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Ecology of the territories adjacent to the uranium production

#KR-715


Study of the main ecological indicators of the territories adjacent to the uranium production in conditions of its partial conversion

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RED/Remediation and Decontamination/Environment
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment
  • ENV-WPC/Water Pollution and Control/Environment

Status
8 Project completed

Registration date
25.04.2001

Completion date
21.02.2007

Senior Project Manager
Kulikov G G

Leading Institute
Institute of Physics, Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek

Supporting institutes

  • VNIITF, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Snezhinsk

Collaborators

  • Wismuth GmbH, Germany, Chemnitz\nSELOR eeig, The Netherlands, Amsterdam\nLawrence Livermore National Laboratory, USA, CA, Livermore\nDBM, Germany, Magdeburg

Project summary

At simple examination of ecological situation on territories, adjoining to uranium, or any other production the ecological hazard of its operation is estimated on a period of studies. Such operations are executed, for example, under the project ISTC # KR-072 on area of Kara-Balty Mining combine in Kyrgyzstan.

Despite of importance and urgency of the indicated studies, they do not give sufficient information for acceptance of the argued solutions at budgeting and conducting of rehabilitation works. It is connected to that the ecosystem “production – environment” is in mobile equal balance, including during a definite time and after stoppage of the plant or conversion of production

At planning of rehabilitation operations, except for a simple estimation of ecological hazard of operation of the uranium plant, it is important to know the basic tendencies of further progressing of physical and chemical processes in a system “production - environment”, and also influencing on an ecological situation of before not investigated factors and processes, in particular, at conversion of uranium production.

The authors of the present project are convinced of necessity of the mentioned above studies not only proceeding from explained above reasons, but also at having an acquaintance with a course of rehabilitation operations on the area of dislocation of the uranium plants in Saxony and Turingy of Federal German Republic, executed by Wismut join under guiding of professor Rimbert Gatzweiler and other leading employees of Wismut join.

The before rehabilitation study are rather actual in conditions of Kyrgyzstan, where tens of industrial platforms on which one was effected mining and waste-handling of uranium ores are subjected to rehabilitation.

The purpose of the present project, alongside with elaboration of some aspects of the methodology of before rehabilitation studies, is the study of tendencies of real temporal variations of basic ecologically important indexes of environment (including the before investigated one), characterized a directivity of physical and chemical processes in a system “uranium production – an environment” on territories adjoining to uranium production, for estimation of possible ecological consequences of called processes hereafter; development on the indicated basis of recommendations on rehabilitation of the object.

The carrying out of the project is envisioned at Kara-Balty Mining combine in Kyrgyzstan.

The carrying out of the project will promote a solution of a large problem – after treatment of territories of Kyrgyz Republic, on which one were disposed the plants on mining and waste-handling of uranium ores. The obtained during elaboration of the project methodical and other results will be utilized for fulfillment of indicated works on other similar objects. The fulfillment of the project will promote a training of personnel for implementation of before rehabilitation and rehabilitation operations, interchanging by expertise with other collectives, including foreign organizations, first of all collaborators of the project.

The main participants of the project are competent in problems of estimation of radioactive and other hazard of the plants of uranium production for an environment, are familiar with methods and instruments for conducting studies under the design, methods of interpretation of experimental results, including with applying of computer equipment.

At realization of the project the following basic results are expected.

– Installation of dimensional movement of outlines of a zone of intensive contamination of underground waters by tailing of KMC and variations of its sizes within the limits of inhabited array of Kara-Balty town and zone of discharge of underground waters.


