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Sample records for uranium tailings impoundments

  1. Rehabilitation of uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Crawley, A.H.

    1983-01-01

    Under Australian environmental controls relating to the management of uranium tailings, it is no longer acceptable practice to search for a rehabilitation strategy at the end of production when the generation of tailings has ceased. The uranium projects currently in production and those being proposed are tightly regulated by the authorities. The waste management plans must consider site specific factors and must include selection of appropriate disposal sites and design for long term containment. The final encapsulation in engineered facilities must take into account the probable routes to the environment of the tailings. Rehabilitation shoud be undertaken by the mining and milling operators to standards approved by appropriate authorities. Appropriate administrative arrangements are required, by way of technical committees and financial bonds to ensure that agreed standards of rehabilitation may be achieved. Past and present experience with the rehabilitation of uranium tailings impoundments in Australia is discussed

  2. Erosion protection of uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, W.H.; Skaggs, R.L.; Foley, M.G.; Beedlow, P.A.

    1986-09-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) prepared this report to assist in the design and review of erosion protection works for decommissioned uranium tailings impoundments. The major causes of erosion over the long-term decommissioning period are from rainfall-runoff (overland flow) and stream channel flooding. The method of protection recommended for the impoundment side slopes and site drainage channels is rock riprap. Combinations of vegetation and rock mulch are recommended for the top surface. The design methods were developed from currently available procedures supplemented by field, laboratory, and mathematical model studies performed by PNL. Guidelines for the placement of riprap, inspection, and maintenance are presented. Other subjects discussed are rock selection and testing, slope stability, and overland erosion modeling

  3. A generic model of contaminant migration from uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shepherd, T.A.; Brown, S.E.

    1982-01-01

    This paper presents an analytical hydrogeochemical model based upon acid consumption-neutralization front movement. The development of contaminant plumes is discussed and distinct zones within these plumes are identified and characterized. The most important process influencing the rate and extent of contaminant migration at acid-leach uranium tailings impoundments is the neutralization of seepage water by soils along ground water flow paths. The chemical characteristics of the ground water is determined in order to identify and characterize zones within migrating plumes of tailings-derived water. It is concluded that the characterization of specific zones is useful in the interpretation of existing conditions, in the evaluation of future migration, and in the determination of appropriate models for the specific situation

  4. Protection of uranium tailings impoundments against overland erosion

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, W.H.; Skaggs, R.L.

    1986-01-01

    This study investigates the problems involved in designing protection methods to prevent erosion of a uranium tailings impoundment cover from rainfall and runoff (overland flow) processes. The study addresses the side slopes and top surface as separate elements. The side slopes are more subject to gully erosion and require absolute protection such as that provided by rock riprap. The flatter top surface needs much less protection (vegetation/rock combinations) but some estimate of erosion rates are needed to compare alternatives. A literature review indicated that, currently, procedures are not available for the design of rock riprap to prevent gully erosion. Therefore, rock protection on the side slope will have to be based upon engineering judgment determined by the particular site conditions. The Manning-kinetic equations (velocity and depth of runoff) were investigated as a possible aid to the design of gully erosion protection. Guidelines are suggested for the use of rock riprap to prevent gully erosion. Three mathematical models were used to compute erosion rates for the top surface of a hypothetical tailings impoundment. The results recommend that one or possibly both of the regression models could be used to evaluate preliminary protection designs for the top surface. A physical process simulation model should be used for the final design. 30 refs., 13 figs., 16 tabs

  5. Hydrologic considerations for rock RIPRAP protection of uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, W.H.; Skaggs, R.L.

    1984-02-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is conducting an in-depth study of the application of rock riprap for the long-term protection of uranium tailings impoundments. Decommissioned tailings sites at Grand Junction and Slickrock, Colorado were selected to review the application of riprap design methods and evaluate variable sensitivity and data requirements. Preliminary results from the Grand Junction case study indicate that the use of a safety factor in sizing the rock riprap may provide an overly conservative design that may not be justified. Some safety factor, usually a value of 1.5 to 2.0 is normally used in riprap design to allow for the uncertainties in the hydraulic calculations. The computation of the hydraulic designs variables using the probable maximum flood (PMF) event introduces conservatism into the design and the added safety factor may not be warranted. This paper presents some preliminary results from the Grand Junction site concerning the implications of using a safety factor for riprap design. 9 references, 2 figures, 2 tables

  6. Design, permitting, and construction issues associated with closure of the Panna Maria uranium tailings impoundment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Strachan, C.L.; Raabe, K.L.

    1997-01-01

    In 1992, Panna Maria Uranium Operations (PMUO) initiated licensing and engineering activities for closure of the Panna Maria mill and 150-acre tailings impoundment located in southeast Texas. Closure of the tailings impoundment is permitted by license amendment through the Texas Natural Resources Conservation Commission (TNRCC), and based on closure criteria outlined in Texas regulations. The closure plan for the Panna Maria tailings impoundment was submitted for Texas regulatory agency review in April 1993, with details of the closure plan modified in 1994, 1995, and 1996. The closure plan included a multi-layered cover over the regraded tailings surface which was designed for long-term isolation of tailings, reduction of radon emanation to regulated levels, and reduction of infiltration to TNRCC-accepted levels. The cover and embankment slope surfaces and surrounding areas were designed to provide acceptable erosional stability as compared to runoff velocities from the Probable Maximum Precipitation event. Cover materials were selected from on-site materials and evaluated for suitability based on permeability, radon attenuation, and soil dispersivity characteristics. Off-site materials were used when necessary. The cover over the tailings has a maximum slope of 0.5 percent, and the regraded embankment slopes outside the perimeter of the impoundment have a maximum slope of 20 percent. All reclaimed slopes are covered with topsoil and revegetated. A riprap-lined channel is to be used to convey runoff from within the perimeter of the reclaimed impoundment to the north of the impoundment

  7. Methodologies for evaluating long-term stabilization designs of uranium mill tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, J.D.; Abt, S.R.; Volpe, R.L.; Van Zye, D.; Hinkle, N.E.; Staub, W.P.

    1986-06-01

    Uranium mill tailings impoundments require long-term (200 to 1000 years) stabilization. This report reviews currently available methodologies for evaluating factors that can have a significant influence on tailings stabilization and develops methodologies in technical areas where none presently exist. Mill operators can use these methodologies to assist with (1) the selection of sites for mill tailings impoundments, (2) the design of stable impoundments, and (3) the development of reclamation plans for existing impoundments. These methodologies would also be useful for regulatory agency evaluations of proposals in permit or license applications. Methodologies were reviewed or developed in the following technical areas: (1) prediction of the Probable Maximum Precipitation (PMP) and an accompanying Probable Maximum Flood (PMF); (2) prediction of the stability of local and regional fluvial systems; (3) design of impoundment surfaces resistant to gully erosion; (4) evaluation of the potential for surface sheet erosion; (5) design of riprap for protecting embankments from channel flood flow and overland flow; (6) selection of riprap with appropriate durability for its intended use; and (7) evaluation of oversizing required for marginal quality riprap

  8. Effects of rock riprap design parameters on flood protection costs for uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ecker, R.M.

    1984-07-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is studying the problem of long-term protection of earthen covers on decommissioned uranium tailings impoundments. The major erosive forces acting on these covers will be river flooding and overland flow from rainfall-runoff. For impoundments adjacent to rivers, overbank flooding presents the greater potential for significant erosion. To protect the earthen covers against flood erosion, rock riprap armoring will be placed over the cover surface. Because of the large size rock usually required for riprap, the quarrying, transport, and placement of the rock could be a significant part of the decommissioning cost. This report examines the sensitivity of riprap protection costs to certain design parameters at tailings impoundments. The parameters include flood discharge, riprap materials, impoundment side slopes, and an added safety factor. Two decommissioned tailings impoundments are used as case studies for the evaluation. These are the Grand Junction, Colorado, impoundment located adjacent to the Colorado River and the Slickrock, Colorado, impoundment located adjacent to the Dolores River. The evaluation considers only the cost of riprap protection against flood erosion. The study results show that embankment side slope and rock specific gravity can have optimum values or ranges at a specific site. For both case study sites the optimum side slope is about 5H:1V. Of the rock sources considered at Grand Junction, the optimum specific gravity would be about 2.50; however, an optimum rock specific gravity for the Slickrock site could not be determined. Other results indicate that the arbitrary safety factor usually added in riprap design can lead to large increases in protection costs. 22 references, 19 figures, 15 tables

  9. Dose assessment of remedial action for uranium tailing impoundment of a nuclear factory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li Xutong; Ma Ruwei; Guo Zede

    2000-01-01

    A large uranium tailing impoundment in China will be closure and remedial action have been planned. The remedial action will include shaping and covering the dam and beach in order to prevent the impoundment from damage and restrict spread of tailing sands and emission of radon. The author presents the analysis and estimation of the exposure to workers for remedial action and to public after the remedial action. To estimate the exposure to workers, the pathway of inhalation of radon, tailing sands in suspension and external γ exposure were taken into consideration. The exposure scenario is considered as probably maximum exposure to the workers who work on the tailing pile without any protection measures, the dose is 6.0 mSv/a. Two situation for the exposure to public after remedial action were considered: normal and abnormal condition. For the normal condition, inhalation of radon emitted from impoundment is only the pathway to public for the exposure, and individual dose for critical group of public is 0.053 mSv/a, collective dose for population within 80 km is 1.0 man·Sv/a. For the abnormal conditions, four scenarios were considered, i.e. dwelling on tailing pile, farming on tailing pile, living in a house built by contaminated materials and some temporal activities on the pile. The scenarios of dwellings is living in a house on the pile and drinking contaminated water. The maximum individual dose is 27 mSv/a

  10. Modelling of contaminant migration in acidic groundwater plumes at uranium tailings impoundments: ADNEUT3

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cherry, J.A.; Morin, K.A.; Dubrovsky, N.M.

    1984-06-01

    This report describes the creation and application of ADNEUT3, the latest addition to the ADNEUT (Acid-Drainage NEUTralization) family of computer programs for simulating acid-drainage transport and neutralization. The creation of ADNEUT3 involved the expansion of ADNEUT1 to allow variable input conditions such as changing input solution with time, variable initial amounts of minerals through the simulated streamtube, variable velocities through the streamtube, and variable solubilities for relevant minerals dependent on aqueous chemical composition. Concepts for simulating acid-drainage neutralization are reviewed and ADNEUT3 is then applied to a field-study site of acidic contaminant migration from the Nordic Main uranium-tailings impoundment near Elliot Lake, Ontario. A sensitivity study is first implemented to calibrate ADNEUT3 to the results of the 1979 to 1983 field studies. Then ADNEUT3 is used to define probable past conditions at the site which are not reliably known. In particular, ADNEUT3 is used to help identify: 1) the approximate year when acidic seepage began leaving the tailings impoundment (1966-1967), 2) the past chemical composition of the seepage (somewhat more acidic for a short period of time), and 3) the location of the source area within the tailings for the acidic seepage (near the impoundment dam, close to the field site). Finally, ADNEUT3 is used to predict future contaminant migration. Results indicate that hundreds of years are required under present conditions for the most acidic water with associated high levels of contaminants to migrate about 100 m from the tailings impoundment. The cause of this slow movement is the significant neutralization capacity of the aquifer. If acid production within the tailings decreases in the future, migration rates of contaminants will also decrease

  11. Rock riprap design methods and their applicability to long-term protection of uranium mill tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, W.H.

    1982-08-01

    This report reviews the more accepted or recommended riprap design methods currently used to design rock riprap protection against soil erosion by flowing water. The basic theories used to develop the various methods are presented. The Riprap Design with Safety Factors Method is identified as the logical choice for uranium mill tailings impoundments. This method is compared to the other methods and its applicability to the protection requirements of tailings impoundments is discussed. Other design problems are identified and investigative studies recommended

  12. Geomorphological assessment of sites and impoundments for the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    East, T.J.

    1986-01-01

    This paper presents a program of current and future research into those geomorphological processes likely to affect the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region of the Northern Territory. Research is directed at three main areas: identification of geomorphic hazards at proposed impoundment sites; determination of erosion rates on impoundment slopes; and prediction of patterns of fluvial dispersal of released tailings. Each necessitates consideration of present and future geomorphic processes

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. O. Bugai

    2015-10-01

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

  14. contaminant migration in a sand aquifer near an inactive uranium tailings impoundment, Elliot Lake, Ontario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Morin, K.A.; Cherry, J.A.

    1982-01-01

    An investigation of the movement of contaminated groundwater from inactive uranium tailings through a sand aquifer is being conducted at the Nordic Main tailings impoundment near Elliot Lake, Ontario. During 1979 and 1980, multilevel bundle-type piezometers were installed at several locations around the edge of the tailings impoundment. Chemical analysis of water samples from the bundle piezometers indicate that a major contaminant plume extends outward through a sand aquifer from the southeastern part of the Nordic Main impoundment dam. In the vincinity of the contaminant plume, the sand aquifer varies in thickness from about 9 to 15 m. The plume has two distinct segments, referred to as the inner core and the outer zone. The inner core, which has a pH of 4.3-5.0 and extends about 15 m from the foot of the tailings dam, contains several grams per litre of iron and sulfate, and tens of pCi/L of 226 Ra and 210 Pb. Water levels in piezometers within the inner core show that groundwater is moving horizontally, away from the tailings impoundment, with a velocity of up to several hundred metres per year. The outer zone, which extends a few hundred metres downgradient from the dam, is characterized by hundreds to thousands of milligrams per litre of iron and sulfate, less than 15pCi/L of 226 Ra, and a pH greater than 5.7. Comparison of 1979 and 1980 data shows that the front of the inner core is advancing a few metres per year, which is less than a few percent of the groundwater velocity. This retardation of movement of the inner core is caused by neutralization of the acidic water as a result of dissolution of calcium carbonate in the sand. With the rise in pH, precipitation of iron carbonate and possibly some iron hydroxide occurs and the contaminants of main concern such as 226 Ra, 210 Pb, and uranium are removed from solution by adsorption or coprecipitation

  15. Dewatering tailings impoundments : interior drains

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Charlie, W.A.; Doehring, D.O.; Durnford, D.S.

    1984-01-01

    For the design of a new uranium tailings impoundment in the western United States, it was proposed that an interior drainage system be considered to economically and reliably minimize potential short- and long-term environmental impacts. The objectives were to decrease the effective hydraulic head on the clay liner, to dewater and stabilize the tailings, and to increase the amount of water recycled to the mill. In addition, desaturation of the impoundment would induce capillary pressure (negative porewater pressure), further reducing the potential movement of dissolved pollutants. This paper presents saturated and unsaturated seepage principles and reviews the concept, criteria and design of the various interior drainage systems considered

  16. Effects of hydrologic variables on rock riprap design for uranium tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, W.H.; Skaggs, R.L.

    1985-01-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory is studying the mitigation of erosion of earthen radon suppression covers for uranium tailings impoundments. Because the covers will require erosion protection for upwards of 1000 years, rock riprap (armoring) has been proposed as the primary protection method. This study investigates the sensitivity of riprap design procedures to extreme flood events that can generate high flow velocities and shear stresses. The study uses two decommissioned tailings sites (Grand Junction and Slick Rock, Colorado) as case studies to evaluate the sensitivity of design rock size with respect to variables such as flood discharge, side slope, specific gravity, safety factor, and channel roughness. The results indicate that design rock size can vary significantly for different design procedures. Other significant results indicate that embankment side slopes of about 4H:1V are optimum for rock riprap and that the use of rock material with specific gravities less than about 2.50 may prove too costly

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-06-01

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

  18. Geomorphological assessment of sites and impoundments for the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    East, T.J.

    1985-01-01

    Current and future research into the geomorphological processes likely to affect the long term containment of uranium mill tailings in the Alligator Rivers Region is directed at three main areas: identification of geomorphic hazards at proposed impoundment sites; determination of erosion rates on impoundment slopes; and prediction of patterns of fluvial dispersal of released tailings. Each necessitates consideration of present and future geomorphic processes. Process rates during the next few thousand years might be predictable by extrapolation of contemporary and past (i.e. Holocene) climates, sea-levels and depositional environments, evidence for which is preserved in the sedimentary record. In current projects, the Late Quarternary stratigraphy of Magela Creek are examined to provide data for modelling of present and future sedimentological processes. Site stability evaluation entails recognition of present and future geomorphic hazards at impoundment sites, and includes fluvial and hillslope erosion, extreme flood events and mass movements. The life of a tailings impoundment is further determined by the intensity of erosional processes acting upon its slopes and their cover materials. A knowledge of present and future erosion rates will allow the optimisation of slope characteristics and materials in the impoundment design

  19. Use of special oedometer tests for the remediation of large uranium mill tailings impoundments at Wismut, Germany

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barnekow, U.; Paul, M.

    2002-01-01

    The paper presents the use of recently developed special oedometer tests for designing the remediation of large uranium tailings ponds at WISMUT, Germany. Uranium ore mining and milling in eastern Germany by the former Soviet-German WISMUT company lasted from 1946 to 1990. Wastes from the hydrometallurgical uranium extraction processes were discharged into large tailings impoundments covering a total area of 5.5 km 2 and containing about 150 x 10 6 m 3 of uranium mill tailings. Tailings pond remediation is ongoing by in-place decommissioning with dewatering by technical means. Geotechnical properties and the most suitable so-called non-linear finite strain consolidation behaviour of fine uranium mill tailings are described. Decommissioning techniques comprise, among others, interim covering of under consolidated fine tailings, contouring of tailings surfaces and final covering. Contouring, in particular, has a huge potential for optimization in terms of cost reduction. For contouring total settlement portions, the spatial distribution of differential settlement portions and the time-dependent settlement rates, especially of the cohesive fine uranium mill tailings are of critical importance. A new special oedometer KD 314 S has been developed to generate all the input data needed to derive the fundamental geotechnical relationships of void ratio vs. effective stress and of permeability coefficient vs. void ratio for consolidation calculations. Since December 1999 the new special oedometer KD 314 S has been working successfully on fine uranium mill tailings from both acid and from soda alkaline milling. Results coincide with non-linear finite strain consolidation theory. The geotechnical functions derived were used as input parameters for consolidation modelling. An example of the consolidation modelling on Helmsdorf tailings pond is presented. (author)

  20. Studies of red soils as capping the uranium mill tailing impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wen Zhijian; Chen Zhangru; Liu Zhengyi; Chen Guoliang

    2001-01-01

    Capping is one of the important technical engineering measures to assure the long term stabilization and isolation of uranium mill tailings. This paper reports in situ surveys of radon emanations before and after tailings slurries were capped with local red soils at the uranium mill tailings. The data obtained by soil-gas surveys reveal that radon emanation decreased with an increase in capping thickness. The dry density of the capping materials also plays an important role in preventing radon emanation. The measurement results show that utilizing high densities of red soils as capping materials can significantly decrease the required thickness of the capping. The analytical results from borehole red soil samples show that uranium, thorium, and radium contents are consistent with the regional environmental radioactivity level. The studies of the mineralogical composition indicate that the local red soils are rich in clay minerals, e.g. kaolinite, illite and mica vermiculite mixed-layer minerals, which would play an active role in preventing radionuclide release to the surrounding environment. A conceptual model for remediation of south China's uranium mill tailing has been developed

  1. Predictive geochemical modeling of contaminant concentrations in laboratory columns and in plumes migrating from uranium mill tailings waste impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peterson, S.R.; Martin, W.J.; Serne, R.J.

    1986-04-01

    A computer-based conceptual chemical model was applied to predict contaminant concentrations in plumes migrating from a uranium mill tailings waste impoundment. The solids chosen for inclusion in the conceptual model were selected based on reviews of the literature, on ion speciation/solubility calculations performed on the column effluent solutions and on mineralogical characterization of the contacted and uncontacted sediments. The mechanism of adsorption included in the conceptual chemical model was chosen based on results from semiselective extraction experiments and from mineralogical characterization procedures performed on the sediments. This conceptual chemical model was further developed and partially validated in laboratory experiments where assorted acidic uranium mill tailings solutions percolated through various sediments. This document contains the results of a partial field and laboratory validation (i.e., test of coherence) of this chemical model. Macro constituents (e.g., Ca, SO 4 , Al, Fe, and Mn) of the tailings solution were predicted closely by considering their concentrations to be controlled by the precipitation/dissolution of solid phases. Trace elements, however, were generally predicted to be undersaturated with respect to plausible solid phase controls. The concentration of several of the trace elements were closely predicted by considering their concentrations to be controlled by adsorption onto the amorphous iron oxyhydroxides that precipitated

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-09-01

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

  3. Reclamation plans at uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abt, S.R.; Nelson, J.D.

    1990-01-01

    Long-term stability of waste impoundments is of concern because of the long time periods over which various types of waste may remain active. Over the past decade much technology has been developed specifically for reclamation of uranium mill tailings impoundments. Aspects of this technology will be discussed here and is presented as also being directly applicable to reclamation of industrial waste impoundments in general. The paper discusses Title I and Title II sites which represent two different generations in uranium tailings impoundment construction. The comparison between the two represent differences in philosophies as well as in impoundment type. Reclamation of uranium mill tailings impoundments in the U.S. is controlled by Federal legislation, which has set forth the regulatory framework for reclamation plan approval. Title I requirements govern government owned inactive sites and Title II requirements govern active tailings impoundments or those operated by private industries. While the Title I and Title II designation may result in a slightly different regulatory process, reclamation of uranium tailings sites has the same. Differences between Title I and Title II reclamation plans to achieve surface stability relate primarily to the embankment and surface covers. The differences in the cover designs result from site-specific conditions, rather than from differences in engineering approaches or the regulatory process. This paper discusses the site-specific conditions that affect the selection of cover designs, and provides a comparative example to illustrate the effect of this condition

  4. Uranium Mill Tailings Management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, J.D.

    1982-01-01

    This book presents the papers given at the Fifth Symposium on Uranium Mill Tailings Management. Advances made with regard to uranium mill tailings management, environmental effects, regulations, and reclamation are reviewed. Topics considered include tailings management and design (e.g., the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, environmental standards for uranium mill tailings disposal), surface stabilization (e.g., the long-term stability of tailings, long-term rock durability), radiological aspects (e.g. the radioactive composition of airborne particulates), contaminant migration (e.g., chemical transport beneath a uranium mill tailings pile, the interaction of acidic leachate with soils), radon control and covers (e.g., radon emanation characteristics, designing surface covers for inactive uranium mill tailings), and seepage and liners (e.g., hydrologic observations, liner requirements)

  5. Uranium tailings bibliography

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holoway, C.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Eldridge, V.M.

    1975-12-01

    A bibliography containing 1,212 references is presented with its focus on the general problem of reducing human exposure to the radionuclides contained in the tailings from the milling of uranium ore. The references are divided into seven broad categories: uranium tailings pile (problems and perspectives), standards and philosophy, etiology of radiation effects, internal dosimetry and metabolism, environmental transport, background sources of tailings radionuclides, and large-area decontamination

  6. Field evaporation test of uranium tailings solution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chandler, B.L.; Shepard, T.A.; Stewart, T.A.

    1985-01-01

    A field experiment was performed to observe the effect on evaporation rate of a uranium tailings impoundment pond water as salt concentration of the water increased. The duration of the experiment was long enough to cause maximum salt concentration of the water to be attained. The solution used in the experiment was tailings pond water from an inactive uranium tailings disposal site in the initial stages of reclamation. The solution was not neutralized. The initial pH was about 1.0 decreasing to a salt gel at the end of the test. The results of the field experiment show a gradual and slight decrease in evaporation efficiency. This resulted as salt concentrations increased and verified the practical effectiveness of evaporation as a water removal method. In addition, the physical and chemical nature of the residual salts suggest that no long-term stability problem would likely result due to their presence in the impoundment during or after reclamation

  7. Uranium tailings sampling manual

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feenstra, S.; Reades, D.W.; Cherry, J.A.; Chambers, D.B.; Case, G.G.; Ibbotson, B.G.

    1985-01-01

    The purpose of this manual is to describe the requisite sampling procedures for the application of uniform high-quality standards to detailed geotechnical, hydrogeological, geochemical and air quality measurements at Canadian uranium tailings disposal sites. The selection and implementation of applicable sampling procedures for such measurements at uranium tailings disposal sites are complicated by two primary factors. Firstly, the physical and chemical nature of uranium mine tailings and effluent is considerably different from natural soil materials and natural waters. Consequently, many conventional methods for the collection and analysis of natural soils and waters are not directly applicable to tailings. Secondly, there is a wide range in the physical and chemical nature of uranium tailings. The composition of the ore, the milling process, the nature of tailings depositon, and effluent treatment vary considerably and are highly site-specific. Therefore, the definition and implementation of sampling programs for uranium tailings disposal sites require considerable evaluation, and often innovation, to ensure that appropriate sampling and analysis methods are used which provide the flexibility to take into account site-specific considerations. The following chapters describe the objective and scope of a sampling program, preliminary data collection, and the procedures for sampling of tailings solids, surface water and seepage, tailings pore-water, and wind-blown dust and radon

  8. Uranium mill tailings management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-01-01

    Facilities for the disposal of uranium mill tailings will invariably be subjected to geomorphological and climatological influences in the long-term. Proceedings of a workshop discuss how the principles of geomorphology can be applied to the siting, design, construction, decommissioning and rehabilitation of disposal facilities in order to provide for long-term containment and stability of tailings. The characteristics of tailings and their behaviour after disposal influence the potential impacts which might occur in the long-term. Proceedings of another workshop examine the technologies for uranium ore processing and tailings conditioning with a view to identifying improvements that could be made in such characteristics

  9. Radioactive safety analysis and assessment of waste rock pile site in uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Changrong; Liu Zehua; Wang Zhiyong; Zhou Xinghuo

    2007-01-01

    Based on theoretical calculation and in-situ test results, distribution and emissions of radioactive nuclides of uranium tailings impoundment and waste rock pile sites are analyzed in this paper. It is pointed out that 222 Rn is the main nuclide of uranium tailings impoundment and waste rock pile site. Also 222 Rn is the main source term of public dose. 222 Rn concentrations in the atmospheric environment around and individual dose to Rn gradually decrease with increasing distances to uranium tailings impoundment and waste rock pile site. Based on in-situ tests on five uranium tailings impoundment and waste rock pile sites, a decisive method and safety protection distance are presented, which can be used to guide the validation and design of radioactive safety protection in uranium tailings impoundment and waste rock pile sites. (authors)

  10. Modelling of contaminant release from a uranium mine tailings site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kahnt, Rene; Metschies, Thomas

    2007-01-01

    Available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: Uranium mining and milling continuing from the early 1960's until 1990 close to the town of Seelingstaedt in Eastern Germany resulted in 4 tailings impoundments with a total tailings volume of about 105 Mio. m 3 . Leakage from these tailings impoundments enters the underlying aquifers and is discharged into surface water streams. High concentration of salts, uranium and several heavy metals are released from the tailings. At present the tailings impoundments are reshaped and covered. For the identification of suitable remediation options predictions of the contaminant release for different remediation scenarios have to be made. A compartment model representing the tailings impoundments and the surrounding aquifers for the calculation of contaminant release and transport was set up using the software GOLDSIM. This compartment model describes the time dependent hydraulic conditions within the tailings and the surrounding aquifers taking into account hydraulic and geotechnical processes influencing the hydraulic properties of the tailings material. A simple geochemical approach taking into account sorption processes as well as retardation by applying a k d -approach was implemented to describe the contaminant release and transport within the hydraulic system. For uranium as the relevant contaminant the simple approach takes into account additional geochemical conditions influencing the mobility. Alternatively the model approach allows to include the results of detailed geochemical modelling of the individual tailings zones which is than used as source term for the modelling of the contaminant transport in the aquifer and to the receiving streams. (authors)

  11. Uranium mill tailings stabilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Koehmstedt, P.L.; Esterl, D.J.; Freeman, H.D.

    1980-02-01

    Uranium mill tailings pose a potential radiation health hazard to the public. Therefore, stabilization or disposal of these tailings in a safe and environmentally sound way is needed to minimize radon exhalation and other environmental hazards. One of the most promising concepts for stabilizing U tailings is the use of asphalt emulsion to contain radon and other hazardous materials within uranium tailings. This approach is being investigated at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory. Results of these studies indicate that a radon flux reduction of greater than 99% can be obtained using either a poured-on/sprayed-on seal (3.0 to 7.0 mm thick) or an admixture seal (2.5 to 12.7 cm thick) containing about 18 wt % residual asphalt. A field test was carried out in June 1979 at the Grand Junction tailings pile in order to demonstrate the sealing process. A reduction in radon flux ranging from 4.5 to greater than 99% (76% average) was achieved using a 15.2-cm (6-in.) admix seal with a sprayed-on top coat. A hydrostatic stabilizer was used to apply the admix. Following compaction, a spray coat seal was applied over the admix as the final step in construction of a radon seal. Overburden was applied to provide a protective soil layer over the seal. Included in part of the overburden was a herbicide to prevent root penetration

  12. Uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McLaren, L.H.

    1982-11-01

    This bibliography contains information on uranium mill tailings included in the Department of Energy's Energy Data Base from January 1981 through October 1982. The abstracts are grouped by subject category as shown in the table of contents. Entries in the subject index also facilitate access by subject, e.g., Mill Tailings/Radiation Hazards. Within each category the arrangement is by report number for reports, followed by nonreports in reverse chronological order. These citations are to research reports, journal articles, books, patents, theses, and conference papers from worldwide sources. Five indexes, each preceded by a brief description, are provided: Corporate Author, Personal Author, Subject, Contract Number, and Report Number. (335 abstracts)

  13. Uranium tailings in Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Boulden, R.S.; Bragg, K.

    1982-01-01

    The last few years have produced significant changes in the way uranium tailings are managed in Canada. This is due both to the development of new technology and to changes in regulatory approach. The interrelationships between these two areas are examined with particular attention paid to the long term and the development of close-out criteria. New technological initiatives are examined including dry placement techniques, pit disposal and deep lake disposal

  14. Uranium tailings reference materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, C.W.; Steger, H.F.; Bowman, W.S.

    1984-01-01

    Samples of uranium tailings from Bancroft and Elliot Lake, Ontario, and from Beaverlodge and Rabbit Lake, Saskatchewan, have been prepared as compositional reference materials at the request of the National Uranium Tailings Research Program. The four samples, UTS-1 to UTS-4, were ground to minus 104 μm, each mixed in one lot and bottled in 200-g units for UTS-1 to UTS-3 and in 100-g units for UTS-4. The materials were tested for homogeneity with respect to uranium by neutron activation analysis and to iron by an acid-decomposition atomic absorption procedure. In a free choice analytical program, 18 laboratories contributed results for one or more of total iron, titanium, aluminum, calcium, barium, uranium, thorium, total sulphur, and sulphate for all four samples, and for nickel and arsenic in UTS-4 only. Based on a statistical analysis of the data, recommended values were assigned to all elements/constituents, except for sulphate in UTS-3 and nickel in UTS-4. The radioactivity of thorium-230, radium-226, lead-210, and polonium-210 in UTS-1 to UTS-4 and of thorium-232, radium-228, and thorium-228 in UTS-1 and UTS-2 was determined in a radioanalytical program composed of eight laboratories. Recommended values for the radioactivities and associated parameters were calculated by a statistical treatment of the results

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-11-01

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

  16. Liquefaction of uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-02-01

    Numerical methods for assessing the liquefaction potential of soils are reviewed with a view to their application to uranium tailings. The method can be divided into two categories: total stress analysis, where changes in pore pressure are not considered in the soil model, and effective stress analysis, where changes in pore pressure are included in the soil model. Effective stress analysis is more realistic, but few computer programs exist for such analysis in two or three dimensions. A simple linearized, two-dimensional, finite element effective stress analysis which incorporates volumetric compaction due to shear motion is described and implemented. The new program is applied to the assessment of liquefaction potential of tailings in the Quirke Mine tailings area near Elliot Lake, Ontario. The results are compared with those of a total stress analysis. Both analyses indicate liquefaction would occur if a magnitude 6.0 earthquake were to occur near the area. However, the extent of liquefaction predicted by the effective stress analysis is much less than that predicted by the total stress analysis. The results of both methods are sensitive to assumed material properties and to the method used to determine the cyclic shear strength of the tailings. Further analysis, incorporating more in situ and/or laboratory data, is recommended before conclusions can be made concerning the dynamic stability of these tailings

  17. The hydrogeochemistry of four inactive tailings impoundments: Perspectives on tailings pore-water evolution

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Blowes, D.W.; Cherry, J.A.; Reardon, E.J.

    1987-01-01

    Extensive hydrogeochemical investigations are currently underway at three inactive tailings impoundments in Canada. These programs include detailed measurements of pore-water and gas-phase geochemistry through the vadose zone and the groundwater zone. An extensive piezometer network has been installed at each location to monitor the groundwater flow regime. All of the impoundments studied have been inactive for 15 to 25 years, sufficient time for extensive tailings pore-water evolution. The study areas include a very high-sulfide impoundment, a low-sulfide, high-carbonate impoundment, a low-sulfide, very low-carbonate impoundment, and a moderately high-sulfide impoundment. The pore water at each of the sites has evolved in a distinctly different and characteristic manner, representing broad styles of tailings pore-water evolution. At the high sulfide impoundment the oxidation of sulfide minerals has resulted in low pH, high redox potential conditions, with Fe 2+ concentrations in excess of 60,000 mg/L. At a depth of about 40 cm a 10 cm thick layer of ferrous and calcium sulfate minerals has precipitated. This hardpan layer limits the downward movement of O 2 and infiltrating pore waters. As a result, the pore water chemistry, both above and below the hardpan layer, has remained relatively unchanged over the past 10 years. The low-sulfide, high-carbonate tailings are sufficiently well buffered that no low pH conditions are present. The high pH conditions limit the concentrations of the metals released by sulfide mineral oxidation to levels that are two or three orders of magnitude less than is observed at the high-sulfide site. Pore waters at the low-sulfide, low-carbonate site were sampled by other researchers from the University of Waterloo

  18. Bioassay for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tschaeche, A.N.

    1986-01-01

    Uranium mill tailings are composed of fine sand that contains, among other things, some uranium (U/sup 238/ primarily), and all of the uranium daughters starting with /sup 230/Th that are left behind after the usable uranium is removed in the milling process. Millions of pounds of tailings are and continue to be generated at uranium mills around the United States. Discrete uranium mill tailings piles exist near the mills. In addition, the tailings materials were used in communities situated near mill sites for such purposes as building materials, foundations for buildings, pipe runs, sand boxes, gardens, etc. The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) is a U.S. Department of Energy Program designed with the intention of removing or stabilizing the mill tailings piles and the tailings used to communities so that individuals are not exposed above the EPA limits established for such tailings materials. This paper discusses the bioassay programs that are established for workers who remove tailings from the communities in which they are placed

  19. Investigation, assessment and remediation of the water pathway in the surroundings of the Culmitzsch A tailings impoundment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schulze, G.; Paul, M.; Priester, J.; Schoepfer, C.

    1998-01-01

    Several large tailings impoundments in Saxony and Thuringia are the result of the extensive uranium mining and milling in Eastern Germany after World War II. The Culmitzsch tailings pond in Eastern Thuringia was constructed within a former uranium open pit mine and is located within the Culmitzsch trench fault. The tailings impoundment includes two ponds (Culmitzsch A and B) which are separated by an internal dam with an impervious core. The Culmitzsch A pond covers an area of 158 ha, the maximum tailings thickness is 70 m. Between this pond (elevation of up to 340 m above sea-level) and the Lerchenbach creek (265.. 280 m above sea-level) a steep gradient exists. So the valley of the Lerchenbach is the general discharge area for the seepage of the pond which is a result of dewatering by gravity and consolidation. The seepage water migrates through the southern dam of the impoundment and through permeable layers which are in contact with the tailings. About 400 groundwater wells were installed within three aquifers in order to clarify the flow direction and the degree of contamination of the groundwater as well as to investigate the geohydraulic properties of the rocks in the surroundings of the pond. Based on the results of this investigation programme a three-dimensional hydrogeological model was built up which reflects the general relationships between the pond and its geological setting as well as the water balance of the whole system. Presently a catchment system exists which gathers all surface waters with significant uranium and salt concentrations. Moreover dewatering wells on the beach zone of the pond and catchment wells in the downstream area of the impoundment have been installed. Before being released to the receiving streams seepage and freewater are treated in a two-step water treatment plant in order to decrease their uranium, radium and arsenic contents. (orig.) [de

  20. Review of fugitive dust control for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, C.T.; Elmore, M.R.; Hartley, J.N.

    1983-01-01

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

  1. Review of fugitive dust control for uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, C.T.; Elmore, M.R.; Hartley, J.N.

    1983-01-01

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

  2. Uranium mill tailings and radon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hanchey, L.A.

    1981-01-01

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

  3. Uranium mill tailings and radon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanchey, L A

    1981-04-01

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

  4. Uranium mill tailings and radon

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hanchey, L A

    1981-01-01

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

  5. Low-level radioactive waste disposal in the USA - Use of mill tailings impoundments as a new policy option

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Farrell, C.W.

    2006-01-01

    Disposal of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) in the United States is facing severe and immediate capacity limitations. Seemingly intractable regulatory and jurisdictional conflicts make establishment of new LLW disposal sites effectively impossible. Uranium mill tailings impoundments constructed at conventional uranium open-cast and underground mines could offer approximately 40 to 80+ million tons of disposal capacity for low activity radioactive waste. Such impoundments would provide an enhanced, high level of environmental and health and safety protection for the direct disposal of depleted uranium, special nuclear material, technologically-enhanced, naturally-occurring radioactive material (TENORM) and mixed waste. Many waste streams, such as TENORM and decommissioning rubble, will be high-volume, low activity materials and ideally suited for disposal in such structures. Materials in a given decay chain with a total activity from all radionuclides present of ∼820 Bq/g (2.22 x 10 -08 Ci/g) with no single radionuclide present in an activity greater than ∼104 Bq/g (2,800 pCi/g) should be acceptable for disposal. Materials of this type could be accepted without any site-specific dose modelling, so long as the total activity of the tailings impoundment not exceed its design capacity (generally 82 x 10 07 Bq/metric tonne) (0.020 Ci/short ton) and the cover design requirements to limit radon releases are satisfied. This paper provides background on US LLW disposal regulations, examines LLW disposal options under active consideration by the US Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Energy, develops generic waste acceptance criteria and identifies policy needs for federal and state governments to facilitate use of uranium mill tailings impoundments for LLW disposal. (author)

  6. Geochemical behavior of uranium mill tailings leachate in the subsurface

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brookins, D.G.

    1993-01-01

    Leachate generated from surface disposal of acidic uranium mill tailings at Maybell, CO has impacted groundwater quality within the underlying mineralized Browns Park Formation. The extent of groundwater contamination, however, is located directly beneath the tailings impoundment. The milling process consisted of sulfuric acid extraction of uranium from the feed ore by a complex chemical leaching and precipitation process. Tailings leachate at the site contains elevated concentrations of Al, As, Cd, Mo, Ni, NO 3 , Se, U, and other solutes. From column leach tests, the concentrations of contaminants within tailings pore fluid are SO 4 >NH 4 >NO 3 >U>Se>Ni>As>Cd at pH 4.0. The carbonate buffering capacity of the tailings subsoil has decreased because of calcite dissolution in the presence of acidic leachate. Groundwater quality data, mineralogical and microbiological studies, and geochemical modeling suggest that As, NO 3 , Se, U and other solutes are being removed from solution through precipitation, adsorption, and denitrification processes under reducing conditions. Presence of hydrogen sulfide, liquid and gaseous hydrocarbons, dissolved organic, and abundant pyrite within the Browns Park Formations have maintained reducing conditions subjacent to the tailings impoundment. Groundwater is in close equilibrium with coffinite and uraninite, the primary U(IV) minerals extracted from the Browns Parks Formation. Denitrifying bacteria identified in this study catalyze redox reactions involving NO 3 . Subsequently, contaminant distributions of NO 3 decrease 1000 times beneath the tailings impoundment. Applying geochemical and biochemical processes occurring at Maybell provides an excellent model for in situ aquifer restoration programs considered at other uranium tailings and heavy-metal-mixed waste contaminated sites. (author) 4 figs., 4 tabs., 27 refs

  7. Uranium mill tailings conditioning technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Cokal, E.J.; Wangen, L.E.; Williams, J.M.; O'Brien, P.D.; Thode, E.F.

