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Uranium Concentrations in Soil and Vegetation near Uranium Processing Facility

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America 40th Meeting WINS Workshop on the Security of Small Modular Reactors
November 7, 2019

Prepared by:
Michael Ilin and Andrew McAllister


Accuracy of any environmental risk assessment is highly dependent on the quality of the data used in mathematical models designed to predict contaminant behaviour in various environmental compartments. The CNSC has raised concerns regarding the validity of some generic (not site-specific) parameters used for modeling the long-term behaviour of uranium in soil and its transfer from soil to vegetation near a uranium procession facility. To address the CNSC’s concerns, a soil characterization study was carried out near the facility in areas associated with the highest expected air concentrations of uranium and uranium deposition rates and available to the public. The measured uranium concentrations in soil and vegetation and the location-specific soil model parameters were used to estimate future long-term uranium soil concentrations to confirm that uranium would not accumulate to levels that may be a concern for human health or the environment.

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