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Tracking A Legacy Of Waste In The West Siberian Basin

ey, principal investigator for Pacific Northwest. "To date, existing groundwater models have been based on small-scale lab tests and observations of low-concentration, naturally occurring radionuclides."

After the models are developed, Pacific Northwest scientists will estimate how the contaminants have moved over time and estimate their future path. The models will help improve understanding of how radioactive wastes react with the rocks as they are transported by groundwater.

The findings are expected to influence remediation strategies at the three Russian sites.

Since 1992, Pacific Northwest scientists have modeled the hydrogeology of the West Siberian Basin and of Mayak using data from groundwater studies provided by Russia. West Siberia is the largest basin and region of low relief on earth. Next, it is proposed that the scientists will model the Tomsk site and, possibly, Krasnoyarsk.

"We need to know the chemistry of how radioactive plumes move below the surface," Foley said. "That knowledge could be applied to landfills, tank spills and future waste storage issues in the United States. We have to be able to predict the risk of contaminant migration in order to properly clean it up."

Pacific Northwest and Russian scientists have worked together closely. They bring complementary site characterization, contaminant sampling and modeling expertise to bear on the common problem of better understanding the migration of radioactive wastes in groundwater systems.

"We're both trying to take advantage of each other's knowledge and resources," said Charlie Cole, Pacific Northwest scientist.


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Contact: Staci West
staci.west@pnl.gov
509-372-6313
DOE/Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
4-Dec-1998


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