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Sample records for abandoned uranium mines

  1. 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...

  2. 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 and...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  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 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 the...

  7. 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...

  8. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Regions, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains polygon features representing the boundaries of the six Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUM) Regions, including the: Central, Eastern, Northern,...

  9. Biogeochemical behaviour and bioremediation of uranium in waters of abandoned mines.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mkandawire, Martin

    2013-11-01

    The discharges of uranium and associated radionuclides as well as heavy metals and metalloids from waste and tailing dumps in abandoned uranium mining and processing sites pose contamination risks to surface and groundwater. Although many more are being planned for nuclear energy purposes, most of the abandoned uranium mines are a legacy of uranium production that fuelled arms race during the cold war of the last century. Since the end of cold war, there have been efforts to rehabilitate the mining sites, initially, using classical remediation techniques based on high chemical and civil engineering. Recently, bioremediation technology has been sought as alternatives to the classical approach due to reasons, which include: (a) high demand of sites requiring remediation; (b) the economic implication of running and maintaining the facilities due to high energy and work force demand; and (c) the pattern and characteristics of contaminant discharges in most of the former uranium mining and processing sites prevents the use of classical methods. This review discusses risks of uranium contamination from abandoned uranium mines from the biogeochemical point of view and the potential and limitation of uranium bioremediation technique as alternative to classical approach in abandoned uranium mining and processing sites.

  10. 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...

  11. Bioaccessibility of U, Th and Pb in solid wastes and soils from an abandoned uranium mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

    Bioaccessible U, Th, Pb and the (238)U decay products (214)Pb and (210)Pb have been determined, using a modified Unified BARGE Method (UBM), in waste solids and soils from an abandoned uranium mine in South West England, UK. Maximum aqua regia extractable concentrations for U, Th and Pb were 16,200, 3.8 and 4750 μg g(-1), respectively. (238)U had highest activity concentrations near the mine shaft, where the decay products(214)Pb and (210)Pb had values of 235 and 180 Bq g(-1), respectively. UBM extractions gave mean gastro-intestinal bioaccessibility factors (BAFs) for U and Pb in the waste solids of 0.05 and 0.03, respectively, whereas those for the soils were significantly higher at 0.24 and 0.17. The mean BAFs for the transient radionuclides, (214)Pb and (210)Pb, were similar to those for stable Pb implying that the stable and radioactive Pb isotopes were attached to similar sites on the particles. The doses arising from the ingestion of particulate (210)Pb due to soil pica behaviour were in the range 0.2-65 and 17 years), respectively. The results suggest that the health risk posed by abandoned uranium mines, with waste rock and tailings, throughout the world should take account of the dose due to both bioaccessible radionuclides, as well as their stable counterparts. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Uranium exploration in the vicinity of abandoned fluorite mines, in northern Thailand, using cellulose nitrate films

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wattananikorn, K.; Asnachinda, P.; Lamphunphong, S. (Chiangmai Univ. (Thailand))

    1990-01-01

    Ground radon measurements using LR-115 type 2 as detectors were carried out covering an area of approx. 3.5 km{sup 2} in the vicinity of abandoned fluorite mines in northern Thailand. Each detector was enclosed in a PVC tube buried at a constant depth at each measuring station. Nine anomalies of {alpha}-track values were found covering an area of approx. 12000 m{sup 2}. Most of the anomalies were related closely to quartz veins, fluorite veins and faults. Three out of these nine anomalies showed corresponding distinct {gamma}-ray activities. The maximum {alpha}-track anomaly occurred at station P18, having a track density of 58685 t/cm{sup 2}.d. A small uranium-bearing quartz vein, about 10 cm wide and 2 m long, was subsequently discovered outcropping close to the station. The vein consists of quartz, fluorite and a secondary uranium mineral, torbernite. The maximum uranium content in the ore samples was found to be as much as 14%. (author).

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Priority Mines with Enforcement Actions, Navajo Nation, 2016, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — There are 13 mines total that have enforcement actions and are classified as priority mines. USEPA and NNEPA prioritized 46 mines based on gamma radiation levels,...

  19. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Trust 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 mines included in the Navajo Environmental Response Trust. This mine category also includes Priority mines....

  20. 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

  1. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Trust 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 mine areas included in the Navajo Environmental Response Trust. This mine category also includes Priority...

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

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This GIS dataset contains polygon features that represent mines with Tronox enforcement actions as of March 2016 that are also classified as priority mines. USEPA...

  3. 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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  5. Abandoned Uranium Mine (AUM) Tronox 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 mines operated by the Kerr McGee Corp. in the settlement between Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and the U.S....

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Aerial Radiological Survey of Abandoned Uranium Mines (AUM) Map Service, Navajo Nation, 1994-1999, US EPA Region 9

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This map service contains data from aerial radiological surveys of 41 potential uranium mining areas (1,144 square miles) within the Navajo Nation that were...

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. Evaluation of water column and sediment toxicity from an abandoned uranium mine using a battery of bioassays.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, S C; de Figueiredo, D R; Marques, S M; Castro, B B; Pereira, R; Gonçalves, F

    2007-03-15

    Uranium mining activities in Cunha Baixa, Mangualde (Portugal), were extensive between 1967 and 1993, with high production of poor ore. Ore exploitation left millions of tons of tailings in the surrounding area, close to human houses. Contamination of the area (water and soil compartment) presently represents a serious hazard to humans and wildlife. The aim of this work was to evaluate the acute toxicity of water and sediments from a pond that floods a uranium mine pit, in two periods (spring and autumn). High contents of metals were found in water samples (chiefly Mn, Fe, Al, U, Sr). A battery of assays was applied to screen the acute toxicity of the different compartments using algae, crustaceans and dipterans. Results showed that the sediments were non-toxic, unlike the superficial water. Water toxicity was higher in the autumn, when the effluent was more acidic, compared to spring. In the water toxicity assays, the relative sensitivity of the test species used was Daphnia longispina>Pseudokirchneriella subcapitata>Daphnia magna. The present study is part of the chemical and ecotoxicological characterisation of the aquatic compartment performed in the Tier 1 of the Ecological Risk Assessment of the Cunha Baixa mining area.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longsworth, S.A.

    1994-01-01

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

  15. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Inventory Sites 201601

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  16. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Points Feature

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  17. Coal Mines, Abandoned - AML Polygons Feature

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  18. Abandoned metal mine stability risk evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bétournay, Marc C

    2009-10-01

    The abandoned mine legacy is critical in many countries around the world, where mine cave-ins and surface subsidence disruptions are perpetual risks that can affect the population, infrastructure, historical legacies, land use, and the environment. This article establishes abandoned metal mine failure risk evaluation approaches and quantification techniques based on the Canadian mining experience. These utilize clear geomechanics considerations such as failure mechanisms, which are dependent on well-defined rock mass parameters. Quantified risk is computed using probability of failure (probabilistics using limit-equilibrium factors of safety or applicable numerical modeling factor of safety quantifications) times a consequence impact value. Semi-quantified risk can be based on failure-case-study-based empirical data used in calculating probability of failure, and personal experience can provide qualified hazard and impact consequence assessments. The article provides outlines for land use and selection of remediation measures based on risk.

  19. Coal Mines, Abandoned - Digitized Mined Areas

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  20. Extremely high radon activity concentration in two adits of the abandoned uranium mine 'Podgórze' in Kowary (Sudety Mts., Poland).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fijałkowska-Lichwa, Lidia

    2016-12-01

    Measurements of radon activity concentration were conducted for a period of 6 months, from April to September 2011, in the air of two adits constituting part of the disused uranium mine 'Podgórze' in Kowary. Adits no. 19 and 19a in Kowary had been chosen owing to the occurrence within them of the highest documented radon concentrations in Poland, With levels higher than a million Bq m(-3). The main goal of this study was to characterize the level of (222)Rn activity concentration registered in selected workings of this underground space, investigate (222)Rn changes and their characteristics over selected periods of time (an hour, a day, a month, six months) and determine the effective doses, which provided the basis for estimating the risk of exposure to increased ionizing radiation for employees and visitors to the mine. The highest values of (222)Rn activity concentration inside the adits occurred at the time when visitors, guides and other members of the staff were present there. The recorded values of radon activity concentration, regardless of the time and the month when the measurement was performed, remained at an average level of 350-400 kBq m(-3). These values were far above the limit of 1.5 kBq·m(-3) recommended by international guidelines. The maximum values ranged from 800 to more than 1000 kBq·m(-3). Radon activity concentration changes occurred only in periods determined by 7-h cycles of connecting and disconnecting the mechanical ventilation. For about 7 h after activating the ventilation system, between 7 a. m. and 2 p. m., and after closing the adit, between 7 p. m. and 2 a. m., (222)Rn activity concentrations decreased to levels even as low as 100 kBq·m-3. However, as early as 3-4 h after disconnecting the ventilation system, there was a sharp rise in the values of (222)Rn activity concentration, to the level higher than 800 kBq·m-3. The risk of receiving a radiation dose higher than the national standard of 1 mSv/year by members of

  1. Uranium mining operations in Spain

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rios, J.-M.; Arnaiz, J.; Criado, M.; Lopez, A.

    1995-12-31

    The Empresa Nacional del Uranio, SA (ENUSA) was founded in 1972 to undertake and develop the industrial and procurement activities of the nuclear fuel cycle in Spain. Within the organisation of ENUSA, the Uranium Division is directly responsible for the uranium mining and production operations that have been carried out since 1973 in the area of Ciudad Rodrigo in the province of Salamanca. These activities are based on open pit mining, heap leaching and a hydrometallurgical plant (Elefante) for extracting uranium concentrates from the ore. This plant was shut down in 1993 and a new plant was started up on the same site (Quercus) with a dynamic leaching process. The nominal capacity of the new plant is 950 t U{sub 3}O{sub 8} per year. Because of the historically low uranium prices which have recently prevailed, the plant is currently running at a strategic production rate of 300 t U{sub 3}O{sub 8} per year. From 1981 to 1990, in the area of La Haba (Badajoz province), ENUSA also operated a uranium production site, based on open pit mining, and an experimental extraction plant (Lobo-G). ENUSA is currently decommissioning these installations. This paper describes innovations and improvements that ENUSA has recently introduced in the field of uranium concentrates production with a view to cutting production costs, and to improving the decommissioning and site restoration processes in those sites where production is being shut down or resources have been worked out. (author).

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-07-01

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

  3. Heavy metals biogeochemistry in abandoned mining areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Favas P. J. C.

    2013-04-01

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

  4. The USGS Abandoned Mine Lands Initiative: Protecting and restoring the environment near abandoned mine lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    1999-01-01

    The Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) Initiative is part of a larger strategy of the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to clean up Federal lands contaminated by abandoned mines.Thousands of abandond hard-rock metal mines (such as gold, copper, lead, and zinc) have left a dual legacy across the Western United States. They reflect the historic development of the west, yet at the same time represent a possible threat to human health and local ecosystems.Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) are areas adjacent to or affected by abandoned mines. AML's often contain unmined mineral deposits, mine dumps (the ore and rock removed to get to the ore deposits), and tailings (the material left over from the ore processing) that contaminate the surrounding watershed and ecosystem. For example, streams near AML's can contain metals and (or) be so acidic that fish and aquatic insects cannot live in them.Many of these abandoned hard-rock mines are located on or adjacent to public lands administered by the Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, and U.S. Forest Service. These federal land management agencies and the USGS are committed to mitigating the adverse effects that AML's can have on water quality and stream habitats.The USGS AML Initiative began in 1997 and will continue through 2001 in two pilot watersheds - the Boulder River basin in southwestern Montana and the upper Animas River basin in southwestern Colorado. The USGS is providing a wide range of scientific expertise to help land managers minimize and, where possible, eliminate the adverse environmental effects of AML's. USGS ecologists, geologists, water quality experts, hydrologists, geochemists, and mapping and digital data collection experts are collaborating to provide the scientific knowledge needed for an effective cleanup of AML's.

  5. New perspectives on a 140-year legacy of mining and abandoned mine cleanup in the San Juan Mountains, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yager, Douglas B.; Fey, David L.; Chapin, Thomas; Johnson, Raymond H.

    2016-01-01

    The Gold King mine water release that occurred on 5 August 2015 near the historical mining community of Silverton, Colorado, highlights the environmental legacy that abandoned mines have on the environment. During reclamation efforts, a breach of collapsed workings at the Gold King mine sent 3 million gallons of acidic and metal-rich mine water into the upper Animas River, a tributary to the Colorado River basin. The Gold King mine is located in the scenic, western San Juan Mountains, a region renowned for its volcano-tectonic and gold-silver-base metal mineralization history. Prior to mining, acidic drainage from hydrothermally altered areas was a major source of metals and acidity to streams, and it continues to be so. In addition to abandoned hard rock metal mines, uranium mine waste poses a long-term storage and immobilization challenge in this area. Uranium resources are mined in the Colorado Plateau, which borders the San Juan Mountains on the west. Uranium processing and repository sites along the Animas River near Durango, Colorado, are a prime example of how the legacy of mining must be managed for the health and well-being of future generations. The San Juan Mountains are part of a geoenvironmental nexus where geology, mining, agriculture, recreation, and community issues converge. This trip will explore the geology, mining, and mine cleanup history in which a community-driven, watershed-based stakeholder process is an integral part. Research tools and historical data useful for understanding complex watersheds impacted by natural sources of metals and acidity overprinted by mining will also be discussed.

  6. Abandoned mines at Little Pend Oreille National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  8. Monitoring genotoxic exposure in uranium mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sram, R.J.; Vesela, D.; Vesely, D. [Institute of Experimental Medicine, Prague (Czech Republic)] [and others

    1993-10-01

    Recent data from deep uranium mines in Czechoslovakia indicated that miners are exposed to other mutagenic factors in addition to radon daughter products. Mycotoxins were identified as a possible source of mutagens in these mines. Mycotoxins were examined in 38 samples from mines and in throat swabs taken from 116 miners and 78 controls. The following mycotoxins were identified from mines samples: aflatoxins B{sub 1} and G1, citrinin, citreoviridin, mycophenolic acid, and sterigmatocystin. Some mold strains isolated from mines and throat swabs were investigated for mutagenic activity by the SOS chromotest and Salmonella assay with strains TA100 and TA98. Mutagenicity was observed, especially with metabolic activation in citro. These data suggest that mycotoxins produced by molds in uranium mines are a new genotoxic factor im uranium miners. 17 refs., 4 tabs.

  9. Uranium exploration and mining in Australia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wutzler, B.

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

  10. The detection of abandoned mine shafts in the Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mooijman, O.P.M.; Vanderkruk, J.; Roest, J.P.A. [Delft University of Technology, Delft (Netherlands). Faculty of Applied Earth Sciences

    1998-09-30

    In the Old Coal Mine District of East Limburg, in the south of the Netherlands, a number of abandoned mine shafts exist of which the exact coordinates are uncertain. The area is now densely populated, and the majority of the shafts are located near or underneath roads and/or houses. Some of these shafts urgently need to be secured for reasons related to a recent rise in deep ground water levels. This paper describes preliminary investigations for abandoned mine shafts by means of aerial photographs and georadar. Inspection of various photo series indicates that the chances of finding clues for abandoned mine shafts are reasonable, and that digital techniques facilitate identification and exact determination of shaft coordinates. In a densely populated survey environment, such as the area in which the abandoned shafts are located, georadar is a suitable shallow geophysical method for mine shaft detection. In these circumstances, shielded antennae give a clearer subsurface image than unshielded antennae. Signal penetration in the loess-rich deposits commonly found in the area is limited, but the results of a trial survey over a known abandoned shaft accurately confirm the geometry of a collapse zone surrounding the shaft center.

  11. Alternative utilization of underground spaces with abandoned mine openings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1998-12-01

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

  12. Surface mining of the uranium deposit of Roussay (France)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Begeot, M.; Marvy, A.

    1986-12-01

    Surface mining of this COGEMA mine started in October 1983. Mine, personnel, deposit geology, prospecting, mining method and equipment, environmental problems (dusts, noise, water treatment, revegetation) are described. 158000 kg of uranium were produced in 1985.

  13. Measures of Vegetation Restoration in Abandoned Mined Lands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2008-01-01

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

  14. Abandoned Mine Waste Working Group report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-10

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

  15. 30 CFR 756.19 - Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine... ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INDIAN LANDS PROGRAM INDIAN TRIBE ABANDONED MINE LAND RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.19 Approval of the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan. The Crow Tribe's...

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Luo Pingjia; Chen Ning

    2011-01-01

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

  17. Uranium mining in Virginia: scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining and processing in Virginia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Committee on Uranium Mining in Virginia; Committee on Earth Resources; National Research Council

    2012-01-01

    .... Uranium Mining in Virginia examines the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling, and processing as they relate to the Common...

  18. RADIONUCLIDES DISTRIBUTION NEAR FORMER URANIUM MINING

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. A. Zaredinov

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The paper shows, that radionuclides from the stony rocks of uranium mines can be leached by atmospheric precipitations. In acid conditions, a degree of leaching is greater.Goal. The aim of this investigation was to study the distribution of radionuclides in uranium minings and their impact on the environmental contamination.Materials and methods. The study was carried out in two stages. In the first stage, a blade of rock was mixed with distilled water in proportions of 0,3 kg of gravel and 1 liter of water. After thirty days of soaking, water was sent to the gamma-spectrometric analysis to Canberra’s spectrometer (USA with a high-purity germanium detector. In the second stage, we carried out the similar experiment with water, wich was acidified to pH = 3. Contamination levels of areas near the in-situ leaching mine were determined. Intervention levels were used to estimate risk and possible water consumption by the population. Estimations were carried out taking into account the combined presence of several radionuclides in the water.Results. The results of these studies have shown that the distribution of radionuclides from the source of the contamination is about 360 meters during the 30 y period. The stream, along which samples of soil were collected and studied, was formed by the miner waters that flow along small ruts towards a village, thereby increasing the likelihood of water use by the public.Conclusions. The uranium mines are the source of radioactive contamination. Radionuclides are distributed due to the erosion of rocks and leached out of the stony rock by precipitations. The extent of leaching is significantly increased in an acidic environment, which takes place near the in-situ leaching mines.

  19. Predictive modelling of the mine water rebound in an old abandoned Dongwon mine in Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Hwanjo; Kim, Daehoon; Park, Seunghwan; Kim, Gyoungman

    2014-05-01

    The closure of over three-hundred deep coal mines in Korea since the late-1980s, primarily due to the energy and environmental concerns, has produced significant side effects. One of the major challenges is to assess the risk from mine water rebound to overlying aquifers and surface waters, which can produce significant environmental hazards. Some numerical models such as VSS-NET, GRAM and MODFLOW have been developed to predict the quantity, timing and location of discharges resulting from mine water rebound. In this study, we developed a GRAM-based windows program for mine water rebound modelling in abandoned deep mine systems. The program consists of the simulation engine and the GUI modules, each has several subroutines. Changes in mine water level of the Dongwon coal mine, presumably hydrogeologically connected to nearby old abandoned mines, has been monitored after the mine was finally closed in 2005. The water level in the vertical shaft rised up to 420m during the period of 3 years. The system was modelled as two ponds connected by a pipe. Input data include the areas of each pond, catchment areas, the storage coefficient, etc. The predicted changes in the mine water level was very similar to the observed data in the field. For this modelling, in fact, some of the input variable were roughly assumed to match the field data. Nevertheless, this program can be effectively applied to predict the rising of the mine water after the mine closure.

  20. Remediation and rehabilitation of abandoned mining sites in Cyprus

    Science.gov (United States)

    Helsen, S.; Rommens, T.; De Ridder, A.; Panayiotou, C.; Colpaert, J.

    2009-04-01

    Due to a particular geological setting, Cyprus is rich in ore deposits, many of them subject to extensive mining. Most of the mines have a long history, sometimes dating back to prehistorical times. These abandoned mines cause severe off-site environmental problems and health risks for the local population. Groundwater supplies are affected by the leaching of pollutants, surface water is contaminated because of water erosion, and harmful dust containing heavy metals or asbestos is spread due to wind erosion. In addition to the environmental risks associated with the abandoned mines, many of these sites are aestethically unattractive, and remain an economic burden to stakeholders and the public in general, due to the downgrading of surrounding areas, non-development and hence loss of revenue. These factors are important in Cyprus where tourism is a significant source of income for local communities. An EUREKA-project addresses the issue of abandoned mine clean-up and restoration. The main objectives of this study are : (1) To develop phytostabilization and -remediation techniques to stabilize and clean up sites characterized by high nickel and copper concentrations in the soil, using endemic plants (Alyssum spp. and mycorrhizal Pinus brutia). In some old mines, efforts were already made to stabilize slopes in an attempt to minimize soil erosion and spreading of pollutants. These restoration efforts, however, remained largely unsuccessful because vegetation that was planted could not cope with the harsh hydrogeochemical soil characteristics. Regeneration of the vegetation cover therefore failed ; (2) to demonstrate the risks associated to the environmental hazard of metal polluted mine spoils and outline a method by which to accomplish this type of risk assessment ; (3) to analyse costs and benefits of phytostabilization- and phytoremediation-based solution for the problem. Results of the first experiments are still preliminary and incomplete. However, it is expected

  1. Planning of the reforestation at abandoned coal mines using GIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Choi, Y.; Oh, S.; Park, H.; Kwon, H.

    2009-12-01

    This study presents a prototype of decision support system for planning the reforestation at abandoned coal mines. The characteristics of deforested zone due to mine development were analyzed and categorized to define the schema of GIS database. Multiple criteria (i.e. forest-climate zone, mining method, visibility, managerial condition, slope gradient, reforestation purpose) were considered to classify the deforested zone and to assign unique IDs to the key index fields in tables. ArcMap, ArcObjects and Visual Basic.NET were used to implement the system. The application to the Samcheok coal block in Korea shows that the system could present a rational solution to select suitable trees for the reforestation and can also provide cost evaluation tools to support the environmental planning work.

  2. Measurements of radon around closed uranium mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furuta, Sadaaki E-mail: furuta@ningyo.jnc.go.jp; Ito, Kimio; Ishimori, Yuu

    2002-07-01

    There are several waste rock yards at closed uranium mines around Ningyo-toge, in the Western Honshu Island of Japan, and measurements of radon were carried out by both the passive method and the sampling method around these yards. As comparatively high radon concentrations were observed in two districts through routine measurements, more detailed measurements were made by the passive method in these districts. The impact of radon emanation from the waste rock yards was small for both residential districts and around these yards when considering the natural background level of radon. In addition, by simultaneous continuous measurements of radon and its progeny at two locations, it was estimated that the effective dose caused by the representative uranium waste rock yards was less than the public effective dose limit of 1 mSv year{sup -1} at the fenced boundary of the waste rock site.

  3. Microbial decontamination of uranium mine drainage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hard, B.C.; Babel, W. [UFZ - Umweltforschungszentrum Leipzig-Halle GmbH, Leipzig (Germany)

    2001-07-01

    One of the problems one is faced with when uranium mines are closed is the decontamination of acid mine drainage (AMD) from tailings and flooding of the underground mines. The high concentrations of sulfates and metals in mining water make it impossible to dispose of the water into rivers without having to decontaminate it first. A bioremediation process is proposed in which sulfate-reducing bacteria are used to remove metals, neutralize the water and reduce the sulfate concentrations. Methylotrophic sulfate-reducing strains have been isolated which can be used in such a process. Lab scale experiments with different reactor types were carried out in order to find the optimum design for this bioremediation process. Comparisons were made between methanol and other electron donors with regards to their suitability as substrate for this process. Methanol was found to be most suited. Laboratory data suggest that immobilizing the bacteria on pumice particles increases the sulfate-reduction rate (SRR) up to three fold to 18 mg/l.h, compared to the rates of free flowing cells of between 3.7 and 6.8 mg/l.h. Preliminary experiments on a larger scale (15 l) using acid mine drainage pH 2.5 show SRR of 0.71 mg/l.h. In biosorption experiments up to 140 mg of aluminium per g biomass was removed from the water. One strain was found to reduce uranium VI, thus changing it from the soluble to the insoluble form. The application of the proposed process with regards to bioremediation of AMD are discussed. (orig.)

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  5. A knowledge base system for ground control over abandoned mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nazimko, V.V.; Zviagilsky, E.L. [Donetsk State Technical University, Donetsk (Ukraine)

    1999-07-01

    The knowledge of engineering systems has been developed to choose optimal technology for subsidence prevention over abandoned mines. The expert system treats a specific case, maps consequences of actions and derives relevant technology (or a set of technologies) that should be used to prevent ground subsidence. Input parameters that characterise the case are treated using fuzzy logic and are then fed to a neural network. The network has been successfully trained by a backpropagation algorithm on the basis of three fuzzy rules. 5 refs., 2 figs., 3 tabs.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  7. Contamination from abandoned mine tailings: the geochemical approach

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fanfani, L. [Cagliari Univ. (Italy). Dipt. di Scienze della Terra

    1998-12-31

    The oxidation of sulphide minerals in flotation tailings and waste materials in the main source of chemical contamination at abandoned mine sites. Pyrite and the other iron-bearing sulphide minerals are responsible for acid mine drainage which leads to the weathering of other sulphides and mobilizes toxic metals such as Cd, Pb and As. An environment rich in earth-alkaline carbonates buffers the ph close to neutrality and mitigates chemical pollution, but liming is insufficient to control pollution. Prevention has to be based essentially on fighting sulphide oxidation with water covers or organic matter covers impermeable to atmospheric oxygen. Remediation strategies are to be addressed to the application of soft biological technologies.

  8. Microbial diversity in uranium mine waste heaps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schippers, A; Hallmann, R; Wentzien, S; Sand, W

    1995-08-01

    Two different uranium mine waste heaps near Ronneburg, Thuringia, Germany, which contain the remains of the activity of the former uranium-mining Soviet-East German company Wismut AG, were analyzed for the occurrence of lithotrophic and chemoorganotropic leach bacteria. A total of 162 ore samples were taken up to a depth of 5 m. Cell counts of ferrous iron-, sulfur-, sulfur compound-, ammonia-, and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria were determined quantitatively by the most-probable-number technique. Sulfate-, nitrate-, ferric iron-, and manganese-reducing bacteria were also detected. In addition, the metabolic activity of sulfur- and iron-oxidizing bacteria was measured by microcalorimetry. Generally, all microorganisms mentioned above were detectable in the heaps. Aerobic and anaerobic microorganisms thrived up to a depth of 1.5 to 2 m. Up to 99% of Thiobacillus ferrooxidans cells, the dominant leaching bacteria, occurred to this depth. Their numbers correlated with the microbial activity measurements. Samples below 1.5 to 2 m exhibited reduced oxygen concentrations and reduced cell counts for all microorganisms.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-07-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 30 CFR 756.21 - Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INDIAN LANDS PROGRAM INDIAN TRIBE ABANDONED MINE LAND RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.21 Required amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan...

  12. Identification of the uranium speciation in an underground acid mine drainage environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arnold, Thuro; Baumann, Nils; Krawczyk-Bärsch, Evelyn; Brockmann, Sina; Zimmermann, Udo; Jenk, Ulf; Weiß, Stephan

    2011-04-01

    The subsurface acid mine drainage (AMD) environment of an abandoned underground uranium mine in Königstein/Saxony/Germany, currently in the process of remediation, is characterized by low pH, high sulfate concentrations and elevated concentrations of heavy metals, in particular uranium. Acid streamers thrive in the mine drainage channels and are heavily coated with iron precipitates. These precipitates are biologically mediated iron precipitates and related to the presence of Fe-oxidizing microorganisms forming copious biofilms in and on the Fe-precipitates. Similar biomineralisations were also observed in stalactite-like dripstones, called snottites, growing on the gallery ceilings. The uranium speciation in these solutions of underground AMD waters flowing in mine galleries as well as dripping from the ceiling and forming stalactite-like dripstones were studied by time resolved laser-induced fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS). The fluorescence lifetime of uranium species in both AMD water environments were best described with a mono-exponential decay, indicating the presence of one major species. The detected positions of the emission bands and by comparing it in a fingerprinting procedure with spectra obtained for acid sulfate reference solutions, in particular Fe(III) - SO 42- - UO 22+ reference solutions, indicated that the uranium speciation in the AMD environment of Königstein is dominated in the pH range of 2.5-3.0 by the highly mobile aquatic uranium sulfate species UO 2SO 4(aq) and formation of uranium precipitates is rather unlikely as is retardation by sorption processes. The presence of iron in the AMD reduces the fluorescence lifetime of the UO 2SO 4(aq) species from 4.3 μs, found in iron-free uranium sulfate reference solutions, to 0.7 μs observed in both AMD waters of Königstein and also in the iron containing uranium sulfate reference solutions. Colloids were not observed in both drainage water and dripping snottite water as photon correlation

  13. The history of uranium mining and the Navajo people.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugge, Doug; Goble, Rob

    2002-09-01

    From World War II until 1971, the government was the sole purchaser of uranium ore in the United States. Uranium mining occurred mostly in the southwestern United States and drew many Native Americans and others into work in the mines and mills. Despite a long and well-developed understanding, based on the European experience earlier in the century, that uranium mining led to high rates of lung cancer, few protections were provided for US miners before 1962 and their adoption after that time was slow and incomplete. The resulting high rates of illness among miners led in 1990 to passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

  14. The History of Uranium Mining and the Navajo People

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugge, Doug; Goble, Rob

    2002-01-01

    From World War II until 1971, the government was the sole purchaser of uranium ore in the United States. Uranium mining occurred mostly in the southwestern United States and drew many Native Americans and others into work in the mines and mills. Despite a long and well-developed understanding, based on the European experience earlier in the century, that uranium mining led to high rates of lung cancer, few protections were provided for US miners before 1962 and their adoption after that time was slow and incomplete. The resulting high rates of illness among miners led in 1990 to passage of the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act. PMID:12197966

  15. Start of exploration and mining of uranium ores in Hungary

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mikolay, I.; Szomolanyi, G. (Mecseki Ercbanyaszati Vallalat, Pecs II (Hungary))

    1983-09-01

    The mining of uranium ores is the youngest branch in the history of the Hungarian ore mining. The exploration for uranium ores started in Hungary in the decade from 1947, using simple methods at the beginning to apply more developed technologies later on. From the year 1952 Soviet geologists and geophysicists joined the explorations using the most advanced instruments, in co-operation with the Hungarian experts. From 1953 explorations and developments have been concentrated on the SW area of Mountain Mecsek so that by 1957 the preliminary conditions of a successful Hungarian uranium mining were established.

  16. Radon exposure in abandoned metalliferous mines of South America

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silva, A.A.R. da; Umisedo, N.; Yoshimura, E.M. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (IF/USP), SP (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica. Lab. de Dosimetria; Anjos, R.M. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (LARA/UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Inst. de Fisica. Lab. de Radioecologia; Valladares, D.L.; Velasco, H.; Rizzotto, M. [Universidad Nacional de San Luis (UNSL) (Argentina). Inst. de Matematica Aplicada San Luis

    2011-07-01

    Since the days of the Spanish and Portuguese conquerors, South America has been closely associated with the metalliferous ore mining. Gold, silver, tin, lead, tungsten, nickel, copper, and palladium ores have been explored over the last centuries. In addition, there has also been the development and promotion of other economic activities related to mining, as the underground mine tourism. A few works have been published on radon levels in the South American mining. In this study, we investigated the radon transport process and its health hazard in two exhausted and abandoned mines in San Luis Province, Argentina. These mines were chosen because they have different physical configurations in their cavities, features which can affect the air flow patterns and radon concentrations. La Carolina gold mine (32 deg 48' 0'' S, 66 deg 60' 0'' W) is currently a blind end system, corresponding to a horizontal excavation into the side of a mountain, with only a main adit. Los Condores wolfram mine (32 deg 33' 25'' S, 65 deg 15' 20'' W) is also a horizontal excavation into the side of a mountain, but has a vertical output (a shaft) at the end of the main gallery. Three different experimental methodologies were used. Radon concentration measurements were performed by CR-39 nuclear track detectors. The distribution of natural radionuclide activities ({sup 40}K, {sup 232}Th and {sup 238}U) was determined from rock samples collected along their main adits, using in laboratory gamma-ray spectrometry. The external gamma dose rate was evaluated using thermoluminescent dosimeters and a portable survey meter. The values for the {sup 222}Rn concentration ranged from 0.43 {+-} 0.04 to 1.48 {+-} 0.12 kBq/m{sup 3} in the Los Condores wolfram mine and from 1.8 {+-} 0.1 to 6.0{+-}0.5 kBq/m{sup 3} in the La Carolina gold mine, indicating that, in this mine, the radon levels exceed up to four times the action level of 1.5 kBq/m{sup 3

  17. PRELIMINARY STUDY OF FISH CULTURE IN ABANDONED SAND MINING POOL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bambang Gunadi

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available One of main problems in freshwater aquaculture development in Indonesia, especially in Java, is unavailability of developing zone. It is important to find an underutilized area that meets for industrial scale freshwater aquaculture, i.e. sufficient water supply, wide area, and located in one area or zone. The abandoned mining (sand, tin, etc. pools distributed along the country might be the potential area for freshwater aquaculture business. For example, there are at least 13 water pools with total surface area of 250 ha at 15 km side of Citarum River in Karawang District (West Java Province. This study was conducted to obtain preliminary data about the prospect and potency of fish culture (tilapia, clariid catfish, and ‘patin’ catfish in abandoned sand-mining pools in Karawang District. Mini floating net cages of 1 x 1 x 1.5 m3 size were used for culturing fish, i.e. patin catfish (Pangasianodon hypophthalmus, nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus, and clariid catfish (Clarias gariepinus, separately. Patin catfish were stocked at a size of 2 g with a density of 300 fish per cage, tilapia were stocked at a size of 6 g with a density of 400 fish per cage, while  the clariid catfish were stocked at a size of 1.4 g with a density of 980 fish per cage. A floating commercial feed (30%—32% protein, 3%—5% fat was used at a daily rate of 9% biomass weight at the beginning and reduced gradually to 3% at the final culture period. Observed data showed that patin catfish grew from the initial size of 2.08 g to the final size 299.59 g in 5 months, nile tilapia grew from individual initial size of 5.92 g to the final size of 247.12 g in 14 weeks, and clariid catfish grew from initial size of 1.39 g to the final size of 73.10 g in 8 weeks. These three species were technically prospective for aquaculture development in the abandoned sand-mining pools.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad

    2016-04-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation have been nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, and have left on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including surface and groundwater, soils, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The main processes occurring at these sites are: rock disgregation, fragments migration, dust dispersion, oxidation (Eh>250mV), acidification (pHlevels. The results obtained suggest that the abandoned mine sites represent actual natural laboratories where to experiment new opportunities for restoration of anthropogenically contaminated areas, and to study new pedogenetic trends from these peculiar parent materials. Moreover, plants growing on these substrates are genetically adapted to metal-enriched soils, and therefore may be utilized in phytoremediation of contaminated sites. Furthermore, the institution of natural parks in these areas could enhance their educational and scientific value, contributing in the meantime to general population amusement and recreation. Finally, it is the occasion for soil scientists to submit to the scientific community new classification proposals of this new kind of soils. Key-words: mine waste, heavy metals, phytoremediation, soil genesis, soil classification

  19. An investigation of the bioaccumulation of chromium and uranium ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    KONANANI

    2013-11-13

    Nov 13, 2013 ... heavy metal such as chromium (Cr) and uranium (U) which poses enormous threat to the environment even at ... impacts depends on the scale of mining, mining methods ... Toxic metals originating from abandoned gold mine.

  20. Radionuclides in sheep grazing near old uranium mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  1. Microbial diversity in uranium mining-impacted soils as revealed by high-density 16S microarray and clone library.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rastogi, Gurdeep; Osman, Shariff; Vaishampayan, Parag A; Andersen, Gary L; Stetler, Larry D; Sani, Rajesh K

    2010-01-01

    Microbial diversity was characterized in mining-impacted soils collected from two abandoned uranium mine sites, the Edgemont and the North Cave Hills, South Dakota, using a high-density 16S microarray (PhyloChip) and clone libraries. Characterization of the elemental compositions of soils by X-ray fluorescence spectroscopy revealed higher metal contamination including uranium at the Edgemont than at the North Cave Hills mine site. Microarray data demonstrated extensive phylogenetic diversity in soils and confirmed nearly all clone-detected taxonomic levels. Additionally, the microarray exhibited greater diversity than clone libraries at each taxonomic level at both the mine sites. Interestingly, the PhyloChip detected the largest number of taxa in Proteobacteria phylum for both the mine sites. However, clone libraries detected Acidobacteria and Bacteroidetes as the most numerically abundant phyla in the Edgemont and North Cave Hills mine sites, respectively. Several 16S rDNA signatures found in both the microarrays and clone libraries displayed sequence similarities with yet-uncultured bacteria representing a hitherto unidentified diversity. Results from this study demonstrated that highly diverse microbial populations were present in these uranium mine sites. Diversity indices indicated that microbial communities at the North Cave Hills mine site were much more diverse than those at the Edgemont mine site.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lintnerová, Otília

    2008-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  5. Sustainable Development of Abandoned Mine Areas Using Renewable Energy Systems: A Case Study of the Photovoltaic Potential Assessment at the Tailings Dam of Abandoned Sangdong Mine, Korea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yosoon Choi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available As mineral resources are depleted, most mines are typically abandoned and left unattended, resulting in serious social problems that impede sustainable development of these areas. The mining industry has recently introduced the use of renewable energy systems to solve the problems. This study assessed the photovoltaic (PV potential of an abandoned mine tailings dam at the Sangdong mine in South Korea. A regional shading analysis and field investigations indicated that the usable area for installing the PV system was 44,220 m2. The design capacity of the system was 3 MW considering the space available for the PV array. Power generation was simulated by inputting data about the hourly weather, system design, and a site assessment into System Advisor Model software. Simulation results indicated that 3509 MWh of electricity could be generated annually. Moreover, economic feasibility analysis, assuming a 20 year project period, confirmed that the net present value of the PV systems would be $1,903,000 USD. Therefore, installing a 3 MW PV system on the mine tailings dam at the Sangdong mine is feasible and could provide an efficient option for sustainable development of the abandoned mine land.

  6. Summary of Environmental Data Analysis and Work Performed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) in Support of the Navajo Nation Abandoned Mine Lands Project at Tse Tah, Arizona

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Taffet, Michael J. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Esser, Bradley K. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States); Madrid, Victor M. [Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)

    2017-05-17

    This report summarizes work performed by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) under Navajo Nation Services Contract CO9729 in support of the Navajo Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Program (NAMLRP). Due to restrictions on access to uranium mine waste sites at Tse Tah, Arizona that developed during the term of the contract, not all of the work scope could be performed. LLNL was able to interpret environmental monitoring data provided by NAMLRP. Summaries of these data evaluation activities are provided in this report. Additionally, during the contract period, LLNL provided technical guidance, instructional meetings, and review of relevant work performed by NAMLRP and its contractors that was not contained in the contract work scope.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rafael Rodríguez Díez

    2014-07-01

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

  8. REMOVAL AND CONCENTRATION OF URANIUM FROM WASTE MINE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elizângela Augusta Santos

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available The use of leaching agents, such as sodium citrate and ammonium carbonate, were assessed for the extraction of uranium from one mining residue containing 0.25% U. Concentration techniques such as precipitation and ion exchange were employed to recover the uranium from the leaching liquor. Leaching results showed maximum uranium extraction of about 40% for both reagents. The use 10 mol L-1 NaOH to precipitate the uranium from the leach liquor leads to a recovery of 62%; what was considered not satisfactory. In view of this, resins were used to concentrate the uranium from the liquor and the metal loading obtained at pH 3.9 was higher for the resin DOWEX RPU, whose maximum loading maximum capacity was 148.3 mg g-1, compared to 126.9 mg g-1 presented by the resin IRA 910 U.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  10. Uranium mobility and accumulation along the Rio Paguate, Jackpile Mine in Laguna Pueblo, NM.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blake, Johanna M; De Vore, Cherie L; Avasarala, Sumant; Ali, Abdul-Mehdi; Roldan, Claudia; Bowers, Fenton; Spilde, Michael N; Artyushkova, Kateryna; Kirk, Matthew F; Peterson, Eric; Rodriguez-Freire, Lucia; Cerrato, José M

    2017-04-19

    The mobility and accumulation of uranium (U) along the Rio Paguate, adjacent to the Jackpile Mine, in Laguna Pueblo, New Mexico was investigated using aqueous chemistry, electron microprobe, X-ray diffraction and spectroscopy analyses. Given that it is not common to identify elevated concentrations of U in surface water sources, the Rio Paguate is a unique site that concerns the Laguna Pueblo community. This study aims to better understand the solid chemistry of abandoned mine waste sediments from the Jackpile Mine and identify key hydrogeological and geochemical processes that affect the fate of U along the Rio Paguate. Solid analyses using X-ray fluorescence determined that sediments located in the Jackpile Mine contain ranges of 320 to 9200 mg kg(-1) U. The presence of coffinite, a U(iv)-bearing mineral, was identified by X-ray diffraction analyses in abandoned mine waste solids exposed to several decades of weathering and oxidation. The dissolution of these U-bearing minerals from abandoned mine wastes could contribute to U mobility during rain events. The U concentration in surface waters sampled closest to mine wastes are highest during the southwestern monsoon season. Samples collected from September 2014 to August 2016 showed higher U concentrations in surface water adjacent to the Jackpile Mine (35.3 to 772 μg L(-1)) compared with those at a wetland 4.5 kilometers downstream of the mine (5.77 to 110 μg L(-1)). Sediments co-located in the stream bed and bank along the reach between the mine and wetland had low U concentrations (range 1-5 mg kg(-1)) compared to concentrations in wetland sediments with higher organic matter (14-15%) and U concentrations (2-21 mg kg(-1)). Approximately 10% of the total U in wetland sediments was amenable to complexation with 1 mM sodium bicarbonate in batch experiments; a decrease of U concentration in solution was observed over time in these experiments likely due to re-association with sediments in the reactor. The

  11. Water quality of coal deposits and abandoned mines, Saginaw County, Michigan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handy, A.H.

    1982-01-01

    Coal was last mined in Saginaw County, Michigan in 1950. Water from abandoned mines and from undisturbed coal-bearing beds in the Saginaw Formation is highly mineralized and contains high concentrations of iron. Compared to streams in the area, the water contains higher concentrations of at least 15 constituents including boron, phenol, lithium, strontium, and manganese. Water from abandoned mines and coal-bearing beds is a poor source of water for domestic, public, or agricultural uses. Large amounts of this highly mineralized ground water reaching local streams would have a deleterious effect on surface-water quality.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-08-01

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

  13. Legacy soil contamination at abandoned mine sites: making a case for guidance on soil protection.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kostarelos, Konstantinos; Gavriel, Ifigenia; Stylianou, Marinos; Zissimos, Andreas M; Morisseau, Eleni; Dermatas, Dimitris

    2015-03-01

    Within the European Union, guidance in the form of a uniform Soil Directive does not exist and member states are left to enact their own legislation governing historic soil contamination. Several historic or "legacy" sites exist in Cyprus - an EU member state with a long history of mining and a significant number of abandoned mining sites. The gold-silver enrichment plant of Mitsero village was abandoned 70 years ago, yet soil samples inside and outside the plant were extremely low in pH, exhibited high leachability of heavy metals and high cyanide levels. Water samples collected from an ephemeral stream located down-gradient of the site contained high levels of heavy metals. Two abandoned open-pit mines (Kokkinopezoula and Mathiatis) were investigated, where elevated metal content in soil samples from the surrounding streams and spoil heaps, and extremely low pH and high metal content in water samples from the mine crater were measured.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2010-05-15

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

  15. Field Testing of Downgradient Uranium Mobility at an In-Situ Recovery Uranium Mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reimus, P. W.; Clay, J. T.; Rearick, M.; Perkins, G.; Brown, S. T.; Basu, A.; Chamberlain, K.

    2015-12-01

    In-situ recovery (ISR) mining of uranium involves the injection of O2 and CO2 (or NaHCO3) into saturated roll-front deposits to oxidize and solubilize the uranium, which is then removed by ion exchange at the surface and processed into U3O8. While ISR is economical and environmentally-friendly relative to conventional mining, one of the challenges of extracting uranium by this process is that it leaves behind a geochemically-altered aquifer that is exceedingly difficult to restore to pre-mining geochemical conditions, a regulatory objective. In this research, we evaluated the ability of the aquifer downgradient of an ISR mining area to attenuate the transport of uranium and other problem constituents that are mobilized by the mining process. Such an evaluation can help inform both regulators and the mining industry as to how much restoration of the mined ore zone is necessary to achieve regulatory compliance at various distances downgradient of the mining zone even if complete restoration of the ore zone proves to be difficult or impossible. Three single-well push-pull tests and one cross-well test were conducted in which water from an unrestored, previously-mined ore zone was injected into an unmined ore zone that served as a geochemical proxy for the downgradient aquifer. In all tests, non-reactive tracers were injected with the previously-mined ore zone water to allow the transport of uranium and other constituents to be compared to that of the nonreactive species. In the single-well tests, it was shown that the recovery of uranium relative to the nonreactive tracers ranged from 12-25%, suggesting significant attenuation capacity of the aquifer. In the cross-well test, selenate, molybdate and metavanadate were injected with the unrestored water to provide information on the transport of these potentially-problematic anionic constituents. In addition to the species-specific transport information, this test provided valuable constraints on redox conditions within

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-03-01

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

  17. A New Windows-based Program for Analyzing Groundwater Rebound in Abandoned Mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jae, L. S.; Choi, Y.; Yi, H.

    2014-12-01

    This study presents a new Windows-based program based on GRAM(Groundwater Rebound in Abandoned Mineworkings) model which can analyze the groundwater rebound in abandoned mines. The program consists of the graphic user interface and the simulation engine modules. Intel Parallel Studio XE 2013 and Visual Studio.NET 2010 were used to effectively implement the graphic user interface and the simulation engine modules. The standard formats of input and output files were designed by considering the characteristics of GRAM model. We carried out a case study to analyze groundwater rebound at the Dongwon coal mine, Korea. As a result, we could know that the developed program can provide useful information for predicting the groundwater rebound in abandoned mines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  19. 30 CFR 756.20 - Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 3 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's... RECLAMATION AND ENFORCEMENT, DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR INDIAN LANDS PROGRAM INDIAN TRIBE ABANDONED MINE LAND RECLAMATION PROGRAMS § 756.20 Approval of amendments to the Crow Tribe's abandoned mine land reclamation plan...

  20. Eukaryotic life in biofilms formed in a uranium mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zirnstein, Isabel; Arnold, Thuro; Krawczyk-Bärsch, Evelyn; Jenk, Ulf; Bernhard, Gert; Röske, Isolde

    2012-06-01

    The underground uranium mine Königstein (Saxony, Germany), currently in the process of remediation, represents an underground acid mine drainage (AMD) environment, that is, low pH conditions and high concentrations of heavy metals including uranium, in which eye-catching biofilm formations were observed. During active uranium mining from 1984 to 1990, technical leaching with sulphuric acid was applied underground on-site resulting in a change of the underground mine environment and initiated the formation of AMD and also the growth of AMD-related copious biofilms. Biofilms grow underground in the mine galleries in a depth of 250 m (50 m above sea level) either as stalactite-like slime communities or as acid streamers in the drainage channels. The eukaryotic diversity of these biofilms was analyzed by microscopic investigations and by molecular methods, that is, 18S rDNA PCR, cloning, and sequencing. The biofilm communities of the Königstein environment showed a low eukaryotic biodiversity and consisted of a variety of groups belonging to nine major taxa: ciliates, flagellates, amoebae, heterolobosea, fungi, apicomplexa, stramenopiles, rotifers and arthropoda, and a large number of uncultured eukaryotes, denoted as acidotolerant eukaryotic cluster (AEC). In Königstein, the flagellates Bodo saltans, the stramenopiles Diplophrys archeri, and the phylum of rotifers, class Bdelloidea, were detected for the first time in an AMD environment characterized by high concentrations of uranium. This study shows that not only bacteria and archaea may live in radioactive contaminated environments, but also species of eukaryotes, clearly indicating their potential influence on carbon cycling and metal immobilization within AMD-affected environment.

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  3. Hydraulic characterisation of the tailings associated with the abandoned mine at Frongoch, Mid-Wales

    OpenAIRE

    Banks, V.J.; Kirkham, M.

    2011-01-01

    This report describes the material classification and results of field and laboratory hydraulic testing of tailings from the Frongoch Tailings Lagoon, situated immediately to the south of the abandoned Frongoch mine site in mid-Wales. The results are considered in the context of the conceptual site model.

  4. Radionuclides from past uranium mining in rivers of Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carvalho, Fernando P; Oliveira, João M; Lopes, Irene; Batista, Aleluia

    2007-01-01

    During several decades and until a few years ago, uranium mines were exploited in the Centre of Portugal and wastewaters from uranium ore milling facilities were discharged into river basins. To investigate enhancement of radioactivity in freshwater ecosystems, radionuclides of uranium and thorium series were measured in water, sediments, suspended matter, and fish samples from the rivers Vouga, Dão, Távora and Mondego. The results show that these rivers carry sediments with relatively high naturally occurring radioactivity, and display relatively high concentrations of radon dissolved in water, which is typical of a uranium rich region. Riverbed sediments show enhanced concentrations of radionuclides in the mid-section of the Mondego River, a sign of past wastewater discharges from mining and milling works at Urgeiriça confirmed by the enhanced values of (238)U/(232)Th radionuclide ratios in sediments. Radionuclide concentrations in water, suspended matter and freshwater fish from that section of Mondego are also enhanced in comparison with concentrations measured in other rivers. Based on current radionuclide concentrations in fish, regular consumption of freshwater species by local populations would add 0.032 mSv a(-1) of dose equivalent (1%) to the average background radiation dose. Therefore, it is concluded that current levels of enhanced radioactivity do not pose a significant radiological risk either to aquatic fauna or to freshwater fish consumers.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marty Branagan

    2014-09-01

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

  6. Metals other than uranium affected microbial community composition in a historical uranium-mining site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sitte, Jana; Löffler, Sylvia; Burkhardt, Eva-Maria; Goldfarb, Katherine C; Büchel, Georg; Hazen, Terry C; Küsel, Kirsten

    2015-12-01

    To understand the links between the long-term impact of uranium and other metals on microbial community composition, ground- and surface water-influenced soils varying greatly in uranium and metal concentrations were investigated at the former uranium-mining district in Ronneburg, Germany. A soil-based 16S PhyloChip approach revealed 2358 bacterial and 35 archaeal operational taxonomic units (OTU) within diverse phylogenetic groups with higher OTU numbers than at other uranium-contaminated sites, e.g., at Oak Ridge. Iron- and sulfate-reducing bacteria (FeRB and SRB), which have the potential to attenuate uranium and other metals by the enzymatic and/or abiotic reduction of metal ions, were found at all sites. Although soil concentrations of solid-phase uranium were high, ranging from 5 to 1569 μg·g (dry weight) soil(-1), redundancy analysis (RDA) and forward selection indicated that neither total nor bio-available uranium concentrations contributed significantly to the observed OTU distribution. Instead, microbial community composition appeared to be influenced more by redox potential. Bacterial communities were also influenced by bio-available manganese and total cobalt and cadmium concentrations. Bio-available cadmium impacted FeRB distribution while bio-available manganese and copper as well as solid-phase zinc concentrations in the soil affected SRB composition. Archaeal communities were influenced by the bio-available lead as well as total zinc and cobalt concentrations. These results suggest that (i) microbial richness was not impacted by heavy metals and radionuclides and that (ii) redox potential and secondary metal contaminants had the strongest effect on microbial community composition, as opposed to uranium, the primary source of contamination.

  7. Antibiotic cytotoxic effects of microorganisms isolated from Jachymov uranium mines

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fuska, J.; Fuskova, A. (Slovenska Vysoka Skola Technicka, Bratislava (Czechoslovakia). Chemickotechnologicka Fakulta); Jilek, R. (Vyzkumny Ustav Veterinarniho Lekarstvi, Brno-Medlanky (Czechoslovakia))

    1982-01-01

    Microorganisms were isolated from old relinquished uranium mines in Jachymov; they had been growing for several decades in darkness in temperatures of 5 to 12 degC and relative humidity from 80 to 100%. The concentration of uranium salts in mine waters varied from 10/sup -4/ to 10/sup -5/ g.l/sup -1/, that of Rn in the atmosphere was from 0.04 to 40 Bq.l/sup -1/. Of 324 cultures, 18.8% inhibited the growth of Bacillus subtilis, Escherichia coli and Candida pseudotropicalis and 16.6% that of HeLa cells. The frequency of microorganisms inhibiting the growth of HeLa or Ehrlich ascites cells was markedly higher in this set of cultures than among microorganisms kept in culture collections or isolated from other natural habitats. About 10% of the isolated cultures were mycelia sterilia. The following antibiotics were isolated from microorganisms obtained from uranium mines: frequentin, vermiculin, vermicillin, vermistatin, cytostipin and duclauxin.

  8. Abandoned Pb−Zn mining wastes and their mobility as proxy to toxicity: A review

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gutiérrez, Mélida, E-mail: mgutierrez@missouristate.edu [Department of Geography, Geology and Planning, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897 (United States); Mickus, Kevin, E-mail: kevinmickus@missouristate.edu [Department of Geography, Geology and Planning, Missouri State University, Springfield, MO 65897 (United States); Camacho, Lucy Mar, E-mail: lucy.camacho@tamuk.edu [Department of Environmental Engineering, Texas & M University-Kingsville, Kingsville, TX 78363 (United States)

    2016-09-15

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

  9. Microbial reduction of uranium(VI) by anaerobic microorganisms isolated from a former uranium mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gerber, Ulrike; Krawczyk-Baersch, Evelyn [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany). Biogeochemistry; Arnold, Thuro [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany). Inst. of Resource Ecology; Scheinost, Andreas C. [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany). Molecular Structures

    2017-06-01

    The former uranium mine Koenigstein (Germany) is currently in the process of controlled flooding by reason of remediation purposes. However, the flooding water still contains high concentrations of uranium and other heavy metals. For that reason the water has to be cleaned up by a conventional waste water treatment plant. The aim of this study was to investigate the interactions between anaerobic microorganisms and uranium for possible bioremediation approaches, which could be an great alternative for the intensive and expensive waste water treatment. EXAFS (extended X-ray absorption fine structure) and XANES (X-ray absorption near edge structure) measurements were performed and revealed a complete reduction of U(VI) to U(IV) only by adding 10 mM glycerol.

  10. Uranium mines and French mining companies: a magnificent adventure; Les mines d'uranium et leurs mineurs francais: une belle aventure

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Blanc, J

    2008-08-15

    The French mining adventure still arouses enthusiasm. The search for uranium began in 1945 with the creation of the Cea (Atomic Energy Board) whose one mission was to supply the nascent French nuclear programme with the necessary materials. Prospecting works were then led throughout France, Madagascar, the Ivory Coast and the French equatorial Africa. More than 60 years later the only surviving actor of this quest for uranium has become the mining department of Areva Nuclear Cycle which is itself a sub-company of Areva. The author, who was an ancient high executive of Cogema draws a detailed history of the French uranium mining industry with with its ups and downs, by analysing the impact of the 2 oil crisis and of the decline of nuclear energy in the decade following the Chernobyl accident. (A.C.)

  11. Comparison of Kriging and coKriging for soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon

    2015-04-01

    Soil contamination mapping around abandoned mines is an important task for the planning and design of mine reclamation. This study compared the ordinary Kriging and the co-Kriging methods for the soil contamination mapping in abandoned mine sites. Four approaches were conducted as follows: (1) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) data only; (2) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and Portable X-Ray Fluorescence (PXRF) data only; (3) soil contamination mapping using the ordinary Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF; and (4) soil contamination mapping using the co-Kriging and integrated data from ICP and PXRF. Results indicate that the approach 3 provides substantial improvements over other three approaches including a more reasonable spatial pattern of soil contamination and reduction in the error of its estimates.

  12. Sealing abandoned mines with treated flyash kills two birds with one stone

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giacinto, J.F.; Rafalko, L.G.; Petzrick, P. [Environmental Resources Management Inc. (United States)

    2007-02-15

    Environmentally benign disposal of coal combustion products/by-products (CCPs) such as flyash and bottom ash has been a problem since the first coal-fired power plant went on-line. In recent years, ways have been developed to recycle CCPs into useful commercial products like bricks and roadbase. This article describes an innovative State of Maryland program that is putting CCPs to yet another use: stabilizing abandoned mines to permanently sequester acids and harmful metals. As engineering consultants to the State's Power Plant Research Project (PPRP), Environmental Resources Management (ERM) Inc. has conducted several projects to evaluate and demonstrate the beneficial use of CCPs for deep mine stabilization. These are several hundred abandoned underground mines in western Maryland and several thousand across the Mid-Atlantic Highlands and their proximity to coal-fired plants makes it cost-effective to transport CCPs via existing railroads and highways. 8 figs.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  14. 2010 Five-Year Plan: Assessment of Health and Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mining and Milling

    Science.gov (United States)

    The five-year plan is intended to compile all activities contributing to the identification and cleanup of legacy uranium milling and mining activities in the Grants Mining District in the State of New Mexico.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2006-08-31

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

  16. Using indicator kriging for the evaluation of arsenic potential contamination in an abandoned mining area (Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, I M H R; Albuquerque, M T D

    2013-01-01

    Mining and mineral-processing activities can modify the environment in a variety of ways. Sulfide mineralization is notorious for producing waters with high metal contents. Arsenic is commonly associated with sulfide mineralization and is considered to be toxic in the environment at low levels. The studied abandoned mining area is located in central Portugal and the resulting tailings and rejected materials were deposited and exposed to the air and water for the last 50 years. Sixteen water sample-points were collected. One of these was collected outside the mining influence, with the aim of obtaining a reference background. The risk assessment, concerning the proximity to abandoned mineralized deposits, needs the evaluation of intrinsic and specific vulnerabilities aiming the quantification of the anthropogenic activities. In this study, two indicator variables were constructed. The first one (I(1)), a specific vulnerability, considers the arsenic water supply standard value (0.05 mg/L), and the probability of it being exceeded is dependent on the geologic and hydrological characteristics of the studied area and also on the anthropogenic activities. The second one (I(2)), an intrinsic vulnerability, considers arsenic background limit as cut-off value, and depends only on the geologic and hydro-geological characteristics of the studied area. At Segura, the arsenic water content found during December 2006 (1.190 mg/L) was higher than the arsenic water content detected in October 2006 (0.636 mg/L) which could be associated to the arsenic released from Fe oxy-hydroxide. At Segura abandoned mining area, the iso-probability maps of October 2006 and December 2006, show strong anomalies associated with the water drainage from abandoned mining activities. Near the village, the probability of exceeding the arsenic background value is high but lower than the probability of exceeding the arsenic water supply value. The arsenic anomalies indicate a high probability for water

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marty Branagan

    2014-09-01

    The paper then describes how the movement evolved between the Roxby and Jabiluka blockades, with changes to the movement’s philosophy, strategy, tactics and internal dynamics. This analysis includes a comparison between two anti-nuclear bike rides, one a year after the 1984 Roxby blockade and involving some of the same activists, and another at the time of the Jabiluka blockade. This author was present at all these events, and provides an emic (insider perspective within a longitudinal participant-observation methodology. Although this perspective obviously has a subjective element, the paper fills a gap in that there is little written history of these blockades (particularly Roxby and more generally of Australian resistance to uranium mining, let alone the aspects of nonviolence and movement evolution. It is an introductory history of these campaigns, examining the direct action components, the practicalities of nonviolent campaigning, and the evolution of Australian anti-uranium activism.