    1982-01-01

    Conditioning of uranium mill tailings involves the physicochemical alteration of tailings to remove or immobilize mobile radionuclides and toxic trace elements before disposal in a repository. The principal immobilization approach under investigation is sintering tailings at high temperatures (1100-1200 deg. C) to radically alter the structure of tailings. This thermal stabilization at 1200 deg. C reduced radon emanation power for tailings sands by factors of 20 to 200 and for tailings fines by factors of 300 to 1100. Substantial reductions in the leachability of most contaminants have been found for thermally conditioned tailings. Obvious mineral transformations occur, including an increase in amorphous material, the conversion of gypsum to anhydrite and its subsequent decomposition, the disappearance of clay minerals, and some decrease in quartz content. A conceptual thermal stabilization process has been developed wherein obsolete coal-fired rotary cement kilns perform the sintering. An economic analysis of this conceptual process has shown that thermal stabilization can be competitive at certain tailings sites with other remedial actions requiring the excavation, transportation, and burial of tailings in a repository. An analysis of the long-term radiological hazard posed by untreated tailings and by tailings conditioned by radionuclide removal has illustrated the necessity of extracting both 226 Ra and 230 Th to achieve long-term hazard reductions. Sulphuric acid extraction of residual mineral values and important radionuclides from tailings has been investigated. Concentrated H 2 SO 4 can extract up to 80% of the 226 Ra, 70% of the Ba, and 90% of the 230 Th from tailings in a single stage extraction. An economic analysis of a sulphuric acid leach process was made to determine whether the value of minerals recovered from tailings would offset the leaching cost. For one relatively mineral-rich tailings pile, the U and V values would more than pay for the

  8. Settlement of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, P.K.; Guros, F.B.; Keshian, B.

    1988-01-01

    Two test embankments were constructed on top of an old tailings deposit near Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico to determine settlement characteristics of hydraulically- deposited uranium mill tailings. Before construction of the embankments, properties of in-situ tailings and foundation soils were determined using data from boreholes, piezocone soundings, and laboratory tests. These properties were used to estimate post-construction settlement of a planned disposal embankment to be constructed on the tailings. However, excessive uncertainty existed in the following: field settlement rates of saturated and unsaturated tailings, degree of preconsolidation of the upper 15 feet of tailings, and the ability of an underlying silty sand foundation layer to facilitate drainage. Thus, assurance could not be provided that differential settlements of the radon barrier and erosion protection layers would be within allowable limits should the planned disposal embankment be constructed in a single-stage

  9. Interior drains for open pit disposal of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staub, W.P.

    1978-01-01

    A conceptualized interior drainage system is presented for reducing the environmental impact on natural groundwater by disposal of uranium mill tailings in the mined-out open pit. The evaporation/seepage ratio can be increased through the use of interior drains, long-term monitoring of groundwater quality can be eliminated, and the open pit will not require an extensive liner. Other advantages not related to groundwater are: control of fugitive dust and radon emanation during mill operations and timely reclamation after the impoundment is filled with tailings

  10. Gully potential in soil-covered uranium waste impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abt, S.R.; Hogan, S.A.; Johnson, T.L.

    1994-01-01

    Soil covers are routinely considered a design alternative to stabilize uranium waste impoundments. Gully intrusion into the cover is one of the greatest potential threats to the long-term stability of an impoundment. An investigation was conducted to estimate the maximum depth of gully intrusion, the approximate top width of the gully at the point of maximum incision, and the approximate location of the maximum intrusion. A large-scale laboratory study was conducted on seven embankments in which approximately 200 years of rainfall was simulated and the resulting gullies were documented. In addition, 11 gullies occurring in actual reclaimed impoundments were documented. An analysis of the laboratory and field data sets was performed in which the maximum depth of gully incision, top width of the gully, and location of the maximum gully incision were related to the pile height, tributary volume of runoff, and soil composition. These relations provide the designers with a means for assessing the cover design to meet the long-term stability of the waste

  11. Design and construction of an impoundment for precious metal mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Moldt, S.F.; Miller, R.G.; Johnson, K.

    1985-01-01

    An engineering study and design of impoundments for the disposal of mill tailings is presented. The site is located in central Nevada, and the mill will incorporate conventional flotation followed by a carbon-in-pulp cyanide process for extraction of gold from ore. Mill process waste will be generated as flotation tailings and cyanide residue. Permeable site soils and environmental considerations required the prevention of infiltration of cyanide residue leachate into the subgrade. Geochemical modeling of flotation tailings indicated the potential for high concentration of iron and nickel to be present in the flotation tailings leachate. On-site soils were optimized for use in construction of the separate flotation tailings and cyanide residue impoundments. Embankments were constructed on compacted on-site sandy gravels. The cyanide residue impoundment was designed using a four-layer liner, utilizing all on-site soils and chemical soil additives. The liner consists of a leachate collection system over a low-permeability layer, which in turn is underlain by a leak detection drainage blanket and a low permeability subliner. The geochemical modeling performed in the analysis indicated that placement of a thin layer of oxidized surface soils, high in soluble sulfates, on the bottom of the flotation tailings impoundment would be sufficient to react with tailings leachate and cause precipitation of ferric oxide and the associated removal of nickel, permitting flotation tailings leachate to dilute acceptably with natural groundwater

  12. Estimates of population distributions and tailings areas around licensed uranium mill sites. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hans, J.M.; Hall, J.B.; Moore, W.E.

    1986-08-01

    Population distributions and tailings areas were estimated from aerial photography for each of 21 licensed uranium millsites. Approximately 11,600 persons live within 5 kilometers of the tailings impoundments at the millsites. About 82% of these persons live near five of the millsites. No persons were found living within 5 kilometers of six of the millsites. Tailings area measurements include the surface area of tailings in impoundments, heap-leached ore, and carryover tailings in evaporation ponds. Approximately 4,000 acres of tailings surfaces were measured for the 21 millsites. About 55% of the tailings surfaces were dry, 11% wet, and the remainder ponded. The average tailings surface area for the millsites is about 200 acres and ranges from 7 to 813 acres

  13. Field performance assessment of synthetic liners for uranium tailings ponds: a status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, D.H.; Spanner, G.E.

    1984-03-01

    The objective of this study is to provide a database to support US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) licensing of uranium tailings leachate isolation impoundments. This objective is being accomplished by determining the effectiveness of design, installation, and quality assurance practices associated with uranium mill tailings impoundments with flexible membrane liners. The program includes testing of chemical resistance and physical performance of liners, leak detection systems, and seam inspection techniques. This report presents the status of the program through September 1983. The report addresses impoundment design, installation, and inspection techniques used by the uranium milling industry. To determine the relative successes of these techniques, information has been collected from consultants, mill operators, and the synthetic liner industry. Progress in experimental tasks on chemical resistance of liners, physical properties of liners, and nondestructive examination of seams is reported. 25 references, 9 figures, 13 tables

  14. UAV Remote Sensing Surveillance of a Mine Tailings Impoundment in Sub-Arctic Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anssi Rauhala

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Mining typically involves extensive areas where environmental monitoring is spatially sporadic. New remote sensing techniques and platforms such as Structure from Motion (SfM and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs may offer one solution for more comprehensive and spatially continuous measurements. We conducted UAV campaigns in three consecutive summers (2015–2017 at a sub-Arctic mining site where production was temporarily suspended. The aim was to monitor a 0.5 km2 tailings impoundment and measure potential subsidence of tailings. SfM photogrammetry was used to produce yearly topographical models of the tailings surface, which allowed the amount of surface displacement between years to be tracked. Ground checkpoints surveyed in stable areas of the impoundment were utilized in assessing the vertical accuracy of the models. Observed surface displacements were linked to a combination of erosion, tailings settlement, and possible compaction of the peat layer underlying the tailings. The accuracy obtained indicated that UAV-assisted monitoring of tailings impoundments is sufficiently accurate for supporting impoundment management operations and for tracking surface displacements in the decimeter range.

  15. Predicting radon flux from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, H.D.; Hartley, J.N.

    1983-11-01

    Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL), under contract to the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) office, is developing technology for the design of radon barriers for uranium mill tailings piles. To properly design a radon cover for a particular tailings pile, the radon flux emanating from the bare tailings must be known. The tailings characteristics required to calculate the radon flux include radium-226 content, emanating power, bulk density, and radon diffusivity. This paper presents theoretical and practical aspects of estimating the radon flux from an uranium tailings pile. Results of field measurements to verify the calculation methodology are also discussed. 24 references, 4 figures, 4 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

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

  17. Health risks from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Russell, J.L.

    1992-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

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

  19. Evaluation of neutralization treatment processes and their use for uranium tailings solutions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherwood, D.R.; Opitz, B.E.; Serne, R.J.

    1985-01-01

    The potential for groundwater contamination from the typically acidic mill wastes that are disposed of in tailings impoundments is of primary concern at uranium mill sites in the US. Solution-treatment processes provide a system for limiting the environmental impact from acidic seepage. Treatment of uranium tailings solutions from evaporation ponds, underdrains, and surface seeps could aid in decommissioning active sites or be used as an emergency measure to avert possible uncontrolled discharges. At present, neutralization processes appear to be best suited for treating uranium mill tailings solution because they can, at a reasonable cost, limit the solution concentration of many contaminants and thus reduce the potential for groundwater contamination. However, the effectiveness of the neutralization process depends on the reagent used as well as the chemistry of the waste stream. This article provides a description of neutralization processes, an assessment of their performance on acidic uranium tailings leachates, and recommendations for their use at US uranium mill sites

  20. Proceedings of the 15. annual British Columbia MEND ML/ARD workshop : the management of tailings and tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    2009-02-01

    This Mine Environment Neutral Drainage (MEND) workshop was held to promote the exchange of information and ideas on environmental protection and reclamation associated with mining. The workshop covered a broad spectrum of reclamation issues and the key environmental challenges facing the mining industry, such as acid mine drainage (AMD) control, and metal leaching and acid rock drainage (ML/ARD). The theme for the 2008 workshop was the management of tailings and tailings impoundments. Topics of discussion included hydrogeology and geochemistry; tailings disposal; mitigation; closure plans; and postclosure performance. The emphasis was on full-scale case studies, practical constraints and sustaining successful disposal strategies and remediation. The session on tailings management reviewed overarching policies and practices; methods of subaerial tailings disposal and case studies of tailings management; and detailed investigations of geochemical properties and processes. The conference featured 22 presentations, of which 4 have been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  1. Predicting the long term stabilisation of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Trojacek, J.

    2004-01-01

    The long-term stabilization and remediation of uranium mill tailings ponds is an important task for DIAMO. After uranium mining was stopped, DIAMO has to remediate more then 400 ha of tailings ponds at three locations. It is currently planned to cover the surface with low permeability materials with a slope of approx. 3% to protect the interior of the disposal facility from infiltrating rainwater. This entails to cover the free surface of these ponds with several hundred thousand tons of inert material. As a result of this load, the porewater from the tailings is expelled and the body of the impounded materials consolidates. Consolidation of tailings proceeds irregularly, depending on the internal structure of the tailings layers and on the progress of loading. The surface needs to be recontoured for a long time into the future. The topic of the DIAMO project is to predict and optimise the final surface contour of the tailings pond body, and to determine the time schedule and locations for recontouring work. The K1 tailings pond in Dolni Rozinka (Southern Moravia) is a typical example for such task. The average thickness of the tailings layer is around 25 m and the average porewater contents varies from 25 up to 40%. In the years 1998-99 a PHARE pilot project was undertaken that aimed to predict the quantity and quality of drainage and infiltration waters as a function of time. A new investigation programme (field, laboratory and modelling) has been implemented. The range of material properties and distribution of types of tailings was established. Orientation calculations of the tailings consolidation were made for fine slime zone. The results have shown that significant subsidence of the surface is to be expected after loading with inert material for the construction of an interim cover. (author)

  2. Dam-break studies for mine tailings impoundments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeyapalan, J.K.

    1982-01-01

    This paper describes simple procedures for performing dam-break analyses. Tailings from dam failures usually liquefy and flow for substantial distances as a viscous fluid. The prediction of the possible extent of flow slide movement is illustrated using two case histories. Topics considered include the flow behavior of liquefied talings, dimensionsless numbers for mine tailings and associated flow regimes, laminar flow, and turbulent flow. The potential inundation regions downstream of mine tailings dams are assessed. It is concluded that instances of flow slides of mine waste embankments indicate that the failure of these structures has considerable potential for damage to life and property in many cases

  3. Contingency planning and risk analysis for water and tailings management at Ranger Uranium Mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    McNally, P.E.

    1986-01-01

    This paper describes some of the more likely risks and contingency procedures associated with the extremely variable monsoonal climate of the Alligator Rivers region in the Northern Territory in relation to the Ranger Uranium Mine. The tailings management system is basically a large storage impoundment and a reticulation system that delivers tailings sludge and recycles supernatant water. It is a closed circuit within the water management system and is dealt with as an integral part of that system

  4. Uranium mill tailings remedial action technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Gee, G.W.

    1984-01-01

    The uranium milling process involves the hydrometallurgical extraction of uranium from ores and the resultant generation of large quantities of waste referred to as tailings. Uranium mill tailings have been identified as requiring remediation because they contain residual radioactive material that is not removed in the milling process. Potential radiation exposure can result from direct contact with the tailings, from radon gas emitted by the tailings, and from radioactive contamination of groundwater. As a result, the technology developed under the US Department of Energy (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) and the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Uranium Recovery Program have focused on radon control, groundwater contamination and the long-term protection of the containment system. This paper briefly summarizes the UMTRAP and NRC remedial action technology development. 33 references, 9 figures, 5 tables

  5. Research on uranium tailings disposal technology at CANMET, Ottawa

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Skeaff, J.M.; Ritcey, G.M.; Jongejan, A.; Silver, M.

    1982-01-01

    In this paper, results from three continuing investigations at CANMET on uranium tailings management are presented. These investigations are: cleaning of tailings by flotation, conversion of municipal wastes into compost for use as topsoil on uranium tailings, methods for the chemical fixation of uranium tailings and a laboratory determination of the rate of release of environmental contaminants from uranium tailings

  6. Mineralogy and geochemistry of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pagel, M.; Somot, S.

    2002-01-01

    We have investigated three main types of uranium mill tailings: (1) acid mill tailings (Mounana, Gabon), (2) neutralized acid mill tailings (Ecarpiere and Jouac, France) and (3) alkaline mill tailings (Lodeve, France). We have focused especially on radium behaviour which is of major environmental concern in these tailings, but other metals were also studied. It is shown that in type 1 , trapping of 226 Ra by anglesite and barite is dominant whereas in types 2 and 3, 226 Ra is mainly or significantly scavenged by Fe- Mn oxyhydroxides. This study points out the importance of keeping conditions in which these oxyhydroxides will be stable for the long-term. Uranium would be also released during acidification of the tailings. This shows the importance to know more about the behavior of Ra during the crystallization of oxyhydroxides and during tailings diagenesis. Therefore, it is very important to study the sorption of Ra by clay minerals or late authigeneous minerals such as barite. (author)

  7. Screening Assessment of Radionuclide Migration in Groundwater from the “Dneprovskoe” Tailings Impoundment (Dneprodzerzhynsk City) and Evaluation of Remedial Options

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Skalskyi, O.; Bugai, D. [Institute of Geological Sciences, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (Ukraine); Ryazantsev, V. [State Nuclear Regularity Committee of Ukraine, Kiev (Ukraine)

    2014-05-15

    The paper presents results of mathematical modeling of the hydrogeological conditions at the “Dneprovskoe” (“D”) tailings impoundment –object of the former industrial association of “Pridneprovsky Chemical Plant”, which contains uranium ore processing wastes. This radioactively polluted site is located in a densely populated region (at the outskirts of Dneprodzerginsk City) near the major watercourse of the Ukraine — Dnieper River.The mathematical modeling utilized Visual Modflow (for groundwater flow) and Ecolego (Facilia AB, Sweden) radioecology modeling software (for radionuclide transport).Modeling results indicate the possibility of essential radioactive contamination in future of the phreatic aquifer in alluvial deposits between the “D” tailings and the Dnieper River (mainly due to migration of uranium). Therefore long-term management strategies should preclude water usage from the aquifer in the zone of the in-fluence of the “D” tailings. Filtration discharge of uranium to the Dnepr River does not represent a significant risk due to large dilution by surface waters. The important modeling conclusion is that besides the uranium ore processing wastes inside the tailings, the major source of radionuclide migration to groundwater is represented by contaminated geological deposits below the tailings. This last source was formed due to leakage of wastewaters during the operational period of the “D” tailings (1954–1968). Therefore an exemption and re-disposal of wastes from the “D” tailings to a more safe storage location (proposed by some remedial plans) will not provide significant benefit from the viewpoint of minimizing of radionuclide transport to the groundwater and Dnieper River (especially in short-and medium-term perspective). The rational remedial strategy for the “D” tailings is conservation of tailing wastes in-situ by means of specially designed “zero flux” soil screen, which would minimize infiltration of

  8. Canadian experience with uranium tailings disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Culver, K.B.

    1982-06-01

    During the first years of uranium production in Canada uranium tailings were discharged directly into valleys or lakes near the mill. Treatment with barium chloride to precipitate radium began in 1965 at the Nordic Mine at Elliot Lake, Ontario. In the mid-60s and early 70s water quality studies indicated that discharges from uranium tailings areas were causing degradation to the upper part of the Serpent River water system. Studies into acid generation, revegetation, and leaching of radium were initiated by the mining companies and resulted in the construction of treatment plants at a number of sites. Abandoned tailings sites were revegetated. At hearings into the expansion of the Elliot Lake operations the issue of tailings management was a major item for discussion. As a result federal and provincial agencies developed guidelines for the siting and development of urnaium tailings areas prior to issuing operating licences. Western Canadian uranium producers do not have the acid generation problem of the Elliot Lake operations. The Rabbit Lake mill uses settling ponds followed by filtration. High-grade tailings from Cluff Lake are sealed in concrete and buried. Uranium producers feel that the interim criteria developed by the Atomic Energy Control Board, if adopted, would have a harmful effect on the viability of the Canadian uranium industry

  9. Radon emanation characteristics of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielson, K.K.; Freeman, H.D.; Hartley, J.N.; Mauch, M.L.; Rogers, V.C.

    1982-01-01

    Radon emanation from uranium mill tailings was examined with respect to the mechanisms of emanation and the physical properties of the tailings which affect emanation. Radon emanation coefficients were measured at ambient moisture on 135 samples from the 1981 field test site at the Grand Junction tailings pile. These coefficients showed a similar trend with moisture to those observed previously with uranium ores, and averaged 0.10 + or - 0.02 at dryness and 0.38 + or - 0.04 for all samples having greater than five weight-percent moisture. Small differences were noted between the maximum values of the coefficients for the sand and slime fractions of the tailings. Separate measurements on tailings from the Vitro tailings pile exhibited much lower emanation coefficients for moist samples, and similar coefficients for dry samples. Alternative emanation measurement techniques were examined and procedures are recommended for use in future work

  10. Elemental characterization of Tummalapalle uranium mill tailing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patra, A.C.; Sahoo, S.K.; Thakur, V.K.; Dubey, J.S.; Jha, S.K.; Tripathi, R.M.; Sharma, D.B.

    2018-01-01

    Elements are present in environmental matrices at varying concentrations. Their levels may increase due to anthropogenic activities like transportation, industrial activities, agriculture, urbanization and human activities. Trace elements can be classified as potentially toxic (eg. cadmium, arsenic, mercury, lead, nickel), probably essential (eg. cobalt, vanadium) and essential (eg. iron, zinc, copper, selenium, manganese). Due to the expansion of the Indian Nuclear Power Programme, new uranium mining sites are coming up. Mining and milling produce large quantities of low active mill tailings contained in engineered Tailings Ponds. The tailings are amenable for interaction with the geochemical forces and can act as potential sources of contamination. Thus it is necessary to ascertain the concentrations of elements that are present therein. In this paper we aim to characterize the uranium tailings generated from Tummalapalle uranium mining facility in Kadappa district, Andhra Pradesh, India

  11. Thermal stabilization of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Williams, J.M.; Cokal, E.J.

    1981-01-01

    The sintering of tailings at high temperatures (1200 0 C) has shown promise as a conditioning approach that greatly reduces the 222 Rn emanation of uranium mill tailings. The structure of thermally stabilized tailings has been appreciably altered producing a material that will have minimal management requirements and will be applicable to on-site processing and disposal. The mineralogy of untreated tailings is presented to define the structure of the original materials. Quartz predominates in most tailings samples; however, appreciable quantities of gypsum, clay, illite, or albites are found in some tailings. Samples from the Durango and Shiprock sites have plagioclase-type aluminosilicates and non-aluminum silicates as major components. The iron-rich vanadium tailings from the Salt Lake City site contain appreciable quantities of α-hematite and chloroapatite. The reduction in radon emanation power and changes in mineralogy as a function of sintering temperature are presented

  12. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-07-01

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

  13. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-07-01

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

  14. Optimization of uranium mill tailings disposal practices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Richardson, Allan C.B.; Rowe, William D.

    1984-01-01

    So far as we have been to discern, no uranium mill tailings pile has yet been properly stabilized for long-term disposal. And although considerable effort is now being directed at developing practical solutions and at establishing standards for permanent disposal, the difficulties in application are diverse. They arise from the variety of environments in which milling is conducted, the significant costs associated with disposing of the large volumes of materials involved, the diverse nature of the hazards to be protected against, and uncertainties in both performance of controls and in how to determine societal responsibilities for management of the long term hazards to human populations from uranium tailings. There are 24 uranium tailings piles in the United States which no longer have responsible owners, and must now be disposed of by the U.S. Government in order to protect public health

  15. Contemporary Pollution Due Old Uranium Tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hadjamberdiev, I.

    2007-01-01

    The areas of our study are uranium mining areas (with tails and dumps) Min-Kush, Kadji-Sai, Mailuu-Suu. These areas situated in different parts of Tien-Shan region. We study the content (and correlations among): level of uranium in environment, immune function and level, level in human teeth. It has been found: content of uranium in river water under tails about 2,0x10-5 gm/litter, and high level in drinking water too 2,0-4,0. Drying grass and flowers uranium content was 0,04-0,51x10-5 gm/gm, most high content were in Tacniatherum crinitum and Atgilops triuncialis. Lams tissues contain 0,005-2,44 mg/g in Min-Kush, 0,03-0,107, in Mailuu-Suu, and 0,001-0,048 mg/g in Kadji-Sai. Human teeth uranium content (Mailuu-Suu): in milk-teeth 0,481x10-6 gm/gm, in former miners 0,7684x10-6 gm/gm. Inhabitants of the area, which not working in uranium industry have 0,6876x10-6 gm/gm. There was low level of immune function (lymphocytes, IgI globulin, etc) in all three regions (in child, in adults, in uranium-mining worked people). There is no doubt of the positive correlations of uranium pollution of water (by underground infiltration from tails) on one hand and, on the other hand - a) grass, b) lambs body, c) human teeth, d) human immune function. Levels of uranium in teeth strictly depend on time of mining contact. (author)

  16. Evaluation of chemical stabilizers and windscreens for wind erosion control of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Elmore, M.R.; Hartley, J.N.

    1984-08-01

    Potential wind erosion of uranium mill tailings is a concern for the surface disposal of tailings at uranium mills. Wind-blown tailings may subsequently be redeposited on areas outside the impoundment. Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is investigating techniques for fugitive dust control at uranium mill tailings piles. Laboratory tests, including wind tunnel studies, were conducted to evaluate the relative effectiveness of 43 chemical stabilizers. Seventeen of the more promising stabilizers were applied to test plots on a uranium tailings pile at the American Nuclear Corporation-Gas Hills Project mill site in central Wyoming. The durabilities of these materials under actual site conditions were evaluated over time. In addition, field testing of commercially available windscreens was conducted. Test panels were constructed of eight different materials at the Wyoming test site to compare their durability. A second test site was established near PNL to evaluate the effectiveness of windscreens at reducing wind velocity, and thereby reduce the potential for wind erosion of mill tailings. Results of the laboratory land field tests of the chemical stabilizers and windscreens are presented, along with costs versus effectiveness of these techniques for control of wind erosion at mill tailings piles. 12 references, 4 figures, 6 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

  18. Grouting of uranium mill tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-03-01

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

  19. The role of cassiterite controlling arsenic mobility in an abandoned stanniferous tailings impoundment at Llallagua, Bolivia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Romero, Francisco Martín; Canet, Carles; Alfonso, Pura; Zambrana, Rubén N; Soto, Nayelli

    2014-05-15

    The surface water contamination by potentially toxic elements (PTE) leached from mine tailings is a major environmental concern. However, the formation of insoluble solid phases can control the mobility of PTE, with subsequent decrease of the risk that tailings suppose to the environment. We characterized the tailings from a tin inactive mine in Llallagua, Bolivia in order to assess the risk for surface water quality. These tailings contain high concentrations of PTE, with up to 94,344 mg/kg Fe, 9,135 mg/kg Sn, 4,606 mg/kg As, 1,362 mg/kg Cu, 1,220 mg/kg Zn, 955 mg/kg Pb and 151 mg/kg Cd. Oxidation of sulfide minerals in these tailings generates acid leachates (pH=2.5-3.5), rich in SO4(2-) and dissolved PTE, thereby releasing contaminants to the surface waters. Nevertheless, the concentrations of dissolved Sn, As and Pb in acid leachates are low (Sntailing deposits; it should be the main solid phase controlling Sn and As mobility in the impoundment. Additionally, jarosite and plumbojarosite, identified among the secondary minerals, could also play an important role controlling the mobility of As and Pb. Taking into account (a) the low solubility constants of cassiterite (Ksp=10(-64.2)), jarosite (Ksp=10(-11)) and plumbojarosite (Ksp=10(-28.66)), and (b) the stability of these minerals under acidic conditions, we can conclude that they control the long-term fate of Sn, As and Pb in the studied tailings. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. Characterization and assessment of potential environmental risk of tailings stored in seven impoundments in the Aries river basin, Western Romania

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to examine the potential environmental risk of tailings resulted after precious and base metal ores processing, stored in seven impoundments located in the Aries river basin, Romania. The tailings were characterized by mineralogical and elemental composition, contamination indices, acid rock drainage generation potential and water leachability of hazardous/priority hazardous metals and ions. Multivariate statistical methods were used for data interpretation. Results Tailings were found to be highly contaminated with several hazardous/priority hazardous metals (As, Cu, Cd, Pb), and pose potential contamination risk for soil, sediments, surface and groundwater. Two out of the seven studied impoundments does not satisfy the criteria required for inert wastes, shows acid rock drainage potential and thus can contaminate the surface and groundwater. Three impoundments were found to be highly contaminated with As, Pb and Cd, two with As and other two with Cu. The tailings impoundments were grouped based on the enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index, contamination factor and contamination degree of 7 hazardous/priority hazardous metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn) considered typical for the studied tailings. Principal component analysis showed that 47% of the elemental variability was attributable to alkaline silicate rocks, 31% to acidic S-containing minerals, 12% to carbonate minerals and 5% to biogenic elements. Leachability of metals and ions was ascribed in proportion of 61% to silicates, 11% to acidic minerals and 6% to the organic matter. A variability of 18% was attributed to leachability of biogenic elements (Na, K, Cl-, NO3-) with no potential environmental risk. Pattern recognition by agglomerative hierarchical clustering emphasized the grouping of impoundments in agreement with their contamination degree and acid rock drainage generation potential. Conclusions Tailings stored in the studied impoundments were found to

  1. Characterization and assessment of potential environmental risk of tailings stored in seven impoundments in the Aries river basin, Western Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Levei Erika

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background The objective of this study was to examine the potential environmental risk of tailings resulted after precious and base metal ores processing, stored in seven impoundments located in the Aries river basin, Romania. The tailings were characterized by mineralogical and elemental composition, contamination indices, acid rock drainage generation potential and water leachability of hazardous/priority hazardous metals and ions. Multivariate statistical methods were used for data interpretation. Results Tailings were found to be highly contaminated with several hazardous/priority hazardous metals (As, Cu, Cd, Pb, and pose potential contamination risk for soil, sediments, surface and groundwater. Two out of the seven studied impoundments does not satisfy the criteria required for inert wastes, shows acid rock drainage potential and thus can contaminate the surface and groundwater. Three impoundments were found to be highly contaminated with As, Pb and Cd, two with As and other two with Cu. The tailings impoundments were grouped based on the enrichment factor, geoaccumulation index, contamination factor and contamination degree of 7 hazardous/priority hazardous metals (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Ni, Pb, Zn considered typical for the studied tailings. Principal component analysis showed that 47% of the elemental variability was attributable to alkaline silicate rocks, 31% to acidic S-containing minerals, 12% to carbonate minerals and 5% to biogenic elements. Leachability of metals and ions was ascribed in proportion of 61% to silicates, 11% to acidic minerals and 6% to the organic matter. A variability of 18% was attributed to leachability of biogenic elements (Na, K, Cl-, NO3- with no potential environmental risk. Pattern recognition by agglomerative hierarchical clustering emphasized the grouping of impoundments in agreement with their contamination degree and acid rock drainage generation potential. Conclusions Tailings stored in the studied

  2. Remote sensing to monitor uranium tailing sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-02-01

    This report concerns the feasibility of using remotely-sensed data for long-term monitoring of uranium tailings. Decommissioning of uranium mine tailings sites may require long-term monitoring to confirm that no unanticipated release of contaminants occurs. Traditional ground-based monitoring of specific criteria of concern would be a significant expense depending on the nature and frequency of the monitoring. The objective of this study was to evaluate whether available remote-sensing data and techniques were applicable to the long-term monitoring of tailings sites. This objective was met by evaluating to what extent the data and techniques could be used to identify and discriminate information useful for monitoring tailings sites. The cost associated with obtaining and interpreting this information was also evaluated. Satellite and aircraft remote-sensing-based activities were evaluated. A monitoring programme based on annual coverage of Landsat Thematic Mapper data is recommended. Immediately prior to and for several years after decommissioning of the tailings sites, airborne multispectral and thermal infrared surveys combined with field verification data are required in order to establish a baseline for the long-term satellite-based monitoring programme. More frequent airborne surveys may be required if rapidly changing phenomena require monitoring. The use of a geographic information system is recommended for the effective storage and manipulation of data accumulated over a number of years

  3. Long term aspects of uranium tailings management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bragg, K.

    1980-05-01

    This paper sets out the background issues which lead to the development of interim close-out criteria for uranium mill tailings. It places the current state-of-the-art for tailings management into both a national and international perspective and shows why such interim criteria are needed now. There are seven specific criteria proposed dealing with the need to have: passive barriers, limits on surface water recharge, durable systems, long term performance guarantees, limits to access, controls on water and airborne releases and finally to have a knowledge of exposure pathways. This paper is intended to serve as a focus for subsequent discussions with all concerned parties. (auth)

  4. Containment systems for uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Buelt, J.L.

    1982-11-01

    Cover and liner systems for uranium mill tailings in the United States must satisfy stringent requirements regarding long-term stability, radon control, and radionuclide and hazardous chemical migration. The cover and liner technology discussed in this paper involves: (1) single and multilayer earthen cover systems; (2) asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems; and (3) asphalt, clay, and synthetic liner systems. These systems have been field tested at the Grand Junction, Colorado, tailings pile, where they have been shown to effectively reduce radon releases and radionuclide and chemical migration

  5. Seepage from uranium tailing ponds and its impact on ground water

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rahn, P.H.; Mabes, D.L.

    1978-01-01

    A typical uranium mill produces about 1800 metric tons of tailing per day. An assessment of the seepage from an unlined tailing impoundment of a hypothetical mill in northwestern New Mexico indicates that about 2x10 5 m 3 /yr of water will seep over a period of 23 years. The seepage water will move vertically to the water table, and then spread out radially and ultimately downgradient with ground water. The principal dissolved contaminants in the tailing pond liquid are radium, thorium, sulfate, iron, manganese, and selenium; in addition, the liquid is acidic (pH=2). Many contaminants precipitate out as neutralization of seepage water occurs. At the termination of mill operation, radium will have advanced about 0.4 m and thorium no more than 0.1 m below the bottom of the tailing pond

  6. Uranium tailings in the public eye

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lyon, B.

    1976-01-01

    The ORNL field team visits to Grand Junction, Colorado, and to other sources of uranium mill tailings, are described. The radioactive hazards of these tailings, which are principally due to Th, Ra, Rn, and radon daughters, are discussed briefly. Government actions which were taken as a result of public concern are listed. The ORNL Health Physics Division mobile laboratory van and its use in assessing the tailings piles at Salt Lake City and elsewhere are described. The highest γ-ray background found was 155 mRem/y, with levels being as high as 1750 mRem/y near points of public access to piles. Some possible solutions to the problem are discussed

  7. Tree growth studies on uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murray, D.R.; Turcotte, M.

    1982-01-01

    Coniferous trees planted in 1974 and deciduous species that have volunteered since 1970 on uranium mill tailings that had been stabilized to varying degrees using limestone and vegetation were evaluated. Their survival and growth rates were compared with those from other investigations. Competition for light appears to be a major contributor to mortality. Differences in soil moisture conditions under a tree stand as compared to those under a grass sward are potentially significant enough to affect the tailings hydrology and effluent contamination. Recommendations include planting seeds of deciduous species or deciduous and coniferous seedlings on strips of freshly disturbed tailings. The disturbed strips would provide reduced competition for the initial year and assist in tree survival. The planting of block stands of coniferous or deciduous trees would be useful for evaluating the hydrological impact of the trees as compared to the present grass sward

  8. Handbook for the design, selection, and construction of a rock cover for retired uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Parker, G.B.

    1982-09-01

    As part of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) study to assess the long-term protection of retired uranium mill tailings, the Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is developing a Handbook to guide the design, selection, and construction of a rock cover (riprap) for decommissioned and reclaimed uranium-mill tailings. The rock cover is designed for long-term protection of mill tailings from wind and water erosion. The purpose of the Handbook is twofold. First, it can be used as a manual by the uranium mill operators for designing, selecting, and constructing a rock cover. Second, the Handbook can be used as a guide to help the NRC evaluate the decommissioning and reclamation plans submitted to them by mill operators. Although the Handbook is not site-specific, it is structured to allow the design of a rock cover for any NRC-licensed tailings impoundment

  9. Tailings treatment techniques for uranium mill waste: a review of existing information

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherwood, D.R.; Serne, R.J.

    1983-07-01

    Of primary concern at uranium mill sites in the United States is the potential of ground-water contamination from mill wastes that are disposed in tailings impoundments. Although many systems have been used to control seepage from tailings impoundments, most of these systems are limited in their ability to handle an excess of tailings solution. Three general amelioration methods were identified: neutralization, fixation and specific constituent removal. During neutralization, a reagent is added to the tailings solution to neutralize the acidity and raise the pH to reduce the solubility of various pH sensitive contaminants. Fixation processes add materials such as lime, cement or asphalt to the waste to produce a physically stable composition that resists leaching of hazardous constituents. Specific constituent removal encompasses varying techniques, such as alternate ore leaching processes, effluent treatment with sorption, or ion exchange agents or selected precipitation that reduce specific constituent concentrations in tailings solution. Neutralization processes appear to be best suited for treating uranium mill tailings because they can, at a reasonable cost, limit the solution concentration of many contaminants. The effectiveness of the process depends on the reagent used as well as the waste being treated. Of the six reagents studied (lime, limestone, caustic soda, soda ash, combined limestone/lime and combined alumina/lime/soda), a combined treatment of limestone and lime seems best, especially for tailings containing ferric iron as the limestone economically buffers the solution acidity while the lime takes the pH to 8.0, an optimum level for heavy metal removal. For those tailings containing ferrous iron, lime alone works best. The costs for the lime/limestone or lime processes range from $0.20 to $1.00 per 1000 gal of treated water, excluding capital equipment costs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1985-05-01

    Laboratory experiments were performed to compare the effectiveness of limestone (CaCO 3 ) and hydrated lime [Ca(OH) 2 ] for improving waste water quality through the neutralization of acidic uranium mill tailings liquor. The experiments were designed to also assess the effects of three proposed mechanisms - carbonate complexation, elevated pH, and colloidal particle adsorption - on the solubility of toxic contaminants found in a typical uranium mill waste solution. Of special interest were the effects each of these possible mechanisms had on the solution concentrations of trace metals such as Cd, Co, Mo, Zn, and U after neutralization. Results indicated that the neutralization of acidic tailings to a pH of 7.3 using hydrated lime provided the highest overall waste water quality. Both the presence of a carbonate source or elevating solution pH beyond pH = 7.3 resulted in a lowering of previously achieved water quality, while adsorption of contaminants onto colloidal particles was not found to affect the solution concentration of any constituent investigated. 24 refs., 8 figs., 19 tabs

  11. Uranium mill tailings: nuclear waste and natural laboratory for geochemical and radioecological investigations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landa, Edward R.

    2004-01-01

    Uranium mill tailings (UMT) are a high volume, low specific activity radioactive waste typically disposed in surface impoundments. This review focuses on research on UMT and related earth materials during the past decade relevant to the assessment of: (1) mineral hosts of radionuclides; (2) the use of soil analogs in predicting long-term fate of radionuclides; (3) microbial and diagenetic processes that may alter radionuclide mobility in the surficial environment; (4) waste-management technologies to limit radionuclide migration; and (5) the impact of UMT on biota.

  12. Geotechnical parameters and behaviour of uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matyas, E.L.

    1984-01-01

    The results of laboratory and in situ testing and test blasting, the observations made on a test embankment, and a description of actual construction practice associated with engineering studies for the management of uranium mill tailings at Elliot Lake, Ontario are presented. Relative density values inferred from standard penetration tests and cone penetrometer tests are shown to be inconsistent with relative density values determined from maximum and minimum void ratios. Some of the data contradicts existing correlations. The compressibility of in situ saturated tailings is presented in graphical form in terms of void ratio, vertical effective stress, and mean grain size. Hydraulic conductivity is shown to range over many orders of magnitude, depending on the void ratio. The observations on an instrumental test embankment are used to explain the appropriate selection of geotechnical parameters that gave good agreement between back-calculated and observed settlements. One-dimensional consolidation theory was found to be valid for the embankment case. It is necessary to account for changes in soil properties that occur during the consolidation process in order to obtain a good fit between back-calculated and observed settlements. The successful use of tailings sand for embankment construction is described. On the basis of normalized standard penetration resistance values, it is concluded that localized zones of saturated tailings may be prone to liquefaction under predicted earthquake loadings

  13. Optimization in the decommissioning of uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-06-01

    This report examines in detail the problem of choosing the optimal decommissioning approach for uranium and mill tailings sites. Various decision methods are discussed and evaluated, and their application in similar decision problems are summarized. This report includes, by means of a demonstration, a step by step guide of how a number of selected techniques can be applied to a decommissioning problem. The strengths and weaknesses of various methods are highlighted. A decision system approach is recommended for its flexibility and incorporation of many of the strengths found in other decision methods

  14. Pilot projects for the remediation of Sillamaee uranium tailings in Estonia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kaasik, T.; Siinmaa, A.

