Friday, 06 November 2015 01:43

Hazards of Uranium

Uranium mining and processing poses a tremendous threat to workers and the population in the surrounding areas through the release of radiation and exposure to heavy metals and chemicals.

Published in RESEARCH

Uranium has been considered both a radiological and also a heavy metal poison, following calcium in its distribution within the body, i.e. building up in bone, and with the principle target for toxicity being the lung and the kidney. Recently, it has been shown that uranium also targets the brain.

Published in RESEARCH

Johannesburg sits atop the world's most productive gold reef -- a staggering 40,000 tons of the precious metal has been mined from it during a history tracing back 130 years. That legacy of riches has left behind a toxic inheritance: radioactivity from uranium hauled up in the mining process.
Scientists have found uranium quantities in rivers west of the city to be as much as 4,000 times natural levels and in tap water as much as 20 times higher. A soil sample taken by Bloomberg News and tested by government-certified WaterLab Ltd. from pumpkin roots grown a little more than a mile from a recently closed gold mine contained five times more uranium than background levels considered normal by the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Published in MINING
Wednesday, 28 September 2011 06:23

Mitigation measures at Uranium Mines

Uranium mining operations have high impacts on environment and society, and can lead to deterioration of health of workers and communities. Uranium mining activities are increasing in Africa, where mining is not always strictly regulated and controlled. Mitigation of negative impacts from uranium mines by national governments and international mining companies can have a positive effect on society and environment.
An assessment of the mitigation measures is addressed in the report "Uranium from Africa" by World Information Service on Energy (WISE) and Stichting Onderzoek Multinationale Ondernemingen (SOMO)


Centre for Research on Multinational Corporations.

 

The report assesses what mitigation measures governments and industry are taking in Namibia, South Africa, and the Central African Republic. Practices are compared with Canada and Australia, where regulation is more strict.

"It is surprising that South Africa has no specialised institutions which have adequate knowledge on the impacts of (uranium) mining operations and can monitor, educate, and advise on all mining-related health and environmental issues".

EXTRACTS from the report are contained in this article. The FULL REPORT is available to download.

Published in RESEARCH
Monday, 26 April 2010 15:16

Reprocessing tailings

The reprocessing of tailings by Rand Uranium is an important step forward in rehabilitation of an environment that has been badly scarred by earlier mining activities.

Published in COMMENT
Saturday, 10 April 2010 09:48

Hazards of Uranium

Uranium mining and processing poses a tremendous threat to workers and the population in the surrounding areas through the release of radiation and exposure to heavy metals and chemicals.

Published in NUCLEAR

Uranium has been considered both a radiological and also a heavy metal poison, following calcium in its distribution within the body, i.e. building up in bone, and with the principle target for toxicity being the lung and the kidney. Recently, it has been shown that uranium also targets the brain.

Published in NUCLEAR
Monday, 16 March 2009 06:20

Uranium in the Karoo: what it may mean

The social and environmental costs associated with uranium mining are difficult to predict and regulate. By the time environmental and socio-economic consequences become noticeable, the mines have typically closed, changed ownership or become insolvent and thus cannot be compelled anymore to contribute to the remediation, either financially or through other actions. The trust funds are often substantially inadequate to address environmental impacts.

Published in COMMENT
Monday, 16 March 2009 05:54

Submission: PBMR Fuel Plant

Poor institutional control of radioactive waste for the last one hundred years now poses a threat to communities and the natural environment.

Published in COMMENT
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 01:43

'Move campus or see you in court'

The management and lecturers of the Central Johannesburg College are likely to face off in court over the bosses' refusal to relocate a campus from the Crown Mines area.

Published in SA NEWS
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MINING

Tours of West Rand gold fields

The FSE conducts regular tours with interested and affected parties, of the West Rand gold fields and Sibanye Gold’s operations. 

Mine Shafts: Accidents waiting to happen

  Eighty-two shafts without warning signs.  Twenty-two open shafts.  Three wate...

Residents left in the dark over AMD treatment

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has been accused of “authorising po...

SA NEWS

LLM/MPhil in Environmental Law Programme launched

  The Department of Public Law at the University of Pretoria hosted a launch of its LLM and MPhil programmes in Environmental Law, coordinated by Ms Melanie Murcott, Senior Lecturer, Environmental and Administrative Law, in February 2017.

Water Show

The FSE will be presenting at a keynote panel discussion at "The Water Show Africa" on the 29th of March.

Lauded for research on SA acid mine drainage

The launch of Acid mine drainage in South Africa: Development actors, policy impacts and broader implications, by Suvania Naidoo, took place on 10 February 2017. The book has proven to be a timely publication because of the incipient water crisis in South Africa. The event was hosted by Unisa’s Department of Development Studies in the College of Human Sciences. The guests were welcomed by the chair of the department, Prof Gretchen du Plessis, who expressed that “development studies is an ever-changing discipline and is a space where different issues converge”. She further stated that the book fills a void in our knowledge about acid mine drainage (AMD) and that the publication is “an example of hard work which results in big achievements”.

Truth of the dust that brings death

  A new hard-hitting report from Harvard Law School details how South Africa has failed to meet its human rights obligations concerning gold mining in and around Joburg. Bonnie Docherty, who led the research, spoke to Sheree Bega

WATER

Eastern Basin acid water plant is "sledgehammer"

The Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) has used a "sledgehammer" for its R1bn treatment plant for acid mine drainage (AMD) on the Eastern mining basin that could ultimately create more toxic water.  This is the view of water strategy and consulting mining hydrologist Kym Morton, who believes government is "wasting money" by pumping large volumes of water and adding lime that makes it alkaline but still toxic and hazardous. 

SABC Health Talk, Environmental Health: 25 February 2017

Focus on preventing illness rather than incurring the expense of treatment....

Rand Water tightens the taps in Gauteng

In the Midvaal suburb where Sipho Mosai lives, the gardens are lush and green be...