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Sample records for abandoned uranium mines

  1. Abandoning uranium mining in Germany. Rehabilitation of the Wismut site

    After the unification of Germany in 1989, the Government decided to abandon uranium mining in two lands of the former Eastern Germany, in Saxonia and Thuringia. The closing of the mines and the reclamation and rehabilitation of the site cost more than 10 billion USD. The rehabilitation of the Wismut site is described in detail. (R.P.)

  2. Radioactive pollution investigation and disposal of abandoned uranium mines in Jiangsu province

    The environment influence of five abandoned uranium mines in Jiangsu province from 1950s to 1960s is introduced. By monitoring air absorbed dose rate of external exposure γ radiation, it is found that the pollution scope of No.1 abandoned uranium mine is the biggest in five abandoned uranium mines. The No. 2 and No. 3 mine areas has achieved the limit use after they were desposed. The radioactivity and the gamma nuclein in solid samples(slag, soil, silt) and liquid samples (the surface water, the well water)of No. 1 abandoned uranium mine were further analyzed and measured, the measured values are higher. The pollution of abandoned uranium mines still exists and diffuses after 30 years. According to the monitoring results and the analysis of pollution present situation, suggestions and measures are proposed for the pollution control. (authors)

  3. Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUM) Site Screening Map Service, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — As described in detail in the Five-Year Report, US EPA completed on-the-ground screening of 521 abandoned uranium mine areas. US EPA and the Navajo EPA are using...

  4. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Site Screening Map, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — As described in detail in the Five-Year Report, US EPA completed on-the-ground screening of 521 abandoned uranium mine areas. US EPA and the Navajo EPA are using...

  5. Water and materials balances of a spoil bank of an abandoned uranium mine in the Freital district, Sachsen

    Sanitation of former uranium mines started immediately after uranium mining in East Germany was abandoned in 1990. In the case of shaft 1 of the Dresden-Gittersee mine, a multilayer mineral sealing system was decided. As required by the radiation protection authorities, the Wismut GmbH initiated a detailed hydrogeological expert's opinion including a forecast of the long-term effects of sealing on the basis of hydrogeological data and a material flow analysis for the spoil bank

  6. Abandoned mine site characterization for remediation: The case of the Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Viseu, Portugal)

    Uranium mining activities at Cunha Baixa ceased in 1993 and a preliminary assessment of its chemical environmental impact was performed. Acid drainage affects surface and groundwater quality up to 1-1.5 km downward from the mining site. High levels of sulphate, Al, Mn, U, and low pH values (<4.5-5) make these waters unsuitable for irrigation and livestock watering. Irrigation of acid soils (pH <4.5) with contaminated waters presents risks to the crops owing to a high content of U in the available soil fraction. Consequently, maize harvested in these soils showed amounts of uranium in roots and leaves that may pose some risk when it is used for animal feeding and the plant residues are used for soil fertilization. According to the 'tolerable daily intake' of uranium, the low uranium content in corn allows it to be used to feed animals and for flour to make bread. Thiobacillus ferrooxidans were detected in mine water, but mine wastes submitted to static and kinetic laboratory tests (acid based accounting and a 'humidity cell test') did not show any capacity to generate acid drainage from sulphide oxidation throughout the testing period. Nevertheless, open pit mine wastes can be a source of water pollution in the Cunha Baixa mining area. Acid drainage can also be a residue from the heap leaching process used in the past to recover uranium from low grade ore. (author)

  7. W.B. Lewis Lecture: Cleaning-up abandoned uranium mines in Saskatchewan's North

    Thirty-six now-abandoned uranium mine and mill sites were developed and operated on or near Lake Athabasca, in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, from approximately 1957 through 1964. During their operating lifetimes these mines produced large quantities of ore and tailings. After closure in the 1960's, these mine and mill sites were abandoned with little remediation and no reclamation being done. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are now funding the clean-up of these abandoned northern uranium mine and mill sites and have contracted the management of the project to the Saskatchewan Research Council (SRC). The clean-up activity is underway, with work at many of the smaller sites largely completed, work at the Gunnar site well underway, and a beginning made at the Lorado site. This lecture presents an overview of these operations. (author)

  8. Spatial distribution of environmental risk associated to a uranium abandoned mine (Central Portugal)

    Antunes, I. M.; Ribeiro, A. F.

    2012-04-01

    The abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar is located at Arcozelo da Serra, central Portugal. The mine was exploited in an open pit and produced about 12430Kg of uranium oxide (U3O8), between 1987 and 1988. The dominant geological unit is the porphyritic coarse-grained two-mica granite, with biotite>muscovite. The uranium deposit consists of two gaps crushing, parallel to the coarse-grained porphyritic granite, with average direction N30°E, silicified, sericitized and reddish jasperized, with a width of approximately 10 meters. These gaps are accompanied by two thin veins of white quartz, 70°-80° WNW, ferruginous and jasperized with chalcedony, red jasper and opal. These veins are about 6 meters away from each other. They contain secondary U-phosphates phases such as autunite and torbernite. Rejected materials (1000000ton) were deposited on two dumps and a lake was formed in the open pit. To assess the environmental risk of the abandoned uranium mine of Canto do Lagar, were collected and analysed 70 samples on stream sediments, soils and mine tailings materials. The relation between samples composition were tested using the Principal Components Analysis (PCA) (multivariate analysis) and spatial distribution using Kriging Indicator. The spatial distribution of stream sediments shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Y, Zr, Nb, La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Eu, Gd, Tb, Dy, Ho, Er, Tm, Yb, Hf, Th and U contents), decreases along SE-NW direction. This component is explained by the samples located inside mine influence. The probability of expression for principal component 2 (explaining Be, Na, Al, Si, P, K, Ca, Ti, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu, As, Rb, Sr, Mo, Cs, Ba, Tl and Bi contents), increases to middle stream line. This component is explained by the samples located outside mine influence. The spatial distribution of soils, shows that the probability of expression for principal component 1 (explaining Mg, P, Ca, Ge, Sr, Y, Zr, La, Ce, Pr

  9. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in particulate matter from an abandoned uranium mine

    Millward, Geoffrey; Foulkes, Michael; Henderson, Sam; Blake, William

    2016-04-01

    Currently, there are approximately 150 uranium mines in Europe at various stages of either operation, development, decommissioning, restoration or abandonment (wise-uranium.com). The particulate matter comprising the mounds of waste rock and mill tailings poses a risk to human health through the inadvertent ingestion of particles contaminated with uranium and thorium, and their decay products, which exposes recipients to the dual toxicity of heavy elements and their radioactive emissions. We investigated the bioaccessibility of 238U, 232Th and 206,214,210Pb in particulate samples taken from a contaminated, abandoned uranium mine in South West England. Sampling included a mine shaft, dressing floor and waste heap, as well as soils from a field used for grazing. The contaminants were extracted using the in-vitro Unified Bioaccessibility Research Group of Europe Method (UBM) in order to mimic the digestion processes in the human stomach (STOM) and the combined stomach and gastrointestinal tract (STOM+INT). Analyses of concentrations of U, Th and Pb in the extracts were by ICP-MS and the activity concentrations of radionuclides were determined on the same particles, before and after extraction, using gamma spectroscopy. 'Total' concentrations of U, Th and Pb for all samples were in the range 57 to 16,200, 0.28 to 3.8 and 69 to 4750 mg kg‑1, respectively. For U and Pb the concentrations in the STOM fraction were lower than the total and STOM+INT fractions were even lower. However, for Th the STOM+INT fractions were higher than the STOM due to the presence of Th carbonate species within the gastrointestinal fluid. Activity concentrations for 214Pb and 210Pb, including total, STOM and STOM+INT, were in the range 180 to <1 Bq g‑1 for the dressing floor and waste heap and 18 to <1 Bq g‑1 for the grazing land. Estimates of the bioaccessible fractions (BAFs) of 238U in the most contaminated samples were 39% and 8% in the STOM and STOM+INT, respectively, whereas the

  10. Rehabilitation proposal for the abandoned uranium mine at Rum Jungle Creek South

    The abandoned uranium mine Rum Jungle Creek South was not rehabilitated after the Rum Jungle uranium project ceased operation in 1971. The mine area is characterised by high external gamma-ray levels, radioactive dust concentrations and radon daughters levels in the air. This implies that annual doses of some individuals are about 5mSv which is the present Australian public limit. The present annual collective dose equivalent to members of the public visiting the area was evaluated about 0.42 man Sv, and the 100 years collective dose commitment is calculated to be about 260 man Sv. Since the new Australian public limit is going to be 1mSv/y, for exposures extending over many years, more members of the public will be exposed above the limit in the future. Four rehabilitation options ranged from a general clean-up burial and stabilisation to full rehabilitation and revegetation have been considered. The ALARA/cost benefit analysis was used to find the optimum rehabilitation option which has an associated cost of A$2.13 million. The present collective dose commitment is going to be reduced by a factor of 7 provided the rehabilitation takes place. There also will be no likelyhood that individuals will be exposed above the new public limit of 1mSv/y in the future

  11. A case study of a large open pit uranium AML [Abandoned Mine Land] Project Gas Hills, Wyoming

    The Abandoned Mine Lands Program (AML), authorized under the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 provides funding for the abatement of health and safety hazards on lands disturbed by mining prior to enactment of the Act. A good example of the implementation of the AML Program in Wyoming is the A-8 Pit. The reclamation site is located in the East Gas Hills Uranium Mining District of Wyoming. Reclamation activities include selective handling of 3.5 million cubic yards of backfill, controlling pit dewatering and water treatment, installing second order drainage channel and riprap control structures, and salvaging sufficient coversoils and topsoils for site revegetation

  12. 238U, and its decay products, in grasses from an abandoned uranium mine

    Childs, Edgar; Maskall, John; Millward, Geoffrey

    2016-04-01

    Bioaccumulation of radioactive contaminants by plants is of concern particularly where the sward is an essential part of the diet of ruminants. The abandoned South Terras uranium mine, south west England, had primary deposits of uraninite (UO2) and pitchblende (U3O8), which contained up to 30% uranium. When the mine was active uranium and radium were extracted but following closure it was abandoned without remediation. Waste rock and gangue, consisting of inefficiently processed minerals, were spread around the site, including a field where ruminants are grazed. Here we report the activity concentrations of 238U, 235U 214,210Pb, and the concentrations of selected metals in the soils, roots and leaves of grasses taken from the contaminated field. Soil samples were collected at the surface, and at 30 cm depth, using an auger along a 10-point transect in the field from the foot of a waste heap. Whole, individual grass plants were removed with a spade, ensuring that their roots were intact. The soils and roots and grass leaves were freeze-dried. Activity concentrations of the radionuclides were determined by gamma spectroscopy, following 30 days incubation for development of secular equilibrium. Dried soils, roots and grasses were also digested in aqua regia and the concentrations of elements determined by ICP techniques. Maximum activity concentrations of 238U, 235U, 214Pb and 210Pb surface soils were 63,300, 4,510, 23,300 and 49,400 Bq kg‑1, respectively. The mean 238U:235U ratio was 11.8 ± 1.8, an order of magnitude lower than the natural value of 138, indicating disequilibrium within the decay chain due to mineral processing. Radionuclides in the roots had 5 times lower concentration and only grass leaves in the vicinity of the waste heap had measureable values. The mean soil to root transfer factor for 238U was 36%, the mean root to leaf was 3% and overall only 0.7% of 238U was transferred from the soil to the leaves. The roots contained 0.8% iron, possibly as

  13. Hydrology of an abandoned uranium mine waste rock dump, Northern Territory

    Field studies were conducted on an abandoned, degraded uranium mine in Kakadu National Park to obtain waste rock dump runoff data to test the ability of a landform evolution model to predict gullying caused by concentrated flow. Runoff data were collected from natural rainfall events on a concentrated flow site and an overland flow erosion site on the waste rock dump at Scinto 6 mine. The data were used to fit parameters to a rainfall/runoff model using a non-linear regression package (NLFIT-DISTFW) which allows a single set of parameters to be fitted to four discharge hydrographs simultaneously. The model generally predicted peak discharge and the rising stage of the observed hydrographs well but there was some lag in the falling stage of the predicted hydrographs. Kinematic wave parameters are dependent on each other and the concentrated flow parameter set was not significantly different from the overland flow set. The infiltration parameter sets were statistically different and difference in cumulative infiltration between sites is controlled by sorptivity

  14. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Priority-Tronox Mine Sites, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — There are 9 mines that are Tronox enforcement actions and are classified as priority mines. USEPA and NNEPA prioritized 46 mines based on gamma radiation levels,...

  15. Metal bioaccumulation, genotoxicity and gene expression in the European wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) inhabiting an abandoned uranium mining area

    Lourenço, Joana, E-mail: joanalourenco@ua.pt [Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); CESAM, Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Pereira, Ruth [Departamento de Biologia, Faculdade de Ciências, Universidade do Porto, Rua do Campo Alegre, 4169-007 Porto (Portugal); CESAM, Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Gonçalves, Fernando; Mendo, Sónia [Departamento de Biologia, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); CESAM, Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar, Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)

    2013-01-15

    Genotoxic effects caused by the exposure to wastes containing metals and radionuclides were investigated in the European wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). The animals were captured in the surroundings of an abandoned uranium mining site. DNA damage was assessed by comet assay; gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed, respectively, by Real-Time PCR and melt curve analysis. The bioaccumulation of metals in the liver, kidney and bones was also determined to help clarify cause–effect relationships. Results confirmed the bioaccumulation of cadmium and uranium in organisms exposed to uranium mining wastes. P53 gene was found to be significantly up-regulated in the liver of those organisms and SNPs in the Rb gene were also detected in the kidney. Our results showed that uranium mining wastes caused serious DNA damage resulting in genomic instability, disclosed by the significant increase in DNA strand breaks and P53 gene expression disturbance. These effects can have severe consequences, since they may contribute for the emergence of serious genetic diseases. The fact that mice are often used as bioindicator species for the evaluation of risks of environmental exposure to humans, raises concerns on the risks for human populations living near uranium mining areas. - Highlights: ► Long term effects of chronic pollution in natural population of rodents. ► Bioaccumulation of cadmium and uranium by organisms exposed to uranium wastes. ► P53 upregulation in the liver and SNPs in the Rb gene detected in the kidney. ► Significant DNA damages detected by the comet assay. ► Concerns on the risks of human populations living nearby uranium mining areas.

  16. Metal bioaccumulation, genotoxicity and gene expression in the European wood mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) inhabiting an abandoned uranium mining area

    Genotoxic effects caused by the exposure to wastes containing metals and radionuclides were investigated in the European wood mice (Apodemus sylvaticus). The animals were captured in the surroundings of an abandoned uranium mining site. DNA damage was assessed by comet assay; gene expression and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were assessed, respectively, by Real-Time PCR and melt curve analysis. The bioaccumulation of metals in the liver, kidney and bones was also determined to help clarify cause–effect relationships. Results confirmed the bioaccumulation of cadmium and uranium in organisms exposed to uranium mining wastes. P53 gene was found to be significantly up-regulated in the liver of those organisms and SNPs in the Rb gene were also detected in the kidney. Our results showed that uranium mining wastes caused serious DNA damage resulting in genomic instability, disclosed by the significant increase in DNA strand breaks and P53 gene expression disturbance. These effects can have severe consequences, since they may contribute for the emergence of serious genetic diseases. The fact that mice are often used as bioindicator species for the evaluation of risks of environmental exposure to humans, raises concerns on the risks for human populations living near uranium mining areas. - Highlights: ► Long term effects of chronic pollution in natural population of rodents. ► Bioaccumulation of cadmium and uranium by organisms exposed to uranium wastes. ► P53 upregulation in the liver and SNPs in the Rb gene detected in the kidney. ► Significant DNA damages detected by the comet assay. ► Concerns on the risks of human populations living nearby uranium mining areas

  17. Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. (duckweed) in tailing waters of two abandoned uranium mining sites in Saxony, Germany.

    Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E Gert

    2005-01-01

    Accumulation of arsenic in Lemna gibba L. was investigated in tailing waters of abandoned uranium mine sites, following the hypothesis that arsenic poses contamination risks in post uranium mining in Saxony, Germany. Consequently, macrophytes growing in mine tailing waters accumulate high amounts of arsenic, which might be advantageous for biomonitoring arsenic transfer to higher trophic levels, and for phytoremediation. Water and L. gibba sample collected from pond on tailing dumps of abandoned mine sites at Lengenfeld and Neuensalz-Mechelgrun were analysed for arsenic. Laboratory cultures in nutrient solutions modified with six arsenic and three PO(4)(3-) concentrations were conducted to gain insight into the arsenic-L. gibba interaction. Arsenic accumulation coefficients in L. gibba were 10 times as much as the background concentrations in both tailing waters and nutrient solutions. Arsenic accumulations in L. gibba increased with arsenic concentration in the milieu but they decreased with phosphorus concentration. Significant reductions in arsenic accumulation in L. gibba were observed with the addition of PO(4)(3-) at all six arsenic test concentrations in laboratory experiments. Plant samples from laboratory trials had on average twofold higher bioaccumulation coefficients than tailing water at similar arsenic concentrations. This would be attributed to strong interaction among chemical components, and competition among ions in natural aquatic environment. The results of the study indicate that L. gibba can be a preliminary bioindicator for arsenic transfer from substrate to plants and might be used to monitor the transfer of arsenic from lower to higher trophic levels in the abandoned mine sites. There is also the potential of using L. gibba L. for arsenic phytoremediation of mine tailing waters because of its high accumulation capacity as demonstrated in this study. Transfer of arsenic contamination transported by accumulations in L. gibba carried with

  18. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Tronox Mine Areas, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — List of mines operated by the Kerr McGee Corp. in the settlement between Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and the U.S. government (also known as the Tronox settlement)

  19. Radioactive contamination of the environment as a result of uranium production: a case study at the abandoned Lincang uranium mine, Yunnan Province, China

    XU; Lechang(

    2002-01-01

    [1]Gillmore, G. K., Grattan, J., Pyatt, F. B. et al., Radon, water and abandoned metalliferous mines in the UK: Environmental and Human Health Implications, in Uranium in the Aquatic Environment, Proceedings of the International Conference Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology III and the International Mine Water Association Symposium (eds. Merkel, B. J., Planer-Friedrich, B., Wolkersdorfer, C.), Berlin: Springer, 2002, 65-76.[2]GB/T 16146-1995, Standards for Controlling Radon Concentration in Dwellings (in Chinese).[3]Kinze, M., Dose limits and maximum concentration limits (MCL's) for radionuclides--Implication on remediation of uranium mining and milling facilities in Saxony Germany, in Uranium in the Aquatic Environment, Proceedings of the International Conference Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology III and the International Mine Water Association Symposium (eds. Merkel, B. J., Planer-Friedrich, B., Wolkersdorfer, C.), Berlin: Springer, 2002, 1-7.[4]Xu, L. C., Wang, Y. X., Environmental issues and remedial actions of the abandoned Lincang uranium mine in China, in Uranium in the Aquatic Environment, Proceedings of the International Conference Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology III and the International Mine Water Association Symposium (eds. Merkel, B. J., Planer-Friedrich, B., Wolkersdorfer, C.), Berlin: Springer, 2002, 709-718.[5]International Atomic Energy Agency, Decommissioning of Facilities for Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores and Closeout of Residues, Technical Report Series No. 362, Vienna: IAEA, 1994, 70.[6]OECD/NEA (Nuclear Energy Agency), Environment Activities in Uranium Mining and Milling, A Joint NEA/IAEA Report, Paris: Pubie en Francais Sous le Titre, 1999, 23-26.[7]Xu, L. C., Dai, X., Tan, T. et al., Environment Impact Report on Environmental Treatment Engineering of Decommissioning Lincang Uranium Mine (Feasibility studies stages) ( in Chinese), 1999.[8]Zhang Zhihui, Measurement Methods of Radon and Its Daughters in

  20. Origin and subsurface migration of radionuclides from waste rock at an abandoned uranium mine near Bancroft, Ontario

    Uranium-mine waste rock dump sites may require long-term surveillance because of the potential contamination of radionuclides from waste rock to the subsurface environment. In order to assess the conditions and controls on the migration in groundwater of waste-rock-derived contaminants, an area of old waste rock of a sand aquifer at the abandoned Greyhawk uranium mine near Bancroft, Ontario, was monitored. The waste rock has been abandoned for more than two decades. The results of a four-year hydrological and radiological investigation at the Greyhawk site indicated the presence of contaminant plumes of sup(238)U, sup(234)U, sup(226)Ra, sup(210)Pb, sup(230)Th, sup(232)Th, sulphate, bicarbonate and dissolved inorganic carbon in the sand aquifer originating from the waste rock. Laboratory-determined parameters were applied in two contaminant migration models for simulating the observed frontal positions of the waste-rock-derived radionuclides in the sand aquifer and also for predicting the spread of radionuclide contamination in the future. With the possible exception of sup(238)U, reasonable results were obtained for the simulations of the sup(226)Ra, sup(210)Pb and sup(230)Th mobilities in the sand aquifer

  1. Assessment of radiation exposure around abandoned uranium mining area of Stara planina Mt., Serbia

    Tanić Milan N.

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this work was to estimate the health and radiation hazard due to external irradiation from terrestrial radionuclides in the Stara planina Mt. region, which is important because of past uranium mining activities on the mountain. Soil samples were collected inside the flotation processing facilities, their surroundings and more distant locations, i.e. from areas considered certainly affected, potentially affected, and unaffected by former mining and uranium ore processing activities. The radiological and health risk assessments were done by calculating the six main parameters, based on the activity concentration of 238U, 232Th, and 40K in soil samples as determined by gamma-ray spectrometry. Increased values of the risk parameters were observed only for sites where uranium ore was processed, while the location surrounding these compounds showed values that are usual for this mountain or slightly above them. Calculations of the risk parameters for the background area showed no radiation risk for the local and seasonal population. The presence of U and Th was detected in all water samples from creeks surrounding the facilities, but only in the water from the facility drainage pipe did their concentration exceed the limits given for the uranium content in drinking water. In conclusion, the results obtained in this study fall within the range of values in similar studies conducted worldwide and are below the values which can cause a significant radiation hazard. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III43009 i br. III41005

  2. Trace Element Mobility in Water and Sediments in a Hyporheic Zone Adjacent to an Abandoned Uranium Mine

    Roldan, C.; Blake, J.; Cerrato, J.; Ali, A.; Cabaniss, S.

    2015-12-01

    The legacy of abandoned uranium mines lead to community concerns about environmental and health effects. This study focuses on a cross section of the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine on the Laguna Reservation, west-central New Mexico. Often, the geochemical interactions that occur in the hyporheic zone adjacent to these abandoned mines play an important role in trace element mobility. In order to understand the mobility of uranium (U), arsenic (As), and vanadium (V) in the Rio Paguate; surface water, hyporheic zone water, and core sediment samples were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). All water samples were filtered through 0.45μm and 0.22μm filters and analyzed. The results show that there is no major difference in concentrations of U (378-496μg/L), As (0.872-6.78μg/L), and V (2.94-5.01μg/L) between the filter sizes or with depth (8cm and 15cm) in the hyporheic zone. The unfiltered hyporheic zone water samples were analyzed after acid digestion to assess the particulate fraction. These results show a decrease in U concentration (153-202μg/L) and an increase in As (33.2-219μg/L) and V (169-1130μg/L) concentrations compared to the filtered waters. Surface water concentrations of U(171-184μg/L) are lower than the filtered hyporheic zone waters while As(1.32-8.68μg/L) and V(1.75-2.38μg/L) are significantly lower than the hyporheic zone waters and particulates combined. Concentrations of As in the sediment core samples are higher in the first 15cm below the water-sediment interface (14.3-3.82μg/L) and decrease (0.382μg/L) with depth. Uranium concentrations are consistent (0.047-0.050μg/L) at all depths. The over all data suggest that U is mobile in the dissolved phase and both As and V are mobile in the particular phase as they travel through the system.

  3. An Aerial Radiological Survey of Abandoned Uranium Mines in the Navajo Nation

    Aerial radiological surveys of forty-one geographical areas in the Navajo Nation were conducted during the period of October 1994 through October 1999. The surveys were conducted at the request of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9 and were performed by personnel of the Remote Sensing Laboratory (RSL) located in Las Vegas, Nevada, a facility of the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Operations Office. The aerial survey and subsequent processing characterized the overall radioactivity levels and excess bismuth 214 activity (indicator of uranium ore deposits and/or uranium mines) within the surveyed areas. A total of 772,000 aerial gamma spectra and associated position parameters were obtained and analyzed during the multi-year operation. The survey determined that only 15 square miles (39 square kilometers) of the 1,144 square miles (2,963 square kilometers) surveyed (approximately 1.3 %) had excess bismuth indications above the minimum reportable activity, thus reducing the area requiring further investigation by a nominal factor of 76. Radiation contour data files, produced by RSL, were converted to Geographic Information System-compatible digital files and provided to EPA and EPA contractors for inclusion in numerous reports and graphics products

  4. Uranium mining

    Full text: The economic and environmental sustainability of uranium mining has been analysed by Monash University researcher Dr Gavin Mudd in a paper that challenges the perception that uranium mining is an 'infinite quality source' that provides solutions to the world's demand for energy. Dr Mudd says information on the uranium industry touted by politicians and mining companies is not necessarily inaccurate, but it does not tell the whole story, being often just an average snapshot of the costs of uranium mining today without reflecting the escalating costs associated with the process in years to come. 'From a sustainability perspective, it is critical to evaluate accurately the true lifecycle costs of all forms of electricity production, especially with respect to greenhouse emissions, ' he says. 'For nuclear power, a significant proportion of greenhouse emissions are derived from the fuel supply, including uranium mining, milling, enrichment and fuel manufacture.' Dr Mudd found that financial and environmental costs escalate dramatically as the uranium ore is used. The deeper the mining process required to extract the ore, the higher the cost for mining companies, the greater the impact on the environment and the more resources needed to obtain the product. It is clear that there is a strong sensitivity of energy and water consumption and greenhouse emissions to ore grade, and that ore grades are likely to continue to decline gradually in the medium to long term. These issues are critical to the current debate over nuclear power and greenhouse emissions, especially with respect to ascribing sustainability to such activities as uranium mining and milling. For example, mining at Roxby Downs is responsible for the emission of over one million tonnes of greenhouse gases per year and this could increase to four million tonnes if the mine is expanded.'

  5. SSH gene expression profile of Eisenia andrei exposed in situ to a naturally contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine.

    Lourenço, Joana; Pereira, Ruth; Gonçalves, Fernando; Mendo, Sónia

    2013-02-01

    The effects of the exposure of earthworms (Eisenia andrei) to contaminated soil from an abandoned uranium mine, were assessed through gene expression profile evaluation by Suppression Subtractive Hybridization (SSH). Organisms were exposed in situ for 56 days, in containers placed both in a contaminated and in a non-contaminated site (reference). Organisms were sampled after 14 and 56 days of exposure. Results showed that the main physiological functions affected by the exposure to metals and radionuclides were: metabolism, oxireductase activity, redox homeostasis and response to chemical stimulus and stress. The relative expression of NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1 and elongation factor 1 alpha was also affected, since the genes encoding these enzymes were significantly up and down-regulated, after 14 and 56 days of exposure, respectively. Also, an EST with homology for SET oncogene was found to be up-regulated. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time that this gene was identified in earthworms and thus, further studies are required, to clarify its involvement in the toxicity of metals and radionuclides. Considering the results herein presented, gene expression profiling proved to be a very useful tool to detect earthworms underlying responses to metals and radionuclides exposure, pointing out for the detection and development of potential new biomarkers. PMID:23164450

  6. 对某废弃铀矿山辐射环境的调查分析%Investigation of the Radiation Environment in an Abandoned Uranium Mine

    刘中平; 李雯; 吴振宇; 牛君宇

    2012-01-01

    Through measurement of surface radiation dose rate, and exhalation rate of 222Rn,concentrations of radon and its daughters in the air and natural radionuclides contents in the soil and waterbody aimed at an abandoned uranium mine in our country,this paper investigated and analyzed the current situation of the radiation environment of the mine. The results showed that the abandoned uranium mine has been exposed to radioactive contamination. Among these mine, high-level radioactive 1# mine sites and tailing piles have been the main radioactive pollution sources of mining area and we should take remediation measures. Other regional radioactivity was lower and did not exceed the national limits.%通过对我国某废弃铀矿山地表贯穿辐射剂量率、222Rn析出率、空气中氡及其子体浓度、土壤和水体中天然放射性核素含量的监测,调查和分析了矿山辐射环境现状.结果表明,该废弃铀矿山已受到放射性污染.其中,1#矿点和尾矿堆放射性水平较高,是矿区主要放射性污染源项,应采取整治措施.其他区域放射性较低,未超过国家基本限值.

  7. Water pollution from abandoned mines

    Iversen, E.; Johannessen, M.

    1987-01-01

    The report provides a country-wide overview of abandoned pyrite mines where operations have been fairly extensive. The water pollution situation is assessed on the basis of reported investigations, inspections and chemical analyses from the individual areas. In cases where larger watercourses (Orkla, Gaula), and the upper stretch of the Glåma are affected the situation appears to be adequately described. However abandoned mine areas may also cause local pollution problems, and here documentat...

  8. Contaminated water, stream sediments and soils close to the abandoned Pinhal do Souto uranium mine, central Portugal

    Neiva, A. M. R.; Carvalho, P. C. S.; Antunes, I. M. H. R.; Silva, M. M. V. G.; Santos, A. C. T.; Pinto, M. M. S. Cabral; Cunha, P.P.

    2014-01-01

    The Pinhal do Souto mine exploited a quartz vein containing uranium minerals, mainly autunite and torbernite. This vein intersects a two-mica granite containing 10 ppm U and uraninite. The mine was exploited underground and produced 93091 kg U3O8 between 1978 and 1989 and was then closed down. Two dumps were left in the mine area and these are partially covered by natural vegetation. Groundwater and surface water have a similar slightly acid-to-alkaline pH. The 2  2 UO is a...

  9. Effect of Biogeochemical Redox Processes on the Fate and Transport of As and U at an Abandoned Uranium Mine Site: an X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy Study

    Troyer, Lyndsay D.; Stone, James J.; Borch, Thomas

    2014-01-28

    Although As can occur in U ore at concentrations up to 10 wt-%, the fate and transport of both U and As at U mine tailings have not been previously investigated at a watershed scale. The major objective of this study was to determine primary chemical and physical processes contributing to transport of both U and As to a down gradient watershed at an abandoned U mine site in South Dakota. Uranium is primarily transported by erosion at the site, based on decreasing concentrations in sediment with distance from the tailings. equential extractions and U X-ray absorption near-edge fine structure (XANES) fitting indicate that U is immobilised in a near-source sedimentation pond both by prevention of sediment transport and by reduction of UVI to UIV. In contrast to U, subsequent release of As to the watershed takes place from the pond partially due to reductive dissolution of Fe oxy(hydr)oxides. However, As is immobilised by adsorption to clays and Fe oxy(hydr)oxides in oxic zones and by formation of As–sulfide mineral phases in anoxic zones down gradient, indicated by sequential extractions and As XANES fitting. This study indicates that As should be considered during restoration of uranium mine sites in order to prevent transport.

  10. Uranium mining in Australia

    The mining of uranium in Australia is criticised in relation to it's environmental impact, economics and effects on mine workers and Aborigines. A brief report is given on each of the operating and proposed uranium mines in Australia

  11. Uranium mining: Saskatchewan status

    This paper gives the status of uranium mining by Areva in Saskatchewan. Uranium production now meets 85% of world demand for power generation. 80% of world production of uranium comes from top 5 countries: Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Niger and Namibia. Saskatchewan is currently the only Canadian province with active uranium mines and mills and the largest exploration programs. Several mine projects are going through the environmental assessment process. Public opinion is in favour of mining activities in Saskatchewan.

  12. Post-mining safety implementations and environmental aspects of abandoned mine sites in Limousin. 2006 status (and perspectives 2007)

    This document summarizes the actions carried out in 2006 at some French abandoned mine sites: 1 - safety implementations and risks abatement in the framework of post-mining actions: coal mines of Ahun (23) and Argentat (19), antimony mines of Biard (87); 2 - remedial actions at the tin/tungsten mine of Puy-les-Vignes (87) and at the gold mine of Chatelet (23); 3 - 2007 post-mining perspectives; 4 - environmental aspects of abandoned mine sites: gold mines of Chatelet (23), Cheni and Bourneix (87), uranium mines of Haute-Vienne (expertise, control of effluents, financial warranties about tailings storage sites maintenance). (J.S.)

  13. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Inventory Sites 201601

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This data set portrays the approximate location of Abandoned Mine Land Problem Areas containing public health, safety, and public welfare problems created by past...

  14. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Polygons Feature

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This data set portrays the approximate location of Abandoned Mine Land Problem Areas containing public health, safety, and public welfare problems created by past...

  15. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Points Feature

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This data set portrays the approximate location of Abandoned Mine Land Problem Areas containing public health, safety, and public welfare problems created by past...

  16. Uranium mining and milling

    In this report uranium mining and milling are reviewed. The fuel cycle, different types of uranium geological deposits, blending of ores, open cast and underground mining, the mining cost and radiation protection in mines are treated in the first part of this report. In the second part, the milling of uranium ores is treated, including process technology, acid and alkaline leaching, process design for physical and chemical treatment of the ores, and the cost. Each chapter is clarified by added figures, diagrams, tables, and flowsheets. (HK)

  17. The use of geosynthetics covers for the ecological rehabilitation of the abandoned dump sites and tailing dams for radioactive waste from the uranium mining industry

    Full text: The mining and the preparation of the uranium ore generate important quantities of waste which is deposited in dump sites and tailing dams. Consequently, important terrain surfaces are affected by the technological operations and the environmental impact is high. It is then important to cover and ecologically rehabilitate the areas where mining and ore preparation took place and to minimize the long-term effect. The actual technology for ecologic rehabilitation allows generally satisfactory solutions for the sealing and the stabilization of the polluted areas, using natural, synthetic materials or combination of these. Of a particular interest for the abandoned areas where activities of uranium ore extraction or preparation took place is the radioactivity, which generates effects on a long term. A technically acceptable solution for cover and ecological rehabilitation of these areas must not only prevent the infiltration of the rainfall water into the waste body, but also reduce the level of gamma radiation and eliminate the ex-filtration of any contaminated material, including radioactive gases. Also, as the mining areas and the dump-sites are in most cases in remote locations, with difficult access, limited technical possibilities and no reserves of clay that can be used as sealing barrier. This situation requires technical solutions, installation techniques and operations that can be carried out with limited equipment. The purpose of this article is to describe the main phases and some partial results of the research program, which was started more than one year ago in order to establish a solution for cover and rehabilitation of the abandoned dump sites and tailing dams which is applicable, guaranteed on long-term and independent of mineral sealing materials. The research programme was structured on both laboratory tests and large scale field tests that allowed the careful monitoring of the geosynthetic package used for sealing and cover concerning

  18. Coal Mines, Abandoned - Digitized Mined Areas

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — Coal mining has occurred in Pennsylvania for over a century. The maps to these coal mines are stored at many various public and private locations (if they still...

  19. Geohydrology and water chemistry of abandoned uranium mines and radiochemistry of spoil-material leachate, Monument Valley and Cameron areas, Arizona and Utah

    Longsworth, S.A.

    1994-01-01

    Uranium mines in the Monument Valley area were established predominately in channel-fill deposits within the Shinarump Member of the Chinle Formation. The Shinarump Member yields ground water to wells and may yield water to the Moonlight and Radium Hill mines. In the study area near Cameron, uranium was mined from channel-fill deposits within the Petrified Forest Member of the Chinle Formation. Units of the Petrified Forest Member do not yield ground water to wells in the area, but fractures in the lower part of the Petrified Forest Member are probable pathways for upward flow of water from the Shinarump Member. Most of the mines receive water from surface inflow of rainfall runoff, but ground water also may be transmitted to open pits and drill holes in the subsurface through fractures or along faults in the Petrified Forest Member. Uranium-238 activities in shallow ground water from mines ranged from 150 to 14,000 picocuries per liter. Radionuclide activities in well and spring water were less than in shallow ground water near mines; however, in some samples, radionuclide activities in wells and springs were greater than activities in pit water. Uranium concentrations in leachate samples ranged from 20 to 7,700 micrograms per liter. Batch tests were done with material that was 2.00 millimeters and smaller. The radiochemistry of leachate from coarser material was not determined, and the specific rate and magnitude of radionuclide leaching depends on site-specific conditions that include the amounts of oxygen and organic material present, temperature, spoil mineralogy, and local ground-water composition.

  20. Ontario's uranium mining industry

    This report traces the Ontario uranium mining industry from the first discovery of uranium north of Sault Ste. Marie through the uranium boom of the 1950's when Elliot Lake and Bancroft were developed, the cutbacks of the 1960s, the renewed enthusiasm in exploration and development of the 1970s to the current position when continued production for the domestic market is assured. Ontario, with developed mines and operational expertise, will be in a position to compete for export markets as they reopen. The low level of expenditures for uranium exploration and the lack of new discoveries are noted. The report also reviews and places in perspective the development of policies and regulations governing the industry and the jurisdictional relationships of the Federal and Provincial governments

  1. Uranium and other heavy metals in the plant-animal-human food chain near abandoned mining sites and structures in an American Indian community in northwestern New Mexico

    Samuel-Nakamura, Christine

    2013-01-01

    The broad, long-term objective of this study is to identify the extent and impact of uranium (U) and other heavy metal (As, Cd, Cs, Pb, Mo, Se, Th, and V) contamination on harvested Ovis aries (sheep) and plants on the Dine (formerly known as Navajo) reservation. This study provides a food chain assessment of U exposure in an American Indian (AI) reservation in northwestern New Mexico. The study setting was a prime target of U mining for military purposes from 1945 to 1988. More than 1,100 ...

  2. Heavy metals biogeochemistry in abandoned mining areas

    Favas P. J. C.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Plants growing on the abandoned Portuguese mines, highly contaminated with W, Sn, As, Cd, Cu, Zn and Pb, have been studied for their biogeochemical indication/prospecting and mine restoration potential. The results of analysis show that the species best suited for biogeochemical indicating are: aerial tissues of Halimium umbellatum (L. Spach, for As and W; leaves of Erica arborea L. for Bi, Sn, W and mostly Pb; stems of Erica arborea L. for Pb; needles of Pinus pinaster Aiton and aerial tissues of Pteridium aquilinum (L. Kuhn for W; and leaves of Quercus faginea Lam. for Sn. The aquatic plant studied (Ranunculus peltatus Schrank can be used to decrease the heavy metals, and arsenic amounts into the aquatic environment affected by acid mine drainages.

  3. ERA's Ranger uranium mine

    Energy Resource of Australia (ERA) is a public company with 68% of its shares owned by the Australian company North Limited. It is currently operating one major production centre - Ranger Mine which is 260 kilometres east of Darwin, extracting and selling uranium from the Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory to nuclear electricity utilities in Japan, South Korea, Europe and North America. The first drum of uranium oxide from Ranger was drummed in August 1981 and operations have continued since that time. ERA is also in the process of working towards obtaining approvals for the development of a second mine - Jabiluka which is located 20 kilometres north of Ranger. The leases of Ranger and Jabiluka adjoin. The Minister for the Environment has advised the Minister for Resources and Energy that there does not appear to be any environmental issue which would prevent the preferred Jabiluka proposal from proceeding. Consent for the development of ERA's preferred option for the development of Jabiluka is being sought from the Aboriginal Traditional Owners. Ranger is currently the third largest producing uranium mine in the world producing 4,237 tonnes of U3O8 in the year to June 1997

  4. Post-mining safety implementations and environmental aspects of abandoned mine sites in Limousin. 2006 status (and perspectives 2007); Mises en securite en apres-mine et aspects environnementaux des anciens sites miniers en Limousin. Bilan 2006 (et perspectives 2007)

    NONE

    2007-07-01

    This document summarizes the actions carried out in 2006 at some French abandoned mine sites: 1 - safety implementations and risks abatement in the framework of post-mining actions: coal mines of Ahun (23) and Argentat (19), antimony mines of Biard (87); 2 - remedial actions at the tin/tungsten mine of Puy-les-Vignes (87) and at the gold mine of Chatelet (23); 3 - 2007 post-mining perspectives; 4 - environmental aspects of abandoned mine sites: gold mines of Chatelet (23), Cheni and Bourneix (87), uranium mines of Haute-Vienne (expertise, control of effluents, financial warranties about tailings storage sites maintenance). (J.S.)

  5. Mine waters of the flooded uranium deposit in Olší

    Michálek, Bedřich; Grmela, Arnošt

    2010-01-01

    After abandonment of underground uranium mines, it is necessary to ensure the safe use of mine waters accumulated in flooded mines, because they contain uranium, radium and other contaminants in high concentrations and may thus, in the case of uncontrollable release from flooded mines, endanger their surrounding environment. On the other hand, with regard to their considerable volume, these mine waters represent a secondary source of uranium. In this paper the author reports on the use of min...

  6. Abandoned mines at Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The objectives of the study were: 1 Determine whether abandoned mines on LPO were impacting aquatic biota, 2 Determine whether mines were safety or liability...

  7. Uranium mining in France

    Since the onset of the first ''oil shock'' in 1974, France has pursued a policy of steadily increasing energy independence based on nuclear power for generation of electricity. In 1973, nuclear reactors supplied only 8% of France's electrical power. A strong development effort lifted the nuclear share to 23% in 1980, to 66% in 1985, and the plan is to raise the total to 75% by 1990. In 1976, Cogema (Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires) was organized from the production division of France's Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique (CEA) to handle fuel supply and spent fuel reprocessing for the expanding industry (see subsequent article on Cogema). In parallel with growth of the French nuclear power, Cogema has become a world leader in all aspects of the fuel cycle, providing services not only domestically but internationally as well. As a uranium mining company, Cogema has steadily developed domestic and foreign sources of supply, and over the years it has maintained the world's strongest uranium exploration effort throughout the ups and downs of the market. As a result, the company has become the world's leading uranium supplier, with about 20% of total production contributed either by its domestic mining divisions or overseas subsidiaries

  8. Management of mining-related damages in abandoned underground coal mine areas using GIS

    Lee, U.J.; Kim, J.A.; Kim, S.S. [Coal Industry Promotion Board, Seoul (Korea, Republic of); Kim, W.K.; Yoon, S.H.; Choi, J.K. [Ssangyong Information and Communication Corp., Seoul (Korea, Republic of)

    2005-07-01

    The mining-related damages such as ground subsidence, acid mine drainage (AMD), and deforestation in the abandoned underground coal mine areas become an object of public concern. Therefore, the system to manage the mining-related damages is needed for the effective drive of rehabilitation activities. The management system for Abandoned Underground Coal Mine using GIS includes the database about mining record and information associated with the mining-related damages and application programs to support mine damage prevention business. Also, this system would support decision-making policy for rehabilitation and provide basic geological data for regional construction works in abandoned underground coal mine areas. (authors)

  9. Management of mining-related damages in abandoned underground coal mine areas using GIS

    The mining-related damages such as ground subsidence, acid mine drainage (AMD), and deforestation in the abandoned underground coal mine areas become an object of public concern. Therefore, the system to manage the mining-related damages is needed for the effective drive of rehabilitation activities. The management system for Abandoned Underground Coal Mine using GIS includes the database about mining record and information associated with the mining-related damages and application programs to support mine damage prevention business. Also, this system would support decision-making policy for rehabilitation and provide basic geological data for regional construction works in abandoned underground coal mine areas. (authors)

  10. Uranium Mining Industry : -A valuation of uranium mining companies

    Östlund, Jacob; Kierkegaard, Kristian

    2007-01-01

    Background: Over the last three years uranium prices have soard from US $14 per pound (lb) to the current price of US $120/lb and this rapid incline of the commodity have created a boom within the uranium prospecting and min-ing industry. There are currently 435 nuclear reactors all over the world and these reactors demand 180 millions of pounds of uranium each year to run at full production. Currently the uranium mining industry only sup-plies 110 million pounds of the demanded quantity. The...

  11. Environmental burden from past uranium mining and milling activities

    Based on a government decree, the Czechoslovak Uranium Industry (CSUP) was required to adopt a uranium mining phasing-out programme in the late 1980s. Throughout the 1990s, uranium mining was abandoned step by step in the Czech Republic except for the Rozna deposit which is still in use. For 17 major mining sites, the environmental impacts caused by the mining activity and by the existing burden from past uranium exploration, mining and milling were assessed. Remedial actions are under way, including reclamation of the sites affected. The programme is funded from the state budget, and the implementation of the programme is the responsibility of the successor to the CSUP, i.e. DIAMO, a state-owned company seated at Straz pod Ralskem. (author)

  12. Uranium recovery from mine water

    In many plant trials it has been proven that very small amounts (10 to 20 ppm) of uranium dissolved in mine water can be effectively recovered by the use of ion exchange resins and this uranium recovery has many advantages. In this paper an economic analysis at different levels of uranium contamination and at different market prices of uranium are described. For this study an operating mine-mill complex with a sulphuric acid leach circuit, followed by solvent extraction (SX) process, is considered, where contaminated mine water is available in excess of process requirements. It is further assumed that the sulphuric acid eluant containing uranium would be mixed with the mill pregnant liquor stream that proceeds to the SX plant for final uranium recovery

  13. Investigation on Health Effects of an Abandoned Metal Mine

    Kim, Soyeon; Kwon, Ho-Jang; Cheong, Hae-Kwan; Choi, Kyungho; Jang, Jae-Yeon; Jeong, Woo-Chul; Kim, Dae-Seon; Yu, Seungdo; Kim, Young-Wook; Lee, Kwang-Young; Yang, Seoung-Oh; Jhung, Ik Jae; Yang, Won-Ho; Hong, Yun-Chul

    2008-01-01

    To investigate potential health risks associated with exposure to metals from an abandoned metal mine, the authors studied people living near an abandoned mine (n=102) and control groups (n=149). Levels of cadmium, copper, arsenic, lead, and zinc were measured in the air, soil, drinking water, and agricultural products. To assess individual exposure, biomarkers of each metal in blood and urine were measured. β2-microglobulin, α1-microglobulin, and N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase and bone minera...

  14. Treatment of mine-water from decommissioning uranium mines

    Treatment methods for mine-water from decommissioning uranium mines are introduced and classified. The suggestions on optimal treatment methods are presented as a matter of experience with decommissioned Chenzhou Uranium Mine

  15. ENERGY TRANSPORT AND POTENTIAL OF AN ABANDONED MINE

    BÉLA ILLÉS; JÁNOS ZSUGA; ANIKÓ TÓTH

    2012-01-01

    In the „70s an important copper ore mine was implemented in Recsk, Northern Hungary. Unfortunately as soon as the use of the roadways were finished the activities were suspended, because the decreasing price of the copper on the international market. The mine then was abandoned the roadways and the shafts were flooded by mine water. The abandoned mine has a substantial geothermal potential. The terrestrial heat flow is anomalously high: 0.108 W/m2, the temperature is 59.5 0C at the lower leve...

  16. Multicomponent reactive transport modeling at the Ratones uranium mine, Cáceres (Spain)

    Marcuello, A.; Gómez, P.; Carrera, Jesús; Ayora, Carlos

    2006-01-01

    [EN] Flooding of abandoned mines may have a major impact in groundwater quality. Predicting the long-term evolution of the water quality is, therefore, a relevant matter for environmental management. The Ratones uranium mine was abandoned and flooded in 1974. Due to its reducing underground environment uranium concentration is very low, although some points show high concentration in Fe and As. Within the works prior to a remediation strategy, reactive transport modelling were perfor...

  17. Uranium mining sites - Thematic sheets

    A first sheet proposes comments, data and key numbers about uranium extraction in France: general overview of uranium mining sites, status of waste rock and tailings after exploitation, site rehabilitation. The second sheet addresses the sources of exposure to ionizing radiations due to ancient uranium mining sites: discussion on the identification of these sources associated with these sites, properly due to mining activities or to tailings, or due to the transfer of radioactive substances towards water and to the contamination of sediments, description of the practice and assessment of radiological control of mining sites. A third sheet addresses the radiological exposure of public to waste rocks, and the dose assessment according to exposure scenarios: main exposure ways to be considered, studied exposure scenarios (passage on backfilled path and grounds, stay in buildings built on waste rocks, keeping mineralogical samples at home). The fourth sheet addresses research programmes of the IRSN on uranium and radon: epidemiological studies (performed on mine workers; on French and on European cohorts, French and European studies on the risk of lung cancer associated with radon in housing), study of the biological effects of chronic exposures. The last sheet addresses studies and expertises performed by the IRSN on ancient uranium mining sites in France: studies commissioned by public authorities, radioactivity control studies performed by the IRSN about mining sites, participation of the IRSN to actions to promote openness to civil society

  18. Regulatory challenges of historic uranium mines in Canada

    The radium and uranium mining industry began in Canada in 1930 with the discovery of the Port Radium deposit in the Northwest Territories. During the 1950s more uranium mines opened across Canada. Most of these mines ceased operation by the end of the 1960s. Some were remediated by their owners, while others were abandoned. The Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), predecessor to the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), was created in 1946. However, it was not until the mid-1970s that the AECB took an active role in regulating health, safety and environmental aspects of uranium mining; so many of the older mines have never been licensed. With the coming into force of the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) in May 2000, this situation has been reviewed. The NSCA requires a licence for the possession of nuclear substances (including uranium mine tailings), or the decommissioning of nuclear facilities (including uranium mines and mills). Furthermore, governments (federal and provincial) are also subject to the NSCA, a change from the previous legislation. The CNSC has an obligation to assess these sites, regardless of ownership, and to proceed with licensing or other appropriate regulatory action. The CNSC has reviewed the status of the twenty sites in Canada where uranium milling took place historically. Eight are already licensed. Licensing actions are being pursued at the other sites. A review of nearly 100 small uranium mining or exploration sites is also underway to determine the most appropriate regulatory approach. This paper focuses on regulatory issues surrounding the historic mining and milling sites, and the regulatory approach being taken, including licensing provincial and federal government bodies who own some of the sites, and ensuring the safe management of sites that were abandoned. (author)

  19. Blasting as a method for abandoned mine land reclamation

    Blasting methods have been proposed for reclaiming abandoned underground coal mine sites having unstable conditions. The objective of blasting is twofold: the permanent stabilization of an area by the collapse of underground workings to prevent any future subsidence, and the use of blasting to close existing sinkholes. This paper presents the results of two research projects funded by the Bureau of Mines Abandoned Mine Land Research Program to investigate the feasibility of blasting to assist in the reclamation of shallow abandoned coal mine sites. Blasting tests were conducted at Beulah, North Dakota and at Scobey, Montana, involving different configurations. The first test was a 10-acre site where blasting was used to collapse regular room and pillar panels for which good mine layout information was available. The second test involved a one acre site containing very irregular workings for which there was little available information. Finally, blasting techniques were used to close 13 individual vertical openings. The depths to the coal seams were 60 feet or less at all sites. When blasting for Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation, material must be cast downward into the abandoned developments or laterally into the sinkhole. Designs based on cratering concepts and spherical charges worked well. The blasting techniques successfully collapsed and stabilized the test areas. Cost of reclamation for the two test sites are presented. Data from blast vibration monitoring are presented because control of vibrations is of concern when mitigation efforts are conducted near homes

  20. Ideate about building green mine of uranium mining and metallurgy

    Analysing the current situation of uranium mining and metallurgy; Setting up goals for green uranium mining and metallurgy, its fundamental conditions, Contents and measures. Putting forward an idea to combine green uranium mining and metallurgy with the state target for green mining, and keeping its own characteristics. (author)

  1. Restoration activities in uranium mining and milling facilities in Spain

    From the end of the 80's up to now, several tasks have been carried out in Spain on restoration in the field of uranium mining and milling, significant among them being Andujar Uranium Mill (FUA) closure and La Haba closure. Also, a study has been carried out on restoration of inoperative and abandoned uranium mine sites. At present, detailed plans are being worked out for the project on the closure of the Elefante plant. All activities have been developed in the common framework of national standards and regulations which are generally in compliance with the standards, regulations and recommendations of international organizations. This paper describes briefly the standards and the criteria applied to the restoration tasks at various sites of the uranium mining and milling facilities in Spain. The restoration activities have different characteristics La Haba facility is an isolated and conventional facility to produce uranium concentrate; in the case of old and abandoned uranium mines the intervention criteria is more relevant than the activities to be carried out; the closure (the first phase of licensing) and restoration activities of Elefante plant have to be developed taking into account that it is sited within the area of Quercus plant which is currently in operation. (author)

  2. Alternative utilization of underground spaces with abandoned mine openings

    Chung, So Keul; Cho, Won Jai; Han, Kong Chang; Choi, Sung Oong [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (Korea)

    1998-12-01

    Utilization of the openings of the abandoned mines could be planned by the principal parameters such as location and geotechnical impact. The local governments have not only to lead the each stage of the utilization project from the very beginning of conceptual design up to the construction stage, but also to promote the project for the development of public purpose. The possible tentative candidates for the utilization of the abandoned mine openings which are supported by the local governments could be summarized as follows. a. The Gahak mine of Kwangmyung, Kyunggi: The mine caverns which have been served as the storage of the pickled fishes, could be reexcavated by taking into consideration the geotechnical parameters for the public use such as: 1) Training center for the youth, 2) Fermentation and storehouse of marine products, 3) Sightseeing resort, 4) Sports and leisure complex, 5) Underground parking lot, 6) Underground shopping mall and chilled room storage, 7) Library, concert hall and museum. b. Hamtae mine of Taebaek, Kangwon: The Hambaek main haulage way and its shaft should be investigated in detail in order to find out a possible use as the underground challenging park of the coal mining operation. c. Mines of Boryung and Hongsung, Chungnam: Lots of mine caverns have been used as the storehouse for the pickled shrimp. However, they have to be promoted to a large scale industries. d. Imgok mine of Kwangju and Palbong mine of Jeongeup, Chunbuk: Mine caverns which have been used as the storehouse of pickles, need a detailed investigation for alternative promotion. e. Yongho mine of Pusan Dalsung mine of Taegu: Both of the mines are located near metropolitan communities. Reconstruction of the old mine caverns of the Yongho mine is highly recommended for a public use. The caverns of the Dalsung mine could be utilized as the storage facilities. Detailed geotechnical survey and sit investigation could be suggested to design the recommended facilities for both

  3. Uranium mining operations in Spain

    The Empresa Nacional del Uranio, SA (ENUSA) was founded in 1972 to undertake and develop the industrial and procurement activities of the nuclear fuel cycle in Spain. Within the organisation of ENUSA, the Uranium Division is directly responsible for the uranium mining and production operations that have been carried out since 1973 in the area of Ciudad Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca. These activities are based on open pit mining, heap leaching and a hydrometallurgical plant (Elefante) for extracting uranium concentrates from the ore. This plant was shut down in 1993 and a new plant was started up on the same site (Quercus) with a dynamic leaching process. The nominal capacity of the new plant is 950 t U3O8 per year. Because of the historically low uranium prices which have recently prevailed, the plant is currently running at a strategic production rate of 300 t U3O8 per year. From 1981 to 1990, in the area of La Haba (Badajoz province), ENUSA also operated a uranium production site, based on open pit mining, and an experimental extraction plant (Lobo-G). ENUSA is currently decommissioning these installations. This paper describes innovations and improvements that ENUSA has recently introduced in the field of uranium concentrates production with a view to cutting production costs, and to improving the decommissioning and site restoration processes in those sites where production is being shut down or resources have been worked out. (author)

  4. Treatment of mine waters discharged from underground uranium mines

    Contaminated mine water treatment before discharging into surface water streams is mandatory for the uranium mines within the National Uranium Company SA - Romania in order to limit supplementary exposure of the population living downside the mine sites. Present mine water treatment plants have to be upgraded in order to ensure the stringent limits for uranium and radium concentrations even when processing waters resulted from the mine flooding process. Ion exchange method is used for uranium removal while radium is separated by adsorption on activated carbon. Separation process and performance are presented for the water treatment plant at an active mine and at a closed mine. (author)

  5. Measures of Vegetation Restoration in Abandoned Mined Lands

    2008-01-01

    By 2004, the occupied and disturbed land area had reached 3.393 million ha by mining, of which forest land took 532 000 ha; In addition, mining also caused 3.721 million -5.316 million ha of degraded forests and woodlands. The impact of mining on environment is multi-fold and deep. Thus it is necessary and significant to approach effective methods to speed up vegetation restoration in abandoned mined lands. Phytoremediation is a relatively new technology (in the lastest decade) and the numbers of plant spec...

