Jose Cerrato

Spectroscopy and Microscopy Study of Abandoned Uranium Mine Wastes in Northeastern Arizona
Presenter Jose Cerrato
Abstract Transmission electron microscopy (TEM), scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive x-ray spectroscopy (SEM/EDS), x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), x-ray fluorescence (XRF), and x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) were applied to investigate abandoned uranium mine wastes in a site located in Northeastern Arizona. Assessing the occurrence and mobility of uranium and co-constituents in abandoned mine wastes is important to understand potential human health risks. Solid sample analyses performed by XRF resulted in concentrations of 0.66% U, 0.43% V, and 0.35% mg/kg Fe. The presence of Fe(II), Fe(III), As(III, I, 0), and the predominance of U(VI) and V(V) was confirmed by XPS analyses. Amorphous carnotite was detected by SEM/EDX, TEM and XAS analyses. Near edge (XANES) and extended edge (EXAFS) analyses suggest that As(V) is adsorbed to abandoned mine waste solids. The results from this study provide valuable insights about the occurrence and mobility of metals in communities located the proximity of abandoned mine wastes.