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Applied Geology and Geochemistry

Research Areas

Risk-Based Retrieval & Closure

The geosciences group at PNNL is developing contaminant release models for Hanford tank residual waste. The challenge for this work is to develop quantitative, scientifically-defensible models of contaminant release from tank residuals to inform tank closure risk assessments. The approach taken by PNNL is to characterize complex residual tank waste solids, measure contaminant release rates as a function of chemical environment, and build mechanistic release models. The ultimate outcome of this work will be to develop the scientific basis for risk-informed tank closure, which allows for leaving greater volumes of waste in the tanks post-retrieval, while increasing protectiveness to human health and the environment.


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