  6. ARPANSA's regulatory role in the protection of the environment from ionising radiation. Licensing the remediation of abandoned uranium mine workings in Kakadu National Park

    ARPANSA was established by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Act 1998 to perform a number of specific functions including the licensing of those activities involving radioactive material that are undertaken by Commonwealth entities. This paper describes the role of the regulator in the rehabilitation of an area of Kakadu National Park, which has been licensed as a Prescribed Radiation Facility. When making a decision on whether to issue a licence, the CEO of ARPANSA is obliged by the ARPANS Act to consider, inter alia, whether it has been established that the proposed conduct can be carried on without undue risk to the health and safety of people, and to the environment. However, when licensing the remediation of environmental and radiological consequences of mining activities special difficulties may arise in determining the regulatory approach to be adopted with regard to an intervention of this nature. One specific example is the limited internationally accepted objective radiological criteria on which to base regulation of any remediation. In the particular case of an intervention in Kakadu National Park, the multiplicity of interest groups directly or indirectly involved in management of the affairs of this world heritage listed area adds an extra element to the regulatory equation. (author)

  7. Physical protection at uranium mines

    The physical protection methods currently employed at Ranger Uranium Mines are discussed. Metallurgical accounting is used and, at the final product stage, overt methods of protection, including 24 hour patrols by Site Security Officers, security fencing and electronic surveillance of certain areas

  8. Characterization and effectiveness of remining abandoned coal mines in Pennsylvania

    Under an approved remining program, mine operators can remine abandoned coal mines without assuming legal responsibility for treatment of the previously degraded water, as long as the discharging waters are not further degraded and other regulatory requirements are satisfied. A US Bureau of Mines review of 105 remining permits in Pennsylvania indicates that remining results in substantial reclamation of abandoned mine lands, utilization of significant quantities of coal, and reduction of contaminant loads (acidity and iron) from degraded mine drainage discharges. Normality tests performed on the water quality and flow data indicate generally nonnormal distributions and extreme right-skewness tending toward lower values. The water quality of underground coal mines was observed to be more highly degraded in terms of acidity, iron, and sulfate than that of surface coal mines. The optimum baseline sampling scenario is 12 months in duration at a frequency of one sample per month. Analysis of water quality and flow rates before and after remining indicates that a majority of the mines exhibited either no change or a significant decrease in pollution rate because of remining. The discharge flow rate was the dominant controlling factor when the post-remining contaminant load was significantly better or worse than the baseline (pre-mining) load

  9. 78 FR 9803 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    2013-02-12

    ... Program; Part 879, Management and Disposition of Lands and Water; Part 882, Reclamation on Private Land..., Management, and Disposition of Lands and Water. This section is also in conformity with the Tennessee Code... program in full, effective October 1, 1984. See 49 FR 38874. Abandoned Mine Lands Program (Title...

  10. Abandoned Mine Waste Working Group report

    1993-12-10

    The Mine Waste Working Group discussed the nature and possible contributions to the solution of this class of waste problem at length. There was a consensus that the mine waste problem presented some fundamental differences from the other classes of waste addresses by the Develop On-Site Innovative Technologies (DOIT) working groups. Contents of this report are: executive summary; stakeholders address the problems; the mine waste program; current technology development programs; problems and issues that need to be addressed; demonstration projects to test solutions; conclusion-next steps; and appendices.

  11. Abandoned Mine Waste Working Group report

    The Mine Waste Working Group discussed the nature and possible contributions to the solution of this class of waste problem at length. There was a consensus that the mine waste problem presented some fundamental differences from the other classes of waste addresses by the Develop On-Site Innovative Technologies (DOIT) working groups. Contents of this report are: executive summary; stakeholders address the problems; the mine waste program; current technology development programs; problems and issues that need to be addressed; demonstration projects to test solutions; conclusion-next steps; and appendices

  12. French uranium mining sites remediation

    France produced during nearly half a century about 73 000 tonnes of uranium. Ore deposits were numerous and the concentration of the ores were low, varying from 600 g to several kilogrammes of uranium per tonne. More than two hundred mining sites produced 165 millions tonnes of waste rocks and 52 million tonnes of ore. Eleven mills were built, either conventional or heap leaching, leading to 22 storage sites of mill residues. From the early seventies, environmental protection became a permanent and priority objective of the COGEMA group during all the steps of its activities, without ignoring the consequences of past practices at a time when these practices derived from a lack of environmental knowledge and awareness. Remediation works applies to the structures left after the end of mining operations: Mines, mills and storages of waste rocks or milled residues. (orig.)

  13. GIS-based environmental database for assessing the mine pollution : a case study of an abandoned mine site in Morocco

    Khalil, A.; Hanich, L.; Hakkou, R.; Lepage, Michel

    2014-01-01

    Morocco with important mining activities is increasingly concerned about impacts of mining on the environment. In Morocco, there are approximately 200 abandoned mine sites which vary from small scale underground mines to large scale open-pit mines. Some of these mines, with reactive tailings and waste rocks, are problematic. Indeed, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) pollution from abandoned mines is responsible for soil and water contamination, land resources degradation, changes in landscapes, habita...

  14. Radiation safety needs for the resurgent uranium mining industry

    Full text: After many years in the economic doldrums the world's uranium industry is undergoing a renaissance. The recent rapid price increase for the product and the anticipated market shortfalls in supply of yellowcake have are responsible for this. There is now a rush of new activity: abandoned mines from a previous era are being re-examined for their potential to be re-opened; planning for exploitation of known but undeveloped uranium deposits is proceeding at a rapid pace in many countries new to uranium mining; and finally worldwide exploration activity for uranium is expanding at a great rate with more than 400 companies now claiming to be involved in the uranium mining market. All of there activities have significant implications the radiation protection profession. At every stage of the uranium production cycle, from exploration to mining and processing through to remediation there are requirements for proper radiation protection procedures and regulation. The long period of reduced activity in uranium mining has meant that few young people have been joining the industry over the past 20 years. There is now a shortage of trained and experienced radiation protection professionals associated with the mining industry that cannot be overcome overnight. The paper discusses the development of this situation and the various strategies that are being put in place around the world to improve the situation. In particular the International Atomic Energy Agency has been working with radiation protection authorities and uranium mining industry representatives from around the world to address the issue. The latest developments in this project will be described and the future plans described. (author)

  15. Abandoned coal mine tunnels: Future heating/power Supply centers

    Luo Pingjia; Chen Ning

    2011-01-01

    We have studied three plans for re-use of the abandoned mine roadway tunnels as an energy center.These are the thermostat plan,the thermal accumulator plan,and the CAES plan.Calculations show that the thermostat plan can provide over 15,000 m2 of building air-conditioning/heating load for each kilometer of roadway,but electric power is needed to run the system.Numerical research proved that the accumulation of hot water in the roadway for seasonal heating purposes (a temperature swing from 90 to 54 ℃) is a viable possibility.The CAES plan proposes using the discarded coal mine tunnel as a peaking power station with an energy storage density over 7000 kJ/m3.It can be concluded that presently abandoned coal mines could be reformed into future energy centers for a city.

  16. The problem of abandoned uranium tailings in northern Saskatchewan

    Two Saskatchewan tailings sites, Lorado and Gunnar, covering approximately 89 ha., were abandoned in the early 1960s leaving untreated tailings in lakes and depressions. This report reviews the literature on environmental conditions in abandoned uranium tailings and available managmenet and mitigation options, and identifies research requirements essential for proper treatment of these two sites. The recommended management plan includes isolation of the exposed tailings area from surface waters, stabilization of the exposed tailings surfaces, diversion of runoff around tailings, treatment of overflow water before release, and implementation of an environmental monitoring program. Revegetation appears to be a promising stabilization measure, but research is needed into propagation methods of appropriate native species. Studies of the existing geological and hydrological conditions at both sites, detailed characterization of the wastes, field testing of different surface treatment methods, and nutrient cycling investigations are also needed

  17. Current status of purification of mine waters which arose from uranium ore mining at the Pucov and Olsi-Drahonin sites

    The abandoned, flooded uranium mines, the uranium deposits, and the mine waters are described. At Pucov, the mine water purification consists in reduction of insoluble contents. The technology also enables uranium and radium to be removed from the mine water; this approach was practised in 1992-1997, now, however, the radionuclide levels are low enough not to require any special purification. At Olsi-Drahonin, the technology of the decontamination stations is aimed at reducing the concentrations of insolubles, uranium, and radium in the water treated. The concentration of iron is reduced as well. The decontamination facilities at the two mining sites are described in detail. (P.A.)

  18. French uranium mining sites remediation

    Following a presentation of the COGEMA's general policy for the remediation of uranium mining sites and the regulatory requirements, the current phases of site remediation operations are described. Specific operations for underground mines, open pits, milling facilities and confining the milled residues to meet long term public health concerns are detailed and discussed in relation to the communication strategies to show and explain the actions of COGEMA. A brief review of the current remediation situation at the various French facilities is finally presented. (author)

  19. The Mining Environment Database on abandoned mines, acid mine drainage, and land reclamation

    Laurentian University Library has developed an on-line Mining Environment Database. The database provides references and abstracts to journal articles, books and government reports dealing with acid mine drainage, land reclamation, and abandoned mines. The database, created in 1988, now contains over 7,900 citations on reclamation planning, acid mine drainage, sulfide-based tailings, soil and water contamination, mine closure techniques, and other related topics dealing with mining environment studies. Subject coverage is international and focuses on hard rock mining topics. A stand-alone product for IBM-compatible computers is now available. The database is mastered on four high-density diskettes, and special search software is provided to allow full keyword searching of the database citations. Laurentian has acquired copies of all the materials cited in the database. Access to the on-line database is free of charge, with the exception of long-distance costs, and copy, delivery, or Fax charges for requested material. Suggestions for materials not found in the database and donations of pertinent research information from individuals, corporations, institutions, and government departments are welcomed. Private consulting reports (with the appropriate client approval) are especially welcomed, because this category of research literature cannot be purchased or obtained using normal methods, and is often discarded after a mine property is closed. The process of building a comprehensive research database requires a continuing partnership of information specialists and research users to develop a world class research literature database on mining environment and reclamation

  20. Treatment of mine waters discharged from underground uranium mines

    The National Uranium Company S.A. is dealing with mining and processing of uranium ores. Treatment of mine waters to remove radionuclides such as uranium and radium is a concern in order to reach the permissible values required by local environment authorityies. The decontamination methods and facilities at two underground uranium mines , Suceava and Banat mines respectivelly, are presented. The Suceava mine is active while de Banat mines are closed out since 1998 and ready to be flooded during the 2005-2007 period. It was concluded that removal of uranium and radium from mine waters have a positive environmental impact by decreasing the risk of radiation dose received by critical groups of local population, downside the active or flooded underground mines. Recovered uranium yellow cake and radium rich sludge are transferred for valorization or safe disposal, outside the mine sites. Transfer of uranium loaded resins from the Banat plant to an ore processing plant is foreseen when the same type resin will be used on both sites. Although costly, the mine water treatment at uranium mines is a mandatory task for our mining company in present and also in future

  1. The detection and tracking of mine-water pollution from abandoned mines using electrical tomography

    Ogilvy, R.D.; Kuras, O.; B. Palumbo-Roe; Meldrum, P.I.; Wilkinson, P.B.; Chambers, J. E.; Klinck, B.A.

    2009-01-01

    Increasing emphasis is being placed on the environmental and societal impact of mining, particularly in the EU, where the environmental impacts of abandoned mine sites (spoil heaps and tailings) are now subject to the legally binding Water Framework and Mine Waste Directives. Traditional sampling to monitor the impact of mining on surface waters and groundwater is laborious, expensive and often unrepresentative. In particular, sparse and infrequent borehole sampling may fail to capture the...

  2. Uranium exploration and mining in Australia

    Uranium minerals were discovered in Australia in the years 1850 to 1900 already, but most of them were not recognised as such. It was not until 1894 that the first significant uranium find was made in Carcoar, west of Sydney. At that time, the uranium output of the world, which only amounted to a few hundred cwts, was for the most part obtained from mining areas close to the border between Saxony and Bohemia. In South Australia, uranium ore was mined experimentally for the production of radium at Radium Hill from 1906 onwards and at Mt. Painter from 1910 onwards. It was not until World War II, however, that uranium gained importance as a valuable raw material that could also be used for military purposes. The second phase of uranium mining in Australia commenced in 1944. Within ten years Australia's presumed uranium potential was confirmed by extensive exploration. The development of uranium mining in Australia is described in the present paper. (orig.)

  3. Medium-term erosion simulation of an abandoned mine site using the SIBERIA landscape evolution model

    This study forms part of a collaborative project designed to validate the long-term erosion predictions of the SIBERIA landform evolution model on rehabilitated mine sites. The SIBERIA catchment evolution model can simulate the evolution of landforms resulting from runoff and erosion over many years. SIBERIA needs to be calibrated before evaluating whether it correctly models the observed evolution of rehabilitated mine landforms. A field study to collect data to calibrate SIBERIA was conducted at the abandoned Scinto 6 uranium mine located in the Kakadu Region, Northern Territory, Australia. The data were used to fit parameter values to a sediment loss model and a rainfall-runoff model. The derived runoff and erosion model parameter values were used in SIBERIA to simulate 50 years of erosion by concentrated flow on the batters of the abandoned site. The SIBERIA runs correctly simulated the geomorphic development of the gullies on the man-made batters of the waste rock dump. The observed gully position, depth, volume, and morphology on the waste rock dump were quantitatively compared with the SIBERIA simulations. The close similarities between the observed and simulated gully features indicate that SIBERIA can accurately predict the rate of gully development on a man-made post-mining landscape over periods of up to 50 years. SIBERIA is an appropriate model for assessment of erosional stability of rehabilitated mine sites over time spans of around 50 years. Copyright (2000) CSIRO Australia

  4. Restoration of abandoned mine lands through cooperative coal resource evaluations

    The public reclamation cost of reclaiming all of Pennsylvania's abandoned mine lands is estimated at $15 billion. Drainage from abandoned mines poses another $5 billion water pollution clean-up problem. Although it is unlikely that public reclamation alone could ever tackle these problems, much can be done to alleviate the nuisances through the remining of previously mined areas to recover remaining reserves, restore the land and improve water quality in the same process. Remining of priority areas is encouraged through a new Pennsylvania policy which provides incentives to mining companies. One incentive, initiated under Pennsylvania's comprehensive mine reclamation strategy, is to identify and geologically map reminable coal resources in selected watersheds, and then to expedite mine permitting in these watersheds. At present, two such priority watersheds, Little Toby Creek in Elk County and Tangascootak Creek in Clinton County, are the focus of geologic map compilation based on recent quadrangle mapping, or new, directed, geologic mapping, including new research core drilling to establish the geologic stratigraphic framework. In order to maximize environmental benefits the comprehensive mine reclamation strategy identifies watersheds which are affected by acid mine drainage (AMD), but that are reasonably capable of restoration, if sufficient coal reserves remain. Pennsylvania's geochemical quality database of rock overburden, in combination with detailed coal resource mapping by the Pennsylvania Geological Survey, and the cooperation of coal companies and leaseholders, is being used by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to identify and design remining projects which will not only allow the recovery of coal resources, but will also improve the water quality through a variety of innovative mining techniques

  5. The prevention of mine accident and utilization of abandoned mine openings.

    Cho, Won-Jai; Lee, Sang-Kwon; Chung, So-Keul [Korea Institute of Geology Mining and Materials, Taejon (KR)] (and others)

    1999-12-01

    This report consists of 2 subjects. (1) Research on the prevention of mine accident (V): This research has been conducted to investigate 11 major operating coal mines in respect to mine safety. The safety inspection on 9 coal mines has already been done until 1998. In this year, two coal mines, Sangduck and Maro, were inspected and desirable counter measures were recommended. (2) Alternative utilization of underground spaces with abandoned mine openings: The final goal of this study is to establish the model of utilization of abandoned mine openings, to design the utilization model, and to develop the utilization techniques. For these research targets, literature surveys, determination of major factors, and field surveys for candidate mines were performed during first research year. Now in this second year, the candidate mines were deeply surveyed, and finally conceptual design was made for one of these abandoned mines. The Gahak mine which is located in Kwangmyung city, Kyunggido, can be utilized as a bio-park and a cave land. (author). 33 refs., 104 tabs., 21 figs.

  6. Environmental effects of uranium exploration and mining

    Uranium exploration and mining is increasing as the Nation's demand for energy grows. The environmental impacts associated with this exploration and mining are not severe and compare favorably with impacts from the production of other energy resources

  7. Experience and problems of uranium mines conservation

    In North Kazakhstan uranium province there were 12 uranium deposits which were developed during five decades by 5 ore-mining departments. Now only one of these departments randomly operates, and other ones were closed down in 1994-2000. Due to economic depression in these years the conservation works on the fulfilled its task deposits does not carrying out. Volumes of radioactive wastes in these deposits are estimated 54.5 million m3. In 2000 the 'Program of uranium mining plants conservation and uranium deposits development consequences elimination during 2000-2010' was adopted . Principal aim of the program is radioactive contamination reduction in uranium ore-mining districts to level ensuring maximal population health protection. One of the responsible enterprise for uranium mines conservation in North Kazakhstan uranium province is Republican State Enterprise 'Uranlikvidrudnik'

  8. Detection of uranium mining activities

    In undisturbed natural uranium ore the 238U decay chain isotopes appear in secular decay equilibrium with activity ratios equal to one. In the course of ore processing the bulk of the uranium decay products is separated from the uranium product and concentrated in the tails. Therefore the disturbed activity ratios of short-lived daughters to long-lived parents can be indicators of ore processing. Using 234Th and 238U activities (the short-lived daughter with T1/2=24.1 days and the long- lived parent respectively) one can roughly estimate how much time has elapsed since ore processing occurred. Equilibrium is reached in about three months after processing and the 234Th and 238U activity levels are approximately equal (taking into account the error of measurements). Higher or lower 234Th activity levels, relative to 238U, indicate the material has been recently processed. Assuming the product is depleted in Th and the tails are enriched, the activity of 234Th in fresh product should be lower than 238U and higher in fresh tails. The 234Th/230Th activity ratio can also be used for age estimations (230Th is a long-lived nuclide). Five samples were taken from the Ranger Uranium Mine and Concentration Plant in Australia, and one sample was taken from the Jabiluka mine (10 km far from the Ranger Mine). The samples included non-processed ore, coarse ore from the stockpile, final crushed ore, fresh and old tails, and fresh product (U3O8). All the samples were analyzed by HRGS to measure the activities of gamma emitting nuclides. XRF and IDMS were used to measure uranium content and isotopic composition. The 238U activity was calculated from these measurement results. The 234Th activity was measured by HRGS with a planar HPGe detector and a calibrated low activity 241Am solution as an internal standard. The 234Th/230Th activity ratio was measured using the 60 keV energy region where both isotopes have gamma lines. Use of gamma lines with close energies (63.29 keV for 234Th

  9. Gunnar uranium mine environmental remediation - Northern Saskatchewan - 16102

    Thirty-six now-abandoned uranium mine and mill sites were developed and operated in Northern Saskatchewan, Canada, from approximately 1957 through 1964. During their operating lifetimes these mines produced large quantities of ore and tailings. The Gunnar Mine is located on the shores of Lake Athabasca, the 22. largest lake in the world. The Gunnar mine (open pit and underground) produced over 5 million tonnes of uranium ore and nearly 4.4 million tonnes of mine tailings. There is an estimated 2,710,700 m3 of waste rock that abuts the shores of Lake Athabasca. After closure in the 1960?s, the Gunnar site along with all of the other uranium mine and mill sites were abandoned with little remediation and no reclamation being done. The governments of Canada and Saskatchewan are now funding the clean-up of these abandoned northern uranium mine and mill sites and have contracted the management of the project to the Saskatchewan Research Council. The clean-up activity is expected to take about 8 years, followed by 10-15 years of monitoring activity before the sites are to be released into an institutional controls program that will allow government oversight of a long term management and monitoring program. The Gunnar site, because of the magnitude of tailings and waste rock, is subject to an environmental site assessment process regulated by both provincial and federal governments. This process requires a detailed study of the projected environmental impacts resulting from the mining activities and an analysis of projected impacts from remediation efforts. Prescribed environmental and land use endpoints will be made based on the environmental assessment studies and remediation options analyzed and implemented based on expected results. Remediation options range from deep lake disposal of tailings to disposal of tailings in the open pit which is now filled with water and fish (contaminated, but which are reproducing successfully) to covering the tailings with a cap. The

  10. Reclamation of abandoned underground mines in the United Kingdom

    Since 1980, the Derelict Land Grant program has supported reclamation of abandoned mines in the United Kingdom. The stabilization of large-scale limestone mines in the West Midlands has stimulated the development of new methods of bulk infilling using waste materials as thick pastes. Colliery spoil rock paste develops strengths of 10 to 20 kPa to support roof falls and prevent crown hole collapse. Pulverized fuel ash rock paste develops strengths over 1 MPa where lateral support to pillars is required. Smaller scale mine workings in the West Midlands and elsewhere have been stabilized using conventional grouting techniques, hydraulic and pneumatic stowing, foamed-concrete infill, bulk excavation with controlled backfill, and structural support using bolts, mesh, and shotcrete

  11. 30 CFR 902.20 - Approval of Alaska abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    2010-07-01

    ... available at: (a) Department of Natural Resources, Division of Mining and Water Management, 3601 C Street... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of Alaska abandoned mine land... § 902.20 Approval of Alaska abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Alaska Reclamation Plan,...

  12. Long-term ecological behaviour of abandoned uranium mill tailings

    Semi-aquatic and terrestrial areas on abandoned or inactive uranium mill tailings in Ontario were studied in order to identify the growth characteristics of the naturally invading species dominating these areas. Semi-aquatic areas of tailings sites have been invaded by cattails. These species formed wetland communities which varied in size, but all were essentially monocultures of Typha latifolia, T. angustifolia, or of the hybrids T. glauca. Sedges, Scripus cyperinus (wool-grass) and Phragmites australis (reed-grass), were found in transition zones between the cattail stand and the dry section of the tailings site. The expansion of the cattail stands appeared to be controlled by the hydrological conditions on the site, rather than the chemical characteristics of the tailings

  13. Abandoned mine shafts and levels in the British coalfields

    Davies, Christopher S.

    1988-07-01

    Industrial dereliction is a concern to all societies. In the United Kingdom the British government is trying to make its abandoned coalfields more attractive to new industry through a combination of land reclamation and job incentive programs. The most ambitious of these projects occurs in the South Wales Coalfield, which records 200 years of land defilement and the highest unemployment amplitudes in mainland Britain. In returning this area to a semblance of its previous state, problems arise over how best to fill and cap the many derelict pit shafts and abandoned shallow mines that riddle this region. This analysis reports on the methods of treatment used to achieve this end, along with the procedures used to minimize ground subsidence, water pollution, noxious gas emission, and the potential for physical injury. These environmental controls have application to the United States and Western Europe, where pockets of industrial blight are also symptomatic of a troubled local economy.

  14. The ERGO project: uranium from mine tailings

    This paper describes the ERGO project, in Witwatersrand, for extracting gold, sulphur and low-grade uranium from slime dams resulting from gold mining operations. The design of the plant, feasibility studies, methods of uranium extraction and personnel management are discussed. The profitability of the plant, with uranium recovery at 27%, and prospects of improvement, are noted. (U.K.)

  15. Radon exposure in abandoned metalliferous mines of South America

    Since the days of the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors, South America has been closely associated with the metalliferous ore mining. Gold, silver, tin, lead, tungsten, nickel, copper, and palladium ores have been explored over the last centuries. In addition, there has also been the development and promotion of other economic activities related to mining, as the underground mine tourism. A few works have been published on radon levels in the South American mining. In this study, we investigated the radon transport process and its health hazard in two exhausted and abandoned mines in San Luis Province, Argentina. These mines were chosen because they have different physical configurations in their cavities, features which can affect the air flow patterns and radon concentrations. La Carolina gold mine (32 deg 48' 0'' S, 66 deg 60' 0'' W) is currently a blind end system, corresponding to a horizontal excavation into the side of a mountain, with only a main adit. Los Condores wolfram mine (32 deg 33' 25'' S, 65 deg 15' 20'' W) is also a horizontal excavation into the side of a mountain, but has a vertical output (a shaft) at the end of the main gallery. Three different experimental methodologies were used. Radon concentration measurements were performed by CR-39 nuclear track detectors. The distribution of natural radionuclide activities (40K, 232Th and 238U) was determined from rock samples collected along their main adits, using in laboratory gamma-ray spectrometry. The external gamma dose rate was evaluated using thermoluminescent dosimeters and a portable survey meter. The values for the 222Rn concentration ranged from 0.43 ± 0.04 to 1.48 ± 0.12 kBq/m3 in the Los Condores wolfram mine and from 1.8 ± 0.1 to 6.0±0.5 kBq/m3 in the La Carolina gold mine, indicating that, in this mine, the radon levels exceed up to four times the action level of 1.5 kBq/m3 recommended by the ICRP. The patterns of the radon transport process revealed that the La Carolina gold mine

  16. Estimating Limits for the Geothermal Energy Potential of Abandoned Underground Coal Mines: A Simple Methodology

    Rafael Rodríguez Díez; María B. Díaz-Aguado

    2014-01-01

    Flooded mine workings have good potential as low-enthalpy geothermal resources, which could be used for heating and cooling purposes, thus making use of the mines long after mining activity itself ceases. It would be useful to estimate the scale of the geothermal potential represented by abandoned and flooded underground mines in Europe. From a few practical considerations, a procedure has been developed for assessing the geothermal energy potential of abandoned underground coal mines, as we...

  17. Monitoring genotoxic exposure in uranium mines.

    Srám, R J; Dobiás, L; Rössner, P; Veselá, D; Veselý, D; Rakusová, R; V. Rericha

    1993-01-01

    Recent data from deep uranium mines in Czechoslovakia indicated that mines are exposed to other mutagenic factors in addition to radon daughter products. Mycotoxins were identified as a possible source of mutagens in these mines. Mycotoxins were examined in 38 samples from mines and in throat swabs taken from 116 miners and 78 controls. The following mycotoxins were identified from mines samples: aflatoxins B1 and G1, citrinin, citreoviridin, mycophenolic acid, and sterigmatocystin. Some mold...

  18. Uranium mining capabilities in the Russian Federation

    Full text: ARMZ is the mining arm of the Russian nuclear industry and responsible for uranium supply for Russian nuclear industry. It operates all uranium producing centers in the Russian Federation and has shares in two joint ventures in Kazakhstan. ARMZ uranium production in 2009 amounted 3 678 tonnes: 3 413 tonnes from three Russian producing centers (3 037 t at Priargunsky, 350 t at Dalur and 26 t at Khiagda) and 114 tonnes at JV Zarechnoe in Kazakhstan. To meet growing Russian nuclear industry requirements ARMZ plans to increase annual uranium production to 10 000 tonnes in 2015 and further to 20 000 tonnes by the year 2025. Uranium resources of ARMZ enterprises in Russia and Kazakhstan amount 582 663 tonnes and completely meet production plans. ARMZ also explore opportunities for joint uranium mining in Ukraine and Mongolia, and for uranium exploration in Canada, Armenia, Namibia and other countries. The principal directions of uranium production development: - Development of existing and under construction producing centers in the Russian Federation (Priargunsky, Dalur and Kniagda) to the annual production 8 000 t; - Building three new uranium producing centers Elkon, Gornoe, Olovskaya and other mines based on recently discovered deposits with the aggregated annual capacity 7 000 t; - Development of joint ventures in Kazakhstan to the level 5 000 t per year. ARMZ cooperates with domestic and foreign nuclear, energy, mining, industrial, financial and trading companies to attract investments in uranium mining. (author)

  19. Impacts of uranium mining on the environment

    Activities associated with mining and processing uranium ore result in the release of radionuclides and heavy metals to the environment. The effect of the release of radon and airborne particulates on background concentrations and regulations controlling these releases are presented. Treatment methods to remove uranium, radium, and selenium from the mine discharge water have been developed using traditional and innovative technology. Regulatory procedures for disposal of solid waste from mining are currently being reviewed and revised

  20. Research on mechanism of groundwater pollution from mine water in abandoned mines

    WANG Lai-gui; LI Xi-lin; LIU Ling; HAN Liang

    2008-01-01

    In order to understand the mechanism and regularity of the groundwater contamination from mine water of abandoned mines, experiments were conducted on an abandoned coal mine in Fuxin, a representative city with lots of mine water in northeast China. The groundwater pollution from different contaminants of coal-mining voids (total hardness, SO2-4, Cl and total Fe) and pollution factors transportation situation in the coal rock were simulated by soil column experiment under the conditions of mine water leaching and main water leaching (similar to rainwater leaching), and the water-rock interaction mechanism was discussed during mine water infiltration through saturated coal rock by application of principle of mass conservation, based on physical properties of coal rock, as well as monitored chemical composition. The results show that, compared with the clear water leaching process, trends of change in pollutant concentrations presented different characteristics in the mine water leaching process. Groundwater is contaminated by the water rock interactions such as migration & accumulation, adsorption & transformation,dissolution & desorption and ion exchange during the mine water permeation. The experiments also suggest that at first dissolution rate of some kinds of dissoluble salts is high,but it decreases with leaching time, even to zero during both the mine water leaching and main water leaching.

  1. Uranium Mining and Remediation in India

    The paper describes the present situation of uranium mining and remediation in India. In India, the nuclear energy sector encompassing the complete fuel cycle is under the control of Department of Atomic Energy, Government of India. Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL), a public sector undertaking under Department of Atomic Energy, with its headquarter at Jaduguda has been operating four underground mines, one opencast mine and two ore processing plants in East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand state. All these units are located in a geologically significant province - called Singhbhum Shear Zone, known for its uranium-copper resources. In addition, two large uranium mining and processing projects have been planned in the States of Andhra Pradesh and Meghalaya. These mines will be brought into production during the period between 2007 and 2012, and thereby increase the uranium production in the country for India's nuclear power programme. Though the mining operations for uranium in India commenced way back in the year 1968, no uranium mine has been closed so far in India. (author)

  2. Extent of Abandoned Underground Coal Mines and Surface Mines in the Boulder-Weld Coal Field (friminedu)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — This file is a digital polygon representation of the areal extent of abandoned underground coal mines and surface mines in the Boulder-Weld coal field, Denver...

  3. Uranium mining and stakeholder engagement in the Northern Territory, Australia

    Full text: Uranium has been mined in the Northern Territory of Australia more or less continuously since 1949. Most of these mines have been located on Aboriginal land, although in many cases Native Title has only been recently established and the rights of the Traditional Owners finally acknowledged. In earlier days consultation with the Traditional Owners was generally unheard of and few sites were rehabilitated when mining ceased. However, leading practice in modern mining, including uranium mining, requires that these two issues are paid particular attention, whether it be for development and operation of current mines or the remediation of legacy sites. The paper presents two brief case studies in relation to stakeholder engagement developed in the Alligator Rivers Region uranium field of Australia's Northern Territory. The subject of the first case study, the South Alligator valley, was subject to intensive prospecting and exploration which resulted in the development of 13 small uranium mines between 1955 and 1964. The operations were abandoned and the area returned to being a cattle ranch. In 1987 the valley lay within an area that was incorporated into the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park. In 1996 the Gunlom Land Trust was granted native title to the area under the Commonwealth's Northern Territory Land Rights Act (1976). The new owners immediately leased the land back to the Commonwealth Government for continued use as a National Park. A condition of that lease was that all former mine sites and associated workings would be rehabilitated by 2015. The paper describes the comprehensive consultation process involving all stakeholders that was developed for this programme; and goes on to describe the programme of remediation works to date and the situation as of 2009. The second case history deals with the consultation process developed by one Government agency as it works with Traditional Owners and other stakeholders in maintaining surveillance

  4. Monitoring genotoxic exposure in uranium mines

    Recent data from deep uranium mines in Czechoslovakia indicated that miners are exposed to other mutagenic factors in addition to radon daughter products. Mycotoxins were identified as a possible source of mutagens in these mines. Mycotoxins were examined in 38 samples from mines and in throat swabs taken from 116 miners and 78 controls. The following mycotoxins were identified from mines samples: aflatoxins B1 and G1, citrinin, citreoviridin, mycophenolic acid, and sterigmatocystin. Some mold strains isolated from mines and throat swabs were investigated for mutagenic activity by the SOS chromotest and Salmonella assay with strains TA100 and TA98. Mutagenicity was observed, especially with metabolic activation in citro. These data suggest that mycotoxins produced by molds in uranium mines are a new genotoxic factor im uranium miners. 17 refs., 4 tabs

  5. Analysis and Application of Coal Seam Seismic Waves for detection of Abandoned Mines

    Yancey, Daniel Jackson

    2006-01-01

    It is not uncommon for underground coal mining to be conducted in the proximity of abandoned underground mines that are prone to accumulate water, methane or other toxic gases, and are often either poorly mapped or without good surface survey control. Mining into such abandoned voids poses a great safety risk to personnel, equipment, and production from inundation or toxic/explosive gas release. Often, surface or underground drilling is employed to detect the mine void and e...

  6. Natural Radioactivity around Former Uranium Mine, Kalna in Eastern Serbia

    'Grabovnica' near small village Kalna was one of the first uranium mine established in Yugoslavia. In 1963, the Nuclear Energy Commission began operating the mine and mill. Between 1964 and 1966, the staff at this mine extracted and produced an estimated 900 kg of UO2 and 400 kg of uranium metal. The Kalna ore was of poor quality, containing very low uranium content, which required higher-cost mining and refining methods. That was the main reason for closing this mine. This paper presents results obtained by measuring the activity concentration of soil and water samples by gamma spectrometry and also indoor 222Rn activity concentrations in houses in the nearby village Kalna. The investigations of radioactivity content of the samples collected around abandoned mine 'Grabovnica' are carried out in order to determine the present state of the environment in this area. Most of the examined samples show elevated radioactivity. Only six samples (from 14 measured by gamma-spectroscopy) have external hazard index less than one. There are two soil samples taken from the entrance to the main shaft which have really high external hazard index. The obtained results also show higher activity concentration of 137Cs in some samples. The highest activity concentration of 222Rn is found in one house which is working area. All houses are very well ventilated which greatly affect 222Rn activity concentrations in air, so there is no need for any intervention. The mine was never officially decommissioned. The results obtained might be useful for the future decommissioning procedure. Future investigations should include other mentioned former mine locations in East Serbia and also comparison with areas of this origin worldwide.(author)

  7. Environmental protection issues in uranium mining

    The extent to which the environment in the vicinity of the Ranger uranium mine has been protected throughout the past twenty years has been assessed on the basis of radiological, chemical and biological monitoring. Based on this experience, a risk assessment of the proposed development of the Jabiluka mine has been carried out. It is concluded that mining of uranium at Ranger has not given rise to adverse effects on the people or the ecosystems of Kakadu National Park and the natural values of the Park are not threatened by the development of the Jabiluka mine

  8. Potential for mine water reuse in an abandoned coal mine in northern Spain

    Marques, A.; Garcia-Ordiales, E.; Loredo, J. [Oviedo Univ., Asturias (Spain)

    2010-07-01

    This paper investigated the potential re-utilization of mine water in industrial activities. Mine water characterization studies were conducted to evaluate mine waters from the abandoned La Camocha Mine in northwestern Spain. Hydrochemical studies have indicated that the water is bicarbonated with a low sulphate and iron content, and a neutral pH. The concentrations of trace metals are below water legislation for human consumption levels. The water can economically be transported for use in the irrigation of a botanical garden and sports centre located in the same region as the mine. Use of the water will help to preserve rivers and other waterways in the region, and may also minimize the environmental impacts of pumping activities at the mine. Fluid properties for various water samples were provided. 6 refs., 1 tab., 3 figs.

  9. Leachability of Arsenic and Heavy Metals from Mine Tailings of Abandoned Metal Mines

    Hyung-Seok Kim; Ji-Whan Ahn; Gi-Chun Han; Mihee Lim; Kwang-Suk You

    2009-01-01

    Mine tailings from an abandoned metal mine in Korea contained high concentrations of arsenic (As) and heavy metals [e.g., As: 67,336, Fe: 137,180, Cu: 764, Pb: 3,572, and Zn: 12,420 (mg/kg)]. US EPA method 6010 was an effective method for analyzing total arsenic and heavy metals concentrations. Arsenic in the mine tailings showed a high residual fraction of 89% by a sequential extraction. In Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) and Korean Standard Leaching Test (KSLT), leaching c...

  10. Radiation hazard surveillance in spanish uranium mines

    The regulations applied in the uranium mines which belong to the Junta de Energia Nuclear to control the radioactive hazards, and to get the personal protection avoiding overexposures in the external radiation and inhalation of radioactive dust and gases are given. The Radon daughters concentration in the atmosphere of Avery one of the mines and the external radiation exposure and uranium excretion in urine of the miners during 1962 are specified. (Author) 9 refs

  11. Impacts of Canada's uranium mining industry

    This study examines economic and environmental impacts of uranium mining in Canada and compares these impacts with those of other extractive and energy industries. The uranium industry generates taxes and royalties, income, employment, foreign exchange earnings, security of energy supply, and technological spinoffs. The indirect impacts of the industry as measured by employment and income multipliers are lower than those for other types of mining and comparable to oil and gas because of the high proportion of costs withdrawn from the economy in the form of taxes and operator margin. Social costs are primarily occupational hazards. Uranium mining probably has a lower non-health environmental impact than other mining industries due to much smaller throughputs and transportation requirements. Residents of the area surrounding the mine bear a disproportionate share of the social costs, while non-residents receive most of the benefits

  12. Environmental impact of uranium mining and milling

    The author introduces the subject with an overview of the regulatory requirments and philosophy applied to uranium mines and mills. The special attention given to tailings management is highlighted, and a discussion of the basic environmental concerns is concluded with an itemizing of the main tasks facing the AECB. The extent of the environmental impact of uranium mining, milling and waste management is illustrated with specific details pertaining to mines in the Elliot Lake area. The author concludes that the impact on the ground and surface water system is not alarming, and the impact on air quality is not significant beyond a few hundred metres from the mining facilities. The publicly perceived impact is discussed, followed by a rationale for the continued licensing of new uranium mining operations complete with tailings management facilities

  13. Reclaiming abandoned mining sites: Reurbanization concepts and examples

    The Ruhr District in Germany, one of the oldest and largest hard coal mining regions in Europe, has been in a process of constant change over the last 40 years. Since the end of the World War II, the coal industry has been declining. There have been a number of successful attempts to establish new industries in the Ruhr District. However, the initiation of new industries depends strongly on the availability of space. Since the Ruhr District is a rather populated region, the only chance to gain space is to reclaim the areas formerly used by now obsolete industries. The remediation of former mining sites in the ruhr District and the reestablishment of alternative industries have now become both a challenge for city planners and a prestigious attribute for ambitious politicians. It has become the declared goal of the German government to convert the Ruhr District into the greenest industrial region in the world. This paper discusses geotechnical techniques, as well as economical risks involved, in the recycling of abandoned mining sites. To demonstrate remediation techniques used in Germany, a recent remediation project is described and analyzed

  14. The new uranium mining boom. Challenge and lessons learned

    The book presents the results from the Uranium Mining and Hydrogeology Conference (UMH VI) held in September 2011, in Freiberg, Germany. The following subjects are dealt with in depth: uranium mining, phosphate mining and uranium recovery. Cleaning up technologies for water and soil are also discussed at length. Analystics and sensors for uranium and radon and modelling round up this comprehensive volume. (orig.)

  15. Virginia big-eared bats (Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus) roosting in abandoned coal mines in West Virginia

    Johnson, J.B.; Edwards, J.W.; Wood, P.B. [West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV (US). Wildlife & Fisheries Resources Programme

    2005-07-01

    We surveyed bats at 36 abandoned coal mines during summer 2002 and 47 mines during fall 2002 at New River Gorge National River and Gauley River National Recreation Area, WV. During summer, we captured three federally endangered Virginia big-eared bats at two mine entrances, and 25 were captured at 12 mine entrances during fall. These represent the first documented captures of this species at coal mines in West Virginia. Future survey efforts conducted throughout the range of the Virginia big-eared bat should include abandoned coal mines.

  16. A systematic inventory of abandoned mines - a powerful tool for risk management

    The Province of Ontario, Canada has undertaken a comprehensive program for the identification and assessment of abandoned mine hazards. This program has been being applied across the entire province covering over one million km3 of territory. A three phased inventory and risk management approach was implemented. Phase 1 involved review of the available literature on abandoned mines. Phase 2 involved field assessments of sites containing potential mine hazards. Phase 3 involved the development and implementation of acknowledge based risk assessment system. The need for the field assessment of over 6,000 sites was identified in Phase I. Critical data on these sites is documented in the Abandoned Mines Informations Systems (AMIS) database. An example of the results of Phase II are presented for one administrative district, covering 304 individual sites. The Abandoned Mines Hazard Rating System (AMHAZ) was developed specifically as a risk management tool for mine hazards. 11 refs., 6 figs., 1 tab

  17. Ranger uranium mine and the environment

    An outline is given of the programme being implemented by E.R.A. to safeguard the natural environment of the Ranger Uranium Mine in the Northern Territory. The topics covered are responsibilities toward the environment, responsibilities to aboriginal landowners, the environmental programme, radiation safety, water management, biological aspects and mine rehabilitation

  18. Uranium Surface Mine reclamation in South Texas

    Reclamation of Surface Mining for Uranium in South Texas has changed since the early 1960's. The paper reviews current reclamation procedures including the use of vegetation, grade stabilization structures, rainfall runoff management, use of computers in planning, evaluation and design, and considerations for long term management of reclaimed mine sites

  19. Recent developments in Australia's uranium mining industry

    Australia's economic, demonstrated resources of uranium (U) at the end of 1996 amounted to 622,000 tonnes U, the largest of any country. Uranium is currently produced at two mining/milling operations in Australia - Ranger in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory, and Olympic Dam in South Australia. Improved market conditions and recent changes to Government policies have encouraged Australian companies to commit to the expansion of existing operations and the development of new uranium mines. Australia's annual production is likely to increase from its present level of 6000 tonncs (t) U3O8 to approximately 12 000 t U3O8 by the year 2000. (author)

  20. Narbalek uranium mine: from EIS to decommissioning

    The Nabarlek uranium mine operated in Northern Australia from 1979 until 1989 and was the first of the 'new generation' of uranium mines to go through the cycle of EIS, operation and decommissioning. The paper describes the environmental and operational approval processes, the regulatory regime and the decommissioning procedures at the mine. The mine was located on land owned by indigenous Aboriginal people and so there were serious cultural considerations to be taken into account throughout the mine's life. Site work for decommissioning and rehabilitation was completed in 1995 but revegetation assessment has continued until the present time (1999). The paper concludes with the latest assessment and monitoring data and discusses the lessons learned by all parties from the completion of the cycle of mine life 'from cradle to grave'. (author)

  1. Environmental impact statement - Beverly uranium mine

    Heathgate Resources Pty Ltd, an Australian affiliate of General Atomics of the USA, proposes to establish and operate a uranium mine at Beverley in northern South Australia. Mining by in situ leach (ISL) methods is proposed to produce up to 1000 tonnes yellowcake per annum, for sale and export over a minimum 15 year mine life. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is required by State and Commonwealth legislation under the Commonwealth Environment Protection (Impact of Proposals) Act, 1974 and the South Australian Development Act, 1993. This EIS addresses the mining proposal, the existing environment, impacts of the mine on the environment, environmental safeguards, monitoring and proposed rehabilitation measures

  2. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine

    Bori Dols, Jaume; Valles Malet, Bettina; Navarro Flores, Andrés Francisco; Riva Juan, Mª del Carmen

    2016-01-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters...

  3. The improvement on the mining method in Benxi uranium mine

    The author presents a concluded mining situation and existed problem in Benxi Uranium Mine in recent years. According to these, a technical analysis of several mining method is technically possible and economically reasonable. In order to improve this mining method, several reinforcements of surrounding rock are presented. It is proposed to decrease exposure time of mining excavation to minimum and fill the excavation quickly using new filling method for security. Some proposed plans have been applied on site, the others will be helpful to the later operation of the project

  4. Recent developments in Australia's uranium mining industry

    Uranium is produced at two mining/milling operations in Australia - Ranger in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory, and Olympic Dam in South Australia. In 1996, Ranger produced 4138 tonnes (t) U3O8 from stockpiled ore mined from Ranger No. 1 Orebody. The capacity of the Ranger mill is being expanded to 5000 tonnes per annum (tpa) U3O8 to coincide with the commencement of mining from No. 3 Orebody in mid-1997. The Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold-silver deposit is the world's largest deposit of low cost uranium. The operation currently has an annual production of 85,000 t copper, 1700 t U3O8 and associated gold and silver. WMC Ltd proposes to expand annual production to 200 000 t copper and approximately 4600 t U3O8 by end of 1999. The environmental impact of the expansion is being assessed jointly by both Commonwealth and South Australian Governments. A draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was released in May. Since its election in March 1996, the Liberal/National Party Coalition Government has made a number of changes to the Commonwealth Government's policies relating to uranium mining, including removal of the former Government's 'three mines' policy, and relaxation of the guidelines for foreign investment in Australian uranium mines. These changes, together with an improved outlook for the uranium market, have resulted in proposals to develop new mines at Jabiluka (Northern Territory), Kintyre (Western Australia) and Beverley (South Australia). Energy Resources of Australia Ltd proposes to develop an underground mine at Jabiluka with the ore to be processed at Ranger mill. Initial production will be 1800 tpa U3O8 which will increase to 4000 tpa U3O8 by the 14th year. The draft EIS was released for public comment in October 1996, and the final EIS is to be released in June 1997. Canning Resources Ltd proposes to mine the Kintyre deposit by open cut methods commencing in 1999 with an annual production of 1200 tpa U3O8. Heathgate Pty. Ltd

  5. Water pollution - control of pollution regulations: water pollution from abandoned mines; pre-notification of mine abandonment consultation paper and draft regulations

    NONE

    1997-02-01

    The paper contains proposals to specify the content of the pre-abandonment notices which UK mine operators will be required to give in the future. The proposals are designed to enhance the Environment Agency`s ability to tackle water pollution from abandoned mines. They set out the precise contents of the notification, which mine operators will have to send to the Agency at least six months in advance of any intended abandonment. The regulations will cover coal and non-coal mines. Estimated compliance costs to business have been drawn up following consultation with the Department of Trade and Industry, the Health and Safety Executive, the Coal Authority and the Environment Agency. The regulations are due in late spring 1998.

  6. Uranium

    With the worldwide revival of nuclear energy comes the question of uranium reserves. For more than 20 years, nuclear energy has been neglected and uranium prospecting has been practically abandoned. Therefore, present day production covers only 70% of needs and stocks are decreasing. Production is to double by 2030 which represents a huge industrial challenge. The FBR-type reactors technology, which allows to consume the whole uranium content of the fuel, is developing in several countries and will ensure the long-term development of nuclear fission. However, the implementation of these reactors (the generation 4) will be progressive during the second half of the 21. century. For this reason an active search for uranium ores will be necessary during the whole 21. century to ensure the fueling of light water reactors which are huge uranium consumers. This dossier covers all the aspects of natural uranium production: mineralogy, geochemistry, types of deposits, world distribution of deposits with a particular attention given to French deposits, the exploitation of which is abandoned today. Finally, exploitation, ore processing and the economical aspects are presented. Contents: 1 - the uranium element and its minerals: from uranium discovery to its industrial utilization, the main uranium minerals (minerals with tetravalent uranium, minerals with hexavalent uranium); 2 - uranium in the Earth's crust and its geochemical properties: distribution (in sedimentary rocks, in magmatic rocks, in metamorphic rocks, in soils and vegetation), geochemistry (uranium solubility and valence in magmas, uranium speciation in aqueous solution, solubility of the main uranium minerals in aqueous solution, uranium mobilization and precipitation); 3 - geology of the main types of uranium deposits: economical criteria for a deposit, structural diversity of deposits, classification, world distribution of deposits, distribution of deposits with time, superficial deposits, uranium

  7. A Mine-Based Uranium Market Clearing Model

    Aris Auzans; Erich A. Schneider; Robert Flanagan; Tkaczyk, Alan H.

    2014-01-01

    Economic analysis and market simulation tools are used to evaluate uranium (U) supply shocks, sale or purchase of uranium stockpiles, or market effects of new uranium mines or enrichment technologies. This work expands on an existing U market model that couples the market for primary U from uranium mines with those of secondary uranium, e.g., depleted uranium (DU) upgrading or highly enriched uranium (HEU) down blending, and enrichment services. This model accounts for the interdependence bet...

  8. Restoration of contaminated soils in abandoned mine areas (Tuscany, Italy)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2016-04-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation have been nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, and have left on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including surface and groundwater, soils, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The main processes occurring at these sites are: rock disgregation, fragments migration, dust dispersion, oxidation (Eh>250mV), acidification (pHmine sites in Tuscany, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on representative soil profiles (Spolic Technosols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Cu, Fe, Pb, Zn) overcoming legislation limits on average. Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. The results obtained suggest that the abandoned mine sites represent actual natural laboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, plants growing on these substrates are genetically adapted to metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in phytoremediation of contaminated sites. Furthermore, the institution of natural parks in these areas could enhance their educational and scientific value, contributing in the meantime to general population amusement and recreation. Finally, it is the occasion for soil scientists to submit to the scientific community new classification proposals of this new kind of soils. Key-words: mine waste, heavy metals, phytoremediation, soil genesis, soil classification

  9. Abandoning of mining activities - impact on ground water and surface water systems

    At present a decrease in mining activities occurs in practically all mining areas (both coal and ore) in the Czech Republic. Huge capacities of mine workings in various depths and geological conditions are abandoned and liquidated. Special methods of liquidation of abandoned mine workings by filling, using selected waste as secondary raw materials, are used only exceptionally. In such cases the liquidation proceeds without problems with serious or long-term contamination of the environment, including monitoring of anomalous geomechanical events, ascent of methane to the surface etc. This systematic approach has only one negative feature - prolongation of liquidation works in comparison to simple abandoning and flooding of the mine. This contribution deals with the general aspects of groundwater protection in connection with liquidation of mines by filling of mine workings with secondary raw materials (including legislative problems in Czech Republic). 10 refs., 2 figs

  10. Effects of Abandoned Arsenic Mine on Water Resources Pollution in North West of Iran

    Esmail Fatehifar; Sakineh Jadidi; Bahram Vosugh; Fazel Khaleghi; Mohammad Mosaferi; Behzad Hajalilou

    2011-01-01

    Background: Pollution due to mining activities could have an important role in health andwelfare of people who are living in mining area. When mining operation finishes, environmentof mining area can be influenced by related pollution e.g. heavy metals emission to waterresources. The present study was aimed to evaluate Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine effectson drinking water resources quality and possible health effects on the residents of miningarea in the North West of Iran.Methods: Water sa...

  11. Land contamination and soil evolution in abandoned mine areas (Italy)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad; Spiandorello, Massimo

    2014-05-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation are nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, leaving on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including landscape, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Italy, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the '60s of the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on 50 soil profiles (mostly Entisols and Inceptisols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show metal concentrations overcoming legislation limits on average (Cu up to 3160 mg kg-1 , Pb up to 23600 mg kg-1, Zn up to 1588 mg kg-1, Fe up to 52,30 %). Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. Metal concentrations in native vegetation of the examined areas are moderately to highly elevated. Significant amounts of Cu, Pb, Zn in roots of Plantago major and Silene dioica, in leaves of Taraxacum officinale, and Salix spp, have been recorded. Essential elements, in particular, present Translocation Coefficients (TC) >1, with Mn>Zn>Cu>Fe. Toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Pb), instead, present TCplants, according to their role in mineral nutrition. The results obtained suggest the abandoned mine sites to represent actual natural aboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, the examined plants are genetically adapted to naturally metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in phytoremediation of contaminated sites. Furthermore, the institution

  12. Prediction of groundwater rebound at an abandoned coal mine in Korea using GRAM model

    Park, S.; Choi, Y.; Baek, H.; Shin, S.

    2013-12-01

    Cessation of dewatering generally results in groundwater rebound after closing an abandoned underground coal mine since the mine voids and surrounding strata flood up to the levels of decant points such as shafts and drifts. Several models such as VSS-NET, GRAM and MODFLOW have been developed to predict the timing, magnitude and location of discharges resulting from groundwater rebound. This study developed a GRAM model-based program was developed for ground water rebound modeling in abandoned deep mine systems after mine closure. An application of the program to the Dongwon coal mine in Korea showed that the groundwater level modeled at the shaft of Dongwon coal mine is similar to the observed one in the field. The GRAM model-based program is transferable to other mining areas in both industrialized and less-developed countries. Therefore, the program could reduce the time and effort for predicting mine groundwater rebound and to support mine reclamation planning.

  13. Uranium mining in India - past, present and future

    The mining of uranium in India in the past, present and future is discussed. Uranium Corporation of India Ltd under the administrative control of Department of Atomic Energy was formed with a specific objective of mining and milling of uranium ore in the country. Uranium recovery plants, expansion mill, bye products recovery plant were set up. Underground mining, tailing disposal, land acquisition, rehabilitation and reclaimation are discussed. Cost reduction measures in mining operations are also discussed. (N.B.)

  14. World uranium mine production in 2010 and the development and changes on uranium industry

    World's production of uranium from mines reached 53 663 t in 2010,increased 5.694% than 2009. Production of uranium from mines can meet 78% of demand for power generation. Production of uranium from mines in Kazakhastan, Canada and Australia in 2010 occupied the first three places in the world.Uranium production by ISL (In situ leach mining method) was 22 108 t, making up 41.19% of world's production of uranium from mines, for the first time take up the first place in world's production from all kinds of uranium mines in the the half century. (authors)

  15. Abandoned Smolník mine (Slovakia – a catchment area affected by mining activities

    Lintnerová, Otília

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Smolník is a historical Cu-mining area that was exploited from the 14th century to 1990. The Smolník mine was definitively closed and flooded in 1990–1994. Acid mine drainage discharging from the flooded mine (pH = 3.83, Fe = 542 mg/l, SO42– = 3642 mg/l, Cu = 1880 µg/l, Zn = 9599 µg/l, As = 108 mg/l acidified and contaminated the Smolník Creek water, which transported pollution into the Hnilec River catchment. The Smolník mine waste area has been used as a model area to document pollution of waters, stream sediments, and soils by metals and other toxic elements. Major goals of this complex study were to document creek water transport of the main pollutants (Fe, sulphates, Cu, Al, As, etc. in the form of suspended solids, to investigate elements mobility in common mine waste (rock and processing waste heaps and tailing impoundment and in the soil on the basis of neutralization and leach experiments. Different methodologies and techniques for sampling and chemical and mineralogical characterization of samples were used and checked to evaluate environmental risk of this abandoned mine area.

