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Sample records for abandoned uranium mill

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Long-term ecological behaviour of abandoned uranium mill tailings. 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Inactive uranium mill tailings were surveyed in the Province of Ontario to describe their surface characteristics, identify naturally invading biota, and determine essential chemical and physical parameters associated with the tailings. Inactive tailings sites can have wet areas, tailings completely covered with water, and dry areas. In the wet areas of most sites, wetland vegetation stands were found which were dominated by species of cattails (Typhaceae), along with some species of rushes (Juncaceae) and sedges (Cyperceae). Dry areas of the tailings exhibited a variety of surface features which are often a reflection of different amelioration efforts. Most of the indigenous species of vascular plants identified on dry areas of the tailings occurred only sporadically. Invading plants found on most sites were the tree species, trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) and paper birch (Betula papyrifera). Elemental concentration and some physical characteristics of the tailings collected from a depth of 0-20 cm were determined. Uptake of heavy metals and radionuclides were evaluated in trees found in the dry areas and in cattails (Typha latifolia) in the wetland areas. Water bodies on tailings and surface water leaving the tailings, before and after treatment, were characterized in this survey. Aquatic bryophytes have invaded some water bodies on the tailings, and acid tolerant algae were evident in most of the water associated with the tailings. Ecological processes occurring on inactive uranium mill tailings which were identified in this survey are essential in evaluating the long-term fate of these waste sites

  4. Biological assessment of remedial action at the abandoned uranium mill tailings site near Naturita, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    Pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is proposing to conduct remedial action to clean up the residual radioactive materials (RRM) at the Naturita uranium processing site in Colorado. The Naturita site is in Montrose County, Colorado, and is approximately 2 miles (mi) (3 kilometer [km]) from the unincorporated town of Naturita. The proposed remedial action is to remove the RRM from the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan disposal site. To address the potential impacts of the remedial action on threatened and endangered species, the DOE prepared this biological assessment. Informal consultations with the U.S. Department of the Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) were initiated in 1986, and the FWS provided a list of the threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. This list was updated by two FWS letters in 1988 and by verbal communication in 1990. A biological assessment was included in the environmental assessment (EA) of the proposed remedial action that was prepared in 1990. This EA addressed the impacts of moving the Naturita RRM to the Dry Flats disposal site. In 1993, the design for the Dry Flats disposal alternative was changed. The FWS was again consulted in 1993 and provided a new list of threatened and endangered species that may occur in the Naturita study area. The Naturita EA and the biological assessment were revised in response to these changes. In 1994, remedial action was delayed because an alternate disposal site was being considered. The DOE decided to move the FIRM at the Naturita site to the Upper Burbank Quarry at the Uravan site. Due to this delay, the FWS was consulted in 1995 and a list of threatened and endangered species was provided. This biological assessment is a revision of the assessment attached to the Naturita EA and addresses moving the Naturita RRM to the Upper Burbank Quarry disposal site.

  5. Uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  6. Uranium-mill appraisal program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The results of special team appraisals at NRC-licensed uranium mills in the period May to November 1981 are reported. Since the Three Mile Island accident, NRC management has instituted a program of special team appraisals of radiation protection programs at certain NRC-licensed facilities. These appraisals were designed to identify weaknesses and strengths in NRC-licensed programs, including those areas not covered by explicit regulatory requirements. The regulatory requirements related to occupational radiation protection and environmental monitoring at uranium mills have been extensively upgraded in the past few years. In addition, there was some NRC staff concern with respect to the effectiveness of NRC licensing and inspection programs. In response to this concern and to changes in mill requirements, the NRC staff recommended that team appraisals be conducted at mills to determine the adequacy of mill programs, the effectiveness of the new requirements, and mill management implementation of programs and requirements. This report describes the appraisal scope and methodology as well as summary findings and conclusions. Significant weaknesses identified during the mill appraisals are discussed as well as recommendations for improvements in uranium mill programs and mill licensing and inspection

  7. Uranium mill tailings and radon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The major health hazard from uranium mill tailings is presumed to be respiratory cancer resulting from the inhalation of radon daughter products. A review of studies on inhalation of radon and its daughters indicates that the hazard from the tailings is extremely small. If the assumptions used in the studies are correct, one or two people per year in the United States may develop cancer as a result of radon exhaled from all the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action program sites. The remedial action should reduce the hazard from the tailings by a factor of about 100

  8. Uranium mill tailings and radon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The major health hazard from uranium mill tailings is presumed to be respiratory cancer resulting from the inhalation of radon daughter products. A review of studies on inhalation of radon and its daughters indicates that the hazard from the tailings is extremely small. If the assumptions used in the studies are correct, one or two people per year in the US may develop cancer as a result of radon exhaled from all the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program sites. The remedial action should reduce the hazard from the tailings by a factor of about 100

  9. 77 FR 14837 - Bioassay at Uranium Mills

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-03-13

    ... COMMISSION Bioassay at Uranium Mills AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Draft regulatory guide... for public comment draft regulatory guide (DG), DG-8051, ``Bioassay at Uranium Mills.'' This guide describes a bioassay program acceptable to the NRC staff for uranium mills and applicable portions...

  10. Grouting of uranium mill tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A program of remedial action was initiated for a number of inactive uranium mill tailings piles. These piles result from mining and processing of uranium ores to meet the nation's defense and nuclear power needs and represent a potential hazard to health and the environment. Possible remedial actions include the application of covers to reduce radon emissions and airborne transport of the tailings, liners to prevent groundwater contamination by leachates from the piles, physical or chemical stabilization of the tailings, or moving the piles to remote locations. Conventional installation of liners would require excavation of the piles to emplace the liner; however, utilization of grouting techniques, such as those used in civil engineering to stabilize soils, might be a potential method of producing a liner without excavation. Laboratory studies on groutability of uranium mill tailings were conducted using samples from three abandoned piles and employing a number of particulate and chemical grouts. These studies indicate that it is possible to alter the permeability of the tailings from ambient values of 10-3 cm/s to values approaching 10-7 cm/s using silicate grouts and to 10-8 cm/s using acrylamide and acrylate grouts. An evaluation of grouting techniques, equipment required, and costs associated with grouting were also conducted and are presented. 10 references, 1 table

  11. Environmental planning in uranium milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Effluents from uranium milling in the Achala region in the province of Cordoba are studied. Liquids from lixiviation-recovery and from precipitation-washing of yellow-cake were analyzed. Separation of both liquids before treatment and disposal is recommended. Data of the hydric environment are presented specially for volumes of flow. The disposal criteria established by the provincial authorities are presented, and discussed. Calculations to define the effects on the environment of two types of effluents (the leaching effluent without treatment and the same after treating it) on two points of the rivers net, are given and the results discussed. A disposal policy for a treated effluent of mean composition is presented, based on two different amounts for the two phases of the river flux; the possible effects on two points of the net were also calculated. In the author's opinion, such policy will result in a disposal without a sensible damage in the receptor. (Author)

  12. Health risks from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper reviews the risk to public health and the environment from uranium mill tailings. The steps taken by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce this risk from tailing are summarized

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  15. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry 1991

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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.)

  17. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project surface project management plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Project Management Plan describes the planning, systems, and organization that shall be used to manage the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRA). US DOE is authorized to stabilize and control surface tailings and ground water contamination at 24 inactive uranium processing sites and associated vicinity properties containing uranium mill tailings and related residual radioactive materials

  18. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Grand Junction site has been reevaluated in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Grand Junction, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.9 million tons of tailings at the Grand Junction site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The eight alternative actions presented herein range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through VIII). Cost estimates for the eight options range from about $10,200,000 for stabilization in-place to about $39,500,000 for disposal in the DeBeque area, at a distance of about 35 mi, using transportation by rail. If transportation to DeBeque were by truck, the cost estimated to be about $41,900,000. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Grand Junction tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $200/lb by heap leach and $150/lb by conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery appears not to be economically attractive

  19. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-07-01

    The Grand Junction site has been reevaluated in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Grand Junction, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.9 million tons of tailings at the Grand Junction site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The eight alternative actions presented herein range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through VIII). Cost estimates for the eight options range from about $10,200,000 for stabilization in-place to about $39,500,000 for disposal in the DeBeque area, at a distance of about 35 mi, using transportation by rail. If transportation to DeBeque were by truck, the cost estimated to be about $41,900,000. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Grand Junction tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $200/lb by heap leach and $150/lb by conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery appears not to be economically attractive.

  20. Chapter 2: uranium mines and mills

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    O' Connell, W.J.

    1983-03-01

    This chapter will be included in a larger ASCE Committee Report. Uranium mining production is split between underground and open pit mines. Mills are sized to produce yellowcake concentrate from hundreds to thousands of tons of ore per day. Miner's health and safety, and environmental protection are key concerns in design. Standards are set by the US Mine Safety and Health Administration, the EPA, NRC, DOT, the states, and national standards organizations. International guidance and standards are extensive and based on mining experience in many nations.

  1. Training manual for uranium mill workers on health protection from uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report provides information for uranium mill workers to help them understand the radiation safety aspects of working with uranium as it is processed from ore to yellowcake at the mills. The report is designed to supplement the radiation safety training provided by uranium mills to their workers. It is written in an easily readable style so that new employees with no previous experience working with uranium or radiation can obtain a basic understanding of the nature of radiation and the particular safety requirements of working with uranium. The report should be helpful to mill operators by providing training material to support their radiation safety training programs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation in Central Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium ore is a naturally occurring radioactive material which is often regarded as something separate to NORM due to its place at the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle. Uranium mining and processing was a significant industry in the Central Asian countries of the former Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union broke up in 1989 these countries gained their independence but the uranium mining industry now had to try and survive in a new economic environment. In Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan this proved too great a challenge. Production stopped and sites were simply abandoned with little or no attention paid to remediation. Skilled personnel departed and both physical and regulatory infrastructure decayed. Consequently, the legacies of the former times remained throughout Central Asia to become an issue of considerable concern to many. The sites were generally uncontrolled and the NORM residues from the mining and processing were a source of environmental contamination which also threatened public health in a number of ways. In recent years there has been considerable activity by a number of international agencies and Governments working towards solutions for these issues. Much of the effort has been undertaken by the IAEA and this paper describes the original situation, the development of remediation strategies and the various remediation related projects, their outcomes to date, and plans for the future in both the political and scientific arenas. (author)

  4. Study of the Utah uranium-milling industry. Volume II. Utah energy resources: uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report is a general overview of the uranium mining and milling industry and its history and present status with particular reference to Utah. This volume serves two purposes: (1) it serves as a companion volume to Volume I, which is a policy analysis; and (2) it serves as one of a set of energy resource assessment studies previously performed by the authors. The following topics are covered: development of the uranium industry on the Colorado Plateau with emphasis on Utah; geology of uranium; uranium reserves; uranium exploration in Utah; uranium ore production and mining operation in Utah; uranium milling operations in Utah; utilization of uranium; uranium mill tailings; and future outlook. Appendices on pricing of uranium and incentives for production since World War II are also presented

  5. Impact of uranium mines closure and abandonment on groundwater quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rapantova, Nada; Licbinska, Monika; Babka, Ondrej; Grmela, Arnost; Pospisil, Pavel

    2013-11-01

    The aim of the study is to assess the evolving mine water quality of closed uranium mines (abandoned between 1958 and 1992) in the Czech Republic. This paper focuses on the changes in mine water quality over time and spatial variability. In 2010, systematic monitoring of mine water quality was performed at all available locations of previous uranium exploitation. Gravity flow discharges (mine adits, uncontrolled discharges) or shafts (in dynamic state or stagnating) were sampled. Since the quality of mine water results from multiple conditions-geology, type of sample, sampling depth, time since mine flooding, an assessment of mine water quality evolution was done taking into account all these conditions. Multivariate analyses were applied in order to identify the groups of samples based on their similarity. Evaluation of hydrogeochemical equilibrium and evolution of mine waters was done using the Geochemist's Workbench and PHREEQC software. The sampling proved that uranium concentrations in mine waters did not predominantly exceed 0.45 mg/L. In case of discharges from old adits abandoned more than 40 years ago, uranium concentrations were below the MCL of US Environmental Protection Agency for uranium in drinking water (0.03 mg/L). Higher concentrations, up to 1.23 mg/L of U, were found only at active dewatered mines. Activity concentration of 226Ra varied from 0.03 up to 1.85 Bq/L except for two sites with increased background values due to rock formation (granites). Radium has a typically increasing trend after mine abandonment with a large variability. Concerning metals in mine water, Al, Co and Ni exceeded legislative limits on two sites with low pH waters. The mine water quality changes with a focus on uranium mobility were described from recently dewatered mines to shafts with water level maintained in order to prevent outflows to surface water and finally to stagnating shafts and discharges of mine water from old adits. The results were in good agreement

  6. The problem of abandoned uranium tailings in northern Saskatchewan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  7. Remediation of uranium mill tailings wastes in Australia: a critical review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Australia has been an active participant in the global uranium mining industry since its inception in the 1940s. By the late 1950s five major mining and milling projects were operating, several small mines supplied custom ores. All of these projects were closed by the early 1960s, except for Rum Jungle which continued under government subsidy. Most sites have had lasting Environmental impacts. The advances in nuclear power in the 1960s saw increasing demand for uranium and Australia again explored with remarkable success in the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia. After several government inquiries in the 1970s, Ranger, Nabarlek and Olympic Dam were operating by the mid 1980s. The principal risks from uranium mill tailings wastes arise from their radioactive nature and often their chemical toxicities. A critical review of the rehabilitation of abandoned uranium mines and mill tailings as a comparison for current projects is presented. It is concluded that the management of uranium mill tailings wastes is a complex task, requiring a sound multi-disciplinary approach. The problems include groundwater contamination, erosion, radon emanation and gamma radiation. evidence to data from the remediation of old and modern sites does not demonstrate effective long-term closure and safety

  8. Domestic uranium mining and milling industry 1989

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  9. Radon releases from Australian uranium mining and milling projects: assessing the UNSCEAR approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudd, Gavin M

    2008-02-01

    The release of radon gas and progeny from the mining and milling of uranium-bearing ores has long been recognised as a potential radiological health hazard. The standards for exposure to radon and progeny have decreased over time as the understanding of their health risk has improved. In recent years there has been debate on the long-term releases (10,000 years) of radon from uranium mining and milling sites, focusing on abandoned, operational and rehabilitated sites. The primary purpose has been estimates of the radiation exposure of both local and global populations. Although there has been an increasing number of radon release studies over recent years in the USA, Australia, Canada and elsewhere, a systematic evaluation of this work has yet to be published in the international literature. This paper presents a detailed compilation and analysis of Australian studies. In order to quantify radon sources, a review of data on uranium mining and milling wastes in Australia, as they influence radon releases, is presented. An extensive compilation of the available radon release data is then assembled for the various projects, including a comparison to predictions of radon behaviour where available. An analysis of cumulative radon releases is then developed and compared to the UNSCEAR approach. The implications for the various assessments of long-term releases of radon are discussed, including aspects such as the need for ongoing monitoring of rehabilitation at uranium mining and milling sites and life-cycle accounting.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  11. Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Public concern regarding the potential human health and environmental effects from uranium mill tailings led Congress to pass the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) (Public Law 95-604) in 1978. In the UMTRCA, Congress acknowledged the potentially harmful health effects associated with uranium mill tailings at 24 abandoned uranium mill processing sites needing remedial action. Uranium processing activities at most of the 24 mill processing sites resulted in the formation of contaminated ground water beneath and, in some cases, downgradient of the sites. This contaminated ground water often has elevated levels of hazardous constituents such as uranium and nitrate. The purpose of the Ground Water Project is to protect human health and the environment by meeting EPA-proposed standards in areas where ground water has been contaminated with constituents from UMTRA Project sites. A major first step in the UMTRA Ground Water Project is the preparation of this Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This document analyzes potential impacts of the alternatives, including the proposed action. These alternatives are programmatic in that they are plans for conducting the UMTRA Ground Water Project. The alternatives do not address site-specific ground water compliance. This PEIS is a planning document that will provide a framework for conducting the Ground Water Project; assess the potential programmatic and environmental impacts of conducting the UMTRA Ground Water Project; provide a method for determining the site-specific ground water compliance strategies; and provide data and information that can be used to prepare site-specific environmental impacts analyses documents more efficiently

  12. Probabilistic calculation of dose commitment from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The report discusses in a general way considerations of uncertainty in relation to probabilistic modelling. An example of a probabilistic calculation applied to the behaviour of uranium mill tailings is given

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  14. Measurements of uranium mill tailings consolidation characteristics

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fayer, M J

    1985-02-01

    A series of experiments were conducted on uranium mill tailings from the tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado, to determine their consolidation characteristics. Three materials (sand, sand/slimes mix, slimes) were loaded under saturated conditions to determine their saturated consolidated behavior. During a separate experiment, samples of the slimes material were kept under a constant load while the pore pressure was increased to determine the partially saturated consolidation behavior. Results of the saturated tests compared well with published data. Sand consolidated the least, while slimes consolidated the most. As each material consolidated, the measured hydraulic conductivity decreased in a linear fashion with respect to the void ratio. Partially saturated experiments with the slimes indicated that there was little consolidation as the pore pressure was increased progressively above 7 kPa. The small amount of consolidation that did occur was only a fraction of the amount of saturated consolidation. Preliminary measurements between pore pressures of 0 and 7 kPa indicated that measurable consolidation could occur in this range of pore pressure, but only if there was no load. 13 references, 13 figures.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  16. Uranium mill tailings cleanup: Federal leadership at last

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Department of Energy has proposed legislation that would allow it to enter into cooperative agreements with various States to clean up residual radioactive materials--commonly called uranium mill tailings--at 22 inactive uranium mills. About 25 million tons of mill tailings have accumulated at these sites since the 1940s. GAO analyzed the need for, and adequacy of, the proposed legislation and recommends that the cleanup program be endorsed. While the Federal Government has no apparent legal responsibility for such a cleanup, it does have a moral responsibility since the mills primarily produced uranium for Federal programs. Further, it is the only organization able to undertake such a cleanup program on a comprehensive basis. GAO also suggests several areas where the proposed legislation could be strengthened

  17. Radiation protection in uranium mining and milling industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  18. Current practices and options for confinement of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    At the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment, which took place in Stockholm from 4 to 6 June 1972, national governments were asked to explore, with the International Atomic Energy Agency and other appropriate international organizations, international co-operation on radioactive waste matters including those of mining and tailings disposal. Since that time the IAEA has been active in the field of uranium and thorium mill tailings management. As part of this activity, the present report describes current practices and options for confinement of uranium mill tailings. It is addressed to technical and administrative personnel who are involved in planning and implementing national and industrial programmes on the management of such tailings. In 1974 and 1975 the IAEA convened meetings of experts to review matters of interest and importance in the management of uranium and thorium mine and mill tailings. These activities led to the publication in 1976 of Management of Wastes from the Mining and Milling of Uranium and Thorium Ores, a Code of Practice and Guide to the Code, IAEA Safety Series No. 44. As a continuation of this activity, the IAEA is here dealing more specifically with the design and siting considerations for the management of uranium mill tailings

  19. Mortality patterns among a retrospective cohort of uranium mill workers

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The long-term health effects associated with the milling of uranium ore are of interest particularly because of exposures to uranium and thorium-230. Excess risks of pulmonary and lymphatic malignancies have been suggested by previous epdiemiologic studies of persons milling or smelting uranium ores, and nephrotoxic effects of uranium have been reported in both man and animals. To test these three previously reported associations and to assess all cause-specific mortality patterns among uranium mill workers, we carried out a retrospective cohort study of 2002 uranium millers employed in any of seven mills at least one year before 1972. Ninety-eight percent (98%) followup of the cohort through 1977 resulted in 533 deaths observed versus 605 expected from US White male mortality rates. Mortality from most causes was lower than expected. Significant excess risks were found only for nonmalignant respiratory disease and miscellaneous accidents but not for any of the three diseases of a priori interest. However, nonsignificant excesses were found for lymphatic malignancies after 20 years latency and for death due to chronic nephritis among short-term workers

  20. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Enforcement Action Mine Points, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains point features that represent abandoned uranium mines with EPA enforcement actions as of March 2016 in Navajo Nation. Attributes include...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains polygon features representing priority abandoned uranium mines in Navajo Nation, as determined by the US EPA and the Navajo Nation. USEPA...

  3. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Points, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains point features of all Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs) on or within one mile of the Navajo Nation. Points are centroids developed from the...

  4. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Priority Mine Points, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains point features representing priority abandoned uranium mines in Navajo Nation, as determined by the US EPA and the Navajo Nation. USEPA...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains polygon features that represent all Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUMs) on or within one mile of the Navajo Nation. Attributes include mine...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    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...

  7. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Enforcement Action Mine Areas, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains polygon features that represent abandoned uranium mines with EPA enforcement actions as of March 2016 in the Navajo Nation. Attributes...

  8. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Lakeview, Oregon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Lake view, Oregon evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site

  9. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Lakeview, Oregon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-10-01

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Lake view, Oregon evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site.

  10. Paleoclimatic data applications: Long-term performance of uranium mill tailings repositories

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waugh, W.J. [Environmental Sciences Lab., Grand Junction, CO (United States); Petersen, K.L. [Washington State Univ., Richland, WA (United States)

    1995-09-01

    Abandoned uranium mill tailings sites in the Four Corners region are a lasting legacy of the Cold War. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is designing landfill repositories that will isolate hazardous constituents of tailings from biological intrusion, erosion, and the underlying aquifer for up to 1,000 years. With evidence of relatively rapid past climate change, and model predictions of global climatic variation exceeding the historical record, DOE recognizes a need to incorporate possible ranges of future climatic and ecological change in the repository design process. In the Four Corners region, the center of uranium mining and milling activities in the United States, proxy paleoclimatic records may be useful not only as a window on the past, but also as analogs of possible local responses to future global change. We reconstructed past climate change using available proxy data from tree rings, packrat middens, lake sediment pollen, and archaeological records. Interpretation of proxy paleoclimatic records was based on present-day relationships between plant distribution, precipitation, and temperature along a generalized elevational gradient for the region. For the Monticello, Utah, uranium mill tailings site, this first approximation yielded mean annual temperature and precipitation ranges of 2 to 10{degrees} C, and 38 to 80 cm, respectively, corresponding to late glacial and Altithermal periods. These data are considered to be reasonable ranges of future climatic conditions that can be input to evaluations of groundwater recharge, radon-gas escape, erosion, frost penetration, and biointrusion in engineered earthen barriers designed to isolate tailings.

  11. Accelerated aging tests of liners for uranium mill tailings disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document describes the results of accelerated aging tests to determine the long-term effectiveness of selected impoundment liner materials in a uranium mill tailings environment. The study was sponsored by the US Department of Energy under the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project. The study was designed to evaluate the need for, and the performance of, several candidate liners for isolating mill tailings leachate in conformance with proposed Environmental Protection Agency and Nuclear Regulatory Commission requirements. The liners were subjected to conditions known to accelerate the degradation mechanisms of the various liners. Also, a test environment was maintained that modeled the expected conditions at a mill tailings impoundment, including ground subsidence and the weight loading of tailings on the liners. A comparison of installation costs was also performed for the candidate liners. The laboratory testing and cost information prompted the selection of a catalytic airblown asphalt membrane and a sodium bentonite-amended soil for fiscal year 1981 field testing

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 respective

  13. 76 FR 70170 - Proposed Alternative Soils Standards for the Uravan, Colorado Uranium Mill

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-11-10

    ... COMMISSION Proposed Alternative Soils Standards for the Uravan, Colorado Uranium Mill AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Uranium milling alternative standards. SUMMARY: By letter dated October 10... Agreement States to specifically amend their Agreements to regulate uranium mill tailings (11e.(2)...

  14. Geochemistry of natural wetlands in former uranium milling sites (eastern Germany) and implications for uranium retention

    OpenAIRE

    Schöner, Angelika; Noubactep, Chicgoua; Büchel, Georg; Sauter, Martin

    2008-01-01

    Discharge from former uranium mining and milling areas is world wide a source of elevated uranium contents in wetlands. The efficiency of organic rich wetland environments for entrapment and accumulation of uranium was assessed in this work using hydrogeochemical field studies of natural small-sized wetlands in Thuringia and Saxony, Eastern Germany. The objective was to estimate, if artificial wetlands can be used in a similar way: as a sustainable 'passive' treatment methodology. World wide,...

  15. Transportation of the MOAB Uranium Mill Tailings to White Mesa Mill by Slurry Pipeline

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hochstein, R. F.; Warner, R.; Wetz, T. V.

    2003-02-26

    The Moab uranium mill tailings pile, located at the former Atlas Minerals Corporation site approximately three miles north of Moab, Utah, is now under the control of the US Department of Energy (''DOE''). The location of the tailings pile adjacent to the Colorado River, and the ongoing contamination of groundwater and seepage of pollutants into the river, have lead to the investigation, as part of the final site remediation program, of alternatives to relocate the tailings to a qualified permanent disposal site. This paper will describe the approach being taken by the team formed between International Uranium (USA) Corporation (''IUC'') and Washington Group International (''WGINT'') to develop an innovative technical proposal to relocate the Moab tailings to IUC's White Mesa Mill south of Blanding, Utah. The proposed approach for relocating the tailings involves using a slurry pipeline to transport the tailings to the White Mesa Mill. The White Mesa Mill is a fully licensed, active uranium mill site that is uniquely suited for permanent disposal of the Moab tailings. The tailings slurry would be dewatered at the White Mesa Mill, the slurry water would be recycled to the Moab site for reuse in slurry makeup, and the ''dry'' tailings would be permanently disposed of in an approved below grade cell at the mill site.

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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

  17. Uranium Mill and ISL Facility Database

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — An Excel database on NRC and Agreement State licensed mills providing status, locational/operational/restoration data, maps, and environmental reports including...

  18. Humeca Uranium Mill. Nuclear Regulatory Commission's final environmental statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Humeca Uranium Mill is a carbonate-leach uranium ore refining plant with a capacity of about 500 tons of ore per day. Although the present licensing action does not extend to mining, the statement considers the environmental impact of the combined mining and milling project to be conducted by Rio Algom Corporation. The environmental impact, including adverse and beneficial environmental effects of the Rio Algom Uranium Mill, is as follows. (1) Temporary (about 10 years) reassignment of use of about 120 acres of land out of the total 2,573 acres controlled by Rio Algom Corporation. (2) The removal of an estimated 8.4 million pounds of uranium concentrates as a natural resource. This material will eventually be used to produce approximately 6.09 x 106 megawatt-days of electricity. (3) Removal and diversion of approximately 100 gallons per minute of local groundwater. (4) Stimulation of the local economy through payment of taxes and direct employment of about 200 persons in San Juan County over the next 10 years. Rio Algom estimates they will pay out over $11 million in salaries over this period of time. (5) The creation of stabilized tailings piles covering about 45 acres involving approximately 1,850,000 tons of solids containing solidified waste chemical and radioactive uranium and its daughter products. (6) Discharge of small quantities of chemicals and radioactive materials (that are not expected to produce discernible effects) into the local environs

  19. Molecular analysis of the bacterial diversity in uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A culture-independent molecular approach has been applied to investigate the bacterial diversity in three uranium contaminated sites. The three analysed soil samples have been collected from the uranium waste pile Haberland near Johanngeorgenstadt (Germany), from the uranium mill tailings in Gunnison, Colorado (USA) and from the uranium mill tailings in Shiprock, New Mexico (USA). The 16S rDNA fragments which has been isolated through direct lysis of the whole-DNA were amplified by the use of the universal primers 16S43f and 16S1404r and cloned. With restriction fragment length polymorphismus (RFLP) were the clones screened and one representative of all RFLP types that occurred more than once in the clone library was sequenced and analysed. In spite of the contamination a considerable diversity and significant differences in the composition of the natural bacterial communities in these three sites have been found. In the sample collected from the waste pile Haberland near Johanngeorgenstadt α-Proteobacteria and representatives of the Holophaga/Acidobacterium were numerically predominant. The distribution of bacteria in the sample collected from uranium mill tailings Gunnison was very similar to those found in the Haberland waste pile, but there were found besides α-Proteobacteria and representatives of Holophaga/Acidobacterium a lot of γ-Proteobacteria. The structure of the bacterial community in the sample collected from the uranium mill tailings Shiprock was significantly different. Only some representatives of the Holophaga/Acidobacterium and α-Proteobacteria were represented. Large populations of Bacilli, γ-Proteobacteria and green non sulfur bacteria were dominant in this sample. (orig.)

  20. A review of international uranium mill tailings management practice

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium tailings management practices adopted in various countries or, more specifically, uranium mining areas, tend to reflect several factors: the age of the mining and milling operation, the mining method (e.g. underground vs open pit), the ore grade, the regional geology, hydrogeology and geochemistry, the topography and geomorphology of the area, climatic conditions, and governmental regulations. Of these, only the last, governmental regulations, are by definition nationalistic in scope. However, even these tend to reflect the other factors which are imposed by nature. As a result of these factors, international mill tailings management strategies vary greatly and include both effluent and non-effluent producing systems, above and below grade disposal schemes, lined and unlined 'ponds' above and below water (both surface water and groundwater) emplacement, 'wet' and 'dry' methods of disposal, and pre-treatment of the gangue in the mill. This paper reviews current (and, where applicable, past) uranium mill tailings management practice(s) in Africa, Australia, Europe and North America in the context of the above factors

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  3. Review of fugitive dust control for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An immediate concern associated with the disposal of uranium mill tailings is that wind erosion of the tailings from an impoundment area will subsequently deposit tailings on surrounding areas. Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, is investigating the current technology for fugitive dust control. Different methods of fugitive dust control, including chemical, physical, and vegetative, have been used or tested on mill tailings piles. This report presents the results of a literature review and discussions with manufacturers and users of available stabilization materials and techniques

  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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Uranium mill tailings remedial action project real estate management plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This plan summarizes the real estate requirements of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Action (UMTRA) Project, identifies the roles and responsibilities of project participants involved in real estate activities, and describes the approaches used for completing these requirements. This document is intended to serve as a practical guide for all project participants. It is intended to be consistent with all formal agreements, but if a conflict is identified, the formal agreements will take precedence

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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. Asphalt emulsion sealing of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The use of asphalt emulsion to contain radon and radium in uranium tailings is being investigated at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Results of these studies indicate that a radon flux reduction of greater than 99% can be obtained using either a poured-on/sprayed-on seal (3.0 to 7.0 mm thick) or an admix seal (2.5 to 15.2 cm thick) containing about 18 wt % residual asphalt. A field test was carried out at the Grand Junction tailings pile in order to demonstrate the sealing process. A reduction in radon flux ranging from 4.5 to greater than 99% (76% average) was achieved using a 15.2 cm (6 in.) admix seal with a sprayed-on top coat. A hydrostatic stabilizer was used to apply the admix. This was followed by compaction to form the radon seal. Overburden was applied to provide a protective soil layer over the seal. Included in part of the overburden was a herbicide to prevent root penetration

  10. Uptake of uranium by plants growing on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A field study was conducted in an area where uranium mill tailings are discharged in the form of slurry (mixture of fine sand and effluent). The fine tailings sand is retained there and effluent is decanted for further treatment. Over the years, certain plant species like Typha latifolia, Saccharum spontanium, Ipomoea carnia etc. have covered the major portion of the tailings pond. Concentration and concentration ratio of uranium in different organs of these plants were evaluated. Concentration of uranium in Typha latifolia plant from tailings pond and the CR was found to have inverse relationship with substrate uranium content. Correlation coefficient between CR(R) and soil, CR(St) and soil and CR(L) and soil in Typha latifolia was -0.80, -0.90 and -0.86 respectively. (author)

  11. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1993 Environmental Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This annual report documents the Uranium Mill Tailing Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project environmental monitoring and protection program. The UMTRA Project routinely monitors radiation, radioactive residual materials, and hazardous constituents at associated former uranium tailings processing sites and disposal sites. At the end of 1993, surface remedial action was complete at 10 of the 24 designated UMTRA Project processing sites. In 1993 the UMTRA Project office revised the UMTRA Project Environmental Protection Implementation Plan, as required by the US DOE. Because the UMTRA Project sites are in different stages of remedial action, the breadth of the UMTRA environmental protection program differs from site to site. In general, sites actively undergoing surface remedial action have the most comprehensive environmental programs for sampling media. At sites where surface remedial action is complete and at sites where remedial action has not yet begun, the environmental program consists primarily of surface water and ground water monitoring to support site characterization, baseline risk assessments, or disposal site performance assessments

  12. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1993 Environmental Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-10-01

    This annual report documents the Uranium Mill Tailing Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project environmental monitoring and protection program. The UMTRA Project routinely monitors radiation, radioactive residual materials, and hazardous constituents at associated former uranium tailings processing sites and disposal sites. At the end of 1993, surface remedial action was complete at 10 of the 24 designated UMTRA Project processing sites. In 1993 the UMTRA Project office revised the UMTRA Project Environmental Protection Implementation Plan, as required by the US DOE. Because the UMTRA Project sites are in different stages of remedial action, the breadth of the UMTRA environmental protection program differs from site to site. In general, sites actively undergoing surface remedial action have the most comprehensive environmental programs for sampling media. At sites where surface remedial action is complete and at sites where remedial action has not yet begun, the environmental program consists primarily of surface water and ground water monitoring to support site characterization, baseline risk assessments, or disposal site performance assessments.

  13. Application of nanofiltration to the treatment of uranium mill effluents

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nanofiltration is widely used in water treatment due to the lower energy requirements and higher yields than reverse osmosis. Separation characteristics are dependent on both the molecular size and charge of the dissolved species in the feed solution as well as membrane properties. In this investigation the potential of nanofiltration to remove dissolved species from uranium mill effluent has been studied. The background behind the application is discussed and the results of the first testwork programme are presented. An initial screening of seventeen commercially available membranes was completed and it was found that uranium rejections of greater than 75% were consistently achieved. Selected membranes also showed potential for the separation of radium, sulfate and manganese. (author)

  14. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project environmental protection implementation plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Environmental Protection Implementation Plan (EPIP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5400.1. The UMTRA EPIP is updated annually. This version covers the time period of 9 November 1994, through 8 November 1995. Its purpose is to provide management direction to ensure that the UMTRA Project is operated and managed in a manner that will protect, maintain, and where necessary, restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to public health and the environment, and comply with environmental regulations and DOE policies

  15. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project. 1995 Environmental Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-06-01

    In accordance with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Order 23 1. 1, Environment, Safety and Health Reporting, the DOE prepares an annual report to document the activities of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project environmental monitoring program. This monitoring must comply with appropriate laws, regulations, and standards, and it must identify apparent and meaningful trends in monitoring results. The results of all monitoring activities must be communicated to the public. The UMTRA Project has prepared annual environmental reports to the public since 1989.

  16. Uranium mill tailings storage, use, and disposal problems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Solid and liquid residues (tailings) containing substantial quantities of naturally occurring radionuclides are produced and stored at all US uranium mill sites. These radioactive wastes are a potential health hazard with the degree of hazard depending largely on the tailings management practices at the individual sites. The principal pathways of potential radiation exposure to man are discussed. A description is presented of some past and current tailings storage practices together with a description of some of the possible problems associated with various stabilization and disposal options. 16 figures

  17. 77 FR 35431 - Final Alternative Soils Standards for the Uravan, CO, Uranium Mill

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-06-13

    ... standards for a 30-day comment period (76 FR 70170; November 10, 2011). The public comment period and... COMMISSION Final Alternative Soils Standards for the Uravan, CO, Uranium Mill AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Notice of Uranium milling alternative standards. SUMMARY: This document announces that...

  18. 76 FR 59173 - Standard Format and Content of License Applications for Conventional Uranium Mills

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-09-23

    ... COMMISSION Standard Format and Content of License Applications for Conventional Uranium Mills AGENCY: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ACTION: Draft regulatory guide; withdrawal. SUMMARY: On May 30, 2008 (73 FR 31152... Conventional Uranium Mills.'' DG- 3024 was a proposed Revision 2 of Regulatory Guide (RG) 3.5. However,...

  19. Uranium milling: Volume 1, Summary and text: Generic environmental impact statement: Draft

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This generic environmental impact statement on uranium milling has been prepared in accordance with a notice of intent published by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The purpose of the statement is to assess the potential environmental impacts of uranium milling operations, in a programmatic context, including the management of uranium mill tailings, and to provide an opportunity for public participation in decisions on any proposed changes in NRC regulations based on this assessment. The principal objectives of the statement are to assess the nature and extent of the environmental impacts of uranium milling in the United states from local, regional, and national perspectives on both short- and long-term bases, to determine what regulatory actions are needed; to provide information on which to determine what regulatory requirements for management and disposal of mill tailings and mill decommissioning should be; and to support any rule makings that may be determined to be necessary. 39 figs., 130 tabs

  20. Uranium mill tailings neutralization: contaminant complexation and tailings leaching studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laboratory experiments were performed to compare the effectiveness of limestone (CaCO3) and hydrated lime [Ca(OH)2] for improving waste water quality through the neutralization of acidic uranium mill tailings liquor. The experiments were designed to also assess the effects of three proposed mechanisms - carbonate complexation, elevated pH, and colloidal particle adsorption - on the solubility of toxic contaminants found in a typical uranium mill waste solution. Of special interest were the effects each of these possible mechanisms had on the solution concentrations of trace metals such as Cd, Co, Mo, Zn, and U after neutralization. Results indicated that the neutralization of acidic tailings to a pH of 7.3 using hydrated lime provided the highest overall waste water quality. Both the presence of a carbonate source or elevating solution pH beyond pH = 7.3 resulted in a lowering of previously achieved water quality, while adsorption of contaminants onto colloidal particles was not found to affect the solution concentration of any constituent investigated. 24 refs., 8 figs., 19 tabs

  1. Radon attenuation handbook for uranium mill tailings cover design

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This handbook has been prepared to facilitate the design of earthen covers to control radon emission from uranium mill tailings. Radon emissions from bare and covered uranium mill tailings can be estimated from equations based on diffusion theory. Basic equations are presented for calculating surface radon fluxes from covered tailings, or alternately, the cover thicknesses required to satisfy a given radon flux criterion. Also described is a computer code, RAECOM, for calculating cover thicknesses and surface fluxes. Methods are also described for measuring diffusion coefficients for radon, or for estimating them from empirical correlations. Since long-term soil moisture content is a critical parameter in determining the value of the diffusion coefficient, methods are given for estimating the long-term moisture contents of soils. The effects of cover defects or advection are also discussed and guidelines are given for determining if they are significant. For most practical cases, advection and cover defect effects on radon flux can be neglected. Several examples are given to demonstrate cover design calculations, and an extensive list of references is included. 63 references, 18 figures, 6 tables

  2. Liner evaluation for uranium mill tailings. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buelt, J.L. (comp.)

    1983-09-01

    The Liner Evaluation for Uranium Mill Tailings Program was conducted to evaluate the need for and performance of prospective lining materials for the long-term management of inactive uranium mill tailings piles. On the basis of program results, two materials have been identified: natural foundation soil amended with 10% sodium bentonite; catalytic airblown asphalt membrane. The study showed that, for most situations, calcareous soils typical of Western US sites adequately buffer tailings leachates and prevent groundwater contamination without additional liner materials or amendments. Although mathematical modeling of disposal sites is recommended on a site-specific basis, there appears to be no reason to expect significant infiltration through the cover for most Western sites. The major water source through the tailings would be groundwater movement at sites with shallow groundwater tables. Even so column leaching studies showed that contaminant source terms were reduced to near maximum contaminant levels (MCL's) for drinking water within one or two pore volumes; thus, a limited source term for groundwater contamination exists. At sites where significant groundwater movement or infiltration is expected and the tailings leachates are alkaline, however, the sodium bentonite or asphalt membrane may be necessary.

  3. Liner evaluation for uranium mill tailings. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Liner Evaluation for Uranium Mill Tailings Program was conducted to evaluate the need for and performance of prospective lining materials for the long-term management of inactive uranium mill tailings piles. On the basis of program results, two materials have been identified: natural foundation soil amended with 10% sodium bentonite; catalytic airblown asphalt membrane. The study showed that, for most situations, calcareous soils typical of Western US sites adequately buffer tailings leachates and prevent groundwater contamination without additional liner materials or amendments. Although mathematical modeling of disposal sites is recommended on a site-specific basis, there appears to be no reason to expect significant infiltration through the cover for most Western sites. The major water source through the tailings would be groundwater movement at sites with shallow groundwater tables. Even so column leaching studies showed that contaminant source terms were reduced to near maximum contaminant levels (MCL's) for drinking water within one or two pore volumes; thus, a limited source term for groundwater contamination exists. At sites where significant groundwater movement or infiltration is expected and the tailings leachates are alkaline, however, the sodium bentonite or asphalt membrane may be necessary

  4. Measurement and calculation of radon releases from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The mining and milling of uranium ores produces large quantities of radioactive wastes. Although relatively small in magnitude compared to tailings from metal mining and extraction processes, the present worldwide production of such tailings exceeds 20 million tonnes annually. There is thus a need to ensure that the environmental and health risks from these materials are reduced to an acceptable level. This report has been written as a complement to another publication entitled Current Practices for the Management and Confinement of Uranium Mill Tailings, IAEA Technical Reports Series No. 335, which provides a general overview of all the important factors in the siting, design and construction of tailings impoundments, and in the overall management of tailings with due consideration give to questions of the release of pollutants from tailings piles. The present report provides a comprehensive overview of the release, control and monitoring of radon, including computational methods. The report was first drafted in 1989 and was then reviewed at an Advisory Group meeting in 1990. 42 refs, 9 figs, 3 tabs

  5. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Lowman Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Lowman, Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses the environmental impacts of stabilization on site of the contaminated materials at the Lowman uranium mill tailings site. The Lowman site is 0.5 road mile northeast of the unincorporated village of Lowman, Idaho, and 73 road miles from Boise, Idaho. The Lowman site consists of piles of radioactive sands, an ore storage area, abandoned mill buildings, and windblown/waterborne contaminated areas. A total of 29.5 acres of land are contaminated and most of this land occurs within the 35-acre designated site boundary. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings and other contaminated materials on the site. A radon barrier would be constructed over the consolidated residual radioactive materials and various erosion control measures would be implemented to ensure the long-term stability of the disposal cell. Radioactive constituents and other hazardous constituents were not detected in the groundwater beneath the Lowman site. The groundwater beneath the disposal cell would not become contaminated during or after remedial action so the maximum concentration limits or background concentrations for the contaminants listed in the draft EPA groundwater protection standards would be met at the point of compliance. No significant impacts were identified as a result of the proposed remedial action at the Lowman site

  6. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Lowman Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Lowman, Idaho. Final

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1991-01-01

    This document assesses the environmental impacts of stabilization on site of the contaminated materials at the Lowman uranium mill tailings site. The Lowman site is 0.5 road mile northeast of the unincorporated village of Lowman, Idaho, and 73 road miles from Boise, Idaho. The Lowman site consists of piles of radioactive sands, an ore storage area, abandoned mill buildings, and windblown/waterborne contaminated areas. A total of 29.5 acres of land are contaminated and most of this land occurs within the 35-acre designated site boundary. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings and other contaminated materials on the site. A radon barrier would be constructed over the consolidated residual radioactive materials and various erosion control measures would be implemented to ensure the long-term stability of the disposal cell. Radioactive constituents and other hazardous constituents were not detected in the groundwater beneath the Lowman site. The groundwater beneath the disposal cell would not become contaminated during or after remedial action so the maximum concentration limits or background concentrations for the contaminants listed in the draft EPA groundwater protection standards would be met at the point of compliance. No significant impacts were identified as a result of the proposed remedial action at the Lowman site.

