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A description of long-term environmental monitoring and assessment programs at two U.S. Department of Energy sites
The U.S. Department of Energy's Hanford Site was established in southeastern Washington during the 1940s to produce plutonium, and the Pantex plant in Texas (used to load conventional ammunition shells and bombs) was rehabilitated in the 1950s to assemble nuclear weapons using the plutonium produced at Hanford. Current concentrations of airborne radionuclides around the perimeters of both sites are below applicable guidelines. Concentrations of radionuclides and nonradiological water quality in the Columbia River at Hanford and radiological and nonradiological water quality in the Ogallala Aquifer beneath the Pantex plant are also in compliance with applicable standards. Foodstuffs irrigated with river water downstream...