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Waste Disposal in Uranium Mines

#0576


Development of Ecologically Safe Technology for Underground Isolation of Radwaste from Mining and Processing of Uranium with Utilizing Shaft Complexes of Uranium Mines.

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
09.02.1996

Completion date
23.12.1998

Senior Project Manager
Tyurin I A

Leading Institute
VNIPI Promtechnology, Russia, Moscow

Collaborators

  • Monitor Scientific LLC, USA, CO, Denver\nLawrence Berkeley National Laboratory / Earth Sciences Division, USA, CA, Berkeley\nRaadgewende Iggenieurs SRK - STEFFEN / Robertson and Kirsten, USA, CO, Denver

Project summary

Purpose of the Project: protection of the human health and environment from hazardous effect of accumulated on earth sur-face radwaste from mining and processing of uranium ores.

Technical approach to obtain the Project purpose consists in displacement radvaste from earth surface into underground mine wor-kings of operating and being closed uranium mines to disposal and isolate them there by the use of safety for inhabitants' health and environment technologies.

Scientific approach to obtain the Project purpose consists in:


– analysis of data concerning to condition of rock massife, con-taining mined out spase on uranium mines;
– investigations of basic factors that have an influence on the level of environment contamination;
– scientific-experimental substantiation of admissible parame-ters of rock massif disturbance along with predicted evaluation of its isolating properties for natural waste of low activity;
– mathematical modeling of geomechanical and hidrogeological processes in rocks to prognose the conservation isolating properti-es of rock massif for long-term period;
– calculations of risk probabilities for inhabitants health and ecology caused by using different methods of radwaste storage;
– investigation variants of economic optimal utilization of un-derground mined out space and shaft complexes of operating, being conserved and liquidated uranium mines for safety desposal and long term isolation radwaste of low activity.

Expected results:


– development of scientific methodology for exposing rock massifs which are fit for safety underground disposal and isolation radwaste contained natural radionuclids;
– scientific recommendations and technical designs for optimal utilization of mined-out space and shaft complexes on uranium mi-nes with a view to dispose and isolate radwaste of low level ac-tivity underground without any harm for people health and ecology.

Possibilities for utilization of the results.

Recommendations and designs followed out of the Project would become a basis for solutions of problems on rehabilitation of spoiled territories around mines and reprocessing plants by means of safety for ecology and profitable methods underground storage and isolation radwaste in Russia and so abroad.

Fulfillment of the project will allow to obtain social-econo-mic profit and new scientific knowledge, viz.:


– social effect consists in solution of problems on decrea-sing the level of biosphere contamination with waste accumulated on Earth surface as a result of uranium mining and processing;
– commercial significance consists in elimination expenses for construction of separate regional storages by using for this aim underground mined space and shaft complexes and cutting of production cost on mines by using waste as a component for mine--fill;
– international scientific potential will be enriched with unique information on experimental investigations of geomechanical state of complex-structured hard rock massifs while mining uranium in Russia, and also on evaluation of isolating properties of those massifs during long-term storage of ecologically dangerous mate-rials;
– Russian scientists and engineers processing knowledge and practice in the sphere of production of weapons of mass annihila-tion will be reoriented for solution of problems for environment protection, and besides they will participate in International Scientific Community of ES countries, USA and Japan.

Potential role of foreign collaborators:


exchange of scientific information concerning problems on protection of ecology from contamination with natural radionuclids;
– rending assistance in selection of equipment and apparatus for research works providing with the Project;
– ending help to classify the waste generated by mining and processing uranium ores on their radioactivity hazards;
– participation in analysis of experimental data, expediency calculations and estimations of economical of recommendations and technical designs resulting the Project;
– participation in seminars and work conferences aimed to discuss intermediate and final results of investigations obtained on different stages of the Project;
– joint publication materials on problems, concerning the Project;
– rending assistance Russian scientifists and specia-lists - participiants of the Project to keep professional contacts with scientists from countries-founders of ISTC.


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