  18. Technology of mine stone packing in abandoned workings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Neshitin, V.M.; Kurchenko, Eh.P.; Afanas' ev, V.V. (DonUGI (USSR))

    1990-03-01

    Describes technology of stone packing into abandoned workings using a scraper and a slinging machine of belt drum type. Three schemes are presented, one that uses the BS-4P scraper, the 1LP winch and a slinging machine, a second one that uses the UZM slinger with the stone delivered by a conveyor and a third scheme that uses the UZM slinger, 1PPN-5 loader and the OB or BOM tippler. The first and third schemes can be used in two-way workings with cross-section area not less than 9 m{sup 2} and the second scheme in workings with cross-section area not under 6 m{sup 2}. The rate of packing is 168, 236 and 248 m{sup 3}/d respectively. The cost of packing operations is 2.36, 2.82 and 2.46 rubles/t respectively which is 0.99-1.45 less than in the case of hauling and hoisting waste rock to the surface. Organization of packing operations is described.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bini, Claudio; Wahsha, Mohammad; Spiandorello, Massimo

    2014-05-01

    In Italy ore research and exploitation are nearly exhausted since the end of the last century, leaving on the land a huge amount of mine waste, therefore provoking evident environmental damage including landscape, vegetation and the food chain, and a potential threat to human health. The increasing environmental consciousness of general population compelled Public Administrators to set down effective legislation acts on this subject (e.g. D.L. 152/2006), and more generally on environmental contamination. In this work we present the results of a survey carried out at several mixed sulphides mine sites in Italy, exploited for at least a millennium, and closed in the '60s of the last century. Biogeochemical analyses carried out on 50 soil profiles (mostly Entisols and Inceptisols) and vegetation in the proximal and distal areas of ore exploitation show metal concentrations overcoming legislation limits on average (Cu up to 3160 mg kg-1 , Pb up to 23600 mg kg-1, Zn up to 1588 mg kg-1, Fe up to 52,30 %). Ni, Cr and Mn concentrations, instead, are generally below the reference levels. Metal concentrations in native vegetation of the examined areas are moderately to highly elevated. Significant amounts of Cu, Pb, Zn in roots of Plantago major and Silene dioica, in leaves of Taraxacum officinale, and Salix spp, have been recorded. Essential elements, in particular, present Translocation Coefficients (TC) >1, with Mn>Zn>Cu>Fe. Toxic elements (Cd, Cr, Pb), instead, present TCparks in these areas could enhance their educational and scientific value, contributing in the meantime to general population amusement and recreation. Finally, it is the occasion for soil scientists to submit to the scientific community new classification proposals of this new kind of soils. Key-words: mine waste, heavy metals, accumulator plants, phytoremediation, soil genesis, soil classification

  20. Uranium and radium-226 in the environment of the post-uranium mining areas in Poland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardas, M.; Suplinska, M.; Ciupek, K. [Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (Poland)

    2014-07-01

    The work carried out under the project NCBiR - 'Technologies Supporting Development of Safe Nuclear Power Engineering'; Task 3: Meeting the Polish nuclear power engineering's demand for fuel - fundamental aspects. Depending on location, environmental components may have different concentration levels of radionuclides. Main source of uranium and radium in the natural environment is atmospheric precipitation of the material resulting weathering and erosion of older rocks, enhanced due to human activity by fertilizers used in agriculture and fossil fuel combustion. The waste heaps and dumps, especially derived from post-uranium mining and phosphate fertilizer industry are the another source of uranium and radium in the environment. Our studies include post-uranium mining areas (inactive mines and waste dumps) and those adjacent meadows and grassland at the area of the Giant Mountains (Karkonosze Mountains) in the south-west Poland. Samples of soil and mineral material from mine shafts, water samples from ponds, streams and small rivers and vegetation samples (grass, alfalfa, birch leaves) were analyzed. Also, similar samples from agricultural regions of Poland were examined as a reference level. Uranium isotopes were determined by radiochemical method (ion exchange and extraction) and activity measurement using alpha spectrometry. Concentration of {sup 226}Ra was determined radiochemically using emanation method. For the validation of the method, determinations of uranium isotopes and radium-226 in reference samples were performed. Depending on location, the different levels of activity concentration of analyzed radionuclides were detected. Samples from the mine shafts and dumps, both water and soil, were characterized by the activity concentrations of {sup 238}U and {sup 226}Ra even by several orders higher than outside of those areas. The concentrations of the radionuclides in the areas located in further distances from mine and dumps are similar to

  1. A WebGIS Decision Support System for Management of Abandoned Mines

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ranka Stanković

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the development of a WebGIS application aimed at providing safe and reliable data needed for reclamation of abandoned mines in national parks and other protected areas in Vojvodina in compliance with existing legal regulations. The geodatabase model for this application has been developed using UML and the CASE tool Microsoft Visio featuring an interface with ArcGIS. The WebGIS application was developed using GeoServer, an open source tool in the Java programming language, with integrated PostgreSQL DB and the possibility of generating and publishing WMS, WFS and KML services. The WebGIS application is publicly available, based on an appropriate central database, which for the first time encompasses all available data on abandoned mines in Vojvodina, and as such may serve as a model for similar databases on the territory of the Republic of Serbia.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Kate M.; Gallegos, Tanya J.; Landa, Edward R.

    2015-01-01

    Natural uranium (U) occurs as a mixture of three radioactive isotopes: 238U, 235U, and 234U. Only 235U is fissionable and makes up about 0.7% of natural U, while 238U is overwhelmingly the most abundant at greater than 99% of the total mass of U. Prior to the 1940s, U was predominantly used as a coloring agent, and U-bearing ores were mined mainly for their radium (Ra) and/or vanadium (V) content; the bulk of the U was discarded with the tailings (Finch et al., 1972). Once nuclear fission was discovered, the economic importance of U increased greatly. The mining and milling of U-bearing ores is the first step in the nuclear fuel cycle, and the contact of residual waste with natural water is a potential source of contamination of U and associated elements to the environment. Uranium is mined by three basic methods: surface (open pit), underground, and solution mining (in situ leaching or in situ recovery), depending on the deposit grade, size, location, geology and economic considerations (Abdelouas, 2006). Solid wastes at U mill tailings (UMT) sites can include both standard tailings (i.e., leached ore rock residues) and solids generated on site by waste treatment processes. The latter can include sludge or “mud” from neutralization of acidic mine/mill effluents, containing Fe and a range of coprecipitated constituents, or barium sulfate precipitates that selectively remove Ra (e.g., Carvalho et al., 2007). In this chapter, we review the hydrometallurgical processes by which U is extracted from ore, the biogeochemical processes that can affect the fate and transport of U and associated elements in the environment, and possible remediation strategies for site closure and aquifer restoration.This paper represents the fourth in a series of review papers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on geochemical aspects of UMT management that span more than three decades. The first paper (Landa, 1980) in this series is a primer on the nature of tailings and radionuclide

  3. Colloid investigations of acid rock drainage solution from an abandoned Zn-Pb-Ag mine by ultrafiltration and PCS measurements

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Richter, W.; Zaenker, H.

    2002-05-01

    Acid rock drainage (ARD) solution from an abandoned ore mine was investigated by photon correlation spectroscopy, ultrafiltration and ICP-MS. A colloid concentration of about 1 g/L was found. The prevailing particle size was < 5 nm. (orig.)

  4. Use of risk assessment to evaluate effects and plan remediation of abandoned mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyle, T.P.

    2000-01-01

    A framework of risk assessment is elaborated for the evaluation of the effects of abandoned mines and mills. Steps in this process include environmental description, identification and characterization of sources, assessment of exposure, assessment of effects, risk characterization, and risk management of remediation. The development and use of ecological end-points for remediation is discussed in terms of the chemical constituents, toxicity tests and the biological community.

  5. Numerical modelling and prediction of abandoned mine methane recovery: field application at the Saar coalfield, Germany

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sevket Durucan; Ji Quan Shi; Anna Korre [Imperial College of Science Technology and Medicine, London (United Kingdom). T H Huxley School of Environment, Earth Sciences and Engineering

    2004-07-01

    In a recently completed EC- Thermie research project, jointly carried out by Imperial College and Deutsche Steinkohle Aktiengesellschaft (DSK), an in house gas-water two-phase CBM simulator developed at Imperial College London was modified to simulate abandoned mine methane recovery in the Saar Coalfield. Historical data on mining and methane emissions, as well as the long-term methane production data monitored from the Hangard shaft was used to validate the model developed. A satisfactory match to the historical and current field data was achieved, and predictions for future production opportunities were made. 4 refs., 10 figs.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Longoni Laura

    2016-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  8. Biological Cycles of Mineral Elements in a Young Mixed Stand in Abandoned Mining Soils

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Da-Lun Tian; Wen-Hua Xiang; Wen-De Yan; Wen-Xing Kang; Xiang-Wen Deng; Zhu Fan

    2007-01-01

    Phytoremediation as a sustainable and inexpensive technology based on the removal of pollutants from the environment by plants is becoming an increasingly important objective in plant research. In this study, biological cycles of five nutrient elements (N, P, K, Ca, and Mg) and eight heavy metal elements (Fe, Cu, Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni, Pb and Co) were examined in young paniculed goldraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm) and common elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpus decipens) mixed stands in an abandoned mining area. We found that after vegetation restoration in abandoned mining areas, the organic matter and concentrations of nutrient elements were significantly increased and the heavy metal elements were significantly decreased, the annual retention, uptake and return were 75.0, 115.4, and 40.3 kg/hm2 for nutrient elements, and 1 878.0,3 231.0 and 1 353.0 g/hm2 for heavy metal elements, respectively, with the utilization coefficient, cycling coefficient and turnover rate of 0.92, 0.35 and 0.32 for nutrient elements, and 1.24, 0.42 and 1.92 for heavy metal elements, respectively.Our results suggested that the vegetation restoration in abandoned mining areas had significant effects in improving environmental conditions, enhancing soil available nutrients, and ensuring human health.

  9. Risk evaluation of uranium mining: A geochemical inverse modelling approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rillard, J.; Zuddas, P.; Scislewski, A.

    2011-12-01

    It is well known that uranium extraction operations can increase risks linked to radiation exposure. The toxicity of uranium and associated heavy metals is the main environmental concern regarding exploitation and processing of U-ore. In areas where U mining is planned, a careful assessment of toxic and radioactive element concentrations is recommended before the start of mining activities. A background evaluation of harmful elements is important in order to prevent and/or quantify future water contamination resulting from possible migration of toxic metals coming from ore and waste water interaction. Controlled leaching experiments were carried out to investigate processes of ore and waste (leached ore) degradation, using samples from the uranium exploitation site located in Caetité-Bahia, Brazil. In experiments in which the reaction of waste with water was tested, we found that the water had low pH and high levels of sulphates and aluminium. On the other hand, in experiments in which ore was tested, the water had a chemical composition comparable to natural water found in the region of Caetité. On the basis of our experiments, we suggest that waste resulting from sulphuric acid treatment can induce acidification and salinization of surface and ground water. For this reason proper storage of waste is imperative. As a tool to evaluate the risks, a geochemical inverse modelling approach was developed to estimate the water-mineral interaction involving the presence of toxic elements. We used a method earlier described by Scislewski and Zuddas 2010 (Geochim. Cosmochim. Acta 74, 6996-7007) in which the reactive surface area of mineral dissolution can be estimated. We found that the reactive surface area of rock parent minerals is not constant during time but varies according to several orders of magnitude in only two months of interaction. We propose that parent mineral heterogeneity and particularly, neogenic phase formation may explain the observed variation of the

  10. Could an abandoned mercury mine area be cropped?

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-08-01

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

  11. Mines, Non-Coal (Abandoned), Non_metalic_mines_closed, Published in 2007, 1:600 (1in=50ft) scale, Buffalo County.

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — This Mines, Non-Coal (Abandoned) dataset, published at 1:600 (1in=50ft) scale, was produced all or in part from Orthoimagery information as of 2007. It is described...

  12. Radioecology studies in the vicinity of a closed uranium mine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Černe M.

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Although the influential area of the former uranium mine at Zirovski vrh, Slovenia has been under continuous radiological monitoring, more detailed radioecology studies, focused on assessing mobility and bioavailability of deposited radionuclides, were initiated about five years ago. The mobility of 238U, 234U, 230Th and 226Ra was studied applying two sequential extraction protocols. The results revealed that both sequential extraction protocols are not comparable as the data obtained are protocol- and radionuclide-dependent. It was found that the most mobile ones were uranium isotopes, followed by 226Ra and 230Th. In addition, uptake of particular radionuclides by the wetland plants (Molinia arundinacea, Juncus effusus and Caltha palustris grown in soils contaminated with seepage waters from the tailings was studied. The plants contained higher levels of 238U, 226Ra and 230Th compared to the plants from the control site. Activity concentration of 226Ra was the highest for all three plant species. Activity concentration of natural radionuclides in milk collected from the area of Zirovski vrh was comparable to the reference location, except for uranium where the content was higher. The combined annual effective dose for adults consuming milk from the Zirovski vrh area is 13 ± 2 μSv yr−1.

  13. An Abandoned Copper Mining Site in Cyprus and Assessment of Metal Concentrations in Plants and Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baycu, G; Tolunay, D; Ozden, H; Csatari, I; Karadag, S; Agba, T; Rognes, S E

    2015-01-01

    Mining is an important source of metal pollution in the environment and abandoned mines are extremely restricted habitats for plants. Some plant species growing on metalliferous soils around mine tailings and spoil-heaps are metal-tolerant and accumulate high concentrations of metals. In this investigation, we aimed to perform a research in the CMC-abandoned copper mining area in Lefke-North Cyprus to assess the recent metal pollution in soil and plant systems. We collected 16 soil samples and 25 plant species from 8 localities around the vicinity of tailing ponds. Some concentrations of metals in soil samples varied from 185 to 1023 mg kg(-1) Cu, 15.2 to 59.2 mg kg(-1) Ni, 2.3 to 73.6 mg kg(-1) Cd and metals for plants ranged from 0.135 to 283 mg kg(-1) Cu, 0.26 to 31.2 mg kg(-1) Ni, 0.143 to 277 mg kg(-1) Cd. Atriplex semibaccata, Acacia cyanophylla, Erodium spp., Inula viscosa, Juncus sp., Oxalis pes-caprea, Pistacia lentiscus, Senecio vulgaris and Tragopogon sinuatus accumulated higher concentrations. BCF for Atriplex semibaccata was found very high, for this reason this plant can tentatively be considered as a hyperaccumulator of Cu and Cd, but it needs further investigation for its potential in phytoremediation.

  14. Radon concentrations in abandoned mines, Cumbria, UK: safety implications for industrial archaeologists

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Gillmore

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a number of surveys performed in a geographical area of the UK, part of which until recently was considered low radon risk. The Cumbrian region was identified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE in its 1999 guide as an area without a significant radon problem in the built environment. The geology of the region, which includes the Northern Pennine Orefield is varied, but consists of granites, andesites, tuffs, carbonates, sandstones and shales. Mineralisation has taken place (mostly lead and copper ores primarily along fault and fracture zones, one example being Copper Valley, northwest of Coniston village. This work quantifies the risk of exposure to radon in a number of abandoned mine environments. High radon levels, up to 28 589 Bq m−3, have been measured in parts of one mine. This study demonstrates that industrial archaeologists (such as the Cumbrian Amenity Trust Mining History Society or CATMHS members and explorers of abandoned mines can be at risk from radon exposure and it proposes a management scheme to allow industrial archaeologists to continue exploration whilst minimising the risk to health from radon.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Overcoming the pitfalls of abandoned mine workings in the Sydney coalfield

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Forrester, D.; Noble, B. [AECOM, Sydney, NS (Canada)

    2010-07-01

    Previous coal mining activities in Sydney, Nova Scotia (NS) have included the creation of shallow, unrecorded underground coal extraction sites known as bootleg pits. The sites are a public safety hazard and can also impact groundwater flow. This paper presented an outline of the remediation strategies used to mitigate the hazards associated with the bootleg pits as part of a mine site closure and reclamation program currently being completed by the Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC). The strategies included the use of sinkhole subsidence hazard maps. Long-term visual monitoring is also being used in areas associated with sinkhole development. Larger abandoned areas have been cleared, backfilled and re-graded while including provisions for the ongoing drainage of mine waters. Gas monitoring and safety procedures were also reviewed. 2 refs., 4 figs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bernard, J. R.

    1980-07-01

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

  19. Relationship between plant biodiversity and heavy metal bioavailability in grasslands overlying an abandoned mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernández, A J; Pastor, J

    2008-04-01

    Abandoned metal mines in the Sierra de Guadarrama, Madrid, Spain, are often located in areas of high ecological value. This is true of an abandoned barium mine situated in the heart of a bird sanctuary. Today the area sustains grasslands, interspersed with oakwood formations of Quercus ilex and heywood scrub (Retama sphaerocarpa L.), used by cattle, sheep and wild animals. Our study was designed to establish a relationship between the plant biodiversity of these grasslands and the bioavailability of heavy metals in the topsoil layer of this abandoned mine. We conducted soil chemical analyses and performed a greenhouse evaluation of the effects of different soil heavy metal concentrations on biodiversity. The greenhouse bioassays were run for 6 months using soil samples obtained from the mine polluted with heavy metals (Cu, Zn, Pb and Cd) and from a control pasture. Soil heavy metal and Na concentrations, along with the pH, had intense negative effects on plant biodiversity, as determined through changes in the Shannon index and species richness. Numbers of grasses, legumes, and composites were reduced, whilst other species (including ruderals) were affected to a lesser extent. Zinc had the greatest effect on biodiversity, followed by Cd and Cu. When we compared the sensitivity of the biodiversity indicators to the different metal content variables, pseudototal metal concentrations determined by X-ray fluorescence (XRF) were the most sensitive, followed by available and soluble metal contents. Worse correlations between biodiversity variables and metal variables were shown by pseudototal contents obtained by plasma emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES). Our results highlight the importance of using as many different indicators as possible to reliably assess the response shown by plants to heavy metal soil pollution.

  20. Striped-tailed Yellow-finch nesting success in abandoned mining pits from central Brazilian cerrado

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DT. Gressler

    Full Text Available Suitability of degraded areas as breeding habitats can be tested through assessment of nest predation rates. In this study we estimated nest success in relation to several potential predictors of nest survival in the Stripe-tailed Yellow-finch (Sicalis citrina breeding in abandoned mining pits at Brasília National Park. We monitored 73 nests during the 2007-breeding season. Predation was the main cause of nest failure (n = 48, 66%; while six nests were abandoned (8% and 19 nests produced young (26%. Mayfield’s daily survival rates and nest success were 0.94 and 23%, respectively. Our results from nest survival models on program MARK indicated that daily survival rates increase linearly towards the end of the breeding season and decrease as nests aged. None of the nest individual covariates we tested - nest height, nest size, nest substrate, and edge effect - were important predictors of nest survival; however, nests placed on the most common plant tended to have higher survival probabilities. Also, there was no observer effect on daily survival rates. Our study suggests that abandoned mining pits may be suitable alternative breeding habitats for Striped-tailed Yellow-finches since nest survival rates were similar to other studies in the central cerrado region.

  1. French Uranium mining and miners - I Legendary times ( 1946-1950). La mine et les mineurs de l'uranium Francais - I. Les temps legendaires (1946-1950)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Paucard, A.

    1992-01-01

    This book describes historical aspects of the french uranium prospecting and mining programs during 1946 - 1950 years. The main subjects studied are prospecting, mining, mining laws, technics and earthmoving equipment, miners working conditions.

  2. The effect of the depth and groundwater on the formation of sinkholes or ground subsidence associated with abandoned room and pillar lignite mines under static and dynamic conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aydan, Ö.; Ito, T.

    2015-11-01

    It is well known that some sinkholes or subsidence take place from time to time in the areas where abandoned room and pillar type mines exist. The author has been involved with the stability of abandoned mines beneath urbanized residential areas in Tokai region and there is a great concern about the stability of these abandoned mines during large earthquakes as well as in the long term. The 2003 Miyagi Hokubu and 2011 Great East Japan earthquakes caused great damage to abandoned mines and resulted in many collapses. The author presents the effect of the depth and groundwater on the formation of sinkholes or ground subsidence associated with abandoned room and pillar lignite mines under static and dynamic conditions and discusses the implications on the areas above abandoned lignite mines in this paper.

  3. Abandoned deep mine subsidence investigation and remedial design, Interstate 70, Guernsey County, Ohio

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hoffmann, A.G.; Clark, D.M.; Bechtel, T.D.

    1999-07-01

    A two thousand linear foot, undermined section of Interstate 70 in Guernsey County, Ohio experienced settlements due to pothole type subsidence events within the travel lanes, shoulders and adjacent right-of-way areas. Potholes measured approximately ten feet in depth and width. The subsidence occurred after the dewatering of the abandoned deep mine during auger mining operations west of the site. A two-phase emergency investigation was undertaken by the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) and Gannett Fleming Cord dry and Carpenter (GF). The purpose of the investigation was to assess the immediate danger of potholes occurring in the traveled lanes and paved shoulders, to identify the subsidence mechanisms, and to design a remediation program. Phase one investigations involved the review of existing subsurface data, the advancement of shallow borings and the performance of multiple geophysical surveys including ground penetrating radar, seismic refraction and electromagnetic terrain conductivity. The Phase one investigations did not reveal the presence of subsidence voids. Phase two investigations included borings to the mine level and videotaping of mine conditions. The mine was found to be completely flooded. Based upon the collected data, two mechanisms of failure, localized roof fall and piping of overburden soils into the mine void, were identified. Two remedial alternatives, (1) the filling of the mine void, and (2) the reinforcement of the highway using geotextiles, were evaluated, Filling of the mined interval and grouting of overburden bedrock fractures and voids, within a limited area, were selected. Construction plans, specifications and cost estimates were prepared for bidding and award. During the bidding process, a catastrophic, pothole type failure of the I-70 travel lanes occurred. The interstate was closed and the planned remediation activities were performed as an emergency project. The mine interval was grouted and portions of the highway

  4. Uranium biomineralization by a metal resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain isolated from contaminated mine waste

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Choudhary, Sangeeta [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India); Sar, Pinaki, E-mail: sarpinaki@yahoo.com [Department of Biotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur 721302 (India)

    2011-02-15

    Uranium biomineralization by a metal-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain isolated from uranium mine waste was characterized for its potential in bioremediation. Uranium resistance, its cellular localization and chemical nature of uranium-bacteria interaction were elucidated. Survival and uranium biomineralization from mine water were investigated using microcosm experiments. The selected bacterium showed U resistance and accumulation (maximum of 275 mg U g{sup -1} cell dry wt.) following incubation in 100 mg U L{sup -1}, pH 4.0, for 6 h. Transmission electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction analyses revealed that bioaccumulated uranium was deposited within the cell envelope as needle shaped U-phosphate compounds that attain crystallinity only at pH 4.0. A synergistic involvement of deprotonated phosphate and carboxyl moieties in facilitating bioprecipitation of uranium was evident from FTIR analysis. Based on these findings we attribute the localized U sequestration by this bacterium as innocuous complex to its possible mechanism of uranium resistance. Microcosm data confirmed that the strain can remove soluble uranium (99%) and sequester it as U oxide and phosphate minerals while maintaining its viability. The study showed that indigenous bacteria from contaminated site that can survive uranium and other heavy metal toxicity and sequester soluble uranium as biominerals could play important role in uranium bioremediation.

  5. Tracing lead pollution sources in abandoned mine areas using stable Pb isotope ratios.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yoo, Eun-Jin; Lee, Jung-A; Park, Jae-Seon; Lee, Khanghyun; Lee, Won-Seok; Han, Jin-Seok; Choi, Jong-Woo

    2014-02-01

    This study focused on Pb isotope ratios of sediments in areas around an abandoned mine to determine if the ratios can be used as a source tracer. For pretreatment, sediment samples were dissolved with mixed acids, and a multi-collector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer (MC-ICP-MS, Nu plasma II) was used to investigate the Pb isotopic composition of the samples. The measured isotope ratios were then corrected for instrumental mass fractionation by measuring the (203)Tl/(205)Tl ratio. Repeated measurements with the NIST SRM 981 reference material showed that the precision of all ratios was below 104 ppm (±2σ) for 50 ng/g. The isotope ratios ((207)Pb/(206)Pb) found were 0.85073 ± 0.0004~0.85373 ± 0.0003 for the main stream, while they were 0.83736 ± 0.0010 for the tributary and 0.84393 ± 0.0002 for the confluence. A binary mixing equation for isotope ratios showed that the contributions of mine lead to neighboring areas were up to 60%. Therefore, Pb isotope ratios can be a good source tracer for areas around abandoned mines.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Han Sik; Jung, Myung Chae

    2012-01-01

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

  7. Alteration and vein mineralization, Ladwig uranium mine, Jefferson County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wallace, Alan R.

    1979-01-01

    Uranium ore at the Ladwig mine, Jefferson County, Colo., occurs in steeply dipping, northwest-striking faults and related fractures with a carbonate-adularia assemblage that forms in altered wallrocks and fills veins. The faults occur between large intrusive pegmatites and garnetiferous gneisses of Precambrian age, and were reactivated as the result of the early Paleocene uplift of the Front Range foothills. Mineralization in the deposit includes both wallrock alteration and vein filling. Alteration was intense but local, and chiefly involved the carbonatization of mafic minerals in the wallrocks. Felsic minerals in the wallrocks are relatively unaltered. The veins are filled with an adularia-pitchblende-carbonate assemblage with minor related sulfides and coffinite. Many of the iron-bearing carbonates in both the alteration and vein assemblages have been altered to hematite. The mineralization and alteration are believed to have formed in response to initially high amounts of CO2 and the subsequent release of dissolved CO2 by boiling or effervescence. Uranium, carried in a dicarbonate complex, was precipitated directly as pitchblende when the CO2 was released. The expulsion of H+ during boiling created a net oxidizing environment which oxidized the iron-bearing carbonates. Late stage calcite and sulfides were deposited in existing voids in the veins.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

  9. Pteris cretica as a Potential Biomarker and Hyperaccumulator in an Abandoned Mine Site, Southwest Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hendra Prasetia

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available This study aimed to determine the potential of naturally occurring Cretan brake fern (Pteris cretica as a biomarker and hyperaccumulator in an abandoned mine in Southwest Japan. This species is a known hyperaccumulator of As. Total concentrations of heavy metals and As were determined in the shoots and roots of plants collected from inside and outside of the mine area. The results indicate that As and Pb in the shoots of P. cretica reached 1290 and 3840 mg/kg dry weight, respectively, which is classified as hyperaccumulation. The metal uptake intensity in the shoots indicates that P. cretica is a biomarker for As, Pb, and Zn. Furthermore, the metal concentrations, and bioconcentration and translocation factors indicate that P. cretica is a good candidate for phytoremediation of sites that are contaminated with As and Pb.

  10. Ohio's Abandoned Mine Lands Reclamation Program: a Study of Data Collection and Evaluation Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sperry, S. L.

    1982-01-01

    The planning process for a statewide reclamation plan of Ohio abandoned minelands in response to the Federal Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act of 1977 included: (1) the development of a screening and ranking methodology; (2) the establishment of a statewide review of major watersheds affected by mining; (3) the development of an immediate action process; and (4) a prototypical study of a priority watershed demonstrating the data collection, analysis, display and evaluation to be used for the remaining state watersheds. Historical methods for satisfying map information analysis and evaluation, as well as current methodologies being used were discussed. Various computer mapping and analysis programs were examined for their usability in evaluating the priority reclamation sites. Hand methods were chosen over automated procedures; intuitive evaluation was the primary reason.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Sueoka

    2015-09-01

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

  12. Isotopes of uranium in the waters of mine tailings Kadzhi-Sai

    OpenAIRE

    Ilona Matveyeva; Sholpan Nazarkulova; Bolat Uralbekov; Tamara Tuzova; Gulsana Amanova; Eleman Mambetaliyev

    2015-01-01

    The paper presents the results of the determination of uranium isotopes in the water objects of the region Kadzhi-Sai, where former uranium mine, concentrating plant and tailing with a total volume of 400,000 m3 are located. Determination of uranium isotopes was done by alpha-spectrometry method with previous radiochemical preparation (coprecipitation on iron hydroxide, extraction with tributyl phosphate and electrodeposition on stainless steel disk) on alpha-spectrometer of «Canberra». On th...

  13. Uranium in vegetable foodstuffs: should residents near the Cunha Baixa uranium mine site (Central Northern Portugal) be concerned?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neves, M O; Abreu, M M; Figueiredo, V

    2012-04-01

    Large uranium accumulations in vegetable foodstuffs may present risks of human health if they are consumed. The objective of this study was to evaluate the uranium concentrations in different vegetable foodstuffs and grown in agricultural soils, which are then consumed by the residents of the village of Cunha Baixa (Portugal),--located in an former uranium mining area. This study was conducted to address concerns expressed by the local farmers as well as to provide data for uranium-related health risk assessments for the area. Soils, irrigation water and edible tissues of lettuce, potato, green bean, carrot, cabbage, apple and maize (Latuca sativa L., Solanum tuberosum L., Phaseolus vulgaris L., Daucus carota L., Brassica oleracea L., Malus domestica Borkh, Zea mays L., respectively) were sampled and uranium determined. High uranium concentrations were found in some soils (U(total) > 50 mg/kg), in irrigation waters (218 to 1,035 μg/l) and in some vegetable foodstuffs (up to 234, 110, 30, 26, 22, 16 and 1.6 μg/kg fresh weight for lettuce, potato with peel, green bean pods, cabbage, corn, carrot and apple, respectively). However, the results of the toxicity hazard analysis were reassuring the estimated level of uranium exposure through the ingestion of these vegetable foodstuffs was low, suggesting no chemical health risk (hazard quotient <1) to this uranium exposure pathway for a local residents during their lifetime, even for the most sensitive part of the population (child).

  14. Environmental effect of radon from waste rock piles at closed uranium mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Furuta, Sadaaki; Ito, Kimio; Ishimori, Yuu; Nakajima, Yuuji [Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corp., Kamisaibara, Okayama (Japan). Ningyo Toge Works

    1997-04-01

    The radon concentrations at working area had been measured during uranium exploration by Power Reactor and Nuclear Fuel Development Corporation (PNC). Although the uranium exploration was closed by 1987, the measurements of environmental radon and the confirmation of public dose under 1 mSv/year out of supervising area has been necessary by the regulation since 1989, the year of the change of Japanese mine safety law. However radon exists in natural environment, it`s quite difficult to distinguish the radon from closed uranium mine from natural`s. Therefore the effective doses were estimated by the calculations using the atmospheric dispersion models, and by the measurements of radon emanation from the waste rock area of closed uranium mines. The radon influence from the waste rock was also investigated by the tracer gas dispersion experiments. Consequently the effective doses from the mining facilities were confirmed under the public limits 1 mSv/year of the regulations by this study. (author)

  15. Contribution of mine wastes to atmospheric metal deposition in the surrounding area of an abandoned heavily polluted mining district (Rio Tinto mines, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castillo, Sonia; de la Rosa, Jesús D; Sánchez de la Campa, Ana M; González-Castanedo, Yolanda; Fernández-Caliani, Juan C; Gonzalez, Isabel; Romero, Antonio

    2013-04-01

    The present study seeks to estimate the impact of abandoned mine wastes on the levels and chemical profile of total atmospheric deposition in one of the oldest and largest mining districts in Europe (Rio Tinto mines, Iberian Pyrite Belt), on the basis of a complete geochemical characterization of particulate matter samples periodically collected in five sampling stations located around the mining district between March 2009 and February 2011. The annual levels of total bulk deposition (soluble and insoluble fractions) registered in the Rio Tinto Mining District ranged between 18 and 43 g/m(2) depending on the distance from the sampling station with regard to the mine waste deposits. As a general pattern in the area, high mass levels of Zn and Cu were deposited in a range of 9-62 mg/m(2) not only in the insoluble but also in the soluble fraction. Other potentially toxic trace elements such as As, Sb, Ba, Pb, Sn and Bi showed greater deposition fluxes in the locations closest to the mine waste deposits. A principal component analysis with a Multilinear Regression Analysis certifies the presence of two common sources in the mining area: 1) a mineral factor composed mainly of elements derived from silicate minerals (Al, Ca, Sr, Ti, Li, Mg, Mn, K, Na and Fe), mixed with other anthropogenic species (NH4(+), SO4(2-), NO3(-)) within the village closest to the mine; and 2) a marine factor composed of Na, Cl, Mg, SO4(2-) and Sr. In addition, a mine waste factor made up of toxic elements (Cu, Zn, Ga, As, Sb, Ba, Pb, Sn, Cd and Bi) has been recognized in the sampling sites exposed to dust-bearing winds downwind of the mining area, suggesting that mine wastes are a relevant source of heavy-mineral particles with potentially adverse environmental effects to surrounding soils, plants and humans.

  16. Uranium mine waste water: potential source of ground water in northwestern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiss, W.L.

    1977-01-01

    Substantial quantities of water are being pumped from the Morrison Formation of Late Jurassic age in uranium mines in the Grants mineral belt in northwestern New Mexico. The water often contains unacceptable amounts of dissolved uranium, radium, iron, and selenium and suspended solids, but with treatment it can be made suitable for municipal and industrial purposes. Water salvaged from current and projected mining operations constitutes the most readily available water in this otherwise water-deficient area.

  17. Restoration ecology: aiding and abetting secondary succession on abandoned peat mines in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, Canada

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P.J. Vander Kloet

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available The efficacy of using vegetative clumps derived from seeds with a variety of origins to establish nuclei for regeneration of bog vegetation on abandoned peat mines in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick (Canada was tested using seeds within scats (excrement and seeds from berries, various techniques for creating clumps, and different clump sizes. Direct placement of scat pieces on peat in the field did not produce successful colonisation. Vegetative clumps begun in a greenhouse, whether from seeds extracted from scats or berries, were 60–100 % successful when transplanted into abandoned peat mines depending on the initial size of the transplant. Based on annual growth rate, Vaccinium oxycoccos has the greatest capacity to quickly colonise abandoned peat mines. Other promising taxa were Vaccinium vitis-ideae and the genus Empetrum.

  18. Investigating uranium distribution in surface sediments and waters: a case study of contamination from the Juniper Uranium Mine, Stanislaus National Forest, CA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kayzar, Theresa M; Villa, Adam C; Lobaugh, Megan L; Gaffney, Amy M; Williams, Ross W

    2014-10-01

    The uranium concentrations and isotopic compositions of waters, sediment leachates and sediments from Red Rock Creek in the Stanislaus National Forest of California were measured to investigate the transport of uranium from a point source (the Juniper Uranium Mine) to a natural surface stream environment. The ((234)U)/((238)U) composition of Red Rock Creek is altered downstream of the Juniper Mine. As a result of mine-derived contamination, water ((234)U)/((238)U) ratios are 67% lower than in water upstream of the mine (1.114-1.127 ± 0.009 in the contaminated waters versus 1.676 in the clean branch of the stream), and sediment samples have activity ratios in equilibrium in the clean creek and out of equilibrium in the contaminated creek (1.041-1.102 ± 0.007). Uranium concentrations in water, sediment and sediment leachates are highest downstream of the mine, but decrease rapidly after mixing with the clean branch of the stream. Uranium content and compositions of the contaminated creek headwaters relative to the mine tailings of the Juniper Mine suggest that uranium has been weathered from the mine and deposited in the creek. The distribution of uranium between sediment surfaces (leachable fraction) and bulk sediment suggests that adsorption is a key element of transfer along the creek. In clean creek samples, uranium is concentrated in the sediment residues, whereas in the contaminated creek, uranium is concentrated on the sediment surfaces (∼70-80% of uranium in leachable fraction). Contamination only exceeds the EPA maximum contaminant level (MCL) for drinking water in the sample with the closest proximity to the mine. Isotopic characterization of the uranium in this system coupled with concentration measurements suggest that the current state of contamination in Red Rock Creek is best described by mixing between the clean creek and contaminated upper branch of Red Rock Creek rather than mixing directly with mine sediment.

  19. Contaminant dispersion at the rehabilitated Mary Kathleen uranium mine, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lottermoser, B. G.; Ashley, P. M.; Costelloe, M. T.

    2005-09-01

    This study reports on the transfer of contaminants from waste rock dumps and mineralised ground into soils, sediments, waters and plants at the rehabilitated Mary Kathleen uranium mine in semi-arid northwest Queensland. Numerous waste rock dumps were partly covered with benign soil and the open pit mine was allowed to flood. The mineralised and waste calc-silicate rock in the open pit and dumps has major (>1 wt%) Ca, Fe and Mg, minor (>1,000 ppm) Ce, La, Mn, P and S, subminor (>100 ppm) Ba, Cu, Th and U, and trace (pit, mobilising many elements and leading to their dispersion into soils, stream sediments, pit water and several plant species. Chemical dispersion is initiated by sulfide mineral breakdown, generation of sulfuric acid and formation of several soluble, transient sulfate minerals as evaporative efflorescent precipitates. Radiation doses associated with the open pit average 5.65 mSv year-1; waste dumps commonly have lower values, especially where soil-covered. Surface pit water is slightly acid, with high sulfate values accompanied by levels of U, Cu and Ni close to or above Australian water guideline values for livestock. Dispersion of U and related elements into soils and stream sediments occurs by physical (erosional) processes and from chemical precipitation. Plants growing in the mine void, on waste dumps and contaminated soil display evidence of biological uptake of U, LREE, Cu and Th and to a lesser degree of As, Ni, Pb, Y and Zn, with values being up to 1-2 orders of magnitude above background sites for the same species. Although rehabilitation procedures have been partly successful in reducing dispersion of U and related elements into the surrounding environment, it is apparent that 20 years after rehabilitation, there is significant physical and chemical mobility, including transfer into plants.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2003-07-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Song Jin

    2006-03-01

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

  2. Post-reclamation water quality trend in a Mid-Appalachian watershed of abandoned mine lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xinchao; Wei, Honghong; Viadero, Roger C

    2011-02-01

    Abandoned mine land (AML) is one of the legacies of historic mining activities, causing a wide range of environmental problems worldwide. A stream monitoring study was conducted for a period of 7 years to evaluate the water quality trend in a Mid-Appalachian watershed, which was heavily impacted by past coal mining and subsequently reclaimed by reforestation and revegetation. GIS tools and multivariate statistical analyses were applied to characterize land cover, to assess temporal trends of the stream conditions, and to examine the linkages between water quality and land cover. In the entire watershed, 15.8% of the land was designated as AML reclaimed by reforestation (4.9%) and revegetation (10.8%). Statistic analysis revealed sub-watersheds with similar land cover (i.e. percentage of reclaimed AML) had similar water quality and all tested water quality variables were significantly related to land cover. Based on the assessment of water quality, acid mine drainage was still the dominant factor leading to the overall poor water quality (low pH, high sulfate and metals) in the watershed after reclamation was completed more than 20 years ago. Nevertheless, statistically significant improvement trends were observed for the mine drainage-related water quality variables (except pH) in the reclaimed AML watershed. The lack of pH improvement in the watershed might be related to metal precipitation and poor buffering capacity of the impacted streams. Furthermore, water quality improvement was more evident in the sub-watersheds which were heavily impacted by past mining activities and reclaimed by reforestation, indicating good reclamation practice had positive impact on water quality over time.

  3. Molybdenum and copper levels in white-tailed deer near uranium mines in Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    King, K.A.; LeLeux, J.; Mulhern, B.M.

    1984-01-01

    Molybdenum toxicity, molybdenosis, in ruminant animals has been identified in at least 15 states and in Canada, England, Australia, and New Zealand. In most western states, molybdenosis has been associated with strip-mine spoil deposits. Molybdenum toxicity has been diagnosed in cattle pastured near uranium strip-mine spoils in several Texas counties. Recent reports from hunters and the authors' observations indicated that white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus ) that fed near uranium-mine spoil deposits may also have been exposed to high levels of molybdenum. The objectives of this study were to determine if white-tailed deer from a South Texas uranium mining district were accumulating harmful levels of molybdenum and to compare molybdenum and copper levels with antler development in deer from the mined area vs. an unmined control area.

  4. Time delay and profit accumulation effect on a mine-based uranium market clearing model

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Auzans, Aris [Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Ostwaldi 1, EE-50411 Tartu (Estonia); Teder, Allan [School of Economics and Business Administration, University of Tartu, Narva mnt 4, EE-51009 Tartu (Estonia); Tkaczyk, Alan H., E-mail: alan@ut.ee [Institute of Physics, University of Tartu, Ostwaldi 1, EE-50411 Tartu (Estonia)

    2016-12-15

    Highlights: • Improved version of a mine-based uranium market clearing model for the front-end uranium market and enrichment industries is proposed. • A profit accumulation algorithm and time delay function provides more realistic uranium mine decision making process. • Operational decision delay increased uranium market price volatility. - Abstract: The mining industry faces a number of challenges such as market volatility, investment safety, issues surrounding employment and productivity. Therefore, computer simulations are highly relevant in order to reduce financial risks associated with these challenges. In the mining industry, each firm must compete with other mines and the basic target is profit maximization. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the world uranium (U) supply by simulating financial management challenges faced by an individual U mine that are caused by a variety of regulation issues. In this paper front-end nuclear fuel cycle tool is used to simulate market conditions and the effects they have on the stability of U supply. An individual U mine’s exit or entry in the market might cause changes in the U supply side which can increase or decrease the market price. In this paper we offer a more advanced version of a mine-based U market clearing model. The existing U market model incorporates the market of primary U from uranium mines with secondary uranium (depleted uranium DU), enriched uranium (HEU) and enrichment services. In the model each uranium mine acts as an independent agent that is able to make operational decisions based on the market price. This paper introduces a more realistic decision making algorithm of individual U mine that adds constraints to production decisions. The authors added an accumulated profit model, which allows for the profits accumulated to cover any possible future economic losses and the time-delay algorithm to simulate delayed process of reopening a U mine. The U market simulation covers time period 2010

  5. Geochemical Characterization of the Waste Rock Dump at the abandoned Geo-pung Mine, Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ji, S.; Lee, H.; Cheong, Y.; Yim, G.; Park, H.

    2008-05-01

    To propose basic data for the establishment of the reclamation plan of the mine waste rock dumps, the geochemical studies including Acid-Base Accounting (ABA) test, water quality analyses of leachate and run-off waters, metal extraction test, and pot test were performed at the abandoned Geo-pung mine, located in the middle part of Korea. The acid generation capacities of the Geo-pung mine waste rocks (samples from ten points at the waste dump) showed high acid forming potential except for one point (G7). The maximum value of NAPP (Net Acid Producing Potential), which calculated by total sulfur (MPA, Maximum Potential Acidity, kg H2SO4/t) and ANC (Acid Neutralizing Capacity), was 80.94 kg H2 SO4/t. The results of the chemical analysis showed that the leachate from the waste rock dump have high concentration of Al (56 mg/l), Mn (39 mg/l), Cu (26.3 mg/l), Zn (155.3 mg/l), SO42- (1430 mg/l) and low pH (3.19). Run-off waters (surface flow of waste dump when rain) were, although partly different, showed high concentration of Al (1.7 ~ 20.2 mg/l), Cu (1.8 ~ 14.7 mg/l), Zn (2.4 ~ 26.5 mg/l) and low pH (3.08 ~ 4.07). From the metal extraction test, concentration of zinc was showed high level, from 579 mg/kg to 3,934 mg/kg. The upper parts of the Geo-pung mine waste dump have very low nutrient which needed for plant growth. The organic content was 9 g/kg, bioavailable phosphate was 0.1 mg/kg, and the exchangeable cation (K, Na, Mg) content also under the limit value (1 mg/kg) for the plant growth. The result of pot test also showed that this waste dump is unsuitable for media for plant growth due to lack of nutrient components. So when establish the reclamation plan of the Geo- pung mine waste dump, the cover system which have the function of prevention of sulfide oxidation and provision of nutrient with neutralize materials for revegetation must be considered. key words : Abandoned Mine, Waste Rock Dump, Acid-Base Accounting, Cover System

  6. Nanominerals and potentially hazardous elements from coal cleaning rejects of abandoned mines: Environmental impact and risk assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fdez-Ortiz de Vallejuelo, Silvia; Gredilla, Ainara; da Boit, Kátia; Teixeira, Elba C; Sampaio, Carlos H; Madariaga, Juan Manuel; Silva, Luis F O

    2017-02-01

    Soils around coal mining are important reservoir of hazardous elements (HEs), nanominerals, and ultrafine compounds. This research reports and discusses the soil concentrations of HEs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in coal residues of abandoned mines. To assess differences regarding environmental impact and risk assessment between coal abandoned mines from the Santa Catarina state, eighteen coal cleaning rejects with different mineralogical and chemical composition, from eight abandoned mines were collected. Nanominerals and ultra-fine minerals from mining-contaminated areas were analyzed by X-ray diffraction (XRD), field emission scanning electron microscopy (FE-SEM), and high-resolution transmission electron microscope (HR-TEM), providing new information on the mineralogy and nano-mineralogy of these coal residues. The total contents of 57 elements (HEs, alkali metals, and rare earth elements) were analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS). The calculation of NWACs (Normalized Average Weighted Concentration), together with the chemometric analysis by Principal component analysis (PCA) confirmed the variability of the samples regarding their city and their mine of origin. Moreover, the results confirmed the existence of hotspots in mines near urban areas.

  7. Radiological impact of surface water and sediment near uranium mining sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivanova, K; Stojanovska, Z; Badulin, V; Kunovska, B; Yovcheva, M

    2015-12-01

    The aim of this study is to assess the radiological impact of surface water and sediment around uranium mining sites 20 years after their closing. The areas under observations are 31 former classical underground uranium mining and exploratory sites in Bulgaria, named as objects. The extraction and processing of uranium ores in the Republic of Bulgaria were ended in 1992. To assess the radiological impact of radionuclides field expeditions were performed to sample water and bottom sediment. The migration of uranium through surface water was examined as one of the major pathways for contamination spread. The range of uranium concentration in water flowing from the mining sites was from 0.012 to 6.8 mgU l(-1) with a geometric mean of 0.192 mgU l(-1). The uranium concentrations in water downstream the mining sites were approximately 3 times higher than the background value (upstream). The concentrations of Unat, (226)Ra, (210)Pb, and (232)Th in the sediment of downstream river were higher than those upstream by 3.4, 2.6, 2, and 1.7 times, respectively. The distribution coefficient of uranium reflects its high mobility in most of the sites. In order to evaluate the impact on people as well as site prioritization for more detailed assessment and water management, screening dose assessments were done.

  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. The South Alligator valley, northern Australia, then and now. Rehabilitating 60's uranium mines to 2000 standards

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waggitt, P.W. [Office of the Supervising Scientist, Darwin, N.T. (Australia)

    2000-07-01

    From 1956 to 1964 the upper South Alligator valley, an area in northern Australia about 200 km south east of Darwin, was the location for 13 operating uranium mines and a number of prospects. In each case the exploration involved drilling, costeaning and development of adits and shafts. The sites were abandoned in 1964 along with a small mill and solvent extraction plant and a gravity battery plant. There were no rehabilitation requirements under the regulations in force at that time. In 1986 a survey of abandoned mines was undertaken by the Commonwealth Government to establish the size and scope of a possible rehabilitation project. The area lay within the boundaries of the World Heritage Kakadu National Park and visitor numbers were increasing annually. The funds available from the Commonwealth rehabilitation fund were insufficient to permit a major rehabilitation program. In 1988, after discussions between the various agencies involved, it was agreed that a hazard reduction program would be undertaken. This was to include reductions in physical, as well as radiological hazards for visitors to the area. The program required that old mine workings be made physically safe and that potentially hazardous radioactive material be buried. The works took place from 1990 to 1992. The methodology and outcomes of the program are described. Monitoring was undertaken during and after the program and results of the studies for erosion, radiation and revegetation aspects of the work are described and discussed. In 1996 the land was returned to the Aboriginal Traditional Owners and leased back to the Commonwealth Government to remain in Kakadu National Park. The lease requires all evidence of former mining to be rehabilitated by 2015. The paper concludes by describing the planning and consultation processes for this rehabilitation program that have been taking place since 1997 and outlines the proposed schedule of works due to commence in 2001. 9 refs.

  10. The potential of eleocharis acicularis for phytoremediation: case study at an abandoned mine site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sakakibara, Masayuki; Sano, Sakae; Hori, Rie S. [Graduate School of Science and Engineering, Ehime University, Ehime (Japan); Sera, Koichiro [Cyclotron Research Center, Iwate Medical University, Iwate (Japan); Hoang Ha, Nguyen Thi

    2009-03-15

    Phytoremediation, a plant-based and cost-effective technology for the cleanup of contaminated soil and water, is receiving increasing attention. In this study, the aquatic macrophyte Eleocharis acicularis was examined for its ability to take up multiple heavy metals and its potential application for phytoremediation at an abandoned mining area in Hokkaido, Japan. Elemental concentrations were measured in samples of E. acicularis, water, and soil collected from areas of mine tailing and drainage. The results reveal that Pb,Fe,Cr,Cu,Ni, and Mn accumulation in the plants increased over the course of the experiment, exceeding their initial concentrations by factors of 930, 430, 60, 25, 10, and 6, respectively. The highest concentrations of Fe, Pb, Zn, Mn, Cr, Cu, and Ni within the plants were 59500, 1120, 964, 388, 265, 235, and 47.4 mg/kg dry wt., respectively, for plants growing in mine drainage after 11 months of the experiment. These results indicate that E. acicularis is a hyperaccumulator of Pb. We also found high Si concentrations in E. acicularis (2.08%). It is likely that heavy metals exist in opal-A within cells of the plant. The bioconcentration factors (BCF: ratio of metal concentration in the plant shoots to that in the soil) obtained for Cr,Cu,Zn,Ni,Mn, and Pb were 3.27,1.65,1.29,1.26,1.11, and 0.82, respectively. The existence of heavy metals as sulphides is thought to have restricted the metal-uptake efficiency of E. acicularis at the mine site. The results of this study indicate that E. acicularis shows great potential in the phytoremediation of mine tailing and drainage rich in heavy metals. (Abstract Copyright [2009], Wiley Periodicals, Inc.)

  11. Long term monitoring of water basin of an abandoned copper open pit mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nikolov, H.; Borisova, D.

    2012-04-01

    Nonoperating open pit mines, very often as a matter of fact abandoned, create serious ecological risk for the region of their location especially for the quality of the water since the rainfall fills the bottom of the pit forming water body having different depth. This water as a rule has very high concentration of the metals in it and is highly toxic. One example for such opencast, idle copper mine is Medet located in the central part of Bulgaria who was started for exploitation in 1964 and at that moment being the largest in Europe for production of copper concentrate. In the vicinity of it after autumn and spring rains there are many cases reported for water contamination by heavy metals such as arsenic, copper, cadmium in the rivers running close to this open pit mine. This justifies the need for long term and sustainable monitoring of the area of the water basin of this idle mine in order to estimate its acid drainage and imaging spectroscopy combined with is-situ investigations is proved to provide reliable results about the area of the water table. In the course of this study we have investigated historical data gathered by remote sensing which allowed us to make conclusions about the year behavior of this area. Our expectations are that the results of this research will help in the rehabilitation process of this idle mine and will provide the local authorities engaged in water quality monitoring with a tool to estimate the possible damage caused to the local rivers and springs. With this research we also would like to contribute to the fulfillment of the following EU Directives: Directive 2006/21/°C on the Management of Waste from the Extractive Industries and Directive 2004/35/ °C on Environmental Liability with regard to the Prevention and Remedying of Environmental Damage.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahu, Patitapaban; Mishra, Devi Prasad; Panigrahi, Durga Charan; Jha, Vivekananda; Patnaik, R Lokeswara; Sethy, Narendra Kumar

    2014-04-01

    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 (226)Ra 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 (222)Rn emanation rate and (226)Ra 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

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

  14. Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) of faulting and subsidence at an abandoned coal mine in the Walloon Coal Measures, Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brook, Martin; MacDonald-Creevey, Amanda; Smith, Ben

    2016-04-01

    As urban and suburban areas expand into previously unoccupied sites, the problem of accurately determining the locations of abandoned mine workings and the possible effects of fault reactivation on surface subsidence becomes more important. Here, we present the results of DC electrical resistivity imaging (ERI) surveys above an abandoned coal mine in the Jurassic Walloon Coal Measures of the Clarence-Moreton Basin, Queensland. Objectives were to: (1) locate the surface entrance to a coal mine access shaft, (2) determine the extent of the mine workings, (3) determine if the workings are open, partly- or fully-collapsed, (4) locate the possible existence of a high angle fault delineating the western extent of the workings. Coal seams were mined underground by the bord-and-pillar technique at the site until the first half of the 20th century to within ~20 m of the ground surface. This has led to ground settlement post-abandonment, with an additional hazard of this stress-redistribution being the possible reactivation of steeply-dipping faults known to pervade the coal measures. After an initial site reconnaissance, desktop study and modelling, it was determined that existing mine plans, maps and records were poorly kept and inaccurate, making a satisfactory geotechnical risk assessment prior to land development and construction difficult. The 2D ERI transects, coupled with boreholes, identified lateral zones of moderate-high resistivity that are interpreted to be partly-collapsed workings. The second key feature identified was a reverse fault that delineated the western edge of the mine workings. The key outcome is that for abandoned mine risk assessment to be optimised, careful integration of geophysical data and direct testing needs to be made.

  15. Plants from the abandoned Nacozari mine tailings: evaluation of their phytostabilization potential.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Alina E; Cruz-Ortega, Rocio; Meza-Figueroa, Diana; Romero, Francisco M; Sanchez-Escalante, Jose Jesus; Maier, Raina M; Neilson, Julia W; Alcaraz, Luis David; Molina Freaner, Francisco E

    2017-01-01

    Phytostabilization is a remediation technology that uses plants for in-situ stabilization of contamination in soils and mine tailings. The objective of this study was to identify native plant species with potential for phytostabilization of the abandoned mine tailings in Nacozari, Sonora in northern Mexico. A flora of 42 species in 16 families of angiosperms was recorded on the tailings site and the abundance of the most common perennial species was estimated. Four of the five abundant perennial species showed evidence of regeneration: the ability to reproduce and establish new seedlings. A comparison of selected physicochemical properties of the tailings in vegetated patches with adjacent barren areas suggests that pH, electrical conductivity, texture, and concentration of potentially toxic elements do not limit plant distribution. For the most abundant species, the accumulation factor for most metals was tailings and that seed could be collected locally to revegetate the site. More broadly, this study provides a methodology that can be used to identify native plants and evaluate their phytostabilization potential for similar mine tailings.

  16. Resistance to and Accumulation of Heavy Metals by Actinobacteria Isolated from Abandoned Mining Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Soraia El Baz

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Accumulation of high concentrations of heavy metals in environments can cause many human health risks and serious ecological problems. Nowadays, bioremediation using microorganisms is receiving much attention due to their good performance. The aim of this work is to investigate heavy metals resistance and bioaccumulation potential of actinobacteria strains isolated from some abandoned mining areas. Analysis of mining residues revealed that high concentration of zinc “Zn” was recorded in Sidi Bouatman, Arbar, and Bir Nhass mining residues. The highest concentration of lead “Pb” was found in Sidi Bouatman. Copper “Cu,” cadmium “Cd,” and chromium “Cr” were found with moderate and low concentrations. The resistance of 59 isolated actinobacteria to the five heavy metals was also determined. Using molecular identification 16S rRNA, these 27 isolates were found to belong to Streptomyces and Amycolatopsis genera. The results showed different levels of heavy metal resistance; the minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC recorded was 0.55 for Pb, 0.15 for Cr, and 0.10 mg·mL−1 for both Zn and Cu. Chemical precipitation assay of heavy metals using hydrogen sulfide technic (H2S revealed that only 27 isolates have a strong ability to accumulate Pb (up to 600 mg of Pb per g of biomass for Streptomyces sp. BN3.

