Predicting arsenic concentrations in the porewaters of buried uranium mill tailings

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doi: 10.1016/S0016-7037(99)00259-8
Authors:Langmuir, Donald; Mahoney, John; MacDonald, Anjali; Rowson, John
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Colorado School of Mines, Hydrochem Systems Corporation, Golden, CO, United States
Sandia National Laboratories, United States
University of Bristol, United Kingdom
LGIT, France
Hydrologic Consultants, Lakewood, CO, United States
COGEMA Resources, Canada
Volume Title:Geochemistry in aqueous systems; a special issue in honor of Werner Stumm
Volume Authors:Stipp, Susan L. S., editor; Brady, Patrick V.; Ragnarsdottir, K. Vala; Charlet, Laurent
Source:Geochemistry in aqueous systems; a special issue in honor of Werner Stumm, edited by Susan L. S. Stipp, Patrick V. Brady, K. Vala Ragnarsdottir and Laurent Charlet. Geochimica et Cosmochimica Acta, 63(19-20), p.3379-3394. Publisher: Pergamon, Oxford, International. ISSN: 0016-7037
Publication Date:1999
Note:In English. 47 refs.; illus., incl. 8 tables
Summary:The reduction of As concentrations to < 5 mg/litre in processed tailings and raffinates being discharged from a U mill in N Saskatchewan, Canada, and ensuring that these concentrations in pore waters would remain < 5 mg/L for 50 to 10 000 yr, are addressed in large-scale experiments reproducing conditions in the mill. The study included mineralogical characterization of the arsenates (scorodite, cabrerite-annabergite), geochemical modelling of arsenate solids, precipitation and chemical equilibria, kinetic modelling of arsenate solids dissolution and statistical trends in arsenate concentrations with time. Scorodite and cabrerite-annabergite host most of the As and Ni as the pH is increased with slaked lime; following scorodite precipitation, HFO precipitates and adsorbs most of the remaining As. The results indicate that As concentrations in porewaters are unlikely to exceed 1-2 mg/L even after 10 000 yr of burial in this facility.
Subjects:Acid mine drainage; Activation energy; Arsenates; Arsenic; Concentration; Controls; Decontamination; Eh; Experimental studies; Geochemistry; Ground water; Hydrochemistry; Iron oxides; Kinetics; Laboratory studies; Metal ores; Metals; Nickel; Oxides; PH; Phase equilibria; Pollutants; Pollution; Pore water; Scorodite; Surface water; Tailings; Uranium ores; Waste disposal; Waste disposal sites; Waste management; Canada; Midwest Lake Deposits; Saskatchewan; Western Canada; Cigar Lake Deposit; JEB Tailings Management Facility; McClean Lake Deposit; Northern Saskatchewan
Record ID:2000003126
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from Mineralogical Abstracts, United Kingdom, Twickenham, United Kingdom
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