Article on Bioimmobilization of Uranium in the Oak Ridge Subsurface Identified as Most Cited Article for 2006 in Environmental Science and Technology


From 2003 to 2006, the Environmental Remediation Sciences Program (ERSP) within the Office of Biological and Environmental Research supported a multi-institutional, field-based research project led by Craig Criddle of Stanford University and Philip Jardine of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). A 2006 article describing some of those research efforts authored by Weimin Wu of Stanford University and collaborators from ORNL, Miami University of Ohio, Ecovation Inc., and the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, was recently identified as one of the most cited articles for 2006 in Environmental Science and Technology. The research team conducted field investigations to determine the impact of coupled hydro-, bio- and geo-chemical processes on the immobilization of uranium in the subsurface at the Oak Ridge Y-12 site known as the former S-3 Ponds site. As described in their paper, the team demonstrated that a common form of uranium found in the subsurface at the former S-3 Ponds site could be bioreduced to a less mobile form. Since 2006, long-term monitoring results at this field site indicate that very low aqueous-phase concentrations of uranium can be maintained despite high solid-phase uranium concentrations. This study was also highlighted as a feature article in the January 2008 issue of the popular U.S. EPA newsletter Technology News and Trends. The technical insights from these research findings are being considered in future DOE decision making and remediation efforts at the Oak Ridge site.