skip to main content

Title: Characterization of 200-UP-1 Aquifer Sediments and Results of Sorption-Desorption Tests Using Spiked Uncontaminated Groundwater

Core characterization showed only 4 out of 13 core liner samples were intact samples and that the others were slough material. The intact samples showed typical Ringold Unit E characteristics such as being dominated by gravel and sand. Moderately reducing conditions are inferred in some core from borehole C4299. This reducing condition was caused by the hard tool process used to drill the wells. One core showed significant presence of ferric iron oxide/clay coatings on the gravels. There were no highly contaminated sediments found in the cores from the three new boreholes in UP-1 operable unit, especially for uranium. The presence of slough and ''flour'' caused by hard tooling is a serious challenge to obtaining field relevant sediments for use in geochemical experiments to determine the adsorption-desorption tendencies of redox sensitive elements such as uranium. The adsorption of COCs on intact Ringold Formation sediments and Fe/clay coatings showed that most of the anionic contaminants [Tc(VII), Se(VI), U(VI), Cr(VI), and I(-I)] did not adsorbed very well compared to cationic [Np(V), Sr(II), and Cs(I)] radionuclides. The high hydrous iron oxide content in Fe/clay coatings caused the highest Kd values for U and Np, suggesting these hydrous oxides are the key solid adsorbentmore » in the sediments. Enhanced adsorption behavior for Tc, and Cr and perhaps Se on the sediments was considered an ?artifact? result caused by the induced reducing conditions from the hard tool drilling. Additional U(VI) adsorption Kd studies were performed on Ringold Formation sediments to develop more robust Kd data base for U. The <2 mm size separates of three UP-1 sediments showed a linear U(VI) adsorption isotherm up 1 ppm of total U(VI) concentration in solution. The additional U(VI) Kds obtained from varying carbonate concentration indicated that U(VI) adsorption was strongly influenced by the concentration of carbonate in solution. U(VI) adsorption decreased with increasing concentrations of carbonate up to a point. Then as carbonate and calcium concentrations in the groundwater reach values that exceed the solubility limit for the mineral calcite there is a slight increase in U(VI) Kd likely caused by uranium co-precipitation with the fresh calcite. If remediation of the UP-1 groundwater plume is required, such as pump and treat, it is recommended that the aquifer be treated with chemicals to increase pH and alkalinity and decrease dissolved calcium and magnesium [so that the precipitation of calcite is prevented]. Alternative methods to immobilize the uranium in place might be more effective than trying to remove the uranium by pump and treat. Unfortunately, no aquifer sediments were obtained that contained enough Hanford generated uranium to perform quantitative desorption tests germane to the UP-1 plume remediation issue. Recommended Kd values that should be used for risk predictions for the UP-1 groundwater plume traveling through the lithologies within the aquifer present at the UP-1 (and by proxy ZP-1) operable units were provided. The recommended values Kd values are chosen to include some conservatism (lower values are emphasized from the available range) as is standard risk assessment practice. In general, desorption Kd values for aged contaminated sediments can be larger than Kd values determined in short-term laboratory experiments. To accommodate the potential for desorption hysteresis and other complications, a second suite of uranium desorption Kd values were provided to be used to estimate removal of uranium by pump and treat techniques.« less
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
2536; 830403000; TRN: US200609%%200
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US), Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory (EMSL)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; ACID NEUTRALIZING CAPACITY; ADSORPTION ISOTHERMS; AQUIFERS; DESORPTION; GERMANIUM HYDRIDES; IRON OXIDES; RADIOISOTOPES; RISK ASSESSMENT; SEDIMENTS; URANIUM UP-1 operable unit; contaminant adsorption; Kd; uranium adsorption; sediment characterization; Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory