Standard Article

Oak Ridge Reservation: Radionuclides

  1. Philip M. Jardine1,
  2. Scott C. Brooks2,
  3. David B. Watson2

Published Online: 15 JUN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/0470862106.ia753

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry

How to Cite

Jardine, P. M., Brooks, S. C. and Watson, D. B. 2010. Oak Ridge Reservation: Radionuclides. Encyclopedia of Inorganic Chemistry. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

  2. 2

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 JUN 2010

Abstract

The Department of Energy (DOE) facilities on the Oak Ridge Reservation (ORR) have a rich history of radionuclide separation technologies and research involving the conversion of uranium to plutonium for thermonuclear weapon parts during WWII and the Cold War era. During this period, tens of millions of curies of radioactive waste was typically disposed in unlined surface impoundments and shallow subsurface trenches. The disposal methods have resulted in a daunting challenge of remediating huge below-ground inventories of legacy radioactive waste, since the scale of the problem is at the watershed level. The focus of this article is to provide an overview of past and current activities on the ORR that involve the use, disposal, and remediation of radionuclide isotopes. The aim of the article is to provide an improved understanding of why radioactive material was generated, how it was used and disposed of, and how it continues to interact with the environment.

Keywords:

  • subsurface legacy waste;
  • radionuclide fate and transport;
  • subsurface coupled processes;
  • multiple scales;
  • radionuclide containment;
  • trenches;
  • geochemistry;
  • hydrology