MADISON, WI, MARCH 30, 2004 Although none of the cleanup, closure, and future monitoring issues at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) site has been fully resolved, extensive current research in a special section of the February edition of Vadose Zone Journal (VZJ), does address the subsurface and associated contamination issues at the INEEL. The research reported in this issue, as well as other research at the site form a strong basis of knowledge upon which cleanup and closure are being based. Papers present the current understanding of the subsurface at the INEEL site as well as specific contamination, characterization, and modeling issues.
Originally, the INEEL site, which is a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facility, was used as a test-fire naval gunnery range during World War II. Following the war, the site was used for the development and demonstration of nuclear energy. In recent years, research at the INEEL has focused on environmental issues. For more than 50 years, nuclear energy research was conducted and the size of the site grew.
The site, soon be renamed the Idaho National Laboratory, is in a remote location of the U.S. and therefore, it was also used for disposal of wastes containing radioactive and hazardous materials. Some of these compounds have traveled over 170 miles downward through fractured basalt and unconsolidated sediments to the underlying Snake River Aquifer, which is the major underground water resource in Idaho. The subsurface contamination has resulted from direct injection of waste into the aquifer and from compounds migrating from waste sites and disposal ponds located near the soil surface, through the vadose zone, which is the mostly unsaturated zone between the soil surface and the permanent groundwater table.
The research papers contained in this special issue of VZJ include:
- In the introductory paper, current cleanup activities and a look forward toward resear
Contact: Sara Uttech
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