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Title: Subsurface Biogeochemistry of Actinides

A major scientific challenge in environmental sciences is to identify the dominant processes controlling actinide transport in the environment. It is estimated that currently, over 2200 metric tons of plutonium (Pu) have been deposited in the subsurface worldwide, a number that increases yearly with additional spent nuclear fuel (Ewing et al., 2010). Plutonium has been shown to migrate on the scale of kilometers, giving way to a critical concern that the fundamental biogeochemical processes that control its behavior in the subsurface are not well understood (Kersting et al., 1999; Novikov et al., 2006; Santschi et al., 2002). Neptunium (Np) is less prevalent in the environment; however, it is predicted to be a significant long-term dose contributor in high-level nuclear waste. Our focus on Np chemistry in this Science Plan is intended to help formulate a better understanding of Pu redox transformations in the environment and clarify the differences between the two long-lived actinides. The research approach of our Science Plan combines (1) Fundamental Mechanistic Studies that identify and quantify biogeochemical processes that control actinide behavior in solution and on solids, (2) Field Integration Studies that investigate the transport characteristics of Pu and test our conceptual understanding of actinide transport, andmore » (3) Actinide Research Capabilities that allow us to achieve the objectives of this Scientific Focus Area (SFA and provide new opportunities for advancing actinide environmental chemistry. These three Research Thrusts form the basis of our SFA Science Program (Figure 1).« less
 [1] ;  [2]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Univ. Relations and Science Education
  2. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States). Glenn T. Seaborg Inst.
Publication Date:
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Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States