Determination of Columbia River flow times from Pasco, Washington using radioactive tracers introduced by the Hanford reactors

Water Resources Research
By: , and 

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Abstract

Radioactive tracers introduced into the Columbia River in cooling water from the Hanford reactors were used to measure flow times downstream from Pasco, Washington, as far as Astoria, Oregon. The use of two tracer methods was investigated. One method used the decay of a steady release of Na24 (15-hour half-life) to determine flow times to various downstream locations, and flow times were also determined from the time required for peak concentration of instantaneous releases of I131 (8-day half-life) to reach these locations. Flow times determined from the simultaneous use of the two methods agreed closely. The measured flow times for the 224 miles from Pasco to Vancouver, Washington, ranged from 14.6 to 3.6 days, respectively, for discharges of 108,000 and 630,000 ft3/sec at Vancouver, Washington. A graphic relation for estimating flow times at discharges other than those measured and for several locations between Pasco and Vancouver was prepared from the data of tests made at four river discharges. Some limited data are also presented on the characteristics of dispersion of I131 in the Columbia River.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Determination of Columbia River flow times from Pasco, Washington using radioactive tracers introduced by the Hanford reactors
Series title Water Resources Research
DOI 10.1029/WR002i001p00031
Volume 2
Issue 1
Year Published 1966
Language English
Publisher American Geophysical Union
Contributing office(s) Washington Water Science Center
Description 9 p.
First page 31
Last page 39
Country United States
State Oregon, Washington
City Astoria, Pasco
Other Geospatial Columbia River
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N