SREL Reprint #2975

 

 

 

Use of illite clay for in situ remediation of 137Cs-contaminated water bodies: field demonstration of reduced biological uptake

Thomas G. Hinton1, Daniel I. Kaplan2, Anna S. Knox2, Daniel P. Coughlin1, Rebecca V. Nascimento1, Siobahn I. Watson1, Dean E. Fletcher1, and Bon-Jun Koo1

1University of Georgia, Savannah River Ecology Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina 29802
2Savannah River National Laboratory, Aiken, South Carolina 29802

Abstract: We hypothesized that adding micaceous minerals to 137Cs-contaminated aquatic systems would serve as an effective in situ remediation technique by sequestering the contaminant and reducing its bioavailability. Results from several laboratory studies are presented from which an effective amendment material was chosen for a replicated field study. The field study was conducted over a 2-year period and incorporated 16 3.3-m diameter column-plots (limnocorrals) that were randomly placed in a 137Cs-contaminated pond. The limnocorrals received three rates of amendment treatments to their water surfaces. The amendment material was a commercially available mineral with high sorption (Kd > 9000 L kg-1) and low desorption (<20%) characteristics for cesium, even in the presence of high concentrations of the competing cation, NH4+. In the treated limnocorrals, 137Cs concentrations were reduced some 25-30-fold in the water, 4-5-fold in aquatic plants, and 2-3-fold in fish. The addition of the amendment did not adversely affect water chemistry, although increased turbidity and subsequent siltation did alter the aquatic macroinvertebrate insect community. This in situ technology provides a valuable, less-environmentally intrusive alternative to costly ex situ technologies that require the contaminated sediment to be excavated prior to treatment, or excavated and disposed of elsewhere.

SREL Reprint #2975

Hinton, T. G., D. I. Kaplan, A. Knox, D. P. Coughlin, R. V. Nascimento, S. I. Watson, D. E. Fletcher, and Bon-Jun Koo. 2006. Use of illite clay for in situ remediation of 137Cs-contaminated water bodies: field demonstration of reduced biological uptake. Environmental Science Technology 40:4500-4505.

To request a reprint

 

 
http://srel.uga.edu www.uga.edu