Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

Analysis of Carbon-14 Transport from a Contaminated Groundwater Source

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  • Radioecology observes the movement of radioactive isotopes throughout the environment. For radioecology, locations of study are limited to areas accidentally contaminated from a number of sources. The Chalk River Laboratories of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited have stored low level waste since the mid 1940s. In certain instances, the wastes have leaked and reached the groundwater beneath storage sites. There are a number of different contaminants found in the groundwater within the grounds of Chalk River Laboratories, not all of which is radioactive. The contamination plume from Waste Management Area C has reached surface waters within Duke Swamp, also located within the grounds of Chalk River Laboratories. This project completed two rounds of sampling for creation of a carbon-14 dataset. Sampling occurred at groundwater wells installed during previous sampling programs used to monitor movement of contaminants released from Waste Management Area C. Groundwater, soil gas, and plant samples were collected to observe vertical profiles of stable and radioactive carbon at 22 sampling locations between the release point and Duke Swamp. Statistical analysis and linear regression applied to the data collected showed different significant variables between subsets close to the release point, Waste Management Area C, and the surface emission point, Duke Swamp.
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