  7. Evaluation of flexible membrane liners as long-term barriers for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The National Uranium Tailings Program has commissioned a study to evaluate flexible membrane liners (geomembranes) as long-term barriers for Canadian uranium mill tailings. This study reviews the common liner type and addresses flexible liners (polymeric membranes and asphalt) in detail. Liner fabrication, design, installation, and performance are reviewed. Conceptual designs are presented for basins to accommodate 20 years accumulation of uranium tailings from mills in Elliot Lake and southeastern Athabasca. Nine polymeric and three asphalt liner types have been considered with respect to the physical and chemical environment in the uranium producing areas of Canada. All materials indicate good chemical resistance to uranium wastes but are subject to installation problems

  8. Systematic evaluation of satellite remote sensing for identifying uranium mines and mills.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blair, Dianna Sue; Stork, Christopher Lyle; Smartt, Heidi Anne; Smith, Jody Lynn

    2006-01-01

    In this report, we systematically evaluate the ability of current-generation, satellite-based spectroscopic sensors to distinguish uranium mines and mills from other mineral mining and milling operations. We perform this systematic evaluation by (1) outlining the remote, spectroscopic signal generation process, (2) documenting the capabilities of current commercial satellite systems, (3) systematically comparing the uranium mining and milling process to other mineral mining and milling operations, and (4) identifying the most promising observables associated with uranium mining and milling that can be identified using satellite remote sensing. The Ranger uranium mine and mill in Australia serves as a case study where we apply and test the techniques developed in this systematic analysis. Based on literature research of mineral mining and milling practices, we develop a decision tree which utilizes the information contained in one or more observables to determine whether uranium is possibly being mined and/or milled at a given site. Promising observables associated with uranium mining and milling at the Ranger site included in the decision tree are uranium ore, sulfur, the uranium pregnant leach liquor, ammonia, and uranyl compounds and sulfate ion disposed of in the tailings pond. Based on the size, concentration, and spectral characteristics of these promising observables, we then determine whether these observables can be identified using current commercial satellite systems, namely Hyperion, ASTER, and Quickbird. We conclude that the only promising observables at Ranger that can be uniquely identified using a current commercial satellite system (notably Hyperion) are magnesium chlorite in the open pit mine and the sulfur stockpile. Based on the identified magnesium chlorite and sulfur observables, the decision tree narrows the possible mineral candidates at Ranger to uranium, copper, zinc, manganese, vanadium, the rare earths, and phosphorus, all of which are

  9. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Environmental Protection Implementation Plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Environmental Protection Implementation Plan (EPIP) has been prepared in accordance with the requirements of the US Department of Energy (DOE) Order 5400.1. The UMTRA EPIP covers the time period of November 9, 1993, through November 8, 1994. It will be updated annually. Its purpose is to provide management direction to ensure that the UMTRA Project is operated and managed in a manner that will protect, maintain, and where necessary, restore environmental quality, minimize potential threats to public health and the environment, and comply with environmental regulations and DOE policies. Contents of this report are: (1) general description of the UMTRA project environmental protection program; (2) notifications; (3) planning and reporting; (4) special programs; (5) environmental monitoring programs; (6) quality assurance and data verification; and (7) references

  10. Environmental management audit, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Office of Environment, Safety and Health (EH) has established, as part of the internal oversight responsibilities within Department of Energy (DOE), a program within the Office of Environmental Audit (EH-24), to conduct environmental audits at DOE's operating facilities. This document contains the results of the Environmental Management Audit of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. This Environmental Management Audit was conducted by the DOE's Office of Environmental Audit from October 26 through November 6, 1992. The audit's objective is to advise the Secretary as to the adequacy of UMTRA's environmental programs, and management organization in ensuring environmental protection and compliance with Federal, state, and DOE environmental requirements. This Environmental Management Audit's scope was comprehensive and covered all areas of environmental management with the exception of environmental programs pertaining to the implementation of the requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), which is the responsibility of the DOE Headquarters Office of NEPA Oversight

  11. Health and safety regulation of uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  12. Economic evaluation of remanded clean airact standards for uranium mill tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1986 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under authority of the Clean Air Act (CAA), established standards for controlling radon emissions from uranium mill tailings piles. As a result of a court decision on a related standard, EPA voluntarily remanded all of its CAA Standards for radionuclides in December 1987, including the 1986 Standards for Uranium Mill Tailings. EPA currently plans to promulgate final CAA Standards for uranium mill tailings piles. Three separate standards are under consideration. The costs and benefits associated with these options are discussed

  13. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, V N; Tripathi, R M; Sethy, N K; Sahoo, S K

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r=0.86, p<0.003). For sediment rooted plants significant correlation was found between uranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, p<0.001). Both for other free floating species and sediment rooted plants, uranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (p<0.01). Filamentous algae, Jussiaea and Pistia owing to their high bioproductivity, biomass, uranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. PMID:26360459

  14. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1994 environmental report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    This annual report documents the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project environmental monitoring and protection program. The UMTRA Project routinely monitors radiation, radioactive residual materials, and hazardous constituents at associated former uranium tailings processing sites and disposal sites. At the end of 1994, surface remedial action was complete at 14 of the 24 designated UMTRA Project processing sites: Canonsburg, Pennsylvania; Durango, Colorado; Grand Junction, Colorado; Green River Utah, Lakeview, Oregon; Lowman, Idaho; Mexican Hat, Utah; Riverton, Wyoming; Salt Lake City, Utah; Falls City, Texas; Shiprock, New Mexico; Spook, Wyoming, Tuba City, Arizona; and Monument Valley, Arizona. Surface remedial action was ongoing at 5 sites: Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico; Naturita, Colorado; Gunnison, Colorado; and Rifle, Colorado (2 sites). Remedial action has not begun at the 5 remaining UMTRA Project sites that are in the planning stage. Belfield and Bowman, North Dakota; Maybell, Colorado; and Slick Rock, Colorado (2 sites). The ground water compliance phase of the UMTRA Project started in 1991. Because the UMTRA Project sites are.` different stages of remedial action, the breadth of the UMTRA environmental protection program differs from site to site. In general, sites actively undergoing surface remedial action have the most comprehensive environmental programs for sampling media. At sites where surface remedial action is complete and at sites where remedial action has not yet begun, the environmental program consists primarily of surface water and ground water monitoring to support site characterization, baseline risk assessments, or disposal site performance assessments.

  15. Environmental protection of uranium mines and mills in India: regulator's perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  16. Estimating Radon Flux and Environmental Radiation Dose from Decommissioning Uranium Mill Tailings and Mining Debris

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    1998-01-01

    Based on a case study on uranium mine No.765 of China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), the paper briefly describes disposal program and effect of decommissioning uranium mine/mill facilities and quantitatively evaluates radon fluxes and doses to man of gaseous airborne pathway from mill tailings and mining debris before and after decommissioning, including annual individual effective dose to critical groups and annual collective effective dose to the population within 80 km region of the facilities.

  17. Annual status report on the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This fourteenth annual status report for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Office summarizes activities of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Surface (UMTRA-Surface) and Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Groundwater (UMTRA-Groundwater) Projects undertaken during fiscal year (FY) 1992 by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies. Project goals for FY 1993 are also presented. An annual report of this type was a statutory requirement through January 1, 1986, pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law (PL) 95-604. The DOE will continue to submit annual reports to DOE-Headquarters, the states, tribes, and local representatives through Project completion in order to inform the public of the yearly Project status. The purpose of the remedial action is to stabilize and control the tailings and other residual radioactive material (RRM) located on the inactive uranium processing sites in a safe and environmentally sound manner, and to minimize or eliminate potential health hazards. Commercial and residential properties near designated processing sites that are contaminated with material from the sites, herein referred to as ''vicinity properties (VP),'' are also eligible for remedial action. Included in the UMTRA Project are 24 inactive uranium processing sites and associated VPs located in 10 states, and the VPs associated with the Edgemont, South Dakota, uranium mill currently owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) (Figure A.1, Appendix A)

  18. 226Ra bioavailability of plants at urgeirica uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Large amounts of solid wastes (tailings) resulting from the exploitation and treatment of uranium ore at the Urgeirica mine (north of Portugal) have been accumulated in dams (tailing ponds). To reduce the dispersion of natural radionuclides into the environment some dams were revegetated with eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globolus) and pines (Pinus pinea). Besides, some shrubs (Cytisus s.p.) are growing at some of the dams. The objective of this study is to determine the 226Ra bioavailability from uranium mill tailings through the quantification of the total and available fraction of radium in the solid wastes and to estimate its transfer to the plants growing on the tailing piles. Plants and solid waste samples were randomly collected at dams. Activity concentration of 226Ra in plants (aerial part and roots) and solid wastes were measured by gamma spectrometry. The exchangeable fraction of radium in solid wastes was quantified using one single step extraction with 1 mol dm-3 ammonium acetate (pH=7) or 1 mol dm-3 calcium chloride solutions. The results obtained for the 226Ra uptake by plants show that 226Ra concentration ratios for eucalyptus and pines decrease at low 226Ra concentration in the solid wastes and appear relatively constant at higher radium concentrations. For shrubs, the concentration ratios increase at higher 226Ra solid waste concentrations approaching a saturation value. Percentage values of 16.0±8.3 and 12.9±8.9, for the fraction of radium extracted from the solid wastes, using 1 mol dm-3 ammonium acetate or calcium chloride solutions respectively, were obtained. The 226Ra concentration ratios determined on the basis of exchangeable radium are one order of magnitude higher than those based on total radium. It can be concluded that, within the standard error values, more consistent 226Ra concentration ratios were obtained when calculated on the basis of available radium than when total radium was considered, for all the dams. (author)

  19. Geotechnical behavior of uranium mill tailings from Saskatchewan, Canada

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Bhuiyan Imteaz; Azam Shahid; Khaled Shifullah; Landine Patrick

    2016-01-01

    This paper investigates the geotechnical behavior of uranium mill tailings from Saskatchewan, Canada. The 4% tailings were well-graded with 29% fines whereas the 5% and 6% tailings were gap-graded with 49% fines. All samples exhibited a negligible strength (0.4 kPa) up to 60% solids, followed by a rapid increase. The 4% tailings exhibited a lower rate and amount of settlement than 5% and 6% tail-ings. The ki decreased from 10-2 to 10-4 m/s with a decrease in ei from 16 to 4 and a decrease in ef from 8 to 4 such that 4% tailings showed one order of magnitude lower values than the 5% and 6%tailings. The settling potential decreased ten times (50%–5%) for 4% tailings and four times (60%–15%) for 5% and 6% tailings. The effective stress increased from 80 to 260 Pa in the settling tests. The 4%tailings were less prone to segregation when compared with 5% and 6% tailings. The average solids content after settling was 35% for 4% tailings, 40% for 5% tailings and 39% for 6% tailings with a solids content deviation of ±3%, ±8%, ±6%, respectively. All materials were essentially non-segregating at 40%initial solids.

  20. Environmental Assessment of Remedial Action at the Mexican Hat Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Mexican Hat, Utah

    OpenAIRE

    U.S. Department of Energy

    1987-01-01

    This document assesses the environmental impacts of the proposed remedial action at the Mexican Hat uranium mill tailings site located on the Navajo Reservation in southern Utah. The site covers 235 acres and contains 69 acres of tailings and several of the original mill structures. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law 95-604 (PL95-604), authorized the U.S. Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated wit...

  1. Remedial action plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings site at Tuba City, Arizona: Phase 2, Construction, Subcontract documents: Appendix E, final report. [Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1989-08-01

    This appendix discusses Phase II construction and subcontract documents uranium mill site near Tuba City, Arizona. It contains the bid schedule, special conditions, specifications, and subcontract drawings.

  2. The migration of ground-water contaminants from uranium mill tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Milling of uranium ore by acid or alkaline leaching methods produces high solution concentrations of both radioactive and nonradioactive species in the mill tailings piles. Seepage of solution from these tailing piles may contaminate local ground-water supplies. As part of the DOE-sponsored Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, the movement of contaminants from the tailing piles at inactive mill tailings sites is being characterized. Study to date has shown that many of the potential contaminants, including radium and thorium, are reduced to very low solution levels as a result of water/rock interactions. However, uranium, sulfate, and nitrate have been found at contaminant levels in the ground water at several sites. Spatial distributions of contaminant concentration are used to estimate values of dispersivity and distribution coefficients by calibrating contaminant transport models to site-specific hydrologic conditions. This paper describes the existing contamination at representative sites and discusses the physical and geochemical processes that affect contaminant migration

  3. Integrated assessmet of the impacts associated with uranium mining and milling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Parzyck, D.C.; Baes, C.F. III; Berry, L.G.

    1979-07-01

    The occupational health and safety impacts are assessed for domestic underground mining, open pit mining, and milling. Public health impacts are calculated for a population of 53,000 located within 88 km (55 miles) of a typical southwestern uranium mill. The collective annual dose would be 6.5 man-lung rem/year, 89% of which is from /sup 222/Rn emitted from mill tailings. The dose to the United States population is estimated to be 6 x 10/sup 4/ man-lung rem from combined mining and milling operations. This may be comparedd with 5.7 x 10/sup 5/ man-lung rem from domestic use of natural gas and 4.4 x 10/sup 7/ man-lung rem from building interiors. Unavoidable adverse environmental impacts appear to be severe in a 250 ha area surrounding a mill site but negligible in the entire potentially impacted area (500,000 ha). The contemporary uranium resource and supply industry and its institutional settings are described in relation to the socio-economic impacts likely to emerge from high levels of uranium mining and milling. Radon and radon daughter monitoring techniques associated with uranium mining and milling are discussed.

  4. Integrated assessmet of the impacts associated with uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The occupational health and safety impacts are assessed for domestic underground mining, open pit mining, and milling. Public health impacts are calculated for a population of 53,000 located within 88 km (55 miles) of a typical southwestern uranium mill. The collective annual dose would be 6.5 man-lung rem/year, 89% of which is from 222Rn emitted from mill tailings. The dose to the United States population is estimated to be 6 x 104 man-lung rem from combined mining and milling operations. This may be comparedd with 5.7 x 105 man-lung rem from domestic use of natural gas and 4.4 x 107 man-lung rem from building interiors. Unavoidable adverse environmental impacts appear to be severe in a 250 ha area surrounding a mill site but negligible in the entire potentially impacted area (500,000 ha). The contemporary uranium resource and supply industry and its institutional settings are described in relation to the socio-economic impacts likely to emerge from high levels of uranium mining and milling. Radon and radon daughter monitoring techniques associated with uranium mining and milling are discussed

  5. Uptake of uranium by aquatic plants growing in fresh water ecosystem around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jha, V N; Tripathi, R M; Sethy, N K; Sahoo, S K

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r=0.86, puranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, puranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (puranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent.

  6. Implications of an assessment of potential organic contamination of ground water at an inactive uranium mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Laws and regulations concerning remedial actions at inactive uranium mills explicitly recognize radiological and nonradiological hazards and may implicitly recognize the potential presence of hazardous wastes at these mill sites. Ground-water studies at the sites have placed an increasing emphasis on screening for priority pollutants. The Grand Junction, Colorado, mill site was deemed to have a high potential for the presence of organic compounds in ground water, and was chosen as a prototype for assessing the presence of organic compounds in ground water at inactive sites. Lessons learned from the assessment of organics at the Grand Junction site were used to develop a screening procedure for other inactive mill sites

  7. TECHNICAL REPORT ON TECHNOLOGICALLY ENHANCED NATURALLY OCCURRING RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS FROM URANIUM MINING, VOLUME II: INVESTIGATION OF POTENTIAL HEALTH, GEOGRAPHIC, AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES OF ABANDONED URANIUM MINES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volume II investigates the potential radiogenic risks from abandoned uranium mines and evaluates which may pose the greatest hazards to members of the public and to the environment. The intent of this report is to identify who may be most likely to be exposed to wastes at small a...

  8. Uranium and thorium leached from uranium mill tailing of Guangdong Province, China and its implication for radiological risk.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J; Liu, J; Zhu, L; Qi, J Y; Chen, Y H; Xiao, T F; Fu, S M; Wang, C L; Li, J W

    2012-11-01

    The paper focused on the leaching behaviour of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) from uranium mill tailing collected from the Uranium Mill Plant in Northern Guangdong Province, China. Distilled water (pH 6) and sulphuric acid solution (pH 4 and 3) were used as solvent for the leaching over 22 weeks. It was found that the cumulative leach fraction from the mill tailing was 0.1, 0.1 and 0.7 % for U release, and overall 0.01 % for Th release, using distilled water, sulphuric acid solution of pH 4 and pH 3 as leaching agents, respectively. The results indicate that (1) the release of U and Th in uranium mill tailing is a slow and long-term process; (2) surface dissolution is the main mechanism for the release of U and Th when sulphuric acid solution of pH 3 is employed as the leaching agent; (3) both U and Th are released by diffusion when using sulphuric acid solution of pH 4 as the leaching agent and (4) U is released by surface dissolution, while Th is released by diffusion when using distilled water as the leaching agent. The implication for radiological risk in the real environment was also discussed.

  9. Uranium and thorium leached from uranium mill tailing of Guangdong province (CN)) and its implication for radiological risk

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The paper focused on the leaching behaviour of uranium (U) and thorium (Th) from uranium mill tailing collected from the Uranium Mill Plant in Northern Guangdong Province (CN)). Distilled water (pH 6) and sulphuric acid solution (pH 4 and 3) were used as solvent for the leaching over 22 weeks. It was found that the cumulative leach fraction from the mill tailing was 0.1, 0.1 and 0.7 % for U release, and overall 0.01 % for Th release, using distilled water, sulphuric acid solution of pH 4 and pH 3 as leaching agents, respectively. The results indicate that (1) the release of U and Th in uranium mill tailing is a slow and long-term process; (2) surface dissolution is the main mechanism for the release of U and Th when sulphuric acid solution of pH 3 is employed as the leaching agent; (3) both U and Th are released by diffusion when using sulphuric acid solution of pH 4 as the leaching agent and (4) U is released by surface dissolution, while Th is released by diffusion when using distilled water as the leaching agent. The implication for radiological risk in the real environment was also discussed. (authors)

  10. A review of worldwide practices for disposal of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The world's ever increasing need for energy has led to the construction of over 400 nuclear power stations since 1950. The fuel for these plants is processed from uranium which is mined in about 18 countries. The milling of uranium ore produces a waste product, the mill tailings, which contains about 85% of the ore's original radioactivity, process reagent residues and often a wide range of heavy metals, all of which have the potential to degrade the environment. The risk to human health and the environment has only been fully appreciated in relatively recent times. Earlier disposal plans for uranium mill tailings were frequently inadequate and resulted in adverse environmental impact. This review explains the nature of the risks to the environment and human health before describing many of the past disposal practices associated with uranium mill tailings. Current uranium mill tailings disposal practices in the major producer countries are then described, including remedial actions that have been undertaken to alleviate problems arising from earlier, inadequate and/or inappropriate disposal programs. A range of options available for tailings disposal is presented, together with a brief overview of legislation and regulations from a number of countries. Finally the report looks at how the issue might be addressed in the Alligator Rivers Region of Australia. 55 refs., 1 tab

  11. Programmatic Environmental Report for remedial actions at UMTRA (Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action) Project vicinity properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1985-03-01

    This Environmental Report (ER) examines the environmental consequences of implementing a remedial action that would remove radioactive uranium mill tailings and associated contaminated materials from 394 vicinity properties near 14 inactive uranium processing sites included in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project pursuant to Public Law 95--604, the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978. Vicinity properties are those properties in the vicinity of the UMTRA Project inactive mill sites, either public or private, that are believed to be contaminated by residual radioactive material originating from one of the 14 inactive uranium processing sites, and which have been designated under Section 102(a)(1) of UMTRCA. The principal hazard associated with the contaminated properties results from the production of radon, a radioactive decay product of the radium contained in the tailings. Radon, a radioactive gas, can diffuse through the contaminated material and be released into the atmosphere where it and its radioactive decay products may be inhaled by humans. A second radiation exposure pathway results from the emission of gamma radiation from uranium decay products contained in the tailings. Gamma radiation emitted from contaminated material delivers an external exposure to the whole body. If the concentration of radon and its decay products is high enough and the exposure time long enough, or if the exposure to direct gamma radiation is long enough, cancers (i.e., excess health effects) may develop in persons living and working at the vicinity properties. 3 refs., 7 tabs.

  12. Scientific basis for risk assessment and management of uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1986-01-01

    A National Research Council study panel, convened by the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, has examined the scientific basis for risk assessment and management of uranium mill tailings and issued this final report containing a number of recommendations. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to the problem. Chapter 2 examines the processes of uranium extraction and the mechanisms by which radionuclides and toxic chemicals contained in the ore can enter the environment. Chapter 3 is devoted to a review of the evidence on health risks associated with radon and its decay products. Chapter 4 provides a consideration of conventional and possible new technical alternatives for tailings management. Chapter 5 explores a number of issues of comparative risk, provides a brief history of uranium mill tailings regulation, and concludes with a discussion of choices that must be made in mill tailing risk management. 211 refs., 30 figs., 27 tabs.

  13. Scientific basis for risk assessment and management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A National Research Council study panel, convened by the Board on Radioactive Waste Management, has examined the scientific basis for risk assessment and management of uranium mill tailings and issued this final report containing a number of recommendations. Chapter 1 provides a brief introduction to the problem. Chapter 2 examines the processes of uranium extraction and the mechanisms by which radionuclides and toxic chemicals contained in the ore can enter the environment. Chapter 3 is devoted to a review of the evidence on health risks associated with radon and its decay products. Chapter 4 provides a consideration of conventional and possible new technical alternatives for tailings management. Chapter 5 explores a number of issues of comparative risk, provides a brief history of uranium mill tailings regulation, and concludes with a discussion of choices that must be made in mill tailing risk management. 211 refs., 30 figs., 27 tabs

  14. Remediation and corresponding radiological impact of French uranium mining and milling sites (COGEMA)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As French uranium mines and mills are progressively ceasing operation, COGEMA has developed since 1991 an extensive remediation programme (see map for location and year of end of remediation work). The paper describes the radiological (and non radiological) monitoring system used to assess the radiological impact of uranium mining remaining after remediation. This includes air quality measurement (mainly gamma activity and radon 222 alpha potential energy), water and food chain sampling and analysis (uranium 238, radium 226 and lead 210). The monitoring network is particularly comprehensive around industrial sites grouping mines, mills and uranium mill tailings storage facilities. Different examples of real continuous measurement results collected before and after remediation and plotted on curves are presented. Main observations and evolutions are discussed highlighting some of the main issues related to uranium mines and mill remediation. Differences in gamma measurement due to geological environment or seasonal variations in radon 222 alpha potential energy stress the difficulty of choosing a background station. Radon 222 alpha potential energy concentration evolution may be linked to the placement of the cover on top of the mill tailings pile. Evolution of quality from the drainage system to the release in the river measures the efficiency of the water treatment plant which may become useless as the water quality naturally improves. Highest total added doses to members of the public, using realistic scenario and dose factors as recommended by European Directive 96/29 should be near 1 mSv. In the environment of uranium mines and mill tailings storages, measurement and dose to members of the public are low (compared to some modelisation results) and remediation improves and perpetuate this limited impact. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  17. Closeout of uranium mines and mills: A review of current practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present report is a first step in gathering information on the assessment and control of the long term (over a few centuries) impact of uranium mining and milling waste. Its intention is to outline several examples of worldwide experience. It contains summaries of current closeout practices which have not previously been presented in a singly publication. It is expected to provide necessary information to Member States to formulate meaningful decisions for adequately controlling impacts resulting from uranium mines and mills waste materials. The information contained herein may also be valuable as background material for developing relevant guidance in this subject area, for example within the IAEA Safety Standards Programme. Refs, figs, tabs

  18. Safe management of wastes from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wastes from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores pose potential environmental and public health problems because of their radioactivity and chemical composition. This document consists of two parts: a Code of Practice (Part I) and a Guide to the Code (Part II). The Code sets forth the requirements for the safe and responsible handling of the wastes resulting from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores, while the Guide presents further guidance in the use of the Code together with some discussion of the technology and concepts involved

  19. GYP-600 inertia cone crusher applied in fine crushing in a uranium mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    GYP-600 inertia cone crusher is a high efficiency equipment. It not only has the characteristics of a high crush rate, less energy, and easy installment, but also can prevent over-crush, and control the mine particle size in the range of flow need. The application in a uranium mill indicated that it can satisfy mine particle size and output of leakage lixiviation flow in the uranium mill, solve the antinomy problem between the mine hard to crush and over-crush, and get the remarkable economy benefit. (authors)

  20. Asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems for uranium mill tailings: A summary of the technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) office, has developed an asphalt emulsion cover system to reduce the release of radon from uranium mill tailings. The system has been field-tested at the tailings site in Grand Junction, Colorado. Results from laboratory and field tests indicate that this system effectively reduces radon release to near-background levels (-2s-1) and has the properties required for long-term effectiveness and stability. Engineering specifications have been developed, and a cost analysis indicates that asphalt emulsion covers are competitive with other cover systems

  1. Mobilization of radionuclides from uranium mill tailings and related waste materials in anaerobic environments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Specific extraction studies in our laboratory have shown that iron and manganese oxide- and alkaline earth sulfate minerals are important hosts of radium in uranium mill tailings. Iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria may enhance the release of radium (and its analog barium) from uranium mill tailings, oil field pipe scale [a major technologically enhanced naturally occurring radioactive material (TENORM) waste], and jarosite (a common mineral in sulfuric acid processed-tailings). These research findings are reviewed and discussed in the context of nuclear waste forms (such as barium sulfate matrices), radioactive waste management practices, and geochemical environments in the Earth's surficial and shallow subsurface regions. (author)

  2. Radon emanation from backfilled mill tailings in underground uranium mine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coarser mill tailings used as backfill to stabilize the stoped out areas in underground uranium mines is a potential source of radon contamination. This paper presents the quantitative assessment of radon emanation from the backfilled tailings in Jaduguda mine, India using a cylindrical accumulator. Some of the important parameters such as 226Ra activity concentration, bulk density, bulk porosity, moisture content and radon emanation factor of the tailings affecting radon emanation were determined in the laboratory. The study revealed that the radon emanation rate of the tailings varied in the range of 0.12–7.03 Bq m−2 s−1 with geometric mean of 1.01 Bq m−2 s−1 and geometric standard deviation of 3.39. An increase in radon emanation rate was noticed up to a moisture saturation of 0.09 in the tailings, after which the emanation rate gradually started declining with saturation due to low diffusion coefficient of radon in the saturated tailings. Radon emanation factor of the tailings varied in the range of 0.08–0.23 with the mean value of 0.21. The emanation factor of the tailings with moisture saturation level over 0.09 was found to be about three times higher than that of the absolutely dry tailings. The empirical relationship obtained between 222Rn emanation rate and 226Ra activity concentration of the tailings indicated a significant positive linear correlation (r = 0.95, p < 0.001). This relationship may be useful for quick prediction of radon emanation rate from the backfill material of similar nature. - Highlights: • 222Rn emanation rate of the backfilled tailings varied from 0.12 to 7.03 Bq m−2 s−1. • Good correlation between 222Rn emanation rate and 226Ra activity concentration found. • Higher 222Rn emanation rate was obtained from moist backfilled tailings. • Radon emanation factor of the backfilled tailings varied in the range of 0.08–0.23. • Emanation factor of wet tailings was about 3 times higher than that of dry tailings

  3. 238U, and its decay products, in grasses from an abandoned uranium mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  4. Measurements of 234U, 238U and 230Th in excreta of uranium-mill crushermen

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium and thorium levels in excreta of uranium mill crushermen who are routinely exposed to airborne uranium ore dust were measured. The purpose was to determine whether 230Th was preferentially retained over either 234U or 238U in the body. Urine and fecal samples were obtained from fourteen active crushermen with long histories of exposure to uranium ore dust, plus four retired crushermen and three control individuals for comparison. Radiochemical procedures were used to separate out the uranium and thorium fractions, which were then electroplated on stainless steel discs and assayed by alpha spectrometry. Significantly greater activity levels of 234U and 238U were measured in both urine and fecal samples obtained from uranium mill crushermen, indicating that uranium in the inhaled ore dust was cleared from the body with a shorter biological half-time than the daughter product 230Th. The measurements also indicated that uranium and thorium separate in vivo and have distinctly different metabolic pathways and transfer rates in the body. The appropriateness of current ICRP retention and clearance parameters for 230Th in ore dust is questioned

  5. Annual status report on the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This eleventh annual status report summarizes activities of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project undertaken during Fiscal Year (FY) 1989 by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and other agencies. Project goals for FY 1990 are also presented. An annual report of this type was a statutory requirement through January 1, 1986, pursuant to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law (PL) 95--604. The DOE will continue to submit an annual report through project completion in order to inform the public of yearly project status. Title I of the UMTRCA authorizes the DOE, in cooperation with affected states and Indian tribes within whose boundaries designated uranium processing sites are located, to provide a program of assessment and remedial action at such sites. The purpose of the remedial action is to stabilize and control the tailings and other residual radioactive materials located on the inactive uranium processing sites in a safe and environmentally sound manner and to minimize or eliminate potential radiation health hazards. Commercial and residential properties in the vicinity of designated processing sites that are contaminated with material from the sites, herein referred to as ''vicinity properties,'' are also eligible for remedial action. Included in the UMTRA Project are 24 inactive uranium processing sites and associated vicinity properties located in 10 states, and the vicinity properties associated with Edgemont, South Dakota, an inactive uranium mill currently owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  7. THE IMPACT ASSESSMENT OF THE ABANDONED URANIUM MINING EXPLOITATIONS ON ROCKS AND SOILS - ZIMBRU PERIMETER, ARAD COUNTY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DIANA M. BANU

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available The mining exploration and exploitation, especially the activity of uranium mineralization exploration and exploitation has a negative impact on the environment by the alterations of the landscape and the degradation of the environmental factors' quality. The principal environmental factors that could be affected by mining operations resulting from uranium exploitation are: water, air, soil, population, fauna, and flora. The aim of this study is, first, to identify the sources of pollution (natural radionuclides - natural radioactive series of uranium, radium, thorium, potassium and heavy metals that are accompanying the mineralizations for two of the most important environmental factors: rocks and soils: and, second, to assess the pollution impact on those two environmental factors. In order to identify this pollutants and their impact assessment it was selected as a study case an abandoned uranium mining perimeter named the Zimbru perimeter located in Arad County, Romania.

  8. Sustainability of uranium mining and milling: toward quantifying resources and eco-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudd, Gavin M; Diesendorf, Mark

    2008-04-01

    The mining of uranium has long been a controversial public issue, and a renewed debate has emerged on the potential for nuclear power to help mitigate against climate change. The central thesis of pro-nuclear advocates is the lower carbon intensity of nuclear energy compared to fossil fuels, although there remains very little detailed analysis of the true carbon costs of nuclear energy. In this paper, we compile and analyze a range of data on uranium mining and milling, including uranium resources as well as sustainability metrics such as energy and water consumption and carbon emissions with respect to uranium production-arguably the first time for modern projects. The extent of economically recoverable uranium resources is clearly linked to exploration, technology, and economics but also inextricably to environmental costs such as energy/water/chemicals consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and social issues. Overall, the data clearly show the sensitivity of sustainability assessments to the ore grade of the uranium deposit being mined and that significant gaps remain in complete sustainability reporting and accounting. This paper is a case study of the energy, water, and carbon costs of uranium mining and milling within the context of the nuclear energy chain.

  9. Sustainability of uranium mining and milling: toward quantifying resources and eco-efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudd, Gavin M; Diesendorf, Mark

    2008-04-01

    The mining of uranium has long been a controversial public issue, and a renewed debate has emerged on the potential for nuclear power to help mitigate against climate change. The central thesis of pro-nuclear advocates is the lower carbon intensity of nuclear energy compared to fossil fuels, although there remains very little detailed analysis of the true carbon costs of nuclear energy. In this paper, we compile and analyze a range of data on uranium mining and milling, including uranium resources as well as sustainability metrics such as energy and water consumption and carbon emissions with respect to uranium production-arguably the first time for modern projects. The extent of economically recoverable uranium resources is clearly linked to exploration, technology, and economics but also inextricably to environmental costs such as energy/water/chemicals consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and social issues. Overall, the data clearly show the sensitivity of sustainability assessments to the ore grade of the uranium deposit being mined and that significant gaps remain in complete sustainability reporting and accounting. This paper is a case study of the energy, water, and carbon costs of uranium mining and milling within the context of the nuclear energy chain. PMID:18505007

  10. Mining and milling of uranium ore: Indian scenario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  11. Stabilizing the tailing dam at Hengyang Uranium mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The engineering measures combined with vegetation for stabilizing tailing dam at Hengyang unanium mill is described briefly. Improvements on dam safety, environment management and dam life time that have been achieved over the last 5 years are presented

  12. Evaluation of wastewater treatment systems for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project - Lakeview, Oregon site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During remedial action at the Lakeview, Oregon, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project site, unexpectedly large volumes of contaminated water required quick identification and design of a treatment facility capable of meeting Oregon release limits. A laboratory program was prepared and executed to determine the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of several alternative treatment approaches, and an optimum system was selected, designed and deployed

  13. Environmental control technology for mining and milling low-grade uranium resources

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study examined the type and level of wastes that would be generated in the mining and milling of U3O8 from four potential domestic sources of uranium. The estimated costs of the technology to control these wastes to different degrees of stringency are presented

  14. Fractal and Chaos Analysis for Dynamics of Radon Exhalation from Uranium Mill Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yongmei; Tan, Wanyu; Tan, Kaixuan; Liu, Zehua; Xie, Yanshi

    2016-08-01

    Tailings from mining and milling of uranium ores potentially are large volumes of low-level radioactive materials. A typical environmental problem associated with uranium tailings is radon exhalation, which can significantly pose risks to environment and human health. In order to reduce these risks, it is essential to study the dynamical nature and underlying mechanism of radon exhalation from uranium mill tailings. This motivates the conduction of this study, which is based on the fractal and chaotic methods (e.g. calculating the Hurst exponent, Lyapunov exponent and correlation dimension) and laboratory experiments of the radon exhalation rates. The experimental results show that the radon exhalation rate from uranium mill tailings is highly oscillated. In addition, the nonlinear analyses of the time series of radon exhalation rate demonstrate the following points: (1) the value of Hurst exponent much larger than 0.5 indicates non-random behavior of the radon time series; (2) the positive Lyapunov exponent and non-integer correlation dimension of the time series imply that the radon exhalation from uranium tailings is a chaotic dynamical process; (3) the required minimum number of variables should be five to describe the time evolution of radon exhalation. Therefore, it can be concluded that the internal factors, including heterogeneous distribution of radium, and randomness of radium decay, as well as the fractal characteristics of the tailings, can result in the chaotic evolution of radon exhalation from the tailings.

  15. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-01

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Groundwater Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Gunnison, Colorado evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This is the second risk assessment of groundwater contamination at this site. The first risk assessment was performed primarily to evaluate existing domestic wells. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated monitor wells at the processing site. It will be used to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site after the tailings are relocated. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the groundwater are cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, sulfate, uranium, and some of the products of radioactive decay of uranium.

  16. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Groundwater Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Gunnison, Colorado evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This is the second risk assessment of groundwater contamination at this site. The first risk assessment was performed primarily to evaluate existing domestic wells. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated monitor wells at the processing site. It will be used to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site after the tailings are relocated. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the groundwater are cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, sulfate, uranium, and some of the products of radioactive decay of uranium

  17. National/international R and D programs on uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The mining and milling of uranium ores results in the production of large quantities of wastes containing low concentrations of radionuclides such as uranium, thorium, radium, radon and their daughter products. The current concern of the regulatory authorities is with the extent of the problems and the disposal methods that must be required now to ensure that an acceptable level of protection is maintained in the long term. This concern is the subject of a number of R and D programs. In Canada, the Technical Planning Group on Uranium Tailings was established to review ongoing activities and to plan a research program on the management of wastes after the mine and mill have shut down. The Group has completed its review and a report containing its conclusions and recommendations for a proposed national R and D program has been prepared. Included is a proposal for a centralized organizational structure for the coordination and managment of the total program which is to be supported jointly by the federal government, two (Ontario, Saskatchewan) provincial governments, and uranium producers. At the international level, the Nuclear Energy Agency originated, in 1979, a program to study the extent of the long-term problems of uranium mill tailings, and to develop an internationally acceptable methodology for making rational decisions regarding their long-term management taking into account the ICRP principles and system of dose limitation

  18. Uranium mining and milling work force characteristics in the western US

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report presents the results of a survey of the socioeconomic characteristics associated with 11 uranium mine and mill operations in 5 Western States. Comparisons are made with the socioeconomic characteristics of construction and operating crews for coal mines and utility plants in eight Western States. Worker productivity also is compared with that in similar types of coal and uranium mining operations. We found that there existed no significant differences between the socioeconomic characteristics of construction and operating crews and the secondary employment impacts associated with uranium mines and mills when compared with those associated with coal mines and utility plants requiring similar skills at comparable locations. In addition, our survey includes a comparison of several characteristics associated with the households of basic and nonbasic work forces and concludes that significant changes have occurred in the last 5 yr. Accordingly, we recommend additional monitoring and updating of data used in several economic forecasting models to avoid unwarranted delays in achieving national energy goals

  19. Remediation of uranium mill tailings by an integrated biological and chemical process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torma, A.E.

    1992-01-01

    Dilute calcium chloride brine solution was found to be effective in the solubilization of toxic heavy metals and long half-life radionuclides (Th-230, Ra-226 and Pb-210) from uranium ores and mill tailings. The recovery of heavy metals and radionuclides from uranium mill tailing effluents was studied with calcium alginate beads. The maximum cadmium and zinc uptakes by calcium alginate beads were determined to be 2.8 [times] 10[sup [minus]3] and 2.3 [times] 10[sup [minus]3] mol/dry weight of alginate. The kinetic values, V[sub m] and K, were calculated for uranium uptake by calcium alginate to be 96.2 mg/l/s and 0.125 g/l, respectively.

  20. Remediation of uranium mill tailings by an integrated biological and chemical process

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Torma, A.E.

    1992-12-31

    Dilute calcium chloride brine solution was found to be effective in the solubilization of toxic heavy metals and long half-life radionuclides (Th-230, Ra-226 and Pb-210) from uranium ores and mill tailings. The recovery of heavy metals and radionuclides from uranium mill tailing effluents was studied with calcium alginate beads. The maximum cadmium and zinc uptakes by calcium alginate beads were determined to be 2.8 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} and 2.3 {times} 10{sup {minus}3} mol/dry weight of alginate. The kinetic values, V{sub m} and K, were calculated for uranium uptake by calcium alginate to be 96.2 mg/l/s and 0.125 g/l, respectively.

  1. Estimated dose to man from uranium milling via the terrestrial food-chain pathway

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the major pathways of radiological exposure to man from uranium milling operations is through the terrestrial food chain. Studies by various investigators have shown the extent of uptake and distribution of U-238, U-234, Th-230, Ra-226, Pb-210, and Po-210 in plants and animals. These long-lived natural radioisotopes, all nuclides of the uranium decay series, are found in concentrated amounts in uranium mill tailings. Data from these investigations are used to estimate the dose to man from consumption of beef and milk contaminated by the tailings. This dose estimate from this technologically enhanced source is compared with that from average normal dietary intake of these radionuclides from natural sources

  2. Final environmental statement related to the United Nuclear Corporation, Morton Ranch, Wyoming Uranium Mill (Converse County, Wyoming)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-02-01

    Impacts from Morton Ranch Uranium Mill will result in: alterations of up to 270 acres occupied by the mill facilities; increase in the existing background radiation levels; socioeconomic effects on Glenrock and Douglas, Wyoming. Solid waste material (tailings solids) from the mill will be deposited onsite in exhausted surface mine pits. Any license issued for the Morton Ranch mill will be subject to conditions for the protection of the environment.

  3. Application of risk based cost-benefit analyses for decision making in environmental restoration regions of uranium mining and milling sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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)

  4. Preliminary study of a radiological survey in an abandoned uranium mining area in Madagascar

    Science.gov (United States)

    N, Rabesiranana; M, Rasolonirina; F, Solonjara A.; Andriambololona., Raoelina; L, Mabit

    2010-05-01

    The region of Vinaninkarena located in central Madagascar (47°02'40"E, 19°57'17"S), is known to be a high natural radioactive area. Uranium ore was extracted in this region during the 1950s and the early 1960s. In the mid-1960s, mining activities were stopped and the site abandoned. In the meantime, the region, which used to be without any inhabitants, has recently been occupied by new settlers with presumed increase in exposure of the local population to natural ionizing radiation. In order to assess radiological risk, a survey to assess the soil natural radioactivity background was conducted during the year 2004. This study was implemented in the frame of the FADES Project SP99v1b_21 entitled: Assessment of the environmental pollution by multidisciplinary approach, and the International Atomic Energy Agency Technical Cooperation Project MAG 7002 entitled: Effects of air and water pollution on human health. Global Positioning System (GPS) was used to determine the geographical coordinates of the top soil samples (0-15cm) collected. The sampling was performed using a multi integrated scale approach to estimate the spatial variability of the parameters under investigation (U, Th and K) using geo-statistical approach. A total of 205 soil samples was collected in the study site (16 km2). After humidity correction, the samples were sealed in 100 cm3 cylindrical air-tight plastic containers and stored for more than 6 months to reach a secular equilibrium between parents and short-lived progeny (226Ra and progeny, 238U and 234Th). Measurements were performed using a high-resolution HPGe Gamma-detector with a 30% relative efficiency and an energy resolution of 1.8 keV at 1332.5 keV, allowing the determination of the uranium and thorium series and 40K. In case of secular equilibrium, a non-gamma-emitting radionuclide activity was deduced from its gamma emitting progeny. This was the case for 238U (from 234Th), 226Ra (from 214Pb and 214Bi) and 232Th (from 228Ac, 212Pb or

  5. In-situ grouting of uranium-mill-tailings piles: an assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tamura, T.; Boegly, W.J. Jr.

    1983-05-01

    Passage in 1978 of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) initiated a program of remedial action for 22 existing mill tailings piles generated in the period 1940 to 1970 as part of the nation's defense and nuclear power programs. The presence of these piles poses potential health and environmental contamination concerns. Possible remedial actions proposed include multilayer covers over the piles to reduce water infiltration, reduce radon gas releases, and reduce airborne transport of tailings fines. In addition, suggested remedial actions include (1) the use of liners to prevent groundwater contamination by leachates from the piles and (2) chemical stabilization of the tailings to retain the radioactive and nonradioactive sources of contamination. Lining of the piles would normally be applicable only to piles that are to be moved from their present location such that the liner could be placed between the tailings and the groundwater. However, by using civil engineering techniques developed for grouting rocks and soils for strength and water control, it may be possible to produce an in situ liner for piles that are not to be relocated. The Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Office requested that ORNL assess the potential application of grouting as a remedial action. This report examines the types of grouts, the equipment available, and the costs, and assesses the possibility of applying grouting technology as a remedial action alternative for uranium mill tailings piles.

  6. In-situ grouting of uranium-mill-tailings piles: an assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Passage in 1978 of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) initiated a program of remedial action for 22 existing mill tailings piles generated in the period 1940 to 1970 as part of the nation's defense and nuclear power programs. The presence of these piles poses potential health and environmental contamination concerns. Possible remedial actions proposed include multilayer covers over the piles to reduce water infiltration, reduce radon gas releases, and reduce airborne transport of tailings fines. In addition, suggested remedial actions include (1) the use of liners to prevent groundwater contamination by leachates from the piles and (2) chemical stabilization of the tailings to retain the radioactive and nonradioactive sources of contamination. Lining of the piles would normally be applicable only to piles that are to be moved from their present location such that the liner could be placed between the tailings and the groundwater. However, by using civil engineering techniques developed for grouting rocks and soils for strength and water control, it may be possible to produce an in situ liner for piles that are not to be relocated. The Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Office requested that ORNL assess the potential application of grouting as a remedial action. This report examines the types of grouts, the equipment available, and the costs, and assesses the possibility of applying grouting technology as a remedial action alternative for uranium mill tailings piles

  7. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites, Slick Rock, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-01-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the processing sites and on vicinity properties (VPs) associated with the sites. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for the UMTRCA that contained measures to control the contaminated materials and to protect the ground water from further degradation. The sites contain concrete foundations of mill buildings, tailings piles, and areas contaminated by windblown and waterborne radioactive tailings materials. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designated site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi (8 km) northeast of the processing sites on land administered by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Remediation would be performed by the DOE`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project.

  8. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites, Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the processing sites and on vicinity properties (VPs) associated with the sites. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for the UMTRCA that contained measures to control the contaminated materials and to protect the ground water from further degradation. The sites contain concrete foundations of mill buildings, tailings piles, and areas contaminated by windblown and waterborne radioactive tailings materials. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designated site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi (8 km) northeast of the processing sites on land administered by the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Remediation would be performed by the DOE's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project

  9. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings. Vitro site, Salt Lake City, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-04-01

    This report is a summary of a parent report (issued under separate cover) entitled Engineering Assessment of Inactive Uranium Mill Tailings for Vitro Site, Salt Lake City, Utah. Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Vitro site in order to revise the April 1976 assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Salt Lake City, Utah. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.9 million tons of tailings at the Vitro site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option 1), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites, and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from about $36,400,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $91,000,000 for disposal at a distance of about 85 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Vitro tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $200/lb by heap leach and $130/lb by conventional plant processes. Spot market price for uranium was $28.00 in November 1980. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery appears to be economically unattractive at present.

  10. Assessment of the radiological impact of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Grand Junction, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill site at Grand Junction, Colorado, made in May and June 1976, are presented along with descriptions of techniques and equipment used to obtain the data and an assessment of increased risk of health effects attributable to radiation and radionuclides from the tailings. An estimate of potential health effects of exposure to gamma rays around a former mill building and to radon daughters produced by radon dispersed from the tailings has been made for occupants of the site

  11. Pre-operational environmental survey at the uranium mine and mill site, Pocos de Caldas, MG - Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The pre-operational environmental survey at the uranium mine and mill was carried out by the Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission/CNEN. The results obtained are sufficient to characterize the environmental background of the area. (E.G.)

  12. Radioecological investigations of uranium mill tailings systems: Final report for the period September 1, 1979 through April 30, 1987

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document is the final report on studies of the integrity and transport of uranium and radioactive progeny in active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings. The overall program was designed to provide basic information on the radioecology of 238U, 230Th, 226Ra, 210Pb and 210Po, responses of plants and animals to the landscape disruptions associated with uranium production, and guidance for impact analysis, mitigation and regulation of the uranium industry. The studies reported were conducted at the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine, which is operated by the Pathfinder Mines Corporation. The mine/mill operation, located in southeastern Wyoming, is typical in terms of the ore body, mill process, and ecological setting of many uranium production centers in the western United States. The research was motivated originally by the general lack of knowledge on the transport of uranium and its radioactive daughter products through the environment, particularly through food chains in the immediate environs of uranium production operations. The work was also motivated by the relatively high contribution of uranium mining and milling to the radiation exposure of the general population from the nuclear fuel cycle

  13. Asphalt emulsion sealing of uranium mill tailings. 1980 annual report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Studies of asphalt emulsion sealants conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory have demonstrated that the sealants are effective in containing radon and other potentially hazardous material within uranium tailings. The laboratory and field studies have further demonstrated that radon exhalation from uranium tailings piles can be reduced by greater than 99% to near background levels. Field tests at the tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado, confirmed that an 8-cm admix seal containing 22 wt% asphalt could be effectively applied with a cold-mix paver. Other techniques were successfully tested, including a soil stabilizer and a hot, rubberized asphalt seal that was applied with a distributor truck. After the seals were applied and compacted, overburden was applied over the seal to protect the seal from ultraviolet degradation

  14. Application of asphalt emulsion seals to uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Studies of asphalt emulsion sealants have demonstrated that the sealants are effective in containing radon and other potentially hazardous material within uranium tailings. The laboratory and field studies have further demonstrated that radon exhalation from uranium tailings piles can be reduced by greater than 99% to less than background levels. Field tests at the tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado confirmed that an 8-cm admix seal containing 22 wt % asphalt could be effectively applied with a cold-mix paver. Other techniques were successfully tested, including a soil stabilizer and a hot, rubberized asphalt seal that was applied with a distributor truck. After the seals were applied and conpacted, overburden was applied over the seal to protect the seal from ultraviolet degradation. 14 figures

  15. Asphalt emulsion sealing of uranium mill tailings. 1980 annual report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartley, J.N.; Koehmstedt, P.L; Esterl, D.J.; Freeman, H.D.; Buelt, J.L.; Nelson, D.A.; Elmore, M.R.

    1981-05-01

    Studies of asphalt emulsion sealants conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory have demonstrated that the sealants are effective in containing radon and other potentially hazardous material within uranium tailings. The laboratory and field studies have further demonstrated that radon exhalation from uranium tailings piles can be reduced by greater than 99% to near background levels. Field tests at the tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado, confirmed that an 8-cm admix seal containing 22 wt% asphalt could be effectively applied with a cold-mix paver. Other techniques were successfully tested, including a soil stabilizer and a hot, rubberized asphalt seal that was applied with a distributor truck. After the seals were applied and compacted, overburden was applied over the seal to protect the seal from ultraviolet degradation.