  16. Environmental issues related to uranium mining

    This paper introduces the environmental issues (both real and perceived) associated with uranium exploration, mining, milling, and tailings management. As well, some of the issues pertaining to the closeout of uranium tailings areas are discussed. These issues have received considerable attention in Canada in public inquiries and hearings that have been held across the country. The major conclusions of some of these hearings are also noted

  17. Recovery of uranium in mine waters

    In a brief introductory survey the author indicates the date on which leaching was first observed in the CEA mines and lists the main factors necessary for, or favourable to, the solubilization of uranium in mines. Information is given on the various sources of this type at present identified in France and the methods used to recover uranium in mines situated near ore-concentration plants. An explanation is given for the use of the calcium precipitation technique in connection with waters produced in mines not situated near ore-concentration plants. Data are given on the results of laboratory tests carried out on waters containing uranium, together with a description of an industrial-scale facility built in consequence of these tests. Details are given of the statistical results obtained. The author concludes by outlining the programme which will be implemented in the near future with a view to increasing the tonnage of uranium produced by in situ leaching and indicates that the CEA engineers are very optimistic about the prospects of this new low-cost method of producing uranium. (author)

  18. Recovery of Uranium in Mine Waters

    In a brief introductory survey the author indicates the date on which leaching was first observed in the CEA mines and lists the main factors necessary for, or favourable to, the solubilization of uranium in mines- Information is given on the various sources of this type at present identified in France and the methods used to recover uranium in mines situated near ore concentration plants. An explanation is given for the use of the calcium precipitation technique in connection with waters produced in mines not situated near ore-concentration plants. Data are given on the results of laboratory tests carried out on waters containing uranium, together with a description of an industrial-scale facility built in consequence of these tests. Details are given of the statistical results obtained. The author concludes by outlining the programme which will be implemented in the near future with a view to increasing the tonnage of uranium produced by in situ leaching and indicates that the CEA engineers are very optimistic about the prospects of this new low-cost method of producing uranium. (author)

  19. The public health effects of abandoned coal mine workings on residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo

    Biagioni, K. [Victoria Univ., BC (Canada)

    2005-07-01

    Abandoned coal mine groundwater frequently contains depressed pH levels and elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide, iron, aluminium and nitrates. Abandoned coal mine groundwater is also usually high in copper, zinc, mercury, and lead. Groundwater from abandoned mines can seriously affect public health through the discharge of non-point source pollution. This paper presents information on a research project regarding the possible impacts of abandoned coal mines and its effects on groundwater as it relates to the health of residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo, British Columbia. The purpose of the project is to determine which illnesses are more common in South Wellington, Nanaimo and in the control area. The paper provides a discussion of the Nanaimo coal field and three major seams; the Wellington, Newcastle and Douglas which are most likely to have a significant impact on groundwater in South Wellington. 27 refs.

  20. The public health effects of abandoned coal mine workings on residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo

    Abandoned coal mine groundwater frequently contains depressed pH levels and elevated levels of hydrogen sulphide, iron, aluminium and nitrates. Abandoned coal mine groundwater is also usually high in copper, zinc, mercury, and lead. Groundwater from abandoned mines can seriously affect public health through the discharge of non-point source pollution. This paper presents information on a research project regarding the possible impacts of abandoned coal mines and its effects on groundwater as it relates to the health of residents in South Wellington, Nanaimo, British Columbia. The purpose of the project is to determine which illnesses are more common in South Wellington, Nanaimo and in the control area. The paper provides a discussion of the Nanaimo coal field and three major seams; the Wellington, Newcastle and Douglas which are most likely to have a significant impact on groundwater in South Wellington. 27 refs

  1. Decommissioning and reclamation of ANHUA uranium mine

    Since the late 1980s a number of uranium production facilities in China were closed and are in various stages of decommissioning. To date 5 mines have been decommissioned. ANHUA mine is situated in west part of Hunan province in South China. The production of uranium ore began in 1974 and stopped in 1986. Decommissioning and reclamation programme started in July 1992 and completed in May 1997. This paper describes the experience in sealing of drift entrances, covering of waste rock piles and rehabilitation of cadmium contaminated farmland with replantation. (author)

  2. Regulatory oversight of uranium mines and mills

    Full text: The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is the principal nuclear regulator in Canada. The CNSC is empowered through the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) and associated regulations, to regulate the entire nuclear cycle which includes uranium mining and milling. The paper discusses the regulatory oversight of uranium mines and mills which include: - Who is CNSC, what is the CNSC's mission and CNSC background - Oversight Management System; - Regulatory Framework; - Expectations for Assessing Compliance; - QA Principles and Program Elements; - A Look to the Future; - Planning regulatory oversight activities; - Management System Documentation Review; - Regulatory Oversight Activities; - Following-up On Inspections; - Enforcing Compliance with Requirements; - Improving the Regulatory Oversight Process. (author)

  3. Abandoned coal mine refuse areas: their reclamation and use

    Zellmer, S. D.; Carter, R. P.

    1977-01-01

    There are over 4,000 abandoned deep coal mine refuse areas in Illinois ranging in size from a few acres to as large as 160 acres. These sites produce quantities of pollutants which affect the environment, have no real land value, and are a scar on the landscape. The Staunton 1 Site Reclamation Demonstration Project addressess these problems. It also is developing and evaluating new cost-effective methods for reclaiming refuse areas of this type. The program involved determining the final land use for the site, development of detailed engineering plans and specifications for the reclamation effort, a prereclamation environmental inventory, and implementation. Post-construction evaluation is now in process to determine the effectiveness of the reclamation effort. Detailed investigations are being conducted to determine surface water quality improvement, the amount of suitable surface cover and amendments required for revegetation, and field evaluation of candidate vegetation species for revegetation. Other research is examining soil microbial populations, soil fauna reactions, and changes in surface material characteristics at the reclamation site. Surveys are being conducted on groundwater quality, effects on the aquatic ecosystem, and wildlife use of the area. An economic evaluation is underway to determine the cost effectiveness of the total effort and of individual reclamation procedures. Preliminary results from the first year's environmental evaluation of various method tested will be described in detail. An economic assessment, including cost effectiveness, of the first year's work is given.

  4. Leachability of Arsenic and Heavy Metals from Mine Tailings of Abandoned Metal Mines

    Hyung-Seok Kim

    2009-11-01

    Full Text Available Mine tailings from an abandoned metal mine in Korea contained high concentrations of arsenic (As and heavy metals [e.g., As: 67,336, Fe: 137,180, Cu: 764, Pb: 3,572, and Zn: 12,420 (mg/kg]. US EPA method 6010 was an effective method for analyzing total arsenic and heavy metals concentrations. Arsenic in the mine tailings showed a high residual fraction of 89% by a sequential extraction. In Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP and Korean Standard Leaching Test (KSLT, leaching concentrations of arsenic and heavy metals were very low [e.g., As (mg/L: 0.4 for TCLP and 0.2 for KSLT; cf. As criteria (mg/L: 5.0 for TCLP and 1.5 for KSLT].

  5. Leachability of Arsenic and Heavy Metals from Mine Tailings of Abandoned Metal Mines

    Lim, Mihee; Han, Gi-Chun; Ahn, Ji-Whan; You, Kwang-Suk; Kim, Hyung-Seok

    2009-01-01

    Mine tailings from an abandoned metal mine in Korea contained high concentrations of arsenic (As) and heavy metals [e.g., As: 67,336, Fe: 137,180, Cu: 764, Pb: 3,572, and Zn: 12,420 (mg/kg)]. US EPA method 6010 was an effective method for analyzing total arsenic and heavy metals concentrations. Arsenic in the mine tailings showed a high residual fraction of 89% by a sequential extraction. In Toxicity Characteristic Leaching Procedure (TCLP) and Korean Standard Leaching Test (KSLT), leaching concentrations of arsenic and heavy metals were very low [e.g., As (mg/L): 0.4 for TCLP and 0.2 for KSLT; cf. As criteria (mg/L): 5.0 for TCLP and 1.5 for KSLT]. PMID:20049231

  6. Final environmental impact statement. Marquez uranium mine

    As one of many activities TVA has undertaken to ensure an adequate supply of uranium for these plants, TVA has proposed to underground mine, through its operator, the uranium deposits located in the Canon de Marquez in McKinley County, New Mexico. Construction and operation of the underground mine would be expected to have the following environmental effects: (a) a temporary change in land use for 48.5 hectares from wildlife habitat and recreation to mineral extraction; (b) a minor alteration in topography near the proposed pond sites due to reclamation of waste rock piles; (c) minimal impacts on land due to limited vehicular traffic and road construction; (d) temporary depression of ground water levels in the Westwater Canyon Member of the Morrison Formation in the mine vicinity during mine life; (e) short-term project-induced impacts to surface water and shallow ground water quality; (f) a temporary decrease in air quality in the vicinity of the mining operations due to fugitive dust and exhaust emissions from combustion-driven mining and support vehicles and releases of radon and short-lived radon progeny from ventilation shafts and ore piles; (g) a temporary decrease of plant and animal species at the mine site; (h) a minor and temporary effect on aquatic systems downstream from the mine and settling ponds due to sedimentation; and (i) a minor increase of noise levels in the immediate vicinity of mine shafts and vents. The no action alternative and alternatives for securing uranium ore by other methods were considered but were found insufficient to meet TVA objectives. None of the alternatives explored were environmentally preferable. TVA also evaluated site specific alternatives including the following: different shaft and support building siting, mining techniques, and reclamation options. 25 figures, 20 tables

  7. Yellowcake road. [Australia's uranium mining industry

    Stein, Graham

    The Australian uranium mining industry is discussed. There are three working mines but many deposits have been discovered. The three mines are looked at in more detail from the point of view of reserves, mining methods, markets, environmental aspects and safety record. General problems of the industry are mentioned - the relationship with the Aborigines for instance. Australia is supplying uranium to France and there is pressure for more mines to be opened and more uranium to be sold. (U.K.).

  8. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry 1991

    This report was prepared by the Energy Information Administration to provide the Secretary of Energy with basic data and analyses for ninth annual determination of the viability of the domestic uranium mining and milling industry. A viability determination is required annually, for the years 1983 through 1992, by Section 170B of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Authorization Act of 1983, Public Law 97-415, which amend the Atomic Energy Act of 1954. Topics include: evolution of the U.S. uranium industry; nuclear power requirements and uranium industry projections; and attributes of industry viability

  9. Leachability of radioactive constituents from uranium mine tailings

    A project was carried out using lysimeters to determine the leaching of radioactive constituents and BaRaSO4 from abandoned uranium mine tailings. Lime addition to the surface of acidic abandoned tailings did not reduce the level of radioactive constituents in the leachate. Considerable increases in levels of the radionuclides 230Th, 232Th and 22/8Th, as well as gross alpha and beta activity in the leachate, occurred five months after recycling of BaRaSO4 sediments to the surface layers of abandoned tailings. After nine months of leaching, the levels of 226Ra in the leachate were 30% greater than the tailings plus sediment treatment than from tailings only (control). Another experiment compared the quality of effluent flowing over chemically-fixed (solidified) BaRaSO4 sediments with that of non-fixed (control) in simulated sedimentation ponds. During seven months the release of 226 Ra to water from chemically-fixed BaRaSO4 sediments remained 3 for phosphorus removal) was applied to supply 3 percent organic matter in the top 15 cm of the revegetated lysimeters. Undiluted effluent and leachate from chemically-fixed BaRaSO4 sediments and fresh tailings were 100 percent lethal to Daphnia pulex and rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) in static 96-hour bioassay tests. Diluted (50 percent) effluent samples were non-toxic. (auth)

  10. Environmental impact of uranium mining and milling

    The Atomic Energy Control Board is now involved from the early planning stages in the development of uranium mine/mill facilities. As a result, new facilities (including tailings management areas) are designed and developed to meet a high standard. The impact of the mines and tailings areas in the Elliot Lake area on ground and surface waters and air quality is discussed in detail

  11. Electrostatic purification of uranium mine stope atmospheres

    Electrostatic precipitators have been and are currently being used to reduce levels of radioactive aerosols in uranium mine stope atmospheres. Historically, while the electrostatic precipitators have been reported to be successful in reducing levels of radioactive aerosols many practical problems have been encountered with their use in the underground mine environment. Electrical short circuiting appears to have been the major problem with the use of precipitators in humid underground environments. On the basis of literature reviewed for this study it seems that the problems encountered in the past can be overcome. The most likely use of a precipitator in an underground uranium mine is to treat some or all of the air immediately upstream of a work station. The possible locations and uses of a precipitator would vary from work station to work station and from mine to mine. The desirability and cost of using elctrostatic precipitators to purify the air entering a work station are application specific. SENES Consultants therefore is not recommending for or against the use of electrostatic precipitators in underground uranium mines. The information provided in this report can be used however to assist in such determinations. 72 refs

  12. Uranium mining and hydrogeology II. Proceedings

    The 101 papers of the conference deal with the problems of the danger o f groundwater contamination by uranium mining activities, tailings anddumps. Further topics under discussion were the flooding of old mines, remediation strategies for tailings and dumps, hydrogeological, hydrochemical and hydrogeochemical problems and theirsolutions by several monitoring and analytical methods as well as model ling tools. As the first European conference of this kind regarding ura nium mining under hydrogeological aspects, this conference received a b road interest and positive feedback. Especially the cooperation between theoreticians and practicians is very necessary. This was another dist inctive feature of this conference

  13. Uranium mining in Canada and Australia

    This study compared the impact of taxation on the economic viability and competitive position of uranium mining in Canada and Australia. The evaluation is based on four types of uranium deposit and four hypothetical project models. The deposits are assumed to have been discovered and delineated, and are awaiting a mine development decision. The models, initially appraised on a before-tax basis, are then subjected to taxation in each of six jurisdictions. Several taxation criteria are assessed in each case, including after-tax measures of investment incentive, discounted tax revenues, effective tax rates, intergovernmental tax shares, and comparative tax levels. The impact of taxation is shown to be both high and variable. The taxation systems in Saskatchewan and Australia's Northern Territory generate the most government revenue and provide the lowest incentive for investment. Canada's Northwest Territories and Ontario provide the best investment incentive and collect the least amount of taxes. South Australia and Western Australia tend to be positioned between these extremes. The study demonstrates that only the very best uranium mining projects have a chance of being developed under current market conditions, and even these can be rendered uneconomic by excessive taxation regimes. It follows that exceptionally good quality targets will have to be identified to provide the economic justification for uranium exploration. These realities will likely restrict uranium exploration and development activities for some time, not an unexpected response to a market situation where low prices have been caused largely by excess supply. (L.L.)

  14. Radon risks from uranium mining in Germany

    Soviet mining for uranium in Germany after World War II caused widespread environmental damage and also a considerable number of lung cancers and other diseases amongst the workforce. Epidemiological studies of workers and of the general population are being set up to try to obtain information about the risks of radon exposure. (UK)

  15. Environmental conditions of two abandoned uranium mill tailings sites in northern Saskatchewan

    Two abandoned uranium mill tailings sites near Uranium City, Saskatchewan, have been studied in an attempt to follow the natural rehabilitation processes. The Gunnar site is a largely terrestrial environment while the Lorado mill tailings were discharged mainly into Nero Lake. This report describes the ecological conditions of both sites, potential long-term environmental degradation, and possible measures to assist the recovery of both areas

  16. Environmental considerations. Environmental impacts of uranium mining in South Texas

    Recent investigations of uranium mining and milling activities in the Grants Mineral Belt of New Mexico revealed serious environmental problems associated with these activities. An investigation was undertaken in the South Texas Uranium Belt to determine whether or not similar or other environmental problems existed. The study describes: (1) the history of uranium mining and milling in South Texas, (2) the area economy and demography, (3) the occurrence of uranium ore and (4) the regulatory aspects of uranium mining and milling in South Texas. The commercial recovery and processing of uranium in this area is described in some detail. Exploration, open pit mining, in-situ solution mining and processing techniques for ''yellowcake'' (U3O8), the uranium product of the area, are discussed. The state and federal regulations pertinent to uranium mining and milling are summarized. Finally, the environmental effects of these activities are discussed and conclusions and recommendations are drawn

  17. Radiation protection programme for uranium mining

    The Radiation Protection Programme (RPP) was developed to ensure that measures are in place for the occupational protection and safety in uranium mining facility. This work has established a number of protective measures that should be taken by the individual miners, licensee and all staff. It is not known whether Kayerekera Uranium mine has the technical and administrative capability for an effective radiation protection programme. The key in the mining facility is the control of dust through various means to prevent the escape of radon gas. Personal hygiene and local operating rules have been discovered to be very important for the protection and safety of the workers. The following components have also been discovered to be vital in ensuring safety culture in the mining facility: classification of working areas, monitoring of individuals and workplace, assignment of responsibilities, emergency preparedness, education and training and health surveillance. The regulatory body (Environmental Affairs Department of Malawi) should examine the major areas outlined in the RPP for Kayerekera uranium mine to find out the effectiveness of the RPP that is in place. (au)

  18. Canyon uranium mining proposal, Coconino County, Arizona

    The draft version of the environmental impact statement, EPA No. 860082D, proposes uranium mining on unpatented mining claims in Arizona. The proposed mine would disturb about 15 acres for the mine shaft and surface facilities, along with new or improved roads within the forest. Milling would take place at a licensed mill at Blanding, Utah. Each of the three alternative proposals calls for power lines which stretch the shortest distance, car pooling for workers, and a limit of ten 20-ton ore trucks per day. Each proposal designates other requirements. Positive socio-economic impacts for the area would be in the form of new jobs, road improvements, and income during the construction period. Negative impacts would include radionuclide contamination of surface and ground water and radon emission. There would be adverse impacts on private land holdings and wildlife habitat. Legal mandate come from several land use and mining laws

  19. The history of and current situation in uranium mining

    The article presents an outline of the modern history of uranium mining (1945; 2000, from 1989 sweeping reduction of mining). Chapters devoted to the current situation in uranium mining deal with the following issues: 1) Uranium extract production cycle, describing the principles of exploration, mining and milling, 2) Remediation of the uranium mining consequences, and 3) Occupational safety and health. About 107,000 tons of uranium have been mined in the Czech Republic in Jachymov, Pribram, Horni Slavkov, and in western Bohemia (areas of Zadni Chodov and Straz-Hamr). The mining will continue in Dolni Rozinka till the end of 2003. After that, the DIAMO state enterprise will be responsible for the remediation of uranium and other environmental damage. Remediation of consequences of the chemical leaching process at Straz pod Ralskem will be the most demanding task. Remediation of Ostramo lagoons in Ostrava will be the DIAMO's first non-uranium activity. (author)

  20. Coal Mines, Abandoned - COAL_AML_FEATURES_IN: Abandoned Mine Lands, Miscellaneous Site Features in Indiana (Indiana Geological Survey, 1:24,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — AML_POLY, the predecessor of COAL_AML_FEATURES_IN, is a 1:24,000-scale polygon-based ESRI ArcView shapefile that shows the locations and extents of Abandoned Mine...

  1. Estimating Limits for the Geothermal Energy Potential of Abandoned Underground Coal Mines: A Simple Methodology

    Rafael Rodríguez Díez

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Flooded mine workings have good potential as low-enthalpy geothermal resources, which could be used for heating and cooling purposes, thus making use of the mines long after mining activity itself ceases. It would be useful to estimate the scale of the geothermal potential represented by abandoned and flooded underground mines in Europe. From a few practical considerations, a procedure has been developed for assessing the geothermal energy potential of abandoned underground coal mines, as well as for quantifying the reduction in CO2 emissions associated with using the mines instead of conventional heating/cooling technologies. On this basis the authors have been able to estimate that the geothermal energy available from underground coal mines in Europe is on the order of several thousand megawatts thermal. Although this is a gross value, it can be considered a minimum, which in itself vindicates all efforts to investigate harnessing it.

  2. New developments in uranium mining in India

    Uranium mining is so far restricted to underground mines only. Uranium mining is similar to other non-coal (metalliferous) mining. Mode of entries has been adits, inclines and vertical shafts. Decline have been constructed at Narwapahar and Turamdih. Access decline (7 deg) at Narwapahar has been driven to about 900 m length and reached depth of about 100 m. Stoping methods are mainly with filling, open stopes supported with adequate pillars with or without post filling to prevent surface subsidence are also being adopted. Appreciable degree of mechanization has been adopted in Jaduguda mines however, Narwapahar mine has been made highly mechanized. Face mechanization in the present operations is by way of air leg mounted jack hammers and stope wagons for drilling and small capacity (upto 1 cu. yd) rail mounted/trackless loaders for loading. Alimak raise climber has been used for raising work. For horizontal transport in mines, Hunselet diesel locomotives (4 tonne size) with Granby car, 3.5 tonne capacity, are being used, vertical transport is by means of drum winders and tower mounted friction winders. At Narwapahar mine twin boom drill jumobs, LHDs-1.78 m3 and 2.8 m3 capacity, PLDTs-15 tonner and 23 tonner capacity and relevant service equipment like passenger carriers, supply trucks, service cum lube truck, motor grader, etc. are being used. These rubber tyrred trackless equipment enter the mine directly from the surface through the service/access decline entry. These new developments in mining are detailed hereinafter. (author). 11 figs., 4 photos

  3. Uranium mine rehabilitation in the Gunlom Land Trust, Northern Territory

    The Gunlom Land Trust area is Aboriginal freehold land, currently leased to the Director, National Parks (Commonwealth). Parks Australia through the office of the Director, National Parks is responsible for managing the area as part of Kakadu National Park (KNP). The abandoned uranium mines and associated infrastructure covered by the remediation works are located in the southern part of KNP, within the valley containing the headwaters of the South Alligator River. One site, Sleisbeck, is located in the Katherine River catchment. The area is of high significance for both its natural and cultural values. This article describes remediation works that were undertaken at two sites, Guratba and Sleisbeck, during the late dry-season of 2007.

  4. 78 FR 8821 - Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Program; Limited Liability for Noncoal Reclamation by Certified...

    2013-02-06

    ... environmental problems associated with abandoned mine lands include surface and ground water pollution... February 6, 2013 Part IV Department of the Interior Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement 30... / Wednesday, February 6, 2013 / Proposed Rules#0;#0; ] DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR Office of Surface...

  5. The characteristics of soft rocks and their effect on the long term stability of abandoned room and pillar lignite mines

    It is well known that some caving, collapses and subsidence take place from time to time in the areas where abandoned room and pillar type mines exist. The authors have been involved with the stability of abandoned mines beneath urbanized residential areas in Tokai region and there is a great concern about the stability of these abandoned mines during large earthquakes as well as in long term. The 2003 Miyagi Hokubu earthquake caused great damage to abandoned mines and resulted in many collapses. The authors present the experimental results on the characteristics of soft rocks from abandoned lignite mines in Tokai Region as well as the results of some analyses of their effects on the long-term stability of abandoned lignite mines. (authors)

  6. Australia's uranium : the case for mining and export

    This publication, designed to further contribute to public understanding of facts about uranium, was financed by the uranium industry. The topics covered are: uranium consumption for electricity, sources of uranium, the fuel cycle, environmental aspects of nuclear power, safeguards, management of high-level radioactive waste, nuclear weapons and plutonium, and the economic benefits to Australia from the mining and export of uranium. This includes estimates of the value of various mining projects to the Aboriginal community

  7. Uranium mining in the Canadian social environment in the eighties

    Factors considered by the author to be responsible for the image crisis being experienced by all types of mining are discussed. The additional problems introduced by the presence of radiation in uranium mining are detailed along with the associated regulatory concerns. The Canadian regulatory system as it pertains to uranium mining is outlined very generally, followed by the author's views on improving the image of both uranium mining and the nuclear industry as a whole

  8. The reuse of abandoned Acquaresi mine voids for storage of the Masua flotation tailings

    Pier Paolo Manca; Paolo Desogus; Giampaolo Orru`

    2014-01-01

    Often in abandoned mine sites are present both underground voids produced by mining and the tailings of treatment plant. An interesting solution for the rehabilitation of the sites would be to place the tailings of the process in the underground mining voids, thus obtaining the reclamation of surface areas and the stabilization of abandoned voids to prevent the dangerous phenomena of subsidence. However, these operations require inert waste, which must not be source of pollution, and the choice of a water/solid optimum to ensure good conditions of pumpability.

  9. Mining inventory of Uruguay : Uranium

    With the aim of Uruguay Uranium prospecting in this document has been summarized the following items: lithostratigraphy, background, economics aspects, radiation measuring, geochemistry, geophysics in Yerba Sola, Magnolia, Paso Amarillo, La Mercedes, Puntas de Abrojal, Las Chircas, La Divisa, Chuy, Apretado and Frayle Muerto

  10. Contractual arrangements for uranium exploration and mining

    Uranium exploration in WOCA, stabilized since 1985 at a level of annual expenditures of US $120-150 million. About half of this amount is funded by mining companies based in the uranium consumer countries such as the Federal Republic of Germany, France, the Republic of Korea, Japan, United Kingdom etc. and expended outside their home countries, mainly in Australia, Canada and USA, but also in a number of African countries. As WOCA's uranium production is concentrated in a few countries, in 1986, Australia, Canada, South Africa and USA had a combined share of nearly 70% of the total, a stronger diversification of uranium supplies may be desirable in the future. This expected trend may result in the planning or uranium exploration projects by international uranium companies in countries in Africa, Asia and South America. To provide information which can be helpful for both parties in the negotiations of cooperation agreement is the scope of this document. It contains a brief introductory part including an overview of the development of the different forms of international cooperation, a case history provided by Zambia, a report listing the essential subjects to be included in an uranium agreement as well as an example of a structure of contractual arrangements. This part is followed by an extensive annex with three ''no-names-no numbers'' contract texts, which were concluded in the later part of the 1970s and beginning of the 1980s

  11. A guide to the licensing of uranium and thorium mine and mill waste management systems

    This document is issued to assist industry and the public in understanding the licensing process used by the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), and do describe and consolidate the requirements, criteria and guidelines the AECB uses in the regulation of uranium and thorium mine and mill waste management systems. All phases of these systems are addressed, including pre-development activities, siting and construction, operation, and decommissioning and abandonment

  12. Environmental risks of abandoning a mining project already started: Romaltyn Mining Baia Mare

    Bud, I.; Duma, S.; Gusat, D.; Pasca, I.; Bud, A.

    2016-08-01

    The history of mining activity, which has been the economy engine in the region and has contributed to the formation of many localities, has been deleted too quickly. During all this time, in the world countries which have invested in mining sector have made considerable progress. The paper brings in question, within the framework of the theme, the implications arising from the abandonment of the Romaltyn project which mainly affects two objectives: Central Tailing Pond and Aurul Tailing Pond. The Central tailing pond constitutes an unfortunate source of pollution for groundwater, surface water, soil and air on a large area around it, because its location upstream of Baia Mare city and in the vicinity of a agricultural production zone. The consequences of the tailing pond maintenance in the current situation are: presence of sclerozing dust with sulphurs content scattered over large agricultural area; soil pollution by acidification; heavy metals release which enter in food chain and will be found in food. The final disposal of the pollution source is the only solution really safe in long term. Abandoning Aurul tailing pond in the current phase of construction involves high environmental risks. Taking in consideration the potential and the huge soil volume which are necessary for rehabilitation, isolation and rehabilitation of this area involve extremely high costs and the realization is, technically, almost impossible in the current context.

  13. Microbiological treatment of uranium mine waters

    Percolation of uranium mine discharge water through Ambrosia Lake, NM, soil is shown to be an effective method for lowering selenium, uranium, molybdenum, and sulfate concentrations in the mine water. Selenium concentrations were lowered from approx.1.6 to <0.05 mg/L by reduction of soluble selenate and selenite to insoluble selenium metal. This reaction is most likely performed by bacteria belonging to the genus Clostridium. In addition, sulfate-reducing bacteria in the soil, such as Desulfovibrio bacteria, metabolize sulfate to hydrogen sulfide, which reacts with uranyl and molybdate ions to form insoluble uranium and molybdenum species. The concentrations of sulfate, uranium, and molybdenum were reduced to less than 600, 0.1, and 0.05 mg/L, respectively. A qualitative understanding of the effects of mine water temperature, flow rate, and nutrients on metals removal is provided. The process was successfully field tested for 7 months in a soil column 1.5 m deep. 13 references, 3 figures, 4 tables

  14. Blasting to stabilize abandoned underground mines in eastern and midwestern coal fields: A feasibility study. Open File Report

    The study was designed to assist individuals involved with problem of abandoned mines that are subsiding. The study analyzed the practicality and desirability of using blasting to stabilize subsiding abandoned underground mines. Application of blasting to subsidence problems could provide a valuable alternative technology to classical methods of injecting fill material into abandoned mines to fill voids and prevent subsidence. By blasting, subsidence can be induced in a controlled manner, completed, and the site returned to its desired usage

  15. ERA`s Ranger uranium mine

    Davies, W. [Energy Resources of Australia Ltd., Sydney, NSW (Australia)

    1997-12-31

    Energy Resource of Australia (ERA) is a public company with 68% of its shares owned by the Australian company North Limited. It is currently operating one major production centre - Ranger Mine which is 260 kilometres east of Darwin, extracting and selling uranium from the Ranger Mine in the Northern Territory to nuclear electricity utilities in Japan, South Korea, Europe and North America. The first drum of uranium oxide from Ranger was drummed in August 1981 and operations have continued since that time. ERA is also in the process of working towards obtaining approvals for the development of a second mine - Jabiluka which is located 20 kilometres north of Ranger. The leases of Ranger and Jabiluka adjoin. The Minister for the Environment has advised the Minister for Resources and Energy that there does not appear to be any environmental issue which would prevent the preferred Jabiluka proposal from proceeding. Consent for the development of ERA`s preferred option for the development of Jabiluka is being sought from the Aboriginal Traditional Owners. Ranger is currently the third largest producing uranium mine in the world producing 4,237 tonnes of U{sub 3}O{sub 8} in the year to June 1997.

  16. Radon problem in Chinese non-uranium metal mines

    The radon problem in Chinese underground non-uranium metal mines has been extensively investigated for many times by several institutes since 1970's. The main results of these investigations are summarized as follows: 1) Radon problem is by no means always less serious in non-uranium metal mines than uranium mines; 2) The main cause of the high concentration of radon daughters is not the uranium content of ores, but it is concerned with the total area of emanation surface and the poor ventilation; 3) Some experiences in treating the radon problem in non-uranium mines were obtained. (2 tabs.)

  17. Radiological protection in underground uranium mines

    The radiosanitary hazards that workers of an uranium ore can suffer were studied. The more used control methods for the the evaluation of doses received by the workers was studied too. It was developed a technique using the scintillation chamber method for the detection of radon. Emanation and diffusion methods were used for extraction of radon from water. A program of radiological protection based on ICRP recommendation was analysed for uranium mines. This program includes: ventilation needs calculation methods, a study of radiological protection optimization based on 'cost-benefit' analysis, a monitoring plan and a study about radioactive waste management. (author)

  18. Some health aspects of Canadian uranium mining

    The radiological health hazards associated with uranium mining in Canada are reviewed. Radiation hazards to individual members of the general population currently living in the vicinity of the mines appear to be extremely low. The major health hazards are those associated with underground mining. Hazards associated with the inhalation of radon daughters in the mines were estimated from analyses of available data from the U.S.A. and Czechoslovakia. These data can be fitted by various mathematical models including quasi-threshold models. On the reasonable assumption of a linear relationship between dose and effect, the risk would appear to be about 6.1 induced lung cancers per million WLM per year, which, averaged over a period of incidence of 15 years, would be equivalent to a total of about 100 induced cancers per million WLM. This value may be too high for estimation of the most probable risk of radon daughters to the general public. (author)

  19. Decommissioning and disposal of foreign uranium mine and mill facilities

    Disposal techniques in decommissioning of foreign uranium mine and mill facilities are systematically discussed, including covering of uranium tailing impoundment, drainaging and consolidation of uranium tailing, and treatment of mining waste water and polluted groundwater, and the costs associated with disposal are analyzed. The necessity of strengthening the decommissioning disposal technology research and international exchanges and cooperation is emphasized. (authors)

  20. Economics of Australian uranium mining

    This paper argues that the uranium industry in Australia is inefficient in economic terms. The author also states that it is inefficient in that various social resources are tied up in producing a material which has an intrinsically negative value, in being the raw material for nuclear weapons, and having unacceptable social costs in safety, environmental and cultural problems throughout the process of production and usage

  1. Reclamation of uranium mining and milling disturbances

    Since 1945 the history of uranium mining and milling in the US has been a story of wide fluctuations in market prices and in mining and milling capacity. The late 1960's and the 1970's saw a sizeable reduction in the production of yellowcake because of an earlier over-supply, a leveling off of the military demand, and a failure of the nuclear electric power industry to create the anticipated commercial demand. The decline in the domestic production of yellowcake has continued through the early 1980's to the present. Today, there are five operating uranium mills in the US: one in Wyoming, two in Utah, one in New Mexico, and one in Texas. Of these five mills, three are operating on a reduced schedule, as little as three days a month. A significant portion of the current US production of uranium goes overseas to fulfill Japanese, French, and other European contracts. There is still a sizeable reclamation job to be accomplished on old uranium wastes, both tailings impoundments and overburden embankments. Before the Uranium Mill Tailings Control Act of 1978 (PL 95-604), reclamation was frequently omitted altogether, or else done in a haphazard fashion. We do not know the total area of unreclaimed, radioactive, uranium overburden wastes in the western US, but the area is large, probably several thousand hectares. Fortunately, these overburden wastes are almost entirely located in remote areas. Mill tailings are more difficult to reclaim than overburden, and tailings represent a more serious health hazards. There are approximately 25 million metric tons of unreclaimed uranium mill tailings, with variable health hazards, located in the US

  2. Solution of underground mine gas emissions on surface of abandoned mining sites where steep deposited coal seams have been exploited

    The solution of uncontrolled gas emissions from abandoned underground coal mine sites in Ostrava-Karvina coal-field to surface ground in connection with old mine shafts and drifts and with old mining workings in horizontal and inclined coal seams has many forms. It varies according to geological and mining conditions and the disposition of the site surface. Since four years the gas emission risk has appeared in the area of former exploited vertical coal seams within the historical centre of Orlova town, which is protected by State Monument Protection office. A project based on such special nature of mining-geological and urban conditions was elaborated and already implemented. (authors)

  3. Wismut 2000 - international conference on mine rehabilitation. Proceedings

    Main topics of the international conference on mine rehabilitation were: decommissioning of exploited uranium mines, covering of tailings, ground water decontamination, flooding of mines, reshaping of landscapes in abandoned coal mining regions, environmental compliance requirements, treatment of contaminated waters

  4. Recycling and reuse of wastewater from uranium mining and milling

    Uranium mining/milling process, and the sources, recycling/reuse approach and treatment methods of process wastewater are introduced. The wastewater sources of uranium mining and milling include effluent, raffinate, tailings water, mine discharge, resin form converted solution, and precipitation mother liquor. Wastewater can be recycled/reused for leachant, eluent, stripping solution,washing solution and tailings slurry. (authors)

  5. The crisis in the uranium mining industry

    For over ten years, the uranium mining industry within the OECD and elsewhere has been undergoing its worst ever crisis. At a time when it seemed assured of a promising future, the economic recession of the 1980s took the wind out of its sails. This paper describes the factors causing the crisis, strikes the balance of production, demand and stocks and gives forecasts for the next years. 3 figs., 9 refs

  6. Uranium mining - what are the issues

    The author discusses the effects of uranium mining on worker health and the environment, describes methods of handling mill tailings, and compares risks to the public from radiation with risks from non-nuclear energy sources. Information on nuclear issues in the news media is often sensationalistic; the public needs an open, honest information flow from industry, the scientific community, and government to reach a rational perception of the issues and risks

  7. Epidemiological study on silicosis in uranium mines

    A survey of silicosis in 3 uranium mines and 2 uranium prospecting teams by epidemiological method has been made. Up to 576 workers suffered from silicosis, among them 411 still survive and 165 have died. In 1986, silicosis prevalence rate was 6.58%. Cumulative incidence rate was 8.59%. Cumulative motality rate was 25.14%, 44.04% of the cases suffered from the stage II and III of silicosis, 24.33% of the cases are complicated by tuberculosis. All the cases began to expose to dust as early as 1950's or 1960's. During the past thirty years dust density and detection rate of silicosis have shown a tendency of decrease. Since these mines and teams were founded, the mean length of service has been getting longer, the mean age at which diagnosed as silicosis getting older, the mean span suffering from silicosis getting longer and the mean death age getting older. The interval between a lower and higher stage has been getting longer. 20.31% of all the cases were not diagnosed as silicosis until 5 years or more after they escaped from exposure to dust. The mean length of service of those, who exposed only to uranium dust, is 7.47 years and their mean age when diagnosed as silicosis is 36.74, which is younger than those who have exposed not only to uranium dust but also to other dusts

  8. U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management Legacy Uranium Mine Site Reclamation - Lessons Learned - 12384

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management is responsible for administering the DOE Uranium Leasing Program (ULP) and its 31 uranium lease tracts located in the Uravan Mineral Belt of southwestern Colorado (see Figure 1). In addition to administering the ULP for the last six decades, DOE has also undertaken the significant task of reclaiming a large number of abandoned uranium (legacy) mine sites and associated features located throughout the Uravan Mineral Belt. In 1995, DOE initiated a 3-year reconnaissance program to locate and delineate (through extensive on-the-ground mapping) the legacy mine sites and associated features contained within the historically defined boundaries of its uranium lease tracts. During that same time frame, DOE recognized the lack of regulations pertaining to the reclamation of legacy mine sites and contacted the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) concerning the reclamation of legacy mine sites. In November 1995, The BLM Colorado State Office formally issued the United States Department of the Interior, Colorado Bureau of Land Management, Closure/Reclamation Guidelines, Abandoned Uranium Mine Sites as a supplement to its Solid Minerals Reclamation Handbook (H-3042-1). Over the next five-and-one-half years, DOE reclaimed the 161 legacy mine sites that had been identified on DOE withdrawn lands. By the late 1990's, the various BLM field offices in southwestern Colorado began to recognize DOE's experience and expertise in reclaiming legacy mine sites. During the ensuing 8 years, BLM funded DOE (through a series of task orders) to perform reclamation activities at 182 BLM mine sites. To date, DOE has reclaimed 372 separate and distinct legacy mine sites. During this process, DOE has learned many lessons and is willing to share those lessons with others in the reclamation industry because there are still many legacy mine sites not yet reclaimed. DOE currently administers 31 lease tracts (11,017 ha) that collectively

  9. Application of in-situ leaching for uranium mining in No.512 deposit of Yining uranium mine

    Compared with conventional mining the author discusses the characteristics of in-situ leaching for uranium mining and explores application, existing problems and study direction of the new technology in No.512 deposit of Yining Uranium Mine from drilling engineering (hole structure, way of alignment and construction technology), compounding and use of solution leaching agent, range control of solution leaching

  10. Radiological modeling software for underground uranium mines

    The Canadian Institute for Radiation Safety (CAIRS) has developed computer simulation software for modeling radiological parameters in underground uranium mines. The computer program, called 3d RAD, allows radiation protection professionals and mine ventilation engineers to quickly simulate radon and radon progeny activity concentrations and potential alpha energy concentrations in complex mine networks. The simulation component of 3d RAD, called RSOLVER, is an adaptation of an existing modeling program called VENTRAD, originally developed at Queen's University, Ontario. Based on user defined radiation source terms and network physical properties, radiological parameters in the network are calculated iteratively by solving Bateman's Equations in differential form. The 3d RAD user interface was designed in cooperation with the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) to improve program functionality and to make 3d RAD compatible with the CANMET ventilation simulation program, 3d CANVENT. The 3d RAD program was tested using physical data collected in Canadian uranium mines. 3d RAD predictions were found to agree well with theoretical calculations and simulation results obtained from other modeling programs such as VENTRAD. Agreement with measured radon and radon progeny levels was also observed. However, the level of agreement was found to depend heavily on the precision of source term data, and on the measurement protocol used to collect radon and radon progeny levels for comparison with the simulation results. The design and development of 3d RAD was carried out under contract with the Saskatchewan government

  11. US uranium mining: No rebound in sight

    US uranium production has fallen eight-fold in the last decade with no rebound in sight, says former industry executive J.R. Wolcott of Denver, Colorado. Production has dropped from more than 40 million pounds per year in 1980 to less than 5 million pounds, and the price has skidded from a high of $40 per pound in the late 1950s to less than $8 today, Wolcott notes. The cause of the dramatic turnaround is rather simple: The military no longer buys uranium, leaving commercial nuclear power as the only customer, and no new nuclear power plants have been ordered in 15 years. Adding to these dismal circumstances is the low quality of US ore deposits, a compared to the rich deposits found overseas. open-quotes All in all,close quotes Wolcott says, open-quotes world markets are awash with uranium. The United States is unlikely to regain its former position as a major supplier.close quotes Wolcott is not convinced the former Soviet Union's entry into the international uranium market has been a major factor in the US decline, despite charges of open-quotes dumpingclose quotes by the former Soviet states. Regardless of the outcome of the open-quotes dumpingclose quotes charges, he says, open-quotes The realistic outlook is for a continuation of a small domestic uranium industry, perhaps near its present level. However, substantial relief is unlikely. The domestic mining industry cannot expect to expand any time soon.close quotes

  12. URANIUM MINING AND ASSOCIATED ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN UKRAINE

    Dudar, T.; Zakrytnyi, Ye.; Bugera, M.

    2015-01-01

    Nuclear power demands in uranium resources are expected to increase in the nearest future. So, the problem of uranium mining impact into the environment is a challenge and requires straightway actions.   The tendencies in uranium mining in the world and in Ukraine for the period of 2003-2013 are considered in this paper. It is especially noted the increase in uranium raw material demands and as a consequence in its mining. The available and potential uranium resources are overviewed. It shoul...

  13. Current issues (and problems) in uranium mine and mill site remediation

    The environmental impact of the mining and milling of uranium ores is similar to that of traditional metal mining with the added factor of the characteristic radioactivity in uranium ores. Residues of these ores therefore generate specific potential hazards requiring special precautions on a site specific basis, as well as special regulatory procedures and controls to ensure protection of public health and safety in the long term. There are strong indications that on a global scale U-mining tailings management and remediation-activities are steadily becoming governed by the ultimate goal of sustainable stabilization and re-establishment of a healthy environment, rather than by immediate or short term needs. In Central Europe rehabilitation of uranium mining and milling districts has only started. Some problems are listed as follows: (1) Limitation, long term control and prediction of aquatic and atmospheric dispersal of contaminants from tailings impoundments, waste rock dumps and abandoned underground mines, (2) Dewatering of tailings (large volumes), (3) Design of cover systems and inhibition of microbian process, (4) Controlled flooding of extensive underground mine workings and related prognosis and control of containment dispersion, (5) Reduction of Rn-exhalation during the flooding process and after mine abandonment, in particular in areas close to densely populated regions, (6) Determination of long term radiological impacts on residents near sources of contamination and identification of natural background levels, (7) Identification of critical containment pathways that remain active, (8) Conception and implementation of a comprehensive monitoring system for all pathways which would operate on a long term basis, (9) Limitation of mine water drainage to be treated and decontaminated and of resulting sludges (in considerable quantities) to be disposed of and which would have to be classified as hazardous waste in the future due to their radionuclide content

  14. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY

    Gary Gartenberg, P.E., P.P.

    1999-10-01

    This report represents the fourth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government--Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. During this reporting period the Engineering Design for remediation of the surface safety hazards associated with the White Meadow Mine was completed. Construction Plans and Technical Specifications were completed and competitive bids were solicited by the Township for completion of the work. The electrical resistivity survey analysis and report was completed for the Green Pond Mines site at the Township Compost Storage Facility. The geophysical survey results confirmed evidence of abandoned mining activity at the Green Pond Mine site which was previously identified. During this reporting period, the time frame of the Cooperative Agreement between the Township and the Department of Energy was extended. An additional site of subsidence with in the Township related to abandoned

  15. Uranium mining environmental restoration project (PRAMU)

    The National Atomic Energy Commission (CNEA) started its activities 50 years ago and obtained significant results. At the present time, the CNEA is defined as an Institution of research and development in the nuclear field. It is also responsible for the management of radioactive wastes and the dismantling of nuclear and radioactive facilities. Mining and milling activities have been carried out during the past 40 years and at present the CNEA is undertaking the Uranium Mining Environmental Restoration Project (PRAMU). The aim of this project is to restore the environment as much as is possible in all places where uranium mining and milling activities were developed when taking into consideration both economic and technical reality. First, the characteristics of the problems in each site are determined through appropriate studies which identify the existing or potential impacts, the possible pathways of contamination, etc. The sites being studied are: MALARGUE (Mendoza Province), CORDOBA (Cordoba Province), LOS GIGANTES (Cordoba Province), HUEMUL (Mendoza Province), PICHINAN (Chubut Province), TONCO (Salta Province), LA ESTELA (San Luis Province), LOS COLORADOS (La Rioja Province). PRAMU seeks to improve the current conditions of the tailings deposits and mines and to ensure the long term protection of people and the environment. The CNEA is required to comply with all legislation that is in force and is under the control of various national, provincial and local State institutions. The main objectives of the project for the various sites are: (a) Malargue site: to implement the actions necessary for environmental restoration and management of the tailings derived from the uranium ores processed in the industrial plant; (b) Cordoba and Los Gigantes sites: to design, engineer and execute the activities required for closure of the sites; (c) Other sites (Huemul, Pichinan, Tonco, La Estela, Los Colorados): to develop an environmental evaluation and, on the basis of

  16. Effects of Abandoned Arsenic Mine on Water Resources Pollution in North West of Iran

    Esmail Fatehifar

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: Pollution due to mining activities could have an important role in health andwelfare of people who are living in mining area. When mining operation finishes, environmentof mining area can be influenced by related pollution e.g. heavy metals emission to waterresources. The present study was aimed to evaluate Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine effectson drinking water resources quality and possible health effects on the residents of miningarea in the North West of Iran.Methods: Water samples and some limited composite wheat samples in downstream of miningarea were collected. Water samples were analyzed for chemical parameters according tostandard methods. For determination of arsenic in water samples, Graphite Furnace AtomicAbsorption Spectrometric Method (GFAAS and for wheat samples X – Ray Fluorescence(XRF and Inductively Coupled Plasma Method (ICP were used. Information about possiblehealth effects due to exposure to arsenic was collected through interviews in studied villagesand health center of Herris City.Results: The highest concentrations of arsenic were measured near the mine (as high as 2000μg/L in Valiloo mine opening water. With increasing distance from the mine, concentrationwas decreased. Arsenic was not detectable in any of wheat samples. Fortunately, no healtheffects had been reported between residents of studied area due to exposure to arsenic.Conclusion: Valiloo abandoned arsenic mine has caused release of arsenic to the around environmentof the mine, so arsenic concentration has been increased in the groundwater andalso downstream river that requires proper measures to mitigate spread of arsenic.

  17. Energies and media nr 28. Uranium mining exploitations and residues. Uranium mines in Niger. Depleted uranium as a by-product of enrichment

    After some comments on recent events in the nuclear sector in different countries (USA, China, India, UK, Sweden, Italy and France), this publication addresses the issue of uranium mining exploitations and of their residues. It comments the radioactivity in mining areas, briefly discusses the issue of low doses, describes the uranium ore and its processing, indicates which are the various residues of the mining activity (sterile uncovered tailings, non exploitable mineralized rocks, ore and residue processing, residue radioactivity, mine closing down, witnesses on health in ancient mines). Some reflections are stated about uranium mines in Niger, and about depleted uranium as a by-product of the enrichment activity

  18. Uranium Mines and Mills: Wismut Environmental Remediation Project (Germany). Appendix V

    From 1946 to 1990, the Soviet–German Wismut Company produced 231 000 tonnes of uranium and became the world’s fourth largest uranium producer at that time. Owing to the mining of low grade ore, about 800 million tonnes of waste rock materials, radioactive sludges and overburden material were deposited at the sites. The mining and milling activities resulted in seriously affected and devastated areas of about 10 000 km² in the federal states Saxony and Thuringia, in the former East Germany. In 1990, after German re-unification, uranium production ceased and the German Government was faced with one of its largest ecological and economic challenges: Wismut transitioned immediately from production to decommissioning without any preparation or preplanning. Since 1991, the national corporation Wismut GmbH has been charged with decommissioning of the mines, mills and other facilities and with the rehabilitation of the sites. The German Government initially earmarked a total of €6.4 billion to remediate the uranium mining and milling legacy at the affected sites. Current estimates predict total project costs of €7 billion. The overall project includes: — Abandoning and flooding underground mines; — Relocating and covering waste rock piles; — Dewatering and geochemically stabilizing tailings management facilities; — Demolishing structures and buildings; — Treating contaminated water; — Site clearance; — Site rehabilitation

  19. Radon survey in old uranium mines in the region of Sabugal, Portugal

    The Portuguese uranium industry - with a significant concentration of mines in the Guarda district - experienced a significant development period after World War Two, supported by military needs. Today all the uranium mines have been closed but radioactive releases may be a significant cause of environmental and radiological problems in and around the old uranium mining facilities. The main purpose of the present work is to assess outdoor and indoor radon levels, as well as radon exhalation rates, in the vicinity of six abandoned uranium mines (covering an area of about 70 km2) in the Sabugal region. The results show that the outdoor radon concentrations in the region range from 84 to 412 Bq/m3, while half of the indoor radon measurements were found to be above the EU recommended action level for existing buildings (400 Bq/m3). The exhalation rates from soils and tailings ranged from 6 to 323 mBq/m-2/s-1 during the first field campaign (July 2002), and from 7 to 1198 mBq/m-2/s-1 during the second campaign (August 2002). The highest values were confined to the mining areas or to their immediate proximity. (author)

  20. Uranium mine and mill tailings management in Canada: Present status and future directions

    Approximately 120 million tonnes of uranium mine and mill tailings have been accumulated to date in Canada. Uranium mines operating prior to the early 1960s used tailings management practices similar to those employed by other metal mines; that is, liquid and solid wastes were deposited in local topographic depressions or lakes without special treatment and were eventually abandoned. New emphasis on health and environmental quality in the 1970s resulted in concern about the management of uranium mine and mill wastes, which contain radionuclides, heavy metals, process reagents, and acid generated in tailings. Current practice for mine and mill waste management requires engineered containment structures for the storage of wastes. Liquid effluent from the primary containment facility is decanted into secondary ponds where it can be chemically treated. Addition of barium chloride to the effluents produces a radium/barium precipitate which settles out as a sludge. The liquid effluent is then re-used as process water or released into the environment when it meets water quality standards. Tailings are covered and vegetation planted for stabilization. Government and industry research and development programmes are under way on abandoned, inactive and active tailings to determine the magnitude of environmental contamination, and to investigate the physical and biological pathways, rates of migration and processes by which radioactive and chemical contaminants can be released from the tailings. Current trends in tailings management include deposition of thickened and filtered tailings, sub-aerial deposition, stacking of tailings to increase the capacity of tailings impoundments, deposition of tailings in mined-out pits, alternative uranium recovery methods to reduce process chemicals in effluent, and possibly deep lake disposal

  1. Fact sheet on uranium exploration, mining production and environmental protection

    During the last 3 years, there has been a dramatic revival and comeback of the uranium industry in the light of the expanding nuclear power programme all over the world. As a result, there has been a boom in uranium exploration, mining and production activities to meet the higher demand of uranium and reduce the gap between uranium demand and uranium supply from mines. In coming years, additional requests for TC, training/workshop and CRPs are expected in the areas of: 1) advanced aerial and ground geophysical techniques for discovery of new deposits which could be deeply buried; 2) investigations of uranium sources in sedimentary, igneous and metamorphic environments; 3) In-Situ leaching (ISL) of uranium deposits; 4) advanced acid/alkali leaching of low, medium and high grade uranium ores and purification of uranium; 5) reclamation of used uranium mines and related environmental protection issues; and 6) uranium supply, demand and market issues. Services provided by the Nuclear Fuel Cycle and Materials Section could be workshops and hands-on field trainings at National and/or Regional levels in mines, mills and sites covering the following activities: uranium exploration involving conventional and advanced geophysical techniques and instruments, advanced drilling equipment and tools, etc.; uranium mining (open-cast and underground), recovery and purification by acid/alkali leaching, In-Situ leaching (ISL), purification by conventional and advanced solvent extraction and ion exchange techniques and concentration of uranium in the form of yellowcake (ammonium diuranate, magnesium diuranate and uranium peroxide); promoting best practices in uranium mining and milling (including tailing pond), covering environmental issues, reclamation of used uranium mines and chemistry of uranium production cycle and ground water and sustainability of uranium production. Member States interested in uranium geology, exploration, mining, milling, purification and environmental issues

  2. Emerging trend of uranium mining. The Indian scenario

    From the modest beginning in 1948, the atomic energy programme of India has grown to vast dimensions with mosaic of many interrelated programmes. The uranium ore mining and processing industry of the country began at Jaduguda in 1968. It has made a very impressive growth during these years with four operating mines and meeting the entire fuel requirement of the country. The country now has a definite plan for multi-phase expansion of the nuclear power programme, self-reliance of raw materials being the basic drive. The uranium mining industry is fully geared up to meet the challenge of uranium fuel demand by undertaking uranium mining and processing activity progressively in line with the requirement of fuel. Several new uranium ore mining projects are in pipeline for execution. The technology of mining, processing and tailings disposal has also undergone improvement absorbing global advancements in these fields. (author)

  3. Water Management at Australian Uranium Mines

    The Australian uranium operations are located in widely different climates, ranging from monsoonal conditions at the Ranger uranium mine in the Alligator Rivers region of the Northern Territory to semi-arid conditions in inland South Australia, where the Olympic Dam and Beverley operations are located. This paper describes the range of water management strategies that are in place or planned to deal with the varying issues facing Australia's three operations. For Olympic Dam, the strategies are focused on water conservation and reuse, and evaporation of the acidic liquor arising from the leach process. Net water usage at an in situ operation such as Beverley is considerably less than comparable underground or open pit mines as acidic leach liquor is recycled in the wellfields, and there is no water loss with tailings. However, bleeds are required to maintain control of wellfield balance and to limit the buildup of impurities. The disposal of the bleed stream into the mining aquifer via wells must be balanced carefully to ensure that it does not impact on mining or wellfield management. Water management at Ranger has evolved considerably during its almost 25-year operating life. This is particularly the case over the last 8 years with the development of pit 3 and the deposition of tailings into the mined out pit 1. These changes, which have significantly increased the catchment area from which runoff water must be collected and managed, and the recent higher-than-average rainfall combined with the further expansion of pit 3 now have the potential to move the site water balances into significant surplus. To address this risk, ERA has successfully investigated processes at the pilot plant scale that would complement the capacity of existing passive pond water treatment systems by allowing the treatment and release of pond and/or process waters. These processes, which are part of a number of strategies currently being considered for implementation at the Ranger site

  4. 77 FR 5740 - Tennessee Abandoned Mine Land Program

    2012-02-06

    .... See 49 FR 15496. On May 16, 1984, the State repealed most of the Tennessee Coal Surface Mining Law of... reclaiming and restoring land and water resources adversely affected by past mining. This program is funded... recommendations noted above: The plan was revised to indicate that the division of Water Pollution Control,...

  5. Ecological indicators for abandoned mines, Phase 1: Review of the literature

    Tipping, E.; Jarvis, A. P.; Kelly, M. G.; Lofts, S.; Merrix, F. L.; Ormerod, S. J.

    2009-01-01

    Mine waters have been identified as a significant issue in the majority of Environment Agency draft River Basin Management Plans. They are one of the largest drivers for chemical pollution in the draft Impact Assessment for the Water Framework Directive (WFD), with significant failures of environmental quality standards (EQS) for metals (particularly Cd, Pb, Zn, Cu, Fe) in many rivers linked to abandoned mines. Existing EQS may be overprotective of aquatic life which may have adapted over ce...

  6. Ground- and surface-water interactions involving an abandoned underground coal mine in Pike County, Indiana

    Harper, D. [Indiana Geologic Survey, Bloomington, IN (United States); Olyphant, G.A.; Sjogren, D.R. [Indiana Univ., Bloomington, IN (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Several highwall pits of an abandoned surface mine in the Springfield Coal Member (Pennsylvanian) are currently occupied by ponds with a total area of approximately 2.3 x 10{sup 4} m{sup 2}. These ponds are adjacent to an abandoned underground mine (Patoka Valley Coal and Coke Company No. 1 Mine) in the same coalbed. The mine underlies about 0.3 km{sup 2} and contains approximately 4 x 10{sup 5} m{sup 3} of flooded voids. Monitoring of water levels in wells that are screened in the mine and of the levels of adjacent ponds reveal that average hourly levels vary in unison across a range of less than one meter. The mean potentiometric level of the mine-aquifer, the neighboring ponds, and an artesian spring that issues through the outcrop of the coalbed, are at elevations of about 163 m above sea level. Long-term monitoring and a field experiment that involved pumping of a pond indicated that the mine was connected to two of the ponds and served to recharge, rather than discharge, the ponds. The monitoring and field experiment also allowed determination of the mine aquifers barometric efficiency (0.3) and its storativity (2 x 10{sup -3}) . A water-balance calculation indicates that the average recharge rate of the mine is about 0.1 mm/day.

