Major and Trace Elements Regulation in Natural Granitic Waters. Application to Deep Radioactive Waste Disposals

by G. Michard, Univ Paris VII and IPG Paris, Paris, France,
G. Negrel, Univ Paris VII and IPG Paris, Paris, France,
G. Ouzounian, Univ Paris VII and IPG Paris, Paris, France,
P. Toulhoat, Univ Paris VII and IPG Paris, Paris, France,
C. Beaucaire, Univ Paris VII and IPG Paris, Paris, France,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1991


In order to forecast the evolution of deep groundwaters in the environment of a radioactive waste disposal, one must be able to understand the behaviour of major and trace elements in natural systems. From granitic geothermal and groundwater systems we establish that major elements are controlled by mineral precipitation. Regulation levels depend both on equilibration temperature and mobile anion concentration (mainly Cl). From empirical laws, the regulation levels with temperature of some trace elements (alkaline and most divalent) elements can be estimated, although a precise explanation for the regulation mechanism is not yet available. We demonstrate that some transition metals are controlled by sulphide precipitation; that uranium is controlled by uraninite solubility; that trivalent and tetravalent metals are present in association with colloidal particles. Maximum regulation levels can be estimated. Such studies can also be useful to forecast the concentration levels of many elements related to nuclear wastes, mainly fission products, uranium, thorium and by analogy artificial actinide elements, as the behaviour of corresponding natural elements can be evaluated.

Subject Headings: Trace elements | Radioactive wastes | Waste disposal | Water resources | Groundwater | Uranium | Waste storage

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