By Gordon P.L.Scott
Newcastle University, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences
We’re pleased to be able to publish out first guest blog this week! Gordon P.L.Scott, from Newcastle University, School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, has kindly let us use his current research paper for our Leapfrog blog. Have a read of this fantastic article and learn how Leapfrog software helped Gordon with his research.
Summary: Evaluating tritium plume
The evaluation of a developing tritium plume using a new approach through the 3D characterisation of the hydrogeology in a complex glacial environment is presented through the use of new geological modelling software and spatially varying Kh and Kv within a lithofacies method.
The main tritium waste repository in the UK is at the Drigg Low Level Waste repository in West Cumbria (Figure 1), where the waste is stored in a series of vaults excavated into the shallow drift sediments. Over the years, it has been proven (Henderson and Smith 2011) that tritium has been leaking from the depository, and found its way into the groundwater system. The presence of ‘tritiated’ water in the groundwater system is undesirable as it is a radioactive compound that is easily absorbed into the body and poses a risk to our DNA.
The tritium concentration in groundwater can be used to check the degree of confinement of an aquifer and the rate of flow of groundwater and provide data with which to validate the hydraulic parameters of the numeric model used to monitor the tritium plume.
Drigg LLWR location map, West Cumbria.