    2001-01-01

    First Estonian uranium, produced in a pilot plant at Narva, was presented to Soviet military administration in 1945 and just a year later - 1946 - installation of an uranium production plant was started at Sillamaee, Estonia. Estonian local ore - alum shale - containing only 0,026% of uranium was used for uranium production for nearly five years, after the plant was launched in 1948. The uranium mine, having been activated from 1947 to 1952, was left in status of 'active conservation' for 17 years, until finally closed in 1969. Potential threats of this hidden legacy have never been revealed. After close-down of local uranium mine, more than 4 million tons of ore, imported mostly from Central and East European countries: Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Eastern Germany were processed at Sillamaee. These activities have left a large tailings impoundment with the total volume of ca. 8 million cubic meters in the immediate vicinity of the Baltic Sea. Today the plant is privatized, converted to civil purposes and provides together its power generating facilities ca. 1200 jobs in the socially sensitive area of North-East Estonia, while environmental hazards of the history, however, remain: - Continuous seepage of tailing waters into the sea contributes and would contribute over long term to the pollution of the Baltic Sea; - stability of the tailings dam seaside under present conditions can not be guaranteed thus risking a sudden release of partly liquid tailings due to potential dam failure; - uncovered surface of the tailings presents a health hazard due to dusting and radon release and hinders the revitalization of the area. The conceptual design of the Estonia's largest environmental remediation project, done by Wismut, is now complete and first implementation steps are underway. The project for mine area restoration is in initiation phase; it shall reveal the current and potential environmental hazards of the facility and create the concept for necessary rehabilitation

  15. Asphalt emulsion sealing of uranium mill tailings. 1979 annual report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Koehmstedt, P.L.; Esterl, D.J.; Freeman, H.D.

    1980-06-01

    Uranium mill tailings are a source of low-level radiation and radioactive materials that may be released into the environment. Stabilization or disposal of these tailings in a safe and environmentally sound way is necessary to minimize radon exhalation and other radioactive releases. One of the most promising concepts for stabilizing uranium tailings is being investigated at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory: the use of asphalt emulsion to contain radon and other potentially hazardous materials in uranium tailings. Results of these studies indicate that radon flux from uranium tailings can be reduced by greater than 99% by covering the tailings with an asphalt emulsion that is poured on or sprayed on (3.0 to 7.0 mm thick), or mixed with some of the tailings and compacted to form an admixture seal (2.5 to 15.2 cm) containing 18 wt % residual asphalt

  16. Geochemical and mineralogical characterization of a neutral, low-sulfide/high-carbonate tailings impoundment, Markušovce, eastern Slovakia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiller, Edgar; Petrák, Marián; Tóth, Roman; Lalinská-Voleková, Bronislava; Jurkovič, L'ubomír; Kučerová, Gabriela; Radková, Anežka; Sottník, Peter; Vozár, Jaroslav

    2013-11-01

    Tailings deposits generated from mining activities represent a potential risk for the aquatic environment through the release of potentially toxic metals and metalloids occurring in a variety of minerals present in the tailings. Physicochemical and mineralogical characteristics of tailings such as total concentrations of chemical elements, pH, ratio of acid-producing to acid-neutralizing minerals, and primary and secondary mineral phases are very important factors that control the actual release of potentially toxic metals and metalloids from the tailings to the environment. The aims of this study are the determination of geochemical and mineralogical characteristics of tailings deposited in voluminous impoundment situated near the village of Markušovce (eastern Slovakia) and identification of the processes controlling the mobility of selected toxic metals (Cu, Hg) and metalloids (As, Sb). The studied tailings have unique features in comparison with the other tailings investigated previously because of the specific mineral assemblage primarily consisting of barite, siderite, quartz, and minor sulfides. To meet the aims, samples of the tailings were collected from 3 boreholes and 15 excavated pits and subjected to bulk geochemical analyses (i.e., determination of chemical composition, pH, Eh, acid generation, and neutralization potentials) combined with detailed mineralogical characterization using optical microscopy, X-ray diffraction (XRD), electron microprobe analysis (EMPA), and micro-X-ray diffraction (μ-XRD). Additionally, the geochemical and mineralogical factors controlling the transfer of potentially toxic elements from tailings to waters were also determined using short-term batch test (European norm EN 12457), sampling of drainage waters and speciation-equilibrium calculations performed with PHREEQC. The tailings mineral assemblage consists of siderite, barite, quartz, and dolomite. Sulfide minerals constitute only a minor proportion of the tailings

  17. Chapter 2. The history of uranium tailings formation in the North of Tajikistan, their current condition. 2.4. Degmai uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khakimov, N.; Nazarov, Kh.M.; Mirsaidov, I.U.

    2012-01-01

    Present article is devoted to Degmai uranium tailings. The history of Degmai uranium tailings is presented. The current condition of uranium tailings is described. During the last 6-7 years, together with IAEA experts, monitoring is permanently carried out and the tailings influence on the environment is defined. Radiation and dosimetric investigation results from Degmai tailing' surface (June 2006) are considered.

  18. Uranium mill tailings regulation and the generic environmental impact statement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, V.C.

    1980-01-01

    The following topics are discussed: the history of the Canadian uranium industry; the Canadian management of uranium mining wastes; Canadian federal and provincial effluent guidelines for radium-226; tailings and mine water management; backfill; liquid effluents from tailings storage; barium chloride treatment; mine water (Fay Mine); mine water (Dubyna Mine); and revegetation. 22 refs

  19. Comprehensive Evaluation of Soil Near Uranium Tailings, Beishan City, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xun, Yan; Zhang, Xinjia; Chaoliang, Chen; Luo, Xuegang; Zhang, Yu

    2018-06-01

    To evaluate the impact of uranium tailings on soil composition and soil microbial, six soil samples at different distance from the uranium tailings (Beishan City, China) were collected for further analysis. Concentrations of radionuclides ( 238 U and 232 Th), heavy metals (Mn, Cd, Cr, Ni, Zn, and Pb) and organochlorine pesticide were determined by ICP-MS and GC, they were significantly higher than those of the control. And the Average Well Color Development as well as the Shannon, the Evenness, and the Simpson index were calculated to evaluate the soil microbial diversity. The carbon utilization model of soil microbial community was also analyzed by Biolog-eco. All results indicated that uranium tailings leaded to excessive radionuclides and heavy metals, and decreased the diversity of the soil microbial community. Our study will provide a valuable basis for soil quality evaluation around uranium tailing repositories and lay a foundation for the management and recovery of uranium tailings.

  20. 2015 Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) Title ll Annual Report, L-Bar, New Mexico Disposal Site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Frazier, William [USDOE Office of Legacy Management, Washington, DC (United States); Johnson, Dick [Navarro Research and Engineering, Inc., Las Vegas, NV (United States)

    2015-11-01

    The L-Bar, New Mexico, Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) Title II Disposal Site was inspected on August 18, 2015. The tailings impoundment was in excellent condition. Erosion and vegetation measurements to monitor the condition of the impoundment cover indicated that no erosion is occurring, and perennial vegetation foliar cover at the measurement plots increased substantially compared to previous years due to above-average precipitation for the year. A short segment of the perimeter fence near the site entrance was realigned in spring 2015 because a gully was undermining the fence corner. Loose fence strands at another location were repaired during the inspection, and a section of fence needs to be realigned to avoid areas affected by deep gullies and sediment deposition. Inspectors identified no other maintenance needs or cause for a follow-up inspection. Groundwater monitoring is required every 3 years. The next monitoring event will be in 2016.

  1. Uranium mill tailings backfill management. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thomson, B.M.; Heggen, R.J.

    1984-01-01

    Backfilling, the disposal of spent uranium mill tailings in empty mine stopes, has been practiced in the Grants Mineral Belt of New Mexico for nearly 20 years. The principal objective of backfilling is the prevention of roof collapse and hydraulic connection with overlying aquifers, increasing mine dewatering requirements. Backfilling is accomplished by gravity feed of a slurry of sand-fraction tailings and treated mine water into the slope. The effects of backfilling on surface discharge of mine wastewater are negligible due to the small fraction of the total flow represented by slurry decant. Furthermore, quality of the decant is not significantly below that of other mine waters. Groundwater effects of backfilling may be classified as short-term (while the mine is operational) and long-term (after dewatering operations have been terminated). Short-term effects are insignificant because of rapid and continuous flow to the mine sump. Long-term effects on aquifer water quality are predicted to be minimal due to (1) the small amount of slurry liquor present after drainage, (2) the precipitation of SO 4 and CO 3 phases, and (3) the reestablishment of reducing conditions and subsequent precipitation of major contaminants including U, As, Mo, Se, and V. 28 references, 19 figures, 9 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-07-01

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

  3. A two-reagent neutralization scheme for controlling the migration of contaminants from a uranium mill tailing disposal pond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dodson, M.E.; Opitz, B.E.; Sherwood, D.R.

    1985-01-01

    Techniques for reducing contaminant migration from tailings liquor impoundments and evaporation ponds are being investigated by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Uranium Research and Recovery Program. Building upon previous studies investigating single-reagent neutralization, laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of a two-reagent neutralization scheme for the treatment of acidic uranium mill tailings liquors. Acidic tailings liquor, pH 3 neutralization to pH 4.0 followed by continued neutralization with lime to pH 7.3, resulted in the highest solution quality with respect to the Environmental Protection Agency's water quality guidelines. Furthermore, the two-reagent neutralization scheme is the most cost-effective treatment procedure tested to date

  4. Two-reagent neutralization scheme for controlling the migration of contaminants from a uranium mill tailings disposal pond

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dodson, M.E.; Opitz, B.E.; Sherwood, D.R.

    1984-11-01

    Techniques for reducing contaminant migration from tailings liquor impoundments and evaporation ponds are being investigated by the Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's Uranium Research and Recovery Program. Building upon previous studies investigating single-reagent neutralization, laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of a two-reagent neutralization scheme for the treatment of acidic uranium mill tailings liquors. Acidic tailings liquor, pH 3 neutralization to pH 4.0 followed by continued neutralization with lime to pH 7.3, resulted in the highest solution quality with respect to the Environmental Protection Agency's water quality guidelines. Furthermore, the two-reagent neutralization scheme is the most cost-effective treatment procedure tested to date. 13 references, 1 table

  5. Subpart W: National Emission Standards for Radon Emissions From Operating Mill Tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Subpart W limits the radon-222 emissions rate from uranium tailings piles to 20 picocuries per square meter per second and requires that new tailings impoundments meet certain work practice standards.

  6. Ecological aspects of microorganisms inhabiting uranium mill tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, C.L.; Landa, E.R.; Updegraff, D.M.

    1987-01-01

    Numbers and types of microorganisms in uranium mill tailings were determined using culturing techniques. Arthrobacter were found to be the predominant microorganism inhabiting the sandy tailings, whereas Bacillus and fungi predominated in the slime tailings. Sulfate-reducing bacteria, capable of leaching radium, were isolated in low numbers from tailings samples but were isolated in significantly high numbers from topsoil in contact with the tailings. The results are placed in the context of the magnitude of uranium mill tailings in the United States, the hazards posed by the tailings, and how such hazards could be enhanced or diminished by microbial activities. Patterns in the composition of the microbial population are evaluated with respect to the ecological variables that influence microbial growth. ?? 1987 Springer-Verlag New York Inc.

  7. Physico-chemical and radiological characterization of uranium tailings from Tummalapalle uranium mining site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Patra, A.C.; Sahoo, S.K.; Lenka, P.; Gupta, Anil; Jha, S.K.; Tripathi, R.M.; Molla, S.; Rana, B.K.

    2018-01-01

    Mining of uranium bearing minerals is essential for the extraction of uranium to meet the power requirements of India. Mining and milling activities produce large quantities of low active tailings, as wastes, which are contained in Tailings Ponds. The nature of tailings depends on the mineralogy of ore and host rock and their quantity depends on the configuration of the ore body and mining methods. The mobility of an element from these tailings depends on elemental concentration, pH, particle size, cation exchange capacity, bulk density and porosity of the tailings etc. This necessitates complete characterisation of the tailings. In this paper we aim to characterize the uranium mill tailings generated from Tummalapalle uranium mining facility in Kadappa district, Andhra Pradesh, India

  8. Probabilistic calculation of dose commitment from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-10-01

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

  9. Conversion of a tailing impoundment to a freshwater reservoir, the Eagle Park Reservoir project, Climax Mine, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Romig, B.R.; Cupp, J.L.; Ford, R.C.

    1999-07-01

    The Climax Molybdenum Mine, located near Leadville, Colorado, is the site of a lengthy mining history spanning more than 80 years. In the 1960's, extraction of molybdenum from oxide ore located adjacent to the massive molybdenite sulfide deposit resulted in the construction of an earthen core dam to impound fine-grained oxide tailing in the Eagle River Valley. Through recognized value of water storage and reclamation opportunities, a tailing removal project was initiated in 1993 to convert the impoundment facilities to a post-mining beneficial land use of developed water resources. An evaluation of the effect residual materials and lake dynamics would have on in-stream water quality was performed. Eagle Park Reservoir stands as a model for future reclamation efforts that involve water delivery to highly sensitive receiving waters. This paper provides a case study on project development, the evolution of water quality assessment, and the regulatory framework that contributed to this project's success.

  10. Biota of uranium mill tailings near the Black Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mark A. Rumble

    1982-01-01

    Reclamation" often implies the enhancement of the land as wildlife habitat or for other productive uses. However, there are situations where revegetation to stabilize erosion is the only desired goal. Uranium mining and mill sites may fall into this later category. Data pertaining to plant and animal components on revegetated uranium mill tailings was collected....

  11. Geochemical characterisation of seepage and drainage water quality from two sulphide mine tailings impoundments: Acid mine drainage versus neutral mine drainage

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heikkinen, P.M.; Raisanen, M.L.; Johnson, R.H.

    2009-01-01

    Seepage water and drainage water geochemistry (pH, EC, O2, redox, alkalinity, dissolved cations and trace metals, major anions, total element concentrations) were studied at two active sulphide mine tailings impoundments in Finland (the Hitura Ni mine and Luikonlahti Cu mine/talc processing plant). The data were used to assess the factors influencing tailings seepage quality and to identify constraints for water treatment. Changes in seepage water quality after equilibration with atmospheric conditions were evaluated based on geochemical modelling. At Luikonlahti, annual and seasonal changes were also studied. Seepage quality was largely influenced by the tailings mineralogy, and the serpentine-rich, low sulphide Hitura tailings produced neutral mine drainage with high Ni. In contrast, drainage from the high sulphide, multi-metal tailings of Luikonlahti represented typical acid mine drainage with elevated contents of Zn, Ni, Cu, and Co. Other factors affecting the seepage quality included weathering of the tailings along the seepage flow path, process water input, local hydrological settings, and structural changes in the tailings impoundment. Geochemical modelling showed that pH increased and some heavy metals were adsorbed to Fe precipitates after net alkaline waters equilibrated with the atmosphere. In the net acidic waters, pH decreased and no adsorption occurred. A combination of aerobic and anaerobic treatments is proposed for Hitura seepages to decrease the sulphate and metal loading. For Luikonlahti, prolonged monitoring of the seepage quality is suggested instead of treatment, since the water quality is still adjusting to recent modifications to the tailings impoundment.

  12. Manual for the sampling of uranium mine tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Feenstra, S.; Reades, D.W.; Cherry, J.A.; Chambers, D.B.; Case, G.G.; Ibbotson, B.G.

    1983-04-01

    The purpose of this manual is to describe the requisite sampling procedures to provide a basis for the application of uniform high-quality standards to detailed geotechnical, hydrogeological, geochemical and air quality measurements at Canadian uranium tailings disposal sites. The report describes the objective and scope of a sampling program, the preliminary data collection, and the procedures for sampling of tailings solids, surface water and seepage, tailings porewater, and wind-blown dust and radon

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-01-01

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

  14. Lead isotopes as seepage indicators around a uranium tailings dam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gulson, B.L.; Mizon, K.J.; Korsch, M.J.; Noller, B.N.

    1989-01-01

    Lead isotope ratios and lead concentrations have been measured in water from 26 bores around the Ranger uranium tailings dam, Northern Territory, Australia, and from the dam itself to determine possible migration of lead derived from the radioactive decay of uranium. Lead isotope compositions have also been measured for the particulates retained on selected filters. The concentration of lead in the bore waters is extremely low (usually 206 Pb/ 204 Pb ratio measured in the bore waters differs by more than a factor of 100 from that in the tailings dam and shows no evidence of lead derived from a significant uranium accumulation. It may be possible to distinguish between lead from the tailings dam and that derived from a nearby uranium ore body

  15. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action 1993 Roadmap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

    The 1993 Roadmap for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project office is a tool to assess and resolve issues. The US Department of Energy (DOE) UMTRA Project Office uses the nine-step roadmapping process as a basis for Surface and Groundwater Project planning. This is the second year the Roadmap document has been used to identify key issues and assumptions, develop logic diagrams, and outline milestones. This document is a key element of the DOE planning process. A multi-interest group used the nine-step process to focus on issues, root cause analysis and resolutions. This core group updated and incorporated comments on the basic assumptions, then used these assumptions to identify issues. The list of assumptions was categorized into the following areas: institutional, regulatory compliance, project management, human resource requirements, and other site-specific assumptions. The group identified 10 issues in the analysis phase. All of the issues are ranked according to importance. The number one issue from the 1992 Roadmap, ''Lack of sufficient human resources,'' remained the number one issue in 1993. The issues and their ranking are as follows: Lack of sufficient human resources; increasing regulatory requirements; unresolved groundwater issues; extension of UMTRCA through September 30, 1998; lack of post-UMTRA and post-cell closure policies; unpredictable amounts and timing of Federal funding; lack of regulatory compliance agreements; problem with states providing their share of remedial action costs; different interests and priorities among participants; and technology development/transfer. The issues are outlined and analyzed in detail in Section 8.0, with a schedule for resolution of these issues in Section 9.0

  16. The progress in the researches for uranium mill tailings cleaning treatment and no-waste uranium ore milling processes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Jintang

    1990-01-01

    The production of uranium mill tailings and their risk assessment are described. The moethods of uranium mill tailings disposal and management are criticized and the necessity of the researches for uranium mill tailings cleaning treatment and no-wasle uranium ore milling process are demonstrated. The progress for these researches in China and other countries with uranium production is reviewed, and the corresponding conclusions are reported

  17. Uptake of uranium, thorium and radium isotopes by plants growing in dam impoundment Tasotkel and the Lower Shu region (Kazakhstan)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Matveyeva, Ilona; Burkitbayev, Mukhambetkali [al-Farabi Kazakh National University, Almaty (Kazakhstan). Faculty of Chemistry and Chemical Technology; Jacimovic, Radojko [Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (Slovenia). Dept. of Environmental Sciences; Planinsek, Petra; Smodis, Borut [Jozef Stefan Institute, Ljubljana (Slovenia). Dept. of Environmental Sciences; Jozef Stefan International Postgraduate School, Ljubljana (Slovenia)

    2016-04-01

    The activity concentrations of isotopes of uranium, thorium and radium-226 in dominant species of plants (Xantium strumarium, Phragmites communis, Artemisia nitrosa and Artemisia serotina) growing on the territories contaminated by uranium industry of Kazakhstan (close to dam impoundment Tasotkel and the Lower Shu region) are presented. The obtained data showed the significant variations of activity concentrations of isotopes of uranium, thorium and radium-226 in above ground parts. The concentrations of most of the investigated radionuclides in the root system are higher than in the aboveground parts; it can be explained by root barrier. It was found that the highest root barrier has Xantium strumarium, especially for uranium isotopes. The concentration ratios of radionuclides were calculated, and as the result it was found that the highest accumulation ability in the investigated region has Artemisia serotina.

  18. Uptake of uranium, thorium and radium isotopes by plants growing in dam impoundment Tasotkel and the Lower Shu region (Kazakhstan)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Matveyeva, Ilona; Burkitbayev, Mukhambetkali

    2016-01-01

    The activity concentrations of isotopes of uranium, thorium and radium-226 in dominant species of plants (Xantium strumarium, Phragmites communis, Artemisia nitrosa and Artemisia serotina) growing on the territories contaminated by uranium industry of Kazakhstan (close to dam impoundment Tasotkel and the Lower Shu region) are presented. The obtained data showed the significant variations of activity concentrations of isotopes of uranium, thorium and radium-226 in above ground parts. The concentrations of most of the investigated radionuclides in the root system are higher than in the aboveground parts; it can be explained by root barrier. It was found that the highest root barrier has Xantium strumarium, especially for uranium isotopes. The concentration ratios of radionuclides were calculated, and as the result it was found that the highest accumulation ability in the investigated region has Artemisia serotina.

  19. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-07-01

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

  20. Effects of various tailings covers on radon gas emanation from pyritic uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dave, N.K.; Lim, T.P.

    1987-01-01

    Radon emanation studies were carried out at an inactive pyritic uranium tailings site in Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada, to evaluate the effects of various existing dry and wet covers on radon flux rates. Measurements were taken using activated charcoal cartridges for various surface covers consisting of bare, vegetated, acidophilic moss with high degree of water saturation, compacted crushed rock and gravel, and winter snow. The results showed that at a given site, there was no significant difference in radon emanation rates between various tailings covers and bare tailings. In particular, no increase In radon emanation rates from vegetated areas compared to bare tailings was observed. Radon emanation rates varied spatially depending on tailings grain size, porosity, moisture content and on pressure and water table variations. The emanation rates were higher for tailings with low water contents compared to those for wet and moss covered tailings

  1. The problem of abandoned uranium tailings in northern Saskatchewan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Swanson, S.; Abouguendia, Z.

    1981-11-01

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

  2. Sandia's activities in uranium mill tailings remedial action

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Neuhauser, S.

    1980-01-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 requires that remedial action be taken at over 20 inactive uranium mill tailings sites in the United States. Standards promulgated by the EPA under this act are to be the operative standards for this activity. Proposed standards must still undergo internal review, public comment, and receive Nuclear Regulatory Commission concurrence before being finalized. Briefly reviewed, the standards deal separately with new disposal sites (Part A) and cleanup of soil and contaminated structures at existing locations (Part B). In several cases, the present sites are felt to be too close to human habitations or to be otherwise unacceptably located. These tailings will probably be relocated. New disposal sites for relocated tailings must satisfy certain standards. The salient features of these standards are summarized

  3. Protection coverage parameters indentification for uranium tailing dumps

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khakimov, N.; Nazarov, Kh.M.; Mirsaidov, I.U.; Akhmedov, M.Z.

    2012-01-01

    This article is devoted to protection coverage parameters indentification for uranium tailing dumps. Authors noticed that many tailing dumps In Tajikistan do not correspond to modern requirements of territories remediation published by IAEA and current norms of the Republic of Tajikistan. The most dangerous is radionuclide migration i.e., distribution of radioactive substances beyond the uranium tailing dumps territories. One of the basic distribution ways is atmospheric migration. At the same time potentially dangerous factors are: dust rising from open surfaces is the source for contamination distribution to neighboring territories; direct external exposure of public located in close distance to the sites; radioactive gas radon exhalation originating a threat if radionuclides penetration to the human body through breathing passages. Different methods of tailing's negative impact minimization, including coverage with neutral soil layer, coverage with fine-ground worked-out bentonite clay were proposed.

  4. Assessment of water quality around Jaduguda uranium tailings ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mohanty, A.K.; Gurunadha Rao, V.V.S.; Ramesh, G.; Surinaidu, L.; Thama Rao, G.; Dhakate, R.; Sarangi, A.K.; Nair, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    The environmental impacts of uranium mining and milling activities are of great concern in many countries for the last three decades. These impacts range from the creation of massive stockpiles of radioactive and toxic waste rock and sand-like tailings to serious contamination of surface and groundwater with radioactive and toxic pollutants, and releases of conventional, toxic and radioactive air pollutants. Uranium mining is also associated with high concentrations of highly toxic heavy metals, which are a major source of surface and groundwater contamination. Depending upon the hydraulic properties of the fractures involved, contaminated ground water may be transported many miles from its point of origin before feeding into an aquifer. Tailings pond may contaminate the groundwater regime by continuous seepage and leaching of radionuclides and other toxic metals due to interaction of rain water through the tailings ponds. The uranium milling and tailings pond operations were started at Jaduguda since 1968. A comprehensive geological and geophysical investigation has been carried out in the Jaduguda watershed covering the tailings ponds to understand the geohydrological characteristics of the region. High resolution electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) surveys have been carried out to delineate the aquifer geometry. Water quality analyses were carried out in three seasons covering from premonsoon to postmonsoon period during 2008-2009. Uranium concentrations have been observed in the dug wells, surface water and monitoring wells

  5. Soil Pollution with Copper, Lead and Zinc in the Surroundings of Large Copper Ore Tailings Impoundment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Musztyfaga Elżbieta

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Analysis of the top-soil total content of heavy metals was carried out inthe vicinity of large copper ore tailings pound in the south-western Poland with regard to soil properties, direction and distance from the tailings pound. None of the soils under study ex-ceeded the limits admitted in the official standards for soil quality, but the assessment made in accordance with IUNG-guidelines to soil contamination determination showed that more than half of the monitoring sites have elevated metal content, Cu, in par-ticular. The results confirmed high effectiveness of dust control preventing its eolian spread from the tailings pound.

  6. Analysis of radon protection cover on uranium tailings pile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Zhe

    1993-01-01

    The average radon emanation rate of the whole surface over one year was used for evaluating the radon release of uranium tailings pile. The effective of radon protection cover depends on the shape and property of the tailings pile, the properties of covering and the control of air vadose in the pile. It was indicated that the covering with low diffusion coefficient, small porosity and bad permeability was suitable to cover the pile. The analytical formula of the covering layer thickness was given

  7. Lung cancer risks in the vicinity of uranium tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, V.C.; Sandquist, G.M.

    1982-04-01

    Lung cancer mortality data have been assembled for many counties of interest to the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program (UMTRAP). The counties generally either contain UMTRAP tailings sites or are adjacent to them. The lung cancer rates of nearly all counties are less than the US average rate. In addition, some of the many factors associated with lung cancer are identified as are cancer risk estimators for radon daughters. 17 refs., 19 figs., 1 tab

  8. Long-term stabilization of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voorhees, L.D.; Sale, M.J.; Webb, J.W.; Mulholland, P.J.

    1983-01-01

    The primary hazard associated with uranium mill tailings is exposure to a radioactive gas, radon-222, the concentration of which has been correlated with the occurrence of lung cancer. Previous studies on radon attenuation conclude that the placement of earthen cover materials over the tailings is the most effective technique for reducing radioactive emissions and dispersal of tailings. The success of such a plan, however, is dependent on ensuring the long-term integrity of these cover materials. Soil erosion from water and wind is the major natural cause of destabilizing earthen cover materials. Field data related to the control of soil loss are limited and only indirectly apply to the problem of isolation of uranium mill tailings over very long time periods (up to 80,000 a). However, sufficient information is available to determine benefits that will result from the changes in specific design variables and to evaluate the need for different design strategies among potential disposal sites. The three major options available for stabilization of uranium mill tailings are: rock cover, soil and revegetation, or a combination of both on different portions of the tailings cover. The optimal choice among these alternatives depends on site-specific characteristics such as climate and local geomorphology and soils, and on design variables such as embankment, heights and slopes, modification of upstream drainage, and revegetation practices. Generally, geomorphic evidence suggests that use of soil and vegetation alone will not be adequate to reduce erosion on slopes greater than about 5 to 9%

  9. Hydrology of Quirke and Panel uranium tailings basins

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    King, R.M.; MacPhie, L.

    1991-11-01

    The research project described by this report provides the AECB with an independent assessment of the 'saturated tailings concept' for the decommissioning of tailing areas at the Rio Algom Quirke and Panel uranium mines near Elliot Lake in Northern Ontario. Hydrologic and hydraulic modelling for each facility showed the interrelation between the design of the water-level control facilities and the water levels in each cell for design flood and extreme low-flow conditions, taking into account all water-balance components. The estimate of seepage rates through the tailings mass is identified as a critical issue

  10. UMTRAP research on cover design for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, V.C.; Nielson, K.K.

    1984-01-01

    As a result of the UMTRAP research on radon attenuation and tailings cover design, the basis and general procedures are available for designing covers for uranium tailings piles to meet present criteria for radon emissions. The general procedures involve assessment of the radon source strength of the tailings, definition of candidate cover materials, assessment of their moisture retention and radon diffusion properties, computing the required thicknesses of these materials, comparing costs, and evaluating long-term performance criteria. Final selection of the cover design must assure adequate long-term performance and radon retention as first priority, and keep costs to a minimum in achieving this goal

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hendricks, D.W.

    1977-01-01

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

  12. Processes for extracting radium from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nirdosh, I.; Baird, M.H.; Muthuswami, S.V.

    1987-01-01

    This patent describes a process for the extraction of radium from uranium mill tailings solids including the steps of contacting the tailings with a liquid leaching agent, leaching the tailings therewith and subsequently separating the leachate liquid and the leached solids. The improvement described here is wherein the leaching agent comprises: (a) a complexing agent in an amount of from 2 to 10 times the stoichiometric amount needed to complex the metal ions to be removed thereby from the tailings; and (b) a reducing agent reducing the hydrolysable ions of the metal ions to be removed to their lower oxidation states, the reduction agent being present in an amount from 2 to 10 times the stoichiometric amount needed for reducing the hydrolysable metals present in the tailings

  13. Identification of poorly crystalline scorodite in uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Frey, R.; Rowson, J.; Hughes, K.; Rinas, C.; Warner, J.

    2010-01-01

    The McClean Lake mill, located in northern Saskatchewan, processes a variety of uranium ore bodies to produce yellowcake. A by-product of this process is an acidic waste solution enriched in arsenic, referred to as raffinate. The raffinate waste stream is treated in the tailings preparation circuit, where arsenic is precipitated as a poorly crystalline scorodite phase. Raffinate neutralization studies have successfully identified poorly crystalline scorodite using XRD, SEM, EM, XANES and EXAFS methods, but to date, scorodite has not been successfully identified within the whole tailing solids. During the summer of 2008, a drilling program sampled the in situ tailings within the McClean Lake tailings management facility. Samples from this drilling campaign were sent to the Canadian Light Source Inc. for EXAFS analysis. The sample spectra positively identify a poorly crystalline scorodite phase within the McClean tailings management facility. (author)

  14. Removal of radioactivity and mineral values from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Williams, J.M.; Cokal, E.J.; Dreesen, D.R.

    1981-01-01

    One possible approach to remedial action on uranium mill tailings involves the removal of the components that are responsible for the environmental concern (notably radon releases) posed by these materials. Removing mineral values at the same time can defray much of the cost. This paper presents laboratory results on sulfuric acid leachings and their effectiveness in accomplishing these aims. 9 figures, 4 tables

  15. Gold tailings as a source of waterborne uranium contamination of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    driniev

    2004-04-02

    Apr 2, 2004 ... Dissolved uranium (U) from the tailings deposits of various gold mines in South Africa has .... tivity), probes for measuring hydro-chemical (pH, Eh), physical ... Due to the pumping scheme, rain events in the catchment do not.

  16. Gold tailings as a source of waterborne uranium contamination of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Dissolved uranium (U) from the tailings deposits of various gold mines in South Africa has been found to migrate via seepage and groundwater into adjacent streams. The extent of the associated non-point pollution depends on the concentration of U in the groundwater as well as the volume and rate of groundwater ...

  17. Identification of geobacter populations in the uranium mill tailings Shiprock

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Radeva, G.; Selenska-Pobell, S.

    2006-01-01

    Geobacter - specific primers were used for construction of a 16S rDNA library for a water sample collected from uranium mill tailings near Shiprock (Sh853) in the USA . Most of the retrieved sequences were affiliated with different Geobacter species, however sequences related to other δ -Proteobacteria were identified as well. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pan Yingjie; Xue Jianxin; Yuan Baixiang; Xu Lechang

    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. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1981-05-01

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

  20. Simulation of windblown dust transport from a mine tailings impoundment using a computational fluid dynamics model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stovern, Michael; Felix, Omar; Csavina, Janae; Rine, Kyle P.; Russell, MacKenzie R.; Jones, Robert M.; King, Matt; Betterton, Eric A.; Sáez, A. Eduardo

    2014-01-01

    Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Dust emissions and dispersion of dust and aerosol from the Iron King Mine tailings in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computational fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic. Using a computational fluid dynamics model, we model dust transport from the mine tailings to the surrounding region. The model includes gaseous plume dispersion to simulate the transport of the fine aerosols, while individual particle transport is used to track the trajectories of larger particles and to monitor their deposition locations. In order to improve the accuracy of the dust transport simulations, both regional topographical features and local weather patterns have been incorporated into the model simulations. Results show that local topography and wind velocity profiles are the major factors that control deposition. PMID:25621085

  1. Simulation of windblown dust transport from a mine tailings impoundment using a computational fluid dynamics model.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stovern, Michael; Felix, Omar; Csavina, Janae; Rine, Kyle P; Russell, MacKenzie R; Jones, Robert M; King, Matt; Betterton, Eric A; Sáez, A Eduardo

    2014-09-01

    Mining operations are potential sources of airborne particulate metal and metalloid contaminants through both direct smelter emissions and wind erosion of mine tailings. The warmer, drier conditions predicted for the Southwestern US by climate models may make contaminated atmospheric dust and aerosols increasingly important, due to potential deleterious effects on human health and ecology. Dust emissions and dispersion of dust and aerosol from the Iron King Mine tailings in Dewey-Humboldt, Arizona, a Superfund site, are currently being investigated through in situ field measurements and computational fluid dynamics modeling. These tailings are heavily contaminated with lead and arsenic. Using a computational fluid dynamics model, we model dust transport from the mine tailings to the surrounding region. The model includes gaseous plume dispersion to simulate the transport of the fine aerosols, while individual particle transport is used to track the trajectories of larger particles and to monitor their deposition locations. In order to improve the accuracy of the dust transport simulations, both regional topographical features and local weather patterns have been incorporated into the model simulations. Results show that local topography and wind velocity profiles are the major factors that control deposition.

  2. Uranium mill tailings and risk estimation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marks, S.

    1984-04-01

    Work done in estimating projected health effects for persons exposed to mill tailings at vicinity properties is described. The effect of the reassessment of exposures at Hiroshima and Nagasaki on the risk estimates for gamma radiation is discussed. A presentation of current results in the epidemiological study of Hanford workers is included. 2 references

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Geissler, A.

    2003-04-01

    A culture-independent molecular approach has been applied to investigate the bacterial diversity in three uranium contaminated sites. The three analysed soil samples have been collected from the uranium waste pile Haberland near Johanngeorgenstadt (Germany), from the uranium mill tailings in Gunnison, Colorado (USA) and from the uranium mill tailings in Shiprock, New Mexico (USA). The 16S rDNA fragments which has been isolated through direct lysis of the whole-DNA were amplified by the use of the universal primers 16S 43f and 16S 1404r and cloned. With restriction fragment length polymorphismus (RFLP) were the clones screened and one representative of all RFLP types that occurred more than once in the clone library was sequenced and analysed. In spite of the contamination a considerable diversity and significant differences in the composition of the natural bacterial communities in these three sites have been found. In the sample collected from the waste pile Haberland near Johanngeorgenstadt α-Proteobacteria and representatives of the Holophaga/Acidobacterium were numerically predominant. The distribution of bacteria in the sample collected from uranium mill tailings Gunnison was very similar to those found in the Haberland waste pile, but there were found besides α-Proteobacteria and representatives of Holophaga/Acidobacterium a lot of γ-Proteobacteria. The structure of the bacterial community in the sample collected from the uranium mill tailings Shiprock was significantly different. Only some representatives of the Holophaga/Acidobacterium and α-Proteobacteria were represented. Large populations of Bacilli, γ-Proteobacteria and green non sulfur bacteria were dominant in this sample. (orig.)

  4. Estimating contaminant discharge rates from stabilized uranium tailings embankments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weber, M.F.

    1986-01-01

    Estimates of contaminant discharge rates from stabilized uranium tailings embankments are essential in evaluating long-term impacts of tailings disposal on groundwater resources. Contaminant discharge rates are a function of water flux through tailings covers, the mass and distribution of tailings, and the concentrations of contaminants in percolating pore fluids. Simple calculations, laboratory and field testing, and analytical and numerical modeling may be used to estimate water flux through variably-saturated tailings under steady-state conditions, which develop after consolidation and dewatering have essentially ceased. Contaminant concentrations in water discharging from the tailings depend on tailings composition, leachability and solubility of contaminants, geochemical conditions within the embankment, tailings-water interactions, and flux of water through the embankment. These concentrations may be estimated based on maximum reported concentrations, pore water concentrations, extrapolations of column leaching data, or geochemical equilibria and reaction pathway modeling. Attempts to estimate contaminant discharge rates should begin with simple, conservative calculations and progress to more-complicated approaches, as necessary

  5. Geomembrane selection criteria for uranium tailings ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mitchell, D.H.; Cuello, R.

    1986-09-01

    The selection criteria, particularly those involving chemical compatibility, of geomembranes to be used in ponds at uranium mill operations are discussed. The principal functional criteria which a geomembrane must meet for this application are: (1) a specified service life and (2) low permeability. Chemical compatibility with the waste is essential in meeting these functional criteria. In two different types of aging tests using simulated acidic uranium mill waste, degradation of chemical and physical properties were examined in geomembranes of high-density polyethylene, polyvinyl chloride, and chlorosulfonated polyethylene. Compatibility tests according to the National Sanitation Foundation procedures are recommended to ascertain the stability of certain physical properties of the proposed geomembrane. Actual experience with a specific geomembrane in an identical application is probably the best method to assure compatibility; however, this experience is frequently not available. Experience with a geomembrane in similar applications is valuable in the selection process, however, small differences in either the geomembrane formulation or the waste composition may result in large differences in performance of the geomembrane. It is likely that many geomembranes have acceptable chemical stability for typical uranium mill applications, therefore, additional factors in the selection processes will include seaming characteristics, mechanical properties, site characteristics, and costs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalin, Margarete

    1984-12-01

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

  7. Practical considerations of pyrite oxidation control in uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-05-01

    The problems posed by the oxidation of pyrite in uranium tailings include the generation of sulfuric acid and acid sulfate metal salts. These have substantial negative impacts on watercourse biota by themselves, and the lowered pH levels tend to mobilize heavy metals present in the tailings the rate of oxidation of pyrite at lower pH levels is catalyzed by sulfur and iron oxidizing bacteria present in soils. No single clear solution to the problems came from this study. Exclusion of air is a most important preventative of bacterial catalysis of oxidation. Bactericides, chemically breaking the chain of integrated oxidation reactions, maintaining anaerobic conditions, or maintaining a neutral or alkaline pH all reduce the oxidation rate. Removal of pyrite by flotation will reduce but not eliminate the impact of pyrite oxidation. Controlled oxidation of the remaining sulfide in the flotation tails would provide an innocuous tailing so far as acidity generation is concerned

  8. Program plan for the National Uranium Mine Tailings Office

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-03-01

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

  9. Recovery of uranium mineral concentrate from copper tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chakravarty, S.; Tewari, U.K.; Beri, K.K.

    1991-01-01

    Based on the studies conducted on the samples of copper tailings from Surda Copper Concentrator plant, wet concentrating table (Diaster Diagonal Deck) was found most suitable for recovering uranium mineral concentrate. Based on this technique, uranium recovery plants were set up at Surda, Rakha and Mosabani. The recoveries obtained from Surda Uranium Recovery Plant and Rakha Uranium Recovery Plant were in the range of 40-50%. But in Mosaboni Uranium Recovery Plant which is treating copper tailings from Mosaboni Copper Concentrator Plant, the biggest concentrator plant processing nearly 2,700 MT/day of copper ore, the recovery by wet concentrating tables was found to be around 22%. Low recovery was mainly due to low concentration of uranium in ore and as well as more percentage of uranium distribution in fines which tables were unable to recover. Studies were done to recover uranium mineral concentrate from the fines with new set of equipment viz. Curved Static Screen/Bartles Mozley Separator/Cross Belt Concentrator. This gave an improvement of 14-16% only. Studies by low acid leaching in chemical process side have shown that an overall recovery of 68% can be achieved. Though the chemical process is best as far as recovery is concerned but there are several constraints. The major constraint is pertaining to environmental and pollution control. Depending on the results of studies to overcome the constraints decision for the process to be adopted will be taken up and executed. The test results and plant performance data have also been included in the paper. (author). 8 figs., 11 tabs., 1 appendix

  10. Development of the disposal technology research component of the national uranium tailings program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Melis, L.A.

