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Title: HANFORD GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION

Abstract

By 1990 nearly 50 years of producing plutonium put approximately 1.70E + 12 liters (450 billion gallons) of liquid wastes into the soil of the 1,518-square kilometer (586-square mile) Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. The liquid releases consisted of chemicals used in laboratory experiments, manufacturing and rinsing uranium fuel, dissolving that fuel after irradiation in Hanford's nuclear reactors, and in liquefying plutonium scraps needed to feed other plutonium-processing operations. Chemicals were also added to the water used to cool Hanford's reactors to prevent corrosion in the reactor tubes. In addition, water and acid rinses were used to clean plutonium deposits from piping in Hanford's large radiochemical facilities. All of these chemicals became contaminated with radionuclides. As Hanford raced to help win World War II, and then raced to produce materials for the Cold War, these radioactive liquid wastes were released to the Site's sandy soils. Early scientific experiments seemed to show that the most highly radioactive components of these liquids would bind to the soil just below the surface of the land, thus posing no threat to groundwater. Other experiments predicted that the water containing most radionuclides would take hundreds of years to seep into groundwater, decaying (or losing)more » most of its radioactivity before reaching the groundwater or subsequently flowing into the Columbia River, although it was known that some contaminants like tritium would move quickly. Evidence today, however, shows that many contaminants have reached the Site's groundwater and the Columbia River, with more on its way. Over 259 square kilometers (100 square miles) of groundwater at Hanford have contaminant levels above drinking-water standards. Also key to successfully cleaning up the Site is providing information resources and public-involvement opportunities to Hanford's stakeholders. This large, passionate, diverse, and geographically dispersed community is united in its desire to protect the Columbia River and have a voice in Hanford's future. This paper presents the challenges, and then discusses the progress and efforts underway to reduce the risk posed by contaminated groundwater at Hanford. While Hanford groundwater is not a source of drinking water on or off the Site, there are possible near-shore impacts where it flows into the Columbia River. Therefore, this remediation is critical to the overall efforts to clean up the Site, as well as protect a natural resource.« less

Authors:
; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Hanford Site (HNF), Richland, WA
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Environmental Management (EM)
OSTI Identifier:
875793
Report Number(s):
DOE-0310-FP Rev 0
TRN: US200603%%289
DOE Contract Number:
DE-AC06-96RL13200
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: WM'06 CONFERENCE 02/26/2006 THRU 03/02/2006 TUCSON, AZ
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; CLEANING; COLUMBIA RIVER; CORROSION; DRINKING WATER; IRRADIATION; LIQUEFACTION; LIQUID WASTES; MANUFACTURING; PLUTONIUM; RADIOACTIVITY; RADIOISOTOPES; REACTORS; SOILS; TRITIUM; URANIUM

Citation Formats

CHARBONEAU, B, THOMPSON, M, WILDE, R., FORD, B., and GERBER, M.S.. HANFORD GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION. United States: N. p., 2006. Web.
CHARBONEAU, B, THOMPSON, M, WILDE, R., FORD, B., & GERBER, M.S.. HANFORD GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION. United States.
CHARBONEAU, B, THOMPSON, M, WILDE, R., FORD, B., and GERBER, M.S.. Wed . "HANFORD GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION". United States. doi:. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/875793.
@article{osti_875793,
title = {HANFORD GROUNDWATER REMEDIATION},
author = {CHARBONEAU, B and THOMPSON, M and WILDE, R. and FORD, B. and GERBER, M.S.},
abstractNote = {By 1990 nearly 50 years of producing plutonium put approximately 1.70E + 12 liters (450 billion gallons) of liquid wastes into the soil of the 1,518-square kilometer (586-square mile) Hanford Site in southeast Washington State. The liquid releases consisted of chemicals used in laboratory experiments, manufacturing and rinsing uranium fuel, dissolving that fuel after irradiation in Hanford's nuclear reactors, and in liquefying plutonium scraps needed to feed other plutonium-processing operations. Chemicals were also added to the water used to cool Hanford's reactors to prevent corrosion in the reactor tubes. In addition, water and acid rinses were used to clean plutonium deposits from piping in Hanford's large radiochemical facilities. All of these chemicals became contaminated with radionuclides. As Hanford raced to help win World War II, and then raced to produce materials for the Cold War, these radioactive liquid wastes were released to the Site's sandy soils. Early scientific experiments seemed to show that the most highly radioactive components of these liquids would bind to the soil just below the surface of the land, thus posing no threat to groundwater. Other experiments predicted that the water containing most radionuclides would take hundreds of years to seep into groundwater, decaying (or losing) most of its radioactivity before reaching the groundwater or subsequently flowing into the Columbia River, although it was known that some contaminants like tritium would move quickly. Evidence today, however, shows that many contaminants have reached the Site's groundwater and the Columbia River, with more on its way. Over 259 square kilometers (100 square miles) of groundwater at Hanford have contaminant levels above drinking-water standards. Also key to successfully cleaning up the Site is providing information resources and public-involvement opportunities to Hanford's stakeholders. This large, passionate, diverse, and geographically dispersed community is united in its desire to protect the Columbia River and have a voice in Hanford's future. This paper presents the challenges, and then discusses the progress and efforts underway to reduce the risk posed by contaminated groundwater at Hanford. While Hanford groundwater is not a source of drinking water on or off the Site, there are possible near-shore impacts where it flows into the Columbia River. Therefore, this remediation is critical to the overall efforts to clean up the Site, as well as protect a natural resource.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2006},
month = {Wed Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2006}
}

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