  7. Assessment of contaminant load changes caused by remining abandoned coal mines

    Determination of contaminant loading changes caused by remining of abandoned coal mines requires knowledge of the characteristics of the hydrologic data before and after remining. Under an approved remining program, a coal mine operator can remine abandoned coal mines without assuming treatment responsibilities of the previously degraded water, as long as these discharging waters are not further degraded. Normality tests performed on the hydrologic data from 57 mine discharges from 24 remining operations indicate generally nonnormal distributions and extreme right-skewness (toward the smaller values). Analysis of the differences among medians indicates that the water quality of underground mines was more highly degraded than that of surface mines. Analyses of pre- and post-remining mine discharge water quality and flow rates of the 57 discharges illustrate that most the sites exhibited either no change or a significant decrease in contaminant rate because of remining. The discharge flow rate was the dominant controlling factor when the post-remining pollution load was observed to be significantly better or worse than the pre-remining load, as was shown with the correlation and other analyses. Generally, when the mine discharges were degraded as a result of remining, this was caused by short-term changes in flow and/or concentration that occurred shortly after reclamation. Reduction of recharge from the surface and adjacent unmined strata should decrease the mine discharge flow rate and in turn the contaminant load

  8. Multiple radiation hazards in uranium mines

    For a group of workers of a uranium mine where thorium is also present, the discrepancy between routine grab-sampling/time averaging and personal dosimetry data, the lack of correlation between exposures to Rn-222 decay products, doses from gamma radiation and exposures to airborne radioactive dust tend to support the requirement for personal dosimetry. The large and rapid temporal variability of the concentration of Rn-222 decay products and of uranium/thorium ore dust in the air at fixed workplaces reinforces the conclusion that the uncertainties attached to grab sampling dosimetry are difficult to quantify. However, it is shown that a good correlation of exposures to Rn-220 decay products can be deducted from those of Rn-222 decay products and that the total radiation exposure received by individuals is approximately 1.4 times the exposure to Rn-222 decay products

  9. 30 CFR 904.25 - Approval of Arkansas abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    2010-07-01

    ... eligible lands and water; Ranking and selection procedures; Coordination of reclamation work; Acquisition management and disposition of land and water; Reclamation on private land; Rights of entry; Public...; Management accounting; and Abandoned mine land problem description. September 22, 1999 January 14,...

  10. Community-level effects in edaphic fauna from an abandoned mining area: integration with chemical and toxicological lines of evidence.

    Antunes, Sara C; Castro, Bruno B; Moreira, Cláudia; Gonçalves, Fernando; Pereira, Ruth

    2013-02-01

    As a part of the Ecological Risk Assessment of a deactivated uranium mining area (Cunha Baixa), the aim of this study was to assess the drivers of litter arthropod community (ecological line of evidence) inhabiting soils with different degrees of contamination. Litter arthropods were collected in the mining area using a total of 70 pitfall traps, in the spring and autumn of 2004. Unlike information previously collected in the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we found no clear evidence of impacts of soil contamination on the edaphic arthropod assemblage. Multivariate analyses were unable to extract relevant environmental gradients related to contamination, as most of the sites shared the same taxa overall. Given the consistency of the chemical and ecotoxicological lines of evidence, we must conclude that the litter arthropod assemblage underestimated the impacts of contamination in this abandoned mining area. In part, this could be due to the uncertainty caused by confounding factors that affect the litter arthropod community in the area. Nevertheless, despite the overall lack of responsiveness of the epigeic arthropod community data, a few taxa were negatively correlated with metal concentrations (Clubionidae and Staphylinidae), while Pseudoscorpionida were associated with the toxicological profile of the sites. These evidences suggest that community-level approaches with other animal and plant assemblages are necessary to reduce uncertainty relatively to the assessment of risks in higher evaluation tiers in the Cunha Baixa mine area. PMID:23174268

  11. Radiochronological Age of a Uranium Metal Sample from an Abandoned Facility

    Meyers, L A; Williams, R W; Glover, S E; LaMont, S P; Stalcup, A M; Spitz, H B

    2012-03-16

    A piece of scrap uranium metal bar buried in the dirt floor of an old, abandoned metal rolling mill was analyzed using multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (MC-ICP-MS). The mill rolled uranium rods in the 1940s and 1950s. Samples of the contaminated dirt in which the bar was buried were also analyzed. The isotopic composition of uranium in the bar and dirt samples were both the same as natural uranium, though a few samples of dirt also contained recycled uranium; likely a result of contamination with other material rolled at the mill. The time elapsed since the uranium metal bar was last purified can be determined by the in-growth of the isotope {sup 230}Th from the decay of {sup 234}U, assuming that only uranium isotopes were present in the bar after purification. The age of the metal bar was determined to be 61 years at the time of this analysis and corresponds to a purification date of July 1950 {+-} 1.5 years.

  12. Remediation of the Zirovski Vrh uranium mine

    After 25 years of exploration and mine and mill development, production of yellow cake at the Zirovski Vrh uranium mine started in 1984. After only six years of operation production was stopped in 1990. The closure of the state owned mine was neither expected nor planned and there were no funds available for remediation to be carried out in due course. To solve the funding problems the appropriate acts and regulations had to first be adopted by the Parliament of the Republic of Slovenia. The plans for research, development and remediation design and a financial plan were prepared by the mine company and contractors. Additional permits for the remediation of the underground mine, waste piles, and mill tailings were obtained. The legislative problems were solved by the new Act on Ionising Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety, adopted by the Slovenian Parliament in 2002. The Government of the Republic of Slovenia raised a loan from the European Investment Bank to enable implementation of the remediation plans. The milling facilities were demolished, contaminated areas decontaminated and 90 000 t of debris and contaminated soil were stored on the mine waste pile. Field work is continuing in the underground mine, as is the remediation of surface objects. The required design data for the long term remediation of the mill tailings (the base of the tailings affected by a landslide, tailings stabilization, and the cover system) are under intensive preparation. The temporary mine waste piles are being relocated to the central mine waste pile for disposal. The total costs of the remediation will be Euro 37.3 million. The state budget will contribute the project management and the operating costs of Euro 13.4 million and a European Investment Bank loan will cover the investment costs of Euro 23.9 million. Recontouring and placement of a cover on the mine waste pile will start in the second half of 2004. Field work on the mill tailings will start in 2005. It is planned that

  13. Technology of mine water treatment in uranium ore mining

    The most commonly used method of radioactive water treatment is the sedimentation method based on the adsorption mechanism. Iron, aluminium and calcium hydroxides are used for removal of uranium. Thorium, polonium and lead 210 are removed using the said hydroxides and also barium chloride and sodium phosphate. The mining solutions are mixed with chemicals and cleaning proceses take place including sedimentation, decantation and filtration. The treated water is partially returned into technological operations, partially discharged. Hygiene regulations have so far been missing governing other uses. (M.D.). 3 refs

  14. Romanian regulatory framework for uranium mining and milling (present and future)

    In Romania, all operations in the nuclear field, including uranium mining and milling, are regulated by Law no. 111/1996 (republished in 1998), regarding the safe conduct of nuclear activities. These activities can be performed only on the basis of an authorization released by the national regulatory authority, i.e. the National Commission for Nuclear Activities Control. The specific requirements which must be carried out by the owner of an operating licence for a uranium mining and milling operation are stipulated by the Republican Nuclear Safety Norms for Geological Research, Mining and Milling of Nuclear Raw Materials. These regulatory requirements have been in force since 1975. The regulatory norms include provisions that the effective dose limit for workers should not exceed 50 mSv/year and also that liquid effluents released into surface waters must have a content of natural radioactive elements that meets the standards for drinking water. The norms do not contain provisions concerning the conditions under which the mining sites and the uranium processing facilities can be shut down and decommissioned. The norms also do not contain requirements regarding either the rehabilitation of environments affected by abandoned mining and milling activities, nor criteria for the release of the rehabilitated sites for alternative uses. To implement the provisions of Council Directive 96/29 EURATOM in Romania, new Fundamental Radiological Protection Norms have been approved and will soon be published in the 'Monitorul Official' (Official Gazette of Romania). One of the main provisions of these norms is the reduction of the effective dose limit for the workers to 20 mSv/year. Changes in the Republican Nuclear Safety Norms for Geological Research, Mining and Milling of Nuclear Raw Materials, are also planned; these changes will be consistent with the Fundamental Radiological Protection Norms. To cover existing gaps, the new norms for uranium mining and milling will include

  15. Environmental monitoring in radiation field in uranium mines of Niger

    In Niger, uranium (yellow cake) has been produced since 1968 and 1978 by respectively SOMAIR (Mine Society of Air) and COMINAK (Mine Company of Akouta) both situated in the Region of Agadez (north of the country). This paper deals the radiological impacts from the uranium production activities of these societies on the population and the environment. (author)

  16. A Mine-Based Uranium Market Clearing Model

    Aris Auzans

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Economic analysis and market simulation tools are used to evaluate uranium (U supply shocks, sale or purchase of uranium stockpiles, or market effects of new uranium mines or enrichment technologies. This work expands on an existing U market model that couples the market for primary U from uranium mines with those of secondary uranium, e.g., depleted uranium (DU upgrading or highly enriched uranium (HEU down blending, and enrichment services. This model accounts for the interdependence between the primary U supply on the U market price, the economic characteristics of each individual U mine, sources of secondary supply, and the U enrichment market. This work defines a procedure for developing an aggregate supply curve for primary uranium from marginal cost curves for individual firms (Uranium mines. Under this model, market conditions drive individual mines’ startup and short- and long-term shutdown decisions. It is applied to the uranium industry for the period 2010–2030 in order to illustrate the evolution of the front end markets under conditions of moderate growth in demand for nuclear fuel. The approach is applicable not only to uranium mines but also other facilities and reactors within the nuclear economy that may be modeled as independent, decision-making entities inside a nuclear fuel cycle simulator.

  17. The abandoned undergound Cherno more coal mine (SE Bulgaria) - a source of low grade geothermal energy

    Flooded abandoned coal mines are a potential source of geothermal energy, which could be used for heating and cooling of energy efficient buildings. Cherno More Coal Mine is located in SE Bulgaria and has been closed for more than 20 years. It represents a large human-induced subsurface reservoir which consists of three interconnected coalfields (“Brigadir”, “9.IX.” and “Blagoev”). Their total volume of about 2.0x106 m3 has been calculated considering the size of the stone drifts. The mine water temperature is measured to be about 16°C in the only accessible vertical shaft (“9.IX.” coalfield). This is the first study of an abandoned coal mine in Bulgaria aiming at assessing its low-valued energy potential and evaluating the opportunity for heating and cooling buildings. The geological and hydrogeological characteristics of Cherno More Mine have been analyzed by using existing archive data and conducting additional chemical analysis of water samples and temperature measurements in the mine. The obtained data were used to develop a regional groundwater model of the area and a local hydrothermal model for a thermally-insulated furniture factory located in the vicinity of the vertical shaft. The simulated temperature distribution in the mine during exploitation showed no impact on the production temperature by reinjected water under defined steady state conditions, which created a reliable basis for mine water energy use

  18. Uranium mining and production of concentrates in India

    In order to meet the uranium requirements for the atomic power programme of the country, uranium deposits were explored, mined and concentrates were produced indigenously. The geology of the areas, mode of entries and the various extraction methods deployed in different mines with their constraints are described. The various equipments used in mining and processing activities are elaborated. The flow sheets for processing the uranium ore and that of the effluent treatment plant are given in detail. The future plans of the company for undertaking the new projects to meet the demand of uranium requirement for the increasing nuclear power programme are given. (author). 18 figs

  19. Managing environmental and health impacts of uranium mining

    Producing uranium in a safe and environmentally responsible manner is not only important to the producers and consumers of the product, but to society at large. Given the projected growth in nuclear generating capacity expected in the coming decades, particularly in the developing world, awareness of leading practice uranium mining needs to be increased globally. This report provides a non-technical overview of the driving forces behind and the outcomes of the significant evolution of uranium mining practices from the time that uranium was first mined for military purposes during the Cold War until today. (authors)

  20. Radiation protection in uranium mining and milling industry

    The first phase of the Nuclear Fuel Cycle is exploration for uranium and the next is mining and milling of uranium ore. This phase is mostly characterised by low levels of radioactivity and radiation exposure of the workers involved. Yet it is a paradoxical truth that incidence of cancer among the work force, especially miners, due to occupational radiation exposure (from radon and decay products) has been proved only in uranium mines in the entire Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Of course such incidence occurred before the detrimental effect of radiation exposure was realised and understood. Therefore it is important to familiarise oneself with the radiation hazards prevalent in the uranium mining and milling facilities so as to take appropriate remedial measures for the protection of not only the workers but also the public at large. There are both open cast and underground uranium mines around the world. Radiation hazards are considerably less significant in open cast mines than in underground mines unless the ore grade is very high. By default therefore the discussion which ensues relates mainly to radiation hazards in underground uranium mines and associated milling operations. The discussion gives a brief outline of typical uranium mine and mining and milling operations. This is followed by a description of the radiation hazards therein and protection measures that are to be taken to minimise radiation exposure. (author)

  1. Uranium exploration and mining operations in central and western Africa

    Uranium has been known in central Africa since 1915 with ore mines in Zaire being worked from 1945-1960. In the 1960s uranium exploration located two more deposits in Gabon and Niger. The uranium operations in both these countries are described. This includes an account of the company working the deposits, the geological environment of the deposits and the mining methods used in each part of the mines. Other uranium deposits in central and western Africa are listed and the mining operation described briefly. The uranium market has been depressed and production levels have been lower than normal. However, production could be increased in the existing uranium districts. Alternatively, new production centres could be sought in other countries. (U.K.)

  2. Manual of acid in situ leach uranium mining technology

    In situ leaching (ISL) technology recovers uranium using two alternative chemical leaching systems - acid and alkaline. This report brings together information from several technical disciplines that are an essential part of ISL technology. They include uranium geology, geohydrology, chemistry as well as reservoir engineering and process engineering. This report provides an extensive description of acid ISL uranium mining technology

  3. Environmental and social impact of uranium mining in Australia

    The mining of uranium at the Ranger and Jabiluka mines in Australia's Northern Territory has been assessed as a case study for the environmental and social impact of uranium mining in Australia. The level of environmental protection achieved has been very high. However, a number of social indicators reveal that the social impact of development in the region, including the mining of uranium, has been significant. A program is now underway to redress these social issues. Links between social and environmental impact have been identified. In today's world, the standards and practices in environmental protection are as much determined by social attitudes as they are by scientific and technical assessment. (author)

  4. Environmental and social impact of uranium mining in Australia

    The mining of uranium at the Ranger and Jabiluka mines in Australia's Northern Territory has been assessed as a case study for the environmental and social impact of uranium mining in Australia. The level of environmental protection achieved has been very high. However, a number of social indicators reveal that the social impact of development in the region, including the mining of uranium, has been significant. A programme is now underway to redress these social issues. Links between social and environmental impact have been identified. In today's world, the standards and practices in environmental protection are as much determined by social attitudes as they are by scientific and technical assessment. (author)

  5. Water treatment issues at the former uranium mining site

    After the termination of uranium mining and processing among rehabilitation work water treatment issues became of first importance. Because of the location of the former mining site and drinking water catchment areas, mine water treatment and groundwater restoration around tailings ponds has priority in the remediation plans. Mine water treatment with removing of uranium in form of commercial-grade uranium peroxide and groundwater restoration is underway in industrial scale. Recently an elemental iron-base experimental permeable reactive barrier (PRB) has been built for investigation of the long-term performance of the PRB in the frame of EU-sponsored project. (author)

  6. Water treatment issues at the former uranium mining site

    After the termination of uranium mining and processing among rehabilitation work water treatment issues became of first importance. Because of the location of the former mining site and drinking water catchment areas, mine water treatment and groundwater restoration around tailings ponds has priority in the remediation plans. Mine water treatment with removing of uranium in form of commercial-grade uranium peroxide and groundwater restoration is underway in industrial scale. Recently an elemental iron-base experimental permeable reactive barrier (PRB) has been built for investigation of the long-term performance of the PRB in the frame of EU-sponsored project (PEREBAR)

  7. Comparison of numerical models for predicting ground water rebound in abandoned deep mine systems

    Choi, Y.; Baek, H.; Kim, D.

    2012-12-01

    Cessation of dewatering usually results in ground water rebound after closing a deep underground mine because the mind voids and surrounding strata flood up to the levels of decant points such as shafts and drifts. Several numerical models have been developed to predict the timing, magnitude and location of discharges resulting from ground water rebound. We compared the numerical models such as VSS-NET, GRAM and MODFLOW codes at different spatial and time scales. Based on the comparisons, a new strategy is established to develop a program for ground water rebound modeling in abandoned deep mine systems. This presentation describes the new strategy and its application to an abandoned underground mine in Korea.

  8. Water management at Ranger Uranium Mine

    The water management system at the Ranger Uranium Mine is described. Any water that may have come into contact with material containing more than 0.02% uranium must be retained within the Restricted Release zone (RRZ) from which no water may be released except under specified conditions and with the written approval of the Northern Territory supervising authority. The RRS contains the tailings dam, the mine pit and retention ponds 2 and 3. Outside the RR2, retention ponds 1 and 4 act as silt traps, allowing sediment to settle out prior to water discharge. The Office of Supervising Scientist has developed receiving waters quality standards for Magela Creek which are given in a table. There have now been established sufficient regulatory criteria to allow the release of waste water directly to Magela Creek without compromising the environment. Consideration of releases has been confined to the comparatively good quality run-off waters in the RRZ and no release of the more contaminated process and tailings water stream is contemplated

  9. Plans for uranium mining by COGEMA

    The COGEMA group is currently evaluating three uranium deposits, Koongarra in the Northern Territory and Manyingee and Oobagooma in WA, with regard to their development potential. The Koongarra deposit, with some 14,000 tonnes of contained U3O8, is the most advanced, as detailed mining plans and an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) had been prepared by previous holders of the deposit. An agreement with the Aboriginal Land Owners of the area had also been negotiated with the Northern Land Council, but had not been ratified by the then Commonwealth Government. The sandstone-hosted deposits at Manyingee and Oobagooma contain resources of about 7000 tonne and 10,000 tonne of U3O8 respectively. It is possible that the deposits are amenable to in situ leaching techniques, and this - together with a determination of possible additional field investigations - is being evaluated. COGEMA, through its subsidiary AFmeco Mining and EXploration Pty Ltd, is furthermore embarking upon a sizeable exploration program in West Arnhem Land, Northern Territory. The exploration interests include geological units which are considered to be prospective for world-class uranium deposits

  10. Uranium and thorium mining regulations: Amendments relating to financial assurances and decommissioning of uranium mining facilities. Consultative document

    The purpose of this document is to describe the objectives, scope, substance and application of proposed amendments to the Uranium and Thorium Mining Regulations; in particular, amendments relating to the provision of financial assurances for the decommissioning of Canadian uranium mines. (author)

  11. Abandoned PbZn mining wastes and their mobility as proxy to toxicity: A review.

    Gutiérrez, Mélida; Mickus, Kevin; Camacho, Lucy Mar

    2016-09-15

    Lead and zinc (PbZn) mines are a common occurrence worldwide; and while approximately 240 mines are active, the vast majority have been abandoned for decades. Abandoned mining wastes represent a serious environmental hazard, as Pb, Zn and associated metals are continuously released into the environment, threatening the health of humans and affecting ecosystems. Iron sulfide minerals, when present, can form acid mine drainage and increase the toxicity by mobilizing the metals into more bioavailable forms. Remediation of the metal waste is costly and, in the case of abandoned wastes, the responsible party(ies) for the cleanup can be difficult to determine, which makes remediation a complex and lengthy process. In this review, we provide a common ground from a wide variety of investigations about concentrations, chemical associations, and potential mobility of Pb, Zn and cadmium (Cd) near abandoned PbZn mines. Comparing mobility results is a challenging task, as instead of one standard methodology, there are 4-5 different methods reported. Results show that, as a general consensus, the metal content of soils and sediments vary roughly around 1000mg/kg for Zn, 100 for Pb and 10 for Cd, and mobilities of Cd>Zn>Pb. Also, mobility is a function of pH, particle size, and formation of secondary minerals. New and novel remediation techniques continue to be developed in laboratories but have seldom been applied to the field. Remediation at most of the sites has consisted of neutralization (e.g. lime,) for acid mine discharge, and leveling followed by phytostabilization. In the latter, amendments (e.g. biochar, fertilizers) are added to boost the efficiency of the treatment. Any remediation method has to be tested before being implemented as the best treatment is site-specific. Potential treatments are described and compared. PMID:27179321

  12. Comparative research on decommissioning disposal effect of two uranium mines at home and abroad

    Taking two typical decommissioned uranium mines at home and abroad for an example, disposal means and effects of two uranium mines were compared and analyzed in three aspects of waste dump disposal, mine sealing treatment, and wastewater disposal. The results showed that two uranium mines were basically identical in the disposal standards and disposal means, but the works in the source survey, wastewater disposal and long-term supervision done by oversea uranium mine were more detailed than domestic uranium mine. (authors)

  13. Microbial methane formation from hard coal and timber in an abandoned coal mine

    Kruger, M.; Beckmann, S.; Engelen, B.; Thielemann, T.; Cramer, B.; Schippers, A.; Cypionka, H. [Federal Institute for Geoscience and Natural Resources BGR, Hannover (Germany)

    2008-07-01

    About 7% of the global annual methane emissions originate from coal mining. Also, mine gas has come into focus of the power industry and is being used increasingly for heat and power production. In many coal deposits worldwide, stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures of methane indicate a mixed thermogenic and biogenic origin. In this study, we have measured in an abandoned coal mine methane fluxes and isotopic signatures of methane and carbon dioxide, and collected samples for microbiological and phylogenetic investigations. Mine timber and hard coal showed an in-situ production of methane with isotopic signatures similar to those of the methane in the mine atmosphere. Enrichment cultures amended with mine timber or hard coal as sole carbon sources formed methane over a period of nine months. Predominantly, acetoclastic methanogenesis was stimulated in enrichments containing acetate or hydrogen/carbon dioxide. Molecular techniques revealed that the archaeal community in enrichment cultures and unamended samples was dominated by members of the Methanosarcinales. The combined geochemical and microbiological investigations identify microbial methanogenesis as a recent source of methane in abandoned coal mines.

  14. Environmental protection at ISL uranium mining sites in Uzbekistan

    The ecological aspects of uranium mining with particular focus on in situ leaching (ISL) are addressed in the paper. As compared to conventional mining methods, from the ecological point of view, ISL has proved to be advantageous. Innovations developed and introduced in the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combinat (NMMC) with the purpose of reducing the impact of the uranium production cycle on the environment are described. (author)

  15. Some examples of the cavity filling along transportation routes above abandoned room and pillar lignite Mines in Tokai Region

    The authors describe the applications of the integrated cavity filling technique to abandoned lignite mines in Tokai region. These abandoned lignite mines were in operation until 1960's and the routes of Tokai By-Pass Expressway and the linear motor car railway line for Aichi Exposition pass over these abandoned mines. Since the size of abandoned mines were much larger than the route of the expressway and the elevated monorail, limited areas relevant to their stability had to be only filled. This article describe the details of cavity filling operations in these two projects, which may be some valuable examples for assessing the methods how to deal problems associated with mine closures in long term. (authors)

  16. Contamination by Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in mine wastes from abandoned metal mines classified as mineralization types in Korea.

    Jung, Myung Chae

    2008-06-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate heavy metal contamination and geochemical characteristics of mine wastes, including tailings, from 38 abandoned mines classified as five mineralization types. Mine waste materials including tailings and soils were sampled from the mines and the physical and chemical characteristics of the samples were analyzed. The particle size of tailings was in the range of 10-100 microm. The pH of the waste covered a wide range, from 1.73 to 8.11, and was influenced by associated minerals and elevated levels of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn, extracted by a Korean Standard Method (digestion with 0.1 mol L(-1) HCl), which were found in the wastes. Half of the samples contained heavy metals at levels above those stipulated by the Soil Environmental Conservation Act (SECA) in Korea. In addition, extremely high concentrations of the metals were also found in mine wastes extracted by aqua regia, especially those from mines associated with sulfide minerals. Thus, it can be expected that trace elements in mine wastes may be dispersed both downstream and downslope through water and wind. Eventually they may pose a potential health risk to residents in the vicinity of the mine. It is necessary to control mine wastes by using a proper method for their reclamation, such as neutralization of the mine wastes using a fine-grained limestone. PMID:17687627

  17. Reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands in eastern China: a case study

    China has a long history of coal mining and more than 96% of coal output is taken from underground mines each year. With the excavation of coal from underground, severe subsidence often results, which produces many subsidence lands. This paper explores the principle and methods of reclamation planning for abandoned mining subsidence lands and presents a case study in eastern China. A 373 ha of abandoned mining subsidence land in Anhui province was selected as an experiment site. Since China is a developing country and land shortage is severe in this area, the high economic benefits from the reclaimed land was the final reclamation goal. Based on the topography of subsidence lands, some parts of the abandoned lands were lands or lake-like troughs, restoring farmlands and fishponds were chosen as post-reclamation land uses. The elevation of reclaimed lands was the key for restoring farmland successfully because of the high underground water level in this area, and the optimum fishpond size and side-slope design were the keys to reach high reclamation income. The HDP (Hydraulic Dredge Pump) reclamation technique was used for restoring farmland and creating fishpond. A farming and aquaculture plan for high economic benefits was also designed. This project will make farmers, who own the lands, richer through reclamation. 3 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  18. Chapter 5. Uranium extraction technology from mine and drainage waters of uranium industry wastes. 5.6. Uranium extraction from mine and technical waters by sorbent - apricot shell

    Present article is devoted to uranium extraction from mine and technical waters by sorbent - apricot shell. It was found that apricot shells - the most accessible sorbent for uranium extraction from mine and technical waters due to the high price of sorbent A M (p). Uranium sorption was carried out similarly to the basic process flow of uranium extraction from mine waters with use of the anion exchanger sorbent A M (p). The schematic diagram of apparatus construction (sorption column) for uranium extraction by apricot shell was proposed.

  19. Pilot study of environmental monitoring of Konya region near abandoned mercury mine in Turkey.

    Karahalil, Bensu; Ulukaya, Mevlut; Alp, Orkun

    2012-02-01

    Abandoned mines are an important global concern and continue to pose potential threats to human health including environmental damage/s. There is not any specific regulation for mining wastes in Turkey and this situation puts the mining wastes into the dangerous category. Therefore, this study focuses on the environmental effects of the abandoned mercury mines. To demonstrate environmental mercury contamination, fish samples were collected from two different regions which were contaminated and uncontaminated region. As a biomarker of environmental exposure the levels of Hg in fish samples were measured by Cold Vapor-Atomic Absorption Spectrometry (CVAAS). In fish samples, the levels of Hg were 0.504 ± 0.475 (mg/kg) (Mean ± SD) in Group 1 and 0.04 ± 0.054 (mg/kg) (Mean ± SD) in Group 2. Our data suggested that although mercury mine was closed long time ago, mining waste is still a problem and continues to contaminate the environment. PMID:22020921

  20. An assessment of the radiological impact of uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan

    This report presents the findings of a study which investigated the regional radiological impact of uranium mining in northern Saskatchewan. The study was performed by IEC Beak Consultants Ltd. under a contract awarded by Environment Canada in partnership with the Atomic Energy Control Board. This preliminary assessment suggests there is a negligible combined regional radiological impact from simultaneous operation of the three operating mines investigated as part of the present study. The mines are spaced too far apart for any superposition of emissions to be significantly greater than a small fraction of background levels. The most exposed individual not directly associated with any of the mining operations is estimated to receive a total radiation dose equal to about 3% of the dose due to natural background radiations. This increment is equivalent to the increment in natural background that would be received by an individual moving from Vancouver to Wollaston Post, before mining began in the area, as a result of reduced atmospheric shielding from cosmic radiation. Radiological impacts on biota are estimated to have insignficant effects on natural populations in all cases. However, since the study only investigates the effects of operational releases of radionuclides, the results do not imply that uranium mining developments will or will not have significant long-term radiological impact on northern Saskatchewan. Radiological impact assessments described in this report are estimates only. There are some uncertainties in the available data and modelling methodology. The radiological impact of abandoned tailings areas was not included in this study

  1. Application of inertia cone crushers in heap leaching uranium mines

    Inertia cone crusher is a high-efficiency, super-fine crushing device with unique principle and structure. The inertia cone crusher has high reduction ratio and low power consumption, and can control final products in narrow scope. It is suitable for crushing uranium ores in heap leaching mines. The particular characters and structure of the inertia cone crusher are briefly introduced. Application of the inertia cone crusher in uranium mines is summarized. It is indicated that the inertia cone crusher has good application prospects in uranium mines. (authors)

  2. Uranium recovery and uranium remove from acid mine waters by ion exchange resin

    Ion exchange using resins is one of few processes capable of reducing contaminants in effluents to very low levels according to environmental legislation. In this study the process was used to remove and recovery uranium from acid mine waters at Pocos de Caldas-MG Uranium Mining and Milling Plant. The presence of pyrite in the waste rock piles, resulting acid drainage with several pollutants. Including uranium ranging from 6 to 14 mg/l, as sulfate complex, that can be removed by an anionic exchanger. Studies of uranium sorption without treatment, and with lime pretreatment of water to precipitate the iron and recovery uranium as commercial product, are presented. Uranium elution was done with NaCl solutions. Saline concentration and retention time were the parameters studied. the uranium decontaminations level in the effluents from acid mine water was 94%. (author)

  3. Perceptions and Realities in Modern Uranium Mining - Extended Summary

    Uranium mining and milling has evolved significantly over the years. By comparing currently leading approaches with outdated practices, the report demonstrates how uranium mining can be conducted in a way that protects workers, the public and the environment. Innovative, modern mining practices combined with strictly enforced regulatory standards are geared towards avoiding past mistakes made primarily during the early history of the industry when maximising uranium production was the principal operating consideration. Today's leading practices in uranium mining aim at producing uranium in an efficient and safe manner that limits environmental impacts to acceptable standards. As indicated in the report, the collection of baseline environmental data, environmental monitoring and public consultation throughout the life cycle of the mine enables verification that the facility is operating as planned, provides early warning of any potentially adverse impacts on the environment and keeps stakeholders informed of developments. Leading practice also supports planning for mine closure before mine production is licensed to ensure that the mining lease area is returned to an environmentally acceptable condition. The report highlights the importance of mine workers being properly trained and well equipped, as well as that of ensuring that their work environment is well ventilated so as to curtail exposure to radiation and hazardous materials and thereby minimise health impacts. (authors)

  4. Radon in Uranium Mining. Proceedings of a Panel

    A considerable increase in uranium production capacity is foreseen over the next decades to provide fuel for a rapidly expanding nuclear power industry. The problems that arise with this anticipated increase in production have far reaching implications on, for example, availability of ore, mining methods, mine and mill construction facilities, environmental impacts, all of which require careful attention within the uranium mining industry. The International Atomic Energy Agency is concerned in assisting with the study of all such problems, including, among others, the effect which radiological and waste management legislative controls will have on uranium costs and ore reserves. The essential requirement is that the health of uranium miners should be safeguarded. Most Governments of uranium-producing countries already have legislation limiting the permissible amounts of radon in working uranium mines, and many have also indicated that permitted levels may be more rigorous in future years. To comply with these regulations uranium mining companies and organizations must invest considerable sums on new ventilation and protective systems. This expenditure will, in many cases, increase the total cost of uranium production and, in some mines, may raise the cost above acceptable economic limits. The present estimated uranium reserves are classified on the basis of 'estimated cost of production' figures and these may, therefore, require modification. This, in turn, might affect the uranium fuel situation for future nuclear power programmes. To discuss this, and the related subjects of mine ventilation and radon emanation in mines, the Agency convened a Panel on Radon in Uranium Mining from 4 to 7 September 1973 which, at the invitation of the United States Government, was held in Washington, D.C. Nine participants and nine observers from six countries were present at the meeting. The principal subject was the theme of the first session. It was recognized that, while the

  5. Uranium mining in the Canadian social environment of the eighties

    The attitude of the Canadian public to the mining industry as a whole has changed in recent years to one of mistrust because of the public perception of mining as environmentally harmful and humanly degrading. In addition, uranium mining has had to cope with the public fear of radiation. The uranium mining industry is closely regulated by the Atomic Energy Control Board, not only in the area of radiation protection but also in other fields affecting worker health and safety. Uranium mining has been the subject of many hearings in Canada, and all but one have concluded that it is environmentally and socially acceptable. It is up to the mining industry to convey this message to the public

  6. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry 1989

    Section 170B of the Atomic Energy Act of 1954, as amended by Public Law 97-415, requires that the Secretary of Energy submit to Congress an annual assessment of the viability of the domestic uranium mining and milling industry. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the Department of Energy (DOE) was assigned the responsibility to develop the criteria for use in estimating the viability of the industry. These criteria include four major attributes of industry viability - resource capability, supply response capability, financial capability, and import commitment dependency. Having established these criteria, the Secretary of Energy is required to monitor the industry and make an annual assessment of its viability for 1983 through 1992. The first six assessments were issued in the years 1984 through 1989 based on information available for 1983 through 1988, respectively. The current report provides the data and analyses, based on the information available through the end of the calendar year 1989, supporting the seventh annual assessment of the uranium industry's viability. It presents information on the four major attributes. Data on past and present industry behavior, as well as projections of the future status of the industry (assuming current market conditions), were used to examine the industry's ability to respond, over a 10-year period, to two hypothetical supply disruption scenarios. 20 figs., 23 tabs

  7. Developments in uranium solution mining in Australia

    The last five years have seen rapid developments in uranium solution mining in Australia, with one deposit brought into production (Beverley, 1,000 tpa U3O8) and another close to receiving development approval (Honeymoon, 500 expanding to 1,000 tpa U3O8 proposed). The deposits were discovered during extensive exploration of the Frome Basin in South Australia in the early 1970s and were mothballed from 1983 to 1996 due to Government policies. Uranium mineralisation at Beverley, Honeymoon and other related prospects is hosted in unconsolidated coarse grained quartz sands which are sealed in buried palaeovalleys. Both projects have successfully trialled acid leaching methods and have confirmed high permeability and confinement of the target sands. At Beverley an ion exchange process has been adopted, whereas at Honeymoon solvent extraction has been trialled and is proposed for future production Australian production economics compare favourably with US counterparts and are likely to be within the lower quartile of world costs

  8. Uranium and thorium mining and milling: material security and risk assessment

    Full text: At present physical protection for the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle is typically at a significantly lower level than at any other part of the nuclear fuel cycle. In view of past experiences (Israel, South Africa, Pakistan, India) it is feasible to take into consideration some generic threat scenarios, potentially resulting in loss of control over uranium or thorium, respectively their concentrates, such as: illegal mining of an officially closed uranium- or thorium mine; covert diversion of uranium- or thorium ore whilst officially mining another ore; covert transport of radioactive ore or product, using means of public rail, road, ship, or air transport; covert en route diversion of an authorized uranium- or thorium transport; covert removal of uranium-or thorium ore or concentrate from an abandoned facility. The Stanford-Salzburg database on nuclear smuggling, theft, and orphan radiation sources (DSTO) contains information on trafficking incidents involving mostly uranium, but also some thorium, from 30 countries in five continents with altogether 113 incidents in the period 1991 to 2004. These activities range from uranium transported in backpacks by couriers in Afghanistan, to a terrorist organization purchasing land in order to mine covertly for uranium in Australia, and the clandestine shipment of almost two tons of uranium hexafluoride from Asia to Africa, using the services of a national airline. Potential participants in such illegal operations range from entrepreneurs to members of organized crime, depending on the level of sophistication of the operation. End-users and 'customers' of such illegal operations are suspected to be non-state actors, organizations or governments involved in a covert operation with the ultimate aim to acquire a sufficient amount of nuclear material for a nuclear device. The actual risk for these activities to succeed in the acquisition of an adequate amount of suitable radioactive material depends on one or

  9. Characterization and phytoremediation of abandoned contaminated mining area in Portugal by INAA

    This study aims to find out a vascular plant species that accumulate relatively high concentrations of arsenic (As) for its use as phytoremediator at abandoned and contaminated mining areas, such as Sao Domingos mines (Portugal). The assessment of As contamination levels in soils and plants of other similar sites in the north of the country (Castromil and Poco de Freitas) was also conducted; and the sample analyses were made by instrumental neutron activation analysis. Agrostis genera have shown higher As transfer coefficients than other studied plant species and, in particular, Agrostis curtisii has shown a reasonable ability to accumulate high concentration of this toxic element. (author)

  10. ASSESSING THE IMPACT OF WASTE ROCKS ON GROUNDWATER QUALITY IN THE ABANDONED COAL MINE OF JERADA CITY (NORTH EASTERN MOROCCO)

    BENDRA B.; M. Sbaa; FETOUANI S.; Lotfi, A.

    2011-01-01

    The exponential growth of urban dwellers calls for an increased awareness of urban ecosystems and appropriate,long-term management practices. Especially the water supply needs to be secured, both in terms of quantity and quality. In Morocco, numerous urban mine sites were abandoned regardless rehabilitation strategy.Consequently, mining activity contributes massively to deteriorate air, soil and water quality, to degrade natural ecosystems and to menace public health. The abandoned coalmine o...

  11. Groundwater and Surface Water Contributions to Metals Loading in Bayhorse Creek at the Abandoned Ramshorn Mine Site Near Bayhorse, Idaho

    McDonough, Hannah L.

    2015-01-01

    Many abandoned mines in the United States are littered with waste metals that leach into watersheds and degrade habitats. Although metals-laden waters may appear pristine, fish bioaccumulate high concentrations of metals in their tissues, which create health risks if consumed by humans. This study examines the source and fate of metals in Bayhorse Creek near the abandoned Ramshorn mine outside of Challis, Idaho. In 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey found high levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromi...

  12. Effluent water quality and the ochre deposit characteristics of the abandoned Smolnik mine, East Slovakia

    This paper presents the results of a 20-year survey of selected physical and chemical parameters of mine drainage and associated stream sediments at the abandoned Smolnik deposit (East Slovakia). The Smolnik mine was in operation intermittently from the 14th century for Au, Ag, Cu, Fe and pyrite (FeS2). In 1990 - 1994 the mine was finally closed and flooded. In 1997 a remediation effort was initiated in an attempt to improve the quality of acid mine drainage (AMD) from the mine site. Monitoring of the AMD water parameters has continued since 2000 in quarterly intervals. Considering the concentration of dissolved constituents and the flow rate of the AMD, the abandoned Smolnik deposit brings about continuous loading of more than 500 kg of dissolved metals per day to the adjacent Smolnik stream. The ochreous precipitates formed from AMD stream were characterized by elemental analysis, X-ray diffraction and scanning electron microscopy. Schwertmannite was the dominant solid phase in the precipitates. The chemical analysis of AMD and the elemental composition of related sediments indicated selective scavenging potential of the precipitates for arsenic and other metal species. (authors)

  13. The risk of collapse in abandoned mine sites: the issue of data uncertainty

    Longoni, Laura; Papini, Monica; Brambilla, Davide; Arosio, Diego; Zanzi, Luigi

    2016-04-01

    Ground collapses over abandoned underground mines constitute a new environmental risk in the world. The high risk associated with subsurface voids, together with lack of knowledge of the geometric and geomechanical features of mining areas, makes abandoned underground mines one of the current challenges for countries with a long mining history. In this study, a stability analysis of Montevecchia marl mine is performed in order to validate a general approach that takes into account the poor local information and the variability of the input data. The collapse risk was evaluated through a numerical approach that, starting with some simplifying assumptions, is able to provide an overview of the collapse probability. The final results is an easy-accessible-transparent summary graph that shows the collapse probability. This approach may be useful for public administrators called upon to manage this environmental risk. The approach tries to simplify this complex problem in order to achieve a roughly risk assessment, but, since it relies on just a small amount of information, any final user should be aware that a comprehensive and detailed risk scenario can be generated only through more exhaustive investigations.

  14. Application of intensified heap leaching technology of uranium ores to Dabu uranium mine

    In the light of the preliminary design of uranium ore heap leaching for Dabu uranium mine, leaching agent with high concentration of sulfuric acid (about 50 g/L) was used to leach uranium from ores in the initial stage of heap leaching, and then the acidity of leaching agent was gradually reduced according to the concentration of sulfuric acid in leaching solution. Using the leaching agent with low concentration of sulfuric acid to leach uranium in the latter stage leaded to long leaching time, high content of uranium in the leaching residue, and high energy consumption in follow-up producing process. So an intensified heap leaching technology of uranium ores was put forward and adopted to shorten the leaching time and reduce the content of uranium in the leaching residue and the energy consumption. The application of the technology to Dabu uranium mine was introduced, and technical and economic evaluation was carried out. (authors)

  15. Mineral dusts and radon in uranium mines

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) continues to assert that radon is a major cause of lung cancer in this country. EPA is fostering a radon program that could entail huge financial and emotional costs while yielding negligible benefits to public health. Justification for the program was the occurrence of lung cancer in men exposed to huge amounts of radon, mineral dusts, and other lung irritants in uranium mines on the Colorado Plateau. Lung cancer has been reported in about 356 cigarette smokers and in about 25 nonsmokers. During the era of high radon levels, monitoring was sporadic. Conditions in only a small fraction of the mines were measured, and that on a few separate occasions. Later, cumulative exposure to radon was calculated on the basis of measurements involving only a tiny fraction of the miners. Some were exposed to more than 15,000 pCi/liter of radon and its products. The level in the average home is about 1.5 pCi/liter. In making extrapolations from mine to home, the assumption is made that residents are in their dwellings most of the time and that miners spend only 170 hours a month in the mine. Two major questionable assumptions are involved in extrapolations from high doses of radon in the mines to low doses in homes. One is that no threshold is involved; that is, that humans have no remediation mechanism for α particle damages. There is evidence to the contrary. The most unrealistic assumption is that heavy exposure to silica has no effect on inducing lung cancer. Many studies have shown that silica dust causes lung cancer in animals. Exposure of human culture cells to silica has resulted in formation of neoplastic tissue. EPA has no solid evidence that exposures to 4 pCi/liter of radon causes lung cancer in either smokers or nonsmokers. Indeed, there is abundant evidence to the contrary in the fact that in states with high levels of radon, inhabitants have less lung cancer than those in states with low levels

  16. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY; SEMIANNUAL

    This report represents the sixth Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government-Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the White Meadow Mine site, after amended specifications were prepared and continued negotiations took place with the Property Owner, the property ownership was transferred during the reporting period. As a result in the change in property ownership, the remediation project was then to be done by the new Property Owner out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, no additional field work was undertaken during this reporting period subsequent to the previous completion of the geophysical survey. With the termination of the White Meadow

  17. Program of Environmental monitoring in uranium and thorium mines

    This work suggests a plan for the elaboration of a program of environmental monitoring of radioactive pollutants around mining of uranium and thorium with the purpose of protecting the man and the environment

  18. Environmental aspects of the Canadian uranium mining industry

    This paper covers a brief history of uranium mining in Canada, environmental problems, control measures, monitoring of various contaminants in air and water, the development and adherence to standards and limited information on cancer incidence and effects of smoking. (author)

  19. Technology for uranium extraction from mine and drain waters

    Present article is devoted to technology for uranium extraction from mine and drain waters. The construction of sorption equipment with application of apricot shell as a sorbent is described. The sorption properties of apricot shell are studied.

  20. An evaluation of the uranium mine radiation safety course

    The report evaluates the Uranium Mine Radiation Safety Course focussing on the following areas: effectivenss of the course; course content; instructional quality; course administration. It notes strengths and weaknesses in these areas and offers preliminary recommendations for future action

  1. Could an abandoned mercury mine area be cropped?

    Rocio, Millán; Elvira, Esteban; Pilar, Zornoza; María-José, Sierra

    2013-08-01

    The Almadén area (Spain) is known for its high natural mercury background as well as for the anthropogenic impact due to mining activities. After the end of these activities, appropriate alternative use of the soil has to be found, and agricultural activities stand out as an environmentally-friendly and potentially profitable alternative, giving to the soil a sustainable use without risks for human or animal health according to current legislation. Experiments performed at different scales (involving hydroponics, growth in pots and lysimeters) allow recommendations to be made regarding the adequacy of cultivation of different crops for animal or human consumption before they are sown in the field. Regarding crops for animal feeding, mercury accumulation in vegetative organs represents a higher potential risk for animals. Nevertheless, seeds and fruits can be used, both for human and animal consumption. Finally, this work will lead the way to obtain a scientific basis for elaborating a list of recommendations on sustainable and safe alternative land use, according to current international legislation. PMID:23489985

  2. Environmental Development Plan: uranium mining, milling, and conversion

    This Environmental Development Plan (EDP) identifies the planning and management requirements and schedules needed to evaluate and assess the environmental, health, and safety (EH and S) aspects of the uranium mining, milling, and conversion technologies. The plan represents the collective perceptions of EH and S concerns and requirements and knowledge of ongoing research programs of most of the Federal agencies involved in significant EH and S R and D program management, standards setting, or regulatory activities associated with uranium mining, milling, and conversion

  3. Elkon - A new world class Russian uranium mine

    Full text: The uranium deposits of Elkon district are located in the south of Republic of Sakha Yakutia. Deposits contain about 6% of the world known uranium resources: 342 409 tonnes of in situ or 288 768 tonnes of recoverable RAR + Inferred resources. Most significant uranium resources of Elkon district (261 768 tonnes) were identified within five deposits of Yuzhnaya zone. The uranium grade averages 0.15%. Gold, silver and molybdenum are by-products. Principal resources are proposed to be mined by conventional underground method. Location, shape and dimensions of uranium ore bodies are primarily controlled by NW-SE oriented and steeply SW dipping faults of Mesozoic age and surrounding pyrite-carbonate-potassium feldspar alteration zones. Country rocks are Archean gneisses. Deposits are of metasomatic geological type. Principal mineralization is represented by brannerite. The Yuzhnaya zone is about 20 km long. It was explored by underground workings and drill holes. Upper limit of ore bodies is at a depth of between 200 m and 500 m. Depth persistence exceeds 2 000 m. Uranium mining enterprise Elkon was established in November 2007. It is a 100% Atomredmetzoloto subsidiary. The planned producing capacity is 5 000 m tU/year. It will perform the entire works related to uranium mining, milling, ore sorting, processing and uranium dioxide production. Technology of ore processing assumes primary radiometric sorting, thickening, sulphide flotation for gold concentrate extraction, subsequent autoclave sulphuric-acid uranium leaching from flotation tails and uranium adsorption onto resin, roasting and heap leaching for uranium from low grade ores, cyanide leaching of gold. Due to a considerable abundance of brannerite ore is classified as refractory. Elkon development include 4 main stages: feasibility study and infrastructure development (2008- 2010), mine and mill construction (2010-2015), pilot production (2013-2015), mine development and achieving full capacity

  4. Radionuclides in sheep grazing near old uranium mines

    Carvalho, Fernando P.; Oliveira, Joao M.; Malta, M. [Instituto Superior Tecnico/Campus Tecnologico e Nuclear/ (IST/CTN), Universidade de Lisboa, Estrada Nacional 10 - ao km 139,7, - 2695-066 Bobadela LRS (Portugal); Lemos, M.E. [Servicos de Alimentacao e Veterinaria da Regiao Centro, Bairro Na Sra dos Remedios, 6300 Guarda (Portugal); Vala, H.; Esteves, F. [Escola Superior Agraria de Viseu, Quinta da Alagoa, Estrada de Nelas, Ranhados,3500-606 Viseu (Portugal)

    2014-07-01

    During the past century extensive uranium mining took place in Portugal for radium and uranium production. Many uranium deposits were mined as open pits and after ore extraction and transportation to milling facilities, mining wastes were left on site. One uranium ore mining site, Boco Mine, was extracted in the 1960's and 70's and mining waste and open pits were left uncovered and non-remediated since closure of uranium mining activities. During the nineties a quarry for sand extraction was operated in the same site and water from a local stream was extensively used in sand sieving. Downstream the mine areas, agriculture soils along the water course are currently used for cattle grazing. Water from this stream, and water wells, soil, pasture and sheep meat were analyzed for radionuclides of the uranium series. The U- series radionuclide {sup 226}Ra was generally the highest in concentrations especially in soil, pasture, and in internal organs of sheep. Ra-226 concentrations averaged 1093±96 Bq/kg (dry weight) in soil, 43±3 Bq/kg (dw) in pasture, and 0.76±0.41 Bq/kg (dw) in muscle tissue of sheep grown there. Other sheep internal organs displayed much higher {sup 226}Ra concentrations, such as the brain and kidneys with 7.7±2.3 Bq/kg (dw) and 28±29 Bq/kg (dw), respectively. Results of tissue sample analysis for sheep grown in a comparison area were 2 to 11 times lower, depending on the tissue. Absorbed radiation doses for internal organs of sheep were computed and may exceed 20 mSv/y in the kidney. Although elevated, this absorbed radiation dose still is below the threshold for biological effects on mammals. Nevertheless, enhanced environmental radioactive contamination mainly due to radium was observed in the area of influence of this legacy uranium mine and there is potential food chain transfer for humans (authors)

  5. Radionuclides in sheep grazing near old uranium mines

    During the past century extensive uranium mining took place in Portugal for radium and uranium production. Many uranium deposits were mined as open pits and after ore extraction and transportation to milling facilities, mining wastes were left on site. One uranium ore mining site, Boco Mine, was extracted in the 1960's and 70's and mining waste and open pits were left uncovered and non-remediated since closure of uranium mining activities. During the nineties a quarry for sand extraction was operated in the same site and water from a local stream was extensively used in sand sieving. Downstream the mine areas, agriculture soils along the water course are currently used for cattle grazing. Water from this stream, and water wells, soil, pasture and sheep meat were analyzed for radionuclides of the uranium series. The U- series radionuclide 226Ra was generally the highest in concentrations especially in soil, pasture, and in internal organs of sheep. Ra-226 concentrations averaged 1093±96 Bq/kg (dry weight) in soil, 43±3 Bq/kg (dw) in pasture, and 0.76±0.41 Bq/kg (dw) in muscle tissue of sheep grown there. Other sheep internal organs displayed much higher 226Ra concentrations, such as the brain and kidneys with 7.7±2.3 Bq/kg (dw) and 28±29 Bq/kg (dw), respectively. Results of tissue sample analysis for sheep grown in a comparison area were 2 to 11 times lower, depending on the tissue. Absorbed radiation doses for internal organs of sheep were computed and may exceed 20 mSv/y in the kidney. Although elevated, this absorbed radiation dose still is below the threshold for biological effects on mammals. Nevertheless, enhanced environmental radioactive contamination mainly due to radium was observed in the area of influence of this legacy uranium mine and there is potential food chain transfer for humans (authors)

  6. Emanation of radon in underground uranium mines - an overview

    Emunation of radon from rock surfaces in underground uranium mines is a continuous process and its magnitude depends on several factors such as radium content, porosity, moisture content and mineralogical characteristics of the ore. The radon gas entering into mine atmosphere starts decaying into its daughter products, which attach themselves to the dust particles in mine atmosphere. Inhalation of radon and its daughters are recognized as the primary cause of health hazard to the miners. Thus, accurate estimation of radon emanation is essential to control the radiation levels within the safe limits and protect the miners from radiation hazards. This paper presents an overview of different sources of radon in underground uranium mines. It also discusses the prediction of radon emanation rate in underground uranium mines based on diffusion theory and growth of radon daughters. (author)

  7. Ten years of the uranium mines at Hamr na Jezere

    The ten-year long history of the uranium mine at Hamr na Jezere near Ceska Lipa (Czechoslovakia) is briefly discussed. The deposit is of the sedimentary-epigenetic origin and is located in complex hydrogeologic conditions in the so-called Lusatian Cretaceous system in the Bohemian Cretaceous Plateau. The deposit is characteristic of a considerable proportion of zirconium which forms complex minerals with uranium. The ore is exploited using two mining procedures. In areas with favourable geologic and hydrogeologic conditions it is the conventional mining method, in other parts chemical in-situ leaching is employed. The main demands placed on the two mining technologies include the undisturbed Turonian drinking water aquifer, minimum intrusion into the landscape and the treatment of radioactive waters before discharge into public water supplies. The importance of the Hamr deposit and the further development of the Uranium Mines Concern are indicated. (B.S.)

  8. Natural radioactivity around former uranium mine, Gabrovnica in Eastern Serbia

    Gabrovnica near Kalna village was the first uranium mine established in Yugoslavia. In 1963, the Nuclear Energy Commission began operating the mine and mill. Between 1964 and 1966, the staff at Kalna extracted and produced an estimated 900 kg of UO2 and 400 kg of uranium metal. The Kalna ore was of poor quality, containing very low uranium content, which required higher-cost mining and refining methods. That was the main reason for closing this mine. This paper presents results obtained by measuring the activity concentration of soil samples measured by gamma spectrometry and also indoor 222Rn activity concentrations in houses in the nearby village Kalna. There is a presence of elevated radioactivity levels in the most of the measured samples. The mine was never officially decommissioned. The results obtained might be useful for the future decommissioning procedure. (author)

  9. Simulation of long-term erosion on an abandoned mine site using the SIBERIA landscape evolution model

    The SIBERIA catchment evolution model can simulate the evolution of landforms over many years as a result of runoff and erosion. This study discusses testing of the reliability of the erosion predictions of the model in a field study. Using erosion parameters calibrated from field studies of rainfall and runoff from the waste rock dump batters, the SIBERIA landscape evolution model was calibrated and then used to simulate erosion over 50 years on the abandoned Scinto 6 mine site. Scinto 6 is a former uranium mine located in the Kakadu Region, Northern Territory, Australia. The SIBERIA runs simulated the geomorphic development of the gullies on the man-made batters of the waste rock dump. The waste rock of the mine had been dumped in the characteristic pattern of a flat top and steep sided batters typical of many former and current dumps and there had been significant degradation from both sheet and gully erosion. Traditional erosion models cannot model this type of degradation because their erosion model cannot change the landform, while SIBERIA does change the landform. The gully position, depth volume and morphology on the waste rock dump were compared with that of SIBERIA simulations. The geomorphic development of the waste rock dump indicated that SIBERIA can simulate features that arise from the long-term effect of erosion and also their rate of development on a man-made post-mining landscape over periods of up to 50 years. The detailed results of this specific study will be discussed with specific discussion of the type of data required and the implications of the uncertain erosion physics on the reliability of the predictions

  10. Production from new uranium mines a Cogema resources Saskatchewan perspective

    The province of Saskatchewan is best known for the large flat tracts of land in the south that are primarily used for agricultural purposes. Less well known is the fact that the northern part of the province hosts the richest uranium mines in the world. In fact, to use a petroleum analogy, Saskatchewan has been referred to as the 'Saudi Arabia' of the uranium producing countries. The mining industry in Saskatchewan is a flourishing, high technology industry and supplies approximately one-third of the annual world primary production of uranium. The purpose of this paper is to examine the uranium mining industry in Saskatchewan and why this province stands alone as the dominant uranium producer in the world and will maintain that position into the foreseeable future. As well, an overview of the significant role played by COGEMA Resources in developing the Saskatchewan uranium industry will be undertaken. This company whose roots date back almost 40 years in the province, now holds significant interests in all four of the mines currently producing uranium. With investments of over one billion dollars (U.S.) in this province, COGEMA has established itself as a long-term player in the Saskatchewan Uranium Industry. (author)

  11. Application of inertia cone crushers in Fuzhou uranium mine

    Inertia cone crusher is a high-efficiency, super-fine crushing equipment with the unique principle and structure. It features high reduction ratio and low power consumption. The final product size can be within the narrow scope. The inertia cone crusher is suitable for crushing uranium ores. The application of the crusher in Fuzhou Uranium Mine is summarized. The result has shown that the inertia cone crusher has good application prospects in percolation leaching circuit of uranium ore. (authors)

  12. Effect of Microorganisms on In Situ Uranium Mining

    Yates, Marylynn V.; Brierley, James A.; Brierley, Corale L.; Follin, Steven

    1983-01-01

    The extraction of some metal values, e.g., uranium or copper, may be accomplished by using solutions to remove metals from ore bodies without practicing conventional mining. This process is referred to as in situ leaching and has been used industrially to recover uranium. The growth of microbial populations during in situ leaching is believed to be one of the causes of flow path plugging in the ore body, which results in decreased uranium production. Leach solution and solid samples from well...