– Eliciting of directivity of temporal variations of basic ecological indexes of underground waters in zones of forming of contamination, transit and discharging of the contaminated underground waters.
– Evaluation of scales of influence of affinage gold production at KMC to ecological situation within limits of Kara-Balty area..
– Installation of the basic regularities of transference of technogenic aerosols from a surface of tailing to adjoining to it territories and estimation of their ecological hazard.
– Regularities of a spatial distribution of radon, generated by tailing on adjoining to it territories in ground atmospheric slice of troposphere, estimation of its ecological hazard.
– Estimation of comparative toxicity of aerosols of tailing and outbursts of HPS of KMC.
– Eliciting of regularities of variation of the contents of the basic toxic ingredients depending on stratification depth of matter of tailing.
– Mathematical model of physical processes of a wind erosion of a surface of tailing.
– The mathematical geo-migratory pattern of process of carrying of contamination of tailing in underground waters taking in account a sorption migration in multicomponent solutions through the foundation of tailing.
– Creation of a WEB-node in INTERNET with the information of ecological situation in region of Kara-Balty town.
– Development of recommendations for consequent operations on rehabilitation of territory of industrial complex of KMC.

The operational use of the enumerated results is explained above.

It will be carried out, both in a course of before rehabilitation studies, and at opening-up of rehabilitation of all objects, where the uranium plants of Kyrgyzstan were located in the past.

The bulk of activity under the project is characterized by a solution of following primal problems.

– Study of fund and published materials on theme of the project.


– Expeditional works.
– Study of the tendencies of temporal variations of the contents of basic ecologically important ingredients in underground waters of a zone of their contamination by tailing for different areas of their circulation.
– Monitoring of movement of outlines of a polluted zone of underground waters within the limits of an inhabited massif and adjoining territories.
– Creation and introducing in operating condition of g-spectrometric complexes on the basis of scintillation and semi-conducting detectors of g-radiation.
– Study of variations of concentration of the basic toxic ingredients in matter of tailing depending on depth of its burial.
– Opening-up and comprehensive analysis of samples in laboratory conditions.
– Development and perfecting of experimental methods of study of transference of technical aerosols from a surface of tailing to adjoining territories.
– Experimental analysis of carrying of aerosols from a surface of tailing to adjoining territories of sanitary – protective and inhabited zones.
– Comparative analysis of toxicity of aerosols of tailing and outbursts of heat power station of KMC.
– Estimation of influencing of affinage production of gold to an ecological situation within limits of industrial complex of KMC and adjoining territories.
– Mathematical modeling of physical processes of a wind erosion of a surface of tailing.
– Creation of the geo-migratory pattern of process of carrying of contamination in underground waters taking in account a sorption pattern of migration of uranium in multicomponent solutions through a foundation of tailing.
– Progressing and replenishment of the database, intended for stowage and processing of information and results of three-dimensional mathematical modeling. Creation of Web-node in INTERNET web with the information on an ecological situation in regions of Kara-Balty Mining combine.
– Study of the contents of radon in a ground stratum of a troposphere above tailing, territories of sanitary-protective and inhabited zones.
– Monitoring of radon on a surface of tailing and adjoining territories with the help of automatic devices.
– Development of recommendations for consequent operations on rehabilitation of investigated territory.
– Opening-up of the quarter, annual and total reports.

The role of foreign collaborators during implementation of project is rather great, as they are engaged in problems of an after treatment of territories of former uranium plants, as in scientific, and practical plan.

The institutes – performers of the project during a realization of the project will exchange by information and consultations between collaborators. For this purpose the quarter and annual reports will be sent to foreign collaborators by e-mail, in this connection they have a possibility to comment on these reports and to send their comments to ISTC.

In case of need, for conducting of studies the separate instruments can be used jointly with collaborators and conducting of arbitration measurements of separate samples, taken on investigated objects can be done jointly too, i.e. can be carried out the inspections of obtained results and also the tests equipment and instruments, which one are possessed by entities – performers of the project and entities – collaborators of the project.

The collaborators can take part in an engineering inspection of activity under the project, which one is executed by the employees of ISTC.

The role of collaborators is great in rendering of assistance and granting of material support to the participants of the project for visit of international conferences and seminars.

In case of need the organizations-performers and organizations-collaborators will conduct the joint Symposiums and seminars.

For the performers of the project the visits by collaborators of places of carrying out of the project, and also the trips of the performers of the project to entities – collaborators would be valuable.

The technical approaches and methodology.

To new problems explained in the project correspond new methodical approaches to their solution.

