Predicting the behaviour of radioactive wastes can be facilitated by comparison with the evolution of natural groundwater systems. During a study of the Kanamaru U mineralization (Japan), geochemical approaches for understanding a shallow (0-50 m) fresh groundwater flow system are being assessed. Deep granitic waters are Ca-HCO3-dominated and slightly acidic to slightly alkaline. Shallow waters within sediments display lower pH and they are more dilute. Halide concentrations suggest the existence of a non marine Br-rich and Cl-depleted deep groundwater in the basement. 234U/238U and 230Th/234U activity ratios in the mineralized sedimentary rocks indicate that U mobilization took place within the last 350,000 years. U dissolution currently continues and it is controled by lateral groundwater flow whereas vertical diffusion appears negligible. Dissolved alkaline earths concentrations and the 87Sr/86Sr ratio indicate that solutes exchanges take place through uppermost low permeable granite followed by mixing with more dilute and Cl-type shallow groundwater.
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Bros, R., Seki, Y., Kamei, A. et al. Geochemical Approaches to Understanding a Shallow Groundwater Flow in the Kanamaru Uranium Mineralization Area (Japan). MRS Online Proceedings Library 893, 8930907 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-0893-JJ09-07