407 Potential Error and Uncertainty in Uranium Speciation Calculations

Friday, November 6, 2009: 9:20 AM
Santa Fe (Camino Real Hotel)
Janet Leavitt , Department of Chemistry and Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
The nuclear mining industry in the western US has created a number of uranium contaminated sites which may potentially influence human and environmental health.  Remediation and management of these sites relies upon both measurement and predictive modeling of uranium speciation and transport.  In turn, thermodynamic speciation calculations rely on good quality thermodynamic and analytical data. 

This work examines error and uncertainty of uranium speciation in typical alkaline groundwater due to choice of speciation program, the completeness of the thermodynamic database, the specification of program constraints and the disparity of the data due to analytical temporal and spatial variability. Methods to reduce error are identified and final calculated concentrations are mathematically bounded.