October 24, 2017

Geosyntec Practitioners Co-Author Paper on Stabilization of Uranium in Groundwater

Several Geosyntec practitioners co-authored a paper entitled "Groundwater uranium stabilization by a metastable hydroxyapatite" published in the journal Applied Geochemistry.

Geosyntec's David Adilman, P.G., Jamie deLemos, Ph.D., Peter Zeeb, Ph.D., P.G., and Doug Larson, Ph.D., P.E. (Massachusetts) co-authored the paper with Laura Lammers, Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and Hope Rasmussen and Andrew Quicksall, Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University.

The paper, based on Geosyntec's work at the Nuclear Metals Superfund Site (NMI) in Concord, Massachusetts, presents the team's successful demonstration of sequestration of uranium (U) in groundwater via the precipitation of very stable uranyl phosphate (U-P) minerals. The results indicate that this method is a promising passive remedial approach for aquifers impacted by mobile hexavalent U (U(VI)). Further, findings suggest that in groundwater contaminated by U(VI), fish bone-derived hydroxyapatite is an effective material for in situ U remediation that can be readily implemented, requiring no redox manipulation. This relatively passive groundwater remediation method may provide a significant cost savings over more active approaches.

At the NMI site, depleted uranium (DU) was used to manufacture penetrators for the U.S. Army from 1958 to 1985. The company disposed of process waste (DU, nitric acid, and lime) in an unlined holding basin that is now bordered by residential and light commercial development. As a result, DU was released to soils and groundwater near the basin, and removal of sludge and soils left behind residual soil contamination and a small but concentrated plume of uranium in groundwater.

More Information

Read the paper: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0883292717300185
Learn about the Nuclear Metals Superfund Site project: https://www.geosyntec.com/projects/item/758-nuclear-metals-inc-superfund-site-remedial-investigation-and-feasibility-study
For more information about the paper or the NMI site, please contact David at (978) 206-5769 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Geosyntec is a specialized consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure.

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