Open-File Report 97-492

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National Geochemical Database

Reformatted Data from the National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) Program

By Steven M. Smith

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History of the National Uranium Resource Evaluation Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance Program

The National Uranium Resource Evaluation (NURE) program was initiated by the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) in 1973 with a primary goal of identifying uranium resources in the United States. When the AEC was abolished by act of Congress (Oct. 11, 1974), the NURE program was transferred to the newly created Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA). On Aug. 4, 1977, Congress terminated ERDA and all functions - including the NURE program - were transferred to the new Cabinet-level Department of Energy (DOE).

The Hydrogeochemical and Stream Sediment Reconnaissance (HSSR) program (initiated in 1975) was one of nine components of NURE. Planned systematic sampling of the entire United States began in 1976 under the responsibility of four DOE national laboratories: Lawrence Livermore Laboratory (LLL), Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL), Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant (ORGDP), and Savannah River Laboratory (SRL). Each DOE laboratory developed its own sample collection, analytical, and data management methodologies and hired contractors to do much of the actual work.

In 1977, the entire NURE program changed from a study area basis (State, County, or geomorphic provinces) to a 1° x 2° quadrangle basis. Many of the early study areas were not coincident with quadrangle boundaries and so additional sampling was done later to complete the quadrangle studies. Some quadrangles were never completed. Originally, all samples were only analyzed for uranium. Analyses for additional elements, other than uranium, were also authorized in 1977 and many - but not all - early samples were reanalyzed.

The NURE program effectively ended about 1983-84 when funding disappeared. Out of a total of 625 quadrangles that cover the entire lower 48 States and Alaska, only 307 quadrangles were completely sampled and another 86 quadrangles were partially sampled...>>MORE

Version 1.40

Posted March 2006

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