Homage to Peter J. Parsons

Peter J. Parsons: Pioneer of Contaminant Hydrogeology

The passing of Peter J. Parsons in 2008 went unnoticed by groundwater researchers and professionals. This is regrettable, as Parsons – in just six years between 1958 and 1963 –  made important and lasting contributions to the discipline that would come to be called contaminant hydrogeology, through his high-resolution mapping of plumes from radioactive waste. An article on Peter Parsons’ contributions has been prepared to draw attention to his work at the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited Chalk River Nuclear Laboratories, which was the principal facility that developed the Canadian nuclear-energy program. Parsons’ work at Chalk River is of importance to hydrogeologists because he was one of the early group of engineers and geoscientists who studied the migration of radioactive wastes discharged to the ground at nuclear-energy laboratories and which eventually created distinct plumes of contamination in the subsurface. It is our contention that contaminant hydrogeology was born and bred by these nuclear-energy laboratories in North America and Europe in the first decades following World War II. To accompany this article, Parsons’ seminal reports are being made available in electronic form.

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MOVEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES THROUGH SOIL

AECL-1038.pdf
AECL-1325.pdf
AECL-1485.pdf
AECL-1561.pdf


 

 

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