Colloid Genesis/Transport and Flow Pathway Alterations Resulting From Interactions of Reactive Waste Solutions and Hanford Vadose Zone Sediments

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Leakage of underground tanks containing high-level nuclear waste solutions has been identified at various DOE facilities. The Hanford Site is one the main facilities of concern, with about 2,300 to 3,400 m3 of leaked waste liquids. Radionuclides and other contaminants have been found in elevated concentrations in the vadose zone and groundwater underneath single shell tank farms. We do not currently know the mechanisms responsible for the unexpected deep migration of some contaminants through the vadose zone, and such understanding is urgently needed for planning remediation. Due to the extreme chemical conditions of the tank waste solutions (very high pH, ... continued below

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Wan, Jiamin & Tokunaga, Tetsu K. June 1, 2001.

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Leakage of underground tanks containing high-level nuclear waste solutions has been identified at various DOE facilities. The Hanford Site is one the main facilities of concern, with about 2,300 to 3,400 m3 of leaked waste liquids. Radionuclides and other contaminants have been found in elevated concentrations in the vadose zone and groundwater underneath single shell tank farms. We do not currently know the mechanisms responsible for the unexpected deep migration of some contaminants through the vadose zone, and such understanding is urgently needed for planning remediation. Due to the extreme chemical conditions of the tank waste solutions (very high pH, aluminum concentration, and ionic strength), interactions between the highly reactive waste solutions and sediments underneath the tanks can result in dissolution of primary minerals of the sediments and precipitation of secondary phases including colloidal particles. Contaminants can sorb onto and/or co-precipitate with the secondary phases. Therefore transport of strongly associated contaminants on mobile colloids can be substantially greater than without colloids. The overall objective of this research is to improve our understanding on the effects of interactions between the tank waste solution and sediments on deep contaminant migration under Hanford Site conditions. This objective will be achieved through the following four tasks: (1) colloid generation and transport studies, (2) studies on sediment permeability and chemical composition alterations, (3) quantifying associations of contaminants with secondary colloids, and (4) studies on the combined effects of the aforementioned processes on deep contaminant migration.

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Jun 2001

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  • June 1, 2001

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • April 21, 2016, 12:58 p.m.

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Wan, Jiamin & Tokunaga, Tetsu K. Colloid Genesis/Transport and Flow Pathway Alterations Resulting From Interactions of Reactive Waste Solutions and Hanford Vadose Zone Sediments, report, June 1, 2001; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc777198/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.