Preliminary Rate Expressions for Analysis of Radionuclide Migration Resulting from Fluid Flow Through Jointed Media
A theoretical and experimental basis is being developed for analysis of radionuclide transport in jointed geologic media. Batch equilibration and rate experiments involving samples of Eleana argillite and Tertiary silicic tuffs in contact with solutions containing Cs, Sr, or Pm indicated that most radionuclide sorption was associated with the surfaces of very small inter-granular regions and that the rate of sorption was controlled by diffusion of the nuclides into such regions. Based on these experimental results, the continuity equations for radionuclides in the mobile and immobile phases were reduced to a model analogous to Rosen’s equations for packed beds and were solved similarly. Using the model and experimental data, limited radionuclide transport analyses were made which indicated that important parameters controlling transport include the intergranular porosity and nuclide penetration depth, fracture plate spacing and length, fluid velocity and sorption distribution coefficient. Many of these parameters represent physical quantities or processes which can be quantified in the laboratory. However, fluid velocities and fracture plate spacings and lengths must be obtained from the field and methods must be developed to establish reliable bounds for such field-determined parameters.
KeywordsBatch Equilibration Intergranular Porosity Radionuclide Transport Immobile Phase Intergranular Region
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