  16. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document evaluates potential impacts to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell on the site in 1989 by the US DOE's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination in this risk assessment

  17. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Green River, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This document evaluates potential impacts to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell on the site in 1989 by the US DOE`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination in this risk assessment.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  19. Baseline risk assessment for groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Monument Valley, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site near Monument Valley, Arizona. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being relocated and stabilized in a disposal cell at Mexican Hat, Utah, through the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The tailings removal is planned for completion by spring 1994. After the tailings are removed, groundwater contamination at the site will continue to be evaluated. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Groundwater Project. It will be used to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site

  20. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Riverton, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Risk Assessment evaluated potential impacts to public health or the environment caused by ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. In the first phase of the U.S. Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, the tailing and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell near the Gas Hills Plant in 1990. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first site-specific document to evaluate potential health and environmental risks for the Riverton site under the Ground Water Project; it will help determine whether remedial actions are needed for contaminated ground water at the site

  1. Revegetation and rock cover for stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings disposal sites. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beedlow, P.A.

    1984-05-01

    Guidelines for using vegetation and rock to protect inactive uranium mill tailings from erosion were developed by Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technology Development program. Information on soils, climate, and vegetation were collected for 20 inactive tailings sites in the western United States. Sites were grouped according to similarities in climate and vegetation. Soil loss for those sites was characterized using the Universal Soil Loss Equation. Test plots were used to evaluate (1) the interaction between vegetation and sealant barrier systems and (2) the effects of surface rock on soil water and vegetation. Lysimeter and simulation studies were used to direct and support field experiments. 49 references, 17 figures, 16 tables.

  2. Asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems for uranium mill tailings: an overview of the technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) office, has developed an asphalt emulsion cover system to reduce the release of radon from uranium mill tailings. The system has been field tested at Grand Junction, Colorado. Results from laboratory and field tests indicate that this system is effective in reducing radon release to near-background levels (-2s-1) and has the properties required for long-term effectiveness and stability. Engineering specifications have been developed, and analysis indicates that asphalt emulsion covers are cost-competitive with other cover systems. This report summarizes the technology for asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems. 59 references, 45 figures, 36 tables

  3. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Riverton, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This Risk Assessment evaluated potential impacts to public health or the environment caused by ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. In the first phase of the U.S. Department of Energy`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, the tailing and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell near the Gas Hills Plant in 1990. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first site-specific document to evaluate potential health and environmental risks for the Riverton site under the Ground Water Project; it will help determine whether remedial actions are needed for contaminated ground water at the site.

  4. Asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems for uranium mill tailings: an overview of the technology

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baker, E.G.; Hartley, J.N.; Freeman, H.D.; Gates, T.E.; Nelson, D.A.; Dunning, R.L.

    1984-03-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) office, has developed an asphalt emulsion cover system to reduce the release of radon from uranium mill tailings. The system has been field tested at Grand Junction, Colorado. Results from laboratory and field tests indicate that this system is effective in reducing radon release to near-background levels (<2.5 pCi m/sup -2/s/sup -1/) and has the properties required for long-term effectiveness and stability. Engineering specifications have been developed, and analysis indicates that asphalt emulsion covers are cost-competitive with other cover systems. This report summarizes the technology for asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems. 59 references, 45 figures, 36 tables.

  5. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA) authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the sites and on vicinity properties (VP) associated with the sites. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for the UMTRCA that contained measures to control the contaminated materials and to protect the groundwater from further degradation. Remedial actions at the Slick Rock sites must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)

  6. Revegetation and rock cover for stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings disposal sites. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Guidelines for using vegetation and rock to protect inactive uranium mill tailings from erosion were developed by Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technology Development program. Information on soils, climate, and vegetation were collected for 20 inactive tailings sites in the western United States. Sites were grouped according to similarities in climate and vegetation. Soil loss for those sites was characterized using the Universal Soil Loss Equation. Test plots were used to evaluate (1) the interaction between vegetation and sealant barrier systems and (2) the effects of surface rock on soil water and vegetation. Lysimeter and simulation studies were used to direct and support field experiments. 49 references, 17 figures, 16 tables

  7. Environmental assessment of ground-water compliance activities at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Spook, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report assesses the environmental impacts of the Uranium Mill Tailings Site at Spook, Wyoming on ground water. DOE previously characterized the site and monitoring data were collected during the surface remediation. The ground water compliance strategy is to perform no further remediation at the site since the ground water in the aquifer is neither a current nor potential source of drinking water. Under the no-action alternative, certain regulatory requirements would not be met

  8. Dutch nuclear power and the environmental implications of uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report is aimed at furthering the understanding of some of the international impacts of Dutch nuclear power generation. It has two principle objectives: 1. To clarify the connection between nuclear power generation in the Netherlands and environmental degradation elsewhere as a result of the mining and milling of uranium. 2. To establish the relevance of this environmental degradation to the formulation of Dutch energy policy. (Auth.)

  9. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Maybell, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment (Attachment 1) and a floodplain/wetlands attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

  10. Scoping session of the programmatic environmental impact statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document is about the scoping session which was held at the Community Center in Falls City, Texas. The purpose was to obtain public comment on the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRA), specifically on the ground water project. Presentations made by the manager for the entire UMTRA program, manager of the site and ground water program, comments made by two residents of Fall City are included in this document

  11. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project. Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project is to eliminate, reduce, or address to acceptable levels the potential health and environmental consequences of milling activities. One of the first steps in the UMTRA Ground Water Project is the preparation of the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). This report contains the comments and responses received on the draft PEIS

  12. Benefit-cost aspects of long-term isolation of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 provides for regulations for control of radon diffusion from uranium mill tailings to protect the public welfare. In developing these regulations, the Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has sought to establish the benefits and costs for alternative regulatory criteria. This report provides a perspective on some economic issues associated with long-term radiation effects from disposal of uranium mill tailings. The general problem of developing an economic rationale for regulating this activity is complicated by the very long-term and widespread effects which could result from radon gas diffusion associated with tailings piles. The economic issues are also complex because of the trade-offs between costs of disposal and intangible social values. When intergenerational implications were considered the traditional basis for discounting in a benefit-cost framework was found to shift. The appropriate rate of discount was found to depend on ethical assumptions and expectations about the relative welfare of future generations. 30 references, 1 figure, 2 tables

  13. Critical management issues for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (PL95-604) authorized the Secretary of Energy to enter into cooperative agreements with certain states and Indian Tribes to clean up 24 inactive uranium mill tailing sites and associated vicinity properties. The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project includes the three Federal agencies (EPA, DOE, and NRC), eleven state, Indian Tribes, and at least four major contractors. The UMTRA Project extends over a period of ten years. The standards for the Project require a design life of 1000 years with a minimum performance period of 200 years. This paper discusses the critical management issues in dealing with the UMTRA Project and identifies the development of solutions for many of those issues. The highlights to date are promulgation of EPA standards, continued support from Congress and participating states and Indian Tribes, significant leadership shown at all levels, establishment of credibility with the public, and continued motivation of the team. The challenge for tomorrow is making certain NRC will license the sites and maintaining the high level of coordination exhibited to date to assure Project completion on schedule

  14. Testing and inspection of remedial actions at inactive uranium mill tailing sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DOE is responsible for planning and conducting remedial actions for stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings in accordance with EPA standards. The options presently being considered and implemented by the DOE for stabilization of the inactive tailings consists of (i) stabilization of tailings in place, (ii) stabilization on site, and (iii) relocation and stabilization of tailings at another location. The detailed design and construction procedure for each remedial action depends upon the site-specific plan selected by the DOE. Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, as amended (UMTRCA) requires Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) concurrence in DOE's selection and performance of remedial actions at inactive uranium mill tailings sites. Among the specific technical aspects of the remedial action performance is field control, including testing and inspection. The paper identifies remedial action inspection plan features related to geotechnical engineering that may be necessary to control, verify, and document the DOE's remedial action activities. Basically, the extent of inspection and testing should be sufficient to provide adequate quality control, to satisfy requirements of plans and specifications, and to furnish the necessary permanent record. Also, it is essential that the personnel performing the inspection and testing have the required training and experience to perform a professional job

  15. Environmental factors affecting long-term stabilization of radon suppression covers for uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Young, J.K.; Long, L.W.; Reis, J.W.

    1982-04-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is investigating the use of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of an earthen radon suppression cover applied to uranium mill tailings. To help determine design stresses for the tailings piles, environmental parameters are characterized for the five active uranium-producing regions on a site-specific basis. Only conventional uranium mills that are currently operating or that are scheduled to open in the mid 1980s are considered. Available data indicate that flooding has the most potential for disrupting a tailings pile. The arid regions of the Wyoming Basins and the Colorado Plateau are subject to brief storms of high intensity. The Texas Gulf Coast has the highest potential for extreme precipitation from hurricane-related storms. Wind data indicate average wind speeds from 3 to 6 m/sec for the sites, but extremes of 40 m/sec can be expected. Tornado risks range from low to moderate. The Colorado Plateau has the highest seismic potential, with maximum acceleration caused by earthquakes ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 g. Any direct effect from volcanic eruption is negligible, as all mills are located 90 km or more from an igneous or hydrothermal system.

  16. Environmental factors affecting long-term stabilization of radon suppression covers for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is investigating the use of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of an earthen radon suppression cover applied to uranium mill tailings. To help determine design stresses for the tailings piles, environmental parameters are characterized for the five active uranium-producing regions on a site-specific basis. Only conventional uranium mills that are currently operating or that are scheduled to open in the mid 1980s are considered. Available data indicate that flooding has the most potential for disrupting a tailings pile. The arid regions of the Wyoming Basins and the Colorado Plateau are subject to brief storms of high intensity. The Texas Gulf Coast has the highest potential for extreme precipitation from hurricane-related storms. Wind data indicate average wind speeds from 3 to 6 m/sec for the sites, but extremes of 40 m/sec can be expected. Tornado risks range from low to moderate. The Colorado Plateau has the highest seismic potential, with maximum acceleration caused by earthquakes ranging from 0.2 to 0.4 g. Any direct effect from volcanic eruption is negligible, as all mills are located 90 km or more from an igneous or hydrothermal system

  17. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Shiprock, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell on the site in 1986 by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Groundwater Project. This risk assessment follows the approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the floodplain groundwater are arsenic, magnesium, manganese, nitrate, sodium, sulfate, and uranium. The complete list of contaminants associated with the terrace groundwater could not be determined due to the lack of the background groundwater quality data. However, uranium, nitrate, and sulfate are evaluated since these chemicals are clearly associated with uranium processing and are highly elevated compared to regional waters. It also could not be determined if the groundwater occurring in the terrace is a usable water resource, since it appears to have originated largely from past milling operations. The next step in the risk assessment is to estimate how much of these contaminants people would be exposed to if a drinking well were installed in the contaminated groundwater or if there were exposure to surface expressions of contaminated water. Potential exposures to surface water include incidental contact with contaminated water or sediments by children playing on the floodplain and consumption of meat and milk from domestic animals grazed and watered on the floodplain

  18. 40 CFR 23.8 - Timing of Administrator's action under Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Timing of Administrator's action under Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. 23.8 Section 23.8 Protection of Environment ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY GENERAL JUDICIAL REVIEW UNDER EPA-ADMINISTERED STATUTES § 23.8 Timing of Administrator's action under Uranium...

  19. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of radiological surveys of two inactive uranium-mill sites near Rifle, Colorado, in May 1976 are presented. These sites are referred to as Old Rifle and New Rifle. The calculated 226Ra inventory of the latter site is much higher than at the older mill location. Data on above-ground measurements of gamma exposure rates, surface and near-surface concentration of 226Ra in soil and sediment samples, concentration of 226Ra in water, calculated subsurface distribution of 226Ra, and particulate radionuclide concentrations in air samples are given. The data serve to define the extent of contamination in the vicinity of the mill sites and their immediate surrounding areas with tailings particles. Results of these measurements were utilized as technical input for an engineering assessment of these two sites

  20. Uranium exploration, mining and milling proposal, Navajo Indian Reservation, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Secretary of the Interior has been requested to approve an exploration permit and mining lease which are part of a uranium exploration, mining, and milling Agreement, negotiated between the Navajo Tribe and the Exxon Corporation. The exploration area is a 400,000 acre tract located on the Navajo Reservation in San Juan County, New Mexico. If uranium ore in sufficient quantities to warrant development is discovered, Exxon is authorized to take a total of 51,200 acres to lease for mining, of which only 5,120 surface acres may be used for mining and milling purposes. While all exploration and predevelopment costs prior to mining must be borne by Exxon, the Navajo Tribe has reserved the right to participate in the venture on either a royalty basis or as a partner holding up to a 40 percent working interest. Impacts resulting from exploration will include disturbance of soils and vegetation and air quality degradation resulting from the vehicular movement and the operation of drilling equipment. If mining and milling takes place significant environmental impacts include: sub-surface water depletion, soils and vegetation disturbance, air quality degradation, interruption of the wildlife habitat, population increases, increased demands on community services and facilities, and disruption of established lifestyles and social patterns. Low levels of radioactive emissions will be found at mine and mill sites. Income and employment opportunities from the project to the Navajo Tribe, Navajo people, and the entire San Juan County community will be significant

  1. Evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings, COMINAK Mine, Niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Déjeant, Adrien; Galoisy, Laurence; Roy, Régis; Calas, Georges; Boekhout, Flora; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings from the COMINAK mine (Niger), in production since 1978. A multi-scale approach was used, which combined high resolution remote sensing imagery, ICP-MS bulk rock analyses, powder X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam--Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy. Mineralogical analyses showed that some ore minerals, including residual uraninite and coffinite, undergo alteration and dissolution during tailings storage. The migration of uranium and other contaminants depends on (i) the chemical stability of secondary phases and sorbed species (dissolution and desorption processes), and (ii) the mechanical transport of fine particles bearing these elements. Uranium is stabilized after formation of secondary uranyl sulfates and phosphates, and adsorbed complexes on mineral surfaces (e.g. clay minerals). In particular, the stock of insoluble uranyl phosphates increases with time, thus contributing to the long-term stabilization of uranium. At the surface, a sulfate-cemented duricrust is formed after evaporation of pore water. This duricrust limits water infiltration and dust aerial dispersion, though it is enriched in uranium and many other elements, because of pore water rising from underlying levels by capillary action. Satellite images provided a detailed description of the tailings pile over time and allow monitoring of the chronology of successive tailings deposits. Satellite images suggest that uranium anomalies that occur at deep levels in the pile are most likely former surface duricrusts that have been buried under more recent tailings.

  2. Radionuclides distribution, properties, and microbial diversity of soils in uranium mill tailings from southeastern China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Objective: To collect the radioactive contamination data for environmental rehabilitation in uranium mill tailings in southeastern China. Method: The sample areas were divided into high, moderate and low concentration areas, according to the uranium concentration. For every area, 3 soil samples were collected at 0–15 cm, 15–30 cm and 30–45 cm depth respectively, with 5 repetitions for each. Total 45 (3 × 5 × 3) soil samples were collected. Physicochemical properties and enzyme activities of soils were determined as described by references. The concentrations of the radionuclides 238U, 232Th, 226Ra and 40K in soils were determined by using HPGe gamma-ray spectrometer. Soil microbial diversity was analyzed via denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE). Results: Soil samples were all acidic. Physicochemical properties, like pH, content of total/available N, P and K, as well as enzyme activities were all increased along with decreased uranium concentration. The 232Th concentration was increased with the decreased uranium concentration and was not influenced by the depth of sample sites. However, uranium concentration and depth of sample showed no significant influence on the concentrations of 226Ra and 40K. The concentration of 232Th was significantly correlated with that of 226Ra and 40K, while the concentrations of 226Ra and 40K were significantly correlated. However, Pearson correlation coefficients between 238U and other radionuclides were not significant. The microbial population in different concentration areas was different with four domain strains in low area, and two for both moderate and high areas. Furthermore, in each sample site, Proteobacteria was the most dominant flora, while environmental samples were the second according to GenBank database. Moreover, Serratia sp. of Proteobacteria was the dominant strain. Conclusion: Radionuclides distribution in the uranium mill tailing showed a profound influence on soil properties and microbial

  3. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This is the second risk assessment of groundwater contamination at this site. The first risk assessment was performed primarily to evaluate existing domestic wells to determine the potential for immediate human health and environmental impacts. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated groundwater that flows beneath the processing site towards the Gunnison River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentration of most contaminants are used in this risk assessment. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site after the tailings are relocated. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the groundwater are cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, sulfate, uranium, and some of the products of radioactive decay of uranium

  4. Background report for the uranium-mill-tailings-sites remedial-action program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, Public Law 95-604, mandates remedial action responsibilities to the Department of Energy for designated inactive uranium processing sites. To comply with the mandates of the Act, a program to survey and evaluate the radiological conditions at inactive uranium processing sites and at vicinity properties containing residual radioactive material derived from the sites is being conducted; the Remedial Action Program Office, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Nuclear Energy is implementing remedial actions at these processing sites. This report provides a brief history of the program, a description of the scope of the program, and a set of site-specific summaries for the 22 locations specified in the Act and three additional locations designated in response to Federal Register notices issued on August 17 and September 5, 1979. It is designed to be a quick source of background information on sites covered by the implementation program for Public Law 95-604

  5. Sequential extraction of uranium metal contamination

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Samples of uranium contaminated dirt collected from the dirt floor of an abandoned metal rolling mill were analyzed for uranium using a sequential extraction protocol involving a series of five increasingly aggressive solvents. The quantity of uranium extracted from the contaminated dirt by each reagent can aid in predicting the fate and transport of the uranium contamination in the environment. Uranium was separated from each fraction using anion exchange, electrodeposition and analyzed by alpha spectroscopy analysis. Results demonstrate that approximately 77 % of the uranium was extracted using NH4Ac in 25 % acetic acid. (author)

  6. Small-scale field test of simple earthen covers for uranium mill tailings. [Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nielson, K.K.; Rogers, V.C.; Rich, D.C. (Rogers and Associates Engineering Corp., Salt Lake City, UT (USA))

    1983-01-01

    A series of field tests has been conducted during the past year to provide benchmark data on the performance of simple, single-layer earthen covers at thee uranium tailings sites. The performance of the covers was evaluated in terms of their reduction of radon gas releases, although moisture profiles and other cover parameters were also monitored. The tests were designed to evaluate the effectiveness of local soils applied with minimum engineering design or compaction effort. The tests, therefore, tend to represent a lowest-cost, and perhaps a worst-case scenario for tailings reclamation. The field benchmark tests are part of a major research program being conducted by the US Department of Energy to develop technology for uranium tailings disposal. The present tests with simple earthen covers thus provide a comparative basis for evaluating the effectiveness of more highly-engineered systems and their proportionately higher costs. These tests were conducted on the inactive tailings piles at Salt Lake City; Mexican Hat, Utah; and Grand Junction, Colorado. The test covers were installed during the summer of 1981 (Ri81) and have been monitored during the following year. This report describes the experimental details of the cover tests, the data that were collected during the one-year monitoring period, and the conclusions that were drawn from the experiments. 5 refs., 5 figs., 13 tabs.

  7. Current practices for the management and confinement of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report discusses the current practices used in the design siting, construction and closeout of impoundment facilities for uranium mill tailings. The objective is to present an integrated overview of the technological, safety and radiation protection aspects of these topics in order to ensure that the potential radiological and non-radiological risks associated with the management of uranium mill tailings are minimized now and in the future. The report: identifies the nature and source of radioactive and non-radioactive pollutants in uranium mill tailings; identifies the important mechanisms by which pollutants can be released from the tailings impoundment; reviews radiation protection aspects of these mechanisms; describes the pathways by which the pollutants may reach humans; describes some of the site selection and design options and considerations for final stabilization and rehabilitation of tailings impoundments; describes the methods of assessing closure strategies; describes long term responsibilities for tailings management and financial assurance to ensure these responsibilities; and reviews the magnitude and probability of occurrence of the hazards arising, with the aim of ensuring that the risks presented are acceptable. Because of the complexity of the pollutant release mechanisms and the site specific nature of the design and management controls that can be used, it is not possible for a report of this nature to be either exhaustive or detailed in all respects. The methods of confinement employed for any particular tailings impoundment will depend on the country, its climate, demography and its site specific performance criteria which should be defined by the relevant competent authorities. Both operating and post-operating conditions are considered. After shutdown of the mill and stabilization of the tailings, continuing surveillance and maintenance should be considered until the integrity and durability of the tailings impoundment have been

  8. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Shiprock site, Shiprock, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Shiprock site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.5 million dry tons of tailings at the Shiprock site constitutes the most significant environental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The eight alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through VIII). Cost estimates for the eight options range from about $13,400,000 for stabilization in place to about $37,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 16 miles. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Shiprock tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $230/lb by heap leach and $250/lb by conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive

  9. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Phillips/United Nuclear site, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Phillips/United Nuclear site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Phillips/United Nuclear site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $45,200,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing.The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $87/lb of U3O8 by either heap leach or conventional plant process. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive under present or foreseeable market conditions

  10. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Shiprock Site, Shiprock, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Shiprock site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.5 million dry tons of tailings at the Shiprock site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The eight alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of the stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through VIII). Cost estimates for the eight options range from about $13,400,000 for stabilization in place to about $37,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 16 miles. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Shiprock tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and(c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $230/lb by heap leach and $250/lb by conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive

  11. Draft programmatic environmental impact statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for performing remedial action to bring surface and ground water contaminant levels at 24 inactive uranium processing sites into compliance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. DOE is accomplishing this through the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Surface and Ground Water Projects. Remedial action will be conducted with the concurrence of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the full participation of affected states and Indian tribes. Uranium processing activities at most of 24 the inactive mill sites resulted in the contamination of ground water beneath and, in some cases, downgradient of the sites. This contaminated ground water often has elevated levels of constituents such as uranium and nitrate. The purpose of the UMTRA Ground Water Project is to eliminate, or reduce to acceptable levels, the potential health and the environmental consequences of milling activities by meeting the EPA standards in areas where ground water has been contaminated. The first step in the UMTRA Ground Water Project is the preparation of this programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS). This document analyzes potential impacts of four programmatic alternatives, including the proposed action. The alternatives do not address site-specific ground water compliance strategies. Rather, the PEIS is a planning document that provides a framework for conducting the Ground Water Project; assesses the potential programmatic impacts of conducting the Ground Water Project; provides a method for determining the site-specific ground water compliance strategies; and provides data and information that can be used to prepare site-specific environmental impacts analyses more efficiently

  12. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Maybell Site, Maybell, Colorado. Summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Maybell site in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Maybell, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Maybell site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The two alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to disposal of the tailings in a nearby open pit mine and decontamination of the tailings site (Option II). Cost estimates for the two options are about $11,700,000 for stabilization in-place and about $22,700,000 for disposal within a distance of 2 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Maybell tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $125 and $165/lb of U3O8 by heap leach and conventional plant processes, respectively. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive at present

  13. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Mexican Hat Site, Mexican Hat, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Mexican Hat site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Mexican Hat, Utah. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.2 million tons of tailings at the Mexican Hat site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $15,200,000 for stabilization in place, to about $45,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 16 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Mexican Hat tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $115/lb of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ whether by heap leach or conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Mexican Hat tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive under present conditions.

  14. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Mexican Hat Site, Mexican Hat, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Mexican Hat site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Mexican Hat, Utah. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.2 million tons of tailings at the Mexican Hat site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $15,200,000 for stabilization in place, to about $45,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 16 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Mexican Hat tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $115/lb of U3O8 whether by heap leach or conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Mexican Hat tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive under present conditions

  15. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Slick Rock sites, Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Slick Rock sites in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Slick Rock, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 387,000 tons of tailings at the Slick Rock sites constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The five alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment include millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, consolidation of the piles, and removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings sites. Cost estimates for the five options range from about $6,800,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $11,000,000 for disposal at a distance of about 6.5 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Slick Rock tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be over $800/lb of U3O8 whether by conventional or heap leach plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive at present, nor for the foreseeable future

  16. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Shiprock site, Shiprock, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-07-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Shiprock site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.5 million dry tons of tailings at the Shiprock site constitutes the most significant environental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The eight alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through VIII). Cost estimates for the eight options range from about $13,400,000 for stabilization in place to about $37,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 16 miles. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Shiprock tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $230/lb by heap leach and $250/lb by conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive.

  17. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Slick Rock sites, Slick Rock, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Slick Rock sites in order to revise the October 1977 engineering radioactive uranium mill tailings at Slick Rock, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 387,000 tons of tailings at the Slick Rock sites constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The five alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment include millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, consolidation of the piles, and removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings sites. Cost estimates for the five options range from about $6,800,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $11,000,000 for disposal at a distance of about 6.5 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Slick Rock tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be over $800/lb of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ whether by conventional or heap leach plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive at present, nor for the foreseeable future.

  18. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Maybell Site, Maybell, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Maybell site in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Maybell, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Maybell site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The two alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to disposal of the tailings in a nearby open pit mine and decontamination of the tailings site (Option II). Cost estimates for the two options are about $11,700,000 for stabilization in-place and about $22,700,000 for disposal within a distance of 2 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Maybell tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $125 and $165/lb of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ by heap leach and conventional plant processes, respectively. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive at present.

  19. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Maybell Site, Maybell, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Maybell site in order to revise the October 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Maybell, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Maybell site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The two alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to disposal of the tailings in a nearby open pit mine and decontamination of the tailings site (Option II). Cost estimates for the two options are about $11,700,000 for stabilization in-place and about $22,700,000 for disposal within a distance of 2 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Maybell tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $125 and $165/lb of U3O8 by heap leach and conventional plant processes, respectively. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is not economically attractive at present

  20. Asphalt-emulsion sealing of uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The use of asphalt emulsion to contain radon and radium in uranium tailings is being investigated at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Results of these studies indicate that a radon flux reduction of greater than 99% can be obtained using either a poured-on/sprayed-on seal (3.0 to 7.0 mm thick) or an admix seal (2.5 to 12.7 cm thick) containing about 18 wt % residual asphalt. A field test was carried out at the Grand Junction tailings pile in order to demonstrate the sealing process. A reduction in radon flux ranging from 4.5 to greater than 99% (76% average) was achieved using a 12.7-cm (5-in.) admix seal with a sprayed-on top coat. A hydrostatic stabilizer used to apply the admix was followed by compaction, which formed the radon seal. Overburden was applied to provide a protective soil layer over the seal. Included in part of the overburden was a herbicide to prevent root penetration

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Research on radon flux reduction from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radon flux reduction from tailings may be accomplished by the use of an impermeable cover to contain the radon until it decays (half life is 2.8 days). The use of a thick, relatively impermeable cover can attenuate radon flux because a large fraction of the radon would decay before it diffuses through the cover into the atmosphere. This method of reducing radon flux may require soil cover thicknesses on the order of 10 feet. In some locations, obtaining 10 feet of soil to cover 200 acres of tailings may be difficult or may lead to other significant environmental impacts. The Department of Energy is sponsoring research to identify alternatives to thick soil covers for reducing radon flux from uranium tailings to meet the forthcoming standards. The two most effective and practical materials tested thus far are Calcilox and asphalt emulsion. Currently, asphalt emulsions are being tested at the Grand Junction tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado, by Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Other asphalt formulations, such as foamed asphalt that requires less water than asphalt emulsions, may be practical and will be tested this year. Some sulfur-based materials and sulfur-extended asphalt also appear promising and will be tested for effectiveness in reducing radon flux. It is also important to investigate methods of applying various stabilizers to inactive tailings piles in various physical conditions of moisture content, and physical stability. Finally, since the EPA standards for remedial action at tailings piles are stated in terms of radon flux, it is important that radon flux measurements be standardized so that reliable flux measurements can be obtained and directly compared among various laboratories

  3. Diversity and characterization of sulfate-reducing bacteria in groundwater at a uranium mill tailings site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Microbially mediated reduction and immobilization of U(VI) to U(TV) plays a role in both natural attenuation and accelerated bioremediation of uranium contaminated sites. To realize bioremediation potential and accurately predict natural attenuation, it is important to first understand the microbial diversity of such sites. In this paper, the distribution of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) in contaminated groundwater associated with a uranium mill tailings disposal site at Shiprock, N.Mex,, was investigated. Two culture-independent analyses were employed: sequencing of clone libraries of PCR-amplified dissimilatory sulfite reductase (DSR) gene fragments and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) biomarker analysis. A remarkable diversity among the DSR sequences was revealed, including sequences from F-Proteobacteria, gram-positive organisms, and the Nitrospira division. PLFA analysis detected at least,52 different mid-chain-branched saturate PLFA and included a high proportion of 10me16:0, Desulfotomaculum and Desulfotomaculum-like sequences were the most dominant DSR genes detected. Those belonging to SRB within F-Proteobacteria were mainly recovered from low-uranium (less than or equal to 302 ppb) samples. One Desulfotomaculum like sequence cluster overwhelmingly dominated high-U (> 1,500 ppb) sites. Logistic regression showed a significant influence of uranium concentration over the dominance of this cluster of sequences (P= 0.0001), This strong association indicates that Desulfotomaculum has remarkable tolerance and adaptation to high levels of uranium and suggests the organism's possible involvement in natural attenuation of uranium. The in situ activity level of Desulfotomaculum in uranium-contaminated environments and its comparison to the activities of other SRB and other functional groups should be an important area for future research

  4. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Tuba City uranium mill tailings site, Tuba City, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Tuba City uranium mill tailings site located approximately six miles east of Tuba City, Arizona. The site covers 105 acres and contains 25 acres of tailings and some of the original mill structures. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR Part 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated materials into a recontoured pile. A radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term stability of the pile. Another alternative which would involve moving the tailings to a new location is also assessed in this document. This alternative would generally involve greater short-term impacts and costs but would result in stabilization of the tailings at a more remote location. The no action alternative is also assessed in this document

  5. Implementation of the Additional Protocol: Verification activities at uranium mines and mills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The mining and milling of uranium is the first in a long chain of processes required to produce nuclear materials in a form suitable for use in nuclear weapons. Misuse of a declared uranium mining/milling facility, in the form of understatement of production, would be hard to detect with the same high level of confidence as afforded by classical safeguards on other parts of the nuclear fuel cycle. For these reasons, it would not be cost-effective to apply verification techniques based on classical safeguards concepts to a mining/milling facility in order to derive assurance of the absence of misuse. Indeed, these observations have been recognised in the Model Protocol (INFCIRC/540): 'the Agency shall not mechanistically or systematically seek to verify' information provided to it by States (Article 4.a.). Nevertheless, complementary access to uranium mining/milling sites 'on a selective basis in order to assure the absence of undeclared nuclear material and activities' (Article 4.a.(i)) is provided for. On this basis, therefore, this paper will focus predominantly on options other than site access, which are available to the Agency for deriving assurance that declared mining/milling operations are not misused. Such options entail the interpretation and analysis of information provided to the Agency including, for example, from declarations, monitoring import/export data, open source reports, commercial satellite imagery, aerial photographs, and information provided by Member States. Uranium mining techniques are diverse, and the inventories, flows and uranium assays which arise at various points in the process will vary considerably between mines, and over the operating cycle of an individual mine. Thus it is essentially impossible to infer any information, which can be used precisely to confirm, or otherwise, declared production by measuring or estimating any of those parameters at points within the mining/milling process. The task of attempting to

  6. Remedial action at the Green River uranium mill tailings site, Green River, Utah: Environmental assessment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The inactive Green River uranium mill tailings site is one mile southeast of Green River, Utah. The existing tailings pile is within the floodplain boundaries of the 100-year and 500-year flood events. The 48-acre designated site contains eight acres of tailings, the mill yard and ore storage area, four main buildings, a water tower, and several small buildings. Dispersion of the tailings has contaminated an additional 24 acres surrounding the designated site. Elevated concentrations of molybdenum, nitrate, selenium, uranium, and gross alpha activity exceed background levels and the proposed US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) maximum concentration limits in the groundwater in the unconsolidated alluvium and in the shallow shales and limestones beneath the alluvium at the mill tailings site. The contamination is localized beneath, and slightly downgradient of, the tailings pile. The proposed action is to relocate the tailings and associated contaminated materials to an area 600 feet south of the existing tailings pile where they would be consolidated into one, below-grade disposal cell. A radon/infiltration barrier would be constructed to cover the stabilized pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to ensure the long-term stability of the stabilized pile. 88 refs., 12 figs., 20 tabs

  7. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Tuba City uranium mill tailings site, Tuba City, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1986-11-01

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Tuba City uranium mill tailings site located approximately six miles east of Tuba City, Arizona. The site covers 105 acres and contains 25 acres of tailings and some of the original mill structures. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR Part 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated materials into a recontoured pile. A radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term stability of the pile. Another alternative which would involve moving the tailings to a new location is also assessed in this document. This alternative would generally involve greater short-term impacts and costs but would result in stabilization of the tailings at a more remote location. The no action alternative is also assessed in this document.

  8. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Monument Valley Site, Monument Valley, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevalated the Monument Valley site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Monument Valley, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposure of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.1 million tons of tailings at the Monument Valley site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from about $6,600,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $15,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for reprocessing the Monument Valley tailings were examined: heap leaching; Treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovery is economically unattractive.

  9. Derivation of release limits for a typical uranium mining and milling facility

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report develops guidelines for calculating derived release limits (DRLs) for releases of each radionuclide belonging to the uranium-238 and thorium-232 decay chains to atmosphere, surface water and groundwater from uranium mining and milling operations in Canada. DRLs are defined as calculated limits on releases from the facility that result in radiation exposures through all environmental pathways equal to the annual effective dose equivalent limit of 0.005 Sv for stochastic effects or the annual dose equivalent limit of 0.05 Sv for non-stochastic effects in the critical group. By definition, DRLs apply to controllable radionuclide emissions which occur during the operational phase of mine/mill facilities. The report develops a steady-state environmental transfer model to determine environmental dilution and dispersion in atmosphere, surface water and groundwater between the sources at the mine and mill and the critical group receptor. Exposure pathways incorporated in the model include external exposure from immersion in the airborne plume, immersion in water, contaminated ground and contaminated shoreline sediments. Internal exposure pathways include inhalation of contaminated air and ingestion of contaminated water and terrestrial and aquatic foods

  10. Final environmental statement related to the Western Nuclear, Inc., Split Rock Uranium Mill (Fremont County, Wyoming)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The proposed action is the renewal of Source Material License SUA-56 (with amendments) issued to Western Nuclear, Inc. (WNI), for the operation of the Split Rock Uranium Mill near Jeffrey City and the Green Mountain Ion-Exchange Facility, both in Fremont County, Wyoming. The license also permits possession of material from past operations at four ancillary facilities in the Gas Hills mining area - the Bullrush, Day-Loma, Frazier-Lamac, and Rox sites (Docket No. 40-1162). However, although heap leaching operations were previously authorized at Frazier-Lamac, there has never been any processing of material at this site. The Split Rock mill is an acid-leach, ion-exchange and solvent-extraction uranium-ore processing mill with a design capacity of 1540 MT (1700 tons) of ore per day. WNI has proposed by license amendment request to increase the storage capacity of the tailings ponds in order to permit the continuation of present production rates of U3O8 through 1996 using lower-grade ores

  11. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Gunnison Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Gunnison uranium of mill tailings site located 0.5 miles south of Gunnison, Colorado. The site covers 56 acres and contains 35 acres of tailings, 2 of the original mill buildings and a water tower. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control of Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated [vicinity] properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the occurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Four alternatives have been addressed in this document. The first alternative is to consolidate the tailings and associated contaminated soils into a recontoured pile on the southern portion of the existing site. A radon barrier of silty clay would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term integrity of the pile. Two other alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives generally involve greater short-term impacts and are more costly but would result in the tailings being stabilized in a location farther from the city of Gunnison. The no action alternative is also assessed

  12. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a radiological survey of two inactive mill sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in April 1976 are presented. One mill, referred to in this report as North Continent (NC), was operated primarily for recovery of radium and vanadium and, only briefly, uranium. The Union Carbide Corporation (UCC) mill produced a uranium concentrate for processing elsewhere and, although low-level contamination with 226Ra was widespread at this site, the concentration of this nuclide in tailings was much lower than at the NC site. The latter site also has an area with a high above-ground gamma dose rate (2700 μR/hr) and a high-surface 226Ra concentration (5800 pCi/g). This area, which is believed to have been a liquid disposal location during plant operations, is contained within a fence. A solid disposal area outside the present fence contains miscellaneous contaminated debris. The estimated concentration of 226Ra as a function of depth, based on gamma hole-logging data, is presented for 27 holes drilled at the two sites

  13. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Gunnison Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Gunnison, Colorado. [UMTRA Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bachrach, A.; Hoopes, J.; Morycz, D. (Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., Pasadena, CA (USA)); Bone, M.; Cox, S.; Jones, D.; Lechel, D.; Meyer, C.; Nelson, M.; Peel, R.; Portillo, R.; Rogers, L.; Taber, B.; Zelle, P. (Weston (Roy F.), Inc., Washington, DC (USA)); Rice, G. (Sergent, Hauskins and Beckwith (USA))

    1984-12-01

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Gunnison uranium of mill tailings site located 0.5 miles south of Gunnison, Colorado. The site covers 56 acres and contains 35 acres of tailings, 2 of the original mill buildings and a water tower. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control of Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated (vicinity) properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the occurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Four alternatives have been addressed in this document. The first alternative is to consolidate the tailings and associated contaminated soils into a recontoured pile on the southern portion of the existing site. A radon barrier of silty clay would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term integrity of the pile. Two other alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives generally involve greater short-term impacts and are more costly but would result in the tailings being stabilized in a location farther from the city of Gunnison. The no action alternative is also assessed.

  14. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites, Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 USC section 7901 et seq.), hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miquel County. Contaminated materials cover an estimated 63 acres of the Union Carbide (UC) processing site and 15 ac of the North Continent (NC) processing site. The sites are within 1 mile of each other and are adjacent to the Dolores River. The sites contain concrete foundations of mill buildings, tailings piles, and areas contaminated by windblown and waterborne radioactive tailings materials. The total estimated volume of contaminated materials is approximately 621,300 cubic yards (yd3). In addition to the contamination in the two processing site areas, four VPs were found to contain contamination. As a result of the tailings being exposed to the environment, contamination associated with the UC and NC sites has leached into shallow ground water. Surface water has not been affected. The closest residence is approximately 0.3 air mi from either site. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designing site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi northeast of the sites on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM)

  15. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Monument Valley Site, Monument Valley, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevalated the Monument Valley site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Monument Valley, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposure of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.1 million tons of tailings at the Monument Valley site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from about $6,600,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $15,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for reprocessing the Monument Valley tailings were examined: heap leaching; Treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovery is economically unattractive

  16. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Durango, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1995-02-01

    This risk assessment evaluates the possibility of health and environmental risks from contaminated ground water at the uranium mill tailings site near Durango, Colorado. The former uranium processing site`s contaminated soil and material were removed and placed at a disposal site located in Body Canyon, Colorado, during 1986--1991 by the US Departments of Energy`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating the nature and extent of ground water contamination at the site. This risk assessment follows an approach similar to that used by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The first step is to determine what site-related contaminants are found in ground water samples. The next step in the risk assessment is to determine how much of these contaminants people might ingest if they got their drinking water from a well on the site. In accordance with standard practice for this type of risk assessment, the highest contaminant concentrations from the most contaminated wells are used. The risk assessment then explains the possible health problems that could result from this amount of contamination.

  17. Contaminant transport, revegetation, and trace element studies at inactive uranium mill tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings piles is presently under study. These studies have included investigations of stabilizing tailings by attempting to establish native vegetation without applying irrigation. Examination of processes which transport tailings or associated contaminants into the environment has been undertaken to better understand the containment provided by various stabilization methods. The uptake of toxic trace elements and radionuclides by vegetation has been examined as a mechanism of contaminant transport. The source terms of 222Rn from inactive piles have been determined as well as the attenuation of radon flux provided by shallow soil covers. The possibility of shallow ground water contamination around an inactive pile has been examined to determine the significance of ground water transport as a mode of contaminant migration. The rationale in support of trace element studies related to uranium milling activities is presented including the enrichment, migration, and toxicities of trace elements often associated with uranium deposits. Some concepts for the stabilization of inactive piles are presented to extrapolate from research findings to practical applications. 25 references, 8 tables

  18. Distribution coefficients of radionuclides of environmental relevance in uranium mill - tailing ponds: a laboratory study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radioactive elements, viz., uranium, thorium, radium and polonium may contaminate the soil and ground water around uranium milling facilities. Environmental impact of these radionuclides required measurement of their distribution coefficient (Kd) between the ground water and the soils from the mill tailing ponds. A batch sorption method was employed to measure the Kd of 233U, 230Th, 226Ra and 210Po (used as tracers for the four elements) in two soil samples one ground water sample from the site along with a synthetic water sample. Soil samples were characterized for the elemental composition using the neutron activation analysis method. Results showed high Kd values for all the elements, with Th(IV) and Po(IV) having higher values (log Kd ∼4) than U(VI) and Ra(II) (log Kd ∼3). In the case of uranium abnormally low Kd values (<100) were observed for both the soil samples with the ground water sample. This could be due to the complexation of U(VI) by carbonate anions resulting in decreased sorption by soil. (author)

  19. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Durango, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This risk assessment evaluates the possibility of health and environmental risks from contaminated ground water at the uranium mill tailings site near Durango, Colorado. The former uranium processing site's contaminated soil and material were removed and placed at a disposal site located in Body Canyon, Colorado, during 1986--1991 by the US Departments of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating the nature and extent of ground water contamination at the site. This risk assessment follows an approach similar to that used by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The first step is to determine what site-related contaminants are found in ground water samples. The next step in the risk assessment is to determine how much of these contaminants people might ingest if they got their drinking water from a well on the site. In accordance with standard practice for this type of risk assessment, the highest contaminant concentrations from the most contaminated wells are used. The risk assessment then explains the possible health problems that could result from this amount of contamination

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mkandawire, Martin; Dudel, E. Gert

    2005-01-05

    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-Mechelgruen were analysed for arsenic. Laboratory cultures in nutrient solutions modified with six arsenic and three PO{sub 4}{sup 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{sub 4}{sup 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

  1. Uptake of Uranium and Other Elements of Concern by Plants Growing on Uranium Mill Tailings Disposal Cells

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joseph, C. N.; Waugh, W.; Glenn, E.

    2015-12-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for long-term stewardship of disposal cells for uranium mill tailings throughout the United States. Rock-armored disposal cell covers create favorable habitat for deep-rooted plants by reducing soil evaporation, increasing soil water storage, and trapping windblown dust, thereby providing water and nutrients for plant germination and establishment. DOE is studying the tradeoffs of potential detrimental and beneficial effects of plants growing on disposal cell covers to develop a rational and consistent vegetation management policy. Plant roots often extend vertically through disposal cell covers into underlying tailings, therefore, uptake of tailings contaminants and dissemination through animals foraging on stems and leaves is a possible exposure pathway. The literature shows that plant uptake of contaminants in uranium mill tailings occurs, but levels can vary widely depending on plant species, tailings and soil chemistry, and cover soil hydrology. Our empirical field study measured concentrations of uranium, radium, thorium, molybdenum, selenium, manganese, lead, and arsenic in above ground tissues harvested from plants growing on disposal cells near Native American communities in western states that represent a range of climates, cover designs, cover soil types, and vegetation types. For risk screening, contaminant levels in above ground tissues harvested from plants on disposal cells were compared to Maximum Tolerance Levels (MTLs) set for livestock by the National Research Council, and to tissue levels in the same plant species growing in reference areas near disposal cells. Although tailings were covered with uncontaminated soils, for 14 of 46 comparisons, levels of uranium and other contaminants were higher in plants growing on disposal cells compared to reference area plants, indicating possible mobilization of these elements from the tailing into plant tissues. However, with one exception, all plant

  2. Design of rock covers for reclaimed uranium mill tailings impoundments: A regulatory perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Public Law 95-604, the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, provides the Department of Energy with authority to perform remedial actions at designated inactive uranium mill sites. The Environmental Protection Agency promulgated radiological and non-radiological standards (40 CFR 192) for remedial actions at inactive uranium mill sites. All remedial actions require the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The standards set forth in 40 CFR 192 require that remedial action designs provide reasonable assurance that tailings will be controlled for 1000 years (to the extent reasonably achievable) and, in any case, for at least 200 years. Implementation of this criteria requires the use of sound engineering practice combined with engineering judgment in many analytical areas. It has been the experience of the NRC staff that the design of a rock cover can be significantly affected by the selection of the design flood or design precipitation event. Preliminary reviews conducted by the NRC staff for various remedial action sites have indicated that a range of design assumptions and strategies are used in the determination of design basis floods and precipitation events for rock cover designs. The NRC staff has concluded that EPA criteria are met if the designs for erosion protection covers are based on the concepts of the Probable Maximum Flood (PMF) and the Probable Maximum Precipitaton (PMP), and that EPA criteria may not be met by the use of statistically-derived flood estimates. In addition, dam failures need to be analyzed at those sites where upstream dams are not designed for a PMF

  3. Swim performance and energy homeostasis in spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius) collected downstream of a uranium mill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goertzen, Meghan M; Hauck, Dominic W; Phibbs, James; Weber, Lynn P; Janz, David M

    2012-01-01

    The Key Lake uranium milling operation (Saskatchewan, Canada) releases complex effluent into the local watershed. The objective of the current study was to investigate whether fish from an effluent-receiving waterbody exhibited differences in swimming performance and energy homeostasis compared to fish from a local reference site. Juvenile spottail shiner (Notropis hudsonius) were collected from a lake downstream of the uranium mill, and compared to fish collected from a nearby reference lake. Critical swimming speed (U(crit); fatigue velocity), tail beat frequency, and tail amplitude did not differ significantly when comparing fish collected from the exposure lake and reference lake. Captured shiner used in swim tests were considered fatigued, and metabolic endpoints were compared between this group and non-fatigued fish, which were treated similarly but not subjected to swim tests. In both non-fatigued and fatigued shiner, liver glycogen was significantly greater in fish collected from the exposure lake compared to the reference lake. However, it is unclear if this effect, and others related to condition, were the result of contaminant exposure or other environmental factors. While there were no differences in plasma lactate, hematocrit or liver triglycerides in non-fatigued fish between sites, only fatigued reference fish had increased lactate and hematocrit and decreased triglycerides. In non-fatigued fish, plasma glucose did not significantly differ between sites, but significantly decreased after swimming only in fish from the exposure lake. In summary, shiner from the exposure site demonstrated similar swim endurance and possessed greater energy stores despite metabolic alterations compared to shiner from the reference site. Therefore, because fish collected downstream of the uranium mill operation had similar swimming ability as fish from the reference lake, U(crit) test results presented here may not reflect or be indicative of metabolic effects of complex

  4. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the slick rock Uranium Mill Tailings sites Slick Rock, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 USC {section} 7901 et seq.), hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the sites and on vicinity properties (VPs) associated with the sites. Contaminated materials cover an estimated 55 acres of the Union Carbide (UC) processing site and 12 ac of the North Continent (NC) processing site. The total estimated volume of contaminated materials is approximately 61 8,300 cubic yards. In addition to the contamination in the two processing site areas, four VPs were found to contain contamination. As a result of the tailings being exposed to the environment, contamination associated with the UC and NC sites has leached into shallow ground water. Surface water has not been affected. The closest residence is approximately 0.3 air mi from either site. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designated site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi (8 km) northeast of the sites on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Remediation would be performed by the DOE`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. All solid contaminated materials would be buried under 5 feet (ft) of rock and soil materials. The proposed disposal site area is currently used by ranchers for cattle grazing over a 7-month period. The closest residence to the proposed disposal site is 2 air mi. An estimated 44 ac of land would be permanently transferred from the BLM to the DOE and restricted from future use.

