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Decommissioning of old uranium ore extraction and treatment installations

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ISSN 1018-5593
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European Commission
nuclear science
and technology
Decommissioning of old uranium ore
extraction and treatment installations European Commission
nuclear science
and technology
Decommissioning of old uranium ore
extraction and treatment installations
by
J. P. Hébert, J. L. Daroussin, P. Michel, Ch. Perih
Cogema
Rue Paul-Dautier 2
F-78141 Vélizy-Villacoublay
F. Lozano Martinez, A. Lopez Romero
Enusa
Calle Santiago Rusinol 12
E-28040 Madrid
J. Fietz, L. Langer, Α. Kahn, V. Litvin, H. Nitsche
Research centre Rossendorf (FZR)
POB 510119
D-01314 Dresden
Contract No FI2D/CT93/0083
Final report
This work has been performed in the framework of the European Atomic Energy Community's
research programme on the decommissioning of nuclear installations (1989-93),
Section C: 'Studies'
Directorate-General
Science, Research and Development
1996 EUR 16885 EN LEGAL NOTICE
Neither the European Commission nor any person acting on
behalf of the Commission is responsible for the use which might be made of the
following information
Cataloguing data can be found at the end of this publication
Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, 1996
ISBN 92-827-6823-6
© ECSC-EC-EAEC, Brussels · Luxembourg, 1996
Reproduction is authorized, except for commercial purposes, provided the source is acknowledged
Printed in Luxembourg SUMMARY
After the final shutdown of an ore extraction and treatment installation, site remediation for the
facilities, soil, air water demands the consideration of the possible consequences arising from the
presence of natural radionuclides, of any associated heavy metals and of water with various chemical
properties.
This study aims at examining the main methods for reducing pollution to meet regulatory clearance
levels, and to assess the advantage of new R&D, in order to improve the existing health situation by
an economically reasonable optimization, based on experience gained throughout the world, in the
EU and in the Eastern countries.
The first section of this report describes the problems raised by the final shutdown of ore extraction
and treatment installations.
It is important to identify clearly the facilities used and the site remediation operations necessary in
the uranium extraction industry, in order to examine the origin and respective scale of the potential
types of pollution concerned.
To this purpose, the following items have been investigated:
general characterization of the installations and their sites,
importance of the question and the nature of the problems posed,
general regulatory requirements: the main texts to be considered are international
recommendations, European directives, national regulations.
The operational implementation of methods and progress for site remediation are discussed in the
second section.
The primary objective of site remediation is the hazard-free return to the public domain of the
maximum area used during industrial activity. Since total restoration is not always possible, the
objective must be to obtain maximum safety through the implementation of certain measures.
Although these measures may initially be curative, they are above all preventive and optimally
effective for the protection of the human and natural environment, while facilitating landscape
integration. The study presents an approach in terms of risk, and examines the various inspections
required before and after remediation, necessary for drawing up the measures adopted. It covers:
a) installation decommissioning and dismantling,
b) site remediation: curative and preventive measures,
c) surveillance of restored sites.
The last section is devoted to problems identified requiring future research and development.
The remediation of uranium ore extraction and treatment sites still raises a number of questions, for
which further investigations are obviously necessary. The study clarifies the main R&D orientation,
in line with priorities and in view of the problems raised, in technical and economic terms.
Ill TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. PROBLEMS RAISED BY THE FINAL SHUTDOWN OF URANIUM ORE
EXTRACTION AND PROCESSING INSTALLATIONS 1
1.1. General Characterisation of Extraction Processing and Storage Sites 5
1.1.1. Introduction 5
1.1.2. Mining and processing
1.1.2.1. Ore extraction
1.1.2.2. Ore processing 11
1.1.2.3. Refining and Conversion9
1.1.3. Type of waste and disposal
1.1.3.1. Origin and characterisation of residues
1.1.3.2. Alternatives for disposal of tailings 24
1.2. Review of Installations: Individual Data Sheets
