The safe disposal of radioactive wastes by burial in deep geological formations requires long-term predictions of the future behaviour of the wastes and their engineered repository. Such predictions can be tested by evaluating processes analogous to those which will occur in a repository, which have been long active in the natural geochemical environment.
The Pocos de Caldas Project is a comprehensive study of two ore deposits in Minas Gerais, Brazil, aimed at looking at uranium and thorium series radionuclide and rare-earth element mobility, the development and movement of redox fronts, and the nature of natural groundwater colloids. A multidisciplinary team of experts from 27 laboratories carried out a fully integrated study of the geology, geomorphology, hydrogeology, geochemistry, hydrochemistry and geomicrobiology of the two sites for nearly four years. This book contains 20 papers covering the detailed findings, with particular emphasis on their significance for radioactive waste disposal, especially on the use of the data in testing models of radionuclide movement. It will interest economic geologists, geochemists and performance assessment modellers involved in the geological disposal of radioactive wastes.