  5. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Falls City site, Falls City, Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Falls City site in order to update the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranum mill tailings at Falls City, Texas. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrolgy and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.5 million tons of tailings at the Falls City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,700,000 for stabilization in place, to about $35,100,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Falls City tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The tailings piles are presently being rewashed for uranium recovery by Solution Engineering, Inc. The cost for further reprocessing would be about $250/lb of U3O8. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive for the foreseeable future

  6. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Falls City site, Falls City, Texas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Falls City site in order to update the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranum mill tailings at Falls City, Texas. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrolgy and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.5 million tons of tailings at the Falls City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,700,000 for stabilization in place, to about $35,100,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Falls City tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The tailings piles are presently being rewashed for uranium recovery by Solution Engineering, Inc. The cost for further reprocessing would be about $250/lb of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive for the foreseeable future.

  7. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the slick rock Uranium Mill Tailings sites Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 USC section 7901 et seq.), hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the sites and on vicinity properties (VPs) associated with the sites. Contaminated materials cover an estimated 55 acres of the Union Carbide (UC) processing site and 12 ac of the North Continent (NC) processing site. The total estimated volume of contaminated materials is approximately 61 8,300 cubic yards. In addition to the contamination in the two processing site areas, four VPs were found to contain contamination. As a result of the tailings being exposed to the environment, contamination associated with the UC and NC sites has leached into shallow ground water. Surface water has not been affected. The closest residence is approximately 0.3 air mi from either site. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designated site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi (8 km) northeast of the sites on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Remediation would be performed by the DOE's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. All solid contaminated materials would be buried under 5 feet (ft) of rock and soil materials. The proposed disposal site area is currently used by ranchers for cattle grazing over a 7-month period. The closest residence to the proposed disposal site is 2 air mi. An estimated 44 ac of land would be permanently transferred from the BLM to the DOE and restricted from future use

  8. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Mexican Hat uranium mill tailings site, Mexican Hat, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses the environmental impacts of the proposed remedial action at the Mexican Hat uranium mill tailings site located on the Navajo Reservation in southern Utah. The site covers 235 acres and contains 69 acres of tailings and several of the original mill structures. Remedial action must be performed in accordance with standards and with the concurrence of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission and the Navajo Nation. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings within the present tailings site by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated soils into a recontoured pile. A radon barrier of compacted earth would be constructed over the pile, and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term stability of the pile. The no action alternative is also assessed in this document. 240 refs., 12 figs., 20 tabs

  9. Implementation of a procedure to determine remedial action requirements for contamination at uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper describes a procedure used at the Riverton and Green River Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project sites to determine the necessary removal of chemical contaminants from subpile soils to safe levels. Cleanup criteria for chemical contaminants were developed independent of existing cleanup criteria for radionuclides. The two sites were chosen because they were representative of all 24 UMTRA sites and were scheduled to undergo remediation in the near future. An initial compilation of existing data indicated that additional analyses were required to fully characterize the site for As, Mo, Se, U, and V. Accordingly, archived samples from prior radiological characterizations for the tailings pile, subpile, mill yard and windblown areas were selected for subsequent laboratory analyses

  10. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haywood, F.F.; Christian, D.J.; Ellis, B.S.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Lorenzo, D.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-06-01

    The inactive uranium-mill tailings pile at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico, contains approximately 1520 Ci of /sup 226/Ra in 2.4 million metric tons of tailings covering an area of 43 hectares. All of the former mill buildings were intact and, at the time of this survey, several were in use. The tailings have not been stabilized, but the crusty surface is reported to be resistant to wind erosion. The average gamma-ray exposure rate 1 m above the tailings is 720 ..mu..R/h while the average rate in the former mill area is 150 ..mu..R/h. The adjacent area, between the mill site, ponds, and tailings pile, has an average exposure rate of 230 ..mu..R/h. Gamma radiation measurements outside these areas, as well as the results of analyses of surface or near-surface sediment and soil samples, show fairly wide dispersion of contamination around the site. The subsurface distribution of /sup 226/Ra in 18 holes drilled at the site, calculated from gamma-ray monitoring data, is presented graphically and compared with measured concentrations in two holes.

  11. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project fiscal year 1997 annual report to stakeholders

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-12-31

    The fiscal year (FY) 1997 annual report is the 19th report on the status of the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. In 1978, Congress directed the DOE to assess and clean up contamination at 24 designated former uranium processing sites. The DOE is also responsible for cleaning up properties in the vicinity of the sites where wind and water erosion deposited tailings or people removed them from the site for use in construction or landscaping. Cleanup has been undertaken in cooperation with state governments and Indian tribes within whose boundaries the sites are located. It is being conducted in two phases: the surface project and the groundwater project. This report addresses specifics about the UMTRA surface project.

  12. Radiologic characterization of the Mexican Hat, Utah, uranium mill tailings remedial action site: Addendum D1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ludlam, J.R.

    1985-01-01

    This radiologic characterization of the inactive uranium millsite at Mexican Hat, Utah, was conducted by Bendix Field Engineering Corporation for the US Department of Energy (DOE), Grand Junctions Project Office in response to and in accord with a Statement of Work prepared by the DOE Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technical Assistance Contractor, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. The objective of this project was to determine the horizontal and vertical extent of contamination that exceeds the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards at the Mexican Hat site. The data presented in this report are required for characterization of the areas adjacent to the Mexican Hat tailings piles and for the subsequent design of cleanup activities. Some on- pile sampling was required to determine the depth of the 15-pCi/g Ra- 226 interface in an area where wind and water erosion has taken place.

  13. Analysis of spatial distribution and inventory of radioactivity within the uranium mill tailings impoundment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results are presented of the characterization of radioactivity inventory of Zapadnoe uranium mill tailings impoundment situated at Pridneprovsky Chemical Plant (PChP; Dneprodzerginsk, Ukraine). Analyses of radioactivity data set based on analytical studies of core material from 15 characterization boreholes allowed significantly refining waste volume and radioactivity inventory estimates. Geostatistical analyses using variogram function have established that radioactivity distribution in Zapadnoe tailings is characterized by regular spatial correlation patterns. Ordinary kriging method was applied to assess distribution of radioactivity in 3D. Results of statistical analyses suggest significant redistribution of uranium in the dissolved form in the residues (presumably due to water infiltration process). The developed structural model for radioactivity distribution is used for further risk assessment analyses. Derived radioactivity correlation scales can be used for optimization of sample collection when characterizing the PChP Site and similar contaminated sites elsewhere

  14. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Safety Advancement Field Effort (SAFE) Program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-02-01

    In 1992, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project experienced several health and safety related incidents at active remediation project sites. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) directed the Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) to establish a program increasing the DOE`s overall presence at operational remediation sites to identify and minimize risks in operations to the fullest extent possible (Attachments A and B). In response, the TAC, in cooperation with the DOE and the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC), developed the Safety Advancement Field Effort (SAFE) Program.

  15. Environmental Assessment of Remedial Action at the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Riverton, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (DOE/EA-0254) on the proposed remedial action at the inactive uranium milling site near Riverton, Wyoming. Based on the analyses in the EA, the DOE has determined that the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.). Therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required

  16. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment (Attachment 1) and a floodplain/wetlands assessment (Assessment 2) are included as part of this EA. The following sections and attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

  17. Asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems for uranium mill tailings - a summary of the technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), has developed an asphalt emulsion cover system to reduce the release of radon from uranium mill tailings. The system has been field-tested at the tailings site in Grand Junction, Colorado. Results from laboratory and field tests indicate that this system effectively reduces radon release to near-background levels (-2s-1) and has the properties required for long-term effectiveness and stability. Engineering specifications have been developed, and a cost analysis indicates that asphalt emulsion covers are competitive with other cover systems. 6 references, 2 figures, 4 tables

  18. Solar repowering/industrial retrofit systems study Gulf Mt. Taylor Uranium Mill solar retrofit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The development of a site-specific conceptual design for solar industrial retrofit of the Gulf Mt. Taylor Uranium Mill is reported. Effort to date has resulted in preparation of a preliminary System Requirements specification, conduct of trade studies to select a system concept, and related design, performance, cost estimating and economic analysis to support the concept selection. A baseline system with no storage and an alternative system with extended storage were evaluated. The baseline system with no storage was selected because it provides the best overall opportunity for fuel displacement, operating experience in industrial application and successful demonstration in the near term

  19. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Safety Advancement Field Effort (SAFE) Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1992, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project experienced several health and safety related incidents at active remediation project sites. As a result, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) directed the Technical Assistance Contractor (TAC) to establish a program increasing the DOE's overall presence at operational remediation sites to identify and minimize risks in operations to the fullest extent possible (Attachments A and B). In response, the TAC, in cooperation with the DOE and the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC), developed the Safety Advancement Field Effort (SAFE) Program

  20. Preliminary evaluation of uranium mill tailings conditioning as an alternative remedial action technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Conditioning of uranium mill tailings is being investigated as an alternative remedial action for inactive tailings piles to be stabilized by the US Department of Energy. Tailings from high priority sites have been characterized for elemental composition, mineralogy, aqueous leachable contaminants, and radon emanation power to provide a baseline to determine the environmental hazard control produced by conditioning. Thermal stabilization of tailings at high temperatures and removal of contaminants by sulfuric acid leaching are being investigated for technical merit as well as economic and engineering feasibility

  1. Environmental Assessment of Remedial Action at the Riverton Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Riverton, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1987-06-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an environmental assessment (DOE/EA-0254) on the proposed remedial action at the inactive uranium milling site near Riverton, Wyoming. Based on the analyses in the EA, the DOE has determined that the proposed action does not constitute a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 (42 U.S.C. 4321, et seq.). Therefore, the preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) is not required.

  2. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment (Attachment 1) and a floodplain/wetlands assessment (Assessment 2) are included as part of this EA. The following sections and attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service

  3. Evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings, COMINAK Mine, Niger.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Déjeant, Adrien; Galoisy, Laurence; Roy, Régis; Calas, Georges; Boekhout, Flora; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-03-01

    This study investigated the evolution of uranium distribution and speciation in mill tailings from the COMINAK mine (Niger), in production since 1978. A multi-scale approach was used, which combined high resolution remote sensing imagery, ICP-MS bulk rock analyses, powder X-ray diffraction, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Focused Ion Beam--Transmission Electron Microscopy and X-ray Absorption Near Edge Spectroscopy. Mineralogical analyses showed that some ore minerals, including residual uraninite and coffinite, undergo alteration and dissolution during tailings storage. The migration of uranium and other contaminants depends on (i) the chemical stability of secondary phases and sorbed species (dissolution and desorption processes), and (ii) the mechanical transport of fine particles bearing these elements. Uranium is stabilized after formation of secondary uranyl sulfates and phosphates, and adsorbed complexes on mineral surfaces (e.g. clay minerals). In particular, the stock of insoluble uranyl phosphates increases with time, thus contributing to the long-term stabilization of uranium. At the surface, a sulfate-cemented duricrust is formed after evaporation of pore water. This duricrust limits water infiltration and dust aerial dispersion, though it is enriched in uranium and many other elements, because of pore water rising from underlying levels by capillary action. Satellite images provided a detailed description of the tailings pile over time and allow monitoring of the chronology of successive tailings deposits. Satellite images suggest that uranium anomalies that occur at deep levels in the pile are most likely former surface duricrusts that have been buried under more recent tailings. PMID:26747998

  4. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, evaluates potential public health and environmental impacts resulting from ground water contamination at the former North Continent (NC) and Union Carbide (UC) uranium mill processing sites. The tailings at these sites will be placed in a disposal cell at the proposed Burro Canyon, Colorado, site. The US Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates the start of the first phase remedial action by the spring of 1995 under the direction of the DOE's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The second phase of the UMTRA Project will evaluate ground water contamination. This baseline risk assessment is the first site-specific document for these sites under the Ground Water Project. It will help determine the compliance strategy for contaminated ground water at the site. In addition, surface water and sediment are qualitatively evaluated in this report

  5. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Slick Rock, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-11-01

    This baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, evaluates potential public health and environmental impacts resulting from ground water contamination at the former North Continent (NC) and Union Carbide (UC) uranium mill processing sites. The tailings at these sites will be placed in a disposal cell at the proposed Burro Canyon, Colorado, site. The US Department of Energy (DOE) anticipates the start of the first phase remedial action by the spring of 1995 under the direction of the DOE`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The second phase of the UMTRA Project will evaluate ground water contamination. This baseline risk assessment is the first site-specific document for these sites under the Ground Water Project. It will help determine the compliance strategy for contaminated ground water at the site. In addition, surface water and sediment are qualitatively evaluated in this report.

  6. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site Salt Lake City, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Salt Lake City, Utah, evaluates potential public health or environmental impacts resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium ore processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell located at Clive, Utah, in 1987 by the US Department of Energy`s Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate residual ground water contamination at the former uranium processing site, known as the Vitro processing site. This risk assessment is the first site-specific document under the Ground Water Project. It will help determine the appropriate remedial action for contaminated ground water at the site.

  7. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site Salt Lake City, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Salt Lake City, Utah, evaluates potential public health or environmental impacts resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium ore processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell located at Clive, Utah, in 1987 by the US Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate residual ground water contamination at the former uranium processing site, known as the Vitro processing site. This risk assessment is the first site-specific document under the Ground Water Project. It will help determine the appropriate remedial action for contaminated ground water at the site

  8. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Tuba City, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document evaluates potential public health or environmental impacts resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell on the site in 1990 by the US Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first site-specific document under the Ground Water Project. It will help determine what remedial actions are necessary for contaminated ground water at the site

  9. Remedial action plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Rifle, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-02-01

    This appendix assesses the present conditions and data gathered about the two inactive uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado, and the designated disposal site six miles north of Rifle in the area of Estes Gulch. It consolidates available engineering, radiological, geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological, and other information pertinent to the design of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The data characterize conditions at the mill, tailings, and disposal site so that the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC) may complete final designs for the remedial actions.

  10. Exploring implicit dimensions underlying risk perception of waste from mining and milling of uranium ores in France

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Understanding public perceptions of risks is increasingly considered to be important in order to make sound policy decisions. For many years, social scientists have been working to understand why the public is so concerned about nuclear energy and radioactive waste. Indeed, risk perception studies have essentially focused on high-level nuclear waste. As a result, there is now a fair understanding of what determines public support or opposition to high-level nuclear waste storage and disposal facilities. However, to date, little research has been conducted into radioactive waste from mining and milling of uranium ores. In France, such waste have a much debated legal status, which illustrates their ambiguous origin (natural versus artificial) and the manner people can perceive them. Therefore, it seems relevant to explore the individual judgements, attitudes and beliefs towards risk associated with uranium mill tailings. The present study provides a structural model based on both the identification and analysis of implicit dimensions underlying risk perception (psychological, cultural, moral...) applied to the case of french uranium mill tailings. One objective of the research has been to develop an interview grid based on this conceptual model in order to elicit social demand beyond public attitudes. Semi-structured interviews have been conducted on site in french uranium bearing areas. The relationships inferred between identified risk characteristics and contextual risk perceptions suggest that five majors thematics (time, space, nature, ethics and trust) build determinants of the public's perceptions of risk related to waste from mining and milling of uranium ores. (author)

  11. Measurements of /sup 234/U, /sup 238/U and /sup 230/Th in excreta of uranium-mill crushermen

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fisher, D.R.; Jackson, P.O.; Brodacynski, G.G.; Scherpelz, R.I.

    1982-07-01

    Uranium and thorium levels in excreta of uranium mill crushermen who are routinely exposed to airborne uranium ore dust were measured. The purpose was to determine whether /sup 230/Th was preferentially retained over either /sup 234/U or /sup 238/U in the body. Urine and fecal samples were obtained from fourteen active crushermen with long histories of exposure to uranium ore dust, plus four retired crushermen and three control individuals for comparison. Radiochemical procedures were used to separate out the uranium and thorium fractions, which were then electroplated on stainless steel discs and assayed by alpha spectrometry. Significantly greater activity levels of /sup 234/U and /sup 238/U were measured in both urine and fecal samples obtained from uranium mill crushermen, indicating that uranium in the inhaled ore dust was cleared from the body with a shorter biological half-time than the daughter product /sup 230/Th. The measurements also indicated that uranium and thorium separate in vivo and have distinctly different metabolic pathways and transfer rates in the body. The appropriateness of current ICRP retention and clearance parameters for /sup 230/Th in ore dust is questioned.

  12. Remedial Action Plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings site at Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health and environmental protection regulations to correct and prevent groundwater contamination resulting from processing activities at inactive uranium milling sites (40 CFR 192). The US Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for assessing the inactive uranium processing sites. The DOE has determined this assessment shall include information on hydrogeologic site characterization. This document contains appendices to Attachment 3, Groundwater Hydrology Report included are calculations

  13. Recent initiatives to improve tailings and water management in the expanding Australian uranium milling industry

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper discusses the environmental and safety related changes that have recently occurred, or are about to be implemented in the Australian uranium milling industry. There are several drivers for these changes. The most important are the significant expansions to the Ranger and Olympic Dam uranium mills, the mining of a new orebody at Ranger and Government permission for the development of the Jabiluka deposit. The major changes in the operation of mines relate to the conservation and recycle of water, an important environmental issue in the arid country surrounding the Olympic Dam deposit, and tailings disposal strategies recently adopted or under consideration. These strategies include methods such as central thickened discharge, and cemented paste-fill for both underground and above ground disposal. The new ICRP 60 recommendations concerning radiation exposure have not been of major concern to the Australian industry, as dose rates have been historically less than the new limits. Current and expected dose rates are discussed in the context of these recommendations. (author)

  14. Leak detection systems for uranium mill tailings impoundments with synthetic liners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study evaluated the performance of existing and alternative leak detection systems for lined uranium mill tailings ponds. Existing systems for detecting leaks at uranium mill tailings ponds investigated in this study included groundwater monitoring wells, subliner drains, and lysimeters. Three alternative systems which demonstrated the ability to locate leaks in bench-scale tests included moisture blocks, soil moisture probes, and a soil resistivity system. Several other systems in a developmental stage are described. For proper performance of leak detection systems (other than groundwater wells and lysimeters), a subgrade is required which assures lateral dispersion of a leak. Methods to enhance dispersion are discussed. Cost estimates were prepared for groundwater monitoring wells, subliner drain systems, and the three experimental systems. Based on the results of this report, it is suggested that groundwater monitoring systems be used as the primary means of leak detection. However, if a more responsive system is required due to site characteristics and groundwater quality criteria, subliner drains are applicable for ponds with uncovered liners. Leak-locating systems for ponds with covered liners require further development. Other recommendations are discussed in the report

  15. Project licensing plan for UMTRA [Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action] sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project Licensing Plan is to establish how a disposal site will be licensed, and to provide responsibilities of participatory agencies as legislated by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978 (Public Law 95-604). This Plan has been developed to ensure that the objectives of licensing are met by identifying the necessary institutional controls, participatory agency responsibilities, and key milestones in the licensing process. The Plan contains the legislative basis for and a description of the licensing process (''Process'') for UMTRA sites. This is followed by a discussion of agency responsibilities, and milestones in the Process. The Plan concludes with a generic timeline of this Process. As discussed in Section 2.1, a custodial maintenance and surveillance plan will constitute the basis for a site license. The details of maintenance and surveillance are discussed in the Project Maintenance and Surveillance Plan (AL-350124.0000). 5 refs., 4 figs

  16. Treatment of liquid effluent from uranium mines and mills during and after operation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Australian research programme examined three separate topics, all related to the processing of uranium mill effluents. The topics covered conventional line treatment of process liquor and the application of the emerging technologies, nanofiltration and wetlands, to the treatment of higher quality run-off waters. The investigation of the lime treatment processes focused on changes in operating strategies to increase the density of the resulting sludge. The wetland study examined factors potentially limiting bacterial sulphate reduction, namely carbon limitation and competition with iron reducing bacteria for carbon and energy. For the wetland sediment used in the experimental programme, it was found iron reduction activity was not likely to significantly limit sulphate reduction. Carbon limitation of bacterial activity was, however, found to be a significant factor in poor sulphate removal efficiency. The use of green algae as a low cost, rapidly produced carbon source to promote sulphate reduction was then investigated. Reduction of sulphate by bacteria grown on algeal biomass was demonstrated at benchscales less than 10 kg of biomass was required to drive bacterial reduction of 1t of sulphate. The final topic investigated the potential of nanofiltration to remove dissolved species from typical uranium mill effluents. The separation performance was found to vary significantly with membrane type, but rejection of divalent methods ions was generally high, with good selectivity over single valent ions. (author)

  17. Fractal analysis of spatial distribution of radon exhalation rates of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A uranium mill tailings, located in Guangdong, was selected for spatial distribution of the radon exhalation rates measured by local static method. The two-dimension surface of radon exhalation rates was established by Surfer using the data of spatial distribution of radon exhalation rates measured at August 14, 2007 to 19 and 21, which was analyzed by fractal method of projective covering. The results show that the two-dimension surface of radon exhalation rates is of fractal structure. The fractal dimension of surface of radon exhalation rates from August 14, 2007 to 19 and 21 are 2.0535, 2.0173, 2.0029, 2.0084, 2.0079, 2.0057 and 2.0034, respectively, which indicates that the complexity of spatial distribution of the radon exhalation rates at 14 and 15 are larger than that of the other days. The phenomenon results from the change of precipitation and temperature, as well as the features of uranium mill tailings, including mineral composition, particle size, radium content, porosity and pore connectivity, etc. (authors)

  18. Leak detection systems for uranium mill tailings impoundments with synthetic liners

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Myers, D.A.; Tyler, S.W.; Gutknecht, P.J.; Mitchell, D.H.

    1983-09-01

    This study evaluated the performance of existing and alternative leak detection systems for lined uranium mill tailings ponds. Existing systems for detecting leaks at uranium mill tailings ponds investigated in this study included groundwater monitoring wells, subliner drains, and lysimeters. Three alternative systems which demonstrated the ability to locate leaks in bench-scale tests included moisture blocks, soil moisture probes, and a soil resistivity system. Several other systems in a developmental stage are described. For proper performance of leak detection systems (other than groundwater wells and lysimeters), a subgrade is required which assures lateral dispersion of a leak. Methods to enhance dispersion are discussed. Cost estimates were prepared for groundwater monitoring wells, subliner drain systems, and the three experimental systems. Based on the results of this report, it is suggested that groundwater monitoring systems be used as the primary means of leak detection. However, if a more responsive system is required due to site characteristics and groundwater quality criteria, subliner drains are applicable for ponds with uncovered liners. Leak-locating systems for ponds with covered liners require further development. Other recommendations are discussed in the report.

  19. NUCLEAR ISOTOPIC DILUTION OF HIGHLY ENRICHED URANIUM BY DRY BLENDING VIA THE RM-2 MILL TECHNOLOGY

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    DOE has initiated numerous activities to focus on identifying material management strategies to disposition various excess fissile materials. In particular the INEEL has stored 1,700 Kg of offspec HEU at INTEC in CPP-651 vault facility. Currently, the proposed strategies for dispositioning are (a) aqueous dissolution and down blending to LEU via facilities at SRS followed by shipment of the liquid LEU to NFS for fabrication into LWR fuel for the TVA reactors and (b) dilution of the HEU to 0.9% for discard as a waste stream that would no longer have a criticality or proliferation risk without being processed through some type of enrichment system. Dispositioning this inventory as a waste stream via aqueous processing at SRS has been determined to be too costly. Thus, dry blending is the only proposed disposal process for the uranium oxide materials in the CPP-651 vault. Isotopic dilution of HEU to typically less than 20% by dry blending is the key to solving the dispositioning issue (i.e., proliferation) posed by HEU stored at INEEL. RM-2 mill is a technology developed and successfully tested for producing ultra-fine particles by dry grinding. Grinding action in RM-2 mill produces a two million-fold increase in the number of particles being blended in a centrifugal field. In a previous study, the concept of achieving complete and adequate blending and mixing (i.e., no methods were identified to easily separate and concentrate one titanium compound from the other) in remarkably short processing times was successfully tested with surrogate materials (titanium dioxide and titanium mono-oxide) with different particle sizes, hardness and densities. In the current project, the RM-2 milling technology was thoroughly tested with mixtures of natural uranium oxide (NU) and depleted uranium oxide (DU) stock to prove its performance. The effects of mill operating and design variables on the blending of NU/DU oxides were evaluated. First, NU and DU both made of the same oxide

  20. Laboratory measurements of contaminant attenuation of uranium mill tailings leachates by sediments and clay liners

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We discuss FY82 progress on the development of laboratory tools to aid in the prediction of migration potential of contaminants present in acidic uranium mill tailings leachate. Further, empirical data on trace metal and radionuclide migration through a clay liner are presented. Acidic uranium mill tailings solution from a Wyoming mill was percolated through a composite sediment called Morton Ranch Clay liner. These laboratory columns and subsequent sediment extraction data show: (1) As, Cr, Pb, Ag, Th and V migrate very slowly; (2) U, Cd, Ni, Zn, Fe, Mn and similar transition metals are initially immobilized during acid neutralization but later are remobilized as the tailings solution exhausts the clay liner's acid buffering capacity. Such metals remain immobilized as long as the effluent pH remains above a pH value of 4 to 4.5, but they become mobile once the effluent pH drops below this range; and (3) fractions of the Se and Mo present in the influent tailings solution are very mobile. Possible controlling mechanisms for the pH-dependent immobilization-mobilization of the trace metals are discussed. More study is required to understand the controlling mechanisms for Se and Mo and Ra for which data were not successfully collected. Using several column lengths (from 4.5 to 65 cm) and pore volume residence times (from 0.8 to 40 days) we found no significant differences in contaminant migration rates or types and extent of controlling processes. Thus, we conclude that the laboratory results may be capable of extrapolation to actual disposal site conditions

  1. Laboratory measurements of contaminant attenuation of uranium mill tailings leachates by sediments and clay liners

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Serne, R.J.; Peterson, S.R.; Gee, G.W.

    1983-04-01

    We discuss FY82 progress on the development of laboratory tools to aid in the prediction of migration potential of contaminants present in acidic uranium mill tailings leachate. Further, empirical data on trace metal and radionuclide migration through a clay liner are presented. Acidic uranium mill tailings solution from a Wyoming mill was percolated through a composite sediment called Morton Ranch Clay liner. These laboratory columns and subsequent sediment extraction data show: (1) As, Cr, Pb, Ag, Th and V migrate very slowly; (2) U, Cd, Ni, Zn, Fe, Mn and similar transition metals are initially immobilized during acid neutralization but later are remobilized as the tailings solution exhausts the clay liner's acid buffering capacity. Such metals remain immobilized as long as the effluent pH remains above a pH value of 4 to 4.5, but they become mobile once the effluent pH drops below this range; and (3) fractions of the Se and Mo present in the influent tailings solution are very mobile. Possible controlling mechanisms for the pH-dependent immobilization-mobilization of the trace metals are discussed. More study is required to understand the controlling mechanisms for Se and Mo and Ra for which data were not successfully collected. Using several column lengths (from 4.5 to 65 cm) and pore volume residence times (from 0.8 to 40 days) we found no significant differences in contaminant migration rates or types and extent of controlling processes. Thus, we conclude that the laboratory results may be capable of extrapolation to actual disposal site conditions.

  2. Quality assurance program plan for the Radiological Survey Activities Program - Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Radiological Survey Activities (RASA) program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is responsible for surveying designated sites in the vicinity of 24 inactive mill sites involved in the Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP). The purpose of these surveys is to provide a recommendation to DOE whether to include or exclude the site from UMTRAP based on whether the onsite residual radioactive material (if any) originated from the former mill sites, and radiation levels onsite are in excess of appropriate Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) criteria. This report describes the quality assurance program plan for the RASA program in conducting all activities related to the UMTRA project. All quality assurance provisions given by the DOE, DOE/UMTRA, and ORNL organizations are integrated into this plan. Specifically, this report identifies the policies and procedures followed in accomplishing the RASA/UMTRAP QA program, identifies those organizational units involved in the implementation of these procedures, and outlines the respective responsibilities of those groups

  3. Correlation between gamma radiation levels and soil radium concentrations at the Edgemont uranium mill site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Tennessee Valley Authority's uranium mill in Edgemont, South Dakota is being decommissioned. Approximately 4 million tons of contaminated tailings, building equipment, and contaminated soil and debris on the mill site will be removed to the disposal site located approximately 3 kilometers to the southeast. To minimize recontamination of cleaned areas, tailings removal will progress from the northwest corner to the southeast corner of the mill site. As specific areas are cleaned, surveys will be conducted to determine if the concentrations of radium-226 in soil are within the limits outlined in 40 CFR, Part 192. Conformance with the criteria will be demonstrated by a gamma survey of the area employing the differential, or delta-measurement, technique. This technique involves fitting the detector with a base and a receptacle for a removable high-density filter. By making measurements with and without the filter in place, a gamma radiation level proportional to the radium-226 concentration in soil can be determined. This paper describes the results obtained in the development of the correlation between the gamma survey measurements and the soil radium concentrations

  4. A study of facilities relative to stabilization of uranium mill tailings at Elliot Lake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The total project capital cost of facilities to stabilize uranium mill tailings at Elliot Lake while producing 350,000 short tons per year of sulphuric acid and 266,000 short tons per year of triple superphosphate is approximately 153 million dollars. This includes pyrite flotation, roasting, acid and phosphate production, site preparation, utilities and project overhead. A new operating credit of 20.43 dollars per short ton of acid is estimated, achieved from the sale of steam and fertilizer. Two alternatives to the above were also examined, as follows: a) Production of 596,000 short tons per year of acid, and the sale of 246,000 short tons which are in excess of the Elliot Lake mill's requirement. The capital cost of this scheme is approximately 89 million dollars, with a net operating credit of 14.97 dollars per short ton of acid. b) Production of only 350,000 short tons per year of acid. This would entail disposal of the excess pyrite floated from the Rio Algom mills. The capital cost of this scheme is approximately 75 million dollars, with an operating cost of 10.47 dollars per short ton of acid

  5. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Durango Site, Durango, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Durango site in order to revise the November 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Durango, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the nearly 1.6 million tons of tailings at the Durango site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the seven options range from about $10,700,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $21,800,000 for disposal at a distance of about 10 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Durango tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing

  6. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Naturita, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (phase I), and the Ground Water Project (phase II). For the UMTRA Project site located near Naturita, Colorado (the Naturita site), phase I involves the removal of radioactively contaminated soils and materials and their transportation to a disposal site at Union Carbide Corporation's Upper Burbank Repository at Uravan, Colorado, about 13 road miles (mi) (21 kilometers [km]) to the northwest. No uranium mill tailings are involved because the tailings were removed from the Naturita site and placed at Coke Oven, Colorado, during 1977 to 1979. Phase II of the project will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and its effect on human health or the environment; and will determine site-specific ground water compliance strategies in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. Human health risks could occur from drinking water pumped from a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated ground water area. Environmental risks may result if plants or animals are exposed to contaminated ground water, or surface water that has received contaminated ground water. Therefore, a risk assessment is conducted for the Naturita site. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the Ground Water Project at the Naturita site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment

  7. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Naturita, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (phase I), and the Ground Water Project (phase II). For the UMTRA Project site located near Naturita, Colorado (the Naturita site), phase I involves the removal of radioactively contaminated soils and materials and their transportation to a disposal site at Union Carbide Corporation`s Upper Burbank Repository at Uravan, Colorado, about 13 road miles (mi) (21 kilometers [km]) to the northwest. No uranium mill tailings are involved because the tailings were removed from the Naturita site and placed at Coke Oven, Colorado, during 1977 to 1979. Phase II of the project will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and its effect on human health or the environment; and will determine site-specific ground water compliance strategies in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. Human health risks could occur from drinking water pumped from a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated ground water area. Environmental risks may result if plants or animals are exposed to contaminated ground water, or surface water that has received contaminated ground water. Therefore, a risk assessment is conducted for the Naturita site. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the Ground Water Project at the Naturita site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment.

  8. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impacts to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination from past activities at the former uranium processing site in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The US Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has placed contaminated material from this site in an on-site disposal cell. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the UMTRA Ground Water Project. Currently, no domestic or drinking water well tap into contaminated ground water of the two distinct ground water units: the unconsolidated materials and the bedrock. Because there is no access, no current health or environmental risks are associated with the direct use of the contaminated ground water. However, humans and ecological organisms could be exposed to contaminated ground water if a domestic well were to be installed in the unconsolidated materials in that part of the site being considered for public use (Area C). The first step is evaluating ground water data collected from monitor wells at the site. For the Canonsburg site, this evaluation showed the contaminants in ground water exceeding background in the unconsolidated materials in Area C are ammonia, boron, calcium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, strontium, and uranium

  9. Environmental impact assessment for uranium mine, mill and in situ leach projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Environmental impact assessments and/or statements are an inherent part of any uranium mining project and are a prerequisite for the future opening of an exploitation and its final closure and decommissioning. Since they contain all information related to the physical, biological, chemical and economic condition of the areas where industrial projects are proposed or planned, they present invaluable guidance for the planning and implementation of environmental mitigation as well as environmental restoration after the mine is closed. They further yield relevant data on the socio-economic impacts of a project. The present report provides guidance on the environmental impact assessment of uranium mining and milling projects, including in situ leach projects which will be useful for companies in the process of planning uranium developments as well as for the regional or national authorities who will assess such developments. Additional information and advice is given through environmental case histories from five different countries. Those case histories are not meant to be prescriptions for conducting assessments nor even firm recommendations, but should serve as examples for the type and extent of work involved in assessments. A model assessment and licensing process is recommended based on the experience of the five countries

  10. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Maybell, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, contaminated soil, building foundations, and materials associated with the former processing of uranium ore at UMTRA Project sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further contamination of ground water. One UMTRA Project site is near Maybell, Colorado. Surface cleanup at this site began in 1995 and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The tailings are being stabilized in place at this site. The disposal area has been withdrawn from public use by the DOE and is referred to as the permanent withdrawal area. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from past uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project at this site is in its beginning stages. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future potential impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results presented in this document and other evaluations will determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment

  11. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impacts to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination from past activities at the former uranium processing site in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. The US Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has placed contaminated material from this site in an on-site disposal cell. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the UMTRA Ground Water Project. Currently, no domestic or drinking water well tap into contaminated ground water of the two distinct ground water units: the unconsolidated materials and the bedrock. Because there is no access, no current health or environmental risks are associated with the direct use of the contaminated ground water. However, humans and ecological organisms could be exposed to contaminated ground water if a domestic well were to be installed in the unconsolidated materials in that part of the site being considered for public use (Area C). The first step is evaluating ground water data collected from monitor wells at the site. For the Canonsburg site, this evaluation showed the contaminants in ground water exceeding background in the unconsolidated materials in Area C are ammonia, boron, calcium, manganese, molybdenum, potassium, strontium, and uranium.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  13. Experience in the transport and disposal of uranium mill tailings from Aldama City to Sierra Pena Blanca in Chihuahua, Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the process of decontamination, transport and disposal of uranium mill tailings, in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico, was necessary the multidisciplinary and multi institutional task to select mainly the site for the final disposal. The uranium mill tailings content Ra-226 which half live time is 1600 years, therefore the site should be adequately stable, a remote place of population, and which containment will survive for thousand of years. The decontamination of site where the uranium mill tailings were 25 years ago, required the application of norms from regulator organism. For the transport of uranium mill tailings was necessary that the vehicles had devices to reduce the dispersion of material in the road. The selection of the site was product of balance between the cost of transport and the final disposal. To typify the site, studies of hydrology, meteorology, ecology, geology and seismology were performed. On the other hand, the decision to locate the deposit in the site was due to dispersion of material by the rain, wind and bowls. (authors). 3 refs., 1 fig., 1 tab

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    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

  15. Radioecological investigations of uranium-mill-tailings systems. Fourth technical progress report, October 1, 1982-September 30, 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document provides a status report on studies which address some of the problems and questions on the integrity and transport of several radionuclides in active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings. The studies reported are being conducted at the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine, located in southeastern Wyoming. The investigation quantitatively evaluates the potential release of important radionuclides from active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings and their entry into the food chain. For active mill tailings, we are trying to quantify the degree of escape and dispersal, primarily by wind, and to measure the accumulation of 238U, 230Th, 226Ra, 210Pb and 210Po by various native plants. Of particular interest are the relationships between soil and vegetation at different sites, since the chemical environment of areas impacted by mill tailings are drastically different than undisturbed natural areas. Also of great interest, is the relative importance of various mechanisms of radionuclide accumulation by plants, such as root uptake and aerial deposition, followed by some degree of foliar absorption. This investigation includes as a major component, studies relating to the final disposal of mill tailings. Experiments on radon flux versus overburden depth showed that tailings covered with 1.5m of revegetated or 0.3m of bare overburden had exhalation rates comparable to background. A positive correlation was demonstrated between precipitation and radon flux

  16. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    For the UMTRA Project site located near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (the Canonsburg site), the Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1983 to 1985, and involved removing the uranium processing mill tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials from their original locations and placing them in a disposal cell located on the former Canonsburg uranium mill site. This disposal cell is designed to minimize radiation emissions and further contamination of ground water beneath the site. The Ground Water Project will evaluate the nature and the extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing at the former Canonsburg uranium mill site, and will determine a ground water strategy for complying with the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. For the Canonsburg site, an evaluation was made to determine whether exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium processing could affect people's health. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Canonsburg site. The results of this report and further site characterization of the Canonsburg site will be used to determine how to protect public health and the environment, and how to comply with the EPA standards

  17. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    For the UMTRA Project site located near Canonsburg, Pennsylvania (the Canonsburg site), the Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1983 to 1985, and involved removing the uranium processing mill tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials from their original locations and placing them in a disposal cell located on the former Canonsburg uranium mill site. This disposal cell is designed to minimize radiation emissions and further contamination of ground water beneath the site. The Ground Water Project will evaluate the nature and the extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing at the former Canonsburg uranium mill site, and will determine a ground water strategy for complying with the US Environmental Protection Agency`s (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. For the Canonsburg site, an evaluation was made to determine whether exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium processing could affect people`s health. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Canonsburg site. The results of this report and further site characterization of the Canonsburg site will be used to determine how to protect public health and the environment, and how to comply with the EPA standards.

  18. Uranium speciation in the environment: study of opals from Nopal I (Mexico) and mill tailings from Gunnar (Canada)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Understanding the processes of uranium migration and sequestration is an important issue for the prediction of radionuclide retardation in the vicinity of uranium mine tailings sites or for the safety assessment of potential high-level nuclear waste repositories. Uranium speciation, controlled by biotic and abiotic factors, represents a key parameter for the control of uranium transfer in the environment. This study firstly deals with uranium speciation in opals from the Nopal I uranium deposit (Mexico). Microscopic observations of opals at the nano-scale revealed the occurrence of vorlanite, cubic CaUO4. This was the first time this rare calcium uranate has been found displaying a cubic morphology, in agreement with its crystal structure. Nopal I opals have been further investigated through time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy. The opals spectra and their comparison with those of experimentally produced standards indicate occurrence of mono- or polymeric uranyl complexes (associated or not with calcium or phosphate) sorbed onto internal surface of opal around pH 7-8. Finally, the speciation of uranium was studied in mill tailings from Gunnar (Canada). In the first tailings site, uranium primarily occurs as monomeric, inner-sphere uranyl complexes sharing edges with Fe(O,OH)6 octahedral sites of iron-oxy-hydroxides and chlorite. Our results suggested that U(VI) co-precipitates with iron (oxy-hydr)oxides predominate in the second tailings sites. Therefore uranium mobility in Gunnar is governed by sorption/desorption and dissolution/(co)precipitation processes. (author)

  19. Technologies for the treatment of effluents from uranium mines, mills and tailings. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Effluent treatment is an important aspect of uranium mining and milling operations that continues through decommissioning and site rehabilitation. During the life of a mine, effluent treatment is an integral part of the operation with all effluent either being recycled to the mill or processed through a water treatment plant before being released into the environment. During decommissioning and rehabilitation, effluent treatment must continue either through a water treatment plant of by using passive treatment techniques. Because of the recent closing of several uranium mines or mining districts, particularly in eastern Europe, effluent treatment is becoming an ever increasing concern. Therefore the IAEA convened a technical committee meeting (TCM) so that experts from different countries could discuss information and knowledge on effluent treatment processes and methods. The papers presented at the meeting describe techniques for treatment of effluents from uranium production operations - both past and present. This publication contains ten papers presented at the meeting; each of the papers was indexed separately

  20. Assessment of cover systems at the Grand Junction, Colorado, uranium mill tailings pile: 1987 field measurements

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Four Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) scientists and a technician conducted an onsite evaluation of radon gas exhalation, water content profiles, and plant and animal intrusion for a series of cover systems located on the uranium mill tailings pile at Grand Junction, Colorado. These six plots were sampled extensively down to the radon control layer (e.g., asphalt or wet clay) for soil moisture content and permeability. Radon gas emission through the surface was measured. Soil samples were collected and analyzed in the lab for particle-size distribution, particle density, bulk density, and ambient water content. Prairie dog burrows were excavated to discover the extent to which they penetrated the barriers. Plant type, density, and cover characteristics were measured

  1. Assessment of the radiological impact of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium-mill tailings at an inactive site near Shiprock, New Mexico, contain an estimated 950 curies (Ci) of 226Ra together with its radioactive daughters. A radiological survey was conducted at this site in February 1976. Decontamination work and tailings stabilization performed at the site since that time have greatly changed conditions there and little effort was applied to quantification of potential health effects in comparison to the earlier consideration of the site at Salt Lake City. The present report delineates the radiological conditions that existed at the time of the survey including information on the surface and below-surface distribution of 226Ra. The data presented support the conclusion that diffusion of radon and inhalation of radon daughters is the principal mode of exposure of offsite population groups

  2. Revegetation/rock cover for stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings disposal sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beedlow, P.A.; McShane, M.C.; Cadwell, L.L.

    1982-07-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is developing design and performance guidelines for surface stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings. In this work, vegetation and rock covers are being evaluated for maintaining long-term integrity of impoundment systems. Methods are being developed to estimate erosion rates associated with rock and/or vegetation covers, and to determine the effects of surface treatments on soil moisture. Interactions between surface treatments and barriers (radon and biological) are being studied as well. The product will be a set of guidelines to aid in designing surface covers. This report presents the status of this program and a discussion of considerations pertinent to the application of surface covers to tailings. Test plots located in Grand Junction, Colorado and Waterflow, New Mexico are being used to study: (1) the interactions between vegetation and radon and biological barriers, (2) the effects of surface covers on soil moisture, and (3) the effects of rock covers on vegetation.

  3. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River Site, Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Green River site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Green River, Utah. This evaluation has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative remedial actions. Radon gas released from the 123,000 tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors

  4. A feasibility study of geomorphic research for the long term management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report provides a plan for geomorphic research needed for proper long-term management of mill tailings from the Ranger uranium mine in the Northern Territory of Australia. The proposed research will provide information about both the risk of above-grade disposal of the tailings and the implications of the escape of tailings from containment structure. The proposed research includes the description of, documentation of behaviour of, and the identification of controlling external forces on, the geomorphic system both at the mine site and in a much larger area likely to be affected by escaped tailings. While designed for the Ranger site, the principles embodied in this report are applicable to many problems of mine waste disposal

  5. Revegetation/rock cover for stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings disposal sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is developing design and performance guidelines for surface stabilization of inactive uranium mill tailings. In this work, vegetation and rock covers are being evaluated for maintaining long-term integrity of impoundment systems. Methods are being developed to estimate erosion rates associated with rock and/or vegetation covers, and to determine the effects of surface treatments on soil moisture. Interactions between surface treatments and barriers (radon and biological) are being studied as well. The product will be a set of guidelines to aid in designing surface covers. This report presents the status of this program and a discussion of considerations pertinent to the application of surface covers to tailings. Test plots located in Grand Junction, Colorado and Waterflow, New Mexico are being used to study: (1) the interactions between vegetation and radon and biological barriers, (2) the effects of surface covers on soil moisture, and (3) the effects of rock covers on vegetation

  6. Regulatory philosophy and requirements for radiation control in Canadian uranium mine-mill facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The approach the Canadian Atomic Energy Control Board takes in licensing uranium mine/mill facilities is based on a minimum of rigidly set regulatory requirements. The regulations state only the basic objectives: the obligation to acquire a licence, some administrative and reporting requirements, and exposure limits. The regulations are supported by a set of regulatory guides. The operator always has the option of following different procedures if he can demonstrate that they will produce the same or better results. Good relationships exist between the AECB and mine management as well as trade unions. Under this approach, however, it is difficult to take action against uncooperative parties. The Board has decided that a somewhat more formalized system is necessary. New regulations are being drafted, giving more detailed licensing and administrative requirements and covering the areas of ventilation and worker and supervisor education more thoroughly

  7. Performance of asphalt and clay liners as a uranium mill tailings leachate barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is evaluating the long-term effectiveness of various asphalt and clay liner materials as a radionuclide and process chemical barrier from uranium mill tailings. A field test is being conducted by monitoring asphalt and clay liners installed at the Grand Junction, Colorado tailings site. In addition eight prospective liners have undergone three months exposure to accelerated conditions to predict their behavior over a 1000 year period. High calcium leachates have been forced through thin layers of clay to determine the ability of the clay to resist ion exchange, which reduces its swelling capabilities. Asphalt liners have been exposed to elevated temperatures and increased strengths of oxidizing agents to accelerate their aging process. The permeability coefficients measured during this exposure were then used to predict each liners stability with time. The analyses thus far show that clay soils with bentonite amendments and most asphalt compositions have good long-term performance characteristics. 3 figures, 1 table

  8. Performance of asphalt and clay liners as a uranium mill tailings leachate barrier

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is evaluating the long-term effectiveness of various asphalt clay liner materials as a radionuclide and process chemical barrier from uranium mill tailings. A field test is being conducted by monitoring asphalt and clay liners installed at the Grand Junction, Colorado tailings site. In addition, eight prospective liners have undergone three months exposure to accelerated conditions to predict their behavior over a 1000-year period. High-calcium leachates have been forced through thin layers of clay to determine the ability of the clay to resist ion exchange, which reduces its swelling capabilities. Asphalt liners have been exposed to elevated temperatures and increased strengths of oxidizing agents to accelerate their aging process. The permeability coefficients measured during this exposure were then used to predict each liners stability with time. The analyses thus far show that clay soils with bentonite amendments and most asphalt compositions have good long-term performance characteristics

  9. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River Site, Green River, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-08-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Green River site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Green River, Utah. This evaluation has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative remedial actions. Radon gas released from the 123,000 tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors.