    1983-03-01

    The National Technical Planning Group on Uranium Tailings Research, organized by CANMET in 1980, recommended the establishment of a National Uranium Tailings Program to develop research on the long-term abandonment of uranium mine tailings. This report deals with the disposal technology component of this program and attempts to provide recommendations with respect to potential research avenues in this area. A description of uranium tailings in Canada is provided in order to identify the current situation with uranium tailings management. Uranium mining sites described include the Elliot Lake and Bancroft area of Ontario, the northern Saskatchewan properties and the two abandoned sites in the North West Territories. The description of the sites was facilitated by subdividing the tailings into inactive sites, active sites, new tailings sites and areas of tailings in a close-out situation. Methods identified as promising include subsurface disposal, in-situ leaching, prevention of pyrite oxidation and reclamation studies at abandoned sites

  11. Long-term stabilization of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voorhees, L.D.; Sale, M.J.; Webb, J.W.; Mulholland, P.J.

    1984-01-01

    The primary hazard associated with uranium mill tailings is exposure to a radioactive gas, radon-222, the concentration of which has been correlated with the occurrence of lung cancer. Previous studies on radon attenuation conclude that the placement of earthen cover materials over the tailings is the most effective technique for reducing radioactive emissions and dispersal of tailings. The success of such a plan, however, is dependent on ensuring the long-term integrity of these cover materials. Soil erosion from water and wind is the major natural cause of destabilizing earthen cover materials. Field data related to the control of soil loss are limited and only indirectly apply to the problem of isolation of uranium mill tailings over very long time periods (up to 80,000 a). However, sufficient information is available to determine benefits that will result from changes in specific design variables and to evaluate the need for different design strategies among potential disposal sites. The three major options available for stabilization of uranium mill tailings are (1) rock cover, (2) soil and revegetation, or (3) a combination of both on different portions of the tailings cover. The optimal choice among these alternatives depends on site-specific characteristics such as climate and local geomorphology and soils, and on design variables such as embankment heights and slopes, modification of upstream drainage, and revegetation practices. Generally, geomorphic evidence suggests that use of soil and vegetation alone will not be adequate to reduce erosion on slopes greater than about 5 to 9%. For these steeper slopes, the use of rock talus or riprap will be necessary to maximize the probability of long-term stability. The use of vegetation to control erosion on the flatter portions of the site may be practicable in regions of the USA with sufficient rainfall and suitable soil types, but revegetation practices must be carefully evaluated to ensure that long

  12. Leachability of radioactive constituents from uranium mine tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Constable, T.W.

    1987-04-01

    A series of long-term studies were conducted both to examine the leachability of major constituents (acidity, TDS) and radioisotopes from uranium mining/milling tailings and settling pond sludges, and to assess the effect of two treatment methods (solidification and vegetation) on leachate characteristics. Four bench-scale experiments were conducted to examine the leachability of: 1) old tailings and those containing a large portion of (Ba,Ra)SO 4 sludges; 2) untreated and solidified (Ba,Ra)SO 4 sludges located at the bottom of settling ponds; 3) new tailings that had been vegetated or solidified; and 4) new tailings subject to varying flow rates. A fifth study was conducted to examine the microbiology of Experiments 2 and 3. In addition, the lysimeter solids remaining in the old tailings at the end of Experiment 1 were characterized through chemical and radionuclide analyses and Scanning Electron Microscope-X-ray Emission and Mossbauer Spectroscopy techniques. This report provides an extensive database of temporal variations in leachate characteristics under both normal and accelerated water application rates. It also presents hypotheses of possible leaching mechanisms in the wastes that could explain the observed data, and conceptual model of tailings leaching processes which integrates the results of all the tailings experiments

  13. 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.

  14. Liner evaluation for uranium mill tailings. Final report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buelt, J.L.

    1983-09-01

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

  15. Denitrification in groundwater at uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goering, Timothy J.; Groffman, Armando; Thomson, Bruce

    1992-01-01

    Nitrates are a major contaminant in groundwater at many Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) sites. Microbial denitrification, the transformation of nitrate to nitrogen gas, may be occurring in groundwater at several UMTRA sites. Denitrification is a biologically mediated process whereby facultative anaerobes use nitrate for respiration under anaerobic conditions. Denitrifying bacteria are ubiquitous in soils, sediments, and water. Denitrification requires nitrate, organic carbon, oxygen-limiting conditions, and trace nutrients, especially phosphorus. The lack of organic carbon is the most common limiting factor for denitrification. Denitrification occurs under a limited range of temperature and pH. The uranium milling processes used at UMTRA sites provided a readily available source of carbon and nitrates for denitrifying bacteria. At the Maybell, Colorado, site, the denitrifying organisms Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium and Acinetobacter were identified in core samples of materials from beneath the tailings. In addition, microcosm experiments simulating aquifer conditions beneath the tailings pile showed an average 40 percent decrease in nitrate concentrations over 13 days. At the New Rifle, Colorado, site, aquifer conditions appear favorable for denitrification. Nitrate and organic carbon are readily available in the groundwater, and redox conditions beneath and downgradient of the tailings pile are relatively anoxic. Downgradient from the tailings, total nitrogen is being removed from the groundwater system at a greater rate than the geochemically conservative anion, chloride. This removal may be due to denitrification and adsorption of ammonium onto clay and silt particles. (author)

  16. Denitrification in groundwater at uranium mill tailings sites

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Goering, Timothy J [Jacobs Engineering Group, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Groffman, Armando [Roy F. Weston, Inc., Albuquerque, NM (United States); Thomson, Bruce [University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM (United States)

    1992-07-01

    Nitrates are a major contaminant in groundwater at many Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) sites. Microbial denitrification, the transformation of nitrate to nitrogen gas, may be occurring in groundwater at several UMTRA sites. Denitrification is a biologically mediated process whereby facultative anaerobes use nitrate for respiration under anaerobic conditions. Denitrifying bacteria are ubiquitous in soils, sediments, and water. Denitrification requires nitrate, organic carbon, oxygen-limiting conditions, and trace nutrients, especially phosphorus. The lack of organic carbon is the most common limiting factor for denitrification. Denitrification occurs under a limited range of temperature and pH. The uranium milling processes used at UMTRA sites provided a readily available source of carbon and nitrates for denitrifying bacteria. At the Maybell, Colorado, site, the denitrifying organisms Pseudomonas, Flavobacterium and Acinetobacter were identified in core samples of materials from beneath the tailings. In addition, microcosm experiments simulating aquifer conditions beneath the tailings pile showed an average 40 percent decrease in nitrate concentrations over 13 days. At the New Rifle, Colorado, site, aquifer conditions appear favorable for denitrification. Nitrate and organic carbon are readily available in the groundwater, and redox conditions beneath and downgradient of the tailings pile are relatively anoxic. Downgradient from the tailings, total nitrogen is being removed from the groundwater system at a greater rate than the geochemically conservative anion, chloride. This removal may be due to denitrification and adsorption of ammonium onto clay and silt particles. (author)

  17. Environmental restoration. Stabilization of mining tailing and uranium mineral

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perez, C.; Carboneras, P.

    1998-01-01

    ENRESA has dismantling a uranium mill facility and restored the site since 1991 to 1994. Since 1997, 19 uranium mines are being re mediated. The Andujar uranium mill was operational since 1959 to 1981. The remedial action plan performed in the Andujar mill site involved stabilizing and consolidating the uranium mill tailings and contaminated materials in place. Mill equipment, building and process facilities have been dismantled and demolished and the resulting metal wastes and debris have been placed in the pile. The tailings mass has been reshape by flattening the side slopes and cover system was placed over the pile. The uranium mines are located in Extremadura and Andalucia. There is a great diversity among the mines in terms of the magnitude of the disturbed areas by mining work and the effects on the environment, including excavations, waste rock piles, abandoned shafts and galleries, and remaining of surface structures and facilities. Remedial measures include the sealing for shafts and openings to prevent collapse of mine workings and subsidence, the dewatering and the open-pit excavation and the treatment of the contaminated waters, the disposal and the stabilization of mining debris piles to prevent dispersion, the placement of a re vegetated cover over the piles to control dust and erosion, and the restoration of the site. (Author)

  18. Recovery of uranium from Cu-flotation tails

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jayaram, K.M.V.; Sankaran, R.N.; Dwivedy, K.K.

    1984-01-01

    Uranium occurs along with copper in several parts of India. Since the total contained uranium in some of these deposits is very large, detailed studies were carried out on samples of ore obtained from Surda, Mosabani and Rakha Cu-flotation tails analysing 0.014 per cent, 0.010 per cent and 0.011 per cent U 3 O 8 and 0.12 per cent 0.09 per cent and 0.11 per cent Cu respectively. Uranium in these samples occurs not only as free uraninite but is also associated with other minerals like apatite, magnetite, tourmaline and micas, formed at different stages of paragenitic sequence. The size also varies considerably. Because of this the recovery of uranium varied from 35 to 70 per cent by wet gravity separation of the feed. Since uranium has to be anyway extracted from these concentrates by hydrometallurgical processing, it is suggested that Cu-flotation tails may be treated by hydrometallurgy to increase the ultimate recovery. (author)

  19. Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Magee, J.

    1980-01-01

    The long-term environmental effects of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 address the public health hazards of radioactive wastes and recognize the significance of this issue to public acceptance of nuclear energy. Title I of the Act deals with stabilizing and controlling mill tailings at inactive sites and classifies the sites by priority. It represents a major Federal commitment. Title II changes and strengthens Nuclear Regulatory Commission authority, but it will have little overall impact. It is not possible to assess the Act's effect because there is no way to know if current technology will be adequate for the length of time required. 76 references

  20. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project: technical approach document

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-05-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, PL95-604, grants the Secretary of Energy authority and responsibility to perform such actions as are necessary to minimize radiation health hazards and other environmental hazards from inactive uranium mill sites. These cleanup actions are to be performed in compliance with the EPA standards (40 CFR Part 192) which became final on March 7, 1983. This document describes the general technical approaches and design criteria that are adopted by the US Department of Energy (DOE) in order to implement Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) and final designs that comply with EPA standards

  1. The cost of decommissioning uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lush, D.L.; Lendrum, C.; Hostovsky, C.; Eedy, W.; Ashbrook, A.

    1986-04-01

    This report identifies several key operations that are commonly carried out during decommissioning of tailings areas in the Canadian environment. These operations are unit costed for a generic site to provide a base reference case. The unit costs have also been scaled to the quantities required for the decommissioning of four Canadian sites and these scaled quantities compared with site-specific engineering cost estimates and actual costs incurred in carrying out the decommissioning activities. Variances in costing are discussed. The report also recommends a generic monitoring regime upon which both short- and longer-term environmental monitoring costs are calculated. Although every site must be addressed as a site-specific case, and monitoring programs must be tailored to fit a specific site, it would appear that for the conventional decommissioning and monitoring practices that have been employed to date, costs can be reasonably estimated when site-specific conditions are taken into account

  2. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1993 Environmental Report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-10-01

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

  3. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1993 Environmental Report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

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

  4. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project Vicinity Property Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, L.E.; Potter, R.F.; Arpke, P.W.

    1988-01-01

    The Department of Energy Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Grand Junction Project Vicinity Property Program is a $165 million program for the removal and disposal of uranium mill tailings that were used in the construction of approximately 4,000 residences, commercial buildings, and institutional facilities in the City of Grand Junction and surrounding Mesa County, Colorado. This paper discusses the UMTRA Vicinity Property Program and the economic benefits of this program for the City of Grand Junction and Mesa County, Colorado. The Bureau of Reclamation Economic Assessment Model (BREAM) was used to estimate the increases in employment and increases in personal income in Mesa County that result from the Vicinity Property Program. The effects of program-related changes in income and taxable expenditures on local and state tax revenue are also presented

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-12-01

    The FY 1983 project accomplishments are: completed the Remedial Action Plan and Phase I engineering design for the Canonsburg processing site; completed remedial action on an additional 52 vicinity properties and the inclusion of an additional 303 properties in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project; executed cooperative agreements with four states and the Navajo Nation; published the draft environmental impact statement for Salt Lake City site; and issued the approved Project Plan

  6. Uranium mill tailings remedial action project real estate management plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

  7. Uranium mill tailings remedial action project real estate management plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

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

  8. Leachability of radioactive constituents from uranium mine tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryant, D.N.; Cohen, D.B.; Durham, R.W.

    1979-04-01

    A project was carried out using lysimeters to determine the leaching of radioactive constituents and BaRaSO 4 from abandoned uranium mine tailings. Lime addition to the surface of acidic abandoned tailings did not reduce the level of radioactive constituents in the leachate. Considerable increases in levels of the radionuclides 230 Th, 232 Th and 22 /8Th, as well as gross alpha and beta activity in the leachate, occurred five months after recycling of BaRaSO 4 sediments to the surface layers of abandoned tailings. After nine months of leaching, the levels of 226 Ra in the leachate were 30% greater than the tailings plus sediment treatment than from tailings only (control). Another experiment compared the quality of effluent flowing over chemically-fixed (solidified) BaRaSO 4 sediments with that of non-fixed (control) in simulated sedimentation ponds. During seven months the release of 226 Ra to water from chemically-fixed BaRaSO 4 sediments remained 3 for phosphorus removal) was applied to supply 3 percent organic matter in the top 15 cm of the revegetated lysimeters. Undiluted effluent and leachate from chemically-fixed BaRaSO 4 sediments and fresh tailings were 100 percent lethal to Daphnia pulex and rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri) in static 96-hour bioassay tests. Diluted (50 percent) effluent samples were non-toxic. (auth)

  9. Commingled uranium-tailings study. Volume II. Technical report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1982-06-30

    Public Law 96-540, Section 213, directs the Secretary of Energy to develop a plan for a cooperative program to provide assistance in the stabilization and management of defense-related uranium mill tailings commingled with other tailings. In developing the plan, the Secretary is further directed to: (1) establish the amount and condition of tailings generated under federal contracts; (2) examine appropriate methodologies for establishing the extent of federal assistance; and (3) consult with the owners and operators of each site. This technical report summarizes US Department of Energy (DOE) and contractor activities in pursuit of items (1), (2), and (3) above. Recommendations regarding policy and a cooperative plan for federal assistance are under separate cover as Volume I.

  10. Field experiment on 222Rn flux from reclaimed uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hinton, T.G.

    1983-01-01

    Design and construction techniques are described for a 1.6 ha experimental uranium mill tailings reclamation plot. A passive, activated charcoal device was developed and tested for measurements of radon flux. Experiments on radon flux versus overburden depth showed that tailings covered with 1.5 m of revegetated or 0.3 m of bare overburden had exhalation rates comparable to background. Vegetated subplots exhibited a significantly higher (often an order of magnitude) flux than the bare subplots. Results on the variation of flux over time did not reveal any definitive patterns, possibly due to the high variability among replicates. A positive correlation was demonstrated between precipitation and radon flux. This is discussed in detail and possibly explained by the increase in water content of the micropores within the tailings, which increases the emanation coefficient without adversely effecting the diffusion coefficient of the overburden. 30 references, 7 figures, 3 tables

  11. Guidelines for cleanup of uranium tailings from inactive mills

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Goldsmith, W.A.; Haywood, F.F.; Jacobs, D.G.

    1975-01-01

    Recent experiences in Grand Junction, Colorado, have indicated the significance of uranium tailings as sources of nonoccupational exposure and suggest that current methods for perpetual care and isolation of the large areas covered by tailings piles at inactive mill locations may be inadequate for minimizing human exposure. This paper presents the rationale and the procedures used in reviewing the adequacy of proposed criteria for remedial action at these sites. Exposures due to aquatic, terrestrial, airborne, and direct contamination pathways were compared to determine the most important radionuclides in the pile and their pathways to man. It is shown that the most hazardous components of the tailings are 226 Ra and 230 Th. The long half-lives of these radionuclides require the consideration of continuous occupancy of the vacated site at some future time, even if the immediately projected land use does not anticipate maximum exposure

  12. Architecture and environmental restoration: Remediating uranium mill tailings from buildings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Teply, J.D.

    1991-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) Grand Junction Projects Office (GJPO) manages the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Program in Grand Junction, Colorado. This program is a congressionally mandated clean up of by-product waste that resulted from the extraction of yellow cake from uranium ore. The by-product waste, a fine sand commonly called open-quotes mill tailingclose quotes is contaminated with low-level radioactivity. These mill tailings were available to the community for use as construction material from approximately 1952 to 1966; their use as bedding material for concrete slabs, utilities, backfill materials, concrete sand, and mortar created unique remediation problems that required innovative solutions. This paper describes how design personnel approach the remediation of structures, the evaluation of the buildings, and the factors that must be considered in completing the remediation design. This paper will not address the health risks of the tailings in an inhabited space, the remediation of exterior areas, or the process of determining where the tailings exist in the building

  13. Cleaning up commingled uranium mill tailings: is Federal assistance necessary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1979-01-01

    GAO was asked to determine whether Federal assistance should be given to operating mill owners that have processed uranium for sale to both government and industry and, thus, generated residual radioactive wastes. The wastes generated for both government and commercial use are called commingled uranium mill tailings. GAO recommends that the Congress provide assistance to active mill owners to share in the cost of cleaning up that portion of the tailings which were produced under Federal contract. Further, GAO believes that the Congress should also consider having the Federal government assist those mills who acted in good faith in meeting all legal requirements pertaining to controlling the mill tailings that were generated for commercial purposes and for which the Federal government is now requiring retroactive remedial action. At the same time, the Congress should make sure that this action establishes no precedent for the Federal government assuming the financial responsibility of cleaning up other non-Federal nuclear facilities and wastes, including those mill tailings generated after the date when the Federal government notified industry that the failings should be controlled

  14. UMTRA -- The US Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lightner, R.; Cormier, C.; Bierley, D.

    1995-01-01

    In the late 1970s, the United States (US) established the first comprehensive regulatory structure for the management, disposal, and long-term care of wastes produced from its domestic uranium processing industry. This regulatory framework was established through the passage of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978, often referred to as UMTRCA. This legislation created the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project and assigned the US Department of Energy (DOE) the lead in conducting the required remedial action at 24 designated inactive uranium ore processing sites. With the majority of these 22 sites complete, the DOE's UMTRA Project has established a distinguished reputation for safely and effectively remediating these low-level waste sites in a complex regulatory and socioeconomic environment. This paper describes the past accomplishments and current status of the UMTRA Project and discusses the DOE's plans for addressing ground water contamination associated with these sites and its commitment to continuing the long-term care and management of these disposal cells

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jha, V.N., E-mail: jhavn1971@gmail.com; Tripathi, R.M., E-mail: tripathirm@yahoo.com; Sethy, N.K., E-mail: sethybarc@rediffmail.com; Sahoo, S.K., E-mail: sksbarc@gmail.com

    2016-01-01

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

  16. Sulfide oxidation and acid mine drainage formation within two active tailings impoundments in the Golden Quadrangle of the Apuseni Mountains, Romania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sima, Mihaela; Dold, Bernhard; Frei, Linda; Senila, Marin; Balteanu, Dan; Zobrist, Jurg

    2011-05-30

    Sulfidic mine tailings have to be classified as one of the major source of hazardous materials leading to water contamination. This study highlights the processes leading to sulfide oxidation and acid mine drainage (AMD) formation in the active stage of two tailings impoundments located in the southern part of the Apuseni Mountains, in Romania, a well-known region for its long-term gold-silver and metal mining activity. Sampling was undertaken when both impoundments were still in operation in order to assess their actual stage of oxidation and long-term behavior in terms of the potential for acid mine drainage generation. Both tailings have high potential for AMD formation (2.5 and 3.7 wt.% of pyrite equivalent, respectively) with lesser amount of carbonates (5.6 and 3.6 wt.% of calcite equivalent) as neutralization potential (ABA=-55.6 and -85.1 tCaCO(3)/1000 t ) and showed clear signs of sulfide oxidation yet during operation. Sequential extraction results indicate a stronger enrichment and mobility of elements in the oxidized tailings: Fe as Fe(III) oxy-hydroxides and oxides (transformation from sulfide minerals, leaching in oxidation zone), Ca mainly in water soluble and exchangeable form where gypsum and calcite are dissolved and higher mobility of Cu for Ribita and Pb for Mialu. Two processes leading to the formation of mine drainage at this stage could be highlighted (1) a neutral Fe(II) plume forming in the impoundment with ferrihydrite precipitation at its outcrop and (2) acid mine drainage seeping in the unsaturated zone of the active dam, leading to the formation of schwertmannite at its outcrop. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Predicting arsenic concentrations in porewaters of buried uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Langmuir, D.; Mahoney, J.; MacDonald, A.; Rowson, J.

    1999-10-01

    The proposed JEB Tailings Management Facility (TMF) to be emplaced below the groundwater table in northern Saskatchewan, Canada, will contain uranium mill tailings from McClean Lake, Midwest and Cigar Lake ore bodies, which are high in arsenic (up to 10%) and nickel (up to 5%). A serious concern is the possibility that high arsenic and nickel concentrations may be released from the buried tailings, contaminating adjacent groundwaters and a nearby lake. Laboratory tests and geochemical modeling were performed to examine ways to reduce the arsenic and nickel concentrations in TMF porewaters so as to minimize such contamination from tailings buried for 50 years and longer. The tests were designed to mimic conditions in the mill neutralization circuit (3 hr tests at 25 C), and in the TMF after burial (5--49 day aging tests). The aging tests were run at 50, 25 and 4 C (the temperature in the TMF). In order to optimize the removal of arsenic by adsorption and precipitation, ferric sulfate was added to tailings raffinates having Fe/As ratios of less than 3--5. The acid raffinates were then neutralized by addition of slaked lime to nominal pH values of 7, 8, or 9. Analysis and modeling of the test results showed that with slaked lime addition to acid tailings raffinates, relatively amorphous scorodite (ferric arsenate) precipitates near pH 1, and is the dominant form of arsenate in slake limed tailings solids except those high in Ni and As and low in Fe, in which cabrerite-annabergite (Ni, Mg, Fe(II) arsenate) may also precipitate near pH 5--6. In addition to the arsenate precipitates, smaller amounts of arsenate are also adsorbed onto tailings solids. The aging tests showed that after burial of the tailings, arsenic concentrations may increase with time from the breakdown of the arsenate phases (chiefly scorodite). However, the tests indicate that the rate of change decreases and approaches zero after 72 hrs at 25 C, and may equal zero at all times in the TMF at 4 C

  18. Research on the characterization and conditioning of uranium mill tailings. III. Summary of uranium mill tailings conditioning research and implications regarding remedial actions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Cokal, E.J.; Thode, E.F.; Williams, J.M.

    1983-06-01

    This report summarizes the findings of research on uranium mill tailings conditioning technology development performed for the Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP). Hazards and risks posed by tailings piles are discussed in relation to the goal of conditioning the tailings to reduce these hazards. The results of our efforts regarding characterization of tailings, removal of radionuclides, mineral recovery, thermal stabilization, and engineering/economic analysis of conditioning are presented. The implications of these results for remedial action plans are discussed and conclusions regarding the applicability of these technologies are also presented

  19. Problems in the separation of radium from uranium ore tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seeley, F.G.

    1976-01-01

    The radium content of a representative sandstone type of uranium ore was found to be distributed uniformly according to particle size before leaching, but in sulfuric acid-leached tailings was found predominantly in the -325 mesh fraction. The radium leaching characteristics from both ore and sulfate-leached tailings were investigated. Several 1 M salt solutions showed poor to moderate RaSO/sub 4/ dissolution from ''slimes solids'' tailings, while 3 M HNO/sub 3/ or HCl solutions dissolved approximately 95% of the radium content of either ore or tailings. Tests are reported in which -325 mesh sand particles were coated with alkaline-earth sulfates by a special technique to simulate slime solids tailings. The dissolution of RaSO/sub 4/ from these coated sands was decreased by the presence of BaSO/sub 4/, but increased by the presence of CaSO/sub 4/. The interrelationships in the dissolution of mixtures of CaSO/sub 5/, SrSO/sub 4/, BaSO/sub 4/, and RaSO/sub 4/ are shown, and a generalized equation for the estimation of the dissolution of a minor component is presented.

  20. Bioremediation studies of tailing ponds of uranium mines

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sudhakar, G.; Muralidhar Rao, C.; Swaminathan, Siva Kumar

    2012-01-01

    A study was undertaken for three years to evaluate the potential of native plant species for the phytoremediation of tailing ponds of Uranium mines, Jaduguda, Jharkhand. Five sampling stations: three at Jaduguda (TP1, TP2, and TP3), one at Turamdih (TTP) and one at Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) were selected. pH, Electrical conductivity (EC), 12 metals (- AI, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Ni, Cu, Zn, As, Se, Cd, Pb) and 3 radionuclides - Co, Sr and U) were analysed. From the analysis of sediment/soil/water/effluent of tailing ponds, 4 elements - U, Mn, AI and Fe were found to be significantly in higher concentrations in water, and 8-elements (U, Mn, V, Fe, Ni, Cu and Zn) were found to be in higher concentrations in soils. U and Mn were found to be the predominant contaminants. 26 plant species were screened for their ability to accumulate and remediate the contaminated soils of which only four plant species - one fern (Pteris vittata - P. vittata), one terrestrial (Saccharum spontaneum - S. spontaneum ) and two aquatic species (Typha latifolia - T. latifolia, Cyperus compressus - C. compressus) were shortlisted for phytoremediation studies in laboratory condition and transfer factors were calculated. The results of the study under controlled conditions indicate that P. vittata, S. spontaneum, T. latifolia and C. compressus were found to be the candidate species for phytoremediation of Uranium mine tailings. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-10-01

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

  3. Liner used in tailings ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dinchak, W.G.

    1984-01-01

    A composite liner has been developed for use in hazardous waste impoundments and in tailings ponds where uranium is involved. The liner offers a high degree of reliability against seepage, is durable, and provides a firm working surface. The advantages of the liner are discussed

  4. Radon flux from rehabilitated and unrehabilitated uranium mill tailings deposits

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sonter, M.; Akber, R.; Holdsworth, S.

    2002-01-01

    Radon release from uranium tailings deposits was identified in UNSCEAR 1993 as the main potential source of collective dose to the world population from the use of nuclear power (rather than, say, gamma doses to power plant workers, or doses to reprocessing plant workers or to waste-handling workers, or residents living adjacent to these facilities). This is due primarily to the ongoing nature of the radon releases over geological time and to the assumption of a 10,000 year integration time. UNSCEAR 1993 estimated 150 person-sieverts per GWe-yr of produced power, based on some very general assumptions about area of tailings per unit of uranium produced, uranium usage per unit of power produced, radon emanation per unit surface area of tails, population density within 100 km of the site, and from 100 km out to 2000 km from the site, and atmospheric dispersion. It should be noted at the outset that the idea of adding vanishingly small doses across the entire world population and integrating for 10,000 years into the future, to obtain a collective dose which is then used to infer induced cancer deaths, is warned against by ICRP, and more strongly disavowed in recent papers by Roger Clarke, as being unrepresentative of any real risk and a recipe for misallocation of resources. These UNSCEAR assumptions and the resulting estimations of collective dose were reviewed by SENES Consultants Ltd of Canada, in a report commissioned by the Uranium Institute, both in terms of the methodology and in terms of the factors used. In this report SENES substituted its best estimate assumptions, based on responses received from major commercial uranium mining operations for UNSCEAR's assumptions, which it identified as highly pessimistic, and arrived at a putative collective dose of about 1 person-sievert/ GWe-yr. The most recent UNSCEAR 2000 report acknowledges the uncertainty in the figures, and references the SENES report as providing more specific (but still limited) data. Taking on

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-07-01

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

  6. Research on radon flux reduction from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Overmyer, R.F.; Thamer, B.J.; Nielson, K.K.; Rogers, V.C.

    1980-01-01

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

  7. Long-Term Performance of Uranium Tailings Disposal Cells - 13340

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bostick, Kent; Daniel, Anamary; Pill, Ken; Tachiev, Georgio; Noosai, Nantaporn; Villamizar, Viviana

    2013-01-01

    Recently, there has been interest in the performance and evolution of Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project disposal cell covers because some sites are not compliant with groundwater standards. Field observations of UMTRA disposal cells indicate that rock covers tend to become vegetated and that saturated conductivities in the upper portion of radon barriers may increase due to freeze/thaw cycles and biointrusion. This paper describes the results of modeling that addresses whether these potential changes and transient drainage of moisture in the tailings affect overall performance of the disposal cells. A numerical unsaturated/saturated 3-dimensional flow model was used to simulate whether increases in saturated conductivities in radon barriers with rock covers affect the overall performance of the disposal cells using field data from the Shiprock, NM, UMTRA site. A unique modeling approach allowed simulation with daily climatic conditions to determine changes in moisture and moisture flux from the disposal cell. Modeling results indicated that increases in the saturated conductivity at the top of radon barrier do not influence flux from the tailings with time because the tailings behave similar hydraulically to the radon barrier. The presence of a thin layer of low conductivity material anywhere in the cover or tailings restricts flux in the worst case to the saturated conductivity of that material. Where materials are unsaturated at depth within the radon barrier of tailings slimes, conductivities are typically less than 10 -8 centimeters per second. If the low conductivity layer is deep within the disposal cell, its saturated properties are less likely to change with time. The significance of this modeling is that operation and maintenance of the disposal cells can be minimized if they are allowed to progress to a natural condition with some vegetation and soil genesis. Because the covers and underlying tailings have a very low saturated

  8. Long-Term Performance of Uranium Tailings Disposal Cells - 13340

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bostick, Kent; Daniel, Anamary; Pill, Ken [Professional Project Services, Inc., 1100 Bethel Valley Road, Oak Ridge, TN, 37922 (United States); Tachiev, Georgio; Noosai, Nantaporn; Villamizar, Viviana [Florida International University, 10555 W. Flagler St., EC 2100, Miami FL, 33174 (United States)

    2013-07-01

    Recently, there has been interest in the performance and evolution of Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project disposal cell covers because some sites are not compliant with groundwater standards. Field observations of UMTRA disposal cells indicate that rock covers tend to become vegetated and that saturated conductivities in the upper portion of radon barriers may increase due to freeze/thaw cycles and biointrusion. This paper describes the results of modeling that addresses whether these potential changes and transient drainage of moisture in the tailings affect overall performance of the disposal cells. A numerical unsaturated/saturated 3-dimensional flow model was used to simulate whether increases in saturated conductivities in radon barriers with rock covers affect the overall performance of the disposal cells using field data from the Shiprock, NM, UMTRA site. A unique modeling approach allowed simulation with daily climatic conditions to determine changes in moisture and moisture flux from the disposal cell. Modeling results indicated that increases in the saturated conductivity at the top of radon barrier do not influence flux from the tailings with time because the tailings behave similar hydraulically to the radon barrier. The presence of a thin layer of low conductivity material anywhere in the cover or tailings restricts flux in the worst case to the saturated conductivity of that material. Where materials are unsaturated at depth within the radon barrier of tailings slimes, conductivities are typically less than 10{sup -8} centimeters per second. If the low conductivity layer is deep within the disposal cell, its saturated properties are less likely to change with time. The significance of this modeling is that operation and maintenance of the disposal cells can be minimized if they are allowed to progress to a natural condition with some vegetation and soil genesis. Because the covers and underlying tailings have a very low saturated

  9. Moisture content analysis of covered uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mayer, D.W.; Beedlow, P.A.; Cadwell, L.L.

    1981-12-01

    The use of vegetation and rock covers to stabilize uranium mill tailings cover systems is being investigated by Pacific Northwest Laboratory. A modeling study of moisture movement through the tailings and cover layers was initiated to determine the effect of the stabilizing techniques. The cover system was simulated under climatic conditions occurring at Grand Junction, Colorado. The cover consisted of a layer of wet clay/gravel mix followed by a capillary barrier of washed rock and a surface layer of fill soil. Vegetation and rock were used to stabilize the surface layer. The simulation yielded moisture content and moisture storage values for the tailings and cover system along with information about moisture losses due to evaporation, transpiration, and drainage. The study demonstrates that different surface stabilization treatments lead to different degrees of moisture retention in the covered tailings pile. The evapotranspiration from vegetation can result in a relatively stable moisture content. Rock covers, however, may cause drainage to occur because they reduce evaporation and lead to a subsequent increase in moisture content. It is important to consider these effects when designing a surface stabilization treatment. Drainage may contribute to a groundwater pollution problem. A surface treatment that allows the cover system to dry out can increase the risk of atmospheric contamination through elevated radon emission rates

  10. Uranium mine tailings and obligations to future generations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Brook, A.

    1980-01-01

    Low-level wastes from uranium mine/mill operations, because of their huge volume, are a serious problem, yet relatively little attention has been paid to them. Management of tailings piles and waste liquids in the short term is fairly effective. However these management techniques involve continuous, active treatment of the wastes, which may not continue after operations shut down, and rely on containment structures with a short effective life. Tailings can probably be rendered safe for future generations if sufficient resources are devoted to the task. The central moral question is whether we are obligated to assume the costs of tailings management, or whether it is permissible to pass them on to future generations. The basic moral principle that each person has the same value as any other implies that the generation that reaps the benefits of nuclear power must assume the costs of managing mine tailings and not discriminate in favour of one group of persons, our own generation. The argument that people who may exist in the future have intrinsically less value than people currently alive is not accepted by the author. The methodology for determining obligations to future generations which has been applied to mine/mill wastes could be applied to other nuclear issues, too. (LL)

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-06-01

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

  15. Application of controlled release technology to uranium mill tailings stabilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burton, F.G.; Cataldo, D.A.; Cline, J.F.; Skiens, W.E.

    1981-01-01

    A trifluralin (herbicide) releasing device was developed with a theoretical effective lifetime in excess of 100 years. When placed in a layer in soil, the PCD system will prevent root penetration through that layer without harming the overlying vegetation. Equilibrium concentrations of trifluralin in soil can be adjusted (along with the theoretical life of the device) to suit specific needs. The present system was designed specifically to protect the asphalt layer or clay/aggregate barriers on uranium mill tailings piles; PCD devices composed of pellets could also be implanted over burial sites for radioactive and/or toxic materials, preventing translocation of those materials to plant shoots, and thence into the biosphere

  16. 226Ra bioavailability of plants at urgeirica uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madruga, M.J.; Brogueira, A.

    2002-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lowson, R.T.; Short, S.A.

    1986-08-01

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

  18. Geochemical modeling of uranium mill tailings: a case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-08-01

    Liner failure was not found to be a problem when various acidic tailings solutions leached through liner materials for periods up to 3 y. On the contrary, materials that contained over 30% clay showed a decrease in permeability with time in the laboratory columns. The decreases in permeability noted above are attributed to pore plugging resulting from the precipitation of minerals and solids. This precipitation takes place due to the increase in pH of the tailings solution brought about by the buffering capacity of the soil. Geochemical modeling predicts, and x-ray characterization confirms, that precipitation of solids from solution is occurring in the acidic tailings solution/liner interactions studied. X-ray diffraction identified gypsum and alunite group minerals, such as jarosite, as having precipitated after acidic tailings solutions reacted with clay liners. The geochemical modeling and experimental work described above were used to construct an equilibrium conceptual model consisting of minerals and solid phases. This model was developed to represent a soil column. A computer program was used as a tool to solve the system of mathematical equations imposed by the conceptual chemical model. The combined conceptual model and computer program were used to predict aqueous phase compositions of effluent solutions from permeability cells packed with geologic materials and percolated with uranium mill tailings solutions. An initial conclusion drawn from these studies is that the laboratory experiments and geochemical modeling predictions were capable of simulating field observations. The same mineralogical changes and contaminant reductions observed in the laboratory studies were found at a drained evaporation pond (Lucky Mc in Wyoming) with a 10-year history of acid attack. 24 references, 5 figures 5 tables

  19. Remediation strategy, capping construction and ongoing monitoring for the mill tailings pond, Ningyo-Toge uranium mine, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hiroshi Saito; Tomihiro Taki

    2013-01-01

    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)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-10-01

    Diffusion coefficients for radon gas in earthen materials are required to design suitable radon-barrier covers for uranium tailings impoundments and other materials that emit radon gas. Many early measurements of radon diffusion coefficients relied on the differences in steady-state radon fluxes measured from radon source before and after installation of a cover layer of the material being tested. More recent measurements have utilized the small-sample transient (SST) technique for greater control on moistures and densities of the test soils, greater measurement precision, and reduced testing time and costs. Several of the project sites for the US Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Program contain radiologically contaminated subsurface material composed predominantly of cobbles, gravels andsands. Since remedial action designs require radon diffusion coefficients for the source materials as well as the cover materials, these cobbly and gravelly materials also must be tested. This report contains the following information: a description of the test materials used and the methods developed to conduct the SST radon diffusion measurements on cobbly soils; the protocol for conducting radon diffusion tests oncobbly soils; the results of measurements on the test samples; and modifications to the FITS computer code for analyzing the time-dependent radon diffusion data

  1. White sand potentially suppresses radon emission from uranium tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abdel Ghany, H. A.; El Aassy, Ibrahim E.; Ibrahim, Eman M.; Gamil, S. H.

    2018-03-01

    Uranium tailings represent a huge radioactive waste contaminant, where radon emanation is considered a major health hazard. Many trials have been conducted to minimize radon exhalation rate by using different covering materials. In the present work, three covering materials, commonly available in the local environment, (kaolin, white sand and bentonite) have been used with different thickness 10, 15, and 20 mm). 238U, 232Th, 40K and the radon exhalation rate were measured by using gamma spectrometry with a Hyper Pure Germanium (HPGe) detector and solid state nuclear track detectors (CR-39). Radon exhalation rate, calculated before and after covering, ranged from 2.80 ± 0.14 to 4.20 ± 0.21 Bq m-2 h-1, and from 0.30 ± 0.01 to 4.00 ± 0.20 Bq m-2 h-1, respectively. Also, the attenuation coefficients of different covering materials and radon emanation were calculated. The obtained results demonstrate that covering of uranium tailings by kaolin, white sand and bentonite has potentially minimized both the radon exhalation rate and the corresponding internal doses.

  2. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1994 environmental report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

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

  3. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project 1994 environmental report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

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

  4. UMTRA [Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action] Project site management manual

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1990-10-01

    The purpose of this manual is to summarize the organizational interfaces and the technical approach used to manage the planning, design development, National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance, engineering, and remedial action required to stabilize and control the designated Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project sites. This manual describes the Project's objective, participants' roles and responsibilities, technical approach for accomplishing the objective, and planning and managerial controls to be used in performing the site work. The narrative follows the flow of activities depicted in Figure 1.1, which provides the typical sequence of key Project activities. A list of acronyms used is presented at the end of the manual. The comparable manual for UMTRA Project vicinity properties is the ''Vicinity Properties Management and Implementation Manual'' (VPMIM) (UMTRA-DOE/AL-050601). Together, the two manuals cover the remedial action activities associated with UMTRA Project sites. The UMTRA Project's objective is to stabilize and control the uranium mill tailings, vicinity property materials, and other residual radioactive materials at the designated sites (Figure 1.2) in a safe and environmentally sound manner in order to minimize radiation health hazards to the public. 26 figs., 6 tabs

  5. Doses resulting from intrusion into uranium tailings areas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walsh, M.L.