  17. Glionitrin A, an antibiotic-antitumor metabolite derived from competitive interaction between abandoned mine microbes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Park, H.B.; Kown, H.C.; Lee, C.H.; Yang, H.O. [Korean Institute of Science & Technology KIST, Kangnung (Republic of Korea)

    2009-02-15

    The nutrient conditions present in abandoned coal mine drainages create an extreme environment where defensive and offensive microbial interactions could be critical for survival and fitness. Coculture of a mine drainage-derived Sphingomonas bacterial strain, KMK-001, and a mine drainage-derived Aspergillus fumigatus fungal strain, KMC-901, resulted in isolation of a new diketopiperazine disulfide, glionitrin A (1). Compound 1 was not detected in monoculture broths of KMK-001 or KMC-901. The structure of 1, a (3S,10aS) diketopiperazine disulfide containing a nitro aromatic ring, was based on analysis of MS, NMR, and circular dichroism spectra and confirmed by X-ray crystal data. Glionitrin A displayed significant antibiotic activity against a series of microbes including methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. An in vitro MTT cytotoxicity assay revealed that 1 had potent submicromolar cytotoxic activity against four human cancer cell lines: HCT-116, A549, AGS, and DU145. The results provide further evidence that microbial coculture can produce novel biologically relevant molecules.

  18. Physiological aspects of vetiver grass for rehabilitation in abandoned metalliferous mine wastes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pang, J; Chan, G S Y; Zhang, J; Liang, J; Wong, M H

    2003-09-01

    Physiological aspects of why vetiver grass (Vetiveria zizanioides L.) can be tolerant to heavy metals and be used as an alternative method for rehabilitation of abandoned metalliferous mine wastelands have been investigated. The results showed that high proportions of lead and zinc (Pb/Zn) tailing greatly inhibited the leaf growth, dry matter accumulation, and photosynthesis of leaves, but stimulated the accumulation of proline and abscisic acid (ABA), and enhanced the activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD), peroxidase (POD) and catalase (CAT), implying that different mechanisms to detoxify active oxygen species (AOS) existed in different parts of plants. Physiological responses to heavy metal treatments differed greatly between roots and shoots. Nitrogen fertilizer application could greatly alleviate the adverse effects of high proportions of Pb/Zn tailing on vetiver grass growth.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Geostatistical conditional simulation for the assessment of contaminated land by abandoned heavy metal mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ersoy, Adem; Yunsel, Tayfun Yusuf; Atici, Umit

    2008-02-01

    Abandoned mine workings can undoubtedly cause varying degrees of contamination of soil with heavy metals such as lead and zinc has occurred on a global scale. Exposure to these elements may cause to harm human health and environment. In the study, a total of 269 soil samples were collected at 1, 5, and 10 m regular grid intervals of 100 x 100 m area of Carsington Pasture in the UK. Cell declustering technique was applied to the data set due to no statistical representativity. Directional experimental semivariograms of the elements for the transformed data showed that both geometric and zonal anisotropy exists in the data. The most evident spatial dependence structure of the continuity for the directional experimental semivariogram, characterized by spherical and exponential models of Pb and Zn were obtained. This study reports the spatial distribution and uncertainty of Pb and Zn concentrations in soil at the study site using a probabilistic approach. The approach was based on geostatistical sequential Gaussian simulation (SGS), which is used to yield a series of conditional images characterized by equally probable spatial distributions of the heavy elements concentrations across the area. Postprocessing of many simulations allowed the mapping of contaminated and uncontaminated areas, and provided a model for the uncertainty in the spatial distribution of element concentrations. Maps of the simulated Pb and Zn concentrations revealed the extent and severity of contamination. SGS was validated by statistics, histogram, variogram reproduction, and simulation errors. The maps of the elements might be used in the remediation studies, help decision-makers and others involved in the abandoned heavy metal mining site in the world.

  1. Multisource geological data mining and its utilization of uranium resources exploration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Jie-lin

    2009-10-01

    Nuclear energy as one of clear energy sources takes important role in economic development in CHINA, and according to the national long term development strategy, many more nuclear powers will be built in next few years, so it is a great challenge for uranium resources exploration. Research and practice on mineral exploration demonstrates that utilizing the modern Earth Observe System (EOS) technology and developing new multi-source geological data mining methods are effective approaches to uranium deposits prospecting. Based on data mining and knowledge discovery technology, this paper uses multi-source geological data to character electromagnetic spectral, geophysical and spatial information of uranium mineralization factors, and provides the technical support for uranium prospecting integrating with field remote sensing geological survey. Multi-source geological data used in this paper include satellite hyperspectral image (Hyperion), high spatial resolution remote sensing data, uranium geological information, airborne radiometric data, aeromagnetic and gravity data, and related data mining methods have been developed, such as data fusion of optical data and Radarsat image, information integration of remote sensing and geophysical data, and so on. Based on above approaches, the multi-geoscience information of uranium mineralization factors including complex polystage rock mass, mineralization controlling faults and hydrothermal alterations have been identified, the metallogenic potential of uranium has been evaluated, and some predicting areas have been located.

  2. Geochemical characteristics of Au in the water systemfrom abandoned gold mines area

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cho, Kanghee; Kim, Bongju; Kim, Byungjoo; Park, Cheonyoung; Choi, Nagchoul

    2013-04-01

    The AMD (acid mine drainage) poses a threat not only to the aquatic life in mountain streams and rivers, but can also contaminate groundwater and downstream water bodies. Besides pyrite, sulfides of copper, zinc, cadmium, lead and arsenic in the drainage tunnels and tailings piles also undergo similar geochemical reactions, releasing toxic metals and more H+ into the mine drainage. The fate of gold in the AMD system is reduced and precipitated with iron oxides by oxidation-reduction reaction between ferrous/ferric iron and Au3+/Au0. The objective of this study was to investigate the influence of the transport characteristic on the distance through distribution of heavy metals and gold on the interrelation between acid mine drainage and sediments in the abandoned Gwang-yang gold mine, Korea. We conducted to confirm the chemical (chemical analysis and sequential extraction) and mineralogical property (XRD, SEM-EDS and polarization microscope) from AMD, sediments and tailing samples. The result of chemical analysis showed that Fe contents in the AMD and sediments from the upstream to the downstream ranged of 10.99 to 18.60 mg/L and 478.74 to 542.98 mg/kg, respectively. Also the contents of Au and As in the sediment were respectively ranged from 14.06 to 22.85 g/t and 0.245 to 0.612 mg/kg. In XRD analysis of the sediments, x-ray diffracted d-value belong to quartz, geothite was observed. The results of SEM-EDS analysis revealed that iron hydroxide were observed in the sediment and tailing. The result of sequential extraction for Au from the sediment showed that Au predominated in 26 to 27% of Organic matter fraction(STEP 4), and 24 to 25% of Residual fraction(STEP 5).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  4. Cola soft drinks for evaluating the bioaccessibility of uranium in contaminated mine soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lottermoser, Bernd G; Schnug, Ewald; Haneklaus, Silvia

    2011-08-15

    There is a rising need for scientifically sound and quantitative as well as simple, rapid, cheap and readily available soil testing procedures. The purpose of this study was to explore selected soft drinks (Coca-Cola Classic®, Diet Coke®, Coke Zero®) as indicators of bioaccessible uranium and other trace elements (As, Ce, Cu, La, Mn, Ni, Pb, Th, Y, Zn) in contaminated soils of the Mary Kathleen uranium mine site, Australia. Data of single extraction tests using Coca-Cola Classic®, Diet Coke® and Coke Zero® demonstrate that extractable arsenic, copper, lanthanum, manganese, nickel, yttrium and zinc concentrations correlate significantly with DTPA- and CaCl₂-extractable metals. Moreover, the correlation between DTPA-extractable uranium and that extracted using Coca-Cola Classic® is close to unity (+0.98), with reduced correlations for Diet Coke® (+0.66) and Coke Zero® (+0.55). Also, Coca-Cola Classic® extracts uranium concentrations near identical to DTPA, whereas distinctly higher uranium fractions were extracted using Diet Coke® and Coke Zero®. Results of this study demonstrate that the use of Coca-Cola Classic® in single extraction tests provided an excellent indication of bioaccessible uranium in the analysed soils and of uranium uptake into leaves and stems of the Sodom apple (Calotropis procera). Moreover, the unconventional reagent is superior in terms of availability, costs, preparation and disposal compared to traditional chemicals. Contaminated site assessments and rehabilitation of uranium mine sites require a solid understanding of the chemical speciation of environmentally significant elements for estimating their translocation in soils and plant uptake. Therefore, Cola soft drinks have potential applications in single extraction tests of uranium contaminated soils and may be used for environmental impact assessments of uranium mine sites, nuclear fuel processing plants and waste storage and disposal facilities.

  5. Trace elements in native and transplanted Fontinalis antipyretica and Platyhypnidium riparioides from rivers polluted by uranium mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kosior, Grzegorz; Steinnes, Eiliv; Samecka-Cymerman, Aleksandra; Lierhagen, Syverin; Kolon, Krzysztof; Dołhańczuk-Śródka, Agnieszka; Ziembik, Zbigniew

    2017-03-01

    The past uranium/polymetallic mining activities in the Sudety (SW Poland) left abandoned mines, pits, and dumps of waste rocks with trace elements and radionuclides which may erode or leach out and create a potential risk for the aquatic ecosystem, among others. In the present work four rivers affected by effluents from such mines were selected to evaluate the application of aquatic mosses for the bioindication of 56 elements. Naturally growing F. antipyretica and P. riparioides were compared with transplanted samples of the same species. The results demonstrate serious pollution of the examined rivers, especially with As, Ba, Fe, Mn, Pb, Ti, U and Zn, reaching extremely high concentrations in native moss samples. In the most polluted rivers native F. antipyretica and P. riparioides samples showed significantly higher concentrations of As, Ba, Cu, Fe, La, Nd, Ni, Pb, U and Zn than corresponding transplanted samples, whereas at less polluted sites a reverse situation was sometimes observed. Transplanted moss moved from clean to extremely polluted rivers probably protects itself against the accumulation of toxic elements by reducing their uptake. Selection of native or transplanted F. antipyretica and P. riparioides depended on the pollution load.

  6. Geoelectrical surveys for monitoring acid mine drainage in groundwater at abandoned open-cast lignite mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stollberg, R.; Hirsch, M.; Weiss, H.

    2013-05-01

    Surface and borehole geoelectrical survey techniques (DC resistivity measurements, Direct Push based electrical conductivity logging) were used to identify and localize acid mine drainage (AMD) at former lignite mining areas and adjacent groundwater bodies in Central Germany. Geoelectrical surface measurements are a fast and high-resolution survey method for the identification and discrimination of subsurface sections with different electrical properties. The method is based on a current injection by a pair of electrodes and electrical potential measurements by a second pair of electrodes. An electrical resistivity distribution of the subsurface can be measured by the ratio of injected currents and measured potentials. Moreover, electrical conductivity logging (EC-logging) was applied along the profile line of the geoelectrical surface measurement. A direct-push machine was used to push a GeoProbe® Wenner-Probe attached to a rod string into the ridges of mining dumps for recording vertical electrical resistivity profiles. The main objective has been the comparison between the superficial resistivity measurements and the results from in-situ downhole EC-logging for identifying the presence of AMD. Both, surface and subsurface measurements yielded in a precise and corresponding imaging of acidification effects in the underground. The electrical properties of soil/dump material and groundwater were found to be a proper proxy for the assessment of extension and degree of AMD impacts on soil and groundwater systems. A good correlation of the results obtained by these non- to minimal invasive investigation techniques with conventional (i.e. groundwater sampling) approaches could be proven.

  7. The effect of abandoned mining ponds on trace elements dynamics in the soil-plant system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gabarrón, María; Faz, Ángel; Zornoza, Raúl; Acosta, Jose A.

    2017-04-01

    In semiarid climate regions lack of vegetation and dryer climate contribute to erosion of abandoned mining surface areas making them up important potential sources of metal pollution into the environment. The objectives of this study were to determine the influence of mine ponds in agriculture and forest soils, and identify the dynamic of metals in the soil-plant system for native plant species (Ballota hirsuta) and crop species (Hordeum vulgare) in two ancient mining districts: La Unión and Mazarrón. To achieve these objectives, wastes samples from mine ponds and soil samples (rhizosphere and non-rhizosphere soils) from natural and agricultural lands were collected. In addition, six plants (Ballota hirsuta) from natural area and 3 plants (Hordeum vulgare) from crops were collected. Physicochemical properties and total, water soluble and bioavailable metals (Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, Pb, and Zn) and arsenic were measured in waste/soil samples. The chemical speciation of metals in soil was estimated by a sequential extraction procedure. For plants analyses, each plant were divided in roots, stem and leaves and metal content measured by ICP-MS. Results indicated that mine, natural and agricultural soils were contaminated by As, Cd, Cu, Pb, and Zn. Chemical partitioning revealed higher mobility of metals in mine ponds than natural and agriculture soils while only Fe and As are completely bound to the soil matrix due to the mineralogical compositions of soils. The accumulation of metals in Ballota hirsuta in La Union decrease as Fe>As>Cr>Ni>Cu>Zn>Cd>Mn>Co>Pb while in Mazarrón did as As>Fe>Cr>Pb>Cu>Ni>Co>Mn>Zn>Cd. Ballota hirsuta showed high ability to bio-accumulate Cu, Cr, Fe, Ni, and As, transferring a large amount to edible parts without exceeding the toxicity limits for animals. Results for barley plants (Hordeum vulgare) showed the ability to absorb and accumulate As, Fe, Mn, Pb and Zn, although the transfer ability of As, Cd and Pb was lower. Although the

  8. MINURAR - Uranium mines and their residues: health effects in a Portuguese Population

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Falcao, J.M. [Instituto Nacional de Saude Dr. Ricardo Jorge, Lisboa (Portugal); Carvalho, F. [Instituto Tecnologico e Nuclear, Sacavem (Portugal); Machado Leite, M. [Instituto Nacional de Engenharia, Tecnologia e Inovacao, Lab. de S. Mamede de Infesta, Sao Mamede de Infesta (Portugal); Alarcao, M. [Coimbra Univ., Faculdade de Psicologia e de Ciencias da Educacao (Portugal); Cordeiro, E. [Centro Regional de Saude Publica do Centro, Hospital de S. Teotonio, Viseu (Portugal); Ribeiro, J

    2006-07-01

    The study was designed to test if a population of Central Portugal, living within a short distance of abandoned uranium mines and mill tailings has health effects associated with exposure to uranium residues. The 'freguesia' (county) of Canas de Senhorim, where the major uranium mine (Urgeiri ) and mill tailings are located, as well as seven other 'freguesias' for comparison purposes, were investigated for environmental radiation, for contamination with heavy metals, and for the health characteristics of their populations. Concentrations of radio nuclides and heavy metals were measured in environmental samples and compared between 'freguesias'. A random sample of 285 individuals living in Canas de Senhorim (GE: Exposed Group) was compared with a random sample of 312 individuals living in the comparison 'freguesias' (GN: non exposed group). Health data of the population were obtained from a structured questionnaire and blood and hair samples were collected for biological measurements. Analysis of data tested the means, medians or proportions, according to the type of variables. Multi-factorial analysis was used to eliminate confounding effects, i.e., multi-factorial ANOVA for means and unconditional logistic regression for proportions. Levels of radiation and metals were higher near the mining site than in most of the comparison 'freguesias'. In the study of individuals, it was found that concentrations of Pb and Zn in blood serum were significantly higher in GE than in GN. Cu was also higher, although not significantly. This suggests a relevant exposure of GE to heavy metals. Exposure to internal radiation, assessed by concentrations of {sup 210}Po in the hair, was also higher in GE. When compared to GN, and after adjustment for relevant variables, GE showed statistically significant lower levels for: 1. thyroid function (measured by thyroxine (T4) and thyro-stimulating hormone); 2. reproductive function in men

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-02-15

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

  10. Use of native plants for the remediation of abandoned mine sites in Mediterranean semiarid environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bacchetta, G; Cappai, G; Carucci, A; Tamburini, E

    2015-03-01

    Abandoned tailing dumps from mining industry represent important sources of metal contamination in the surrounding environments. This study evaluates the potential of two Mediterranean native plants, Pistacia lentiscus and Phragmites australis, for phytoremediation of two Sardinian contaminated mine sites. A 6 months study has been conducted at greenhouse-controlled conditions with the aim of investigating the plant capability to tolerate high metal concentrations and to extract or immobilize them within the roots. The possibility to mitigate stress on the plants and improve treatment efficiency by adding compost as amendment was also evaluated. Both species were able to restrict accumulation of Cd, Pb and Zn to the root tissues exhibiting a metal concentration ratio of plant roots to soil bioavailable fraction higher than two (four in the case of Zn). However, the two species showed different adaptation responses, being the survival of P. australis after 6 months in contaminated soil lower (25 %-58 %) than that observed for P. lentiscus (77 %-100 %). Compost addition resulted in a lower metal uptake in tissues of both plants and a higher survival of P. australis, whilst almost no effect was observed as regard the growth of both species. The two tested species appear to be promising candidates for phytostabilization, P. lentiscus exhibiting a greater adaptability to heavy metal contaminated matrices than P. australis.

  11. Recovery of an area degraded by uranium mining using phytoremediation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fonseca, Gustavo [Fundacao de Ensino Octavio Bastos (UNIFEOB), Sao Joao da Boa Vista, SP (Brazil); Barreto, Helder M. [Faculdades Pitagoras, Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil). Curso de graduacao em Engenharia de Producao; Pereira, Wagner de S.; Goncalves, Cyntia C.; Oliveira, Gabriela T. de, E-mail: wspereira@inb.gov.br, E-mail: delcy@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (UTM/INB), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil). Unidade de Tratamento de Minerios; Pereira, Wagner de S. [Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Instituto de Biologia. Laboratorio de Radiobiologia e Radiometria Pedro Lopes dos Santos; Kelecom, Alphonse [Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF), Niteroi, RJ (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Ciencia Ambiental

    2011-07-01

    Environmental contamination caused by uranium mining is a widespread problem throughout the world, with serious implications. The goal of the remediation actions is to reduce environmental risks and to protect the health of exposed populations. This can be done by removing or reducing the sources or the critical exposure pathways. This remediation is achieved by physical, chemical and biological methods. Among the biological ones phyto remediation is considered the most simple and the cheapest way to remedy contaminated soils. The phyto remediation can act in different ways: Phyto stabilization, phyto degradation, phyto volatilization, rhizodegradation and phyto hydraulics. An important factor in phyto remediation is the bioavailability of radionuclides, which depends on the radionuclide itself, on the time of deposition and on soil characteristics. This paper proposes a strategy of phyto remediation for the unit of ore processing situated at Caldas, MG, BR which is an agricultural area, and the use of land for crops production is, hence, a critical exposure pathway to human. To block this exposure pathways a phyto remediation process was idealized based on the creation of a forest that will be used as an area of permanent preservation (Brazilian legislation term which prevents the use of land for any purpose other than the maintenance of the forest). The main requirement for this type of preservation area is the use of native trees. Thus, a survey of trees native to the region and available in three nearby forest gardens was carried out. The time of flowering, fruiting, ways to break dormancy of seeds and care for the production of seedlings and planting in the field were surveyed. Based on this study, the extension of the area to be covered and the species to be used could be defined. (author)

  12. 13 CFR 121.510 - What is the size standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining?

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-01-01

    ... 13 Business Credit and Assistance 1 2010-01-01 2010-01-01 false What is the size standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining? 121.510 Section 121.510 Business Credit and Assistance... standard for leasing of Government land for uranium mining? A concern is small for this purpose if...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stevanović Z.

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

  15. Tolerance and mining of Greenland’s uranium – a case study from Narsaq

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Bjørst, Lill Rastad

    containing uranium will be abolished, though the abolition will be contingent upon securing public health, nature and environment from risks.” With these words the new government of Greenland is ready to drop Greenland’s and Denmark's 25-year ban on uranium mining. This has raised an ongoing debate......This paper discusses how the government of Greenland discursively went from no-tolerance to a position as the ones promoting tolerance towards uranium mining in Greenland. The Coalition Agreement of the new Government of Greenland from Marts 2013 states that: “The 0-tolerance policy for minerals...... in Greenland as well as in the international press. With a multi-sited analytical focus on important communicative events, the paper will primarily incorporate knowledge and experiences from a continuing ethnographic case study in Narsaq - a community close to Greenland’s potentially biggest mine of REE...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-07-01

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

  17. Cola soft drinks for evaluating the bioaccessibility of uranium in contaminated mine soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lottermoser, Bernd G., E-mail: Bernd.Lottermoser@utas.edu.au [School of Earth Sciences, University of Tasmania, Private Bag 79, Hobart, Tasmania 7001 (Australia); Schnug, Ewald; Haneklaus, Silvia [Institute for Crop and Soil Science, Federal Institute for Cultivated Plants, Julius Kuehn-Institute (JKI), Bundesallee 50, D-38116 Braunschweig (Germany)

    2011-08-15

    There is a rising need for scientifically sound and quantitative as well as simple, rapid, cheap and readily available soil testing procedures. The purpose of this study was to explore selected soft drinks (Coca-Cola Classic (registered) , Diet Coke (registered) , Coke Zero (registered) ) as indicators of bioaccessible uranium and other trace elements (As, Ce, Cu, La, Mn, Ni, Pb, Th, Y, Zn) in contaminated soils of the Mary Kathleen uranium mine site, Australia. Data of single extraction tests using Coca-Cola Classic (registered) , Diet Coke (registered) and Coke Zero (registered) demonstrate that extractable arsenic, copper, lanthanum, manganese, nickel, yttrium and zinc concentrations correlate significantly with DTPA- and CaCl{sub 2}-extractable metals. Moreover, the correlation between DTPA-extractable uranium and that extracted using Coca-Cola Classic (registered) is close to unity (+ 0.98), with reduced correlations for Diet Coke (registered) (+ 0.66) and Coke Zero (registered) (+ 0.55). Also, Coca-Cola Classic (registered) extracts uranium concentrations near identical to DTPA, whereas distinctly higher uranium fractions were extracted using Diet Coke (registered) and Coke Zero (registered) . Results of this study demonstrate that the use of Coca-Cola Classic (registered) in single extraction tests provided an excellent indication of bioaccessible uranium in the analysed soils and of uranium uptake into leaves and stems of the Sodom apple (Calotropis procera). Moreover, the unconventional reagent is superior in terms of availability, costs, preparation and disposal compared to traditional chemicals. Contaminated site assessments and rehabilitation of uranium mine sites require a solid understanding of the chemical speciation of environmentally significant elements for estimating their translocation in soils and plant uptake. Therefore, Cola soft drinks have potential applications in single extraction tests of uranium contaminated soils and may be used for

  18. Bioaccessible lead in soils, slag, and mine wastes from an abandoned mining district in Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bosso, Sérgio T; Enzweiler, Jacinta

    2008-06-01

    We determined the amount of bioaccessible lead in samples of contaminated soils and in mining and refining wastes collected in the surroundings of a former smelter in a rural area in southeastern Brazil. Previous studies showed that some resident children and adults had blood Pb levels above recommended limits, but the contamination route was not established. The incidental ingestion of contaminated soils and dusts is considered to be a major route of lead uptake by humans. Bioavailability of heavy metals like Pb depends on solubility during digestion. We used in vitro tests that simulate human gastrointestinal (GI) media to measure the amount of soluble Pb under such conditions. Pb in soil and solid waste samples ranged from 0.03 to 4.1% and 1.2 to 15%, respectively. On average, 70% of the lead content was soluble in three different simulated gastric solutions (pH 1.5 and 1.7). For the same samples, lead solubility decreased to 2-22% when the pH was raised to pH 7 to approximate conditions found in the small intestine. These results indicate that if soils and dusts of the area are ingested, most of the lead will dissolve in the stomach, and part of it will remain soluble in the duodenum, i.e., would be potentially available for absorption. These findings may explain the high blood Pb levels previously reported.

  19. Contamination in surface waters around uranium mines in the Guadiana Basin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bejarano, J.D.; Tome, F.V.; Sanchez, A.M.; Sanchez, A.R.

    1988-01-01

    In a study of the contamination by uranium mines in the River Guadiana basin, we have found the natural higher concentration of uranium in samples collected near the mines and the expected decrease with distance in samples farther away. In spite of this expected result, there is another interesting fact: a natural isotopic separation is observed. Measurements were by alpha spectrometry with a silicon surface barrier detector. The study was completed with total gamma activity at the same sites as for alphas, using an Nal(Tl) detector. (author).

  20. Abandoned Rayrock uranium mill tailings in the Northwest Territories: environmental conditions and radiological impact.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veska, E; Eaton, R S

    1991-03-01

    Field and laboratory investigations were undertaken of the environment surrounding abandoned U mill tailings at Rayrock, Northwest Territories, Canada, to examine the extent of 226Ra and U contamination. Samples of ground water, surface water, and unconsolidated geological material from the Rayrock area were collected for chemical and radiochemical analyses. Results indicated that the surface waters contained levels of 226Ra as high as 20 Bq L-1, 210Pb as high as 1.1 Bq L-1, and ground water U as high as 2800 micrograms L-1. Lower levels of 226Ra, 210Pb, and U, 3.6 Bq L-1, 0.5 Bq L-1, and 4 micrograms L-1, respectively, were found in a small lake adjacent to the tailings area. Analysis of tailings and soil in the immediate vicinity indicates that the radionuclides and U are mobilized and can move within the tailings. Some of the mobilized radionuclides will be bound by the surrounding peat. The remainder may move to Lake Alpha in ground water. Surface water flow also transports some contaminants both in the water of Alpha Creek and by washing tailings into Lake Alpha. The potential annual external and internal dose equivalents to a hypothetical resident were calculated based on exposure from the abandoned U mill tailings, drinking water, and fish caught in the lakes in the vicinity of the tailings. While Alpha Creek and Lake Alpha water showed evidence of contamination, the rest of the water system and the fish were at natural background levels of radioactivity.

  1. 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.

  2. Mining and processing of uranium ores at the Streltsovsky ore field

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ovseytchuk, V.A.; Litvinenko, V.G.; Kultishev, V.I. [Joint Stock Company, Priargunsky Industrial Mining and Chemical Union, Krasnokamensk, Chita Region (Russian Federation)

    2000-07-01

    The uranium deposits of Streltsovsky ore fields provide raw materials for Russian nuclear industry. For this region, it is important to achieve continued and increased activities in the recovery of mineral resources of uranium. Similarly, maintaining the mining and processing of uranium ores ensures the supply of raw materials for the nuclear industry. With the current operations, increasing the mining and processing activities would increase the cost of production of uranium oxides due to decreasing grades of ore body. After a review of the existing economic, technological and natural factors, a solution was proposed based on the joint application of underground mining and ore enrichment and processing with the help of hydrometallurgical process, in-situ leaching. Reduction of operation coasts and creation of radiation-safe working conditions could be achieved with the application of these systems involving concrete hardening in the mines and in-situ leaching of ore. With the help of economic-mathematical modeling, methods for rational application of various technologies could be determined and their processing parameters were specified. A reduction of coasts could be obtained and favorable conditions could be established for improvement in the treatment of lower grade ores by heap leaching. Application of purification of mine waters and tailing pond reduces the influence of the radiation and the impact on the natural environment. (author)

  3. 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.

  4. Isotopes of uranium in the waters of mine tailings Kadzhi-Sai

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ilona Matveyeva

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available The paper presents the results of the determination of uranium isotopes in the water objects of the region Kadzhi-Sai, where former uranium mine, concentrating plant and tailing with a total volume of 400,000 m3 are located. Determination of uranium isotopes was done by alpha-spectrometry method with previous radiochemical preparation (coprecipitation on iron hydroxide, extraction with tributyl phosphate and electrodeposition on stainless steel disk on alpha-spectrometer of «Canberra». On the basis of experimental data, the ratios of uranium-234 to uranium-238 were calculated, uranium isotope chart of determination of genetic composition of water were built and investigated. During the work three genetic types of waters were established: waters of deep circulation, waters of uranium anomalies draining tailing, and waters of active water exchange of the region. Their mixing proportions in the investigated water sources were calculated. It was found that drinking waters of Kadzhi-Sai village consist of only 5-7% of waters enriched by uranium; the major part (60-80% is waters of deep circulation.

  5. Predictive analysis of shaft station radon concentrations in underground uranium mine: A case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Guoyan; Hong, Changshou; Li, Xiangyang; Lin, Chunping; Hu, Penghua

    2016-07-01

    This paper presented a method for predicting shaft station radon concentrations in a uranium mine of China through theoretical analysis, mathematical derivation and Monte-Carlo simulation. Based upon the queuing model for tramcars, the average waiting time of tramcars and average number of waiting tramcars were determined, which were further used in developing the predictive model for calculating shaft station radon concentrations. The results exhibit that the extent of variation of shaft station radon concentration in the case study mine is not significantly affected by the queuing process of tramcars, and is always within the allowable limit of 200 Bq m(-3). Thus, the empirical limit of 100,000 T annual ore-hoisting yields has no value in ensuring radiation safety for this mine. Moreover, the developed model has been validated and proved useful in assessing shaft station radon levels for any uranium mine with similar situations. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. The rise of the mine water level in the area of the former Kohinoor II mine and the influence on the surrounding aquifer systems of abandoned mines in the central part of the North Bohemian Brown Coal Basin

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Milan Mikoláš

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this article is to evaluate the process of terminating the mine water pumping after the liquidation of the Kohinoor II coal mine, situated in the central part of the North Bohemian Brown Coal Basin (NBB and the subsequent resumption of pumping from the surface after the mine water rise in the area of the former mine to the desired level. We analyzed previously known data, particularly the amount of mine water pumped from the mine area and the surrounding abandoned mines in the past. Further the evaluation of known surrounding abandoned mines aquifer systems, accumulated in the coal seam (underground accumulation of water and the evaluation of the effect of increasing the water level in the Kohinoor II mine, focusing on the enlargement of the central mine aquifers and the evaluation of the effects of changes in the way of pumping on the surrounding coal seam and its mining with continued safe brown coal mining at the nearby Bílina mine, that can be ensured for at least another 25 years.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  8. Evaluation of DNA damage in a population of bats (Chiroptera) residing in an abandoned monazite mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meehan, Kathleen A; Truter, Ernest J; Slabbert, Jacobus P; Parker, M Iqbal

    2004-02-14

    Ionising radiation has the ability to induce DNA damage. While the effects of high doses of radiation of short duration have been well documented, the biological effects of long-term exposure to low doses are poorly understood. This study evaluated the clastogenic effects of low dose ionising radiation on a population of bats (Chiroptera) residing in an abandoned monazite mine. Bats were sampled from two chambers in the mine, where external radiation levels measured around 20 microSv/h (low dose) and 100 microSv/h (higher dose), respectively. A control group of bats was sampled from a cave with no detectable radiation above normal background levels. The micronucleus assay was used to evaluate residual radiation damage in binucleated lymphocytes and showed that the micronucleus frequency per 500 binucleated lymphocytes was increased in the lower radiation-exposed group (17.7) and the higher radiation-exposed group (27.1) compared to the control group (5.3). This study also showed that bats exposed to radiation presented with an increased number of micronuclei per one thousand reticulocytes (2.88 and 10.75 in the lower and high radiation-exposed groups respectively) when compared to the control group (1.7). The single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay was used as a means of evaluating clastogenecity of exposure to radiation at the level of individual cells. Bats exposed to radiation demonstrated increased DNA damage as shown by the length of the comet tails and showed an increase in cumulative damage. The results of the micronucleus and the comet assays indicated not only a statistically significant difference between test and control groups (P<0.001), but also a dose-dependent increase in DNA damage (P<0.001). These assays may thus be useful in evaluating the potential clastogenecity of exposure to continuous low doses of ionising radiation.

  9. Amphibian acoustic data from the Arizona 1, Pinenut, and Canyon breccia pipe uranium mines in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Hossack, Blake R.; Honeycutt, Richard

    2017-01-01

    The data consists of a summary of amphibian acoustic recordings at Canyon, Arizona 1, and Pinenut mines near the Grand Canyon. USGS is currently conducting biological surveys associated with uranium mines on federal lands in Arizona. These surveys include determining the composition of the local amphibian community. Original raw acoustic recordings used to create this summary data table are archived at Columbia Environmental Research Center.

  10. Probability of failure of waste disposals sites in Žirovski vrh uranium mine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomaž Beguš

    2002-12-01

    Full Text Available The only Uranium mine in Slovenia @irovski vrh was closed in 1990 due to economic reasons. After the closure extensive decommissioning works in the mine and in the surrounding began. In the very beginning after the closure great landslide has been occurred in the mill tailings site and recalculation of stability of existent and alternate sites were performed. In this calculations I used statistical scatter of input variables and calculated probability of failure of sites.

  11. Hydrogeology, groundwater flow, and groundwater quality of an abandoned underground coal-mine aquifer, Elkhorn Area, West Virginia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kozar, Mark D.; McCoy, Kurt J.; Britton, James Q.; Blake, B.M.

    2017-01-01

    The Pocahontas No. 3 coal seam in southern West Virginia has been extensively mined by underground methods since the 1880’s. An extensive network of abandoned mine entries in the Pocahontas No. 3 has since filled with good-quality water, which is pumped from wells or springs discharging from mine portals (adits), and used as a source of water for public supplies. This report presents results of a three-year investigation of the geology, hydrology, geochemistry, and groundwater flow processes within abandoned underground coal mines used as a source of water for public supply in the Elkhorn area, McDowell County, West Virginia. This study focused on large (> 500 gallon per minute) discharges from the abandoned mines used as public supplies near Elkhorn, West Virginia. Median recharge calculated from base-flow recession of streamflow at Johns Knob Branch and 12 other streamflow gaging stations in McDowell County was 9.1 inches per year. Using drainage area versus mean streamflow relationships from mined and unmined watersheds in McDowell County, the subsurface area along dip of the Pocahontas No. 3 coal-mine aquifer contributing flow to the Turkey Gap mine discharge was determined to be 7.62 square miles (mi2), almost 10 times larger than the 0.81 mi2 surface watershed. Results of this investigation indicate that groundwater flows down dip beneath surface drainage divides from areas up to six miles east in the adjacent Bluestone River watershed. A conceptual model was developed that consisted of a stacked sequence of perched aquifers, controlled by stress-relief and subsidence fractures, overlying a highly permeable abandoned underground coal-mine aquifer, capable of substantial interbasin transfer of water. Groundwater-flow directions are controlled by the dip of the Pocahontas No. 3 coal seam, the geometry of abandoned mine workings, and location of unmined barriers within that seam, rather than surface topography. Seven boreholes were drilled to intersect

  12. Trace elements and Pb isotopes in soils and sediments impacted by uranium mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cuvier, A., E-mail: alicia.cuvier@hotmail.fr [ECOLAB, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse (France); IRSN/PRP-ENV/SESURE/Laboratoire d' études radioécologiques en milieu continental et marin, BP 1, 13108 Saint Paul Lez Durance Cedex (France); Pourcelot, L. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SESURE/Laboratoire d' études radioécologiques en milieu continental et marin, BP 1, 13108 Saint Paul Lez Durance Cedex (France); Probst, A. [ECOLAB, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse (France); Prunier, J. [Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, laboratoire Géosciences Environnement Toulouse, CNRS/IRD/Université Paul Sabatier, 14 avenue Edouard Belin, 31400 Toulouse (France); Le Roux, G., E-mail: gael.leroux@ensat.fr [ECOLAB, Université de Toulouse, CNRS, INPT, UPS, Toulouse (France)

    2016-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the contamination in As, Ba, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, Zn and REE, in a high uranium activity (up to 21,000 Bq ∙ kg{sup −1}) area, downstream of a former uranium mine. Different geochemical proxies like enrichment factor and fractions from a sequential extraction procedure are used to evaluate the level of contamination, the mobility and the availability of the potential contaminants. Pb isotope ratios are determined in the total samples and in the sequential leachates to identify the sources of the contaminants and to determine the mobility of radiogenic Pb in the context of uranium mining. In spite of the large uranium contamination measured in the soils and the sediments (EF ≫ 40), trace element contamination is low to moderate (2 < EF < 5), except for Ba (5 < EF < 15), due to the precipitation of barium sulfate resulting from mining activities. Most of the trace elements are associated with the most mobile fractions of the sediments/soils, implying an enhanced potential availability. Even if no Pb enrichment is highlighted, the Pb isotopic signature of the contaminated soils is strongly radiogenic. Measurements performed on the sequential leachates reveal inputs of radiogenic Pb in the most mobile fractions of the contaminated soil. Inputs of low-mobile radiogenic Pb from mining activities may also contribute to the Pb signature recorded in the residual phase of the contaminated samples. We demonstrate that Pb isotopes are efficient tools to trace the origin and the mobility of the contaminants in environments affected by uranium mining. - Highlights: • Contamination of soils is evidenced by a multiproxy approach. • Enrichment factors highlight a low contamination except for U, S and Ba. • Pb isotope ratios point out inputs of radiogenic Pb from the mine. • Radiogenic Pb is mainly in the acid-soluble and the reducible fractions.

  13. Bioprospecting for acidophilic lipid-rich green microalgae isolated from abandoned mine site water bodies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eibl, Joseph K; Corcoran, Jason D; Senhorinho, Gerusa N A; Zhang, Kejian; Hosseini, Nekoo Seyed; Marsden, James; Laamanen, Corey A; Scott, John A; Ross, Gregory M

    2014-03-26

    With fossil fuel sources in limited supply, microalgae show tremendous promise as a carbon neutral source of biofuel. Current microalgae biofuel strategies typically rely on growing high-lipid producing laboratory strains of microalgae in open raceways or closed system photobioreactors. Unfortunately, these microalgae species are found to be sensitive to environmental stresses or competition by regional strains. Contamination by invasive species can diminish productivity of commercial algal processes. A potential improvement to current strategies is to identify high-lipid producing microalgae, which thrive in selected culture conditions that reduce the risk of contamination, such as low pH. Here we report the identification of a novel high-lipid producing microalgae which can tolerate low pH growth conditions. Lig 290 is a Scenedesmus spp. isolated from a low pH waterbody (pH = 4.5) in proximity to an abandoned lignite mine in Northern Ontario, Canada. Compared to a laboratory strain of Scendesmus dimorphus, Lig 290 demonstrated robust growth rates, a strong growth profile, and high lipid production. As a consequence, Lig 290 may have potential application as a robust microalgal species for use in biofuel production.

  14. Reclamation of abandoned mined lands along th Upper Illinois Waterway using dredged material

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Luik, A; Harrison, W

    1982-01-01

    Sediments were sampled and characterized from 28 actual or proposed maintenance-dredging locations in the Upper Illinois Waterway, that is, the Calumet-Sag Channel, the Des Plaines River downstream of its confluence with the Calumet-Sag Channel, and the Illinois River from the confluence of the Kankakee and Des Plaines rivers to Havana, Illinois. Sufficient data on chemical constituents and physical sediments were obtained to allow the classification of these sediments by currently applicable criteria of the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency for the identification of hazardous, persistent, and potentially hazardous wastes. By these criteria, the potential dredged materials studied were not hazardous, persistent, or potentially hazardous; they are a suitable topsoil/ reclamation medium. A study of problem abandoned surface-mined land sites (problem lands are defined as being acidic and/or sparsely vegetated) along the Illinois River showed that three sites were particularly well suited to the needs of the Corps of Engineers (COE) for a dredged material disposal/reclamation site. Thes sites were a pair of municipally owned sites in Morris, Illinois, and a small corporately owned site east of Ottawa, Illinois, and adjacent to the Illinois River. Other sites were also ranked as to suitability for COE involvement in their reclamation. Reclamation disposal was found to be an economically competitive alternative to near-source confined disposal for Upper Illinois Waterway dredged material.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lavoie, Isabelle; Lavoie, Michel; Fortin, Claude, E-mail: fortincl@ete.inrs.ca

    2012-05-15

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

  16. Recovery of uranium from mine waste by leaching with carbonate-based reagents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Elizângela A; Ladeira, Ana C Q

    2011-04-15

    Waste materials, stored in inappropriate places, are one of the most significant environmental issues concerning mining activities. In Brazil, one closed uranium mine has faced such a problem. The waste, produced during the neutralization of acid drainage and containing several metals including uranium, has been disposed into the mine opening as a temporary alternative for over 20 years. The present work aimed at the recovery of the uranium present in the aforementioned waste. The effect of the following parameters on the leaching procedure was investigated: solid/liquid ratio, time, temperature, extracting agents, concentration of reagents, and the use of oxidants. The chemical characterization showed that the main constituents of the sample are Ca, S, Mn, and Al. Uranium is around 0.25%. The crystallized phases are ettringite (Ca(6)Al(2)(SO(4))(3)·(OH)(12)·26H(2)O) as the major phase followed by gypsum (CaSO(4)·2H(2)O), calcite (CaCO(3)), and bassanite (CaSO(4)·0.5H(2)O). Carbonate and bicarbonate were observed to be effective extractants for the uranium. However, a combination of both reagents proved to be a better option than their individual use, and extractions around 100% were achieved. The optimum experimental condition for attaining the maximum dissolution is 0.11 solid/liquid ratio, 0.50 mol L(-1) Na(2)CO(3), 1.00 mol L(-1) NaHCO(3), 20 h, and room temperature.

  17. Effluent water quality and the ochre deposit characteristics of the abandoned Smolník mine, East Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Daniel Kupka

    2012-12-01

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

  18. The influence of biofilms on the migration of uranium in acid mine drainage (AMD) waters

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Krawczyk-Baersch, E., E-mail: E.Krawczyk-Baersch@hzdr.de [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiochemistry, P.O. Box 51 01 19, D-01314 Dresden (Germany); Luensdorf, H. [Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research, Department of Vaccinology and Applied Microbiology, Inhoffenstr. 7, D-38124 Braunschweig (Germany); Arnold, T.; Brendler, V. [Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf, Institute of Radiochemistry, P.O. Box 51 01 19, D-01314 Dresden (Germany); Eisbein, E. [TU Bergakademie Freiberg, Institute of Physical Chemistry, Akademiestrasse 6, D-09596 Freiberg (Germany); Jenk, U.; Zimmermann, U. [Wismut GmbH, Jagdschaenkenstr. 29, D-09117 Chemnitz (Germany)

    2011-07-15

    The uranium mine in Koenigstein (Germany) is currently in the process of being flooded. Huge mass of Ferrovum myxofaciens dominated biofilms are growing in the acid mine drainage (AMD) water as macroscopic streamers and as stalactite-like snottites hanging from the ceiling of the galleries. Microsensor measurements were performed in the AMD water as well as in the biofilms from the drainage channel on-site and in the laboratory. The analytical data of the AMD water was used for the thermodynamic calculation of the predominance fields of the aquatic uranium sulfate (UO{sub 2}SO{sub 4}) and UO{sub 2}{sup ++} speciation as well as of the solid uranium species Uranophane [Ca(UO{sub 2}){sub 2}(SiO{sub 3}OH){sub 2}{center_dot}5H{sub 2}O] and Coffinite [U(SiO{sub 4}){sub 1-x}(OH){sub 4x}], which are defined in the stability field of pH > 4.8 and Eh < 960 mV and pH > 0 and Eh < 300 mV, respectively. The plotting of the measured redox potential and pH of the AMD water and the biofilm into the calculated pH-Eh diagram showed that an aqueous uranium(VI) sulfate complex exists under the ambient conditions. According to thermodynamic calculations a retention of uranium from the AMD water by forming solid uranium(VI) or uranium(IV) species will be inhibited until the pH will increase to > 4.8. Even analysis by Energy-filtered Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) within the biofilms did not provide any microscopic or spectroscopic evidence for the presence of uranium immobilization. In laboratory experiments the first phase of the flooding process was simulated by increasing the pH of the AMD water. The results of the experiments indicated that the F. myxofaciens dominated biofilms may have a substantial impact on the migration of uranium. The AMD water remained acid although it was permanently neutralized with the consequence that the retention of uranium from the aqueous solution by the formation of solid uranium species will be

  19. Effects of uranium mining discharges on water quality in the Puerco River basin, Arizona and New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Metre, P.C.; Gray, J.R.

    1992-01-01

    From 1967 until 1986, uranium mine dewatering increased dissolved gross alpha, gross beta, uranium and radium activities and dissolved selenium and molybdenum concentrations in the Puerco River as indicated by time trends, areal patterns involving distance from the mines and stream discharge. Additionally, increased dissolved uranium concentrations were identified in groundwater under the Puerco River from where mine discharges entered the river to approximately the Arizona-New Mexico State line about 65 km downstream. Total mass of uranium and gross alpha activity released to the Puerco River by mine dewatering were estimated as 560 Mg (560 × 106 g) and 260 Ci, respectively. In comparison, a uranium mill tailings pond spill on 16 July 1979, released an estimated 1.5 Mg of uranium and 46 Ci of gross alpha activity. Mass balance calculations for alluvial ground water indicate that most of the uranium released did not remain in solution. Sorption of uranium on sediments and uptake of uranium by plants probably removed the uranium from solution.

  20. Aquifer restoration at in-situ leach uranium mines: evidence for natural restoration processes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Deutsch, W.J.; Serne, R.J.; Bell, N.E.; Martin, W.J.

    1983-04-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory conducted experiments with aquifer sediments and leaching solution (lixiviant) from an in-situ leach uranium mine. The data from these laboratory experiments and information on the normal distribution of elements associated with roll-front uranium deposits provide evidence that natural processes can enhance restoration of aquifers affected by leach mining. Our experiments show that the concentration of uranium (U) in solution can decrease at least an order of magnitude (from 50 to less than 5 ppM U) due to reactions between the lixiviant and sediment, and that a uranium solid, possibly amorphous uranium dioxide, (UO/sub 2/), can limit the concentration of uranium in a solution in contact with reduced sediment. The concentrations of As, Se, and Mo in an oxidizing lixiviant should also decrease as a result of redox and precipitation reactions between the solution and sediment. The lixiviant concentrations of major anions (chloride and sulfate) other than carbonate were not affected by short-term (less than one week) contact with the aquifer sediments. This is also true of the total dissolved solids level of the solution. Consequently, we recommend that these solution parameters be used as indicators of an excursion of leaching solution from the leach field. Our experiments have shown that natural aquifer processes can affect the solution concentration of certain constituents. This effect should be considered when guidelines for aquifer restoration are established.

  1. Revegetation of an abandoned uranium millsite on the Colorado Plateau, Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Glenn, E P; Waugh, W J; Moore, D; McKeon, C; Nelson, S G

    2001-01-01

    We attempted to restore native plants on disturbed sites at a former uranium mill on the Colorado Plateau near Tuba City, AZ. Four-wing saltbush [Atriplex canescens (Pursh) Nutt.] was successfully established in compacted caliche soil and in unconsolidated dune soil when transplants were irrigated through the first summer with 20 L/plant/wk. The caliche soil was ripped before planting to improve water-holding capacity. The diploid saltbush variety, angustifolia, had higher survival and growth than the common tetraploid variety, occidentalis, especially on dune soil. The angustifolia variety grew to 0.3 to 0.4 m3 per plant over 3 yr even though irrigation was provided only during the establishment year. By contrast, direct seeding of a variety of native forbs, grasses, and shrubs yielded poor results, despite supplemental irrigation throughout the first summer. In this arid environment (precipitation = 100 to 200 mm/yr), the most effective revegetation strategy is to establish keystone native shrubs, such as four-wing saltbush, using transplants and irrigation during the establishment year, rather than attempting to establish a diverse plant community all at once.

  2. Solutions Network Formulation Report. Landsat Data Continuity Mission Simulated Data Products for Bureau of Land Management and Environmental Protection Agency Abandoned Mine Lands Decision Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estep, Leland

    2007-01-01

    Presently, the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) has identified a multitude of abandoned mine sites in primarily Western states for cleanup. These sites are prioritized and appropriate cleanup has been called in to reclaim the sites. The task is great in needing considerable amounts of agency resources. For instance, in Colorado alone there exists an estimated 23,000 abandoned mines. The problem is not limited to Colorado or to the United States. Cooperation for reclamation is sought at local, state, and federal agency level to aid in identification, inventory, and cleanup efforts. Dangers posed by abandoned mines are recognized widely and will tend to increase with time because some of these areas are increasingly used for recreation and, in some cases, have been or are in the process of development. In some cases, mines are often vandalized once they are closed. The perpetrators leave them open, so others can then access the mines without realizing the danger posed. Abandoned mine workings often fill with water or oxygen-deficient air and dangerous gases following mining. If the workings are accidentally entered into, water or bad air can prove fatal to those underground. Moreover, mine residue drainage negatively impacts the local watershed ecology. Some of the major hazards that might be monitored by higher-resolution satellites include acid mine drainage, clogged streams, impoundments, slides, piles, embankments, hazardous equipment or facilities, surface burning, smoke from underground fires, and mine openings.

  3. Breccia-pipe uranium mining in northern Arizona; estimate of resources and assessment of historical effects

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bills, Donald J.; Brown, Kristin M.; Alpine, Andrea E.; Otton, James K.; Van Gosen, Bradley S.; Hinck, Jo Ellen; Tillman, Fred D

    2011-01-01

    About 1 million acres of Federal land in the Grand Canyon region of Arizona were temporarily withdrawn from new mining claims in July 2009 by the Secretary of the Interior because of concern that increased uranium mining could have negative impacts on the land, water, people, and wildlife. During a 2-year interval, a Federal team led by the Bureau of Land Management is evaluating the effects of withdrawing these lands for extended periods. As part of this team, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) conducted a series of short-term studies to examine the historical effects of breccia-pipe uranium mining in the region. The USGS studies provide estimates of uranium resources affected by the possible land withdrawal, examine the effects of previous breccia-pipe mining, summarize water-chemistry data for streams and springs, and investigate potential biological pathways of exposure to uranium and associated contaminants. This fact sheet summarizes results through December 2009 and outlines further research needs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weakley, S.A.; Blahnik, D.E.; Long, L.W.; Bloomster, C.H.

    1981-04-01

    This study examined the type and level of wastes that would be generated in the mining and milling of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ from four potential domestic sources of uranium. The estimated costs of the technology to control these wastes to different degrees of stringency are presented.

  5. ENHANCEMENT OF TERRESTRIAL CARBON SINKS THROUGH RECLAMATION OF ABANDONED MINE LANDS IN THE APPALACHIAN REGION

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gary D. Kronrad

    2002-12-01

    The U.S.D.I. Office of Surface Mining (OSM) estimates that there are approximately 1 million acres of abandoned mine land (AML) in the Appalachian region. AML lands are classified as areas that were inadequately reclaimed or were left unreclaimed prior to the passage of the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act, and where no federal or state laws require any further reclamation responsibility to any company or individual. Reclamation and afforestation of these sites have the potential to provide landowners with cyclical timber revenues, generate environmental benefits to surrounding communities, and sequester carbon in the terrestrial ecosystem. Through a memorandum of understanding, the OSM and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have decided to investigate reclaiming and afforesting these lands for the purpose of mitigating the negative effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This study determined the carbon sequestration potential of northern red oak (Quercus rubra L.), one of the major reclamation as well as commercial species, planted on West Virginia AML sites. Analyses were conducted to (1) calculate the total number of tons that can be stored, (2) determine the cost per ton to store carbon, and (3) calculate the profitability of managing these forests for timber production alone and for timber production and carbon storage together. The Forest Management Optimizer (FORMOP) was used to simulate growth data on diameter, height, and volume for northern red oak. Variables used in this study included site indices ranging from 40 to 80 (base age 50), thinning frequencies of 0, 1, and 2, thinning percentages of 20, 25, 30, 35, and 40, and a maximum rotation length of 100 years. Real alternative rates of return (ARR) ranging from 0.5% to 12.5% were chosen for the economic analyses. A total of 769,248 thinning and harvesting combinations, net present worths, and soil expectation values were calculated in this study. Results indicate that

  6. Contamination of wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer by abandoned zinc and lead mines, Ottawa County, Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christenson, Scott C.

    1995-01-01

    The Roubidoux aquifer in Ottawa County Oklahoma is used extensively as a source of water for public supplies, commerce, industry, and rural water districts. Water in the Roubidoux aquifer in eastern Ottawa County has relatively low dissolved-solids concentrations (less than 200 mg/L) with calcium, magnesium, and bicarbonate as the major ions. The Boone Formation is stratigraphically above the Roubidoux aquifer and is the host rock for zinc and lead sulfide ores, with the richest deposits located in the vicinity of the City of Picher. Mining in what became known as the Picher mining district began in the early 1900's and continued until about 1970. The water in the abandoned zinc and lead mines contains high concentrations of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, sulfate, fluoride, cadmium, copper, iron, lead, manganese, nickel, and zinc. Water from the abandoned mines is a potential source of contamination to the Roubidoux aquifer and to wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer. Water samples were collected from wells completed in the Roubidoux aquifer in the Picher mining district and from wells outside the mining district to determine if 10 public supply wells in the mining district are contaminated. The chemical analyses indicate that at least 7 of the 10 public supply wells in the Picher mining district are contaminated by mine water. Application of the Mann-Whitney test indicated that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination are different in water samples from wells in the mining area as compared to wells outside the mining area. Application of the Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed that the concentrations of some chemical constituents that are indicators of mine-water contamination were higher in current (1992-93) data than in historic (1981-83) data, except for pH, which was lower in current than in historic data. pH and sulfate, alkalinity, bicarbonate, magnesium, iron, and tritium concentrations consistently

  7. The uptake of uranium by Eleocharis dulcis (Chinese water chestnut) in the Ranger Uranium Mine constructed wetland filter

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Overall, Robyn A.; Parry, David L

    2004-11-01

    Eleocharis dulcis has proliferated in a constructed wetland used to treat uranium mine runoff water, where it rapidly accumulates significant quantities of uranium (U) in its roots and relatively little in its stems. We investigated the mechanism of U uptake and accumulation by E. dulcis using field-sampling techniques and microcosm test work. Results from the microcosm trials and outcomes from statistical tests of field sampled macrophyte, water and sediment indicate that the primary source of U for E. dulcis is the water column. Basipetal translocation of U to the plant's roots was indicated by significant correlations between the U content of stems, taproots and rhizomes and XPS detection of U inside root segments. U sequestering from sediment interstitial water by Fe hydroxides on root surfaces was also evident. No basipetal translocation was evident following the 28-day duration of the microcosm experiments, indicating that it is a longer-term process.

  8. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps and human health hazards associated with uranium exploration and mining, Red, White, and Fry Canyons, southeastern Utah, 2007

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

    During May, June, and July 2007, 58 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium mine waste dumps, background sites, and adjacent streambeds in Red, White, and Fry Canyons in southeastern Utah. The objectives of this sampling program were to (1) assess the nonpoint-source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial drainage basins from uranium waste dumps and (2) assess potential effects on human health due to recreational activities on and around uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management property. Uranium waste-dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. After collection, solid-phase samples were homogenized and extracted in the laboratory using a leaching procedure. Filtered (0.45 micron) water samples were obtained from the field leaching procedure and were analyzed for major and trace elements at the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Metals Analysis Laboratory at the University of Utah. A subset of the solid-phase samples also were digested with strong acids and analyzed for major ions and trace elements at the U.S. Geological Survey Geologic Division Laboratory in Denver, Colorado. For the initial ranking of chemical loading potential for uranium waste dumps, results of leachate analyses were compared with existing aquatic-life and drinking-water-quality standards. To assess potential effects on human health, solid-phase digestion values for uranium were compared to soil screening levels (SSL) computed using the computer model RESRAD 6.5 for a probable concentration of radium. One or more chemical constituents exceeded aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards in approximately 64 percent (29/45) of the leachate samples extracted from uranium waste dumps. Most of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates were located in Red Canyon. Approximately 69 percent (31/45) of the strong acid digestible soil concentration values were greater than a calculated

  9. Trace elements and Pb isotopes in soils and sediments impacted by uranium mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuvier, A; Pourcelot, L; Probst, A; Prunier, J; Le Roux, G

    2016-10-01

    The purpose of this study is to evaluate the contamination in As, Ba, Co, Cu, Mn, Ni, Sr, V, Zn and REE, in a high uranium activity (up to 21,000Bq∙kg(-1)) area, downstream of a former uranium mine. Different geochemical proxies like enrichment factor and fractions from a sequential extraction procedure are used to evaluate the level of contamination, the mobility and the availability of the potential contaminants. Pb isotope ratios are determined in the total samples and in the sequential leachates to identify the sources of the contaminants and to determine the mobility of radiogenic Pb in the context of uranium mining. In spite of the large uranium contamination measured in the soils and the sediments (EF≫40), trace element contamination is low to moderate (2mining activities. Most of the trace elements are associated with the most mobile fractions of the sediments/soils, implying an enhanced potential availability. Even if no Pb enrichment is highlighted, the Pb isotopic signature of the contaminated soils is strongly radiogenic. Measurements performed on the sequential leachates reveal inputs of radiogenic Pb in the most mobile fractions of the contaminated soil. Inputs of low-mobile radiogenic Pb from mining activities may also contribute to the Pb signature recorded in the residual phase of the contaminated samples. We demonstrate that Pb isotopes are efficient tools to trace the origin and the mobility of the contaminants in environments affected by uranium mining.

  10. Influence of Blasted Uranium Ore Heap on Radon Concentration in Confined Workspaces of Shrinkage Mining Stope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Y. J.; Liang, T.; Ding, D. X.; Lei, B.; Su, H.; Zhang, Y. F.

    2017-07-01

    A calculation model for radon concentration in shrinkage mining stopes under various ventilation conditions was established in this study. The model accounts for the influence of permeability and area of the blasted ore heap, ventilation air quantity, and airflow direction on radon concentration in a confined workspace; these factors work together to allow the engineer to optimize the ventilation design. The feasibility and effectiveness of the model was verified by applying it to mines with elevated radon radiation exposure. The model was found to accurately changes in radon concentration according to the array of influence factors in underground uranium mines.

