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Runit Dome Visual Survey 2018

This webpage provides access of deliverables produced from a visual survey of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island at Enewetak Atoll. The visual survey was carried out using an Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) carrying a DSLR camera to capture high resolution images and video of the structure.

The Operational Plan for the survey was developed and implemented by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) under the Marshall Islands Program. The survey was funded by DOE as an interim measure to allow for project continuation and fulfil periodic reporting requirements established under clause (B)(i)(I) of the Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149, Insular Areas Act of 2011, to perform a visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island.

List of Deliverables

(i) 3D Model Output. Downloadable low-resolution jpg image of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island.

The 3-D textured output file, from the link above, can be saved and viewed, and readily shared via email.

(ii) Orthomosaic Output. Downloadable high-resolution viewable photo mosaic record of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island.

Send a request to Terry Hamilton for access to download the image. Please note: viewing of this large file (app. 1.5 GB) can be cumbersome with use of most native image viewers. Start by downbloading the file to your computer. These non-commercial viewers are available to download for free on the internet:

  • IrfanView (iview451_x64_setup.exe)
    Viewing and zooming in on the Orthmosaic. Freeware for non-commercial use supporting Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10. The software is available in 32 and 64- bit. Refer https://www.irfanview.com/ for download instructions and usage agreement.
  • QGIS (QGIS-OSGeo4W-3.20.0-4)
    Recommended. QGIS is a professional GIS application licensed under the GNU General Public License. The current version is QGIS 3.20.0 'Odense' was released on 06/18/2021. Refer https://qgis.org/en/site/ for download instructions and access to the user guide, training manual, and QGIS tutorials. In the installer, choose Express Install and select QGIS to install the latest release or QGIS LTR to install the long-term release. The express installations have several optional packages including non-free software.
(iii) Runit Dome: Drone Flyover [LLNL‑VIDEO‑765358]
Video production from the 2018 visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island. This video production shows a drone-flyover visual of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure to help document larger-scale deterioration in concrete panels and possible changes that may be occurring in the overall integrity of the structure and/or in the condition of the riprap placed along the oceanside shoreline as a protective sea wall.
(iv) Runit Dome: Keywall [LLNL‑VIDEO‑765360]
Video production from the 2018 visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island. This video production provides a visual record of the condition of outside keywall extending around the N-E circumference of the dome and the riprap placed along the oceanside shoreline as a protective sea wall.
(v) Technical Fact Sheet, The Runit Island Waste Containment Structure [LLNL‑BR‑755391]
Fact Sheet on the Cactus Crater Containment Structure (also known as Runit Dome). The fact sheet describes the status of knowledge pertaining to the possible impact of leakage of radioactive waste from the containment site into the environment. Draws on historical findings as well as contemporary studies conducted in support of Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149.
(vi) Runit Dome: 3D Animation [LLNL‑VIDEO‑765357]
Video production from the 2018 aerial survey of the concrete exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island. Separate to mandated requirements and funding received under Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149, the video production draws attention to efforts of the U.S. DOE to include cosmetic repair of concrete panels in the study as proposed by LLNL scientists (Hamilton_LLNL-TR-648143). A decision to include cosmetic repair of concrete under the project was considered essential in terms of addressing widespread media and public perception that cracks in the concrete allow for potentially harmful quantities of fallout radioactivity becoming available for human exposure. An additional aim of including concrete repair in the study was to establish a modern-day baseline to help elucidate smaller scale changes and visual defects in the condition of the concrete over time.
(vii) Public Law 112⁠–⁠149 Continued Monitoring of Runit Island. STRATEGIC ACTIONS, KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE WORK [LLNL‑PRES‑771771]
Presentation briefing to the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on the status of studies conducted under Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149, Insular Areas Act of 2011.
(viii) 2018 Visual Study Report on the Cactus Crater Containment Structure: Supplement to Web Page Reporting [LLNL‑TR‑824904]
Supplement to web-based reporting on the 2018 visual survey of the concrete exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island. Includes a background description and details concerning the equipment and methods employed with selected photos of concrete panels. 

