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Accession Number DE2012-1048279
Title Isotopic Tracking of Hanford 300 Area Derived Uranium in the Columbia River.
Publication Date Oct 2010
Media Count 40p
Personal Author D. J. DePaolo G. W. Patton J. N. Christensen M. E. Conrad P. E. Dresel
Abstract Our objectives in this study are to quantify the discharge rate of uranium (U) to the Columbia River from the Hanford Sites 300 Area, and to follow that U down river to constrain its fate. Uranium from the Hanford Site has variable isotopic composition due to nuclear industrial processes carried out at the site. This characteristic makes it possible to use high-precision isotopic measurements of U in environmental samples to identify even trace levels of contaminant U, determine its sources, and estimate discharge rates. Our data on river water samples indicate that as much as 3.2 kg/day can enter the Columbia River from the 300 Area, which is only a small fraction of the total load of dissolved natural background U carried by the Columbia River. This very lowlevel of Hanford derived U can be discerned, despite dilution to <1% of natural background U, 400 km downstream from the Hanford Site. These results indicate that isotopic methods can allow the amounts of U from the 300 Area of the Hanford Site entering the Columbia River to be measured accurately to ascertain whether they are an environmental concern, or are insignificant relative to natural uranium background in the Columbia River.
Keywords Columbia River
Hanford Reservation
Natural uranium
Trace levels
Uranium isotopes
Water pollution sampling

Source Agency Technical Information Center Oak Ridge Tennessee
NTIS Subject Category 77B - Isotopes
68D - Water Pollution & Control
68F - Radiation Pollution & Control
Corporate Author Lawrence Berkeley National Lab., CA. Earth Sciences Division.
Document Type Technical report
Title Note N/A
NTIS Issue Number 1303
Contract Number DE-AC02-05CH11231

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