Pollution Permanent Monitoring Panel
Pollution Permanent Monitoring Panel – 2012 Annual Report
World Federation of Scientists -August 23, 2012 Seminar, Erice, Italy
Chairman: Lorne G. Everett, PhD, DSc.
President & CEO
L. Everett & Associates, LLC
3700 State Street, Suite 350
Santa Barbara Ca 93105
Phone (805) 880-9301 Cell (805) 680-7285
[email protected]; www.everettassociates.net
The Pollution Permanent Monitoring Panel Activities for 2012 included:
Pollution PMP August 19 Meeting
4 Pollution PMP Papers and Reports
4 Centre Proposals and 3 Session themes , 2013
Joint PMP Meeting with Terrorism Panel on Water
Joint Plenary Session with Terrorism Panel: Water, Pollution and Terrorism
The four new Centre Proposals under preparation for 2012 include:
Hardening Water Infrastructure Against Terrorism
Hydraulic Fracturing Soil Gas Impacts
Encouraging Global Cooperation on Spent Fuel Management
A Non-Proliferating Fuel Cycle Approach
In 2013 the proposed Pollution Panel sessions include:
Innovative Cleanup Technologies
Nanotechnologies Environmental Applications
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs) and Drugs in Water: A Terrorism Concern
Hardening Water Infrastructure against Terrorism Proposal
Terrorist attacks on water infrastructure play only a minor, but important, role in global water
problems. Far more lives can be saved with the provision of clean water and clean sanitary
facilities than by frustrating attacks on water infrastructure. Equally, equitable division of
available water can resolve political and social problems to a greater extent than avoidance of
terrorist attacks. We have discussed these issues in earlier meetings of the World Federation of
Scientists. However, terrorist attacks on water infrastructures are important and can cause severe
public reaction and chaos.
“Those who know do not predict. Those who predict do not know”. Lao Tzu-6th century BC.
However, other options, such as black boxes or crones on three legged stools at Delphi, are less
useful than predictions. How to prepare for terrorist attacks on water infrastructure systems? In
the Black Swan, Nassim N. Taleb suggests that we prepare to repair the effects of unexpected
events as we cannot predict what these events are and when they will occur. However, we all
know that it is better to prevent such potential events. That is a difficult task.
We do know that terrorists want to instill fear. They want to see blood and bodies. Most
predictable attacks on water infrastructures do not do this. This does not mean that such attacks
will not occur. We can also assume that such attacks will be on major cities and/or iconic
facilities such as the White House, Pentagon, etc. Therefore, the targets that need to be hardened
are limited. We also know that we could limit damage to water supplies in iconic building by
such relatively easy, but not necessarily inexpensive measures as providing holding tanks at such
sites and testing the water before it is allowed into the building. One could also limit the size of
such tanks by installing drinking water only pipelines.
Natural and human generated disruptions of water supplies have occurred such as in Katrina and
Fukushima. In the event of a disruption in service in major cities, one could take advantage of
the large stock of bottled water in the homes, stores, warehouses etc. until clean water supplies
can be restored. Rationing of the supplies could result in a more equitable distribution of
Studies have been made of the cities and buildings most likely to be attacked. However, to our
knowledge, the engineering needed and the costs to harden water supplies for iconic buildings
and to provide drinking water only pipes have not been studied. Further, the externalities such as
the value of having secured water supplies in iconic buildings have not been studied. Such
studies would be valuable in determining whether hardening of water supplies is feasible.
Various attack scenarios as noted below were presented at the meetings.
Inferential monitoring as noted below appears to be the most viable choice to protect buildings,
however these indirect measurements are deemed to provide only limited protection at this stage.
Examples, as noted below, were given relative to how fast an attack on a city’s water supply will
kill 1000’s of people:
A Proposal for Soil Gas Monitoring In Shale-Gas Regions in Europe
Soil gas anomalies due to geologic structure
Relation between groundwater dissolved chemistry and soil gas
Methodology – Situate soil gas monitoring above yet close to the groundwater table. Monitor
soil gas and environmental parameters over time and relate to environmental or human variables.