    1986-02-01

    In the future, it is conceivable that institutional controls of uranium tailings areas may cease to exist and individuals may intrude into these areas unaware of the potential radiation hazards. The objective of this study was to estimate the potential doses to the intruders for a comprehensive set of intrusion scenarios. Reference tailings areas in the Elliot Lake region of northern Ontario and in northern Saskatchewan were developed to the extent required to calculate radiation exposures. The intrusion scenarios for which dose calculations were performed, were categorized into the following classes: habitation of the tailings, agricultural activities, construction activities, and recreational activities. Realistic exposure conditions were specified and annual doses were calculated by applying standard dose conversion factors. The exposure estimates demonstrated that the annual doses resulting from recreational activities and from construction activities would be generally small, less than twenty millisieverts, while the habitational and agricultural activities could hypothetically result in doses of several hundred millisieverts. However, the probability of occurrence of these latter classes of scenarios is considered to be much lower than scenarios involving either construction or recreational activities

  6. Pollution of ground water due to inactive uranium mill tailings. Summary of progress, October 1, 1979-September 30, 1981

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1980-01-01

    An extensive program of characterization of several inactive uranium tailings piles has been carried out in the past year. The geotechnical engineering program conducted a drilling program at the Salt Lake City and Grand Junction sites. The locations of slimes and sands in these sites hve been characterized. In general, it was found that slimes exist in the impoundments in lower percentages than normally produced from mill tailings. Permeability tests were conducted yielding values ranging from 10 -3 cm/sec to 10 -6 cm/sec. The geochemical studies made considerable progress in the past year. Extensive sampling of several sites was conducted. Sampling programs have been completed for seven sites and are underway for nine other sites. The work to date has indicated the importance of salts in controlling the direction and rate of movement of contaminants. The work has also indicated that a number of non-radioactive elements such as As are of environmental importance. The work also indicates the importance of the fact that the tailings piles are out of chemical equilibrium with their environment. Computer software was developed and implemented for data storage and retrieval. Automation hardware was installed and tested for the Inductively Coupled Plasma Emission Spectrometer. A number of analytical protocols were developed for routine analyses. A comprehensive quality control program was implemented. More than 18,000 chemical analyses were performed

  7. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, Surface Project Management Plan. Revision 1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-12-01

    Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) authorizes the US Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake remedial action at 24 designated inactive uranium processing sites and associated vicinity properties (VP) containing uranium mill tailings and related residual radioactive materials. The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Surface Project is to minimize or eliminate radiation health hazards to the public and the environment at the 24 sites and related VPs. This document describes the management organization, system, and methods used to manage the design, construction, and other activities required to clean up the designated sites and associated VPs, in accordance with the UMTRCA

  8. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, Surface Project Management Plan. Revision 1

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-12-01

    Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) authorizes the US Department of Energy (DOE) to undertake remedial action at 24 designated inactive uranium processing sites and associated vicinity properties (VP) containing uranium mill tailings and related residual radioactive materials. The purpose of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Surface Project is to minimize or eliminate radiation health hazards to the public and the environment at the 24 sites and related VPs. This document describes the management organization, system, and methods used to manage the design, construction, and other activities required to clean up the designated sites and associated VPs, in accordance with the UMTRCA.

  9. Removal of 226Ra from tailings pond effluents and stabilization of uranium mine tailings. Bench and pilot scale studies

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Schmidtke, N.W.; Averill, D.; Bryant, D.N.; Wilkinson, P.; Schmidt, J.W.

    1978-01-01

    Increased world demand for uranium has resulted in recent expansion of Canadian uranium mining operations. Problems have been identified with the discharge of radionuclides such as 226 Ra from tailings pond effluents and with the stabilization of mine tailings. At Environment Canada's Wastewater Technology Centre (WTC) two projects were undertaken in cooperation with the Canadian Uranium Mining Industry and other federal government agencies to address these problems. The first project reports on the progress of bench and pilot scale process simulations for the development of a data base for the design of a full scale mechanical physical/chemical 226 Ra removal waste treatment system with an effluent target level of 10 pCi 226 Ra total per litre. The second project addresses problems of the leachability of radionuclides and the stabilization of both uranium mine tailings and BaRaSO 4 sediments from the treatment of acid seepages

  10. Uranium tailings research at the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haw, V.A.; Ritcey, G.M.; Skeaff, J.M.; Dave, N.; Silver, M.

    1982-09-01

    There are over 100 million metric tons of uranium tailings on the surface of Canada, an amount that is expected to increase threefold by the end of the century. Because of their potential hazard to the environment and man, the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) began a major program ten years ago to examine the problem of uranium tailings management. Vegetation of uranium tailings has been successful using seed mixtures planted on the tailings surface pretreated by lime and fertilizer. Lysimeter tests on uranium tailings have demonstrated that surface treatment and the presence or absence of bacteria have a marked effect on the flow and chemistry of seepage water. Hydrogeochemical studies of the tailings have shown that acid conditions prevail in the upper zone of the tailings (i.e., above the water table) and that both radioactive and other toxic chemicals are concentrated near the bottom of the tailings. Work has been done in cooperation with others on the precipitation and removal of 226 Ra from tailings water effluent by BaCl 2 . Investigation into pre-concentrating the ore prior to acid leaching has demonstrated that virtually all the radionuclides and sulphides can be concentrated into a fraction amounting to from 30 to 40 percent of the original feed, leaving a relatively clean tailing. We are still far from our objective of demonstrating, with reasonable assurance, effective methods for the long-term management of uranium tailings. An accelerated program is outlined

  11. Issues on management, stabilization and environmental impacts of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Cunningham, R.E.

    1978-01-01

    Management and stabilization of uranium mill tailings has been controversial for over two decades. There are two basic issues: the nature of the risk to the public from tailings and what must be done to mitigate that risk. This paper provides an overview of the issues and sets some goals to be accomplished at the 1978 NEA Seminar on Management, Stabilization and Environmental Impacts of Uranium Mill Tailings that could be helpful in resolving the issues

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vollmer, A.T.

    1993-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vollmer, A.T.

    1993-10-01

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

  14. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program. Annual status report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-12-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project FY 1984 major accomplishments are summarized. Twenty-five percent of the processing site remedial actions at Canonsburg, PA, were completed. Remedial action on 118 vicinity properties at four designated locations were initiated and survey and inclusion activities on a total of 420 vicinity properties were completed. The Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for Salt Lake City, UT, and the Environmental Assessment (EA) for Shiprock, NM were published, and the preliminary draft EIS for Durango, CO, was prepared. Remedial Action Plans (RAPs) for Salt Lake City, UT, and Shiprock, NM were completed, and draft RAPs for Gunnison, CO, and Riverton, WY were prepared. Cooperative agreements with Oregon, Wyoming, and South Dakota were executed, and the Utah cooperative agreement was modified to assign the construction management responsibility to the state. An Interagency Agreement with TVA for disposal of the Edgemont vicinity property material was executed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-01-01

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

  16. Vacuum horizontal drainage for depressurization of uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pakalnis, R.; Chedsey, G.; Robertson, A.M.; Follin, S.

    1985-01-01

    A recent advance in tailings slope depressurization is the application of vacuum assist horizontal drainage. Horizontal drains have been used for several decades to reduce water pressures in slopes in order to improve stability. The benefit from vacuum assist arises from an increased hydraulic gradient caused by induced negative atmospheric pressures. The vacuum assist system has, since its inception in 1982, been successfully employed at two soil and four rock slope projects located in Western Canada. This paper describes the first application of this system in the United States. The technical feasibility of employing vacuum assisted horizontal drains to depressurize a uranium tailings dam near Riverton, Wyoming has been evaluated. Two horizontal drains (300 ft.) were installed and their effect monitored by nine piezometers. The study was conducted over a three-week internal with vacuum being applied for three and four day periods. The drawdowns achieved through vacuum drainage was found to be approximately double that obtained by gravity alone. The volume of water exhausted under vacuum during the seven day interval was approximately double that obtained by gravity alone

  17. Physico chemical characterization of mill tailings and speciation studies of uranium a Jaduguda, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarjan Singh; Jha, V.N.; Sethy, N.K.; Rout, S.; Ravi, P.M.; Jha, S.K.; Tripathi, R.M.

    2018-01-01

    After recovery of economically viable portion of the ore remaining solid slurry or tailings from uranium ore processing industry is discharged into an engineered system called tailings pond. Among the radio-nuclides quantitative content of residual uranium is highest in the tailings pond and various environmental interactions such as precipitation, change in pH, redox potential, microbial activities, organic associations has a potential to fix (precipitate) or solubilise it. The chemical fractionation of 'U' in mill tailings of both operational and non operational tailing ponds of Jaduguda uranium mining and ore processing site has been part of present study. Also, the role of various physicochemical parameters (pH, Eh, TC etc) on the mobility of uranium has been investigated

  18. Overland erosion of uranium-mill-tailings impoundments: physical processes and computational methods

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Walters, M.H.

    1983-03-01

    The surface runoff and erosional processes of watersheds caused by rainfall-runoff are reviewed. Soil properties, topography, and rainstorm distribution are discussed with respect to their effects on soil erosion. The effects of climate and vegetation are briefly presented. Regression models and physical process simulation models are reviewed

  19. Long-Term Stewardship at a Former Uranium Mill Tailings Site in Riverton, Wyoming WM2017-17090

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dam, William [USDOE Office of Legacy Management, Washington, DC (United States); Gil, Dr. April [USDOE Office of Legacy Management, Washington, DC (United States); Johnson, Raymond H. [Navarro Research and Engineering, Oak Ridge, TN (United States); Campbell, Sam [Navarro Research and Engineering, Oak Ridge, TN (United States)

    2017-03-01

    The US Department of Energy Office of Legacy Management (LM) is responsible for maintaining protective public health and environmental conditions at former uranium mill tailings sites nationwide via long-term stewardship. One of these sites, a former uranium mill near Riverton, Wyoming, is within the boundary of the Wind River Indian Reservation and operated from 1958 to 1963. Tailings and contaminated material associated with mill operations were removed and transported to an offsite disposal cell in 1989. The remedial action was completed under Title I of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. Milling operations, which included an unlined tailings impoundment and an unlined evaporation pond, contaminated the shallow groundwater, resulting in a downgradient groundwater plume that discharges to the Little Wind River. A natural flushing compliance strategy was implemented in 1998. This strategy allows contaminants of concern to naturally flush from the groundwater, provided that contaminants flush below US Environmental Protection Agency maximum concentration limits within 100 years. As part of the compliance strategy, LM has implemented a groundwater monitoring program along with institutional controls that include the installation of an alternate water supply, continued sampling of private wells, and restrictions on well drilling and gravel pit construction. LM works closely with local stakeholders and community members to ensure that these institutional controls are in place and maintained. The Riverton site provides an interesting case study where contaminant remobilization due to river flooding prompted a reevaluation of the conceptual site model to verify if the current compliance strategy would remain protective of human health and the environment. Concentrations of groundwater contaminants, which include sulfate, molybdenum, and uranium, were transiently elevated following flooding of the Little Wind River in 2010 and 2016. These flood

  20. The radiological impacts of uranium mill tailings - a review with special emphasis on the tailings at Ranstad in Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snihs, J.O.; Agnedal, P.O.

    1978-07-01

    The environmental impact of uranium mill tailings can be expressed in collective dose commitment and corresponding detriment per MWsub(e).Y energy produced by the uranium which corresponds to the amount of waste of interest. The methods of dose commitment calculations are discussed and it is suggested for the purpose of estimation of the detriment to limit the commitment to 10,000 years. The external radiation from the tailings is easily reduced by covering but in case of a future settlement on the tailings the collective dose commitment will be some hundreds to thousands of manrad/MWsub(e).Y depending on the quality of the uranium ore. The dispersion of dust from uncovered tailings is mainly a local problem and the collective dose commitment for critical tissues in the lung will be less than a manrad/MWsub(e).Y. In the long run the cover may be lost and the resultant collective dose commitment for the critical tissues in the lung will be a few tens of manrad/MWsub(e).Y depending on the quality of the tailings. The effects of global dispersion of the material in the tailings are also discussed

  1. Decommissioning: A critical component of the design for uranium tailings management facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clifton, W.A.; Barsi, R.G.; Misfeldt, G.A.

    2000-01-01

    Uranium was discovered in the Beaverlodge area of northern Saskatchewan in 1934 with the first major mill beginning operation in 1953. Little attention was paid to tailings quality or tailings management practices. With the onset of the modem uranium operations beginning in the late 1970's, it was repeatedly evident, that the public had significant concerns, particularly with respect to tailings management, that must be addressed if the developments were to be allowed to proceed. Primary considerations related to environmental protection, public safety and an assurance of the ongoing sustainable development of the region. Integrating the decommissioning of a mine/mill site into development planning from the very outset has proven to be a critical component that has contributed to the ongoing success of the Saskatchewan uranium operations. This paper will provide a case study of the evolution of the uranium tailings management technology utilized in Saskatchewan. It documents the evolution of tailings management processes and the characteristics of tailings produced by successive mines in northern Saskatchewan. It also discusses the evolution of technologies applied to management of uranium mill tailings and demonstrates how progressively increasing levels of environmental protection have been achieved during the last 47 years of uranium mill operation. The paper also shows that the planned and progressive decommissioning of an operational site is the key to: Minimizing environmental impacts; Satisfying public and regulatory concerns; Minimizing operational and decommissioning costs; Minimizing corporate liability; and Shifting public resistance to public support. (author)

  2. Decommissioning: A critical component of the design for uranium tailings management facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clifton, A.W.; Barsi, R.G.; Misfeldt, G.A.

    2002-01-01

    Uranium was discovered in the Beaverlodge area of northern Saskatchewan in 1934 with the first major mill beginning operation in 1953. Little attention was paid to tailings quality or tailings management practices. With the onset of the modern uranium operations beginning in the late 1970's, it was repeatedly evident, that the public had significant concerns, particularly with respect to tailings management, that must be addressed if the developments were to be allowed to proceed. Primary considerations related to environmental protection, public safety and an assurance of the ongoing sustainable development of the region. Integrating the decommissioning of a mine/mill site into development planning from the very outset has proven to be a critical component that has contributed to the ongoing success of the Saskatchewan uranium operations. This paper will provide a case study of the evolution of the uranium tailings management technology utilized in Saskatchewan. It documents the evolution of tailings management processes and the characteristics of tailings produced by successive mines in northern Saskatchewan. It also discusses the evolution of technologies applied to management of uranium mill tailings and demonstrates how progressively increasing levels of environmental protection have been achieved during the last 47 years of uranium mill operation. The paper also shows that the planned and progressive decommissioning of an operational site is the key to: Minimizing environmental impacts; Satisfying public and regulatory concerns; Minimizing operational and decommissioning costs; Minimizing corporate liability; and Shifting public resistance to public support. (author)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

    Concentration of uranium was determined in aquatic plants and substrate (sediment or water) of fresh water ecosystem on and around uranium mill tailings pond at Jaduguda, India. Aquatic plant/substrate concentration ratios (CRs) of uranium were estimated for different sites on and around the uranium mill tailings disposal area. These sites include upstream and downstream side of surface water sources carrying the treated tailings effluent, a small pond inside tailings disposal area and residual water of this area. Three types of plant groups were investigated namely algae (filamentous and non-filamentous), other free floating & water submerged and sediment rooted plants. Wide variability in concentration ratio was observed for different groups of plants studied. The filamentous algae uranium concentration was significantly correlated with that of water (r=0.86, puranium concentration in plant and the substrate (r=0.88, puranium concentration was significantly correlated with Mn, Fe, and Ni concentration of plants (puranium accumulation and concentration ratio can be useful for prospecting phytoremediation of stream carrying treated or untreated uranium mill tailings effluent. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  4. Cost of radon-barrier systems for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, E.G.; Hartley, J.N.

    1982-08-01

    This report deals specifically with the cost of three types of radon barrier systems, earthen covers, asphalt emulsion covers, and multilayer covers, which could meet standards proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency to stabilize uranium mill tailings located primarily in the western US. In addition, the report includes a sensitivity analysis of various factors which significantly effect the overall cost of the three systems. These analyses were based on a generic disposal site. Four different 3m thick earthen covers were tested and cost an average of $27/m 2 . The least expensive earthen cover cost was about $21/m 2 . The asphalt cover system (6 to 7 cm of asphalt topped with 0.6m of overburden) cost about $28/m 2 . The four multilayer covers averaged $57/m 2 , but materials handling problems encountered during the test inflated this cost above what was anticipated and significant cost reductions should be possible. The least expensive multilayer cover cost $43/m 2 . Based on the results of the Grand Junction field test we estimated the cost of covering the tailings from three high priority sites, Durango, Shiprock, and Salt Lake City (Vitro). The cost of a 3m earthen cover ranged from $18 to 33/m 2 for the seven disposal sites (two or three at each location) studied. The cost of asphalt cover systems were $23 to 28/m 2 and the multilayer cover costs were between $31 to 36/m 2 . The earthen cover costs are less than the Grand Junction field test cost primarily because cover material is available at or near most of the disposal sites selected. Earthen material was imported from 6 to 10 miles for the field test. Assuming more efficienct utilization of materials significantly reduced the cost of the multilayer covers

  5. Research on the characterization and conditioning of uranium mill tailings. II. Thermal stabilization of uranium mill tailings: technical and economic evaluation. Volume 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Cokal, E.J.; Thode, E.F.; Wangen, L.E.; Williams, J.M.

    1983-06-01

    A method of conditioning uranium mill tailings has been devised to greatly reduce radon emanation and contaminant leachability by using high-temperature treatments, i.e., thermal stabilization. The thermally stabilized products appear resistant to weathering as measured by the effects of grinding and water leaching. The technical feasibility of the process has been partially verified in pilot-scale experiments. A conceptual thermal stabilization process has been designed and the economics of the process show that the thermal stabilization of tailings can be cost competitive compared with relocation of tailings during remedial action. The alteration of morphology, structure, and composition during thermal treatment would indicate that this stabilization method may be a long-lasting solution to uranium mill tailings disposal problems

  6. Bioremediation of ground water contaminants at a uranium mill tailings site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barton, L.L.; Nuttall, H.E.; Thomson, B.M.; Lutze, W.

    1995-01-01

    Ground water contaminated with uranium from milling operations must be remediated to reduce the migration of soluble toxic compounds. At the mill tailings site near Tuba City, Arizona (USA) the approach is to employ bioremediation for in situ immobilization of uranium by bacterial reduction of uranyl, U(VI), compounds to uraninite, U(IV). In this initial phase of remediation, details are provided to indicate the magnitude of the contamination problem and to present preliminary evidence supporting the proposition that bacterial immobilization of uranium is possible. Additionally, consideration is given to contaminating cations and anions that may be at toxic levels in ground water at this uranium mill tailing site and detoxification strategies using bacteria are addressed. A model concept is employed so that results obtained at the Tuba City site could contribute to bioremediation of ground water at other uranium mill tailings sites

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalin, M.

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

  8. Groundwater modeling for the long-term safety assessment of uranium tailings ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nair, R.N.

    2010-01-01

    Uranium tailings ponds contain naturally occurring long lived radionuclides such as 238 U, 234 U, 230 Th and 226 Ra as sources which are the parents of a very long radionuclide decay chain. Uranium tailings ponds by the virtue of the longevity of its contents may pose as a long-term radiological hazard if not designed and monitored properly. The principal radiation risks from uranium tailings are gamma radiation: windblown radioactive dust dispersion; and radon gas and its progenies. Uranium tailings ponds are also a major source of surface and groundwater contamination due to leaching of radioactive and other toxic elements. In many countries, the tailings ponds are designed to control the radiological hazards for up to 1000 years, to the extent achievable, and in any case for at least 200 years. Stringent regulations stipulations exist worldwide for the safe design, operation and closure of uranium tailings ponds. The long- term radiological impact assessment of uranium tailings ponds, hence, is an extremely important exercise in uranium mining industry. The simulations conducted for uranium over a period of 1000 years indicate that contaminant fronts from the source with a paste permeability of 1x10 -4 m/day would migrate a probable distance of less than 50 m. The maximum computed distance for this case is less than 300 m. Indian studies show that the total annual effective dose to members of the public at 1.0 km from the centre of the tailings pond is trivial up to a period of 4000 y. The estimated dose is 0.01 mSv/y after 10,000 years and it is 10 times lower than 0.1 mSv/y, which is considered as a safe dose limit for drinking water pathway. (author)

  9. Ecological risk of reprocessing of uranium wastes of the Gafurov's tailing pit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Khakimov, N.; Nazarov, Kh.M.; Kamalov, D.D.; Mirsaidov, U.M.

    2010-01-01

    Present article is devoted to assessment ecological risk of reprocessing of uranium wastes of the Gafurov's tailing pit. Authors set as their purpose the investigation of ecological risk of reprocessing of uranium wastes of the Gafurov-city's tailing pit. Having carried out their investigations, the authors came to the conclusion that the effect of radon gas during reprocessing to workers and specialists is minimal if they follow all the required safety rules.

  10. Occupational exposure during remediation works at a uranium tailings pile.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dinis, Maria de Lurdes; Fiúza, António

    2013-05-01

    The aim of this study was to assess by different approaches the occupational exposure during the remediation of a tailings dam in an abandoned uranium mining site, with an area of about 13.3 ha and an estimated volume of 1.39 million m³. A hypothetical scenario was created in which the workers involved in the remediation activities were exposed to radiation through both internal and external pathways. It was intended to assess quantitatively the potential exposure of the workforce involved in the remediation works, focussing particularly on the inhalation of radon and on the gamma irradiation from the contaminated soil. Different methodologies were considered based on a deterministic and a probabilistic approach for dose assessment and risk assessment, respectively. The deterministic approach typically employs a highly "conservative" single value for each input parameter. The probabilistic approach employs sensitivity and uncertainty analysis of input parameters using probabilistic distributions of the sensitive parameters. The results indicate that annual effective dose limit for occupational exposure (worst scenario case created) may reach a significant fraction of occupational radiation protection limits. This is also stressed by the values obtained for the occupational risk estimated by Monte Carlo methodology using probabilistic distributions for the input parameters. The results also showed that the pathway with the highest dose does not necessarily correspond to the pathway with the highest risk. Nevertheless, it is well known that probabilistic analysis generally produces more realistic results. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. Impact of uranium tailings on the environment and population

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hladka, E.; Burian, I.; Svoboda, S.

    1991-01-01

    Air contamination measurements and water analysis from the surroundings of dumps of some mines were performed in the Pribram mining district. The dumps pose a hazard of potential exposure basically by two routes: by contamination of the environment and by population exposure due to the leak of radon and its daughter products, and also of dust, from the dumps into air and into rainwater and snow-water, thus bringing about contamination of surface and underground waters. Measurements of the concentration of latent energy of radon daughters and of the exposure rate of external gamma radiation gave evidence that the limits set by the Decree of the Ministry of Health of the Czech Republic No. 59/1972 for individuals in the population are reached neither at the foot of the dump nor in nearby villages, although the values are higher than the natural background. The most serious contamination of the hydrosphere in the locality examined is due to moisture seeping from the dumps. The concentrations of radionuclides, of uranium in particular, are considerably higher than as corresponds to the natural background. With respect to the dose equivalent limit for individuals from the population, the contributions from the tailings are mere fractions of the annual limits. The doses, however, are higher than the value set by IAEA as the ''de minimis'' criterion, which is 10 μSv/year. (Z.S.). 4 tabs., 9 refs

  12. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action fiscal year 1992 roadmap

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-02-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project is funded and managed as two separate projects: Surface remediation (UMTRA-S) and Groundwater compliance (UMTRA-G). Surface remediation is a Major System Acquisition and has been completed at 10 sites, 7 sites are under construction, and 7 sites are in the planning stage. The planning stages of the UMTRA-G Project, a major project, began in April 1991. A programmatic environmental impact statement (PEIS) has been started. Site characterization work and baseline risk assessment will begin FY 1993. Thus, the UMTRA-S Project is a mature and ongoing program with the roles of various organizations well defined, while the UMTRA-G Project is still being formulated and the interfaces between the DOE, states and tribes, and the EPA are being established. The Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management (EM) directed that all projects under its authority develop roadmaps for their activities. The UMTRA Project Roadmap was developed by the UMTRA Project Office with input from the TAC, RAC, the GJPO, and assistance from SAIC. A single roadmap has been prepared for both the UMTRA-S and UMTRA-G Projects. This was deemed appropriate due to the close relationship between the projects and to the fact that the same Government and contractor personnel are preparing the roadmaps. Roadmap development is a planning process that focuses on issue identification, root-cause analysis, and issues resolution. The methodology is divided into three phases: assessment, analysis, and issues resolution

  13. Immobilization of radium in uranium mine and mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lutwick, G.D.; Mosher, J.; Tizzard, R.

    1982-01-01

    Radium has been coprecipitated from solution as the arsenate in which ferric iron, barium, copper and lead are the macro ions. The order of efficiency of the macro ions in removing radium was found to be Ba > Fe > Pb > Cu at a pH of 6. It is expected that at higher pH's i.e., greater than 8, ferric iron will change positions. This change in position will be caused by the formation of ferrate ion hence increasing the solubility of ferric arsenate. The removal of radium from solution by ion exchangers consisting of the arsenates of ferric iron, barium, copper and lead was successful. As the pH is increased from 4 to 10 the efficiency of these exchangers in removing radium increases. The columns removed over 99 percent of the radium at pH's of 5.6 and higher. The order of efficiency of the exchangers in removing radium is not well defined. Thorium has been precipitated as the arsenate over the pH range of 2 to 9.6. This reaction suggests the possibility of using arsenate to remove thorium from uranium mill plant streams and as a reagent to keep thorium in the tailings ponds

  14. Wind erosion research at an uranium mill tailings site

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sehmel, G.A.

    1977-07-01

    A uranium mill tailings pile at Grants, New Mexico, was selected for wind erosion research since the configuration provides flat area containing fine sand and made up of larger particles. The wind erosion experiment is discussed. Experimental equipment consists of meteorological instrumentation to automatically activate air samplers as a function of wind speed increments and direction, particle cascade impactors to measure airborne respirable concentrations as a function of particle size, inertial impaction devices to measure nonrespirable fluxes of airborne particles, a virtual particle cascade impactor to measure airborne concentrations of toxic trace elements, and soil depth gauges to measure changes in surface soil elevations as a function of time. Both radioactive particles as well as toxic trace element concentrations are measured. Radioactive particles are measured with both particle cascade impactors as well as high-volume air samplers. In contrast, toxic trace element airborne concentrations are measured only with a two-stage virtual particle cascade impactor. Fluxes of nonrespirable airborne particles are measured with inertial impaction devices. At particle cascade impactor sites, a rotating cyclone preseparator collects nonrespirable particles. In addition at all sites, fluxes of nonrespirable particles are measured using an open cavity inertial impaction device

  15. Miscellaneous radioactive materials detected during uranium mill tailings surveys

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wilson, M.J.

    1993-10-01

    The Department of Energy's (DOE) Office of Environmental Restoration and Waste Management directed the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Pollutant Assessments Group in the conduct of radiological surveys on properties in Monticello, Utah, associated with the Mendaciously millsite National Priority List site. During these surveys, various radioactive materials were detected that were unrelated to the Monticello millsite. The existence and descriptions of these materials were recorded in survey reports and are condensed in this report. The radioactive materials detected are either naturally occurring radioactive material, such as rock and mineral collections, uranium ore, and radioactive coal or manmade radioactive material consisting of tailings from other millsites, mining equipment, radium dials, mill building scraps, building materials, such as brick and cinderblock, and other miscellaneous sources. Awareness of the miscellaneous and naturally occurring material is essential to allow DOE to forecast the additional costs and schedule changes associated with remediation activities. Also, material that may pose a health hazard to the public should be revealed to other regulatory agencies for consideration

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalin, M.

    1983-03-01

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

  17. The radiological impacts of uranium mill tailings - A review with special emphasis on the tailings at Ranstad in Sweden

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Snihs, J.O.

    1978-01-01

    The environmental impact of uranium mill talings can be expressed in collective dose commitment and corresponding detriment per MWe.y energy produced by the uranium which corresponds to the amount of waste interest, The methods of dose commitment calculations are discussed and it is suggested for the purpose of estimation of the detriment to limit the commitment to 10,000 years. The external radiation from the tailings is easily reduced by covering but in case of a future settlement on the tailings the collective dose commitment will be some hundreds to thousands of manrad/MWe.y depending on the quality of the uranium ore. The dispersion of dust from uncovered tailings is mainly a local problem and the collective dose commitment for critical tissues in the lung will be less than a manrad/MWe.y. In the long run the cover may be lost and the resultant collective dose commitment for the critical tissues in the lung will be a few tens of manrad/MWe.y depending on the quality of the tailings. The effects of global dispersion of the material in the tailings are also discussed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-12-01

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

  19. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Lakeview Site, Lakeview, Oregon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

    Radon gas released from the 130,000 tons of tailings at the Lakeview site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The three alternative actions include millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I) and removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II and III). Cost estimates range from $6,000,000 for stabilization in-place, to $7,500,000 for disposal at a distance of about 10 miles. Three alternatives for reprocessing the Lakeview tailings were examined. Results show that uranium recovery is not economical

  20. Uranium tailings research at the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haw, V.A.; Ritcey, G.M.; Skeaff, J.M.; Dave, N.; Silver, M.

    1983-01-01

    There are over 100 million tonnes of uranium tailings on the surface of Canada, an amount that is expected to increase threefold by the end of the century. Because of their potential hazard to the environment and man, the Canada Centre for Mineral and Energy Technology (CANMET) began a major programme ten years ago, to examine the problem of uranium tailings management. Work to date has shown that: (1) Vegetation of uranium tailings has been successful using seed mixtures planted on the tailings surface pre-treated by lime and fertilizer; (2) Lysimeter tests on uranium tailings have demonstrated that surface treatment and the presence or absence of bacteria have a marked effect on the flow and chemistry of seepage water; (3) Hydrogeochemical studies of the tailings have shown that acid conditions prevail in the upper zone of the tailings (i.e. above the water table) and that both radioactive and other toxic chemicals are concentrated near the bottom of the tailings; (4) Work has been done in co-operation with others on the precipitation and removal of 226 Ra from tailings water effluent by BaCl 2 . The purpose of this work is to improve control of the total radium content of water discharged to drainage systems by mechanical means. (5) Investigation into pre-concentrating the ore prior to acid leaching has demonstrated that virtually all the radionuclides and sulphides can be concentrated into a fraction amounting to from 30 to 40 per cent of the original feed, leaving a relatively clean tailing. The authors are still far from their objective of demonstrating, with reasonable assurance, effective methods for the long-term management of uranium tailings. An accelerated programme is outlined. (author)

  1. Radionuclide levels in vegetation growing on uranium tailings, Elliot Lake, Ontario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pave, N.K.; Cloutier, N.R.; Lim, T.P.

    1985-01-01

    In Elliot Lake, Ontario, Canada, most of the inactive uranium tailings have been reclaimed by revegetation where a thick vegetation cover has been established. The surface amendments have also prompted volunteer growth of various species of local trees and shrubs on tailings. Radionuclide levels were measured in various tissues of grasses, legumes and trees growing on uranium tailings at different sites. Lower Th than Ra and Pb levels in tailings substrate were believed to be the cause for the relatively lower Th levels measured in vegetation when compared to Ra and Pb concentrations. No correlation was observed between the level of a given radionuclide in tailings and in the vegetation growing on that tailings

  2. 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.

  3. Several issues on the decommissioning of uranium mining/milling facilities

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Xu Lechang; Xu Jianxin; Gao Shangxiong

    2007-01-01

    Several issues on the decommissioning of uranium mining/milling facilities are discussed at the national and international level of decommissioning, including radiation, monitoring, dose evaluation, covering, water treatment and stabilization of uranium tailings impoundment, etc. Some suggestions are made: drawing international lessons on decommissioning of uranium mining/milling facilities; enhancing monitoring and database construction in decommissioning management; stressing utilization of measured dose data; using the experience of other countries for reference on covering designs for uranium tailings impoundment and water treatment; strengthening decommissioning management, etc. (authors)

  4. Report of the National Technical Planning Group on Uranium Tailings Research

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lapp, P.A.

    1981-09-01

    The National Technical Planning Group on Uranium Tailings Research was formed in 1980 to review present activities and plan a research program on the management of wastes after a mine and mill have shut down. At present there are more than 100 million tonnes of uranium tailings on the surface in Canada. Most of these are under management; however, some 8 million tonnes have been abandoned completely. The group concluded that: 1) there has been no systematic attempt to collect and organize the results of measurements already made on tailings; 2) there is an inadequate understanding of the processes that take place in tailings and in the pathways to the biosphere; 3) there is insufficient evidence on the extent of the long-term problem in the closeout of a uranium tailings basin; 4) there is a need to establish standardized measurement methodologies to improve the quality of data taken at different sites across Canada; 5) generic research and development on tailings disposal technology should be within the scope of a national program, whereas site-specific work is the purview of the mines and regulatory agencies; and 6) the uranium producers' contribution to the national tailings program should be their research on site-specific disposal alternatives. The first of these conclusions leads to the proposal to establish a national uranium tailings research program. The second suggests the need for a modelling program, the third and fourth for a national measurement program, and the remaining conclusions refer to disposal technologies research. The conclusions form the basis for a set of recommendations on uranium tailings research

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-04-01

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

  6. Programmatic Environmental Report for remedial actions at UMTRA [Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action] Project vicinity properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-03-01

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

  7. Evaluation of inactive uranium mill tailings sites for liner requirements: Characterization and interaction of tailings, soil, and liner materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Relyea, J.F.; Martin, W.J.

    1982-01-01

    This paper summarizes the results of laboratory experiments using soils from Clive, Utah and tailings samples from three inactive uranium processing sites. The results are to be used to predict contaminant behavior for comparison with the regulatory criteria to decide whether a liner is needed. The interactions of leachates with soils and liner material were studied using both batch and column methods. It is determined that batch leaching tests are suitable for screening a large number of tailings samples for relative contaminant concentrations between samples but not for determining contaminant concentrations and release rates in tailings leachate. The results of column leaching tests on samples of tailings from inactive sites indicate that contaminant concentrations are highest in initial leachate from the columns and that concentrations decrease by an order of magnitude or more after one pore volume

  8. Alternative management techniques for the uranium mill tailings site at Salt Lake City, UT

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rogers, V.C.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Haywood, F.F.; Gantner, G.K.

    1976-01-01

    The concentrations of 226 Ra and other uranium-chain radionuclides present in tailings piles at uranium-milling sites are on the order of 10 3 times higher than those usually found in soil-surface minerals. The public radiation exposure attributable to these sites is primarily due to inhalation of 222 Rn progeny. This paper presents the radiological assessment of the uranium-milling site at Salt Lake City, Utah. Adverse health effects are estimated from present and projected public radiation exposures. Three alternative remedial action measures can be used to reduce radiation exposures: (1) decontamination of offsite areas contaminated by tailings materials; (2) covering the tailings with contamination-free material; and (3) removal of the tailings to a more remote location. These three measures are examined in terms of costs incurred and serious health effects avoided

  9. Evaluation of selected neutralizing agents for the treatment of uranium tailings leachates. Laboratory progress report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sherwood, D.R.; Serne, R.J.

    1983-02-01

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to evaluate the performance of selected neutralizing agents for the treatment of uranium tailings solutions. Highly acidic tailings solutions (pH 3 ) reagent grade; Calcium hydroxide [Ca(OH) 2 ] reagent grade; Magnesium oxide (MgO) reagent grade; Sodium carbonate (Na 2 CO 3 ) reagent grade; and Sodium hydroxide (NaOH) reagent grade. Evaluation of the effectiveness for the treatment of uranium tailings solutions for the selected neutralizing agents under controlled laboratory conditions was based on three criteria. The criteria are: (1) treated effluent water quality, (2) neutralized sludge handling and hydraulic properties, and (3) reagent costs and acid neutralizing efficiency. On the basis of these limited laboratory results calcium hydroxide or its dehydrated form CaO (lime) appears to be the most effective option for treatment of uranium tailings solutions

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1986-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-01-01

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

  12. Groundwater leaching of neutralized and untreated acid-leached uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gee, G.W.; Begej, C.W.; Campbell, A.C.; Sauter, N.N.; Opitz, B.E.; Sherwood, D.R.

    1981-01-01

    Tailings neutralization was examined to determine the effect of neutralization on contaminant release. Column leaching of acid extracted uranium mill tailings from Exxon Highland Mill, Wyoming, Pathfinder Gas Hills Mill, Wyoming, and the Dawn Midnite Mill, Washington, resulted in the flushing of high concentrations of salts in the first four pore volumes of leachate, followed by a steady decrease to the original groundwater salt concentrations. Neutralization decreased the concentration of salts and radionuclides leaching from the tailings and decreased the volume of solution required to return the solution to the groundwater pH and EC. Radium-226 and uranium-238 leached quickly from the tailings in the initial pore volumes of both neutralized and unneutralized tailings, and then decreased significantly. 6 figures, 5 tables

  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 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 tailings zone being significant (P 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. Preliminary evaluation of uranium mill tailings conditioning as an alternative remedial action technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Cokal, E.J.; Thode, E.F.; Wangen, L.E.; Williams, J.M.

    1981-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  16. 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

  17. Key programmatic steps and activities for implementing the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1985-07-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978 (UMTRCA) was enacted based upon findings by Congress ''that uranium mill tailings located at active and inactive hazard to the public, and that protection of the public health, safety and welfare, and the regulations of interstate commerce, require that every reasonable effort be made to provide for the stabilization, disposal, and control in a safe and environmentally sound manner of such tailings in order to prevent or minimize radon diffusion into the environment and to prevent or minimize other environmental hazards from such tailings.'' A general understanding of the steps leading to elimination of the hazards associated with designated uranium mill tailings sites, and the parties involved in that effort, are presented in this document. A representative schedule is also presented in this document to show both program sequence and activity interdependence. Those activities that have the most potential to influence program duration, because of the significant amount of additional time that may be required, include identification and selection of a suitable site, field data collection delays due to weather, actual acquisition of the designated or alternate disposal site, construction delays due to weather, and site licensing. This document provides an understanding of the steps, the sequence, the parties involved, and a representative duration of activities leading to remedial action and cleanup at the designated inactive uranium mill tailings sites. 10 refs., 5 figs., 1 tab

  18. 226Ra and 210Pb relationship in solid wastes and plants at Uranium mill tailing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madruga, M.J.; Faria, I.; Brogueira, A.