1.2.1. Introduction 2
1.2.2. Current condition of sites in France 31
1.2.2.1. Review of various sites in France (see Fig. 16)
1.2.2.2. Production mass balance of various sites (in 1993) 44
1.2.3. Current condition of sites in Spain 45
1.2.3.1. Production mass balance of various sites (in 1993) 50
1.2.4. Current condition of sites in Germany (former GDR) Uranium ore
mining by Wismut GmbH 51
1.2.5. Miscellaneous in Europe 7
1.2.5.1. Review of various sites in Bulgaria 72
1.2.5.2.w ofs sites in Czech Republic 86
1.2.5.3. Review of one site in Estonia 99
1.2.5.4.w of one site in Hungary 10
1.2.5.5. Review of various sites in Kazakhstan5
1.2.5.6.w ofs sites inKyrgyzstan 11
1.2.5.7 Review of one site in Poland 121
1.2.5.8.w of various sites in Romania4
1.2.5.9. Review ofs sites in Russian Federation 130
1.2.5.10. Review of one site in Slovenia 137
1.2.5.11.Review of various sites in Tajikistan 14
1.2.5.12.Review ofs sites in Ukraine
1.2.5.13.Review of various sites in Uzbekistan 15
V 1.3. General legal and regulatory requirements 159
1.3.1. Introduction 15
1.3.2.FRANCE - national regulations
1.3.2.1. General legislation applicable to waste
1.3.2.2l regulations for the extraction industries 161
1.3.2.3. Regulations on installations classified for the protection of the
environment 165
1.3.3. SPAIN-national regulations6
1.3.3.1. Specific legislation for radioactive installations 16
1.3.3.2. Generaln8
1.3.4. General legal and regulatory in GERMANY and EASTERN EUROPE 170
1.3.4.1. GERMANY 170
1.3.4.2. USSR/RUSSIA4
1.3.4.3. BULGARIA5
1.3.4.4. CZECH REPUBLIC
1.3.4.5. HUNGARIA6
1.3.4.6. ROMANIA.... .· 17
1.3.4.7. SLOVENIA
1.3.5. European Union Regulations (EURATOM) 177
1.3.5.1. Radiological Protection
1.3.5.2. Residues Evacuati on
1.3.5.3. Environment 17
1.3.6. Recommendations and principles by international agencies (organisms) 178
1.3.6.1. International Commission for Radiological Protection (ICRP) 178
1.3.6.2. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 17
1.3.6.3. OCDE's Nuclear Energy Agency (ΝΕΑ)9
1.3.6.4. World Health Organization (WHO)
1.3.7. Uniformity of Regulations
1.3.8. Intervention principle 180
2. OPERATIONAL IMPLEMENTATION OF METHODS AND PROCESSES
FOR SITE REMEDIATION3
2.1. Installations decommissioning and dismantling 187
2.1.1. Introduction 18
2.1.2. Dismantling the installations
2.1.2.1. Dismantling the mining installations
2.1.2.2.g the processings
2.1.2.3. Dismantling the ISL installations8
VI 2.1.3 Managing wastes from dismantling 188
2.1.3.1. Products ofg
2.1.3.2. Solid waste from decommissioning9
2.1.3.3. Liquid waste fromg 190
2.2. Site remediation: curative and preventive measures1
2.2.1. Introduction 19
2.2.2. Appraisal of the current situation2
2.2.2.1. Properties of tailings
2.2.2.2. Types of hazards from tailings disposal and site extraction
(general)7
2.2.2.3. Description of hazards according to the state of operation on
site 200
2.2.3. Objectives and methodology of remediation 201
2.2.3.1. Objectives
2.2.3.2. Long-term stability2
2.2.3.3. Criteria inventory3
2.2.3.4. Stabilisation and remediation of the disposal4
2.2.4. Safe remediation of former mining operations9
2.2.4.1. Safety of underground mining 20
2.2.4.2. Safety of open-pit mining 21
2.2.4.3. Specific safety of ISL1
2.2.5. Present situation in various countries2
2.2.5.1. France
2.2.5.2. Spain 215
2.2.5.3. Germany 22
2.2.5.4. Former Eastern-Countries 23
2.2.5.5. CIS Countries 2243
2.3. Supervision of remediated sites 259
2.3.1. Introduction
2.3.2.Radiological monitoring 260
2.3.2.1. Radioactivity source terms1
2.3.2.2. Risk exposure
2.3.2.3. Exposure and transfer paths2
2.3.3. Objectives of the monitoring network4
2.3.3.1. Determination of the background exposure 26
2.3.3.2. Site monitoring & measurement frequency5
VII 2.3.3.3. Measuring the exposures 265
2.3.3.4. Calculating the dose received by the critical group in France
and in Spain6
2.3.4. Assessment of future hazards 271
2.3.5. Monitoring the water quality
2.3.6.Monitoring the mechanical structure
2.3.6.1. Superstructures
2.3.6.2. Dykes
3. PROBLEMS IDENTIFIED REQUIRING FUTURE RESEARCH AND
DEVELOPMENT 273
3.1. Context of the R & D5
3.1.1. Introduction
3.1.2.0ptimisating the solutions
3.1.3.The question in eastern countries and east Germany 276
3.1.4.R & D lines to follow
3.2. Characterising the pollution sources and their development through time.... 277
3.3. Site remediation processes and methods 279
3.4. Monitoring of remediated sites 283
3.5. An example for specific problem-orientated research 285
3.6. Compilation of a bank of reference cases 291
3.6.1. R&D Institutions in the field of uranium mining
3.6.1.1. FRANCE 29
3.6.1.2. SPAIN2
3.6.1.3. GERMANY
3.6.1.4. CIS AND FORMER EASTERN COUNTRIES 294
3.7. Bibliography7
VIM