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Alteration of Natural Uranyl Oxide Hydrates in Si-Rich Groundwaters: Implications For Uranium Solubility

  • R.J. Finch (a1) and R.C. Ewing (a1)

Abstract

The uranyl oxide hydrates are common initial corrosion products of uraninite (nominally U02+x) during weathering. In the presence of dissolved silica these early-formed phases alter to uranyl silicates (most commonly soddyite, U2SiO8-2H2O, and uranophane, CaU2Si2O11·6H2O). Uraninite, however, usually contains radiogenic Pb, and the earlyformed Pb-poor uranyl oxide hydrates alter incongruously to uranyl silicates plus Pb-enriched uranyl oxide hydrates such as curite. Similar to dissolved silica, radiogenic Pb may also serve to limit the mobility of U in nature by fixing U in solid phases. Curite may also play an important role in the formation of uranyl phosphates, which are significantly less soluble than the uranyl silicates, and control U solubility in many groundwaters associated with altered U ore.

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Alteration of Natural Uranyl Oxide Hydrates in Si-Rich Groundwaters: Implications For Uranium Solubility

  • R.J. Finch (a1) and R.C. Ewing (a1)

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