– The temporal variations of the content of basic ecologically important ingredients in underground waters will be differentiated to be studied for areas of forming, transit and discharging of contaminated by tailing waters with magnification of frequency of collection of samples and their analyses. Confrontation of results, obtained for different areas of circulation of the contaminated underground waters will allow more definitely to install regularities of decontamination of area of forming of polluted waters, if a such process really takes place, and of movement of contamination to area of discharge of indicated waters.

– The same process in essence will be monitored by monitoring of movement of outlines of zone of contamination of underground waters and variation of its sizes. In a complex with the first one it will allow experimentally to reveal refining of contaminated underground waters, circulating under an inhabited massif and other important areas.

– Study of transference of technogenic aerosols from surface of tailing to contiguous to it territory will be realized by utilization, after adaptation for the purposes of the project of two mutually complementing aspirating and sedimentation methods, that will allow to receive objective ecological estimations of the indicated process.

– For estimation of the contribution of contamination by technogenic aerosols on territories, surrounding the uranium industrial complex, the methodological approach, permitting to take into account two competitive processes – contamination by tailing and contamination by outbursts of heat power station of combine, will be utilized for the first time.

– For an estimation of scales of migration of toxic ingredients in matter of tailing the wells will be drilled in it with consequent analyses of matter of cores, that will allow to receive initial data (gradients of concentration) for mathematical modeling of toxins transference from tailing. The analysis of samples of cores also will allow to learn allocation of toxins in protective layer of tailing and to determine “coefficient of transparency” of the last one for each of the learnt toxins.

– The mathematical modeling of studied processes will allow:

– irrespective of experimental data additionally to receive an estimation of scales of a wind erosion of a surface of tailing;
– to construct the mathematical geo-migratory pattern of transference of contamination in underground waters taking in account a sorption model of migration of uranium in multicomponent solution through foundation of tailing;


– For mapping of underground currents the phenomenon of natural separation of 234U and 238U will be utilized, as a result of which in natural waters practically always is considered an access of a-activity of 234U on a ratio to 238U (ratio of activities 234U/238U>1).

– The same effect will be applied for definition in underground waters of a polluted zone of shares of technogenic and natural uranium.

– Will be created Web-node in INTERNET web with information about ecological situation in areas, adjoining to industrial objects of Kara-Balty Mining combine.

For analytical operations, including physical measurements, will be utilized enough tested and reliable methods and instruments.

The exit of uranium – element at all chemical operations will be monitored with the help of synthetic isotope of 232U.

The analysis of propagation of radon in a ground atmospheric slice will be held in two stages. At the first stage the radon survey of a surface of tailing and adjoining territories will be done. At the second stage in selected posts of industrial platform and inhabited zone will be installed the systems for continuous monitoring of radon, and will be studied correlation between radon, seasonal precipitation and variation of dust concentrations.

The measurements of radon will be tracked by measurements of g-radioactivity of soil stratum, that will allow to discard radon anomalies, connected to heightened content of 226Ra in soils.

The contents and isotope composition of uranium in natural waters and technogenic solutions will be analyzed on ionization a-spectrometers after separation of uranium - member from objects of study and of its clearing by radiochemical methods.

Radium after its separation from objects of study, will be determined on 222Rn by using for counting of a-particles of scintillation cameras.

Full-scale measurements of g-radioactivity of earth surfaces and of surface of tailing will be executed with the help of field parameters.

Contents of g-radiating isotopes immediately on tailing and adjoining territories will be determined with help of g-spectrometers with scintillation and semi-conducted detectors.

For this purpose is planned the acquisition of mobile г-spectrometer, included spectrometric detectors (semi-conducted and scintillation), pulse analyzer on the basis of personal computer and program of handling of g-spectra. These operations one plan to conduct in two stages: a qualitative analysis – immediately on objects of study; quantitative analysis – in laboratory conditions.

For definition of the contents of heavy metals and arsenic in soils, natural waters and technogenic solutions, the high-sensitive method of atomic spectroscopy will be utilized on the basis of a plasma excitation source of spectra.

The data interpretation will be executed with usage of personal computers and applicable programs.


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