Author(s): Gavrilescu M, Pavel LV, Cretescu I
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Abstract Environmental contamination caused by radionuclides, in particular by uranium and its decay products is a serious problem worldwide. The development of nuclear science and technology has led to increasing nuclear waste containing uranium being released and disposed in the environment. The objective of this paper is to develop a better understanding of the techniques for the remediation of soils polluted with radionuclides (uranium in particular), considering: the chemical forms of uranium, including depleted uranium (DU) in soil and other environmental media, their characteristics and concentrations, and some of the effects on environmental and human health; research issues concerning the remediation process, the benefits and results; a better understanding of the range of uses and situations for which each is most appropriate. The paper addresses the main features of the following techniques for uranium remediation: natural attenuation, physical methods, chemical processes (chemical extraction methods from contaminated soils assisted by various suitable chelators (sodium bicarbonate, citric acid, two-stage acid leaching procedure), extraction using supercritical fluids such as solvents, permeable reactive barriers), biological processes (biomineralization and microbial reduction, phytoremediation, biosorption), and electrokinetic methods. In addition, factors affecting uranium removal from soils are furthermore reviewed including soil characteristics, pH and reagent concentration, retention time.
This article was published in J Hazard Mater
and referenced in Journal of Aquaculture Research & Development