Brief Description of Equipment and Methods

The need to develop an aerial platform for conducting visual surveys was driven by concerns about acquiring consistent visuals and providing adequate documentation of the condition of concrete panels. The 2013 survey was conducted over several days using a handheld camera at oblique angles to the surface of the concrete [LLNL‑TR‑648143]. The photographic record of concrete panels was variously affected by the dampness and puddling of the concrete, angle of the sun and other shadowing effects caused by cloud coverage. By using a UAS, the entire structure was surveyed in hours rather than days with the camera facing directly down.

The current survey was conducted on a new survey UAS built on a VulcanUAS airframe like that shown in Fig 1. Images were compiled into an orthomosaic and 3D model animation using Pix4DMapper.

Refer to Hamilton and Nyholm (2021) [LLNL‑TR‑824904] for additional information on the survey methodology.


Fig. 1. Primary Survey Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).

Fig. 2. Example Flight Plan (plan 2 at 15-m elevation).

Selected Photo Record 2018 Visual Survey Report

Viewers of this web site are referred to the orthomosaic to gain a full perspective of the condition of surface concrete covering the Cactus Crater Containment Structure. In general, no changes were observed in the condition of the concrete compared with that observed in 2013 except for those panels that were repaired. [LLNL‑TR‑648143]

Send a request to Terry Hamilton for access to view selected TIFF images of individual concrete panels and other miscellaneous photos from the 2018 survey (not copyright protected – use with acknowledgement).


Before cleanup

After cleanup

Panel B1

Description

2013. Significant spalling of concrete observed in upper right corner where the chipped-out piece of concrete extends down to contaminated soil – cement grout waste pile mixture below. Surface crack observed running across the full width of the panel at a mid-point up the segment. Rooting vegetation removed from along the panel seams. Panel recommended for priority repair.

2017. Spalled patch of concrete repaired.


Before repair

After repair

Top Cap Section


Repair Operations Topcap Section of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure (showing machine cutout of the cracks prior to filling with epoxy) — October 2018

Repair Operations Topcap Section of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure (showing machine cutout of cracks filled with epoxy) — October 2018

Summary

A pre-survey inspection of the surface concrete failed to reveal any significant changes in the surface concrete compared with the photographic survey conducted in 2013. Over 1000 linear feet of crack and 34 spalls identified in the 2013 survey were subsequently repaired and a UAS survey flown to capture high resolution images and video of the structure at the closeup of the mission. It is anticipated that all remaining repairs to the surface concrete will be completed prior to the next scheduled visual UAS survey.

Products developed from the 2018 UAS survey included web accessible and viewable low and high resolutions images of the containment structure (identified as a 3D-Model and orthomosaic) along with associated video showing the more general nature of the structural integrity of the site.

It is expected that UAS surveys will help improve the ability of the program to produce more consistent visuals of the containment structure and, in association with current efforts to repair existing cracks and spalls, support efforts to investigate the rate of change of future deterioration in the condition of concrete panels (and in the overall integrity of the site).

Full Chronological Reporting on Studies Related to the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island

Relevant reports, videos, presentations, other materials describing various activities undertaken by the U.S. DOE in partnership with LLNL scientists in support of studies associated with the Continued Monitoring of Runit Island, Insular Areas Act of 2011 (Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149).

