Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Radionuclides in surface water and groundwater

April 23, 2021

Unique among all the contaminants that adversely affect surface- and groundwater quality, radioactive compounds pose a double threat from toxicity and ionizing radiation. The high energy potential of many of these materials makes them both useful and hazardous. The unique properties of radioactive materials make them invaluable for medical and energy applications. However, mining, production, use, and disposal of compounds and their byproducts provide potential pathways for their release into the environment, posing a risk to both humans and ecosystems. This chapter presents an overview of the sources and uses of radioactive compounds in the United States, biogeochemical processes that control mobility in the environment, examples of radionuclide contamination, and an overview of remediation strategies.

Publication Year 2021
Title Radionuclides in surface water and groundwater
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-821057-4.00007-0
Authors Kate M. Campbell, Tyler Kane
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70230170
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geology, Geophysics, and Geochemistry Science Center