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Title: Uranium Interaction with SOil Minerals in the Presence of Co-Contaminants Case Study of Subsurface Sediments at or below the Water Table

Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Advanced Photon Source (APS)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC)
OSTI Identifier:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Related Information: Trace Elements in Waterlogged Soils and Sediments
Country of Publication:
United States

Citation Formats

Gartman, Brandy N., and Qafoku, Nikolla P.. Uranium Interaction with SOil Minerals in the Presence of Co-Contaminants Case Study of Subsurface Sediments at or below the Water Table. United States: N. p., 2016. Web.
Gartman, Brandy N., & Qafoku, Nikolla P.. Uranium Interaction with SOil Minerals in the Presence of Co-Contaminants Case Study of Subsurface Sediments at or below the Water Table. United States.
Gartman, Brandy N., and Qafoku, Nikolla P.. 2016. "Uranium Interaction with SOil Minerals in the Presence of Co-Contaminants Case Study of Subsurface Sediments at or below the Water Table". United States. doi:.
title = {Uranium Interaction with SOil Minerals in the Presence of Co-Contaminants Case Study of Subsurface Sediments at or below the Water Table},
author = {Gartman, Brandy N. and Qafoku, Nikolla P.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2016,
month = 8

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  • Uranium (U) contaminated subsurface systems are common on a global scale mainly because of its essential role in the production of plutonium for nuclear weapons and other nuclear energy and research activities. Studying the behavior and fate of U in these systems is challenging because of heterogeneities of different types (i.e., physical, chemical and mineralogical) and a complex network of often time-dependent hydrological, biological and chemical reactions and processes that occur sequentially or simultaneously, affecting and/or controlling U mobility. A U contaminated site, i.e., the Integrated Field Research Challenge site in Rifle, CO, USA (a former U mill site) ismore » the focus of this discussion. The overall objectives of this chapter are to 1) provide an overview of the contamination levels (U and other co-contaminants) at this field site; 2) review and discuss different aspects of mineral-U contaminant interactions in reduced and oxidized environments, and in the presence of co-contaminants; 3) present results from a systematic macroscopic, microscopic, and spectroscopic study as an example of the current research efforts and the state-of-knowledge in this important research area; and 4) offer insightful conclusive remarks and future research needs about reactions and processes that control U and other contaminants’ fate and behavior under hydraulically saturated conditions. The implications and applications presented in this chapter are valid for U contaminated sites across the world.« less
  • In Germany, many abandoned sites are situated where during the world wars explosives (nitroaromatic compounds, nitramines and nitrate esters) were produced. They contaminate upper soils and ground/drinking water. Nitro- and aminoaromatic compounds have not only a potential for methemoglobin formation but also a carcinogenic one. Since 1992, 35 compounds have been evaluated toxicologically by the institute. The authors used an evaluation patent weighting not only positive/doubtful/negative test results, but also data gaps, and which results in a standardized Evaluation Number EN. 4 compounds received an EN on a reliable data basis and 11 on a provisional one. For the othermore » 20 compounds, mainly nitroxylenes and some dinitrotoluenes, the data basis was missing almost completely. A subset of 11 structures was classified, either for precautionary aspects or positive in vivo data, as probable human carcinogens, whereas for 7 not only an EN, but also a tolerable body does (TDI) could be proposed. EN based guide values between 0,10 {micro}g/L (precautionary value) and 10 {micro}g/L (sum value) were derived for drinking water. In soils, a precautionary guide value of 1 mg/kg (sum value: 5 mg/kg) seems protective for all exposure scenarios without plant transfer, whereas TDI-based values are much higher.« less
  • Shallow Soil Mixing (SSM) and Soil Vacuum Extraction (SVE) are techniques which have been increasingly relied on for the insitu remediation of contaminated soils. The primary applications of SSM have been to mix cement, bentonite, or other reagents to modify properties and thereby remediate contaminated soils or sludges. Soil vacuum extraction has been used at numerous applications for insitu removal of contaminants from soils. At a recent project in southern Ohio, the two technologies were integrated and enhanced to extract volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from soils at a Department of Energy facility. Advantages of the integrated SSM/SVE technology over alternativemore » technologies include a relatively rapid remediation compared to other in-situ techniques at a lower cost, less exposure of waste to the surface environment and elimination of off-site disposal. These advantages led to the selection of the use of both technologies on the project in Southern Ohio. The information presented in this paper is intended to provide Engineers and owners with the level of understanding necessary to apply soil mixing and vacuum extraction technology to a specific site. The most important steps in implementing the technology are site investigation, feasibility estimate, selection of performance criteria, selection of appropriate materials, bench scale testing and construction.« less
  • Historical crude oil leaks from a pipeline affected unconsolidated alluvial sediments near a sensitive groundwater recharge area in Kern County, California. The residual crude oil is confined to the vadose zone and occurs from {approximately}3 m below ground surface (BGS) to a maximum depth of 24 m BGS. The water table beneath the affected sediments is currently 46 m BGS. The site is irrigated regularly for agriculture. To date, the residual crude oil has not impacted groundwater quality. Future groundwater recharge plans may raise the water table to 15 m BGS in the area affected by the crude oil. Fatemore » and transport modeling using site-specific data shows that the existing hydrocarbons in the subsurface do not pose a significant risk to groundwater quality. The computer models selected for this project are incorporated as modules in the American Petroleum Institute`s Exposure and Risk Assessment Decision Support System. Transport of benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes (BTEX) is modeled using Seasonal Soil (SESOIL) for the unsaturated zone coupled with AT123D for the saturated zone. The SESOIL model is calibrated using actual soil moisture measurements and groundwater recharge estimates based on applied irrigation. Peak BTEX concentrations in groundwater predicted for the site are well below maximum contaminant levels. A sensitivity analysis confirms that aerobic biodegradation significantly reduces BTEX compounds. Due to the high availability of dissolved oxygen in groundwater at this site, natural attenuation may be the most favorable mechanism to remediate BTEX in the subsurface.« less
  • The distribution of the daughter products is determined by radiochemical analyses of samples from ore deposits in sandstone, and the apparent minimum and maximum dates of uranium introduction or redistribution may be calculated from the Pa 231/Th 230 ratio. The primary assumption required is that the protactinium and thorium do not migrate in measurable quantities from the place where they were produced by the decay of the parent uranium isotopes. The upper limit of age determination is about 250000 years, based on the half lives of Pa 231 and Th 230. The difference in the half lives of these isotopesmore » is reflected in their differential rates of growth and decay corresponding to migrations of the parent uranium during the time range considered. The growth and decay patterns, analyzed mathematically, are used to determine the apparent date of uranium migration. Calculations based on analyses of samples from the Hulett Creek area, Wyoming, illustrate the results for typical sandstone ore deposits that are above and at the water table.« less