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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Remediation of groundwater contaminated with radioactive compounds

Authors
item Klasson, K Thomas
item Taylor, Paul - OAK RIDGE LABORATORY

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: September 7, 2006
Publication Date: September 7, 2006
Citation: Klasson, K.T., Taylor, P.A. 2006. Remediation of groundwater contaminated with radioactive compounds. On line web access only at www.eolss.net.

Interpretive Summary: Both naturally radioactive forms of atoms and atoms from man-made sources may appear in groundwater. Depending on the physical and chemical characteristics of the contaminant, different types of treatment methods must be applied to reduce the levels. The following chapter discusses treatment options as well as the common contaminants found in groundwater. Uranium is the most common contaminant and several methods such as physical adsorption, reactive adsorption, precipitation, and reverse osmosis may be employed to treat the groundwater. Of the treatment methods, adsorption is the most common method used, thus more text is devoted to its description. Other radioactive contaminants include cesium, strontium, radium, radon, and technetium. Several different options for treatment exist for each of these contaminants. Some methods are applicable to in-ground treatment while others are more suitable for above-ground approaches. Treatment cleanup criteria are site specific and there is no absolute concentration that must be achieved; however, safe drinking water standards for radioactive isotopes have been established by the World Health Organization. As a guideline, the gross alpha and gross beta activities in drinking water should be below 0.1 and 1 Bq/L, respectively. The recommended limit for human exposure from drinking water is 0.1 mSv per year.

Technical Abstract: Both naturally radioactive isotopes and isotopes from man-made sources may appear in groundwater. Depending on the physical and chemical characteristics of the contaminant, different types of treatment methods must be applied to reduce the concentration. The following chapter discusses treatment options as well as the prominent contaminants found in groundwater. Uranium is the most common contaminant and several methods such as physical adsorption, reactive adsorption, precipitation, and reverse osmosis may be employed to treat the groundwater. Of the treatment methods, adsorption is the most common method used, thus more text is devoted to its description. Other radioactive contaminants include cesium, strontium, radium, radon, and technetium. Several different options for treatment exist for each of these contaminants. Some methods are applicable to in situ treatment while others are more suitable for ex situ approaches. Treatment cleanup criteria are site specific and there is no absolute concentration that must be achieved; however, safe drinking water standards for radioactive isotopes have been established by the World Health Organization. As a guideline, the gross alpha and gross beta activities in drinking water should be below 0.1 and 1 Bq/L, respectively. The recommended limit for human exposure from drinking water is 0.1 mSv per year.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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