Radionuclides in an underground environment

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In the 100 years since Becquerel recognized radioactivity, mankind has been very successful in producing large amounts of radioactive materials. We have been less successful in reaching a consensus on how to dispose of the billions of curies of fission products and transuranics resulting from nuclear weapons testing, electrical power generation, medical research, and a variety of other human endeavors. Many countries, including the United States, favor underground burial as a means of disposing of radioactive wastes. There are, however, serious questions about how such buried wastes may behave in the underground environment and particularly how they might eventually contaminate ... continued below

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4 p.

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Thompson, J.L. August 1, 1996.

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Description

In the 100 years since Becquerel recognized radioactivity, mankind has been very successful in producing large amounts of radioactive materials. We have been less successful in reaching a consensus on how to dispose of the billions of curies of fission products and transuranics resulting from nuclear weapons testing, electrical power generation, medical research, and a variety of other human endeavors. Many countries, including the United States, favor underground burial as a means of disposing of radioactive wastes. There are, however, serious questions about how such buried wastes may behave in the underground environment and particularly how they might eventually contaminate water, air and soil resources on which we are dependent. This paper describes research done in the United States in the state of Nevada on the behavior of radioactive materials placed underground. During the last thirty years, a series of ``experiments`` conducted for other purposes (testing of nuclear weapons) have resulted in a wide variety of fission products and actinides being injected in rock strata both above and below the water table. Variables which seem to control the movement of these radionuclides include the physical form (occlusion versus surface deposition), the chemical oxidation state, sorption by mineral phases of the host rock, and the hydrologic properties of the medium. The information gained from these studies should be relevant to planning for remediation of nuclear facilities elsewhere in the world and for long-term storage of nuclear wastes.

Physical Description

4 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE96011294

Source

  • 4. international symposium on nuclear and radiochemistry, St. Malo (France), 8-13 Sep 1996

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  • Other: DE96011294
  • Report No.: LA-UR--96-1723
  • Report No.: CONF-9609156--1
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-36
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 279641
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc672849

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  • August 1, 1996

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  • June 29, 2015, 9:42 p.m.

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  • Feb. 26, 2016, 3:59 p.m.

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Thompson, J.L. Radionuclides in an underground environment, article, August 1, 1996; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc672849/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.