  13. An engineering approach to predict subsidence likelihood over abandoned coal mines in Illinois

    In this paper, the authors attempt to develop engineering based approaches for estimating safety factors against pillar and floor failures and predicting likelihood of subsidence events over abandoned coal mines in Illinois. There are two critical problems involved in the analysis: determination of geotechnical properties, and consideration of time effect. The authors attempt to solve the problems by generating hypotheses, which are used to modify existing engineering models for estimating pillar and floor safety factors. The modified models are validated using data from two well established databases of subsidence events over active and abandoned mines in Illinois. The data analysis suggests that most of the trough type subsidence events in Illinois were caused by floor failures rather than pillar failures. The subsidence incubation period seems to be directly related to initial floor safety factors at the time of mining. This correlation can be used to predict the likelihood of subsidence and to assess subsidence risks within both spatial and temporal contexts where detailed mine maps are available

  14. Characteristics of mining uranium-bearing coal deposit in Mine No.509

    The author introduces the geological characteristics of uranium-bearing coal deposit in Mine No. 509 and safety protection in mining process. Moreover, it goes into detail on appropriate measures of developing, mining and safety protection, which ensure safety in high-efficient recovery of useful minerals

  15. Managing Environmental and Health Impacts of Uranium Mining

    Uranium is the raw material used to produce fuel for nuclear power plants that generate significant amounts of electricity with life cycle carbon emissions that are as low as renewable energy sources. However, the mining of this valuable energy commodity remains controversial, principally because of environmental and health impacts associated with the early years of uranium mining. Maximising production in the face of rapidly rising demand was the principal goal of uranium mining at the time, with little concern given to properly managing environmental and health impacts. Today, societal expectations and regulation of the industry are directed much more towards radiation protection, environmental stewardship, health and safety. With over 430 operational reactors in the world, nuclear fuel will be required for many decades in order to meet requirements to fuel the existing fleet and demand created by new reactors, given the projected growth in nuclear generating capacity, particularly in the developing world. New mines will in turn be needed. As a result, enhancing awareness of leading practices in uranium mining is increasingly important. This report aims to dispel some of the myths, fears and misconceptions about uranium mining by providing an overview of how leading practice mining can significantly reduce all impacts compared to the early strategic period. It also provides a non-technical overview of leading practices, the regulatory environment in which mining companies operate and the outcomes of implementing such practices. Societal expectations related to environmental protection and the safety of workers and the public evolved considerably as the outcomes of the early era of mining became apparent, driving changes in regulatory oversight and mining practices. Uranium mining is now conducted under significantly different circumstances, with leading practice mining the most regulated and one of the safest and environmentally responsible forms of mining in the

  16. Public views of reclaiming an abandoned coal mine: the Macoupin County project

    Bernard, J. R.

    1980-07-01

    An abandoned underground coal mine waste area in Macoupin County, Illinois, has been reclaimed for demonstration and research purposes near the city of Staunton. According to federal law, end uses of reclaimed coal mines must be determined in part by local concerns. This study examined local residents' preferences for land uses and their social and economic evaluations of reclamation at the Macoupin County site. Personal interviews with 119 residents revealed preferences for recreational use of the demonstration area; however, responses were probably influenced by prior awareness of land-use intentions. Generally, very positive evaluations of the reclamation were received. Willingness to pay for reclamation appears to be linked to fulfillment of desired recreational uses on the site and socioeconomic status of the respondent. In general, the research results provide further evidence that the value of abatement of environmental damage from mining is recognized and supported in economic terms at the public level.

  17. Rehabilitation in vein deposit mining - the Jabiluka uranium project

    The paper outlines the proposed revegetation and rehabilitation programme for the Pancontinental Mining Limited - Getty Oil Jabiluka Uranium Project. Details are only provisional, since when the mine is operational further research will be carried out to determine the optimum programme. Details of the project, the proposed rehabilitation research, segregation of overburden and waste materials together with the philosophy behind the rehabilitation scheme are provided

  18. Regulation of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region

    A general overview is presented of the major facets of the development and operation of the regulatory regime that applies to uranium mining and milling in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory. It is concerned with those aspects of the regime related to the regulation of the environmental impact of mining activities

  19. Uranium Mining (Environment Control) Act 1979 No 46 of 1979

    The purpose of this Act is to control the mining of uranium in the Alligator Rivers Region with a view to lessening any damage which may be caused to the environment. The Act provides for the control of mining of certain substances, for an authorization system for construction and use of facilities, equipment and processes as well as for environmental protection requirements. (NEA)

  20. The Canadian research programme into the long-term management of uranium mine tailings

    Canada has embarked upon a three-year intense research programme intended to develop technology that will lead to the safe long-term disposal of uranium mine and mill tailings. Currently there are well in excess of 100x106 tonnes of uranium tailings on the surface in Canada, an amount that is expected to triple by the end of the century. Recommendations were made to government authorities for a three-pronged research programme that would contribute to a sounder basis for future decisions on requirements for the long-term safe abandonment of uranium tailings. The proposed research programme consists of three interactive parts: (1) Modelling the pathways of radionuclides from the uranium tailings through the environment to man, the objective of which would be to provide a forecasting tool for predicting the long-term behaviour and dispersion of contaminants within and beyond the tailings management area. (2) Measurement of the physical and chemical parameters of interest in the production and control of radioactive wastes, the objective of which would be to provide basic data needed for model building and verification and to establish a national uranium waste management data base. (3) The study of disposal technologies for use in the management of abandoned uranium tailings, the objective of which would be to identify economically feasible methods for closing out tailings areas, which will result in acceptably low adverse effects on the future environment. As part of the programme, it is proposed to conduct detailed measurements on three representative tailings sites, where 1000 holes will be drilled on each site for each of the three years to collect data. A National Tailings Program Office will be established, which will consist of a Directorate and supporting staff to conduct the programme, which is expected to cost in excess of 18 million dollars over the three years

  1. THE REMEDIATION OF ABANDONED IRON ORE MINE SUBSIDENCE IN ROCKAWAY TOWNSHIP, NEW JERSEY; SEMIANNUAL

    This report represents the seventh Semi-Annual Technical Progress Report issued in connection with the subsidence remediation projects undertaken by Rockaway Township in Morris County, New Jersey. This report provides a summary of the major project work accomplished during this reporting period and contemplated for the subsequent reporting period. This report is issued as part of the project reporting provisions set forth in the Cooperators Agreement between the United States Government-Department of Energy, and Rockaway Township. The purpose of the Cooperators Agreement is for the Department of Energy to provide technical and financial assistance in a coordinated effort with Rockaway Township to develop and implement a multi-phased plan to remediate ground stability problems associated with abandoned mining activity. Primarily during the 1800's, extensive iron ore mining and prospecting was undertaken in Rockaway Township, part of the Dover District Mining region in Morris County. The abandoned mining activity has resulted in public safety hazards associated with ground collapse and surface subsidence features evolving in both developed and undeveloped areas within Rockaway Township. At the Green Pond Mine site at the Township Compost Storage Facility, research and preliminary design was performed during this reporting period toward development of the engineering plans and Technical Specifications for the remediation work. At the White Meadow Mine site, the remediation project was conducted last reporting period by others, out of the responsibility of Rockaway Township under this Cooperators Agreement. At the Mt. Hope Road subsidence, surface monitoring was conducted at the work area and adjacent areas after the January 2000 construction effort

  2. Development of a concrete placement device for support of abandoned mines

    Burnett Associates, Inc. (BAI), under contract to the US Bureau of Mines, has developed a reliable and cost effective method of remote placement of point support columns in abandoned mines through boreholes to provide local support, especially under surface structures in subsidence prone areas. The development of the system to remotely build a concrete support cylinder in an abandoned mine required the coordination of mechanical system and concrete design. The mechanical system was designed to remote place concrete in a cylindrical shape. The concrete was designed to meet the requirements of low slump with high enough strength to resist the forces applied by the ground above mine. The support cylinder is fabricated through an 8-inch borehole by pumping concrete through a second 4-in pipe inside the borehole. The 4-in pipe has a flexible trunk on the lower end that is bent from the surface when it is inside the mine void. When pumping starts, the 4-in pipe is rotated and a spiral of concrete is placed on the mine floor. Operation continues until the concrete seals at the roof. A normal weight concrete as recommended by ACI 211 having a maximum slump of 1--2 in, a maximum coarse aggregate size of 1/2 in, and a minimum compressive strength of 5,000 psi was used. Cylinders have been fabricated to roof heights of 6 ft. There does not appear to be a technical height limitation. The concrete cylinder can support up to 40 x 106 lbs when fully cured and filled with gravel, depending on cylinder diameter

  3. Ventilation and radon reduction in shrinkage method uranium mine

    Through investigation about status of uranium mine ventilation system of shrinkage method, it showed that the mined-out areas is the main radon pollution source for multi-level shrinkage method excavating ventilation, not only enter-air pollution but also air leaking. As a result, the radon and radon daughter concentrations of underground air were higher than the national standard. Aimed at the existent problems, a study on the radon reduction ventilation technique of shrinkage method mine was carried out. A ventilation mode of downward forced ventilation in stope and discontinuous ventilation network in mine is put forward. Combined with the practical circumstance of one uranium mine, the ventilation system of the mine has been rectified, the better result was obtained, and the radon and radon daughter concentrations of underground air decreased by 50%-80%. (authors)

  4. Well field development at the Crow Butte ISL uranium mine

    The Crow Butte project, located in the northwest corner of the state of Nebraska, is one of four commercial in-situ leach (ISL) uranium mines currently operating in the United States. The facility began commercial production in April 1991 some 12 years after the discovery of the sandstone, roll front uranium deposit. The ore body lies about 200 metres below the surface in a highly permeable aquifer with excellent confining shale/clay layers above and below the deposit. The exploration and development period included ore body delineation, pilot testing, environmental licensing, engineering design, and facilities construction. Production at the mine was planned to increase from the (then) current annual level of 600,000 pounds U3O8 to one million pounds in 1995. Commercial ISL mining operations, using alkaline leach chemistry and oxygen, have gone smoothly with no major technical or regulatory problems. The mine, in year three of commercial production, is now operating in the third mining unit with some production still coming from the first and second mining units. The method for establishing the locations of the injection and recovery wells, and the method of well construction have been modified since the first commercial mining unit, Mine Unit 1, was installed. These modifications enhanced the recover efficiency of the solution mining process as evidenced by the performance of the newest mining unit, Mine Unit 3. This paper presents the well field development procedures and the performance results at the Crow Butte mine. 6 refs., 3 figs., 1 tab

  5. Current situation and problems to be studied for uranium bearing coal deposit mining in China

    Uranium bearing coal deposits are a specific kind of uranium ore resources. Since uranium bearing coal can generate electricity, provide heat and recover uranium during the process of hydrometallurgy, it is necessary to mine these deposits. This paper summarizes the experiences in uranium bearing coal deposit mining, suggests research topics in this area. It is hoped that these studies can promote the development of uranium bearing coal deposit mining. (authors)

  6. Technical developments in uranium mining and milling in India

    Full text: Uranium mining in India made a formal beginning with formation of Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. in October 1967. In accordance with the mandate of producing and meeting the uranium requirement of the country, UCIL has continuously upgraded the technology and operating practices with regard to its core activities - uranium ore mining, processing and disposal of tailings. Jaduguda underground mine in Singhbhum east district of Jharkhand (Eastern India) was commissioned in 1968. Regular mining operations started with the sinking of a fully lined vertical shaft and equipping the same with two winders which support a cage and a skip. This was followed by commissioning of Bhatin mine in 1986, Narwapahar mine in 1995, Turamdih mine in 2003, and Bagjata mine in 2008. New mines adopt decline method of entry and use of track less equipment in cut-and fill method of stoping. Vertical shafts provide access to deeper levels for ore and men and material hoisting. Banduhurang, the first open cast uranium mine of the country was commissioned in Jan 2009. New mine at Tummalapalle in Andhra Pradesh and underground mine at Mohuldih in Jharkhand are under construction. The mine at Tummalapalle has been planned with three declines along the apparent dip of the orebody and breast stoping method using trackless equipment. At Lambapur-Peddagattu in Andhra Pradesh, room and pillar method of stoping is proposed for underground mines with deployment of low profile drilling and loading-dumping equipment. The conventional way of processing of uranium ore in India is through hydro-metallurgical route followed by acid leaching and MDU precipitation. Jaduguda plant commissioned in 1968 has been expanded in two phases and 3rd phase expansion is underway. The plant at Turamdih encompasses new equipment and monitoring systems like apron feeder, horizontal belt filter, high rate thickener, particle size monitor etc. Both Jaduguda and Turamdih plants are designed to produce magnesium

  7. Uranium mining and hydrogeology II. Vol. 2 - Supplements. Proceedings

    Scientists and engineers discussed the problems of the danger of groundwater contamination by uranium mining activities, tailings and dumps. Topics were the flooding of old mines, hydrogeological, hydrochemical and hydrogeochemical problems and their solutions by several monitoring and analytical methods as well as modelling tools. The meeting focused on the remediation strategies for tailings and dumps as well on the flooding of mines with potential groundwater pollution in mind. Further aspects discussed are monitoring and analytics, geochemical interactions and modelling tools

  8. Hydrologic and water quality characteristics of a partially-flooded, abandoned underground coal mine

    The hydrologic and water quality characteristics of a partially flooded, abandoned underground coal mine near Latrobe, PA, were studied to support the development of techniques for in situ abatement of its acidic discharge. A quantitative understanding of the conditions affecting discharge flow was considered to be very important in this regard. Statistical analysis of hydrologic data collected at the site shows that the flow rate of the main discharge (a borehole that penetrates the mine workings just behind a set of portal seals) is a linear function of the height of the mine pool above the borehole outlet. Seepage through or around the portal seals is collected by a set of french drains whose discharge rate is largely independent of the mine pool elevation. This seepage was enhanced after a breakthrough that occurred during a period of unusually high pool levels. The mine pool recharge rate during winter is about 2.5 times greater than that of any other season; recharge rates during spring, summer, and fall are approximately equal. Mine pool and discharge water quality information, along with bromide tracer tests, suggest that the original main entries discharge primarily to the french drains, while the borehole carries the discharge from an unmonitored set of entries northwest of the mains. The water quality of the east french drain discharge may have been improved substantially after seepage through the alkaline materials used to construct the portal seals

  9. Abandoned metal mines and their impact on receiving waters: A case study from Southwest England.

    Beane, Steven J; Comber, Sean D W; Rieuwerts, John; Long, Peter

    2016-06-01

    Historic mine sites are a major source of contamination to terrestrial and river environments. To demonstrate the importance of determining the significance of point and diffuse metal contamination and the related bioavailability of the metals present from abandoned mines a case study has been carried out. The study provides a quantitative assessment of a historic mine site, Wheal Betsy, southwest England, and its contribution to non-compliance with Water Framework Directive (WFD) Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Surface water and sediment samples showed significant negative environmental impacts even taking account of the bioavailability of the metal present, with lead concentration in the stream sediment up to 76 times higher than the Canadian sediment guidelines 'Probable Effect Level'. Benthic invertebrates showed a decline in species richness adjacent to the mine site with lead and cadmium the main cause. The main mine drainage adit was the single most significant source of metal (typically 50% of metal load from the area, but 88% for Ni) but the mine spoil tips north and south of the adit input added together discharged roughly an equivalent loading of metal with the exception of Ni. The bioavailability of metal in the spoil tips exhibited differing spatial patterns owing to varying ambient soil physico-chemistry. The data collected is essential to provide a clear understanding of the contamination present as well as its mobility and bioavailability, in order to direct the decision making process regarding remediation options and their likely effectiveness. PMID:27023117

  10. The present situation and prospects of Ganzhou mining and milling of uranium ore

    According to the characteristics of natural uranium resources, occurrence of the condition of Ganzhou uranium mining process are used in the production levels of dry-fill method, in- situ blasting method, shallow hole Shrinkage Method. milling process using surface heap leaching, bacteria leaching, heap built underground in situ leaching of uranium ore mining and milling methods of enhanced leaching technology features. The hard rock uranium mining and milling process has been Ganzhou uranium research, elaborate of mining and milling technology used in uranium Ganzhou analysis of the status of various mining and milling technology to evaluate the prospects and development, analysis mining and milling technology in production applications. (author)

  11. Uranium mining and processing: their radiation impact into the environment

    Based on Thorium and Uranium determination in soil and plants samples collected in the region of Aktau, Kazakhstan the distribution pattern of environmental pollution by these elements was correlated with the radiation dose. The main radiation source was the waste deposit of the equipment used by the uranium processing (dose higher than 5 μSv/h). The mining area and also the transportation way from mine to the uranium factory has also an radiation impact which is difficult to estimate. Based on the data found by plants and soil samples all the area under study has a higher pollution level by Thorium and Uranium than the control area (about 0.1μSv/h). Due to observed strong wind blowing in different directions it is possible that the particle of uranium ore has been transported for long distance and polluted the plants and upper soil layer. The further investigations should get more information about this supposition. (author)

  12. Contribution to optimization of radiation protection in uranium mines

    Exposure by inhalation of radon and particularly of its daughter products is a characteristic hazard of underground work in uranium mines. The reduction of this hazard by all possible means represents the basic task of radiation hygiene in uranium mines, all those means the society can reasonably use; in uranium mines ventilation is of particular importance. A special problem is the protection in short-term work activities in remote areas of the mine. One of the solutions may be the use of insulation respiratory devices. The procedure of optimization was used to derive a condition for their use - in special short-term jobs in an environment where the concentration of potential energy exceeds the value of 8x105 MeV/l. (author)

  13. Challenges in radon management at uranium mining operations

    Full text: Radon and its radioactive decay products are present some unique challenges to radiation protection professionals working at the uranium mining operations. This paper will detail some examples of these challenges and methods that can be employed to ensure doses to workers and members of the public are kept As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA). Examples will be presented for conventional open pit and underground mining and In Situ recovery operations. One of the challenges facing new operations seeking approval is the demonstration that radon and its radioactive decay products sourced from the operations will not adversely impact local populations, Methodologies recently employed in the most recent environmental impact statements from uranium mining companies seeking approval are reviewed. The International Commission of Radiological Protection are currently reviewing the dose conversion factors used radon and its decay products. The challenges this change will present to uranium mining operators are presented.

  14. Policies on energy, mining industry and status of uranium mining industry in China and USA

    Policies on energy, mining industry and status of uranium mining industry in China and USA are introduced in this paper. China is a large developing country of forming market economy. Eager development of nuclear power needs to explore more economic and large deposits. A top priority task to uranium mining industry is to provide security guarantee for the nuclear power by solving the real problem of low degree in geological exploration we are confronted with, and single-channeled and insufficient investments, no competition in uranium exploration. The method is to make full use of the existing ability, combine with the national conditions, and follow closely the international exploration tides. (authors)

  15. The monitoring of environmental radioactivity at uranium mine site after treatment of decommissioned mine waste

    This paper shows the monitoring results that the penetrating radiation dose rate and the separation rate of earth surface 222Rn were monitored by a network-fixed point of 20 m x 20 m at uranium mine site after treatment of a certain decommissioned uranium mine waste. It also discusses the deduction of the response value of the instruments to the cosmic rays, the relations between γ-radiation dose rate and the separation rate of 222Rn, and the influence of CaO added to the covering soil on the effectiveness of landfill treatment. This is available for reference to harness the uranium mine environment. (authors)

  16. Geochemical and hydrogeologic evolution of alkaline discharges from abandoned coal mines

    Numerous large flow (> 2,000 l/min), historically (pre-1973) acidic, abandoned underground deep mine discharges in southwestern Pennsylvania are now alkaline in character, with circumneutral pH. Recently measured flow rates are consistent with those measured 25--30 years ago; thus the change in chemistry is not simply due to dilution by increased flows of uncontaminated water through the mines. It is likely that flooding of the mines has decreased the extent of acidity enhancing aerobic conditions, and that decades of weathering have reduced the amount of reactive pyrite. However, the mines continue to yield a sulfate-rich, Fe-contaminated (19--79 ppm) drainage. These highly alkaline discharges (up to 330 ppm as CaCO3) are accompanied by large concentrations of sodium (up to 700 ppm) and suggest cation exchange with the associated overburden. To assess the hydrogeological conditions that result in the formation of alkaline Fe-contaminated mine discharges, the authors examined all the major discharges from a single synclinal basin. The northeast-trending Irwin synclinal coal basin encompasses 94 mi2 and was extensively mined by underground methods during the first half of this century. All major streams that arise within or cross the syncline are polluted by mine drainage that ranges from highly acidic Fe- and Al-contaminated discharges in the northern portion of the syncline to highly alkaline, iron and sulfate-contaminated discharges to the south. The hydrology of the basin is controlled by its southern plunging structure, by outcrops or drainage tunnels on the western arms of the syncline, and by several coal barriers. A first-order hydrogeologic model was constructed to evaluate ground water flow into and through the mine complexes found in the basin. The model integrates the basin geometry with structural and mine barrier components to determine groundwater flow paths and estimate residence time. Water quality is related to the cumulative proportion of up

  17. Geochemistry and environmental threats of soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mine.

    Bori, Jaume; Vallès, Bettina; Navarro, Andrés; Riva, Maria Carme

    2016-07-01

    The closure of mercury mining areas is generally associated with a release of Hg and other metals into the environment due to the abandonment of mining wastes. Because of their potential toxic properties, the mobilization of particulate and soluble metal species is of major concern. In the present study, the environmental risks posed by soils surrounding an abandoned mercury mining area in Valle del Azogue (Almeria, Spain) are assessed through the determination of physical-chemical parameters, the quantification of metal concentrations, and the application of aquatic and terrestrial ecotoxicity bioassays. Chemical analysis of soil samples revealed concentrations of Hg, As, Ba, Pb, Sb, and Zn above international intervention values. Results from terrestrial tests showed detrimental effects in all studied organisms (Eisenia foetida, Folsomia candida, and different plant species) and revealed the avoidance response of earthworms as the most sensitive endpoint. Surprisingly, the most toxic samples were not the ones with higher metal contents but the ones presenting higher electrical conductivity. Aquatic ecotoxicity tests with Vibrio fischeri, Raphidocelis subcapitata, Daphnia magna, and Danio rerio were in accordance with terrestrial tests, confirming the need to couple environmental chemistry with ecotoxicological tools for the proper assessment of metal-contaminated sites. In view of the results, a remediative intervention of the studied area is recommended. PMID:26996905

  18. Corrosion control when using passively treated abandoned mine drainage as alternative makeup water for cooling systems.

    Hsieh, Ming-Kai; Chien, Shih-Hsiang; Li, Heng; Monnell, Jason D; Dzombak, David A; Vidic, Radisav D

    2011-09-01

    Passively treated abandoned mine drainage (AMD) is a promising alternative to fresh water as power plant cooling water system makeup water in mining regions where such water is abundant. Passive treatment and reuse of AMD can avoid the contamination of surface water caused by discharge of abandoned mine water, which typically is acidic and contains high concentrations of metals, especially iron. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the feasibility of reusing passively treated AMD in cooling systems with respect to corrosion control through laboratory experiments and pilot-scale field testing. The results showed that, with the addition of the inhibitor mixture orthophosphate and tolyltriazole, mild steel and copper corrosion rates were reduced to acceptable levels (< 0.127 mm/y and < 0.0076 mm/y, respectively). Aluminum had pitting corrosion problems in every condition tested, while cupronickel showed that, even in the absence of any inhibitor and in the presence of the biocide monochloramine, its corrosion rate was still very low (0.018 mm/y). PMID:22073728

  19. Best Practice in Environmental Management of Uranium Mining

    The modern uranium mining industry was born in the middle of the 20th century at a time of rapid industrial and social change and in an atmosphere of concern over the development of nuclear weapons. At many uranium mining operations, the need to produce uranium far outweighed the need to ensure that there were any more than vestigial efforts made in protecting the workers, the public and the environment from the impacts of the mining, both radiological and non-radiological. In the last quarter of the 20th century, the world began to take greater care of the total environment with the introduction of legislation and the development of operating procedures that took environmental protection into account. The uranium mining industry was part of this change, and standards of environmental management began to become of significance in corporate planning strategies. However, by the 1980s, as uranium mining companies began to address the issues of environment protection, the industry began to suffer a cyclical slowdown. By the 1990s, the industry was at a nadir, but the surviving uranium producers continued to develop and implement a series of procedures in environmental management that were regarded as best practices. This, in part, was necessary as a means to demonstrate to the regulators, governments and the public that the mining operations were being run with the intention of minimizing adverse impacts on the workers, people and the environment. This ensured that mining would be allowed to continue. The decline in uranium mining activity bottomed out in the 1990s, but a resurgence of activity began in the new century that is likely to continue for some time. This has been, in part, due to market conditions and concerns about the shortfall of current production from primary sources (uranium mines) against current reactor fuel demands; the anticipated decrease in future availability of secondary sources such as stockpiles; and the increased interest in nuclear power

  20. Geophysical void detection at the site of an abandoned limestone quarry and underground mine in southwestern Pennsylvania

    Locating underground voids, tunnels, and buried collapse structures continues to present a difficult problem for engineering geoscientists charged with this responsibility for a multitude of different studies. Solutions used and tested for void detection have run the gamut of surface geophysical and remote sensing techniques, to invasive trenching and drilling on closely-spaced centers. No where is the problem of locating underground voids more ubiquitous than in abandoned mined lands, and the U.S. Bureau of Mines continues to investigate this problem for areas overlying abandoned coal, metal, and nonmetal mines. Because of the great diversity of resources mined, the problem of void detection is compounded by the myriad of geologic conditions which exist for abandoned mined lands. At a control study site in southwestern Pennsylvania at the Bureau's Lake Lynn Laboratory, surface geophysical techniques, including seismic and other methods, were tested as a means to detect underground mine voids in the rather simple geologic environment of flat-lying sedimentary strata. The study site is underlain by an abandoned underground limestone mine developed in the Wymps Gap Limestone member of the Mississippian Mauch Chunk Formation. Portals or entrances into the mine, lead to drifts or tunnels driven into the limestone; these entries provided access to the limestone where it was extracted by the room-and-pillar method. The workings lie less than 300 ft from the surface, and survey lines or grids were positioned over the tunnels, the room-and-pillar zones, and the areas not mined. Results from these geophysical investigations are compared and contrasted. The application of this control study to abandoned mine void detection is apparent, but due to the carbonate terrain of the study site, the results may also have significance to sinkhole detection in karst topography

  1. Ecological characteristics of mine heaps after Uranium mining in Novoveská Huta (Slovakia)

    Uranium activity in the bearing area of Novoveska Huta (48°54'6.0632119' 'E; 20°31' 1.5474701''N) was associated with the storage of contaminated materials of heaps near the worksite, and the result is that today we are talking about old mining load of Uranium mining. Mine dumps and heaps are contaminated with Uranium and its derived products, heavy metals such as Arsenic, Lead, Cadmium and others. Their presence causes radiological and toxicological risk to the environment. Thus the heaps after uranium mining represent basic objects, which are examined in this work, in order to assess the impact of uranium mining and the subsequent revitalization on the biotic component of the environment. Mining heaps in the area of Novoveská Huta act as habitats with specific ecological conditions for vegetation. The revitalization of biological reclamation was carried out on individual heaps, which included covering heaps with humus material and subsequent seeding of grasses and planting trees. Phytocenological research on investigated dumps showed a relatively s mall number of species forming vegetation cover. Resistant species known from heaps with high level of heavy metals were dominant (e.g. Agrostis capillaris, Rumex acetosella) and plants that were planted on individual heaps in the process of restoration measures (e.g. Picea abies, Larix decidua, Abies alba). Key words: Uranium mining, biological reclamation, phytocenological research

  2. Mercury contamination in agricultural soils from abandoned metal mines classified by geology and mineralization.

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

    This survey aimed to compare mercury concentrations in soils related to geology and mineralization types of mines. A total of 16,386 surface soils (0~15 cm in depth) were taken from agricultural lands near 343 abandoned mines (within 2 km from each mine) and analyzed for Hg by AAS with a hydride-generation device. To meaningfully compare mercury levels in soils with geology and mineralization types, three subclassification criteria were adapted: (1) five mineralization types, (2) four valuable ore mineral types, and (3) four parent rock types. The average concentration of Hg in all soils was 0.204 mg kg(-1) with a range of 0.002-24.07 mg kg(-1). Based on the mineralization types, average Hg concentrations (mg kg(-1)) in the soils decreased in the order of pegmatite (0.250) > hydrothermal vein (0.208) > hydrothermal replacement (0.166) > skarn (0.121) > sedimentary deposits (0.045). In terms of the valuable ore mineral types, the concentrations decreased in the order of Au-Ag-base metal mines ≈ base metal mines > Au-Ag mines > Sn-W-Mo-Fe-Mn mines. For parent rock types, similar concentrations were found in the soils derived from sedimentary rocks and metamorphic rocks followed by heterogeneous rocks with igneous and metamorphic processes. Furthermore, farmland soils contained relatively higher Hg levels than paddy soils. Therefore, it can be concluded that soils in Au, Ag, and base metal mines derived from a hydrothermal vein type of metamorphic rocks and pegmatite deposits contained relatively higher concentrations of mercury in the surface environment. PMID:21814815

  3. Uranium for Nuclear Power: Resources, Mining and Transformation to Fuel

    Uranium for Nuclear Power: Resources, Mining and Transformation to Fuel discusses the nuclear industry and its dependence on a steady supply of competitively priced uranium as a key factor in its long-term sustainability. A better understanding of uranium ore geology and advances in exploration and mining methods will facilitate the discovery and exploitation of new uranium deposits. The practice of efficient, safe, environmentally-benign exploration, mining and milling technologies, and effective site decommissioning and remediation are also fundamental to the public image of nuclear power. This book provides a comprehensive review of developments in these areas: • Provides researchers in academia and industry with an authoritative overview of the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle • Presents a comprehensive and systematic coverage of geology, mining, and conversion to fuel, alternative fuel sources, and the environmental and social aspects • Written by leading experts in the field of nuclear power, uranium mining, milling, and geological exploration who highlight the best practices needed to ensure environmental safety

  4. A plant taxonomic survey of the Uranium City region, Lake Athabasca north shore, emphasizing the naturally colonizing plants on uranium mine and mill wastes and other human-disturbed sites

    A goal of this study was to acquire more complete baseline data on the existing flora of the Uranium City region, both in natural and human-disturbed sites. Emphasis was given to determining which plant species were naturally revegetating various abandoned uranium mine and mill waste disposal areas, other human-disturbed sites, and ecologically analogous sites. Another goal was to document the occurrence and distribution in the study region of rare and possibly endangered species. A further objective was to suggest regionally-occurring species with potential value for revegetating uranium mine and mill waste sites. Field investigations were carried out in the Uranium City region during August, 1981. During this time 1412 plant collections were made; a total of 366 plant species - trees, shrubs, forbs, graminoids, lichens, and bryophytes were recorded. The report includes an annotated checklist of plant species of the Uranium City region and a reference index of plant taxa indicating species that have high revegetation potential

  5. Risk Assessment of Heavy Metals in Abandoned Mine Lands as Signifcant Contamination Problem in Romania

    Horvath, E.; Jordan, G.; Fugedi, U.; Bartha, A.; Kuti, L.; Heltai, G.; Kalmar, J.; Waldmann, I.; Napradean, I.; Damian, G.

    2009-04-01

    INTRODUCTION Wide-spread environmental contamination associated with historic mining in Europe has triggered social responses to improve related environmental legislation, the environmental assessment and management methods for the mining industry. Pollution by acid mine drainage (AMD) from ore and coal mining is the outstanding and most important source of mining-induced environmental pollution. Younger et al. (2002) estimates that watercourses polluted by coal mine drainage could be in the order of 2,000 to 3,000 km, and 1,000 to 1,500 km polluted by metal mine discharges for the EU 15 Member States (Younger et al. 2002). Significance of contamination risk posed by mining is also highlighted by mine accidents such as those in Baia Mare, Romania in 2002 and in Aznalcollar, Spain in 1999 (Jordan and D'Alessandro 2004). The new EU Mine Waste Directive (Directive 2006/21/EC) requires the risk-based inventory of abandoned mines in the EU. The cost-effective implementation of the inventory is especially demanding in countries with extensive historic mining and great number of abandoned mine sites, like Romania. The problem is further complicated in areas with trans-boundary effects. The objective of this investigation to carry out the risk-based contamination assessment of a mine site with possible trans-boundary effects in Romania. Assessment follows the source-pathway-receptor chain with a special attention to heavy metal leaching from waste dumps as sources and to transport modelling along surface water pathways. STUDY AREA In this paper the Baiut mine catchment located in the Gutai Mts., Romania, close to the Hungarian border is studied. The polymetallic deposites in the Tertiary Inner-Carpathian Volcanic Arc are exposed by a series of abandoned Zn and Pb mines first operated in the 14th century. Elevation in the high relief catchment ranges from 449m to 1044m. Geology is characterised by andesites hosting the ore deposits and paleogene sediments dominating at the

  6. The health dangers of uranium mining and jurisdictional questions

    Uranium mining and milling presents a danger to the health of workers from gamma radiation, radon and thoron daughters, uranium oxides, and dust. The public is threatened by radon products, short and long term tailings failures, radium, uranium, and other chemicals. Present dose limits to workers and the public exposed to radiation from all stages of the nuclear fuel cycle have been set by organizations with vested interests in the nuclear industry and are too high. Uranium workers have in the past been poorly monitored and protected against radiation and other occupational hazards. Uranium tailings disposal methods at present are not adequate; tailings will remain hazardous for tens of thousands of years and will probably require deep geologic disposal. The non-substitutable end uses of uranium are nuclear power and nuclear weapons production, both of which have entirely unacceptable health effects

  7. Uranium mine New Quirke (Rio Algom Mines) at Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada

    A description is given of uranium ore mining at the New Quirke uranium mine of the Rio Algom Mines Company in the Elliot Lake area in Ontario, Canada. The uranium content of the ore is 0.15% and ore is extracted using the pillar and chamber technique. The product is crushed underground to a grain size of 100 mm and is hoisted by skips. Production capacity is 7000 tons per day. The mechanical dressing plant is described in detail. In 1971 it processed 2100 tons of uranium concentrate from 1.6 million tons of ore. Special attention is devoted to waste treatment, its stabilization and the improvement of soil conditions for enhancing plant growth. Water from the mine is fully neutralized and then discharged into the river. Problems of underground and surface environmental protection are being solved

  8. Radon Challenges in Uranium Mines and Other Workplaces

    Uranium ore is one example of NORM, but the mining and processing of uranium ores have been regulated for many years as part of the nuclear fuel cycle. Many other minerals and raw materials fall within the definition of NORM and the mining and processing of such materials have radiological hazards and radiation protection issues similar to those arising from the mining and processing of uranium ore. The magnitude of the hazard depends on the level of radioactivity in the ore or raw material and the details of how the ore or raw material is mined or processed. One important radiological hazard in mines and enclosed spaces is radon. The recent work of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) on the risks associated with radon, the ICRP’s move toward a fully dosimetric approach for regulating workplace exposure to radon, and the ICRP’s recent draft guidance on radiation protection against radon have generated much discussion on the requirements for radiation protection against radon (and thoron) in the workplace and the costs of compliance. The objective of the paper is to review the sources and exposures in uranium mining and other NORM industries, with a focus on radon, and to provide an industry perspective on associated issues which include, among other things, deficiencies in the ICRP’s proposed dose coefficients arising from incomplete consideration of the carcinogenic effect of smoking and practical issues associated with the lack of dosimetrically relevant data to support a dosimetric approach. (author)

  9. Study on the quality of site in the mining district gangue of abandoned place

    LU Guo-bin; LI Ying; WU Xiang-yun

    2008-01-01

    Being as an example of Fuxin, gangue abandoned place was classified gangue hill and dump. It was built 68 piece of temporary standard fields, which physical and chemical character of soil were researched and analyzed. The quality of district site was estimated, and five type abandoned place were gotten. Stopping draining cash less than 7 a and draining cash gangue hill was regarded as Ⅰ gangue hill. Stopping draining gangue age limit 7-15 a and herbage abundance being CO1p level was regarded as Ⅱ gangue hill.Stopping draining gangue age limit 15~25 a and herbage abundance CO2p level was re-garded as Ⅲ gangue hill. Stopping draining cash gangue age limit over 25 a and herbage abundance CO3p level was regarded as Ⅳ gangue hill. Dump being formed the under-ground layer dug up and stacked in the course of mining was regarded asVgangue hill.The results show that every typical abandoned place can plant vegetable.

  10. Heavy Metal Behavior in Lichen-Mine Waste Interactions at an Abandoned Mine Site in Southwest Japan

    Yuri Sueoka

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available The lichen, Stereocaulon exutum Nylander, occurring in a contaminated abandoned mine site was investigated to clarify (1 the behavior of heavy metals and As during the slag weathering processes mediated by the lichen; and (2 the distribution of these elements in the lichen thallus on slag. The heavy metals and As in the slag are dissolved from their original phases during the weathering process by lichen substances (organic acids and hypha penetration, in addition to non-biological weathering. The dissolved elements are absorbed into the lichen thallus. Some of these dissolved elements are distributed in the cells of the hyphae. The others are distributed on the surface of the hyphae as formless particles and show lateral distribution inside the cortex of the thallus. The Cu and Zn concentrations in the thalli are positively correlated with the concentrations in the corresponding substrata and a positive intercept in the regression curve obtained using a linear function. These chemical characteristics make this lichen a good biomarker for Cu and Zn contamination of the substrata of the lichen. Therefore, the present study supposes that Stereocaulon exutum has a possible practical application in biomonitoring or risk assessment of heavy metal pollution at abandoned mine sites.

  11. Radium and heavy metal transport beneath an abandoned uranium tailings dam

    An abandoned uranium tailings dam at Moline in the Northern Territory of Australia was the site of a study to assess the movement of potentially toxic elements from tailings into subsoil. The tailings at Moline were first laid down in 1959 and have since been leached by prevailing rainfall. Sixteen sampling sites were selected to give a good representation of the dam. At each site, a trench was excavated through the tailings and into the subsoil, then samples of subsoil were taken at 10 cm intervals down to a depth of 50 cm. A sample of the tailings overlying the tailings-subsoil interface was also taken. Samples were analysed for radium, uranium, copper, zinc, and lead. At most sites there was only minor accumulation of these elements in the 0-10 cm subsoil layer immediately below the interface, with concentrations typically one or two orders of magnitude less than the concentrations in overlying tailings. Below 10 cm, the concentrations were typically at or close to background concentrations

  12. Evaluation of environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling operations in Spain

    Uranium mining and production activities have been carried out by ENUSA since 1973. This report describes the evaluation of environmental aspects connected with uranium mining and milling. (author). 7 figs, 3 tabs

  13. Uranium production, exploration and mine development in Canada

    Full text: Full text: Canada has been the world leader in uranium production since the early 1990's and production in 2005 was 11,629 te U. The Elliott Lake region of Ontario was once the centre of production, but after the last facilities closed in 1996, all production now comes from the Athabasca Basin in northern Saskatchewan. Average grades of the world's two largest high grade deposits at McArthur River and Cigar Lake are 10 to 100 times the grade of deposits mined elsewhere. McArthur River has been in production since late 1999 and first production from Cigar Lake is expected in 2007. If all expansion and probable mine openings come to fruition, annual Canadian production could amount to 16,000 te U by 2011. All currently operating uranium mines have been the subject of a comprehensive environmental assessment and review process. Uranium mining brings significant benefits to local area residents in northern Saskatchewan. Residents of northern Saskatchewan are active participants in Environmental Quality Committees. Recent survey results show the majority of Saskatchewan residents support the continuation of uranium mining in the province. The closed uranium mines in Canada have been successfully decommissioned and rehabilitated in particular in the Elliott Lake region of Ontario. The principle exploration target in Canada remains the Athabasca Basin, but activity has also been reported in several of the other territories and provinces. Natural Resources Canada estimates that some $CAN81M was spent on exploration in Canada in 2005. Under the Canadian Constitution, natural resources are owned by the provinces or by the federal government if they are on federal lands north of 600C latitude. The provinces have jurisdiction over exploration activities within their borders and for most commodities have jurisdiction over mine development and production, operations, health and safety and environmental matters. Once a company starts to develop a deposit into a mine it

  14. Abandoned Smolník mine (Slovakia) – a catchment area affected by mining activities

    Lintnerová, Otília; Šottník, Peter; Šoltés, Stanislav

    2008-01-01

    Smolník is a historical Cu-mining area that was exploited from the 14th century to 1990. The Smolník mine was definitively closed and flooded in 1990–1994. Acid mine drainage discharging from the flooded mine (pH = 3.83, Fe = 542 mg/l, SO42– = 3642 mg/l, Cu = 1880 µg/l, Zn = 9599 µg/l, As = 108 mg/l) acidified and contaminated the Smolník Creek water, which transported pollution into the Hnilec River catchment. The Smolník mine waste area has been used as a model area to document pollution of...

  15. South African gold and uranium ore mining in 1976

    1976 was a difficult year for the South African gold and uranium ore mining industry, the region of Witwatersrand (Transvaal province) producing some 75% of all the gold mined in the western world besides being an important producer of uranium oxide. Despite the gold production, declining since 1971, not showing a downward tendency anymore as far as the quantity was concerned, the economic result, however, deteriorated as a consequence of continuously falling gold prices, but also on account of the inflationary rise in wages and the prices for energy and materials. Much higher prices for uranium oxide, which some mines produce as interim products from the 'degolded' slurries of their gold ore leaching plants, improved the economic overall result only to a small degree. (orig.)

  16. Arsenic contamination and potential health risk implications at an abandoned tungsten mine, southern China

    Liu Chuanping [Guangdong Public Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technology, Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510640 (China); Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100039 (China); Luo Chunling [Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong); Gao Yun [Guangdong Public Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technology, Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Li Fangbai, E-mail: cefbli@soil.gd.c [Guangdong Public Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technology, Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Lin Lanwen; Wu Changan [Guangdong Public Laboratory of Environmental Science and Technology, Guangdong Institute of Eco-Environmental and Soil Sciences, Guangzhou 510650 (China); Li Xiangdong [Department of Civil and Structural Engineering, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom, Kowloon (Hong Kong)

    2010-03-15

    In an extensive environmental study, field samples, including soil, water, rice, vegetable, fish, human hair and urine, were collected at an abandoned tungsten mine in Shantou City, southern China. Results showed that arsenic (As) concentration in agricultural soils ranged from 3.5 to 935 mg kg{sup -1} with the mean value of 129 mg kg{sup -1}. In addition, As concentration reached up to 325 mug L{sup -1} in the groundwater, and the maximum As concentration in local food were 1.09, 2.38 and 0.60 mg kg{sup -1} for brown rice, vegetable and fish samples, respectively, suggesting the local water resource and food have been severely contaminated with As. Health impact monitoring data revealed that As concentrations in hair and urine samples were up to 2.92 mg kg{sup -1} and 164 mug L{sup -1}, respectively, indicating a potential health risk among the local residents. Effective measurements should be implemented to protect the local community from the As contamination in the environment. - It is the first report on arsenic contamination and potential health risk implications at abandoned Lianhuashan tungsten mine.

  17. Arsenic contamination and potential health risk implications at an abandoned tungsten mine, southern China

    In an extensive environmental study, field samples, including soil, water, rice, vegetable, fish, human hair and urine, were collected at an abandoned tungsten mine in Shantou City, southern China. Results showed that arsenic (As) concentration in agricultural soils ranged from 3.5 to 935 mg kg-1 with the mean value of 129 mg kg-1. In addition, As concentration reached up to 325 μg L-1 in the groundwater, and the maximum As concentration in local food were 1.09, 2.38 and 0.60 mg kg-1 for brown rice, vegetable and fish samples, respectively, suggesting the local water resource and food have been severely contaminated with As. Health impact monitoring data revealed that As concentrations in hair and urine samples were up to 2.92 mg kg-1 and 164 μg L-1, respectively, indicating a potential health risk among the local residents. Effective measurements should be implemented to protect the local community from the As contamination in the environment. - It is the first report on arsenic contamination and potential health risk implications at abandoned Lianhuashan tungsten mine.

  18. Uranium mining and lung cancer in Navajo men

    We performed a population-based case-control study to examine the association between uranium mining and lung cancer in Navajo men, a predominantly nonsmoking population. The 32 cases included all those occurring among Navajo men between 1969 and 1982, as ascertained by the New Mexico Tumor Registry. For each case in a Navajo man, two controls with nonrespiratory cancer were selected. Of the 32 Navajo patients, 72 per cent had been employed as uranium miners, whereas no controls had documented experience in this industry. The lower 95 per cent confidence limit for the relative risk of lung cancer associated with uranium mining was 14.4. Information on cigarette smoking was available for 21 of the 23 affected uranium miners; eight were nonsmokers and median consumption by the remainder was one to three cigarettes daily. These results demonstrate that in a rural nonsmoking population most of the lung cancer may be attributable to one hazardous occupation

  19. Groundwater restoration with in situ uranium leach mining

    In situ leach mining of uranium has developed into a major mining technology. Since 1975, when the first commercial mine was licensed in the United States, the percentage or uranium produced by in situ mining has steadily grown from 0.6 to 10 percent in 1980. Part of the reason for this growth is that in situ mining offers less initial capital investment, shorter start-up times, greater safety, and less labor than conventional mining methods. There is little disturbance of the surface terrain or surface waters, no mill tailings piles, and no large open pits, but in situ leaching mining does have environmental disadvantages. During the mining, large amounts of ground water are cirulated and there is some withdrawal from an area where aquifers constitute a major portion of the water supply for other purposes. When an ammonia-based leach system is used, the ammonium ion is introduced into an area where cation exchange on clays (and some production of nitrate) may occur. Also, injection of an oxidant with the leach solution causes valence and phase changes of indigenous elements such as As, Cu, Fe, Mo, Se, S, and V as well as U. Furthermore, the surrounding ground water can become contaminated by escape of the leach solution from the mining zone. This chapter presents an overview of the in situ mining technology, including uranium deposition, mining techniques, and ground water restoration alternatives. The latter part of the chapter covers the situation in South Texas. Economics and development of the industry, groundwater resources, regulation, and restoration activities are also reviewed

  20. Uranium mining and exploration are held back in Canada

    Denison and Rio Algom are nearing the end of expansion programs at their Elliot Lake operations. Denison doubled its throughput to 1500 tonnes/day, and Rio Algom's Quirke and Panel mines produced 350 and 2990 tonnes/day respectively in 1981. The Rabbit Lake mine in Saskatchewan produced 1391 tonnes in 1981. Production at the Cluff Lake mine began in 1980, and the extraction and stockpiling of the 5000 tonne D orebody was completed by Oct. 1981. Key Lake is scheduled to start up in mid-1983 and will have capacity to produce 12 million pounds/yr of U3O8. Ontario Hydro is to buy 5200 tonnes of uranium from Key Lake, a third of its requirements between 1985 and 1993. Madawaska Mines, Agnew Lake Mines, and Eldorado's Beaverlodge mine are closing, startup on the Midwest Lake project is being deferred. Exploration for uranium is centered in Saskatchwan, at Dawn Lake, McClean Lake, and in the Athabasca basin. Activity is also high in the Northwest Territories. Moratoriums on uranium mining and exploration continue in British Columbia and Nova Scotia

  1. Potential health and environmental hazards of uranium mine wastes. Volume 3. Appendixes. Report to the congress

    Contents include: summary of federal laws potentially affecting uranium mining; federal water programs and right activities; congressionally approved compacts that apportion water; state laws, regulations, and guides for uranium mining; active uranium mines in the United States; inactive uranium mines in the United States; general observations of uranium mine sites in Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, and Wyoming; influence of mine drainage on seepage to groundwater and surface water outflow; computation of mass emission factors for wind erosion; aquatic dosimetry and health effects models and parameter values; Airborne pathway modeling; and health risk assessment methodology

  2. Effect of biochar produced at different pyrolysis temperature on the soil respiration of abandoned mine soil

    Kim, Yong Seong; Kim, Juhee; Hwang, Wonjae; Hyun, Seunghun

    2015-04-01

    Contaminated soils near an abandoned mine site included the high acidic mine tailing have received great interest due to potential risk to human health, because leachable elements in low pH continuously release from mine site soil with ground water and precipitation event. Biochar, which is the obtained pyrolysis process of biomass, is used as a soil amendments and carbon storage. Especially, many researchers report that the biochar application to soil show increasing soil pH, CEC, adsorption capacity of various elements, as well as, enhanced microbial activity. Therefore, biochar application to contaminated soil near abandoned mine site is expected to have a positive effects on management of these site and soils through the decreased leachability of contaminants. However, effects of biochar application to these site on the soil respiration, as a common measure of soil health, are poorly understood. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of biochar application to abandoned mine site soil on the microbial activity with soil respiration test. Biochar was obtained from giant Miscanthus in a slow pyrolysis process (heating rate of 10° C min-1 and N2 gas flow rate of 1.2 L min-1) at the temperature of 400° C (BC4) and 700° C (BC7), respectively. All biochar samples were prepared with grinding and sieving for particle size control (150~500μm). Soil sample was collected from abandoned mine site at Korea (36° 58'N, 128° 10'E). Main contaminants of this soil were As (12.5 g kg-1), Pb (7.3 g kg-1), and Zn (1.1 g kg-1). Biochars were applied (5% by dry weight) to the soil (final mixture weight were 800g), and then moisture contents were adjusted to 100% field capacity (-0.33 bar) in the respirometer with vacuum pump. CO2 efflux of each samples was continuously assessed using continuous aeration system (air flow rate 25 cc min-1) using air cylinder during 130hr (at 20° C and darkness condition). The CO2 emitted from the samples were carried to the

  3. Groundwater restoration of uranium ISL mines in the United States

    Although the in-situ leach (ISL) mining of uranium in the US started in the 1960's, the real expansion of this form of mining, which is also called solution mining, took place in the early to mid 1970's in Texas. Some of the early test work used an acid lixiviant but it was soon recognized that, because of environmental considerations, the use of alkaline lixiviants would be preferable to the regulatory agencies and the public. In the past, the two types of alkaline based lixiviants used at US ISL mines were ammonia bicarbonate and sodium bicarbonate. A few ISL mines get by with just adding carbon dioxide to the well field solution. Ammonia bicarbonate is no longer being used today in the US because of the difficulties and expense of restoring the water quality to acceptable standards following mining. This paper briefly describes ISL mining principles and then details procedures and techniques used at USA ISL uranium mines to restore water quality in the mined aquifer. The basic elements are fairly constant but there can be considerable variation in type of water treatment equipment, methods of waste water disposal and use of chemical reducing agents. Three case histories are also presented

  4. Uranium mining: present indian scenario and future trends

    Mining industry has long been considered a high risk investment, tied down with long gestation periods. Large manpower deployment as also health and safety are other concerns associated with mining. Greater focus on sustainable development has seen metal prices falling worldwide. This has been largely due to greater recycling as well as development of alternate manmade material. Growing social concerns of the working environment as well as the impact of mining activity on ecology in its neighborhood are other areas drawing attention of the mining community. Uranium mining shares all these concerns besides issues related to its radioactive aspects. Technology continues to evolve in order to meet these challenges and make mining an attractive investment destination. Development of cleaner fuels, greater use of hydraulic power, microprocessor based fuel injection systems, flow of information, its efficient processing and a host of technology enabled systems are driving this evolution. These have influenced the entire gamut of mining activities from mine entries, mine layouts, mining methods to rock breakage and hoisting. Social concerns have prompted mine closure and related costs being factored in, at the mine opening stage itself. This paper describes some of these evolutions in India while looking at the emerging technologies and practices worldwide. (author)

  5. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Compliance Program for Uranium Mines and Mills

    The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is the principal nuclear regulator in Canada. The CNSC is empowered through the Nuclear Safety and Control Act (NSCA) and its associated regulations, to regulate the entire nuclear cycle which includes: uranium mining and milling, uranium refining and processing, fuel fabrication, power generation and nuclear waste management. A CNSC uranium mine licence is required by a proponent to site, prepare, construct, operate, decommission and abandon this nuclear facility. The CNSC licence is the legal instrument that authorizes the regulated activities and incorporates conditions and regulatory controls. Following a favourable Commission Tribunal decision to issue a licence to authorize the licensed activities, CNSC develops and executes a compliance plan of the licensee’s programs and procedures. The CNSC compliance plan is risk-informed and applies its resources to the identified higher risk areas. The compliance program is designed to encourage compliance by integrating three components: promotion, verification and enforcement and articulates the CNSC expectations to attain and maintain compliance with its regulatory requirements. The licensee performance is assessed through compliance activities and reported to the Commission to inform the licensing process during licence renewal. The application of the ongoing compliance assessment and risk management model ensures that deviations from impact predictions are addressed in a timely manner. The Uranium Mines and Mills Division of the CNSC are preparing to meet the challenges of the planned expansion of their Canadian uranium mining industry. The presentation will discuss these challenges and the measures required to address them. The Uranium Mines and Mills Division (UMMD) have adopted a structured compliance framework which includes formal procedures to conduct site inspections. New UMMD staff are trained to apply the regulations to licensed sites and to manage non

  6. The current situation of uranium mining in Hungary

    The paper describes the history of uranium production in Hungary. It focuses on the Mecsek Ore Mining Company, now known as Mecsekuran Limited, and its relationship with the Hungarian Government. From the start of uranium production in 1963 until May 1989 all production was exported to the Soviet Union under a bilateral contract. In exchange the Soviet Union agreed to provide fabricated fuel for the future Hungarian nuclear power plant. In May 1989 the Government of Hungary announced closure of its uranium mining operations because of the high cost of production. The paper describes the history of events since 1989, as well as the current plans to terminate all uranium production by 31 December 1997. The Mecsek Mountains lie in the southern part of Hungary, west from the Danube, about 30 km from the former Yugoslavian border, and north from the city of Pecs. Its eastern side is built up from medieval limestone and dolomites, while the western part is from sandstone and clay from the geological Paleozoic. In the eastern part high quality cokeable coal has been mined for more than 200 years, east from the city of Pecs; and in the western part uranium ore was discovered and the mining began only a few decades ago. (author)

  7. Heavy Metal Contamination of Soils and Water Resources Kettara Abandoned Mine

    Mouhsine Esshaimi

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Problem statement: Metal mining; together with mineral smelting and processing, have contaminated the environment surrounding mine areas throughout the world exceeding natural background concentration. Approach: These processes introduce metal contaminants into the environment through gaseous and particulate emissions, waste liquids and solid wastes. The principal objective of this study was to investigate soil and water contamination in the vicinity of the kettara abandoned mine located in the South of Morocco. Results: High total concentrations of heavy metals were found in both tailings and soil samples. Furthermore in the tailings the maximum concentrations of the mobile fraction of metals were 76, 80 and 79 mg kg-1 of Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively, for the soil samples the maximum concentrations values were 68, 52 and 26 mg kg-1 of Cu, Pb and Zn, respectively. As a result of dispersion of the metals downstream and downslope, soils contained higher metal concentrations than those from nearby control sites (P42. Conclusion/Recommendations: According to this study, the agricultural activity in the vicinity of the kettara mine requires careful consideration. Recultivation of the tailings and the remediation of surface water and soil are recommended.

  8. International developments in uranium mining and mill site remediation

    At the end of production, mine sites, mill sites, tailings ponds, heap leaching residues in uranium mining districts world-wide have to be remediated in a responsible and sustainable manner in order to minimize long term environmental impacts. Current practice, regulatory environments and rehabilitation objectives in some of the most important uranium producing countries are briefly characterized as well as applicable radioprotection and geotechnical criteria. Important local and regional variables are outlined which determine optimal site specific solutions. Examples from Europe and North America are shown. Monitoring and control requirements as well as areas of current and necessary research and development are identified

  9. Radon emanation and control in Chinese underground uranium mines

    The sources of radon and the characteristics of radon emanation in uranium mines in China are discussed. Particular attention is directed to radon emanation that results from transport by air percolation (radon percolation for short), which exists widely in uranium mines. The emanation mechanism and the factors that influence radon percolation are considered and some relationships between percolation and ventilation based on test data are presented. The relationships demonstrate that ventilation not only dilutes the radon but also has the ability to control the rate of emanation. These findings have been reviewed, the principles and methods of radon control by ventilation are developed. (author)

  10. Mining and processing of uranium ores in the USSR

    Experience gained in uranium ore mining by modern methods in combination with underground and heap leaching is summarized. More intensive processing of low-grade ores has been achieved through the use of autoclave leaching, sorptive treatment of thick pulps, extractive separation of pure uranium compounds, automated continuous sorption devices of high efficiency for processing the underground- and heap-leaching liquors, natural and mine water, and recovery of molybdenum, vanadium, scandium, rare earths and phosphate fertilizers from low-grade ores. Production of ion-exchangers and extractants has been developed and processes for concomitant recovery of copper, gold, ionium, tungsten, caesium, zirconium, tantalum, nickel and cobalt have been designed. (author)

  11. Uranium mining in Canada: production, practice and prospects

    Canada is a major producer and supplier of uranium, providing about 30% of the Western world's annual requirement. In this review, Canada's uranium mines and mills are listed with details of output and mining methods. Methods of extraction and purification are described. Prospects for the future of the industry are good when considered in the light of export performance and exploitable deposits and reserves. This confidence is expressed despite the constraints of increasingly stringent regulatory demands with respect to worker and public health and safety and environmental issues. (U.K.)

