Project Title

Remediation of Radiocesium Laced Soil

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Environmental Science

Faculty Sponsor Name

Daniel Ferreira

Abstract (300 words maximum)

In 2011, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a 15-meter tsunami that shut down the power plant. The tsunami caused three cores to meltdown and triggered hydrogen explosions that ejected radionuclide laced particulates into the atmosphere, which later deposited onto the surface in the farmlands of the surrounding region. The top two inches of the soil were removed to prevent further leaching of the radioactive elements. However, the contaminated soil is currently housed in a temporary storage facility while the government decides how to dispose of it permanently. The primary location of the radiocesium, which is the primary concern due to its long half-life, is the vermiculite clay within the soil. This experiment aims to remove the radiocesium ions from the vermiculite interlayer by using ion-exchange combined with selective precipitation caused by STA and TFPB. These two precipitation agents showed the most promise in preliminary trials, which means that they would potentially provide a means to allow safe disposal of the soil.

Disciplines

Environmental Chemistry | Environmental Health and Protection | Radiochemistry | Soil Science

Project Type

Oral Presentation (15-min time slots)

How will this be presented?

Yes, in person

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Remediation of Radiocesium Laced Soil

In 2011, Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster occurred when a 9.0 magnitude earthquake triggered a 15-meter tsunami that shut down the power plant. The tsunami caused three cores to meltdown and triggered hydrogen explosions that ejected radionuclide laced particulates into the atmosphere, which later deposited onto the surface in the farmlands of the surrounding region. The top two inches of the soil were removed to prevent further leaching of the radioactive elements. However, the contaminated soil is currently housed in a temporary storage facility while the government decides how to dispose of it permanently. The primary location of the radiocesium, which is the primary concern due to its long half-life, is the vermiculite clay within the soil. This experiment aims to remove the radiocesium ions from the vermiculite interlayer by using ion-exchange combined with selective precipitation caused by STA and TFPB. These two precipitation agents showed the most promise in preliminary trials, which means that they would potentially provide a means to allow safe disposal of the soil.

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