  10. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Tuba City site, Tuba City, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Tuba City site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Tuba City, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 0.8 million tons of tailings at the Tuba City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors.

  11. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Tuba City site, Tuba City, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Tuba City site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Tuba City, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 0.8 million tons of tailings at the Tuba City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors.

  12. Phase II, Title I, engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Riverton Site, Riverton, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-12-01

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Spook Site, Converse County, Wyoming. Services include the performance of core drillings, soil, water and other sample analyses, radiometric measurements to determine areas with radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site geology, hydrology, and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 187,000 tons of tailings at the Spook Site constitutes the main environmental impact, which is negligible. The two alternative actions presented are better fencing of the site in its present state, and placing tailings and contaminated on-site materials and soil in the open-pit mine and covering the resulting pile with 2 ft of overburden materials. The cost estimates for the options are $81,000 and $142,000, respectively.

  13. Environmental assessment related to the operation of Hansen uranium mill project, WM-24, Cyprus Mines Corporation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An environmental assessment was prepared by the staff of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Office of Nuclear Material Safety and Safeguards, in response to a request for technical assistance from the State of Colorado in connection with licensing action on the proposed Cyprus Mines Corporation, Hansen uranium project. The major components of discussion are (1) a summary and recommended licensing conditions, (2) a description of the site environment and the proposed facility operation as well as alternatives in comparison with NRC's performance objectives for tailings management, and (3) a radiological assessment for estimating the facility's compliance with 10 CFR 20 and 40 CFR 190 dose regulations. The NRC recommends licensing the proposed mill subject to stipulated license conditions

  14. Radon transport from uranium mill tailings via plant transpiration. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radon exhalation by vegetation planted on bare or soil-covered uranium mill wastes was studied based on an assumption that radon transport from soil to atmosphere via plants takes place in the transpiration stream. Results show that radon exhalation by plants is inversely related to water transpired, primarily a dilution effect. Radon released appeared directly related to leaf area, suggesting that radon is carried into the plant by mass flow in water; however, once within the plant, radon very likely diffuses through the entire leaf cuticle, while water vapor diffuses primarily through open stomates. Application of a computerized model for water transpiration to radon exhalation is not immediately useful until the role of water in radon transport is defined throughout the continuum from rooting medium to the atmosphere. Until then, a simple calculation based on leaf area index and Ra-226 concentration in the rooting medium can provide an estimate of radon release from revegetated wastes containing radium

  15. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Durango, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill site at Durango, Colorado, conducted in April 1976, in cooperation with a team from Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc., are presented together with descriptions of the instruments and techniques used to obtain the data. Direct above-ground gamma measurements and analysis of surface soil and sediment samples indicate movement of tailings from the piles toward Lightner Creek on the north and the Animas River on the east side of the piles. The concentration of 226Ra in the former raffinate pond area is only slightly above the background level. Two structures in Durango were found to contain high concentrations of airborne radon daughters, where tailings are known to have been utilized in construction. Near-background concentrations of radon daughters were found in a well-ventilated building close to the tailings

  16. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The findings of a radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill site at Gunnison, Colorado, conducted in May 1976, are presented. Results of surface soil sample analyses and direct gamma radiation measurements indicate limited spread of tailings off the site. The only significant above background measurements off the site were obtained in an area previously covered by the tailings pile. There was little evidence of contamination of the surface or of unconfined groundwater in the vicinity of the tailings pile; however, the hydrologic conditions at the site indicate a potential for such contamination. The concentration of 226Ra in all water samples except one from the tailings pile was well below the concentration guide for drinking water. The subsurface distribution of 226Ra in 14 bore holes located on and around the tailings pile was calculated from gamma ray monitoring data obtained jointly with Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc

  17. A case study on the Uranium tailings dam of Pocos de Caldas uranium mining and milling site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Annex describes the geochemical processes controlling the mobilisation of heavy metals and radionuclides in the tailings dam of the Pocos de Caldas Uranium Mining and Milling Facility. It was shown that residual pyrite oxidation causes the production of acid drainage that leaches metals and radionuclides from the solid phase. The remediation scheme, application of dry cover on the tailings, was focused on the reduction of oxygen diffusion into the tailings and radon exhalation from the material Three principal final covers designs were taken from the scientific literature aiming to obtain the most adequate performance for the studied situation The designs studied included: (i) a compacted clay liner (CCL); (ii) a composite liner (CL); and (iii) a capillary barrier (CB). Relevant processes investigated were: (i) saturated hydraulic flow; (ii) unsaturated hydraulic flow (only for the capillary barrier); and (iii) radon exhalation to atmosphere. The computer models utilized for the analyses were: (i) the program Hydrologic Evaluation of Landfill Performance (HELP); (ii) the program SEEP/W; and (iii) the program RADON. (author)

  18. Commingled uranium-tailings study. Volume I. Plan for stabilization and management of commingled uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report, prepared in accordance with Section 213 of Public Law 96-540, presents a plan for a cooperative program to provide assistance in the stabilization and management of commingled uranium mill tailings. The report is organized in two volumes, a summary report (Volume I) and a companion technical report (Volume II). Contents of Volume I are: summary; background; amount and condition of the tailings; regulatory requirements; stabilization cost estimates; costsharing alternatives; administrative options and plan implementation; standards and regulations. The DOE recommends that the standards and regulations for tailings stabilization be relaxed and that any program of stabilization be limited to prevention of migration and erosion of the tailings and inadvertent exposure to them. The plan presented here shows the effort and costs that would be incurred if the government were to implement such a plan. The Department makes no recommendation as to the advisability of actually implementing legislation authorizing an assistance program, and stands ready to respond to comments on the plan by Congress, other government agencies, or interested parties

  19. Relationship Between 210Pb Concentrations in Solid Wastes and Plants from Uranium Mill Tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Full text: The exploitation and treatment of uranium ore at the Urgeirica mine (north of Portugal) have led to the accumulation of large amounts of soild wastes (mill tailings) in dams (tailing ponds). These solid wastes containing natural radionuclides could be dispersed by the action of atmospheric agents and contaminate the environment. To minimize the dispersion of these radionuclides into the environment the dams were revegetated with pines (Pinus pinea) and eucalyptes (Eucalyptus globolus). The objective of this study is to know the 210Pb behaviour in what concerns its transfer from the uranium mill tailings to these plants, through the analysis of relationships between 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes and the plants. Solid wastes and plant samples were randomly collected at the dams and the 210Pb activity concentration in solid wastes and plant (aerial part and roots) samples were determined by gamma spectrometry. The results obtained for pines show a good correlation between 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes and roots. No correlation was found to 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes and needles. The 210Pb concentration data for eucalyptes show a quite good correlation between 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes and leaves. Concentration ratio data, solid wastes/roots and solid wastes/needles for pines are on the same order of magnitude. The 210Pb uptake by pines (roots and needles) and eucalyptes (leaves) show that 210Pb concentration ratios decrease at low 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes and appear relatively constant at higher 210Pb concentrations in the solid wastes. Data presented for 210Pb in this paper, will be compared with those obtained for 226Ra on the same samples. (author)

  20. Optimum condition determination of Rirang uranium ores grinding using ball mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The grinding experiment on Rirang Uranium ore has been carried out with the aim is to find out the optimum condition of wet grinding using ball mill to produce particle size -325, -200 and -100 mesh. This will be used for decomposition feed the test was done by examine the parameters comparison of ore's weight against ball's weight and time of grinding. The test shown that the product of particle size -325 meshes was achieved optimum condition at the comparison ore's weight: ball = 1:3, grinding time 150 minutes, % solid 60, speed rotation of ball mill 60 rpm and recovery of grinding was 93.51 % of -325 mesh. The product of particle size -200 mesh was achieved optimum condition at comparison ore's weight: ball = 1:2, time of grinding 60 minutes, the fraction of + 200 mesh was regrind, the recovery of grinding 6.82% at particle size of (-200 + 250) mesh, 5.75 % at (-250 + 325)m mesh and, 47.93 % -325 mesh. The product of particle size -100 mesh was achieved the optimum condition at comparison ore's weight: ball = 1:2, time of grinding at 30 minutes particle size +100 mesh regrinding using mortar grinder, recovery of grinding 30.10% at particle size (-100 + 150) m, 12.28 % at (-150 + 200) mesh, 15.92 % at (-200 + 250) mesh, 12.44 % at (-250 + 325) mesh and 29.26 % -325 mesh. The determination of specific gravity of Rirang uranium ore was between 4.15 - 4.55 g/cm3

  1. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Lakeview site, Lakeview, Oregon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The three alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment include millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I) and removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II and III). Cost estimates range from about $6,000,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $7,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 10 miles. Three alternatives for reprocessing the Lakeview tailings were examined: heap leaching, treatment at an existing mill, and reprocessing at a new conventional mill. The cost of the uranium recovered would be over $450/lb of U3O8 and hence reprocessing is not economical

  2. Intrusion of soil covered uranium mill tailings by whitetail prairie dogs and Richardson's ground squirrels

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The primary objective of the reclamation of uranium mill tailings is the long-term isolation of the matrial from the biosphere. Fossorial and semi-fossorial species represent a potentially disruptive influence as a result of their burrowing habits. The potential for intrusion was investigated with respect to two sciurids, the whitetail prairie dog (Cynomys leucurus) and Richardson's ground squirrel (Spermophilus richardsonii). Populations of prairie dogs were established on a control area, lacking a tailings layer, and two experimental areas, underlain by a waste layer, in southeastern Wyoming. Weekly measurements of prairie dog mound surface activities were conducted to demonstrate penetration, or lack thereof, of the tailings layer. Additionally, the impact of burrowing upon radon flux was determined. Limited penetration of the waste layer was noted after which frequency of inhabitance of the intruding burrow system declined. No significant changes in radon flux were detected. In another experiment, it was found that Richardson's ground squirrels burrowed to less extreme depths when confronted by mill tailings. Additional work at an inactive tailings pile in western Colorado revealed repeated intrusion through a shallow cover, and subsequent transport of radioactive material to the ground surface by prairie dogs. Radon flux from burrow entrances was significantly greater than that from undisturbed ground. Data suggested that textural and pH properties of tailings material may act to discourage repeated intrusion at some sites. 58 references

  3. Radon and radon-daughter concentrations in air in the vicinity of the Anaconda Uranium Mill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Momeni, M H; Lindstrom, J B; Dungey, C E; Kisieleski, W E

    1979-11-01

    Radon concentration, working level, and meteorological variables were measured continuously from June 1977 through June 1978 at three stations in the vicinity of the Anaconda Uranium Mill with measurements integrated to hourly intervals. Both radon and daughters show strong variations associated with low wind velocities and stable atmospheric conditions, and diurnal variations associated with thermal inversions. Average radon concentration shows seasonal dependence with highest concentrations observed during fall and winter. Comparison of radon concentrations and working levels between three stations shows strong dependence on wind direction and velocity. Radon concentrations and working-level distributions for each month and each station were analyzed. The average maximum, minimum, and modal concentration and working levels were estimated with observed frequencies. The highest concentration is 11,000 pCi/m/sup 3/ on the tailings. Working-level variations parallel radon variations but lag by less than one hour. The highest working levels were observed at night when conditions of higher secular radioactive equilibrium for radon daughters exist. Background radon concentration was measured at two stations, each located about 25 km from the mill, and the average is 408 pCi/m/sup 3/. Average working-level background is 3.6 x 10/sup -3/.

  4. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Lakeview site, Lakeview, Oregon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-10-01

    This assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The three alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment include millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I) and removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II and III). Cost estimates range from about $6,000,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $7,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 10 miles. Three alternatives for reprocessing the Lakeview tailings were examined: heap leaching, treatment at an existing mill, and reprocessing at a new conventional mill. The cost of the uranium recovered would be over $450/lb of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ and hence reprocessing is not economical.

  5. Pyrite Oxidation in Leaching Process of Radionuclides and Heavy Metals from Uranium Mill Tailings

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2002-01-01

    Pyrite is a sensitive mineral in the geological environment, and its oxidation produces an important geochemical and environmental effect on the control of the redox and pH conditions. Column experiment results were used for modeling the geochemical processes in uranium mill tailings under lcaching conditions. Oxidation of pyrite dominates the control of the tailings leaching process. The experimental and modeling results show that the leachate chemistry changes substantially with the decrease in pyrite consumption. In the initial stage of the leaching experiment, the pyrite is consumed several hundred times greater than that in the later stages, for much more oxygen is present in the tailings in the initial stage. As the experiment continues, the tailings is gradually saturated with water and the oxygen concentration greatly decreases and so does pyrite consumption. The experimental and modeling results are useful for the design of mill tailing decommissioning., oxidation process and transport of radioactive nuclides and heavy metals can be constrained by controlling the oxygen concentration of tailings and the infiltration of meteoric water.

  6. Laboratory evaluation of limestone and lime neutralization of acidic uranium mill tailings solution. Progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate a two-step neutralization scheme for treatment of acidic uranium mill tailings solutions. Tailings solutions from the Lucky Mc Mill and Exxon Highland Mill, both in Wyoming, were neutralized with limestone, CaCO3, to an intermediate pH of 4.0 or 5.0, followed by lime, Ca(OH)2, neutralization to pH 7.3. The combination limestone/lime treatment methods, CaCO3 neutralization to pH 4 followed by neutralization with Ca(OH)2 to pH 7.3 resulted in the highest quality effluent solution with respect to EPA's water quality guidelines. The combination method is the most cost-effective treatment procedure tested in our studies. Neutralization experiments to evaluate the optimum solution pH for contaminant removal were performed on the same two tailings solutions using only lime Ca(OH)2 as the neutralizing agent. The data indicate solution neutralization above pH 7.3 does not significantly increase removal of pH dependent contaminants from solution. Column leaching experiments were performed on the neutralized sludge material (the precipitated solid material which forms as the acidic tailings solutions are neutralized to pH 4 or above). The sludges were contacted with laboratory prepared synthetic ground water until several effluent pore volumes were collected. Effluent solutions were analyzed for macro ions, trace metals and radionuclides in an effort to evaluate the long term effectiveness of attenuating contaminants in sludges formed during solution neutralization. Neutralized sludge leaching experiments indicate that Ca, Na, Mg, Se, Cl, and SO4 are the only constituents which show solution concentrations significantly higher than the synthetic ground water in the early pore volumes of long-term leaching studies

  7. Laboratory evaluation of limestone and lime neutralization of acidic uranium mill tailings solution. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Opitz, B.E.; Dodson, M.E.; Serne, R.J.

    1984-02-01

    Experiments were conducted to evaluate a two-step neutralization scheme for treatment of acidic uranium mill tailings solutions. Tailings solutions from the Lucky Mc Mill and Exxon Highland Mill, both in Wyoming, were neutralized with limestone, CaCO/sub 3/, to an intermediate pH of 4.0 or 5.0, followed by lime, Ca(OH)/sub 2/, neutralization to pH 7.3. The combination limestone/lime treatment methods, CaCO/sub 3/ neutralization to pH 4 followed by neutralization with Ca(OH)/sub 2/ to pH 7.3 resulted in the highest quality effluent solution with respect to EPA's water quality guidelines. The combination method is the most cost-effective treatment procedure tested in our studies. Neutralization experiments to evaluate the optimum solution pH for contaminant removal were performed on the same two tailings solutions using only lime Ca(OH)/sub 2/ as the neutralizing agent. The data indicate solution neutralization above pH 7.3 does not significantly increase removal of pH dependent contaminants from solution. Column leaching experiments were performed on the neutralized sludge material (the precipitated solid material which forms as the acidic tailings solutions are neutralized to pH 4 or above). The sludges were contacted with laboratory prepared synthetic ground water until several effluent pore volumes were collected. Effluent solutions were analyzed for macro ions, trace metals and radionuclides in an effort to evaluate the long term effectiveness of attenuating contaminants in sludges formed during solution neutralization. Neutralized sludge leaching experiments indicate that Ca, Na, Mg, Se, Cl, and SO/sub 4/ are the only constituents which show solution concentrations significantly higher than the synthetic ground water in the early pore volumes of long-term leaching studies.

  8. Ra-226 concentrations in the hydrographic basins near uranium mining and milling in Brazil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A monitoring survey of the 226Ra concentrations in river waters in the vicinity of the mining area and future milling facilities in the Pocos de Caldas region began in January 1977. The objective of the monitoring survey is to establish a baseline to allow future comparisons between the 226Ra concentrations in waters of the hydrographic basins of the Pocos de Caldas plateau before and after the beginning of full scale commercial operations. Open pit mining started in July 1977 in the uranium deposits of Campo do Cercado, but the main uranium body has not been reached yet. Seasonal variations in riverflow are apparently accompanied by little variations in the 226Ra concentrations in river waters. A crude calculational dosimetric model is in the process of being developed to estimate annual dose equivalent to an individual from 226Ra via drinking water and irrigation patterns as a first step to calculate the collective dose equivalent commitment to the population of the Pocos de Caldas plateau and surroundings

  9. Plans for environmental restoration of uranium mining and milling sites in Bulgaria

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1992, uranium mining and milling industry in Bulgaria was closed down by Decree No. 163 of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Bulgaria which defined the procedure for development of liquidation plans, their approval and the procedure for funding from the national budget. The 1994 Decree No. 56 of the Council of Ministers assigned the organization of the liquidation and rehabilitation activities to the Committee of Energy (later, in 1996, transformed to the Ministry of Energy and Energy Resources). An Interdepartmental Board of Experts including representatives of all concerned ministries and agencies was established to coordinate the above activities and to approve work plans. The main stages of liquidation of the uranium industry and its after-effects were defined as follows: (1) environmental status (maintenance of a minimized service mode in order to preserve the state of the site- environment system); (2) technical liquidation; (3) technical recultivation; (4) biological recultivation; (5) purification of contaminated waters; and (6) monitoring. In 1992 and 1993, preparation for the above activities was carried out by development of detailed preliminary studies and work plans for the first stage - the stage of technical liquidation. Their implementation was launched by evacuation of mining and drilling machinery, haulage and processing of finished products etc. (author)

  10. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Maybell, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, building foundations, and materials associated with the former processing of uranium ore at UMTRA sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further contamination of ground water. One UMTRA Project site is near Maybell, Colorado. Surface cleanup at this site is under way and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The tailings are being stabilized in-place at this site. The disposal area has been withdrawn from public use by the DOE and is referred to as the permanent withdrawal area. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from past uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project at this site is in its beginning stages. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future potential impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment. Currently, no points of exposure (e.g. a drinking water well); and no receptors of contaminated ground water have been identified at the Maybell site. Therefore, there are no current human health and ecological risks associated with exposure to contaminated ground water. Furthermore, if current site conditions and land- and water-use patterns do not change, it is unlikely that contaminated ground water would reach people or the ecological communities in the future

  11. Radio-Ecological Conditions of Groundwater in the Area of Uranium Mining and Milling Facility - 13525

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Titov, A.V.; Semenova, M.P.; Seregin, V.A.; Isaev, D.V.; Metlyaev, E.G. [FSBU SRC A.I.Burnasyan Federal Medical Biophysical Center of FMBA of Russia, Zhivopisnaya Street, 46, Moscow (Russian Federation); Glagolev, A.V.; Klimova, T.I.; Sevtinova, E.B. [FSESP ' Hydrospecgeologiya' (Russian Federation); Zolotukhina, S.B.; Zhuravleva, L.A. [FSHE ' Centre of Hygiene and Epidemiology no. 107' under FMBA of Russia (Russian Federation)

    2013-07-01

    Manmade chemical and radioactive contamination of groundwater is one of damaging effects of the uranium mining and milling facilities. Groundwater contamination is of special importance for the area of Priargun Production Mining and Chemical Association, JSC 'PPMCA', because groundwater is the only source of drinking water. The paper describes natural conditions of the site, provides information on changes of near-surface area since the beginning of the company, illustrates the main trends of contaminators migration and assesses manmade impact on the quality and mode of near-surface and ground waters. The paper also provides the results of chemical and radioactive measurements in groundwater at various distances from the sources of manmade contamination to the drinking water supply areas. We show that development of deposits, mine water discharge, leakages from tailing dams and cinder storage facility changed general hydro-chemical balance of the area, contributed to new (overlaid) aureoles and flows of scattering paragenetic uranium elements, which are much smaller in comparison with natural ones. However, increasing flow of groundwater stream at the mouth of Sukhoi Urulyungui due to technological water infiltration, mixing of natural water with filtration streams from industrial reservoirs and sites, containing elevated (relative to natural background) levels of sulfate-, hydro-carbonate and carbonate- ions, led to the development and moving of the uranium contamination aureole from the undeveloped field 'Polevoye' to the water inlet area. The aureole front crossed the southern border of water inlet of drinking purpose. The qualitative composition of groundwater, especially in the southern part of water inlet, steadily changes for the worse. The current Russian intervention levels of gross alpha activity and of some natural radionuclides including {sup 222}Rn are in excess in drinking water; regulations for fluorine and manganese

  12. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Falls City, Texas: Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination of the uranium mill tailings site near Falls City, Texas, evaluates potential impact to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former Susquehanna Western, Inc. (SWI), uranium mill processing site. This document fulfills the following objectives: determine if the site presents immediate or potential future health risks, determine the need for interim institutional controls, serve as a key input to project planning and prioritization, and recommend future data collection efforts to more fully characterize risk. The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has begun its evaluation of ground water contamination at the Falls City site. This risk assessment is one of the first documents specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. The first step is to evaluate ground water data collected from monitor wells at or near the site. Evaluation of these data show the main contaminants in the Dilworth ground water are cadmium, cobalt, fluoride, iron, nickel, sulfate, and uranium. The data also show high levels of arsenic and manganese occur naturally in some areas

  13. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Falls City, Texas: Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination of the uranium mill tailings site near Falls City, Texas, evaluates potential impact to public health and the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former Susquehanna Western, Inc. (SWI), uranium mill processing site. This document fulfills the following objectives: determine if the site presents immediate or potential future health risks, determine the need for interim institutional controls, serve as a key input to project planning and prioritization, and recommend future data collection efforts to more fully characterize risk. The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has begun its evaluation of ground water contamination at the Falls City site. This risk assessment is one of the first documents specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. The first step is to evaluate ground water data collected from monitor wells at or near the site. Evaluation of these data show the main contaminants in the Dilworth ground water are cadmium, cobalt, fluoride, iron, nickel, sulfate, and uranium. The data also show high levels of arsenic and manganese occur naturally in some areas.

  14. Chemical Interactions of Uranium in Water, Sediments, and Plants Along a Watershed Adjacent to the Abandoned Jackpile Mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, J.; De Vore, C. L.; Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Roldan, C.; Bowers, F.; Spilde, M.; Artyushkova, K.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    The chemical interactions, mobility, and plant uptake of uranium (U) near abandoned mine wastes was investigated along the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, located in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico. Elevated U concentrations in surface water adjacent to mine waste range from 30 to 710 μg/L seasonally and decrease to 5.77 to 10.0 μg/L at a wetland 4.5 kilometers downstream of the mine. Although U concentrations in stream water are elevated, aqua regia acid digestions performed on co-located stream bed and stream bank sediments reveal that there is limited U accumulation on sediments along the reach between the mine and wetland, with most sediment concentrations being near the 3 mg/kg crustal average. However, U concentrations in sediments in the wetland are 4 times the background concentrations in the area. Individual results from salt cedar roots, stems, and leaves collected along the river transect show higher U concentrations in the roots adjacent to the mine waste (20 and 55 mg/kg) and lower in the stems and leaves. Translocation values calculated below 1 are evident in many of the plant samples, suggesting that U root to shoot translocation is minimal and U is accumulating in the roots. Concentrations of U in salt cedar roots from downstream of the mine waste decrease to 15 mg/kg. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy analysis on sediment samples adjacent to the mine waste show a 75:25% ratio of Fe(III) to Fe(II), which can have an effect on adsorption properties. Electron microprobe results suggest that the ore in this area is present as a uranium-phosphate phase. Our results suggest that dilution, uptake by plants, and U sorption to wetland sediments are the dominant factors that help to decrease the U concentrations downstream of the mine.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  17. Contaminant distributions at typical U.S. uranium milling facilities and their effect on remedial action decisions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Past operations at uranium processing sites throughout the US have resulted in local contamination of soils and ground water by radionuclides, toxic metals, or both. Understanding the origin of contamination and how the constituents are distributed is a basic element for planning remedial action decisions. This report describes the radiological and nonradiological species found in ground water at a typical US uranium milling facility. The report will provide the audience with an understanding of the vast spectrum of contaminants that must be controlled in planning solutions to the long-term management of these waste materials

  18. Assessment of potential migration of radionuclides and trace elements from the White Mesa uranium mill to the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation and surrounding areas, southeastern Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naftz, David L.; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Rowland, Ryan C.; Marston, Thomas M.

    2011-01-01

    In 2007, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey conduct an independent evaluation of potential offsite migration of radionuclides and selected trace elements associated with the ore storage and milling process at an active uranium mill site near White Mesa, Utah. Specific objectives of this study were (1) to determine recharge sources and residence times of groundwater surrounding the mill site, (2) to determine the current concentrations of uranium and associated trace elements in groundwater surrounding the mill site, (3) to differentiate natural and anthropogenic contaminant sources to groundwater resources surrounding the mill site, (4) to assess the solubility and potential for offsite transport of uranium-bearing minerals in groundwater surrounding the mill site, and (5) to use stream sediment and plant material samples from areas surrounding the mill site to identify potential areas of offsite contamination and likely contaminant sources. The results of age-dating methods and an evaluation of groundwater recharge temperatures using dissolved-gas samples indicate that groundwater sampled in wells in the surficial aquifer in the vicinity of the mill is recharged locally by precipitation. Tritium/helium age dating methods found a "modern day" apparent age in water samples collected from springs in the study area surrounding the mill. This apparent age indicates localized recharge sources that potentially include artificial recharge of seepage from constructed wildlife refuge ponds near the mill. The stable oxygen isotope-ratio, delta oxygen-18, or δ(18O/16O), known as δ18O, and hydrogen isotope-ratio, delta deuterium, or δ(2H/1H), known as δD, data indicate that water discharging from Entrance Spring is isotopically enriched by evaporation and has a similar isotopic fingerprint as water from Recapture Reservoir, which is used as facilities water on the mill site. Water from Recapture

  19. Contribution of Uranium-Bearing Evaporites to Plume Persistence Issues at a Former Uranium Mill Site Riverton, Wyoming, USA

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Johnson, Raymond [Navarro Research and Engineering; Dam, William [U.S. Department of Energy, Legacy Management; Campbell, Sam [Navarro Research and Engineering; Campbell, James [U.S. Geological Survey; Morris, Sarah [Navarro Research and Engineering; Tigar, Aaron [Navarrao Research and Engineering

    2016-08-01

    • Evaporites occur in an unsaturated silt layer, which is underlain by a sand and gravel aquifer. • These evaporites are rich in chloride across the site. • Uranium concentrations are higher in the evaporites that overlie the uranium contaminant plume. • Flooding can solubilize the evaporites in the silt layer and release chloride, sulfate (not shown), and uranium into the underlyingsand and gravel aquifer. • The uranium-rich evaporites can delay natural flushing, creating plume persistence near the Little Wind River.

  20. Final Environmental Statement related to the decommissioning of the Edgemont uranium mill. Docket No. 40-1341 Tennessee Valley Authority

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    After an assessment of concerns and alternatives and the addition of conditions related to the proposed decommissioning project operations, the proposed action permits the decommissioning of the existing uranium milling facilities at Edgemont, South Dakota, including removal or cleanup of mill buildings, removal of tailings sands and slimes from the mill site, and removal of contaminated soil from the mill site and local environs. It is estimated by TVA that approximately 2.1 x 106 MT (2.3 x 106 tons) of tailings and an undetermined amount of contaminated soil will be removed from the mill site. It is also proposed that all radioactive materials, removed in the course of carrying out the proposed action, be transported by truck and/or slurry pipeline to an impoundment, located about 3.21 km southeast of the mill site, constructed especially to ensure containment of such material for the foreseeable future. The project area that will undergo major land disturbance consists of 207 ha (including 104 ha at the disposal site, 12 ha for the haul road to be constructed between the mill and disposal site, and the 86-ha mill site), plus the potential removal of at least 17 ha of ponderosa pine and surficial soil east of the mill site and an unestablished, but small, area of surficial soil in the Cottonwood community. The latter two areas have been contaminated by windblown tailings. All disturbed areas will be reclaimed and revegetated. The title to the tailings disposal site will be transferred to state or federal entities so that any future use can be controlled to ensure the health and safety of the public. Chapters are devoted to alternatives including the proposed action; the affected environment; and environmental consequences, monitoring to detect impacts, and mitigation of impacts. Qualifications of the task group are given and agencies receiving the draft environmental statement are listed

  1. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Monument Valley Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Cane Valley, Arizona. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site in Cane Valley near Monument Valley, Arizona. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has relocated and stabilized this site's tailings and other contaminated material in a disposal cell at Mexican Hat, Utah. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project that evaluates potential health and environmental risks. It will help determine the approach required to address contaminated ground water at the site

  2. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site at Grand Junction, Colorado. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This risk assessment evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The remedial activities at the site were conducted from 1989 to 1993. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated ground water that flows beneath the processing site toward the Colorado River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentrations of most contaminants are used to assess risk. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to determine what remedial action may be needed for contaminated ground water at the site

  3. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site at Grand Junction, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    This risk assessment evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The remedial activities at the site were conducted from 1989 to 1993. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated ground water that flows beneath the processing site toward the Colorado River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentrations of most contaminants are used to assess risk. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to determine what remedial action may be needed for contaminated ground water at the site.

  4. Baseline risk assessment for groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Monument Valley, Arizona. Draft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site near Monument Valley, Arizona. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being relocated and stabilized in a disposal cell at Mexican Hat, Utah, through the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The tailings removal is planned for completion by spring 1994. After the tailings are removed, groundwater contamination at the site will continue to be evaluated. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Groundwater Project. It will be used to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site.

  5. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Monument Valley Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Cane Valley, Arizona. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-08-01

    This baseline risk assessment evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site in Cane Valley near Monument Valley, Arizona. The US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project has relocated and stabilized this site`s tailings and other contaminated material in a disposal cell at Mexican Hat, Utah. The second phase of the UMTRA Project is to evaluate ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project that evaluates potential health and environmental risks. It will help determine the approach required to address contaminated ground water at the site.

  6. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites Slick Rock, Colorado. Draft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1993-06-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA) authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miguel County. The purpose of the cleanup is to reduce the potential health effects associated with the radioactive materials remaining on the sites and on vicinity properties (VP) associated with the sites. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) promulgated standards for the UMTRCA that contained measures to control the contaminated materials and to protect the groundwater from further degradation. Remedial actions at the Slick Rock sites must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

  7. Biological characterization of radiation exposure and dose estimates for inhaled uranium milling effluents. Annual progress report, April 1981-March 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The problems addressed are the protection of uranium will workers from occupational exposure to uranium through routine bioassay programs and the assessment of accidental worker exposures. Comparisons of chemical properties and the biological behavior of refined uranium ore (yellowcake) are made to identify important properties that influence uranium distribution patterns among organs. These studies will facilitate calculations of organ doses for specific exposures and associated health risk estimates and will identify important bioassay procedures to improve evaluations of human exposures. Sampling of airborne yellowcake at four uranium mills showed that aerosols were heterogeneous, changed with time and contained approx. 50% of the airborne uranium in particles greater than 12 μm aerodynamic diameter. Results are related to specific packaging steps and to predictions of appreciable upper respiratory tract deposition rates for the aerosols, if inhaled by a worker without respiratory protection. Previously used in vitro dissolution techniques were evaluated and the uses of the results for interpreting urinary bioassay data are described. Preliminary results from an inhalation experiment using rats indicate that the clearance patterns of inhaled uranium from lung agreed quantitatively with results from in vitro dissolution and infrared analyses of the yellowcake used. Preliminary results from an experiment to simulate contamination of a wound by yellowcake showed that more of the implanted dose of a less soluble form of yellowcake was retained at the wound site than of a more soluble form at 32 days after implantation. The results did not quantitatively agree with in vitro dissolution results. A two-year study of yellowcake from two mills was initiated. Twenty Beagle dogs were exposed by nose-only inhalation to a more soluble form of yellowcake and 20 to a less soluble form

  8. Cancer incidence and mortality in populations living near uranium milling and mining operations in grants, New Mexico, 1950-2004.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boice, John D; Mumma, Michael T; Blot, William J

    2010-11-01

    In a previous cohort study of workers engaged in uranium milling and mining activities near Grants, Cibola County, New Mexico, we found lung cancer mortality to be significantly increased among underground miners. Uranium mining took place from early in the 1950s to 1990, and the Grants Uranium Mill operated from 1958-1990. The present study evaluates cancer mortality during 1950-2004 and cancer incidence during 1982-2004 among county residents. Standardized mortality (SMR) and incidence (SIR) ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were computed, with observed numbers of cancer deaths and cases compared to expected values based on New Mexico cancer rates. The total numbers of cancer deaths and incident cancers were close to that expected (SMR 1.04, 95% CI 1.01-1.07; SIR 0.97, 95% CI 0.92-1.02). Lung cancer mortality and incidence were significantly increased among men (SMR 1.11, 95% CI 1.02-1.21; SIR 1.40, 95% CI 1.18-1.64) but not women (SMR 0.97, 95% CI 0.85-1.10; SIR 1.01, 95% CI 0.78-1.29). Similarly, among the population of the three census tracts near the Grants Uranium Mill, lung cancer mortality was significantly elevated among men (SMR 1.57; 95% CI 1.21-1.99) but not women (SMR 1.12; 95% CI 0.75-1.61). Except for an elevation in mortality for stomach cancer among women (SMR 1.30; 95% CI 1.03-1.63), which declined over the 55-year observation period, no significant increases in SMRs or SIRs for 22 other cancers were found. Although etiological inferences cannot be drawn from these ecological data, the excesses of lung cancer among men seem likely to be due to previously reported risks among underground miners from exposure to radon gas and its decay products. Smoking, socioeconomic factors or ethnicity may also have contributed to the lung cancer excesses observed in our study. The stomach cancer increase was highest before the uranium mill began operation and then decreased to normal levels. With the exception of male lung cancer, this study provides no

  9. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado: Revision 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-11-01

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment and a floodplain/wetlands assessment are included as part of this EA. This report and attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

  10. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Slick Rock, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-09-01

    Two UMTRA (Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action) Project sites are near Slick Rock, Colorado: the North Continent site and the Union Carbide site. Currently, no one uses the contaminated ground water at either site for domestic or agricultural purposes. However, there may be future land development. This risk assessment evaluates possible future health problems associated with exposure to contaminated ground water. Since some health problems could occur, it is recommended that the contaminated ground water not be used as drinking water.

  11. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Slick Rock, Colorado. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Two UMTRA (Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action) Project sites are near Slick Rock, Colorado: the North Continent site and the Union Carbide site. Currently, no one uses the contaminated ground water at either site for domestic or agricultural purposes. However, there may be future land development. This risk assessment evaluates possible future health problems associated with exposure to contaminated ground water. Since some health problems could occur, it is recommended that the contaminated ground water not be used as drinking water

  12. Review of the non-radiological contaminants in the long-term management of uranium mine and mill wastes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In the management of uranium mine and mill wastes public attention has focussed on hazards associated with radioactivity. However, in many such wastes non-radiological contaminants such as heavy metals, acids, organic complexes, and colloids also form potentially significant long-term health and environmental hazards. The purpose of the present review is to examine in general terms the geochemical basis for management strategies aimed at minimizing the long-term impact of radiological and non-radiological contaminants. (author)

  13. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Maybell, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment (Attachment 1) and a floodplain/wetlands attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS).

  14. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado: Revision 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of this environmental assessment (EA) is to evaluate the environmental impacts resulting from remedial action at the Maybell uranium mill tailings site near Maybell, Colorado. A biological assessment and a floodplain/wetlands assessment are included as part of this EA. This report and attachments describe the proposed action, affected environment, and environmental impacts associated with the proposed remedial action, including impacts to threatened and endangered species listed or proposed for listing by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS)

  15. Radium-226 in vegetation and substrates at inactive uranium mill sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a study of the content of radium-226 in plants growing on inactive uranium mill tailings sites in the Four Corners Region of the southwestern United States and in plants grown under greenhouse conditions with minimal surficial contamination are reported. Field plant samples and associated substrates were analyzed from two carbonate tailings sites in the Grants Mineral Belt of New Mexico. Radium activities in air-cleaned samples ranged from 5 to 368 pCi/g (dry weight) depending on species and location: activities in plants growing on local soils averaged 1.0 pCi/g. The talings and local soils contain 140 to 1400 pCi/g and 2.1 pCi/g, respectively. An evaluation of cleaning methods on selected samples showed that from 17 to 79% of the radium activity measured in air-cleaned samples was due to surficial contamination, which varied with species and location. A survey of 18 inactive uranium mill sites in the Four Corners Region was performed. Radium activity in plant tissues from nine species ranged from 2 to 210 pCi/g on bare tailings and from 0.3 to 30 pCi/g on covered tailings The radium content in most of the soil overburdens on the covered tailings piles was 10 to 17 pCi/g. An experiment was performed to measure radium-226 uptake by two species grown on tailings covered with a shallow (5 cm) soil layer. A grass, Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton) and a shrub, Atriplex canescens (four-wing saltbush), were studied. The tailings were a mixture of sands and slimes from a carbonate pile. The tailings treatments were plants grown in a soil cover over tailings; the controls were plants grown only in soil. Three soil types, dune sand, clay loam, and loam, were used. The radium activity of the plant tissue from the tailings treatment compared to that of the appropriate control was 1 to 19 times greater for the grass and 4 to 27 times greater for the shrub

  16. Radium-226 in vegetation and substrates at inactive uranium mill sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marple, M.L.

    1980-01-01

    Results of a study of the content of radium-226 in plants growing on inactive uranium mill tailings sites in the Four Corners Region of the southwestern United States and in plants grown under greenhouse conditions with minimal surficial contamination are reported. Field plant samples and associated substrates were analyzed from two carbonate tailings sites in the Grants Mineral Belt of New Mexico. Radium activities in air-cleaned samples ranged from 5 to 368 pCi/g (dry weight) depending on species and location: activities in plants growing on local soils averaged 1.0 pCi/g. The talings and local soils contain 140 to 1400 pCi/g and 2.1 pCi/g, respectively. An evaluation of cleaning methods on selected samples showed that from 17 to 79% of the radium activity measured in air-cleaned samples was due to surficial contamination, which varied with species and location. A survey of 18 inactive uranium mill sites in the Four Corners Region was performed. Radium activity in plant tissues from nine species ranged from 2 to 210 pCi/g on bare tailings and from 0.3 to 30 pCi/g on covered tailings The radium content in most of the soil overburdens on the covered tailings piles was 10 to 17 pCi/g. An experiment was performed to measure radium-226 uptake by two species grown on tailings covered with a shallow (5 cm) soil layer. A grass, Sporobolus airoides (alkali sacaton) and a shrub, Atriplex canescens (four-wing saltbush), were studied. The tailings were a mixture of sands and slimes from a carbonate pile. The tailings treatments were plants grown in a soil cover over tailings; the controls were plants grown only in soil. Three soil types, dune sand, clay loam, and loam, were used. The radium activity of the plant tissue from the tailings treatment compared to that of the appropriate control was 1 to 19 times greater for the grass and 4 to 27 times greater for the shrub.

  17. 226Ra bioavailability to plants at the Urgeiriça uranium mill tailings site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Madruga, M J; Brogueira, A; Alberto, G; Cardoso, F

    2001-01-01

    Large amounts of solid wastes (tailings) resulting from the exploitation and treatment of uranium ore at the Urgeiriça mine (north of Portugal) have been accumulated in dams (tailing ponds). To reduce the dispersion of natural radionuclides into the environment, some dams were revegetated with eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globolus) and pines (Pinus pinea). Besides these plants, some shrubs (Cytisus spp.) are growing in some of the dams. The objective of this study is to determine the 226Ra bioavailability from uranium mill tailings by quantifying the total and available fraction of radium in the tailings and to estimate its transfer to plants growing on the tailing piles. Plant and tailing samples were randomly collected and the activity concentration of 226Ra in plants (aerial part and roots) and tailings was measured by gamma-spectrometry. The exchangeable fraction of radium in tailings was quantified using one single step extraction with 1 mol dm-3 ammonium acetate (pH = 7) or 1 mol dm-3 calcium chloride solutions. The results obtained for 226Ra uptake by plants show that 226Ra concentration ratios for eucalyptus and pines decrease at low 226Ra concentrations in the tailings and appear relatively constant at higher radium concentrations. For shrubs, the concentration ratios increase at higher 226Ra solid waste concentrations approaching a saturation value. Percentage values of 16.0 +/- 8.3 and 12.9 +/- 8.9, for the fraction of radium extracted from the tailings, using 1 mol dm-3 ammonium acetate or calcium chloride solutions, respectively, were obtained. The 226Ra concentration ratios determined on the basis of exchangeable radium are one order of magnitude higher than those based on total radium. It can be concluded that, at a 95% confidence level, more consistent 226Ra concentration ratios were obtained when calculated on the basis of available radium than when total radium was considered, for all the dams. PMID:11379070

  18. Post Audit of a Field Scale Reactive Transport Model of Uranium at a Former Mill Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Reactive transport of hexavalent uranium (U(VI)) in a shallow alluvial aquifer at a former uranium mill tailings site near Naturita CO has been monitored for nearly 30 years by the US Department of Energy and the US Geological Survey. Groundwater at the site has high concentrations of chloride, alkalinity and U(VI) as a owing to ore processing at the site from 1941 to 1974. We previously calibrated a multicomponent reactive transport model to data collected at the site from 1986 to 2001. A two dimensional nonreactive transport model used a uniform hydraulic conductivity which was estimated from observed chloride concentrations and tritium helium age dates. A reactive transport model for the 2km long site was developed by including an equilibrium U(VI) surface complexation model calibrated to laboratory data and calcite equilibrium. The calibrated model reproduced both nonreactive tracers as well as the observed U(VI), pH and alkalinity. Forward simulations for the period 2002-2015 conducted with the calibrated model predict significantly faster natural attenuation of U(VI) concentrations than has been observed by the persistent high U(VI) concentrations at the site. Alternative modeling approaches are being evaluating evaluated using recent data to determine if the persistence can be explained by multirate mass transfer models developed from experimental observations at the column scale(~0.2m), the laboratory tank scale (~2m), the field tracer test scale (~1-4m) or geophysical observation scale (~1-5m). Results of this comparison should provide insight into the persistence of U(VI) plumes and improved management options.

  19. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Shiprock, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This baseline risk assessment at the former uranium mill tailings site near Shiprock, New Mexico, evaluates the potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an on-site disposal cell in 1986 through the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. There are no domestic or drinking water wells in the contaminated ground water of the two distinct ground water units: the contaminated ground water in the San Juan River floodplain alluvium below the site and the contaminated ground water in the terrace alluvium area where the disposal cell is located. Because no one is drinking the affected ground water, there are currently no health or environmental risks directly associated with the contaminated ground water. However, there is a potential for humans, domestic animals, and wildlife to the exposed to surface expressions of ground water in the seeps and pools in the area of the San Juan River floodplain below the site. For these reasons, this risk assessment evaluates potential exposure to contaminated surface water and seeps as well as potential future use of contaminated ground water

  20. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Shiprock, New Mexico. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    This baseline risk assessment at the former uranium mill tailings site near Shiprock, New Mexico, evaluates the potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an on-site disposal cell in 1986 through the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. There are no domestic or drinking water wells in the contaminated ground water of the two distinct ground water units: the contaminated ground water in the San Juan River floodplain alluvium below the site and the contaminated ground water in the terrace alluvium area where the disposal cell is located. Because no one is drinking the affected ground water, there are currently no health or environmental risks directly associated with the contaminated ground water. However, there is a potential for humans, domestic animals, and wildlife to the exposed to surface expressions of ground water in the seeps and pools in the area of the San Juan River floodplain below the site. For these reasons, this risk assessment evaluates potential exposure to contaminated surface water and seeps as well as potential future use of contaminated ground water.

  1. Estimated average annual radon-222 concentrations around the former uranium mill site in Shiprock, New Mexico. Final technical note

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium mills, as a part of the nuclear fuel cycle, produce large volumes of wastes which contain both the long and short-lived radionuclides from the naturally-occurring uranium decay chain. A relatively short-lived member of the chain, radon-222, is a noble gas and can diffuse from the wastes and be transported from its point of origin by prevailing winds. The airborne radon-222 decays into other short-lived radioactive progeny which may result in human inhalation exposures at considerable distances from the point of origin. Since the parent of radon-222 has a half-life of 1620 years, exposure to radon and its progeny will persist for thousands of years. This study was made to estimate the annual average radon-222 concentrations around the former Shiprock, New Mexico uranium mill site in order to identify areas which may require limited or restricted occupancy and to evaluate the effectiveness of the site decontamination activities in reducing the ambient airborne radon-222 concentrations. Using on- and off-site meteorological data and radon source term estimations, average annual radon-222 isoconcentration lines were determined by computer modeling for the mill site area. The lines were determined for both pre- and post-decontamination periods

  2. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Shiprock, New Mexico. Draft

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

    This report evaluates potential impact to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in a disposal cell on the site in 1986 by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Groundwater Project. This risk assessment follows the approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the floodplain groundwater are arsenic, magnesium, manganese, nitrate, sodium, sulfate, and uranium. The complete list of contaminants associated with the terrace groundwater could not be determined due to the lack of the background groundwater quality data. However, uranium, nitrate, and sulfate are evaluated since these chemicals are clearly associated with uranium processing and are highly elevated compared to regional waters. It also could not be determined if the groundwater occurring in the terrace is a usable water resource, since it appears to have originated largely from past milling operations. The next step in the risk assessment is to estimate how much of these contaminants people would be exposed to if a drinking well were installed in the contaminated groundwater or if there were exposure to surface expressions of contaminated water. Potential exposures to surface water include incidental contact with contaminated water or sediments by children playing on the floodplain and consumption of meat and milk from domestic animals grazed and watered on the floodplain.