Shale-Gas regions - To Be Determined
Background sites (5-10)
- No historic or active shale-gas drilling
- No near future drilling plans (NY state, or other locations with moratoria or bans)
Geologic Structure (2-5)
- Fault zones
- Anticline/syncline regions (highly fractured)
- Where exploration is presently permitted
- No existing evidence of soil gas anomalies
Shale-gas exploration (4-8)
- Where exploration is presently permitted
- No existing evidence of soil gas anomalies
- No Existing wells, however wells planed in near horizon (1-3 years)
Soil Gases of Interest:
- Methane (CH4)
- Ethane (C2H6)
- Propane (C3H8)
- Butane (C4H10)
- Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
- Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Nitrogen (N2)
Other monitoring variables (may need equipment in addition to Gas Clams):
- Barometric pressure
- Atmospheric pressure at monitoring location
- Groundwater level
Soil gas monitoring equipment:
- Gas Clam
Soil gas data Collection and storage:
Groundwater sampling and analysis - Data Analysis:
- Simple parametric and non-parametric comparisons
- Principal component analysis
A legacy Image to Overcome!
A Proposal was submitted on Safe and Secure Management of Spent Fuel Management
In all developing countries, there is a large and growing demand for energy, and specifically for
electricity. In developed countries the demand is also growing for affordable and clean
electricity. Renewables such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydropower will not be able to
satisfy these needs in the foreseeable future. The facts that increased use of nuclear power can
not alone solve the problem, but that it must be part of the solution are also recognized. The
severe reactor accident at Fukushima has led to a few nations proposing to phase out nuclear
power. However, in the majority of countries, the argument for carbon free energy and the overriding global need for secure energy sources have together maintained global interest in
expanding nuclear power. The so-called “nuclear renaissance” was slowed but not stopped by
But extensive nuclear growth will remain wishful thinking unless some crucial requirements are
satisfied. Nuclear energy production must be safe, secure and economic both at the front-end
(from the mining of uranium through its enrichment to its burn up in nuclear reactors) and also at
the back-end, i.e. in the waste management area. The front end issues tend to dominate the
nuclear debate, most recently because of the concerns about enrichment capabilities bringing
nations closer to weapons capability. However, the back end must not be neglected.
Proposal - A multiple year project at the Centre for Planetary Emergencies could contribute to
ensuring that nuclear power is recognized as a sustainable energy source, whose extensive use
can enhance global security and safety. A small team based at the Centre could provide
invaluable scientific support and advice to those responsible for radioactive waste management
in particular in the large number of developing countries that are intent on introducing nuclear
Each country should have a structured national strategy for managing such wastes. The Centre
can provide advice and training for national experts, using input from developed nuclear nations.
Some countries will decide to implement purely national facilities for managing their wastes.
Even if they do so, it is a global concern that these facilities are well engineered and operated in
a way to minimized hazards. Experience has shown that nuclear accidents of any kind, in any
land – even if the direct consequences are localized - can have a global impact on the
acceptability of nuclear power, and hence a global impact on the environment. The expertise
available at the Centre can help ensure that national facilities are indeed state-of-the-art.
Ultimately, however, highly hazardous spent nuclear fuel containing fissile plutonium should not
end up in numerous, scattered locations around the globe as more and more nations, both large
and small, contemplate expanding or introducing nuclear power. Fewer, safely constructed and
well secured storage and disposal facilities must be the goal. The key challenge in this regard is
the siting and construction of deep geological repositories for long-lived radioactive wastes.
These repositories are expensive; even the smallest state-of-the-art deep facilities for high level
radioactive wastes (HLW) or spent fuel will cost several billion dollars.
Many small nuclear programs, or countries starting out in nuclear, do not have the technical
and/or financial resources to implement a national repository in a timely fashion. They will have
to keep their spent fuel in interim storage facilities; this could result in numerous sites all around
the world, at each of which hazardous materials will be stored for decades to hundreds of years.
One safer and more secure option would be for nuclear fuel suppliers to take back the spent fuel
under a leasing arrangement and add it to their own larger stocks, which would be stored for later
reprocessing and recycling into new fuels. However, although there is fierce competition among
nuclear suppliers to provide reactors, fuels and reprocessing services, there are as yet no offers to
take back fuel. The "take-back" options that have offered by Russia are exclusively for Russian
fuel - and the concept in any case covers only new fuel supplied and not the extensive further
inventories of radioactive waste that must be disposed of in geological repositories.