    2002-01-01

    After the uranium extraction from the ore, the waste residues (tailings) contain several radionuclides in elevated levels comparing to normal soils. Nearly all of the uranium progenies (2 30T h, 2 26R a, 2 10P b and 2 10P o) and the unextracted uranium fraction are present in tailings. These large quantities of tailings may provide a significant source of environmental and food chain contamination. The transfer of radioisotopes between different ecological compartments is frequently evaluated using ratios which relate the radionuclide content in one ecosystem compartment to that of another. For instance, the concentration ratio (CR), i.e., the ratio between radionuclide concentrations in tailings and plants can be evaluated. Radium-226, a long-lived alfa emitter, is a chemical analog of calcium. The 2 26R a uptake is similar to calcium in biological and ecological systems. The uptake of 2 10P b will follow the same pattern as natural lead. Plants do not require lead but in contrast they require the Ra/Ca group elements. The uptake of lead is mainly a function of the lead tolerance of the plant and the hydrogen ion concentration of the soil. Kalin and Sharma (1982) reported that 2 26R a and 2 10P b uptake by indigenous species from inactive uranium mill tailings in Canada differ from the uptake of the elements by the same plants growing in soil. Ibrahim and Whicker (1992) reported that tailing acidity tends to enhance radionuclide availability for plant uptake. The transport of radionuclides to foliage and subsequent retention and absorption may play a role in plant contamination. The main goal of this study is to evaluate the 2 26R a and 2 10P b relationship in tailings and plants growing at uranium mill tailings

  19. Sealing layer of fly ashes and sewage sludge and vegetation establishment in treatment of mine tailings impoundments; Flygaska och roetslam som taetskikt vid efterbehandling av sandmagasin med vegetationsetablering

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greger, Maria; Neuschuetz, Clara [Stockholm Univ. (Sweden). Dept. of Botany; Isaksson, Karl-Erik [Boliden Mineral AB (Sweden)

    2006-02-15

    Each year the Swedish mining industry produces 25 Mtonnes of mine tailings that are disposed of in extensive natural impoundments. As this sand, containing more or less sulphide-rich minerals, is penetrated by oxygen and water, it starts weathering resulting in formation of acidic and metal-rich drainage water. To prevent oxygen penetration the mine tailings can be covered with a sealing layer covered with a protective cover that facilitates establishment of vegetation. The aim of this study has been to examine the function of fly ash and sewage sludge in sealing layers at impoundments of pyrite rich mine tailings, and the ability of different plant species, which are suitable for establishment in these areas, to penetrate the sealing layer with their roots and what impact they have on the drainage water. Experiments have been performed in field and greenhouse environment, with sealing layers consisting of fly ash and sewage sludge mixtures, covered with protective covers of sewage sludge or till. Plant establishment has been studied in a survey of naturally established plants at sewage sludge disposal sites close to mining areas, and by sowing and planting of selected plants, for instance fast growing grass species and fibre hemp at the test plots in field and in greenhouse experiments. Large scale application of ashes, sewage sludge and an ash/sludge mixture have been performed in field at three test plots with the size of 0.3-1 ha. Leakage of nutrients and metals from sealing layers has been studied in field and greenhouse tests. In addition, the ability of plant roots to penetrate sealing layers made of different ash/sludge mixtures have been examined in greenhouse experiments. This investigation is a cooperation between Stockholm University and Boliden Mineral AB, and the field experiments have been performed at the mine tailings impoundments at Gillervattnet, Boliden. Other collaborating participants are Skellefteaa Kraft and Munksund, who have produced the

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1983-05-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1983-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

  5. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings. Vitro site, Salt Lake City, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Phillips/United Nuclear site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Phillips/United Nuclear site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $45,200,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing.The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $87/lb of U 3 O 8 by either heap leach or conventional plant process. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive under present or foreseeable market conditions

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-09-01

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

  11. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings: Monument Valley site, Monument Valley, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Monument Valley site in order to revise the March 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Monument Valley, Arizona. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 1.1 million tons of tailings at the Monument Valley site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $6,600,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $15,900,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for reprocessing the Monument Valley tailings were examined: heap leaching, treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be more than $500/lb of U 3 O 8 by heap leach or conventional plant processes. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery is economically unattractive

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-07-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

  14. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Riverton Site, Riverton, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-08-01

    Ford, Bacon, and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Riverton site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Riverton, Wyoming. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 900,000 tons of tailings materials at the Riverton site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The nine alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontaminations of the tailings site (Options II through IX). Cost estimates for the nine options range from about $16,600,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $23,200,000 for disposal at a distance of 18 to 25 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Riverton tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $260 and $230/lb of U 3 O 8 by heap leach and conventional plant processes respectively. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Therefore, reprocessing the tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive

  15. Consolidation theory and its applicability to the dewatering and covering of uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gates, T.E.

    1982-11-01

    This report is a review and evaluation of soil consolidation theories applicable for evaluating settlement during dewatering and subsequent covering of uranium-mill tailings. Such theories may be used to predict both consolidation and water flow related effects in uranium-mill tailings during drainage, following sluicing into burial pits. A consolidation theory to be useful must consider the effect of time-dependent loads, nonhomogeneous soil mass, nonlinear variation of soil properties with the stress-state parameters, large strain, and saturated and unsaturated flow. Constitutive relations linking the stress-deformation-state variables with void ratio should be adopted for predicting both consolidation and fluid-flow interaction in unsaturated uranium-mill tailings

  16. 1981 radon barrier field test at Grand Junction uranium mill tailings pile

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Gee, G.W.; Baker, E.G.; Freeman, H.D.

    1983-04-01

    Technologies to reduce radon released from uranium mill tailings are being investigated by Pacific Northwest Laboratory as part of the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) Technology development program. These technologies include: (1) earthen cover systems, (2) multilayer cover systems, and (3) asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems. During the summer of 1981, a field test was initiated at the Grand Junction, Colorado, uranium tailings pile to evaluate and compare the effectiveness of each radon barrier system. Test plots cover about 1.2 ha (3 acres). The field test has demonstrated the effectiveness of all three cover systems in reducing radon release to near background levels ( 2 s - 1 ). In conjunction with the field tests, column tests (1.8 m diameter) were initiated with cover systems similar to those in the larger field test plots. The column tests allow a direct comparison of the two test procedures and also provide detailed information on radon transport

  17. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Green River site, Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-08-01

    Radon gas released from the 123,000 tons of tailings at the Green River site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The five alternative actions range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the five options range from about $4,300,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $9,600,000 for disposal at a distance of about 30 miles. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Green River tailings were examined: heap leaching, treatment at an existing mill, and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $1,800/lb by heap leach and $1,600/lb by conventional plant processes

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

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

  19. Study of the oxidation state of arsenic and uranium in individual particles from uranium mine tailings, Hungary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alsecz, A.; Osan, J.; Palfalvi, J.; Torok, Sz.; Sajo, I.; Mathe, Z.; Simon, R.; Falkenberg, G.

    2007-01-01

    Uranium ore mining and milling have been terminated in the Mecsek Mountains (southwest Hungary) in 1997. Mine tailings ponds are located between two important water bases, which are resources of the drinking water of the city of Pecs and the neighbouring villages. The average U concentration of the tailings material is 71.73 μg/g, but it is inhomogeneous. Some microscopic particles contain orders of magnitude more U than the rest of the tailings material. Other potentially toxic elements are As and Pb of which chemical state is important to estimate mobility, because in mobile form they can risk the water basis and the public health. Individual U-rich particles were selected with solid state nuclear track detector (SSNTD) and after localisation the particles were investigated by synchrotron radiation based microanalytical techniques. The distribution of elements over the particles was studied by micro beam X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) and the oxidation state of uranium and arsenic was determined by micro X-ray absorption near edge structure (μ-XANES) spectroscopy. Some of the measured U-rich particles were chosen for studying the heterogeneity with μ-XRF tomography. Arsenic was present mainly in As(V) and uranium in U(VI) form in the original uranium ore particles, but in the mine tailings samples uranium was present mainly in the less mobile U(IV) form. Correlation was found between the oxidation state of As and U in the same analyzed particles. These results suggest that dissolution of uranium is not expected in short term period. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-09-01

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

  1. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Durango Site, Durango, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-06-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Durango site in order to revise the November 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Durango, Colorado. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the nearly 1.6 million tons of tailings at the Durango site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the seven options range from about $10,700,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $21,800,000 for disposal at a distance of about 10 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Durango tailings were examined: (a) heap leaching; (b) treatment at an existing mill; and (c) reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $30/lb U 3 O 8 by either heap leach or conventional plant processes

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1988-07-01

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

  5. Isolation of uranium mill tailings and their component radionuclides from the biosphere; some earth science perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landa, Edward

    1980-01-01

    Uranium mining and milling is an expanding activity in the. Western United States. Although the milling process yields a uranium concentrate, the large volume of tailings remaining contains about 85 percent of the radioactivity originally associated with the ore. By virtue of the physical and chemical processing of the ore and the redistribution of the contained radionuclides at the Earth's surface, these tailings constitute a technologically enhanced source of natural radiation exposure. Sources of potential human radiation exposure from uranium mill tailings include the emanation of radon gas, the transport of particles by wind and water, and the transport of soluble radionuclides, seeping from disposal areas, by ground water. Due to the 77,000 year half-life of thorium-230, the parent of radium-226, the environmental effects associated with radionuclides contained in these railings must be conceived of within the framework of geologic processes operating over geologic time. The magnitude of erosion of cover materials and tailings and the extent of geochemical mobilization of the contained radionuclides to the atmosphere and hydrosphere should be considered in the evaluation of the potential, long-term consequences of all proposed uranium mill tailings management plans.

  6. Fractal characters and hurst exponent of radon exhalation rate from uranium Tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu Hanqiao; Tan Kaixuan; Li Chunguang; Lv Junwen; Liu Dong

    2010-01-01

    The uranium tailings radon exhalation is an important environmental problem. The change of the radon exhalation rate of uranium tailings with the time through laboratory experiments is measured, and the results show that the radon exhalation rate of the tailings change obviously with time in non-periodic oscillations. Applying fractal analysis to the radon exhalation rate time-series data by R/S method, the Hurst exponent of the entire time series data is 0.83, the fractal dimension is 1.17. Mobile Hurst exponent is between 0.5 and 0.8 in most cases. The Hurst exponent of the experiments in the later part are below 0.5. The exhalation rate of uranium tailings radon does not meet the long-term trend of random walk theory, the radon exhalation rate has long-term memory, but the short-term memory is not distinct. The radon exhalation from uranium tailings is a deterministic chaotic dynamics. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-12-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-12-01

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

  9. Evaluation of long term radiological impact on population close to remediated uranium mill tailings storages

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kerouanton, David; Delgove, Laure

    2008-01-01

    A methodology is elaborated in order to evaluate the long term radiological impact of remediated uranium mill tailings storage. Different scenarios are chosen and modelled to cover future evolution of the tailings storages. Radiological impact is evaluated for different population such as adults and children living in the immediate vicinity or directly on the storage, road workers or walkers on the storage. Equation and methods are detailed. (author)

  10. Radiation pathways and potential health impacts from inactive uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-07-01

    Radiation exposure pathways and potential health impacts were estimated as part of the evaluation of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the sites of inactive mills in eight western states. The purpose of this report is to describe in detail the methodology used in performing the pathway analysis and health effects estimations. In addition, specific parameters are presented for each of the 22 uranium mill sites that were evaluated. A computer program, RADAD, developed as part of this program, is described and listed

  11. 40 CFR 23.8 - Timing of Administrator's action under Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-07-01

    ... 40 Protection of Environment 1 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false Timing of Administrator's action under Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. 23.8 Section 23.8 Protection of Environment... Administrator's action under Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978. Unless the Administrator...

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1989-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1989-12-01

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

  14. Management, stabilisation and environmental impact of uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1978-01-01

    These proceedings deal with the sources of radioactivity arising from uranium mill wastes, the environmental aspects, the management and stabilisation of radioactive wastes and the policies and regulatory aspects.

  15. Management, stabilisation and environmental impact of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1978-01-01

    These proceedings deal with the sources of radioactivity arising from uranium mill wastes, the environmental aspects, the management and stabilisation of radioactive wastes and the policies and regularoty aspects

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. Grand Junction health experience from use of uranium tailings in building construction

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Franz, L.W.

    1980-01-01

    This presentation deals with the possible health effects of the Grand Junction, Colorado exposure situation in which uranium mill tailings were used for building purposes from 1952 to 1966. There are no significant differences between the study group and the control groups with reference to length of residence, to health status prior to diagnosis, or the exposure to tailings location. The excess incidence of leukemia in the Grand Junction area is not explained by this study of proximity to tailings structures. These data neither prove nor disprove the safety of long-term exposure at these low levels of gamma rays

  18. Nitric acid leaching of radium and other significant radionuclides from uranium ores and tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ryon, A.D.; Hurst, F.J.; Seeley, F.G.

    1977-08-01

    Nitric acid leaching of representative uranium ores and mill tailings from the western U.S. mining districts removes up to 98% of the 226 Ra and 230 Th, yielding a residue containing 17 to 60 pCi of radium per gram. At best, this is an order of magnitude greater than that in surrounding soils, but about the same level as a standard proposed for building materials in the United Kingdom. Data are also presented on the water penetration and leaching of tailings, the solubility of BaSO 4 , and radon emanation coefficients of ores, tailings, and nitric acid-leached residues

  19. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1986-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jeffery, J.J.; Sinclair, G.; Lowson, R.T.

    1988-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1986-11-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Jacobs, D.G.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Ellis, B.S.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1987-10-01

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

  5. Screening of plant species as ground cover on uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Venu Babu, P.; Eapen, S.

    2012-01-01

    The concept of construction of dams or holding areas for uranium mill tailings is relatively new in India and to date there is only one such facility being maintained by Uranium Corporation of India Limited (UCIL) at Jaduguda in Jharkhand. Due to the residual nature of radionuclides, chiefly uranium and its daughter products, special emphasis is given to the engineering aspects of the mill tailings ponds so as to ensure safety to general public for at least 200 years. Once a mill tailings pond reaches to its full capacity, creation of barrier layers over the mill tailings to prevent seepage of rain water and also erosion of mill tailings due to wind and water are advocated and a number of procedures are followed worldwide. Taking the extraordinary period of public safety to be assured, providing soil covers along with contouring and appropriate slopes over which vegetation is grown is gaining popularity. The vegetation not only reduces the impact of rain water hitting the soil cover, thereby reducing the soil erosion, but also lowers the moisture in the soil cover by extensive evapotranspiration, ensuring long term hydrological separation of the mill tailings underneath. Based on set criteria, applicable to the field scenario of mill tailings, a screening experiment was conducted under pot culture conditions to evaluate the survival and growth of different plant species. The plants after germination and hardening were transplanted into beakers containing mill tailings and periodical measurements on appropriate morphological characteristics such as plant height, length of twiners, number of tillers and number of leaves were recorded and evaluated. Of the twenty species tested in mill tailings, significant differences were noticed in the vigour of growth and several plant species could indeed establish well completing their life cycle including flowering and seed setting. Further, several leguminous species could also produce root nodules. It appears that the

  6. Radon diffusion in candidate soils for covering uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Silker, W.B.; Kalkwarf, D.R.

    1983-04-01

    Diffusion coefficients were measured for radon in 34 soils that had been identified by mill personnel as candidate covers for their tailings piles in order to reduce radon emission. These coefficients referred to diffusion in the total pore space of the soils. They were measured in the laboratory by a steady-state method using soil columns compacted to greater than 80% of their Proctor maximum packing densities but with moisture contents generally less than would be expected at a tailings site. An empirical equation was used to extrapolate measured coefficients to value expected at soil-moisture contents representative of tailings sites in the western United States. Extrapolated values for silty sands and clayey sands ranged from 0.004 to 0.06 cm 2 /s. Values for inorganic silts and clays ranged from 0.001 to 0.02 cm 2 /s

  7. Ecological risk of reprocessing of uranium wastes of the Gafurov-city's tailing pit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hakimov; Nazarov, H.M.; Mirsaidov, U.M.

    2005-01-01

    The authors set as their purpose the investigation of ecological risk of reprocessing of uranium wastes of the Gafurov-city's tailing pit. Having carried out their investigations, the authors came to the conclusion that the effect of radon gas during reprocessing to workers and specialists is minimal if they follow all the required safety rules

  8. Uranium mill tailings remediation in the USA. A history and lessons learned - 59407

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rima, Steve

    2012-01-01

    Document available in abstract form only. Full text of publication follows: Since the 1940's uranium ores have been processed at various locations in the United States to extract and produce uranium and other concentrated materials, first for government (weapons) research and production, and then for nuclear power production. The tailings residue from the uranium milling process contained radioactive (primarily Ra-226) and hazardous chemicals. Large volumes of tailings were produced during the milling process. In the early history of this process the tailings were not recognized as hazardous and were released to the general public for a wide variety of uses, resulting in significant spread of contamination in the vicinity of many operating mills. In the late 1960's and early 1970's laws were enacted at the state and federal level to begin to deal with the legacy of this contamination. Over the course of the next several decades various regulatory agencies were responsible for remediating these sites. Different approaches were used, different end points and definitions of clean were used, and very large sums of public funding were spent on remediating these sites. Rarely was the cost commensurate with the risk reduction obtained through remediation. This paper will present an overview of the history of the uranium mill tailings regulatory and remediation program in the United States, the cost of the program compared to risk reduction, successes and failures, and important lessons learned that should be applied to future efforts in this area. (author)

  9. The U.S. regulatory framework for long-term management of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smythe, C.; Bierley, D.; Bradshaw, M.

    1995-01-01

    The US established the regulatory structure for the management, disposal, and long-term care of uranium mill tailings in 1978 with the passage of the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) (Pub. L. 95-604). This legislation has governed the cleanup and disposal of uranium tailings at both inactive and active sites. The passage of the UMTRCA established a federal regulatory program for the cleanup and disposal of uranium mill tailings in the US. This program involves the DOE, the NRC, the EPA, various states and tribal governments, private licensees, and the general public. The DOE has completed surface remediation at 14 sites, with the remaining sites either under construction or in planning. The DOE's UMTRA Project has been very successful in dealing with public and agency demands, particularly regarding disposal site selection and transportation issues. The active sites are also being cleaned up, but at a slower pace than the inactive sites, with the first site tentatively scheduled for completion in 1996

  10. Conceptual design of a cover system for the degmay uranium tailings site

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vatsidin, Saidov; David, S. Kessel; Kim, Chang Lak [KEPCO International Nuclear Graduate School, Ulsan (Korea, Republic of)

    2016-06-15

    The Republic of Tajikistan has ten former uranium mining sites. The total volume of all tailings is approximately 55 million tonnes, and the covered area is more than 200 hectares. The safe management of legacy uranium mining and tailing sites has become an issue of concern. Depending on the performance requirements and site-specific conditions (location in an arid, semiarid or humid region), a cover system for uranium tailings sites could be constructed using several material layers using both natural and man-made materials. The purpose of this study is to find a feasible cost-effective cover system design for the Degmay uranium tailings site which could provide a long period (100 years) of protection. The HELP computer code was used in the evaluation of potential Degmay cover system designs. As a result of this study, a cover system with 70 cm thick percolation layer, 30 cm thick drainage layer, geomembrane liner and 60 cm thick barrier soil layer is recommended because it minimizes cover thickness and would be the most cost-effective design.

  11. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Gunnison Site, Gunnison, Colorado: summary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has reevaluated the Gunnison site in order to revise the November 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Gunnison, Colorado. This evaluation has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the ivnvestigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative remedial actions. Radon gas released from the combined 540,000 dry tons of tailings and the 435,400 tons of contaminated waste at the Gunnison site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The 10 alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from stabilization of the site in its present location with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings to disposal sites along with decontamination of the Gunnison site (Options II through X). Cost estimates for the 10 options range from about $8,900,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $14,000,000 for disposal in the North Alkali Creek area at a distance of about 18 mi. Truck haulage would be used to transport the tailings and contaminated materials from the Gunnison site to the selected disposal site. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Gunnison tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocesssing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $250 and $230/lb of U 3 O 8 by heap leach and conventional plant processes, respectively. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981

  12. The geomorphology of the wet and dry tropics and problems associated with the storage of uranium tailings in Northern Australia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Warner, R.F.; Pickup, G.

    1982-01-01

    This paper describes the principal landforms of the Alligator Rivers Region Uranium Province of Northern Australia, reviews work on landforms and processes in this wet and dry tropical environment, and discusses the kinds of geomorphological hazards which might be encountered in disposing of uranium tailings at the Nabarlek, Ranger, Koongarra and Jabiluka Uranium Project Sites

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

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

  14. The use of geochemical barriers for reducing contaminants emanating from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Groffman, A.R.; Longmire, P.; Mukhopadhyay, B.; Downs, W.

    1991-01-01

    A problem facing the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Action (UMTRA) Project is the contamination of local ground water by leachate emanating form the tailings piles. These fluids have a low pH and contain heavy metals and trace elements such as arsenic, molybdenum, nitrate, selenium, and uranium. In order to meet ground water standards low hydraulic conductivity covers are installed over the tailings embankment. in some cases it may be necessary to install a geochemical barrier down gradient from the tailings embankment in order to remove the hazardous constituents. By using geochemical barriers to reduce undesirable species form a contaminant plume, fluids emanating form beneath a repository can in effect be scrubbed before entering the water table. Materials containing adsorbing clays, iron oxyhydroxides and zeolites, and reducing materials such as coal and peat, are being used effectively to attenuate contaminants form uranium mill tailings. Experiments to directly determine attenuation capacities of selected buffer/adsorption materials were conducted in the laboratory. Batch leach tests were conducted in lieu of column tests when the hydraulic conductivity of materials was too low to use in columns and shales

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-01-01

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

  16. Long term population dose due to radon (Rn-222) released from uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chambers, D.B.; Lower, L.M.; Stager, R.H.

    2001-01-01

    The results of a study undertaken by the European Commission on the external costs (environmental and social) of various energy production systems is likely to be influential in determining how the European Union will develop its energy supply systems. The estimated costs for nuclear power from the study will be based on the findings of the United Nations Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), with the costs being dominated by the estimated long term (10,000 y) population doses due to radon (Rn-222) released from mill tailings. UNSCEAR developed a central estimate of 150 person-Sv per GW y and a range of 1 to 1,000 person-Sv per GW y. However, the generic data available to and being used by UNSCEAR are dated and are not appropriate for the current and planned future conditions in the uranium production industry, with the result that the estimated external costs of nuclear power (specifically, the doses due to radon emitted from mill tailings) are overestimated. The Uranium Institute sponsored a study to estimate long term population doses based on the most recent 1993 UNSCEAR methodology, but using data that would be more appropriate to the current major uranium production facilities. Site-specific information obtained from the owners/operators and the Uranium Institute included: present and proposed tailings management plans; tailings volumes and areas; ore grades and reserves; measurements and estimates of radon emission rates; and population densities. Tailings at closed facilities that no longer contribute to uranium production were not evaluated since it was assumed that these radon sources need not be considered in evaluating the external costs of current and future nuclear power production. Based on the same approach as UNSCEAR, but using a more sophisticated air dispersion model, and more site-specific data relative to existing sites and proposed tailings management practices, radon emission rates and population densities (that

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mudd, G.M.

    2000-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beedlow, P.A.

    1984-05-01

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

  19. An assessment of the long term interaction of uranium tailings with the natural environment

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lush, D.; Fletcher, R.; Goode, J.; Jurgens, T.

    1978-01-01

    Current investigations of methods for the management of tailings at uranium mill sites raise pertinent questions as to accuracy of our identification of potential hazards and their causes. Of particular relevance are the physical-chemical geomechanisms which may lead to the dispersion of contaminants into the environment and eventually into the food chain. This paper looks at present practices of uranium mill tailings storage in the light of 'Perpetual Care' management concepts and requirements. It examines the potential geomechanisms of transport that would be acting on the tailing over the next millenia. Interesting parallels are drawn between these mechanisms and those geomechanisms which led to the formation of many of the original ore deposits. Central to the substance of this paper is a study currently being undertaken for the Atomic Energy Control Board of Canada. Selected elements to this study will be presented in the paper together with a discussion of relevant peripheral issues

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beedlow, P.A.

    1984-05-01

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

  1. An investigation into selected ecological aspects of the aquatic and terrestrial environment of an abandoned uranium mill tailings pond, Bancroft, Ontario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalin, M.

    1980-06-01

    This report consists of four independent studies of disused uranium mill tailings areas. The studies cover surface water movements, limnology, invasion of the tailings by vegetation, and soil nematodes in the mill tailings. (O.T.)

  2. Cost of implementing AECB interim criteria for the closeout of uranium tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-04-01

    The main purpose of this study was to arrive at a gross approximation of the costs to the Canadian uranium mining industry of meeting the proposed closeout criteria established by the Atomic Energy Control Board for tailings deposits. Two options have been investigated: on-land disposal and underlake disposal. Given the budget allocated to the study, the estimates must be understood as approximations. Overall cost figures for the Canadian uranium mining industry are linear extensions from a hypothetical base case. The results of a conference held in Ottawa on February 25 and 26 to discuss the proposed AECB interim criteria for the closeout of uranium tailings sites are also included. Representatives from mining firms, provincial regulatory authorities, universities and the Atomic Energy Control board attended the conference

  3. New approach to uranium mill tailings management. Final report, January 1, 1981-June 30, 1982

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Torma, A.E.

    1983-11-01

    The purpose of this research project is to demonstrate the possibility of development of efficient leaching processes for the extraction of uranium from low-grade ores and for the removal of long half-life radionuclides (radium-226) from the leach residues in order to produce radiochemically innocuous tailings. The present investigation is the second part of a three-year project. It provides kinetic information not heretofore available for uranium leaching by hydrochloric and sulfuric acid solutions and initial data for the extraction of 226 Ra from the leach residues by brine solutions. Preliminary data on the removal of 226 Ra from neutralized tailing effluents and leach solutions with commercially available solid organic ion exchangers are discussed. A generalized mathematical form has been developed for the initial rate of uranium extraction as a function of the leaching parameters using experimental data and a linear regression computation technique. 31 references, 5 figures, 8 tables

  4. Method of impact evaluation of storage sites for uranium ore tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Servant, A.C.; Cessac, B.

    2001-11-01

    Mining and ore processing generate liquid effluents and solid waste ( tailings) in important quantities. On fifty years exploitation, 50 millions tons of tailings have been stored on twenty sites in France. From a radiological point of view, the uranium tailings contain only natural radioisotopes, daughters of 238 U and 235 U families and for a low part daughter's of 232 Th family. Their activity stay low to very low, under the ore activity. It decreases very slowly because of the long period of some radionuclides ( 230 Th, 75 000 years, 226 Ra, 1600 years). generally stored on the exploitation site, these tailings constitute a radiological source term of which it is necessary to evaluate the impact on man and environment. At close-down of an uranium ore exploitation site, the operator is required to give to the prefect of his region a file of rehabilitation with the dispositions to take to limit the radiological impact of the storage. It is in this frame that the direction of pollutions and risks prevention (D.P.P.R.) from the Minister of Territory landscaping and the Institute of protection and nuclear safety (I.R.S.N.) established a convention, reference 56/2000, relative to investigations in matter of radiological impact evaluation of uranium tailings storage sites, in order to supply a document allowing to judge the pertinence of the different files made by Cogema in the frame of tailings storage of uranium ore processing. The present document constitutes the report planned at the 3. article ( 3. paragraph) of the convention. It gives the information necessary to the evaluation of impact studies for the sites in question. (N.C.)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bachrach, A.; Hoopes, J.; Morycz, D.; Bone, M.; Cox, S.; Jones, D.; Lechel, D.; Meyer, C.; Nelson, M.; Peel, R.; Portillo, R.; Rogers, L.; Taber, B.; Zelle, P.; Rice, G.

    1984-12-01

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

  6. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Shiprock site, Shiprock, New Mexico. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-01-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 1.7 million tons of tailings at the Shiprock site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The 11 alternative actions presented range from completion of the present ongoing EPA site decontamination plan (Option I), to stabilizing in-place with varying depths of cover material (Options II-IV), to removal to an isolated long-term disposal site (Options V-XI). All options include remedial action costs for off-site locations where tailings have been placed. Costs estimates for the 11 options range from $540,000 to $12,500,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is not economically feasible

  7. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Gunnison Site, Gunnison, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-11-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Gunnison, Colorado. The Phase II - Title I services include the preparation of topographic measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 0.5 million tons of tailings at the Gunnison site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The nine alternative actions presented range from millsite decontamination (Option I), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II and III), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present site (Options IV through IX). Cost estimates for the nine options range from $480,000 to $5,890,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium does not appear to be economically attractive at present

  8. Numerical simulation studies of the groundwater discharge to streams from abandoned uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Abdul, A.S.; Gillham, R.W.

    1984-06-01

    This report presents an evaluation of the results of simulation studies of groundwater discharge to streams from abandoned uranium mill tailings and the effects of this discharge on the flux of contaminants to surface water systems. In particular, a discussion of the sensitivity of subsurface discharge to specific geometirc, climatic and hydrogeologic factors is presented. Simulations were carried out using a two-dimensional numerical finite-element unsaturated-saturated flow model. A total of twenty-six simulations were made. The first twenty-four of these considered a tailings medium with homogeneous and isotropic hydraulic properties and with textural properties similar to those of sandy geological materials. In addition, two simulations were carried out for tailings materials with hydraulic properties that are similar to those of silt-loam. The results indicated that the actual quantity of subsurface discharge depends on many factors including rainfall rate and duration, surface slope, and texture. However, for the medium-fine sand material, subsurface discharge was always a significant component of the total discharge. Within the context of uranium tailings management this implies that large quantities of contaminants from subsurface sources of medium-textured tailings can be expected to be discharged to streams during stormflow events. Therefore there is reason to suspect that untreated runoff from such tailings will contain significant concentrations of contaminants for long periods of time

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-12-01

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

  10. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Shiprock site, Shiprock, New Mexico. Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1977-03-31

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Shiprock, New Mexico. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 1.7 million tons of tailings at the Shiprock site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The 11 alternative actions presented range from completion of the present ongoing EPA site decontamination plan (Option I), to stabilizing in-place with varying depths of cover material (Options II-IV), to removal to an isolated long-term disposal site (Options V-XI). All options include remedial action costs for off-site locations where tailings have been placed. Costs estimates for the 11 options range from $540,000 to $12,500,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is not economically feasible.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-11-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Durango, Colorado. The Phase II, Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 1.555 million tons of tailings at the Durango site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The eight alternative actions presented range from vegetative stabilization (Option I), to contouring and stabilizing in-place with varying depths of cover material (Options II and III), to removal to an isolated long-term disposal site (Options V to VIII). All options include remedial action costs for offsite locations where tailings have been placed. Costs estimated for the eight options range from $4,340,000 to $13,590,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium is sufficiently economically attractive to justify reprocessing in conjunction with each of the options

  12. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Maybell site, Maybell, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Maybell, Colorado. The Phase II--Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiometric measurements to determine radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 2.6 million tons of tailings at the Maybell site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation are also factors. The three alternative actions presented range from fencing and maintenance (Option I), to placing the tailings in an open-pit mine and adding 2 ft of stabilization cover material (Option III). Cost estimates for the three options range from $250,000 to $4,520,000. Reprocessing the tailings for uranium does not appear to be economically attractive at present

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-06-01

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

  14. Influence of uranium mill tailings on tree growth at Elliot Lake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murray, D.R.

    1978-01-01

    A four-year study was carried out to determine the ability of coniferous trees to aid in the reclamation of uranium tailings at Elliot Lake. Five species were planted: white cedar, white spruce, jack pine, scotch pine and red pine. More than 570 bare-root, two-year-old seedlings were planted on bare tailings and in areas of established grasses. A further division was made between areas of coarse and fine tailings. Over-all survival and growth of the trees has been far below expectations based on previous experience with several varieties of grasses. The criteria for assessment have been per cent survival and yearly growth as determined by plant height. Pine was superior, with 68% survival when planted in bare coarse tailings, 45% for vegetated coarse tailings and 34% for vegetated fine tailings. Cedar had the worst survival rates at 49%, 14% and 7% respectively. No species survived on bare fine tailings. The survival and growth of the coniferous trees have been related to species, environmental conditions and tailings properties. (author)

  15. Influence of uranium mill tailings on tree growth at Elliot Lake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Murray, D.R.

    1978-01-01

    A four year study was carried out to determine the ability of coniferous trees to aid in the reclamation of uranium tailings at Elliot Lake. Five species were planted: white cedar, white spruce, jack pine, scotch pine and red pine. More than 570 bare-root, two-year-old seedlings were planted on bare tailings and in areas of established grasses. A further division was made between areas of coarse and fine tailings. Over-all survival and growth of the trees has been far below expectations based on previous experience with several varieties of grasses. The crieteria for assessment have been per cent survival and yearly growth as determined by plant height. Pine was superior, with 68% survival when planted in bare coarse tailings, 45% for vegetated coarse tailings and 34% for vegetated fine tailings. Cedar had the worst survival rates at 49%, 14% and 7% respectively. No species survived on bare fine tailings. The survival and growth of the coniferous trees have been related to species, environmental conditions and tailings properties. (auth)

  16. An ecological approach to the assessment of vegetation cover on inactive uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalin, M.; Caza, C.

    1982-01-01

    Vascular plants have been collected from abandoned or inactive uranium mill tailings in three mining areas in Canada. The collection was evaluated to determine some characteristics of vegetation development and to identify the plants which will persist on the sites. A total of 170 species were identified. Many of the species are widely distributed in North America, none has been reported as rare in any of the locations from which they were collected. Species richness was highest on Bancroft sites and lowest on Uranium City sites, though values were variable between sites. Forty-four per cent of the total number of species were found on only a single site. Only seven species occurred on more than half of the tailings sites and in all three mining areas. There was no difference between amended and unamended sites in terms of either species richness or species composition. There was no apparent relationship between species richness and either site size, site age or amendment history. The results of this survey suggest that the uranium mill tailings sites are at an early stage of colonization where the seed input from surrounding areas and the heterogeneity of the sites are factors determining species composition and species richness. The fate of an individual once it has reached the site will be determined by its ability to establish on the sites. A perennial growth habit and the ability to expand clonally are important characteristics of the species on the tailings. The species on the tailings are commonly found in a variety of habitats. Consistent with the observation that the tailings sites are at a stage of early colonization, we find that the few species widely distributed across sites are all characteristic pioneering species with wide environmental tolerances. These species included Populus tremuloides, P. balsamifera, Scirpus cyperinus, Equisetum arvense, Betula papyrifera, Achillea millefolium and Typha spp. The vegetation on the tailings is likely to be

  17. The Monticello, Utah, uranium mill tailings site: A case history

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Korte, N.E.; Kearl, P.M.; Sewell, J.M.; Fleischhauer, H.L.; Abramiuk, I.N.

    1984-01-01

    A multidisciplinary study was conducted to characterize the potential for contamination from the inactive millsite in Monticello, Utah. Emphasis was given to site geology, hydrology, and geochemistry for two reasons: (1) a perennial stream flows through the tailings area, and (2) a culinary aquifer is overlain by an alluvial aquifer contaminated by the tailings area. Study results indicate that surface-water contamination attributable to the piles exists for approximately 6 km downstream from the site. Contamination also exists in the alluvial aquifer underlying the millsite. Hydrologic studies indicate an active alluvial system, with recharge to the gravels by infiltration through the trailings. Fortunately, water-level and water-quality data, together with the results of a 51-hour pump test, indicate that the Dakota Formation is an effective aquitard, restricting the downward movement of contaminated water to the underlying culinary aquifer

  18. Long-term protection of uranium mill tailings

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Beedlow, P.A.; Hartley, J.N.

    1984-04-01

    US Environmental Protection Agency standards for the cleanup and disposal of inactive tailings sites require that control measures for disposal of tailings be designed to be effective for up to 1000 years if reasonably achievable, and, in any case, for 200 years at least. To control the escape of contaminants over such long periods, containment systems must be capable of adjusting to changing environmental conditions. Elements of a containment system include surface covers, biotic barriers, radon barriers, and, in some cases, liners. Each element of the system affects the others, and the whole system responds to the surrounding environment. Interaction is facilitated primarily by soil moisture. Consequently, the control of soil moisture is critical to the effectiveness of containment systems. Protective covers are necessary to prevent disruption of the containment system by physical or biological factors, to provide for the effective functioning of the radon barrier, and to prevent infiltration of excess water that could cause leaching. In order to design protective covers, a working knowledge of the factors and processes impacting tailings piles is required. This report characterizes the major factors and processes, and presents generic solutions based on current research. 65 references, 9 figures, 6 tables.

  19. Long-term protection of uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beedlow, P.A.; Hartley, J.N.

    1984-04-01

    US Environmental Protection Agency standards for the cleanup and disposal of inactive tailings sites require that control measures for disposal of tailings be designed to be effective for up to 1000 years if reasonably achievable, and, in any case, for 200 years at least. To control the escape of contaminants over such long periods, containment systems must be capable of adjusting to changing environmental conditions. Elements of a containment system include surface covers, biotic barriers, radon barriers, and, in some cases, liners. Each element of the system affects the others, and the whole system responds to the surrounding environment. Interaction is facilitated primarily by soil moisture. Consequently, the control of soil moisture is critical to the effectiveness of containment systems. Protective covers are necessary to prevent disruption of the containment system by physical or biological factors, to provide for the effective functioning of the radon barrier, and to prevent infiltration of excess water that could cause leaching. In order to design protective covers, a working knowledge of the factors and processes impacting tailings piles is required. This report characterizes the major factors and processes, and presents generic solutions based on current research. 65 references, 9 figures, 6 tables

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-08-01

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

  1. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Tuba City, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Jones, T.D.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Ellis, B.S.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-01-01

    Results of a radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill site at Tuba City, Arizona, conducted in March 1976, are presented. Spread of tailings was detected in all directions by means of direct gamma measurements at 1 m above the ground and by determinations of the 226 Ra concentration in surface soil and sediment samples. In the direction toward which prevailing winds blow, the northeast, evidence of transportation of tailings was found at least 3.2 km from the tailings pile. Toward the north, south, and west, the spread was 300 to 400 m. Evidence of movement of tailings by water to offsite locations was also found. The concentration of 226 Ra in all water samples was well below the concentration guide for drinking water. The calculated subsoil distribution of 226 Ra in 14 holes, based on gamma monitoring data obtained by Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc., is presented graphically and compared with available analytical data

  2. Radioactivity Risk Assessment of Radon and Gamma Dose at One Uranium Tailings Pond in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lou, Yalong; Liu, Yong; Peng, Guowen; Zhao, Guodong; Zhang, Yan; Yang, Zhu

    2018-01-01

    A year-long monitoring of gamma radiation effective dose rate and radon concentration had been done in the reservoir area of one uranium tailings pond in Hunan province (The monitoring area included indoor and outdoor area of residential buildings and workshops, tailings dam slope). Afterwards, the annual effective radiation dose of the people in that radiation environment had been calculated based on the results of monitoring, as well as a radiation risk assessment. According to the assessment, gamma radiation effective dose rate and radon concentration in the monitoring area were low, and the annual effective radiation dose was far below the international standard (30mSv), which showed that the radiation would not put the people’s health at risk. However, the annual effective radiation dose of gamma was far above that of radon in the area of uranium tailings pond; therefore, it’s advisable to take quarantine measures in in the area of uranium tailings pond to keep the surrounding residents away from unnecessary ionizing radiation.

  3. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Spook site, Converse County, Wyoming. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Dyke, J.

    1983-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dyke, J.

    1983-11-01

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

  6. Magnetic separation for pre-concentration of uranium values from copper plant tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jha, R.S.; Sreenivas, T.; Natarajan, R.; Sridhar, U.; Rao, N.K.

    1991-01-01

    Using the paramagnetic character of uranium minerals, the preconcentration of uranium bearing ores and copper plant tailings of Singhbhum area have been investigated in a pilot plant scale wet high intensity magnetic separator (WHIMS). The variables studied include magnetic field intensity, matrix drum speed feed slurry flow rate and its pulp density. The results of these investigations have shown that 75-85% of the contained uranium values could be recovered in 45-55% weight in the magnetic fraction in the case of copper plant tailings from Rakha, Surda and Mosabani. The losses in the non magnetics were primarily due to the ultrafine liberated uraninite particles not collected by WHIMS due to machine limitations and the values occurring as fine inclusions in quartz. Improved recovery can be obtained by offering higher field gradients and preventing loss of very fine liberated uranium values. High gradient magnetic separator (HGMS) offers higher field gradients. A test sample of Mosabani copper tailings studied at the Sala Magnetic Inc in HGMS has indicated superior results in comparison to WHIMS. (author). 7 refs., 3 figs., 6 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-04-01

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

  8. Mineralogical characterization of arsenic, iron, and nickel in uranium mine tailings using XAS and EMPA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Essilfie-Dughan, J.; Hendry, M.J.; Warner, J.; Kotzer, T.

