Description: A program of remedial action was initiated for a number of inactive uranium mill tailings piles. These piles result from mining and processing of uranium ores to meet the nation's defense and nuclear power needs and represent a potential hazard to health and the environment. Possible remedial actions include the application of covers to reduce radon emissions and airborne transport of the tailings, liners to prevent groundwater contamination by leachates from the piles, physical or chemical stabilization of the tailings, or moving the piles to remote locations. Conventional installation of liners would require excavation of the piles to emplace the liner; however, utilization of grouting techniques, such as those used in civil engineering to stabilize soils, might be a potential method of producing a liner without excavation. Laboratory studies on groutability of uranium mill tailings were conducted using samples from three abandoned piles and employing a number of particulate and chemical grouts. These studies indicate that it is possible to alter the permeability of the tailings from ambient values of 10/sup -3/ cm/s to values approaching 10/sup -7/ cm/s using silicate grouts and to 10/sup -8/ cm/s using acrylamide and acrylate grouts. An evaluation of grouting techniques, equipment required, and costs associated with grouting were also conducted and are presented. 10 references, 1 table.
Date: March 1, 1984
Creator: Boegly, W.J. Jr.; Tamura, T. & Williams, J.D.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department