ENVIROSUITE: USING STATE-OF-THE-ART SYNCHROTRON TECHNIQUES TO UNDERSTAND ENVIRONMENTAL REMEDIATION SCIENCE ISSUES AT THE MOLECULAR LEVEL.
Description: Although DOE's Environmental Management program has made steady progress in cleaning up environmental legacies throughout the DOE complex, there are still significant remediation issues that remain to be solved. For example, DOE faces difficult challenges related to potential mobilization of radionuclides (e.g., actinides) and other hazardous contaminants in soils, removal and final treatment of high-level waste and residuals from leaking tanks, and the long-term stewardship of remediated sites and engineered disposal facilities, to name just a few. In some cases, new technologies and technology applications will be required based on current engineering expertise. In others, however, basic scientific research is needed to understand the mechanisms of how contaminants behave under specific conditions and how they interact with the environment, from which new engineering solutions can emerge. At Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) and Stony Brook University, scientists have teamed to use state-of-the-art synchrotron techniques to help understand the basic interactions of contaminants in the environment. Much of this work is conducted at the BNL National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), which is a user facility that provides high energy X-ray and ultraviolet photon beams to facilitate the examination of contaminants and materials at the molecular level. These studies allow us to determine how chemical speciation and structure control important parameters such as solubility, which in turn drive critical performance characteristics such as leaching. In one study for example, we are examining the effects of microbial activity on actinide contaminants under conditions anticipated at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. One possible outcome of this research is the identification of specific microbes that can trap uranium or other contaminants within the intracellular structure and help mitigate mobility. In another study, we are exploring the interaction of contaminants with soil and plant roots to better understand the mechanisms responsible for uptake. This effort will lead ...
Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: FITTS,J. P.; KALB,P. D.; FRANCIS,A. J.; FUHRMANN,M.; DODGE,C. J. & GILLOW,J. B.
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