Decommissioning a former nuclear weapons manufacturing facility

Modelling groundwater-surfacewater interactions in a semi-arid region

A nuclear weapon parts manufacturing facility in Colorado, USA, on the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site (RFETS) was successfully converted into a wildlife refuge in 2005. The highly industrial site had undergone substantial surface and sub-surface modifications. The remediation and closure required a detailed understanding of the complex natural hydrologic system. We applied our integrated hydrological knowledge coupled with our modelling expertise to the challenge. Using the MIKE SHE modelling platform, we developed a detailed surfacewater and groundwater interaction model. With the help of this model, we were able to assess contamination pathways and identify and justify the preferred water management and rehabilitation options.