About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 57 (1973)

Issue: 8. (August)

First Page: 1593

Last Page: 1593

Title: Hydrogeologic Studies at a Subsurface Radioactive-Previous HitWasteNext Hit Previous HitManagementNext Hit Site in West-Central Canada: ABSTRACT

Author(s): J. A. Cherry, G. E. Grisak, R. E. Jackson

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Nearly all radioactive wastes produced in Canada are stored or disposed of at 2 Previous HitwasteNext Hit-Previous HitmanagementNext Hit sites in shallow Quaternary deposits in south-central Canada. The oldest site and the one which has received most of Canada's radioactive Previous HitwasteNext Hit is at the Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories (CRNL) in east-central Ontario. The newest site is at the Whiteshell Nuclear Research Establishment (WNRE) in southeastern Manitoba. Both Previous HitwasteNext Hit-Previous HitmanagementNext Hit sites are operated by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.

Hydrogeologic studies were conducted at WNRE to predict the subsurface behavior of radioactive contaminants, which at some future time possibly could enter the groundwater zone. The site is composed of Quaternary deposits of clayey till above a sandy artesian aquifer which overlies the Precambrian bedrock. The bedrock is 50 ft below ground surface. At present there is no significant contamination of the subsurface hydrologic environment. Hydrogeologic information is being used to facilitate the design and operation of the Previous HitwasteNext Hit-Previous HitmanagementTop facilities and to assess long-term storage and disposal capabilities of the area.

The hydrogeologic investigations involved 3 main parameters. These are (1) expected residence times of radionuclides which may enter the groundwater flow system, (2) anticipated travel paths and discharge processes, and (3) suitability of the hydrogeologic environment for physical manipulation to achieve greater containment capabilities.

Hydrogeologic studies conducted during the past 5 years have involved field and laboratory techniques such as geologic test drilling, mapping of hydraulic head distributions using wells and piezometers, field permeability tests using single well response tests and long- and short-term pumping tests, mapping of natural hydrochemical patterns in the groundwater zone, tritium tracer experiments, groundwater age dating using C14, and mathematical modeling using digital-simulation programs. Comparisons of the results from the studies indicate that we have attained a reasonable level of predictability in our understanding of the hydrogeologic environment in the area.

End_of_Article - Last_Page 1593------------

Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists