Dartmouth: How Water & Shale Combine to Produce Radioactive Waste

A pair of newly published research papers from Dartmouth College may shed new light on radioactivity in shale waste water. We previously highlighted research from Dartmouth in 2015 and again in 2016 dealing with Marcellus Shale and water (see Dartmouth Study: Fracking Causes Toxic Metal Wastewater and Dartmouth Study Finds Barium Leaches Directly from Marcellus Shale). We said at the time, “…we don’t detect an agenda on the part of the researchers. This appears to us to be legitimate research that helps us better understand the chemical reactions happening a mile or more below the ground when we shoot water down there.” And so we continue to feel about these latest Dartmouth studies. Reportedly for the first time we now understand how “slick water” (water and chemicals used during fracking) can combine with shale rock, transferring some of the naturally occurring radiation from the rock to the water. That is, we better understand the science of it. Which means we can develop better ways to handle and treat water that may have low levels of radioactivity…

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