  3. An approach to the calculation of dose commitment arising from different methods for the long-term management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report describes the development and use of a diagnostic model designed to improve our understanding of the release of radionuclides to the natural environment from uranium mill tailings management areas. The study first developed the characteristics of a hypothetical tailings management area such that a variety of management alternatives could be studied using simulation modelling techniques. Factors describing climate and the surrounding environment were fixed and the simulation model was run to predict releases from the tailings site over time periods of thousands of years. Simulation runs were carried out for a series of six major management alternatives ranging from old abandoned practices through currently accepted practices to as yet to be proven management techniques. This summary report describes the major aspects of the diagnostic model and the findings obtained through its use. The report does not attempt to predict doses or radionuclide dispersal patterns for any specific site, existing or planned. A more complete technical discussion of the model may be found in the two technical appendices associated with this report INFO--0097 (app.A.) and INFO--0097 (app.B)

  4. Baseline risk assessment of groundwater contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-04-01

    This report evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from groundwater contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site are being placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating groundwater contamination. This is the second risk assessment of groundwater contamination at this site. The first risk assessment was performed primarily to evaluate existing domestic wells to determine the potential for immediate human health and environmental impacts. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated groundwater that flows beneath the processing site towards the Gunnison River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentration of most contaminants are used in this risk assessment. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to assist in determining what remedial action is needed for contaminated groundwater at the site after the tailings are relocated. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The first step is to evaluate groundwater data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the main contaminants in the groundwater are cadmium, cobalt, iron, manganese, sulfate, uranium, and some of the products of radioactive decay of uranium.

  5. Assessment of potential migration of radionuclides and trace elements from the White Mesa uranium mill to the Ute Mountain Ute Reservation and surrounding areas, southeastern Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naftz, David L.; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Rowland, Ryan C.; Marston, Thomas M.

    2011-01-01

    In 2007, the Ute Mountain Ute Tribe requested that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Geological Survey conduct an independent evaluation of potential offsite migration of radionuclides and selected trace elements associated with the ore storage and milling process at an active uranium mill site near White Mesa, Utah. Specific objectives of this study were (1) to determine recharge sources and residence times of groundwater surrounding the mill site, (2) to determine the current concentrations of uranium and associated trace elements in groundwater surrounding the mill site, (3) to differentiate natural and anthropogenic contaminant sources to groundwater resources surrounding the mill site, (4) to assess the solubility and potential for offsite transport of uranium-bearing minerals in groundwater surrounding the mill site, and (5) to use stream sediment and plant material samples from areas surrounding the mill site to identify potential areas of offsite contamination and likely contaminant sources. The results of age-dating methods and an evaluation of groundwater recharge temperatures using dissolved-gas samples indicate that groundwater sampled in wells in the surficial aquifer in the vicinity of the mill is recharged locally by precipitation. Tritium/helium age dating methods found a "modern day" apparent age in water samples collected from springs in the study area surrounding the mill. This apparent age indicates localized recharge sources that potentially include artificial recharge of seepage from constructed wildlife refuge ponds near the mill. The stable oxygen isotope-ratio, delta oxygen-18, or δ(18O/16O), known as δ18O, and hydrogen isotope-ratio, delta deuterium, or δ(2H/1H), known as δD, data indicate that water discharging from Entrance Spring is isotopically enriched by evaporation and has a similar isotopic fingerprint as water from Recapture Reservoir, which is used as facilities water on the mill site. Water from Recapture

  6. Annual status report on the inactive uranium mill tailings sites remedial action program

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1979-12-01

    Assessments of inactive uranium mill tailings sites in the United States led to the designation of 25 processing sites for remedial action under the provisions of Section 102(a) Public Law 95-604. The Department of Energy assessed the potential health effects to the public from the residual radioactive materials on or near the 25 sites; and, with the advice of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary established priorities for performing remedial action. In designating the 25 sites and establishing the priorities for performing remedial action, the Department of Energy consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of the Interior, governors of the affected States, Navajo Nation, and appropriate property owners. Public participation in this process was encouraged. During Fiscal Year 1980, Department of Energy will be conducting surveys to verify the radiological characterization at the designated processing sites; developing cooperative agreements with the affected States; and initiating the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act documentation prior to conducting specific remedial actions.

  7. Annual status report on the inactive uranium mill tailings sites remedial action program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Assessments of inactive uranium mill tailings sites in the United States led to the designation of 25 processing sites for remedial action under the provisions of Section 102(a) Public Law 95-604. The Department of Energy assessed the potential health effects to the public from the residual radioactive materials on or near the 25 sites; and, with the advice of the Environmental Protection Agency, the Secretary established priorities for performing remedial action. In designating the 25 sites and establishing the priorities for performing remedial action, the Department of Energy consulted with the Environmental Protection Agency, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Department of the Interior, governors of the affected States, Navajo Nation, and appropriate property owners. Public participation in this process was encouraged. During Fiscal Year 1980, Department of Energy will be conducting surveys to verify the radiological characterization at the designated processing sites; developing cooperative agreements with the affected States; and initiating the appropriate National Environmental Policy Act documentation prior to conducting specific remedial actions

  8. Environmental effects on 222Rn fluence rate from reclaimed uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The author measured 222Rn fluence rate from 2 plots with uranium mill tailings buried beneath 30 cm of overburden and 30 cm of topsoil. An additional 30 cm of clay covered the tailings on 1 of the plots and each plot was subdivided into bare soil and vegetated subplots. The author also measured a control plot, identical to the plot without a clay cap but having no tailings. In addition to fluence rate, The author measured moisture in each of the plot layers, atmospheric pressure, air temperature and relative humidity during each sampling period. The author used linear correlation, two-way ANOVA and stepwise multiple regression to analyze the effects of the plot characteristics and the environmental variables on 222Rn fluence rate. The mean fluence rate from the plot having both a clay cap and a vegetated surface was over 3 times that of the vegetated plot without a clay cap and 14 times that of the bare plot with a clay cap. The interaction effect may be due to the proliferation of roots in the moist clay and active transport of dissolved 222Rn to the surface in water

  9. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Lakeview, Oregon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The results of the radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill site at Lakeview, Oregon, show that the average gamma-ray exposure rate 1 m above the tailings pile and the evaporation pond area (now dry) is close to the average background level for the area (11 μR/hr). The 226Ra concentration in most of the surface soil and sediment samples is also at or below the average background value for surface soil samples in the area (0.8 pCi/g). Calculated 226Ra concentrations, based on gamma radiation measurements in shallow (1-m-deep) holes, are in agreement with the results of surface soil and sediment analyses and with gamma-ray exposure rate measurements. The tailings at this site have been stabilized by the addition of 46 to 60 cm (18 to 24 in.) of soil that supports vigorous growth of vegetation. This treatment, coupled with a low-level inventory of 226Ra in the tailings (50 Ci), has resulted in limited spread of tailings by wind and water

  10. Speciation of metals in uranium mill tailings using sequential extraction technique

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mining sites contain residues from ore processing operations that are characterised by high concentrations of heavy metals. The form in which a metal exists strongly influences its mobility and thus, effects on the environment. Operational methods of speciation analysis, such as the use of sequential extraction procedures, are commonly applied. Investigation of the existing chemical forms and the concentrations of Mn, Pb, Cu, Fe, Zn and natural U in uranium mill tailings samples from Judged were carried out. The concentrations of Nat. U was found to vary from 81.05 to 120.21 μg g-1, and most common mode of occurrence of Nat. U in the tailings is in association with exchangeable species, Fe-Mn oxides and residual form. The dominant chemical form of Nat. U in TP-2 was exchangeable species. The concentration of Mn, Pb, Cu and Zn ranged from 326.5-1395.9, 28.6-41.4, 214.97-508 and 16.49-20.93 μg g-1, respectively. (author)

  11. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Naturita site, Naturita, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-11-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Naturita, Colorado. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings, the performance of radiometric measurements to determine the extent of radium contamination, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 704,000 tons of tailings at the Naturita site constitutes the most significant environmental impact although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. Ranchers Exploration and Development Company has been licensed by the State of Colorado to reprocess the tailings at a location 3 mi from the present site where they will be stabilized for long-term storage. The remedial action options include remedial action for structures in Naturita and Nucla (Option I) at an estimated cost of $270,000 and remedial action for structures and open land adjacent to the tailings site (Option II) at an estimated cost of $950,000.

  12. Mathematical simulation of contaminant distribution in and around the uranium mill tailing piles, Riverton, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As part of the Research and Development phase of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) program, the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory (LBL) has set itself the goal of explaining the physico-chemical evolution of the Riverton site on the basis of the already collected field data at the site (Tokunaga and Narasimhan, 1982, Smith and Moed, 1982; White et al., 1984). The predictive aspects as well as addressing the question of critical quantity of field data have to be considered during the design phase of the project as a joint effort between the LBL team and the construction engineers. At the present time, LBL is in the process of completing the Research and Development phase of the work. As of this writing, the development of an appropriate set of mathematical models has been completed. The computations of the soil-water regime at the upper tailings surface, involving climatological factors is nearing completion. Computations of chemical transport are still in progress. This paper is devoted to a description of the key mathematical issues, the mathematical models that are needed to address these issues and a discussion of the model results pertaining to the soil water regime at the tailings-atmosphere interface. 11 references, 3 figures

  13. Radiological survey activities: uranium mill tailings remedial action project procedures manual

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) was assigned the responsibility for conducting remedial action at 24 sites, which are located in one eastern and nine western states. The DOE's responsibilities are being met through its Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Office (UMTRA-PO) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The purpose of this Procedures Manual is to provide a standardized set of procedures that document in an auditable manner the activities performed by the Radiological Survey Activities (RASA) group in the Dosimetry and Biophysical Transport Section (DABTS) of the Health and Safety Research Division (HASRD) at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), in its role as the Inclusion Survey Contractor (ISC). Members of the RASA group assigned to the UMTRA Project are headquartered in the ORNL/RASA office in Grand Junction, Colorado, and report to the ORNL/RASA Project Manager. The Procedures Manual ensures that the organizational, administrative, and technical activities of the RASA/UMTRA group conform properly to those of the ISC as described in the Vicinity Properties Management and Implementation Manual and the Summary Protocol. This manual also ensures that the techniques and procedures used by the RASA/UMTRA group and contractor personnel meet the requirements of applicable governmental, scientific, and industrial standards

  14. Simulation of water flow and retention in earthen-cover materials overlying uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The water retention characteristics of a multilayer earthen cover for uranium mill tailings were simulated under arid weather conditions common to Grand Junction, Colorado. The multilayer system described in this report consists of a layer of wet clay/gravel (radon barrier), which is separated from a surface covering of fill soil by a washed rock material used as a capillary barrier. The capillary barrier is designed to prevent the upward migration of water and salt from the tailings to the soil surface and subsequent loss of water from the wet clay. The flow model, UNSATV, described in this report uses hydraulic properties of the layered materials and historical climatic data for two years (1976 and 1979) to simulate long-term hydrologic response of the multilayer system. Application of this model to simulate the processes of infiltration, evaporation and drainage is described in detail. Simulations over a trial period of one relatively wet and two dry years indicated that the clay-gravel layer remained near saturation, and hence, that the layer was an effective radon barrier. Estimates show that the clay-gravel layer would not dry out (i.e., revert to drying dominated by isothermal vapor-flow conditions) for at least 20 years, provided that the modeled dry-climate period continues

  15. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Spook site, Converse County, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Spook site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings 48 mi northeast of Casper, in Converse County, Wyoming. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 187,000 tons of tailings at the Spook site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover makes and gamma densitometers for measuring cross-sectionally averaged mass velocity in steady steam-water flow are presented. The results are interpreted ntation.

  16. Physical stability of asphalt emulsion admix seal radon barrier for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory, is investigating the use of an asphalt emulsion admix seal to reduce the release of radon from uranium mill tailings. A key requirement of any cover system is its long-term stability; the cover must withstand failure over very long periods of time. An important determinant of overall cover system stability is the integrity of the 6.35-cm (2.5-in.) thick asphalt admix seal. Therefore, the physical stability of this seal was examined. The investigation considered the mechanical interaction between the tailings pile and cover. The potential effect of differential settlement of the tailings pile on the integrity of the seal system was also examined. Results indicate that the minimum span length the seal could withstand without failing is 0.34 m (1.1 ft). This assumes a differential settlement of 4.92 cm (1.94 in.) at the center resulting from the application of a 0.76-m (2.5-ft) cover. At spans greater than 0.60 m (1.97 ft), no tensile strain would develop

  17. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Tube City site, Tuba City, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Tuba City site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Tuba City, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 0.8 million tons of tailings at the Tuba City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to rterial (Option I), to rema densitometers for measuring cross-sectionally averaged mass velocity in steady steam-water flow are presented. The results are interpreted ntation

  18. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Tuba City site, Tuba City, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Tuba City site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Tuba City, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 0.8 million tons of tailings at the Tuba City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to rema densitometers for measuring cross-sectionally averaged mass velocity in steady steam-water flow are presented. The results are interpreted ntation

  19. Survivability of ancient man-made earthen mounds: implications for uranium mill tailings impoundments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindsey, C.G.; Mishima, J.; King, S.E.; Walters, W.H.

    1983-06-01

    As part of a study for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is investigating long-term stabilization techniques for uranium mill impoundments. Part of this investigation involves the design of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of the underlying soil cover, which in turn prevents exposure of the tailings to the environment. However, the need for the armoring blanket, as well as the blanket's effectiveness, depends on the stability of the underlying soil cap (radon suppression cover) and on the tailings themselves. Compelling evidence in archaeological records suggests that large man-made earthen structures can remain sound and intact for time periods comparable to those required for the stabilization of the tailings piles if properly constructed. We present archaeological evidence on the existence and survivability of man-made earthen and rock structures through specific examples of such structures from around the world. We also review factors contributing to their survival or destruction and address the influence of climate, building materials, and construction techniques on survivability.

  20. The source of groundwater and solutes to Many Devils Wash at a former uranium mill site in Shiprock, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andrew J.; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Austin, Stephen A.; Lawlis, Bryan R.

    2016-04-21

    The Shiprock Disposal Site is the location of the former Navajo Mill (Mill), a uranium ore-processing facility, located on a terrace overlooking the San Juan River in the town of Shiprock, New Mexico. Following the closure of the Mill, all tailings and associated materials were encapsulated in a disposal cell built on top of the former Mill and tailings piles. The milling operations, conducted at the site from 1954 to 1968, created radioactive tailings and process-related wastes that are now found in the groundwater. Elevated concentrations of constituents of concern—ammonium, manganese, nitrate, selenium, strontium, sulfate, and uranium—have also been measured in groundwater seeps in the nearby Many Devils Wash arroyo, leading to the inference that these constituents originated from the Mill. These constituents have also been reported in groundwater that is associated with Mancos Shale, the bedrock that underlies the site. The objective of this report is to increase understanding of the source of water and solutes to the groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash and to establish the background concentrations for groundwater that is in contact with the Mancos Shale at the site. This report presents evidence on three working hypotheses: (1) the water and solutes in Many Devils Wash originated from the operations at the former Mill, (2) groundwater in deep aquifers is upwelling under artesian pressure to recharge the shallow groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash, and (3) the groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash originates as precipitation that infiltrates into the shallow aquifer system and discharges to Many Devils Wash in a series of springs on the east side of the wash. The solute concentrations in the shallow groundwater of Many Devils Wash would result from the interaction of the water and the Mancos Shale if the source of water was upwelling from deep aquifers or precipitation.In order to compare the groundwater from various wells to groundwater that has been

  1. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Grand Junction, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Grand Junction, Colorado evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The remedial activities at the site were conducted from 1989 to 1993. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated ground water that flows beneath the processing site toward the Colorado River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentrations of most contaminants are used to assess risk. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to determine what remedial action may be needed for contaminated ground water at the site. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the EPA. the first step is to evaluate ground water data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the contaminants of potential concern in the ground water are arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, fluoride, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sulfate, uranium, vanadium, zinc, and radium-226. The next step in the risk assessment is to estimate how much of these contaminants people would be exposed to if they drank from a well installed in the contaminated ground water at the former processing site

  2. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Grand Junction, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-06-01

    This Baseline Risk Assessment of Ground Water Contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site Near Grand Junction, Colorado evaluates potential impacts to public health or the environment resulting from ground water contamination at the former uranium mill processing site. The tailings and other contaminated material at this site were placed in an off-site disposal cell by the US Department of Energy`s (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The remedial activities at the site were conducted from 1989 to 1993. Currently, the UMTRA Project is evaluating ground water contamination. This risk assessment is the first document specific to this site for the Ground Water Project. This risk assessment evaluates the most contaminated ground water that flows beneath the processing site toward the Colorado River. The monitor wells that have consistently shown the highest concentrations of most contaminants are used to assess risk. This risk assessment will be used in conjunction with additional activities and documents to determine what remedial action may be needed for contaminated ground water at the site. This risk assessment follows an approach outlined by the EPA. the first step is to evaluate ground water data collected from monitor wells at the site. Evaluation of these data showed that the contaminants of potential concern in the ground water are arsenic, cadmium, cobalt, fluoride, iron, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, sulfate, uranium, vanadium, zinc, and radium-226. The next step in the risk assessment is to estimate how much of these contaminants people would be exposed to if they drank from a well installed in the contaminated ground water at the former processing site.

  3. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Phillips/United Nuclear site, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Phillips/United Nuclear site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Phillips/United Nuclear site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $45,200,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $87/lb of U3O8 by either heap leach or conventional plant process. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive under present or foreseeable market conditions

  4. Radioecological investigations of uranium mill tailings systems. Fifth technical progress report, October 1, 1983-September 30, 1984

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The general intent of this investigation is to quantitatively evaluate the potential release of important radionuclides from active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings and their entry into the food chain. For active mill tailings, we are trying to quantify the degree of escape and dispersal, primarily by wind, and to measure the accumulation of 238U, 230Th, 226Ra, 210Pb and 210Po by various native plants. Of particular interest are the relationships between soil and vegetation at different sites, since the chemical environment of areas impacted by mill tailings are drastically different than undisturbed natural areas. Also of great interest, is the relative importance of various mechanisms of radionuclide accumulation by plants, such as root uptake and aerial deposition, followed by some degree of foliar absorption. This investigation includes as a major component, studies relating to the final disposal of mill tailings. An experimental plot was developed in which a slab of uniform tailings was covered with various depths of earthen materials and seeded with native range vegetation. Experiments on radon flux versus overburden depth have been conducted and continuing studies are planned. The influence of overburden depth on uptake of radionuclides by native plants is also under study. Work relating to the ability of roots to penetrate tailings or to function near a soil-tailings interface is being carried out. Data on the effect of barium chloride treatment of uranium ore indicate significant reduction of the 222Rn emanation fraction in simulated mill tailings and reduced 226Ra leachability. Soil spiked by injecting radionuclides into the root zone of mature sagebrush was used to obtain data on root uptake for 226Ra, 210Pb and 210Po

  5. Screening of plant species for phytoremediation of uranium, thorium, barium, nickel, strontium and lead contaminated soils from a uranium mill tailings repository in South China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guang-yue; Hu, Nan; Ding, De-xin; Zheng, Ji-fang; Liu, Yu-long; Wang, Yong-dong; Nie, Xiao-qin

    2011-06-01

    The concentrations of uranium, thorium, barium, nickel, strontium and lead in the samples of the tailings and plant species collected from a uranium mill tailings repository in South China were analyzed. Then, the removal capability of a plant for a target element was assessed. It was found that Phragmites australis had the greatest removal capabilities for uranium (820 μg), thorium (103 μg) and lead (1,870 μg). Miscanthus floridulus had the greatest removal capabilities for barium (3,730 μg) and nickel (667 μg), and Parthenocissus quinquefolia had the greatest removal capability for strontium (3,920 μg). In this study, a novel coefficient, termed as phytoremediation factor (PF), was proposed, for the first time, to assess the potential of a plant to be used in phytoremediation of a target element contaminated soil. Phragmites australis has the highest PFs for uranium (16.6), thorium (8.68), barium (10.0) and lead (10.5). Miscanthus floridulus has the highest PF for Ni (25.0). Broussonetia papyrifera and Parthenocissus quinquefolia have the relatively high PFs for strontium (28.1 and 25.4, respectively). On the basis of the definition for a hyperaccumulator, only Cyperus iria and Parthenocissus quinquefolia satisfied the criteria for hyperaccumulator of uranium (36.4 μg/g) and strontium (190 μg/g), and could be the candidates for phytoremediation of uranium and strontium contaminated soils. The results show that the PF has advantage over the hyperaccumulator in reflecting the removal capabilities of a plant for a target element, and is more adequate for assessing the potential of a plant to be used in phytoremediation than conventional method.

  6. Transport and fate of ammonium and its impact on uranium and other trace elements at a former uranium mill tailing site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Highlights: • Nitrification of ammonium evidenced by stable isotopes of nitrate at a mining site. • Concentrations of uranium and other trace elements related to ammonium conc. • Observed impact of ammonium on redox, pH, and possibly complexation. • Proposed impact of transformation of NO3 and NH4 on trace elements. - Abstract: The remediation of ammonium-containing groundwater discharged from uranium mill tailing sites is a difficult problem facing the mining industry. The Monument Valley site is a former uranium mining site in the southwest US with both ammonium and nitrate contamination of groundwater. In this study, samples collected from 14 selected wells were analyzed for major cations and anions, trace elements, and isotopic composition of ammonium and nitrate. In addition, geochemical data from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) database were analyzed. Results showing oxic redox conditions and correspondence of isotopic compositions of ammonium and nitrate confirmed the natural attenuation of ammonium via nitrification. Moreover, it was observed that ammonium concentration within the plume area is closely related to concentrations of uranium and a series of other trace elements including chromium, selenium, vanadium, iron, and manganese. It is hypothesized that ammonium–nitrate transformation processes influence the disposition of the trace elements through mediation of redox potential, pH, and possibly aqueous complexation and solid-phase sorption. Despite the generally relatively low concentrations of trace elements present in groundwater, their transport and fate may be influenced by remediation of ammonium or nitrate at the site

  7. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Shiprock uranium mill tailings site, Shiprock, New Mexico: Volume 1, Text

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1984-05-01

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the shiprock uranium mill tailings site located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, one mile south of Shiprock, New Mexico. The site contains 72 acres of tailings and four of the original mill buildings. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated soils into a recontoured pile. A seven-foot-thick radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term integrity of the pile. Three other alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives generally involve greater short-term impacts and are more costly but would result in the tailings being stabilized in a more remote location. The no action alternative is also assessed. 99 refs., 40 figs., 58 tabs.

  8. The long term stabilization of uranium mill tailings. Final report of a co-ordinated research project 2000-2004

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mining and milling of uranium ores has been undertaken in many places around the world, resulting in large volumes of mining/milling residues with low activity concentrations of long lived nuclides that often have been disposed of in a haphazard fashion. This report summarizes the current state of the art of uranium mill tailings disposal and the results from an IAEA Coordinated Research Project (CRP) on technologies and strategies for their long term stabilization. The aim of the CRP was to develop conceptual and technical solutions that render tailings more inert over prolonged time spans, that render impounded materials and engineered structures stable over prolonged time spans, that minimize the need for active maintenance, and that are technically and economically feasible. The emphasis was on solutions that can be applied retrospectively, i.e. in a restoration/remediation context. It was recognized, however, that these objectives cannot be met by engineering design only, but must also involve appropriate management and planning procedures. Present day practices and new approaches of Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Korea, Poland, the Russian Federation, Ukraine and the United States are discussed and indexed individually

  9. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Shiprock uranium mill tailings site, Shiprock, New Mexico: Volume 1, Text

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the shiprock uranium mill tailings site located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, one mile south of Shiprock, New Mexico. The site contains 72 acres of tailings and four of the original mill buildings. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for the remedial actions (40 CFR 192). Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated soils into a recontoured pile. A seven-foot-thick radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion control measures would be taken to assure the long-term integrity of the pile. Three other alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives which involve moving the tailings to new locations are assessed in this document. These alternatives generally involve greater short-term impacts and are more costly but would result in the tailings being stabilized in a more remote location. The no action alternative is also assessed. 99 refs., 40 figs., 58 tabs

  10. Environmental Assessment of remedial action at the Ambrosia Lake uranium mill tailings site, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Ambrosia Lake uranium mill tailings site located near Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. The designated site covers 196 acres and contains 111 acres of tailings and some of the original mill structures. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for th remedial action (40 CFR Part 192). Remedial action must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated materials into a recontoured pile. A radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion protection measures would be taken to assure the long-term stability of the pile. Another alternative which would involve moving the tailings to a new location is also assessed in this document. This alternative would generally involve greater short-term impacts and costs but would result in stabilization of the tailings at an undeveloped location. The no action alternative is also assessed in this document

  11. Environmental Assessment of remedial action at the Ambrosia Lake uranium mill tailings site, Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1987-06-01

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Ambrosia Lake uranium mill tailings site located near Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. The designated site covers 196 acres and contains 111 acres of tailings and some of the original mill structures. The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA), Public Law 95-604, authorizes the US Department of Energy to clean up the site to reduce the potential health impacts associated with the residual radioactive materials remaining at the site and at associated properties off the site. The US Environmental Protection Agency promulgated standards for th remedial action (40 CFR Part 192). Remedial action must be performed in accordance with these standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The proposed action is to stabilize the tailings at their present location by consolidating the tailings and associated contaminated materials into a recontoured pile. A radon barrier would be constructed over the pile and various erosion protection measures would be taken to assure the long-term stability of the pile. Another alternative which would involve moving the tailings to a new location is also assessed in this document. This alternative would generally involve greater short-term impacts and costs but would result in stabilization of the tailings at an undeveloped location. The no action alternative is also assessed in this document.

  12. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Slick Rock uranium mill tailings sites, Slick Rock, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (42 USC {section}7901 et seq.), hereafter referred to as the UMTRCA, authorized the US Department of Energy (DOE) to clean up two uranium mill tailings processing sites near Slick Rock, Colorado, in San Miquel County. Contaminated materials cover an estimated 63 acres of the Union Carbide (UC) processing site and 15 ac of the North Continent (NC) processing site. The sites are within 1 mile of each other and are adjacent to the Dolores River. The sites contain concrete foundations of mill buildings, tailings piles, and areas contaminated by windblown and waterborne radioactive tailings materials. The total estimated volume of contaminated materials is approximately 621,300 cubic yards (yd{sup 3}). In addition to the contamination in the two processing site areas, four VPs were found to contain contamination. As a result of the tailings being exposed to the environment, contamination associated with the UC and NC sites has leached into shallow ground water. Surface water has not been affected. The closest residence is approximately 0.3 air mi from either site. The proposed action is to remediate the UC and NC sites by removing all contaminated materials within the designing site boundaries or otherwise associated with the sites, and relocating them to, and stabilizing them at, a location approximately 5 road mi northeast of the sites on land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM).

  13. Evaluation of liners for a uranium-mill tailings disposal site: a status report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Buelt, J.L.; Hale, V.Q.; Barnes, S.M.; Silviera, D.J.

    1981-05-01

    The United States Department of Energy is conducting a program designed to reclaim or stabilize inactive uranium-mill tailings sites. This report presents the status of the Liner Evaluation Program. The purpose of the study was to identify eight prospective lining materials or composites for laboratory testing. The evaluation was performed by 1) reviewing proposed regulatory requirements to define the material performance criteria; 2) reviewing published literature and communicating with industrial and government experts experienced with lining materials and techniques; and 3) characterizing the tailings at three of the sites for calcium concentration, a selection of anions, radionuclides, organic solvents, and acidity levels. The eight materials selected for laboratory testing are: natural soil amended with sodium-saturated montmorillonite (Volclay); locally available clay in conjunction with an asphalt emulsion radon suppression cover; locally available clay in conjunction with a multibarrier radon suppression cover; rubberized asphalt membrane; hydraulic asphalt concrete; chlorosulfonated polyethylene (hypalon) or high-density polyethylene; bentonite, sand and gravel mixture; and catalytic airblown asphalt membrane. The materials will be exposed in test units now being constructed to conditions such as wet/dry cycles, temperature cycles, oxidative environments, ion-exchange elements, etc. The results of the tests will identify the best material for field study. The status report also presents the information gathered during the field studies at Grand Junction, Colorado. Two liners, a bentonite, sand and gravel mixture, and a catalytic airblown asphalt membrane, were installed in a prepared trench and covered with tailings. The liners were instrumented and are being monitored for migration of moisture, radionuclides, and hazardous chemicals. The two liner materials will also be subjected to accelerated laboratory tests for a comparative assessment.

  14. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Gunnison Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado. Final

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-02-01

    The presence of contaminated uranium mill tailings adjacent to the city of Gunnison has been a local concern for many years. The following issues were identified during public meetings that were held by the DOE prior to distribution of an earlier version of this EA. Many of these issues will require mitigation. Groundwater contamination; in December 1989, a herd of 105 antelope were introduced in an area that includes the Landfill disposal site. There is concern that remedial action-related traffic in the area would result in antelope mortality. The proposed Tenderfoot Mountain haul road may restrict antelope access to their water supply; a second wildlife issue concerns the potential reduction in sage grouse use of breeding grounds (leks) and nesting habitat; the proposed Tenderfoot Mountain haul road would cross areas designated as wetlands by US Army Corps of Engineers (COE); the proposed disposal site is currently used for grazing by cattle six weeks a year in the spring. Additional concerns were stated in comments on a previous version of this EA. The proposed action is to consolidate and remove all contaminated materials associated with the Gunnison processing site to the Landfill disposal site six air miles east of Gunnison. All structures on the site (e.g., water tower, office buildings) were demolished in 1991. The debris is being stored on the site until it can be incorporated into the disposal cell at the disposal site. All contaminated materials would be trucked to the Landfill disposal site on a to-be-constructed haul road that crosses BLM-administered land.

  15. Evaluation of liners for a uranium-mill tailings disposal site: a status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The United States Department of Energy is conducting a program designed to reclaim or stabilize inactive uranium-mill tailings sites. This report presents the status of the Liner Evaluation Program. The purpose of the study was to identify eight prospective lining materials or composites for laboratory testing. The evaluation was performed by 1) reviewing proposed regulatory requirements to define the material performance criteria; 2) reviewing published literature and communicating with industrial and government experts experienced with lining materials and techniques; and 3) characterizing the tailings at three of the sites for calcium concentration, a selection of anions, radionuclides, organic solvents, and acidity levels. The eight materials selected for laboratory testing are: natural soil amended with sodium-saturated montmorillonite (Volclay); locally available clay in conjunction with an asphalt emulsion radon suppression cover; locally available clay in conjunction with a multibarrier radon suppression cover; rubberized asphalt membrane; hydraulic asphalt concrete; chlorosulfonated polyethylene (hypalon) or high-density polyethylene; bentonite, sand and gravel mixture; and catalytic airblown asphalt membrane. The materials will be exposed in test units now being constructed to conditions such as wet/dry cycles, temperature cycles, oxidative environments, ion-exchange elements, etc. The results of the tests will identify the best material for field study. The status report also presents the information gathered during the field studies at Grand Junction, Colorado. Two liners, a bentonite, sand and gravel mixture, and a catalytic airblown asphalt membrane, were installed in a prepared trench and covered with tailings. The liners were instrumented and are being monitored for migration of moisture, radionuclides, and hazardous chemicals. The two liner materials will also be subjected to accelerated laboratory tests for a comparative assessment

  16. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Gunnison Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The presence of contaminated uranium mill tailings adjacent to the city of Gunnison has been a local concern for many years. The following issues were identified during public meetings that were held by the DOE prior to distribution of an earlier version of this EA. Many of these issues will require mitigation. Groundwater contamination; in December 1989, a herd of 105 antelope were introduced in an area that includes the Landfill disposal site. There is concern that remedial action-related traffic in the area would result in antelope mortality. The proposed Tenderfoot Mountain haul road may restrict antelope access to their water supply; a second wildlife issue concerns the potential reduction in sage grouse use of breeding grounds (leks) and nesting habitat; the proposed Tenderfoot Mountain haul road would cross areas designated as wetlands by US Army Corps of Engineers (COE); the proposed disposal site is currently used for grazing by cattle six weeks a year in the spring. Additional concerns were stated in comments on a previous version of this EA. The proposed action is to consolidate and remove all contaminated materials associated with the Gunnison processing site to the Landfill disposal site six air miles east of Gunnison. All structures on the site (e.g., water tower, office buildings) were demolished in 1991. The debris is being stored on the site until it can be incorporated into the disposal cell at the disposal site. All contaminated materials would be trucked to the Landfill disposal site on a to-be-constructed haul road that crosses BLM-administered land

  17. A thick homogeneous vegetated cover design proves cost - and schedule-effective for the reclamation of uranium mills sites near Spokane, Washington

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blacklaw, J.; Robertson, G.; Stoffel, D.; Ahmad, J.; Fordham, E. [Washington State Dept. of Health, Olympia, WA (United States)] [and others

    1997-08-01

    The Washington State Department of Health (WDOH) has licensed two medium sized uranium mills with tailings impoundments covering 28 and 40 hectares (70 and 100 acres), respectively, The uranium mill licensees have submitted closure and reclamation plans to the state, and site-specific conditions have determined the closure design features, Conventional uranium mill cover designs usually incorporate an overall cap of one to three meters, which includes a low-permeability clay barrier layer. A technical evaluation of several uranium mill facilities that used this design was published in the fall of 1994 and reported that unexpected vegetation root damage had occurred in the low-permeability clay (or bentonite amended) barrier layers. The technical report suggested that the low-permeability design feature at some sites could be compromised within a very short time and the regulatory goal of 1,000 years performance might not be achieved. In October 1994, WDOH sponsored a technical forum meeting to consider design alternatives to address these reliability concerns. Representatives from the federal government, nuclear industry, licensees, engineering firms, and state regulatory agencies attended the workshop. Risk factors considered in the evaluation of the uranium mill reclamation plans include: (1) radon gas emanation through the cover (the air pathway), and (2) migration of hazardous and/or radioactive constituents (the groundwater pathway). Additional design considerations include site structural stability, longevity of 1,000 years, and no active (ongoing) maintenance. 9 refs.

  18. A Multifaceted Sampling Approach to Better Understanding Biogeochemical and Hydrogeological Controls on Uranium Mobility at a Former Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Riverton, Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dam, W. L.; Johnson, R. H.; Campbell, S.; Bone, S. E.; Noel, V.; Bargar, J.

    2015-12-01

    Understanding uranium mobility in subsurface environments is not trivial. Obtaining sufficient data to accurately represent soil and aquifer characteristics can require unique approaches that evolve with added site knowledge. At Riverton, the primary source of uranium mill tailings remaining from ore processing was removed but contaminant plumes have persisted longer than predicted by groundwater modeling. What are the primary mechanisms controlling plume persistence? DOE is conducting new characterization studies to assist our understanding of underlying biogeochemical and hydrogeological mechanisms affecting secondary sources. A variety of field sampling techniques are being sequentially employed including augering, trenching, pore water sampling, and installing multi-level wells. In August 2012, vadose zone soil samples from 34 locations and groundwater from 103 boreholes were collected with Geoprobe ® direct push rods. Lower than expected uranium concentrations in composited shallow soils indicated the need for more focused and deeper samples. In May 2014, soil samples containing evaporites were collected along the bank of the Little Wind River; elevated uranium concentrations in evaporite minerals correlated with plume configurations and reflect contaminated groundwater discharge at the river. In September 2014, hand anger samples collected by the river and oxbow lake also indicated the presence of organic rich zones containing elevated uranium (>50 mg/kg). Subsequent samples collected from five backhoe trenches in May 2015 revealed a highly heterogeneous vadose zone composed of clay, silt, sand and cobbles containing evaporites and organic rich zones which may interact with groundwater plumes.Plans for August 2015 include sonic drilling to obtain continuous cores from the surface down to the base of the surficial aquifer with multi-level monitoring wells constructed in each borehole to assess vertical variation in groundwater chemistry. Temporary well

  19. Evaluation of health risks associated with proposed ground water standards at selected inactive uranium mill-tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed ground water standards applicable to all inactive uranium mill-tailings sites. The proposed standards include maximum concentration limits (MCL) for currently regulated drinking water contaminants, as well as the addition of standards for molybdenum, uranium, nitrate, and radium-226 plus radium-228. The proposed standards define the point of compliance to be everywhere downgradient of the tailings pile, and require ground water remediation to drinking water standards if MCLs are exceeded. This document presents a preliminary description of the Phase 2 efforts. The potential risks and hazards at Gunnison, Colorado and Lakeview, Oregon were estimated to demonstrate the need for a risk assessment and the usefulness of a cost-benefit approach in setting supplemental standards and determining the need for and level of restoration at UMTRA sites. 8 refs., 12 tabs

  20. Procedures for estimating the radiation dose in the vicinity of uranium mines and mills by direct calculation methodology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A methodology for estimating the radiation doses to the members of the general public, in the vicinity of uranium mines and mills is presented. The data collected in the surveys performed to characterize the neighborhood of the site, and used in this work to estimate the radiation dose, are required by the Regulatory Body, for the purpose of Licensing. Initially, a description is shown of the main processing steps to obtain the uranium concentrate and the critical instalation radionuclides are identified. Following, some studies required to characterize the facility neighborhood are presented, specially those related to geography, demography, metheorology, hydrology and environmental protection. Also, the basic programs for monitoring the facility neighborhood in the pre-operational and operational phases are included. It is then proposed a procedure to estimate inhalation, ingestion and external doses. As an example, the proposed procedure is applied to a hypotetical site. Finally, some aspects related to the applicability of this work are discussed. (Author)

  1. Radiologic characterization of the Mexican Hat, Utah, uranium mill tailings remedial action site: Appendix D, Addenda D1--D7

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ludlam, J.R.

    1985-01-01

    This radiologic characterization of the inactive uranium millsite at Mexican Hat, Utah, was conducted by Bendix Field Engineering Corporation foe the US Department of Energy (DOE), Grand Junction Project Office, in response to and in accord with a Statement of Work prepared by the DOE Uranium Mill tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technical Assistance Contractor, Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc. the objective of this project was to determine the horizontal and vertical extent of contamination that exceeds the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards at the Mexican Hat site. The data presented in this report are required for characterization of the areas adjacent to the Mexican Hat tailings piles and for the subsequent design of cleanup activities. Some on-pile sampling was required to determine the depth of the 15-pCi/g Ra-226 interface in an area where wind and water erosion has taken place.

  2. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Colorado: Colorado state fiscal year 1993

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Colorado economic impact study summarizes employment and economic benefits to the state from activities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project during Colorado state fiscal year 1993 (July 1, 1992, through June 30, 1993). To capture employment benefits, a questionnaire was distributed to subcontractor employees at the active UMTRA Project sites of Grand Junction, Rifle, and Gunnison, Colorado. An estimated 52 percent of the employees working on the UMTRA Project responded to this information request. Economic data were requested from each site prime subcontractor, as well as from the Remedial Action Contractor. The most significant benefits associated with the UMTRA Project in Colorado are summarized

  3. Effect of Intermittent Flow on the Mobility of Metals from Abandoned Uranium Mine Waste Sites on Native American Land

    Science.gov (United States)

    Avasarala, S.; Ali, A.; Artyushkova, K.; Gonzalez-Pinzon, R.; Cerrato, J.

    2015-12-01

    Column experiments were conducted to study the effect of intermittent flow on the mobility of metals from abandoned uranium mine waste sites in Blue Gap Tachee (BGT), AZ and Laguna, NM. Intermittent flow represent the rainfall patterns in the southwestern United States, involving alternate wet and dry cycles. In order to simulate these rainfall patterns shorter wet periods of 15, 30, 60, 120 and 360 minutes, followed by longer dry periods of 24 hours, were adopted for the column experiments. The experiment involved sequential leaching of sediments from Laguna and BGT with 18MὨ water (pH 5.4), Synthetic Rain Water (SRW, pH 5.6), 10mM bicarbonate solution (pH 7.9) and 10mM acetic acid (pH 3.4) solution that represent the environmentally relevant conditions as witnessed in BGT water samples (pH 3.8 and 7.4). These reagents were specifically chosen to target most metal species through various transport mechanisms which include advective-dispersive forces, ion-exchange, desorption and dissolution. With just 18MὨ water and SRW almost 90 µg/L of U, 4500 µg/L of V and 20 µg/L of As were released from BGT mine waste while the Laguna sample showed the release of 380 µg/L of U, 2 µg/L of V and 40 µg/L of As. The released U concentrations were 3-13 times its EPA MCL for U which under natural circumstances could threaten the proximate communities. Bicarbonate and acetic acid extractions on the other hand released 3500-6000 µg/L of U, 50-3000 µg/L of V and 14-35 µg/L of As from both Laguna and BGT mine waste respectively. Based on our previously published results, U and V from the uranyl-vanadate (U-V) species within BGT mine waste samples were only partially released with bicarbonate unlike the column experiments where almost all of the U and V from the U-V species were dissolved and released using 10mM bicarbonate solution. For reference, the columns were also leached continuously with bicarbonate and acetic acid for a week (each), to identify if the phases were

  4. 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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    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.

  5. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Lakeview, Oregon. Revision 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing at UMTRA Project sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to minimize further contamination of ground water. Surface cleanup at the UMTRA Project site near Lakeview, Oregon, was completed in 1989. The mill operated from February 1958 to November 1960. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination that resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. Human health may be at risk from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur by drinking water pumped out of a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated areas. Ecological risks to plants or animals may result from exposure to surface water and sediment that have received contaminated ground water. A risk assessment describes a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the ecological environment may be exposed, and the health or ecological effects that could result from that exposure. This risk assessment is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and potential future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the ecological environment.

  6. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the uranium mill tailings remedial action ground water project. Volume I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1996-10-01

    This programmatic environmental impact statement (PElS) was prepared for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This PElS provides an analysis of the potential impacts of the alternatives and ground water compliance strategies as well as potential cumulative impacts. On November 8, 1978, Congress enacted the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law, codified at 42 USC §7901 et seq. Congress found that uranium mill tailings " ... may pose a potential and significant radiation health hazard to the public, and that every reasonable effort should be made to provide for stabilization, disposal, and control in a safe, and environmentally sound manner of such tailings in order to prevent or minimize other environmental hazards from such tailings." Congress authorized the Secretary of Energy to designate inactive uranium processing sites for remedial action by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Congress also directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set the standards to be followed by the DOE for this process of stabilization, disposal, and control. On January 5, 1983, EPA published standards (40 CFR Part 192) for the disposal and cleanup of residual radioactive materials. On September 3, 1985, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit set aside and remanded to EPA the ground water provisions of the standards. The EPA proposed new standards to replace remanded sections and changed other sections of 40 CFR Part 192. These proposed standards were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 1987 (52 FR 36000). Section 108 of the UMTRCA requires that DOE comply with EPA's proposed standards in the absence of final standards. The Ground Water Project was planned under the proposed standards. On January 11, 1995, EPA published the final rule, with which the DOE must now comply. The PElS and the Ground Water Project are

  7. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the uranium mill tailings remedial action ground water project. Volume I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This programmatic environmental impact statement (PElS) was prepared for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). This PElS provides an analysis of the potential impacts of the alternatives and ground water compliance strategies as well as potential cumulative impacts. On November 8, 1978, Congress enacted the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978, Public Law, codified at 42 USC §7901 et seq. Congress found that uranium mill tailings ' ... may pose a potential and significant radiation health hazard to the public, and that every reasonable effort should be made to provide for stabilization, disposal, and control in a safe, and environmentally sound manner of such tailings in order to prevent or minimize other environmental hazards from such tailings.' Congress authorized the Secretary of Energy to designate inactive uranium processing sites for remedial action by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Congress also directed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to set the standards to be followed by the DOE for this process of stabilization, disposal, and control. On January 5, 1983, EPA published standards (40 CFR Part 192) for the disposal and cleanup of residual radioactive materials. On September 3, 1985, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit set aside and remanded to EPA the ground water provisions of the standards. The EPA proposed new standards to replace remanded sections and changed other sections of 40 CFR Part 192. These proposed standards were published in the Federal Register on September 24, 1987 (52 FR 36000). Section 108 of the UMTRCA requires that DOE comply with EPA's proposed standards in the absence of final standards. The Ground Water Project was planned under the proposed standards. On January 11, 1995, EPA published the final rule, with which the DOE must now comply. The PElS and the Ground Water Project are in

  8. Remedial Action Plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings site at Mexican Hat, Utah: Appendix D. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1988-07-01

    This appendix is an assessment of the present conditions of the inactive uranium mill site near Mexican Hat, Utah. It consolidates available engineering, radiological, geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological, and other information pertinent to the design of the Remedial Action Plan. Plan is to characterize the conditions at the mill and tailings site so that the Remedial Action Contractor may complete final designs of the remedial action.

  9. Remedial action plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Rifle, Colorado. Volume 2, Appendices D and E: Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-02-01

    This appendix assesses the present conditions and data gathered about the two inactive uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado, and the designated disposal site six miles north of Rifle in the area of Estes Gulch. It consolidates available engineering, radiological, geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological, and other information pertinent to the design of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The data characterize conditions at the mill, tailings, and disposal site so that the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC) may complete final designs for the remedial actions.

  10. 1992 Colorado Economic Impact Study for the US Department of Energy and Colorado Department of Health Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The findings of the 1992 Colorado Economic Impact Study (CEIS) for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project are outlined below. All dollar amounts used in the study are in year-of-expenditure dollars. The total funding requirement for the State of Colorado for the UMTRA Project is estimated to be $66.8 million, or 10 percent of the remedial action costs for the UMTRA Project in Colorado. The UMTRA Project will generate $487.5 million in gross labor income in Colorado between 1983 and 1996. This includes $54.4 million in state and local tax revenues and $41.2 million in federal individual income tax revenues. The net economic benefit of the UMTRA Project to Colorado is $355.1 million. For every dollar the State of Colorado invests in the UMTRA Project, it will realize $5.32 in gross labor income. The employment impact to the Western Slope region is significant. The UMTRA Project will create a total employment impact of 13,749 fulltime equivalents (FTES) spread over. a period of 13 years in seven site areas. Nearly 100 percent of the labor will be drawn from the local communities. The State of Colorado's Western Slope is anticipated to be minimally impacted by the phaseout of the UMTRA Project. Unlike industries that shut down operations without warning, the UMTRA Project workers, local government, and businesses know the schedule for completion and can consider and prepare for the impact of UMTRA Project conclusion. Further, because the majority of the work force is local, there has not been a significant investment in each community's infrastructure. Any small increases in the infrastructure will not be abandoned at the end of the UMTRA Project due to a marked increase in migration out of the local community

  11. Uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The article includes a historical preface about uranium, discovery of portability of sequential fission of uranium, uranium existence, basic raw materials, secondary raw materials, uranium's physical and chemical properties, uranium extraction, nuclear fuel cycle, logistics and estimation of the amount of uranium reserves, producing countries of concentrated uranium oxides and percentage of the world's total production, civilian and military uses of uranium. The use of depleted uranium in the Gulf War, the Balkans and Iraq has caused political and environmental effects which are complex, raising problems and questions about the effects that nuclear compounds left on human health and environment.

