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Assessing Migration of Uranium through Chalk Substrate: Field Study and Reactive Transport Modelling

Abstract : The migration of uranium from polluted soil has been investigated in the field, and through modelling of thermodynamics and kinetics of uranium-water-rock interactions. Field monitoring following surface contamination by uranium deposits revealed up to 5 m deep uranium migration in soil and chalk substrate, as well as uranium concentrations in groundwater significantly higher than the geochemical background. Such observations can hardly be explained by a pure reactive transport dominated by reversible adsorption of uranium onto mineral phases. Therefore, a reactive transport model using the HYTEC code has been developed to better assess uranium migration through soil to the carbonate aquifer. Reactive transport modelling shows that adsorption of U (VI) at equilibrium on goethite at pH 7 is responsible for strong immobilization of uranium in the soil and carbonate matrix, matching uranium concentration profiles observed in boreholes. Simulations considering highly mobile ternary complex Ca2UO2(CO3)3(aq) in the aqueous phase cannot account alone for the rapid migration of uranium through the unsaturated zone. Without a mobile colloidal phase, the model clearly underestimates the concentration of aqueous U(VI) that reached groundwater underneath polluted soils.
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https://hal-mines-paristech.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00747916
Contributor : Laurent de Windt <>
Submitted on : Friday, November 2, 2012 - 6:10:55 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 7, 2021 - 3:54:30 PM

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  • HAL Id : hal-00747916, version 1

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Pierre Crançon, Arnaud Mangeret, Laurent de Windt. Assessing Migration of Uranium through Chalk Substrate: Field Study and Reactive Transport Modelling. Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Environmental Pollution and Remediation, 2012, Québec, Canada. pp.104/1 - 104/10. ⟨hal-00747916⟩

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