The most promising option that remains open for small and new nuclear power programs is to
collaborate with similarly positioned countries in efforts to implement shared, multi-national
repositories. Most credible is the cooperation of geographically contiguous or close nations in the
scope of regional repository projects. The national advantages in sharing technology and in
benefiting financially due to the economies of scale in repository implementation are obvious.
The global safety and security benefits in helping all nations have earlier access to state-of-theart repositories are also clear. The big challenge, of course, is in achieving public and political
acceptance in the repository host countries.
Over the past few years, significant progress in this direction has been made in the SAPIERR
project (acronym for “Strategic Action Plan for Implementation of European Regional
Repositories”). The Project, originally conceived by the not-for-profit Arius Association and
funded by the European Commission, has carried out a range of studies that lay the groundwork
for serious multinational negotiations on the establishment of one or more shared repositories in
Europe. The studies (all available on the web-site www.sapierr.net) have looked at legal and
liability issues, organizational forms, economic aspects, safety and security issues and public
involvement challenges. Based on these studies, a Working Group with representatives of around
10 EU Member States have established of a Working Group for a European Repository
Development Organization (ERDO-WG). The European Commission has issued legislation
which makes feasible the implementation of shared European repositories and proposals for
setting up a formal ERDO, domiciled in an EU Member State.
By combining their resources in this way, the partners in ERDO can also demonstrate to other
regions of the world the feasibility of enhancing safety and security whilst increasing the
economic attractiveness of nuclear power, even for small countries. The ERDO could act as a
role model for regional groupings elsewhere. The Arab States have recently made clear that they
intend to introduce nuclear power, and that the will to do so collaboratively. Other world regions
with potential regional groupings are in Central and South America, Asia and Africa. Several
countries in such regions have expressed interest in the regional repository concept and some
have already attended relevant meetings on the topic. With funding from US charitable
Foundations, Arius is currently promoting regional storage and disposal concepts in the Arabian
Gulf and in South East Asia.
A Centre for the Study of Planetary Emergencies could include a project on the safe and secure
long-term management of nuclear materials from nuclear applications. A program extending
over around 5 years, utilizing some staff based at the Centre and drafting in external experts for
specific studies could help advance global technical and societal preparations for extended use of
An inaugural workshop on the topic could attract participants from the ERDO-WG countries,
further European States and also from the UAE, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Algeria, Iran, Taiwan,
South Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, South Africa, Namibia, Nigeria, Ghana,
Mexico, Argentina, Brazil and Chile. All of these are interested in introducing or expanding
nuclear power programs.
Further interest in such a Workshop could be expected from the large nuclear supplier countries.
These should be concerned that back-end solutions are made available to small countries where
they are promoting nuclear power and selling nuclear materials. The Workshop could perhaps
initiate dialogue between small nuclear user countries that are being asked to forego certain
rights that they have under the NPT and the potential large service providers that may be
prepared to help with customers with back-end solutions if this increases commercial
opportunities without raising concerns about global security.
Subsequently, the Centre could support studies and dialogue workshops on the safety, security,
economic and political risks associated with managing global inventories of hazardous
radioactive materials that must be stored for long times before ultimately being disposed of in
deep geological repositories – a step which is agreed to be the only feasible permanent solution.
The major lessons learned from past attempts at resolving these issues made it clear that
repository site locations and technologies such as represented below will not be a part of the
The PCE Challenge
The First Pollution PMP Contaminant (see below) Discussed was Tetrachloroethylene (PCE) 24
years ago in Erice. This year we wish to recommend that in 2013 the Pollution Panel focus on
“Innovative cleanup technologies”.
