Current Practices for the Management and Confinement of Uranium Mill Tailings

Technical Reports Series No. 335

Subject Classification: 0801-Uranium ore processing

English STI/DOC/010/335; (ISBN:92-0-101292-6); € 33.50; Date Published: 1992

The present report provides an updated and comprehensive overview of the subject and supersedes Technical Reports Series No. 209, Current Practices and Options for Confinement of Uranium Mill Tailings, published in 1981. The present worldwide production of uranium mill tailings exceeds 20 million tonnes annually. lt is therefore essential that the environmental and health risks from these materials are reduced to an acceptable level. This report highlights new technological developments in this field as well as operational and managerial experience arising from the application of these methods. Contents: 1. Introduction; 2. Scope; 3. Mining and milling uranium ores; 4. Factors in the management of uranium mill tailings; 5. Release of pollutants from uranium mill tailings to the human environment; 6. Environmental considerations in mill process selection; 7. Impoundment siting and design options; 8. Treatment of liquid effluents and monitoring; 9. Stabilization and rehabilitation of impoundments; 10. Application of radiological protection principles; 11. Assessing the long term safety of closeout options; 12. Summary and conclusions; References; Additional bibliographical references; Appendix I: An example of the use of mathematical models to assess the long term safety of mill tailings closeout options; Appendix II: Abbreviated checklist of considerations relevant to the design, construction and closeout of uranium mill tailings impoundments; Glossary.

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