  11. Yeasts associated with an abandoned mining area in Pernek and their tolerance to different chemical elements.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vadkertiová, Renáta; Molnárová, Jana; Lux, Alexander; Vaculík, Marek; Lišková, Desana

    2016-05-01

    Four plants, Cirsium arvense (creeping thistle), Equisetum arvense (field horsetail), Oxalis acetosella (wood sorrel) and Phragmites australis (common reed), which grew in an abandoned Sb-mining area in Pernek (Malé Karpaty Mts., Slovakia), were investigated for the yeast species. Yeasts were isolated from both the leaves of the plants and the soil adjacent to the plants. In total, 65 yeast cultures, belonging to 11 ascomycetous and 5 basidiomycetous yeast species, were isolated. The species most frequently isolated from both the soil and leaf samples were Trichosporon porosum, Galactomyces candidus and Candida solani, whereas Aureobasidium pullulans, Candida tsuchiyae and Sporidiobolus metaroseus were isolated exclusively from the plant leaves. All the yeast species isolated were tested for their tolerance to two heavy metals (Cd, Zn) and three metalloids (As, Sb and Si). The yeasts isolated from both the leaves and soils exhibited a high tolerance level to both As and Sb, present in elevated concentrations at the locality. Among the yeast species tested, Cryptococcus musci, a close relative to Cryptococcus humicola, was the species most tolerant to all the chemical elements tested, with the exception of Si. It grew in the presence of 200 mmol/L Zn, 200 mmol/L Cd, 60 mmol/L As and 50 mmol/L Sb, and therefore, it can be considered as a multi-tolerant species. Some of the yeast species were tolerant to the individual chemical elements. The yeast-like species Trichosporon laibachii exhibited the highest tolerance to Si of all yeasts tested, and Cryptococcus flavescens and Lindnera saturnus showed the same tolerance as Cryptococcus musci to Zn and As, respectively. The majority of the yeasts showed a notably low tolerance to Cd (not exceeded 0.5 mmol/L), which was present in small amounts in the soil. However, Candida solani, isolated from the soil, exhibited a higher tolerance to Cd (20 mmol/L) than to As (2 mmol/L).

  12. Environmental impact of uranium mining and milling: an American view

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Momeni, M.H.

    1981-08-18

    The radiation dose rates to man from uranium milling activities are discussed. The sources of radiation, the radioisotopes involved, and the environmental exposure pathways are described. Risks of cancer to exposed individuals are presented and recommendations made for mitigation of contamination. (ACR)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-09-01

    In this study, the effect of soil ameliorators on ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungal communities in coal mine spoils was investigated. Organic fertilizers and slaked lime were applied as soil ameliorators in 3 abandoned coal mine spoils. One year after the initial treatment, roots of Pinus densiflora seedlings were collected and the number of ECM species, colonization rate, and species diversity were assessed. The results showed that the soil ameliorators significantly increased ECM colonization on the roots of P. densiflora. The results suggest that soil ameliorators can have a positive effect on ECM fungi in terms of growth of host plants and show the potential use of soil ameliorator treatment for revegetation with ECM-colonized pine seedlings in the coal mine spoils.

  14. Factoring uncertainty into restoration modeling of in-situ leach uranium mines

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, Raymond H.; Friedel, Michael J.

    2009-01-01

    Postmining restoration is one of the greatest concerns for uranium in-situ leach (ISL) mining operations. The ISL-affected aquifer needs to be returned to conditions specified in the mining permit (either premining or other specified conditions). When uranium ISL operations are completed, postmining restoration is usually achieved by injecting reducing agents into the mined zone. The objective of this process is to restore the aquifer to premining conditions by reducing the solubility of uranium and other metals in the ground water. Reactive transport modeling is a potentially useful method for simulating the effectiveness of proposed restoration techniques. While reactive transport models can be useful, they are a simplification of reality that introduces uncertainty through the model conceptualization, parameterization, and calibration processes. For this reason, quantifying the uncertainty in simulated temporal and spatial hydrogeochemistry is important for postremedial risk evaluation of metal concentrations and mobility. Quantifying the range of uncertainty in key predictions (such as uranium concentrations at a specific location) can be achieved using forward Monte Carlo or other inverse modeling techniques (trial-and-error parameter sensitivity, calibration constrained Monte Carlo). These techniques provide simulated values of metal concentrations at specified locations that can be presented as nonlinear uncertainty limits or probability density functions. Decisionmakers can use these results to better evaluate environmental risk as future metal concentrations with a limited range of possibilities, based on a scientific evaluation of uncertainty.

  15. Quantifying uranium transport rates and storage of fluvially eroded mine tailings from a historic mine site in the Grand Canyon Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skalak, K.; Benthem, A. J.; Walton-Day, K. E.; Jolly, G.

    2015-12-01

    The Grand Canyon region contains a large number of breccia pipes with economically viable uranium, copper, and silver concentrations. Mining in this region has occurred since the late 19th century and has produced ore and waste rock having elevated levels of uranium and other contaminants. Fluvial transport of these contaminants from mine sites is a possibility, as this arid region is susceptible to violent storms and flash flooding which might erode and mobilize ore or waste rock. In order to assess and manage the risks associated with uranium mining, it is important to understand the transport and storage rates of sediment and uranium within the ephemeral streams of this region. We are developing a 1-dimensional sediment transportation model to examine uranium transport and storage through a typical canyon system in this region. Our study site is Hack Canyon Mine, a uranium and copper mine site, which operated in the 1980's and is currently experiencing fluvial erosion of its waste rock repository. The mine is located approximately 40km upstream from the Colorado River and is in a deep, narrow canyon with a small watershed. The stream is ephemeral for the upper half of its length and sediment is primarily mobilized during flash flood events. We collected sediment samples at 110 locations longitudinally through the river system to examine the distribution of uranium in the stream. Samples were sieved to the sand size and below fraction (system to determine where uranium is preferentially stored in canyon systems. This information will quantify the downstream transport of constituents associated with the Hack Canyon waste rock and contribute to understanding the risks associated with fluvial mobilization of uranium mine waste.

  16. The influence of biofilms on the migration of uranium in acid mine drainage (AMD) waters.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krawczyk-Bärsch, E; Lünsdorf, H; Arnold, T; Brendler, V; Eisbein, E; Jenk, U; Zimmermann, U

    2011-07-15

    The uranium mine in Königstein (Germany) is currently in the process of being flooded. Huge mass of Ferrovum myxofaciens dominated biofilms are growing in the acid mine drainage (AMD) water as macroscopic streamers and as stalactite-like snottites hanging from the ceiling of the galleries. Microsensor measurements were performed in the AMD water as well as in the biofilms from the drainage channel on-site and in the laboratory. The analytical data of the AMD water was used for the thermodynamic calculation of the predominance fields of the aquatic uranium sulfate (UO(2)SO(4)) and UO(2)(++) speciation as well as of the solid uranium species Uranophane [Ca(UO(2))(2)(SiO(3)OH)(2)∙5H(2)O] and Coffinite [U(SiO(4))(1-x)(OH)(4x)], which are defined in the stability field of pH>4.8 and Eh0 and Eh4.8. Even analysis by Energy-filtered Transmission Electron Microscopy (EF-TEM) and electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) within the biofilms did not provide any microscopic or spectroscopic evidence for the presence of uranium immobilization. In laboratory experiments the first phase of the flooding process was simulated by increasing the pH of the AMD water. The results of the experiments indicated that the F. myxofaciens dominated biofilms may have a substantial impact on the migration of uranium. The AMD water remained acid although it was permanently neutralized with the consequence that the retention of uranium from the aqueous solution by the formation of solid uranium species will be inhibited. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Uranium in Surface Waters and Sediments Affected by Historical Mining in the Denver West 1:100,000 Quadrangle, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zielinski, Robert A.; Otton, James K.; Schumann, R. Randall; Wirt, Laurie

    2008-01-01

    Geochemical sampling of 82 stream waters and 87 stream sediments within mountainous areas immediately west of Denver, Colorado, was conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey in October 1994. The primary purpose was to evaluate regionally the effects of geology and past mining on the concentration and distribution of uranium. The study area contains uranium- and thorium-rich bedrock, numerous noneconomic occurrences of uranium minerals, and several uranium deposits of variable size and production history. During the sampling period, local streams had low discharge and were more susceptible to uranium-bearing acid drainage originating from historical mines of base- and precious-metal sulfides. Results indicated that the spatial distribution of Precambrian granites and metamorphic rocks strongly influences the concentration of uranium in stream sediments. Within-stream transport increases the dispersion of uranium- and thorium rich mineral grains derived primarily from granitic source rocks. Dissolved uranium occurs predominantly as uranyl carbonate complexes, and concentrations ranged from less than 1 to 65 micrograms per liter. Most values were less than 5 micrograms per liter, which is less than the current drinking water standard of 30 micrograms per liter and much less than locally applied aquatic-life toxicity standards of several hundred micrograms per liter. In local streams that are affected by uranium-bearing acid mine drainage, dissolved uranium is moderated by dilution and sorptive uptake by stream sediments. Sorbents include mineral alteration products and chemical precipitates of iron- and aluminum-oxyhydroxides, which form where acid drainage enters streams and is neutralized. Suspended uranium is relatively abundant in some stream segments affected by nearby acid drainage, which likely represents mobilization of these chemical precipitates. The 234U/238U activity ratio of acid drainage (0.95-1.0) is distinct from that of local surface waters (more than 1

  18. Brief comparative comments between the international and the Brazilian environmental legislation evolution of uranium mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Barros, Daniel F. de; Bonotto, Daniel M. [UNESP, Rio Claro, SP (Brazil). Inst. de Geociencias e Ciencias Exatas. Dept. de Petrologia e Metalogenia], e-mail: figueiradebarros@gmail.com

    2009-07-01

    This paper aims to expose nuclear issues, focusing on uranium mining and the environment. The subjects were set in chronological order as well as the ease of access of information was being investigated and found. The most important aspects raised herein were mainly laws, decrees, regulations and agencies from countries which have been highlighted in the worldwide scenario of uranium production. Also all the regulations had direct connection with environment, however only being shown brief exposures of them. It is important to mention that this paper does not have the scope to go deeper in controversial matters as well as if the regulations have been really applied by the selected countries. (author)

  19. Environmental geochemistry of a Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit at the abandoned Valzinco mine, Virginia, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seal, R.R.; Hammarstrom, J.M.; Johnson, A.N.; Piatak, N.M.; Wandless, G.A.

    2008-01-01

    The abandoned Valzinco mine, which worked a steeply dipping Kuroko-type massive sulfide deposit in the Virginia Au-pyrite belt, contributed significant metal-laden acid-mine drainage to the Knight's Branch watershed. The host rocks were dominated by metamorphosed felsic volcanic rocks, which offered limited acid-neutralizing potential. The ores were dominated by pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite, which represented significant acid-generating potential. Acid-base accounting and leaching studies of flotation tailings - the dominant mine waste at the site - indicated that they were acid generating and therefore, should have liberated significant quantities of metals to solution. Field studies of mine drainage from the site confirmed that mine drainage and the impacted stream waters had pH values from 1.1 to 6.4 and exceeded aquatic ecosystem toxicity limits for Fe, Al, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn. Stable isotope studies of water, dissolved SO42 -, and primary and secondary sulfate and sulfide minerals indicated that two distinct sulfide oxidation pathways were operative at the site: one dominated by Fe(III) as the oxidant, and another by molecular O2 as the oxidant. Reaction-path modeling suggested that geochemical interactions between tailings and waters approached a steady state within about a year. Both leaching studies and geochemical reaction-path modeling provided reasonable predictions of the mine-drainage chemistry.

  20. 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.

  1. Ground Motion In Areas Of Abandoned Mining: A Case Study Of PSI Applied To The Northumberland Region Of The UK.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bateson, L.; Lawrence, D.; Cigna, F.; McCormack, H.; Burren, R.

    2013-12-01

    An Abandoned Mines Advanced Terrain Motion Service was commissioned in the framework of the ESA GMES project Terrafirma to demonstrate the capabilities of Radar Interferometry areas of abondened mining. The Coal Measures form the bedrock for much of the study area in the north east of England. The coalfield has a working history dating back to Roman times with over twenty coal seams mined underground in more recent times. The working of deeper and deeper coal seams led to the need to pump mine water. All underground mining has now ceased, the majority of mines were closed by the 1980's. Over the past decade there has been a program to turn off the mine water pumps and allow groundwater levels to recover Two PSI datasets were created; one from 1995 to 2000 the other from 2002 to 2008. PSI results from the 1990s show nine 'hotspots' of subsidence to the south and a larger area of uplift in the north. The subsidence areas show a strong spatial relationship with areas of past mining. However there is a discrepancy in the timing of PSI motions and that of expected subsidence given the type of workings. It is suspected that the motion relates to material extraction, water extraction and the accommodation of resulting motions along faults. Uplift, as seen in the data from the 2000s, this has been attributed to the recovery of groundwater levels as mine water pumping has ceased. The difference between the 1990s results and thoise form the 2000s is marked; areas which were undergoing subsidence between '95 and '00 are uplifting between '02 and '08. This drastic change is supported by minewater level data which shows that water levels have recovered within this time period, with the resulting increase in hydrostatic pressure accounting for the regional pattern of ground heave.

  2. Effects of uranium-mining releases on ground-water quality in the Puerco River Basin, Arizona and New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Van Metre, Peter C.; Wirt, Laurie; Lopes, T.J.; Ferguson, S.A.

    1997-01-01

    Shallow ground water beneath the Puerco River of Arizona and New Mexico was studied to determine the effects of uranium-mining releases on water quality. Ground-water samples collected from 1989 to 1991 indicate that concentrations of dissolved uranium have decreased. Most samples from the alluvial aquifer downstream from Gallup, New Mexico, met with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's maximum contaminant levels for gross alpha, gross beta, and radium and the proposed maximum contaminant level for uranium.

  3. Ground water contamination with (238)U, (234)U, (235)U, (226)Ra and (210)Pb from past uranium mining: cove wash, Arizona.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dias da Cunha, Kenya Moore; Henderson, Helenes; Thomson, Bruce M; Hecht, Adam A

    2014-06-01

    The objectives of the study are to present a critical review of the (238)U, (234)U, (235)U, (226)Ra and (210)Pb levels in water samples from the EPA studies (U.S. EPA in Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Red Valley chapter screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2004, Abandoned uranium mines and the Navajo Nation: Northern aum region screening assessment report. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Francisco, 2006, Health and environmental impacts of uranium contamination, 5-year plan. Region 9 Superfund Program, San Franciso, 2008) and the dose assessment for the population due to ingestion of water containing (238)U and (234)U. The water quality data were taken from Sect. "Data analysis" of the published report, titled Abandoned Uranium Mines Project Arizona, New Mexico, Utah-Navajo Lands 1994-2000, Project Atlas. Total uranium concentration was above the maximum concentration level for drinking water (7.410-1 Bq/L) in 19 % of the water samples, while (238)U and (234)U concentrations were above in 14 and 17 % of the water samples, respectively. (226)Ra and (210)Pb concentrations in water samples were in the range of 3.7 × 10(-1) to 5.55 × 102 Bq/L and 1.11 to 4.33 × 102 Bq/L, respectively. For only two samples, the (226)Ra concentrations exceeded the MCL for total Ra for drinking water (0.185 Bq/L). However, the (210)Pb/(226)Ra ratios varied from 0.11 to 47.00, and ratios above 1.00 were observed in 71 % of the samples. Secular equilibrium of the natural uranium series was not observed in the data record for most of the water samples. Moreover, the (235)U/(total)U mass ratios ranged from 0.06 to 5.9 %, and the natural mass ratio of (235)U to (total)U (0.72 %) was observed in only 16 % of the water samples, ratios above or below the natural ratio could not be explained based on data reported by U.S. EPA. In addition, statistical evaluations showed no correlations among the distribution of the radionuclide concentrations

  4. Investigation and risk assessment modeling of As and other heavy metals contamination around five abandoned metal mines in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kim, Ju-Yong; Kim, Kyoung-Woong; Ahn, Joo Sung; Ko, Ilwon; Lee, Cheol-Hyo

    2005-04-01

    Tailings, agricultural soils, vegetables and groundwater samples were collected from abandoned metal mines (Duckum, Dongil, Dongjung, Myoungbong and Songchun mines) in Korea. Total concentrations of arsenic (As) and heavy metals (Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) were analyzed to investigate the contamination level. Several digestion methods (Toxicity characteristics leaching procedure (TCLP), synthetic precipitation leaching procedure (SPLP), 0.1 N/1 N HCl) and sequential extraction analysis for mine tailings were conducted to examine the potential leachability of As and heavy metals from the tailings. The order of urgent remediation for the studied mines based on the risk assessment and remedial goals was suggested. The Songchun mine tailings were most severely contaminated by As and heavy metals. Total concentrations of As and Pb in the tailings were 38,600-58,700 mg/kg (av. 47,400 mg/kg) and 11,800-16,800 mg/kg (av. 14,600 mg/kg), respectively. Agricultural soils having high As concentrations were found at the all mines. Average concentrations of Cd in the vegetables exceeded the normal value at all mines areas, while As only at the Dongjung, Myoungbong, and Songchun mine area. One groundwater sample each from the Dongil and Myoungbong mines, and 4 groundwater samples from the Songchun mine had values above 10 mug/L of As concentration. The TCLP method revealed that only Pb in the Songchun tailings, 6.49 mg/L, exceeded the regulatory level (5 mg/L). Employing the 1-N HCl digestion method, the concentration of As in the Songchun mine tailings, 4,250 mg/kg, was up to 3,000 times higher than its Korean countermeasure standard. Results from the sequential extraction of As in the tailings showed that the easily releasable fraction in the Myoungbong and Songchun mine tailings was more than 30% and the residual fraction was less than 40%. Based on results showing the exposure health risk employing the hazard quotient and cancer risk of As, Cd and Zn, the Dongil mine needs the most

  5. Heavy metal accumulation by panicled goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata) and common elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpus decipens) in abandoned mine soils in southern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    TIAN Dalun; ZHU Fan; YAN Wende; Fang Xi; XIANG Wenhua; DENG Xiangwen; WANG Guanjun; PENG Changhui

    2009-01-01

    Phytoremediation can be used as a sustainable technology for mine spoil remediation to remove heavy metals. This study investigated the concentrations of 7 heavy metal contaminations in soil and plant samples at an abandoned mine site. We found that, after vegetation remediation at the abandoned mine site, reduction rate for 7 heavy metals was in the range of 4.2%-86% and an over 50% reduction rate in four heavy metals (Zn, Mn, Cd, Ni) was achieved. Transfer coefficients of the panicled goldenrain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata Laxm) and the common elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpus decipens) for Zn, Mn, Ni, and Co were more than 1. Enrichment coefficients of both trees for Mn were higher than 1. Our results suggest that the panicled goldenrain tree and the common elaeocarpus tree may act as accumulators in remediation. Moreover, the wood vegetation remediation in abandoned mining areas play an important role in improving environmental conditions and removing heavy metal from contaminated soil.

  6. Radioactive Seepage through Groundwater Flow from the Uranium Mines, Namibia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tamiru Abiye

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available The study focused on the seepage of uranium from unlined tailing dams into the alluvial aquifer in the Gawib River floodplain in Namibia where the region solely relies on groundwater for its economic activities as a result of arid climatic condition. The study reviewed previous works besides water sample collection and analyses for major ions, metals and environmental isotopes in addition to field tests on physico-chemical parameters (pH, Electrical Conductivity, Redox and T. Estimation of seepage velocity (true velocity of groundwater flow has been conducted in order to understand the extent of radioactive plume transport. The hydrochemistry, stable isotopes and tritium results show that there is uranium contamination from the unlined uranium tailings in the Gawib shallow aquifer system which suggests high permeability of the alluvial aquifer facilitating groundwater flow in the arid region. The radioactive contaminants could spread into the deeper aquifer system through the major structures such as joints and faults. The contamination plume could also spread downstream into the Swakop River unless serious interventions are employed. There is also a very high risk of the plume to reach the Atlantic Ocean through seasonal flash floods that occurs in the area.

  7. Former uranium mine-induced effects in caged roach: a multiparametric approach for the evaluation of in situ metal toxicity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gagnaire, Béatrice; Bado-Nilles, Anne; Betoulle, Stéphane; Amara, Rachid; Camilleri, Virginie; Cavalié, Isabelle; Chadili, Edith; Delahaut, Laurence; Kerambrun, Elodie; Orjollet, Daniel; Palluel, Olivier; Sanchez, Wilfried

    2015-01-01

    To characterize environmental risks linked to former uranium mines in the Limousin region of France, a study was conducted on fish health effects from uranium releases. Two private ponds were compared in this study, one with uranium contamination and one background site, upstream of the mining zone. Roach, Rutilus rutilus, were caged for 28 days in both ponds. Physico-chemical parameters of water and sediments and bioaccumulation of metals in several organs were determined. After 14 and 28 days of caging, immune, oxidative stress, biotransformation, neurotoxicity and physiological parameters were measured. Iron and aluminium were quantified in the water of both sites; however, barium and manganese were only present in the water of the uranium contaminated site. Uranium was present in both sites but at very different concentrations. The sediments from the uranium contaminated site contained high levels of radioactive elements coming from the disintegration chain of uranium. Results of biological parameters indicated stimulation of immune parameters and of oxidative stress and a decrease of AChE in fish caged in the uranium contaminated pond compared to the uranium-free pond. Overall, the results determined roach health status in the context of pollution from poly-metallic mining. The data strengthen our knowledge of the environmental risk assessment associated with radioactive substances in the environment.

  8. Radiation hazard surveillance in spanish uranium mines; Control de los peligros de la radiactividad en las minas de uranio espanolas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Iranzo, E.; Liarte, J.

    1963-07-01

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

  9. Assessing Statistically Significant Heavy-Metal Concentrations in Abandoned Mine Areas via Hot Spot Analysis of Portable XRF Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sung-Min Kim

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available To develop appropriate measures to prevent soil contamination in abandoned mining areas, an understanding of the spatial variation of the potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs in the soil is necessary. For the purpose of effective soil sampling, this study uses hot spot analysis, which calculates a z-score based on the Getis-Ord Gi* statistic to identify a statistically significant hot spot sample. To constitute a statistically significant hot spot, a feature with a high value should also be surrounded by other features with high values. Using relatively cost- and time-effective portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF analysis, sufficient input data are acquired from the Busan abandoned mine and used for hot spot analysis. To calibrate the PXRF data, which have a relatively low accuracy, the PXRF analysis data are transformed using the inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES data. The transformed PXRF data of the Busan abandoned mine are classified into four groups according to their normalized content and z-scores: high content with a high z-score (HH, high content with a low z-score (HL, low content with a high z-score (LH, and low content with a low z-score (LL. The HL and LH cases may be due to measurement errors. Additional or complementary surveys are required for the areas surrounding these suspect samples or for significant hot spot areas. The soil sampling is conducted according to a four-phase procedure in which the hot spot analysis and proposed group classification method are employed to support the development of a sampling plan for the following phase. Overall, 30, 50, 80, and 100 samples are investigated and analyzed in phases 1–4, respectively. The method implemented in this case study may be utilized in the field for the assessment of statistically significant soil contamination and the identification of areas for which an additional survey is required.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    BENDRA B.

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available The exponential growth of urban dwellers calls for an increased awareness of urban ecosystems and appropriate,long-term management practices. Especially the water supply needs to be secured, both in terms of quantity and quality. In Morocco, numerous urban mine sites were abandoned regardless rehabilitation strategy.Consequently, mining activity contributes massively to deteriorate air, soil and water quality, to degrade natural ecosystems and to menace public health. The abandoned coalmine of Jerada is located in north east of Morocco,in horst zone, in the productive geological formation of Westphalian C. The mining activity has generated along 65 years (1936-2001, 15 to 20 millions tons of washery waste rocks, cumulated principally in urban center. The groundwater (n=30 and waste rock (n=7 sampling was led in the middle of May 2008, which presents in local climatic context the end of rainy season and the beginning of sec season. Waste rocks are exhaustively black schist, with a paucity in pyrite (anthracite debris contain between 2 to 5% of synergic pyrite and predominance of calcareous minerals essentially as dolomite. Consequently, the majority of waste rock samples are not acid generators. The pyrite oxidation produces sulphuric acid, which will be quickly neutralized by carbonates. The alkaline tendency of pH classifies Jerada abandoned coal mine in circum neutral mining drainage type (NMD. The leaching through unsaturated and saturated zone will be facilitated due to a big pore size and a breakingtectonic having fractured Jerada coal basin. The deformed black schist alternative to sandstone permits a good water circulation. The massive product of mining drainage and the major pollutant of groundwater is undoubtedly S-SO4 (27/30 exceed WHO guideline. The spatial correlation between S-total and salinity illustrates the deterioration of groundwater quality due to pyrite oxidation. The alteration of schist and halite dissolution contribute to

  11. Contaminants in bats roosting in abandoned mines at Imperial National Wildlife Refuge, Arizona, 1998-1999

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report documents levels and potential effects of trace element and organochlorine pesticide concentrations in four bats species collected from four abandoned...

  12. Effects of long-term radionuclide and heavy metal contamination on the activity of microbial communities, inhabiting uranium mining impacted soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boteva, Silvena; Radeva, Galina; Traykov, Ivan; Kenarova, Anelia

    2016-03-01

    Ore mining and processing have greatly altered ecosystems, often limiting their capacity to provide ecosystem services critical to our survival. The soil environments of two abandoned uranium mines were chosen to analyze the effects of long-term uranium and heavy metal contamination on soil microbial communities using dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities as indicators of metal stress. The levels of soil contamination were low, ranging from 'precaution' to 'moderate', calculated as Nemerow index. Multivariate analyses of enzyme activities revealed the following: (i) spatial pattern of microbial endpoints where the more contaminated soils had higher dehydrogenase and phosphatase activities, (ii) biological grouping of soils depended on both the level of soil contamination and management practice, (iii) significant correlations between both dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase activities and soil organic matter and metals (Cd, Co, Cr, and Zn, but not U), and (iv) multiple relationships between the alkaline than the acid phosphatase and the environmental factors. The results showed an evidence of microbial tolerance and adaptation to the soil contamination established during the long-term metal exposure and the key role of soil organic matter in maintaining high microbial enzyme activities and mitigating the metal toxicity. Additionally, the results suggested that the soil microbial communities are able to reduce the metal stress by intensive phosphatase synthesis, benefiting a passive environmental remediation and provision of vital ecosystem services.

  13. Bacterial diversity and composition of an alkaline uranium mine tailings-water interface.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Khan, Nurul H; Bondici, Viorica F; Medihala, Prabhakara G; Lawrence, John R; Wolfaardt, Gideon M; Warner, Jeff; Korber, Darren R

    2013-10-01

    The microbial diversity and biogeochemical potential associated with a northern Saskatchewan uranium mine water-tailings interface was examined using culture-dependent and -independent techniques. Morphologically-distinct colonies from uranium mine water-tailings and a reference lake (MC) obtained using selective and non-selective media were selected for 16S rRNA gene sequencing and identification, revealing that culturable organisms from the uranium tailings interface were dominated by Firmicutes and Betaproteobacteria; whereas, MC organisms mainly consisted of Bacteroidetes and Gammaproteobacteria. Ion Torrent (IT) 16S rRNA metagenomic analysis carried out on extracted DNA from tailings and MC interfaces demonstrated the dominance of Firmicutes in both of the systems. Overall, the tailings-water interface environment harbored a distinct bacterial community relative to the MC, reflective of the ambient conditions (i.e., total dissolved solids, pH, salinity, conductivity, heavy metals) dominating the uranium tailings system. Significant correlations among the physicochemical data and the major bacterial groups present in the tailings and MC were also observed. Presence of sulfate reducing bacteria demonstrated by culture-dependent analyses and the dominance of Desulfosporosinus spp. indicated by Ion Torrent analyses within the tailings-water interface suggests the existence of anaerobic microenvironments along with the potential for reductive metabolic processes.

  14. Uranium Mining and Norm in North America-Some Perspectives on Occupational Radiation Exposure.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, Steven H; Chambers, Douglas B

    2017-07-01

    All soils and rocks contain naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM). Many ores and raw materials contain relatively elevated levels of natural radionuclides, and processing such materials can further increase the concentrations of naturally occurring radionuclides. In the U.S., these materials are sometimes referred to as technologically-enhanced naturally occurring radioactive materials (TENORM). Examples of NORM minerals include uranium ores, monazite (a source of rare earth minerals), and phosphate rock used to produce phosphate fertilizer. The processing of these materials has the potential to result in above-background radiation exposure to workers. Following a brief review of the sources and potential for worker exposure from NORM in these varied industries, this paper will then present an overview of uranium mining and recovery in North America, including discussion on the mining methods currently being used for both conventional (underground, open pit) and in situ leach (ISL), also referred to as In Situ Recovery (ISR), and the production of NORM materials and wastes associated with these uranium recovery methods. The radiological composition of the NORM products and wastes produced and recent data on radiological exposures received by workers in the North American uranium recovery industry are then described. The paper also identifies the responsible government agencies in the U.S. and Canada assigned the authority to regulate and control occupational exposure from these NORM materials.

  15. Pollution of the stream waters and sediments associated with the Crucea uranium mine (East Carpathians, Romania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrescu, L.; Bilal, E.; Iatan, E. L.

    2009-04-01

    Uranium and thorium are omnipresent in our environment. Various anthropogenic activities involving the processing or use of materials rich in uranium may modify the natural abundance of uranium in water. The study is related to uranium mineralization located within Crucea ore deposit, in the East Carpathians, Romania. The Crucea uranium ore deposit is located in the eastern part of the Bistrita Mountains (40 Km southeast of the town of Vatra Dornei) in the headwaters of Crucea, Lesu and Livezi valleys. At present, this is the largest uranium mine in the country. In the past, the mining area covered 18 km2, but was gradually overtaken by logging activities. The exploration and mining facilities include thirty-two galleries, situated between 780 and 1040 m above sea level. Radioactive waste resulted from mining are disposed next to the mining facilities. The waste rock was disposed in piles of variable size that are spread over an area of 364,000 m2. Older dumps (18) have been already naturally reclaimed by forest vegetation. The vegetation cover played an important role in stabilizing the waste dump cover and in slowing down the uranium migration processes. A number of 46 water samples were taken in order to evaluate the impact of ore deposit (including its exploitation process) on the chemical composition of waters down to the exploitation galleries. The sediment samples were collected at 16 sampling points from the bottom of the studied stream waters. ICP-OES, XRF and IC methods was used to evaluate the impact of uranium mine dumps on the surface waters from Crucea region. According to the analytical data the stream waters showed a Ca - carbonate character. In relation to salinity, the pH and the anion NO3-, CO32-and SO42- contents display generally non-linear relationships with chloride. Uranium is the most significant trace element in the river waters nearby the waste rock dumps, sometimes reaching levels up to 1-mgṡL-1, well in excess of the Romanian

  16. Retrospection. Uranium mining Wismut und the legal casualty insurance; Erinnerungen. Uranerzbergbau Wismut und die gesetzliche Unfallversicherung

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breuer, Joachim [Deutsche Gesetzliche Unfallversicherung (DGUV), Berlin (Germany)

    2015-07-01

    Although the Wismut uranium mining company in the former DDR had 600.000 employees, the company was not mentioned in the contract on the German reunification. The expenses for the health consequences imposed manifold challenges to the legal casualty insurance. The question of responsibility, the conservation, digitalization and evaluation of data concerning the personnel and health information, partially handwritten is a tremendous amount of work.

  17. Evaluation of Metal Toxicity in Streams Affected by Abandoned Mine Lands, Upper Animas River Watershed, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Besser, John M.; Allert, Ann L.; Hardesty, Douglas K.; Ingersoll, Christopher G.; May, Thomas W.; Wang, Ning; Leib, Kenneth J.

    2001-01-01

    Acid drainage from abandoned mines and from naturally-acidic rocks and soil in the upper Animas River watershed of Colorado generates elevated concentrations of acidity and dissolved metals in stream waters and deposition of metal-contaminated particulates in streambed sediments, resulting in both toxicity and habitat degradation for stream biota. High concentrations of iron (Fe), aluminum (Al), zinc (Zn), copper (Cu), cadmium (Cd), and lead (Pb) occur in acid streams draining headwaters of the upper Animas River watershed, and high concentrations of some metals, especially Zn, persist in circumneutral reaches of the Animas River and Mineral Creek, downstream of mixing zones of acid tributaries. Seasonal variation of metal concentrations is reflected in variation in toxicity of stream water. Loadings of dissolved metals to the upper Animas River and tributaries are greatest during summer, during periods of high stream discharge from snowmelt and monsoonal rains, but adverse effects on stream biota may be greater during winter low-flow periods, when stream flows are dominated by inputs of groundwater and contain greatest concentrations of dissolved metals. Fine stream-bed sediments of the upper Animas River watershed also contain elevated concentrations of potentially toxic metals. Greatest sediment metal concentrations occur in the Animas River upstream from Silverton, where there are extensive deposits of mine and mill tailings, and in mixing zones in the Animas River and lower Mineral Creek, where precipitates of Fe and Al oxides also contain high concentrations of other metals. This report summarizes the findings of a series of toxicity studies in streams of the upper Animas River watershed, conducted on-site and in the laboratory between 1998 and 2000. The objectives of these studies were: (1) to determine the relative toxicity of stream water and fine stream-bed sediments to fish and invertebrates; (2) to determine the seasonal range of toxicity in stream

  18. Exposure pathways and biological receptors: baseline data for the canyon uranium mine, Coconino County, Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Linder, Greg L.; Darrah, Abigail J.; Drost, Charles A.; Duniway, Michael C.; Johnson, Matthew J.; Méndez-Harclerode, Francisca M.; Nowak, Erika M.; Valdez, Ernest W.; Van Riper, Charles; Wolff, S.W.

    2014-01-01

    Recent restrictions on uranium mining within the Grand Canyon watershed have drawn attention to scientific data gaps in evaluating the possible effects of ore extraction to human populations as well as wildlife communities in the area. Tissue contaminant concentrations, one of the most basic data requirements to determine exposure, are not available for biota from any historical or active uranium mines in the region. The Canyon Uranium Mine is under development, providing a unique opportunity to characterize concentrations of uranium and other trace elements, as well as radiation levels in biota, found in the vicinity of the mine before ore extraction begins. Our study objectives were to identify contaminants of potential concern and critical contaminant exposure pathways for ecological receptors; conduct biological surveys to understand the local food web and refine the list of target species (ecological receptors) for contaminant analysis; and collect target species for contaminant analysis prior to the initiation of active mining. Contaminants of potential concern were identified as arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenium, thallium, uranium, and zinc for chemical toxicity and uranium and associated radionuclides for radiation. The conceptual exposure model identified ingestion, inhalation, absorption, and dietary transfer (bioaccumulation or bioconcentration) as critical contaminant exposure pathways. The biological survey of plants, invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles, birds, and small mammals is the first to document and provide ecological information on .200 species in and around the mine site; this study also provides critical baseline information about the local food web. Most of the species documented at the mine are common to ponderosa pine Pinus ponderosa and pinyon–juniper Pinus–Juniperus spp. forests in northern Arizona and are not considered to have special conservation status by state or federal agencies; exceptions

  19. Field Evaluation of the Restorative Capacity of the Aquifer Downgradient of a Uranium In-Situ Recovery Mining Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Reimus, Paul William [Los Alamos National Lab. (LANL), Los Alamos, NM (United States)

    2015-05-22

    A two-part field study was conducted in Smith Ranch-Highland in-situ recovery (ISR) near Douglas, Wyoming, to evaluate the restorative capacity of the aquifer downgradient (i.e., hydrologically downstream) of a Uranium ISR mining site with respect to the transport of uranium and other potential contaminants in groundwater after mining has ceased. The study was partially conducted by checking the Uranium content and the alkalinity of separate wells, some wells had been restored and others had not. A map and in-depth procedures of the study are included.

  20. Radionuclides in waters and soil near the Lagoa Real uranium mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Souza, Susana Oliveira de; Freire, Fabinara Dantas, E-mail: sosouza@ufs.br [Universidade Federal de Sergipe (UFS), Sao Cristovao, SE (Brazil). Departamento de Fisica; Kozlowska, Beata; Walencik-Lata, Agata, E-mail: beata.kozlowska@us.edu.pl [University of Silesia, Institute of Physics, Katowice (Poland); Dias, Dario M., E-mail: engenheirodario@gmail.com [Secretaria Municipal de Meio Ambiente e Turismo, Andarai, BA (Brazil); Veiga, Artur Jose Pires, E-mail: tk1@ibest.com [Universidade Estadual do Sudoeste da Bahia (UESB), Itapetinga, BA (Brazil). Departamento de Ciencias Exatas e Tecnologicas

    2015-07-01

    Uranium mining generates fuel for the nuclear power plants and it is the main source of income for the region of Caetite-BA. However, Non-Governmental Organizations claim that mining pollutes the environment and jeopardizes human health and safety. Besides uranium, the ground contains significant concentrations of thorium and of all radionuclides of its family, such as radium isotopes. In this framework, we carried out an independent study analyzing the concentration of the radionuclides activities {sup 226,} {sup 228}Ra and {sup 234,238}U in water samples and radionuclides {sup 226}Ra, {sup 232}Th and {sup 40}K in soil samples using different techniques of nuclear spectrometry. The selection criteria for the collection points were their proximity to the uranium processing plant and to affluent rivers. The soil samples presented very low concentration of activity for radionuclides investigated, compared to the limits established of the exclusion, exemption and impartiality for radiation protection requirement given by the Regulator Position established by CNEN. The amount of radioisotopes appears consistent with a natural origin, thus it is not possible to state that the mining process in Caetite increases pollution or radiation exposure in a significant way. (author)

  1. Natural decrease of dissolved arsenic in a small stream receiving drainages of abandoned silver mines in Guanajuato, Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arroyo, Yann Rene Ramos; Muñoz, Alma Hortensia Serafín; Barrientos, Eunice Yanez; Huerta, Irais Rodriguez; Wrobel, Kazimierz; Wrobel, Katarzyna

    2013-11-01

    Arsenic release from the abandoned mines and its fate in a local stream were studied. Physicochemical parameters, metals/metalloids and arsenic species were determined. One of the mine drainages was found as a point source of contamination with 309 μg L(-1) of dissolved arsenic; this concentration declined rapidly to 10.5 μg L(-1) about 2 km downstream. Data analysis confirmed that oxidation of As(III) released from the primary sulfide minerals was favored by the increase of pH and oxidation reduction potential; the results obtained in multivariate approach indicated that self-purification of water was due to association of As(V) with secondary solid phase containing Fe, Mn, Ca.

  2. Heavy metals contamination and their risk assessment around the abandoned base metals and Au-Ag mines in Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chon, Hyo-Taek

    2017-04-01

    Heavy metals contamination in the areas of abandoned Au-Ag and base metal mines in Korea was investigated in order to assess the level of metal pollution, and to draw general summaries about the fate of toxic heavy metals in different environments. Efforts have been made to compare the level of heavy metals, chemical forms, and plant uptake of heavy metals in each mine site. In the base-metals mine areas, significant levels of Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn were found in mine dump soils developed over mine waste materials and tailings. Leafy vegetables tend to accumulate heavy metals(in particular, Cd and Zn) higher than other crop plants, and high metal concentrations in rice crops may affect the local residents' health. In the Au-Ag mining areas, arsenic would be the most characteristic contaminant in the nearby environment. Arsenic and heavy metals were found to be mainly associated with sulfide gangue minerals, and the mobility of these metals would be enhanced by the effect of continuing weathering and oxidation. According to the sequential extraction of metals in soils, most heavy metals were identified as non-residual chemical forms, and those are very susceptible to the change of ambient conditions of a nearby environment. The concept of pollution index(PI) of soils gives important information on the extent and degree of multi-element contamination, and can be applied to the evaluation of mine soils before their agricultural use and remediation. The risk assessment process comprising exposure assessment, dose-response assessment, and risk characterization was discussed, and the results of non-cancer risk of As, Cd, and Zn, and those of cancer risk of As were suggested.

  3. 30 CFR 931.20 - Approval of the New Mexico abandoned mine reclamation plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... approved program are available at the following locations: (a) Albuquerque Field Office, Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement, 505 Marquette NW., suite 1200, Albuquerque, NM 87102. (b) Mining and..., NM 87505....

  4. 76 FR 12852 - Louisiana Regulatory Program/Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-03-09

    ... assume primacy for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations on non- Federal and..., ``a State law which provides for the regulation of surface coal mining and reclamation operations in... 30 CFR 732.17(c). Louisiana proposed revisions to the Louisiana Surface Mining Regulations found in...

  5. Assessment of radiological risk in vicinity of former uranium mining areas in Poland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ciupek, K.; Krajewski, P.; Kardas, M.; Suplinska, M. [Central Laboratory for Radiological Protection (Poland)

    2014-07-01

    The work carried out under the project NCBiR - 'Technologies Supporting Development of Safe Nuclear Power Engineering'; Task 3: Meeting the Polish nuclear power engineering's demand for fuel - fundamental aspects. Human activities related to the use of ionizing radiation and radioactive substances might cause exposure of the population and the environment. However, radiological risk assessment is mainly conducted only to human as an estimation of the effective dose being the sum of external and internal exposure whereas environmental protection assessment is more complex studies. The increased interest in recent years in this aspect and the ability to perform computer simulations contributed the development of models enabling assessment of exposure to certain organisms and estimation the concentrations of radionuclides in the various components of the environment. These models define a possible transition path of radionuclide in the atmosphere or waterways through their physical parameterization. The estimation of the content of radionuclides in plants, animals and human is possible by applying an existing risk assessment methodology. Models assessing human and environmental exposure from natural and artificial radionuclides, such as CROM, RESRAD, IMPACT or ERICA, come to be useful tools not only for researchers but also for regulatory authorities. This case study focused on the uranium mining areas (inactive mines and waste dumps) in the Giant Mountains (Karkonosze Mountains) in the south-west of Poland. On the basis of activity concentrations in samples of soil and mineral material from mine shafts, water samples from ponds, streams and small rivers and vegetation samples, an assessment of radiological impact of the former uranium mining areas was performed. The doses for reference group of inhabitants and biota in the vicinity of the former uranium mine were evaluated using IMPACT (EcoMetrix Inc.) model and ERICA tool. The variability and

  6. Strontium isotope quantification of siderite, brine and acid mine drainage contributions to abandoned gas well discharges in the Appalachian Plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chapman, Elizabeth C. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Capo, Rosemary C. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Stewart, Brian W. [Univ. of Pittsburgh, PA (United States). Dept. of Geology and Planetary Science; Hedin, Robert S. [Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA (United States); Weaver, Theodore J. [Hedin Environmental, Pittsburgh, PA (United States); Edenborn, Harry M. [National Energy Technology Lab. (NETL), Pittsburgh, PA, (United States)

    2013-04-01

    Unplugged abandoned oil and gas wells in the Appalachian region can serve as conduits for the movement of waters impacted by fossil fuel extraction. Strontium isotope and geochemical analysis indicate that artesian discharges of water with high total dissolved solids (TDS) from a series of gas wells in western Pennsylvania result from the infiltration of acidic, low Fe (Fe < 10 mg/L) coal mine drainage (AMD) into shallow, siderite (iron carbonate)-cemented sandstone aquifers. The acidity from the AMD promotes dissolution of the carbonate, and metal- and sulfate-contaminated waters rise to the surface through compromised abandoned gas well casings. Strontium isotope mixing models suggest that neither upward migration of oil and gas brines from Devonian reservoirs associated with the wells nor dissolution of abundant nodular siderite present in the mine spoil through which recharge water percolates contribute significantly to the artesian gas well discharges. Natural Sr isotope composition can be a sensitive tool in the characterization of complex groundwater interactions and can be used to distinguish between inputs from deep and shallow contamination sources, as well as between groundwater and mineralogically similar but stratigraphically distinct rock units. This is of particular relevance to regions such as the Appalachian Basin, where a legacy of coal, oil and gas exploration is coupled with ongoing and future natural gas drilling into deep reservoirs.

  7. An evaluation of health risk to the public as a consequence of in situ uranium mining in Wyoming, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruedig, Elizabeth; Johnson, Thomas E

    2015-12-01

    In the United States there is considerable public concern regarding the health effects of in situ recovery uranium mining. These concerns focus principally on exposure to contaminants mobilized in groundwater by the mining process. However, the risk arising as a result of mining must be viewed in light of the presence of naturally occurring uranium ore and other constituents which comprise a latent hazard. The United States Environmental Protection Agency recently proposed new guidelines for successful restoration of an in situ uranium mine by limiting concentrations of thirteen groundwater constituents: arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, selenium, silver, nitrate (as nitrogen), molybdenum, radium, total uranium, and gross α activity. We investigated the changes occurring to these constituents at an ISR uranium mine in Wyoming, USA by comparing groundwater quality at baseline measurement to that at stability (post-restoration) testing. Of the groundwater constituents considered, only uranium and radium-226 showed significant (p Uranium concentrations increased by a factor of 5.6 (95% CI 3.6-8.9 times greater) while radium-226 decreased by a factor of about one half (95% CI 0.42-0.75 times less). Change in risk was calculated using the RESRAD (onsite) code for an individual exposed as a resident-farmer; total radiation dose to a resident farmer decreased from pre-to post-mining by about 5.2 mSv y(-1). Higher concentrations of uranium correspond to increased biomarkers of nephrotoxicity, however the clinical significance of this increase is unclear.

  8. Occurrence and fluctuations of Acidithiobacillus ssp. in uranium mine effluents, Caldas, MG

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Campos, Michelle Burato de; Roque, Claudio Vitor; Gomes, Heliana de Azevedo [Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission (CNEN-MG), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil)]. E-mail: michelle_borato@hotmail.com; cvroque@cnen.gov.br; hgomes@cnen.gov.br

    2007-07-01

    Sulphide ores that are present in mining areas can cause serious environmental problems because of the action of chemolithotrophic bacteria of the Acidithiobacillus genera, mainly A. ferroxidans and A. thiooxidans. These microorganisms are capable of oxidizing sulphide minerals, elemental sulphur and ferrous ion, possibly mobilizing radionuclides such as uranium into the environment. In this context, the present study was undertaken in order to determine the occurrence and fluctuations of populations of A. ferroxidans and A. thiooxidans in effluents from an uranium mine, part of the Ore Treatment Unit (UTM) in Caldas, MG - Brazil, analyzing samples from 9 sampling points (CM, BS, D3, 25, 27, 32, 41, 75, and 76). The results showed that the population of A. thiooxidans occurs more often (44.4%) than the population of A. ferroxidans (31.5%). In the sample points within the UTM-environment interface, points 25 and 76 were considered the most susceptible to acid mine drainage and activity of bacteria involved in metal bioleaching. The seasonal behavior of some of the variables observed at points CM, D3, and BS, when evaluated simultaneously, such as high Eh values, low pH values, the detection of greater percentages of incidence and higher counts of A. ferroxidans and A. thiooxidans, showed that these points are the main locations for the occurrence of acid mine drainage and bacterial bioleaching in the UTM and should be considered as critical points for a possible decommissioning action. (author)

  9. Preliminary results of radiation monitoring near uranium mines in Namibia EJOLT Project (DRAFT version)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chareyron, Bruno

    2012-04-05

    As a part of the EJOLT (Environmental Justice Organizations Liability and Trade) project, EARTHLIFE Namibia and CRIIRAD (Commission for Independent Research and Information about Radiation) have organised visits in areas located in the vicinity of uranium mines in Namibia In the course of an on site mission carried out between September 22 and October 2 2011, scientists from the CRIIRAD laboratory took radiation measurements in situ, and collected 14 samples of top soil, 13 samples of surface sediments of the Swakop, Gawib and Khan rivers, 11 underground water samples in the alluvium of Swakop, and Khan rivers and tap water from Arandis city, and one sample of asparagus. Solid samples have been analysed at the CRIIRAD laboratory in France (measurements performed by HpGe gamma spectrometry) and water samples have been monitored for main chemicals by LDA 26 laboratory in France and for radium 226 and radon 222 at the CRIIRAD laboratory. Some of the preliminary findings are summarised in this report: 1 - The dose rate measured by CRIIRAD on the parking of Roessing mine is about 6 times above natural background value (0.9 {mu}Sv/h compared to 0.15 {mu}Sv/h); 2 - The management of waste rock dumps needs to be improved: Some waste rocks are dumped on the banks of Khan river (at the intersection with Dome Gorge) without fencing and confinement. The radiological impact of this activity has to be studied in detail but preliminary measurements show various impacts on the environment; 3 - The finest fraction of the radioactive tailings dumped on Roessing tailings dam is blown away by the wind and contaminates the surrounding environment; 4 - The high uranium concentration in underground water collected downstream Roessing uranium mine in the Khan river and Swakop river alluvium raises the question of the origin of this uranium

  10. Modeling and experimental validation of the dispersion of 222Rn released from a uranium mine ventilation shaft

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Dong; Wang, Hanqing; Kearfott, Kimberlee J.

    2012-12-01

    Radon (222Rn) found in uranium mine shaft ventilation exhaust gases could pose hazards to the surrounding environment and the public by virtue of its progeny. Radon migration under complex terrain is complicated by pollution source characteristics, geographical features of the dispersion region, meteorological conditions and precipitation. Fluid dynamics computations of 222Rn dispersion are performed for uranium mine shaft exhausts for complex models of the actual physical terrain corresponding to a mine in the Jiangxi Province of China. The eight cases studied included a ventilation shaft source, four downwind velocities (0.5, 1.0, 2.0, 4.0 m s-1) and two underlying surface roughness characteristics (0.1 m, 1.0 m). 222Rn distributions in the vicinity of uranium mine ventilation shaft are computed and compared with field measurements.

  11. Environmental and human exposure assessment monitoring of communities near an abandoned mercury mine in the Philippines: a toxic legacy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maramba, Nelia P C; Reyes, Jose Paciano; Francisco-Rivera, Ana Trinidad; Panganiban, Lynn Crisanta R; Dioquino, Carissa; Dando, Nerissa; Timbang, Rene; Akagi, Hirokatsu; Castillo, Ma Teresa; Quitoriano, Carmela; Afuang, Maredith; Matsuyama, Akito; Eguchi, Tomomi; Fuchigami, Youko

    2006-10-01

    Abandoned mines are an important global concern and continue to pose real or potential threats to human safety and health including environmental damage/s. Very few countries had government mine regulation and reclamation policies until the latter part of the century where legal, financial and technical procedures were required for existing mining operations. Major reasons for mine closure may be mainly due to poor economies of the commodity making mining unprofitable, technical difficulties and national security. If the mine is abandoned, more often than not it is the government that shoulders the burden of clean-up, monitoring and remediation. The topic of abandoned mines is complex because of the associated financial and legal liability implications. Abandoned mercury mines have been identified as one of the major concerns because of their significant long-term environmental problems. Primary mercury production is still ongoing in Spain, Kyrgzystan, China, Algeria, Russia and Slovakia while world production declined substantially in the late 1980s. In the Philippines, the mercury mine located southeast of Manila was in operation from 1955 to 1976, before ceasing operation because of the decline in world market price for the commodity. During this time, annual production of mercury was estimated to be about 140,000 kg of mercury yearly. Approximately 2,000,000 t of mine-waste calcines (retorted ore) were produced during mining and roughly 1,000,000 t of these calcines were dumped into nearby Honda Bay to construct a jetty to facilitate mine operations where about 2000 people reside in the nearby three barangays. In October, 1994 the Department of Health received a request from the Provincial Health Office for technical assistance relative to the investigation of increasing complaints of unusual symptoms (e.g. miscarriages, tooth loss, muscle weakness, paralysis, anemia, tremors, etc.) among residents of three barangays. Initial health reports revealed significant

  12. Radon release and dispersion from an open pit uranium mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kisieleski, W.E.

    1980-06-01

    Radon-222 flux from representative sections of the United Nuclear St. Anthony open-pit mine complex was measured. The collected radon was adsorbed on activated charcoal and the radon activity was measured by gamma spectroscopy. System design, calibration, and the procedure to determine radon flux density (pCi/m/sup 2/.s) are described. A continuous series of radon flux densities were measured over a 5-month period at a control point in the mine. The average flux density at the control point was 1.9 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. A close correlation between radon flux density variations and changes in barometric pressure was observed by a comparison of meteorological data and average daily radon flux density measured at the control point. The release rate from each section of the mine was calculated from the average radon flux density and the area of the section, as determined from enlarged aerial photographs. The average radon flux density for eight locations over the ore-bearing section was 7.3 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. The average flux density for four locations over undisturbed topsoil was 0.17 pCi/m/sup 2/.s. The average Ra-226 content of ten samples taken from the ore-bearing region was 102 pCi/g ore. The ratio of radon flux density to radium content (specific flux) was 0.072. The release rate from the entire St. Anthony open pit was determined to be 3.5 x 10/sup 5/ pCi/s. This rate is comparable to the natural release of radon from one square mile of undisturbed topsoil. 16 refs., 31 figs., 11 tabs.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Déjeant, Adrien, E-mail: adrien.dejeant@normalesup.org [Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Case 115, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Université Paris Diderot — Paris VII, 5 rue Thomas Mann, 75013 Paris (France); Galoisy, Laurence [Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Case 115, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Université Pierre et Marie Curie — Paris VI, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Roy, Régis [AREVA Mines — Geoscience Department, Tour AREVA, 1 place Jean Millier, 92084 Paris, La Défense (France); Calas, Georges; Boekhout, Flora [Institut de Minéralogie, de Physique des Matériaux et de Cosmochimie, Case 115, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Université Pierre et Marie Curie — Paris VI, 4 place Jussieu, 75005 Paris (France); Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael [AREVA Mines — R& D Department, BAL 0414C-2, Tour AREVA, 1 place Jean Millier, 92084 Paris, La Défense (France)

    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. - Highlights: • The evolution of U distribution and speciation in mill tailings is investigated. • High resolution satellite images provide useful information on tailings evolution. • U and many other elements are enriched in a sulfate-rich duricrust. • Formation of

  14. Land application of mine water causes minimal uranium loss offsite in the wet-dry tropics: Ranger Uranium Mine, Northern Territory, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mumtaz, Saqib; Streten, Claire; Parry, David L; McGuinness, Keith A; Lu, Ping; Gibb, Karen S

    2015-11-01

    Ranger Uranium Mine (RUM) is situated in the wet-dry tropics of Northern Australia. Land application (irrigation) of stockpile (ore and waste) runoff water to natural woodland on the mine lease is a key part of water management at the mine. Consequently, the soil in these Land Application Areas (LAAs) presents a range of uranium (U) and other metals concentrations. Knowledge of seasonal and temporal changes in soil U and physicochemical parameters at RUM LAAs is important to develop suitable management and rehabilitation strategies. Therefore, soil samples were collected from low, medium, high and very high U sites at RUM LAAs for two consecutive years and the effect of time and season on soil physicochemical parameters particularly U and other major solutes applied in irrigation water was measured. Concentrations of some of the solutes applied in the irrigation water such as sulphur (S), iron (Fe) and calcium (Ca) showed significant seasonal and temporal changes. Soil S, Fe and Ca concentration decreased from year 1 to year 2 and from dry to wet seasons during both years. Soil U followed the same pattern except that we recorded an increase in soil U concentrations at most of the RUM LAAs after year 2 wet season compared to year 2 dry season. Thus, these sites did not show a considerable decrease in soil U concentration from year 1 to year 2. Sites which contained elevated U after wet season 2 also had higher moisture content which suggests that pooling of U containing rainwater at these sites may be responsible for elevated U. Thus, U may be redistributed within RUM LAAs due to surface water movement. The study also suggested that a decrease in U concentrations in LAA soils at very high U (>900 mg kg(-1)) sites is most likely due to transport of particulate matter bound U by surface runoff and U may not be lost from the surface soil due to vertical movement through the soil profile. Uranium attached to particulate matter may reduce its potential for environmental

  15. Untreated abandoned mercury mining works in a scenic area of Asturias (Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loredo, Jorge; Pereira, Alberto; Ordóñez, Almudena

    2003-07-01

    Mercury mining was a large and thriving industry during the last century in Asturias (NW Spain). At Brañalamosa, mining activity introduced significant quantities of wastes in spoil heaps located close to the mining operations. In these mining wastes, in addition to mercury, high concentrations of other potentially dangerous elements like As have been found. As a consequence, pollution and dereliction of the local environment occurred. This paper focuses on the environmental impact of these old mining operations and describes a preliminary assessment of the extent of contamination. This includes analytical data from systematic sampling of soils, stream sediments, wastes from spoil heaps, water and herbaceous plants in areas affected by mining activities. The potential risk that spoil materials imply for human health and the environment is documented on the basis of the application of EPA Risk Assessment methodology.

  16. The future of Yellowcake: A global assessment of uranium resources and mining

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mudd, Gavin M., E-mail: Gavin.Mudd@monash.edu

    2014-02-01

    Uranium (U) mining remains controversial in many parts of the world, especially in a post-Fukushima context, and often in areas with significant U resources. Although nuclear proponents point to the relatively low carbon intensity of nuclear power compared to fossil fuels, opponents argue that this will be eroded in the future as ore grades decline and energy and greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) intensity increases as a result. Invariably both sides fail to make use of the increasingly available data reported by some U mines through sustainability reporting — allowing a comprehensive assessment of recent trends in the energy and GGE intensity of U production, as well as combining this with reported mineral resources to allow more comprehensive modelling of future energy and GGEs intensity. In this study, detailed data sets are compiled on reported U resources by deposit type, as well as mine production, energy and GGE intensity. Some important aspects included are the relationship between ore grade, deposit type and recovery, which are crucial in future projections of U mining. Overall, the paper demonstrates that there are extensive U resources known to meet potential short to medium term demand, although the future of U mining remains uncertain due to the doubt about the future of nuclear power as well as a range of complex social, environmental, economic and some site-specific technical issues. - Highlights: • An extensive data set on global uranium resources and classified by deposit type. • Comprehensive analysis of key trends, such as ore grades and recovery rates. • Energy and carbon intensity of production shows an increase as ore grades decline. • Mine rehabilitation often shows poor success or accounts of long-term effectiveness. • Real constraints on nuclear power remain safety and costs compared to alternatives.