(i) Davisson M. Lee, T.F. Hamilton, and A.F.B. Thompson (2012). Radioactive waste buried beneath Runit Dome on Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands.
Background information on the design and decision-making process leading up to the construction of the Cactus Crater containment structure at Runit Island on Enewetak Atoll. Discussion on the risks and uncertainties associated with the site. Justification on the need to conduct additional studies to develop a better understanding of the nature and integrity of the waste pile and on the solubilization potential of radioactive constituents encapsulated in the concrete.
(ii) Hamilton, T.F (2013a). A Visual Description of the Concrete Exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure. [LLNL‑TR‑648143]
Visual survey mission report from 2013 in partial fulfilment of clause (B)(i)(I) of the Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149 to perform a visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island. In addition to a full photographic record of the concrete panels covering the structure, the report provides an extensive discussion on the history of the site and of methods employed during construction. The report also outlines a series of recommendation for project continuation and future management of the site.
(iii) Hamilton T. F. (2013b). Update on the Enewetak Radiological Protection Monitoring Program, DOE-Enewetak Community Meeting, August 2013. [LLNL‑PRES‑642042]
Community presentation (Kona and Enewetak Atoll communities) on the 2013 visual survey of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island along with a request for participation in the plutonium bioassay urinalysis program.
(iv) Hamilton, T.F (2014). A Visual Description of the Concrete Exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure, Executive Summary. [LLNL-TR-653147]
Executive summary of the 2013 visual survey report containing background information on the site, a list of key findings and conclusions drawn from the survey, and recommendations on project continuation.
(v) Hamilton, T.F (2016). Talking Points: Enewetak-Ujelang Local (EULG) Government Briefing.
[LLNL‑PRES‑713239]
Briefing presentation on preliminary analysis of groundwater collected from on the Cactus Crater Containment Structure, effects made to secure funding from the Marshall Islands from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to develop a national radioactivity monitoring capacity and suggestions on future work.
(vi) Hamilton T.F. (2018a). Technical Fact Sheet, The Runit Island Waste Containment Structure.
[LLNL‑BR‑755391]
Fact Sheet on the Cactus Crater Containment Structure (also known as Runit Dome). The fact sheet describes the status of knowledge pertaining to the possible impact of leakage of radioactive waste from the containment site into the environment. Draws on historical findings as well as contemporary studies conducted in support of Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149.
(vii) Hamilton T.F. (2018b). The Runit Island Waste Containment Structure (Runit Dome). English Edition.
[LLNL‑POST‑755953]
English language visitor poster board Runit Island.
(viii) Hamilton T.F. (2018c). Nien Kakwon Kwopij in Radiation Jen Kamelmel ko Enewetak, eo im et Naetan (Runit Dome). Marshallese Edition. [LLNL‑POST‑756763]
Marshallese language visitor poster board Runit Islands.
(ix) Hamilton T.F., P. Nyholm, J.S. Stewart and A.C. Connell (2018). Runit Dome: 3D Animation.
[LLNL‑VIDEO‑765357]
Video production from the 2018 aerial survey of the concrete exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island. Separate to mandated requirements and funding received under Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149, the video production draws attention to efforts of the U.S. DOE to include cosmetic repair of concrete panels in the study as originally proposed by LLNL scientists [LLNL-TR-648143]. A decision to include cosmetic repair of concrete under the project was considered essential in terms of addressing widespread media and public perception that cracks in the concrete allow for potentially harmful quantities of fallout radioactivity becoming available for human exposure. A further advantage of including concrete repair in the study was to establish a modern-day baseline baseline to help elucidate smaller scale changes and visual defects in the condition of the concrete.
(x) Hamilton T.F., P. Nyholm, and J.S. Wynn (2018), Runit Dome: Drone Flyover. [LLNL‑VIDEO‑765358]
Video production from 2018 developed in partial fulfilment of clause (B)(i)(I) of the Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149 to provide reporting of a visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island. This video production shows a fly around visual of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure to help document larger-scale deterioration in concrete panels and possible changes that may be occurring in the overall integrity of the structure and/or in the condition of the riprap placed along the oceanside shoreline as a protective sea wall.
(xi) Hamilton T.F. (2019a). Public Law 112⁠–⁠149 Continued Monitoring of Runit Island. STRATEGIC ACTIONS, KEY FINDINGS AND FUTURE WORK. [LLNL‑PRES‑771771]
