Strontium Sorption onto SRP Soils Page: 4 of 28
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, . 4.
G. T. WRIGHT -3- DPST-84-554
following topics: comparison with previous work, effect of
experimental conditions on strontium Kd, effect of ionic
composition on strontium Kd, effect of iron on strontium Kd'
effect of pH on strontium Kd, and comparison of data to trench
Summary of Previous Strontium Work
Site monitoring, lysimeter studies, laboratory studies, and
transport modeling are being used to better understand radionuclide
migration from waste at the burial ground. The principal method
used to monitor radionuclide migration is gross alpha and beta
analysis of the groundwater. Insignificant amounts of nonvolatile
beta emitters are in the groundwater, usually less than 50
pCi/L. Aside from tritium, strontium-90 is one of the principal
beta emitters in the groundwater beneath the burial ground,2
although sometimes the activity can be attributed to natural
uranium and its decay products or to previous contamination from
spills of spent solvent rather than to the leaching of the trench
wastes.ll In a limited survey of 20 wells, five contained
strontium-90 above the 6 pCi/L detection limit.12,13 One well
contained an anomalously high value of 1600 pCi/L, but the other
four wells contained only 7 to 30 pCi/L of strontium-90.
Low levels of beta-gamma emitters are also in the perched
trench waters. Much of this activity can be due to
strontium-90.12 Overall, migration of the strontium in the
burial ground is slight. It has been estimated that, in all of the
195-acre burial ground, less than 16 mCi of nonvolatile beta-gamma
activity has2migrated from the waste trenches to the
Lysimeters have been used for several years at SRL to study
nuclide migration.13 Five gamma emitters are in the lysimeter
effluents so far: Mn-54, Co-60, Ru-106, Sb-125, and Cs-137.
Strontium-90 is also expected to be present but significant
quantities of Co-60, Sb-125, and Ru-106 in the lysimeter effluent
precludes the use of gross nonvolatile beta measurements as an
estimate of the strontium-90 concentration. A method to separate
and concentrate Sr-90 from these nuclides has been recently
developed.14 Using this method, strontium-90 concentrations
greater than 1 pCi/L have been found in 11 of the lysimeter
effluents and of these, three had greater than 100 pCi/L, the
highest concentration being 775 pCi/L.
There are several SRL studies of strontium-90 sorption. An
early work by Prout investigated the effects of pH, strontium
concentration, NaOH, Ca(OH)2, NH40H, and NaNO3 on the
sorption. Some of the data are illustrated in Figure 1.
Notice the strong pH and concentration dependence. Distilled
water was used in these studies so their applicability to the
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Hoeffner, S.L. Strontium Sorption onto SRP Soils, report, July 2, 2001; South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc724140/m1/4/: accessed December 13, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.