  17. Uranium mining industry views on ICRP statement on radon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Takala, J

    2012-01-01

    In 2009, the International Commission on Radiological Protection issued a statement on radon which stated that the dose conversion factor for radon progeny would likely double, and the calculation of risk from radon should move to a dosimetric approach, rather than the longstanding epidemiological approach. Through the World Nuclear Association, whose members represent over 90% of the world's uranium production, industry has been examining this issue with a goal of offering expertise and knowledge to assist with the practical implementation of these evolutionary changes to evaluating the risk from radon progeny. Industry supports the continuing use of the most current epidemiological data as a basis for risk calculation, but believes that further examination of these results is needed to better understand the level of conservatism in the potential epidemiological-based risk models. With regard to adoption of the dosimetric approach, industry believes that further work is needed before this is a practical option. In particular, this work should include a clear demonstration of the validation of the dosimetric model which includes how smoking is handled, the establishment of a practical measurement protocol, and the collection of relevant data for modern workplaces. Industry is actively working to address the latter two items.

  18. Metal binding by bacteria from uranium mining waste piles and its technological applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pollmann, K; Raff, J; Merroun, M; Fahmy, K; Selenska-Pobell, S

    2006-01-01

    Uranium mining waste piles, heavily polluted with radionuclides and other toxic metals, are a reservoir for bacteria that have evolved special strategies to survive in these extreme environments. Understanding the mechanisms of bacterial adaptation may enable the development of novel bioremediation strategies and other technological applications. Cell isolates of Bacillus sphaericus JG-A12 from a uranium mining waste pile in Germany are able to accumulate high amounts of toxic metals such as U, Cu, Pb, Al, and Cd as well as precious metals. Some of these metals, i.e. U, Cu, Pd(II), Pt(II) and Au(III), are also bound by the highly orderd paracrystalline proteinaceous surface layer (S-layer) that envelopes the cells of this strain. These special capabilities of the cells and the S-layer proteins of B. sphaericus JG-A12 are highly interesting for the clean-up of uranium contaminated waste waters, for the recovery of precious metals from electronic wastes, and for the production of metal nanoclusters. The fabricated nanoparticles are promising for the development of novel catalysts. This work reviews the molecular biology of the S-layer of the strain JG-A12 and the S-layer dependent interactions of the bacterial cells with metals. It presents future perspectives for their application in bioremediation and nanotechnology.

  19. Flora and vegetation on dumps of uranium mining in the southern part of the former GDR

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hartmut Sänger

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available From 1946 to 1990 an intensive uranium mining had been carried out with underground mining and also with opencast mining by the Wismut enterprise in the southern part of the former GDR. The mining activity lead also in the surroundings of Ronneburg to a permanent growth of devastated areas, among others in the form of dumps and tailings. These areas form by reason of mining-specific contaminations, extrem biotops which demand high claims on the pioneer organisms during the phase of natural first settlement. From 1990 to 1992 vegetation mappings were carried out on 15 dumps of the Thuringia mining area according to Braun-Blanquet (1964. The utilization of the computer programm Flora _D (Frank and Klotz 1990 enabled the ecological characterisation of the dumps. On the 15 investigated dumps found were 498 higher plants, belonging to 65 families. One hundred species are species with a high dominance. The number of species per dump fluctuates between 1 I and 282. Pioneer plants occur on the berms mostly in the second year after stoppage of the dumping, on the slopes after five to ten years. After nearly ten years the first step of settlement seems to be finished. Among the mechanisms of spreading dominate wind- and burdock spread. According to the form of life forms the dump species are predominantly hemicryptophytes, further therophytes, geophytes and phanerophytes.

  20. Assessment of contamination of the Issyk-Kul' valley natural waters with uranium mine wastes

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Palesski, S.V.; Nikolaeva, I.V.; Saprykin, A.I.; Gavshin, V.M. [The United Institute of Geology, Geophysics and Mineralogy SB RAS, Novosibirsk (Russian Federation)

    2003-05-01

    The Lake Issyk-Kul' of the central Tyan-Shan is characterized by increased natural uranium content. Uranium-carbon deposit situated on the southern bank of the Lake can be the reason of chemical and radioactive contamination of this unique basin by exploitation wastes. In order to estimate possible danger, a project 'Assessment and prognosis of environmental changes in Lake Issyk-Kul' (Kyrgyzstan)' was developed and supported by the Program of the European Commission 'Copernicus-2' (2001-2003). According to this project the water assays were sampled from different depths near the banks of the Lake and from low-debit sources draining the dumping grounds of the uranium-carbon deposit. Elemental and isotopic examinations of these water samples were performed using an ELEMENT HR-ICP-MS (Finnigan Mat). The results obtained are the evidence that the ecological status of the Lake Issyk-Kul'is not damaged at present. Wastewaters from the uranium-carbon mine do not make decisive contribution into the natural radioactive background. (authors)

  1. Early signals of environmental and health impacts caused by uranium mining in Caetite, Bahia, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Brito, Adelson S. de; Rego, Rita de Cassia Franco [Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, BA (Brazil). Dept. de Medicina Preventiva. Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Saude, Ambiente e Trabalho; Zucchi, Maria do Rosario [Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA), Salvador, BA (Brazil). Dept. de Fisica da Terra. Lab. de Fisica Nuclear Aplicada; Navarro, Marcus V. Teixeira, E-mail: mvtn@ifba.edu.b [Instituto Federal da Bahia (LAFIR/NTS/IFBA) Salvador, BA (Brazil). Nucleo de Tecnologia em Saude. Lab. de Fisica Radiologica

    2011-07-01

    Uranium mining and processing at Lagoa Real (Bahia, Brazil) in the southwest of Bahia state started in the year 2000.The processing of uranium ore for obtaining U3O8 (yellowcake) is done today in the processing unit of the Brazilian Nuclear Industries INB located in the area of the same municipality above mentioned. The production capacity is 400 tons / year of U3O8, and the reserves in this region are estimated at 100.000 tons of uranium without any other associated minerals, enough to supply the demand for nuclear power plants Angra I and II for over 100 years. Since the granting of AOP (Permanent Operation Authorization) by CNEN (National Commission on Nuclear Energy) in the year 2009, there were some incidents at the facility, such as: solvents and liquid containing uranium overflow; pipes rupture, causing indiscriminate dispersion of toxic acids and other chemical agents; collapse of parts of the slope of the open pit. CNEN admitted in an official press release on April 1, 2011 that 'INB has no capacity to produce annual reports on environmental monitoring (unable to perform radiometric measurements, etc.). The last time a report was released happened in the year 2008. These reports are vital to the environmental impact assessment of the facility'. Another potential source of environmental and health negative impacts on the local population could be linked to radon emission. What are the levels of this important pollutant in the affected areas? (author)

  2. Characterization of microorganisms in the acidic mine water of the former uranium mine Koenigstein; Charakterisierung der Mikroorganismen im sauren Grubenwasser des ehemaligen Uranbergwerks Koenigstein

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zirnstein, Isabel

    2015-06-29

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

  3. Assessment of Water Quality Index and Heavy Metal Contamination in Active and Abandoned Iron Ore Mining Sites in Pahang, Malaysia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Madzin Zafira

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The composition of heavy metals in water and surface soils of iron ore mining sites were investigated to evaluate on the potential occurrence of heavy metal contamination. Physico-chemical characteristics of the waters were also investigated to determine the current status of water quality index (WQI of the sites. Samples of water and surface soils of active mine (Kuala Lipis and abandoned mine (Bukit Ibam in Pahang were collected at four locations, respectively. The physico-chemical parameters measured for WQI were pH, dissolved oxygen, biological oxygen demand (BOD, chemical oxygen demand (COD, suspended solids (SS, and ammoniacal nitrogen (AN. The water quality parameters were classified according to the Department of Environment (DOE water quality classification. The study revealed that most of the sites in Bukit Ibam and Kuala Lipis were categorized as clean to slightly polluted. On the other hand, heavy metal analysis in water showed that aluminium and manganese level in both sites have exceeded the allowable limits for raw and treated water standards by the Ministry of Health. For heavy metal compositions in soils showed most of the heavy metal concentrations were below the recommended guideline values except for lead, arsenic, zinc and copper.

  4. Source and Fate of Inorganic Soil Contamination Around the Abandoned Phillips Sulfide Mine Hudson Highlands New York

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    S Gilchrist; A Gates; E Elzinga; M Gorring; z Szabo

    2011-12-31

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH < 4, organic matter < 2.5% and trace metals sequestered in soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r = 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and {mu}-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant, {mu}-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  5. Source and fate of inorganic soil contamination around the abandoned Phillips sulfide mine, hudson Highlands, New York

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gilchrist, S.; Gates, A.; Elzinga, E.; Gorring, M.; Szabo, Z.

    2011-01-01

    The abandoned Phillips sulfide mine in the critical Highlands watershed in New York has been shown to produce strongly acidic mine drainage (AMD) with anomalous metal contaminants in first-order streams that exceeded local water standards by up to several orders of magnitude (Gilchrist et al., 2009). The metal-sulfide-rich tailings also produce contaminated soils with pH soil oxides. A geochemical transect to test worst-case soil contamination showed that Cr, Co and Ni correlated positively with Mn, (r = 0.72, r= 0.89, r = 0.80, respectively), suggesting Mn-oxide sequestration and that Cu and Pb correlated with Fe (r = 0.76, r = 0.83, respectively), suggesting sequestration in goethite. Ubiquitous, yellow coating on the mine wastes, including jarosite and goethite, is a carrier of the metals. Geochemical and μ-SXRF analyses determined Cu to be the major soil contaminant. μ-SXRF also demonstrated that the heterogeneous nature of the soil chemistry at the micro-meter scale is self-similar to those in the bulk soil samples. Generally metals decreased, with some fluctuations, rapidly downslope through suspension of fines and dissolution in AMD leaving the area of substantial contamination << 0.5 km from the source.

  6. Colloid-borne uranium and other heavy metals in the water of a mine drainage gallery

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zaenker, H.; Richter, W.; Brendler, V.; Nitsche, H. [Forschungszentrum Rossendorf e.V. (FZR) (Germany). Inst. fuer Radiochemie

    2000-07-01

    The water of a mine drainage gallery was investigated for its contents of colloid-borne heavy metals with emphasis on uranium. About 1 mg/L of colloid particles of 100 to 300 nm were found. They consist of a matrix of Fe and Al oxyhydroxides and are formed when anoxic slightly acidic shaft waters mix with oxic near-neutral gallery water. The colloid particles bear toxic trace elements such as As, Pb, and Cu. Almost 100% of the As and Pb and about 70% of the Cu contained in the water are colloid-borne. Carbonato complexes prevent the uranyl from being adsorbed on the colloids in the unaltered gallery water. Acidification destroys these complexes: up to 50% of the uranium is attached to the colloids in the slightly acidic pH region. Further acidification converts the uranyl again to a 'non-colloidal' form. (orig.)

  7. Radon exposure in uranium mining industry vs. exposure in tourist caves.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Quindós Poncela, L; Fernández Navarro, P; Sainz Fernández, C; Gómez Arozamena, J; Bordonoba Perez, M

    2004-01-01

    There is a fairly general consensus among health physicists and radiation professionals that exposure to radon progeny is the largest and most variable contribution to the population's exposure to natural sources of radiation. However, this exposure is the subject of continuing debate concerning the validity of risk assessment and recommendations on how to act in radon-prone areas. The purpose of this contribution is to situate the radon issue in Spain in two very different settings. The first is a uranium mining industry located in Saelices el Chico (Salamanca), which is under strict control of the Spanish Nuclear Safety Council (CSN). We have measured radon concentrations in different workplaces in this mine over a five-year period. The second setting comprises four tourist caves, three of which are located in the province of Cantabria and the fourth on the Canary Island of Lanzarote. These caves are not subject to any administrative control of radiation exposure. Measured air 222Rn concentrations were used to estimate annual effective doses due to radon inhalation in the two settings, and dose values were found to be from 2 to 10 times lower in the uranium mine than in the tourist caves. These results were analysed in the context of the new European Basic Safety Standards Directive (EU-BSS, 1996).

  8. The building of a pluralist expertise group about uranium mines in Limousin (France)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gay, D. [Institut de Radioprotection et de Surete Nucleaire (IRSN), 92 - Fontenay-aux-Roses (France)

    2006-07-01

    Uranium mining and milling industry once played a major strategic and economic role in France. After the definitive cessation of mining and milling activity in 2001, more than 200 sites are currently under closure and post-closure phases. Decisions required in this frame raise particular difficulties because of the sensitivity of some technical issues and the strong scrutiny and requirements of local and national NGOs. This is particular true in Limousin, the region that stands for the cradle and the heart of the national uranium history. In order to deal with this complex and disputed topic, the ministries of environment, health and industry recently decided to set up a pluralist expertise group with the aim to come to analyze and give a critical point of view on the various technical documents prepared by AREVA NC about the surveillance and control of its mining sites in the department of Haute-Vienne in the Limousin region and than provide recommendations to public authorities to improve current situation. (author)

  9. Use of steel slag to neutralize acid mine drainage (AMD in sulfidic material from a uranium mine

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Camila Marcon de Carvalho Leite

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Acid Mine Drainage (AMD is one of the main environmental impacts caused by mining. Thus, innovative mitigation strategies should be exploited, to neutralize acidity and prevent mobilization of trace elements in AMD. The use of industrial byproducts has been considered an economically and environmentally effective alternative to remediate acid mine drainage. Therefore, the objective of this study was to evaluate the use of steel slag to mitigate acid mine drainage in a sulfidic material from a uranium mine, as an alternative to the use of limestone. Thus, increasing doses of two neutralizing agents were applied to a sulfidic material from the uranium mine Osamu Utsumi in Caldas, Minas Gerais State. A steel slag from the company ArcelorMittal Tubarão and a commercial limestone were used as neutralizing agents. The experiment was conducted in leaching columns, arranged in a completely randomized, [(2 x 3 + 1] factorial design, consisting of two neutralizing agents, three doses and one control, in three replications, totaling 21 experimental units. Electrical conductivity (EC, pH and the concentrations of Al, As, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, Mn, Ni, S, Se, and Zn were evaluated in the leached solutions. The trace element concentration was evaluated by ICP-OES. Furthermore, the CO2 emission was measured at the top of the leaching columns by capturing in NaOH solution and titration with HCl, in the presence of BaCl2. An increase in the pH of the leachate was observed for both neutralizing agents, with slightly higher values for steel slag. The EC was lower at the higher lime dose at an early stage of the experiment, and CO2 emission was greater with the use of limestone compared to steel slag. A decrease in trace element mobilization in the presence of both neutralizing agents was also observed. Therefore, the results showed that the use of steel slag is a suitable alternative to mitigate AMD, with the advantage of reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere

  10. Surface water contamination by uranium Mining/Milling activities in Northern guangdong province, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wang, Jin; Song, Gang; Chen, Yongheng; Zhu, Li [Key Laboratory of Waters Safety and Protection in the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou (China); Liu, Juan [Key Laboratory of Waters Safety and Protection in the Pearl River Delta, Ministry of Education, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou (China); Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Li, Hongchun [Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taipei (China); Xiao, Tangfu [State Key Laboratory of Environmental Geochemistry, Institute of Geochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guiyang (China); Qi, Jianying [South China Institute of Environmental Science, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Guangzhou (China)

    2012-12-15

    The northern region of Guangdong Province, China, has suffered from the extensive mining/milling of uranium for several decades. In this study, surface waters in the region were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometry (ICP-OES) for the concentrations of uranium (U), thorium (Th), and non-radioactive metals (Fe, Mn, Mg, Li, Co, Cu, Ni, and Zn). Results showed highly elevated concentrations of the studied radionuclides and metals in the discharged effluents and the tailing seepage of the U mining/milling sites. Radionuclide and heavy metal concentrations were also observed to be overall enhanced in the recipient stream that collected the discharged effluents from the industrial site, compared to the control streams, and rivers with no impacts from the U mining/milling sites. They displayed significant spatial variations and a general decrease downstream away from upper point-source discharges of the industrial site. In addition, obvious positive correlations were found between U and Th, Fe, Zn, Li, and Co (R{sup 2} > 0.93, n = 28) in the studied water samples, which suggest for an identical source and transport pathway of these elements. In combination with present surface water chemistry and chemical compositions of uraniferous minerals, the elevation of the analyzed elements in the recipient stream most likely arose from the liquid effluents, processing water, and acid drainage from the U mining/milling facilities. The dispersion of radionuclides and hazardous metals is actually limited to a small area at present, but some potential risk should not be negligible for local ecosystem. The results indicate that environmental remediation work is required to implement and future cleaner production technology should be oriented to avoid wide dispersion of radioactivity and non-radioactive hazards in U mining/milling sites. (Copyright copyright 2012 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH and Co. KGaA, Weinheim)

  11. Arbuscular mycorrhizas contribute to phytostabilization of uranium in uranium mining tailings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Baodong; Roos, Per; Zhu, Yong-Guan; Jakobsen, Iver

    2008-05-01

    Uranium (U) tailings pose environmental risks and call for proper remediation. In this paper medic and ryegrass plants were used as host plants to examine whether inoculation with an AM fungus, Glomus intraradices, would help phytostabilization of U tailings. The need of amending with uncontaminated soil for supporting plant survival was also examined by mixing soil with U tailing at different mixing ratios. Soil amendment increased plant growth and P uptake. Ryegrass produced a more extensive root system and a greater biomass than medic plants at all mixing ratios. Medic roots were extensively colonized by G. intraradices whereas ryegrass were more sparsely colonized. Plant growth was not improved by mycorrhizas, which, however, improved P nutrition of medic plants. Medic plants contained higher U concentrations and showed higher specific U uptake efficiency compared to ryegrass. In the presence of U tailing, most U had been retained in plant roots, and this distribution pattern was further enhanced by mycorrhizal colonization. The results suggest a role for AM fungi in phytostabilization of U tailings.

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizas contribute to phytostabilization of uranium in uranium mining tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Chen Baodong [Department of Soil Environmental Science, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085 (China); Biosystems Department, Riso National Laboratory, Technical University of Denmark, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Roos, Per [Radiation Research Department, Technical University of Denmark, Riso National Laboratory, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark); Zhu Yongguan [Department of Soil Environmental Science, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085 (China); Jakobsen, Iver [Biosystems Department, Riso National Laboratory, Technical University of Denmark, DK-4000 Roskilde (Denmark)], E-mail: iver.jakobsen@risoe.dk

    2008-05-15

    Uranium (U) tailings pose environmental risks and call for proper remediation. In this paper medic and ryegrass plants were used as host plants to examine whether inoculation with an AM fungus, Glomus intraradices, would help phytostabilization of U tailings. The need of amending with uncontaminated soil for supporting plant survival was also examined by mixing soil with U tailing at different mixing ratios. Soil amendment increased plant growth and P uptake. Ryegrass produced a more extensive root system and a greater biomass than medic plants at all mixing ratios. Medic roots were extensively colonized by G. intraradices whereas ryegrass were more sparsely colonized. Plant growth was not improved by mycorrhizas, which, however, improved P nutrition of medic plants. Medic plants contained higher U concentrations and showed higher specific U uptake efficiency compared to ryegrass. In the presence of U tailing, most U had been retained in plant roots, and this distribution pattern was further enhanced by mycorrhizal colonization. The results suggest a role for AM fungi in phytostabilization of U tailings.

  13. Microbial communities in low permeability, high pH uranium mine tailings: characterization and potential effects.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bondici, V F; Lawrence, J R; Khan, N H; Hill, J E; Yergeau, E; Wolfaardt, G M; Warner, J; Korber, D R

    2013-06-01

    To describe the diversity and metabolic potential of microbial communities in uranium mine tailings characterized by high pH, high metal concentration and low permeability. To assess microbial diversity and their potential to influence the geochemistry of uranium mine tailings using aerobic and anaerobic culture-based methods, in conjunction with next generation sequencing and clone library sequencing targeting two universal bacterial markers (the 16S rRNA and cpn60 genes). Growth assays revealed that 69% of the 59 distinct culturable isolates evaluated were multiple-metal resistant, with 15% exhibiting dual-metal hypertolerance. There was a moderately positive correlation coefficient (R = 0·43, P iron, 22 reduced molybdate and seven oxidized arsenite. Based on next generation sequencing, tailings depth was shown to influence bacterial community composition, with the difference in the microbial diversity of the upper (0-20 m) and middle (20-40 m) tailings zones being highly significant (P iron-reducing bacteria were identified with low abundance, yet relatively high diversity. The presence of a population of metabolically-diverse, metal-resistant micro-organisms within the tailings environment, along with their demonstrated capacity for transforming metal elements, suggests that these organisms have the potential to influence the long-term geochemistry of the tailings. This study is the first investigation of the diversity and functional potential of micro-organisms present in low permeability, high pH uranium mine tailings. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

  14. 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

  15. Elemental characterization of superficial waters contaminated by an abandoned sulfide-mining area, through neutron activation analysis

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canha, N.; Freitas, M.C.; Dionisio, I.; Anawar, H.M. [URSN-ITN, Sacavem (Portugal). Technological and Nuclear Inst.; Pacheco, A.M.G. [Technical Univ. of Lisbon (Portugal). CERENA-IST

    2011-07-01

    In this work, superficial waters of two small rivers flowing in the Sao Domingos' abandoned mining area were analyzed in order to infer on soil-water transfer of the elements determined. Instrumental neutron activation analysis was used for elemental concentration assessment. The following elements were found at the mg L{sup -1} level: As, Ba, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Na and Zn. The dry-mass residues varied between 70 mg and 1 g in 20-mL volumes. High enrichment relative to soil was found for most elements. Good statistical associations between Br and Na, between Cr and Sc, and between Ce, Co, Fe, Yb, and Zn, were found, suggesting a similar mechanism of soil-water, elemental transfer. Both the superficial waters' composition and their elemental levels indicate a potential risk of contamination of the underground waters and an actual health risk for the resident populations. (orig.)

  16. The future of Yellowcake: a global assessment of uranium resources and mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mudd, Gavin M

    2014-02-15

    Uranium (U) mining remains controversial in many parts of the world, especially in a post-Fukushima context, and often in areas with significant U resources. Although nuclear proponents point to the relatively low carbon intensity of nuclear power compared to fossil fuels, opponents argue that this will be eroded in the future as ore grades decline and energy and greenhouse gas emissions (GGEs) intensity increases as a result. Invariably both sides fail to make use of the increasingly available data reported by some U mines through sustainability reporting - allowing a comprehensive assessment of recent trends in the energy and GGE intensity of U production, as well as combining this with reported mineral resources to allow more comprehensive modelling of future energy and GGEs intensity. In this study, detailed data sets are compiled on reported U resources by deposit type, as well as mine production, energy and GGE intensity. Some important aspects included are the relationship between ore grade, deposit type and recovery, which are crucial in future projections of U mining. Overall, the paper demonstrates that there are extensive U resources known to meet potential short to medium term demand, although the future of U mining remains uncertain due to the doubt about the future of nuclear power as well as a range of complex social, environmental, economic and some site-specific technical issues.

  17. Community Structures of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi in Soils and Plant Roots Inhabiting Abandoned Mines of Korea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Park, Hyeok; Lee, Eun-Hwa; Ka, Kang-Hyeon

    2016-01-01

    In this study, we collected rhizosphere soils and root samples from a post-mining area and a natural forest area in Jecheon, Korea. We extracted spores of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) from rhizospheres, and then examined the sequences of 18S rDNA genes of the AMF from the collected roots of plants. We compared the AMF communities in the post-mining area and the natural forest area by sequence analysis of the AMF spores from soils and of the AMF clones from roots. Consequently, we confirmed that the structure of AMF communities varied between the post-mining area and the natural forest area and showed significant relationship with heavy metal contents in soils. These results suggest that heavy metal contamination by mining activity significantly affects the AMF community structure. PMID:28154485

  18. Variations in heavy metal contamination of stream water and groundwater affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine in Korea.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Jin-Yong; Choi, Jung-Chan; Lee, Kang-Kun

    2005-09-01

    This study evaluated variations in heavy metal contamination of stream waters and groundwaters affected by an abandoned lead-zinc mine, where a rockfill dam for water storage will be built 11 km downstream. For these purposes, a total of 10 rounds of stream and groundwater samplings and subsequent chemical analyses were performed during 2002-2003. Results of an exploratory investigation of stream waters in 2000 indicated substantial contamination with heavy metals including zinc (Zn), iron (Fe) and arsenic (As) for at least 6 km downstream from the mine. Stream waters near the mine showed metal contamination as high as arsenic (As) 8,923 microg L(-1), copper (Cu) 616 microg L(-1), cadmium (Cd) 223 microg L(-1) and lead (Pb) 10,590 microg L(-1), which greatly exceeded the Korean stream water guidelines. Remediation focused on the mine tailing piles largely improved the stream water qualities. However, there have still been quality problems for the waters containing relatively high concentrations of As (6-174 microg L(-1)), Cd (1-46 microg L(-1)) and Pb (2-26 microg L(-1)). Rainfall infiltration into the mine tailing piles resulted in an increase of heavy metals in the stream waters due to direct discharge of waste effluent, while dilution of the contaminated stream waters improved the water quality due to mixing with metal free rain waters. Levels of As, Cu and chromium (Cr) largely decreased after heavy rain but that of Pb was rather elevated. The stream waters were characterized by high concentrations of calcium (Ca) and sulfate (SO(4)), which were derived from dissolution and leaching of carbonate and sulfide minerals. It was observed that the proportions of Ca and SO(4) increased while those of bicarbonate (HCO(3)) and sodium and potassium (Na+K) decreased after a light rainfall event. Most interestingly, the reverse was generally detected for the groundwaters. The zinc, being the metal mined, was the most dominant heavy metal in the groundwaters (1758

  19. Closure of mines uranium Haba (Badajoz) and Saelices El Chico (Salamanca); Clausura de las minas de uranio de la Haba (Badajoz) y Saelices El chico (Salamanca)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lozano, F.; Ruiz Sanchez, J.

    2015-07-01

    The closure of the uranium mines of La Haba and Saelices el chico (Badajoz y Salamca provinces, respectively) are two examples of environmental restoration of mining uranium and dismantling of uranium concentrates plants. Activities carried out are described with the aim of ensuring that, once completed, environmental and radiological conditions are as similar as possible to the existing pre-exploitation, as well as the current situation in both sites with actions current and/or planned. (Author)

  20. Trace elements and activity of antioxidative enzymes in Cistus ladanifer L. growing on an abandoned mine area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Santos, Erika S; Abreu, Maria Manuela; Nabais, Cristina; Saraiva, Jorge A

    2009-10-01

    The Mediterranean shrub Cistus ladanifer grows naturally in São Domingos (Portugal), an abandoned copper mine. High levels of trace elements in plants can generate oxidative stress increasing the activity of antioxidant enzymes. The aim of this work was to evaluate and compare As, Cu, Pb and Zn concentrations and the activity of the soluble and cell wall ionically bounded forms of the enzymes catalase, peroxidase and superoxide dismutase in leaves of C. ladanifer, collected in spring and summer, growing on São Domingos mine and on a non-contaminated area (Pomarão). São Domingos soils showed high total concentrations of As (2.6 g kg(-1)) and Pb (7.3 g kg(-1)) however the available fraction represented less than 1.5% of the total. C. ladanifer population from mine showed tolerance to Pb and Zn, which attain in leaves concentrations considered toxic for plants. The enzymatic activity of catalase, peroxidise and superoxide dismutase varied with plant populations and seasons, although with no particular trend, being specific to each trace element and enzyme cell localization. Catalase activity was evenly distributed between the soluble and ionically bounded forms, whereas the ionically bounded form of peroxidase predominated relatively to total activity, and the opposite was observed for superoxide dismutase. Spring and summer leaves from the two areas presented enzymatic activities in both fractions except to peroxidase soluble activities in leaves collected in summer. C. ladanifer enzymatic activity seems to be related with the co-existence of different stress factors (trace elements concentration, temperature, UV radiation and drought). The survival and growth of this species on contaminated mining soils is due to the presence of effective antioxidant enzyme-based defence systems.

  1. Mobilization of Toxic Elements from an Abandoned Manganese Mine in the Arid Metropolitan Las Vegas (NV, USA Area

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ji Hye Park

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Active and abandoned mines may present health risks, especially to children, from environmental exposure to airborne chemical elements, such as Pb, As, and Mn. X-ray fluorescence analysis of tailings at the Three Kids Mine show they contain high levels of: Pb (15,300 mg/kg, As (3690 mg/kg, and Mn (153,000 mg/kg. Soil was sampled along eight transects, radiating from the dried tailings ponds. Concentrations of Mn and Pb to the NE are at background concentrations at 4.8 km, and, As and Sr at 3.2 km from the mine. Going SW to the City of Henderson, all elements are at background at 1.6 cm, with the closest houses at 1.8 km. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA Regional Screening Levels (RSLs are exceeded for Pb, As and Mn at 0.8 km on all transects except one. The RSLs are exceeded for Pb, As and Mn on the NE transects at 1.6 km. Future home sites are on a NE transect between 0.4 km and 2.3 km downwind from the tailings ponds, in an area highly impacted by tailings which exceed the USEPA RSLs. This research demonstrates that there has been the farthest transport of tailings offsite by the prevailing winds to the NE; the closest currently-built homes have not received measurable tailings dust because they are upwind; and that precautions must be taken during the proposed remediation of the mine to restrict dust-transport of Pb, As, and Mn to avoid human exposure and ecological damage.

  2. Evaluating top soil trace element pollution in the vicinity of a cement plant and a former open-cast uranium mine in central Argentina

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bermudez, Gonzalo M.A.; Pignata, Maria Luisa [Cordoba Univ. Nacional (AR). Inst. Multidisciplinario de Biologia Vegetal (IMBIV); Moreno, Monica; Invernizzi, Rodrigo; Pla, Rita [Comision Nacional de Energia Atomica (CAE), Buenos Aires (Argentina). Tecnicas Analiticas Nucleares

    2010-10-15

    0.5-M HCl-extracted heavy metals are potentially significant for characterizing the element bioavailability, the anthropogenic contamination, and the anomaly assessment. According to soil quality guidelines for environmental health, the human and wildlife populations in Cordoba Province might be experiencing toxic As, Ba, Co, Cr, Ta, U, and Zn effects. Therefore, mitigation strategies should be performed on an abandoned mine (Schlagintweit Uranium Mine), Yocsina, Despenaderos, and Oliva. (orig.)

  3. Evolution of vegetation and soil nutrients after uranium mining in Los Ratones mine (Cáceres, Spain).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pérez-Fernández, María A; Vera-Tomé, Feliciano; Blanco-Rodríguez, María P; Lozano, Juan C

    2014-06-01

    The evolution of vegetation structure following mine rehabilitation is rather scarce in the literature. The concentration of long-lived radionuclides of the (238)U series might have harmful effects on living organisms. We studied soil properties and the natural vegetation occurring along a gradient in Los Ratones, an area rehabilitated after uranium mining located in Cáceres, Spain. Soil and vegetation were sampled seasonally and physical and chemical properties of soil were analysed, including natural isotopes of (238)U, (230)Th, (226)Ra and (210)Pb. Species richness, diversity, evenness and plant cover were estimated and correlated in relation to soil physical and chemical variables. The location of the sampling sites along a gradient had a strong explanatory effect on the herbaceous species, as well as the presence of shrubs and trees. Seasonal effects of the four natural isotopes were observed in species richness, species diversity and plant cover; these effects were directly related to the pH values in the soil, this being the soil property that most influences the plant distribution. Vegetation in the studied area resembles that of the surroundings, thus proving that the rehabilitation carried out in Los Ratones mine was successful in terms of understorey cover recovery.

  4. Chemical Data for Rock, Sediment, Biological, Precipitate, and Water Samples from Abandoned Copper Mines in Prince William Sound, Alaska

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koski, Randolph A.; Munk, LeeAnn

    2007-01-01

    In the early 20th century, approximately 6 million metric tons of copper ore were mined from numerous deposits located along the shorelines of fjords and islands in Prince William Sound, Alaska. At the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites (fig. 1), rocks containing Fe, Cu, Zn, and Pb sulfide minerals are exposed to chemical weathering in abandoned mine workings and remnant waste piles that extend into the littoral zone. Field investigations in 2003 and 2005 as well as analytical data for rock, sediment, precipitate, water, and biological samples reveal that the oxidation of sulfides at these sites is resulting in the generation of acid mine drainage and the transport of metals into the marine environment (Koski and others, 2008; Stillings and others, 2008). At the Ellamar and Threeman sites, plumes of acidic and metal-enriched water are flowing through beach gravels into the shallow offshore environment. Interstitial water samples collected from beach sediment at Ellamar have low pH levels (to ~3) and high concentrations of metals including iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, lead, and mercury. The abundant precipitation of the iron sulfate mineral jarosite in the Ellamar gravels also signifies a low-pH environment. At the Beatson mine site (the largest copper mine in the region) seeps containing iron-rich microbial precipitates drain into the intertidal zone below mine dumps (Foster and others, 2008). A stream flowing down to the shoreline from underground mine workings at Beatson has near-neutral pH, but elevated levels of zinc, copper, and lead (Stillings and others, 2008). Offshore sediment samples at Beatson are enriched in these metals. Preliminary chemical data for tissue from marine mussels collected near the Ellamar, Threeman, and Beatson sites reveal elevated levels of copper, zinc, and lead compared to tissue in mussels from other locations in Prince William Sound (Koski and others, 2008). Three papers presenting results of this ongoing investigation of

  5. Assessment of major and trace elements in soil and sediments from Osamu Utsumi Uranium mine by WDXRF

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guilhen, Sabine N.; Oliveira, Fernando Mendes de; Cotrim, Marycel E.B.; Sakata, Solange K.; Scapin, Marcos A., E-mail: sksakata@ipen.br, E-mail: snguilhen@ipen.br, E-mail: mecotrim@ipen.br, E-mail: mascapin@ipen.br [Instituto de Pesquisas Energeticas e Nucleares (IPEN/CNEN-SP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil); Filho, Walter S., E-mail: scassiotti@inb.gov.br [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (UTM/INB), Caldas, MG (Brazil). Unidade de Tratamento de Minerios

    2015-07-01

    From 1982 to 1995, the Brazilian Nuclear Industries (INB) extracted and processed uranium from the Osamu Utsumi mine, located in Caldas (Minas Gerais/Brazil). After the operations were suspended in the mine, INB was convened to meet national regulatory requirements for decommissioning the mine. Several studies have since been initiated in order to support a safe and responsible closure of the mine. In this context, this work aims to establish and validate a non-destructive methodology for quantitative simultaneous determination of major and minor constituents in soil and sediments from Osamu Utsumi uranium mine by wavelength dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometry (WDXRF). The method was validated in accordance to the criteria established by INMETRO (Brazilian's National Institute of Metrology, Quality and Technology). The precision and accuracy achieved are statistically comparable to the National Institute of Standards and Technology's standard reference material, SRM 2709a. The results showed significantly higher amounts of rare-earth elements and uranium in sediment samples, most likely because of the leaching process occurring in the pit's surroundings. This process is promoted by the acid mine drainage (AMD) that solubilized the elements present in the tailings throughout the mine's area. The solubilized elements end up accumulating in the pit water and further depositing up in the sediment. (author)

  6. 城市污泥在矿山废弃地复垦的应用探讨%Application of Sewage Sludge to the Abandoned Mining Land Reclamation

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    莫测辉; 蔡全英; 王江海; 吴启堂

    2001-01-01

    Based on the analysis of the existing problems in reclaimingabandoned mining land and their negative effect on the ecological environment,and in view of the limited factors to reclaim abandoned mining land,this paper puts forward the suggestions of using sewage sludge as an alternative in mining land reclamation.Application of sewage sludge in reclamation has beneficial effects, such as increasing organic matter content, preventing soil erosion,recovering vegetation,and promoting microbial population and its activities.Unfavorable factors including heavy metal and organic pollutant for applications of sewage sludge and their countermeasures are also discussed.

  7. Concentration of heavy metal As, Pb, Mn, Ni, Sn, Zn, Cr, Fe and radon gas in bottom sediment from abandoned tin mines in the Phuket Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Suteerasak, T.

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available This research is aimed at analyzing the heavy metals: As, Pb, Mn, Ni, Sn, Zn, Cr, Fe, and radon gas emission in bottom sediment from six abandoned tin mines in Phuket Province. Fe, Mn, and Sn were found in higher concentrations (but non-polluting than Cr and Ni. As, Pb, and Zn were polluting at lower levels. The concentration ranges for As, Pb, and Zn were 75.3-169, 98.6-547.5, and 120.4-323.3 mg/kg respectively. The activity of radon gas emission from bottom sediment from an abandoned tin mine in Amphur Muang was in the range of 162-212 Bq/kg., in the Amphur Katoo mine the range was 122-266 Bq/kg. and in the Amphur Talang mine the range was 180-263 Bq/kg. All these sites have higher concentrations of radon gas emissions than other similar sites. The heavy metals and radon gas come from geochemical materials such as soil and granite rock, found around the abandoned tin mines.

  8. Dispersion of Metals from Abandoned Mines and their Effects on Biota in the Methow River, Okanogan County, Washington : Annual Report 3/15/00-3/14/01.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peplow, Dan; Edmonds, Robert

    2001-06-01

    The University of Washington, College of Forest Resources and the Center for Streamside Studies in Seattle, Washington, is being funded by the Bonneville Power Administration to conduct a three-year research project to measure the watershed scale response of stream habitat to abandoned mine waste, the dispersion of metals, and their effects on biota in the Methow River basin. The purpose of this project is to determine if there are processes and pathways that result in the dispersion of metals from their source at abandoned mines to biological receptors in the Methow River. The objectives of this study are the following: (1) Assess ecological risk due to metal contamination from mines near the Methow; (2) Measure impact of metals from mines on groundwater and sediments in Methow River; (3) Measure response of organisms in the Methow River to excess metals in the sediments of the Methow River; (4) Recommend restoration guidelines and biological goals that target identified pathways and processes of metal pollution affecting salmon habitat in the Methow basin; and (5) Submit peer review journal publications. When concluded, this study will contribute to the advancement of current best management practices by describing the processes responsible for the release of metals from small abandoned mine sites in an arid environment, their dispersal pathways, and their chemical and biological impacts on the Methow River. Based on these processes and pathways, specific remediation recommendations will be proposed.

  9. Environmental impact of active and abandoned mines and metal smelters in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tomaž Budkovič

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available Slovenia has long been known for its numerous mines and ore processing. From the times of the Roman Empire to now, 49 mines and open pits were opened, four of them were large (Idrija, Mežica – Topla, Litija and Žirovski vrh. There were also 25 oreprocessing plants and smelters, which were operating mostly in the vicinity of larger mines (Idrija, Žerjav, Celje. Due to the lack of written sources, we probably haven succeeded in making a complete list of them. There were 33 iron works operating in the vicinity ofmines and open pits, three large ones have further developed and are still operating (Jesenice, Ravne na Koroškem and Štore. As the ore processing capacities have far exceeded the capacities of the Slovenian mining, ore has long been imported and only processed in Slovenia. On the basis of the results of our investigations in the vicinity of larger mines and smelters we estimated that in Slovenia the areas in which critical limit for heavy metal content is exceeded sums up to about 80 km2.

  10. Assessment of trace ground-water contaminants release from south Texas in-situ uranium solution-mining sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kidwell, J.R.; Humenick, M.J.

    1981-01-01

    The future of uranium solution mining in south Texas depends heavily on the industry's ability to restore production zone ground water to acceptable standards. This study investigated the extent of trace contaminant solubilization during mining and subsequent restoration attempts, first through a literature search centered on uranium control mechanisms, and then by laboratory experiments simulating the mining process. The literature search indicated the complexity of the situation. The number of possible interactions between indigenous elements and materials pointed on the site specificity of the problem. The column studies evaluated three different production area ores. Uranium, molybdenum, arsenic, vanadium, and selenium were analyzed in column effluents. After simulated mining operations were completed, uranium was found to be the most persistent trace element. However, subsequent ground water flushing of the columns could restore in-situ water to EPA recommended drinking water concentrations. Limited data indicated that ground water flowing through mined areas may solubilize molybdenum present in down gradient areas adjacent to the production zone due to increased oxidation potential of ground water if adequate restoration procedures are not followed.

  11. Impact of uranium mining activity on cave deposit (stalagmite) and pine trees (S-Hungary)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siklosy, Z.; Kern, Z.; Demeny, A.; Pilet, S.; Leel-Ossy, Sz.; Lin, K.; Shen, C.-C.; Szeles, E.

    2009-04-01

    Speleothems are well known paleoclimate archives but their potential for monitoring environmental pollution has not been fully explored. This study deals with an actively growing stalagmite whose trace-element concentration suggests anthropogenic contamination, rather then natural forcing. Paralell, as a potential independent chemo-enviromental archive, living pine (Pinus sylvestis) trees were also involved into investigation. U production in S-Hungary started in 1957 and was expanded closer to the cave site in 1965, covering a mining plot area of ca. 65 km2. The deep-level ore production ended in 1997 and remediation of the mine site has since been completed. Our objective was to determine the possible effect of the four-decade-long uranium (U) ore mining activity on the environment, as recorded by a cave deposit and the pine trees. The Trio Cave is located in the Mecsek Mts (S-Hungary), ca. 1.5-3 km east from the nearest air-shaft and entrance of the uranium mine. A stalagmite located about 150 m away from the cave entrance was drilled and the core investigated for stable isotope and trace element compositions. Pine trees were sampled by increment borer. Continuous flow mass spectrometry was applied on carbonate samples and laser ablation ICP-MS was applied for trace element analysis of both stalagmite (Siklosy et al., 2009) and pine samples. The youngest 1 cm of the drill core was selected for this study that may represent the last cca. 100 years (based on MC-ICP-MS age dating of older parts of the core) that covers the uranium mining period. The pre-mining period is characterized by systematic co-variations of trace elements (U, P, Si, Al, Ba, Mg, etc.) that can be related to soil activity and precipitation amount. The youngest 1.3 mm, however, records a sudden change in U content uncorrelated with any other variables. Starting from a background value of 0.2-0.3 ppm, the concentration gradually increases to about 2 ppm (within about 1 mm), remains constant for

  12. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations...... of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil......×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Barrie Johnson

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available A nine year study was carried out on the evolution of macroscopic “acid streamer” growths in acidic, metal-rich mine water from the point of construction of a new channel to drain an abandoned underground copper mine. The new channel became rapidly colonized by acidophilic bacteria: two species of autotrophic iron-oxidizers (Acidithiobacillus ferrivorans and “Ferrovum myxofaciens” and a heterotrophic iron-oxidizer (a novel genus/species with the proposed name “Acidithrix ferrooxidans”. The same bacteria dominated the acid streamer communities for the entire nine year period, with the autotrophic species accounting for ~80% of the micro-organisms in the streamer growths (as determined by terminal restriction enzyme fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP analysis. Biodiversity of the acid streamers became somewhat greater in time, and included species of heterotrophic acidophiles that reduce ferric iron (Acidiphilium, Acidobacterium, Acidocella and gammaproteobacterium WJ2 and other autotrophic iron-oxidizers (Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans and Leptospirillum ferrooxidans. The diversity of archaea in the acid streamers was far more limited; relatively few clones were obtained, all of which were very distantly related to known species of euryarchaeotes. Some differences were apparent between the acid streamer community and planktonic-phase bacteria. This study has provided unique insights into the evolution of an extremophilic microbial community, and identified several novel species of acidophilic prokaryotes.

  14. Assessment of Local Biodiversity Loss in Uranium Mining-Tales And Its Projections On Global Scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharshenova, D.; Zhamangulova, N.

    2015-12-01

    In Min-Kush, northern Kyrgyzstan there are 8 mining tales with an estimate of 1 961 000 tones of industrial Uranium. Local ecosystem services have declined rapidly. We analyzed a terrestrial assemblage database of Uranium mine-tale to quantify local biodiversity responses to land use and environmental changes. In the worst-affected habitats species richness reduced by 95.7%, total abundance by 60.9% and rarefaction-based richness by 72.5%. We estimate that, regional mountain ecosystem affected by this pressure reduced average within-sample richness (by 17.01%), total abundance (16.5%) and rarefaction-based richness (14.5%). Business-as-usual scenarios are the widely practiced in the region and moreover, due to economic constraints country can not afford any mitigation scenarios. We project that biodiversity loss and ecosystem service impairment will spread in the region through ground water, soil, plants, animals and microorganisms at the rate of 1km/year. Entire Tian-Shan mountain chain will be in danger within next 5-10 years. Our preliminary data shows that local people live in this area developed various forms of cancer, and the rate of premature death is as high as 40%. Strong international scientific and socio-economic partnership is needed to develop models and predictions.

  15. Assessment of nonpoint source chemical loading potential to watersheds containing uranium waste dumps associated with uranium exploration and mining, San Rafael Swell, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, Michael L.; Naftz, David L.; Snyder, Terry; Johnson, Greg

    2008-01-01

    During July and August of 2006, 117 solid-phase samples were collected from abandoned uranium waste dumps, geologic background sites, and adjacent streambeds in the San Rafael Swell, in southeastern Utah. The objective of this sampling program was to assess the nonpoint source chemical loading potential to ephemeral and perennial watersheds from uranium waste dumps on Bureau of Land Management property. Uranium waste dump samples were collected using solid-phase sampling protocols. After collection, solid-phase samples were homogenized and extracted in the laboratory using a field leaching procedure. Filtered (0.45 micron) water samples were obtained from the field leaching procedure and were analyzed for Ag, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Sb, Se, U, V, and Zn at the Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry Metals Analysis Laboratory at the University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah and for Hg at the U.S. Geological Survey National Water Quality Laboratory, Denver, Colorado. For the initial ranking of chemical loading potential of suspect uranium waste dumps, leachate analyses were compared with existing aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards and the ratio of samples that exceeded standards to the total number of samples was determined for each element having a water-quality standard for aquatic life and drinking-water. Approximately 56 percent (48/85) of the leachate samples extracted from uranium waste dumps had one or more chemical constituents that exceeded aquatic life and drinking-water-quality standards. Most of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates were along Reds Canyon Road between Tomsich Butte and Family Butte. Twelve of the uranium waste dump sites with elevated trace-element concentrations in leachates contained three or more constituents that exceeded drinking-water-quality standards. Eighteen of the uranium waste dump sites had three or more constituents that exceeded trace

  16. Determination of the concentration of radionuclides in soil and water next the uranium mine of Caetite, Bahia, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Almeida, Geangela M.; Souza, Susana O. [Federal University of Sergipe (UFS), Sao Cristovao, SE (Brazil). Dept. of Physics; Campos, Simara S.S. [State University of Southwest Bahia (UESB), Itapetinga, BA (Brazil). Dept. of Basic and Instrumental Studies; Gennari, Roseli F., E-mail: rgennari@dfn.if.usp.b [University of Sao Paulo (USP), Sao Paulo, SP (Brazil). Inst. of Physics. Dept. of Nuclear Physics

    2011-07-01

    The economic growing in Brazil is responsible for an urgent demand for energy. Uranium is the fuel used to generate nuclear power. Brazil has the sixth largest reserve of the uranium ore in the world and, nowadays there is only one mine under exploration (Uraniferous District of Lagoa Real - Caetite-BA). Some Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), such as Greenpeace, state that the explored uranium mine is dangerous and polluting, causing water contamination by uranium. So, the population would be receiving radiation doses above permissible limits. However, Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB) the company in charge of the complex extraction and production of yellow cake rejected these accusations. The main purpose of this work is the determination of the composition of natural radionuclides in the Uraniferous District of Lagoa Real in order to determine if the nearest population is exposed to environmental radiation. It was checked if there is water contamination due to the natural transport in the uranium mining surroundings. Soil and water samples from Caetite mine and also from nearby town were collected. Only one water sample collected had concentrations higher than the limits recommended by World Health Organization. The presence of radionuclides in soil samples is considered independent of mineral exploration. The effective dose rates in almost all samples are above the world average which is 2.4 mSv/y. To sum up, the presence of uranium in water and soil of the tested areas is probably due to the nature of the soil and not to the exploration of mine. (author)

  17. 77 FR 55430 - Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2012-09-10

    ...: Surface And Groundwater Monitoring; Hydrologic Balance: Transfer Of Wells; Hydrologic Balance: Water...; Impoundments, Hydrologic Balance: Ground Water Protection; Hydrologic Balance: Underground Mine Entry and...: Protection; 816.54, 816.55, 816.56, Hydrologic Balance: Water Quality 816.57; 816.61-U, 816.64-U,...

  18. 76 FR 76104 - Arkansas Regulatory Program and Abandoned Mine Land Reclamation Plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    2011-12-06

    ... Monitoring; Hydrologic Balance: Transfer Of Wells; Hydrologic Balance: Water Rights and Replacement... Balance: Ground Water Protection; Hydrologic Balance: Underground Mine Entry and Access Discharges...; Hydrologic Balance: 816.100, 816.101-S, 816.101-U, Water Quality Standards and 816.102, 816.106,...

  19. 30 CFR 946.25 - Approval of Virginia abandoned mine land reclamation plan amendments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... following is a list of the dates amendments were submitted to OSM, the dates when the Director's decision... date of final publication in the Federal Register. Original amendment submission date Date of final... Division of Mined Land Reclamation, P.O. Drawer 900, Big Stone Gap, Virginia 24219, or (2) Office...

  20. Environmental problems in areas contaminated by abandoned mine tailings. Geochemical and mineralogical aspects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fanfani, L. [Cagliari Univ., Cagliari (Italy). Dipt. di Scienze della Terra

    2000-07-01

    A brochure advertising a recent report on environmental management in the mining sector, devoted to industry operators, relates: Managing the relationships between mining and the environment is an issue that creates a range of technical and social challenges extending far beyond the environmental management requirements of many other industry sectors. The complexity of mining operations and the effect of developments on natural ecosystems and human societies demand increasingly sophisticated procedures to achieve acceptable environmental protection. The environmental impact of mining activity concerns different aspects which can be grouped in two main categories: modifications of the morphology and changes in the chemistry of the environment. They can be considered separately in a methodological study, but when dealing with the generality of the problem at a specific site one must consider carefully their mutual influence in a system that is usually more complex than could appear at a first glance. Only a combined analysis of the two aspects may lead to an evaluation of the present and future impact on quality of life in the surrounding area.

  1. Coal Mines, Abandoned - COAL_MINE_UNDERGROUND_IN: Underground Coal Mines in Indiana (Indiana Geological Survey, 1:24,000, Polygon Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — COAL_UND, the predecessor of COAL_MINE_UNDERGROUND_IN, is a polygon-based ESRI ArcView shapefile that shows the location and extent of underground coal mines in the...

  2. Coal Mines, Abandoned - COAL_MINE_ENTRIES_IN: Underground Coal Mine Entrances in Indiana (Indiana Geological Survey, 1:24,000, Point Shapefile)

    Data.gov (United States)

    NSGIC GIS Inventory (aka Ramona) — SW_COAL_ENTRY, the predecessor of COAL_MINE_ENTRIES_IN, is a point- based ESRI ArcView shapefile that shows the locations of underground coal mine entrances in the...

  3. Evaluation of human health risk from in situ recovery uranium mining, pre-and post-mining, and post-restoration

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ruedig, E.; Bhattacharyya, A.; Borch, T.; Johnson, T. [Colorado State University (United States); Till, J. [Risk Assessment Corporation (United States)

    2014-07-01

    In the United States, the restoration of in situ recovery (ISR) uranium mines is aimed at returning sites to pre-mining conditions. While this may seem an appropriate goal, little or no scientific information is available to justify utilizing baseline conditions for regulatory compliance. The chemical and radiological contaminants monitored for restoration compliance have not been evaluated to ensure they are proper indicators of the mitigation of risk. Pre-mining aquifers do not meet minimum United States drinking water standards, and must have an aquifer exemption in place prior to mining. Under these conditions, returning groundwater to near the original concentrations of contaminants may be unnecessary. Post-mining groundwater is also unlikely to meet standards for drinking water, but may be depleted in at least some toxic species as a result of the mining process. Here, we examine the risk to representative person from the personal use of groundwater sourced from an Uranium ISR mine. Water samples were collected from Cameco Resource's Smith Ranch-Highlands ISR Uranium mine near Casper, Wyoming, USA. Samples were acquired pre-mining, post-mining, and post-restoration. Concentrations of heavy metals and radionuclides were assessed by appropriate analytical techniques (e.g., mass spectroscopy or alpha spectroscopy) and these concentrations were used to estimate human health risk for three exposure scenarios: a scenario with high exposure, a scenario with medium exposure, and a scenario with low exposure. A simple biosphere transport model was constructed for each scenario to estimate the risk to humans from the use of contaminated waters for subsistence-related activities. Chemical and radiological risks were harmonized according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency's guidance for superfund sites. Each exposure scenario and its subsequent risk were evaluated individually for pre-mining, post-mining, and post-restoration aquifer waters

  4. Whole-organism concentration ratios in wildlife inhabiting Australian uranium mining environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hirth, Gillian A.; Carpenter, Julia G. [Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency, 619 Lower Plenty Rd, Yallambie, 3085, Victoria (Australia); Bollhoefer, Andreas [Environmental Research Institute of the Supervising Scientist, GPO Box 461, Darwin, 0801 Northern Territory (Australia); Johansen, Mathew P. [Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation, Locked Bag 2001, Kirrawee, DC, NSW 2232 (Australia); Beresford, Nicholas A. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4AP (United Kingdom)

    2014-07-01

    Environmental impact assessments conducted for Australian mine sites involving naturally occurring radioactive material require an assessment of radiation doses to wildlife. Whole-organism concentration ratios (CR{sub wo}) are pivotal in these assessments and previous reviews have identified a need for a more complete and consolidated database of Australian-specific CR{sub wo} that could be used. Concern had also been expressed by some stakeholders in Australia about the suitability of the default CR{sub wo} values provided in standard biota dose models (e.g., ERICA Tool, RESRAD-BIOTA, ICRP framework) for Australian wildlife and environmental conditions. In order to address these concerns and support the implementation of best-practice standards in environmental radiological assessment, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), with support from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET), undertook an evaluation of existing data relating to wildlife inhabiting Australian uranium mining environments. CR{sub wo} values were calculated using data from a range of original sources. These included scientific journal publications, technical reports from Australian government organisations, site-specific data from mining operators and data from baseline environmental surveys undertaken during the 1970's and 1980's. The Australian data previously included in the international Wildlife Transfer Database (WTD, www.wildlifetransferdatabase.org) were also reviewed and updated. This paper discusses the data analysis process and associated uncertainties. CR{sub wo} values are reported for uranium, thorium, radium-226, lead-210 and polonium-210 for a range of endemic and introduced wildlife, with a focus on plants and animals from both terrestrial and freshwater environments where uranium mining has been proposed or undertaken. This has resulted in the calculation of more than 500 CR{sub wo} values for inclusion in the database

  5. Hydrology and water-quality monitoring considerations, Jackpile uranium mine, northwestern New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zehner, H.H.

    1985-01-01

    The Jackpile Uranium Mine, which is on the Pueblo of Laguna in northwestern New Mexico, was operated from 1953 to 1980. The mine and facilities have affected 3,141 acres of land, and about 2,656 acres were yet to be reclaimed by late 1980. The intended use of the restored land is stock grazing. Fractured Dakota Sandstone and Mancos Shale of Cretaceous age overlie the Jackpile sandstone and a 200-ft-thick tight mudstone unit of the Brushy Basin Member underlies the Jackpile. The hydraulic conductivity of the Jackpile sandstone probably is about 0.3 ft/day. The small storage coefficients determined from three aquifer tests indicate that the Jackpile sandstone is a confined hydrologic system throughout much of the mine area. Sediment from the Rio Paguate has nearly filled the Paguate Reservoir near Laguna since its construction in 1940. The mean concentrations of uranium, Ra-226, and other trace elements generally were less than permissible limits established in national drinking water regulations or New Mexico State groundwater regulations. No individual surface water samples collected upstream from the mine contained concentrations of Ra-226 in excess of the permissible limits. Ra-226 concentrations in many individual samples collected from the Rio Paguate from near the mouth of the Rio Moquino to the sampling sites along the downstream reach of the Rio Paguate, however, exceeded the recommended permissible concentration of Ra-226 for public drinking water supplies. Concentrations in surface water apparently are changed by groundwater inflow near the confluence of the two streams. The altitude of the water tables in the backfill of the pits will be controlled partly by the water level in the Rio Paguate. Other factors controlling the altitudes of the water tables are the recharge rate to the backfill and the hydraulic conductivities of the backfill, alluvium, Jackpile sandstone, and mudstone unit of the Brushy Basin Member. After reclamation, most of the shallow

  6. Effects of historical coal mining and drainage from abandoned mines on streamflow and water quality in Bear Creek, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania-March 1999-December 2002

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.

