Nuclear News

Actions required by the Nuclear Regulator

Written by  Monday, 25 October 2010 09:18
Rate this item
(0 votes)

The FSE has presented a proposal of recommended actions by the National Nuclear Regulator to deal with health risks and environmental hazards in the Witwatersrand Goldfields.

 

And extract follows, and the full document may be downloaded here.

Key gaps have been identified in research, including a detailed risk assessment looking at the impacts of radioactivity and heavy metals on the environment and the human population, well supported with toxicological and epidemiological studies.

The gold ores of the Witwatersrand contain appreciable concentrations of uranium and its radioactive progeny. Mining has resulted in the dispersal of radioactive material into the environment via windblown dust, waterborne sediment and the sorption and precipitation of radioactivity from water into sediment bodies.  The use of contaminated material and mine residues in construction has also been identified as a means of dispersal of radioactive material into the environment. Contaminated areas have been identified and the need for comprehensive monitoring and study as well as epidemiological studies in affected communities are recommended.

Pollution related to Witwatersrand mines poses a number of hazards to surrounding communities.  The major primary pathways by which contamination can enter the environment from a mine site are the airborne pathway, where radon gas and windblown dust disperse outwards from the sites, the waterborne pathway either via ground or surface water or due to direct access, where people are contaminated, or externally irradiated after unauthorized entry to a mine site, by living in settlements directly adjacent to mines or in some cases, living in settlements on the contaminated footprints of abandoned mines.

The most important lesson learnt from the studies in the Wonderfonteinspruit is that no short-cuts exist which would allow certain pathways to be ignored in a study of radioactive contamination within these mining areas.

MINING

It’s all about the money

The hazardous mining by-product raises two questions – who’s to blame and who should pay. The acid mine drainage crisis is going to cost someone a lot of money, but probably not the people who caused it. The “polluter pays” principle was next to impossible to apply to the acid mine drainage problem in a retrospective way, said Marius Keet, chief director for mine water management at the department of water and sanitation.

Down in the dumps, there's hope

"WHERE there's waste, there's opportunity," said mining hydrologist Kym Morton, ...

Fokus reports on Coal Mine east of Springs

SABC's Fokus of 23 July 2017 addresses the planned Palmietkuilen coal mine east ...

SA NEWS

Addressing waste and pollution of the past

The Federation for a Sustainable Environment is proud to announce the launch of the booklet titled “Rehabilitation of Mine Contaminated Eco-Systems. A Contribution to a Just Transition to a Low Carbon Economy to Combat Unemployment and Climate Change” by Mariette Liefferink of the Federation for a Sustainable Environment (FSE). The booklet was commissioned by the Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) in collaboration with the Friedrick Ebert Stiftung.

Nuwe myn ‘sal duisende hul huise kos’

Byna 10 000 mense sal verskuif moet word as Anglo Operations Ltd en Canyon Coal hul sin kry om ’n massiewe oopgroefsteenkoolmyn oos van Springs te begin.

SA coal mines leave legacy of ruin

Johannesburg - A 19-month data investigation of mine closures indicates that since at least 2011 no large coal mines operating in South Africa have been granted closure.

Besoedelingklagte: Mynbase daag nie by hof op

Drie direkteure van die Blyvooruitzicht- en Village Main Reef-goudmyn buite ­Carletonville kan ’n boete van tot R10 miljoen of tien jaar tronkstraf opgelê word weens die beweerde besoedeling en agteruitgang van die omgewing.

WATER

Coalition defending Mpumalanga water source area

Last week, the coalition of eight civil society and community organisations that has been resisting the proposed coal mine inside a protected area and strategic water source area in Mpumalanga launched further proceedings in the Pretoria High Court.

Project to heal polluted river . System will·create stream·of jobs

THE POTENTIAL to create 100 climate jobs and to help : bring a "dead river syste...

'Mine Water can be treated, safe'

SOUTH Africans have to "change their mindsets" that they can't drink acid mine d...