Physical Chemistry of Wastes in Soil

Tailings from the acid-leach processing of uranium ore pose a low-level radioactive waste disposal problem due to the extremely acidic nature of the waste and its radium and radon content. Of primary geotechnical interest is the transport and fate of radium in seepage from the tailing impoundments. Ideally, we desire a hydrogeochemical model amenable for use as a predictive tool for analysis of the long-term transport of radium and for disposal site selection. In order to develop such a model, an understanding of the precipitation-dissolution and adsorption-desorption behavior of the radium in the waste and the variety of geologic materials present is required. These physico-chemical aspects of uranium mill tailings, and of the ore that leads to such wastes such as phosphogypsum and bauxite muds, are under study at Northwestern.

Related Publications by Barbara-Ann G. Lewis

Coupling of Equilibrium Chemistry to the Transport of Radionuclides in Contaminated Soil. 1993. In Hydrogeologic Investigations and Monitoring: Groundwater Modeling. Y. Eckstein and A. Zaporozec, eds., AIH, Water Environment Federation, pp. 333-344 (With E. Gnanapragasam).

Application of Soil Physical, Chemical, and Bioassay Methods to Coal Refuse. 1993. ASTM STP 1162:5-22, American Society for Testing and Materials (With M.M. MacDonell and N. Gnanapragasam).

Surfactant Flooding of Diesel-Fuel Contaminated Soil. 1992. In Environmental Remediation. Vandegrift, G.F. et al. eds. ACS Sympos. Ser. 509. American Chemical Society (With R. Peters, C.D. Montemagno, and L. Shem).

Distribution of Uranium and Thorium in Different Geochemical Phases of Three Contaminated Soils. 1990. Proc. Nuclear and Hazardous Waste Management International Topic Meeting, Knoxville, TN, Sept. 30-Oct. 4. American Nuclear Society (With Y.Y. Wang and C. Yu).

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For more information contact:
Dr. Barbara-Ann G. Lewis