Berkeley Lab

Mitigation & Remediation

  • Chemical_Speciation_altFundamental understanding of radionuclides in soils
  • Chemical speciation studies in soil
  • Development and validation of chemical processes
  • Berkeley local point-of-contact: Dr. David Shuh

Email: DKShuh@lbl.gov

The classification and cleanup of selected materials containing radionuclide contaminants can be accelerated by the determination of their chemical speciation in soils and biomaterials. Chemical speciation is necessary for the implementation of chemical processes, intermediate waste storage options, and waste reduction technologies. It is therefore a key factor for proper risk assessment, prioritization, and development of efficient and effective remediation processes.

Berkeley Lab scientists have unique expertise, capabilities, and experience in determining the speciation of radionuclides, including transuranics, in a range of environmental materials: on surfaces, in soils, in water, and in biological materials under in-situ conditions at relevant concentrations and length scales. Berkeley Lab scientists are applying X-ray synchrotron radiation spectromicroscopy at the Advanced Light Source to provide nm- to cm-scale speciation information and understand the fundamentals of radionuclide speciation in multiple classes of contaminated soils and materials. As illustrated above, scanning transmission X-ray microscope may be used to determine the spatially-resolved speciation of cesium “hot spots” in clay particles (top) by X-ray absorption spectroscopy.

Berkeley Lab researchers also have expertise in remediation processes, chemical and physical separation methods, and volume reduction approaches to meet waste challenges.