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As the geochemical properties of host rocks affect the mobility of radionuclides contained in waste disposals, geochemical investigations were conducted in a quarry made up of clay banks interbedded with sandy levels. The different colours of both lithological components grey for clay and yellow for sand reflect a different geochemical condition: reduction for the grey, oxidation for the yellow colour. Yellow records the event of oxidation of permeable sands by meteoric water once when the whole formation had been uplifted in the continental environment. The original geochemical content of U, Th, and V of the clay levels appear to be unaffected by the strong oxidizing environment of surface water; hence the substantial impermeability of clay maintaining its original reducing characteristics which prevent transuranic radionuclides of waste to be mobilized. Bacteria at a latent state of life within clay may contribute to maintain its original reducing character.

Additional information

Bibliographic Reference: EUR 11321 EN (1988) MF, PP 54, BFR 150, BLOW-UP COPY, BFR 270, AVAILABILITY: CEC-LUXEMBOURG, BP 1003, GDL
Availability: Can be ordered online
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