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Title: Evaluation of Background Concentrations of Contaminants in an Unusual Desert Arroyo Near a Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cell - 12260

Abstract

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) manages 27 sites that have groundwater containing uranium concentrations above background levels. The distal portions of the plumes merge into background groundwater that can have 50 μg/L or more uranium. Distinguishing background from site-related uranium is often problematic, but it is critical to determining if remediation is warranted, establishing appropriate remediation goals, and evaluating disposal cell performance. In particular, groundwater at disposal cells located on the upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale may have relatively high background concentrations of uranium. Elevated concentrations of nitrate, selenium, and sulfate accompany the uranium. LM used geologic analogs and uranium isotopic signatures to distinguish background groundwater from groundwater contaminated by a former uranium processing site. The same suite of contaminants is present in groundwater near former uranium processing sites and in groundwater seeps emanating from the Mancos Shale over a broad area. The concentrations of these contaminants in Many Devils Wash, located near LM's Shiprock disposal cell, are similar to those in samples collected from many Mancos seeps, including two analog sites that are 8 to 11 km from the disposal cell. Samples collected from Many Devils Wash and the analog sites have high ARmore » values (about 2.0)-in contrast, groundwater samples collected near the tailings disposal cell have AR values near 1.0. These chemical signatures raise questions about the origin of the contamination seeping into Many Devils Wash. (authors)« less

Authors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (United States)
  2. S.M. Stoller Corporation (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
WM Symposia, 1628 E. Southern Avenue, Suite 9-332, Tempe, AZ 85282 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22293545
Report Number(s):
INIS-US-14-WM-12260
TRN: US14V1201115069
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM2012: Waste Management 2012 conference on improving the future in waste management, Phoenix, AZ (United States), 26 Feb - 1 Mar 2012; Other Information: Country of input: France; 17 refs.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES, AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CONTAMINATION; EVALUATION; GROUND WATER; MANAGEMENT; REMEDIAL ACTION; URANIUM

Citation Formats

Bush, Richard P., and Morrison, Stan J. Evaluation of Background Concentrations of Contaminants in an Unusual Desert Arroyo Near a Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cell - 12260. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Bush, Richard P., & Morrison, Stan J. Evaluation of Background Concentrations of Contaminants in an Unusual Desert Arroyo Near a Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cell - 12260. United States.
Bush, Richard P., and Morrison, Stan J. Sun . "Evaluation of Background Concentrations of Contaminants in an Unusual Desert Arroyo Near a Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cell - 12260". United States.
@article{osti_22293545,
title = {Evaluation of Background Concentrations of Contaminants in an Unusual Desert Arroyo Near a Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cell - 12260},
author = {Bush, Richard P. and Morrison, Stan J.},
abstractNote = {The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) manages 27 sites that have groundwater containing uranium concentrations above background levels. The distal portions of the plumes merge into background groundwater that can have 50 μg/L or more uranium. Distinguishing background from site-related uranium is often problematic, but it is critical to determining if remediation is warranted, establishing appropriate remediation goals, and evaluating disposal cell performance. In particular, groundwater at disposal cells located on the upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale may have relatively high background concentrations of uranium. Elevated concentrations of nitrate, selenium, and sulfate accompany the uranium. LM used geologic analogs and uranium isotopic signatures to distinguish background groundwater from groundwater contaminated by a former uranium processing site. The same suite of contaminants is present in groundwater near former uranium processing sites and in groundwater seeps emanating from the Mancos Shale over a broad area. The concentrations of these contaminants in Many Devils Wash, located near LM's Shiprock disposal cell, are similar to those in samples collected from many Mancos seeps, including two analog sites that are 8 to 11 km from the disposal cell. Samples collected from Many Devils Wash and the analog sites have high AR values (about 2.0)-in contrast, groundwater samples collected near the tailings disposal cell have AR values near 1.0. These chemical signatures raise questions about the origin of the contamination seeping into Many Devils Wash. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {7}
}

Conference:
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