    2010-01-01

    In northern Saskatchewan, Canada, high-grade uranium ores and the resulting tailings can contain high levels of arsenic (As), iron (Fe), and nickel (Ni). An environmental concern in the uranium mining industry is the long-term stabilization of these elements of concern (EOCs) within tailings management facilities thereby mitigating their transfer to the surrounding groundwater. Characterization of these As-, Fe- and Ni-bearing minerals and complexes must be carried out to evaluate their solubility and long-term stability within the tailings mass. Synchrotron-based bulk x-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS) has been used to study the speciation of these EOCs in mine tailing samples obtained from the Deilmann Tailings Management Facility (DTMF) at Key Lake, Saskatchewan. Electron microprobe analysis (EMPA) and synchrotron-based micro-focussing x-ray fluorescence mapping and absorption spectroscopy (μXRF; μXAS ) have also been employed to study spatial distribution and speciation at the micron scale. Comparisons of K-edge absorption spectra of tailings samples and reference compounds indicate the dominant oxidation states of As, Fe, and Ni in the mine tailings samples are +5, +3, and +2, respectively, largely reflecting their deposition in an oxidized environment and complexation within stable oxic phases. Backscattered electron (BSE) images of the tailings from the electron microprobe indicate the presence of gypsum/lime nodules surrounded by metallic rims mainly consisting of As, Fe, and Ni. μXRF elemental mapping confirms these EPMA results. μXAS collected within the metal-bearing rims indicates As and Fe is present mainly in the +5 and +3 oxidation state, respectively. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-05-01

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

  10. Guidance for disposal of uranium-mill tailings: long-term stabilization of earthen cover materials

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Voorhees, L.D.; Sale, M.J.; Webb, J.W.; Mulholland, P.J.

    1983-06-01

    The primary hazard associated with uranium-mill tailings is exposure to a radioactive gas, 222 Rn, the concentration of which has been correlated with the occurrence of lung cancer. Previous studies on radon attenuation conclude that the placement of earthen cover materials over the tailings is the most effective technique for reducing radioactive emissions and dispersal of tailings. The success of such a plan, however, depends on long-term protection of these cover materials. 230 Th, which decays to 222 Rn, has a half-life of about 80,000 years. The three major options available for stabilization of uranium-mill tailings are (1) rock cover, (2) soil and revegetation, or (3) a combination of both on different portions of the tailings cover. The optimal choice among these alternatives depends on site-specific characteristics such as climate and local geomorphology and soils, and on design variables such as embankment heights and slopes, modification of upstream drainage, and revegetation practices. Generally, geomorphic evidence suggests that use of soil and vegetation alone will not be adequate to reduce erosion on slopes greater than about 5 0 . For these steeper slopes, riprap will be necessary to maximize the probability of long-term stability. The use of vegetation to control erosion on the flatter portions of the site may be practicable in regions with sufficient rainfall and suitable soil types, but revegetation practices must be carefully evaluated

  11. Radiological survey of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Green River, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-03-01

    The uranium-mill tailings at Green River, Utah, are relatively low in 226 Ra content and concentration (20 Ci and 140 pCi/g, respectively) because the mill was used to upgrade the uranium ore by separating the sand and slime fractions; most of the radium was transported along with the slimes to another mill site. Spread of tailings was observed in all directions, but near-background gamma exposure rates were reached at distances of 40 to 90 m from the edge of the pile. Water erosion of the tailings is evident and, since a significant fraction of the tailings pile lies in Brown's Wash, the potential exists for repetition of the loss of a large quantity of tailings such as occurred during a flood in 1959. In general, the level of surface contamination was low at this site, but some areas in the mill site, which were being used for nonuranium work, have gamma-ray exposure rates up to 143 μR/hr

  12. Uranium mill tailings management practices in Saskatchewan, Canada

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Clifton, A.W.; Barsi, R.G.; Melis, L.A.

    1984-01-01

    Uranium was discovered in Saskatchewan in 1934. The first major mill began operating at Beaverlodge in 1953; two other mills began production in the same area in 1955 and 1957. Waste management measures were limited at the early mills. A new generation of mills was brought into production beginning in 1975 utilizing engineered waste management systems. The paper presents a brief description of the geography and physical environment of northern Saskatchewan, Canada; reviews milling operations and waste managements systems; describes the evolution of waste management systems; and, comments on environmental control measures regulating the industry

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamel, P.E.

    1981-05-01

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

  15. Mill tailings disposal and environmental monitoring at the Ningyo-Toge uranium processing pilot plant

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Iwata, I.; Kitahara, Y.; Takenaka, S.; Kurokawa, Y.

    1978-01-01

    The tailings from the uranium processing pilot plant with a maximum ore processing capacity of 50 t/d are transferred to a tailings dam. The overflow from the dam is chemically treated and through settling ponds, sand filters to be discharged into a river. The concentrations of U, 226 Ra, pH, S.S., COD, Fe, Mn, Cl and F were monitored periodically and they were all below the control values. The results of monitoring on the river bed and rice paddy soil showed no signs of accumulation of U and 226 Ra in it

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Baker, E.G.; Hartley, J.N.; Freeman, H.D.

    1983-11-01

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

  17. Radiation exposure assessment following the 1978 Church Rock uranium mill tailings spill

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ruttenber, A.J. Jr.; Kreiss, K.

    1981-01-01

    Early in the morning of July 16, 1979, there was a breach in the earthen retaining dam of a tailings pond at the United Nuclear Corporation's (UNC's) Church Rock uranium mill. The acidified liquid and tailings slurry spilled through the damaged portion of the retaining wall into an arroyo that is a tributary to the Rio Puerco river system. This paper summarizes postspill monitoring efforts and relates the assessment of this spill to the general question of evaluating the health effects of nuclear fuel-cycle wastes

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Jacobs, D.G.; Perdue, P.T.; Ellis, B.S.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-04-01

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

  19. Preconcentration of low-grade uranium ores with environmentally acceptable tailings, part I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raicevic, D.; Raicevic, M.; McCarthy, D.R.

    1979-08-01

    The low-grade ore sample used for this investigation originated from Agnew Lake Mines Limited, Espanola, Ontario. It contained about 1% pyrite and 0.057% uranium, mainly as uranothorite with a small amount of brannerite. Both of these minerals occur in the quartz-sericite matrix of a conglomerate. A preconcentration process has been developed to give a high uranium recovery, reject pyrite, radium and thorium from the ore and produce environmentally acceptable tailings. This process applies flotation in combination with high intensity magnetic separation and gravity concentration

  20. General review of the state of uranium milling tailings in Ukraine

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Holubiev, V.

    2002-01-01

    The mining and milling of uranium ore are produced in Ukraine since 1948. During this time eleven tailings were formed at the large territory in the region of cities Zhovty Vody and Dnepropetrovsk. One tailing is now in operation. Other ten tailings are under conservation and are producing environmental impact of different extent. Any of tailings was not subjected to recovery. By means of the enterprises, which have on their territory tailings, the monitoring is carried out for radionuclides coming in underground waters. The samples of underground water are taken from wells that are located at the tailing perimeter. The list of tailings, quantity of stored material, and radionuclides activity are submitted in the table. The supervision shows, that all tailings to some extent are the issue of radionuclides diffusion. The brief characteristic of the largest tailings is submitted. The supervision shows that all tailings to some extent are the issue of radionuclides diffusion. The brief characteristic of the largest tailings is submitted. Most of tailings are located in natural folds of a region relief, however one of them (KBG) is arranged in career with depth 60-65 m. Iron ore was mined in this career and career is located on distance 2.5 km from an inhabited zone. Career was not equipped by anti filtration barriers before it was started to fill it with sludge. In total 12.4·10 6 m 3 of tails is placed in it with general activity about 1 PBq. When tailing's filling was finished at 1991 its surface was covered by 1,7 m layer of loamy soil. The tailing creation resulted in change of hydro-geological conditions of a platform and in appearance of man-caused water-bearing horizon. The halo of pollution of underground waters is moving from the bounds of the site towards the inhabited zone of Zhovty Vody city. Now polluted by radionuclides water is detected at the distance of 1.5 km from tailing. According to forecast estimations in 15 years the pollution will move forward

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; Tokunaga, T.; White, A.F.; Smith, A.R.

    1984-01-01

    The ultimate objective of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project (UMTRAP) is to minimize the potential environmental hazards due to the existing inactive uranium mill tailing piles. One of these sites, at Riverton, Wyoming, is located on the flood plain of the Wind River, with the water table lying within a few meters of the bottom of the tailings. Field data clearly indicates that contaminants, both radioactive and non-radioactive, are mobile within the tailings as well as in the adjacent ground water system. From the point of view of remedial action, the following important questions arise: At what rates and quantities will the contaminants continue to migrate in the ground water system over the next several hundred years. What will be the soil-water regime in the upper part of the tailings which controls the migration of radon gas to the atmosphere. In view of the projected system behavior, what are the economically viable and environmentally acceptable engineering solutions for remedy. The purpose of the mathematical modeling efforts at the Riverton site is to address the question of prediction; the transport of contaminants in the ground water system as well as the dynamic soil-water regime near the upper boundary. The use of mathematical models for the above purpose is dictated by the following questions: Do adequate computational models exist that can simulate the physico-chemical processes that characterize the mill tailings. Can these models reasonably explain the chemical evolution of the system since the beginning of the tailings emplacement. If so, can the historical behavior be used as the basis for predicting the behavior over the next several hundred years

  2. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium-mill tailings: Canonsburg Site, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-04-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has evaluated the Canonsburg site in order to assess the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive residues at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative remedial actions. Radon gas released from the approximately 300,000 tons of tailings and contaminated soil at the Canonsburg site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings and contaminated materials to a remote disposal site and decontamination of the Canonsburg site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from $23,244,000 for stabilization in-place, to $27,052,000 for disposal at a distance of about 17 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Canonsburg tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. As required by Public Law 95-604, under whose auspices this project is conducted, the US Department of Energy has solicited expressions of interest in reprocessing the tailings and residues at the Canonsburg site for uranium recovery. Since no such interest was demonstrated, no effort has been made to estimate the value of the residual uranium resource at the Canonsburg site

  3. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings. Canonsburg Site, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1982-04-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has evaluated the Canonsburg site in order to assess the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive residues at Canonsburg, Pennsylvania. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative remedial actions. Radon gas released from the approximately 300,000 tons of tailings and contaminated soil at the Canonsburg site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite and off-site decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material (Option I), to removal of the tailings and contaminated materials to a remote disposal site and decontamination of the Canonsburg site (Options II through IV). Cost estimates for the four options range from $23,244,000 for stabilization in-place, to $27,052,000 for disposal at a distance of about 17 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Canonsburg tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; and reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. As required by Public Law 95-604, under whose auspices this project is conducted, the US Department of Energy has solicited expressions of interest in reprocessng the tailings and residues at the Canonsburg site for uranium recovery. Since no such interest was demonstrated, no effort has been made to estimate the value of the residual uranium resource at the Canonsburg site

  4. The investigation of deactivation the tailings from sulphate uranium technology

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nikonov, V.I.; Knjazev, O.I.; Ruzin, L.I.; Smolnya, T.A.

    2001-01-01

    The purpose of investigation is to decrease contamination of the environment from wastes, produced on treatment of uranium ores by traditional sulphate uranium technology. In the result of treatment the sulphate uranium leaching cakes by 1-3 M chloride or nitrate of alkali-earth metals solutions, the content of radium decrease till (2.4 - 3.0) x 10 -8 Ci/kg. Produced deactivating solutions in which the content of radium-226 and other natural radionuclides exceeds of ten times the limit of tolerance safe concentrations for water (5.4 x 10 -11 Ci/l Ra-226) further may be treated by sorption or extraction. Due to the reason we pay our attention to the class of non-traditional ion-exchangers, which is the micellar wastes from production of antibiotics (MPW). The problems of it's utilization is very acute. MPW from antibiotics generates everyday is amount of tens tones (on dried mass), contents till 80% of moisture and include in solid phase 50 - 95 % organics in the work we used MPW from erythromycin in form of dried powder with size of particles to 0.05 - 0.16 mm. The possibility of radionuclides extraction by mixture of D2EHPA with TBP or TOPO for nitric deactivated solutions are investigated. It was received the complete extraction Th-230 into organic phase and next concentration with high content of isotope Th-230. Ra-D and Po are not recovered by the extractant. Using the extractant preliminary saturated with barium permit to extract completely Ra from solution. The method purification of technological solutions from activity with using solid extractants - TVEKS was developed. The TVEKS samples on styren-divinylbenzen copolymer base with size 1.0 - 1.5 mm were synthesized. The solid carrier was impregnated by D2EHPA or PN-1200 extractant solution in kerosene and used for extraction of radioactive elements (mainly Ra) from chloride acid solutions with summary activity 8.7 x 10 -10 Ci/l. TVEKS was activated by barium to capacity 1-3 mg/l for increasing purification

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Othmane, G.

    2012-01-01

    Understanding the processes of uranium migration and sequestration is an important issue for the prediction of radionuclide retardation in the vicinity of uranium mine tailings sites or for the safety assessment of potential high-level nuclear waste repositories. Uranium speciation, controlled by biotic and abiotic factors, represents a key parameter for the control of uranium transfer in the environment. This study firstly deals with uranium speciation in opals from the Nopal I uranium deposit (Mexico). Microscopic observations of opals at the nano-scale revealed the occurrence of vorlanite, cubic CaUO 4 . This was the first time this rare calcium uranate has been found displaying a cubic morphology, in agreement with its crystal structure. Nopal I opals have been further investigated through time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy. The opals spectra and their comparison with those of experimentally produced standards indicate occurrence of mono- or polymeric uranyl complexes (associated or not with calcium or phosphate) sorbed onto internal surface of opal around pH 7-8. Finally, the speciation of uranium was studied in mill tailings from Gunnar (Canada). In the first tailings site, uranium primarily occurs as monomeric, inner-sphere uranyl complexes sharing edges with Fe(O,OH) 6 octahedral sites of iron-oxy-hydroxides and chlorite. Our results suggested that U(VI) co-precipitates with iron (oxy-hydr)oxides predominate in the second tailings sites. Therefore uranium mobility in Gunnar is governed by sorption/desorption and dissolution/(co)precipitation processes. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-06-01

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

  7. Information for consideration in reviewing groundwater protection plans for uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thorne, P.D.

    1992-05-01

    Guidelines and acceptance criteria were developed for reviewing certain aspects of groundwater protection plans for uranium mill tailing sites. The aspects covered include: (1) leaching and long-term releases of hazardous and radioactive constituents from tailings and other contaminated materials, (2) attenuation of hazardous and radioactive constituents in groundwater under saturated and unsaturated conditions, (3) design and implementation of groundwater monitoring programs, (4) design and construction of groundwater protection barriers, and (5) efficiency and effectiveness of groundwater cleanup programs. The objective of these guidelines is to assist the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff in reviewing Remedial Action Plans for inactive waste sites and licensing application documents for active commercial uranium and thorium mills

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1984-03-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1984-03-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-01-01

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

  13. Fiscal year 1996 annual report to stakeholders, Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-01-01

    This is the Fiscal Year (FY) 1996 annual report on the status of the US Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. In 1978, Congress directed the DOE to assess and clean up contamination at 24 designated former uranium processing sites. The DOE is also responsible for cleaning up properties in the vicinity of the sites where wind and water erosion deposited tailings or people removed them from the site for use in construction of landscaping. Cleanup is being undertaken in cooperation with state governments and Indian tribes within whose boundaries the sites are located. It is being conducted in two phases: the surface project and the ground water project. This report addresses specifics about the surface phase of the UMTRA Project

  14. Radiation survey of dwellings in Cane Valley, Arizona and Utah, for use of uranium mill tailings. Final technical note

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hans, J.M. Jr; Douglas, R.L.

    1975-08-01

    A radiation survey was conducted in the Cane Valley area of Monument Valley, on the Navajo Reservation, to identify dwellings in which uranium mill tailings had been used and to assess the resulting radiation exposures. Sixteen of the 37 dwellings surveyed were found to have tailings and/or uranium ore used in their construction. Tailings were used in concrete floors, exterior stucco, mortar for stone footings, cement floor patchings, and inside as cement 'plaster'. Uranium ore was found in footings, walls, and in one fireplace. Other structures, not used as dwellings, were also identified as having tailings and ore use. Gamma ray exposure rates were measured inside dwellings and structures identified as having tailings and/or ore used in their construction. Indoor radon progeny samples were collected in occupied dwellings where practical

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-04-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1992-01-01

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

  17. Uranium Mill Tailings remedial action project waste minimization and pollution prevention awareness program plan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-07-01

    The purpose of this plan is to establish a waste minimization and pollution prevention awareness (WM/PPA) program for the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project. The program satisfies DOE requirements mandated by DOE Order 5400.1. This plan establishes planning objectives and strategies for conserving resources and reducing the quantity and toxicity of wastes and other environmental releases

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1992-12-31

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1997-02-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

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

  2. Determination of aerosol size distributions at uranium mill tailings remedial action project sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Newton, G.J.; Reif, R.H.; Hoover, M.D.

    1994-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has an ongoing program, the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Project, to stabilize piles of uranium mill tailings in order to reduce the potential radiological hazards to the public. Protection of workers and the general public against airborne radioactivity during remedial action is a top priority at the UMTRA Project. The primary occupational radionuclides of concern are 230 Th, 226 Ra, 210 Pb, 210 Po, and the short-lived decay products of 222 Rn with 230 Th causing the majority of the committed effective dose equivalent (CEDE) from inhaling uranium mill tailings. Prior to this study, a default particle size of 1.0 μm activity median aerodynamic diameter (AMAD) was assumed for airborne radioactive tailings dust. Because of recent changes in DOE requirements, all DOE operations are now required to use the CEDE methodology, instead of the annual effective dose equivalent (AEDE) methodology, to evaluate internal radiation exposures. Under the transition from AEDE to CEDE, with a 1.0 μm AMAD particle size, lower bioassay action levels would be required for the UMTRA Project. This translates into an expanded internal dosimetry program where significantly more bioassay monitoring would be required at the UMTRA Project sites. However, for situations where the particle size distribution is known to differ significantly from 1.0 μm AMAD, the DOE allows for corrections to be made to both the estimated dose to workers and the derived air concentration (DAC) values. For particle sizes larger than 1.0 μm AMAD, the calculated CEDE from inhaling tailings would be relatively lower

  3. Radioecological investigations of uranium mill tailings systems. Progress report, September 1, 1979-September 30, 1980

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whicker, F.W.

    1980-01-01

    The initial 13 months of this program have been devoted to staffing, development of a radiochemistry capability, development of a mill tailings reclamation study, studies on hydraulic properties of soils, initiation of plant uptake studies, preparation for metabolic studies with deer and antelope, and sample collections. Through the addition of new personnel and equipment, we are rapidly developing analytical capabilities for 238 U, 230 Th, 226 Ra, 210 Pb and 210 Po in matrices such as soil, water, plant material, and animal tissues. A 4 acre study site was developed in cooperation with the Pathfinder Mines Corp. at the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine in Wyoming. The study site is designed for investigations on the influence of various kinds and thicknesses of mill tailings soil covers on the integrity of reclaimed tailings and inherent radionuclides. Studies on the hydraulic properties of various soil materials were conducted and data analysis is in progress. Plots and procedures for conducting plant uptake studies on uranium and progeny were established and long-term investigations have been initiated. A colony of tame mule deer and pronghorn antelope has been developed for studies on the uptake and retention of 210 Pb and 210 Po. Numerous collections of soil, vegetation and water from the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine environs were conducted and radiochemical assay is in progress

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Themelis, J.G.; Krishnan, K.R.

    1985-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dreesen, D.R.; Marple, M.L.; Kelley, N.E.

    1978-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-04-01

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

  7. Canine neoplasia and exposure to uranium mill tailings in Mesa County, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Reif, J.S.; Schweitzer, D.J.; Ferguson, S.W.; Benjamin, S.A.

    1983-01-01

    A canine cancer registry was established for Mesa County, Colorado in order to collect material for a case control analysis of exposure to uranium tailings. Between 1979 and 1981, 212 cases of canine cancer were confirmed histologically. Based on the address provided at the time of diagnosis, 33 dogs (15.6%) lived in a house with some exposure to uranium tailings. A control group, comprised of dogs with a histologic diagnosis other than cancer, was stratified according to hospital and matched with cases on a 1:1 basis. No significant differences were noted with respect to exposure to uranium tailings for total cancers or cancers of specific sites including lymph node, breast, liver, testicle and bone. The overall estimated relative risk was 0.70 (95% CI 0.04 to 1.16). Canine population estimates were derived for Mesa County in order to develop crude incidence rates for the major types and sites of cancer. Crude rates were compared with those published previously for Alameda County, California and Tulsa County, Oklahoma. Mesa County rates for total cancer incidence, connective tissue tumors and non melanoma skin cancer were higher than those reported for Alameda County. When compared with Tulsa County, Mesa County rates for total cancer, breast cancer, melanoma and mastocytoma were lower than expected while rates for osteosarcoma, hemangiosarcoma and fibrosarcoma significantly exceeded expected values

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-11-01

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

  9. Assessment of the radiological impact of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Monument Valley, Arizona

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Fox, W.F.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1979-12-01

    Results of a radiological survey that was conducted at the inactive uranium-mill site at Monument Valley, Arizona, in March 1976, in cooperation with a team from Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc., are presented. Consideration of these data and of previously published information on radiological conditions at the site lead to the conclusion that potential health effects from exposure to radionuclides in the mill tailings are relatively small. The occupants of three residences within 0.8 km (0.5 mile) of the tailings constitute the principal population at risk, but direct gamma-exposure rate measurements near the two residences closest to the tailings and calculations of radon dispersion indicate that the tailings do not raise either pathway of radiation exposure significantly above the background level. Data are not available to evaluate fully other possible exposure pathways, but the available information indicates that it is unlikely that doses through these pathways will add significantly to the total population dose. The low estimates of potential health effects from exposure to direct radiation and to exposure to radionuclides in the Monument Valley tailings piles are ascribed to the low 226 Ra inventory, to almost complete absence of small particles that are readily moved by wind and water, and to a small population in the vicinity of the tailings

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shuman, R.

    1984-01-01

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

  11. Radioecological investigations of uranium mill tailing systems. Sixth technical progress report, October 1, 1984-September 30, 1985

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whicker, F.W.; Ibrahim, S.A.

    1985-01-01

    This report provides a status report on studies of the integrity and transport of several radionuclides in active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings. The program is designed to provide basic information on the radioecology of uranium and progeny, responses of native biota to the landscape disruptions associated with uranium production, and guidance for impact analysis, mitigation and regulation of the uranium industry. The studies reported are being conducted at the Shirley Basin Uranium Mine, which is operated by the Pathfinder Mines Corporation. The mine/mill operation, located in southeastern Wyoming, is typical in terms of the ore body, mill process, and ecological setting of many uranium production centers in the western United States. The intent has been to quantitatively evaluate the release of important radionuclides from active and reclaimed uranium mill tailings and their entry into the food chain. An experimental plot was developed in which a uniform slab of tailings was covered with various depths of earthen materials and seeded with native range vegetation. Performance of this vegetation is monitored annually. The ability of roots to function in or near buried tailings is under long-term study as well. Experiments on radon flux versus overburden depth have been conducted and these are continuing with emphasis on understanding the role of soil moisture and climatic variables. Experimental colonies of prairie dogs were introduced to the tailings reclamation plot. The resulting disruptive effects in terms of soil movement, transport of radionuclides and the impact on radon emanation have been studied and reported

  12. Assessment of the radiological impact of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Mexican Hat, Utah

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Ellis, B.S.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Fox, W.F.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-03-01

    High surface soil concentrations of /sup 226/Ra and high above-ground measurements of gamma-ray intensity in the vicinity of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Mexican Hat show both wind and water erosion of the tailings. The former mill area, occupied by a trade school at the time of this survey, shows a comparatively high level of contamination, probably from unprocessed ore on the surface of the ore storage area near the location of the former mill buildings. However, the estimated health effect of exposure to gamma rays during a 2000-hr work year in the area represents an increase of 0.1% in the risk of death from cancer. Exposure of less than 600 persons within 1.6 km of the tailings to radon daughters results in an estimated 0.2%/year increase in risk of lung cancer.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-12-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Perdue, P.T.; Shinpaugh, W.H.; Ellis, B.S.; Chou, K.D.

    1980-03-01

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

  15. Assessment of the radiological impact of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Mexican Hat, Utah

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Ellis, B.S.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.; Fox, W.F.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-03-01

    High surface soil concentrations of 226 Ra and high above-ground measurements of gamma-ray intensity in the vicinity of the inactive uranium-mill tailings at Mexican Hat show both wind and water erosion of the tailings. The former mill area, occupied by a trade school at the time of this survey, shows a comparatively high level of contamination, probably from unprocessed ore on the surface of the ore storage area near the location of the former mill buildings. However, the estimated health effect of exposure to gamma rays during a 2000-hr work year in the area represents an increase of 0.1% in the risk of death from cancer. Exposure of less than 600 persons within 1.6 km of the tailings to radon daughters results in an estimated 0.2%/year increase in risk of lung cancer

  16. The 226 Ra, 210 Pb and essential elements bioavailability to pines at Urgeirica uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Madruga, M.J.; Faria, I.

    2006-01-01

    The objective of this study is to correlate the uptake of the natural radionuclides 226 Ra and 210 Pb with the essential elements, potassium, calcium and magnesium in the pines growing at the 'Urgeirica uranium mill tailings. It can be concluded that the potassium, calcium and magnesium mean concentration ratio values are, about two to three orders of magnitude, higher than the values obtained to 226 Ra and 210 Pb for pines growing on the Urgeirica uranium mill tailings. The concentration ratio values higher than 1 obtained to the potassium, calcium and magnesium elements indicate that pines are behaving as accumulators to these elements. Contrarily, the 226 Ra and 210 Pb concentration ratio values lower than 1 indicates that pines are behaving as excluders to these radionuclides. So, it can be concluded that this kind of plants is not suitable to a phyto remediation strategy. In general, a marginally significant correlation was observed between the potassium, calcium and magnesium concentrations, the cation-exchange capacity and the ph in the tailings and the 226 Ra and 210 Pb pines/tailings concentration ratios. (N.C.)

  17. Hydrology and geochemistry of the uranium mill tailings pile at Riverton, Wyoming. Part II. History matching

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; White, A.F.; Tokunaga, T.

    1985-02-01

    In Part I of this series of two reports the observed fluid potential and geochemical characteristics in and around the inactive uranium mill tailings pile at Riverton, Wyoming were presented. The prupose of the present work is to attempt to simulate field observations using mathematical models. The results of the studies have not only helped identify the physicochemical mechanisms govering contaminant migration around the inactive mill tailings pile in Riverton, but also have indicated the feasibility of quantifying these mechanisms with the help of newly developed mathematical models. Much work needs to be done to validate and benchmark these models. The history-matching effort on hand involves the mathematical simulation of the observed fluid potentials within the tailings, and the observed distribution of various chemical species within and around the inactive uranium mill tailings. The simulation problem involves consideration of transient fluid flow and transient, reactive chemical transport in a variably saturated ground water system with time-dependent boundary conditions. 15 refs., 30 figs., 3 tabs

  18. Small-scale field test of simple earthen covers for uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nielson, K.K.; Rogers, V.C.; Rich, D.C.

    1983-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yan, Xun; Luo, Xuegang

    2015-01-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-04-01

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

  1. Regulatory principles, criteria and guidelines for site selection, design, construction and operation of uranium tailings retention systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coady, J.R.; Henry, L.C.

    1978-01-01

    Principles, criteria and guidelines developed by the Atomic Energy Control Board for the management of uranium mill tailings are discussed. The application of these concepts is considered in relation to site selection, design and construction, operation and decommissioning of tailings retention facilities

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

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

  4. Radionuclide uptake by various plants growing on uranium tailings, Elliot Lake, Ontario

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dave, N.K.; Lim, T.P.; Cloutier, N.R.

    1984-02-01

    Detectable levels of Ra-226 (0.2 to 27.6 pCi/g), Ra-223 (<= 0.1 to 4.3 pCi/g) and Pb-210 (0.6 to 6.9 pCi/g) were measured in various species of vegetation growing on various uranium tailings in Elliot Lake. On the other hand levels of Th-232 (<= 0.1 pCi/g), Th-230 (<= 0.1 pCi/g) were near detection limits in the same vegetation samples. In tailings substrates, all radionuclides investigated were detectable: Ra-226 (8.8 to 552 pCi/g), Ra-223 (3.1 to 213 pCi/g), Pb-210 (5.4 to 441 pCi/g), Th-232 (1.6 to 15.4 pCi/g), Th-230 (4.9 to 62 pCi/g) and Th-228 (1.3 to 38 pCi/g). Lower Th than Ra and Pb levels in tailings substrate were believed to be the cause for the relatively lower Th levels measured in vegetation when compared to Ra and Pb concentrations. No correlation was observed between the level of a given radionuclide in tailings and in the vegetation growing on that tailings

  5. Uranium-mill-tailings remedial-action project (UMTRAP) cover and liner technology development project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hartley, J.N.; Gee, G.W.; Freeman, H.D.; Cline, J.F.; Beedlow, P.A.; Buelt, J.L.; Relyea, J.R.; Tamura, T.

    1982-01-01

    Cover and liner systems for uranium mill tailings in the United States must satisfy stringent requirements regarding long-term stability, radon control, and radionuclide and hazardous chemical migration. The cover placed over a tailings pile serves three basic purposes: (1) to reduce the release of radon, (2) to prevent the intrusion of plant roots and burrowing animals into the tailings, and (3) to limit surface erosion. The liner placed under a tailings pile prevents the migration of radionuclides and hazardous chemicals to groundwater. Pacific Northwest Laboratory is developing and evaluating cover and liner systems that meet these objectives and conform to federal standards. The cover and liner technology discussed in this paper involves: (1) single and multilayer earthen cover systems, (2) asphalt emulsion radon barrier systems, (3) biobarrier systems, (4) revegetation and rock covers, and (5) asphalt, clay, and synthetic liner systems. These systems have been tested at the Grand Junction, Colorado, tailings pile, where they have been shown to effectively reduce radon releases and radionuclide and chemical migration

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

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

  7. Analysis of disposal of uranium mill tailings in a mined out open pit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staub, W.P.; Triegel, E.K.

    1978-01-01

    Mined out open pits are presently under consideration as disposal sites for uranium mill tailings. In this method of tailings management, the escape of contaminated liquid into an adjacent aquifer is the principal environmental concern. The modified Bishop Method was used to analyze the structural stability of a clay liner along the highwall and fluid flow models were used to analyze the effect of tailings solutions on ground water under several operating conditions. Results of the slope stability analysis showed that it would be necessary to construct the clay liner as a modified form of engineered embankment. This embankment would be similar in construction to that of an earthfill dam. It could be constructed on a 1:1 slope provided the tailings slurry were managed properly. It would be necessary to maintain the freeboard height between the embankment and tailings at less than 4 m. A partially dewatered sand beach would have to be located adjacent to the embankment. Potential leakage and aquifer contamination was modeled for lined and unlined pits of various designs. Sulfate, and possibly U and Th, are the most likely contaminants. Results from the model showed the clay and soil cement lined pit to be most effective in containing the pollutants

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1981-10-01

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

  9. Concentration of radionuclides in uranium tailings and its uptake by plants at Jaduguda, Jharkhand, India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Singh, Lal; Soni, Prafulla

    2010-01-01

    Mining and processing of uranium ore was started in several parts of eastern Singhbhum, viz. Jaduguda, Bhatin and Narwapahar (Jharkhand) in 1968. Radioactivity in the mine tailings has to be consolidated so that it does not emanate in the atmosphere or enter the food chain. Hence, the area has been covered with 30 cm thick soil cover followed by development of plant species that do not have any socioeconomic relevance in the area. Seven native plant species of forestry origin, viz. Colebrookea oppositifolia, Dodonaea viscosa, Furcraea foetida, Imperata cylindrica, Jatropha gossypifolia, Pogostemon benghalense and Saccharum spontaneum have been selected for experimental trials. Distribution and concentration of radionuclides have been evaluated in a tailing pond at different depths in soil and tailings. Radionuclide uptake in each of the selected plant species has been evaluated and discussed in this article. The highest concentration of radionuclides has been found in tailings > soil cover on tailings > roots of selected plant species > shoots of all the selected species. These results show that among the seven species tried, J. gossypifolia and F. foetida have the lowest uptake (below detectable limits), while S. spontaneum and P. benghalense have comparatively higher uptake. However, radionuclide concentration in all the tried species is significantly low compared to species of natural occurrence which have higher radionuclides uptake and accumulation. (author)

  10. Concentration of radionuclides in uranium tailings and its uptake by plants at Jaduguda, Jharkhand, India

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Singh, Lal; Soni, Prafulla [Ecology and Environment Div., Forest Research Institute, Dehradun (India)

    2010-01-10

    Mining and processing of uranium ore was started in several parts of eastern Singhbhum, viz. Jaduguda, Bhatin and Narwapahar (Jharkhand) in 1968. Radioactivity in the mine tailings has to be consolidated so that it does not emanate in the atmosphere or enter the food chain. Hence, the area has been covered with 30 cm thick soil cover followed by development of plant species that do not have any socioeconomic relevance in the area. Seven native plant species of forestry origin, viz. Colebrookea oppositifolia, Dodonaea viscosa, Furcraea foetida, Imperata cylindrica, Jatropha gossypifolia, Pogostemon benghalense and Saccharum spontaneum have been selected for experimental trials. Distribution and concentration of radionuclides have been evaluated in a tailing pond at different depths in soil and tailings. Radionuclide uptake in each of the selected plant species has been evaluated and discussed in this article. The highest concentration of radionuclides has been found in tailings > soil cover on tailings > roots of selected plant species > shoots of all the selected species. These results show that among the seven species tried, J. gossypifolia and F. foetida have the lowest uptake (below detectable limits), while S. spontaneum and P. benghalense have comparatively higher uptake. However, radionuclide concentration in all the tried species is significantly low compared to species of natural occurrence which have higher radionuclides uptake and accumulation. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1980-06-01

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

  12. Engineering solutions to the long-term stabilization and isolation of uranium mill tailings in the United States

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sanders, D.R.; Lommler, J.C.

    1995-01-01

    Engineering solutions to the safe and environmentally protective disposal and isolation of uranium mill tailings in the US include many factors. Cover design, materials selection, civil engineering, erosive forces, and cost effectiveness are only a few of those factors described in this paper. The systems approach to the engineering solutions employed in the US is described, with emphasis on the standards prescribed for the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project. Stabilization and isolation of the tailings from humans and the environment are the primary goals of the US uranium mill tailings control standards. The performance of cover designs with respect to water infiltration, radon exhalation, geotechnical stability, erosion protection, human and animal intrusion prevention, and longevity are addressed. The need for and frequency of surveillance efforts to ensure continued disposal system performance are also assessed

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-09-01

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

  14. Overview of uranium mill tailings remedial action project of the United States of America 1995-1996

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Edge, R.

    1997-01-01

    From the early 1940's through the 1960's the United States federal government contracted for processed uranium ore for national defense research, weapons development and commercial nuclear energy. When these contracts were terminated, the mills ceased operation leaving large uranium tailings on the former mill sites. The purpose of the Uranium Remedial Action Project (UMTRA) is to minimize or eliminate potential health hazards resulting from exposure of the public to the tailings at these abandons sites. There are 24 inactive uranium mill tailings sites, in 10 states and an Indian reservation lands, included for clean up under the auspices of UMTRA. Presently the last 2 sites are under remediation. This paper addresses the progress of the project over the last two years. (author)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

  16. Modelling of the underwater disposal of uranium mine tailings in Elliot Lake

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Halbert, B.E.; Scharer, J.M.; Chakravatti, J.L.; Barnes, E.

    1982-01-01

    Underwater disposal of uranium mine tailings from the Elliot Lake area operations offers potential advantages in controlling radon gas release, emission of airborne particulate matter, and acid production from pyrites in the tailings. In addition, the proximity of the three active properties, one owned by Denison Mines Limited and two by Rio Algom Limited, to a large deep lake has spurred interest in the concept. It has been estimated that the placement of approximately 150 million tonnes of tailings from future planned production would occupy less than 20% of the lake volume. To assess the applicability of the underwater tailings disposal concept, a multi-stage study was developed in conjunction with the regulatory agencies. The most important facet identified for investigation during the first-stage investigations was an assessment of the effects of underwater disposal on water quality in the Serpent River Basin watershed. To simulate the effects of underwater disposal, a computer simulation routine was developed and integrated with a water quality model previously developed for the Basin which predicts levels of total dissolved solids, ammonia, dissolved radium-226 and pH. The underwater disposal model component reflects the effects of direct input of tailings into the hypolimnion, the chemical/biological transformation of dissolved constituents in the water column, the reactions of pyritic tailings deposited on the bottom, and the flux of dissolved constituents from the tailings into the water column. To establish site-specific values for the underwater disposal model, field and laboratory experiments were utilized to evaluate rates of pyrite and ammonia oxidation, and pH-alkalinity relationships. The results of these studies and their use in the water quality model are discussed. In addition, the results of two model run simulations are presented. (author)

  17. Analysis of disposal of uranium mill tailings in a mined out open pit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Staub, W.P.; Triegel, E.K.

    1978-08-01

    Mined out open pits are presently under consideration as disposal sites for uranium mill tailings. In this method of tailings management, the escape of contaminated liquid into an adjacent aquifer is the principal environmental concern. The modified Bishop Method was used to analyze the structural stability of a clay liner along the highwall and fluid flow models were used to analyze the effect of tailings solutions on groundwater under several operating conditions. The slope stability of a clay liner was analyzed at three stages of operation: (1) near the beginning of construction, (2) when the pit is partially filled with tailings, and (3) at the end of construction. Both clay lined and unlined pits were considered in the fluid flow modeling. Finally, the seepage of tailings solutions through the clay liner was analyzed. Results of the slope stability analysis showed that it would be necessary to construct the clay liner as a modified form of engineered embankment. This embankment would be similar in construction to that of an earthfill dam. It could be constructed on a 1 : 1 slope provided the tailings slurry were managed properly. It would be necessary to maintain the freeboard height between the embankment and tailings at less than 4 m. A partially dewatered sand beach would have to be located adjacent to the embankment. Potential leakage and aquifer contamination was modeled for lined and unlined pits of various designs. Sulfate, and possibly U and Th, are the most likely contaminants. Results from the model showed the clay and soil cement lined pit to be most effective in containing the pollutants

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chang, Yun-Juan; Peacock, A D.; Long, Philip E.; Stephen, John R.; McKinley, James P.; Mcnaughton, Sarah J.; Hussain, A K M A.; Saxton, A M.; White, D C.

    2000-01-01

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

  20. Summary report on reprocessing evaluation of selected inactive uranium mill tailings sites

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1983-09-01

    Sandia National Laboratories has been assisting the Department of Energy in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Actions Program (UMTRAP) the purpose of which is to implement the provisions of Title I of Public Law 95-604, ''Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act of 1978.'' As part of this program, there was a need to evaluate the mineral concentration of the residual radioactive materials at some of the designated processing sites to determine whether mineral recovery would be practicable. Accordingly, Sandia contracted Mountain States Research and Development (MSRD), a division of Mountain States Mineral Enterprises, to drill, sample, and test tailings at 12 sites to evaluate the cost of and the revenue that could be derived from mineral recovery. UMTRAP related environmental and engineering sampling and support activities were performed in conjunction with the MSRD operations. This summary report presents a brief description of the various activities in the program and of the data and information obtained and summarizes the results. 8 refs., 9 tabs

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-02-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1995-02-01

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

  3. Situation analysis in the field of control and management of uranium tailings in Kyrgyzstan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolongutov, B.

