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Characterization of rare earth elements (REEs) associated with suspended particles in deep granitic groundwater and their post-closure behavior from a simulated underground facility

Iwatsuki, Teruki; Munemoto, Takashi*; Kubota, Mitsuru*; Hayashida, Kazuki; Kato, Toshihiro*

This study investigated the behavior of rare earth elements (REEs) associated with suspended particles in deep granitic groundwater and in a sealed drift at a depth of 500 m in the Mizunami Underground Research Laboratory (URL) in Japan. Approximately 10%$$sim$$60% of REEs in groundwater are associated with suspended particles. Carbonate particles in groundwater are most likely derived from in situ precipitation of supersaturated carbonate minerals such as calcite. Thermodynamic calculations show that the dissolved REE carbonate complexes in the closed drift decreased in the drift closure period. These complexes may have been absorbed or co-precipitated within the shotcrete on the drift wall. The usage of cement based materials would generate environmental conditions in which REEs are fundamentally immobile in and around the underground facilities.

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Category:Geochemistry & Geophysics

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