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Environmental Sustainability Division

Projects & Programs

Tank Farm Vadose Zone Studies

The goal of this project was to define risks from past and future single-shell tank farm activities at the Hanford Site.

PNNL chemists, geologists, hydrologists and computer modelers conducting multi-tiered investigations/measurements of contaminated vadose zone sediment, pore water and groundwater samples proximal to single-shell tanks (SSTs) at the Hanford Site. Samples for characterized for geologic, geochemical and selected hydrologic and physicochemical properties. The resulting data were interpreted within the context of sediment types, the vertical extent of contamination, the migration potential of the contaminants since their release and the likely source or sources (specific SSTs or nearby cribs and trenches or tank infrastructure (pipes and junction boxes) of the contamination in the vadose zone. These data have been used to develop conceptual transport models for key contaminants of concern.

This work feeds directly into the client's field investigation reports and will ultimately be used to make remedial action decisions en route to closure of Hanford's tank farms.

These studies resulted in formal PNNL technical reports documenting results of the studies as well as peer-reviewed journal articles highlighting advanced geochemistry findings and analytical techniques.


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