Use of probability distributions to define baseline groundwater quality at a uranium mill site

Bruxvoort, K. J. ; Dupon, D. P. ; Paulson, O. A. ; Runnells, D. D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 7
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2000
Background groundwater quality is often used to drive remediation programs at sites with waters that have been affected by mining activities. In the past, these levels were sometimes chosen without rigorous statistical and geochemical analysis. A probability-distribution approach was used at the Sweetwater Uranium Project to separate a large set of geochemical data into populations that represent contribu¬tions from different sources. Natural background populations were identified for major ions, metals and radionuclides, and these were submitted to the US Nuclear Regulatory Commis¬sion (NRC) to modify the extent of a corrective-action pro¬gram and to establish control limits for future monitoring.
Full Article Download:
(489 kb)