July 7, 2000


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BERKELEY, CA — Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has received a Preliminary Technical Report that substantiates what the Lab has been stating for several years: the National Tritium Labeling Facility (NTLF) emissions pose no significant health hazard to the community and any potential exposures are well below U.S. Environmental Protection Agency health standards.

"There is no evidence at this time to suggest that offsite exposures resulted in radiation doses exceeding the 10 millirem/year limit for any individual (from the NTLF)," this report states. The report further confirms that "the sampling and analysis data are properly documented and that the calculations based on this data are verifiable." The document was prepared by Bernd Franke & Anthony Greenhouse of the Institut für Energie- und Umweltforschung (IFEU), independent consultant to the City of Berkeley.

The Laboratory's technical consultant, Owen Hoffman of SENES Oak Ridge Inc., also comments, "I initially see the report as thorough and fair and view it as responsive to issues raised by the community."

"Berkeley Laboratory looks forward to further evaluation of the IFEU report, in particular Mr. Franke’s comments on the draft environmental sampling plan," says David McGraw, Director of Berkeley Lab's Environmental Health & Safety Division. "The Lab also anticipates engaging Mr. Franke in detailed technical discussions regarding his preliminary recommendations and conclusions, and will include certain suggestions for expanded sampling." The Environmental Sampling Project Task Force will discuss this at its next meeting, scheduled for August 10, 2000."

More than 80 inquiries from Mr. Franke have resulted in the preparation and transmittal of over 10,000 pages of background information, data, and additional analyses regarding tritium releases. Berkeley Lab has provided all requested materials to the City of Berkeley consultant for his report.

The Laboratory’s Environmental Sampling Project Task Force was established to involve a broad array of stakeholders in the review of and comment on a draft sampling plan. Mr. Franke has participated both in person and via telephone link from Germany in the task force discussions on the sampling plan. The Task Force will continue to make comments on the draft plan at the August 10 meeting, scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Berkeley.

More information about the issue can be acquired at the task force website or through Berkeley Lab's Community Relations Office at 510-486-4387.

Berkeley Lab is a U.S. Department of Energy national laboratory located in Berkeley, California. It conducts unclassified scientific research and is managed by the University of California.

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