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WWRC 83-09
Heavy Element Release to Groundwater at In-Situ Uranium Mining Sites: Phase I


This laboratory experimental research project evaluated the mechanism and kinetics of release of heavy elements to groundwater from sandstone ores which have been mined by an in-situ leach process and subsequently subjected to groundwater flow through the mined area. Ore from Wyoming and Texas were examined during the work, and heavy elements of interest were uranium, molybdenum, vanadium, arsenic and selenium.

The mechanism of release was found to be controlled by diffusion. The kinetics of release were modeled by an overall mass transfer relationship. Under conditions of the experiments, the heavy elements were calculated to be anionic in nature. Data were obtained and processed to provide required in- formation to simulate field conditions when evaluating heavy element migration at uranium solution mining sites.

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