  12. Chapter 5. Uranium extraction technology from mine and drainage waters of uranium industry wastes. 5.5. Uranium extraction from mine and technical waters by anion exchanger A M(p)

    Present article is devoted to uranium extraction from mine and technical waters by anion exchanger A M(p). The basic process flow diagram of uranium extraction from mine waters (sorbent anion exchanger A M(p)) was proposed.

  13. Prevention of gas escape from abandoned mines; Vermeidung von Gaszutritten aus stillgelegten Grubenfeldern

    Kunz, E.; Meiners, H.; Christensen, H.J.; Litte, B.; Luhmann, L.; Opahle, M.; Pollak, R.; Sheta, H. [Deutsche Montan Technologie GmbH, Essen (Germany). Gas and Fire Div.

    2003-07-01

    Many mines were abandoned in the Ruhr district during the past decade. Methane is still released from abandoned mines, although the termination of forced ventilation and backfilling of shafts have largely prevented it, so that only barometric gas release will take place. This project started by identifying the relevant influencing factors of gas release from abandoned mines. Knowledge of residual gas volumes and cavity volumes is of prime importance. For an exemplary coal mine in the central Ruhr district, the remaining coal and gas volumes were estimated in order to calculate residual gas emissions. Gas flow underground and to the surface is governed by available flow paths and obstacles. For this reason, the flow resistance of dams, backfilled shafts and ventilation lines was measured, and fundamental studies on permeability of the top rock were carried out. The influence of technical pressure sinks (blowers, gas removal) on underground gas flow was investigated. Finally, gas flow in different conditions was simulated by model calculations. (orig.) [German] Der aktive Steinkohlenbergbau im Ruhrrevier hat sich sowohl durch Zusammenfuehrung von einzelnen Bergwerken zu Verbundbergwerken als auch durch Anschlussbergwerke flaechenmaessig in noerdlicher Richtung weiter ausgedehnt. Zwangslaeufig folgte eine Zunahme stillgelegter Feldesteile, in denen auch nach Beendigung des Abbaus weiterhin eine Methanabgabe des Gebirges stattfindet. Durch das Beenden der technischen Zwangsbelueftung (=Bewetterung) und Verfuellen der Schaechte wird das kontrollierte Abstroemen des Gases zur Tagesoberflaeche allerdings weitgehend unterbunden. Zu Beginn des Vorhabens stand die Erkundung und Untersuchung der fuer die Ausgasung aus stillgelegten Bereichen relevanten Einflussgroessen im Mittelpunkt. Da nach der Schliessung von Bergwerken nur noch eine barometrische Ausgasung vorhanden ist, ist die Kenntis von Restgasmengen und Hohlraumvolumina von vorrangiger Bedeutung. Daher wurden

  14. Regulation of uranium mining in the Northern Territory

    In Australia, uranium and other 'prescribed substances', including thorium, and any element having an atomic number greater than 92, are the property of the Commonwealth under the Atomic Energy Act 1953. However, the regulation of mining in Australia is managed by the States. The Uranium Mining Environment Control Act, was passed by the NT in 1978 and this remains the primary legislation through which uranium mining is regulated. Under working arrangements with the Commonwealth, the NT carries out regulatory activities including monitoring, evaluation and surveillance, in respect of each of the operating mines. The monitoring is overseen, validated and its continuing relevance audited by the Commonwealth Office of the Supervising Scientist and the Northern Land Council representing the local traditional owners. Environment Impact Assessment is co-ordinated jointly by the Commonwealth and the NT and has recently been concluded for the Jabiluka Project. Delays in final approval on this project are occasioned by social concerns expressed by some of the traditional indigenous owners and anti-nuclear protestors. Although Jabiluka is not in a World Heritage area, the concerns have resulted in intervention by the World Heritage Commission. This has required the Company and the Government to modify the way they handle the approval process. This paper analyses the development of the regulatory system which evolved to ensure best practice environmental, occupational health and safety management on the NT uranium mines. (author)

  15. Radiological changes due to the restoration of a uranium mine

    The paper presents a radiological study of a uranium mine in Extremadura, a region in the southwest of Spain. Mining work had already ceased and coincident with the development of this study the mine was being remediated, making it possible to study the influence of the remediation plan on different radiological parameters. The radiological parameters were studied in three groups: aerial samples, soil samples, and water sediment samples. The first two groups were clearly influenced by the remediation work, but the third was not. The results for 222Rn in air and water, 222Rn exhalation, effective 226Ra in soils and sediments, natural uranium and 226Ra in water, and the physico-chemical and meteorological parameters, allowed us to characterize the zone of the mine. Particular variations in certain radiological variables are explained by taking into consideration some of the physico-chemical parameters measured. (author)

  16. Issues in developing a new uranium mine in Canada

    Full text: The resurgence of interest in nuclear power as reflected in the interest in new nuclear reactors in Canada and world-wide, has spurred demand for additional uranium supply. The expansion of the search for new uranium resources has resulted in a major increase in public opposition to uranium resource development. Energetic anti-uranium mining groups have arisen around the world but are particularly noticeable in Canada, United States and Australia - three countries with a significant uranium mining history and proven, economic uranium resources. In Canada, exploration activities are regulated by the provinces and territories. All aspects of developing a mine through to decommissioning are regulated federally by Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and subject to a federal environmental assessment (EA). Such assessments are comprehensive in nature and require evaluation of all aspects of the development from construction to closure. An integral component of an EA is public consultation. Concerns of people who would live near new mines or mills are enhanced by comments from local, national and international NGO's, and the risks from mining are often overstated and indeed, misrepresented. Countering these concerns is frequently a challenge, particularly since experts who can be considered independent and are able discuss evidence of very low risks, i.e. are not associated with a mine development, are unlikely to get involved in public discussions. In several Canadian jurisdictions, new developments have been blocked or postponed as the result of local concerns, especially from aboriginal people who may express specific concerns related to traditional life styles. The concerns are typically focused on two key areas: will the radiation associated with the mining harm my family and will the mine wastes harm the environment now or in the future? Expressed in another way, members of local communities often want the economic benefits of a mine but are concerned

  17. The application and development of upper layers of filling mining method in Ganzhou uranium mine

    The article introduces the successful experiences from the practice of mining method of upper layers of filling in Ganzhou Uranium Mine from the aspects of technical applications and technological improvements. The directions are pointed out for the developments in the future. (authors)

  18. Achievements in uranium mining technique of China and its development countermeasures

    Achievements in uranium mining technique of China for fifty years are summarized from aspects of in-situ leaching, stope leaching,trackless mining, mining under buildings, water-bodies and railways, open-cut mining, and radiation protection of uranium mines. For the existing problems, some suggestions are put forward from strengthening the exploration of uranium resources, raising production capacity of uranium, improving technology and equipment level of mining, devoting great efforts to boost the constructions of 'green mine' and safety standardization. (authors)

  19. THE DEVELOPMENT OF SYNTHETIC SOIL MATERIALS FOR THE SUCCESSFUL RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINED LAND SITES

    Song Jin

    2006-03-01

    Abandoned mine sites associated with coal and metal mining across the western United States have been left as unproductive wastelands. The availability of soil materials or other materials to support the restoration of the vegetative cover and enhance the recovery of such areas is limited. The restoration of these areas often requires the use of available amendments such as organic waste products or to help stabilize the soil. Many of the organic waste products, including sewage sludge, clarifier sludge, fly ash sludge, and other by-products from the agricultural industries such as compost can be employed for beneficial uses. This study looked at the feasibility of applying organic waste products to a mine soil in Montana to increase soil fertility and enhance plant productivity. Waste rock samples were tested for acid forming potential via acid base accounting. Samples cores were constructed and leached with simulated rainwater to determine amendment affect on metal leaching. A greenhouse study was completed to determine the most suitable amendment(s) for the field mine land site. Results from the acid base accounting indicate that acid formed from the waste rock would be neutralized with the alkalinity in the system. Results also show that metals in solution are easily held by organics from the amendments and not allowed to leach in to the surrounding water system. Data from the greenhouse study indicated that the amendment of sewage sludge was most promising. Application of 2% sewage sludge along with 1% sewage sludge plus 1% clarifier sludge, 2% compost, and no treatment were used for mine land application. Initial results were encouraging and it appears that sewage sludge may be a good reclamation option for mine lands.

  20. Experimental study of Aspergillus flavus fungus from uranium mines

    Cultivation is discussed of fungus strain Aspergillus flavus obtained from materials from uranium mines. It was found that an addition of 0.6 g of uranium in form of uranyl acetate or of 0.6 g of thorium in form on thorium nitrate in 1000 ml of the standard medium had stimulating effects on the growth and sporulation of Aspergillus flavus. Irradiating the cultivated fungus through a polyethylene foil did not show a stimulating effect. It is stated that uranium and its daughters must be directly present in the culture medium for their stimulating effect on growth and sporulation to manifest itself. (H.S.)

  1. Preliminary environmental impact statement for the Kvanefjeld uranium mine

    The environmental impacts of the mining and milling of uranium from the Kvanefjeld are assessed in order - to provide a general description of the Narssaq area, with special reference to the ecological aspects, - to identify potential pollutants, and if possible to quantify these, - to identify critical pathways and populations, - to evaluate the technical design of the mine and mill in relation to the environment, - to evaluate alternatives, - to provide guidelines for preoperational environmental studies. (EG)

  2. Risk evaluation of uranium mining: a new kinetic approach

    Release of uranium and associated heavy metals is the main environmental concern regarding exploitation and processing of U-ore. Increasing uranium mining activities potentially increase the risks linked to radiation exposure. As a tool to evaluate these risks, a geochemical inverse modeling approach was developed to estimate the water-mineral interaction in the presence of uranium. Our methodology is based on the estimation of dissolution rate and reactive surface area of the different minerals participating in the reaction by reconstructing the chemical evolution of the interacting fluids. We found that the reactive surface area of parent-rock minerals changes over several orders of magnitude during the investigated reaction time. We propose that the formation of coatings on dissolving mineral surfaces significantly reduces reactivity. Our results show that negatively charged uranium complexes decrease when alkalinity and rock buffer capacity is similarly lower, indicating that the dissolved carbonate is an important parameter impacting uranium mobility. (authors)

  3. Mining and milling of uranium ore: Indian scenario

    The occurrence of uranium minerals in Singhbhum Thrust belt of Eastern India has been known since 1937. In 1950, a team of geologists of the Atomic Minerals Division was assigned to closely examine this 160 km long belt. Since then, several occurrences of uranium have been found and a few of them have sufficient grade and tonnage for commercial exploitation. In 1967, the Government of India formed Uranium Corporation of India Ltd., under the administrative control of the Department of Atomic Energy, with the specific objective of mining and processing of uranium ore and produce uranium concentrates. At present the Corporation operates three underground uranium mines, one ore processing plant with expanded capacity, and two uranium recovery plants. Continuing investigations by the Atomic Mineral Division has discovered several new deposits and favourable areas. The most notable is the large Domiasiat deposit of the sandstone type found in the State of Meghalaya. This deposit is now being considered for commercial exploitation using the in-situ leaching technology. (author)

  4. Sustainability of new uranium mining projects in Argentina

    The regulatory framework issued in the 1994-1995 period, connected mining activities in Argentina with international good environmental practices. Agreements between National Government and Provinces allow the application of the regulations, while Act No 24.585, the milestone about the matter, establishes the steps for the approval of the Report of Environmental Impact, on successive stages of the project. Specifically for uranium mining and milling, the assessment of the radiological protection aspects of the planned activities is assigned to the Nuclear Regulatory Authority. The National Atomic Energy Commission is at present carrying out two uranium mining projects, that involve the Sierra Pintada and Cerro Solo deposits. The goal of them is restart uranium production in the country in the medium term, by lowing the gap between indigenous and market uranium prices. The first one consists in updating the feasibility study of the, at present inactive, Sierra Pintada Production Center (Mendoza Province). Studies for improving the mining and treatment methods are performed in the project, co-ordinately with the investigation and forecast of mining waste and processing tailings management. Besides, the procedures will be determined taking into account the methodology to be applied when getting the closure stage, about the existing waste and tailings. Development of the Sierra de Pichinan District, Chubut Province (U-Mo), is the objective of the second project. It is remarkable that about Cerro Solo, the main ore deposit belonging to this area, at the prefeasibility stage, CNEA is currently encouraging private investment through a bidding process. Environmental studies are an important aspect of the activities carried out and planned in the area. As a conclusion, with regard uranium mining and milling activities in Argentina, the regulations and environmental technical-scientific knowledge are becoming friendly with the sustainable practice. (author)

  5. Uranium Mining in Paraguay: An opportunity to improve the environmental regulations in mining

    Full text: In many respects uranium mining is much the same as any other mining activity. In Paraguay under the Environmental Law, as well as many other South American countries, projects must have environmental permits prior to commencing, and must comply with all environmental, safety and occupational health conditions applicable. Increasingly, these activities are regulated by international standards, with external audits. The capacity for enforcement varies from the experience and tradition in mining production. Mining in Paraguay is a very recent activity; and as well as the Environmental Authority was recently created in 2000; therefore the environmental legislation for mining is not developed. Once the mining activity is approved, open pits or shafts and drives are dug, waste rock and overburden is placed in engineered dumps. Tailings from the ore processing must be placed in engineered dams or underground. Finally the whole site must be rehabilitated at the end of the project. Meanwhile air and water pollution must be avoided. The nuclear Renaissance in the world is a result of the high prices of oil and governments commitments on reducing the Greenhouse Effect Emissions under the Kyoto protocol: many governments expressed their willingness to increment their uranium predictions as well as the nuclear energy generation. Representatives of the Paraguayan Government after a meeting of the National council of Defense had stated that the issue of uranium exploration and has a strategic significance, and it has requested the preparation of environmental regulations to regulate this activity. The sector development strategy has also been discussed within the National Council of Defense. In this regard upon request of the National Environmental Authority and with support from USAID cooperation a process of preparing regulations for uranium mining has initiated by considering the cases of remediation and liabilities left by uranium mining in Australia - Nabarlek

  6. US uranium mining industry: background information on economics and emissions

    A review of the US uranium mining industry has revealed a generally depressed industry situation. The 1982 U3O8 production from both open-pit and underground mines declined to 3800 and 6300 tons respectively with the underground portion representing 46% of total production. US exploration and development has continued downward in 1982. Employment in the mining and milling sectors has dropped 31% and 17% respectively in 1982. Representative forecasts were developed for reactor fuel demand and U3O8 production for the years 1983 and 1990. Reactor fuel demand is estimated to increase from 15,900 tons to 21,300 tons U3O8 respectively. U3O8 production, however, is estimated to decrease from 10,600 tons to 9600 tons respectively. A field examination was conducted of 29 selected underground uranium mines that represent 84% of the 1982 underground production. Data was gathered regarding population, land ownership and private property valuation. An analysis of the increased cost to production resulting from the installation of 20-meter high exhaust borehole vent stacks was conducted. An assessment was made of the current and future 222Rn emission levels for a group of 27 uranium mines. It is shown that 222Rn emission rates are increasing from 10 individual operating mines through 1990 by 1.2 to 3.8 times. But for the group of 27 mines as a whole, a reduction of total 222Rn emissions is predicted due to 17 of the mines being shutdown and sealed. The estimated total 222Rn emission rate for this group of mines will be 105 Ci/yr by year end 1983 or 70% of the 1978-79 measured rate and 124 Ci/yr by year end 1990 or 83% of the 1978-79 measured rate

  7. US uranium mining industry: background information on economics and emissions

    Bruno, G.A.; Dirks, J.A.; Jackson, P.O.; Young, J.K.

    1984-03-01

    A review of the US uranium mining industry has revealed a generally depressed industry situation. The 1982 U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production from both open-pit and underground mines declined to 3800 and 6300 tons respectively with the underground portion representing 46% of total production. US exploration and development has continued downward in 1982. Employment in the mining and milling sectors has dropped 31% and 17% respectively in 1982. Representative forecasts were developed for reactor fuel demand and U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production for the years 1983 and 1990. Reactor fuel demand is estimated to increase from 15,900 tons to 21,300 tons U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ respectively. U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production, however, is estimated to decrease from 10,600 tons to 9600 tons respectively. A field examination was conducted of 29 selected underground uranium mines that represent 84% of the 1982 underground production. Data was gathered regarding population, land ownership and private property valuation. An analysis of the increased cost to production resulting from the installation of 20-meter high exhaust borehole vent stacks was conducted. An assessment was made of the current and future /sup 222/Rn emission levels for a group of 27 uranium mines. It is shown that /sup 222/Rn emission rates are increasing from 10 individual operating mines through 1990 by 1.2 to 3.8 times. But for the group of 27 mines as a whole, a reduction of total /sup 222/Rn emissions is predicted due to 17 of the mines being shutdown and sealed. The estimated total /sup 222/Rn emission rate for this group of mines will be 105 Ci/yr by year end 1983 or 70% of the 1978-79 measured rate and 124 Ci/yr by year end 1990 or 83% of the 1978-79 measured rate.

  8. Basic status of uranium mine production at the beginning of the new century

    At the beginning of the new century, the global uranium mine production declined slightly, the spot uranium price was close to or slightly higher than that of the last century. The uranium consumption in global nuclear electricity generation does not fluctuate greatly, remains stable as a whole. Although certain accidents have taken place during the period of uranium mine production, uranium production remains stable, uranium's demand and supply remain balanced basically. In the global uranium mine production at the beginning of the new century, production from hard rock uranium mines still plays the leading role, and production from in-situ leachable sandstone-type uranium mines increases by a small margin and makes up one fifth of the total global uranium mine production. Several transnational uranium industry companies have become the main stockholders of low cost uranium production centers all around the world. Most mining uranium deposits and uranium production centers have centralized in a few countries. The globalized distribution of uranium resources during the progress of the world's economy globalization has taken shape in the uranium industry. (authors)

  9. Radiation protection of workers from uranium mines and of the public living nearby uranium mining and milling facilities

    As part of the program of nuclear power development, the Russia Federation plans to increase uranium production and to improve supply from existing uranium mining and milling facilities. Moreover, development of new uranium ore deposits is also envisaged. A corollary of these developments is the placing of a high priority on environmental and human health protection Special attention should be paid to assurance of health protection both of workers and of the public living nearby such facilities. This paper reviews the status and development of understanding of facilities in the Russian Federation from a regulatory perspective. (author)

  10. Report on the Uranium Mine Radiation Safety Course

    Since 1981 the Canadian Institute for Radiation Safety (CAIRS) has administered a semi-annual course on radiation safety in uranium mines under contract to and in consultation with the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB). The course is intended primarily for representatives from mining companies, regulatory agencies, unions, and mine and mill workers. By the terms of its contract with the AECB, CAIRS is required to submit a report on each course it conducts. This is the report on the June 1987 course. It lists the course objectives and the timetable, outlines for each lecture, the lecturers' resumes, and the participants. The students' evaluations of the course are included

  11. Effect of Soil Ameliorators on Ectomycorrhizal Fungal Communities that Colonize Seedlings of Pinus densiflora in Abandoned Coal Mine Spoils

    Lee, Eun-Hwa; Eo, Ju-Kyeong; Lee, Chang-Seok; Eom, Ahn-Heum

    2012-01-01

    In this study, the effect of soil ameliorators on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in coal mine spoils was investigated. Organic fertilizers and slaked lime were applied as soil ameliorators in 3 abandoned coal mine spoils. One year after the initial treatment, roots of Pinus densiflora seedlings were collected and the number of ECM species, colonization rate, and species diversity were assessed. The results showed that the soil ameliorators significantly increased ECM colonization on...

  12. Evolution of Microbial “Streamer” Growths in an Acidic, Metal-Contaminated Stream Draining an Abandoned Underground Copper Mine

    D. Barrie Johnson; Hallberg, Kevin B.; Laura Rocchetti; Kris Coupland; Rowe, Owen F.; Catherine M. Kay

    2013-01-01

    A nine year study was carried out on the evolution of macroscopic “acid streamer” growths in acidic, metal-rich mine water from the point of construction of a new channel to drain an abandoned underground copper mine. The new channel became rapidly colonized by acidophilic bacteria: two species of autotrophic iron-oxidizers (Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans and “Ferrovum myxofaciens”) and a heterotrophic iron-oxidizer (a novel genus/species with the propos...

  13. Uranium solution mining: comparison of New Mexico with South Texas

    In-situ uranium-leaching or solution-mining operations are currently underway in both south Texas and Wyoming. Mobil Oil Corporation is in the process of applying solution-mining technology, such as that developed at the O'Hern facility in south Texas, to uranium orebodies located near Crownpoint, New Mexico. The O'Hern facility uses an alkaline-leach process to bring the uranium to the surface, where it is removed from solution using ion-exchange resin and chemical precipitation. Line-drive and five-spot well field patterns are used to inject and recover the leach solutions. Although details of ore occurrence in New Mexico differ from those in south Texas, laboratory, engineering-design, and field-hydrology tests indicate that solution mining of uranium should be feasible in New Mexico. To determine the commercial feasibility, Mobil is proceeding with the construction of pilot-plant facilities for a 75-gallon-perminute (gpm) test at an orebody near Crownpoint. The pilot test will use five-spot patterns at various spacings for production of uranium-bearing leachate. Initial surface processing will be the same as that used in south Texas

  14. Uranium mining and rehabilitation: International aspects and examples from Germany

    In the period from 1945 to 1994 about 1.87 million t U have been produced worldwide. The maximum of production reached about 70,000 t U in 1981, now the production has fell to about 32,000 t U. Due to the decrease of the annual output, employment in uranium production has decreased, however the productivity has been increased in most countries. As any mining, uranium mining has an impact on the environment. Especially the radioactivity of the ores and waste material may create radiological hazards to the population when protection measures are not observed carefully. The impact of uranium production to the environmental is illustrated by various examples. The costs which are necessary to decommission and rehabilitate uranium production facilities can reach high levels depending on the specifics of the recultivation activities. International examples are given. The production of uranium in Eastern Germany is described briefly, and the reclamation activities of the former Wismut mining and milling facilities is illustrated by selected examples. (author). 5 tabs

  15. Some implications of in situ uranium mining technology development

    Cowan, C.E.; Parkhurst, M.A.; Cole, R.J.; Keller, D.; Mellinger, P.J.; Wallace, R.W.

    1980-09-01

    A technology assessment was initiated in March 1979 of the in-situ uranium mining technology. This report explores the impediments to development and deployment of this technology and evaluates the environmental impacts of a generic in-situ facility. The report is divided into the following sections: introduction, technology description, physical environment, institutional and socioeconomic environment, impact assessment, impediments, and conclusions. (DLC)

  16. Air purification techniques for radon daughters in uranium mines

    A modified air purifier to filter air was built to reduce radon daughter concentrations in uranium mines, and thus reduce exposure of miners. The main experimental results for the purifiers are presented for several levels: individual purification; secondary ventilation; purification; and primary ventilation purification. The study concentrates on secondary ventilation purification. For this case the electrostatic technique is preferred

  17. Some implications of in situ uranium mining technology development

    A technology assessment was initiated in March 1979 of the in-situ uranium mining technology. This report explores the impediments to development and deployment of this technology and evaluates the environmental impacts of a generic in-situ facility. The report is divided into the following sections: introduction, technology description, physical environment, institutional and socioeconomic environment, impact assessment, impediments, and conclusions

  18. Radio communication below ground at the uranium mine of Lodeve

    After a short description of the mine producing 1 000 t/year of uranium metal, the solution of numerous problems can be effected by a convenient and quick means of communication from person to person. A 450MHz UHF radio signal is propagated directly from a conductor and from an antenna

  19. Recovery of Uranium from Uranium Mine Waters and Copper Ore Leaching Solutions

    Waters pumped from uranium mines in New Mexico are processed by ion exchange to recover uranium. Production is approximately 200 lb U3O8/d from waters containing 5 to 15 ppm U3O8. Recoveries range from 80 to 90%. Processing plants are described. Uranium has been found in the solutions resulting from the leaching of copper-bearing waste rock at most of the major copper mines in western United States. These solutions, which are processed on a very large scale for recovery of copper, contain 2 to 12 ppm U3O8. Currently, uranium is not being recovered, but a potential production of up to 6000 lb U3O8/d is indicated. Ion exchange and solvent extraction research studies are described. (author)

  20. Recovery of uranium from uranium mine waters and copper ore leaching solutions

    Waters pumped from uranium mines in New Mexico are processed by ion exchange to recover uranium. Production is approximately 200 lb U3O8/d from waters containing 5 to 15 ppm U3O8. Recoveries range from 80 to 90%. Processing plants are described. Uranium has been found in the solutions resulting from the leaching of copper-bearing waste rock at most of the major copper mines in western United States. These solutions, which are processed on a very large scale for recovery of copper, contain 2 to 12 ppm U3O8. Currently, uranium is not being recovered, but a potential production of up to 6000 lb U3O8/d is indicated. Ion exchange and solvent extraction research studies are described. (author)

  1. 30 CFR 872.20 - What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine...

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false What will OSM do with unappropriated AML funds currently allocated to the Rural Abandoned Mine Program ? 872.20 Section 872.20 Mineral Resources OFFICE OF... MONEYS AVAILABLE TO ELIGIBLE STATES AND INDIAN TRIBES § 872.20 What will OSM do with unappropriated...

  2. Proceedings of the meeting on uranium exploration, mining and extraction

    Meeting on uranium exploration, mining, and extraction is aimed to expedite information exchange among researchers from the National Atomic Energy Agency (BATAN), their international colleagues, the higher education institutions,and other interested scientific communities on the latest development on Kalan uranium minerals exploration, mining, and extraction. Nuclear Minerals Development Centre (PPBGN) roles in nuclear energy provision, the theme of the meeting, reflect current advancements of the Centre in fulfilling its major tasks and responsibilities. In order to assist PPBGN better to assume its roles and responsibilities, the meeting is expected to bring forth essential solutions for problems and difficulties relevant to PPBGN's activities. Hence, the scope of the meeting will be limited to discussion on the status of nuclear minerals exploration, mining, and extraction technologies in Indonesia as well as the related environmental and workplace safeties in uranium mining and milling. Ten technical papers were presented in meeting, including four topics on exploration status and technology, three subject matter on mining, two presentations on milling, and one paper on environmental and workplace safeties

  3. The U.S. Forest Service abandoned mine land inventory in Colorado: Background, progress, and preliminary findings

    The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the Colorado Geological Survey (CGS) are continuing a cooperative agreement to identify sites of environmental degradation associated with abandoned and inactive mines on Colorado's USFS administered lands. The USFS Abandoned Mine Land Inventory Project is a open-quotes discoveryclose quotes process and is a precursor to the Environmental Protection Agency's open-quotes Preliminary Assessmentclose quotes process. Identification of environmentally degraded sites may lead to a formal Preliminary Assessment. The inventory process begins in the office and involves reviewing existing mining and geologic literature, previous mine inventory work, current and historical maps, water quality information, and aerial photographs. During field investigation, each mine feature is given a unique identification number. Field geologists collect data on the physical and geographic characteristics of the mine features along with information on any water emanating from or interacting with the mine features. This information is used to assign a qualitative environmental degradation rating to the individual mine feature. Guidelines for the rating system are given to field personnel to facilitate consistency within the data set. All data collected are entered into a computer database. From a computer perspective, both location and attribute data are being collected. Therefore, the data are well suited for integration into a geographic information system (GIS) creating a geo-referenced data set. The USFS Abandoned Mine Land Inventory Project began in 1991 and is ongoing. To date, field inventories of the Arapaho, Roosevelt, Pike, and Rio Grande National Forests have been completed. Work in the San Isabel, San Juan, White River, Gunnison, Uncompahgre, and Grand Mesa National Forests is in progress. Through the 1994 field season approximately 9,667 mine features (openings, dumps, tailings, highwalls, etc.) have been inventoried

  4. Risk assessment of toxic heavy metals in the abandoned metal mine areas, Korea

    Lee, J. S.; Chon, H. T.

    2003-04-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the risk of adverse health effects on human exposure to toxic heavy metals influenced by past mining activities. Environmental geochemical survey was undertaken in the abandoned metal mine areas (Dongil Au-Ag-Cu-Zn mine, Okdong Cu-Pb-Zn mine, Myungbong Au-Ag mine). After appropriate sample preparation, tailings, soils, crop plants and groundwaters were analyzed for As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn by ICP-AES and ICP-MS. Health risk assessment of toxic heavy metals has been performed with chemical analytical data for environmental media. Arsenic and other heavy metals are highly elevated in the tailings from the Dongil mine (8,720 As mg/kg, 5.9 Cd mg/kg, 3,610 Cu mg/kg, 5,850 Pb mg/kg, 630 Zn mg/kg), but heavy metals except As from the Okdong mine (72 As mg/kg, 53.6 Cd mg/kg, 910 Cu mg/kg, 1,590 Pb mg/kg, 5,720 Zn mg/kg) and only As from the Myungbong mine (5,810 As mg/kg). These significant concentrations can impact on soils and waters around the tailing files. Also, elevated levels of As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn are found in agricultural soils from these mine areas. Risk assessment modeling is subdivided into main four stages, i.e. hazard identification, exposure assessment, toxicity (dose-response) assessment and risk characterization. In order to assess exposure it is necessary to calculate the average daily dose (ADD) of contaminant via the three identified pathways (soil, groundwater and food (rice grain) pathways). In dose-response assessment for non-carcinogens, reference doses (RfD) are calculated and that for carcinogens, slope factors (SF) are obtained by US-EPA IRIS database. In risk characterization, the results of toxicity assessment and exposure assessment are integrated to arrive at quantitative estimates of cancer risks and hazard quotients. Toxic (non-cancer) risks are indicated in terms of a hazard quotient (H.Q.) and this risk exists for H.Q.>1. The H.Q. values for only As from the Dongil and Myungbong mine areas are 2.1 and

  5. Characterization of microorganisms in the acidic mine water of the former uranium mine Koenigstein

    The thesis on the characterization of microorganisms in the acidic mine water of the former uranium mine Koenigstein covers the following issues: Introduction: (1) Environmental rehabilitation of the uranium mine by the Wismut GmbH, microorganisms in the acidic mine waters, influence of microorganisms on the mobility of metals and radionuclides, biofilms and their influence on the mobility of metals and radionuclides, biodiversity of the mine Koenigstein before flooding; (2) Scope of the work. (3) Materials and methods: Site characterization, biofilm systems, sampling of water and biofilms, sample transport and storage, chemical analysis, speciation diagrams, catalyzed reporter deposition fluorescence in-situ hybridization, quantitative microbiological methods, classical microbiological cultivation methods, molecular biological methods, bioinformatics - sequence analysis, statistics, optical microscopy, biofilms. (4) Results and discussion: chemo-physical parameters before and after flooding, quantification of microorganisms, characterization of prokaryotes, characterization of eukaryotes, biofilms.

  6. Uranium mining impacts on water resources in Brazil

    Uranium mining and milling activities started operations in Brazil during the 80's. The first production Center was deployed in Pocos de Caldas (CIPC) State of Minas Gerais. The mine was exhausted in 1997, after has produced only 1200 t of U3O8. The second uranium plant began the operations in Caetite (URA), Bahia State, since 1999 and keeps operations until now with an annual U3O8 production of up to 400 t. The company plans to double this mark in Caetite production center with the exploration of another uranium deposits and initiate underground operations of current open-pit mine. Simultaneously, they are seeking a license for a third plant in the State of Ceara that could produce the double of foreseen capacity in URA. This scenery drives to some issues related to the impact of uranium production on water resources of the respective watersheds. The CIPC plant is a closing mine site, which requires permanent treatment of the company due to the fact their sources of pollutants are subject to the occurrence of Acid Mine Drainage. The URA plant is located in a semi-arid region of Brazil. The extraction of uranium from the ore is achieved by means of a Heap-Leach process, which has low water demand supplied by a network of wells and from a dam, but can contribute to change the groundwater quality and in some cases the extinguishing of wells was observed. An overall assessment of these impacts in national level could produce some lessons that we must take advantage for the ongoing project of Santa Quiteria or even in future sites. (author)

  7. Mining-metallurgical projects for the production of uranium concentrates

    This report presents an overall view of a complete project for a mining-metallurgical complex for the production of uranium concentrates. Relevant aspects of each important topic are discussed as parts of an integrated methodology. The principal project activities are analyzed and the relationships among the various factors affecting the design are indicated. A list of 96 principal activities is proposed as an example. These activities are distributed in eight groups: initial evaluations preliminary feasibility studies, project engineering, construction, industrial operation, decommissioning and post-decommissioning activities. The environmental impact and the radiological risks due to the construction and operation of the mining metallurgical complex are analyzed. The principles of radiological protection and the regulations, standards and recommendations for radiological protection in uranium mines and mills are discussed. This report is also a guide to the specialized literature: a bibliography with 765 references is included. (author)

  8. The environmental impact assessment of uranium mining in Australia

    Federal environmental impact assessment legislation has existed in Australia since 1974. A number of uranium mines have been developed in this time, utilizing a range of mining techniques, including opencut, underground and in-situ leach. Projects have also been undertaken in a variety of geographical areas requiring consideration of diverse biodiversity, cultural heritage and social impact issues. Assessment of uranium mining proposals in Australia is also conducted in a climate of political opposition from a cross section of the Australian community. This paper outlines some of the key issues that arose during recent assessments and which provide a lead to the role of environmental impact assessment in environmental policy development. Issues are also relevant to recent assessments on a replacement nuclear reactor, shipments of waste for reprocessing and proposed assessments on proposals for low and intermediate level nuclear waste facilities. (author)

  9. Radioactive survey in former uranium mining areas of Portugal

    Mining of radioactive ores in Portugal started at the beginning of the 20th century and continued until 2001. About 60 sites were exploited for radium in the beginning, and later for uranium production. Radioactive ores from the majority of these mines were transported to a small number of places where physical and chemical treatment took place. There are about 3 million tonnes of radioactive spoil heaps from the processing of the uranium ore. A preliminary assessment of the radioactivity in the areas of open pit mines and milling tailings was undertaken. The results of this environmental survey are presented here. The work allowed the identification of areas with higher radioactivity and higher environmental radiation doses. The results will be of help in the designation of areas for environmental remediation work in order to ensure the radiological safety of the population. (author)

  10. Radon and aerosol release from open-pit uranium mining

    The quantity of 222Rn (hereafter called radon) released per unit of uranium produced from open pit mining has been determined. A secondary objective was to determine the nature and quantity of airborne particles resulting from mine operations. To accomplish these objectives, a comprehensive study of the release rates of radon and aerosol material to the atmosphere was made over a one-year period from April 1979 to May 1980 at the Morton Ranch Mine which was operated by United Nuclear Corporation (UNC) in partnership with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The mine is now operated for TVA by Silver King Mines. Morton Ranch Mine was one of five open pit uranium mines studied in central Wyoming. Corroborative measurements were made of radon flux and 226Ra (hereafter called radium) concentrations of various surfaces at three of the other mines in October 1980 and again at these three mines plus a fourth in April of 1981. Three of these mines are located in the Powder River Basin, about 80 kilometers east by northeast of Casper. One is located in the Shirley Basin, about 60 km south of Casper, and the remaining one is located in the Gas Hills, approximately 100 km west of Casper. The one-year intensive study included simultaneous measurement of several parameters: continuous measurement of atmospheric radon concentration near the ground at three locations, monthly 24-hour radon flux measurements from various surfaces, radium analyses of soil samples collected under each of the flux monitoring devices, monthly integrations of aerosols on dichotomous aerosol samplers, analysis of aerosol samplers for total dust loading, aerosol elemental and radiochemical composition, aerosol elemental composition by particle size, wind speed, wind direction, temperature, barometric pressure, and rainfall

  11. The legacy of uranium mines - Pluralist Expertise Group experiment on the uranium mines in the Limousin (France)

    The Pluralist Expertise Group (GEP) concerning the legacy of uranium mines in Limousin was created after a joint mission letter from Ministries of environment, industry and health (2005). The purpose of this paper is to describe the work of the GEP on impacts and public health surveillance. (author)

  12. Impact of acid mine drainages on surficial waters of an abandoned mining site.

    García-Lorenzo, M L; Marimón, J; Navarro-Hervás, M C; Pérez-Sirvent, C; Martínez-Sánchez, M J; Molina-Ruiz, José

    2016-04-01

    Weathering of sulphide minerals produces a great variety of efflorescences of soluble sulphate salts. These minerals play an important role for environmental pollution, since they can be either a sink or a source for acidity and trace elements. This paper aims to characterise surface waters affected by mining activities in the Sierra Minera of Cartagena-La Union (SE, Spain). Water samples were analysed for trace metals (Zn, Cd, Pb, Cu, As and Fe), major ions (Na(+), K(+), Ca(2+) and Mg(2+)) and anions (F(-), Cl(-), NO3 (-), CO3 (2-), SO4 (2-)) concentrations and were submitted to an "evaporation-precipitation" experiment that consisted in identifying the salts resulting from the evaporation of the water aliquots sampled onsite. Mineralogy of the salts was studied using X-ray diffraction and compared with the results of calculations using VISUAL MINTEQ. The study area is heavily polluted as a result of historical mining and processing activities that has produced large amount of wastes characterised by a high trace elements content, acidic pH and containing minerals resulting from the supergene alteration of the raw materials. The mineralogical study of the efflorescences obtained from waters shows that magnesium, zinc, iron and aluminium sulphates predominate in the acid mine drainage precipitates. Minerals of the hexahydrite group have been quantified together with minerals of the rozenite group, alunogen and other phases such as coquimbite and copiapite. Calcium sulphates correspond exclusively to gypsum. In a semiarid climate, such as that of the study area, these minerals contribute to understand the response of the system to episodic rainfall events. MINTEQ model could be used for the analysis of waters affected by mining activities but simulation of evaporation gives more realistic results considering that MINTEQ does not consider soluble hydrated salts. PMID:26347422

  13. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry: 1986 viability assessment

    This report presents the fourth annual assessment of the domestic uranium mining and milling industry's resource capability, supply response capability, financial capability, and import commitment dependency. The data and analysis in support of this assessment and the report itself have been developed pursuant to Public Law 97-415, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Authorization Act of 1982. The report provides information on recent uranium supply, demand, and marketing conditions, as well as projections of the domestic uranium industry's ability to continue to supply the needs of the domestic nuclear power industry through the year 2000. Industry capability is assessed under a variety of assumed conditions with respect to hypothetical disruptions of uranium imports. 13 refs., 26 figs., 37 tabs

  14. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry. 1984 viability assessment

    This report presents the second annual assessment of the domestic uranium mining and milling industry's resource capability, supply response capability, financial capability, and import commitment dependency. The data and analysis in support of this assessment and the report itself have been developed pursuant to requirements set forth in Section 23(b) of Public Law 97-415, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Authorization Act, which was enacted on January 4, 1983. The report provides information on recent uranium supply, demand, and marketing conditions and projections of the domestic uranium industry's ability to continue to supply the needs of the domestic nuclear power industry through the year 2000. Industry capability is assessed under a variety of assumed conditions with respect to hypothetical disruptions of uranium imports

  15. Uranium deposits of Ukraine for ISL mining: Developments in uranium resources of Ukraine for in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining - Historical analysis, operational, geological, environmental and economic aspects

    From 1961-1968 uranium production center of Ukraine, East Concentrating Mill and Zheltiye Vody Hydrometallurgical Plant has carried out first Ukrainian In Situ Leaching (ISL) uranium project in Devladovo of Sofiivka district (Dnipropetrovska province) and in 1964-1969 the second in Bratske of Mikolaivska province. The experiences were executed with the acid leach system. Despite its limited applicability for this time to specific types of uranium deposits called as Sandstone Uranium Deposits, the in situ leaching (ISL) method of uranium production has grown in importance for its competitive cost and has proven to be an environmentally sound technology with very little disturbance to the environment. It was also recognized that there are two distinct approaches of ISL uranium production being practiced in Eastern Europe, in particular, in Ukraine, and in the USA, later in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. Commercial in situ leach (ISL) uranium mining in the United States began in the mid-1970s. In 1968, for the first time in the former USSR, the East Concentration Mill and Zheltiye Vody Hydrometallurgical Plant has implemented In Situ Leach (ISL) uranium mining technology in the Devladovske uranium deposit. (author)

  16. Risk assessment and restoration possibilities of some abandoned mining ponds in Murcia Region, SE Spain

    Faz, Angel; Acosta, Jose A.; Martinez-Martinez, Silvia; Carmona, Dora M.; Zornoza, Raul; Kabas, Sebla; Bech, Jaume

    2010-05-01

    In Murcia Region, SE Spain, there are 85 tailing ponds due to intensive mining activities that occurred during last century, especially in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Union. Although mining activity was abandoned several decades ago, those tailing ponds with high amounts of heavy metals still remain in the area. The ponds, due to their composition and location, may create environmental risks of geochemical pollution, negatively affecting soil, water, and plant, animal, and human populations, as well as infrastructures. The main objective of this research is to evaluate the restoration possibilities of two representative mining ponds in order to minimize the risk for human and ecosystems. To achieve this objective, two tailing ponds generated by mining activities were selected, El Lirio and El Gorguel. These ponds are representative of the rest of existent ponds in Sierra Minera de Cartagena-La Unión, with similar problems and characteristics. Several techniques and studies were applied to the tailing ponds for their characterization, including: geophysics, geotechnics, geochemical, geological, hydrological, and vegetation studies. In addition, effects of particulate size in the distribution of heavy metals will be used to assess the risk of dispersion of these metals in finest particles. Once the ponds were characterized, they were divided in several sectors in order to apply different amendments (pig slurry and marble waste) to reduce the risk of metal mobility and improve soil quality for a future phytostabilization. It is known that organic amendments promote soil development processes, microbial diversity, and finally, soil ecosystem restoration to a state of self-sustainability. By comparing the results before and after applications we will be able to evaluate the effect of the different amendments on soil quality and their effectively on risk reduction. Finally, plant metal-tolerant species are used to restore vegetation in the ponds, thereby decreasing

  17. Generation of Acid Mine Lakes Associated with Abandoned Coal Mines in Northwest Turkey.

    Sanliyuksel Yucel, Deniz; Balci, Nurgul; Baba, Alper

    2016-05-01

    A total of five acid mine lakes (AMLs) located in northwest Turkey were investigated using combined isotope, molecular, and geochemical techniques to identify geochemical processes controlling and promoting acid formation. All of the investigated lakes showed typical characteristics of an AML with low pH (2.59-3.79) and high electrical conductivity values (1040-6430 μS/cm), in addition to high sulfate (594-5370 mg/l) and metal (aluminum [Al], iron [Fe], manganese [Mn], nickel [Ni], and zinc [Zn]) concentrations. Geochemical and isotope results showed that the acid-generation mechanism and source of sulfate in the lakes can change and depends on the age of the lakes. In the relatively older lakes (AMLs 1 through 3), biogeochemical Fe cycles seem to be the dominant process controlling metal concentration and pH of the water unlike in the younger lakes (AMLs 4 and 5). Bacterial species determined in an older lake (AML 2) indicate that biological oxidation and reduction of Fe and S are the dominant processes in the lakes. Furthermore, O and S isotopes of sulfate indicate that sulfate in the older mine lakes may be a product of much more complex oxidation/dissolution reactions. However, the major source of sulfate in the younger mine lakes is in situ pyrite oxidation catalyzed by Fe(III) produced by way of oxidation of Fe(II). Consistent with this, insignificant fractionation between δ(34) [Formula: see text] and δ(34) [Formula: see text] values indicated that the oxidation of pyrite, along with dissolution and precipitation reactions of Fe(III) minerals, is the main reason for acid formation in the region. Overall, the results showed that acid generation during early stage formation of an AML associated with pyrite-rich mine waste is primarily controlled by the oxidation of pyrite with Fe cycles becoming the dominant processes regulating pH and metal cycles in the later stages of mine lake development. PMID:26987541

  18. Production of uranium in Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat, Uzbekistan

    Full text: Under the conditions of constantly increasing level of development of the nuclear power, it is inevitable that the uranium stockpiles accumulated to 1985 will soon be depleted. This consideration underlies the development concept of uranium production in the Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat, Uzbekistan. Because this product has become a source of hard currency revenues for the Republic, there will be a significant increase in the processed ore and output of uranium oxide within the next few years. Uranium production in the Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat represents a full-cycle operations ranging from geological survey through hydrometallurgical processing resulting in the output of uranium concentrate in the form of uranium protoxide-oxide (U3O8). The NMMC uranium operations include the Hydrometallurgical Plant and three facilities accomplishing ISL mining facilities. A successful start on the development of the Uchkuduk deposit by ISL method in the 1960s gave rise to scientific and production approach for development of other uranium deposits of the infiltration bedded (sandstone) type. Uranium recovery by ISL has become a separate mining branch within the 30-year period of its history and the contribution of this branch in uranium production has steadily grown. Since 1995 all uranium produced by Navoi Mining and Metallurgy Combinat is attributed to ISL. During this evolution period of the ISL method, a whole range of systematic scientific research and practical works were carried out covering improvement of process flowsheets, equipment, operational methods and techniques for particular mining conditions at those specific sites. In co-operation with design and scientific research institutions, a significant number of scientific researches, test works, design and engineering projects were achieved in order to create optimal conditions for ISL mining and further processing of pregnant solutions by sorption as well as to appropriately equip the

  19. Effect of uranium (VI) on two sulphate-reducing bacteria cultures from a uranium mine site

    Martins, Monica [Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, DQF, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro (Portugal); Faleiro, Maria Leonor [IBB-Centro de Biomedicina Molecular e Estrutural, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro (Portugal); Chaves, Sandra; Tenreiro, Rogerio [Universidade de Lisboa, Faculdade de Ciencias, Centro de Biodiversidade, Genomica Integrativa e Funcional (BioFIG), Campus de FCUL, Campo Grande 1749-016 Lisboa (Portugal); Costa, Maria Clara, E-mail: mcorada@ualg.pt [Centro de Ciencias do Mar, Faculdade de Ciencias e Tecnologia, DQF, Universidade do Algarve, Campus de Gambelas, 8005-139 Faro (Portugal)

    2010-05-15

    This work was conducted to assess the impact of uranium (VI) on sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) communities obtained from environmental samples collected on the Portuguese uranium mining area of Urgeirica. Culture U was obtained from a sediment, while culture W was obtained from sludge from the wetland of that mine. Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) was used to monitor community changes under uranium stress conditions. TGGE profiles of dsrB gene fragment demonstrated that the initial cultures were composed of SRB species affiliated with Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Desulfomicrobium spp. (sample U), and by species related to D. desulfuricans (sample W). A drastic change in SRB communities was observed as a result of uranium (VI) exposure. Surprisingly, SRB were not detected in the uranium removal communities. Such findings emphasize the need of monitoring the dominant populations during bio-removal studies. TGGE and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene fragment revealed that the uranium removal consortia are composed by strains affiliated to Clostridium genus, Caulobacteraceae and Rhodocyclaceae families. Therefore, these communities can be attractive candidates for environmental biotechnological applications associated to uranium removal.

  20. Effect of uranium (VI) on two sulphate-reducing bacteria cultures from a uranium mine site

    This work was conducted to assess the impact of uranium (VI) on sulphate-reducing bacteria (SRB) communities obtained from environmental samples collected on the Portuguese uranium mining area of Urgeirica. Culture U was obtained from a sediment, while culture W was obtained from sludge from the wetland of that mine. Temperature gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE) was used to monitor community changes under uranium stress conditions. TGGE profiles of dsrB gene fragment demonstrated that the initial cultures were composed of SRB species affiliated with Desulfovibrio desulfuricans, Desulfovibrio vulgaris and Desulfomicrobium spp. (sample U), and by species related to D. desulfuricans (sample W). A drastic change in SRB communities was observed as a result of uranium (VI) exposure. Surprisingly, SRB were not detected in the uranium removal communities. Such findings emphasize the need of monitoring the dominant populations during bio-removal studies. TGGE and phylogenetic analysis of the 16S rRNA gene fragment revealed that the uranium removal consortia are composed by strains affiliated to Clostridium genus, Caulobacteraceae and Rhodocyclaceae families. Therefore, these communities can be attractive candidates for environmental biotechnological applications associated to uranium removal.

  1. Nabarlek uranium mine, Northern Australia: history, rehabilitation and groundwater studies

    Waggitt, P.W.; Woods, P.H.

    1998-12-31

    Nabarlek uranium mine operated in northern Australia from 1979 until 1989. The facility demonstrated a number of innovative applications including ore processing with the use of Caro`s acid and tailings returned directly to the mined out pit. The site is owned by local traditional aboriginal people and is in the process of being rehabilitated in preparation for its return to them. Decommissioning was completed in 1995 and the final revegetation of the site is currently being assessed. The paper describes the processes of rehabilitation of the first of the ``new`` Australian uranium mines with particular reference to the issues of tailings disposal and containment, earthworks and revegetation. The paper aso deals with the various changes in groundwater conditions at the site during operations and since decommissioning. Studies described include: the impacts arising from irrigation of mine waste waters on an area of natural forest; management and disposal of excess mine waters during decommissioning; the subsequent changes in water quality since irrigation ceased and decommissioning took place; and water quality changes in both ground and surface waters during and after mining. Finally, the latest reports on rehabilitation are described covering radiological, hydrogeological and revegetation aspects of the site. (orig.)

  2. Nabarlek uranium mine, Northern Australia: history, rehabilitation and groundwater studies

    Nabarlek uranium mine operated in northern Australia from 1979 until 1989. The facility demonstrated a number of innovative applications including ore processing with the use of Caro's acid and tailings returned directly to the mined out pit. The site is owned by local traditional aboriginal people and is in the process of being rehabilitated in preparation for its return to them. Decommissioning was completed in 1995 and the final revegetation of the site is currently being assessed. The paper describes the processes of rehabilitation of the first of the ''new'' Australian uranium mines with particular reference to the issues of tailings disposal and containment, earthworks and revegetation. The paper also deals with the various changes in groundwater conditions at the site during operations and since decommissioning. Studies described include: the impacts arising from irrigation of mine waste waters on an area of natural forest; management and disposal of excess mine waters during decommissioning; the subsequent changes in water quality since irrigation ceased and decommissioning took place; and water quality changes in both ground and surface waters during and after mining. Finally, the latest reports on rehabilitation are described covering radiological, hydrogeological and revegetation aspects of the site. (orig.)

  3. Environmental compliance requirements for uranium mines in northern Australia

    The current phase of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory of Australia began in the late 70's and is governed by a large number of legislative and administrative requirements. The primary responsibility for environmental regulation rests with the Northern Territory Government but the legislative framework is complex and involves agencies of the Commonwealth Government as well as the Aboriginal traditional owners. Two of the current uranium mining projects, Ranger and Jabiluka, are surrounded by the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. Thirteen former mines are located within the Park and one former mine, Nabarlek, is in the same catchment as part of the Park, in West Arnhem Land. For these reasons, environmental management at the operating mines has to be of the highest standard and environmental requirements are attached to all laws and agreements controlling the operating facilities. The paper describes the spirit and rationale behind the regulations as well as the operating details and methodology of the regulatory system in place for the operating mines. An integral part of the overall environmental protection regime is a bi-annual program of Environmental Audits and Environmental Performance Reviews and regular reporting to a stakeholder committee. Other elements include internal and external environmental auditing at the minesites as well as programs of routine monitoring, check monitoring and reporting on a scale and frequency rarely seen elsewhere. Public concern and perception is considered to be a valid issue requiring attention

  4. In-situ uranium mining with oxygen

    Gaseous oxygen was dissolved in the leach liquor at concentrations of the order of 300 ppm. This oxygen-containing solution was injected into portions of a field being operated on a commercial basis with hydrogen peroxide as the oxidant. Results indicate that uranium concentrations and production rates were essentially equivalent. 2 refs

  5. Radiation protection in uranium mining in Australia

    Radiation exposures due to Australian uranium operations have been well controlled through detailed monitoring programmes carried out by the operators and close supervision by the regulatory authorities. It is considered essential that these activities are continued throughout the life of the operations

  6. Birth effects in areas of uranium mining

    A study of the reproductive history of families of 26 former uranium miners and 30 controls in San Juan County, New Mexico is presented. Studies of the secondary sex ratios, cytogenetic study of human sperm, and studies of rates of congenital anomalies are reported

  7. Issues and considerations on the development of an institutional controls policy for uranium mines within Northern Saskatchewan

    Institutional control of a mine site is required to ensure long-term public safety and environmental protection once responsibility for a decommissioned uranium mine site reverts back to the Crown. During the exploration, development, operation and decommissioning phases of a uranium mine's life cycle, public safety and environmental protection are ensured through the Federal and Provincial Environmental Assessment Review process, regulatory permitting and compliance monitoring by the province. However, at present, there is no clear provincial policy with respect to a proponent's application for release from a reclaimed and decommissioned site, and the resulting provincial responsibility for the long-term management and maintenance of the site once a release has been granted. Another policy issue has been identified with respect to the long-term institutional control of previously abandoned uranium mine sites. A number of issues are being considered by the Government of Saskatchewan in developing a policy which addresses the needs of the people of Saskatchewan and which is consistent with the intent of the commitments made by Canada through its ratification of the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management. (author)

  8. Prediction of the long-term perfomance of abandoned lead zinc mine tailings in a Welsh catchment

    Palumbo-Roe, Barbara; Klinck, Ben; Banks, Vanessa; Quigley, Sean

    2009-01-01

    In this study we investigated the sulphidic mine tailings from Frongoch and Grogwynion, two abandoned lead zinc mines in mid-Wales, UK. Despite falling within the same ore field the mine waste characterisation has identified differences in the tailings from the two sites. Bulk concentrations range from 10 to 52 g kg− 1 for Pb, 1.1 to 2.9 g kg− 1 for Zn in Grogwynion and from 1.0 to 130 g kg− 1 for Pb, 11 to 110 g kg− 1 for Zn in Frongoch. An experimental (European standard leaching tests TS 1...

