Van de Graaff Accelerator


There are other ways to generate artificial radioactivity besides nuclear fission (such as in reactors). One way is to bombard a target material with atomic particles which have been accelerated to high speeds by means of a particle accelerator. A common form of particle accelerator is a "van de Graaff accelerator". It uses a high-voltage electrostatic field to accelerate atomic particles to high speeds (high energy levels). Collisions of these particles with a target material (such as aluminum or tritium) can generate small amounts of radioactivity. A van de Graaff accelerator was operated in Building 4030, between 1960 and 1964, bombarding tritium targets with deuterons to produce neutrons.

In 1966, the accelerator was removed. Beginning in 1972, the building was used as a purchasing office for the site and for traffic and warehousing. Building 4030 was demolished in 1999.

Building Cleanup

The van de Graaff accelerator was removed from the facility and the building put to other non-radiological uses. In 1988 a characterization survey was performed and found no contamination. In September 1995, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) conducted a verification survey. In 1996 Boeing conducted a final status survey and documented it in April 1997. In the 1997, the facility was subjected to a verification survey by the California Department of Health Services (DHS). In November 1997, a final D&D report and a certification docket were prepared.

The facility was released for unrestricted use by DOE in December 1997 after publication in the Federal Register, and it was released by DHS in January 1999.  

In November 2006, a final status survey of the building footprint was performed showing the land was suitable for release for unrestricted use.

In February 2008, ORISE performed a verification survey of the building footprint confirming that release limits had been satisfied.


Historical Site Assessment - 4030