  12. The source of groundwater and solutes to Many Devils Wash at a former uranium mill site in Shiprock, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Andrew J.; Ranalli, Anthony J.; Austin, Stephen A.; Lawlis, Bryan R.

    2016-04-21

    The Shiprock Disposal Site is the location of the former Navajo Mill (Mill), a uranium ore-processing facility, located on a terrace overlooking the San Juan River in the town of Shiprock, New Mexico. Following the closure of the Mill, all tailings and associated materials were encapsulated in a disposal cell built on top of the former Mill and tailings piles. The milling operations, conducted at the site from 1954 to 1968, created radioactive tailings and process-related wastes that are now found in the groundwater. Elevated concentrations of constituents of concern—ammonium, manganese, nitrate, selenium, strontium, sulfate, and uranium—have also been measured in groundwater seeps in the nearby Many Devils Wash arroyo, leading to the inference that these constituents originated from the Mill. These constituents have also been reported in groundwater that is associated with Mancos Shale, the bedrock that underlies the site. The objective of this report is to increase understanding of the source of water and solutes to the groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash and to establish the background concentrations for groundwater that is in contact with the Mancos Shale at the site. This report presents evidence on three working hypotheses: (1) the water and solutes in Many Devils Wash originated from the operations at the former Mill, (2) groundwater in deep aquifers is upwelling under artesian pressure to recharge the shallow groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash, and (3) the groundwater beneath Many Devils Wash originates as precipitation that infiltrates into the shallow aquifer system and discharges to Many Devils Wash in a series of springs on the east side of the wash. The solute concentrations in the shallow groundwater of Many Devils Wash would result from the interaction of the water and the Mancos Shale if the source of water was upwelling from deep aquifers or precipitation.In order to compare the groundwater from various wells to groundwater that has been

  13. Radioecological investigations of uranium-mill-tailings systems. Third technical progress report, October 1, 1981-September 30, 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This investigation quantitatively evaluates the potential release of important radionuclides from active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings and their entry into the food chain. For active mill tailings, we are trying to quantify the degree of escape and dispersal, primarily by wind, and to measure the accumulation of 238U, 230Th, 226Ra, and 210Po by various native plants. Of particular interest are the relationships between soil and vegetation at different sites, since the chemical environment of areas impacted by mill tailings are drastically different than undisturbed natural areas. Also of great interest, is the relative importance of various mechanisms of radionuclide accumulation by plants, such as root uptake and aerial deposition, followed by some degree of foliar absorption. In the case of reclaimed tailings, an experimental area was developed in which a slab of reasonably uniform tailings was covered with various depths of earthen materials and seeded with a native range mixture of forbs, grasses and shrubs. The influence of overburden depth on radon flux at the soil surface and on uptake of radionuclides by plants is currently under study. In addition, a comparison of radon flux from vegetated and non-vegetated subplots is underway

  14. Radioecological investigations of uranium-mill-tailings systems. Second technical progress report, October 1, 1980-September 30, 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document provides a status report on studies which address some of the problems and questions regarding the integrity and transport of uranium and certain radioactive progeny in active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings. The studies reported are being conducted at Pathfinder Mines Corporation's Shirley Basin Uranium Mine, located in a remote area of Carbon County in southeastern Wyoming. A considerable amount of effort, especially during the first few years of the study, must relate to basic characterization of the general environs as well as of specific study plots. Such characterization, which is essential for interpretation of analytical results for radionuclides, involves investigation of climate, soils, underground water, vegetation, and animals. Early results of such characterization work are reported herein. This investigation includes as a major component, studies relating to disposal of mill tailings by earthern covers. Of interest are the effects of various types and thicknesses of covers on radon emanation, ambient gamma radiation, biological incorporation of radionuclides, stability of soil and plant communities and physical migration of radioactivity. This report also summarizes work relating to levels of 230Th, 226Ra and 210Po in water, soils and vegetation from background (uncontaminated) sites, from areas near the tailings pond, and from reclaimed overburden areas. Another major activity is the investigation of specific mechanisms which lead to contamination of vegetation with radionuclides. The processes of root uptake and aerial deposition are under study through a variety of designed experiments and sampling schemes. A small-scale study on the metabolism of 210Po by mule deer and antelope is also reported

  15. Treatment of liquid effluent from uranium mines and mills. Report of a co-ordinated research project 1996-2000

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Treatment and control of liquid effluents produced during uranium mining and milling operations is an integral part of environmental project management. Research has continued to add to the large body of science that has been built up around the treatment of radioactive and non-radioactive effluents to minimize their long-term environmental impact. The objective of the meetings on which this publication is based was to exchange information on active effluent treatment technologies that have application during operations and passive treatment techniques such as constructed wetlands and use of micro-organisms that are applicable during project reclamation and long-term care and maintenance. Papers describe effluent treatment case histories from active uranium mining and processing operations as well as effluent treatment research on both active and passive systems that have potential application under a wide range of operating and post-operational conditions including new information on high-density sludge from effluent neutralization (Australia), aerated manganese hydroxide for removal of radium (China), nanofiltration and macropore resins to treat mine water (Australia and China), in situ microbial treatment and permeable reactive walls for treatment of contaminated groundwater (Germany), construction of wetlands to treat mine water runoff (Australia and Germany), biogenic granules to remove 226Ra from mill effluent (India), self-remediation of acidic in situ leach aquifers (Kazakhstan) and sorption characteristics of soil for self-remediation of contaminated groundwater (Hungary). These and other topics presented in this publication will be of interest to technical personnel who deal with day-to-day practical aspects of liquid effluent control and treatment at uranium production facilities worldwide

  16. Survey of Indian issues in the state of New Mexico relating to uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Estimates of Indian uranium resources range from 11 to 50% of the US total resources. About 17% of New Mexico's reserves are known to be on Indian lands. New Mexico has produced almost half of the nation's uranium supply; over half of the known reserves are located within the state. However, the state has virtually no jurisdiction over development of Indian uranium. As a result, economic and environmental impacts on the state are beyond its control. The lack of state and federal control over these impacts is influencing how the Indians allow development to proceed. The impacts of Indian uranium development also influence state control of non-Indian. To the extent that these controls affect the availability of uranium concentrate, DOE needs to understand the issues involved. This issue paper identifies some of the related problems for both the Indians and the state and explores the reasons behind them

  17. Biological characterization of radiation exposure and dose estimates for inhaled uranium milling effluents. Annual progress report April 1, 1982-March 31, 1983

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The problems addressed are the protection of uranium mill workers from occupational exposure to uranium through routine bioassay programs and the assessment of accidental worker exposures. Comparisons of chemical properties and the biological behavior of refined uranium ore (yellowcake) are made to identify important properties that influence uranium distribution patterns among organs. These studies will facilitate calculations of organ doses for specific exposures and associated health risk estimates and will identify important bioassay procedures to improve evaluations of human exposures. A quantitative analytical method for yellowcake was developed based on the infrared absorption of ammonium diuranate and U3O8 mixtures in KBr. The method was applied to yellowcake samples obtained from six operating mills. The composition of yellowcake from the six mills ranged from nearly pure ammonium diuranate to nearly pure U3O8. The composition of yellowcake samples taken from lots from the same mill was only somewhat less variable. Because uranium mill workers might be exposed to yellowcake either by contamination of a wound or by inhalation, a study of retention and translocation of uranium after subcutaneous implantation in rats was done. The results showed that 49% of the implanted yellowcake cleared from the body with a half-time (T sub 1/2) in the body of 0.3 days, and the remainder was cleared with a T sub 1/2 of 11 to 30 days. Exposures of Beagle dogs by nose-only inhalation to aerosols of commercial yellowcake were completed. Biochemical indicators of kidney dysfunction that appeared in blood and urine 4 to 8 days after exposure to the more soluble yellowcake showed significant changes in dogs, but levels returned to normal by 16 days after exposure. No biochemical evidence of kidney dysfunction was observed in dogs exposed to the less soluble yellowcake form. 18 figures, 9 tables

  18. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase 1) and the Ground Water Project (Phase 2). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further ground water contamination. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. Two UMTRA Project sites are near Rifle, Colorado: the Old Rifle site and the New Rifle site. Surface cleanup at the two sites is under way and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. A risk assessment identifies a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the environment may be exposed, and the health or environmental effects that could result from that exposure. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. This evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine if action is needed to protect human health or the environment.

  19. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Lakeview, Oregon. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-12-01

    Surface cleanup at the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project site near Lakeview, Oregon was completed in 1989. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination that resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. Human health may be at risk from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur by drinking water pumped out of a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated areas. Ecological risks to plants or animals may result from exposure to surface water and sediment that have received contaminated ground water. A risk assessment describes a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the ecological environment may be exposed, and the health or ecological effects that could result from that exposure. This risk assessment is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and potential future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the ecological environment.

  20. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Riverton, Wyoming. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of two phases: the Surface Project and the Ground Water Project. At the UMTRA Project site near Riverton, Wyoming, Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1988 to 1990. Tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials were taken from the Riverton site to a disposal cell in the Gas Hills area, about 60 road miles (100 kilometers) to the east. The surface cleanup reduces radon and other radiation emissions and minimizes further ground water contamination. The UMTRA Project's second phase, the Ground Water Project, will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination at the Riverton site that has resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. Such evaluations are used at each site to determine a strategy for complying with UMTRA ground water standards established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and if human health risks could result from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could hypothetically occur if drinking water were pumped from a well drilled in an area where ground water contamination might have occurred. Human health and environmental risks may also result if people, plants, or animals are exposed to surface water that has mixed with contaminated ground water

  1. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Lakeview, Oregon. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Surface cleanup at the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project site near Lakeview, Oregon was completed in 1989. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination that resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. Human health may be at risk from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur by drinking water pumped out of a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated areas. Ecological risks to plants or animals may result from exposure to surface water and sediment that have received contaminated ground water. A risk assessment describes a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the ecological environment may be exposed, and the health or ecological effects that could result from that exposure. This risk assessment is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and potential future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the ecological environment

  2. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Riverton, Wyoming. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-09-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of two phases: the Surface Project and the Ground Water Project. At the UMTRA Project site near Riverton, Wyoming, Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1988 to 1990. Tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials were taken from the Riverton site to a disposal cell in the Gas Hills area, about 60 road miles (100 kilometers) to the east. The surface cleanup reduces radon and other radiation emissions and minimizes further ground water contamination. The UMTRA Project`s second phase, the Ground Water Project, will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination at the Riverton site that has resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. Such evaluations are used at each site to determine a strategy for complying with UMTRA ground water standards established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and if human health risks could result from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could hypothetically occur if drinking water were pumped from a well drilled in an area where ground water contamination might have occurred. Human health and environmental risks may also result if people, plants, or animals are exposed to surface water that has mixed with contaminated ground water.

  3. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Green River, Utah. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-09-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (phase 1) and the Ground Water Project (phase 2). For the UMTRA Project site located near Green River, Utah, the Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1988 to 1989. The tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials were removed from their original locations and placed into a disposal cell on the site. The disposal cell is designed to minimize radiation emissions and minimize further contamination of ground water beneath the site. The UMTRA Project`s second phase, the Ground Water Project, evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and determines a strategy for ground water compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. For the Green River site, the risk assessment helps determine whether human health risks result from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium processing. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Green River site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine what is necessary, if anything, to protect human health and the environment while complying with EPA standards.

  4. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Green River, Utah. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (phase 1) and the Ground Water Project (phase 2). For the UMTRA Project site located near Green River, Utah, the Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1988 to 1989. The tailings and radioactively contaminated soils and materials were removed from their original locations and placed into a disposal cell on the site. The disposal cell is designed to minimize radiation emissions and minimize further contamination of ground water beneath the site. The UMTRA Project's second phase, the Ground Water Project, evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and determines a strategy for ground water compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. For the Green River site, the risk assessment helps determine whether human health risks result from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium processing. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Green River site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine what is necessary, if anything, to protect human health and the environment while complying with EPA standards

  5. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase 1) and the Ground Water Project (Phase 2). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further ground water contamination. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. Two UMTRA Project sites are near Rifle, Colorado: the Old Rifle site and the New Rifle site. Surface cleanup at the two sites is under way and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. A risk assessment identifies a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the environment may be exposed, and the health or environmental effects that could result from that exposure. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. This evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine if action is needed to protect human health or the environment

  6. An assessment of the long term suitability of present and proposed methods for the management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Proposals for safe, long-term containment of conventional tailings include 1) storage under water, 2) storage in active, abandoned or specially created underground mines and, 3) storage in open pits, with subsequent flooding or covering with overburden. The underwater proposal can meet most of the requirements of long term containment; however, extensive study of existing tailings deposits in deep water locations will be needed. Underground mines cannot provide sufficient storage capacity, since the tailings bulk during mill operation can occupy twice the volume of the original ore. It is possible to reduce the hazard by reducing the radium and thorium content of the tailings. Proposals for such an undertaking include ore beneficiation with rejection of the relatively innocuous fraction, radium-thorium removal in the mill, and significant changes in both ore processing and treatment of tailings. It is concluded that surface-stored tailings are vulnerable over the long term to dispersion by leaching and water erosion, and that access to a tailings site cannot be prevented, while only a major climatic or seismic event could disturb tailings stored in suitable underwater or underground mine sites. The criteria for determining suitability for each method, however, will need to be identified, tested, and accepted through the normal process of modeling, pilot plant evaluation, monitoring and evaluation. (author)

  7. Remedial action plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Slick Rock, Colorado: Appendix A to Attachment 3, tables; Preliminary final

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1994-03-01

    This appendix contains the supporting tables for the remedial action plan for uranium mill tailings sites at Slick Rock, CO. The tables contain monitoring well information, background groundwater quality data, regulated constituent summaries, tailings pore fluid sample analyses, and other data for each of the sites studied.

  8. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Rifle, Colorado. Revision 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-02-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further ground water contamination. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. Two UMTRA Project sites are near Rifle, Colorado: the Old Rifle site and the New Rifle site. Surface cleanup at the two sites is under way and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. A risk assessment identifies a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the environment may be exposed, and the health or environmental effects that could result from that exposure. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. This evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine if action is needed to protect human health or the environment. Human health risk may result from exposure to ground water contaminated from uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur from drinking water obtained from a well placed in the areas of contamination. Furthermore, environmental risk may result from plant or animal exposure to surface water and sediment that have received contaminated ground water.

  9. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Monument Valley uranium mill tailings site Cane Valley, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-03-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing at UMTRA Project sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to minimize further contamination of ground water. Surface cleanup at the Monument Valley UMTRA Project site near Cane Valley, Arizona, was completed in 1994. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination that resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. Human health may be at risk from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur by drinking water pumped out of a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated areas. Adverse ecological and agricultural effects may also result from exposure to contaminated ground water. For example, livestock should not be watered with contaminated ground water. A risk assessment describes a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the ecological environment may be exposed, and the health or ecological effects that could result from that exposure. This risk assessment is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and potential future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site investigations will be used to determine a compliance strategy to comply with the UMTRA ground water standards.

  10. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Monument Valley uranium mill tailings site Cane Valley, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing at UMTRA Project sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to minimize further contamination of ground water. Surface cleanup at the Monument Valley UMTRA Project site near Cane Valley, Arizona, was completed in 1994. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination that resulted from the uranium ore processing activities. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. Human health may be at risk from exposure to ground water contaminated by uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur by drinking water pumped out of a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated areas. Adverse ecological and agricultural effects may also result from exposure to contaminated ground water. For example, livestock should not be watered with contaminated ground water. A risk assessment describes a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the ecological environment may be exposed, and the health or ecological effects that could result from that exposure. This risk assessment is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and potential future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site investigations will be used to determine a compliance strategy to comply with the UMTRA ground water standards

  11. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Rifle, Colorado. Revision 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project (Phase I) and the Ground Water Project (Phase II). Under the UMTRA Surface Project, tailings, radioactive contaminated soil, equipment, and materials associated with the former uranium ore processing sites are placed into disposal cells. The cells are designed to reduce radon and other radiation emissions and to prevent further ground water contamination. The Ground Water Project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. Two UMTRA Project sites are near Rifle, Colorado: the Old Rifle site and the New Rifle site. Surface cleanup at the two sites is under way and is scheduled for completion in 1996. The Ground Water Project is in its beginning stages. A risk assessment identifies a source of contamination, how that contamination reaches people and the environment, the amount of contamination to which people or the environment may be exposed, and the health or environmental effects that could result from that exposure. This report is a site-specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. This evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine if action is needed to protect human health or the environment. Human health risk may result from exposure to ground water contaminated from uranium ore processing. Exposure could occur from drinking water obtained from a well placed in the areas of contamination. Furthermore, environmental risk may result from plant or animal exposure to surface water and sediment that have received contaminated ground water

  12. Planning and management of uranium mine and mill closures. Proceedings of a technical committee meeting held in Liberec, Czech Republic, 3-6 May 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Technical Committee Meeting on Planning and Management of Uranium Mine and Mill Closures was held in Liberec, Czech Republic from 3 to 6 May 1994. A total of 30 participants from nine countries attended the meeting. Nineteen papers were presented. Most of these papers dealt with the concept of and experiences in planning for and the subsequent decommissioning and rehabilitation of uranium mines and mills in Australia, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Romania, Slovenia, Spain and the USA. Two papers discussed the government's role and relevant regulations related to the closures, decommissioning and remediation of uranium production facilities. Of particular interest to the participants was a non-technical paper presented by the Mayor of the city of Andujar, Spain, describing the negative political and socio-economic impacts associated with closure and decommissioning of an uranium mine/mill facility. The highlights of the meeting were the field visits to the uranium production facilities and rehabilitation programme sites of DIAMO and WISMUT companies, located respectively in Straz, Czech Republic and Koenigstein, Germany. Refs, figs and tabs

  13. Remedial Action Plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings site at Durango, Colorado: Attachment 3, Groundwater hydrology report. Revised final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1991-12-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health and environmental protection regulations to correct and prevent groundwater contamination resulting from processing activities at inactive uranium milling sites. According to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, (UMTRCA) the US Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for assessing the inactive uranium processing sites. The DOE has determined this assessment shall include information on hydrogeologic site characterization. The water resources protection strategy that describes how the proposed action will comply with the EPA groundwater protection standards is presented in Attachment 4. Site characterization activities discussed in this section include: Characterization of the hydrogeologic environment; characterization of existing groundwater quality; definition of physical and chemical characteristics of the potential contaminant source; and description of local water resources.

  14. 226Ra contamination of soil and foliage as a function of distance downwind from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study concerned 226Ra contamination of soils and foliage as a function of distance downwind from a uranium mill tailings pile. In soils the radium contamination was primarily associated with particle sizes 226Ra contamination in Artemisia tridentata. Internal contamination appeared to be a larger contributor to total contamination at distances less than or equal to 0.16 km downwind from the tailings pile. At distances > 0.16 km, external contamination became a larger contributor to the total 226Ra contamination. In most soil samples 226Ra concentrations approached background levels at a distance of 1.1 km from the tailings pile. Total vegetation contamination approached background at 6.6 km. This study suggested that a combination of root uptake and foliar absorption were responsible for internal contamination and further studies were suggested. 19 references, 5 figures, 2 tables

  15. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Colorado: Colorado State fiscal year 1994. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Colorado economic impact study summarizes employment and economic benefits to the state from activities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project during Colorado state fiscal year 1994 (1 July 1993 through 30 June 1994). To capture employment information, a questionnaire was distributed to subcontractor employees at the active UMTRA Project sites of Grand Junction, Naturita, Gunnison, and Rifle, Colorado. Economic data were requested from each site prime subcontractor, as well as from the Remedial Action Contractor. Information on wages, taxes, and subcontract expenditures in combination with estimates and economic multipliers is used to estimate the dollar economic benefits to Colorado during the state fiscal year. Finally, the fiscal year 1994 estimates are compared to fiscal year 1993 employment and economic information

  16. A qualitative evaluation of long-term processes governing the behaviour of uranium mill tailings placed in deep lakes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The emplacement of uranium mill tailings in deep lakes may provide an acceptable method of tailings disposal at certain sites in Canada. Disposal in a depositional environment typical of deep lakes appears to offer greater prospects for long-term stability than present methods of land-based management. From the regulatory point of view, it is necessary to know which factors should be taken into account in assessing the acceptability of such an approach. This report examines the environmental variables governing the behaviour of radionuclides and trace elements in the groundwater systems, lake water, and finally in the biosphere over the short and long term. Physical, chemical and biological factors are each considered. Conclusions are presented in terms of points for and against disposal in deep lakes. This report summarizes the data and conclusions presented in an annex volume

  17. State policies and requirements for management of uranium mining and milling in New Mexico. Vol. I. Executive summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This volume summarizes the results of a cooperative effort with the State of New Mexico to study the potential environmental and resource-related problems associated with uranium mining and milling. Four issues identified in a conference jointly sponsored by the state and DOE's predecessor, ERDA, were addressed by three state agencies: The Office of the State Engineer, the Environmental Improvement Agency (EIA), and the Energy Resources Board. The individual studies of water availability, environmental quality, power availability and community impacts are published separately as Volumes II-V of this report. The recommendations are that DOE consider proposals from the State Engineer and the Environmental Improvement Division to develop programs which would lead to resolution of the issues they have presented. It is also recommended that DOE enter into discussions with the State Energy and Minerals Department (formerly ERB) to determine whether and to what extent DOE participation in their recommended programs is appropriate

  18. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Colorado: Colorado State fiscal year 1994. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-12-01

    The Colorado economic impact study summarizes employment and economic benefits to the state from activities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project during Colorado state fiscal year 1994 (1 July 1993 through 30 June 1994). To capture employment information, a questionnaire was distributed to subcontractor employees at the active UMTRA Project sites of Grand Junction, Naturita, Gunnison, and Rifle, Colorado. Economic data were requested from each site prime subcontractor, as well as from the Remedial Action Contractor. Information on wages, taxes, and subcontract expenditures in combination with estimates and economic multipliers is used to estimate the dollar economic benefits to Colorado during the state fiscal year. Finally, the fiscal year 1994 estimates are compared to fiscal year 1993 employment and economic information.

  19. Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Falls City Site, Falls City, Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Falls City, Texas. Services included taking soil samples, the performance of radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 2.5 million tons of tailings at the Falls City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The two alternative remedial action options presented include on-site and off-site cleanup, fencing, and hydrological monitoring, and in addition, stabilization of pile 2 with 2 ft of cover material. The costs are $1.84 million for Option I and $2.45 million for Option II

  20. Solar repowering/industrial retrofit systems study: Gulf Mt. Taylor Uranium Mill solar retrofit. Final technical report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This report covers the efforts in a nine month study to develop a site-specific conceptual design for solar industrial process heat retrofit of the Gulf Mt. Taylor Uranium Mill. This has resulted in preparation of a System Requirements Specification, conduct of trade studies leading to selection of a system concept, and conceptual design, performance, cost estimating and economic analysis of the selected concept. A baseline system with no storage and an alternative system with extended storage were evaluated. The baseline system with no storage was selected because it provides the best overall opportunity for fuel displacement, operating experience in industrial application and successful demonstration in the near term for both DOE and the user

  1. Summary of the Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Falls City Site, Falls City, Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Falls City, Texas. Services included taking soil samples, the performance of radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 2.5 million tons of tailings at the Falls City site constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The two alternative remedial action options presented include on-site and off-site cleanup, fencing, and hydrological monitoring and, in addition, stabilization of pile 2 with 2 ft of cover material. The costs are $1.84 million and $2.45 million

  2. 2013 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title II Disposal Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2013-11-01

    This report, in fulfillment of a license requirement, presents the results of long-term surveillance and maintenance activities conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management in 2013 at six uranium mill tailings disposal sites reclaimed under Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978. These activities verified that the UMTRCA Title II disposal sites remain in compliance with license requirements. DOE manages six UMTRCA Title II disposal sites under a general license granted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) established at Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 40.28. Reclamation and site transition activities continue at other sites, and DOE ultimately expects to manage approximately 27 Title II disposal sites. Long-term surveillance and maintenance activities and services for these disposal sites include inspecting and maintaining the sites; monitoring environmental media and institutional controls; conducting any necessary corrective action; and performing administrative, records, stakeholder services, and other regulatory functions. Annual site inspections and monitoring are conducted in accordance with site-specific long-term surveillance plans (LTSPs) and procedures established by DOE to comply with license requirements. Each site inspection is performed to verify the integrity of visible features at the site; to identify changes or new conditions that may affect the long-term performance of the site; and to determine the need, if any, for maintenance, follow-up inspections, or corrective action. LTSPs and site compliance reports are available online at http://www.lm.doe.gov

  3. 2013 Annual Site Inspection and Monitoring Report for Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title I Disposal Sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None, None

    2014-03-01

    This report, in fulfillment of a license requirement, presents the results of long-term surveillance and maintenance activities conducted by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) in 2013 at 19 uranium mill tailings disposal sites established under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978.1 These activities verified that the UMTRCA Title I disposal sites remain in compliance with license requirements. DOE operates 18 UMTRCA Title I sites under a general license granted by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in accordance with Title 10 Code of Federal Regulations Part 40.27 (10 CFR 40.27). As required under the general license, a long-term surveillance plan (LTSP) for each site was prepared by DOE and accepted by NRC. The Grand Junction, Colorado, Disposal Site, one of the 19 Title I sites, will not be included under the general license until the open, operating portion of the cell is closed. The open portion will be closed either when it is filled or in 2023. This site is inspected in accordance with an interim LTSP. Long-term surveillance and maintenance services for these disposal sites include inspecting and maintaining the sites; monitoring environmental media and institutional controls; conducting any necessary corrective actions; and performing administrative, records, stakeholder relations, and other regulatory stewardship functions. Annual site inspections and monitoring are conducted in accordance with site-specific LTSPs and procedures established by DOE to comply with license requirements. Each site inspection is performed to verify the integrity of visible features at the site; to identify changes or new conditions that may affect the long-term performance of the site; and to determine the need, if any, for maintenance, follow-up or contingency inspections, or corrective action in accordance with the LTSP. LTSPs and site compliance reports are available on the Internet at http://www.lm.doe.gov/.

  4. Final programmatic environmental impact statement for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Ground Water Project. Volume 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Ground Water Project is to eliminate, reduce, or address to acceptable levels the potential health and environmental consequences of milling activities by meeting Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards. One of the first steps in the UMTRA Ground Water Project is the preparation of this Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS). The EPA standards allow the use of different strategies for achieving compliance with the standards. This document analyzes the potential impacts of four alternatives for conducting the Ground Water Project. Each of the four alternatives evaluated in the PEIS is based on a different mix of strategies to meet EPA ground water standards. The PEIS is intended to serve as a programmatic planning document that provides an objective basis for determining site-specific ground water compliance strategies and data and information that can be used to prepare site-specific environmental impact analyses more efficiently. DOE will prepare appropriate further National Environmental Policy Act documentation before making site-specific decisions to implement the Ground Water Project. Affected States, Tribes, local government agencies, and members of the public have been involved in the process of preparing this PEIS; DOE encourages their continued participation in the site-specific decision making process

  5. Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Mexican Hat site, Mexican Hat, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Mexican Hat millsite in Utah is presented. Topographic maps, data on core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals residing nearby, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions are presented. Radon gas release from the 2,200,000 tons of tailings on the site constitutes the most significant environmental impact. T he six alternative actions presented are directed towards restricting access to the site, returning the windblown tailings to the piles and stabilizing the piles with cover material, and consolidating the two piles into one pile and stabilizing it with cover material. Fencing around the site or the tailings and the decontamination of mill buildings is included in all options. Costs of the options range from $370,000 to $4,390,000

  6. International co-operation in radiation protection practices in the mining and milling of uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium mining industry has been associated with the history of excess lung cancer. Because of such epidemiological evidence, the subject of radiation protection in the nuclear mining industry has received increased attention in recent years both at national and international levels. The radiation hazards encountered in the uranium mining industry result primarily from the exposure to radon daughters. The exposure to external radiation in most mines is low; however, in the mining of high grade uranium ores external radiation exposure can be substantially higher. By adopting proper control measures, namely, regulatory control, appropriate safety standards, monitoring, engineering and other measures, medical surveillance, environmental protection and radioactive waste management, it is possible to minimize the health risk to a level deemed to be acceptable in the light of the benefit derived from the uranium mining industry. Recognizing the history of excess lung cancer among uranium miners and the nature of the associated radiation protection problems there have been considerable national and international efforts to develop safety standards, codes of practice and guides to improve the radiation protection practices for the protection of the workers and the general public. At the international level the role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development/Nuclear Energy Agency (OECD/NEA) has been to develop and provide guidance for improved radiation protection in the uranium mining industry. In the paper the radiological problems in this industry, the types of control measures and the international efforts in harmonizing radiation protection measures are discussed. (author). 27 refs

  7. Feasibility of co-disposing low-level radioactive waste with uranium mill tailings and/or FUSRAP waste

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Analysis of the two most critical factors affecting a co-facility, economics and technical feasibility, indicates that neither should pose significant problems and in fact many aspects, particularly in economics, favor a co-facility over specialized disposal facilities. In consideration of costs, the symbiotic nature of co-facility economics should be recognized by the different parties the co-facility would serve. By minimizing the cost burdens of the LLW/UMTRAP disposal site users, a co-facility offers a unique opportunity for the cooperative subsidization of commercial and governmental operations. Likewise, a LLW/active tailings disposal co-facility affords two different sets of commercial users the opportunity to maximize the economic efficiency of each other's disposal operations. The technical requirements for siting a LLW or uranium mill tailings disposal facility are so similar as to appear tailor-made for a co-facility. Where differences are necessary, such as to distinguish between pollution sources in environmental monitoring, LLW and mill tailings are different. Where similarities are useful, such as in siting criteria and disposal operations, LLW and mill tailings are nearly identical. Institutional factors are split in their adaptability to a co-facility. Although public perceptions will range to both extremes, the fact that a significant percentage of the local populace may favor a co-facility serves as added incentive for such an operation. The institutional aspects which could serve as considerable impediments to co-facility development would be concern about liability in the event of site failure and licensing and legal obstacles associated with UMTRAP disposal that did not meet active tailings disposal licensing requirements

  8. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Salt Lake City, Utah. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-09-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of two phases: the first is the Surface Project, and the second is the Ground Water Project. For the UMTRA Project site known as the Vitro site, near Salt Lake City, Utah, Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1985 to 1987. The UMTRA Project`s second phase, the Ground Water Project, evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and determines a strategy for ground water compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. A risk assessment is the process of describing a source of contamination and showing how that contamination may reach people and the environment. The amount of contamination people or the environment may be exposed to is calculated and used to characterize the possible health or environmental effects that may result from this exposure. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Vitro site. The results of this report and further site characterization of the Vitro site will be used to determine what is necessary, if anything, to protect human health and the environment while complying with EPA standards.

  9. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Rifle Site, Rifle, Colorado. Summary of the Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado. The Phase II - Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 3.1 million tons of tailings at the two Rifle sites, constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The 15 alternative remedial action options presented range from millsite decomtamination and off-site remedial action (Options I and IV), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II, V, VI, and VII), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present sites (Options III and VIII through XV). Cost estimates for the first 14 options range from $224,000 to $20,300,000. Option XV, estimated at $32,200,000, includes the cost for moving both Rifle tailings piles and the Grand Junction tailings pile to DeBeque for long-term storage and site decontamination after removal of the piles. Reprocessing of the tailings for uranium appears to be economically attractive at present.

  10. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings new and old Rifle site, Rifle, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado. The Phase II--Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 3.1 million tons of tailings at the two Rifle sites, constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The 15 alternative remedial action options presented range from millsite decontamination and off-site remedial action (Options I and IV), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II, V, VI and VII), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present sites (Options III and VIII through XV). Cost estimates for the first 14 options range from $224,000 to $20,300,000. Option XV, estimated at $32,200,000, includes the cost for moving both Rifle tailings piles and the Grand Junction tailings pile to DeBeque for long-term storage and site decontamination after removal of the piles. Reprocessing of the tailings for uranium appears to be economically attractive at present.

  11. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the uranium mill tailings site near Salt Lake City, Utah. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of two phases: the first is the Surface Project, and the second is the Ground Water Project. For the UMTRA Project site known as the Vitro site, near Salt Lake City, Utah, Surface Project cleanup occurred from 1985 to 1987. The UMTRA Project's second phase, the Ground Water Project, evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and determines a strategy for ground water compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. A risk assessment is the process of describing a source of contamination and showing how that contamination may reach people and the environment. The amount of contamination people or the environment may be exposed to is calculated and used to characterize the possible health or environmental effects that may result from this exposure. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the UMTRA Ground Water Project at the Vitro site. The results of this report and further site characterization of the Vitro site will be used to determine what is necessary, if anything, to protect human health and the environment while complying with EPA standards

  12. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Maybell Site, Maybell, Colorado. Summary of the Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Maybell, Colorado. The Phase II-Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiometric measurements to determine radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 2.6 million tons of tailings at the Maybell site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The three alternative actions presented range from fencing and maintenance (Option I), to placing the tailings in an open-pit mine and adding 2 ft of stabilization cover material (Option III). Cost estimates for the three options range from $250,000 to $4,520,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium does not appear to be economically attractive at present.

  13. Summary of the Phase II, Title I, engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Gunnison Site, Gunnison, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Gunnison, Colorado. The Phase II--Title I services include the preparation of topographic measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 0.5 million tons of tailings at the Gunnison site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The nine alternative actions presented range from millsite decontamination (Option I), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II and III), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present site (Options IV through IX). Cost estimates for the nine options range from $480,000 to $5,890,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium does not appear to be economically attractive at present

  14. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Durango site, Durango, Colorado. A summary of the Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Durango, Colorado. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 1.555 million tons of tailings at the Durango site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The eight alternative actions presented range from vegetative stabilization (Option I), to contouring and stabilizing in-place with varying depths of cover material (Options II and III), to removal to an isolated long-term disposal site (Options V to VIII). All options include remedial action costs for offsite locations where tailings have been placed. Costs estimated for the eight options range from $4,340,000 to $13,590,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is sufficiently economically attractive to justify reprocessing in conjunction with each of the options

  15. Regulatory philosophy and requirements for radiation control in Canadian uranium mine-mill facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    With the point made that radiation exposure is one of the health hazards of uranium mining and accordingly has to be controlled, the Canadian regulatory philosophy is outlined as it pertains to the uranium mining industry. Two extremes in regulatory approach are examined, and the joint regulatory process is explained. Two examples of poor management performance are given, and the role of mine unions in the regulatory process is touched upon. The development of new regulations to cover ventilation and employee training is sketched briefly. The author concludes with a general expression of objectives for the eighties which include improved personal dosimetry

  16. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Naturita, Colorado. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project, and the Ground Water Project. For the UMTRA Project site located near Naturita, Colorado, phase I involves the removal of radioactively contaminated soils and materials and their transportation to a disposal site at Union Carbide Corporation`s Upper Burbank Repository at Uravan, Colorado. The surface cleanup will reduce radon and other radiation emissions from the former uranium processing site and prevent further site-related contamination of ground water. Phase II of the project will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and its effect on human health and the environment, and will determine site-specific ground water compliance strategies in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. Human health risks could occur from drinking water pumped from a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated ground water area. Environmental risks may result if plants or animals are exposed to contaminated ground water or surface water that has mixed with contaminated ground water. Therefore, a risk assessment was conducted for the Naturita site. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the Ground Water Project at the Naturita site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment.

  17. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Site near Naturita, Colorado. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project consists of the Surface Project, and the Ground Water Project. For the UMTRA Project site located near Naturita, Colorado, phase I involves the removal of radioactively contaminated soils and materials and their transportation to a disposal site at Union Carbide Corporation's Upper Burbank Repository at Uravan, Colorado. The surface cleanup will reduce radon and other radiation emissions from the former uranium processing site and prevent further site-related contamination of ground water. Phase II of the project will evaluate the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from uranium processing and its effect on human health and the environment, and will determine site-specific ground water compliance strategies in accordance with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ground water standards established for the UMTRA Project. Human health risks could occur from drinking water pumped from a hypothetical well drilled in the contaminated ground water area. Environmental risks may result if plants or animals are exposed to contaminated ground water or surface water that has mixed with contaminated ground water. Therefore, a risk assessment was conducted for the Naturita site. This risk assessment report is the first site-specific document prepared for the Ground Water Project at the Naturita site. What follows is an evaluation of current and possible future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. The results of this evaluation and further site characterization will be used to determine whether any action is needed to protect human health or the environment

  18. Survey of Radionuclide Distributions Resulting from the Church Rock, New Mexico, Uranium Mill Tailings Pond Dam Failure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weimer, W. C.; Kinnison, R. R.; Reeves, J. H.

    1981-12-01

    An intensive site survey and on-site analysis program were conducted to evaluate the distribution of four radionucliGes in the general vicinity of Gallup, New Mexico, subsequent to the accidental breach of a uranium mill tailings pond dam and the release of a large quantity of tailings pond materials. The objective of this work was to determine the distribution and concentration levels of {sup 210}Pb, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 230}Th, and {sup 238}U in the arroyo that is immediately adjacent to the uranium tailings pond (pipeline arroyo) and in the Rio Puerco arroyo into which the pipeline arroyo drains. An intensive survey between the United Nuclear Corporation (UNC) Church Rock Mill site and the New Mexico-Arizona state border was performed. Sampling locations were established at approximately 500-ft intervals along the arroyo. During the weeks of September 24 through October 5, 1979, a series of samples was collected from alternate sampling locations along the arroyo. The purpose of this collection of samples and their subsequent analysis was to provide an immediate evaluation of the extent and the levels of radioactive contamination. The data obtained from this extensive survey were then compared to action levels which had been proposed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and were adapted by the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Division (NMEID) for {sup 230}Th and {sup 226}Ra concentrations that would require site cleanup. The Pacific Northwest Laboratory/Nuclear Regulatory Commission mobile laboratory van was on-site at the UNC Church Rock Mill from September 22, 1979, through December 13, 1979, and was manned by one or more PNL personnel for all but four weeks of this time period. Approximately 1200 samples associated with the Rio Puerco survey were analyzed 1n the laboratory. An additional 1200 samples related to the Rio Puerco cleanup operations which the United Nuclear Corporation was conducting were analyzed on-site in the mobile laboratory. The purpose of

  19. The use of atomic absorption spectroscopy to measure arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, and vanadium in water and soil samples from uranium mill tailings sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hollenbach, M.H.

    1988-01-01

    The Technical Measurements Center (TMC) was established to support the environmental measurement needs of the various DOE remedial action programs. A laboratory intercomparison study conducted by the TMC, using soil and water samples from sites contaminated by uranium mill tailings, indicated large discrepancies in analytical results reported by participating laboratories for arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, and vanadium. The present study was undertaken to investigate the most commonly used analytical techniques for measuring these four elements, ascertain routine and reliable quantification, and assess problems and successes of analysts. Based on a survey of the technical literature, the analytical technique of atomic absorption spectroscopy was selected for detailed study. The application of flame atomic absorption, graphite furnace atomic absorption, and hydride generation atomic absorption to the analysis of tailings-contaminated samples is discussed. Additionally, laboratory sample preparation methods for atomic absorption spectroscopy are presented. The conclusion of this report is that atomic absorption can be used effectively for the determination of arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, and vanadium in water and soil samples if the analyst understands the measurement process and is aware of potential problems. The problem of accurate quantification of arsenic, selenium, molybdenum, and vanadium in water and soil contaminated by waste products from uranium milling operations affects all DOE remedial action programs (Surplus Facilities Management Program (SFMP), Formerly Utilized Site Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP), and Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program (UMTRAP)), since all include sites where uranium was processed. 96 refs., 9 figs.

  20. Vegetation composition and 226Ra uptake by native plant species at a uranium mill tailings impoundment in South China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A field investigation was conducted for the vegetation composition and 226Ra uptake by native plant species at a uranium mill tailings impoundment in South China. 80 species belonging to 67 genera in 32 families were recorded in the sampling sites. The Poaceae and Asteraceae were the dominant families colonizing the impoundment. The number of the plant species and vegetation community composition in the sampling sites seemed most closely related to the activities of 226Ra and the pH value of the uranium tailings. The plant species in the sampling sites with relatively low activities of 226Ra and relatively high pH value formed a relatively stable vegetation community. The plant species in the sampling sites with medium activities of 226Ra and medium pH value formed the transitional vegetation community. The plant species in the sampling sites with relatively high activities of 226Ra and relatively low pH value formed a simple unstable vegetation community that was similar to that on the unused grassland. The activities of 226Ra and transfer factors (TFs) varied greatly with the plant species. The high activities of 226Ra and TFs were found in the leaves of Pteris multifida (150.6 Bq/g of AW; 9.131), Pteridium aquilinum (122.2 Bq/g of AW; 7.409), and Dryopteris scottii (105.7 Bq/g of AW; 6.408). They satisfied the criteria for a hyperaccumulator for 226Ra. They may be the candidates for phytoremediation of 226Ra in the uranium mill tailings impoundment areas and the contaminated soils around. - Highlights: • Vegetation composition of native plant species at an impoundment was analyzed. • 226Ra uptake by native plant species at the impoundment was investigated. • Poaceae and Asteraceae were the dominated families colonizing this impoundment. • The plant species and composition were related to activities of 226Ra and pH. • Three plant species were found to be hyperaccumulators for 226Ra

  1. Uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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

  2. Uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The development, prospecting, research, processing and marketing of South Africa's uranium industry and the national policies surrounding this industry form the headlines of this work. The geology of South Africa's uranium occurences and their positions, the processes used in the extraction of South Africa's uranium and the utilisation of uranium for power production as represented by the Koeberg nuclear power station near Cape Town are included in this publication

  3. Uranium

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The geological setting of uranium resources in the world can be divided in two basic categories of resources and are defined as reasonably assured resources, estimated additional resources and speculative resources. Tables are given to illustrate these definitions. The increasing world production of uranium despite the cutback in the nuclear industry and the uranium requirements of the future concluded these lecture notes

  4. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at the Spook site, Converse County, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a radiological survey performed at the Spook site in Converse County, Wyoming, in June 1976, are presented. The mill at this site was located a short distance from the open-pit mine where the ore was obtained and where part of the tailings was dumped into the mine. Several piles of overburden or low-grade ore in the vicinity were included in the measurements of above-ground gamma exposure rate. The average exposure rate over these piles varied from 14 μR/hr, the average background exposure rate for the area, to 140 μR/hr. The average exposure rate for the tailings and former mill area was 220 μR/hr. Movement of tailings particles down dry washes was evident. The calculated concentration of 226Ra in ten holes as a function of depth is presented graphically

  5. Remedial action plan and site conceptual design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Rifle, Colorado. Appendix D, Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This appendix assesses the present conditions and data gathered about the two designated inactive uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado, and the proposed disposal site six miles north of Rifle in the area of Estes Gulch. It consolidates available engineering, radiological, geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological, and other information pertinent to the design of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The data characterize conditions at the mill, tailings, and disposal site so that the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC) may complete final designs for the remedial actions

  6. Remedial action plan and site conceptual design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Rifle, Colorado. Appendix D, Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1992-02-01

    This appendix assesses the present conditions and data gathered about the two designated inactive uranium mill tailings sites near Rifle, Colorado, and the proposed disposal site six miles north of Rifle in the area of Estes Gulch. It consolidates available engineering, radiological, geotechnical, hydrological, meteorological, and other information pertinent to the design of the Remedial Action Plan (RAP). The data characterize conditions at the mill, tailings, and disposal site so that the Remedial Action Contractor (RAC) may complete final designs for the remedial actions.

  7. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Ray Point, Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The mill site and tailings pile near Ray Point, Texas, cover an area of approximately 140 hectares located 1.6 km west of Ray Point. The dry portion of the tailings pile is stabilized, and the whole pile is surrounded by a dike. It contains approximately 445,000 metric tons of material with an estimated average 226Ra concentration of 518 pCi/g. The average gamma-ray exposure rate 1 m above the pile is 300 μR/hr while the corresponding average for the mill site, including the former ore storage area, is 87 μR/hr. Soil and sediment sample analyses, as well as gamma-ray exposure rate measurements, show some spread of contamination off the site; however, it appears that control measures at this site have been effective in limiting the spread of tailings. Access to the area is limited by chain-link and barbed-wire fences, and continued surveillance of the area is maintained. The mill buildings have been maintained for possible future use

  8. Use of asphalt emulsion sealants in disposal of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Studies of asphalt emulsion sealants conducted by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory have demonstrated that the sealants are effective in containing radon within uranium tailings. The laboratory and field studies have further demonstrated that radon exhalation from uranium tailings piles can be reduced by greater than 99% to near background levels. Field tests at the tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado confirmed that an 8-cm admix seal containing 22 wt % asphalt could be effectively applied with a cold-mix paver. Other techniques were successfully tested, including a soil stabilizer and a hot, rubberized asphalt seal that was applied with a distributor truck. After the seals were applied and compacted, overburden was applied over the seal to protect the seal from ultraviolet degradation

  9. Canine neoplasia and exposure to uranium mill tailings in Mesa County, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A canine cancer registry was established for Mesa County, Colorado in order to collect material for a case control analysis of exposure to uranium tailings. Between 1979 and 1981, 212 cases of canine cancer were confirmed histologically. Based on the address provided at the time of diagnosis, 33 dogs (15.6%) lived in a house with some exposure to uranium tailings. A control group, comprised of dogs with a histologic diagnosis other than cancer, was stratified according to hospital and matched with cases on a 1:1 basis. No significant differences were noted with respect to exposure to uranium tailings for total cancers or cancers of specific sites including lymph node, breast, liver, testicle and bone. The overall estimated relative risk was 0.70 (95% CI 0.04 to 1.16). Canine population estimates were derived for Mesa County in order to develop crude incidence rates for the major types and sites of cancer. Crude rates were compared with those published previously for Alameda County, California and Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Mesa County rates for total cancer incidence, connective tissue tumors and non melanoma skin cancer were higher than those reported for Alameda County. When compared with Tulsa County, Mesa County rates for total cancer, breast cancer, melanoma and mastocytoma were lower than expected while rates for osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and fibrosarcoma significantly exceeded expected values

  10. Process for Transition of Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act Title II Disposal Sites to the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management for Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    2012-03-01

    This document presents guidance for implementing the process that the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Legacy Management (LM) will use for assuming perpetual responsibility for a closed uranium mill tailings site. The transition process specifically addresses sites regulated under Title II of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) but is applicable in principle to the transition of sites under other regulatory structures, such as the Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program.