When I first came to Erice we felt
that DNAPL (Dense Non Aqueous
Phase Liquids/PCE) could not be
cleaned up however as has been
Government Test site at the
Kennedy Space Centre below,
DNAPL site can now be
remediated by several new
Lauch Complex 34, Cape Canaveral, Florida
One of the emerging areas of environmental need is soil gas investigations relative to vapor
intrusion risk as noted below:
As Chairman of ASTM International D 18.21.02, I have been very active in developing soil gas
monitoring systems for the past 20 years. The list of the soil gas standards developed to date are
American Society for Testing and Materials International Chairman, L. Everett, ASTM
D5314-92 (2006) Standard Guide for Soil Gas Monitoring in the Vadose Zone
D7758 (2012) Practice For Passive Soil Gas Sampling in the Vadose Zone for Source
Identification, Spatial Variability Assessment, Monitoring, and Vapor Intrusion Evaluations
D7648 (2012) Practice For Active Soil Gas Sampling for Direct Push or Manual-Driven
D7663 (2012) Practice for Active Soil Gas Sampling in the Vadose Zone for Vapor Intrusion
International Dynamic Soil Gas Monitoring Symposium including Methane risk,
Jacksonville, Florida January 2013. Chairman Lorne Everett
One of the proposed innovative technologies for 2013 is Environmental Nanotechnology
Applications. The session will include discussions of:
Remediation of contaminated groundwater using nanoparticles containing zero-valent iron is
one of the most prominent examples of a rapidly emerging technology with considerable
One of the main environmental applications of nanotechnology is in the water sector. As
freshwater sources become increasingly scarce due to overconsumption and contamination,
scientists have begun to consider seawater as another source for drinking water. The majority
of the world’s water supply has too much salt for human consumption and desalination is an
option but expensive method for removing the salt to create new sources of drinking water.
Carbon nanotube membranes have the potential to reduce desalination costs.
Nanofilters can be used to remediate or clean up ground water or surface water contaminated
with chemicals and hazardous substances. Nanosensors could be developed to detect
The operating size range of these nano particles is provided in the figure below and shows that
the range is approximately the same as the pollution molecule.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (Edcs) and Drugs in Water
Another of the themes for 2013 includes endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and drugs in
water: A Bioterrorism Concern, 2013. Topics to be addressed include:
EDCs act via receptors at very low doses (at and below one part per trillion).
EDCs are easily obtained by terrorists.
They are not being routinely monitored.
Remediation technology is not yet in place.
The cost of responding to the loss of a major source of drinking water would be enormous.
Many diseases are increased by exposure to very low doses of EDCs, and damage is
transmitted to future generations.
The final proposal submitted for consideration in 2013 is a feasibility study to address a NonProliferating Fuel Cycle-No Enrichment, Reprocessing or Accessible Spent Fuel. The topic will
include discussions of:
The non-proliferating system of uranium from the sea, (no mining or milling), use of Candu
type reactors (no enrichment) and no reprocessing –infinite supplies of uranium from the
oceans (no plutonium or high level waste streams) and no land based disposal of radioactive
wastes (disposed of in sub-seabed sediments) removes many objections. CO2 now allowed to
be disposed in sub-seabed sediments. Spent fuel would be sent by barge or ship to U.S. Naval
Reactor Shipyards for storage and staging for disposal. Such sites have most of the
equipment and security needed . All of these systems have been carried out at commercial or
pilot stage facilities.
Of course, all these comments are assertions. Modeling and pilot testing need to be carried
out to verify these claims and determine the costs. In addition, the environmental impact,
including embedded emissions-emissions associated with making, installing, maintaining and
decommissioning the facilities and equipment- must also be calculated. Then, the feasibility
of the non-proliferating fuel cycle can be determined.
The 2012 Pollution PMP Meeting Participants and Contributors included the following:
Dr. Lorne G. Everett- L. Everett & Associates, USA
Distinguished Professor Frank L. Parker- Vanderbilt Univ. USA
Professor Fred vam Saal- University of Missouri, USA
Professor Stephano Parmiagiano- University of Parma, Italy
Dr. Franco M. Buonaguro- Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori, Napoli, Italy
Dr. Dan J. Kroll- Hach Homeland Security Technologies, USA
Dr. Walter M. Grayman - Consulting Engineer, USA
Dr. Richard Rigaini—LLNL-Retired, USA
Dr. Gina Marie Calderone—ECC, USA
Dr. Charles McCombie-AEGIS, Switzerland
Dr. Thomas Ballestero, UNH, USA