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Effect of simulated earthquake loading on radon exhalation from uranium tailings dam

Abstract

Uranium tailings sand will continuously release radon-222. When the external condition changes, the exhalation of radon will also change. Thus, radon is being recommended as a tracer for dam damage assessment. When an earthquake is simulated on the uranium tailings dam with a shaking table test and the change in radon concentration is measured, it is observed that the earthquake causes micro-fissures in the uranium tailings dam, which aggregate to form fractures. During the process, the radon concentration will climb dramatically, as will the radon exhalation rate. To verify that the radon monitoring date is accurate, the acceleration response, surface displacement, and interior displacement are all monitored. The results show that radon can be utilized as a tracer to evaluate uranium tailings dam damage.

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The data from this study is available upon request from the corresponding author.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to express their sincere thanks for the financial support provided by “The Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” Basic Technological Research Project (Grant Nos. JSZL2018403B001 and JSZL2017403B008) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11875164).

Funding

This study was funded by “The Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” Basic Technological Research Project (Grant Nos. JSZL2018403B001 and JSZL2017403B008) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 11875164).

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Contributions

Yan Chen performed the experiments and the writing; Xingwang Dai assisted with the experiment; Changshou Hong helped the experiment guidance and data processing; Xiangyang Li contributed the review and editing; Hong Wang provided the experiment devices; and Yifan Chen conducted the theoretical analysis. Resources and funding acquisition were provided by Yong Liu. DongYing Lin helped establish the scale model.

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Correspondence to Xiangyang Li.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

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Chen, Y., Hong, C., Li, X. et al. Effect of simulated earthquake loading on radon exhalation from uranium tailings dam. Environ Sci Pollut Res (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20758-1

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11356-022-20758-1

Keywords

  • Earthquake
  • Uranium tailings dam failure
  • Radon exhalation rate
  • Tracer
  • Shaking table test
  • Fractures