Hanford 100N Area Apatite Emplacement: Laboratory Results of Ca-Citrate-PO4 Solution Injection and Sr-90 Immobilization in 100N Sediments

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This report summarizes laboratory scale studies investigating the remediation of Sr-90 by Ca-citrate-PO4 solution injection/infiltration to support field injection activities in the Hanford 100N area. This study is focused on experimentally testing whether this remediation technology can be effective under field scale conditions to mitigate Sr-90 migration 100N area sediments into the Columbia River. Sr-90 is found primarily adsorbed to sediments by ion exchange (99% adsorbed, < 1% in groundwater) in the upper portion of the unconfined aquifer and lower vadose zone. Although primarily adsorbed, Sr-90 is still considered a high mobility risk as it is mobilized by seasonal river ... continued below

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Szecsody, James E.; Burns, Carolyn A.; Moore, Robert C.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.; Vermeul, Vincent R.; Williams, Mark D. et al. October 1, 2007.

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This report summarizes laboratory scale studies investigating the remediation of Sr-90 by Ca-citrate-PO4 solution injection/infiltration to support field injection activities in the Hanford 100N area. This study is focused on experimentally testing whether this remediation technology can be effective under field scale conditions to mitigate Sr-90 migration 100N area sediments into the Columbia River. Sr-90 is found primarily adsorbed to sediments by ion exchange (99% adsorbed, < 1% in groundwater) in the upper portion of the unconfined aquifer and lower vadose zone. Although primarily adsorbed, Sr-90 is still considered a high mobility risk as it is mobilized by seasonal river stage increases and by plumes of higher ionic strength relative to groundwater. This remediation technology relies upon the Ca-citrate-PO4 solution forming apatite precipitate [Ca6(PO4)10(OH)2], which incorporates some Sr-90 during initial precipitation and additionally slowly incorporates Sr-90 by solid phase substitution for Ca. Sr substitution occurs because Sr-apatite is thermodynamically more stable than Ca-apatite. Once the Sr-90 is in the apatite structure, Sr-90 will decay to Y-90 (29.1 y half-life) then Zr-90 (64.1 h half-life) without the potential for migration into the Columbia River. For this technology to be effective, sufficient apatite needs to be emplaced in sediments to incorporate Sr and Sr-90 for 300 years (~10 half-lives of Sr-90), and the rate of incorporation needs to exceed the natural groundwater flux rate of Sr in the 100N area. A primary objective of this study is to supply an injection sequence to deliver sufficient apatite into subsurface sediments that minimizes initial mobility of Sr-90, which occurs because the injection solution has a higher ionic strength compared to groundwater. This can be accomplished by sequential injections of low, then high concentration injection of Ca-citrate-PO4 solutions. Assessment of low concentration Ca-citrate-PO4, citrate-PO4, and PO4 solutions show greater Sr and Sr-90 incorporation during initial precipitation and less initial mobilization with solutions with low Ca2+ concentration. While all solutions showed nearly the same Sr uptake into apatite (14 to 17% by 2 weeks, 21% to 30% by 5 weeks), the incorporation efficiency (i.e., mM Sr incorporated per mM PO4 injected) was higher for solutions containing citrate. The Sr incorporation rate into apatite during initial precipitation (by 1 month) averaged 4.64 ± 1.9 x 10-4 h-1 (half-life 1500 ± 430 h, 8.85 x 10-7 mg Sr/day/mg apatite). The injection solution used in field injections #3 to #18 (10 mM PO4, 1 mM Ca, 2.5 mM citrate), which is deficient in Ca (a total of 16.7 mM needed to form apatite with 10 mM of PO4), resulted in the initial Sr and Ca peak (24 h) at 4.7x groundwater. By 30 days, the aqueous Sr concentration was 0.28x groundwater and Ca 0.43x groundwater, as both Sr and Ca are used to form initial apatite precipitates. Reactive transport simulation of the complex ion exchange, biodegradation, and precipitation processes showed that the initial Sr groundwater increase mobilized only 1.5% of the Sr mass in sediments. Citrate biodegradation, a necessary step in Ca-citrate-PO4 solutions forming apatite, had an average half-life of 50 h (at aquifer sediment/water ratio and temperature), and decreased an order of magnitude with sediment depth as the microbial biomass decreased five orders of magnitude. The rate of citrate biodegradation was relatively invariant with biomass and water saturation (50% to 100%, for vadose zone infiltration) possibly due to significant microbial injection using river water and subsurface microbial mobilization.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-16891
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/936598 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 936598
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc893704

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  • October 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 28, 2016, 7:37 p.m.

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Szecsody, James E.; Burns, Carolyn A.; Moore, Robert C.; Fruchter, Jonathan S.; Vermeul, Vincent R.; Williams, Mark D. et al. Hanford 100N Area Apatite Emplacement: Laboratory Results of Ca-Citrate-PO4 Solution Injection and Sr-90 Immobilization in 100N Sediments, report, October 1, 2007; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc893704/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.