    2005-01-01

    More than 100 years of anthracite coal mining has changed surface- and ground-water hydrology and contaminated streams draining the Southern Anthracite Coal Field in east-central Pennsylvania. Bear Creek drains the western prong of the Southern Anthracite Coal Field and is affected by metals in drainage from abandoned mines and streamwater losses. Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDL) developed for dissolved iron of about 5 lb/d (pounds per day) commonly are exceeded in the reach downstream of mine discharges. Restoration of Bear Creek using aerobic ponds to passively remove iron in abandoned mine drainage is under consideration (2004) by the Dauphin County Conservation District. This report, prepared in cooperation with the Dauphin County Conservation District, evaluates chemical and hydrologic data collected in Bear Creek and its receiving waters prior to implementation of mine-drainage treatment. The data collected represent the type of baseline information needed for documentation of water-quality changes following passive treatment of mine drainage in Pennsylvania and in other similar hydrogeologic settings. Seven surface-water sites on Bear Creek and two mine discharges were monitored for nearly three years to characterize the chemistry and hydrology of the following: (1) Bear Creek upstream of the mine discharges (BC-UMD), (2) water draining from the Lykens-Williamstown Mine Pool at the Lykens Water-Level Tunnel (LWLT) and Lykens Drift (LD) discharges, (3) Bear Creek after mixing with the mine discharges (BC-DMD), and (4) Bear Creek prior to mixing with Wiconisco Creek (BCM). Two sites on Wiconisco Creek, upstream and downstream of Bear Creek (WC-UBC and WC-DBC, respectively), were selected to evaluate changes in streamflow and water quality upon mixing with Bear Creek. During periods of below-normal precipitation, streamwater loss was commonly 100 percent upstream of site BC-UMD (streamflow range = 0 to 9.7 ft3/s (cubic feet per second)) but no loss was detected

  7. Aluminium geochemistry in the bulk and rhizospheric soil of the species colonising an abandoned copper mine in Galicia (NW Spain)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Alvarez, Esperanza; Fernandez-Sanjurjo, Maria; Otero, Xose Luis [Univ. de Santiago de Compostela, Lugo (Spain). Escuela Politecnica Superior; Macias, Felipe [Univ. de Santiago de Compostela (Spain). Facultad de Biologia

    2010-10-15

    Aluminium partitioning in the solid fraction and aluminium in solution in the bulk and rhizospheric soil of different plant species colonising an abandoned Cu mine slope (Calluna vulgaris, Erica cinerea and Salix atrocinerea) and mine dump (C. vulgaris and E. cinerea) were investigated. The aim of the study was to determine the changes that the species induce in the Al forms in the rhizosphere in order to adapt to heterogeneous substrates. Materials and methods: Al was extracted from the solid phase with different solutions: ammonium oxalate (Alo), sodium pyrophosphate (Alp), copper chloride (Alcu), lanthanum chloride (Alla) and ammonium chloride (AlNH{sub 4}). The following Al fractions were obtained: inorganic non-crystalline Al (Alop = Alo-Alp), highly stable organoaluminium complexes (Alpcu = Alp-Alcu), organoaluminium complexes of intermediate stability (Alcula = Alcu-Alla) and labile organoaluminium complexes (Alla). The concentration of Al present in the aqueous phase was also determined. Results and discussion: The pH of the soil in the mine slope was close to 7, and the roots of Ericaceae caused strong acidification so that the pH of the rhizospheric soil was low (3.6-4.7). In contrast, the pH of the bulk and the rhizospheric soil of S. atrocinerea remained close to 7. In the mine dump (pH 3.7), the changes in the pH of the Ericaceae rhizosphere in relation to the bulk soil were not as marked as in the mine slope. Alop predominated in the solid phase (more than 70% of the Alo), and Alpcu predominated in the organoaluminium complexes (more than 55%), followed by Alcula (13% and 47%) and Alla (3% and 21%). The concentration of Al in solution was significantly related to the concentrations of AlNH4 (r = 0.43), Alla (r = 0.50) and Alcula (r = 0.45). Conclusions: Ericaceae species grew in dump and slope materials because they modified the pH of the rhizospheric soil, while S. atrocinerea only grew in areas where the soil conditions were close to neutral. The

  8. Moringa Seed, Residual Coffee Powder, and Banana Peel as Biosorbents for Uranium Removal from Acid Mine Drainage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcelo L. Garcia

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available The uranium mining deserves attention with regard to environmental impacts and water pollution in Brazil. The research objective was to enable the use of biomass as cheap and available adsorbents for uranium removal from acid mine drainage. Three types of biomass were tested: banana peel, residual coffee powder, and moringa seed. Synthetic uranium solution (SS and acid mine drainage (AMD were used in the equilibrium adsorption experiments. Remarkable total uranium removal efficiencies were observed for moringa (96.8 ± 2.2 [SS] and 86.5 ± 0.8% [AMD], coffee (89.4 ± 11.2 [SS] and 73.7 ± 2.2% [AMD], and banana (48.2 ± 14.0 [SS] and 55.9 ± 4.8% [AMD]. The highest experimental adsorption densities were 18.7, 19.1, and 6.3 mg∙g-1 , respectively. Quantitative curves were described for each adsorbent and can be used for practical applications. Design and operating parameters for uranium removal from AMD as a post-treatment, polishing method can be determined beforehand.

  9. Abandoned mines, mountain sports, and climate variability: Implications for the Colorado tourism economy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Todd, Andrew; McKnight, Diane; Wyatt, Lane

    Until recently, the allure of the mountains in the American West was primarily extractive, for commodities like timber, water, and precious metals [Baron et. al., 2000]. Now, the effective marketing and management of the regions “white gold” by the ski industry has stimulated significant recreation-related growth and development in the last several decades. Under an uncertain climatic future, however, these burgeoning industries, and the communities that have grown up in relation to them, are facing water quality constraints inherited from historical mining practices, causing mountain water to become a limited resource more valuable than the precious metals of the past. Further, the current lack of proven, in-situ approaches for addressing distributed, mining waste pollution of fresh water complicates potential remediation efforts.

  10. Assessment of metals contamination and ecological risk in ait Ammar abandoned iron mine soil, Morocco

    OpenAIRE

    2016-01-01

    The present study is an attempt to assess the pollution intensity and corresponding ecological risk of phosphorus and metals including Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb and Fe using various indices like geo-accumulation index, enrichment factor, pollution and ecological risk index. In all, 20 surface soil samples were collected from the Ait Ammar iron mine of Oued Zem city, province of Khouribga, in central Morocco. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil samples were used to assess their potential ecolo...

  11. Natural radioactivity in commercial granites extracted near old uranium mines: scientific, economic and social impact of disinformation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Dolores; Pereira, Alcides; Neves, Luis

    2015-04-01

    The study of radioactivity in natural stones is a subject of great interest from different points of view: scientific, social and economic. Several previous studies have demonstrated that the radioactivity is dependent, not only on the uranium content, but also on the structures, textures, minerals containing the uranium and degree of weathering of the natural stone. Villavieja granite is extracted in a village where uranium mining was an important activity during the 20th century. Today the mine is closed but the granite is still extracted. Incorrect information about natural radioactivity given to natural stone users, policy makers, construction managers and the general public has caused turmoil in the media for many years. This paper considers problems associated with the communication of reliable information, as well as uncertainties, on natural radioactivity to these audiences.

  12. Characterization of a bacterial community in an abandoned semiarid lead-zinc mine tailing site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mendez, Monica O; Neilson, Julia W; Maier, Raina M

    2008-06-01

    Bacterial diversity in mine tailing microbial communities has not been thoroughly investigated despite the correlations that have been observed between the relative microbial diversity and the success of revegetation efforts at tailing sites. This study employed phylogenetic analyses of 16S rRNA genes to compare the bacterial communities present in highly disturbed, extremely (pH 2.7) and moderately (pH 5.7) acidic lead-zinc mine tailing samples from a semiarid environment with those from a vegetated off-site (OS) control sample (pH 8). Phylotype richness in these communities decreased from 42 in the OS control to 24 in the moderately acidic samples and 8 in the extremely acidic tailing samples. The clones in the extremely acidic tailing sample were most closely related to acidophiles, none of which were detected in the OS control sample. The comparison generated by this study between the bacteria present in extremely acidic tailing and that in moderately acidic tailing communities with those in an OS control soil provides a reference point from which to evaluate the successful restoration of mine tailing disposal sites by phytostabilization.

  13. Energies and media nr 34. Disaster in Japan. How uranium mines are also useful to Niger; Energies et medias no. 34. Catastrophe au Japon. Comment les mines d'uranium servent aussi le Niger

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2011-03-15

    After a brief article on the disaster which occurred in Japan (tsunami, nuclear accident in Fukushima, problems faced in Fukushima), this issue addresses the developments induced by the exploitation of uranium mines in Niger: local personnel employment and training, creation of new towns for the personnel, construction of hospitals and roads. The article also addresses the revenues of Niger related to these mines, and the health issue related to mine exploitations (training of authorities in Niger, personnel in charge of radiation protection, personnel and population radioprotection, process residues, water contamination, health monitoring)

  14. Why Has It Taken So Long to Address the Problems Created by Uranium Mining in the Navajo Nation?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brugge, Doug

    2016-02-01

    Following the start of uranium mining after World War II, progress toward addressing the hazards it created for workers and nearby communities was slow, taking many decades. This essay asks why it took so long and suggests several factors that might have contributed.

  15. Development of Technosols in abandoned mine lands to reduce hazards to ecosystems and human health

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zornoza, Raúl; Martínez-Martínez, Silvia; Acosta, Jose A.; Ángeles Muñoz, M.; Gómez-Garrido, Melisa; Gabarrón, Maria; Gómez-López, Maria Dolores; Faz, Ángel

    2017-04-01

    Mine tailings and residues dumped into the environment owing to mine ore processing activities have numerous restrictions affecting their development into natural soils, such as strong acidity, high concentrations and mobility of metals and metalloids, high salinity and extremely low organic matter content, which hinders the development of vegetation. This leads to the presence of bare surfaces which act as sources of water pollution and metal containing dusts, affecting natural ecosystems and populated areas in the surroundings. Therefore, there is a need to develop strategies to reduce the impact of tailings and mine residues spread on mine landscapes to reduce environmental and public health hazards and guarantee true land reclamation. One effective remediation option is the creation of Technosols by use of different materials, wastes and amendments derived from anthropogenic activities. For this purpose, the proper selection of materials is critical to convert metals to forms less soluble, mobile and toxic, so microorganisms, vegetation and animals can grow, and erosion rates are minimized so that metals do not reach populated areas. This goal can be achieved by applying materials with metal stabilization potential, to transform bioavailable metal species into geochemically stable forms. For this purpose, we have created Technosols in different mine tailings ponds located in SE Spain by use of different materials such as pig manure, pig slurry and marble waste. After 6 months of Technosol creation in field, seedlings from different native plant species were manually introduced for afforestation of the area. To monitor the evolution of soil quality and vegetation cover, four plots (10 m x 10 m) were established in each tailings pond, which were monitored every 6 months for 3 years. Results indicated that the created Technosol was efficient at significantly decreasing metal mobility by 90-99% depending on the metal. In addition, soil quality, fertility and

  16. Effects of Historical Coal Mining and Drainage from Abandoned Mines on Streamflow and Water Quality in Newport and Nanticoke Creeks, Luzerne County, Pennsylvania, 1999-2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin, Jeffrey J.; Cravotta, Charles A.; Weitzel, Jeffrey B.; Klemow, Kenneth M.

    2007-01-01

    This report characterizes the effects of historical mining and abandoned mine drainage (AMD) on streamflow and water quality and evaluates potential strategies for AMD abatement in the 14-square-mile Newport Creek Basin and 7.6-square-mile Nanticoke Creek Basin. Both basins are mostly within the Northern Anthracite Coal Field and drain to the Susquehanna River in central Luzerne County, Pa. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in cooperation with the Earth Conservancy, conducted an assessment from April 1999 to September 2000 that included (1) continuous stage measurement at 7 sites; (2) synoptic water-quality and flow sampling at 21 sites on June 2-4, 1999, and at 24 sites on October 7-8, 1999; and (3) periodic measurement of flow and water quality at 26 additional sites not included in the synoptic sampling effort. Stream water and surface runoff from the unmined uplands drain northward to the valley, where most of the water is intercepted and diverted into abandoned underground mines. Water that infiltrates into the mine workings becomes loaded with acidity, metals, and sulfate and later discharges as AMD at topographically low points along lower reaches of Newport Creek, Nanticoke Creek, and their tributaries. Differences among streamflows in unmined and mined areas of the watersheds indicated that (1) intermediate stream reaches within the mined area but upgradient of AMD sites generally were either dry or losing reaches, (2) ground water flowing to AMD sites could cross beneath surface-drainage divides, and (3) AMD discharging to the lower stream reaches restored volumes lost in the upstream reaches. The synoptic data for June and October 1999, along with continuous stage data during the study period, indicated flows during synoptic surveys were comparable to average values. The headwaters upstream of the mined area generally were oxygenated (dissolved oxygen range was 4.7 to 11.0 mg/L [milligrams per liter]), near-neutral (pH range was 5.8 to 7.6), and net

  17. Ecological and human health risks associated with abandoned gold mine tailings contaminated soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngole-Jeme, Veronica Mpode; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Gold mining is a major source of metal and metalloid emissions into the environment. Studies were carried out in Krugersdorp, South Africa, to evaluate the ecological and human health risks associated with exposure to metals and metalloids in mine tailings contaminated soils. Concentrations of arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr), cobalt (Co), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), manganese (Mn), nickel (Ni), and zinc (Zn) in soil samples from the area varied with the highest contamination factors (expressed as ratio of metal or metalloid concentration in the tailings contaminated soil to that of the control site) observed for As (3.5x102), Co (2.8x102) and Ni (1.1x102). Potential ecological risk index values for metals and metalloids determined from soil metal and metalloid concentrations and their respective risk factors were correspondingly highest for As (3.5x103) and Co (1.4x103), whereas Mn (0.6) presented the lowest ecological risk. Human health risk was assessed using Hazard Quotient (HQ), Chronic Hazard Index (CHI) and carcinogenic risk levels, where values of HQ > 1, CHI > 1 and carcinogenic risk values > 1×10−4 represent elevated risks. Values for HQ indicated high exposure-related risk for As (53.7), Cr (14.8), Ni (2.2), Zn (2.64) and Mn (1.67). Children were more at risk from heavy metal and metalloid exposure than adults. Cancer-related risks associated with metal and metalloid exposure among children were also higher than in adults with cancer risk values of 3×10−2 and 4×10−2 for As and Ni respectively among children, and 5×10−3 and 4×10−3 for As and Ni respectively among adults. There is significant potential ecological and human health risk associated with metal and metalloid exposure from contaminated soils around gold mine tailings dumps. This could be a potential contributing factor to a setback in the health of residents in informal settlements dominating this mining area as the immune systems of some of these residents are already

  18. Novel speciation method based on Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films for in situ measurement of uranium in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drozdzak, Jagoda; Leermakers, Martine; Gao, Yue; Phrommavanh, Vannapha; Descostes, Michael

    2016-07-01

    The Diffusive Gradients in Thin Films (DGT) technique using PIWBA resin (The Dow Chemical Company) was developed and validated for the measurement of uranium (U) concentration in natural and uranium mining influenced waters. The U uptake on the PIWBA resin gel was 97.3 ± 0.4% (batch method; Vsol = 5 mL; [U] = 20 μg L(-1); 0.01 M NaNO3; pH = 7.0 ± 0.2). The optimal eluent was found to be HNO3conc/70 °C with an elution efficiency of 88.9 ± 1.4%. The laboratory DGT investigation demonstrated that the PIWBA resin gel exhibits a very good performance across a wide range of pH (3-9) and ionic strength (0.001-0.7 M NaNO3) at different time intervals. Neither effect of PO4(3-) (up to 1.72 × 10(-4) M), nor of HCO3(-) (up to 8.20 × 10(-3) M) on the quantitative measurement of uranium by DGT-PIWBA method were observed. Only at very high Ca(2+) (2.66 × 10(-4) M), and SO4(2-) (5.55 × 10(-4) M) concentration, the U uptake on DGT-PIWBA was appreciably lessened. In-situ DGT field evaluation was carried out in the vicinity of three former uranium mining sites in France (Loire-Atlantique and Herault departments), which employ different water treatment technologies and have different natural geochemical characteristics. There was a similar or inferior U uptake on DGT-Chelex(®)-100 in comparison with the U accumulation on a DGT-PIWBA sampler. Most likely, the performance of Chelex(®)-100 was negatively affected by a highly complex matrix of mining waters. The high concentration and identity of co-accumulating analytes, typical for the mining environment, did not have a substantial impact on the quantitative uptake of labile U species on DGT- PIWBA. The use of the polyphenol impregnated anion exchange resin leads to a significant advancement in the application and development of the DGT technique for determination of U in the vicinity of the former uranium mining sites.

  19. Stable isotopes of nitrogen in plants of contaminated soils and sediments by an abandoned gold mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Becerra, O. F.; Sanchez, A.; Marmolejo, A. J.; Magallanes, V. R.

    2013-05-01

    Mining industry is an economic activity which generates high ecological impact. In the mining district "El Triunfo", the concentration of potential toxic elements (PTE: As, Cd, Hg, Sb) have exceeded 50 times allowable limits. Nowadays, environmental pollution levels can be evaluated through the use of stable isotopes of N. For this, isotopic analysis of nitrogen and concentrations of metals and metalloids were considered in the area where plants are exposed (Prosopis spp., Parkinsonia spp. and Salicornia spp.) Polluted sediments were collected over 48 km of the Las Gallinas-El Hondo-El Carrizal arroyo. PTE concentrations, with a previous acidic digestion (HF, HCl, HNO3 and H2SO4) were determined by ICP-MS. As and Sb were determined by NAA. For N isotopes, obtained samples were grounded to fine powder in an agate mortar with an acetone rinse between samples then analyzed by an EA-IRMS. Results showed that plants growing on the tailings decreased their δ15N proportionally to the metal concentration in the area.

  20. Pre-mining trace element and radiation exposure to biota from a breccia pipe uranium mine in the Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA) watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Cleveland, Danielle; Brumbaugh, William G.; Linder, Greg; Lankton, Julia S.

    2017-01-01

    The risks to wildlife and humans from uranium (U) mining in the Grand Canyon watershed are largely unknown. In addition to U, other co-occurring ore constituents contribute to risks to biological receptors depending on their toxicological profiles. This study characterizes the pre-mining concentrations of total arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), thallium (Tl), U, and zinc (Zn); radiation levels; and histopathology in biota (vegetation, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals) at the Canyon Mine. Gross alpha levels were below the reporting limit (4 pCi/g) in all samples, and gross beta levels were indicative of background in vegetation (evaluation of As and Se in biota inhabiting and forging in the mine containment pond is warranted as mining progresses.

  1. Uranium industry in Canada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1983-01-01

    Current state of uranium industry in Canada has been considered. It is shown that in Canada, which is the major supplier of uranium, new methods of prospecting, mining and processing of uranium are developed and the old ones are improved. Owing to automation and mechanization a higher labour productivity in uranium ore mining is achieved. The uranium industry of Canada can satisfy the future demands in uranium but introduction of any new improvement will depend completely on the rate of nuclear power development.

  2. Antimony in the soil-water-plant system at the Su Suergiu abandoned mine (Sardinia, Italy): strategies to mitigate contamination.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cidu, Rosa; Biddau, Riccardo; Dore, Elisabetta; Vacca, Andrea; Marini, Luigi

    2014-11-01

    This study was aimed to implement the understanding of the Sb behavior in near-surface environments, as a contribution to address appropriate mitigation actions at contaminated sites. For this purpose, geochemical data of soil (8 sites), water (29 sites), and plant (12 sites) samples were collected. The study area is located at Su Suergiu and surroundings in Sardinia (Italy), an abandoned mine area heavily contaminated with Sb, with relevant impact on water bodies that supply water for agriculture and domestic uses. Antimony in the soil horizons ranged from 19 to 4400 mg kg(-1), with highest concentrations in soils located close to the mining-related wastes, and concentrations in the topsoil much higher than in the bedrock. The Sb readily available fraction was about 2% of the total Sb in the soil. Antimony in the pore water ranged from 23 to 1700 μg L(-1), with highest values in the Sb-rich soils. The waters showed neutral to slightly alkaline pH, redox potential values indicating oxidizing conditions, electrical conductivity in the range of 0.2 to 3.7 mS cm(-1), and dissolved organic carbon ≤2 mg L(-1). The waters collected upstream of the mine have Ca-bicarbonate dominant composition, and median concentration of Sb(tot) of 1.7 μg L(-1) (that is total antimony determined in waters filtered through 0.45 μm), a value relatively high as compared with the background value (≤0.5 μg L(-1) Sb) estimated for Sardinian waters, but below the limits established by the European Union and the World Health Organization for drinking water (5 μg L(-1) Sb and 20 μg L(-1) Sb, respectively). The waters flowing in the mine area are characterized by Ca-sulfate dominant composition, and median concentrations of 7000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot). Extreme concentrations, up to 30,000 μg L(-1) Sb(tot), were observed in waters flowing out of the slag materials derived from the processing of Sb-ore. The Sb(III) was in the range of 0.8 to 760 μg L(-1) and represented up to 6% of Sb

  3. Exploring an Ecologically Sustainable Scheme for Landscape Restoration of Abandoned Mine Land: Scenario-Based Simulation Integrated Linear Programming and CLUE-S Model

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Liping; Zhang, Shiwen; Huang, Yajie; Cao, Meng; Huang, Yuanfang; Zhang, Hongyan

    2016-01-01

    Understanding abandoned mine land (AML) changes during land reclamation is crucial for reusing damaged land resources and formulating sound ecological restoration policies. This study combines the linear programming (LP) model and the CLUE-S model to simulate land-use dynamics in the Mentougou District (Beijing, China) from 2007 to 2020 under three reclamation scenarios, that is, the planning scenario based on the general land-use plan in study area (scenario 1), maximal comprehensive benefit...

  4. Wild plants as tools for the remediation of abandoned mining sites with a high arsenic content

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Lopez, Salvadora; Martínez-Sanchez, MJose; Perez-Sirvent, Carmen; Martínez, Lucia B.; Bech, Jaume

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess the environmental risk posed by arsenic when new vegetation types are introduced, analyzing the transfer of arsenic in different plant species that grow spontaneously in mining areas of SE Spain (Sierra Minera of Cartagena), and the contribution of such plants to the environmental risk represented by their ingestion by animals living in the same ecosystems. When dealing with remediation projects in zones affected by mining activities, the risk posed by the ingestion of the plants by fauna is often forgotten. To study the transfer to the trophic chain, two mammals, sheep and vole, were selected. The risk analysis was centered in the contribution of these natural plants to the ingestion calculated. For this study, 21 vegetal species naturally growing in the soils were collected from the Sierra Minera. The vegetal material studied is clearly associated with the Mediterranean Region (S.E. of Spain) and the plant species collected are endemisms and plants characteristic of the zone. Physico-chemical properties were obtained by means of the usual procedures. To determine the arsenic content, the soil samples and plant materials were digested in a microwave system and the arsenic concentration was determined using atomic fluorescence spectrometry with an automated continuous flow hydride generation system. A semiquantitative estimation of the mineralogical composition of the samples was made by X Ray Diffraction analysis. The soils were classified into three groups: Low (group 1) (7-35 mg/kg) medium (group 2) (35-327 mg/kg) and high (group 3) (> 327 mg/kg), according to their As content. The mineralogy and As content of the soils studied depends on the materials related with mining activity. The descriptive statistical analysis of the population of plants studied showed the As range in roots to be 0.31-150 mg/kg while leaf concentrations were lower (0.21-83.4 mg/kg). The potential risk of As entering the food chain through of the plant

  5. Arsenic distribution in soils and rye plants of a cropland located in an abandoned mining area

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Álvarez-Ayuso, Esther, E-mail: esther.alvarez@irnasa.csic.es [Department of Environmental Geochemistry, IRNASA (CSIC), C/ Cordel de Merinas 40-52, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Abad-Valle, Patricia [Department of Environmental Geochemistry, IRNASA (CSIC), C/ Cordel de Merinas 40-52, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Murciego, Ascensión [Department of Geology, Plza. de los Caídos s/n, Salamanca University, 37008 Salamanca (Spain); Villar-Alonso, Pedro [Saloro SLU, Avda. Italia 8, 37006 Salamanca (Spain)

    2016-01-15

    A mining impacted cropland was studied in order to assess its As pollution level and the derived environmental and health risks. Profile soil samples (0–50 cm) and rye plant samples were collected at different distances (0–150 m) from the near mine dump and analyzed for their As content and distribution. These cropland soils were sandy, acidic and poor in organic matter and Fe/Al oxides. The soil total As concentrations (38–177 mg kg{sup −1}) and, especially, the soil soluble As concentrations (0.48–4.1 mg kg{sup −1}) importantly exceeded their safe limits for agricultural use of soils. Moreover, the soil As contents more prone to be mobilized could rise up to 25–69% of total As levels as determined using (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}SO{sub 4}, NH{sub 4}H{sub 2}PO{sub 4} and (NH{sub 4}){sub 2}C{sub 2}O{sub 4}·H{sub 2}O as sequential extractants. Arsenic in rye plants was primarily distributed in roots (3.4–18.8 mg kg{sup −1}), with restricted translocation to shoots (TF = 0.05–0.26) and grains (TF = < 0.02–0.14). The mechanism for this excluder behavior should be likely related to arsenate reduction to arsenite in roots, followed by its complexation with thiols, as suggested by the high arsenite level in rye roots (up to 95% of the total As content) and the negative correlation between thiol concentrations in rye roots and As concentrations in rye shoots (| R | = 0.770; p < 0.01). Accordingly, in spite of the high mobile and mobilizable As contents in soils, As concentrations in rye above-ground tissues comply with the European regulation on undesirable substances in animal feed. Likewise, rye grain As concentrations were below its maximum tolerable concentration in cereals established by international legislation. - Highlights: • Environmental assessment of a rye cultivated area impacted by past mining activities. • Soil As contents exceeded the recommended safe limits for agricultural use of soils. • Soil soluble As concentrations attained high

  6. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite-hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram; Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-01

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants.

  7. Environmental geochemistry of abandoned flotation tailing reservior from the Tonglvshan Fe-Cu sulfide mine in Daye, Central China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Y; Bao, Z Y; Deng, Y M; Ma, Z Z; Yan, S

    2011-07-01

    This study investigated metals of tailings from Tonglvshan mine in Daye and assessed the effect of metal contamination in water and sediment near the tailing reservoir. The concentration of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel was measured in deposit samples taken from a profile in an abandoned flotation tailing reservoir, as well as in water and sediment samples near the reservoir. The results of this study indicate that copper concentration ranges from 780 to 4390 mg/kg, 2-10 times higher than the limit values in soil, while the contents of other metals are below the limit values. Metal levels in water and sediments are high and varied widely in different sampling sites. The mean concentrations of copper, lead, zinc, cadmium, chromium and nickel in waters are 27.76, 2.28, 8.20, 0.12, 5.30 and 3.04 mg/L, while those in sediments are 557.65, 96.95, 285.20, 0.92, 94.30 and 4.75 mg/kg, respectively. All of the results indicate that the environment near the tailing reservoir is polluted to some extent by some kinds of metals, especially by copper, lead, zinc and cadmium, which may be caused not only by some discharge sources of metals, but also by life garbage and sewage.

  8. Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower using abandoned open pit mines: influence of groundwater seepage on the system efficiency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujades, Estanislao; Bodeux, Sarah; Orban, Philippe; Dassargues, Alain

    2016-04-01

    Pumped Storage Hydropower (PSH) plants can be used to manage the production of electrical energy according to the demand. These plants allow storing and generating electricity during low and high demand energy periods, respectively. Nevertheless, PSH plants require a determined topography because two reservoirs located at different heights are needed. At sites where PSH plants cannot be constructed due to topography requirements (flat regions), Underground Pumped Storage Hydropower (UPSH) plants can be used to adjust the electricity production. These plants consist in two reservoirs, the upper one is located at the surface (or at shallow depth) while the lower one is underground (or deeper). Abandoned open pit mines can be used as lower reservoirs but these are rarely isolated. As a consequence, UPSH plants will interact with surrounding aquifers exchanging groundwater. Groundwater seepage will modify hydraulic head inside the underground reservoir affecting global efficiency of the UPSH plant. The influence on the plant efficiency caused by the interaction between UPSH plants and aquifers will depend on the aquifer parameters, underground reservoir properties and pumping and injection characteristics. The alteration of the efficiency produced by the groundwater exchanges, which has not been previously considered, is now studied numerically. A set of numerical simulations are performed to establish in terms of efficiency the effects of groundwater exchanges and the optimum conditions to locate an UPSH plant.

  9. Particle size and mineralogical composition of inorganic colloids in waters draining the adit of an abandoned mine, Goesdorf, Luxembourg

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Filella, Montserrat [Department of Inorganic, Analytical and Applied Chemistry, University of Geneva, 30 quai Ernest-Ansermet, CH-1211 Geneva 4 (Switzerland); SCHEMA, Rue Principale 92, L-6990 Rameldange (Luxembourg)], E-mail: montserrat.filella@unige.ch; Chanudet, Vincent [Department of Inorganic, Analytical and Applied Chemistry, University of Geneva, 30 quai Ernest-Ansermet, CH-1211 Geneva 4 (Switzerland); Institut F.-A. Forel, University of Geneva, 10 route de Suisse, CH-1290 Versoix (Switzerland); Philippo, Simon [Musee National d' Histoire Naturelle, 25 rue Muenster, L-2160 Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Quentel, Francois [Laboratoire de Chimie Analytique, UMR-CNRS 6521, Universite de Bretagne Occidentale, 6 avenue V. Le Gorgeu, F-29238 Brest Cedex 3 (France)

    2009-01-15

    Particle size distributions and the mineralogy of inorganic colloids in waters draining the adit of an abandoned mine (Goesdorf, Luxembourg) were quantified by single particle counting based on light scattering (100 nm-2 {mu}m) combined with transmission electronic microscopy coupled with energy dispersive spectroscopy and selected area electron diffraction. This water system was chosen as a surrogate for groundwaters. The dependence of the colloid number concentration on colloid diameters can be described by a power-law distribution in all cases. Power-law slopes ranged from -3.30 to -4.44, depending on water ionic strength and flow conditions. The same main mineral types were found in the different samples: 2:1 phyllosilicates (illite and mica), chlorite, feldspars (albite and orthoclase), calcite and quartz; with a variable number of Fe oxide particles. The colloid mineralogical composition closely resembles the composition of the parent rock. Spatial variations in the structure and composition of the rock in contact with the waters, i.e. fissured rock versus shear joints, are reflected in the colloid composition. The properties of the study colloids, as well as the processes influencing them, can be considered as representative of the colloids present in groundwaters.

  10. Uranium mine rehabilitation: the story of the South Alligator Valley intervention

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Waggitt, Peter W. E-mail: peter.waggitt@deh.gov.au

    2004-07-01

    The rehabilitation of radioactively contaminated sites is an activity generally regarded with suspicion by the community. This is certainly the case for Australian Aboriginal traditional landowners. This paper describes the historical background to, and the successful development and implementation of, a consultation and planning process to rehabilitate former uranium mining and milling facilities on Aboriginal lands of the World Heritage-listed Kakadu National Park in northern Australia. The process of developing an appropriate community communication and consultation process to allay concerns about radioactivity is a cornerstone of the rehabilitation program. The initial stages of the program's implementation are also described. This program is also the first example of a radiological intervention under modern environmental and radiation protection legislation in the region. It was necessary to develop radiological standards for use in the program as none had been promulgated under existing relevant legislation.

  11. Alpha and gamma spectrometry for natural radioactive nuclides around uranium mines and nuclear power plants

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sanchez, A.M.; Tome, F.V.; Bejarano, J.D.; Aparicio, A.G. (Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz (Spain). Dept. de Fisica)

    1992-01-01

    Concentration of uranium and [sup 234]U/[sup 238]U and [sup 235]U/[sup 238]U activity ratios were studied in water samples taken in the neighbourhood of two uranium mines ('El Lobo' and 'El Pedregal', Badajoz, Spain), and around two nuclear power plants and their cooling reservoirs (the Central Nuclear de Almaraz, which is working today, and the Central Nuclear de Valdecaballeros, which is in the construction phase), using alpha spectrometry with semiconductor detectors. The Valdecaballeros data were taken to check for comparison with those of the Central Nuclear de Almaraz and with future values after the start of operation. Measurements were also made of all soluble gamma emitting nuclides using a shielded coaxial high purity germanium detector. The data suggest that the mechanisms responsible for the changes in the concentrations and in the [sup 234]U/[sup 238]U activity ratios in surface waters are principally dilution and leaching. (author).

  12. Geology of the area adjacent to the Free Enterprise uranium-silver Mine, Boulder District, Jefferson County, Montana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, W.A.; Gude, A.J.

    1952-01-01

    Uranium minerals.occur in pods associated with cryptocrystalline silica, silver minerals, and scattered sulfide mineral grains in a hydrothermal vein that cuts quartz monzonite and alaskite at the Free Enterprise mine, 2 miles west of Boulder, Mont. The Free Enterprise vein is one of many silicified reef-like structures in this area, most of which trend about N. 60° E. The cryptocrystalline silica zones of the area are lenticular and are bordered by an altered zone where quartz monzonite is the wall rock. No alteration was noticed where alaskite is adjacent to silica zones. No uranium minerals were observed at the surface, but radioactivity anomalies were noted at 57 outcrops. Underground mining has shown that leaching by downward percolating waters has removed most of the uranium from the near-surface part of the Free Enterprise vein and probably has enriched slightly, parts of the vein and the adjacent wall rock from the bottom of the leached zone to the ground-water level. It is possible that other veins that show low to moderate radioactivity at the surface may contain significant concentrations of uranium minerals at relatively shallow depth. The quartz monzonite appears to be a more favorable host rock for the cryptocrystalline silica and associated uranium minerals than the alaskite. The alaskite occurs as vertical_dikes plug-like masses, and as irregularly shaped, gently dipping masses that are believed to have been intruded into open fractures formed during the cooling of the quartz monzonite.

  13. US Geological Survey research on the environmental fate of uranium mining and milling wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landa, E.R.; Gray, J.R.

    1995-01-01

    Studies by the US Geological Survey (USGS) of uranium mill tailings (UMT) have focused on characterizing the forms in which radionuclides are retained and identifying factors influencing the release of radionuclides to air and water. Selective extraction studies and studies of radionuclide sorption by and leaching from components of UMT showed alkaline earth sulfate and hydrous ferric oxides to be important hosts of radium-226 (226Ra) in UMT. Extrapolating from studies of barite dissolution in anerobic lake sediments, the leaching of 226Ra from UMT by sulfate-reducing bacteria was investigated; a marked increase in 226Ra release to aqueous solution as compared to sterile controls was demonstrated. A similar action of iron(III)-reducing bacteria was later shown. Ion exchangers such as clay minerals can also promote the dissolution of host-phase minerals and thereby influence the fate of radionuclides such as 226Ra. Radon release studies examined particle size and ore composition as variables. Aggregation of UMT particles was shown to mask the higher emanating fraction of finer particles. Studies of various ores and ore components showed that UMT cannot be assumed to have the same radon-release characteristics as their precursor ores, nor can 226Ra retained by various substrates be assumed to emanate the same fraction of radon. Over the last decade, USGS research directed at offsite mobility of radionuclides from uranium mining and milling processes has focused on six areas: the Midnite Mine in Washington; Ralston Creek and Reservoir, Colorado; sites near Canon City, Colorado; the Monument Valley District of Arizona and Utah; the Cameron District of Arizona; and the Puerco River basin of Arizona and New Mexico.

  14. US Geological Survey research on the environmental fate of uranium mining and milling wastes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landa, E. R.; Gray, J. R.

    1995-07-01

    Studies by the US Geological Survey (USGS) of uranium mill tailings (UMT) have focused on characterizing the forms in which radionuclides are retained and identifying factors influencing the release of radionuclides to air and water. Selective extraction studies and studies of radionuclide sorption by and leaching from components of UMT showed alkaline earth sulfate and hydrous ferric oxides to be important hosts of radium-226 (226Ra) in UMT. Extrapolating from studies of barite dissolution in anerobic lake sediments, the leaching of226Ra from UMT by sulfate-reducing bacteria was investigated; a marked increase in226Ra release to aqueous solution as compared to sterile controls was demonstrated. A similar action of iron(III)-reducing bacteria was later shown. Ion exchangers such as clay minerals can also promote the dissolution of host-phase minerals and thereby influence the fate of radionuclides such as226Ra. Radon release studies examined particle size and ore composition as variables. Aggregation of UMT particles was shown to mask the higher emanating fraction of finer particles. Studies of various ores and ore components showed that UMT cannot be assumed to have the same radon-release characteristics as their precursor ores, nor can226Ra retained by various substrates be assumed to emanate the same fraction of radon. Over the last decade, USGS research directed at offsite mobility of radionuclides from uranium mining and milling processes has focused on six areas: the Midnite Mine in Washington; Ralston Creek and Reservoir, Colorado; sites near Canon City, Colorado; the Monument Valley District of Arizona and Utah; the Cameron District of Arizona; and the Puerco River basin of Arizona and New Mexico.

  15. Comparative study on the impact of coal and uranium mining, processing, and transportation in the western United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sandquist, G.M.

    1979-06-01

    A comparative study and quantitative assessment of the impacts, costs and benefits associated with the mining, processing and transportation of coal and uranium within the western states, specifically Arizona, California, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming are presented. The western states possess 49% of the US reserve coal base, 67% of the total identified reserves and 82% of the hypothetical reserves. Western coal production has increased at an average annual rate of about 22% since 1970 and should become the major US coal supplier in the 1980's. The Colorado Plateau (in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah) and the Wyoming Basin areas account for 72% of the $15/lb U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ resources, 76% of the $30/lb, and 75% of the $50/lb resources. It is apparent that the West will serve as the major supplier of domestic US coal and uranium fuels for at least the next several decades. Impacts considered are: environmental impacts, (land, water, air quality); health effects of coal and uranium mining, processing, and transportation; risks from transportation accidents; radiological impact of coal and uranium mining; social and economic impacts; and aesthetic impacts (land, air, noise, water, biota, and man-made objects). Economic benefits are discussed.

  16. Selective uptake of uranium and thorium by some vegetables

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Yusof, A.M. [Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru (Malaysia); Ghazali, Z.; Rahman, S.A. [Malaysian Inst. for Nuclear Technology and Research, Bangi (Malaysia)

    1996-12-31

    Uranium and thorium are trace elements in the actinide series found naturally in the atmosphere and can enter the human body through ingestion of food or by drinking. To establish baseline information for current and future environmental assessment due to pollution, especially in foodstuff, by heavy and trace metals, biological samples such as locally grown vegetables were analyzed for uranium and thorium contents. The terrain in most parts of the Malaysian peninsula consists of monazite-bearing rocks or soil that can be found extensively in areas related to tin-mining operations. Abandoned mining areas provide suitable sites for vegetable cultivation where most vegetables in the lowlands are grown.

  17. Dissolved metals and associated constituents in abandoned coal-mine discharges, Pennsylvania, USA. Part 1: Constituent quantities and correlations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cravotta, C.A.

    2008-01-01

    Complete hydrochemical data are rarely reported for coal-mine discharges (CMD). This report summarizes major and trace-element concentrations and loadings for CMD at 140 abandoned mines in the Anthracite and Bituminous Coalfields of Pennsylvania. Clean-sampling and low-level analytical methods were used in 1999 to collect data that could be useful to determine potential environmental effects, remediation strategies, and quantities of valuable constituents. A subset of 10 sites was resampled in 2003 to analyze both the CMD and associated ochreous precipitates; the hydrochemical data were similar in 2003 and 1999. In 1999, the flow at the 140 CMD sites ranged from 0.028 to 2210 L s-1, with a median of 18.4 L s-1. The pH ranged from 2.7 to 7.3; concentrations (range in mg/L) of dissolved (0.45-??m pore-size filter) SO4 (34-2000), Fe (0.046-512), Mn (0.019-74), and Al (0.007-108) varied widely. Predominant metalloid elements were Si (2.7-31.3 mg L-1), B ( C > P = N = Se) were not elevated in the CMD samples compared to average river water or seawater. Compared to seawater, the CMD samples also were poor in halogens (Cl > Br > I > F), alkalies (Na > K > Li > Rb > Cs), most alkaline earths (Ca > Mg > Sr), and most metalloids but were enriched by two to four orders of magnitude with Fe, Al, Mn, Co, Be, Sc, Y and the lanthanide rare-earth elements, and one order of magnitude with Ni and Zn. The ochre samples collected at a subset of 10 sites in 2003 were dominantly goethite with minor ferrihydrite or lepidocrocite. None of the samples for this subset contained schwertmannite or was Al rich, but most contained minor aluminosilicate detritus. Compared to concentrations in global average shale, the ochres were rich in Fe, Ag, As and Au, but were poor in most other metals and rare earths. The ochres were not enriched compared to commercial ore deposits mined for Au or other valuable metals. Although similar to commercial Fe ores in composition, the ochres are dispersed and

  18. Pre-mining trace element and radiation exposure to biota from a breccia pipe uranium mine in the Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA) watershed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo Ellen; Cleveland, Danielle; Brumbaugh, William G; Linder, Greg; Lankton, Julia

    2017-02-01

    The risks to wildlife and humans from uranium (U) mining in the Grand Canyon watershed are largely unknown. In addition to U, other co-occurring ore constituents contribute to risks to biological receptors depending on their toxicological profiles. This study characterizes the pre-mining concentrations of total arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), thallium (Tl), U, and zinc (Zn); radiation levels; and histopathology in biota (vegetation, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals) at the Canyon Mine. Gross alpha levels were below the reporting limit (4 pCi/g) in all samples, and gross beta levels were indicative of background in vegetation (mine were likely the result of aeolian transport. Chemical concentrations in rodents and terrestrial invertebrates indicate that surface disturbance during mine construction has not resulted in statistically significant spatial differences in fauna concentrations adjacent to the mine. Chemical concentrations in egg contents and nestlings of non-aquatic birds were less than method quantification limits or did not exceed toxicity thresholds. Bioaccumulation of As, Pb, Se, Tl, and U was evident in Western spadefoot (Spea multiplicata) tadpoles from the mine containment pond; concentrations of As (28.9-31.4 μg/g) and Se (5.81-7.20 μg/g) exceeded toxicity values and were significantly greater than in tadpoles from a nearby water source. Continued evaluation of As and Se in biota inhabiting and forging in the mine containment pond is warranted as mining progresses.

  19. The Leyden uranium prospect, Jefferson County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gott, Garland B.

    1950-01-01

    The Leyden uranium prospect is in sec. 28, T, 2 S., R. 70 W, Jefferson County, Cplo, Examination of the property was made in February 1950. Uranium was first reported in this locality in 1875 by Captain E. L. Berthoud, who noted uranium minerals associated with the main coal bed. The Old Leyden coal mine workings have long been abandoned and caved, but specimens of the uranium-bearing rock can be seen on the old dump 700 feet to the south. The mineralized coal bed is 10 to 12 feet thick and occurs near the base of the Laramie formation of Upper Cretaceous age. Uranium minerals are present in the form of yellow incrustations and inclusions in fractured and partly silicified coal. Petrographic studies indicate that the silica and uranium minerals were deposited after deposition and carbonization of the coal. Secondary uranium minerals also were found by C. R. Butler along the outcrop of the sandstones in the Laramie formation. No uranium minerals were found in place by the writer, but four samples from the dump contained 0.001, 0,005, 0.17 and 0.69 percent uranium.

  20. Assessment of metals contamination and ecological risk in ait Ammar abandoned iron mine soil, Morocco

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nouri Mohamed

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available The present study is an attempt to assess the pollution intensity and corresponding ecological risk of phosphorus and metals including Cd, Cr, Cu, Zn, Pb and Fe using various indices like geo-accumulation index, enrichment factor, pollution and ecological risk index. In all, 20 surface soil samples were collected from the Ait Ammar iron mine of Oued Zem city, province of Khouribga, in central Morocco. The concentrations of heavy metals in soil samples were used to assess their potential ecological risks. According to the results of potential ecological risk index (RI, pollution index (PI, geo-accumulation index (Igeo, enrichment factor (EF, potential contamination index (Cp, contaminant factor (Cf and degree of contamination (Cd, based on the averages, considerable pollution of metals in soils of study area was observed. The consequence of the correlation matrix and principal component analysis (PCA indicated that Fe, Cu, Zn, Cr and P mainly originated from natural sources and Cd and Pb are mostly derived from anthropogenic sources. The results showed that these metals in soil were ranked by severity of ecological risk as Pb > Cd > Cu > Cr > Zn, based on their single-element indexes. In view of the potential ecological risk (RI, soils from all soil samples showed a potential ecological risk. These results will provide basic information for the improvement of soil environment management and heavy metal pollution prevention in Ait Ammar.

  1. Abandoned mine slags analysis by EPMA WDS X-ray mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guimarães, F.; Rosado, L.; Morais, C.; Candeias, A. E.; Pinto, A. P.; Mirão, J.

    2010-02-01

    Mining activity on the Iberian Pyritic Belt (Portugal and Spain) started before Phoenician times, became particularly intense during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula (for gold), and after the industrial revolution (for gold, copper, zinc, lead and sulphur). The commonest ore of this region is a massive polymetalic sulphide accumulation, where pyrite (FeS2) is the main mineral, with variable concentrations of chalcopyrite (CuFeS2), sphalerite (ZnS), galena (PbS), arsenopyrite (FeAsS2), other sulphides and sulfosalts which include minor elements like Mn, Co, Ni, Se, Cd, Sb, Te, Hg and Bi. Some of the main and minor elements of these ores are hazardous and the drainage basins of pollutant source areas often induce health concerns in the resident population. Electron probe microanalysis study followed previous optical and XRD analysis of the slags. The study focused on the identification of phases how sulphide and metallic phases are distributed within the material and infer about leachable elements during weathering. Electron probe X-ray maps show evidences of different behaviour between the elements: Ca and Zn are completely leached; iron is retained in oxyhydroxides, lead and arsenic precipitate as sulphates. Electron probe microanalysis studies are essential to understand complex materials as earth materials. Nevertheless, care is required to a correct interpretation of data and most quantitative compositional data are not trustworthy.

  2. Abandoned coal mining sites: using ecotoxicological tests to support an industrial organic sludge amendment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiochetta, Claudete G; Radetski, Marilice R; Corrêa, Albertina X R; Tischer, Vinícius; Tiepo, Erasmo N; Radetski, Claudemir M

    2013-11-01

    The different stages involved in coal mining-related activities result in a degraded landscape and sites associated with large amounts of dumped waste material. Remediation of these contaminated soils can be carried out by application of industrial organic sludge if the concerns regarding the potential negative environmental impacts of this experimental practice are properly addressed. In this context, the objective of this study was to use ecotoxicological tests to determine the quantity of organic industrial sludge that is required as a soil amendment to restore soil production while avoiding environmental impact. Chemical analysis of the solids (industrial sludge and soil) and their leachates was carried out as well as a battery of ecotoxicity tests on enzymes (hydrolytic activity), bacteria, algae, daphnids, earthworms, and higher plants, according to standardized methodologies. Solid and leachate samples of coal-contaminated soil were more toxic than those of industrial sludge towards enzyme activity, bacteria, algae, daphnids, and earthworms. In the case of the higher plants (lettuce, corn, wild cabbage, and Surinam cherry) the industrial sludge was more toxic than the coal-contaminated soil, and a soil/sludge mixture (66:34% dry weight basis) had a stimulatory effect on the Surinam cherry biomass. The ecotoxicological assessment of the coal-contaminated soil remediation using sludge as an amendment is very important to determine application rates that could promote a stimulatory effect on agronomic species without negatively affecting the environment.

  3. Primary Phases and Natural Weathering of Smelting Slag at an Abandoned Mine Site in Southwest Japan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuri Sueoka

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Artisanal metallurgical slag produced more than 50 years ago at a mine site in southwest Japan is rich in toxic metals and metalloids. Some of the slag remains on a waste dump and could contaminate the surrounding area through the dissolution of heavy metals and metalloids during weathering. To assess this risk, this study has investigated the behavior of the toxic elements in the smelting slag during weathering. Most of the potentially toxic elements are contained in willemite and/or matte drops. Maximum metal and metalloid concentrations in the slag are 28.1 wt % Fe, 22.7 wt % Zn, 1.63 wt % Cu, 3450 mg/kg Sn, 826 mg/kg Pb, 780 mg/kg As, and 116 mg/kg Cd. Zn is mainly contained in willemite, whereas other metals and metalloids are mainly concentrated in matte drops. The willemite and matte drops are converted to Fe-hydroxides during weathering, indicating that potentially toxic metals and metalloids contained in these phases are released by weathering processes. Therefore, weathering of the artisanal metallurgical slag, containing large amounts of willemite and matte drops, may pollute the surrounding environment.

  4. Remediation strategy, capping construction and ongoing monitoring for the mill tailings pond, Ningyo-Toge uranium mine, Japan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hiroshi Saito [Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kamisaibara, Okayama-ken (Japan); Tomihiro Taki [Ningyo-toge Environmental Engineering Center, Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Kamisaibara, Okayama-ken (Japan)

    2013-07-01

    Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine is subject to the environmental remediation. The main purposes are to take measures to ensure the radiation protection from the exposure pathways to humans in future, and to prevent the occurrence of mining pollution. The Yotsugi Mill Tailings Pond in the Ningyo-toge Uranium Mine has deposited mining waste and impounded water as a buffer reservoir before it is transferred to the Water Treatment Facility. It is located at the upstream of the water-source river and as the impact on its environment in case of earthquake is estimated significant, the highest priority has been put to it among mine-related facilities in the Mine. So far, basic concept has been examined and a great number of data has been acquired, and using the data, some remediation activities have already done, including capping construction for the upstream part of the Mill Tailings Pond. The capping is to reduce rainwater penetration to lower the burden of water treatment, and to reduce radon exhalation and dose rates. Only natural materials are used to alleviate the future maintenance. Data, including settlement amount and underground temperature is now being acquired and accumulated to verify the effectiveness of the capping, and used for the future remediation of the Downstream with revision of its specifications if necessary. (authors)

  5. Persistent U(IV) and U(VI) following in-situ recovery (ISR) mining of a sandstone uranium deposit, Wyoming, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gallegos, Tanya J.; Campbell, Kate M.; Zielinski, Robert A.; Reimus, P.W.; J.T. Clay,; N. Janot,; J. J. Bargar,; Benzel, William M.

    2015-01-01

    Drill-core samples from a sandstone-hosted uranium (U) deposit in Wyoming were characterized to determine the abundance and distribution of uranium following in-situ recovery (ISR) mining with oxygen- and carbon dioxide-enriched water. Concentrations of uranium, collected from ten depth intervals, ranged from 5 to 1920 ppm. A composite sample contained 750 ppm uranium with an average oxidation state of 54% U(VI) and 46% U(IV). Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) indicated rare high uranium (∼1000 ppm U) in spatial association with P/Ca and Si/O attributed to relict uranium minerals, possibly coffinite, uraninite, and autunite, trapped within low permeability layers bypassed during ISR mining. Fission track analysis revealed lower but still elevated concentrations of U in the clay/silica matrix and organic matter (several 10 s ppm) and yet higher concentrations associated with Fe-rich/S-poor sites, likely iron oxides, on altered chlorite or euhedral pyrite surfaces (but not on framboidal pyrite). Organic C (samples. Although the uranium minerals persisting in low permeability areas in association with organic carbon were less affected by oxidizing solutions during mining, the likely sequestration of uranium within labile iron oxides following mining and sensitivity to changes in redox conditions requires careful attention during groundwater restoration.

  6. Mechanical properties of abandoned and closed roadways in the Kushiro Coal Mine, Japan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fujii, Y.; Ishijima, Y.; Ichihara, Y.; Kiyama, T.; Kumakura, S.; Takada, M.; Sugawara, T.; Narita, T.; Kodama, J.; Sawada, M.; Nakata, E. [Hokkaido University, Hokkaido (Japan)

    2011-06-15

    The objective of this research is to clarify the mechanical properties and self-healing ability of the Excavation Damaged Zone (EDZ) around rock caverns in clastic-rock. Observations of nearly one hundred closed roadways up to fifty years old, which can be regarded as very severe EDZs with no initial sealability and are up to 300 m deep in clastic-rock, were made at the Kushiro Coal Mine, Japan, to accomplish the objective. Most old roadways were closed, though a few remain open. Closure of old roadways was mainly due to roof deflection and/or floor heave. Large plastic deformations dominated; however, severe fractures were seldom observed in closed old roadways. Rayleigh wave velocity and hydraulic conductivity in the closed old roadways were in the range of 0.3-1.2 km/s and 5 x 10{sup -7}-1 x 10{sup -7} m/s, respectively, and those in EDZ and EdZ (Excavation disturbed Zone) around recently excavated roadways were 1.1-1.8 km/s and 1 x 10{sup -8}-5 x 10{sup -8} m/s, respectively. The extent of EDZ around the present tailgate was in the range of 1-5 m. Mechanical excavation and prevention from water are suggested as the key points for long-term maintenance of rock repositories. Pressurization from inside the cavern to decrease the permeability of EDZ is proposed for maintenance of rock repositories in medium-hard clastic-rock masses at similar depths for long periods.

  7. Uranium recovery from acid rock drainage: an alternative strategy for the decommissioning of the uranium mining and milling facilities of Pocos de Caldas, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fernandes, H.M.; Franklin, M.R. [Instituto de Radioprotecao e Dosimetria, Rio de Janeiro (Brazil)

    2000-07-01

    Acid Rock Drainage is of great concern to environmental regulators and mine operators in many countries around the world. During the operational life of an installation, the collect and treat strategy is a commonly employed strategy to reduce pollutant emissions to the environment. Regarding the post-operational scenarios a suite of different strategies is available in the literature. Acid drainage is a crucial problem at the uranium mining and milling site of Pocos de Caldas. Two waste-rock piles (of about 60 ha each) resulted from mining activities. Presently acid waters are being collected and neutralized, the solid material being disposed in the tailings dam. The Institute of Radiation Protection Dosimetry, has developed studies that concluded that a permanent solution to the problem should favor covering the dumps with a three layered cover system. However if the uranium average concentration in the drainage (about 10 mg/L) is taken into consideration, its economical recovery may be thought about. This strategy will imply in the recovery of 30 tons U{sub 3}O{sub 8} per year - representing c.a. 30% of the mean annual production of the installation. The recovery would include the use of ion-exchange resins. The technical and economical viability of the strategy as well as technical and economical issues concerning the application of a dry cover to the waste rock piles will be presented and discussed in detail. (author)

  8. Microbial mercury methylation in the Ngawha hot springs and the abandoned Puhipuhi mine, New Zealand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gionfriddo, C. M.; Ogorek, J. M.; Thompson, C. D.; Power, J.; Krabbenhoft, D. P.; Stott, M. B.; Moreau, J. W.

    2011-12-01

    Hot springs and fumaroles release significant quantities of aqueous and gaseous mercury into the environment. Yet few studies have focused on the biogeochemical cycling of mercury in geothermal settings. In this study, we investigated the abundance, speciation, and partitioning of mercury in geothermal waters and sediments in the Ngawha geothermal field and Puhipuhi region of New Zealand. The Ngawha geothermal field contains over 20 hot springs with variable chemistry (pH 2.9 - 7.1, ORP 15.7 to 249.1 mV, 22-40.5°C), from which approximately 530 kg of mercury is released annually from deep geological sources, most of which remains in the local surficial waters and sediments. Puhipuhi is the site of an historic mercury mining operation located about 22 miles southeast of Ngawha. The mercury-bearing geological deposits at Ngawha and Puhipuhi were formed over the same period and are connected to the young basalt flows of the region. Puhipuhi no longer hosts active hot springs, but is transected by a stream that varies in chemistry (pH 5.1-7.2, ORP -3.8-115.3 mV, ~22°C). Total- and methylmercury concentrations were measured using ICP-MS and CVAFS. Preliminary analyses of dissolved total- and methylmercury levels across the hot springs ranged from 5-10,000 ng/L and 0.6-23.5 ng/L, respectively, indicating a wide range of environmental conditions exist and may support a diverse array of microbial communities. Due to their high mercury content, geothermal settings may hold clues about the evolution of microbial mercury resistance (detoxification response to environmental Hg), as the ancestral mer operon evolved in thermophilic bacteria such as Thermus thermophilus and Methylacidophilum infernorum. Thus, the Ngawha hot springs provide an opportunity to investigate the evolution of microbial responses to mercury. Adjacent sites often display radically different chemical traits, with implications for changes in microbial community structure and genetic responses to mercury

  9. Co-treatment of abandoned mine drainage and Marcellus Shale flowback water for use in hydraulic fracturing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Can; Zhang, Tieyuan; Vidic, Radisav D

    2016-11-01

    Flowback water generated during shale gas extraction in Pennsylvania is mostly reused for hydraulic fracturing operation. Abandoned mine drainage (AMD), one of the most widespread threats to water quality in Pennsylvania, can potentially serve as a make-up water source to enable flowback water reuse. This study demonstrated co-treatment of flowback water and AMD produced in northeastern Pennsylvania in a pilot-scale system consisting of rapid mix reactor, flocculation tank and sedimentation tank. Sulfate concentration in the finished water can be controlled at a desired level (i.e., below 100 mg/L) by adjusting the ratio of flowback water and AMD in the influent. Fe(3+) contained in the AMD can serve as a coagulant to enhance the removal of suspended solids, during which Fe(2+) is co-precipitated and the total iron is reduced to a desirable level. Solid waste generated in this process (i.e., barite) will incorporate over 99% of radium present in the flowback water, which offers the possibility to control the fate of naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM) brought to the surface by unconventional gas extraction. Sludge recirculation in the treatment process can be used to increase the size of barite particles formed by mixing flowback water and AMD to meet specifications for use as a weighting agent in drilling fluid. This alternative management approach for NORM can be used to offset the treatment cost and promote flowback water reuse, reduce environmental impacts of AMD and reduce pressure on fresh water sources. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. Fires in Operating or Abandoned Coal Mines or Heaps of Reactive Materials and the Governing Transport and Reaction Processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wuttke, M. W.; Kessels, W.; Wessling, S.; Han, J.