  9. Program plan for the National Uranium Mine Tailings Office

    The National Uranium Mine Tailings Program was formed to conduct research into the long-term environmental behaviour of uranium mine tailings. This research is necessary to provide a data base upon which close-cut criteria for uranium mines can be based. The research program to be carried out under the auspices of the National Tailings Program Office has, as its goal, the development of this data base, and the formulation of a series of reports based on that data base. These documents are to be designed to allow the uranium mining industry to produce site-specific close-out plans which will be acceptable to the regulatory authorities. This report addresses the program to be undertaken to meet the above broad objective. It focusses on defining in more specific and explicit terms what the program objectives need to be to meet the close-out requirements currently perceived by the regulatory agencies involved. These program objectives have been refined and summarized as follows: On close-out, the tailings site shall: 1. Meet currently accepted individual exposure criteria, and meet air and water quality regulations. 2. Ensure a predictable decline in release rates of contaminants to the environment. Ideally, this decline would be monotonic in nature. 3. Meet the ALARA principle both at present and into the long-term future. 4. Ensure that the management strategy or technologies employed in close-out shall be of a passive nature and not require ongoing institutional intervention. On the basis of these program objectives, this report identifies specific program product in terms of manuals of practice, guidelines, etc. that are to be produced as a result of program activity. These documents will effectively provide guidance on acceptable close-out technology to the uranium industry and regulatory agencies

  10. Agriculture in an area impacted by past uranium mining activities

    The shallow aquifer near the old Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Viseu, Portugal) was contaminated by acid mine drainage. Concentration of radionuclides in water from irrigation wells and in the topsoil layer of the agriculture fields nearby display enhanced concentrations of uranium, radium and polonium. Two types of agriculture land in this area were selected, one with enhanced and another with low uranium concentrations, for controlled growth of lettuce and potatoes. Plants were grown in replicate portions of land (two plots) in each soil type and were periodically irrigated with water from wells. In each soil, one plot was irrigated with water containing low concentration of dissolved uranium and the other plot with water containing enhanced concentration of dissolved uranium. At the end of the growth season, plants were harvested and analysed, along with soil and irrigation water samples. Results show the accumulation of radionuclides in edible parts of plants, specially in the field plots with higher radionuclide concentrations in soil. Radionuclides in irrigation water contributed less to the radioactivity accumulated in plants than radionuclides from soils. (authors)

  11. Remediation of the closed-down uranium mine in Sweden

    During the 1960s uranium was extracted from alum shale deposits at Ranstad in the south of Sweden. This mine was part of the development of a Swedish nuclear power program based on the heavy-water/natural uranium concept. In this report the history of Swedish uranium production is briefly presented as well as the reason for the closing-down of the mine at Ranstad. In 1985 the planning of the restoration of the area started. The aim of the remediation work was to find a permanent solution that excluded the need for any maintenance in the future. The procedures and techniques for remedial action are described for the open pit mine and the mill tailing deposits. As the leachate from the mill tailings was collected and purified, there was no urgent need for action. Investigations could be made to find an effective way for reducing the weathering of the pyrite in the tailings and the authorities concerned could accept the remediation plan after a detailed review. The main part of the plan has now been implemented and many experiences from the performance technique and the significant quality assurance program have been obtained. The old open pit mine has already been transformed into a lake and the mill tailings are covered by a leaktight barrier and a protective layer. The natural environment in the whole area has been reestablished

  12. Radionuclides incorporated by inhabitants of surrounding Brazilian uranium mines

    Full text: Brazil has the 6th largest global geological reserve of uranium, with the main reserve in Santa Quiteria - CE still not under exploration. Currently, uranium mining and processing in Brazil only occur near to the city of Caetite - BA. Several Non-Governmental Organizations claim that uranium mining in this region is polluting and may jeopardize the human health and safety and the environment. However, those in charge of the complex extraction and production of 'yellow cake' for generating fuel to the nuclear power plants reject these allegations. U-238 may be deposited in the skeleton by replacing the calcium, thus it is possible to estimate its incorporation by determining its concentration in the teeth. This study aimed to identify potential problems caused by mining to the population of Caetite, analyzing U-238 contained in samples of teeth extracted for orthodontic reasons from Caetite residents. The concentration of thorium and potassium incorporated were also determined by ICP-MS, as well the cumulative dose of radiation received by this population was estimated. For comparison sake, the same analysis was performed in samples from Santa Quiteria and Aracaju - SE (used as a control area). The doses estimated were compared to doses obtained with EPR spectra of the same samples. The accumulated amount of radioisotopes in the teeth of the population of Caetite is probably due to natural origin, thus it is not possible to state that the mining process in Caetite increases pollution or radiation exposure in a meaningful way. (author)

  13. Surveying abandoned mine shafts with Remote Radio Transmitter EM methods and Selfpotential

    Bosch, F. P.; Gurk, M.

    2009-04-01

    Abandoned near subsurface mining constructions from the 19th and early 20th century in urbanized areas placed upon former ore mines near the city of Aachen (Germany), as well as in many other regions of the world, provide hazardous risks concerning possible collapses. In many cases, the exact locations of such constructions are not known anymore. For instance, to map covered shafts of one meter diameter on large survey areas, high resolution methods with rapid measurement progress are necessary. Enhanced developments of the traditional Very Low Frequency (VLF) technique such as VLF-gradient and Radiomagnetotellurics (RMT) fulfill these requirements. Continuous ground-contactless VLF-gradient survey quickly provides maps indicating the lateral electric resistivity heterogeneity distribution. Inversions of RMT data provide 2D-resistivity-depth sections and also the interpretation of Self-Potential data gives information about the nature of the VLF-gradient anomalies. The successful combination of the three methods for detecting mineshafts near to the city if Aachen is presented for both an electromagnetic undisturbed and noisy location.

  14. Study of arsenopyrite weathering products in mine wastes from abandoned tungsten and tin exploitations

    Arsenopyrite-rich wastes from abandoned tungsten and tin exploitations were studied to determine the composition and characteristics of the secondary phases formed under natural weathering conditions so as to assess their potential environmental risk. Representative weathered arsenopyrite-bearing rock wastes collected from the mine dumps were analysed using the following techniques: X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis, polarizing microscopy analysis, electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) and microRaman and Moessbauer spectroscopies. Scorodite, pharmacosiderite and amorphous ferric arsenates (AFA) with Fe/As molar ratios in the range 1.2-2.5 were identified as secondary arsenic products. The former showed to be the most abundant and present in the different studied mining areas. Its chemical composition showed to vary in function of the original surrounding rock mineralogy in such a way that phosphoscorodite was found as the mineral variety present in apatite-containing geoenvirons. Other ever-present weathering phases were goethite and hydrous ferric oxides (HFO), displaying, respectively, As retained amounts about 1 and 20% (expressed as As2O5). The low solubility of scorodite, the relatively low content of AFA and the formation of compounds of variable charge, mostly of amorphous nature, with high capacity to adsorb As attenuate importantly the dispersion of this element into the environment from these arsenopyrite-bearing wastes.

  15. Study of arsenopyrite weathering products in mine wastes from abandoned tungsten and tin exploitations

    Murciego, A. [Department of Geology, Plza. de los Caidos s/n. Salamanca University, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Alvarez-Ayuso, E., E-mail: esther.alvarez@irnasa.csic.es [Department of Environmental Geochemistry, IRNASA (CSIC), Apdo. 257, 37071 Salamanca (Spain); Pellitero, E. [Department of Geology, Plza. de los Caidos s/n. Salamanca University, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Rodriguez, M.A. [Faculty of Sciences, Crystallography and Mineralogy Area, Avd. Elvas s/n. Extremadura University, 06071 Badajoz (Spain); Garcia-Sanchez, A. [Department of Environmental Geochemistry, IRNASA (CSIC), Apdo. 257, 37071 Salamanca (Spain); Tamayo, A.; Rubio, J.; Rubio, F. [Ceramic and Glass Institute (CSIC), c/Kelsen, 5, 28049 Cantoblanco, Madrid (Spain); Rubin, J. [Material Science Institute of Aragon, CSIC-Zaragoza University, c/Maria de Luna 3, 50009 Zaragoza (Spain)

    2011-02-15

    Arsenopyrite-rich wastes from abandoned tungsten and tin exploitations were studied to determine the composition and characteristics of the secondary phases formed under natural weathering conditions so as to assess their potential environmental risk. Representative weathered arsenopyrite-bearing rock wastes collected from the mine dumps were analysed using the following techniques: X-ray powder diffraction (XRD) analysis, polarizing microscopy analysis, electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) and microRaman and Moessbauer spectroscopies. Scorodite, pharmacosiderite and amorphous ferric arsenates (AFA) with Fe/As molar ratios in the range 1.2-2.5 were identified as secondary arsenic products. The former showed to be the most abundant and present in the different studied mining areas. Its chemical composition showed to vary in function of the original surrounding rock mineralogy in such a way that phosphoscorodite was found as the mineral variety present in apatite-containing geoenvirons. Other ever-present weathering phases were goethite and hydrous ferric oxides (HFO), displaying, respectively, As retained amounts about 1 and 20% (expressed as As{sub 2}O{sub 5}). The low solubility of scorodite, the relatively low content of AFA and the formation of compounds of variable charge, mostly of amorphous nature, with high capacity to adsorb As attenuate importantly the dispersion of this element into the environment from these arsenopyrite-bearing wastes.

  16. Detection and control of fires and heatings in shallow, abandoned coal mines

    Heatings and fires in shallow, abandoned coal mines create an environmentally undesirable hazard in the Witbank area in South Africa, as well as locations in Europe and North America. A research program was set up in South Africa to detect and control the occurrence and extent of subsurface heatings and fires. Prior to any remedial action being taken to control or extinguish a heating or fire, it is essential to evaluate underground conditions in order to determine the most effective control method. Normally, such workings cannot physically be entered due to poor ground conditions and the presence of heat and toxic gases. Two novel detection methods have been developed by the Chamber of Mines Research Organization (COMRO) for the purpose of identifying the nature and extent of such heatings remotely, via surface boreholes. Temperature monitoring allows for the detection of heating intensity and location. To determine areas of uncontrolled air infiltration into the workings, tracer gas technology is used. In addition, a method for controlling a fire which has been successfully used in South Africa is described

  17. Mercury in soils and plants in an abandoned cinnabar mining area (SW Spain).

    García-Sánchez, A; Murciego, A; Alvarez-Ayuso, E; Regina, I Santa; Rodríguez-González, M A

    2009-09-15

    An abandoned cinnabar mining area located in the South-West of Spain has been studied with the aim of assessing its mercury pollution level and enhancing the knowledge about the Hg soil/plant relationship. To do so, soils and plants were sampled near an inactive smelter and around two mining sites present in this area. Critical total Hg concentrations were found in the close environs of pollutant sources. These also show high levels of elemental Hg (up to 8 mg kg(-1)), but quite low exchangeable Hg contents (0.008-0.038 mg kg(-1)). Most plant specimens display in their aboveground tissues Hg concentrations comprised in the range 0.1-10 mg kg(-1), with a great proportion (50%) showing critical levels. Greater Hg contents were found in plant specimens growing in soils with higher elemental Hg concentrations. The plant species displaying the greatest Hg levels are either perennial species of small-medium size and/or showing medium-highly corrugated leaves, or annual plants of small size. Marrubium vulgare L., Bromus madritensis L. and Trifolium angustifolium L. are the plant species with the highest Hg contents (37.6, 12.7 and 9.0 mg kg(-1), respectively). Leaf specific surface seems an important feature in the atmospheric Hg uptake by plants. PMID:19345007

  18. Biomonitoring a human population inhabiting nearby a deactivated uranium mine

    Highlights: ► Human population environmentally exposed to uranium mining wastes. ► Significantly higher levels of manganese and uranium in peripheral blood samples. ► Significant DNA damages detected by the comet assay. ► Significant decrease of NK and T lymphocytes counts in exposed individuals. ► Concerns on the risks of human populations living nearby uranium mining areas. - Abstract: Environmental exposure to uranium and its daughter radionuclides, has been linked to several negative effects such as those related with important physiological processes, like hematopoiesis, and may also be associated with genotoxicity effects. Herein, genotoxic effects, immunotoxicity, trace elements and C reactive protein (CRP) analyses, were performed in peripheral blood samples collected from individuals of a population living near a deactivated uranium mine. C reactive protein analysis was performed to exclude candidates with active inflammatory processes from further evaluations. DNA damage and immunotoxicity (immunophenotyping and immune cell counts) were evaluated by comet assay and flow cytometry, respectively. Significant DNA damage was observed in the peripheral blood samples from volunteers living in the Cunha Baixa village. A significant decrease of NK and T lymphocytes counts were observed in the individuals from the Cunha Baixa village, when compared with individuals from the reference site. Uranium and manganese levels were significantly higher in the Cunha Baixa village inhabitants. On the other hand, zinc levels were significantly lower in those individuals when compared with the volunteers from the control village. Results suggest that inhabitants from Cunha Baixa have a higher risk of suffering from serious diseases such as cancer, since high DNA damages were observed in peripheral blood leukocytes and also decreased levels of NK and T cells, which play an essential role in the defense against tumor growth

  19. Sterols and fatty acid biomarkers as indicators of changes in soil microbial communities in a uranium mine area.

    Guedes, Maria J; Pereira, Ruth; Duarte, Kátia; Rocha-Santos, Teresa A P; Antunes, Sara C; Gonçalves, Fernando; Duarte, Armando C; Freitas, Ana C

    2011-01-01

    Included in the 2nd tier of a site specific risk assessment that is being carried out in an abandoned uranium mine (Cunha Baixa uranium mine, Central Portugal), fatty acids biomarkers and sterols were analyzed to assess the impact of soil contamination with metals and radionuclides in the structure of the microbial community in seven sampling sites located at different distances from the mine. Surface soil samples were collected in those sampling sites in the four different seasons of the year. Principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on fatty acid biomarkers and sterols. Subsequently PCA scores obtained for both components were used to test the effect of sites and seasons, on soil samples collected in the Cunha Baixa uranium mine, through bi-factorial ANOVAs. Through PCA analysis, two distinct groups were set apart along the first two components. One group included sites at a great distance from the mine which were negatively correlated with higher contents of iC15:0 and iC17:0, both indicators of Gram-positive bacteria, as well as with ergosterol, cholestanol and cholesterol. The second group, in turn, was composed of the sampling sites most impacted by ore exploration, in situ leaching of poor ore, and spread of sludge from the effluent treatment pond. These sites were positively correlated with higher levels of iC16:0 (Gram-positive bacteria indicator), cyC17:0 (generally common in gram negative bacteria) and C18:0 and C17:0 biomarkers of non-specific bacteria. The profile of fatty acids obtained in the sampling sites revealed variable predominance of groups of bacteria which are a clear indication of differences in the soil microbial communities that are directly related to the environmental conditions prevailing in the uranium mine area. PMID:21547821

  20. Uranium ISR mine closure - general concepts and model-based simulation of natural attenuation for South-Australian mine sites

    Full text: Heathgate operates the Beverley uranium mine and is currently developing the nearby Beverley Four Mile project on behalf of a Quasar Resources-Alliance Resources joint venture. Both sites are located on the arid plane between the Flinders Rangers and Lake Frome, approximately 550 km North of Adelaide in South Australia. In-situ recovery (ISR) technology has been thoroughly adapted to the local conditions and is applied in a moderately acidic milieu, mobilizing uranium in the mineralized aquifers by oxidation with hydrogen peroxide mainly. In particular, the optimization of ISR technology under the local constraints resulted in a stringent minimization of waste water volumes from U processing (discharged to abandoned wellfields in isolated 'bathtub' aquifers) without producing radioactive solid waste. Natural attenuation (NA) is acknowledged as an appropriate control measure for ISR mines to avoid impacts on the aquifer environment surrounding the ISR wellfields. Data from the Beverley operation in a series of confined, nearly stagnant aquifers indicate that NA has considerably reduced the impact of ISR on groundwater and that a return approaching pre-mining conditions can be expected to occur in time. In order to demonstrate the effect of NA in post-mining scenarios for the new operation a comprehensive work program including: ' Groundwater flow modelling ' Geochemical laboratory test work ' Geochemical modelling (reactive transport) and ' Ongoing, iterative NA modelling validation and assessment has been established, also considering comprehensive mineralogical data from core investigations. In both the Beverley and the Beverley Four Mile deposits, uranium is found as coffinite in fine to coarse grained quartzose sands, whereas both ISR chemistry and NA are mainly defined by the most reactive minerals pyrite (reducing), calcite (neutralizing), kaolinite (neutralizing) as well as other silt/clay minerals with some ion-exchange capacities. A reactive

  1. Microbial Methane Formation from Coal and Wood in Abandoned Coal Mines - Analogues for biogenic methane formation in Black Shales

    Krüger, M.; Beckmann, S.; Engelen, B.; Cypionka, H.

    2009-04-01

    About seven percent of the global annual methane emissions originate from coal mining. Also, mine gas has come into focus of the power industry and is being used increasingly for heat and power production. In many coal deposits worldwide, stable carbon and hydrogen isotopic signatures of methane indicate a mixed thermogenic and biogenic origin. In this study, we have measured in an abandoned coal mine methane fluxes and isotopic signatures of methane and carbon dioxide, and collected samples for microbiological and phylogenetic investigations. Mine timber and hard coal showed an in-situ production of methane with isotopic signatures similar to those of the methane in the mine atmosphere. Enrichment cultures amended with mine timber or hard coal as sole carbon sources formed methane over a period of nine months. Predominantly, acetoclastic methanogenesis was stimulated in enrichments containing acetate or hydrogen/carbon dioxide. Molecular techniques revealed that the archaeal community in enrichment cultures and unamended samples was dominated by members of the Methanosarcinales. The combined geochemical and microbiological investigations identify microbial methanogenesis as a recent source of methane in abandoned coal mines. Overall, our new results support the assumption that abandoned coal reservoirs have a potential to supply methane gas for energy production over extended time scales. The worldwide increased mining activity will go along with an increased coal weathering and the formation of biogenic methane. Currently, our research is focussing on the question to which extent and for how long recent biogenic methane production is contributing to shale gas formation as another important future energy resource.

  2. PERSPECTIVES OF PHYTOSTABILIZATION BY JATROPHA CURCAS OF MINING RESIDUES FROM ABANDONED ZAIDA MINE (HIGH MOULOUYA, MOROCCO)

    Full text: Mine of Zaida (High Moulouya, Morocco) has been object of multiple research works (Saidi et al. 2002, Saidi 2004, Bouabdli et al. 2004, Bouabdli et al. 2005, El Hachimi 2005, El Hachimi 2006, Baghdad et al. 2006, Baghdad 2008, 2011, Berrah El Kheir et al. 2008, Berrah El Kheir et al. 2010, El Himer et al. 2012) which demonstrated the impact of a large volume of materials issued of the mining activities on the different compartments of the ecosystem. In fact, these materials are a potential source of trace metals, which induces a major risk for living beings because of their mobility and bioavailability. Among the techniques that minimize this problem the phytostabilization can be cited ; this method appears to be safe, alternative and usable regardless the level of pollution. It consists in revegetation of soils polluted by species tolerant to trace elements. In this context, the use of shrubs is particularly interesting because their root systems are well developed and dense, limiting the runoff and leaching of trace metals to different compartments of ecosystem. In our study we were interested in the culture of Jatropha curcas ; it is a perennial shrub belonging to the Euphorbiaceae family, this plant has been the subject of several research projects on the one hand due to its economic interest and low operating cost (biofuel, fertilizer, traditional medicine, fight against erosion, insecticides, soap production, ...), on the other hand due to its low requirements (easy to cultivate, rapid growth, drought resistance) and tolerance to marginal lands. This travel proposes to study the growth and ability of Jatropha curcas to extract trace metals in various substrates from Zaida mine (High Moulouya, Morocco) in order to evaluate its potential of phytostabilization. The results indicate that Jatropha curcas shows proper installation despite the high levels of trace metals in experimental substrates. This plant is characterized by the ability to adapt and

  3. Recycling of wastes from uranium mining and metallurgy and recovery of useful resources in China

    Recycling of wastes from uranium mining and metallurgy in China and recovery of useful resources are summarized from the aspects such as recovery of uranium from mine water, reusing of waste water, decontaminating and recycling of radioactivity contaminated metal, backfill of gangues and tailings, and comprehensive recovery and utilization of associated uranium deposits. (authors)

  4. Uranium mining wastes, garden exhibition and health risks

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: For more than 40 years the Soviet-German stockholding company SDAG WISMUT mined and milled Uranium in the East of Germany and became up to 1990 the world's third largest Uranium producer. After reunification of Germany, the new found state own company Wismut GmbH was faced with the task of decommissioning and rehabilitation of the mining and milling sites. One of the largest mining areas in the world, that had to be cleaned up, was located close to the municipality of Ronneburg near the City of Gera in Thuringia. After closing the operations of the Ronneburg underground mine and at the 160 m deep open pit mine with a free volume of 84 Mio.m3, the open pit and 7 large piles of mine waste, together 112 Mio.m3 of material, had to be cleaned up. As a result of an optimisation procedure it was chosen to relocate the waste rock piles back into the open pit. After taking this decision and approval of the plan the disposal operation was started. Even though the transport task was done by large trucks, this took 16 years. The work will be finished in 2007, a cover consisting of 40 cm of uncontaminated material will be placed on top of the material, and the re-vegetation of the former open pit area will be established. When in 2002 the City of Gera applied to host the largest garden exhibition in Germany, Bundesgartenschau (BUGA), in 2007, Wismut GmbH supported this plan by offering parts of the territory of the former mining site as an exhibition ground. Finally, it was decided by the BUGA organizers to arrange its 2007 exhibition on grounds in Gera and in the valley adjacent to the former open pit mine, with parts of the remediated area within the fence of the exhibition. (authors)

  5. Leach-SX-EW copper revalorization from overburden of abandoned copper mine Cerovo, Eastern Serbia

    Stevanović Z.

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Hydrometallurgical processes for copper revalorization from overburden of abandoned mine Cerovo in Eastern Serbia were studied. Paper contain results of percolation leaching tests, performed with acidic mine waters accumulated in the bottom of the former open pit, followed by solvent extraction (SX and electrowinning (EW processes on achieved copper pregnant leach solutions. Usage of accumulated waste waters was objected to minimizing the environmental hazard due to uncontrolled leaking of these waters in nearby creeks and rivers. Chemical composition of acidic mine waters used for leaching tests was: (g/dm3: Cu - 0.201; Fe - 0.095; Mn - 0.041; Zn - 0.026; Ni - 0.0004; pH value - 3.3. Copper content in overburden sample used for leaching tests was 0.21% from which 64% were oxide copper minerals. In scope of leaching tests were examined influence of leaching solution pH values and iron (III concentration on copper recovery. It was established that for 120 hours of leaching on pH=1.5 without oxidant agents, copper concentration in pregnant leach solutions enriched up to 1.08g/dm3 which was enough for copper extraction from solution with SX-EW treatment. As extraction reagent in SX circuit was used LIX-984N in a kerosene diluent. Cathode current density in electrowinning cell was 220Am-2 while electrolyte temperature was kept on 50±2oC. Produced cathode copper at the end of SX-EW process has purity of 99.95% Cu.

  6. Pesticide mobility and leachate toxicity in two abandoned mine soils. Effect of organic amendments.

    Rodríguez-Liébana, José Antonio; Mingorance, M Dolores; Peña, Aránzazu

    2014-11-01

    Abandoned mine areas, used in the past for the extraction of minerals, constitute a degraded landscape which needs to be reintegrated to productive or leisure activities. However these soils, mainly composed by silt or sand and with low organic matter content, are vulnerable to organic and inorganic pollutants posing a risk to the surrounding ecosystems and groundwater. Soils from two mining areas from Andalusia were evaluated: one from Nerva (NCL) in the Iberian Pyrite Belt (SW Andalusia) and another one from the iron Alquife mine (ALQ) (SE Andalusia). To improve soil properties and fertility two amendments, stabilised sewage sludge (SSL) and composted sewage sludge (CSL), were selected. The effect of amendment addition on the mobility of two model pesticides, thiacloprid and fenarimol, was assessed using soil columns under non-equilibrium conditions. Fenarimol, more hydrophobic than thiacloprid, only leached from native ALQ, a soil with lower organic carbon (OC) content than NCL (0.21 and 1.4%, respectively). Addition of amendments affected differently pesticide mobility: thiacloprid in the leachates was reduced by 14% in NCL-SSL and by 4% in ALQ-CSL. Soil OC and dissolved OC were the parameters which explained pesticide residues in soil. Chemical analysis revealed that leachates from the different soil columns did not contain toxic element levels, except As in NCL soil. Finally ecotoxicological data showed moderate toxicity in the initial leachates, with an increase coinciding with pesticide maximum concentration. The addition of SSL slightly reduced the toxicity towards Vibrio fischeri, likely due to enhanced retention of pesticides by amended soils. PMID:25169870

  7. Fates of pollutants from uranium mining in floodplain of a meandering river (the Ploucnice, Czech Republic)

    Matys Grygar, Tomas; Elznicova, Jitka; Majerova, Lucie; Babek, Ondrej; Kiss, Timea; Havelcova, Martina; Hosek, Michal

    2014-05-01

    The Ploucnice River (Czech Republic) received two groups of element pollutants. The first was Pb-Cu-Sb-Zn association with the onset early in 20th century; we attribute it to diffuse pollution at levels of the river watershed and/or mid European region with both atmospheric and fluvial transports. The second group was U-Zn-Ni-Co-Ba association related to uranium mining and mine-water processing during the 1970s and 1980s. Pollution hence allowed for identifying two chemostratigraphic units in 20th century floodplain fill, whose lower boundaries we interpret as isochronous at a given river reach. Historical and current maps and aerial photographs and current aerial lidar scanning allowed reconstructing the floodplain development. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) produced insight into the floodplain architecture. Three geomorphic levels were identified in the studied river reach: active floodplain, abandoned floodplain (paleochannels there are now inundated at >Q50), and pre-Holocene or early Holocene terrace. Each level has its own pattern of pollution by Pb, U and polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The terrace and abandoned floodplain sediments together with deeper sediments from active floodplain allowed construction of background functions for pre-industrial concentrations of target elements and subsequent calculation of enrichment factors. That approach corrects for grain-size effects and thus coarser unsorted terrace sediments, finer silty sands of the abandoned floodplain, and the finest muds of the active floodplain were jointly processed. Such data processing was a pre-requisite for evaluation of weak diffuse pollution from early 20th century and recognition of post-depositional changes in pollutant concentrations. The main portion of pollutants related to uranium mining got into the river system in 1970s with peak in 1981 during a summer flood with >Q50 discharge. The pollution impacted the entire river system (enhanced Ra-226 activities were detected at

  8. The radioprotection in the french uranium mines and ore factories

    A regulation concerning workers' radiation protection in mines has been recently introduced in the french Code Minier; it takes into account the ICPR recommendations of Publication 26 and the European directives of 1980 and 1984. This new regulation is being implemented with success in France since 1983. For workers' monitoring in uranium underground mines, an individual dosimeter measuring the three monthly dose equivalents (gamma, potential alpha energy, long-lived alpha emitters) is compulsory. The aim of the ambient monitoring is the early prevention of every defects in the primary and auxiliary ventilation, which is the basis of prevention

  9. Uranium Mine Aftermath and Yangiabad Expedition in Uzbekistan

    Tsuneo Tsukatani; Kristina Toderich; Robert Igorvich Goldstein

    2008-01-01

    This article describes the first half of a history of uranium mines in the Fergana Valley of Central Asia, introduces the existing environment of the old mines, and analyzes a part of heavy metals of water resource in the surrounding. Fergana Valley itself has a long history of civilization, to which Chinese called Dayuan, going back to the conquest of Alexander the Great in 329 BCE or the description of a Chinese explorer Zhang Qian in 130 BCE. After the Second World War, however, Soviet Uni...

  10. Flooding of the Schlema-Alberoda uranium mines : aspects of the prognosis regarding the uranium concentration in flood waters

    Meyer, Jürgen; Jenk, Ulf

    2010-01-01

    The main points of interest of this paper are several uranium mines in Western Saxony which have been flooded or are in a flooded state. Particularly significant are the large Schlema-Alberoda uranium mine in the vicinity of the city of Aue, and the small Pöhla mine on the border with the Czech Republic. Both mines are in the final stage of remediation by WISMUT GmbH. Uranium is the only main pollutant that is emitted by WISMUT GmbH into the Zwickauer Mulde River. The main sources are the Sch...

  11. High resolution microgravity investigations for the detection and characterisation of subsidence associated with abandoned, coal, chalk and salt mines

    Styles, P.; Toon, S.; Branston, M.; England, R. [Keele Univ., Applied And Environmental Geophysics Group, School of Physical and Geographical Sciences (United Kingdom); Thomas, E.; Mcgrath, R. [Geotechnology, Neath (United Kingdom)

    2005-07-01

    The closure and decay of industrial activity involving mining has scarred the landscape of urban areas and geo-hazards posed by subsurface cavities are ubiquitous throughout Europe. Features of concern consist of natural solution cavities (e.g. swallow holes and sinkholes in limestone gypsum and chalk) and man-made cavities (mine workings, shafts) in a great variety of post mining environments, including coal, salt, gypsum, anhydrite, tin and chalk. These problems restrict land utilisation, hinder regeneration, pose a threat to life, seriously damage property and services and blight property values. This paper outlines the application of microgravity techniques to characterise abandoned mining hazard in case studies from Coal, Chalk and Salt Mining environments in the UK. (authors)

  12. High resolution microgravity investigations for the detection and characterisation of subsidence associated with abandoned, coal, chalk and salt mines

    The closure and decay of industrial activity involving mining has scarred the landscape of urban areas and geo-hazards posed by subsurface cavities are ubiquitous throughout Europe. Features of concern consist of natural solution cavities (e.g. swallow holes and sinkholes in limestone gypsum and chalk) and man-made cavities (mine workings, shafts) in a great variety of post mining environments, including coal, salt, gypsum, anhydrite, tin and chalk. These problems restrict land utilisation, hinder regeneration, pose a threat to life, seriously damage property and services and blight property values. This paper outlines the application of microgravity techniques to characterise abandoned mining hazard in case studies from Coal, Chalk and Salt Mining environments in the UK. (authors)

  13. The stability of structure's foundation rockmass over shallow abandoned mine goafs and its treatment - a case study

    A heavy coal dressing plant is constructed on an area seriously damaged by underground longwall mining in one of China's collieries. The Southwest of the main dressing plant stands on the ground over shallow abandoned mine goafs. Using the methods of boring and geophysical exploration and mining subsidence analysis, this paper studies the 3D distribution of fracture zones caused by mining's influence. Combined with the result of FEM, the paper analyses the stability of the main building's foundation rock mass, advances and adopts some safety measures, such as grouting the mining the fractured rockmass to consolidate it, appropriately designing the building to improve its anti-deformation ability, etc. The inspection results of geophysical prospecting show that consolidation grouting has attained the expected results. The settlement observation indicates that the settlement of the main building is smooth. 4 refs., 4 figs

  14. Analysis for the radionuclides of the natural uranium and thorium decay chains with special reference to uranium mine tailings

    A detailed review is made of the experimental techniques that are available, or are in the process of development, for the determination of 238U, 235U, 234U, 231Pa, 232Th, 230Th, 228Th, 228Ra, 226Ra, 223Ra, 210Po and 210Pb. These products of the uranium and thorium decay chains are found in uranium mine tailings. Reference is also made to a procedure for the selective phase extraction of mineral phases from uranium mine tailings

  15. Highland Uranium Solution Mining Project. Draft environmental statement

    Exxon Minerals Co. proposes to conduct production-scale solution mining (in situ leaching) of uranium within the existing Highland Operation area in Converse County, Wyoming. The project would result in the temporary removal of 200 acres from grazing and the actual disturbance of 50 acres. About 4500 acre-ft of water will be withdrawn from the ore zone aquifer over the 10-year life of the project. There will be no discharge of liquid effluents from the project; atmospheric effluents will be within acceptable limits. Radiation doses at the nearest ranch resulting from solution mining activities were estimated. The project proposes the production and utilization of 1 to 3 million lb of uranium resources. It will not produce any significant socioeconomic impact on the local area. Alternatives to the project were considered, and conditions for issuing the source material license are listed

  16. Uranium decay daughters from isolated mines: Accumulation and sources.

    Cuvier, A; Panza, F; Pourcelot, L; Foissard, B; Cagnat, X; Prunier, J; van Beek, P; Souhaut, M; Le Roux, G

    2015-11-01

    This study combines in situ gamma spectrometry performed at different scales, in order to accurately locate the contamination pools, to identify the concerned radionuclides and to determine the distribution of the contaminants from soil to bearing phase scale. The potential mobility of several radionuclides is also evaluated using sequential extraction. Using this procedure, an accumulation area located downstream of a former French uranium mine and concentrating a significant fraction of radioactivity is highlighted. We report disequilibria in the U-decay chains, which are likely related to the processes implemented on the mining area. Coupling of mineralogical analyzes with sequential extraction allow us to highlight the presence of barium sulfate, which may be the carrier of the Ra-226 activities found in the residual phase (Ba(Ra)SO4). In contrast, uranium is essentially in the reducible fraction and potentially trapped in clay-iron coatings located on the surface of minerals. PMID:26232768

  17. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps associated with uranium exploration and mining, Browns Hole, Utah

    Marston, Thomas M.; Beisner, Kimberly R.; Naftz, David L.; Snyder, Terry

    2012-01-01

    During August of 2008, 35 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium waste dumps, undisturbed geologic background sites, and adjacent streambeds in Browns Hole in southeastern Utah. The objectives of this sampling program were (1) to assess impacts on human health due to exposure to radium, uranium, and thorium during recreational activities on and around uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management lands; (2) to compare concentrations of trace elements associated with mine waste dumps to natural background concentrations; (3) to assess the nonpoint source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial watersheds from uranium waste dumps; and (4) to assess contamination from waste dumps to the local perennial stream water in Muleshoe Creek. Uranium waste dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. Solid samples were digested and analyzed for major and trace elements. Analytical values for radium and uranium in digested samples were compared to multiple soil screening levels developed from annual dosage calculations in accordance with the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act's minimum cleanup guidelines for uranium waste sites. Three occupancy durations for sites were considered: 4.6 days per year, 7.0 days per year, and 14.0 days per year. None of the sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 96 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 4.6 days per year exposure. Two sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 66 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 7.0 days per year exposure. Seven sites exceeded the radium soil screening level of 33 picocuries per gram, corresponding to a 14.0 days per year exposure. A perennial stream that flows next to the toe of a uranium waste dump was sampled, analyzed for major and trace elements, and compared with existing aquatic-life and drinking-water-quality standards. None of the water-quality standards were exceeded in the stream samples.

  18. Biogeochemical aspects of uranium mineralization, mining, milling, and remediation

    Highlights: • This work is a review of environmental effects of uranium mining and remediation. • Uranium biogeochemistry is described, with an emphasis on redox processes. • A discussion of the geochemistry of solution mining is included. • Coupled processes affecting elements that co-occur with uranium are presented. • Sustainability and lowering environmental impacts of uranium mining are discussed. - Abstract: Natural uranium (U) occurs as a mixture of three radioactive isotopes: 238U, 235U, and 234U. Only 235U is fissionable and makes up about 0.7% of natural U, while 238U is overwhelmingly the most abundant at greater than 99% of the total mass of U. Prior to the 1940s, U was predominantly used as a coloring agent, and U-bearing ores were mined mainly for their radium (Ra) and/or vanadium (V) content; the bulk of the U was discarded with the tailings (Finch et al., 1972). Once nuclear fission was discovered, the economic importance of U increased greatly. The mining and milling of U-bearing ores is the first step in the nuclear fuel cycle, and the contact of residual waste with natural water is a potential source of contamination of U and associated elements to the environment. Uranium is mined by three basic methods: surface (open pit), underground, and solution mining (in situ leaching or in situ recovery), depending on the deposit grade, size, location, geology and economic considerations (Abdelouas, 2006). Solid wastes at U mill tailings (UMT) sites can include both standard tailings (i.e., leached ore rock residues) and solids generated on site by waste treatment processes. The latter can include sludge or “mud” from neutralization of acidic mine/mill effluents, containing Fe and a range of coprecipitated constituents, or barium sulfate precipitates that selectively remove Ra (e.g., Carvalho et al., 2007). In this chapter, we review the hydrometallurgical processes by which U is extracted from ore, the biogeochemical processes that can

  19. Uranium Mining Legacies in Central Asia: An Overview

    The uranium mining and milling operations of the former Soviet Union undertaken in Central Asia have left a significant series of legacy sites that area major cause of public concern. The paper describes the current situation and how various agencies, including the International Atomic Energy Agency, are working with each other and the Governments of the States involved towards the alleviation of the problems caused by these sites. (author)

  20. The Australian Movement against Uranium Mining: Its Rationale and Evolution

    Marty Branagan

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper begins with a brief historical overview of the Australian movement against uranium mining, before focussing on two major campaigns: Roxby and Jabiluka. It describes the reasons the activists gave at the time for their blockades of the Roxby Downs uranium mine in South Australia in 1983 and 1984. These reasons – such as perceptions that the industry is unsafe - have changed little over time and were the basis for the campaign against the proposed Jabiluka mine in the Northern Territory in 1998. They continue to be cited by environmental groups and Aboriginal Traditional Owners to this day as new situations arise, such as the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident.The paper then describes how the movement evolved between the Roxby and Jabiluka blockades, with changes to the movement’s philosophy, strategy, tactics and internal dynamics. This analysis includes a comparison between two anti-nuclear bike rides, one a year after the 1984 Roxby blockade and involving some of the same activists, and another at the time of the Jabiluka blockade. This author was present at all these events, and provides an emic (insider perspective within a longitudinal participant-observation methodology. Although this perspective obviously has a subjective element, the paper fills a gap in that there is little written history of these blockades (particularly Roxby and more generally of Australian resistance to uranium mining, let alone the aspects of nonviolence and movement evolution. It is an introductory history of these campaigns, examining the direct action components, the practicalities of nonviolent campaigning, and the evolution of Australian anti-uranium activism.

  1. Expansion of the uranium mines in the Elliot Lake area

    This report forms the response of the government of Ontario to an earlier report issued by an Envrionmental Assessment Board. Specifically, the report deals with the rapid growth of the town of Elliot Lake due to expansion of several uranium mine-mill operations. Rapid growth of small communities presents considerable problems in providing housing, essential services, and educational facilities. Several specific actions taken by the government to help the town cope with rapid growth are presented. (O.T.)

  2. Elliot Lake uranium mine reclamation, the first ten years

    In 1989, Rio Algom Limited finalized its plans for the closure and subsequent decommissioning of two of its then three operating mines in Elliot Lake as a result of market conditions. These two mines closed in August 1990. These mine closures had significant impacts. The principal mining operations of Rio Algom at that time were still in Elliot Lake and had been the very foundation of the company for about 40 years. The business impact on the Corporation was regarded as possibly severe. The resultant layoff of over 1,500 long-term, highly qualified, skilled and well-paid employees, a devastating blow to the affected employees and their families, would have a significant financial impact on the municipal economy, particularly as this announcement was seen as the first step in the early closure of all four operating mines in the region. At that time there was little precedence for such a high profile mine closure program and consequently the many unknowns relating to the mine decommissioning process, legislative requirements and society's expectations resulted in a perception of a significant yet ill-defined liability. In this atmosphere of understandable company, stakeholder and public concern, Rio Algom Limited embarked on what has turned out to be a long, rigorous, challenging yet ultimately reasonable and rewarding process of progressive reclamation of all its Elliot Lake mines, some ten in total (nine uranium, one copper). Over the past ten years, reclamation of all ten mines has been successfully completed, some $70 m plus has been expended in direct site reclamation works and the workforce has been reduced from over 2,500 to just 4. After ten years, the focus of attention is now on the long-term care, maintenance, monitoring and reporting required for the decommissioned mine sites, and the accomplishment of this in the best interests of all the stakeholders. (author)

  3. Optimization of radiation protection in uranium mines

    The problem is considered in the light of ICRP publication 22 viz to keep risk level 'as low as is readily achievable, economic and social considerations being taken into account'. Two aims were assigned. The former is more specific of a short term study on a particular mine. It is intended to verify how far protection procedures are relevant, considering either risk indicators - alpha energy or radon concentration. The latter aim is more general and is a consideration on the effects of aggregation procedures of miners' individual doses and of the choice of the dose-effect relationship upon the comparison of various protection programs. The doses delivered in various ventilation conditions were evaluated by means of a simulation model of air circulation in the mine; several radiation protection decisions could thus be compared at the level of their effects. The significance of the choice of the dose-effect relationship is discussed, with special emphasis on 'protection cost vs health effectiveness curves'. The cautious nature of provisions now in force is emphasized as well as the particular interest of job planning in mines as an alternative to 'technical protection' procedures

  4. Verification Survey of Uranium Mine Remediation

    The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) contracted an independent verification of an intensive gamma radiation survey conducted by a mining company to demonstrate that remediation of disturbed areas was complete. This site was the first of the recent mines being decommissioned in Canada and experience gained here may be applied to other mines being decommissioned in the future. The review included examination of the site-specific basis for clean-up criteria and ALARA as required by CNSC guidance. A paper review of the company report was conducted to determine if protocols were followed and that the summarized results could be independently reproduced. An independent verification survey was conducted on parts of the site and comparisons were made between gamma radiation measurements from the verification survey and the original company survey. Some aspects of data collection using rate meters linked to GPS data loggers are discussed as are aspects for data management and analyses methods required for the large amount of data collected during these surveys. Recommendations were made for implementation of future surveys and reporting the data from those surveys in order to ensure that remediation was complete. (authors)

  5. French uranium mines and miners from 1945 to 1975

    The author proposes an historical review of the French uranium mining activity, and more particularly of its actors from 1945 to 1975 with the creation of the CEA and of its different departments, and their successive managers. CEA teams explored several countries but also exploit uranium ores in France (275 tons in 1956). After a continuous development until 1962, an important discovery in Niger, the activity in France faced great difficulties between 1970 and 1973, just before knowing great time due to the French electronuclear program (1974-1980), and to the strong increase of the uranium market. The first oil crisis was still a benefit, but the third oil crisis (1980) caused a reduction of power plant commissioning

  6. Potential co-carcinogens in the uranium mine environment

    Studies of increased incidence of lung cancer in uranium miners have focussed on the relationship between lung cancer and miners' exposure to radon daughters and smoking. However, epidemiologic analyses of uranium miner populations also include the effects of exposure to external gamma rays, long-lived alpha emitters and other non-radioactive workplace contaminants. The diversity and variability of miner exposures to potentially carcinogenic substances and combinations of substances, and the natural difficulties involved in the study of lung cancer in human populations, make the assessment of the relative effects of causative agents difficult if not impossible. Moreover, concentrations of most of the substances have rarely been measured in mine environments, and data on human response to these substances is sparse. Nonetheless, research on the potential effects of such substances is required to understand the potential hazards in the mining environment. This paper examines the potential carcinogenic and co-carcinogenic effects of agents other than ionizing radiation, which may currently be present in uranium mine atmospheres

  7. Uranium mining and hydrogeology in the north Bohemian Cretaceous area

    The north Bohemian Cretaceous area is the location of the most recent uranium ore production in the Czech Republic. It is also the area where the exploration, production and processing of uranium ores has had the greatest impact on the environment, predominantly due to extensive changes in the groundwater flow regime and quality caused by an incompatible combination of in situ leaching (ISL) technology and classical deep mining. The ISL technology involved using sulphuric acid as the prime leaching agent as well as other chemical agents in the leaching process. This in turn has led to the presence of huge amounts of contaminated groundwater in the sedimentary aquifers of the north Bohemian Cretaceous, forming a potential menace to the high-quality drinking water resources of the area. The paper describes the pollution mechanisms resulting from the mining methods and details the different approaches used for remedying the groundwater and for protecting those parts of the aquifers that are not yet polluted. It also gives information about the regulations and legal aspects concerning the closure and dismantling of the uranium mines. (authors)

  8. Effect of microorganisms on in situ uranium mining

    The extraction of some metal values, e.g., uranium or copper, may be accomplished by using solutions to remove metals from ore bodies without practicing conventional mining. This process is referred to as in situ leaching and has been used industrially to recover uranium. The growth of microbial populations during in situ leaching is believed to be one of the causes of flow path plugging in the ore body, which results in decreased uranium production. Leach solution and solid samples from well casings and submersible pumps were collected from an in situ mining operation experiencing plugging problems. Bacillus sp., Micrococcus sp., pseudomonads, and xanthomonads were isolated from these samples on concentrations of 105 colony-forming units per milliliter. A mixed culture of these organisms was inoculated into a uranium core specimen in the laboratory to assess the role of microbes in the plugging problem. A one-third decrease in permeability was effected in 16 days. Hydrogen peroxide killed the microorganisms in the core and alleviated the plugging problems. Periodically injecting hydrogen peroxide into the ore body through the production wells may reduce microbial plugging problems

  9. Uranium mine project licensing: Cameco's current experience

    Environmental assessment and licensing requirements for new uranium projects have become more complex, and can have a substantial influence on the timelines needed to bring new production on-line. This increased complexity is taking place in an era that is witnessing a resurging interest in uranium exploration. The assessment and licensing process has evolved to include more sophisticated ecological risk assessment, more detailed waste rock and tailings management plans and comprehensive socio-economic impact assessments. While such assessments are fully compatible with sustainable development objectives, they do take time. The current challenges, as encountered by Cameco in its most recent work, are associated with timelines, predictability and effectiveness. All are needed in the process if market demands are to be met efficiently. The good news remains that the assessment process, while frustrating at times in its duration, strongly supports our main collective environmental goal, which is to solidly support the clean environment aspects of nuclear power at our end of the nuclear fuel chain. (author)

  10. Symposium 'geology, mining and extractive processing of uranium, with special reference to Europe'

    This review of the symposium 'Geology, mining and extractive processing of uranium' gives a survey from the point of view of ore processing rather than exploration. A reason for the uranium consumption assumed is given, and uranium deposits and availability, methods of exploration, and interesting facts on uranium extraction from ores are gone into. (HK)

  11. Ecological problems related to uranium mining and uranium reprocessing industry in Ukraine and restoration strategy concept

    In the later years of the former USSR era Ukraine produced about 1000 ton of Uranium. The main uranium mines area in Ukraine situated in vicinity of Zhevti Wody town and other sites of Kirovograd and Dniepropetrovsk regions. Two main Industrial sites for Uranium milling were in operation in Zhevti Wody and Dnierodzerzhinsk towns. Moreover during many years in past from early 50s to early 90s of the last century significant amount of Uranium ores delivered to Ukraine (Dnieprodzerzhinsk) from Germany, Check Republic and Russia for reprocessing and enrichment. Since Ukraine became independent Uranium production in Ukraine was significantly declined. However during period of such industry operation the number of uranium tailing and other radioactive wastes disposal sites related to the former Uranium production were created at the vicinity of Dnieprodzerzhinsk and Zhevti Wody sites. These industrial areas being significantly contaminated and situating on-site radioactive waste disposal and uranium tailings were and to be in future acting as the sources of radionuclide releases into the environment. The main path via which the radionuclide releases impacts the environment are the following: - exhalation of 222Rn and radon dispersion within the air to the surrounding areas, radon releases from mines, waste rock dumps and mill tailings piles, - leaching of Uranium products (234,238U, 234Th, 210Pb, 210Po) from tailing to the groundwater, and their subsequent transport in water to the rivers and reservoirs; - contamination of mine water with TENORM radionuclides and toxic non-radioactive substances and its releases to the surface waters, - erosion of tailings storage systems leading to dispersal of tailings by wind and water etc. Preliminary Pathway Analysis and Radiological Assessment of the actual sources and pathways show that among of potential sources of uranium product pollution the main impact to the environment occurs by uranium damps and releases from radioactive

  12. Report on recommendations for the management of ancient uranium mining sites in France by the pluralistic expertise Group on the Limousin uranium mines

    This brief report presents some characteristics and data on the old uranium mines located on the French territory, the legal framework for these mines, the actors involved in the survey and control of the old uranium mining sites, the different official actions undertaken on these sites, the composition and the missions of the expertise group, the progress of the actions defined in a circular of 2009, the follow-up of the expertise group report, and a brief synthesis of this report

  13. Assessment of uranium exposure in a community near former uranium mining and milling

    The northern region of Karnes County, Texas has been the site of extensive mining and milling of uranium-238 (238U) for over 30 years. Measurements of 238U were conducted to test the hypothesis that past mining/milling efforts have increased the environmental burden of 238U in local residential areas. 238U concentrations and lead isotope ratios were measured by ICP-MS in soil, plant tissues, household furnace filters, carpet dusts and drinking water. Soil samples (n=75) were collected from the yards of previously studied homes at the surface and 30 cm subsurface. From each home carpet vacuums, filter entrapments and dust swabs were collected (total n=15) as were water wells samples when available (n=7). A site located over 8 miles south of the study area and with no history of mining or milling facilities was found to be consistently and statistically (p238U contamination in the study area from high grade imported ore. The water sample near the largest mining/milling operation compared to the control site, indicating leaching into the groundwater. Analysis of dust samples indicates indoor contamination as 238U was as much as 10X higher in homes from the mining/milling areas compared to the control region. Data thus far indicates that uranium contamination from mining/milling activities is likely to be the cause of the previously documented biological effects and suggests increased health risks for these residents

  14. MS Excel File describing groundwater quality for historic in situ recovery (ISR) uranium mines in Texas.

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — In situ recovery (ISR) uranium mining is a technique in which uranium is extracted by a series of injection and recovery wells developed in a permeable sandstone...

  15. Atomic Energy Control Board and its role in the regulation of uranium and thorium mining

    This brief, presented to the Northwest Territories legislative hearings into uranium exploration, provides an overview of the jurisdictional role and regulatory philosophy of the Atomic Energy Control Board in uranium mining in Canada

  16. Chapter 5. Uranium extraction technology from mine and drainage waters of uranium industry wastes. 5.3. About the possibility of uranium extraction from mine waters of Kiik-Tal deposit

    Present article is devoted to possibility of uranium extraction from mine waters of Kiik-Tal deposit. The basic process flow diagram for uranium extraction from mine waters of Kiik-Tal deposit was proposed. The content of main contaminating components in mine waters of Kiik-Tal deposit was defined.

  17. Are plants growing at abandoned mine sites suitable for phytoremediation of contaminated soils?

    Bini, Claudio; Buffa, Gabriella; Fontana, Silvia; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2013-04-01

    Plants growing on abandoned mine sites are of particular interest in the perspective to remediate contaminated soils by phytoremediation, a low cost and environmental friendly technique which uses metal-accumulator plants to clean up moderately contaminated areas. The choice of plants is a crucial aspect for the practical use of this technique, given the ability to accumulate metals in their tissues, being genetically tolerant to high metal concentrations. Up today, more than 400 native plants that hyperaccumulate metals are reported, Brassicaceae being the family with the largest number of hyperaccumulator species. For example, Alyssum bertoloni is well known as Ni accumulator, as well as Thlaspi caerulescens for Zn and Brassica napus for Pb. However, metal hyperaccumulation is not a common phenomenon in terrestrial higher plants, and many of the European hyperaccumulator plants are of small biomass, and have a slow growth rate. Therefore, there is an urgent need for surveying and screening of plants with ability to accumulate metals in their tissues and a relatively high biomass. In recent years, a survey of soils and plants growing on contaminated areas at several abandoned sulphide mines in Italy was carried out by working groups of the Universities of Florence, Siena, Cagliari, Bologna, Udine and Venice, in order to evaluate the ability of these plants to colonize mine waste and to accumulate metals, in the perspective of an ecological restoration of contaminated sites. We investigated the heavy metal concentration of the waste material, and the soils developed from, in order to determine the extent of heavy metal dispersion, and the uptake by plants, and deserved attention to wild plants growing at that sites, to find out new metal-tolerant species to utilize in soil remediation. Current results of these investigations, with particular emphasis on the Tuscan areas, are reported here. All the studied profiles are strongly enriched in metals; their

  18. Ionising radiation from uranium mining in Australia - some legal issues

    Despite the industrial dangers associated with the extraction and milling of uranium ore, it was not until 1978 that legislation brought into force a Code of Practice in Australia which required surveillance and monitoring of radiation levels in the mine site and mill and which set limits on the exposure of individual workers. The paper briefly describes the dangers confronting uranium mine and mill workers; it then summarises the 1980 Code of Practice on the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores and explains the legal status of that Code. Criminal sanctions attaching to the Code may not readily be enforceable in practice. After alluding to the types of injuries which may flow from exposure to ionising radiation, the paper seeks to demonstrate that breaches of the Code of Practice will not necessarily result in civil liability, on the part of a mine operator, to pay common law damages to workers injured by exposure to ionising radiation. This is largely because the injured worker must prove that a particular injury is causally connected with exposure to a particular agent in a particular place, on the balance of probabilities, and it is doubtful whether a particular radiogenic injury can be traced to a particular cause. Thus, in practice, workers exposed to ionising radiation may not be able to avail themselves of common law remedies. Their rights under workers compensation legislation may be exclusive, in the circumstances. The paper concludes with suggestions for reform

  19. Study of the economic valuation of uranium deposits and mine-projects

    A basis is provided for the decisions to be made in connection with the exploration, development mining, processing and marketing of the uranium. Details are given about the kinds and forms of the mines, about the exploration-, extraction- and processing technologies as well as the economicly best extractive processing of uranium. The profitability of uranium mining projects is evaluated according to the economy calculation method. (DG)

  20. Discussion on application of water source heat pump technology to uranium mines

    Application of water source heat pump units in recovering waste heat from uranium mines is discussed, and several forms of waste heat recovery are introduced. The problems in the application of water source heat pump technology are analyzed. Analysis results show that the water source heat pump technology has broad application prospects in uranium mines, and it is a way to exchange existing structure of heat and cold sources in uranium mines. (authors)

  1. Bioassessment of an Appalachian headwater stream influenced by an abandoned arsenic mine.

    Valenti, Theodore W; Chaffin, Jake L; Cherry, Donald S; Schreiber, Madeline E; Valett, H Maurice; Charles, Megan

    2005-11-01

    Recent debate concerning the modification of safe drinking water standards for arsenic (As) has led to increased awareness of the risks As poses to both humans and the environment. However, few studies have examined the effects of As on the diversity and composition of aquatic assemblages in streams. Benthic macroinvertebrate surveys, chemical analysis of water column and sediment, and laboratory toxicity tests were conducted to assess effects of an abandoned As mine on a headwater stream, and to determine the primary component of toxicity. The average 48-hr LC50 value for Daphnia magna was 4316 microg As/L, and the average 96-hr LC50 value for Lepidostoma spp. was 2138 microg As/L. Reproduction was significantly reduced for D. magna at concentrations > or =312 microg As/L in water column laboratory bioassays, and for treatments in bioassays with sediments containing elevated As (> or =2630 mg/kg). These results support the findings of the in-stream benthic macroinvertebrate survey as the density and percent Ephemeroptera + Plecoptera, + Trichoptera (EPT) were substantially lower at sites downstream of the mine compared to upstream reference sites. Results of bioassays comparing the toxicity of As-contaminated site water and upstream reference water spiked with As salts suggest that As is the primary component of toxicity impacting the stream. Measured As concentrations at downstream sites were above the recommended Criterion Maximum Concentration of 340 microg As/L and Criterion Continuous Concentration of 150 microg As/L for protection of aquatic life published by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. At the study site, elevated As concentrations likely prevent recruitment of benthic macroinvertebrates and recovery of the perturbed headwater stream. PMID:16205987

  2. A natural attenuation of arsenic in drainage from an abandoned arsenic mine dump

    At the abandoned As mine in Nishinomaki, Japan, discharged water from the mining and waste dump area is acidic and rich in As. However, the As concentration in the drainage has been decreased to below the maximum contaminant level (0.01 mg/l for drinking water, Japan) without any artificial treatments before mixing with a tributary to populated areas. This implies that the As concentration in water from the waste dump area has been naturally attenuated. To elucidate the reaction mechanisms of the natural attenuation, analysis of water quality and characterization of the precipitates from the stream floor were performed by measuring pH, ORP and electric conductivity on-site, as well as X-ray diffraction, ICP-mass spectrometry and ion-chromatography. Selective extractions and mineral alteration experiments were also conducted to estimate the distribution of As in constituent phases of the precipitates and to understand the stability of As-bearing phases, respectively. The water contamination resulted from oxidation of sulfide minerals in the waste rocks, i.e., the oxidation of pyrite and realgar and subsequent release of Fe, SO4, As(V) and proton. The released Fe(II) transformed to Fe(III) by bacterial oxidation; schwertmannite then formed immediately. While the As concentrations in the stream were lowered nearly to background level downstream, those in the ochreous precipitates were up to several tens of mg/g. The As(V) was effectively removed by the formed schwertmannite and had been naturally attenuated. Although schwertmannite is metastable with respect to goethite, the experiments show that the transformation of schwertmannite to goethite may be retarded by the presence of absorbed As(V) in the structure. Therefore, the attenuation of As in the drainage and the retention of As by schwertmannite are expected to be maintained for the long term

  3. Seismicity induced by mining operations in the surrounding of the uranium ore mine Schlema-Alberoda

    The uranium mine Schlema-Alberoda of the Wismut GmbH (Chemnitz, Federal Republic of Germany) is situated in the Westerzgebirge between the villages Aue, Schneeberg and Hartenstein. This 22 km2 large area contains the villages Bad Schlema with the districts Oberschlema, Niederschlema and Wildbach as well as the district Alberode of the village Aue. The most important waters are the Zwickauer Mulde flowing through this territory from the south to the north. This territory can be designated as a densely populated low mountain range landscape being characterized by mining operations for centuries. Subsequently to the year 1945, the former Soviet 'Saxonian mining administration' started the first explorations on uranium ores inter alia in the area around Schneeberg and Schlema. In the year 1946, the intensive exploration and exploitation began in the health resort Oberschlema well-known by the existence of water containing radium. Up to the year 1959, the part deposit Oberschlema was dismantled. The dismantling ranged till to a depth of 750 m. With the expansion of the explorations in north-western direction, in 1948 the first uranium containing corridors of the part deposit Niederschlema-Alberoda was verified. The mining activities began in the year 1949 and culminated in the midst of the 1960ies with an annual production of more than 4,000 tons of uranium. The 1,800 m floor level as the deepest floor level was reached in the year 1986. A total of 49.5 million cubic meters of rocks was dissolved, and a total of 80,500 tons of uranium ores was mined. These were nearly 35% of the total production of the former Soviet-German public limited company Wismut (SDAG Wismut).

