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200-BP-5 Operable Unit Conceptual Model Development

Core material from borehole emplaced near Tank 241-BX-102. This photograph illustrates a fine-grained lens present in the vadose zone that enhances the lateral migration of contaminants.

Field-emission scanning electron microscope image (left) with energy dispersive spectroscopy (right) of iron oxide/clay coatings found in aquifer sediment. Iron oxide and clay are highly sorptive materials that sequester most contaminants. Click for larger version.

PNNL researchers developed a conceptual fate and transport models for key contaminants of concern at the 200-BP-5 Operable Unit located at the Hanford Site in Richland, Washington in 2010.

Work scope included obtaining sediment cores from new 200-BP-5 Operable Unit wells/boreholes, extraction of vadose zone pore water from the cores using ultracentrifugation and groundwater once the boreholes were completed as monitoring wells. Researchers then combined the new data with all relevant historical data from the BP-5 area to develop contaminant fate and transport conceptual models. The new conceptual models are robust and site-specific to the 200-BP-5 Operable Unit. Researchers are also coordinating with computer modelers on risk and remedial alternatives to ensure that the conceptual contaminant fate and transport models are incorporated into predictive computer codes accurately and that pertinent input parameters and boundary conditions needed to run such computer codes are technically defendable. The new robust conceptual model was documented in a technical report PNNL-19277.


George Last
Jeff Serne

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