The "Undercover" Life of Uranium in Aquifers; Why it Matters to Energy and the Environment
Dr. John Bargar, SSRL/SLAC
Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource, SLAC
Large and persistent uranium groundwater plumes created by mining to produce nuclear fuel have resisted clean-up attempts. This failure of traditional remediation approaches has emphasized the need for a deeper scientific understanding of the biogeochemical processes, occurring at molecular scale to meso scales, that control uranium behavior in subsurface environments. Synchrotron-based studies are playing major roles in these scientific investigations. In addition, new technologies that use native aquifer bacteria to remediate uranium are under investigation. This talk will examine this uranium problem from the molecular, meso, field, and regional scales.