Using Caged Clams to Assess the Exposure and Effects of Contaminated Groundwater Upwelling at Hanford Site near the Columbia River
Researchers have detected concentrations of uranium, a contaminant of concern, in much of the shallow groundwater beneath the 300 Area of the Hanford Site near the Columbia River. Benthic organisms such as Asiatic clams are potentially at risk because they live in the unconsolidated riverbed where contaminated groundwater upwellings may occur.
EAS staff participated in a study to explore using caged Asiatic clams to monitor contaminated groundwater upwelling in the river’s near-shore environment and assess seasonal differences in uranium uptake in relation to seasonal river flows. We also examined the potential effects of uranium accumulation on growth, survival, and tissue condition of the clams.