James Mc Parlane on Fri, 16 Apr 1999 21:12:32 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Plutonium Waste - Colloids

This is in particular relevance in Australia at the moment as commercial
pressures are being applied to make Oz the worlds n-waste dumping ground.

src: The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Physics News
src: Number 423 April 13, 1999   by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein

THE MIGRATION OF PLUTONIUM is one of the gravest
concerns for those planning long-term underground storage of
nuclear waste.  Plutonium, one of most toxic substances known,
has a very low solubility in water and so it was once thought that
this hazardous material would not move via groundwater.  A new
Livermore-Los Alamos study, however, suggests that plutonium
might be making an aqueous journey aboard colloids (clays and
zeolites).  This is the chief explanation for the presence of
plutonium in groundwater found 1.3 km away from a the scene of a
Nevada nuclear test conducted 30 years before.  The Department of
Energy is now taking colloid transport into account in its
formulation of a strategy for permanent waste storage.
(Physics Today, April 1999.)

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