News and Activities

Reviewing DOE's Amchitka Island Radionuclide Risk Assessments

Date Posted: August 14, 2003

The Service's Anchorage, Alaska, Field Office recently reviewed the Department of Energy’s (DOE) newly released groundwater model and human health screening risk assessment for radionuclide contamination at Amchitka Island, where three underground nuclear tests were conducted during the 1960s and 1970s. This groundwater model and risk assessment is DOE’s attempt to estimate the time, location and degree of radionuclide releases in one of the most geologically active regions on the planet as well as estimate the human health effects to consumers of subsistence and commercial foods from the area. Unfortunately, ecological risks have not yet been evaluated and neither verification sampling nor long-term monitoring has been planned yet to support the assumptions/conclusions of these human health-related reports. Stay tuned for further results.

Jordan Stout, 907-271-2776.

Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Air and Water Quality. Former Amchitka Underground Test Site.

Anchorage Daily News -
- Scientists fear Amchitka Island radiation leak DANGER: Tectonic forces may be opening new faults at Cannikin atomic testing site.
- Amchitka cancer risk 'low' STUDY: Test site poses little risk to people even if nuclear residue leaks. (NO LONGER AVAILABLE)

Alaska Science Forum. The Unknown Legacy of Alaska's Atomic Tests -

Last updated: June 12, 2015