    2012-01-01

    This article is devoted to situation analysis in the field of control and management of uranium tailings in Kyrgyzstan. The basic sites for control in Kyrgyzstan are: HMP P C 'KGRK', specialized on uranium oxide production (status operating) RSH; storage for low-activity waste (tailings and rock piles) former uranium industry; site for disposal of ionizing radiation sources and radioactive waste in Bishkek city; ionizing radiation sources; medical institutions (X-rays diagnostics, radiotherapy); natural anomaly (local sites with high radiation background). It was concluded that: in existing legislative basis there is a necessity to amend requirements for accepting regulatory provisions on radiation safety; it is necessary to continue working on combination of country's policy and strategy with Fundamental Safety Principles and with International instruments, agreements, codes which were ratified by State; legislative basis documental hierarchy on radiation safety issues is not a complete system, significant number of gaps are defined (more than 60 % from the whole system), basically, related to low stages of hierarchical structure (rules, norms, regulations, instructions and etc.); it is necessary to review existing leading documents with the purpose of inaccuracy correcting, especially in the field of safety statements (especially, it relates to new basic regulation on radiation safety, where contradicting to each other criteria are available, mixing to one 'pile' the concepts of 'dose threshold' and 'dose limits', incomplete and scrappy Radioactive Wastes classification, absence of instructions on ionizing radiation sources categorization and etc.

  4. Arbuscular mycorrhizas contribute to phyto stabilization of uranium in uranium mining tailings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chen, Bao-Dong; Roos, Per; Zhu, Yong-Guan

    2008-01-01

    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...

  5. Influence of vegetation and sewage sludge on sealing layer of fly ashes in post-treatment of mine tailings impoundments; Inverkan av vegetation och roetslam paa taetskikt av flygaska vid efterbehandling av sandmagasin

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Greger, Maria; Neuschuetz, Clara (Inst. of Bothany, Stockholm Univ., Stockholm (Sweden)); Isaksson, Karl-Erik (Boliden Mineral AB, Stockholm (Sweden))

    2009-03-15

    Mining industry produces 25 Mton mine tailings yearly that are deposited in impoundments in the nature. When this sand, containing sulphur rich minerals, reacts with oxygen and water it starts to weather and acidic metal rich water is formed. To prevent this, the sand can be covered with a sealing layer and a protective cover layer with vegetation. As sealing and cover materials fly ashes and sewage sludge can be used. The aim of this investigation was to find out: 1) how sealing layer of fly ashes with and without sewage sludge, and a cover with sewage sludge can be placed practically on mine tailings in a cold climate. 2) how such a cover should be constructed to minimize the risk of root penetration and leakage of nutrients and metals 3) which vegetation that is most suitable This was investigated in field- and greenhouse tests with a sealing layer of fly ash and/or sewage sludge with a cover layer of sewage sludge in which different plant species were established. The practical application was performed in 0.3-1 ha plots at a mine tailings impoundments at Boliden. The ability of plant roots to penetrate a sealing layer was investigated, as well as the effect of simulated root exudates on the penetration resistance in hardened ash. Leakage of nutrients and metals from cover layer of sewage sludge, in some cases with sealing layers beneath, was investigated in field and greenhouse lysimeters. Various plant species were compared on their ability to affect metal and nutrient leakage as well as root penetration and shattering of the hardened ashes. The project was a cooperation between Stockholm University and Boliden Mineral AB, and the field tests were performed at the impoundment Gillervattnet in Boliden and in Garpenberg. Cooperating were also Iggesund Paperboard, Skellefteaa Kraft, Stora Enso Fors, Umeaa Energi and Vattenfall, all producers of ashes that were used, as well as Stockholm Vatten AB, which produced the sewage sludge. The most important conclusions

  6. Conception and methodology of a prospective safety report for uranium mills tailings ponds

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Weiss, D.; Larue, J.; Fischer- Appelt, K.

    2006-01-01

    Uranium mill tailings ponds (MTP) stand for the highest potential risk of all legacies from uranium milling. The overall objective of this work was to develop a standardised application document and a working tool for responsible authorities to conduct a continuous safety status description and assessment as well as a prognosis of the respective tailings pond site. - Safety Assessment Principles are based on guide and control values specified in or derived from laws, guidances, norms or standards for the main components who are: technical installations and geo-mechanics, radioactivity, chemical-toxic pollutants. - Data Base: Monitoring data (ground- and seepage water), Radon in near bottom air, Data and information from expertises, reports and technical documents, Site specific data and information (data base A.LAS.KA. / FbU). - Exposure Pathways Analysis. Determination of the radiation exposure to members of the public of different age caused by radioactivity discharges from the tailings pond by means of an authorized calculation procedure. 0.1 to 0.3 mSv/yr with a predominant contribution of ingestion of drinking water (about 80 %). Determination of the hazard resulting from chemical-toxic pollutants according to German regulations. Only relevance of Arsenic via seepage water path. - Forecast of Contaminant Propagation via Groundwater. A three dimensional site specific model was generated to forecast the contaminant distribution in the downstream groundwater flow by means of the available monitoring data. - Safety Assessment. The present status of the tailings pond 'Lengenfeld' was evaluated as to be safe for all three risk components and therefore it is no need for short term measures to minimize hazards or to reduce the contaminants spreading via groundwater. The geochemical environment of the tailings can be regarded as steady, but they are hydraulically tensed by overlaying spar cover. The low permeability of the tailings prevents a significant vertical

  7. Conception and methodology of a prospective safety report for uranium mills tailings ponds

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Weiss, D.; Larue, J.; Fischer- Appelt, K. [Gesellschaft fuer Anlagen- und Reaktorsicherheit mbH (GRS), Koln (Germany)

    2006-07-01

    Uranium mill tailings ponds (MTP) stand for the highest potential risk of all legacies from uranium milling. The overall objective of this work was to develop a standardised application document and a working tool for responsible authorities to conduct a continuous safety status description and assessment as well as a prognosis of the respective tailings pond site. - Safety Assessment Principles are based on guide and control values specified in or derived from laws, guidances, norms or standards for the main components who are: technical installations and geo-mechanics, radioactivity, chemical-toxic pollutants. - Data Base: Monitoring data (ground- and seepage water), Radon in near bottom air, Data and information from expertises, reports and technical documents, Site specific data and information (data base A.LAS.KA. / FbU). - Exposure Pathways Analysis. Determination of the radiation exposure to members of the public of different age caused by radioactivity discharges from the tailings pond by means of an authorized calculation procedure. 0.1 to 0.3 mSv/yr with a predominant contribution of ingestion of drinking water (about 80 %). Determination of the hazard resulting from chemical-toxic pollutants according to German regulations. Only relevance of Arsenic via seepage water path. - Forecast of Contaminant Propagation via Groundwater. A three dimensional site specific model was generated to forecast the contaminant distribution in the downstream groundwater flow by means of the available monitoring data. - Safety Assessment. The present status of the tailings pond 'Lengenfeld' was evaluated as to be safe for all three risk components and therefore it is no need for short term measures to minimize hazards or to reduce the contaminants spreading via groundwater. The geochemical environment of the tailings can be regarded as steady, but they are hydraulically tensed by overlaying spar cover. The low permeability of the tailings prevents a significant

  8. Remedial action and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Slick Rock, Colorado

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-07-01

    The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has established health and environmental protection regulations to correct and prevent groundwater contamination resulting from processing activities at inactive uranium milling sites (EPA, 1987). According to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978 Public Law (PL) 95-604 (PL 95-604), the US Department of Energy (DOE) is responsible for assessing the inactive uranium processing sites. The DOE has determined that for Slick Rock, this assessment shall include hydrogeologic site characterization for two separate uranium processing sites, the Union Carbide (UC) site and the North Continent (NC) site, and for the proposed Burro Canyon disposal site

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-08-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-08-01

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

  11. Hydrochemistry of the Falls City uranium mine tailings remedial action project, Karnes County, Texas

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jackson, T.J.; Kreitler, C.W.

    1994-01-01

    Acidic tailings and tailings solutions, created by sulfuric acid processing of uranium ores, were disposed of on the outcrop of the Whitsett Formation (Eocene). These solutions have recharged the sandstones of the Whitsett since the 1960's. Previous workers found a larger, complex, and unexplained pattern of contamination. Our study determined the extent and nature of contamination by (1) characterizing the geology and hydrology of the two shallow aquifers at the site, (2) determining the chemistry of the contaminant source (tailings solutions), and (3) identifying geochemical reactions that have altered the composition of contaminant plumes within each aquifer. The tailings solutions are composed of sodium chloride and neutral sulfate salts of aluminum and ammonium, with lesser amounts of iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium sulfate. Hydrolysis of aluminum sulfate produces an acid pH (3 to 4). Also, aluminum sulfate is a pH buffer, and it controls acidity of the tailings solutions. Cation exchange and neutralization by calcite modify the tailings solutions as they migrate through the aquifers. These reactions explain chemical patterns, which delineate five separate contaminant plumes in the aquifers. In the Deweesville sandstone, cation exchange has removed ammonium from acidic contaminant plumes. However, neutralization is incomplete because of the paucity of calcite in the Deweesville. In contrast, in the calcite-rich Conquista fossilferous sandstone, cation exchange and complete neutralization by calcite have removed most contaminant ions. Those contaminant plumes are delineated by elevated concentrations of calcium and carbon dioxide. The amount of contamination in both aquifers is much smaller than that estimated previously

  12. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Lakeview Site, Lakeview, Oregon. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-12-01

    Results are reported from an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at the Lakeview, Oregon site. Results are included from the analyses of soil, water, and other samples; radiometric measurements to determine areas with radium-contaminated materials; evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations; investigation of site geology, hydrology, and meteorology; and evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 130,000 tons of tailings at the Lakeview site constitutes the main environmental impact, which is minimal. The two alternative actions presented are maintenance of the site now that the ARCO reclamation program has been completed (Option I); and addition of stabilization cover to a minimum depth of 2 ft, improved fencing, and removal of a few isolated spots of contamination (Option II). The cost estimates for these options are $40,000 and $290,000, respectively

  13. Geotechnical and water resource aspects of uranium mill tailings pile reclamation projects

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Caldwell, J.A.; Tackston, J.W.; Portillo, R.

    1986-01-01

    Design and construction work is currently in progress at more than twenty sites associated with the UMTRA Project - this involves final reclamation of the uranium mill tailings piles so that they are stable for at least 200 years and for up to 1000 years. Remedial action construction plans for the tailings piles involve detailed consideration of the present and possible future ground water and surface-water impacts of the pile. Since the stabilized pile is ultimately a major geotechnical structure, detailed consideration of the long-term resistance to erosion and containment of radioactive material is also required. A case history illustrates how the critical design criteria governing the remedial action activities at the various piles are applied to the pile at the Lakeview site to provide for long-term protection of the water resource and public health and safety

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Lantz, P.M.; Fox, W.F.; Shinpaugh, W.H.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.

    1979-12-01

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

  15. Improved radon-flux-measurement system for uranium-tailings pile measurement

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freeman, H.D.

    1981-10-01

    The Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) is developing cover technology for uranium mill tailings that will inhibit the diffusion of radon to the atmosphere. As part of this cover program, an improved radon flux measurement system has been developed. The radon measurement system is a recirculating, pressure-balanced, flow-through system that uses activated carbon at ambient temperatures to collect the radon. With the system, an area of 0.93 m 2 is sampled for periods ranging from 1 to 12 h. The activated carbon is removed from the radon trap and the collected radon is determined by counting the 214 Bi daughter product. Development of the system included studies to determine the efficiency of activated carbon, relative calibration measurements and field measurements made during 1980 at the inactive tailings pile in Grand Junction, Colorado. Results of these studies are presented

  16. Systematic approach to designing surface covers for uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1982-01-01

    The wide range of environmental conditions present at uranium mill tailings sites precludes the use of a single type of surface cover. Surface covers must be designed on a site-specific basis. To facilitate site specific designs the UMTRA program is developing guidelines for designing surface covers. This paper presents a systematic approach to designing surface covers for tailings that can be applied under any site condition. The approach consists of three phases: (1) An assessment during which the degree of surface protection is determined. (2) A preliminary design that facilitates interaction with those designing other containment system elements. (3) A final design where the cost and effectiveness of the surface cover are determined. The types of information required to apply this approach are discussed

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Lantz, P.M.; Fox, W.F.; Shinpaugh, W.H.; Hubbard, H.M. Jr.

    1979-12-01

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

  18. Summary of the engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Spook Site, Converse County, Wyoming

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1981-10-01

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

  20. Dynamic Characteristics and Model for Centralization Reaction of Acidic Tailings From Heap Leaching of Uranium Ore

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ding Dexin; Liu Yulong; Li Guangyue; Wang Youtuan

    2010-01-01

    Centralization tests were carried out on acidic tailings from heap leaching of uranium ore by using CaO, NaOH and NH 4 OH. The variations of pH with time were measured for the three centralization systems and the dynamic models for the systems were set up by regressing the measured data. The centralization process consists of the fast reaction phase representing the reaction between the centralization agent and the acid on the surface of the tailing's particles and the slow diffusion-reaction phase representing the diffusion-reaction between the centralization agent and the acid within the tailing's particles. The non-linear coupling and feedback function model for the diffusion-reaction of the centralization agent can reflect the process and mode of the centralization reaction. There is a non-linear oscillation in the variation of pH within the centralization systems. The dynamic model for the tailing's centralization reaction can fit the pH variation within the centralization systems. (authors)

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Burden, J.E.; Ellis, B.S.; Loy, E.T.; Shinpaugh, W.H.

    1980-06-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

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

  5. A benefit-cost methodology for developing environmental standards for uranium mill tailings disposal

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Leiter, A.J.

    1982-01-01

    This paper describes a method for using benefit-cost analysis in developing generally applicable environmental standards for uranium mill tailings disposal. Several disposal alternatives were selected which consist of different combinations of control measures. The resulting cost and benefit estimations allow the calculation of the incremental cost of obtaining incremental benefits of radiation protection. The overall benefit of a disposal alternative is expressed in terms of an index which is based on weighting factors assigned to individual benefits. The results show that some disposal alternatives have higher costs while providing no additional benefit than other alternatives. These alternatives should be eliminated from consideration in developing standards

  6. Recent developments in the regulation and management of Canadian uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bragg, K.; Potter, C.; James, A.

    1982-01-01

    The last two to three years have produced rapid changes in the way uranium tailings are managed in Canada. This is due both to the development of new technology and changes in regulatory approach. The thrust of this paper will be to clarify the interrelationships between these two areas with a particular focus on long-term management. The interaction between federal and provincial agencies will also be reviewed to illustrate how a co-operative regulatory approach works, even in areas of complex and sometimes confusing jurisdiction. (author)

  7. A report on the collection of data relevant to the Canadian National Uranium Tailings Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Smith, A.

    1984-10-01

    In December of 1983, Systemhouse Ltd. was awarded a contract to collect data relevant to the Canadian National Uranium Tailings Program and to convert it into a machine readable format. The work was carried out in four phases, namely, data identification, data collection, data transcription/conversion and data verification. The main priority was to identify as much relevant data as possible. The identified data was priorized against a predefined criteria established in conjunction with the project scientific authority. A total of 428 studies were identified as being relevant. Data from 19 of these were converted to machine-readable format, giving information on 2398 samples from 78 boreholes

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-02-01

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

  9. Recent developments in the regulation and management of Canadian uranium tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bragg, K.; Potter, C.; James, A.

    1982-01-01

    The last two to three years have produced rapid changes in the way uranium tailings are managed in Canada. This is due both to the development of new technology and changes in regulatory approach. The thrust of this paper will be to clarify the interrelationships between these two areas with a particular focus on long-term management. The interaction between federal and provincial agencies will also be reviewed to illustrate how a co-operative regulatory approach works, even in areas of complex and sometimes confusing jurisdiction

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1993-09-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-02-01

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

  13. Evaluation of the mill tailings disposal site at the Zirovski vrh uranium mine in Slovenia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Begus, T.; Kocevar, M.; Brencic, M.; Likar, B.; Logar, Z.

    2002-01-01

    Uranium mine Zirovski vrh in Slovenia was closed due to economic reasons. After that extensive work on decommission was done. The results of the comparison between three potential sites for mill tailings are presented. The results of the probabilistic approach to the factors of safety and confidence, seismic hazard analysis, hydrogeological models and in the economic evaluation are given. For the common evaluation they were interpreted in the way of UMTRA decision matrix. On the basis of the engineering judgement calculations for the recent status and the status after 1000 years was performed. (author)

  14. Solubility classification of airborne products from uranium ores and tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalkwarf, D.R.

    1979-01-01

    Airborne products generated at uranium mills were assigned solubility classifications for use in the ICRP Task Group Lung Model. No significant difference was seen between the dissolution behavior of airborne samples and sieved ground samples of the same product. If the product contained radionuclides that dissolved at different rates, composite classifications were assigned to show the solubility class of each component. If the dissolution data indicated that a radionuclide was present in two chemical forms that dissolved at different rates, a mixed classification was assigned to show the percentage of radionuclide in each solubility class. Uranium-ore dust was assigned the composite classification: ( 235 U, 238 U) W; ( 226 Ra) 10% D, 90% Y; ( 230 Th, 210 Pb, 210 Po) Y. Tailings-pile dust was classified: ( 226 Ra) 10% D, 90% Y; ( 230 Th, 210 Pb, 210 Po) Y. Uranium octoxide was classified Y, uranium tetrafluoride was also classified Y, ammonium diuranate was classified D, and yellow-cake dust was classified ( 235 U, 238 U) 60% D, 40% W. The term yellow cake, however, covers a variety of materials which differ significantly in dissolution rate. Solubility classifications based on the dissolution half-times of particular yellow-cake products should, thus, be used when available. The D, W, and Y classifications refer to biological half-times for clearance from the human respiratory tract of 0 to 10 days, 11 to 100 days, and > 100 days, respectively

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1981-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah, Inc., has reevaluated the Phillips/United Nuclear site in order to revise the December 1977 engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Ambrosia Lake, New Mexico. This engineering assessment has included the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigations of site hydrology and meteorology, and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas released from the 2.6 million dry tons of tailings at the Phillips/United Nuclear site constitutes the most significant environmental impact, although windblown tailings and external gamma radiation also are factors. The four alternative actions presented in this engineering assessment range from millsite decontamination with the addition of 3 m of stabilization cover material, to removal of the tailings to remote disposal sites and decontamination of the tailings site. Cost estimates for the four options range from about $21,500,000 for stabilization in-place, to about $45,200,000 for disposal at a distance of about 15 mi. Three principal alternatives for the reprocessing of the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings were examined: heap leaching; treatment at an existing mill; reprocessing at a new conventional mill constructed for tailings reprocessing. The cost of the uranium recovered would be about $87/lb of U 3 O 8 by either heap leach or conventional plant process. The spot market price for uranium was $25/lb early in 1981. Reprocessing the Phillips/United Nuclear tailings for uranium recovery does not appear to be economically attractive under present or foreseeable market conditions

  16. Microscale mineralogical characterization of As, Fe, and Ni in uranium mine tailings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Essilfie-Dughan, Joseph; Hendry, M. Jim; Warner, Jeff; Kotzer, Tom

    2012-11-01

    Uranium (U) ores can contain high concentrations of elements of concern (EOCs), such as arsenic (As) and nickel (Ni) present in sulfide and arsenide minerals. The U in these ores is often solubilized by adding H2SO4 to attain a pH ∼1 under oxic conditions. This process releases some EOCs from the primary minerals into solution. The barren raffinate (solution remaining after U extraction) is subsequently neutralized with Ca(OH)2 to a terminal pH of ∼10.5, resulting in a reduction in the aqueous concentrations of the EOCs. These neutralized raffinates are mixed with the non-reacted primary minerals and discharged as tailing into tailings management facilities (TMFs). To aid in the accurate characterization and quantification of the mineralogical controls on the concentrations of EOCs in the tailings porewater, their spatial distribution and speciation were studied at the micron scale in tailings samples collected from the Deilmann U Tailings Management Facility (DTMF), northern Saskatchewan, Canada. Backscattered electron images of the tailings samples generated using an electron microprobe show the presence of nodules (10-200 μm size) surrounded by bright rims. Wavelength dispersive spectrometric (WDS) and synchrotron-based micro-X-ray fluorescence (μ-XRF) elemental mapping show that the nodules are dominated by Ca and S (as gypsum) and the bright rims are dominated by Fe, As, and Ni. Micro-X-ray absorption near-edge structure (μ-XANES) spectra collected within and near the rims indicate that the Fe and Ni are present mainly in the +3 and +2 oxidation states, respectively; for As, the +5 oxidation state dominates but significant amounts of the +3 oxidation state are present in some areas. Linear combination fit analyses of the K-edges for the Fe, As, and Ni μ-XANES spectra to reference compounds suggest the Fe in the rims is present as ferrihydrite with As and Ni are adsorbed to it. Energy dispersive spectrometric (EDS) data indicate that isolated, highly

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-11-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1994-11-01

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

  19. Technico-economic analysis of uranium-mill-tailings conditioning alternatives

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thode, E.F.; Dreesen, D.R.

    1981-01-01

    An analysis of practicable conditioning technologies for uranium mill tailings and their estimated costs has been conducted for two conditioning alternatives, thermal stabilization and leaching (sulfuric acid). Among the four high priority remedial action sites, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Shiprock, New Mexico appear to be very good candidates for thermal stabilization. At Shiprock, thermal stabilization appears to be less expensive ($16.01/ton) than moving the pile more than five miles and covering with 15 feet of earth. At Canonsburg costs of other alternatives are not presently available. Given the radiological monitoring and protection expenses attendant upon moving these tailings in a highly populated area, it is likely that thermal stabilization, on site, at $41.25/ton would be an attractive remedial action approach. Cost data on the Salt Lake City, Utah site are presented for comparison purposes. Thermal stabilization is not favorable at this site because of high fuel and labor costs, as well as other factors. A conceptual design for a thermal stabilization operation is described. Sufficient information to assess the leaching alternative is available only for the Durango, Colorado site. Because of the large amount of vanadium and uranium in the pile, the income from the sale of these strategic minerals could pay for as much as 58% of the expense of removing, transporting, and covering the pile

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-07-01

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

  1. Comparative evaluation of liner materials for inactive uranium-mill-tailings piles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buelt, J.L.; Barnes, S.M.

    1981-01-01

    Under the funding of the Department of Energy's Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) Program, Pacific Northwest Laboratory (PNL) has completed the initial accelerated testing phase of eight candidate liner materials. The tests were designed to comparatively evaluate the long term effectiveness of liner materials as a radionuclide and hazardous chemical leachate barrier. The eight materials tested were selected from a technical review of published literature and industrial specialists. Conditions were then identified that would accelerate the aging processes expected in a uranium tailings environment for 1000 years. High calcium leachates were forced through thin layers of clay liners to accelerate the ion exchange rate of sodium and calcium. Asphalt and synthetic materials were accelerated by exposure to elevate temperatures, high concentrations of oxygen, and increased strengths of aqueous oxidizing agents. By comparing the changes of permeability with time of exposure, the most acceptable materials were then identified. These materials are a catalytically airblown asphalt membrane and natural soil amended with sodium bentonite. Both materials showed an increased resistance to leachate penetration throughout the exposure period with final permeabilities less than 10 -7 cm/s. In addition, the asphalt membrane and sodium bentonite are among the least expensive materials to install at a disposal site. Therefore based on their economic and technical merits, these two materials are being evaluated further in field tests at Grand Junction, Colorado

  2. Geotechnical engineering considerations in the NRC's review of uranium mill tailings remedial action plans

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gillen, D.M.

    1985-01-01

    To reduce potential health hazards associated with inactive uranium mill tailings sites, the Department of Energy (DOE) is presently investigating and implementing remedial actions at 24 sites in the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Program (UMTRAP). All remedial actions must be selected and performed with the concurrence of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This paper provides a discussion of geotechnical engineering considerations during the NRC's preconcurrence review of proposed remedial action plans. In order for the NRC staff to perform an adequate geotechnical engineering review, DOE documents must contain a presentation of the properties and stability of all in-situ and engineered soil and rock which may affect the ability of the remedial action plans to meet EPA standards for long-term stability and control. Site investigations, laboratory testing, and remedial action designs must be adequate in scope and technique to provide sufficient data for the NRC staff to independently evaluate static and dynamic stability, settlement, radon attenuation through the soil cover, durability of rock for erosion protection, and other geotechnical engineering factors

  3. A state-of-the-art methodology for impact assessment of covered uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mallants, D.; Dierckx, A.; Wang, L.; Volckaert, G.; Zeevaert, Th.

    2002-01-01

    An impact assessment methodology is being developed that integrates several advanced modelling and characterisation techniques for the purpose of assessing the current and future environmental and health impact of a surface repository containing wastes from uranium milling and radium processing. The former radium processing plant at Olen, Belgium, accumulated during nearly half a century considerable amounts of radium-containing wastes. Also present at the site are uranium mill tailings. These wastes were disposed of in a heavily engineered surface repository at the occasion of a remediation plan carried out in the mid eighties. The repository contains several concrete bunkers covered with a multi-layer hydraulic barrier. In the current impact assessment study the only exposure pathway discussed is by contamination of groundwater. For this purpose we calculated variably-saturated water flow in the multi-layer barrier and the underlying waste zones and used geochemical modelling to estimate the chemical species and their solubility's in the aqueous phase of the various waste forms. The assessment further includes modelling of contaminant leaching from the tailings towards the groundwater, contaminant transport in the surrounding groundwater towards a water well, and evaluation of the doses for ingestion, inhalation and external irradiation resulting from use of groundwater from the well. Details of the waste and site characterisation as well as contaminant modelling are discussed. (author)

  4. Measurements of radon daughter concentrations in structures built on or near uranium mine tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Haywood, F.F.; Kerr, G.D.; Goldsmith, W.A.; Perdue, P.T.; Thorngate, J.H.

    1976-01-01

    A technique is discussed that has been used to measure air concentrations of short-lived daughters of 222 Rn in residential and commercial structures built on or near uranium mill tailings in the western part of the United States. In this technique, the concentrations of RaA, RaB, and RaC are calculated from one integral count of the RaA and two integral counts of the RaC' alpha-particle activity collected on a filter with an air sampling device. A computer program is available to calculate the concentrations of RaA, RaB, and RaC in air and to estimate the accuracy in these calculated concentrations. This program is written in the BASIC language. Also discussed in this paper are the alpha-particle spectrometer used to count activity on the air filters and the results of our radon daughter measurements in Colorado, Utah, and New Mexico. These results and results of other measurements discussed in a companion paper are now being used in a comprehensive study of potential radiation exposures to the public from uranium mill tailing piles

  5. Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project, fiscal year 1995 annual report to stakeholders

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    In 1978, Congress authorized the DOE to assess and clean up contamination at 24 designated former uranium processing sites. The DOE is also responsible for cleaning up properties in the vicinity of the sites where wind and water erosion deposited tailings or people removed them from the site for use in construction or landscaping projects. Cleanup is being undertaken in cooperation with state governments and Indian tribes within whose boundaries the sites are located. It is being conducted in two phases: the surface project and the ground water project. This report addresses specifics about both phases of the UMTRA Project. DOE's UMTRA Project is the world's largest materials management project ever undertaken to reduce or eliminate risk to the general public from exposure to potentially hazardous and radioactive materials. With an estimated cost at completion of nearly $2 billion for both phases of the UMTRA Project, and with the responsibility for encapsulating and isolating almost one-fourth of all the uranium mill tailings generated across the entire US (more than 44 million cubic yards), the UMTRA Project and its people have achieved a long record of safely and effectively completing its mission. It continually enhances its national reputation through its diligent process and cost efficiency as well as its international recognition for its technological innovation

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1993-09-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1984-05-01

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

  8. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings, Rifle Site, Rifle, Colorado. Summary of the Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado. The Phase II - Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 3.1 million tons of tailings at the two Rifle sites, constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The 15 alternative remedial action options presented range from millsite decomtamination and off-site remedial action (Options I and IV), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II, V, VI, and VII), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present sites (Options III and VIII through XV). Cost estimates for the first 14 options range from $224,000 to $20,300,000. Option XV, estimated at $32,200,000, includes the cost for moving both Rifle tailings piles and the Grand Junction tailings pile to DeBeque for long-term storage and site decontamination after removal of the piles. Reprocessing of the tailings for uranium appears to be economically attractive at present

  9. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings new and old Rifle site, Rifle, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado. The Phase II--Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 3.1 million tons of tailings at the two Rifle sites, constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The 15 alternative remedial action options presented range from millsite decontamination and off-site remedial action (Options I and IV), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II, V, VI and VII), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present sites (Options III and VIII through XV). Cost estimates for the first 14 options range from $224,000 to $20,300,000. Option XV, estimated at $32,200,000, includes the cost for moving both Rifle tailings piles and the Grand Junction tailings pile to DeBeque for long-term storage and site decontamination after removal of the piles. Reprocessing of the tailings for uranium appears to be economically attractive at present

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1984-05-01

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

  11. Engineering assessment of inactive uranium mill tailings new and old Rifle site, Rifle, Colorado. Phase II, Title I

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    None

    1977-10-01

    Ford, Bacon and Davis Utah Inc. has performed an engineering assessment of the problems resulting from the existence of radioactive uranium mill tailings at Rifle, Colorado. The Phase II--Title I services include the preparation of topographic maps, the performance of core drillings and radiometric measurements sufficient to determine areas and volumes of tailings and other radium-contaminated materials, the evaluation of resulting radiation exposures of individuals and nearby populations, the investigation of site hydrology and meteorology and the evaluation and costing of alternative corrective actions. Radon gas release from the 3.1 million tons of tailings at the two Rifle sites, constitutes the most significant environmental impact. Windblown tailings, external gamma radiation and localized contamination of surface waters are other environmental effects. The 15 alternative remedial action options presented range from millsite decontamination and off-site remedial action (Options I and IV), to adding various depths of stabilization cover material (Options II, V, VI and VII), to removal of the tailings to long-term storage sites and decontamination of the present sites (Options III and VIII through XV). Cost estimates for the first 14 options range from $224,000 to $20,300,000. Option XV, estimated at $32,200,000, includes the cost for moving both Rifle tailings piles and the Grand Junction tailings pile to DeBeque for long-term storage and site decontamination after removal of the piles. Reprocessing of the tailings for uranium appears to be economically attractive at present.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-06-01

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

  13. Preconcentration of a low-grade uranium ore yielding tailings of greatly reduced environmental concerns. Part V

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Raicevic, D.; Raicevic, M.

    1980-11-01

    The low-grade ore sample used for this investigation contained 0.057 percent uranium with uranothorite as the major uranium-bearing mineral and a small amount of brannerite, occurring in the quartz-sericite matrix of a conglomerate. The preconcentration procedures, consisting of pyrite flotation with or without flotation of radioactive minerals, followed by high intensity wet magnetic treatment of the sized flotation tailings, produced pyrite and radioactive concentrates of acceptable uranium grades ranging from 0.1 to 0.135 percent uranium. The combined concentrates comprised 37 to 49 percent of the ore by weight with the following combined recoveries: 95.6 to 97.9 percent of the uranium; 94.7 to 96.3 percent of the radium; 97.8 to 99.3 percent of the thorium over 98 percent of the pyrite. The preconcentration tailings produced comprised between 51 and 63 percent of the ore by weight and contained from: 0.0022 to 0.0037 percent U; 12 to 17 pCi/g Ra; 0.002 to 0.004 percent Th less than 0.03 percent S. Because these tailings are practically pyrite-free, they should not generate acidic conditions. Due to their low radium content, their radionuclide hazards are greatly reduced. These preconcentration tailings therefore, could be suitable for surface disposal, mine backfill, revegetation or other uses

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    1992-02-01

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

  15. Analysis of expert opinion on uranium mill tailings remedial action project (UMTRAP) alternatives: a decision-support-system pilot study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Thode, E.F.

    1983-01-01

    The Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action Project requires a specific remedial action individually chosen for each site. A panel of professionals was asked to rate objectives for remedial action and to rank alternatives for meeting the objectives. Responses were statistically analyzed. The panel's preference was earth cover in place at the Salt Lake City, Utah, and Shiprock, New Mexico, sites. Asphalt cover was next at Salt Lake City. This decision support system is appropriate for use with other inactive and active tailings sites

  16. Determination of chemical parameters for the Schlema-Alberoda uranium tailings pile migration case study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bryan, N.; Vopalka, D.; Benes, P.; Stamberg, K.; Doubravova, K.

    2004-01-01

    A central aim of environmental chemistry is to develop an understanding of processes at the microscopic level, and to develop speciation models to simulate that behaviour, which may be used with transport codes to predict the fate of pollutants on the field scale. In fact, one objective of this HUPA project is to develop a coupled chemical transport computer code, which includes the effects of humic substances, and then apply it to three field scale test cases: 1. a deep hypothetical repository in a salt formation; 2. a shallow, sandy hypothetical repository; 3. a large pile of uranium mine tailings. This work concerns the third case study (U-tailings), which is based upon a real U-tailings pile at Schlema-Alberoda, near Dresden, Saxony, Germany. Environmental problems are inherently complex, and even apparently simple systems, such as a single metal ion interacting with a 'single' surface may be extremely complex. There have been considerable advances in computing power over the last few decades, unfortunately, in order to make calculations solvable in a reasonable time, the models used to simulate the chemistry of the system must be as simple as possible. The interaction between uranium and humic substances has been studied previously. However, the details of the interaction of uranyl cations with the material of the pile have not been modelled. Therefore, the objective here is to develop a simple model of this interaction, ready to use in the migration case study. Experiments were performed at the Czech Technical University, Prague and the data modelled at the University of Manchester. (orig.)

  17. Situation analysis in the field of control and management of uranium tailings in Kyrgyzstan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tolongutov, B.

    2012-01-01

    This article is devoted to situation analysis in the field of control and management of uranium tailings in Kyrgyzstan. The basic sites for control in Kyrgyzstan are: HMP P C 'KGRK', specialized on uranium oxide production (status operating) RSH; storage for low-activity waste (tailings and rock piles) former uranium industry; site for disposal of ionizing radiation sources and radioactive waste in Bishkek city; ionizing radiation sources; medical institutions (X-rays diagnostics, radiotherapy); natural anomaly (local sites with high radiation background). It was concluded that: in existing legislative basis there is a necessity to amend requirements for accepting regulatory provisions on radiation safety; it is necessary to continue working on combination of country's policy and strategy with Fundamental Safety Principles and with International instruments, agreements, codes which were ratified by State; legislative basis documental hierarchy on radiation safety issues is not a complete system, significant number of gaps are defined (more than 60 % from the whole system), basically, related to low stages of hierarchical structure (rules, norms, regulations, instructions and etc.); it is necessary to review existing leading documents with the purpose of inaccuracy correcting, especially in the field of safety statements (especially, it relates to new basic regulation on radiation safety, where contradicting to each other criteria are available, mixing to one 'pile' the concepts of 'dose threshold' and 'dose limits', incomplete and scrappy Radioactive Wastes classification, absence of instructions on ionizing radiation sources categorization and etc.

  18. Comment and response document for the final remedial action plan and site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Slick Rock, Colorado. Revision 2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1996-05-01

    This document for the final remedial action plan and site design has been prepared for US Department of Energy Environmental Restoration Division as part of the Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action plan. Comments and responses are included for the site design for stabilization of the inactive uranium mill tailings sites at Slick Rock, Colorado

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gates, T.E.

    1983-09-01

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

  20. Diffusion of radon in candidate soils for covering uranium-mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalkwarf, D.R.; Silker, W.B.

    1984-01-01

    Diffusion coefficients were measured for radon in 34 soils that had been identified by uranium mill personnel as candidate soils for covering their tailings piles in order to reduce radon emission. The coefficients referred to diffusion in the total pore space of the soils. They were measured by a steady-state method using soil columns compacted to greater than 80% of their Proctor maximum packing densities, but with moisture contents generally less than would be expected at a tailings site. Three published empirical equations relating diffusion coefficients to soil moisture and porosity were tested with these data. The best fit was obtained with the equation: D = 0.70 exp [-4(m-mP - +m 5 )] in which P is the dry porosity of the soil and m is its moisture saturation, e.e. the fraction of pore volume filled with water. This equation was used to extrapolate measured coefficients to values expected at soil-moisture contents representative of tailings sites in the western United States. Extrapolated values for silty sands and clayey sands ranged from 0.004 to 0.06 cm 2 /s where w, the weight ratio of water to dry soil, is expected to vary from 0.04 to 0.09. Values for inorganic silts and clays ranged from 0.001 to 0.02 cm 2 /s where w is expected to vary from 0.10 to 0.13

  1. Diffusion coefficients of radon in candidate soils for covering uranium mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kalkwarf, D.R.; Silker, W.B.

    1983-10-01

    Diffusion coefficients were measured for radon in 34 soils that had been identified by uranium mill personnel as candidate soils for covering their tailings piles in order to reduce radon emission. The coefficients referred to diffusion in the total pore space of the soils. They were measured by a steady-state method using soil columns compacted to greater than 80% of their Proctor maximum packing densities, but with moisture contents generally less than would be expected at a tailings site. Three published empirical equations relating diffusion coefficients to soil moisture and porosity were tested with these data. The best fir was obtained with the equation: D = 0.70 exp [-4(m-mP 2 +m 5 )] in which P is the dry porosity of the soil and m is its moisture saturation, i.e. the fraction of pore volume filled with water. This equation was used to extrapolate measured coefficients to values expected at soil-moisture contents representative of tailings sites in the western United States. Extrapolated values for silty sands and clayey sands range from 0.004 to 0.06 cm 2 /s where w, the weight ratio of water to dry soil, is expected to vary from 0.04 to 0.09. Values for inorganic silts and clays ranged from 0.001 to 0.02 cm 2 /s where w is expected to vary from 0.10 to 0.13. 8 references, 1 figure, 1 table

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Narasimhan, T.N.; Tokunaga, T.; White, A.F.; Smith, A.R.

    1983-02-01

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

  3. Model evaluation of seepage from uranium tailings disposal above and below the water table

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nelson, R.W.; Meyer, P.R.; Oberlander, P.L.; Sneider, S.C.; Mayer, D.W.; Reisenauer, A.E.

    1983-03-01

    Model simulations identify the rate and amount of leachate released to the environment if disposed uranium mill tailings come into contact with ground water or if seepage from tailings reaches ground water. In this study, simulations of disposal above and below the water table, with various methods of leachate control, were compared. Three leachate control methods were used in the comparisons: clay bottom liners; stub-sidewall clay liners; and tailings drains with sumps, with the effluent pumped back from the sumps. The best leachate control for both above and below the water table is a combination of the three methods. The combined methods intercept up to 80% of the leachate volume in pits above the water table and intercept essentially all of the leachate in pits below the water table. Effluent pumping, however, requires continuous energy costs and an alternative method of disposal for the leachate that cannot be reused as makeup water in the mill process. Without the drains or effluent pumping, the clay bottom liners have little advantage in terms of the total volume of leachate lost. The clay liners do reduce the rate of leachate flow to the ground water, but the flow continues for a longer time. The buffering, sorption, and chemical reactions of the leachate passing directly through the liner are also advantages of the liner

  4. Effects of barium chlorine treatment of uranium ore on 222Rn emanation and 226Ra leachability from mill tailings

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ibrahim, S.A.; Church, S.L.; Whicker, F.W.

    1985-01-01

    The purpose of this laboratory study was to investigate the effectiveness of barium chloride treatment of uranium ore on 222 Rn emanation from mill tailings, 226 Ra level in waste-water, and the leachability of radium from tailings. It has been shown that barium sulfate is an excellent carrier for radium and that barium sulfate crystals have high retention capacity for radon gas produced by radium trapped within the lattice. Ground uranium ore from a mine in Wyoming was mixed with water to form a 1:1 ratio before barium and potassium chlorides were added at concentrations of 0, 10, 25, 50, and 100 mg per liter of slurry. The ore was then subjected to a simulated mill process using sulfuric acid leaching. The liquid representing tailings pond water was separated and analyzed for 226 Ra and the solid fraction, representing mill tailings, was tested for radon emanation and the leachability of radium by deionized water. This study suggests that barium treatment of uranium ore prior to sulfuric acid leaching could be effective in reducing radon emanation from tailings and also in reducing the 226 Ra concentration of waste-water. Leachability of radium from treated tailings was markedly reduced

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1994-09-01

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

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