Presentation briefing to the U.S. Department of Interior (DOI) on the status of studies conducted under Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149, Insular Areas Act of 2011.
(xii) Hamilton T.F. (2019b). Repair of Cracks and Spalls within the Concrete Façade Covering the Runit Island Waste Containment Structure_V2.0, Standard Operating Procedure (SOP). [LLNL‑PRES‑787458]
Informational document outlying materials and methods used to conduct cosmetic repair of the concrete cap of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure.
(xiii) Hamilton T.F. (2019). Science Program Briefing: Public Law 112⁠–⁠149 Continued Monitoring of Runit Island. [LLNL‑PRES‑774030]
Presentation at the U.S. DOE-GRMI Annual Meeting, Majuro Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, May 15–16, 2019.
(xiv) Hamilton T.F., L.E. Bouthillier, and C. Hernandez (2019). Runit Dome: Keywall. [LLNL‑VIDEO‑764350]
Video production from 2018 produced in partial fulfilment of clause (B)(i)(I) of the Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149 to provide reporting of a visual study of the concrete exterior of the Cactus crater concrete containment structure on Runit Island. This video production provides a visual record of the condition of outside keywall extending around the N-E circumference of the dome, and the riprap placed along the oceanside shoreline as a protective sea wall. 
(xv) Hamilton T.F. and R.W. Chen (2019). Runit Dome: Groundwater Bore Hole Drilling Animation_V2.0.
[LLNL‑WEB‑777157]
Informational video production highlighting the positioning and structural elements of Runit Dome along with an animation of planned drilling operations to establish groundwater sampling boreholes. This work forms an essential and obvious prerequisite for meeting requirements under clause 9(B)(i)(II) of the Public Law P.L. 112⁠–⁠149 to conduct radiochemical analysis of the groundwater surrounding and in the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island.
(xvi) Hamilton T.F. (2020a). Non-destructive Testing and Evaluation Investigation of Runit Island Containment Structure, Runit Project Data Report. [LLNL-TR-810290]
Full data disclosure of an independent report prepared by Olsen Engineering, Inc., with highlighted summary results and conclusions reported under LLNL authorship.
(xvii) Hamilton T. F. (2020b). Exterior Concrete Core Test Results, Runit Project Data Report.
[LLNL‑TR‑810020]
Full data disclosure of an independent report released by Consolidated Engineering Laboratories (CEL), Inc., based on analysis of concrete core samples by Micro-Chem Laboratories (Murphys, CA) with highlighted summary findings reported under LLNL authorship.
(xviii) Hamilton T.F. (2020c). Drilling, Substrate Recovery and Sampling, and Installation of Groundwater Monitoring Wells on Runit Island, Enewetak Atoll, Republic of the Marshall Islands, Background Documentation, Revision 3. [LLNL‑TR‑817635]
Draft Statement of Work (SOW)/RFP informational Document for distribution to prospective bidders on a subcontract award offered by the Lawrence Livermore National Security (LLNS) to drill a series of boreholes surrounding and on Runit Dome for development as groundwater sampling wells.
(xix) Hamilton T.F. (2021). Runit Island Test Shot Animation. [LLNL‑VIDEO‑824726]
Potential impacts of any releases of radioactive contaminants from the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island into the lagoon or ocean need to be compared long-term solubilization of residual fallout deposition deposited directly in local marine sediment during the nuclear test era. There were 17 nuclear tests conducted in the immediate vicinity of Runit Island. The names, dates, and explosive yields of each of these test shots are shown in chronological order in this animation video (reference: - United States Nuclear Tests, July 1945 through September 1992, DOE/NV-209-REV 16.

A key finding from preliminary analyses of groundwater, soil, lagoon waters and sediment shows that low yield tests conducted on and near Runit Island produced characteristic 240Pu/239Pu isotopic ratios that appear to be very different to those observed from groundwater collected from in the dome. Also, except for heavy elements such as the plutonium isotopes, the concentration of other fallout radionuclides in offshore lagoon waters of Runit Island most closely resembles those observed in the open ocean. We conclude that the local marine fallout radiation environment adjacent to Runit Island is dominated by plutonium mobilization from sedimentary sources to solution, … not from leakage of radioactive from the concrete containment structure.

(xx) Hamilton T.F., and P. Nyholm (2021). 2018 Visual Study Report on the Cactus Crater Containment Structure: Supplement to Web Page Reporting .
[LLNL‑TR‑824904]
Supplement to web-based reporting on the 2018 UAS visual survey of the concrete exterior of the Cactus Crater Containment Structure on Runit Island. Includes an outline of the various electronic reporting deliverables produced from the survey, a description of the methods employed, and example images of selected concrete panels shown in comparison with photos taken during the 2013 survey (from Hamilton, 2013).

 

 

 

 

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