
19.99 9%
 0.75 18%

 0.21  22%
17.06 10%
 0.82  15%

 0.14 25%
12.43+ 9%
 1.01 + 12%

 0.25 + 30%
17.60  5%
 1.98 26%

 0.47 + 17%
23.99  9%
 0.85 17%

 0.29 21%
20.43 + 10%
 0.83+ 19%

 0.20 + 33%
16.33 5%
 1.45 32%

 0.08  33%
14.88 9%
 0.37 21%

 0.08  30%
14.79 9%
 0.57  16%

 0.11 70%
 0.68  8%
All samples counted by a GeLi except those with an * which were counted by a Nal  (Tl)
detector. Locations are all shown in figure 4 except for site 1 which is shown in figure 1.
                                       12

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                                  SEAVEY ISLAND
       SCALE
.04
      I I  I I  I T
                   Kilometer
                    Figure 5.  Core sampling locations.

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                                    Table 6

                         Results of Core Sample Analysis

                        (All samples counted by an Nal (Tl)

                        Depth Below Sediment              Activity (pCi/g)
Location	Water Interface (cm)	Dry Weight  	

Dry Dock #1                       3                95Zr-95Nb        1.34 29%
Site 15                                             232Th            1.90 53%
                                                   
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                               SEAVEY ISLAND
        Kilometer
Figure 6.  Locations of external gamma radiation measurements.

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    background if one was in this area continuously. In actuality, because of the location of
    the barge, it is highly unlikely that a member of the general population would spend any
    significant time adjacent to this radiological repair barge. Thus, no significant exposure
    to the general public should result. These readings are shown in tables 7 and 8. Since
    some of the sampling points were of very close proximity to each other, some of the PIC
    readings would include more than one sampling location.

V.  Conclusions

        The radiological survey of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard provided the basis for the
    following conclusions.

        1.   The survey demonstrated that the procedures which are being utilized by the
    Navy to control the releases of radioactive materials into the harbor are effective. Also,
    controls of direct gamma radiation around the shipyard are effective.

        2.   Levels of activity measured are close to the minimum detection limit for most
    equipment. Radionuclides  detected were either naturally  occurring  or attributed to
    fallout. Survey results indicate that nuclear operations at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
    are not contributing a significant radiation exposure to the  public.

        3.   External gamma measurements indicate that shipyard  operations do  not
    significantly raise radiation exposure to the  public above natural background levels.

        4.   The continuation of the various controls by the Navy should be adequate to
    insure continued  absence of  significant public exposure  resulting from shipyard
    operations.
                                          16

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               Table 7
Exposure Measurements at Sampling Sites
           PIC Data (n R/hr)
                         Location	Exposure Rate
1
2
3
4
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
17
18
19
20
21
24
25
26

4.9
4.9
5.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.0
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.9
5.5
6.5
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.5
6.2
6.9

27
28
29
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
47
48
49
50
51
6.9
4.2
4.5
4.5
4.5
6.2
6.2
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.7
                 17

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                              Table 8



                 Exposure Measurements at Locations



                      Other than Sampling Sites



                         PIC Data ( v R/hr)



.ocation          Exposure Rate	Location	Exposure Rate
W1
W2
W3
W4
W5
W6
W7
W8
W9
W10
W11
W12
W13
W14
W15
W16
W17
W18
W19
W20
W21
W22
W23
W24
W25
W26
W27
W28
W29
W30
W31
W32
	   	 	 	
4.5
4.5
5.0
5.0
4.9
5.0
5.0
4.9
4.9
4.9
5.0
4.9
4.9
4.5
4.5
5.0
4.9
4.5
6.0
8.5
6.0
7.5
5.0
5.0
5.0
4.5
4.3
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
W33
W34
W35
W36
W37
W38
W39
W40
W41
W42
W43
W44
W45
W46
W47
W48
W49
W50
W51
W52
W53
W54
W55
W56
W57
W58
W59
W60
W61
W62
W63

4.0
4.5
5.2
4.9
4.5
4.9
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.5
4.0
4.5
4.9
5.0
4.5
4.5
4.9
4.0
4.5
5.0
4.5
4.9
4.5
4.5
4.0
4.2
4.0
4.5
4.0

                                 18

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                                 REFERENCES

1.  WINDHAM, SAM T. and CHARLES R. PHILLIPS. "Radiological Survey of New London
   Harbor, Thames River, Connecticut, and Environs." Radiation Data and Reports, Vol. 14,
   No. 11, November 1973.

2.  CALLIS, R. S., S. T. WINDHAM, and C. R. PHILLIPS.  "Radiological Survey of Puget
   Sound Naval Shipyard, Bremerton,  Washington, and Environs." U.S. Environmental
   Protection Agency Report, EPA-520/5-77-001 (1977).

3.  DECAMPO,  J. A., H. L BECK, and P. D. RAFT. "High Pressure Argon lonization
   Chambers for Measurement of Environmental Radiation Exposure Rates." HASL-260
   (1972).

4.  CAHILL, DANIEL F., et al. "Radiological Surveys of Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, and Environs,
   1966 - 1968." Radiation Data and Reports, Vol. 13, No. 6, June 1972.
                                       19
                                                                         All GAPS, L. (793520)600

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