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Technical Report NTB 83-23

Numerical solution of the radionuclide transport equation non-linear sorption effects

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A numerical solution of the one-dimensional geospheric radionuclide chain transport equation based on the pseudospectral method is developed. The advantages of this approach are flexibility in incorporating space and time dependent migration parameters, arbitrary boundary conditions and solute rock interactions as well as efficiency and reliability. As an application we investigate the impact of non-linear sorption isotherms on migration in crystalline rock. It is shown that non-linear sorption, in the present case a Freundlich isotherm, may reduce concentration at the geosphere outlet by orders of magnitude provided the migration time is comparable or larger than the half-life of the nuclide in question. The importance of fixing dispersivity within the continuum approach is stressed.

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