    2007-05-01

    Spontaneous combustion is a world wide problem for technical operations in mining, waste disposal and power plant facilities. The principle driving the combustion is every where the same independent of the different reactive materials: Fresh air with the common oxygen content is getting in contact with the reactive material by human operations. The following reaction process produces heat at a usually low but constant rate. The reactive material in operating or abandoned coal mines, heaps of coal, waste or reactive minerals is most times strongly broken or fractured, such that the atmospheric oxygen can deeply penetrate into the porous or fractured media. Because the strongly broken or fractured medium with air filled pores and fractures is often combined with a low thermal conductivity of the bulk material the produced heat accumulates and the temperature increases with time. If the reactivity strongly increases with temperature, the temperature rise accelerates up to the "combustion temperature". Once the temperature is high enough the combustion process is determined by the oxygen transport to the combustion center rather than the chemical reactivity. Spontaneous combustion is thus a self- amplifying process where an initial small variation in the parameters and the starting conditions can create exploding combustion hot spots in an apparently homogenous material. The phenomenon will be discussed by various examples in the context of the German - Sino coal fire project. A temperature monitoring in hot fracture systems documents the strong influence of the weather conditions on the combustion process. Numerical calculations show the sensitivity of the combustion to the model geometries, the boundary conditions and mainly the permeability. The most used fire fighting operations like covering and water injection are discussed. A new method of using saltwater for fire fighting is presented and discussed. References: Kessels, W., Wessling, S., Li, X., and Wuttke, M

  11. DETECTION AND ASSESSMENT OF ABIOTIC STRESS OF CONIFEROUS LANDSCAPES CAUSED BY URANIUM MINING (USING MULTITEMPORAL HIGH RESOLUTION LANDSAT DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lachezar Filchev

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing have become one of decisive technologies for detection and assessment of abiotic stress situations, such as snowstorms, forest fires, drought, frost, technogenic pollution etc. Present work is aiming at detection and assessment of abiotic stress of coniferous landscapes caused by uranium mining using high resolution satellite data from Landsat. To achieve the aim, ground-based geochemical data and were coupled with the satellite data for two periods, i.e. prior and after uranium mining decommissioning, into a file geodatabase in ArcGIS/ArcInfo 9.2, where spatial analyses were carried out. As a result, weak and very weak relationships were found between the factor of technogenic pollution—Zc and vegetation indices NDVI, NDWI, MSAVI, TVI, and VCI. The TVI performs better compared to other indices in terms of separability among classes, whereas the NDVI and VCI correlate well than other indices with Zc.

  12. Derivation of soil screening thresholds to protect chisel-toothed kangaroo rat from uranium mine waste in northern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Linder, Greg L.; Otton, James K.; Finger, Susan E.; Little, Edward E.; Tillitt, Donald E.

    2013-01-01

    Chemical data from soil and weathered waste material samples collected from five uranium mines north of the Grand Canyon (three reclaimed, one mined but not reclaimed, and one never mined) were used in a screening-level risk analysis for the Arizona chisel-toothed kangaroo rat (Dipodomys microps leucotis); risks from radiation exposure were not evaluated. Dietary toxicity reference values were used to estimate soil-screening thresholds presenting risk to kangaroo rats. Sensitivity analyses indicated that body weight critically affected outcomes of exposed-dose calculations; juvenile kangaroo rats were more sensitive to the inorganic constituent toxicities than adult kangaroo rats. Species-specific soil-screening thresholds were derived for arsenic (137 mg/kg), cadmium (16 mg/kg), copper (1,461 mg/kg), lead (1,143 mg/kg), nickel (771 mg/kg), thallium (1.3 mg/kg), uranium (1,513 mg/kg), and zinc (731 mg/kg) using toxicity reference values that incorporate expected chronic field exposures. Inorganic contaminants in soils within and near the mine areas generally posed minimal risk to kangaroo rats. Most exceedances of soil thresholds were for arsenic and thallium and were associated with weathered mine wastes.

  13. Traceless disappeared. Villages in Thuringia - sacrifices of uranium mining. 2. ed.; Spurlos verschwunden. Doerfer in Thueringen - Opfer des Uranabbaus

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kirchner, Annerose

    2017-08-01

    The uranium mine WISMUT in the former German Democratic Republic is in the process of remediation and re-cultivation since the 1990ies. The remediation measures are supposed to last until 20145 with costs of about 8 Billion Euros. The challenges and the responsibility for the contaminated area will probably last for generations. The book includes contributions from inhabitants that lost their native country, their villages, their homes, keeping the remembrance of their childhood.

  14. A methodology for the assessment of rehabilitation success of post mining landscapes--sediment and radionuclide transport at the former Nabarlek uranium mine, Northern Territory, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hancock, G R; Grabham, M K; Martin, P; Evans, K G; Bollhöfer, A

    2006-02-01

    Protection of the environment post-mining is an important issue, especially where runoff and erosion can lead to undesirable material leaving post-mining landscapes and contaminating surrounding land and watercourses. Methods for assessment of the environmental impact and long-term behaviour of post-mining landforms based on scientific methodology are needed especially where field data are absent or poor. An appraisal of the former Nabarlek uranium mine was conducted to assess the site from a soil erosion perspective as part of an independent evaluation of overall rehabilitation success. Determination of the gross erosion occurring, sediment discharge to Cooper Creek and the resultant sediment associated radionuclide load in Cooper Creek were the primary objectives of the study. These objectives were achieved through the application of several models using parameter values collected from the site. The study found that the area containing the mill tailings repository is extremely stable and meets the guidelines established for long-term storage of uranium mill tailings. Most other areas on the site are stable; however there are some areas with a high sediment loss. Sediment concentration in Cooper Creek, which drains the site, was found to be within the Australian water quality guidelines for fresh water, however sediment concentrations in tributaries were found to exceed recommended levels. Radionuclide determinations on soil samples showed that the highest specific activities (Bq kg-1) were present on a small (0.44 ha) area with a relatively high erosion rate. This small area contributed the majority of the estimated flux to Cooper Creek of uranium-series radionuclides sorbed or structurally incorporated to eroded soil particles sourced from the mine site. This study provides a methodology for assessment of the erosional stability of such a landscape and consequent impact on water quality, using extensive field data and readily available and well known models and

  15. Exposure of insects and insectivorous birds to metals and other elements from abandoned mine tailings in three Summit County drainages, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Custer, Christine M.; Yang, C.; Crock, J.G.; Shearn-Bochsler, V.; Smith, K.S.; Hageman, P.L.

    2009-01-01

    Concentrations of 31 metals, metalloids, and other elements were measured in insects and insectivorous bird tissues from three drainages with different geochemistry and mining histories in Summit Co., Colorado, in 2003, 2004, and 2005. In insect samples, all 25 elements that were analyzed in all years increased in both Snake and Deer Creeks in the mining impacted areas compared to areas above and below the mining impacted areas. This distribution of elements was predicted from known or expected sediment contamination resulting from abandoned mine tailings in those drainages. Element concentrations in avian liver tissues were in concordance with levels in insects, that is with concentrations higher in mid-drainage areas where mine tailings were present compared to both upstream and downstream locations; these differences were not always statistically different, however. The lack of statistically significant differences in liver tissues, except for a few elements, was due to relatively small sample sizes and because many of these elements are essential and therefore well regulated by the bird's homeostatic processes. Most elements were at background concentrations in avian liver tissue except for Pb which was elevated at mid-drainage sites to levels where ??-aminolevulinic acid dehydratase activity was inhibited at other mining sites in Colorado. Lead exposure, however, was not at toxic levels. Fecal samples were not a good indication of what elements birds ingested and were potentially exposed to. ?? Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008.

  16. An overview of a uranium acidic mining lake (Caldas, Brazil): composition of the zooplankton community and limno-chemical aspects

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nascimento, H.; Ferrari, C.; Roque, C.V.; Nascimento, M.R. [Brazilian Nuclear Energy Commission/Pocos de Caldas Laboratory (Brazil); Wisniewski, M.J. [Alfenas Federal University/Limnology Laboratory (Brazil); Rodgher, S. [Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho/Science and Technology Laboratory (Brazil)

    2014-07-01

    This research represents an attempt to fill a gap in the information on the zooplankton composition and limno-chemical aspects of the uranium pit lake (Osamu Utsumi Pit, Brazil), affected by acid mine drainage. In the present study water samples were collected three-monthly, for a period of one year (2008-2009). The water samples from the uranium pit lake showed moderately acidic pH values (3.6 to 4.1), high values of the electrical conductivity, sulfate, uranium, fluoride, zinc, manganese and aluminum concentrations. The Rotifera cephalodella sp., Keratella americana, K. cochlearis, Bdelloidea order and the Cladocera Bosminopsis deitersi, Bosmina sp., were registered in the samples from the uranium pit lake with ADM. Of the species registered the Bdelloidea order was the most important in terms of density (17,500 - 77,778 ind m{sup -3}), since it occurred throughout the whole sampling period. In this study, probably the combined effect of moderately acid pH values and other potentially co-stressors factors, for example the high concentrations of stable and radioactive chemical species, could have influenced this richness and also the composition of the zooplankton species in the water samples from the uranium pit lake. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  17. In situ effects of metal contamination from former uranium mining sites on the health of the three-spined stickleback (Gasterosteus aculeatus, L.).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le Guernic, Antoine; Sanchez, Wilfried; Bado-Nilles, Anne; Palluel, Olivier; Turies, Cyril; Chadili, Edith; Cavalié, Isabelle; Delahaut, Laurence; Adam-Guillermin, Christelle; Porcher, Jean-Marc; Geffard, Alain; Betoulle, Stéphane; Gagnaire, Béatrice

    2016-08-01

    Human activities have led to increased levels of various pollutants including metals in aquatic ecosystems. Increase of metallic concentrations in aquatic environments represents a potential risk to exposed organisms, including fish. The aim of this study was to characterize the environmental risk to fish health linked to a polymetallic contamination from former uranium mines in France. This contamination is characterized by metals naturally present in the areas (manganese and iron), uranium, and metals (aluminum and barium) added to precipitate uranium and its decay products. Effects from mine releases in two contaminated ponds (Pontabrier for Haute-Vienne Department and Saint-Pierre for Cantal Department) were compared to those assessed at four other ponds outside the influence of mine tailings (two reference ponds/department). In this way, 360 adult three-spined sticklebacks (Gasterosteus aculeatus) were caged for 28 days in these six ponds before biomarker analyses (immune system, antioxidant system, biometry, histology, DNA integrity, etc.). Ponds receiving uranium mine tailings presented higher concentrations of uranium, manganese and aluminum, especially for the Haute-Vienne Department. This uranium contamination could explain the higher bioaccumulation of this metal in fish caged in Pontabrier and Saint-Pierre Ponds. In the same way, many fish biomarkers (antioxidant and immune systems, acetylcholinesterase activity and biometric parameters) were impacted by this environmental exposure to mine tailings. This study shows the interest of caging and the use of a multi-biomarker approach in the study of a complex metallic contamination.

  18. Evaluation of the effects of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the zooplankton community in uranium mining lakes with acid mine drainage

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nascimento, H.; Ferrari, C.; Nascimento, M.R. [Brazilian Nulcear Energy Commission/Pocos de Caldas Laboratory (Brazil); Rodgher, S. [Universidade Estadual Paulista Julio de Mesquita Filho/Science and Technology Institute (Brazil); Wisniewski, M.J. [Alfenas Federal University/Limnology Laboratory (Brazil)

    2014-07-01

    Several mining lakes are characterized by the inorganic pollution of its waters, known as acid mine drainage (AMD). The current study was developed in order to evaluate the effect of water hardness and chemical pollutants on the richness and density of the zoo-planktonic community species. A seasonal study was conducted in a uranium mining lake affected by AMD. In environmental conditions of extremely high hardness water values (960.3 to 1284,9 mg/l), zoo-planktonic species have indicated resistance to the combined effect of elevated average concentrations of chemical pollutants such as Al (81.9 mg/l), Zn (15.5 mg/l), Mn (102.8 mg/l), U (2.9 mg/l) and low pH values (average = 3.8). Thus, in environments of extreme chemical conditions, such as a uranium mining lake affected by AMD, the hardness showed to be the best predictor of the zoo-planktonic community richness, indicating a protective effect of ions Ca{sup +2} over in special to Bosminopsis deitersi, Bosmina sp., Keratella americana and K. cochlearis. Document available in abstract form only. (authors)

  19. Microbial iron reduction related to metal speciation in mine waste at the former uranium mine in Ranstad

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nejad, F.T. [Goeteborg Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of General and Marine Microbiology

    1998-02-01

    Mining activities in Ranstad uranium mine started in 1965 and ended in 1969. In 1988 the final restoration was discussed, and it was proposed to water-fill the open pit and cover the waste disposal area using the `dry method`. Today the open pit has become a lake. Also some alum shale was placed on the land surface where it has been weathered by oxygen and water during 30 years. In 1994 it was observed that the color of the lake turned over to brown-red. Further studies showed increasing iron concentration in the lake and around the tailings area. For estimation of microbial iron reduction in the lake, three iron reducing bacteria were isolated from the water-filled open pit. For the enrichment process, water samples were inoculated in an anoxic enrichment medium. The isolates were able to reduce Fe(III) oxyhydroxide by oxidation of lactate as energy source. Growth of these strains was determined by production of a black precipitation of iron sulfide and was confirmed by estimation of total number of cells. Fe(III) reduction was monitored by measuring the accumulation of Fe(II) over time. Comparison of the 16S rRNA gene sequences of strains Tran-l, Tran-2, and Tran-3 with the EMBL data base showed 98.6% identity with Shewanella putrefaciens, 98.7% identity with Shewanella alga and 98.2% identity with Aeromonas salmonicida, respectively. S. putrefaciens strains have been isolated from many different environments, many of which are suboxic or anoxic. In addition to growing aerobically, S. putrefaciens can use Fe(III) as terminal electron acceptor under anaerobic conditions. To distinguish if the Fe(III) and/or organic compounds presence in weathered alum shale can be utilized by iron reducing bacteria isolated from the lake, reduction of Fe(III) coupled to the oxidation of organic compounds in sterile and non-sterile weathered alum shale was studied. The reduction of Fe(III) coupled to growth of bacteria on sterile and non-sterile shale was observed. Furthermore

  20. Colour and toxic characteristics of metakaolinite–hematite pigment for integrally coloured concrete, prepared from iron oxide recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Sadasivam, Sivachidambaram, E-mail: sadasivams@cardiff.ac.uk; Thomas, Hywel Rhys

    2016-07-15

    A metakaolinite-hematite (KH) red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from a water treatment plant of an abandoned coal mine. The KH pigment was prepared by heating the kaolinite and the iron oxide sludge at kaolinite's dehydroxylation temperature. Both the raw sludge and the KH specimen were characterised for their colour properties and toxic characteristics. The KH specimen could serve as a pigment for integrally coloured concrete and offers a potential use for the large volumes of the iron oxide sludge collected from mine water treatment plants. - Graphical abstract: A kaolinite based red pigment was prepared using an ocherous iron oxide sludge recovered from an abandoned coal mine water treatment plant. Display Omitted - Highlights: • A red pigment was prepared by heating a kaolinite and an iron oxide sludge. • The iron oxide and the pigment were characterised for their colour properties. • The red pigment can be a potential element for integrally coloured concrete.

  1. Mapping Copper and Lead Concentrations at Abandoned Mine Areas Using Element Analysis Data from ICP-AES and Portable XRF Instruments: A Comparative Study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, Hyeongyu; Choi, Yosoon; Suh, Jangwon; Lee, Seung-Ho

    2016-03-30

    Understanding spatial variation of potentially toxic trace elements (PTEs) in soil is necessary to identify the proper measures for preventing soil contamination at both operating and abandoned mining areas. Many studies have been conducted worldwide to explore the spatial variation of PTEs and to create soil contamination maps using geostatistical methods. However, they generally depend only on inductively coupled plasma atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES) analysis data, therefore such studies are limited by insufficient input data owing to the disadvantages of ICP-AES analysis such as its costly operation and lengthy period required for analysis. To overcome this limitation, this study used both ICP-AES and portable X-ray fluorescence (PXRF) analysis data, with relatively low accuracy, for mapping copper and lead concentrations at a section of the Busan abandoned mine in Korea and compared the prediction performances of four different approaches: the application of ordinary kriging to ICP-AES analysis data, PXRF analysis data, both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data by considering the correlation between the ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data, and co-kriging to both the ICP-AES (primary variable) and PXRF analysis data (secondary variable). Their results were compared using an independent validation data set. The results obtained in this case study showed that the application of ordinary kriging to both ICP-AES and transformed PXRF analysis data is the most accurate approach when considers the spatial distribution of copper and lead contaminants in the soil and the estimation errors at 11 sampling points for validation. Therefore, when generating soil contamination maps for an abandoned mine, it is beneficial to use the proposed approach that incorporates the advantageous aspects of both ICP-AES and PXRF analysis data.

  2. Zero-valent iron nanoparticles in treatment of acid mine water from in situ uranium leaching.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klimkova, Stepanka; Cernik, Miroslav; Lacinova, Lenka; Filip, Jan; Jancik, Dalibor; Zboril, Radek

    2011-02-01

    Acid mine water from in situ chemical leaching of uranium (Straz pod Ralskem, Czech Republic) was treated in laboratory scale experiments by zero-valent iron nanoparticles (nZVI). For the first time, nZVI were applied for the treatment of the real acid water system containing the miscellaneous mixture of pollutants, where the various removal mechanisms occur simultaneously. Toxicity of the treated saline acid water is caused by major contaminants represented by aluminum and sulphates in a high concentration, as well as by microcontaminants like As, Be, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, U, V, and Zn. Laboratory batch experiments proved a significant decrease in concentrations of all the monitored pollutants due to an increase in pH and a decrease in oxidation-reduction potential related to an application of nZVI. The assumed mechanisms of contaminants removal include precipitation of cations in a lower oxidation state, precipitation caused by a simple pH increase and co-precipitation with the formed iron oxyhydroxides. The possibility to control the reaction kinetics through the nature of the surface stabilizing shell (polymer vs. FeO nanolayer) is discussed as an important practical aspect. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. Revegetation of a uranium mine dump by using fertilizer treated sessile oaks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lange, Christian A; Böcker, Lutz; Katzur, Joachim

    2011-01-01

    The rehabilitation of contaminated sites and the establishment of suitable trees for revegetation purposes is often problematic due to the mostly suboptimal nutrient supply and the poor humus reservoir. For these reasons hydrogels (Stockosorb) and novel humus substitutes (NOVIHUM), serving as long lasting fertilizer (LLF), were recently tested successfully. At the beginning of this multiyear study, those LLFs were administered to the root zone of young sessile oaks (Quercus petraea (Mattuschka) Liebl.), growing in test trials on a uranium mine dump in Schlema (Germany). To quantify the effect of LLFs on plant vitality, chlorophyll a fluorescence measurements and JIP test analyses were used. The results revealed up to 49% higher average photosynthetic vitality (PI(ABS)) of the LLF treated plants compared to controls. Particularly in the first test year, the efficiency of photosynthetic electron transport was strongly increased. This stimulation of photosynthetic activity was supported by direct measurements showing up to 129% increased diameter growth of the treated plants after a four year experimental period. Furthermore an increase of the maximum water holding capacity of the dump soil was attained by using LLFs. Overall, the findings reported here represent a feasible, ecologically justifiable reforestation method with a low environmental hazard potential.

  4. Radon dispersion modeling and dose assessment for uranium mine ventilation shaft exhausts under neutral atmospheric stability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Dong; Wang, Hanqing; Kearfott, Kimberlee J; Liu, Zehua; Mo, Shunquan

    2014-03-01

    In the present study, the roles of atmospheric wind profiles in the neutral atmosphere and surface roughness parameters in a complex terrain were examined to determine their impacts on radon ((222)Rn) dispersion from an actual uranium mine ventilation shaft. Simulations were completed on (222)Rn dispersion extending from the shaft to a vulnerable distance, near the location of an occupied farmhouse. The eight dispersion scenarios for the ventilation shaft source included four downwind velocities (0.5, 1.0, 2.0 and 4.0 m s(-1)) and two underlying surface roughness characteristics (0.1 m and 1.0 m). (222)Rn distributions and elevated pollution regions were identified. Effective dose estimation methods involving a historical weighting of wind speeds in the direction of interest coupled to the complex dispersion model were proposed. Using this approach, the radiation effects on the residents assumed to be outside at the location of the farm house 250 m downwind from the ventilation shaft outlet were computed. The maximum effective dose rate calculated for the residents at the outside of the farm house was 2.2 mSv y(-1), which is less than the low limit action level of 3-10 mSv y(-1) recommended by the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) occupational exposure action level for radon.

  5. A time-series phytoremediation experiment with sunflowers (Helianthus annuus on a former uranium mining site

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kötschau A.

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available On a test field situated at a former uranium mining site near Ronneburg (Thuringia, Germany a small scale time-series field experiment with sunflowers (Helianthus annuus was carried out. This area ghas elevated contents for the heavy metals Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Ni, Zn including the radionuclides U and Th. Over a time period of 24 weeks the sunflowers were cultivated on homogenized soil substrate and regularly harvested. The aim was to find the ideal moment to harvest the sunflowers, being defined as having the best balance between the extraction of the contaminants and a high biomass produced. The contents of the elements were determined in soil, roots and above-ground plant parts. The contents in the above-ground plant showed no clear increasing or decreasing trend over time, so they were not the appropriate values to determine the best moment to harvest. Instead the total extracted masses (content in μg/g x biomass in g of the contaminants in the above-ground plant parts were calculated. According to this the best moment to harvest the sunflower plants was reached after 24 weeks of vegetation, because the highest extracted masses for all contaminants were calculated to this time. Additionally the biomass, which could be used e.g. for bio-fuel production, was highest at this time.

  6. Phytoremedial assessment of flora tolerant to heavy metals in the contaminated soils of an abandoned Pb mine in Central Portugal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pratas, João; Favas, Paulo J C; D'Souza, Rohan; Varun, Mayank; Paul, Manoj S

    2013-02-01

    Significant accumulation of heavy metals in soils and flora exists around the abandoned Barbadalhos Pb mine in Central Portugal. Soil and plant samples [49 species] were collected from two line transects, LT 1 and LT 2, in the mineralized and non-mineralized area, respectively to gain a comprehensive picture of heavy metals in soils and flora to assess its potential for phytoremediation. Phytosociological inventories of the vegetation were made using the Braun-Blanquet cover-abundance scale. Metal concentrations in soil ranged from (in mg kg(-1)): 98-9330 [Pb], 110-517 [Zn], 7.1-50 [Co], 69-123 [Cr], 31-193 [Cu], 33400-98500 [Fe], 7.7-51 [Ni], 0.95-13 [Ag], 2.8-208 [As], and 71-2220 [Mn] along LT 1; and 24-93 [Pb], 30-162 [Zn], 3.7-34 [Co], 61-196 [Cr], 21-46 [Cu], 24100-59400 [Fe], 17-87 [Ni], 0.71-1.9 [Ag], 4.3-12 [As], and 44-1800 [Mn] along LT 2. Plant metal content ranged from (in mg kg(-1)): 1.11-548 [Pb], 7.06-1020 [Zn], 0.08-2.09 [Co], 0.09-2.03 [Cr], 2.63-38.5 [Cu], 10.4-4450 [Fe], 0.38-8.9 [Ni], and 0.03-1.9 [Ag] along LT 1; and 0.94-11.58 [Pb], 2.83-96.5 [Zn], 0.12-1.44 [Co], 0.21-1.49 [Cr], 1.61-22.7 [Cu], 4.6-2050 [Fe], 0.51-4.81 [Ni], and 0.02-0.31 [Ag] along LT 2. Plants with highest uptake of metals were: Cistus salvifolius (548 mg Pb kg(-1)), Digitalis purpurea (1017 mg Zn kg(-1) and 4450 mg Fe kg(-1)). Mentha suavolens and Ruscus ulmifolius were seen to hyperaccumulate Ag (1.9 and 1 mg Ag kg(-1), respectively). More metals and higher concentrations were traced in plants from LT 1, especially for Pb and Zn. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Achievements in uranium mining technique of China and its development countermeasures%我国铀矿开采技术成就与发展对策

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    施祖远

    2011-01-01

    从原地浸出开采、原地爆破浸出开采、无轨开采、“三下”开采、露天开采和铀矿辐射防护等方面,总结了我国50年来铀矿开采取得的技术成就.针对存在的问题,从加大铀资源勘查力度、提升国内天然铀产能、提高采矿技术装备水平、进一步做好辐射防护、大力推进绿色矿山建设和安全标准化建设等方面,提出了一些建议.%Achievements in uranium mining technique of China for fifty years are summarized from aspects of in-situ leaching, stope leaching, trackless mining, mining under buildings, water-bodies and railways, open-cut mining,and radiation protection of uranium mines. For the existing problems,some suggestions are put forward from strengthening the exploration of uranium resources,raising production capacity of uranium,improving technology and equipment level of mining, devoting great efforts to boost the constructions of "green mine" and safety standardization.

  9. Uptake of radionuclides by a common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.) grown in the vicinity of the former uranium mine at Zirovski vrh

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cerne, Marko, E-mail: marko.cerne@ijs.s [Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Smodis, Borut, E-mail: borut.smodis@ijs.s [Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia); Strok, Marko, E-mail: marko.strok@ijs.s [Jozef Stefan Institute, Jamova cesta 39, SI-1000 Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    2011-04-15

    From uranium mining areas, in particular, the radionuclides are usually discharged to the environment during the mining and milling process. At the former uranium mine Zirovski vrh, Slovenia, mine waste and mill tailings were deposited at the Jazbec site and the Borst site, respectively. Plants grown in soils contaminated with the seepage waters from tailings may represent radiological concern if radionuclides from the uranium decay chain are transferred into the food chain. Uranium is usually accumulated in the roots and translocated to the shoots in limited amounts. Uranium plant accumulators are usually plants from Brassicaceae and Poaceae families. A common reed (Phragmites australis (Cav.) Trin. ex Steud.), a tall perennial grass, growing in a wetland habitats, accumulates metals in the above-ground parts. It may be used for phytoremediation of uranium-contaminated soils, because of high biomass production and high metal-accumulation potential. Preliminary results of radionuclide contents measured in such plants, growing on the deposit tailings are presented. A common reed, that was grown on the Borst tailings pile accumulated 8.6 {+-} 8 mBq/g dry weight (d.w.) and 2.4 {+-} 2 mBq/g dry weight (d.w.) of {sup 238}U in leaves and stems, respectively. In the paper, activity concentrations of other nuclides, i.e. {sup 226}Ra, {sup 210}Pb and {sup 40}K are also shown and discussed.

  10. The dendroanalysis of oak trees as a method of biomonitoring past and recent contamination in an area influenced by uranium mining.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Märten, Arno; Berger, Dietrich; Köhler, Mirko; Merten, Dirk

    2015-12-01

    We reconstructed the contamination history of an area influenced by 40 years of uranium mining and subsequent remediation actions using dendroanalysis (i.e., the determination of the elemental content of tree rings). The uranium content in the tree rings of four individual oak trees (Quercus sp.) was determined by laser ablation with inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS). This technique allows the investigation of trace metals in solid samples with a spatial resolution of 250 μm and a detection limit below 0.01 μg/g for uranium. The investigations show that in three of the four oaks sampled, there were temporally similar uranium concentrations. These were approximately 2 orders of magnitude higher (0.15 to 0.4 μg/g) than those from before the period of active mining (concentrations below 0.01 μg/g). After the mining was terminated and the area was restored, the uranium contents in the wood decreased by approximately 1 order of magnitude. The similar radial uranium distribution patterns of the three trees were confirmed by correlation analysis. In combination with the results of soil analyses, it was determined that there was a heterogeneous contamination in the forest investigated. This could be confirmed by pre-remediation soil uranium contents from literature. The uranium contents in the tree rings of the oaks investigated reflect the contamination history of the study area. This study demonstrates that the dendrochemical analysis of oak tree rings is a suitable technique for investigating past and recent uranium contamination in mining areas.

  11. Immunologic assessment of patients with pulmonary metaplasia and neoplasia. [Effects of smoking and uranium mining on immunity

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Gross, R.L.; Saccomanno, G.; Smith, D.M.; Saunders, R.; Thomas, R.G.

    1979-01-01

    Immune profiles have been obtained on 206 individuals including 57 controls, 50 lung cancer patients, and 99 uranium miners with well-defined sputum cytologies ranging from normal to carcinoma in situ. Little effect of smoking, uranium mining or a combination of mining plus smoking on immune function was observed if sputum cytology was normal. In heavy smokers there was a suggestion that total T cells are increased while T cell function is slightly depressed. Immunologic abnormalities were noted in the moderate atypia group where 40% had one or more abnormal immunologic parameters. Immunologic abnormalities were detected in 68 to 70 patients with marked atypia, carcinoma in situ, or invasive carcinoma. Further sequential study of the uranium miner population is necessary to define more precisely the predictive value of immunologic testing, and the role of early identification of high risk individuals in the early institution of definitive therapy, such as surgery or immunotherapy. Long-term prospective analysis of this population may also provide the answer to the question of whether alterations in immune function precede, or result from the appearance of cells committed to the development of neoplasia.

  12. Forage and rangeland plants from uranium mine soils: long-term hazard to herbivores and livestock?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gramss, Gerhard; Voigt, Klaus-Dieter

    2014-06-01

    Metalliferous uranium mine overburden soils integrated into arable land or stabilized by perennial rangeland plants evoke concern about the quality of crops and the exposure of grazing and thereby soil-ingesting (wildlife) herbivores to heavy metals (HM) and radionuclides. In a 2-year trial, thirteen annual and perennial forage and rangeland plants were thus potted on, or taken from, cultivated field soil of a metalliferous hot spot near Ronneburg (Germany). The content of soil and shoot tissues in 20 minerals was determined by ICP-MS to estimate HM (and uranium) toxicities to grazing animals and the plants themselves, and to calculate the long-term persistence of the metal toxicants (soil clean-up times) from the annual uptake rates of the plants. On Ronneburg soil elevated in As, Cd, Cu, Mn, Pb, U, and Zn, the shoot mineral content of all test plants remained preferentially in the range of "normal plant concentrations" but reached up to the fourfold to sixfold in Mn, Ni, and Zn, the 1.45- to 21.5-fold of the forage legislative limit in Cd, and the 10- to 180-fold of common herb concentrations in U. Shoot and the calculated root concentrations in Cd, Cu, Ni, and Zn accounted for phytotoxic effects at least to grasses and cereals. Based on WHO PTWI values for the tolerable weekly human Cd and Pb intake, the expanded Cd and Pb limits for forage, and reported rates of hay, roots, and adhering-soil ingestion, the tolerable daily intake rates of 0.65/11.6 mg in Cd/Pb by a 65 kg herbivore would be surpassed by the 11- to 27/0.7- to 4.7-fold across the year, with drastic consequences for winter-grazing and thereby high rates of roots and soil-ingesting animals. The daily intake of 5.3-31.5 mg of the alpha radiation emitter, U, may be less disastrous to short-lived herbivores. The annual phytoextraction rates of critical HM by the tested excluder crops indicate that hundreds to thousands of years are necessary to halve the HM and (long-lived) radionuclide load of

  13. Preliminary investigation of the elemental variation and diagenesis of a tabular uranium deposit, La Sal Mine, San Juan County, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brooks, Robert A.; Campbell, John A.

    1976-01-01

    Ore in the La Sal mine, San Juan County, Utah, occurs as a typical tabular-type uranium deposit of the-Colorado Plateau. Uranium-vanadium occurs in the Salt Wash Member of the Jurassic Morrison Formation. Chemical and petrographic analyses were used to determine elemental variation and diagenetic aspects across the orebody. Vanadium is concentrated in the dark clay matrix, which constitutes visible ore. Uranium content is greater above the vanadium zone. Calcium, carbonate carbon, and lead show greater than fifty-fold increase across the ore zone, whereas copper and organic carbon show only a several-fold increase. Large molybdenum concentrations are present in and above the tabular layer, and large selenium concentrations occur below the uranium zone within the richest vanadium zone. Iron is enriched in the vanadium horizon. Chromium is depleted from above the ore and strongly enriched below. Elements that vary directly with the vanadium content include magnesium, iron, selenium, zirconium, strontium, titanium, lead, boron, yttrium, and scandium. The diagenetic sequence is as follows: (1) formation of secondary quartz overgrowths as cement; (2) infilling and lining of remaining pores with amber opaline material; (3) formation of vanadium-rich clay matrix, which has replaced overgrowths as well as quartz grains; (4) replacement of overgrowths and detrital grains by calcite; (5) infilling of pores with barite and the introduction of pyrite and marcasite.

  14. Development and prospect of mining and milling technology in Ganzhou uranium mine%金瑞铀业公司采冶技术发展及前景分析

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    刘继忠

    2011-01-01

    According to the characteristics and occurrence of natural uranium resources, the development and application of mining and milling technology in Ganzhou uranium mine are summarized, with focus on dry filling mining, short-hole shrinkage method, stope leaching, and heap leaching. Development ideas of mining and milling technology suitable for characteristics of Ganzhou uranium resources are presented.%根据天然铀资源特点、赋存状况,分析总结金瑞铀业公司生产中采冶技术的发展提高过程,主要对目前生产中采用的水平干式充填法、浅孔留矿法、原地爆破浸出采铀及铀矿堆浸技术进行总结评价,论述了该公司采冶技术发展的思路.

  15. Rapid adaptation of microalgae to bodies of water with extreme pollution from uranium mining: An explanation of how mesophilic organisms can rapidly colonise extremely toxic environments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    García-Balboa, C.; Baselga-Cervera, B. [Genetica, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain); García-Sanchez, A.; Igual, J.M. [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiología de Salamanca (IRNASA-CSIC), PO Box 257, 37071 Salamanca (Spain); Lopez-Rodas, V. [Genetica, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain); Costas, E., E-mail: ecostas@vet.ucm.es [Genetica, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, 28040 Madrid (Spain)

    2013-11-15

    Highlights: •Some microalgae species survive to extreme environments in ponds of residual waters from uranium mining. •Adaptation of microalgae to U arose very fast. •Spontaneous mutations that confer large adaptive value were able to produce the adaptation to residual waters of U mining. •Adaptation to more extreme waters of U mining is only possible after the recombination subsequent to sexual mating. •Resistant microalgae bio-adsorbs uranium to the cell wall and internalises uranium inside the cytoplasm. -- Abstract: Extreme environments may support communities of microalgae living at the limits of their tolerance. It is usually assumed that these extreme environments are inhabited by extremophile species. However, global anthropogenic environmental changes are generating new extreme environments, such as mining-effluent pools of residual waters from uranium mining with high U levels, acidity and radioactivity in Salamanca (Spain). Certain microalgal species have rapidly adapted to these extreme waters (uranium mining in this area began in 1960). Experiments have demonstrated that physiological acclimatisation would be unable to achieve adaptation. In contrast, rapid genetic adaptation was observed in waters ostensibly lethal to microalgae by means of rare spontaneous mutations that occurred prior to the exposure to effluent waters from uranium mining. However, adaptation to the most extreme conditions was only possible after recombination through sexual mating because adaptation requires more than one mutation. Microalgae living in extreme environments could be the descendants of pre-selective mutants that confer significant adaptive value to extreme contamination. These “lucky mutants” could allow for the evolutionary rescue of populations faced with rapid environmental change.

  16. Uranium industry annual 1996

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1997-04-01

    The Uranium Industry Annual 1996 (UIA 1996) provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry`s activities relating to uranium raw materials and uranium marketing. The UIA 1996 is prepared for use by the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and nuclear electric utility industries, and the public. Data on uranium raw materials activities for 1987 through 1996 including exploration activities and expenditures, EIA-estimated reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities for 1994 through 2006, including purchases of uranium and enrichment services, enrichment feed deliveries, uranium fuel assemblies, filled and unfilled market requirements, uranium imports and exports, and uranium inventories are shown in Chapter 2. A feature article, The Role of Thorium in Nuclear Energy, is included. 24 figs., 56 tabs.

  17. 3D numerical analyses for the quantitative risk assessment of subsidence and water flood due to the partial collapse of an abandoned gypsum mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Castellanza, R.; Orlandi, G. M.; di Prisco, C.; Frigerio, G.; Flessati, L.; Fernandez Merodo, J. A.; Agliardi, F.; Grisi, S.; Crosta, G. B.

    2015-09-01

    After the abandonment occurred in the '70s, the mining system (rooms and pillars) located in S. Lazzaro di Savena (BO, Italy), grown on three levels with the method rooms and pillars, has been progressively more and more affected by degradation processes due to water infiltration. The mine is located underneath a residential area causing significant concern to the local municipality. On the basis of in situ surveys, laboratory and in situ geomechanical tests, some critical scenarios were adopted in the analyses to simulate the progressive collapse of pillars and of roofs in the most critical sectors of the mine. A first set of numerical analyses using 3D geotechnical FEM codes were performed to predict the extension of the subsidence area and its interaction with buildings. Secondly 3D CFD analyses were used to evaluated the amount of water that could be eventually ejected outside the mine and eventually flooding the downstream village. The predicted extension of the subsidence area together with the predicted amount of the ejected water have been used to design possible remedial measurements.

  18. Development of risk maps to minimize uranium exposures in the Navajo Churchrock mining district

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rock Tommy

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background Decades of improper disposal of uranium-mining wastes on the Navajo Nation has resulted in adverse human and ecological health impacts as well as socio-cultural problems. As the Navajo people become increasingly aware of the contamination problems, there is a need to develop a risk-communication strategy to properly inform tribal members of the extent and severity of the health risks. To be most effective, this strategy needs to blend accepted risk-communication techniques with Navajo perspectives such that the strategy can be used at the community level to inform culturally- and toxicologically-relevant decisions about land and water use as well as mine-waste remediation. Objective The objective of this study was to develop GIS-based thematic maps as communication tools to clearly identify high risk exposure areas and offer alternatives to minimize public and ecological health impacts. Methods Thematic maps were produced that incorporated data derived from environmental sampling and public health surveys. The maps show the location and quality of unregulated water resources and identify regulated water sources that could be used as alternatives. In addition, the maps show the location of contaminated soil and sediment areas in which disturbance of surface deposits should be avoided. Preliminary feedback was collected from an informal Navajo working group to assess the clarity and efficacy of this proposed communication method. Results The working group found the maps to be both clear and effective, and made suggestions for improvements, such as the addition of more map features. The working group predicted that once the maps are presented to the public, water hauling and soil use behaviors will change, and dialogue with chapter officials will be initiated to accelerate further risk reduction efforts. Implications Because risk communication is complicated by language barriers, lack of infrastructure, and historical mistrust

  19. Assessment of stream bottom sediment quality in the vicinity of the Caldas uranium mine

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oliveira, Priscila E.S. de, E-mail: pge_13@hotmail.com [Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto (ProAmb/UFOP), Ouro Preto, MG (Brazil). Programa de Pos-Graduacao em Engenharia Ambiental; Filho, Carlos A.C.; Moreira, Rubens M.; Ramos, Maria E.A.F.; Dutra, Pedro H.; Ferreira, Vinicius V.M., E-mail: cacf@cdtn.br [Centro de Desenvolvimento da Tecnologia Nuclear (CDTN/CNEN-MG), Belo Horizonte (Brazil); Silva, Nivaldo C., E-mail: ncsilva@cnen.gov.br [Comissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear (LAPOC/CNEN-MG), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil). Laboratorio de Pocos de Caldas

    2015-07-01

    An evaluation of the quality of stream bottom sediments was performed in the surroundings of the Caldas Uranium Mining and Milling Facilities (UMMF), sited on Pocos de Caldas Plateau (southeastern Brazil), to verify whether the sediments in the water bodies downstream the plant, were impacted by effluents from a large waste rock pile, named Waste Rock Pile 4 (WRP4), and from the Tailings Dam (TD). In order to perform the research, twelve sampling stations were established in the watersheds around Caldas UMMF: the Soberbo creek, the Consulta brook, and the Taquari river. One of the stations was located inside the Bacia Nestor Figueiredo, a retention pond that receives effluents from WRP4, and another in a settling tank (D2) for radium, which receives the effluents from TD. A monitoring scheme has been developed, comprising four sampling campaigns in 2010 and 2011, and the samples were analyzed for selected metals-metalloids and radionuclides, using Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS), Inductively Coupled Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy (ICP-AES), Ultraviolet-Visible (UV-Vis) Spectroscopy and Gamma-ray Spectrometry. The results suggest that effluents discharged from retention ponds to watercourses, causing an increase in the concentration of As, B, Ba, Cr, Mo, Mn, Pb, Zn, {sup 238}U, {sup 232}Th, {sup 226}Ra, {sup 228}Ra and {sup 210}Pb in sediments. Detailed investigation in sub-superficial layers is recommended at these locations to evaluate the need of implementing mitigation actions such as lining and constructing hydraulic barriers downstream the ponds. Actually, the UTM/Caldas operator is already implementing control measures. (author)

  20. A field study on phytoremediation of a lead-contaminated soil by Eucalyptus globulus in an abandoned mine site - Alagoa, Portugal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerardo, R.; Kikuchi, R.

    2009-04-01

    Current engineering-based technologies used to clean up soils are very costly and need lots of work. Phytoremediation is the use of plants to remove pollutants (i.e. heavy metals) from the environment or render them harmless. In the phytoremediation process several plant species can be used to reduce the concentrations of heavy metals in contaminated soils to environmentally acceptable levels. The idea of using rare plants which hyperaccumulate metals to selectively remove and recycle excessive soil metals has increasingly been examined as a potential practical and more cost effective technology than soil replacement, solidification, or washing strategies presently used. However, most hyperaccumulator species are not suitable for phytoremediation application in the field due to their small biomass and slow growth. Cultivation of woody plants in contaminated soils has showed potential for use in phytoremediation but also it provides aesthetic improvement in the field. In this study we studied the possibility of using the approach of phytoremediation of lead by Eucalyptus globulus in a lead-contaminated soil from an abandoned mine. Although Eucalytpus globulus prefer good ecological conditions in humid temperate climates, there are few studies that have showed their great potential in contaminated areas and important biomonitors of environmental quality. A test field was set up in an abandoned mine site (Alagoa, Portugal) in order to investigate the feasibility of phytoremediation of lead by Eucalyptus globulus. The field soil was characterized as follows: humus - 2.56-7.08%, pH in the soil water - 4.50-5.10, silte - 18-15% and total Pb - 67-239 mg/kg. The soils in some areas exceed the critical value (150 mg/kg) according with Portuguese law. Eucalytus globulus growing on the abandoned mine, contaminated with lead was studied. The results of shoots sample analysis (n = 15) show the total Pb levels of 0.170-0.093 mg/kg in the stem and 2.94-5.14 mg/kg in the leaves

  1. Geochemistry and hydrology of perched groundwater springs: assessing elevated uranium concentrations at Pigeon Spring relative to nearby Pigeon Mine, Arizona (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas; Tillman, Fred; Naftz, David L.; Bills, Donald; Walton-Day, Katie; Gallegos, Tanya J.

    2017-01-01

    The processes that affect water chemistry as the water flows from recharge areas through breccia-pipe uranium deposits in the Grand Canyon region of the southwestern United States are not well understood. Pigeon Spring had elevated uranium in 1982 (44 μg/L), compared to other perched springs (2.7–18 μg/L), prior to mining operations at the nearby Pigeon Mine. Perched groundwater springs in an area around the Pigeon Mine were sampled between 2009 and 2015 and compared with material from the Pigeon Mine to better understand the geochemistry and hydrology of the area. Two general groups of perched groundwater springs were identified from this study; one group is characterized by calcium sulfate type water, low uranium activity ratio 234U/238U (UAR) values, and a mixture of water with some component of modern water, and the other group by calcium-magnesium sulfate type water, higher UAR values, and radiocarbon ages indicating recharge on the order of several thousand years ago. Multivariate statistical principal components analysis of Pigeon Mine and spring samples indicate Cu, Pb, As, Mn, and Cd concentrations distinguished mining-related leachates from perched groundwater springs. The groundwater potentiometric surface indicates that perched groundwater at Pigeon Mine would likely flow toward the northwest away from Pigeon Spring. The geochemical analysis of the water, sediment and rock samples collected from the Snake Gulch area indicate that the elevated uranium at Pigeon Spring is likely related to a natural source of uranium upgradient from the spring and not likely related to the Pigeon Mine.

  2. Geochemistry and hydrology of perched groundwater springs: assessing elevated uranium concentrations at Pigeon Spring relative to nearby Pigeon Mine, Arizona (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas V.; Tillman, Fred D.; Naftz, David L.; Bills, Donald J.; Walton-Day, Katie; Gallegos, Tanya J.

    2017-03-01

    The processes that affect water chemistry as the water flows from recharge areas through breccia-pipe uranium deposits in the Grand Canyon region of the southwestern United States are not well understood. Pigeon Spring had elevated uranium in 1982 (44 μg/L), compared to other perched springs (2.7-18 μg/L), prior to mining operations at the nearby Pigeon Mine. Perched groundwater springs in an area around the Pigeon Mine were sampled between 2009 and 2015 and compared with material from the Pigeon Mine to better understand the geochemistry and hydrology of the area. Two general groups of perched groundwater springs were identified from this study; one group is characterized by calcium sulfate type water, low uranium activity ratio 234U/238U (UAR) values, and a mixture of water with some component of modern water, and the other group by calcium-magnesium sulfate type water, higher UAR values, and radiocarbon ages indicating recharge on the order of several thousand years ago. Multivariate statistical principal components analysis of Pigeon Mine and spring samples indicate Cu, Pb, As, Mn, and Cd concentrations distinguished mining-related leachates from perched groundwater springs. The groundwater potentiometric surface indicates that perched groundwater at Pigeon Mine would likely flow toward the northwest away from Pigeon Spring. The geochemical analysis of the water, sediment and rock samples collected from the Snake Gulch area indicate that the elevated uranium at Pigeon Spring is likely related to a natural source of uranium upgradient from the spring and not likely related to the Pigeon Mine.

  3. Geochemistry and hydrology of perched groundwater springs: assessing elevated uranium concentrations at Pigeon Spring relative to nearby Pigeon Mine, Arizona (USA)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beisner, Kimberly R.; Paretti, Nicholas V.; Tillman, Fred D.; Naftz, David L.; Bills, Donald J.; Walton-Day, Katie; Gallegos, Tanya J.

    2016-11-01

    The processes that affect water chemistry as the water flows from recharge areas through breccia-pipe uranium deposits in the Grand Canyon region of the southwestern United States are not well understood. Pigeon Spring had elevated uranium in 1982 (44 μg/L), compared to other perched springs (2.7-18 μg/L), prior to mining operations at the nearby Pigeon Mine. Perched groundwater springs in an area around the Pigeon Mine were sampled between 2009 and 2015 and compared with material from the Pigeon Mine to better understand the geochemistry and hydrology of the area. Two general groups of perched groundwater springs were identified from this study; one group is characterized by calcium sulfate type water, low uranium activity ratio 234U/238U (UAR) values, and a mixture of water with some component of modern water, and the other group by calcium-magnesium sulfate type water, higher UAR values, and radiocarbon ages indicating recharge on the order of several thousand years ago. Multivariate statistical principal components analysis of Pigeon Mine and spring samples indicate Cu, Pb, As, Mn, and Cd concentrations distinguished mining-related leachates from perched groundwater springs. The groundwater potentiometric surface indicates that perched groundwater at Pigeon Mine would likely flow toward the northwest away from Pigeon Spring. The geochemical analysis of the water, sediment and rock samples collected from the Snake Gulch area indicate that the elevated uranium at Pigeon Spring is likely related to a natural source of uranium upgradient from the spring and not likely related to the Pigeon Mine.

  4. Electrical resistivity and Seismic Refraction Tomography to Detect Heavy Metals Pathways in the Tailings of the Abandoned Mine of Zeïda, Morocco

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dekayir, A.; Lachhab, A.; Rouai, M.; Benyassine, E. M.; Boujamaoui, M.; Parisot, J. C.

    2015-12-01

    The abandoned mine Zeïda (Pb) located at the center of the High Moulouya watershed is believed to have produced a total of 640,000 tons of concentrated Pb within 14 years of activities (1972-1985). Today, the mine has been abandoned with one of the largest tailings pits in Morocco without supervision and concern of environmental impacts. Several studies have shown the existence of high levels of heavy metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Cr, Co, Cd and Ni) in samples (water and soil) taken from and around the tailings (Laghlimi et al, 2014, Benyassine et al, 2013, Iavarzzo, 2012, Makhoukh et al, 2011, Baghdad et al, 2008, Bouabdli et al, 2005). In this study, several electrical and seismic tomography profiles were taken to explore the thickness of the tailings and the potential pathways of contaminants to the aquifer. Because heavy metals were found in the surrounding areas of the tailings, there are concerns about their seepage into the groundwater aquifer. A total of 6 electric resistivity profiles together with another 16 seismic refraction profiles were completed over the 3 major mining waste piles to study this contamination. Analysis of both electric and seismic tomography profiles showed: 1) the thickness of tailings range from few cm to above 20m depending on where the survey was performed, 2) the contamination pathways of heavy metal pollutants occur predominantly right above the thickest areas of sandstone formation, and 3) water ponds at the surface of the tailing piles forms directly above the thickest part of the sandstone layer

  5. Evaluation of radionuclides in groundwater around proposed uranium mining sites in Bagjata and Banduhurang, Jharkhand (India); Evaluation des radionucleides dans les eaux souterraines autour de sites proposes de mines d'uranium a Bagjata et Banduhurang, Jharkhand (Inde)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Giri, S.; Singh, G. [Dept. of Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad - 826004 (India); Jha, V.N. [Environmental Assessment Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai - 400085 (India)

    2011-01-15

    Radionuclides find their way into the water resources at sites in the vicinity of nuclear facilities involved in mining, milling, ore separation, purification, etc. The presented study delineates the distribution of radionuclides (Ra and U(nat)) in groundwaters existing in the vicinity of two proposed uranium mine sites and evaluates their ingestion dose through the intake of drinking water. The study reveals that the U(nat) concentration in groundwater varied from <0.5 to 11.2 {mu}g.l{sup -1} in the Bagjata mining area and from <0.5 to 27.5 {mu}g.l{sup -1} in the Banduhurang mining area, while {sup 226}Ra was found in the range of <3.5 to 206 mBq.l{sup -1} and <3.5 to 82 mBq.l{sup -1}, respectively, for both areas. Seasonal variation and distribution of radionuclides in the study area did not show any definite pattern. A strong positive correlation of U(nat) in groundwater with pH and negative correlation of {sup 226}Ra with pH is shown in the study. The ingestion dose to the public through intake of drinking water is estimated as 9.43 {mu}Sv.y{sup -1} for Bagjata and 6.28 {mu}Sv.y{sup -1} for Banduhurang, which is much lower than the reference limit (100 {mu}Sv.y{sup -1}) given by the WHO. (authors)

  6. How Stakeholder Engagement is Evolving at the Caldas Uranium Mining Site in Minas Gerais, Brazil - 13223

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Booth, Peter M. [WSP Environment and Energy, Manchester (United Kingdom); Da Silva, Nivaldo Carlos [CNEN, Pocos de Caldas (Brazil); Pereira de Oliveira, Alexandre; Cioffi Batagini, Regina Maria [CMPC, Pocos de Caldas (Brazil); Rangel, Heraldo Junior [INB, Pocos de Caldas (Brazil); Da Conceicao Estrella Abad, Maria [IBAMA, Brasilia (Brazil)

    2013-07-01

    The Caldas site is located in the Federal State of Minas Gerais in Brazil about 25 km from the city of Pocos de Caldas. While the city itself has 150,000 inhabitants there is a total population of around 0.5 million people living in an area that could potentially be influenced by the site. Uranium ore was mined and milled here between the years of 1982 and 1995, with ore extraction taking place from an open pit. Of the material removed, aside from that extracted for uranium, some was used on-site for road construction and building embankments while the remainder was disposed of onto two major rock piles. There are a number of potential historical and current environmental impacts to groundwater as a consequence of discharges into streams which then flow off site. The site is now undergoing a phase of decommissioning which includes the formulation and substantiation of a site remediation strategy. As part of a wider International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Technical Cooperation Project aimed at providing practical guidance for implementing a decommissioning and remediation plan at the site, WSP E and E were invited to lead a mission in order to provide advice on the importance and merits of stakeholder engagement and how to ultimately build an engagement program. In November 2011, WSP E and E met with personnel from the site operators, the Brazilian regulatory bodies and representatives from the local stakeholder community and explained the principles of stakeholder engagement and how the process had internationally evolved principally from a decide-announce-defend approach to a more formal two way mechanism of engagement. Historically there had been insufficient liaison between the site operator, the nuclear regulator and the environmental regulator. All parties had recognized that greater interaction was necessary. There had also been very little engagement with local stakeholders about the various activities on the site and the potential implications of these

  7. A descriptive and quantitative approach regarding erosion and development of landforms on abandoned mine tailings: New insights and environmental implications from SE Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martín Duque, J. F.; Zapico, I.; Oyarzun, R.; López García, J. A.; Cubas, P.

    2015-06-01

    The San Cristóbal-Perules mining site in Mazarrón in southeast Spain was subjected to about a hundred years of intense mining activity for lead, silver, and zinc. Metallurgical operations (smelting, calcination, gravity concentration) carried out during the late nineteenth century-early twentieth century induced significant land transformation, and the most conspicuous wastes of this period consist of a chaotic piling of 'old' tailing deposits. Later on, during the mid-twentieth century, 'modern' tailings resulting from froth flotation were accumulated filling small valleys; these latter valley-fill tailings rose sequentially according to the upstream construction method, progressively raising the level of the dam during the process. Once abandoned, both types of tailing deposits underwent severe erosion, resulting in a mosaic of erosional and sedimentary landforms developed upon (e.g., gully formation) and within them (e.g., piping). We made an inventory and classification of these landforms. Our study shows the geomorphic work to reestablish a new steady state between the tailings deposits and the local erosive conditions. This scenario implies several hazards related to the extremely high heavy metal contents of these tailings and the geomorphic instability of the deposits. We also quantified the tailings tonnage and erosion that occurred at one of the tailings dams (El Roble). As shown by an oblique aerial photograph taken in 1968, this dam had a terraced topography, whereas in 2013 this morphology had evolved into a badland-type relief with deep parallel gullies. By recognizing and surveying specific, remnant points along the benches and outslopes of the older terraced topography, we were able to build up a first digital elevation model (DEM1) reflecting the initial topography. A second DEM, this time showing the present topography, allowed quantification of erosion via Material Loss = DEM1 - DEM2. This yields an erosion rate (1968-2009) of 151.8 Mg (MT) ha

  8. Dispersion of Metals from Abandoned Mines and their Effect on Biota in the Methow River, Okanogan County, Washington: Final Report 2002-2003.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peplow, Dan; Edmonds, Robert

    2003-05-15

    A study of mine-waste contamination effects on Methow River habitat on the eastern slopes of the north Cascade Mountains in Washington state, U.S.A., revealed impacts at ecosystem, community, population, individual, tissue, and cellular levels. Ore deposits in the area were mined for gold, silver, copper and zinc until the early 1950's, but the mines are now inactive. An above-and-below-mine approach was used to compare potentially impacted to control sites. The concentrations of eleven trace elements (i.e., Al, As, B, Ba, Cd, Cr, Cu, Mn, Pb, Se, and Zn) in Methow River sediments downstream from the abandoned mine sites were higher than background levels. Exposed trout and caddisfly larvae in the Methow River showed reduced growth compared to controls. Samples of liver from juvenile trout and small intestine from exposed caddisfly larvae were examined for evidence of metal accumulation, cytopathological change, and chemical toxicity. Morphological changes that are characteristic of nuclear apoptosis were observed in caddisfly small intestine columnar epithelial and trout liver nuclei where extensive chromatin condensation and margination was observed. Histopathological studies revealed glycogen bodies were present in the cytosol and nuclei, which are indicators of Type IV Glycogen Storage Disease (GSD IV). This suggests food is being converted into glycogen and stored in the liver but the glycogen is not being converted back normally into glucose for distribution to other tissues in the body resulting in poor growth. Examination of trout hepatocytes by transmission electron microscopy revealed the accumulation of electron dense granules in the mitochondrial matrix. Matrix granules contain mixtures of Cd, Cu, Au, Pb, Ni, and Ti. Contaminated sediments caused adverse biological effects at different levels of biological organization, from the cellular to ecosystem-level responses, even where dissolved metal concentrations in the corresponding surface water met

  9. Study on the Exploration and Mining Order of Continental Sedimentary Uranium and Coal Mine in Xinj iang%新疆陆相沉积型铀矿、煤矿的勘查和采矿次序探讨

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    任满船; 王冰; 康勇

    2014-01-01

    Uranium,coal resources reserves are rich in Xinjiang,uranium and coal buried in similar con-ditions,but have not been explored, mined and developed comprehensively due to the long term industrialized administration,which not only waste resources and cause environmental pollution ,but also bring the difficulty for governance.This paper discussed the exploration degree and mining sequence and suggested sharing the exploration data of coal to improve the efficiency of uranium prospecting.As to in situ leaching sandstone type uranium deposit,uranium should mine first and then mine coal.For the drainage and coal type uranium ore, uranium and coal can be mined as co products after reasonable planning so as to increase the comprehensive utilization value of mineral resources.%新疆为我国铀煤资源储藏大省,铀和煤埋藏条件相近。长期分行业管理、勘查和开采,既浪费资源,又造成环境污染,制肘了两个矿种的综合开采和利用。本文从分析铀、煤矿床的特点及空间分布和勘查现状入手,认为铀、煤勘查应共享资料,提高勘查效率;采矿顺序为地浸砂岩型铀矿床:先铀后煤;疏干型和含铀煤型矿床:先煤后铀的采矿顺序,以降低环境污染,提高矿产资源综合利用价值。

  10. Distribution of chemical elements in soils and stream sediments in the area of abandoned Sb-As-Tl Allchar mine, Republic of Macedonia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bačeva, Katerina; Stafilov, Trajče; Šajn, Robert; Tănăselia, Claudiu; Makreski, Petre

    2014-08-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the distribution of some toxic elements in topsoil and subsoil, focusing on the identification of natural and anthropogenic element sources in the small region of rare As-Sb-Tl mineralization outcrop and abandoned mine Allchar known for the highest natural concentration of Tl in soil worldwide. The samples of soil and sediments after total digestion were analyzed by inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectrometry (ICP-AES). Factor analysis (FA) was used to identify and characterize element associations. Six associations of elements were determined by the method of multivariate statistics: Rb-Ta-K-Nb-Ga-Sn-Ba-Bi-Li-Be-(La-Eu)-Hf-Zr-Zn-In-Pd-Ag-Pt-Mg; Tl-As-Sb-Hg; Te-S-Ag-Pt-Al-Sc-(Gd-Lu)-Y; Fe-Cu-V-Ge-Co-In; Pd-Zr-Hf-W-Be and Ni-Mn-Co-Cr-Mg. The purpose of the assessment was to determine the nature and extent of potential contamination as well as to broadly assess possible impacts to human health and the environment. The results from the analysis of the collected samples in the vicinity of the mine revealed that As and Tl elements have the highest median values. Higher median values for Sb are obviously as a result of the past mining activities and as a result of area surface phenomena in the past. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  11. Pilot Study to Evaluate Hydrogen Injection for Stimulating Reduction and Immobilization of Uranium in Groundwater at an ISR Mining Site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clapp, L. W.; Cabezas, J.; Gamboa, Y.; Fernandez, W.