  11. Uptake of trace elements and radionuclides from uranium mill tailings by four-wing saltbush (Atriplex canescens) and alkali sacaton (Sporobolus airoides)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A greenhouse experiment was performed to determine the uptake of trace elements and radionuclides from uranium mill tailings by native plant species. Four-wing saltbush and alkali sacaton were grown in alkaline tailings covered with soil and in soil alone as controls. The tailings material was highly enriched in Ra-226, Mo, U, Se, V, and As compared with three local soils. The shrub grown in tailings had elevated concentrations of Mo, Se, Ra-226, U, As, and Na compared with the controls. Alkali sacaton contained high concentrations of Mo, Se, Ra-226, and Ni when grown on tailings. Molybdenum and selenium concentrations in plants grown in tailings are above levels reported to be toxic to grazing animals. These results indicate that the bioavailability of Mo and Se in alkaline environments makes these elements among the most hazardous contaminants present in uranium mill wastes

  12. Modelling study on buffering pH and retaining U using a simplified uranium mill tailings pile example

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jacques, Diederik; Simunek, Jirka

    2014-05-01

    The hypothetical problem that is presented here considers the release and migration of uranium from a simplified uranium mill tailings pile towards a river. The modeling exercise with the coupled reactive transport model HP2 illustrates the effect of the geochemical conceptual model for sorption on (i) the buffering of the pH in the soil/aquifer system and (ii) the retention of U in the soil. The HP2 module, which couples the PHREEQC geochemical code with HYDRUS (2D/3D), is a two-dimensional equivalent of the one-dimensional HP1 program that was first released in 2005 (Jacques et al., 2008), and used successfully in many applications. Sorption of U is described using a multi-site cation exchange model (see Jacques et al., 2008). This sorption model also buffers the acid pH due to proton exchange. Two scenarios are considered: a soil with a relatively low (8.1 × 10-3 mol/kg) and relatively high (8.1 × 10-2 mol/kg) sorption capacity. In the third scenario, specific sorption of U and other cations and anions on Fe-oxides is described using a non-electrostatic surface complexation model with a very low capacity (8.1 × 10-4 mol/kg), in addition to low exchange complexation. Proton exchange on the cation exchanger buffers the acidity by replacing calcium with protons on the exchanger; the spatial extent of the pH-perturbed region is smaller in the scenario with the higher exchange capacity. Specific sorption has only a small effect on the pH-perturbed zone, although it is important to note that its capacity is one order of magnitude lower than in the scenario with the low sorption capacity. U reaches the river system within 1000 d in scenarios with low and high exchange capacities. Only in the scenario with specific sorption, U migration within the ground water system is retarded, compared to the other two cases. The results of the three scenarios do not seem to be intuitive, especially the equally fast movement of U in the scenario with a high exchange capacity

  13. Environmental remediation of the former Soviet military uranium milling site at Sillamae, Estonia: Features of approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quick launch of the nuclear program was a high priority for the Soviet military, as a uranium production plant installation was started at Sillamae, Estonia, in 1946. Estonian local ore - alum shale - containing only 0.03% of uranium was used for uranium production for nearly five years, after the plant was launched in 1948. Altogether more than 4 million tons of ore, imported mostly from Central and East European countries (Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Eastern Germany) were processed at Sillamae. These activities have left a large tailings impoundment with the total volume of ca 8 million cubic meters in the immediate vicinity of the Baltic Sea. Today the plant is privatized, converted to civil purposes and provides ca. 1200 jobs in the socially sensitive area of North-East Estonia, while environmental hazards from the past; however, remain: Continuous seepage of tailing waters into the sea contributes and would contribute over long term to the pollution of the Baltic Sea; stability of the tailings dam seaside under present conditions can not be guaranteed thus risking a sudden release of partly liquid tailings due to potential dam failure; and uncovered surface of the tailings presents a health hazard due to dusting and radon release and hinders the revitalization of the area. The conceptual design of the Estonia's largest environmental project is now complete, the completion of practical remedial works by the end of 2005 will render Sillamae project a pioneer among Central and East European restoration projects of this character. This paper presents characteristic features of Sillamae remediation project, planning the use of best technical solutions, especially considering the vulnerability of geotechnical stability. (author)

  14. Assessment of oxidative stress and histopathology in juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) inhabiting lakes downstream of a uranium mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lakes receiving effluent from the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan contain elevated trace metals, some of which are associated with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues causing oxidative stress. The potential for oxidative stress was assessed in juvenile (age 1+) northern pike (Esox lucius) collected from two exposure (high and low) and one reference lake near the Key Lake operation. The concentrations of total, reduced and oxidized glutathione and the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione in liver and kidney did not differ significantly among pike collected from exposure and reference lakes, with the exception of low exposure pike kidney that had significantly greater oxidized glutathione and ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. The concentrations of by-products of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenal) were significantly greater in kidney of pike collected from the reference lake compared to both exposure lakes. The activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in liver was greater in pike collected from the high exposure lake compared to the reference lake. Histopathological evaluations revealed greater pathology in reference lake pike as indicated by a greater number of pyknotic and fragmented nuclei and dilated tubules as well as a thickening of Bowman's capsule in kidney, and as a thickening of the primary filament epithelial padding in gills. In liver, hepatocyte morphology, including transsectional area and degree of vacuolation, differed among lakes without any clear signs of pathology. Trace metal analyses of muscle showed that eight elements (arsenic, cobalt, copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium, thallium, and uranium) were significantly elevated in pike collected from both exposure lakes compared to reference. These results provide only limited evidence of oxidative stress in exposure pike tissues and no evidence of histopathology despite indications that trace metals, most

  15. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Slick Rock sites, Slick Rock, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the two millsites in Slick Rock, Colorado. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals residing nearby, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. The Union Carbide site has 350,000 tons of tailings and the North Continent site now owned by Union Carbide has 37,000 tons of tailings. Both tailings piles have been stabilized in accordance with regulations of the State of Colorado. Radon gas release from the tailings on the sites constitute the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The sparse population and relatively low radiation levels yield minimal immediate environmental impact. Hence the three alternative actions presented are directed towards restricting access to the sites (Option I), and returning the windblown tailings to the piles and stabilizing the piles with cover material (Option II), and consolidating the two piles on the UC site and stabilizing with 2 ft of cover (Option III). Fencing around the tailings piles is included in all options. Options II and III provide 2 ft of cover material on the tailings. Costs of the options range from $370,000 to $1,100,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is not economically feasible.

  16. Assessment of oxidative stress and histopathology in juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) inhabiting lakes downstream of a uranium mill

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kelly, Jocelyn M. [Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B3 (Canada); Janz, David M., E-mail: david.janz@usask.ca [Toxicology Centre, University of Saskatchewan, 44 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B3 (Canada); Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences, Western College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Saskatchewan, 52 Campus Drive, Saskatoon, SK, S7N 5B4 (Canada)

    2009-05-17

    Lakes receiving effluent from the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan contain elevated trace metals, some of which are associated with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues causing oxidative stress. The potential for oxidative stress was assessed in juvenile (age 1+) northern pike (Esox lucius) collected from two exposure (high and low) and one reference lake near the Key Lake operation. The concentrations of total, reduced and oxidized glutathione and the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione in liver and kidney did not differ significantly among pike collected from exposure and reference lakes, with the exception of low exposure pike kidney that had significantly greater oxidized glutathione and ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. The concentrations of by-products of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenal) were significantly greater in kidney of pike collected from the reference lake compared to both exposure lakes. The activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in liver was greater in pike collected from the high exposure lake compared to the reference lake. Histopathological evaluations revealed greater pathology in reference lake pike as indicated by a greater number of pyknotic and fragmented nuclei and dilated tubules as well as a thickening of Bowman's capsule in kidney, and as a thickening of the primary filament epithelial padding in gills. In liver, hepatocyte morphology, including transsectional area and degree of vacuolation, differed among lakes without any clear signs of pathology. Trace metal analyses of muscle showed that eight elements (arsenic, cobalt, copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium, thallium, and uranium) were significantly elevated in pike collected from both exposure lakes compared to reference. These results provide only limited evidence of oxidative stress in exposure pike tissues and no evidence of histopathology despite indications that trace metals, most

  17. Assessment of oxidative stress and histopathology in juvenile northern pike (Esox lucius) inhabiting lakes downstream of a uranium mill.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kelly, Jocelyn M; Janz, David M

    2009-05-17

    Lakes receiving effluent from the Key Lake uranium mill in northern Saskatchewan contain elevated trace metals, some of which are associated with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) in cells and tissues causing oxidative stress. The potential for oxidative stress was assessed in juvenile (age 1+) northern pike (Esox lucius) collected from two exposure (high and low) and one reference lake near the Key Lake operation. The concentrations of total, reduced and oxidized glutathione and the ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione in liver and kidney did not differ significantly among pike collected from exposure and reference lakes, with the exception of low exposure pike kidney that had significantly greater oxidized glutathione and ratio of oxidized to reduced glutathione. The concentrations of by-products of lipid peroxidation (malondialdehyde and 4-hydroxyalkenal) were significantly greater in kidney of pike collected from the reference lake compared to both exposure lakes. The activity of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase in liver was greater in pike collected from the high exposure lake compared to the reference lake. Histopathological evaluations revealed greater pathology in reference lake pike as indicated by a greater number of pyknotic and fragmented nuclei and dilated tubules as well as a thickening of Bowman's capsule in kidney, and as a thickening of the primary filament epithelial padding in gills. In liver, hepatocyte morphology, including transsectional area and degree of vacuolation, differed among lakes without any clear signs of pathology. Trace metal analyses of muscle showed that eight elements (arsenic, cobalt, copper, iron, molybdenum, selenium, thallium, and uranium) were significantly elevated in pike collected from both exposure lakes compared to reference. These results provide only limited evidence of oxidative stress in exposure pike tissues and no evidence of histopathology despite indications that trace metals, most

  18. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Slick Rock sites, Slick Rock, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the two millsites in Slick Rock, Colorado. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals residing nearby, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. The Union Carbide site has 350,000 tons of tailings and the North Continent site now owned by Union Carbide has 37,000 tons of tailings. Both tailings piles have been stabilized in accordance with regulations of the State of Colorado. Radon gas release from the tailings on the sites constitute the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The sparse population and relatively low radiation levels yield minimal immediate environmental impact. Hence the three alternative actions presented are directed towards restricting access to the sites (Option I), and returning the windblown tailings to the piles and stabilizing the piles with cover material (Option II), and consolidating the two piles on the UC site and stabilizing with 2 ft of cover (Option III). Fencing around the tailings piles is included in all options. Options II and III provide 2 ft of cover material on the tailings. Costs of the options range from $370,000 to $1,100,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is not economically feasible

  19. Mill tailings disposal and environmental monitoring at the Ningyo-Toge uranium processing pilot plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The tailings from the uranium processing pilot plant with a maximum ore processing capacity of 50 t/d are transferred to a tailings dam. The overflow from the dam is chemically treated and through settling ponds, sand filters to be discharged into a river. The concentrations of U, 226Ra, pH, S.S., COD, Fe, Mn, Cl and F were monitored periodically and they were all below the control values. The results of monitoring on the river bed and rice paddy soil showed no signs of accumulation of U and 226Ra in it

  20. Remedial action plan for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings site at Monument Valley, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1986-02-01

    This Remedial Action Plan (RAP) has been developed to serve a two-fold purpose. It presents the series of activities which are proposed by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to accomplish long-term stabilization and control of radioactive materials at the inactive uranium processing site located near Monument Valley, Arizona It also serves to document the concurrence of both the Navajo Nation and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in the remedial action. This agreement, upon execution by DOE and the Navajo Nation and concurrence by NRC, becomes Appendix B of the Cooperative Agreement.

  1. Effects of barium chlorine treatment of uranium ore on /sup 222/Rn emanation and /sup 226/Ra leachability from mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ibrahim, S.A.; Church, S.L.; Whicker, F.W.

    1985-01-01

    The purpose of this laboratory study was to investigate the effectiveness of barium chloride treatment of uranium ore on /sup 222/Rn emanation from mill tailings, /sup 226/Ra level in waste-water, and the leachability of radium from tailings. It has been shown that barium sulfate is an excellent carrier for radium and that barium sulfate crystals have high retention capacity for radon gas produced by radium trapped within the lattice. Ground uranium ore from a mine in Wyoming was mixed with water to form a 1:1 ratio before barium and potassium chlorides were added at concentrations of 0, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mg per liter of slurry. The ore was then subjected to a simulated mill process using sulfuric acid leaching. The liquid representing tailings pond water was separated and analyzed for /sup 226/Ra and the solid fraction, representing mill tailings, was tested for radon emanation and the leachability of radium by deionized water. This study suggests that barium treatment of uranium ore prior to sulfuric acid leaching could be effective in reducing radon emanation from tailings and also in reducing the /sup 226/Ra concentration of waste-water. Leachability of radium from treated tailings was markedly reduced.

  2. Radiohygienic analysis of the radioactive contamination in the region of the uranium mining and milling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The radiological impact analysis of the environment has been carried out according to both the mining and milling activities for the planning of the restoration work. At the first step, the source term is to be defined as input to the analysis. A selection was made from the geographical and meteorological characteristics of the territory including the distribution of precipitation and temperature, moisture of soil and wind directions. In the case of the surface waters the activity concentrations, the yields of these and consumption of water (irrigation, drinking) has mainly been studied. The amount of population around the site in the radius of 20 km was summarized, and a sector arrangement was set up in two different distance ranges (0-10, 10-20) with sectors. In these sectors the age groups and customs of food consumption were first considered. For the earlier and present mining and milling activities the radiological assessment was performed in two ways. On the one hand the radiation burden was calculated by using measurement results, and on the other hand, in lack of exact data the radiological impact was estimated by model calculations. 9 refs, 2 figs, 17 tabs

  3. Spatial distribution of U-238, Ra-226 and Pb-210 at Urgeirica uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The extensive exploitation and treatment of the uranium ore in the Urgeirica mine, Portugal, where exists a chemical treatment plant, led to an accumulation of large amounts of solid wastes (tailings) deposited in piles or dams. The objective of this work is to investigate the extent of the contamination at the oldest dams (more than 40 years old) taking into account the U-238, Ra-226 and Pb-210 distribution at those dams. Tailings core and surface samples were randomly collected at the dams. Tailings samples were dried and the activity in U-238 (through the peaks of Th-234), Ra-226 (through the progenies Pb-214 and Bi-214) and Pb-210 were determined by gamma spectrometry. The results show a big variability (by a factor of 5 to 10) if the U-238, Ra-226 and Pb-210 concentrations at the surface tailings, which indicates a heterogeneity of the radionuclides distribution at the dams area. A good correlation between Ra-226 and U-238 concentrations at the sampling site (dam D2) that presents lower Ra-226 concentrations was obtained. As expected, the most important contribution to the high natural radioactivity at the oldest dams is due to the radium rejected as a waste product from the uranium ore treatment (author)

  4. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium-mill tailings, Bowman Site, Bowman, North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive residues from the burning of uranium-bearing lignite at Bowman, North Dakota. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of ash residues and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 97,000 tons of ash and contaminated materials at the Bowman site constitutes a significant environmental impact, although windblown ash and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the contaminated materials to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the ashing site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from about $1,740,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $3,060,000 for disposal at a distance of about 4 mi. Reprocessing the ash for uranium recovery is not feasible because of the extremely small amount of material available at the site and because of its low U3O8 content

  5. 国外铀矿冶设施的退役治理%Decommissioning and disposal of foreign uranium mine and mill facilities

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘英杰; 徐乐昌; 薛建新; 袁柏祥

    2012-01-01

    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.%系统论述了国外铀矿冶设施退役的治理技术,包括铀尾矿库覆盖治理、铀尾矿的排水固结、矿山废水和污染地下水治理等,并分析了相关的治理费用,强调了加强退役治理技术研究与国际交流与合作的必要性.

  6. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Riverton, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of a radiological survey performed at the Riverton, Wyoming site in July 1976, are presented. The average external gamma exposure rate at 1 m over the tailings pile was 56 μR/hr. The corresponding rate for the former mill area was 97 μR/hr. Movement of tailings particles in a dry wash is evident; but it appears that, in general, the earth cover over the tailings pile has been effective in limiting both wind and water erosion of the tailings. The calculated concentration of 226Ra as a function of depth in 15 augered holes is presented graphically. A survey of the Teton Division Lumber Company property in Riverton showed a maximum external gamma exposure rate of 270 μR/hr

  7. Management of wastes from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The first part is the Code of Practice approved by the Board of Governors of the IAEA in June 1976 as part of the Agency's safety standards, which are applied to those operations undertaken by Member States with the assistance of the Agency. The following topics are concerned: 1) Responsibilities. 2) Environmental considerations affecting siting and discharge limits. 3) Wastes requiring management. 4) Mine wastes. 5) Mill wastes. 6) In-situ leaching wastes. 7) Decommissioning requirements. 8) Financial arrangements. 9) Periodic inspections of wastes and the environment. 10) Transfer of ownership. The second part, the Guide to the Code, indicates ways in which the requirements of the Code may be met. The information reflects current best available technology. This technology was considered to provide an acceptable degree of safety

  8. Accelerated aging of catalytically airblown asphalt membranes under simulated uranium mill tailings impoundment conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This paper evaluates the performance of asphalt membranes by examining the chemical and permeability changes experienced by the asphalt during aging tests. The aging process was accelerated by exposing the asphalt to elevated temperatures, high oxygen concentrations, and increased strengths of aqueous oxidizing agents. The synergistic effects of the variables are evaluated by using a fractional factorial experimental design. The installation costs for a catalytically airblown asphalt liner are roughly half that of the typical polymeric materials, and also less than the rubberized asphalt membrane. The results of the initial accelerated aging tests of the asphalt membranes indicate that this material will provide stable, long-term leachate isolation in a mill tailings environment

  9. Hydro-geochemical studies of uranium mill tailing piles at Riverton, Wyoming and Maybell, Colorado. Annual report for FY 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The present study is the beginning phase of an effort to develop an understanding of the physico-chemical interactions that occur within two typical inactive uranium mill tailing piles under the jurisdiction of the UMTRA Program. These sites are located at Riverton, Wyoming and at Maybell, Colorado. The understanding is to be gained through integrated hydrological-geochemical-radiometric studies. Investigated are: (a) the release of contaminants to the interstitial fluid; and (b) the vertical transport of the contaminants either upward to the surface or downward to the water table. This investigation would determine the important contaminants, ascertain the influence of chemical/osmotic potentials (if any) on fluid movement, and investigate the possibility of temporal cycles in the upward/downward movement of fluids with seasonal changes in the moisture content of the piles. The field work carried out during fiscal 1981 extended from June to September. During this period, exploratory drilling was completed at six locations on the Riverton and Maybell piles. Over 141 Shelby tube samples were collected, which represent relatively undisturbed core samples of the tailings material. In order to gain a maximum advantage of the short time available before the onset of the winter, it was decided to concentrate the rest of the data collection at the Riverton site, where the water table is shallow

  10. Hydro-geochemical studies of uranium mill tailing piles at Riverton, Wyoming and Maybell, Colorado. Annual report for FY 1981

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; Galbraith, R.M.; White, A.; Smith, A.; Schmidt, H.; Moed, B.; Tokunaga, T.

    1982-05-01

    The present study is the beginning phase of an effort to develop an understanding of the physico-chemical interactions that occur within two typical inactive uranium mill tailing piles under the jurisdiction of the UMTRA Program. These sites are located at Riverton, Wyoming and at Maybell, Colorado. The understanding is to be gained through integrated hydrological-geochemical-radiometric studies. Investigated are: (a) the release of contaminants to the interstitial fluid; and (b) the vertical transport of the contaminants either upward to the surface or downward to the water table. This investigation would determine the important contaminants, ascertain the influence of chemical/osmotic potentials (if any) on fluid movement, and investigate the possibility of temporal cycles in the upward/downward movement of fluids with seasonal changes in the moisture content of the piles. The field work carried out during fiscal 1981 extended from June to September. During this period, exploratory drilling was completed at six locations on the Riverton and Maybell piles. Over 141 Shelby tube samples were collected, which represent relatively undisturbed core samples of the tailings material. In order to gain a maximum advantage of the short time available before the onset of the winter, it was decided to concentrate the rest of the data collection at the Riverton site, where the water table is shallow.

  11. Long-term survivability of riprap for armoring uranium-mill tailings and covers: a literature review

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is investigating the use of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of an earthen radon suppression cover applied to uranium mill tailings. Because the radon suppression cover and the tailings must remain intact for up to 1000 years or longer, the riprap must withstand natural weathering forces. This report is a review of information on rock weathering and riprap durability. Chemical and physical weathering processes, rock characteristics related to durability, climatic conditions affecting the degree and rate of weathering, and testing procedures used to measure weathering susceptibilities have been reviewed. Sampling and testing techniques, as well as analyses of physical and chemical weathering susceptibilities, are necessary to evaluate rock durability. Many potential riprap materials may not be able to survive 1000 years of weathering. Available techniques for durability testing cannot adequately predict rock durability for the 1000-year period because they do not consider the issue of time (i.e., how long must riprap remain stable). This report includes an Appendix, which discusses rock weathering, written by Dr. Richard Jahns of Stanford University

  12. CURRENT STATUS AND RECLAMATION PLAN OF FORMER URANIUM MINING AND MILLING FACILITIES AT NINGYO-TOGE IN JAPAN

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sato, Kazuhiko; Tokizawa, Takayuki

    2003-02-27

    The Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute (JNC) conducted research and development projects on uranium exploration in Japan from 1956 to 1987. Several mine facilities, such as waste rock yards and a mill tailing pond, were retained around Ningyo-toge after the projects ended. Although there is no legal issue in the mine in accordance with related law and agreements at present, JNC has a notion that it is important to reduce the burden of waste management on future generations. Thus, the Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center of JNC proposed a reclamation plan for these facilities with fundamental policy, an example of safety analysis and timetables. The plan has mainly three phases: Phase I is the planning stage, and this paper corresponds to this: Phase II is the stage to perform various tests for safety analysis and site designing: Phase III is the stage to accomplish measures. Preliminarily safety analyses suggested that our supposed cover designs for both waste rock and m ill tailing are enough to keep dose limit of 1mSv/y at site boundaries. The plan is primarily based on the Japanese Mine Safety Law, also refers to ICRP recommendations, IAEA reports, measures implemented overseas, etc. because this is the first case in Japan. For the accomplishment of this plan, it is important to establish a close relationship with local communities and governments, and to maintain a policy of open-to-public.

  13. Pollution of ground water due to inactive uranium mill tailings. Summary of progress, October 1, 1979-September 30, 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An extensive program of characterization of several inactive uranium tailings piles has been carried out in the past year. The geotechnical engineering program conducted a drilling program at the Salt Lake City and Grand Junction sites. The locations of slimes and sands in these sites hve been characterized. In general, it was found that slimes exist in the impoundments in lower percentages than normally produced from mill tailings. Permeability tests were conducted yielding values ranging from 10-3 cm/sec to 10-6cm/sec. The geochemical studies made considerable progress in the past year. Extensive sampling of several sites was conducted. Sampling programs have been completed for seven sites and are underway for nine other sites. The work to date has indicated the importance of salts in controlling the direction and rate of movement of contaminants. The work has also indicated that a number of non-radioactive elements such as As are of environmental importance. The work also indicates the importance of the fact that the tailings piles are out of chemical equilibrium with their environment. Computer software was developed and implemented for data storage and retrieval. Automation hardware was installed and tested for the Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer. A number of analytical protocols were developed for routine analyses. A comprehensive quality control program was implemented. More than 18,000 chemical analyses were performed

  14. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Colorado: Colorado state fiscal year 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Colorado economic impact study summarizes employment and economic benefits to the state from activities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project during Colorado state fiscal year 1994. To capture employment information, a questionnaire was distributed to subcontractor employees at the active UMTRA Project sites of Grand Junction, Naturita, Gunnison, and Rifle, Colorado. Economic data were requested from each site prime subcontractor, as well as from the Remedial Action Contractor. The most significant benefits associated with the UMTRA Project in Colorado are summarized. This study assesses benefits associated with the Grand Junction, Gunnison, Naturita, and Rifle UMTRA Projects sites for the 1-year period under study. Work at the Naturita site was initiated in April 1994 and involved demolition of buildings at the processing site. Actual start-up of remediation of Naturita is planned to begin in the spring of 1995. Work at the Slick Rock and Maybell sites is expected to begin in 1995. The only current economic benefits associated with these sites are related to UMTRA Project support work

  15. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action project in Colorado: Colorado state fiscal year 1995. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    As required by the Romer-Twining Agreement of 1990, the US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared this annual economic impact study for the state of Colorado. This report assesses the economic impacts related to the DOE Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project in Colorado during the state fiscal year (FY) between 1 July 1994 and 30 June 1995. To estimate net economic benefit, employment, salaries and wages, and other related economic benefits are discussed, quantified, and then compared to the state's 10 percent share of the remedial action costs. Actual data obtained from sites currently undergoing remedial action were used as the basis for analyses. If data were not available, estimates were used to derive economic indicators. This study describes the types of employment associated with the UMTRA Project and estimates of the numbers of people employed by UMTRA Project subcontractors in Colorado during state FY 1995. Employment totals are reported in estimated average annual jobs; however, the actual number of workers at the site fluctuates depending on weather and on the status of remedial action activities. In addition, the actual number of people employed on the Project during the year may be higher than the average annual employment reported due to the temporary nature of some of the jobs

  16. Economic impact study of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project in Colorado: Colorado state fiscal year 1994

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-11-01

    The Colorado economic impact study summarizes employment and economic benefits to the state from activities associated with the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project during Colorado state fiscal year 1994. To capture employment information, a questionnaire was distributed to subcontractor employees at the active UMTRA Project sites of Grand Junction, Naturita, Gunnison, and Rifle, Colorado. Economic data were requested from each site prime subcontractor, as well as from the Remedial Action Contractor. The most significant benefits associated with the UMTRA Project in Colorado are summarized. This study assesses benefits associated with the Grand Junction, Gunnison, Naturita, and Rifle UMTRA Projects sites for the 1-year period under study. Work at the Naturita site was initiated in April 1994 and involved demolition of buildings at the processing site. Actual start-up of remediation of Naturita is planned to begin in the spring of 1995. Work at the Slick Rock and Maybell sites is expected to begin in 1995. The only current economic benefits associated with these sites are related to UMTRA Project support work.

  17. Geomorphological assessment of sites and impoundments for the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Current and future research into the geomorphological processes likely to affect the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region is directed at three main areas: identification of geomorphic hazards at proposed impoundment sites; determination of erosion rates on impoundment slopes; and prediction of patterns of fluvial dispersal of released tailings. Each necessitates consideration of present and future geomorphic processes. Process rates during the next few thousand years might be predictable by extrapolation of contemporary and past (i.e. Holocene) climates, sea-levels and depositional environments, evidence for which is preserved in the sedimentary record. In current projects, the Late Quarternary stratigraphy of Magela Creek are examined to provide data for modelling of present and future sedimentological processes. Site stability evaluation entails recognition of present and future geomorphic hazards at impoundment sites, and includes fluvial and hillslope erosion, extreme flood events and mass movements. The life of a tailings impoundment is further determined by the intensity of erosional processes acting upon its slopes and their cover materials. A knowledge of present and future erosion rates will allow the optimisation of slope characteristics and materials in the impoundment design

  18. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Lakeview Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Lakeview, Oregon: Volume 1, Text

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Lakeview uranium mill tailings site located one mile north of Lakeview, Oregon. The site covers 256 acres and contains 30 acres of tailings, 69 acres of evaporation ponds, and 25 acres of windblown materials. Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Three alternatives have been addressed in this document. The first alternative (the proposed action) is relocation of all contaminated materials to the Collins Ranch site. The contaminated materials would be consolidated into an embankment constructed partially below grade and covered with radon protection and erosion protection covers. A second alternative would relocate the tailings to the Flynn Ranch site and dispose of the contaminated materials in a slightly below grade embankment. A radon protection and erosion protection cover system would also be installed. The no-action alternative is also assessed. Stabilization in place is not considered due to potential seismic and geothermal hazards associated with the current tailings site, and the inability to meet EPA standards. 79 refs., 33 figs., 17 tabs

  19. Long-term survivability of riprap for armoring uranium-mill tailings and covers: a literature review. [203 references

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lindsey, C.G.; Long, L.W.; Begej, C.W.

    1982-06-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is investigating the use of a rock armoring blanket (riprap) to mitigate wind and water erosion of an earthen radon suppression cover applied to uranium mill tailings. Because the radon suppression cover and the tailings must remain intact for up to 1000 years or longer, the riprap must withstand natural weathering forces. This report is a review of information on rock weathering and riprap durability. Chemical and physical weathering processes, rock characteristics related to durability, climatic conditions affecting the degree and rate of weathering, and testing procedures used to measure weathering susceptibilities have been reviewed. Sampling and testing techniques, as well as analyses of physical and chemical weathering susceptibilities, are necessary to evaluate rock durability. Many potential riprap materials may not be able to survive 1000 years of weathering. Available techniques for durability testing cannot adequately predict rock durability for the 1000-year period because they do not consider the issue of time (i.e., how long must riprap remain stable). This report includes an Appendix, which discusses rock weathering, written by Dr. Richard Jahns of Stanford University.

  20. Bacterial diversity in the Uranium mill-tailings Gittersee as estimated via a 16S rDNA approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bacterial diversity in a soil sample collected from uranium mill-tailings called Gittersee and situated near the city of Dresden, Germany, was analysed by using a culture-independent 16S rDNA approach exploiting PCR amplification primers 7F and 1513R. The results were compared with those obtained earlier analysing the same sample by using another primer pair, namely 43F-1404R. The two 16S rDNA approaches demonstrated that Proteobacteria were the most predominant group in the sample, followed by Cytophaga/Flavobacterium/ Bacteroidesand by Gram positive bacteria with low and also with high G+C content too. A large number of 16S rDNA sequences from two libraries were identical or almost identical. However, the ratio between the bacterial groups represented in them significantly differed. 7F-1513R primer set retrieved in addition to the above mentioned sequences, also 16S rRNA of green non-sulphur bacteria and representatives of the AD1 and the OP11 divisions. The latter indicates that the 7F-1513R primer set seems to be more reliable in analyses of bacterial diversity. (authors)

  1. Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River Site, Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Green River site, Utah. Services included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations , the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 123 thousand tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The three alternative actions presented are dike stabilization, fencing, on- and off-site decontamination and maintenance (Option I); improvements in the stabilization cover and diking plus cleanup of the site and Browns Wash, and realignment of Browns Wash (Option II); and addition of stabilization cover to a total of 2 ft, realignment of Browns Wash and placement of additional riprap, on-site cleanup and drainage improvements (Option III). All options include remedial action at off-site structures. Cost estimates for the three options range from $700,000 to $926,000

  2. Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River Site, Green River, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-12-01

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Green River site, Utah. Services included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations , the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 123 thousand tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The three alternative actions presented are dike stabilization, fencing, on- and off-site decontamination and maintenance (Option I); improvements in the stabilization cover and diking plus cleanup of the site and Browns Wash, and realignment of Browns Wash (Option II); and addition of stabilization cover to a total of 2 ft, realignment of Browns Wash and placement of additional riprap, on-site cleanup and drainage improvements (Option III). All options include remedial action at off-site structures. Cost estimates for the three options range from $700,000 to $926,000.

  3. Summary of the Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailing, Riverton Site, Riverton, Wyoming

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-12-01

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Riverton, Wyoming site. The soil, water and other sample analyses; radiometric measurements to determine areas with radium-contaminated materials; the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations; the investigation of site geology, hydrology, and meteorology; and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 900,000 tons of tailings at the Riverton site constitutes the main environmental impact. The two alternative actions presented are fencing and maintenance of the site and off-site remedial action, and decontamination of the millsite and ore storage areas and additional stabilization cover to a minimum of 2 ft. The cost estimates for the options are $460,000 and $1,140,000, respectively. Estimated costs for moving the tailings and all contaminated materials to unspecified sites 5 and 10 mi from the present location are $6,000,000 and $6,400,000, respectively.

  4. Environmental assessment of remedial action at the Lakeview Uranium Mill Tailings Site, Lakeview, Oregon: Volume 2, Appendices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This document assesses and compares the environmental impacts of various alternatives for remedial action at the Lakeview uranium mill tailings site located one mile north of Lakeview, Oregon. The site covers 256 acres and contains 30 acres of tailings, 69 acres of evaporation ponds, and 25 acres of windblown materials. Remedial actions must be performed in accordance with standards and with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Three alternatives have been addressed in this document. The first alternative (the proposed action) is relocation of all contaminated materials to the Collins Ranch site. The contaminated materials would be consolidated into an embankment constructed partially below grade and covered with radon protection and erosion protection covers. A second alternative would relocate the tailings to the Flynn Ranch site and dispose of the contaminated materials in a slightly below grade embankment. A radon protection and erosion protection cover system would also be installed. The no-action alternative is also assessed. Stabilization in place is not considered due to potential seismic and geothermal hazards associated with the current tailings site, and the inability to meet EPA standards. Volume 2 contains 11 appendices

  5. Summary of the Phase II, Title I engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River Site, Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    An engineering assessment was performed of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Green River site, Utah. The services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 123 thousand tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The three alternative actions presented are dike stabilization, fencing, on- and off-site decontamination and maintenance; improvements in the stabilization cover and diking plus cleanup of the site and Browns Wash, and realignment of Browns Wash; and addition of stabilization cover to a total of 2 ft, realignment of Browns Wash and placement of additional riprap, on-site cleanup and drainage improvements. All options include remedial action at off-site structures. Cost estimates for the three options range from $700,000 to $926,000

  6. An assessment of plant biointrusion at the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project rock-covered disposal cells

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1990-10-01

    This study is one of a number of special studies that have been conducted regarding various aspects of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. This special study was proposed following routine surveillance and maintenance surveys and observations reported in a special study of vegetative covers (DOE, 1988), in which plants were observed growing up through the rock erosion layer at recently completed disposal cells. Some of the plants observed were deep-rooted woody species, and questions concerning root intrusion into disposal cells and the need to control plant growth were raised. The special study discussed in this report was designed to address some of the ramifications of plant growth on disposal cells that have rock covers. The NRC has chosen rock covers over vegetative covers in the arid western United States because licenses cannot substantiate that the vegetative covers will be significantly greater than 30 percent and preferably 70 percent,'' which is the amount of vegetation required to reduce flow to a point of stability.'' The potential impacts of vegetation growing in rock covers are not addressed by the NRC (1990). The objectives, then, of this study were to determine the species of plants growing on two rock-covered disposal cells, study the rooting pattern of plants on these cells, and identify possible impacts of plant root penetration on these and other UMTRA Project rock-covered cells.

  7. Long term contaminant migration and impacts from uranium mill tailings. Comparison of computer models using a hypothetical dataset

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Camus, H. [CEA Centre d' Etudes Nucleaires de Fontenay-aux-Roses (France). Inst. de Protection et de Surete Nucleaire] [and others

    1995-11-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Working Group of BIOMOVS II was initiated in Vienna in 1991 with the primary objective of comparing models which can be used to assess the long term impact of radioactive releases from uranium mill tailings, involving multiple pathways, multiple contaminants and multiple environmental receptors. A secondary objective was to examine how these models can be used to assess the fate of stable toxic elements. This is an interim report of the Working Group describing: development of a basic scenario describing a tailings system; application of models in deterministic calculations of contaminant concentrations in biosphere media, and related radiation doses, contaminant intakes and health risks; comparison of model results and review of the modelling. A hypothetical scenario has been developed for contaminant releases from a uranium mill tailings facility. The assumptions for the tailings facility and its environs have been chosen to facilitate the evaluation of potentially important processes incorporated into models. The site description is therefore idealised and does not represent any particular facility or type of facility. Atmospheric and groundwater release source terms have been chosen to facilitate comparison of models and should not be considered realistic. The time and effort taken over derivation of the scenario description and the associated preliminary modelling has been an important and valuable learning exercise. It also reflects the importance of gaining a clear picture of what is being modelled so that comparisons of model results are meaningful. Work within the exercise has contributed to new model development and to improvements and extensions to existing models. The scenario is a simplified description of a real facility and the releases which might occur. No allowance has been made for engineered features on the tailings disposal system which might reduce releases. The source terms have been chosen so as to test the models

  8. An assessment of plant biointrusion at the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project rock-covered disposal cells

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This study is one of a number of special studies that have been conducted regarding various aspects of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. This special study was proposed following routine surveillance and maintenance surveys and observations reported in a special study of vegetative covers (DOE, 1988), in which plants were observed growing up through the rock erosion layer at recently completed disposal cells. Some of the plants observed were deep-rooted woody species, and questions concerning root intrusion into disposal cells and the need to control plant growth were raised. The special study discussed in this report was designed to address some of the ramifications of plant growth on disposal cells that have rock covers. The NRC has chosen rock covers over vegetative covers in the arid western United States because licenses cannot substantiate that the vegetative covers ''will be significantly greater than 30 percent and preferably 70 percent,'' which is the amount of ''vegetation required to reduce flow to a point of stability.'' The potential impacts of vegetation growing in rock covers are not addressed by the NRC (1990). The objectives, then, of this study were to determine the species of plants growing on two rock-covered disposal cells, study the rooting pattern of plants on these cells, and identify possible impacts of plant root penetration on these and other UMTRA Project rock-covered cells

  9. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Rifle, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The ground water project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. This report is a site specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. Currently, no one is using the ground water and therefore, no one is at risk. However, the land will probably be developed in the future and so the possibility of people using the ground water does exist. This report examines the future possibility of health hazards resulting from the ingestion of contaminated drinking water, skin contact, fish ingestion, or contact with surface waters and sediments

  10. A new unit for purification of uranium solution in the Lodeve mill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The uranium concentrate being processed at the Lodeve plant (Massif Central, France) did not meet specifications, particularly in regard to the zirconium content. In addition, one process step was difficult to operate. Development work and a feasibility study were carried out by the Research and Development Service (SEPA), General Nuclear Materials Company (Cogema). The feasibility study showed that a pure product could be obtained with a suitably modified process. The capital costs of this modification were estimated at F. Fr.12 million (US $1.5 million). The modified process is now in operation and the economic results are better than expected. Although the capital costs were slightly higher than estimated, reagent savings were also higher. The modified process has proven to be profitable. The pay-back time is less than four years and the internal rate of return is 25%. (author). 1 ref., 1 fig., 4 tabs

  11. Baseline risk assessment of ground water contamination at the Uranium Mill Tailings Sites near Rifle, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-05-01

    The ground water project evaluates the nature and extent of ground water contamination resulting from the uranium ore processing activities. This report is a site specific document that will be used to evaluate current and future impacts to the public and the environment from exposure to contaminated ground water. Currently, no one is using the ground water and therefore, no one is at risk. However, the land will probably be developed in the future and so the possibility of people using the ground water does exist. This report examines the future possibility of health hazards resulting from the ingestion of contaminated drinking water, skin contact, fish ingestion, or contact with surface waters and sediments.

  12. Criteria for the long-term management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Uranium tailings contain non-radioactive pollutants which can be damaging to the environment but which, with some notable exceptions, are unlikely to be a hazard to man; and virtually all the radioactive daughter products of the original uranium which, while of little direct environmental consequence, pose a potential radiological public health risk. Proper management of these tailings will aim to minimize environmental and radiological detriment due to both these components. Sources of radioactive contaminants will persist long into the future giving rise to radiological impacts which are remote both geographically and in time. The basic goal of tailings management, from a radiological point of view, must be to reduce these impacts to acceptable levels for the indefinite future. In radiological protection philosophy, as recommended by the ICRP, what is 'acceptable' is assessed by application of the ALARA principle. If approached quantitatively, this would entail examining the cost of a number of alternative ways of achieving increasingly effective management of the tailings and the cost of the residual radiation detriment associated with each alternative: an acceptable (or optimum) management scheme would be one for which the sum of these two costs is a minimum. Formal optimization analysis runs up against the difficulty of assessing realistically the residual collective dose associated with each management option, a major problem being the variation of the source terms, and environmental and demographic factors, over the long periods of concern. The United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission has not found formal optimization analysis useful in this area. Basic criteria that are being developed for acceptable tailings management are reviewed

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    徐乐昌; 王焰新; 吕俊文; 卢学实; 刘耀驰; 刘晓阳

    2002-01-01

    The distribution of radioactive pollutants, such as 222Rn, U, Th and 226Ra in the air, surface waters, soils and crops around the Lincang uranium mine, Yunnan Province, China, is studied. The mechanical, geochemical and biogeochemical processes responsible for the transport and fate of the radioactive elements are discussed based on the monitoring data. The pollutants concentrations of effluents from the mine tunnels were dependent on pH and which were controlled by biochemical oxidation of sulfide in the ore/host rocks. Radon anomalies in air reached 4 km from the tailings pile depending on radon release from the site, topography and climate. 238U and 226Ra abnormities in stream sediments and soil were 40-90 cm deep and 790-800 m away downstream. Anomalies of radioactive contaminants of surface watercourses extended 7.5-13 km from the discharge of effluents of the site mainly depending on mechanical and chemical processes. There were about 2.86 ha rice fields and 1.59 km stream sediments contaminated. Erosion of tailings and mining debris with little or no containment or control accelerated the contamination processes.

  14. Study of uranium oxide milling in order to obtain nanostructured UCx target

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guillot, Julien; Tusseau-Nenez, Sandrine; Roussière, Brigitte; Barré-Boscher, Nicole; Brisset, François; Mhamed, Maher Cheikh; Lau, Christophe; Nowak, Sophie

    2016-05-01

    A R&D program is developed at the ALTO facility to provide new beams of exotic neutron-rich nuclei, as intense as possible. In the framework of European projects, it has been shown that the use of refractory targets with nanometric structure allows us to obtain beams of nuclei unreachable until now. The first parameter to be controlled in the processing to obtain targets with a homogeneous nanostructure is the grinding of uranium dioxide, down to 100 nm grain size. In this study, dry and wet grinding routes are studied and the powders are analyzed in terms of phase stabilization, specific surface area and grain morphology. It appears that the grinding, as well dry as wet, leads to the decrease of the particle size. The oxidation of UO2 is observed whatever the grinding. However, the dry grinding is the most efficient and leads to the oxidation of UO2 into U4O9 and U3O7 whose quantities increase with the grinding time while crystallite sizes decrease.

  15. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Belfield Site, Belfield, North Dakota

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-11-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has evaluated the Belfield site in order to assess the problems resulting from the existence of radiactive ash at Belfield, South Dakota. This engineering assessment has included drilling of boreholes and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of ash and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actons. Radon gas released from the 55,600 tons of ash and contaminated material at the Belfield site constitutes a significant environmental impact, although external gamma radiation also is a factor. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the ash and contaminated materials to remote disposal sites, and decontamination of the Belfield site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $1,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $2,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 17 mi from the Belfield site. Reprocessing the ash for uranium recovery is not feasible because of the extremely small amount of material available at the site and because of its low U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ content.

  16. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Belfield Site, Belfield, North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has evaluated the Belfield site in order to assess the problems resulting from the existence of radiactive ash at Belfield, South Dakota. This engineering assessment has included drilling of boreholes and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of ash and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actons. Radon gas released from the 55,600 tons of ash and contaminated material at the Belfield site constitutes a significant environmental impact, although external gamma radiation also is a factor. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the ash and contaminated materials to remote disposal sites, and decontamination of the Belfield site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $1,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $2,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 17 mi from the Belfield site. Reprocessing the ash for uranium recovery is not feasible because of the extremely small amount of material available at the site and because of its low U3O8 content

  17. Laboratory studies of the treatment of liquid waste streams from uranium milling operations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neutralization with lime is a simple, cheap, and effective means of treating acid raffinates from uranium processing to raise the pH, reduce the concentrations of dissolved salts (including heavy metal impurities), and remove amine by adsorption. Two-stage neutralization, using limestone in the first stage at approximately pH 4 and lime in the second, may be advantageous. Lime neutralization of raffinates in the pH range 7 to 8.5 generally reduced the radium concentration to 10 to 200 pCi 1-1, but there was considerable scatter in the experimental data. The radium concentration was further reduced to less than 3 pCi 1-1 by co-precipitation of barium (radium) sulphate with 10 mg Ba (as barium chloride) per litre of raffinate. Adsorption of radium on barytes was also effective in reducing the radium concentration in neutralized raffinate to less than 3 pCi 1-1. The radium concentration of pit water was readily reduced to less than 3 pCi 1-1 when pit water containing 0.01 M sulphate as ammonium, calcium, or sodium sulphate was treated with 20 mg Ba per litre of pit water. Adsorption on barytes was also effective in removing radium from pit water containing 0.03 M sulphate. (author)

  18. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Belfield Site, Belfield, North Dakota

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has evaluated the Belfield site in order to assess the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive ash at Belfield, South Dakota. This engineering assessment has included drilling of boreholes and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of ash and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 55,600 tons of ash and contaminated material at the Belfield site constitutes a significant environmental impact, although external gamma radiation also is a factor. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the ash and contaminated materials to remote disposal sites, and decontamination of the Belfield site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $1,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $2,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 17 mi from the Belfield site. Reprocessing the ash for uranium recovery is not feasible because of the extremely small amount of material available at the site and because of its low U3O8 content

  19. Canadian experience with uranium tailings disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    During the first years of uranium production in Canada uranium tailings were discharged directly into valleys or lakes near the mill. Treatment with barium chloride to precipitate radium began in 1965 at the Nordic Mine at Elliot Lake, Ontario. In the mid-60s and early 70s water quality studies indicated that discharges from uranium tailings areas were causing degradation to the upper part of the Serpent River water system. Studies into acid generation, revegetation, and leaching of radium were initiated by the mining companies and resulted in the construction of treatment plants at a number of sites. Abandoned tailings sites were revegetated. At hearings into the expansion of the Elliot Lake operations the issue of tailings management was a major item for discussion. As a result federal and provincial agencies developed guidelines for the siting and development of urnaium tailings areas prior to issuing operating licences. Western Canadian uranium producers do not have the acid generation problem of the Elliot Lake operations. The Rabbit Lake mill uses settling ponds followed by filtration. High-grade tailings from Cluff Lake are sealed in concrete and buried. Uranium producers feel that the interim criteria developed by the Atomic Energy Control Board, if adopted, would have a harmful effect on the viability of the Canadian uranium industry

  20. 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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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