  4. Radon concentration in houses over a closed Hungarian uranium mine

    Somlai, Janos; Kovacs, Tibor [University of Veszprem Department of Radiochemistry, H-8200, Veszprem P.O.B.: 158 (Hungary); Gorjanacz, Zoran [Mecsek Ore Environmental Protection Co. H-7614, Pecs, P.O.B.: 121 (Hungary); Varhegyi, Andras [Mecsek-OEko Environmental Protection Co. H-7614, Pecs, P.O.B.: 121 (Hungary)

    2006-08-31

    High radon concentration (average 410 kBq m{sup -3}) has been measured in a tunnel of a uranium mine, located 15-55 m below the village of Kovagoszolos, Hungary. The mine was closed in 1997; the artificial ventilation of the tunnel was then terminated and recultivation works begun. In this paper, a study has been made as to whether the tunnel has an influence on the radon concentration of surface dwellings over the mining tunnel. At different distances from the surface projection of the mining tunnel, radon concentration, the gamma dose, radon exhalation and radon concentration of soil gas were measured. The average radon concentration in the dwellings was 483 Bq m{sup -3}. Significantly higher radon concentrations (average 667 Bq m{sup -3}) were measured in houses within +/-150 m from the surface projection of the mining tunnel +50 m, compared with the houses further than the 300-m belt (average 291 Bq m{sup -3}). The average radon concentration of the soil gas was 88.8 kBq m{sup -3}, the average radon exhalation was 71.4 Bq m{sup -2} s{sup -1} and higher values were measured over the passage as well. Frequent fissures crossing the passage and running up to the surface and the high radon concentration generated in the passage (average 410 kBq m{sup -3}) may influence the radon concentration of the houses over the mining tunnel. (author)

  5. Present and future mine effluents management at Zirovski Vrh uranium mine

    Zirovski Vrh uranium mine and its facilities are situated on the northeastern slopes of the Zirovski Vrh ridge (960 m) and on the southern slopes of Crna gora (611 m) respectively. Mine elevation is from 430 m (bottom of the valley) to 580 m (P-1 adit). All effluents from the mine and mill objects flow into the Brebovscica river (with average yearly flow of 0.74 m3/s): run off mine water; mine waste pile Jazbec outflow; mill tailings Borst outflows; effluents from mine temporary mine waste piles P-1, P-9, P-36 are of minor significance. The first three effluents and the recipient surface water flows (the Todrascica brook and the Brebovscica river) are monitored extensively. The impact of radioactive polluted outflows on named waters is proved, but far under the maximal permitted limit values. The authorised maximal limits values for mine effluents were obtained in 1996. Detail design will ensure that this values will not be exceeded in the future. The long term planes are to minimise the uranium concentrations in the run off mine water by target underground drilling. The mine waste pile and the mill tailings will be covered by engineered cover system to avoid clean water contamination by weathering and ablution as well. The existing effluents from the mill tailings will diminish after the remediation and consolidation of the tailing. The Government of Slovenia funds the remediation of the uranium production site Zirovski Vrh. Estimated needed funds for remediation of the main objects are shown in the table below. The total investment includes also the costs for effluents control. Area Mio US$ Underground mine remediation 19.00 Mine waste pile remediation 6.50 Mill tailings remediation 2.24 Total investment costs 27.74 Above figures do not include operation costs of the Zirovski Vrh Mine, approximately US$ 2.2 Mio per year nowadays. The last implementation schedule foresights the end of remediation works in year 2005. After that starts trial monitoring of 5 years to

  6. Transfer of sediment-associated metals downstream of abandoned and active mining sites in the Quesnel River catchment, British Columbia

    M. van der Perk; Lipzig, M.L.H.M. van; Karimlou, G.; Owens, P.N.; Petticrew, E.L.

    2011-01-01

    Metal mining may have considerable impact on downstream water and sediment composition. The rate and extent that metals move downstream determine the magnitude and time scale of downstream sediment contamination. Conversely, the downstream metal content of sediments provide important clues of sediment transfer. To examine the downstream transfer of sediment-associated metals, samples of bed sediments and suspended sediments were collected from small streams draining an abandoned hydraulic gol...

  7. Contribution for tier 1 of the ecological risk assessment of Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Central Portugal): I soil chemical characterization.

    Pereira, R; Antunes, S C; Marques, S M; Gonçalves, F

    2008-02-15

    Within the tier 1 of a site specific risk assessment, the pseudo-total concentrations (extracted with aqua regia) and the potential mobile fractions of metals were determined to perform a preliminary evaluation of risks posed by contaminated soils from an abandoned uranium mine (Mangualde, Central Portugal). Considering the mobile fractions of metals, extracted with artificial rain water, aluminium and uranium were the most concerning elements, since their concentrations were above soil quality criteria values (SQGVs) established for both elements. However, according to the evaluation based on potential mobile fractions of elements, rather than on pseudo-total metal concentrations the risks were limited to sites within the exploitation area, where contamination derives mainly from past in-situ leaching activities of pore ore as well as from the deposition of sludge from the effluent pond. The exclusion of other sites under evaluation, from the risk assessment process, requires additional data provided by soil screening ecotoxicological assays. PMID:17919686

  8. Contribution for tier 1 of the ecological risk assessment of Cunha Baixa uranium mine (Central Portugal): I Soil chemical characterization

    Within the tier 1 of a site specific risk assessment, the pseudo-total concentrations (extracted with aqua regia) and the potential mobile fractions of metals were determined to perform a preliminary evaluation of risks posed by contaminated soils from an abandoned uranium mine (Mangualde, Central Portugal). Considering the mobile fractions of metals, extracted with artificial rain water, aluminium and uranium were the most concerning elements, since their concentrations were above soil quality criteria values (SQGVs) established for both elements. However, according to the evaluation based on potential mobile fractions of elements, rather than on pseudo-total metal concentrations the risks were limited to sites within the exploitation area, where contamination derives mainly from past in-situ leaching activities of pore ore as well as from the deposition of sludge from the effluent pond. The exclusion of other sites under evaluation, from the risk assessment process, requires additional data provided by soil screening ecotoxicological assays

  9. A mine of information: Benthic algal communities as biomonitors of metal contamination from abandoned tailings

    Various biomonitoring approaches were tested in the field to assess the response of natural periphythic algal communities to chronic metal contamination downstream from an abandoned mine tailings site. The accumulation of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) as well as the production of phytochelatins, the presence of diatom taxa known to tolerate high metal concentrations, diatom diversity and the presence of teratologies were determined. We observed highly significant relationships between intracellular metal and calculated free metal ion concentrations. Such relationships are often observed in laboratory studies but have been rarely validated in field studies. These results suggest that the concentration of metal inside the field-collected periphyton, regardless of its species composition, is a good indicator of exposure and is an interesting proxy for bioavailable metal concentrations in natural waters. The presence of teratologies and metal-tolerant taxa at our contaminated sites provided a clear indication that diatom communities were responding to this metal stress. A multi-metric approach integrating various bioassessment methods could be used for the field monitoring of metal contamination and the quantification of its effects. Highlights: ► Various approaches for metal contamination biomonitoring were used in the field. ► Metal accumulation in periphyton is correlated to free ion concentration. ► Teratologies and metal-tolerant taxa provided a clear indication of metal stress. ► Stream periphyton shows great potential as a biomonitor of metal contamination.

  10. A mine of information: Benthic algal communities as biomonitors of metal contamination from abandoned tailings

    Lavoie, Isabelle; Lavoie, Michel; Fortin, Claude, E-mail: fortincl@ete.inrs.ca

    2012-05-15

    Various biomonitoring approaches were tested in the field to assess the response of natural periphythic algal communities to chronic metal contamination downstream from an abandoned mine tailings site. The accumulation of cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) as well as the production of phytochelatins, the presence of diatom taxa known to tolerate high metal concentrations, diatom diversity and the presence of teratologies were determined. We observed highly significant relationships between intracellular metal and calculated free metal ion concentrations. Such relationships are often observed in laboratory studies but have been rarely validated in field studies. These results suggest that the concentration of metal inside the field-collected periphyton, regardless of its species composition, is a good indicator of exposure and is an interesting proxy for bioavailable metal concentrations in natural waters. The presence of teratologies and metal-tolerant taxa at our contaminated sites provided a clear indication that diatom communities were responding to this metal stress. A multi-metric approach integrating various bioassessment methods could be used for the field monitoring of metal contamination and the quantification of its effects. Highlights: Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Various approaches for metal contamination biomonitoring were used in the field. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Metal accumulation in periphyton is correlated to free ion concentration. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Teratologies and metal-tolerant taxa provided a clear indication of metal stress. Black-Right-Pointing-Pointer Stream periphyton shows great potential as a biomonitor of metal contamination.

  11. Mobilization of Toxic Elements from an Abandoned Manganese Mine in the Arid Metropolitan Las Vegas (NV, USA) Area

    Ji Hye Park1,2,3#, Sang Bae Lee1,#, Kyung-Hoon Lee2,3,* & Jee-Yin Ahn1,3,*; Vernon Hodge; Shawn Gerstenberger; Krystyna Stave

    2014-01-01

    Active and abandoned mines may present health risks, especially to children, from environmental exposure to airborne chemical elements, such as Pb, As, and Mn. X-ray fluorescence analysis of tailings at the Three Kids Mine show they contain high levels of: Pb (15,300 mg/kg), As (3690 mg/kg), and Mn (153,000 mg/kg). Soil was sampled along eight transects, radiating from the dried tailings ponds. Concentrations of Mn and Pb to the NE are at background concentrations at 4.8 km, and, As and Sr a...

  12. Ecological problems related to uranium mining and uranium processing industry in Ukraine and restoration strategy concept

    Ukraine's uranium facilities are located in the central part of the country, in urbanized districts with a high population density and intensively developed industry and agriculture. Nearly 50 years of uranium mining and milling at these facilities have caused radioactive contamination of the environment. This paper is devoted to identification of the main sources of actual and potential releases of radioactive materials to the environment, assessment of the radiological and environment risk as a basis for remedial measures. Choice of the best strategy for site restoration are described in this paper. (author)

  13. Assessment of exposure to heavy metals and health risks among residents near abandoned metal mines in Goseong, Korea

    Metal contamination from mining activity is of great concern because of potential health risks to the local inhabitants. In the present study, we investigated the levels of Cd, Cu, As, Pb, and Zn in environmental samples and foodstuffs grown in the vicinity of the mines in Goseong, Korea, and evaluated potential health risks among local residents. Soils near the mines exceeded the soil quality standard values of Cu, As, and Zn contamination. The concentrations of Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn in crop samples collected from the study area were significantly higher than those of the reference area. Some rice samples collected from the study area exceeded the maximum permissible level of 0.2 mg Cd/kg. The intake of rice was identified as a major contributor (≥75%) to the estimated daily intake among the residents. The average estimated daily intakes of metals were, however, below the provisional tolerable daily intake. -- Highlights: •Area near the abandoned mines was significantly contaminated with metals. •Some rice grains exceeded the maximum permissible level of Cd. •The estimated daily intake of metals was below the provisional tolerable daily intake. •Intake of rice was constituted the major proportion of estimated daily intake. -- Cadmium was detected relatively high in rice, and was identified as a chemical of potential concern in an area near abandoned copper mines of Goseong, Korea

  14. Long term radiological impact of a uranium mine restoration

    During the 1990s, many uranium mines were closed as consequence of low prices of this mineral. It was due to a decrease in the demand for uranium and an increase in the overall supply. The resulting was a further complicated implementation of sites restorations. This report deals with one of the relevant aspects of the radiological protection scope: 'the evaluation of the long term radiological impact in the population due to the uranium mine restoration activities' for the uranium mine sited in Saelices el Chico (Salamanca, Spain). These restoration activities have basically consisted of recovering the original site by filling the old open pits with the material stockpiled in the waste dumps. The main problems associated with this material include radon release and particles emission. The strategy used to solve this problem has been covered these structures with a layer with beds of clay material rock, waste material and a cover tree. The pathways considered for the radiological impact have been: 1) Inhalation; 2) Ingestion of contaminated water, milk, vegetables and meat; 3) External exposure from clouds immersion, grounds concentrations and direct gamma radiation. Three computer codes have been used with the object of evaluating the above-mentioned impact. Two of them are well-known NRC (Nuclear Regulatory Commission) codes: RESRAD 6.30 and MILDOS-AREA. We have also applied DOEFLURA, developed in ENUSA [1, 2, 3]. Four scenarios have been studied: Resident Farmer Scenario, Resident scenario, Livestock pasture scenario and Forest scenario, Estimation of radioactive doses for the member of the public in the different scenarios has been calculated with this programme. A period of 3500 years from now has been studied. (author)

  15. Radiation impact assessment on wildlife from an uranium mine area

    Highlights: ► Radiation impact of a uranium mine environment was assessed. ► The ERICA Tool was applied to the sites exposed to radionuclide discharge. ► No environmental radiological risk to biota was observed. ► The emission of radionuclides does not pose a threat to the local wildlife. - Abstract: Uranium mining and milling activities are one of the major causes of radioactive contamination of the environment. Radionuclides, especially uranium decay-chain products, are released from plant wastes into the soil and water and consequently into vegetation where they may accumulate. Transfer of radionuclides thus represents a radiological risk to humans and non-human organisms due to accumulation of radionuclides in target tissues and the consequent ionising radiation. The uranium mine at Žirovski vrh in Slovenia, which operated from 1985 to 1990, processed about 600,000 t of U-ore. Operational wastes were deposited at the Boršt and Jazbec sites. According to several studies, an environmental radiological risk to biota could be observed at sites exposed to radioactive contamination. A modelling approach can be used to estimate the risk in such areas. The ERICA tool is one of the more widely used models, developed to assess the environmental risk from ionising radiation to wildlife. In the present study, the ERICA Tool was applied for the assessment of the radiation impact on wildlife in the Žirovski vrh influential area. ERICA reference organisms, native plants and aquatic organisms were included in the assessment to screen the risk to different organisms. Total dose rate to organisms were up to 3.49, 33.0 and 2.58 μGy h−1 for Juncus effusus, lichens and Austropotamobius torrentium, respectively. Dose rates to other organisms are also presented and discussed.

  16. Radiation protection aspects of dismantling and decommissioning of Uranium Mining of Andujar (Spain)

    This study analyzes the radiation protection aspects during the decommissioning and dismantling of uranium mining in Andujar (Spain). The application during dismantling's mining, the transfer factor of natural radioactive isotopes and the application during the sterile movements are presented

  17. Removal of radium-226 from uranium mining effluents

    Uranium mining and milling operations usually generate large quantities of solid and liquid waste materials. A slurry, consisting of waste rock and chemical solutions from the milling operation, is discharged to impoundment areas (tailings basins). Most of the radioactive material dissolved in tailings slurries is precipitated by the addition of lime and limestone prior to discharge from the mill. However, the activity of one radioisotope, radium-226, remains relatively high in the tailings basin effluents. In Canada, radium-226 is removed from uranium mining and milling effluents by the addition of barium chloride to precipitate barium-radium sulphate [(Ba,Ra)SO4]. Although dissolved radium-226 activities are generally reduced effectively, the process is considered to have two undesirable characteristics: the first related to suspended radium-226 in the effluents and the second to ultimate disposal of the (Ba,Ra)SO4 sludge. A government-industry mining task force established a radioactivity sub-group in 1974 to assist in the development of effluent guidelines and regulations for the uranium mining industry (Radioactivity Sub-group, 1974). The investigation of more effective removal methods was recommended, including the development of mechanical treatment systems as alternatives to settling ponds. Environment Canada's Wastewater Technology Centre (WTC) initiated a bench scale study in March, 1976 which was designed to assess the feasibility of using precipitation, coagulation, flocculation and sedimentation for the removal of radium-226. In 1977, the study was accelerated with financial assistance from the Atomic Energy Control Board. The results were favourable, with improved radium removals obtained in bench scale batch tests using barium chloride as the precipitant and either alum or ferric chloride as the coagulant. A more comprehensive bench scale and pilot scale process development and demonstration program was formulated. The results of the joint study are

  18. ENHANCEMENT OF TERRESTRIAL CARBON SINKS THROUGH RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINE LANDS IN THE APPALACHIAN REGION

    Gary D. Kronrad

    2002-12-01

    The U.S.D.I. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) estimates that there are approximately 1 million acres of abandoned mine land (AML) in the Appalachian region. AML lands are classified as areas that were inadequately reclaimed or were left unreclaimed prior to the passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and where no federal or state laws require any further reclamation responsibility to any company or individual. Reclamation and afforestation of these sites have the potential to provide landowners with cyclical timber revenues, generate environmental benefits to surrounding communities, and sequester carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem. Through a memorandum of understanding, the OSM and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have decided to investigate reclaiming and afforesting these lands for the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This study determined the carbon sequestration potential of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), one of the major reclamation as well as commercial species, planted on West Virginia AML sites. Analyses were conducted to (1) calculate the total number of tons that can be stored, (2) determine the cost per ton to store carbon, and (3) calculate the profitability of managing these forests for timber production alone and for timber production and carbon storage together. The Forest Management Optimizer (FORMOP) was used to simulate growth data on diameter, height, and volume for northern red oak. Variables used in this study included site indices ranging from 40 to 80 (base age 50), thinning frequencies of 0, 1, and 2, thinning percentages of 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40, and a maximum rotation length of 100 years. Real alternative rates of return (ARR) ranging from 0.5% to 12.5% were chosen for the economic analyses. A total of 769,248 thinning and harvesting combinations, net present worths, and soil expectation values were calculated in this study. Results indicate that

  19. Solutions Network Formulation Report. Landsat Data Continuity Mission Simulated Data Products for Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency Abandoned Mine Lands Decision Support

    Estep, Leland

    2007-01-01

    Presently, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has identified a multitude of abandoned mine sites in primarily Western states for cleanup. These sites are prioritized and appropriate cleanup has been called in to reclaim the sites. The task is great in needing considerable amounts of agency resources. For instance, in Colorado alone there exists an estimated 23,000 abandoned mines. The problem is not limited to Colorado or to the United States. Cooperation for reclamation is sought at local, state, and federal agency level to aid in identification, inventory, and cleanup efforts. Dangers posed by abandoned mines are recognized widely and will tend to increase with time because some of these areas are increasingly used for recreation and, in some cases, have been or are in the process of development. In some cases, mines are often vandalized once they are closed. The perpetrators leave them open, so others can then access the mines without realizing the danger posed. Abandoned mine workings often fill with water or oxygen-deficient air and dangerous gases following mining. If the workings are accidentally entered into, water or bad air can prove fatal to those underground. Moreover, mine residue drainage negatively impacts the local watershed ecology. Some of the major hazards that might be monitored by higher-resolution satellites include acid mine drainage, clogged streams, impoundments, slides, piles, embankments, hazardous equipment or facilities, surface burning, smoke from underground fires, and mine openings.

  20. Radon and thoron parallel measurements in dwellings nearby a closed Hungarian uranium mine

    Integrated measurements of radon (222Rn) and thoron (220Rn) were executed in a Hungarian village, located in the vicinity of an abandoned uranium mine. The applied passive radon and thoron monitor was the RADUET which is based on a CR-39 track detector. The investigated 35 houses were one storey buildings made of bricks. The rock under the village is a gray-sandstone with an average of 136 and 77 Bq·kg-1 uranium and thorium, respectively. The detectors were mostly placed in the inhabited areas of the houses, such as bedrooms and living-rooms, at a height of 1-1.5 m close to the wall. The measurement periods were between December 2006 and May 2007 and between May 2007 and February 2008. Annual averages of radon concentrations were calculated applying seasonal correction factors to the results of the two measurement periods. The results show that the radon concentrations in the case of considerable part of the investigated dwellings seems to be significantly higher than the Hungarian averages for ground-floor houses (152 Bq·m-3). The thoron concentrations in some cases are also not negligible indicating that radon measurements which are sensitive to thoron can be misleading. Additionally, thoron can also be a contributor of extra dose. (authors)

  1. Conventional uranium mining in the United States: US energy gears up to meet the challenge

    For more than 200 years, the United States has been proud of almost 100 percent self-sufficiency in terms of natural resources. With the advent of the new global economy came the availability of new sources of raw materials and products. Suddenly, US industries were obliged to take the survival-of-the-fittest test. The uranium industry was one such industry and it suffered from the availability of lower-cost uranium from other countries. As such, the US uranium industry was declared non-viable. Today, the modest amount of uranium comes from unconventional mines. This article focuses on one US uranium mining company, the US Energy Corp, which promises to begin conventional mining and milling as soon as the uranium market permits. The article contains a brief review of the industry and an in-depth review of several uranium mining projects in the United States

  2. Uranium exploration, mining and the nuclear fuel cycle

    The object of this paper is to summarize the nuclear industry in an understandable and systematic manner. The authors conclude that: (a) Uranium exploration can be carried out in an environmentally safe manner. (b) Uranium mining is being carried on currently in Canada in an environmentally and socially acceptable manner with many benefits accruing to the local population near the mine. (c) Uranium tailings can be properly handled utilizing modern technology both in the short term and the long term. (d) It is generally agreed by the majority of the scientific community that radiation protection standards adequately protect both nuclear workers and the general public. (e) Nuclear and coal-fired electrical generating plants can both supply base load energy supplies in the short and long term. In some jurisdictions it is the nuclear system which can provide the lowest cost energy supply. It is important that this option not be lost, either as a potential source of electrical energy domestically or as an export commodity

  3. Development of uranium mining in France and the French Union

    The decision taken by the French government as early as 1946 to pursue an extensive atomic energy development program laid immediate stress on the importance of finding adequate raw materials sources. The effort expended in this direction, as it is known through various publications on the subject, has culminated in very definite success: by the end of the present mining program, that is to say in 1961, France will occupy a significant position amongst world producers of uranium, and will be entirely independent in satisfying her requirements in uranium and thorium. Most of the uranium is mined within her own frontiers, which places the country in a very fortunate position. The types of deposits discovered and the methods of working them will be discussed in further reports. The present report looks back briefly over the discoveries themselves and outlines the situation to data, with an indication of the future development planned for these resources, completely unknown and unsuspected until a few years ago. (author)

  4. Treatment of pit water from uranium mining operation

    The pit water from uranium mines is normally treated to eliminate the soluble radium and suspended solids. The radium is precipitated together with the barium sulphate. The latter results from the reaction of barium chloride with an excess of sulphate ions. The suspended solids are flocculated by aluminium salts (chloride, polychloride). If necessary, synthetic flocculants are also used. Certain grades of pit water contain, sometimes incidentally, a few milligrams of uranium per litre. These quantities always remain too low for any direct recovery (treatment by ion exchange resins). By applying certain measures, the preceding processes can also be used to eliminate uranium. The latter is carried away by aluminium hydroxide in a very narrow zone of pH (6 to 7,4) which corresponds to the minimum solubility of the hydroxide. Depending on the characteristic of the water (pH, salinity), use is made either of aluminium sulphate or of sodium aluminate, with an addition of a base in extreme cases. This article gives various examples of applications in the Haute-Vienne, Chardon in Vendee, the Commanderie mine in Vendee, at Cerilly in Allier and at Lodeve in Herault

  5. Flora and fauna of Thummalapalle uranium mining area

    Thummalapalle Uranium Mining site is located near Thummalapalle village in Vemula mandal, Kadapa district, Andhra Pradesh. Flora and faunal study was carried out in the area 30 km radius from the mining site, covering an area of 2828 Km2, during 2009-2012. The geographical coordinates of the centre point are NL 14° 19 min 59.3 sec and EL 78° 15 min 18.2 sec. Altitude of the study area ranges from 198 to 875 m above MSL. Scrub type of forest is dominant in the core zone followed by waste lands and agriculture lands. Buffer zone I and II also are dominated by scrub forest except a small patch at the North West corner where degraded dry deciduous forest is seen. A total of 859 plant taxa comprising 474 genera and 120 families were identified. Of the 859 taxa, 768 are Angiosperms, 9 Pteridophytes, 25 Bryophytes, 44 Algae and 14 Lichens. A total of 49 endemic taxa (2 strictly Andhra Pradesh, 5 to Eastern Ghats and 43 from Peninsular India) have been recorded. Albizia thompsonii and Ceropegia spiralis, rare taxa, have been recorded in the study area and these two species are distributed throughout peninsular India. Quadrat analysis revealed that Heteropogon contortus, Catunaregum spinosa, Asparagus racemosus and Croton scabiosus are the dominant in herbs, shrubs, climbers and trees respectively. A total of 419 animal species belonging to 358 genera and 178 families have been recorded in the Thummalapalle Uranium Mining Area. A total of nine endemic animal species have been recorded. Golden Gecko (Calodactylodes aureus) which is endemic to Eastern Ghats is recorded in Buffer zone 1. Fejervarya caperata is a new record to Andhra Pradesh, which was earlier reported from Western Ghats. An analysis of the flora reveals interesting features. Orchidaceae which is the second largest family in India is only one species represented in Thummalapalle Uranium Mining Area as it is evident that the growth and development of Orchids in open dry deciduous and scrub forests are

  6. Uranium

    The author discusses the contribution made by various energy sources in the production of electricity. Estimates are made of the future nuclear contribution, the future demand for uranium and future sales of Australian uranium. Nuclear power growth in the United States, Japan and Western Europe is discussed. The present status of the six major Australian uranium deposits (Ranger, Jabiluka, Nabarlek, Koongarra, Yeelerrie and Beverley) is given. Australian legislation relevant to the uranium mining industry is also outlined

  7. Navajo birth outcomes in the Shiprock uranium mining area

    The role of environmental radiation in the etiology of birth defects, stillbirths, and other adverse outcomes of pregnancy was evaluated for 13,329 Navajos born at the Public Health Service/Indian Health Service Hospital in the Shiprock, NM, uranium mining area (1964-1981). More than 320 kinds of defective congenital conditions were abstracted from hospital records. Using a nested case-control design, families of 266 pairs of index and control births were interviewed. The only statistically significant association between uranium operations and unfavorable birth outcome was identified with the mother living near tailings or mine dumps. Among the fathers who worked in the mines, those of the index cases had histories of more years of work exposure but not necessarily greater gonadal dosage of radiation. Also, birth defects increased significantly when either parent worked in the Shiprock electronics assembly plant. Overall, the associations between adverse pregnancy outcome and exposure to radiation were weak and must be interpreted with caution with respect to implying a biogenetic basis

  8. Metals other than uranium affected microbial community composition in a historical uranium-mining site.

    Sitte, Jana; Löffler, Sylvia; Burkhardt, Eva-Maria; Goldfarb, Katherine C; Büchel, Georg; Hazen, Terry C; Küsel, Kirsten

    2015-12-01

    To understand the links between the long-term impact of uranium and other metals on microbial community composition, ground- and surface water-influenced soils varying greatly in uranium and metal concentrations were investigated at the former uranium-mining district in Ronneburg, Germany. A soil-based 16S PhyloChip approach revealed 2358 bacterial and 35 archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTU) within diverse phylogenetic groups with higher OTU numbers than at other uranium-contaminated sites, e.g., at Oak Ridge. Iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria (FeRB and SRB), which have the potential to attenuate uranium and other metals by the enzymatic and/or abiotic reduction of metal ions, were found at all sites. Although soil concentrations of solid-phase uranium were high, ranging from 5 to 1569 μg·g (dry weight) soil(-1), redundancy analysis (RDA) and forward selection indicated that neither total nor bio-available uranium concentrations contributed significantly to the observed OTU distribution. Instead, microbial community composition appeared to be influenced more by redox potential. Bacterial communities were also influenced by bio-available manganese and total cobalt and cadmium concentrations. Bio-available cadmium impacted FeRB distribution while bio-available manganese and copper as well as solid-phase zinc concentrations in the soil affected SRB composition. Archaeal communities were influenced by the bio-available lead as well as total zinc and cobalt concentrations. These results suggest that (i) microbial richness was not impacted by heavy metals and radionuclides and that (ii) redox potential and secondary metal contaminants had the strongest effect on microbial community composition, as opposed to uranium, the primary source of contamination. PMID:26122566

  9. Environmental remediation and radioactivity monitoring of uranium mining legacy in Portugal

    Full text: Uranium mining is an old extractive industry, although during the first half of the 20th century this industry has been mainly operated in the behalf of radium production (226Ra). The first uranium ore mining took place in Europe, leaving a legacy of mining and milling sites not immediately rehabilitated and mostly without environmental remediation plans and provision of funds for it. In the last decades developments of uranium mining displaced the core of uranium mining activity from Europe to other regions. In the coming years, uranium mining is expected to grow further due to the possible increase in nuclear power production. Meanwhile, most of former uranium producers in Europe enforced legislation that requires site management to comply with new radiation dose limits of 1 mSv/y to members of the public. Compliance with these new radiation dose limits is the main goal for the environmental remediation programs implemented in European Union countries, including Portugal, aiming at ensuring sufficient radiation protection to humans and to the environment. Progress in environmental remediation of former uranium mining and milling sites in Portugal is presented, namely at the former milling tailings area of Urgeirica. The environmental radiological surveillance program implemented around former mining and milling sites is presented also with an account of environmental radioactivity levels in the region. From the uranium mining legacy, the lessons to learn include the need for forward planning of radiation protection measures for the complete mine life cycle in order to minimize the exposure of the public to ionizing radiation and to toxic metals, and to reduce the environmental impact and environmental remediation costs. Today this is an essential societal requirement, and public trust for future uranium mining is probably also built on the success of remediation of uranium mining legacy sites. (author)

  10. Geology and mining development of the C-09 uranium deposit

    The uranium deposit at Campo do Cercado is the first one in Brazil to reach the stage of mining operations. Located in the alkaline volcanic complex of Pocos de Caldas, the deposit is divided into three ore bodies which lie at the edge of a secondary crater in the caldera. Uranium ore occurs in the primary form in association with volcanic breccia belts (body A), as well as a result of hydrothermal action (body B); it is also present in the secondary form (body E) as a product of the leaching of the breccia belts by the oxidation front, followed by concentration and deposition in a reduction zone. The mineralization takes the form of black uranium oxides (UO2/UO3), and, more rarely, coffinite. Pyrite, galena and fluorite are almost always present. Molybdenum is also found in close association with the uranium ore in quantities considered economically viable. The ore reserves of the Pocos de Caldas plateau are estimated at 26,800 t. (author)

  11. Environmental protection of uranium mines and mills in India: regulator's perspective

    Uranium mining and milling involves mining of the uranium ore from underground or open cast mine and chemically processing of the mined out ore to recover the uranium values. The storage of excavated waste rock, the disposal of radium containing mine water to water bodies, the venting out of radon containing mine exhaust to the open atmosphere constitute the environmental radiological hazards from a uranium mine. After chemical processing of the ore in a mill, the bulk of the radioactivity originally present in the ore along with the added chemicals finds its way in the mill tailings. Therefore, it warrants adequate safety measures for protection of the environment from the adverse effects of chemicals and radioactivity. These safety aspects of the uranium mines and mills and the impact on the environment are reviewed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB), the national regulatory body of India. This paper discusses the regulatory framework, regulatory issues associated with uranium mines and mills and the safety stipulations laid down during the consenting process of the new projects so that the environment around uranium mine and mill is adequately protected. (author)

  12. Radiation hazards in uranium mining. Epidemiological and dosimetric approaches

    Potential health hazards resulting from exposure to various sources of radiation associated with uranium mining have been reviewed: 1) epidemiological observations on groups of miners exposed in the past to high concentrations of radon progeny have been interpreted to suggest a lifetime risk of about 3 x 10-4 lung cancers per WLM; 2) the total risk of serious health effects resulting from exposure of workers to whole body gamma-radiation might be taken to be about 2 x 10-2 per Sv; and 3) the potential health effects of inhalation of thoron progeny or of radioactive ore dusts can only be estimated from dosimetric calculations. A review of the uncertainties involved in these calculations suggests that ICRP estimates of the potential toxicity of inhaled thoron progeny are as good as those for inhaled radon progeny. However, the potential health hazards from inhaled uranium and thorium ore dusts have probably been overestimated by a factor of 2 to 10-fold

  13. Occupational control of the uranium mine industrial facility in Brazil

    This Occupational Radiation Protection Plan is applied to uranium ore mining and milling, for uranium concentrate production in form of ammonium diuranate (DUA), in 'Complexo Minero-industrial do Planalto de Pocos de Caldas' - CIPC, in 'Caldas', sited in the southwest of Minas Gerais State. The aims of this program are: to estimate the exposure doses of workers by applying dose calculation models; to control the workplace conditions based on monitoring results, variation studies, and to minimize the radiological risks, with available radiation protection resources optimization. The utilized techniques are: talks, area and individual monitoring, individual protection clothes and equipment, use and application of proper conducts in the workplace, according to the radiation protection norms. (authors)

  14. The Australian Movement against Uranium Mining: Its Rationale and Evolution

    Marty Branagan

    2014-09-01

    The paper then describes how the movement evolved between the Roxby and Jabiluka blockades, with changes to the movement’s philosophy, strategy, tactics and internal dynamics. This analysis includes a comparison between two anti-nuclear bike rides, one a year after the 1984 Roxby blockade and involving some of the same activists, and another at the time of the Jabiluka blockade. This author was present at all these events, and provides an emic (insider perspective within a longitudinal participant-observation methodology. Although this perspective obviously has a subjective element, the paper fills a gap in that there is little written history of these blockades (particularly Roxby and more generally of Australian resistance to uranium mining, let alone the aspects of nonviolence and movement evolution. It is an introductory history of these campaigns, examining the direct action components, the practicalities of nonviolent campaigning, and the evolution of Australian anti-uranium activism.

  15. The Atomic Energy Control Board and the uranium mining industry

    The Atomic Energy Control Board controls prescribed substances and nuclear facilities through a licensing system. It is only recently that this system has been applied to the uranium industry. There are four stages in the licensing procedure before a Mine-Mill Facility Operating Licence is issued: exploration requires an underground exploration permit; site approval is needed before the start of the development stage; development approval is required before the construction of the mill and waste management facilities and depends on the information in a preliminary safety report; the granting of a final operating licence occurs after the Board is satisfied with the final safety report, operating policies and principles, tailings management, and decommissioning plans. The Board has resource management policies designed to ensure that uranium reserves are available to meet Canada's needs. The administration of safeguards is also the Board's responsibility. (LL)

  16. Application of risk based cost-benefit analyses for decision making in environmental restoration regions of uranium mining and milling sites

    Active and abandoned uranium mining and milling sites can represent complex environmental situations, where health risks and environmental detriments may result from radon exhalation and dispersion of radioactive dust from mine wastes as well as from the discharge of contaminated mine waters into surface and groundwaters. The paper outlines a methodology for the evaluation of remediation measures in the framework of the closeout of uranium mining and milling facilities in eastern Germany. The decision making process for the remediation of large waste rock dumps (total volume approximately 125 million m3) at a uranium mining site is used as an example. In the context of this approach, appropriate and sustainable remediation measures should (1) reduce the environmental impacts from the waste rock dumps to acceptable levels, and (2) have the best cost-benefit ratio (i.e. the 'lowest overall costs'). These 'overall costs' comprise direct short term costs for remediation measures (e.g. application of engineered covers, backfill of mine waste into open pits), long term costs (e.g. for monitoring, maintenance, seepage collection/treatment), as well as the monetary equivalents of remaining risks for human life and health and impacts on the environment - evaluated by geochemical modelling/air dispersion modelling - in the long term. Uncertainties in the costs and benefits of the remediation measures are addressed by stochastic methods (Monte Carlo simulations). (author)

  17. Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission Regulation of Uranium Mines and Mills

    The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is responsible to the public as its primary stakeholder for carrying out the mandate of the Nuclear Safety Control Act (NSCA). The CNSC regulates the use of nuclear energy and materials to protect health, safety, security and the environment and to respect Canada's international commitments on the peaceful use of nuclear energy. One of the areas of control from the NSCA stipulates that no person shall mine or process uranium except in accordance with a licence issued by the CNSC. The NSCA further stipulates that the CNSC may not issue a licence unless it is of the opinion that the applicant is qualified to carry out the activity that the licence authorizes, and that in carrying out the activity, the applicant will make adequate provision for the protection of the environment, the health and safety of persons, the maintenance of national security and measures to implement international obligations to which Canada has agreed. In order to safely manage the uranium mine facility and monitor compliance with regulatory requirements, the CNSC: 1) sets and documents clear requirements, using a process that includes public consultation; 2) verifies that the operator's processes and programmes satisfy regulatory requirements; 3) provides stakeholders with the opportunity to be heard; 4) bases decisions on thorough, unbiased assessments performed by CNSC staff of objective, factual evidence; and 5) assesses the performance of licensees with respect to their protection of the environment, as well as the health and safety of persons and security. The paper will describe these activities in the context of best environmental protection practices and the CNSC licensing and compliance processes for existing, new or historical legacy uranium mine facilities. (author)

  18. Uranium in acidic mine drainage at the former Ogoya Mine in Ishikawa Prefecture of Japan

    Uranium in acidic mine drainage from the former Ogoya Mine in Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, and in neutral surface waters from its surrounding rivers was investigated from the viewpoint of radioactive disequilibrium in the uranium decay series. Water samples were periodically collected from the mine pithead and its surrounding rivers and their U isotopes (238U and 234U) were measured together with chemical components. The 238U concentrations in the water samples varied widely from 0.0036 to 0.78 mBq/L with a factor of about 200. High 238U concentrations were observed in the strongly acidic drainage (pH: around 3.5) from the pithead and the 234U/238U activity ratios showed significant values of as high as 10-15. By taking into account of the measurement of Th isotopes, it appeared that probable processes controlling the high 234U/238U activity ratios in acidic mine drainage were due to that the acidic water flowing from the mine pithead was formed only in the upper water layer of the pits and 234U was preferentially leached in the deeper underground water under the neutral and reducing conditions. (author)

  19. Field inoculation rates of mycorrhizal fungi in revegetation of abandoned coal mine lands

    Noyd, R.K.; Pfleger, F.L. [Univ. of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN (United States)

    1996-12-31

    Abandoned coal mine land (AML) sites in southern Illinois and western North Dakota contain areas that are difficult to revegetate due to low fertility (1-3 mg kg-1 N and P), little organic matter, and acidic (3-4, Illinois) or alkaline ({approximately}8, North Dakota) pH. Areas such as these may benefit from inoculation with arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi to assist in the establishment of vegetative cover. Potential sources of adapted mycorrhizal inoculum were found in reclaimed overburden sites with large AM fungal spore densities (100 and 33 spores g{sup -1} Illinois and North Dakota, respectively). Soils from these locations were used to determine an infective inoculation rate by a mycorrhizal inoculum potential (MIP) bioassy. Inoculum, consisting of rhizosphere soil and dried roots, was mixed into overburden in proportions of 0, 1, 2.5, 25, 50 and 100% (w/w), placed into containers, and sown with a single 12-day old seedling of Andropogon gerardii Vitm. (big bluestem), a native prairie species known to respond favorably to AM fungi. After 14 days, shoots were dried and weighed and the root system was collected, cleared, stained, and assessed for percent root length colonized by AM fungi. An inoculum proportion of 1% in Illinois and 2.5% in North Dakota overburden produced moderate (16%) root colonization. These inoculum proportions were selected for rates of field inoculation because they were the lowest proportions that were both infective and effective in increasing shoot biomass of A. gerardii. In both soils, this level of root colonization was about one-third of the maximum colonization (50%) obtained with 25, 50, and 100% proportions of inoculum. Using adapted AM fungi and A. gerardii, MIP bioassays can be used to determine a field inoculation rate that has the potential to establish populations of beneficial mycorrhizal fungi and enhance chances of successful revegetation.

  20. Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity using Abandoned Works (open pits and deep mines)

    Pujades, E.; Willems, T.; Bodeux, S.; Orban, P.; Dassargues, A.

    2015-12-01

    Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (PSH) is a good alternative to increase the efficiency of power plants, which cannot regulate the amount of electricity generated according to the demand (wind, solar or even nuclear power plants). PSH plants, which consist in two reservoirs located at different heights (upper and lower), can store energy during low demand periods (pumping water from the lower to the upper reservoir) and generate electricity during the high demand peaks (falling water from the upper to the lower reservoir). Given that the two reservoirs must be located at different heights, PSH plants cannot be constructed in flat regions. Nevertheless, in these regions, an alternative could be to use abandoned underground works (open pits or deep mines) as lower reservoirs to construct Underground Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity (UPSH) plants. To select the best place to construct a plant, two considerations must be taken into account regarding the interaction between UPSH plants and groundwater: 1) the alteration of the natural conditions of aquifers and 2), the efficiency of the plant since the electricity generated depends on the hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir. Obviously, a detailed numerical model must be necessary before to select a location. However, a screening methodology to reject the most disadvantageous sites in a short period of time would be useful. Groundwater flow impacts caused by UPSH plants are analyzed numerically and the main variables involved in the groundwater evolution are identified. The most noticeable effect consists in an oscillation of the groundwater. The hydraulic head around which groundwater oscillates, the magnitude of the oscillations and the time to achieve a "dynamic steady state" depend on the boundaries, the parameters of the aquifer and the characteristics of the underground reservoir. A screening methodology is proposed to assess the main impacts caused in aquifers by UPSH plants. Finally, the efficiency

  1. Population dose in the vicinity of old Spanish uranium mines

    Regional surveys were conducted to determine exposure to natural sources of radiation for people in the vicinity of old Spanish uranium mines. The surveys evaluated indoor radon concentrations and outdoor and indoor external gamma dose rates. Indoor radon concentrations were measured in 222 dwellings by means of nuclear track-etched detectors. The terrestrial gamma ray dose rate was measured outdoors and indoors at a total of 256 points and 115 points, respectively. Estimates mean annual effective doses for the six areas studied ranged from 3.2 to 5.1 mSv per year, which is between 1.2 and 2 times higher than the average national value

  2. Complex measurement of risk factors at uranium mine workplaces

    The measurement reported was oriented to monitoring the concentrations of dust aerosol and nitrogen oxides during individual operations and the impact of diesel machinery. Other data on the measurement point included the air flow volume, temperature, relative humidity, activity of radon and its daughters. Thanks to the fact that in uranium mines a high value of fresh air flow is prescribed in view of radon and radon daughters contamination, the concentrations of dust aerosol and nitrogen oxides was found not to even reach permissible values. (Ha)

  3. Monitoring program design recommendations for uranium mining communities

    Environmental radiological monitoring requirements and their rationale have been developed for operating uranium mine/mill sites including the pre-operational phase, and for non-operating tailings areas, in order to assess the radiological impact on the environment and follow long-term trends. These recommendations have been based on a review of regulatory standards, sources and nature of releases from mines, mills and tailings, and environmental pathway analysis. Media and measurements considered in the routine on-going programs include airborne radon, airborne particulates, external radiation, terrestrial biota, surface water, drinking water, ground water, fish and sediment. Program implementation guides are provided. An overview of sampling and field technique and specific recommendations have been made. (auth)

  4. Rehabilitation programme for the Mary Kathleen uranium mine

    The Mary Kathleen uranium deposit was located in the North West region of the state of Queensland, Australia. It was discovered in 1954 and mined in two phases for a total of twelve years between 1958 and 1982. In October 1982 operations at the site ceased with the deposit virtually exhausted and all contractual commitments completed. From the outset, a site specific approach was adopted in developing the rehabilitation plan. Other sites'experience was evaluated but was adopted only if appropriate for Mary Kathleen. As a result of this approach a conceptual solution was established for each area within the site. Each solution was then used as the basis for detailed planning for rehabilitation of that area. The rehabilitation program commenced in mid 1982 and was completed in late 1985. Results of monitoring provided a strong basis for confidence that the objectives of the plan have been met, and allowed for the relinquishment of all the remaining mining leases in August 1987

  5. Radiation hygiene problems of uranium mine waste bank reclamation

    Using a comprehensive approach, the hygienic feasibility is evaluated of recultivation by forests of waste banks from uranium mines. The evaluation is based on the investigation of samples of soil, timber and dry grass from waste banks of ore mines from the 16th century and recent waste banks in the same area. Using model reflections and the data collected, it is concluded that various alternatives regarding the use of timber from these localities would not involve significant exposure of people. Neither the consumption of meat and milk from cattle and sheep grazing in these areas or the consumption of berries from the woods would cause a significant increase of exposure in extensive population groups, provided these products would only form part of the total diet. (author)

  6. Health and safety regulation of uranium mining and milling

    The Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board licenses all nuclear facilities in Canada, including uranium mines and mills. The protection of health, safety and the environment is one of the requirements of each licence. A limit of 4 Working Level Months exposure to radon and radon daughters annually has been set, and guidelines for weekly or more frequent workplace monitoring have been established. Personal monitoring devices are being tested, and thermoluminescent dosimeters are to be introduced. The Board reviews its licensees' ventilation plans continuously. The staged licensing process involves the granting of the following documents: 1) ore removal; 2) underground exploration permit; 3) site and construction approval; 4) mining facility operating licence; 5) shut-down approval. Compliance with regulations and licence conditions is monitored mainly by inspectors appointed by provincial agencies, with Board staff exercising auditing fuctions. The Board involves the workers directly with their own health and safety by sending their unions copies of all relevant documents and inviting comments

  7. Atomic Energy Control Board and its role in the regulation of uranium and thorium mines

    Laws governing the Atomic Energy Control Board (AECB), its structure and functions is described in the context of the Board's role in uranium and thorium mining. The licensing and compliance procedures are described as they pertain to the objectives of the AECB in protecting workers, the public and the environment during construction, operating and closure of uranium and thorium mining and milling facilities. (OT)

  8. Design and construction of the multilayer cover for uranium ores landfills in Andujar (Spain) mining

    This report shows the design and construction of multilayer cover for the landfill of sterile uranium ores in Andujar Mining (Spain). The main chapters are: 1.- Decommissioning project of Uranium Mining in Andujar (Spain) 2.- Elements and design of cover. 3.- Characteristic material

  9. Better the UMM, promote the technology and innovation of uranium mining and metallurgy industry

    Looking back upon the course of the uranium mining and metallurgy industry in the past 20 years, the author evaluates the merits and achievements of the UMM (Uranium Mining and Metallurgy). Moreover in the light of the development planning of China's nuclear power industry in the new era, new requirements and expects for the UMM are put forward

  10. Perfect the UMM, make new contributions to the development of the uranium mining and metallurgy industry

    The author reviews the remarkable 20 years history of the UMM (Uranium Mining and Metallurgy). In the light of the scientific achievements of Beijing Research Institute of Chemical Engineering and Metallurgy, the author appraises the key role which UMM has played in the technology and production development of the uranium mining and metallurgy industry

  11. The impact of a uranium mining site on the stream sediments (Crucea mine, Romania)

    Petrescu, Lucian; Bilal, Essaïd; Iatan, Luisa,

    2010-01-01

    XRF methods were used to evaluate the impact of uranium mine dumps on the stream sediments from Crucea region (Romania). In order to estimate the natural and anthropogenic inputs of radioactive and heavy metals in the sediments, normalization to Al was applied. The pollution degree of the bottom sediments show that U, Th and Pb reach medium and punctual high values, while the rest of the elements appears in concentrations close to the background or lower. The measurements carried out in the s...

  12. Radiation protection as part of a uranium mine pre-feasibility study

    Golder Associates Ltd. (Golder) has conducted a number of pre-feasibility studies for prospective uranium mining projects. This work has ranged from a preliminary scoping analysis of the viability of a particular project to a formal pre-feasibility study. This paper will address the radiation protection requirements for uranium mining and the impact of these radiation protection requirements on the feasibility of a uranium production project. As is discussed, the ore grades of an ore body will strongly influence the choice of mining methods that are available for any specific project. This in turn will affect the projected capital and operating costs for a prospective uranium production facility. (author)

  13. Assessment of age-dependent uranium intake for public around up-coming uranium mine at Tummalapalle

    Uranium Corporation of India Limited is developing a mine at Tummalapalle in Cuddapah basin which is having a reserve of around 75,000 MT of Uranium. A study has been done to assess the uranium intake through drinking water. The area of study is the surrounding environment of upcoming uranium mining at Tummalapalle. The main source of drinking water by public is from tube/open wells. The samples were analysed over a period of two years so that seasonal fluctuations are taken in to account. Water consumption depends on various factors such as age, sex, body weight, metabolic activity, etc. Uranium is a well-known nephrotoxic heavy metal exerting detrimental health effects by chemical action mostly in the proximal kidney tubules of humans. The uranium intake was calculated for drinking water using prescribed water intake rates for different age groups

  14. Worldwide uranium exploration and mining: Status and related challenges

    Since early 2003, following two decades of depressed market conditions, there has been a revival in the uranium industry. The need for nuclear power as a crucial component for future sustainable development is regaining international acceptance. The steady uranium price increase has triggered a worldwide boom in exploration, with major companies redeploying and intensifying their exploration efforts. In addition, smaller companies have entered the market because of the opportunity to easily finance their exploration activities through stock markets. The most spectacular example of this is to be found in the Athabasca Basin in Canada, where four companies were actively exploring in 2003 but now there are over 50. This renaissance in uranium exploration is welcome and necessary. World production has been stable for many years. However, most current supply sources will come to an end by between 2015 and 2030 or continue to decline. They need to be replaced, and new resources will have to enter production to meet forecasted demand. After 20 years of recession and related low key exploration activities, the uranium industry finds itself with an ageing workforce and loss of expertise, staff and know-how. Therefore, recruitment, education, training, R and D and consolidation, as well as the availability of contractors to provide drilling and geophysical services, are serious issues that must be addressed in the very near future. Meanwhile, competition for qualified personnel in the uranium industry is increasing because other sectors within the mining and energy industries (e.g. gold, base metals, oil and gas) are experiencing the same boom and related challenges. The boom has also created more speculative activity. However, speculators are unlikely to survive for very long, because exploration is a long term effort requiring investment over many years. (author)

  15. Effects of a small-scale, abandoned gold mine on the geochemistry of fine stream-bed and floodplain sediments in the Horsefly River watershed, British Columbia, Canada

    Clark, Deirdre E.; Vogels, Marjolein; van der Perk, Marcel; Owens, Philip N.; Petticrew, Ellen L.

    2014-01-01

    Mining is known to be a major source of metal contamination for fluvial systems worldwide. Monitoring and understanding the effects on downstream water and sediment quality is essential for its management and to mitigate against detrimental environmental impacts. This study aimed to examine the effects of the small-scale, abandoned, hydraulic Black Creek gold mine on the geochemical content of fine (

  16. Risk evaluation of uranium mining: A geochemical inverse modelling approach

    Rillard, J.; Zuddas, P.; Scislewski, A.

    2011-12-01

    It is well known that uranium extraction operations can increase risks linked to radiation exposure. The toxicity of uranium and associated heavy metals is the main environmental concern regarding exploitation and processing of U-ore. In areas where U mining is planned, a careful assessment of toxic and radioactive element concentrations is recommended before the start of mining activities. A background evaluation of harmful elements is important in order to prevent and/or quantify future water contamination resulting from possible migration of toxic metals coming from ore and waste water interaction. Controlled leaching experiments were carried out to investigate processes of ore and waste (leached ore) degradation, using samples from the uranium exploitation site located in Caetité-Bahia, Brazil. In experiments in which the reaction of waste with water was tested, we found that the water had low pH and high levels of sulphates and aluminium. On the other hand, in experiments in which ore was tested, the water had a chemical composition comparable to natural water found in the region of Caetité. On the basis of our experiments, we suggest that waste resulting from sulphuric acid treatment can induce acidification and salinization of surface and ground water. For this reason proper storage of waste is imperative. As a tool to evaluate the risks, a geochemical inverse modelling approach was developed to estimate the water-mineral interaction involving the presence of toxic elements. We used a method earlier described by Scislewski and Zuddas 2010 (Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 6996-7007) in which the reactive surface area of mineral dissolution can be estimated. We found that the reactive surface area of rock parent minerals is not constant during time but varies according to several orders of magnitude in only two months of interaction. We propose that parent mineral heterogeneity and particularly, neogenic phase formation may explain the observed variation of the

  17. Natural Uranium concentrations in surface water and sediments from former Uranium mining locations for 2012–2013

    Uranium is consistently redistributed in the environment by natural processes that may be affected by anthropogenic factors. One of the primary industrial processes that cause this redistribution is uranium mining. Waters and bottom sediments in the region of 29 former uranium mining sites in Bulgaria were studied to assess the pollution as a result of the discharge of groundwater from former mine works. Results on the uranium concentration in 68 water samples and 48 sediment samples are presented. The concentrations of natural uranium in water were determined by spectrophotometric analysis and, in sediment, by gamma-ray spectrometry. The range of uranium concentrations in water samples for the points of mine discharge (adits, tunnels, drain water conduits) ranges from 0.02 to 6.80 mg U/l, and in sediment samples – from 2.23 to 317 mg U/kg. The regional background concentration of uranium in water is below the minimum detectable quantity (0.01 mgU/l) and for sediments – from 1.23 to 12.7 mg U/kg. The distribution coefficient which describes uranium sorption to sediment was assessed in the study and can be used to justify the necessary reclamation activities. (author)

  18. Process of the decommission of uranium mines and mills in Germany

    The decommission of uranium mines and mills in Germany began in 1991 and will cost DM 13 billion and spend 20-25 years. The remediation effects have received favorable recognition at the national and international level. The author introduces the technologies and process of the decommission of uranium mines and mills in Germany, including closure of underground mines, remediation of waste rock piles, dismantling and demolition of installations and buildings, stabilization of tailings ponds and water treatment, in addition, briefly presents the development history of uranium mining and metallurgy, the basic legal framework applied to the implementation of remedial measures and decommission monitoring in Germany

  19. Environmental geochemistry of a Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit at the abandoned Valzinco mine, Virginia, USA

    The abandoned Valzinco mine, which worked a steeply dipping Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit in the Virginia Au-pyrite belt, contributed significant metal-laden acid-mine drainage to the Knight's Branch watershed. The host rocks were dominated by metamorphosed felsic volcanic rocks, which offered limited acid-neutralizing potential. The ores were dominated by pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite, which represented significant acid-generating potential. Acid-base accounting and leaching studies of flotation tailings - the dominant mine waste at the site - indicated that they were acid generating and therefore, should have liberated significant quantities of metals to solution. Field studies of mine drainage from the site confirmed that mine drainage and the impacted stream waters had pH values from 1.1 to 6.4 and exceeded aquatic ecosystem toxicity limits for Fe, Al, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Stable isotope studies of water, dissolved SO42-, and primary and secondary sulfate and sulfide minerals indicated that two distinct sulfide oxidation pathways were operative at the site: one dominated by Fe(III) as the oxidant, and another by molecular O2 as the oxidant. Reaction-path modeling suggested that geochemical interactions between tailings and waters approached a steady state within about a year. Both leaching studies and geochemical reaction-path modeling provided reasonable predictions of the mine-drainage chemistry

  20. Radiological impact of surface water and sediment near uranium mining sites

    Ivanova, Kremena; STOJANOVSKA Zdenka; Badulin, Viktor; Kunovska, Bistra; Yovcheva, M

    2015-01-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the radiological impact of surface water and sediment around uranium mining sites 20 years after their closing. The areas under observations are 31 former classical underground uranium mining and exploratory sites in Bulgaria, named as objects. The extraction and processing of uranium ores in the Republic of Bulgaria were ended in 1992. To assess the radiological impact of radionuclides field expeditions were performed to sample water and b...