Inherently safe in situ uranium recovery.

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Description

Expansion of uranium mining in the United States is a concern to some environmental groups and sovereign Native American Nations. An approach which may alleviate some problems is to develop inherently safe in situ uranium recovery ('ISR') technologies. Current ISR technology relies on chemical extraction of trace levels of uranium from aquifers that, once mined, can still contain dissolved uranium and other trace metals that are a health concern. Existing ISR operations are few in number; however, high uranium prices are driving the industry to consider expanding operations nation-wide. Environmental concerns and enforcement of the new 30 ppb uranium drinking ... continued below

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18 p.

Creation Information

Krumhansl, James Lee; Beauheim, Richard Louis; Brady, Patrick Vane; Arnold, Bill Walter; Kanney, Joseph F. & McKenna, Sean Andrew May 1, 2009.

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Description

Expansion of uranium mining in the United States is a concern to some environmental groups and sovereign Native American Nations. An approach which may alleviate some problems is to develop inherently safe in situ uranium recovery ('ISR') technologies. Current ISR technology relies on chemical extraction of trace levels of uranium from aquifers that, once mined, can still contain dissolved uranium and other trace metals that are a health concern. Existing ISR operations are few in number; however, high uranium prices are driving the industry to consider expanding operations nation-wide. Environmental concerns and enforcement of the new 30 ppb uranium drinking water standard may make opening new mining operations more difficult and costly. Here we propose a technological fix: the development of inherently safe in situ recovery (ISISR) methods. The four central features of an ISISR approach are: (1) New 'green' leachants that break down predictably in the subsurface, leaving uranium, and associated trace metals, in an immobile form; (2) Post-leachant uranium/metals-immobilizing washes that provide a backup decontamination process; (3) An optimized well-field design that increases uranium recovery efficiency and minimizes excursions of contaminated water; and (4) A combined hydrologic/geochemical protocol for designing low-cost post-extraction long-term monitoring. ISISR would bring larger amounts of uranium to the surface, leave fewer toxic metals in the aquifer, and cost less to monitor safely - thus providing a 'win-win-win' solution to all stakeholders.

Physical Description

18 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2008-6688
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/971413 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 971413
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928165

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • May 1, 2009

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Dec. 5, 2016, 9:13 p.m.

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Krumhansl, James Lee; Beauheim, Richard Louis; Brady, Patrick Vane; Arnold, Bill Walter; Kanney, Joseph F. & McKenna, Sean Andrew. Inherently safe in situ uranium recovery., report, May 1, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928165/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.