    2011-12-01

    State and federal regulations require that groundwater at in-situ recovery (ISR) uranium mining operations be restored to pre-mining conditions. Reverse osmosis (RO) filtration of several pore volumes of the post-leached groundwater and reinjection of the clean permeate is the most common technology currently used for restoring groundwater at uranium ISR sites. However, this approach does not revert the formation back to its initial reducing conditions, which can potentially impede timely groundwater restoration. In-situ biostimulation of indigenous iron- and sulfate reducing bacteria by injection of organic electron donors (e.g., ethanol, acetate, and lactate) to promote soluble uranium reduction and immobilization has been the subject of previous studies. However, injection of organic substrates has been observed to cause aquifer clogging near the injection point. In addition, U(VI) solubility may be enhanced through complexation with carbonate generated by organic carbon oxidation. An alternative approach that may overcome these problems involves the use of hydrogen as a reductant to promote microbial reduction and immobilization of U(VI) in situ. To test this approach, approximately 100,000 scf of compressed hydrogen gas was injected into a leached unconsolidated sand zone over two months at an ISR mining site. During this time groundwater was recirculated between injection and extraction wells (separated by 130 ft) at a rate of about 40 gpm and bromide was coinjected as a conservative tracer. A well monitoring program has been executed since June 2009 to evaluate the performance of the hydrogen injection. Current results show that U(VI) has been reduced from 4.2 to 0.05 ppm in the area surrounding the injection well and to 2.0 ± 0.3 ppm in the area surrounding the extraction well and two intermediate monitoring wells. Other water quality changes near the injection well include significant decreases in concentrations of Mo, sulfate, Fe, Mn, bicarbonate, Ca

  12. The assessment of human exposure to radionuclides from a uranium mill tailings release and mine dewatering effluent.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruttenber, A J; Kreiss, K; Douglas, R L; Buhl, T E; Millard, J

    1984-07-01

    This study provides an assessment of human exposure to radiation from a river system contaminated by radionuclides of the 238U decay series released through a dam break at a uranium mill tailings pond and by the continuous discharge of dewatering effluent from 2 uranium mines. The in vivo analyses of radionuclides in 6 Navajo Indians who lived near the river indicate no detectable elevations above background concentrations. Dose estimates for inhalation of suspended river sediment indicate a maximum annual 50-yr dose commitment of 204 mrem to the endosteum. Estimates of doses (50-yr dose commitments) from the ingestion of livestock range between 1 mrem (to liver) and 79 mrem (to bone) suggest that the major contribution to human exposure is from mine dewatering effluent that has been continuously released into the river system for many years. Although the estimated exposures do not exceed existing state or federal regulations, their magnitude justifies further measurement of radionuclides in animals and in the natural environment and the consideration of strategies to reduce radiation exposure to humans and animals.

  13. Bio-availability of tungsten in the vicinity of an abandoned mine in the English Lake District and some potential health implications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Bob; Pyatt, F Brian

    2006-11-01

    This research addresses the occurrence, detection and possible fate of tungsten in the vicinity of an abandoned mine in the English Lake District. Aqua regia extraction and subsequent analysis of spoil and vegetation confirmed the presence of tungsten and other heavy metals. Spoil samples examined were last worked almost 100 years ago and the concentrations of copper, zinc, tungsten and arsenic detected demonstrate the environmental persistence of these metals in an area of relatively high rainfall. The bioaccumulation of tungsten by two species of plants is indicated and partitioning within different tissues of Calluna vulgaris is demonstrated. Mechanisms relating to mobility and speciation of the metals present were explored using sequential and single stage extraction systems. Tungsten appears to be relatively immobile when subjected to sequential extraction but increased bioavailability is indicated when single stage extraction using EDTA is employed.

  14. The Legacy of Uranium Development on or Near Indian Reservations and Health Implications Rekindling Public Awareness

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anita Moore-Nall

    2015-02-01

    Full Text Available Uranium occurrence and development has left a legacy of long-lived health effects for many Native Americans and Alaska Natives in the United States. Some Native American communities have been impacted by processing and development while others are living with naturally occurring sources of uranium. The uranium production peak spanned from approximately 1948 to the 1980s. Thousands of mines, mainly on the Colorado Plateau, were developed in the western U.S. during the uranium boom. Many of these mines were abandoned and have not been reclaimed. Native Americans in the Colorado Plateau area including the Navajo, Southern Ute, Ute Mountain, Hopi, Zuni, Laguna, Acoma, and several other Pueblo nations, with their intimate knowledge of the land, often led miners to uranium resources during this exploration boom. As a result of the mining activity many Indian Nations residing near areas of mining or milling have had and continue to have their health compromised. This short review aims to rekindle the public awareness of the plight of Native American communities living with the legacy of uranium procurement, including mining, milling, down winders, nuclear weapon development and long term nuclear waste storage.

  15. Use of diatom assemblages as biomonitor of the impact of treated uranium mining effluent discharge on a stream: case study of the Ritord watershed (Center-West France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herlory, Olivier; Bonzom, Jean-Marc; Gilbin, Rodolphe; Frelon, Sandrine; Fayolle, Stéphanie; Delmas, François; Coste, Michel

    2013-10-01

    The rehabilitation of French former uranium mining sites has not prevented the contamination of the surrounding aquatic ecosystems with metal elements. This study assesses the impact of the discharge of treated uranium mining effluents on periphytic diatom communities to evaluate their potential of bioindication. A 7-month survey was conducted on the Ritord watercourse to measure the environmental conditions of microalgae, the non-taxonomic attributes of periphyton (photosynthesis and biomass) and to determine the specific composition of diatom assemblages grown on artificial substrates. The environmental conditions were altered by the mine waters, that contaminate the watercourse with uranium and with chemicals used in the pit-water treatment plants (BaCl2 and Al2(SO4)3). The biomass and photosynthetic activity of periphyton seemed not to respond to the stress induced by the treated mining effluents whereas the altered environmental conditions clearly impacted the composition of diatom communities. Downstream the discharges, the communities tended to be characterized by indicator species belonging to the genera Fragilaria, Eunotia and Brachysira and were highly similar to assemblages at acid mine drainage sites. The species Eunotia pectinalis var. undulata, Psammothidium rechtensis, Gomphonema lagenula and Pinnularia major were found to be sensitive to uranium effluents whereas Neidium alpinum and several species of Gomphonema tolerated this contamination. The relevance of diatoms as ecological indicator was illustrated through the changes in structure of communities induced by the discharge of uranium mining effluents and creates prospects for development of a bioindicator tool for this kind of impairment of water quality.

  16. Assessment, water-quality trends, and options for remediation of acidic drainage from abandoned coal mines near Huntsville, Missouri, 2003-2004

    Science.gov (United States)

    Christensen, Eric D.

    2005-01-01

    Water from abandoned underground coal mines acidifies receiving streams in the Sugar Creek Basin and Mitchell Mine Basin near Huntsville, Missouri. A 4.35-kilometer (2.7-mile) reach of Sugar Creek has been classified as impaired based on Missouri's Water Quality Standards because of small pH values [iron [416 to 2,320 mg/L (milligrams per liter)], manganese (8.36 to 33.5 mg/L), aluminum (0.870 to 428 mg/L), and sulfate (2,990 to 13,700 mg/L) in acidic mine drainage (AMD) from two mine springs as well as small and diffuse seeps were observed to have an effect on water quality in Sugar Creek. Metal and sulfate loads increased and pH decreased immediately downstream from Sugar Creek's confluence with the Calfee Slope and Huntsville Gob drainages that discharge AMD into Sugar Creek. Similar effects were observed in the Mitchell Mine drainage that receives AMD from a large mine spring. Comparisons of water-quality samples from this study and two previous studies by the U.S. Geological Survey in 1987-1988 and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources in 2000-2002 indicate that AMD generation in the Sugar Creek Basin and Mitchell Mine Basin is declining, but the data are insufficient to quantify any trends or time frame. AMD samples from the largest mine spring in the Calfee Slope subbasin indicated a modest but significant increase in median pH from 4.8 to 5.2 using the Wilcoxan rank-sum test (p mine spring in the Mitchell Mine Basin indicated an increase in median pH values from 5.6 to 6.0 and a decrease in median specific conductance from 3,050 to 2,450 ?S/cm during the same period. Remediation of AMD at or near the sites of the three largest mine springs is geochemically feasible based on alkalinity addition rates and increased pH determined by cubitainer experiments and geochemical mixing experiments using the computer model PHREEQCI. Alkalinity values for seven cubitainer experiments conducted to simulate anoxic treatment options exceeded the targeted value for

  17. Distribution, speciation, and transport of mercury in stream-sediment, stream-water, and fish collected near abandoned mercury mines in southwestern Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gray, J.E.; Theodorakos, P.M.; Bailey, E.A.; Turner, R.R.

    2000-01-01

    Concentrations of total Hg, Hg (II), and methylmercury were measured in stream-sediment, stream-water, and fish collected downstream from abandoned mercury mines in south-western Alaska to evaluate environmental effects to surrounding ecosystems. These mines are found in a broad belt covering several tens of thousands of square kilometers, primarily in the Kuskokwim River basin. Mercury ore is dominantly cinnabar (HgS), but elemental mercury (Hg(o)) is present in ore at one mine and near retorts and in streams at several mine sites. Approximately 1400 t of mercury have been produced from the region, which is approximately 99% of all mercury produced from Alaska. These mines are not presently operating because of low prices and low demand for mercury. Stream-sediment samples collected downstream from the mines contain as much as 5500 ??g/g Hg. Such high Hg concentrations are related to the abundance of cinnabar, which is highly resistant to physical and chemical weathering, and is visible in streams below mine sites. Although total Hg concentrations in the stream-sediment samples collected near mines are high, Hg speciation data indicate that concentrations of Hg (II) are generally less than 5%, and methylmercury concentrations are less than 1% of the total Hg. Stream waters below the mines are neutral to slightly alkaline (pH 6.8-8.4), which is a result of the insolubility of cinnabar and the lack of acid- generating minerals such as pyrite in the deposits. Unfiltered stream-water samples collected below the mines generally contain 500-2500 ng/l Hg; whereas, corresponding stream-water samples filtered through a 0.45-??m membrane contain less than 50 ng/l Hg. These stream-water results indicate that most of the Hg transported downstream from the mines is as finely- suspended material rather than dissolved Hg. Mercury speciation data show that concentrations of Hg (II) and methylmercury in stream-water samples are typically less than 22 ng/l, and generally less than

  18. Microbial communities and geochemical dynamics in an extremely acidic, metal-rich stream at an abandoned sulfide mine (Huelva, Spain) underpinned by two functional primary production systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rowe, Owen F; Sánchez-España, Javier; Hallberg, Kevin B; Johnson, D Barrie

    2007-07-01

    An extremely acidic (pH 2.5-2.75) metal-rich stream draining an abandoned mine in the Iberian Pyrite Belt, Spain, was ramified with stratified macroscopic gelatinous microbial growths ('acid streamers' or 'mats'). Microbial communities of streamer/mat growths sampled at different depths, as well as those present in the stream water itself, were analysed using a combined biomolecular and cultivation-based approach. The oxygen-depleted mine water was dominated by the chemolithotrophic facultative anaerobe Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, while the streamer communities were found to be highly heterogeneous and very different to superficially similar growths reported in other extremely acidic environments. Microalgae accounted for a significant proportion of surface streamer biomass, while subsurface layers were dominated by heterotrophic acidophilic bacteria (Acidobacteriacae and Acidiphilium spp.). Sulfidogenic bacteria were isolated from the lowest depth streamer growths, where there was also evidence for selective biomineralization of copper sulfide. Archaeal clones (exclusively Euryarchaeota) were recovered from streamer samples, as well as the mine stream water. Both sunlight and reduced inorganic chemicals (predominantly ferrous iron) served as energy sources for primary producers in this ecosystem, promoting complex microbial interactions involving transfer of electron donors and acceptors and of organic carbon, between microorganisms in the stream water and the gelatinous streamer growths. Microbial transformations were shown to impact the biogeochemical cycling of iron and sulfur in the acidic stream, severely restricting the net oxidation of ferrous iron even when the initially anoxic waters were oxygenated by indigenous acidophilic algae. A model accounting for the biogeochemistry of iron and sulfur in the mine waters is described, and the significance of the acidophilic communities in regulating the geochemistry of acidic, metal-rich waters is described.

  19. Site-specific water quality guidelines: 2. Development of a water quality regulation framework for pulse exposures of mine water discharges at a uranium mine in northern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sinclair, A; Tayler, K; van Dam, R; Hogan, A

    2014-01-01

    The Ranger Uranium Mine, in northern Australia, is monitored by the Supervising Scientist Division (SSD) of the Australian Government to ensure that it does not impact on the highly valued aquatic ecosystems of Kakadu National Park. In 2010, the SSD adopted the continuous monitoring of electrical conductivity (EC) and turbidity, in combination with event-triggered automated grab samples, as its primary water quality monitoring method. The continuous monitoring of EC has shown that mine discharges typically occur over short-term 'pulse' durations of minutes to hours. Given that magnesium (Mg) is the most likely mine-derived solute to approach or exceed the applicable water quality limit value, the focus has been on developing a pulse exposure assessment framework for Mg, as represented by its proxy EC, which is tracked by the continuous monitoring system. This study presents a possible ecotoxicologically derived Mg pulse exposure limit and trigger regulation framework for Magela and Gulungul Creeks and an assessment of historic continuous monitoring EC data from these creeks. This framework demonstrates potential to supersede the current EC guideline and associated trigger levels, which are statistically derived from historic grab sample data.

  20. Factors controlling localization of uranium deposits in the Dakota Sandstone, Gallup and Ambrosia Lake mining districts, McKinley County, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pierson, Charles Thomas; Green, Morris W.

    1977-01-01

    Geologic studies were made at all of the uranium mines and prospects in the Dakota Sandstone of Early(?) and Late Cretaceous age in the Gallup mining district, McKinley County, New Mexico. Dakota mines in the adjacent Ambrosia Lake mining district were visited briefly for comparative purposes. Mines in the eastern part of the Gallup district, and in the Ambrosia Lake district, are on the Chaco slope of the southern San Juan Basin in strata which dip gently northward toward the central part of the basin. Mines in the western part of the Gallup district are along the Gallup hogback (Nutria monocline) in strata which dip steeply westward into the Gallup sag. Geologic factors which controlled formation of the uranium deposits in the Dakota Sandstone are: (1) a source of uranium, believed to be uranium deposits of the underlying Morrison Formation of Late Jurassic age; (2) the accessibility to the Dakota of uranium-bearing solutions from the Morrison; (3) the presence in the Dakota of permeable sandstone beds overlain by impermeable carbonaceous shale beds; and (4) the occurrence within the permeable Dakota sandstone beds of carbonaceous reducing material as bedding-plane laminae, or as pockets of carbonaceous trash. Most of the Dakota uranium deposits are found in the lower part of the formation in marginal-marine distributary-channel sandstones which were deposited in the backshore environment. However, the Hogback no. 4 (Hyde) Mine (Gallup district) occurs in sandy paludal shale of the backshore environment, and another deposit, the Silver Spur (Ambrosia Lake district), is found in what is interpreted to be a massive beach or barrier-bar sandstone of the foreshore environment in the upper part of the Dakota. The sedimentary depositional environment most favorable for the accumulation of uranium is that of backshore areas lateral to main distributary channels, where levee, splay, and some distributary-channel sandstones intertongue with gray carbonaceous shales and

  1. 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.

  2. Engineering assessment and feasibility study of Chattanooga Shale as a future source of uranium. [Preliminary mining; data on soils, meteorology, water resources, and biological resources

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-06-01

    This volume contains five appendixes: Chattanooga Shale preliminary mining study, soils data, meteorologic data, water resources data, and biological resource data. The area around DeKalb County in Tennessee is the most likely site for commercial development for recovery of uranium. (DLC)

  3. APPLICATION OF WATER FLOW AND GEOCHEMICAL MODELS TO SUPPORT THE REMEDIATION OF ACID ROCK DRAINAGE FROM THE URANIUM MINING SITE OF POCOS DE CALDAS, BRAZIL

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper discusses the use of two numerical models (HYDRUS-2D and STEADQL-v4) for simulating water flow and relevant geochemical processes in one of the waste rock piles of the first uranium mine in Brazil, in order to facilitate the selection of appropriate remediation strategies. The long time s...

  4. Uranium Industry Annual, 1992

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-10-28

    The Uranium Industry Annual provides current statistical data on the US uranium industry for the Congress, Federal and State agencies, the uranium and electric utility industries, and the public. The feature article, ``Decommissioning of US Conventional Uranium Production Centers,`` is included. Data on uranium raw materials activities including exploration activities and expenditures, resources and reserves, mine production of uranium, production of uranium concentrate, and industry employment are presented in Chapter 1. Data on uranium marketing activities including domestic uranium purchases, commitments by utilities, procurement arrangements, uranium imports under purchase contracts and exports, deliveries to enrichment suppliers, inventories, secondary market activities, utility market requirements, and uranium for sale by domestic suppliers are presented in Chapter 2.

  5. Shaft barriers for underground waste repositories in abandoned salt mines. Preparatory project. Vol. 2. Annex; Schachtverschluesse fuer untertaegige Deponien in Salzbergwerken. Vorprojekt. Bd. 2. Anhang

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Schmidt, M.W. [GSF - Forschungszentrum fuer Umwelt und Gesundheit, Remlingen (Germany). Forschungsbergwerk Asse; Fruth, R. [GSF - Forschungszentrum fuer Umwelt und Gesundheit, Remlingen (Germany). Forschungsbergwerk Asse; Stockmann, N. [GSF - Forschungszentrum fuer Umwelt und Gesundheit, Remlingen (Germany). Forschungsbergwerk Asse; Birthler, H. [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH Greece, Braunschweig (Germany). Fachbereich Endlagersicherheitsforschung; Boese, B. [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH Greece, Braunschweig (Germany). Fachbereich Endlagersicherheitsforschung; Storck, R. [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH Greece, Braunschweig (Germany). Fachbereich Endlagersicherheitsforschung; Sitz, P. [Technische Univ. Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Bergbau; Krausse, A. [Technische Univ. Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Bergbau; Eulenberger, K.H. [Technische Univ. Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Bergbau; Schleinig, J.P. [Technische Univ. Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany). Inst. fuer Bergbau; Duddeck, H. [Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany). Inst. fuer Statik; Ahrens, H. [Technische Univ. Braunschweig (Germany). Inst. fuer Statik; Menzel, W. [IfG Inst. fuer Gebirgsmechanik GmbH, Leipzig (Germany); Salzer, K. [IfG Inst. fuer Gebirgsmechanik GmbH, Leipzig (Germany); Minkley, W. [IfG Inst. fuer Gebirgsmechanik GmbH, Leipzig (Germany); Busche, H. [Kali und Salz AG, Kassel (Germany); Lindloff, U. [Kali und Salz AG, Kassel (Germany); Gierenz, S. [Kali und Salz AG, Kassel (Germany)

    1995-12-31

    This preparatory study, ``Shaft barriers for underground waste repositories in abandoned salt mines``, was to demonstrate the current scientific and technological know-how based on a comprehensive analysis of the barrier design concepts or established structures intended to serve as barriers in abandoned shafts of potash or rock salt mines. Taking as a basis the current regulatory regime and the available know-how on barrier systems in underground waste repositories taken into account so far in plan approval and licensing procedures, as well as the state of the art, concepts are developed as technical guides and models of barrier systems for mine shafts. The required research work for the various components of a shaft barrier is shown, particularly relating to aspects such as materials suitability and technical realisation. Immediate demand for research activities is shown with regard to the available potentials of mathematic and numeric geotechnical and hydrogeologic calculation models required in order to give proof of the long-term workability of shaft barriers. The authors are of the opinion that the following activities are required in order to meet the research demand quantified: (1) Laboratory and bench-scale experiments for determination of the efficiency of various sealing materials and backfilling materials, and (2) an in-situ, large-scale experiment in order to demonstrate the suitability of low-consolidation shotter columns, or constructional technologies. The laboratory work can be done in the facilities of the GSF research mine of Asse, the Freiburg Mining Academy, and the Institut fuer Gebirgsmechanik in Leipzig, and the benchmark experiments also at the Asse site in the research mine. The Kali und Salz Beteiligungs AG is prepared to offer its mine Salzdetfurth II as a site for the large-scale experiment. (orig.) [Deutsch] Im Rahmen der Vorstudie ``Schachtverschluesse fuer Untertagedeponien in Salzbergwerken`` wird ausgehend von einer umfangreichen

  6. 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.

  7. Predominance of aqueous Tl(I) species in the river system downstream from the abandoned Carnoulès mine (Southern France).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casiot, Corinne; Egal, Marion; Bruneel, Odile; Verma, Neelam; Parmentier, Marc; Elbaz-Poulichet, Françoise

    2011-03-15

    Thallium concentration reached up to 534 μg L(-1) in the Reigous acid mine drainage downstream from the abandoned Pb-Zn Carnoulès mine (Southern France). It decreased to 5.44 μg L(-1) in the Amous River into which the Reigous creek flows. Tl(I) predominated (>98% of total dissolved Tl) over Tl(III), mainly in the form of Tl(+). Small amounts of Tl(III) evidenced in Reigous Creek might be in the form of aqueous TlCl(2)(+). The range of dissolved to particulate distribution coefficients log K(d) = 2.5 L kg(-1) to 4.6 L kg(-1) indicated low affinity of Tl for particles, mainly ferrihydrite, formed in the AMD-impacted watershed. The low retention of Tl(+) on ferrihydrite was demonstrated in sorption experiments, the best fit between experimental and modeled data being achieved for surface complexation constants log K(ads) = -2.67 for strong sites and log K(ads) = -3.76 for weak sites. This new set of constants allowed reasonable prediction of the concentrations of aqueous and particulate Tl resulting from the mixing of water from Reigous Creek and the Amous River water during laboratory experiments, together with those measured in the Amous River field study.

  8. Tissues and hair residues and histopathology in wild rats (Rattus rattus L.) and Algerian mice (Mus spretus Lataste) from an abandoned mine area (Southeast Portugal)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pereira, R. [Departamento de Biologia da Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal) and Instituto Piaget, Campus Academico de Viseu, Estrada do Alto do Gaio, Lordosa, 3515-776 Viseu (Portugal)]. E-mail: ruthp@bio.ua.pt; Pereira, M.L. [Departamento de Biologia da Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Ribeiro, R. [Instituto do Ambiente e Vida, Departamento de Zoologia da Universidade de Coimbra, Largo Marques de Pombal, 3004-517 Coimbra (Portugal); Goncalves, F. [Departamento de Biologia da Universidade de Aveiro, Campus Universitario de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)

    2006-02-15

    Data gathered in this study suggested the exposure of rats and Algerian mice, living in an abandoned mining area, to a mixture of heavy metals. Although similar histopathological features were recorded in the liver and spleen of both species, the Algerian mouse has proved to be the strongest bioaccumulator species. Hair was considered to be a good biological material to monitor environmental contamination of Cr in rats. Significant positive associations were found between the levels of this element in hair/kidney (r = 0.826, n = 9, p < 0.01) and hair/liver (r = 0.697, n = 9, p = 0.037). Although no association was found between the levels of As recorded in the hair and in the organs, the levels of this element recorded in the hair, of both species, were significantly higher in animals captured in the mining area, which met the data from the organs analysed. Nevertheless, more studies will be needed to reduce uncertainty about cause-effect relationships. - The bioaccumulation of As and Cd and signs of renal histopathological injury proved the value of Algerian mice as a bioindicator species in the risk assessment of contaminated sites.

  9. Radiological evaluation near three old mines of uranium extraction in the department of Creuse - year 2007; Evaluation radiologique aux abords de trois anciennes mines d'extraction d'uranium du departement de la Creuse - annee 2007

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    2007-07-01

    The observations made for three sites of 'Chaumaillat, Ribiere and Grands Champs', demonstrate the existence of an atypical radiological situation which seems marked by the past activities of the mining. If the geochemical context can sometimes be at the origin of abnormalities in sediments and muds, the regional industrial context, conjugated to the strong measured values of uranium, incites us to privilege a human origin to explain these abnormalities. The presence of almost pure uraniums is the result supposed by the past activities of ore treatment on site (lixiviation) to extract the raw material from it (yellow cake) used for the manufacturing of the nuclear fuel. However, this observation on the site of 'Grands Champs' is surprising considering the absence of treatment activity in situ declared by the operator and the absence of residues storage.Given the accessibility of these sites to the public and considering the stop of any device of surveillance, a follow-up study seems necessary to estimate the importance of the radiological abnormalities and their persistent impact on the environment. (N.C.)

  10. Bryophyte Communities from Abandoned Mercury Mine in Eastern Guizhou Province%废弃汞矿山苔藓植物群落生态研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    潘莎; 张朝晖

    2011-01-01

    对贵州省铜仁市云场坪镇废弃汞矿山的苔藓植物群落进行了研究,通过野外全面调查和实验室仔细鉴定,发现废弃汞矿山苔藓植物群落的种类组成有13科52属62种(苔类植物2科2属2种,藓类植物11科50属60种).应用双向指示种分析法(TWINSPAN)和除趋势对应分析(DCA)分析其分布格局表明,该区12个样点分为2个类型组,组1为废石、废渣样地,组2为废洞样地,说明废洞与废石、废渣生境差异性较大,忿函、废渣生境较相似;北地扭口藓群落(Barbula fallax Com.)、阔叶小石藓群落(Weisia planifolia Corn.)、尖叶扭口藓群落(Barbula conystricta Com.)、拟丛净口藓群落(Gymnostomum anoectangioides Com.)、硬叶净口藓群落(Gymnostomum subrigidulumCom.)为该矿区废石、废渣上的优势群落,其生物量为55.20 -448.20 g·m-,,饱和吸水量为260.80-3 599.40 g-m-2,说明在矿区这种干旱且保水能力弱的环境区域,苔藓植物群落以其特有的生态功能在矿区生态环境治理中具有十分重要的作用.%The bryophyte communities were investigated in abandoned mercury mine of Yunchangping town,Guizhou province. Based on the extensive investigation and identification of the bryophyte specimens, 62 taxa in 52 genera of 13 families were found (2 species in 2 genera of 2 families are Hepaticae, 60 taxa in 50 genera of 11 families are Musci). Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (TWINSPAN) and Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) were used to analyze their distribution patterns. The results showed that 12 sampling plots could be classified into two groups. Group 1 contained waste rock sampling plots and waste solid sampling plots, group 2 contained abandoned mercury mine caves, which indicated the habitats of abandoned mercury mine caves are different from waste rock and waste solid, the habitats of waste rock and waste solid are similar. The dominant communities are Barbula fallax Com. , Weisia planifolia Com. , Barbula

  11. Underground pumped storage hydroelectricity using abandoned works (deep mines or open pits) and the impact on groundwater flow

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pujades, Estanislao; Willems, Thibault; Bodeux, Sarah; Orban, Philippe; Dassargues, Alain

    2016-09-01

    Underground pumped storage hydroelectricity (UPSH) plants using open-pit or deep mines can be used in flat regions to store the excess of electricity produced during low-demand energy periods. It is essential to consider the interaction between UPSH plants and the surrounding geological media. There has been little work on the assessment of associated groundwater flow impacts. The impacts on groundwater flow are determined numerically using a simplified numerical model which is assumed to be representative of open-pit and deep mines. The main impact consists of oscillation of the piezometric head, and its magnitude depends on the characteristics of the aquifer/geological medium, the mine and the pumping and injection intervals. If an average piezometric head is considered, it drops at early times after the start of the UPSH plant activity and then recovers progressively. The most favorable hydrogeological conditions to minimize impacts are evaluated by comparing several scenarios. The impact magnitude will be lower in geological media with low hydraulic diffusivity; however, the parameter that plays the more important role is the volume of water stored in the mine. Its variation modifies considerably the groundwater flow impacts. Finally, the problem is studied analytically and some solutions are proposed to approximate the impacts, allowing a quick screening of favorable locations for future UPSH plants.

  12. Plant species potentially useful in the phytostabilization process for the abandoned CMC mining site in northern Cyprus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cetinkaya, Gulay; Sozen, Nur

    2011-08-01

    The Cupper Mining Company (CMC)'s site located in Lefke-Gemikonagi, Northern Cyprus has been a continuous source of highly dangerous contamination for the surrounding environment, the Lefke region, and the neighboring ecosystems and settlements. Rehabilitation and reuse possibilities of the CMC site due to its vital importance have kept its place in the agenda of Northern Cyprus. Phytostabilization appears to be a convenient and less expensive method that can immediately be used for reducing the negative impacts of the mining site on the region. The main purpose of this study is to identify potential candidate plant species, adapted to grow on polluted sites, for revegetation in the CMC site. Within this context, the method of the study can be summarized as follows: literature review for examining potential candidate plant species for pyhtostabilization in arid and semiarid regions, especially the ones suitable both for the existing ecological and present conditions of Cyprus; identification of native and/or cultural plant species survived in the heavily polluted mining site, and definition of a number of candidate plant species for the study site. The result of sampling revealed that 23 plant species thrive well in the contaminated site. As a result of the literature review and considering drought, metal, salt tolerant features of semiarid environment in the region, 5 tree, 4 shrub, and 23 herbaceous plant species were proposed for starting revegetation with the purpose of phytostabilization on the CMC mining site.

  13. Small effects of a large sediment contamination with heavy metals on aquatic organisms in the vicinity of an abandoned lead and zinc mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ciszewski, Dariusz; Aleksander-Kwaterczak, Urszula; Pociecha, Agnieszka; Szarek-Gwiazda, Ewa; Waloszek, Andrzej; Wilk-Woźniak, Elżbieta

    2013-12-01

    The effects of the long-term contamination of water reservoirs with mine effluents were investigated at an abandoned mine site in Upper Silesia, southern Poland. The studies covered metal content and mobility in bottom sediments as well as water chemistry in relation to the content of metals in selected macrophytes and their physiology and the composition of phyto- and zooplankton communities. Although it is 40 years since mining ceased, reservoir sediments are still heavily contaminated with cadmium, zinc and lead with concentrations (mg/kg), which vary roughly between 130–340, 10,000–50,000 and 4,000–12,000, respectively. About 50–80 % of these elements are associated with the reducible phase, and only a small percentage, <10%, is present in the most mobile exchangeable phase. Despite the high total metal concentration in sediments, their content in the submerged plants Myriophyllum spicatum and the emerged plants Phragmites australis was low. The observed effects of heavy metal contamination on photosynthetic activity in the leaves of P. australis were negligible, whereas those in M. spicatum show up only as a difference in the distribution of photosynthetic activity in leaves of different ages, which seems to be related to the very good water quality and to the generally small concentrations of metals in pond water. The physicochemical properties of water also seem to control the presence of planktonic species more than does sediment contamination. However, a shift toward groups of species known to be more resistant to heavy metals (diatoms, green algae and Rotifera) indicates some adaptative changes related to the longlasting contamination of ponds.

  14. Water budgets and groundwater volumes for abandoned underground mines in the Western Middle Anthracite Coalfield, Schuylkill, Columbia, and Northumberland Counties, Pennsylvania-Preliminary estimates with identification of data needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goode, Daniel J.; Cravotta, Charles A.; Hornberger, Roger J.; Hewitt, Michael A.; Hughes, Robert E.; Koury, Daniel J.; Eicholtz, Lee W.

    2011-01-01

    This report, prepared in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PaDEP), the Eastern Pennsylvania Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, and the Dauphin County Conservation District, provides estimates of water budgets and groundwater volumes stored in abandoned underground mines in the Western Middle Anthracite Coalfield, which encompasses an area of 120 square miles in eastern Pennsylvania. The estimates are based on preliminary simulations using a groundwater-flow model and an associated geographic information system that integrates data on the mining features, hydrogeology, and streamflow in the study area. The Mahanoy and Shamokin Creek Basins were the focus of the study because these basins exhibit extensive hydrologic effects and water-quality degradation from the abandoned mines in their headwaters in the Western Middle Anthracite Coalfield. Proposed groundwater withdrawals from the flooded parts of the mines and stream-channel modifications in selected areas have the potential for altering the distribution of groundwater and the interaction between the groundwater and streams in the area. Preliminary three-dimensional, steady-state simulations of groundwater flow by the use of MODFLOW are presented to summarize information on the exchange of groundwater among adjacent mines and to help guide the management of ongoing data collection, reclamation activities, and water-use planning. The conceptual model includes high-permeability mine voids that are connected vertically and horizontally within multicolliery units (MCUs). MCUs were identified on the basis of mine maps, locations of mine discharges, and groundwater levels in the mines measured by PaDEP. The locations and integrity of mine barriers were determined from mine maps and groundwater levels. The permeability of intact barriers is low, reflecting the hydraulic characteristics of unmined host rock and coal. A steady-state model was calibrated to measured groundwater

  15. 30 CFR 77.215-4 - Refuse piles; abandonment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 30 Mineral Resources 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Refuse piles; abandonment. 77.215-4 Section 77... MINES Surface Installations § 77.215-4 Refuse piles; abandonment. When a refuse pile is to be abandoned... refuse pile shall be abandoned in accordance with a plan submitted by the operator and approved by...

  16. Use of airborne gamma-ray spectrometry for environmental assessment of the rehabilitated nabarlek uranium mine, Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, Paul; Tims, Stephen; McGill, Anthony; Ryan, Bruce; Pfitzner, Kirrilly

    2006-04-01

    This article describes an airborne gamma survey of a 7 x 5 km region around the rehabilitated Nabarlek uranium mine in northern Australia. An unusually tight line spacing (100 m) and low aircraft height (50 m) were used, enabling the survey to distinguish man-made structures such as ponds and accommodation areas, as well as creek lines. Positive correlations between airborne data and ground-based readings enabled an estimation of the average absorbed dose rate arising from terrestrial gamma radiation over large areas of the site to be derived. For the fenced minesite area this estimate was 0.31 micro Gy hr(- 1). The airborne survey data were found to be invaluable in helping to plan further ground-level investigations and showed promise as an assessment tool for rehabilitated minesites.

  17. Optimising the remediation of sites contaminated by the Wismut uranium mining operations using performance and risk assessment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pelz, F.; Jakubick, A.Th.; Kahnt, R. [Wismut GmbH, Chemnitz (Germany)

    2003-07-01

    The cost and risk assessment at Wismut GmbH is performed for optimising the remediation of sites contaminated by uranium mining and milling. An iterative either probabilistic or deterministic 'top-down' model of the remediation project as an integrated system is used. Initially all relevant processes are captured in a rather abstract and simplistic way. In the course of the model development those variables and processes to which results have been shown to be sensitive are described in more detail. This approach is useful for identifying any gaps in the knowledge base that have to be filled in the course of the multi-attributive decision making. The requirement for optimisation, also with respect to socio-economic impacts, is met by including other variables in addition to costs and health risks. (authors)

  18. Intelligent OPtimization Control of Radon Exhalation in Underground Uranium Mines%地下铀矿山氡析出智能优化控制研究

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    戴剑勇; 刘丁雄

    2014-01-01

    铀矿山氡及氡子体具有放射性,其浓度过高严重危害井下作业人员的身心健康,因此,开展氡析出优化控制具有重要的现实意义与应用前景。本文根据铀矿山氡析出系统的影响因素,应用自适应模糊推理系统构建铀矿山氡析出与其影响因素关系模型,然后应用并行遗传算法优化模型参数,实现铀矿山氡析出率最小化。并以某铀矿山安全生产为例,考虑其影响氡析出的主要影响因素为通风参数,应用自适应模糊遗传优化方法实现了铀矿山氡析出率与通风参数之间最优控制问题,为改善通风系统提供了最优决策依据。%There are radioactive for radon and its progeny in uranium mining,whose high concentration do harm to the health of mine workers,therefore,it is of important practical significance and application prospects to carry out optimal control of radon exhalation. Based on the factors of radon exhalation system in uranium mining,this paper constructs the model of the relationship between radon exhalation and its influencing factors in urani_um mine with adaptive fuzzy inference system,and then optimises model parameters to a_chieve the leasted radon exhalation rate in uranium mining applying the parallel genetic al_gorithm. And taking a uranium mine safety production as an example,considering ventila_tion parameters as the main affecting factors of radon exhalation system,it carries out opti_mal control problems of radon exhalation rate and ventilation parameter by adaptive fuzzy genetic optimization method in a uranium mine,which provides the optimal decision basis for improving ventilation system.

  19. Histopathological changes and erythrocytic nuclear abnormalities in Iberian green frogs (Rana perezi Seoane) from a uranium mine pond

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Marques, S.M. [Departamento de Biologia/Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Campus de Santiago, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)], E-mail: s.reis.marques@gmail.com; Antunes, S.C. [Departamento de Biologia/Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Campus de Santiago, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Pissarra, H. [Laboratorio de Anatomia Patologica, Centro de Investigacao Interdisciplinar em Sanidade Animal (CIISA), Faculdade de Medicina Veterinaria, U.T.L., Lisboa (Portugal); Pereira, M.L. [Departamento de Biologia/Centro de Investigacao em Materiais Ceramicos e Compositos (CICECO), Campus de Santiago, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal); Goncalves, F.; Pereira, R. [Departamento de Biologia/Centro de Estudos do Ambiente e do Mar (CESAM), Campus de Santiago, Universidade de Aveiro, 3810-193 Aveiro (Portugal)

    2009-01-31

    In spite of their sensitivity to anthropogenic stressors, adults of Rana perezi Seoane were found inhabiting effluent ponds from a uranium mine. Due to the presence of such organisms in this environment, it becomes of paramount importance to assess the damages induced by local contamination on these aquatic vertebrates, in order to integrate this information on a site-specific risk assessment that is being carried out in the area. To attain this purpose an ethically and statistically acceptable number of green frogs were captured in the mine pond (M) and in a pristine river (VR), a few kilometres from the mine. Bioaccumulation of metals and histopathological alterations were evaluated in the liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs and testes of the animals. Simultaneously, blood samples were collected for the evaluation of genotoxic damage on erythrocytes. Animals captured in the M pond showed significantly increased levels of Be, Al, Mn, Fe and U in the liver, as well as Pb and U in the kidney. The liver was the main target organ for the bioaccumulation of Be, Al, Fe and U. However, renal histopathologies were more severe than those of liver. The main tissue alterations recorded in animals from the mine were: a slight increase in melanomacrophagic centers (MMC) in liver, lung and kidneys; dilatation of the renal tubules lumen associated with tubular necrosis. A significantly higher number of erythrocytic abnormalities (lobed, notched and kidney shaped nuclei and micronuclei) were recorded in frogs from M than in frogs from VR, along with a significantly lower frequency of immature erythrocytes. Both observations suggested that the removal of abnormal blood cells might be compromised.

  20. Review and interpretation of previous work and new data on the hydrogeology of the Schwartzwalder Uranium Mine and vicinity, Jefferson County, Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caine, Jonathan Saul; Johnson, Raymond H.; Wild, Emily C.

    2011-01-01

    The Schwartzwalder deposit is the largest known vein type uranium deposit in the United States. Located about eight miles northwest of Golden, Colorado it occurs in Proterozoic metamorphic rocks and was formed by hydrothermal fluid flow, mineralization, and deformation during the Laramide Orogeny. A complex brittle fault zone hosts the deposit comprising locally brecciated carbonate, oxide, and sulfide minerals. Mining of pitchblende, the primary ore mineral, began in 1953 and an extensive network of underground workings was developed. Mine dewatering, treatment of the effluent and its discharge into the adjacent Ralston Creek was done under State permit from about 1990 through about 2008. Mining and dewatering ceased in 2000 and natural groundwater rebound has filled the mine workings to a current elevation that is above Ralston Creek but that is still below the lowest ground level adit. Water in the 'mine pool' has concentrations of dissolved uranium in excess of 1,000 times the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency drinking-water standard of 30 milligrams per liter. Other dissolved constituents such as molybdenum, radium, and sulfate are also present in anomalously high concentrations. Ralston Creek flows in a narrow valley containing Quaternary alluvium predominantly derived from weathering of crystalline bedrock including local mineralized rock. Just upstream of the mine site, two capped and unsaturated waste rock piles with high radioactivity sit on an alluvial terrace. As Ralston Creek flows past the mine site, a host of dissolved metal concentrations increase. Ralston Creek eventually discharges into Ralston Reservoir about 2.5 miles downstream. Because of highly elevated uranium concentrations, the State of Colorado issued an enforcement action against the mine permit holder requiring renewed collection and treatment of alluvial groundwater. As part of planned mine reclamation, abundant data were collected and compiled into a report by Wyman and Effner

  1. Establishing a pre-mining geochemical baseline at a uranium mine near Grand Canyon National Park, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Naftz, David L.; Walton-Day, Katherine

    2016-01-01

    During 2012, approximately 404,000 ha of Federal Land in northern Arizona was withdrawn from consideration of mineral extraction for a 20-year period to protect the Grand Canyon watershed from potentially adverse effects of U mineral exploration and development. The development, operation, and reclamation of the Canyon Mine during the withdrawal period provide an excellent field site to understand and document off-site migration of radionuclides within the withdrawal area. As part of the Department of Interior's (DOI's) study plan for the exclusion area, the objective of our study is to utilize pre-defined decision units (DUs) in areas within and surrounding the Canyon Mine to demonstrate how newly established incremental sampling methodologies (ISM) combined with multivariate statistical methods can be used to document a repeatable and statistically defensible measure of pre-mining baseline conditions in surface soils and stream sediment samples prior to ore extraction. During the survey in June 2013, the highest pre-mining 95% upper confidence level (UCL) concentrations with respect to As, Mo, U, and V were found in the triplicate samples collected from surface soils in the mine site DU designated as M1. Gamma activities were slightly elevated in soils within the M1 DU (up to 28 μR/h); however, off-site gamma activities in soil and stream-sediment samples were lower (< 6 to 12 μR/h). Hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) was applied to 33 chemical constituents contained in the multivariate data generated from the analysis of triplicate samples collected in the soil and stream sediment DUs within and surrounding Canyon Mine. Most of the triplicate samples from individual DUs were grouped in the same dendrogram cluster when using a similarity value (SV) of 0.70 (unitless). Different group membership of triplicate samples from two of the four haul road DUs was likely the result of heterogeneity induced by non-native soil material introduced from the gravel road base

  2. Chemistry, radiation and histopathology data in support of manuscript "Pre-mining trace element and radiation exposure to biota from a breccia pipe uranium mine in the Grand Canyon (Arizona, USA) watershed"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hinck, Jo E.; Cleveland, Danielle; Lankton, Julia S.

    2017-01-01

    The risks to wildlife and humans from uranium (U) mining to the Grand Canyon watershed are largely unknown. In addition to U, other co-occurring ore constituents contribute to risks to biological receptors depending on their toxicological profiles. This data was collected to characterize the pre-mining concentrations of total arsenic (As), cadmium (Cd), copper (Cu), lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), selenium (Se), thallium (Tl), U, and zinc (Zn); radiation levels; and histopathologies in biota (vegetation, invertebrates, amphibians, birds, and mammals) at the Canyon Mine.

  3. Adaptation of soil microbial community structure and function to chronic metal contamination at an abandoned Pb-Zn mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Epelde, Lur; Lanzén, Anders; Blanco, Fernando; Urich, Tim; Garbisu, Carlos

    2015-01-01

    Toxicity of metals released from mine tailings may cause severe damage to ecosystems. A diversity of microorganisms, however, have successfully adapted to such sites. In this study, our objective was to advance the understanding of the indigenous microbial communities of mining-impacted soils. To this end, a metatranscriptomic approach was used to study a heavily metal-contaminated site along a metal concentration gradient (up to 3220 000 and 97 000 mg kg(-1) of Cd, Pb and Zn, respectively) resulting from previous mining. Metal concentration, soil pH and amount of clay were the most important factors determining the structure of soil microbial communities. Interestingly, evenness of the microbial communities, but not its richness, increased with contamination level. Taxa with high metabolic plasticity like Ktedonobacteria and Chloroflexi were found with higher relative abundance in more contaminated samples. However, several taxa belonging to the phyla Actinobacteria and Acidobacteria followed opposite trends in relation to metal pollution. Besides, functional transcripts related to transposition or transfer of genetic material and membrane transport, potentially involved in metal resistance mechanisms, had a higher expression in more contaminated samples. Our results provide an insight into microbial communities in long-term metal-contaminated environments and how they contrast to nearby sites with lower contamination.

  4. Potential risk assessment in stream sediments, soils and waters after remediation in an abandoned W>Sn mine (NE Portugal).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Antunes, I M H R; Gomes, M E P; Neiva, A M R; Carvalho, P C S; Santos, A C T

    2016-11-01

    The mining complex of Murçós belongs to the Terras de Cavaleiros Geopark, located in Trás-os-Montes region, northeast Portugal. A stockwork of NW-SE-trending W>Sn quartz veins intruded Silurian metamorphic rocks and a Variscan biotite granite. The mineralized veins contain mainly quartz, cassiterite, wolframite, scheelite, arsenopyrite, pyrite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite, galena, rare pyrrhotite, stannite, native bismuth and also later bismuthinite, matildite, joseite, roosveltite, anglesite, scorodite, zavaritskite and covellite. The exploitation produced 335t of a concentrate with 70% of W and 150t of another concentrate with 70% of Sn between 1948 and 1976. The exploitation took place mainly in four open pit mines as well as underground. Three lakes were left in the area. Remediation processes of confination and control of tailings and rejected materials and phytoremediation with macrophytes from three lakes were carried out between 2005 and 2007. Stream sediments, soils and water samples were collected in 2008 and 2009, after the remediation process. Most stream sediments showed deficiency or minimum enrichment for metals. The sequential enrichment factor in stream sediments W>Bi>As>U>Cd>Sn=Ag>Cu>Sb>Pb>Be>Zn is mainly associated with the W>Sn mineralizations. Stream sediments receiving drainage of a mine dump were found to be significantly to extremely enriched with W, while stream sediments and soils were found to be contaminated with As. Two soil samples collected around mine dumps and an open pit lake were also found to be contaminated with U. The waters from the Murçós W>Sn mine area were acidic to neutral. After the remediation, the surface waters were contaminated with F(-), Al, As, Mn and Ni and must not be used for human consumption, while open pit lake waters must also not be used for agriculture because of contamination with F(-), Al, Mn and Ni. In most waters, the As occurred as As (III), which is toxic and is easily mobilized in the drainage

  5. Aboriginal rights and government wrongs: Uranium mining and neocolonialism in northern Saskatchewan -- 2d ed. second edition. In the public interest : Working paper No. 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harding, J.

    1992-12-31

    This study addresses the rights of aboriginal people in the north of Saskatchewan as they relate to uranium mining and development. It discusses the call for a moratorium by the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians, the Metis and Non-Status Indians, and the Northern Municipal Council; the inattention to Native rights as seen by the 1977 Cluff Lake Board of Inquiry (CLIB) and its place in the province`s relationships with Natives; the Northern Development Board and the current policy toward Natives; the 1985 Northern Chiefs` study; and the economic benefits and burdens on Native people of uranium development.

  6. Water quality and toxicity of river water downstream of the uranium mining facility at Pocos de Caldas, MG, Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lauria, Dejanira C.; Vascocnellos, Luisa M.H.; Simoes, Francisco F. Lamego; Clain, Almir F., E-mail: dejanira@ird.gov.b, E-mail: luisa@ird.gov.b, E-mail: flamego@ird.gov.b, E-mail: almir@ird.gov.b [Instituto de Radioprotecao e Dosimetria (IRD/CNEN-RJ), Rio de Janeiro, RJ (Brazil); Scassiotti, Walter F.; Antunes, Ivan, E-mail: scassiotti@inb.gov.b [Industrias Nucleares do Brasil (INB), Caldas, MG (Brazil); Ferreira, Ana M., E-mail: anaferreira@dmaepc.mg.gov.b [Departamento Municipal de Aguas e Esgotos de Pocos de Caldas (DMAE), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil); Nascimento, Marcos R.L., E-mail: pmarcos@cnen.gov.b [Comissao Nacional de Energia Nuclear (LAPOC/CNEN-MG), Pocos de Caldas, MG (Brazil). Pocos de Caldas Lab.

    2009-07-01

    The uranium mining site of Pocos de Caldas consists of open mine pit, tailings, waste rock dumps and an acid rock drainage problem, which has the potential to impact upon freshwater of the Ribeirao das Antas catchment. The high level of manganese (value of 1.8 mg/L) contained in the discharge water (DW) is an important factor affecting the water quality of the river (water quality criterion for aquatic life for Mn is 0.1 mg/L). Water quality criteria (WQC) are used for regulatory purpose and intended to define concentrations of chemicals in water that are protective of aquatic life and human health. WQC is a standard, although it is recognized that in some instances these criteria may be overprotective as metal bioavailability and hence toxicity is dependent on water chemistry. The toxicity assessment of WD was performed by bioassays with Daphnia similis and Ceriodaphnia dubia as bioindicators. As DW showed no toxicity to the organisms and the chemical analysis and dose assessments pointed U and Mn as the most important metals for water toxicity, the U and Mn toxicities were evaluated in the DW spiked with U and Mn. Acute uranium toxicity (48 h immobilisation test) for Daphnia similis was determined as a LC50 value (concentration that is toxic to 50% of test organisms) around 0.05-0.06 mg/L, value close to the one found for effects on reproduction, a 7 day LOEC (lowest observed effect concentration) of 0.062 mg/L for Ceriodaphnia dubia. The value of NOEC (no-observed effect concentration) for U was 0.03 mg U/L, which is higher than the concentration corresponded to the authorized dose limit for {sup 238}U (0.004 mg/L) and higher than the uranium WQC (0.02 mg U/L). The manganese concentration in the DW is lower than the found value of LC50 (11.5 mg/L), LOEC (10 mg/L) and NOEC (5 mg Mn/L). (author)

  7. Rapid adaptation of microalgae to bodies of water with extreme pollution from uranium mining: an explanation of how mesophilic organisms can rapidly colonise extremely toxic environments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    García-Balboa, C; Baselga-Cervera, B; García-Sanchez, A; Igual, J M; Lopez-Rodas, V; Costas, E

    2013-11-15

    Extreme environments may support communities of microalgae living at the limits of their tolerance. It is usually assumed that these extreme environments are inhabited by extremophile species. However, global anthropogenic environmental changes are generating new extreme environments, such as mining-effluent pools of residual waters from uranium mining with high U levels, acidity and radioactivity in Salamanca (Spain). Certain microalgal species have rapidly adapted to these extreme waters (uranium mining in this area began in 1960). Experiments have demonstrated that physiological acclimatisation would be unable to achieve adaptation. In contrast, rapid genetic adaptation was observed in waters ostensibly lethal to microalgae by means of rare spontaneous mutations that occurred prior to the exposure to effluent waters from uranium mining. However, adaptation to the most extreme conditions was only possible after recombination through sexual mating because adaptation requires more than one mutation. Microalgae living in extreme environments could be the descendants of pre-selective mutants that confer significant adaptive value to extreme contamination. These "lucky mutants" could allow for the evolutionary rescue of populations faced with rapid environmental change.

  8. Assessment of two kinetic tests to predict the acid mine drainage in waste rock samples of a uranium mine

    OpenAIRE

    Abreu, Adriana Trópia de; Faria, Efigênia Miranda de; Chaves, Carla Thamilis Fonseca; Leite,Adilson do Lago; Lena,Jorge Carvalho de

    2014-01-01

    Acid mine drainage is the result of the oxidation process of sulfide bearing rocks. This process occurs when the sulfide material is exposed to atmospheric conditions. Under these conditions, successive oxidation reactions yield sulfuric acid generating acidic waters. This problem becomes more serious when the surrounding rocks are not able to neutralize the acid. The low pH condition of the drained water accelerates the solubility process of solid materials (rocks, soils and sediments) and f...

  9. Sulfide oxidation and distribution of metals near abandoned copper mines in coastal environments, Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koski, R.A.; Munk, L.; Foster, A.L.; Shanks, Wayne C.; Stillings, L.L.

    2008-01-01

    The oxidation of sulfide-rich rocks, mostly leftover debris from Cu mining in the early 20th century, is contributing to metal contamination of local coastal environments in Prince William Sound, Alaska. Analyses of sulfide, water, sediment, precipitate and biological samples from the Beatson, Ellamar, and Threeman mine sites show that acidic surface waters generated from sulfide weathering are pathways for redistribution of environmentally important elements into and beyond the intertidal zone at each site. Volcanogenic massive sulfide deposits composed of pyrrhotite and (or) pyrite + chalcopyrite + sphalerite with subordinate galena, arsenopyrite, and cobaltite represent potent sources of Cu, Zn, Pb, As, Co, Cd, and Hg. The resistance to oxidation among the major sulfides increases in the order pyrrhotite ??? sphalerite Hg (to 4100 ng/L) in the pore waters probably result from oxidation of sphalerite-rich rocks. The low-pH and high concentrations of dissolved Fe, Al, and SO4 are conducive to precipitation of interstitial jarosite in the intertidal gravels. Although pore waters from the intertidal zone at the Threeman mine site have circumneutral pH values, small amounts of dissolved Fe2+ in the pore waters are oxidized during mixing with seawater, resulting in precipitation of Fe-oxyhydroxide flocs along the beach-seawater interface. At the Beatson site, surface waters funneled through the underground mine workings and discharged across the waste dumps have near-neutral pH (6.7-7.3) and a relatively small base-metal load; however, these streams probably play a role in the physical transport of metalliferous particulates into intertidal and offshore areas during storm events. Somewhat more acidic fluids, to pH 5.3, occur in stagnant seeps and small streams emerging from the Beatson waste dumps. Amorphous Fe precipitates in stagnant waters at Beatson have high Cu (5.2 wt%) and Zn (2.3 wt%) concentrations that probably reflect adsorption onto the extremely high

  10. The abandoned surface mining sites in the Czech Republic: mapping and creating a database with a GIS web application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pokorný, Richard; Tereza Peterková, Marie

    2016-05-01

    Based on the vectorization of the 55-volume book series the Quarry Inventories of the Czechoslovak Republic/Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, published in the years 1932-1961, a new comprehensive database was built comprising 9958 surface mining sites of raw materials, which were active in the first half of the 20th century. The mapped area covers 40.9 % of the territory of the Czech Republic. For the purposes of visualization, a map application, the Quarry Inventories Online, was created that enables the data visualization.

  11. Determination of phytoextraction potential of plant speciesfor toxic elements in soils of abandoned sulphide-mining areas

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, M.C.; Pacheco, A.M.G.; Anawar, H. M.; Dionísio, I.; Dung, H.M.; Canha, N; Bettencourt, A.; Henriques, F.; Pinto-Gomes, Carlos; Capelo, Sofia

    2009-01-01

    This study has determined contamination levels in soils and plants from the Sa˜o Domingos mining area, Portugal, by k0-INAA. Total concentrations of As, Sb, Cr, Hg, Cu, Zn and Fe in soils were very high, exceeding the maximum limits in Portuguese legislation. Concentrations of toxic elements like As, Sb and Zn were highest in roots of Erica andevalensis, Juncus acutus, Agrostis castellana and Nicotiana glauca. Additionally, As, Br, Cr, Fe, Sb and Zn in all organs of most plants were above tox...

  12. Assessment of (222)Rn emanation from ore body and backfill tailings in low-grade underground uranium mine.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mishra, Devi Prasad; Sahu, Patitapaban; Panigrahi, Durga Charan; Jha, Vivekanand; Patnaik, R Lokeswara

    2014-02-01

    This paper presents a comparative study of (222)Rn emanation from the ore and backfill tailings in an underground uranium mine located at Jaduguda, India. The effects of surface area, porosity, (226)Ra and moisture contents on (222)Rn emanation rate were examined. The study revealed that the bulk porosity of backfill tailings is more than two orders of magnitude than that of the ore. The geometric mean radon emanation rates from the ore body and backfill tailings were found to be 10.01 × 10(-3) and 1.03 Bq m(-2) s(-1), respectively. Significant positive linear correlations between (222)Rn emanation rate and the (226)Ra content of ore and tailings were observed. For normalised (226)Ra content, the (222)Rn emanation rate from tailings was found to be 283 times higher than the ore due to higher bulk porosity and surface area. The relative radon emanation from the tailings with moisture fraction of 0.14 was found to be 2.4 times higher than the oven-dried tailings. The study suggested that the mill tailings used as a backfill material significantly contributes to radon emanation as compared to the ore body itself and the (226)Ra content and bulk porosity are the dominant factors for radon emanation into the mine atmosphere.