Preliminary environmental impact statement for the Kvanefjeld uranium mine

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    The sources of pollution from a proposed uranium mining and milling complex at Kvanefjeld in South Greenland have been evaluated. The environmental impact assessment was part of a pre-feasibility study. The main aims of this study have been to identify potential pollutants and critical pathways, to evaluate the environmental impact of technical alternatives, and to provide guide-lines for pre-operational environmental studies. The study has identified the open pit, waste dump and tailings impoundment as the most important sources of pollution. The mobility of non-radioactive elements was lower in the tailings than in the ore, whereas the reverse was true for the radioactive elements. The potential pollutants include: Be, F, V, Cr, Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Zn, As, Se, Rb, Nb, Zr, Mo, Cd, Sb, REE, Hg, Pb, Th, U, Ra-226, Pb-210 and Po-210. This list was based on abundance and mobility in the ore and tailings and general toxicity of the elements. Fluorine is the most mobile of the elements in both ore and tailings. The concentration in ore and tailings may be up to 1% and in combination with its high toxicity, F can then be regarded as the most serious pollutant.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationRoskilde, Denmark
    PublisherRisø National Laboratory
    Number of pages130
    ISBN (Print)87-550-1654-5
    Publication statusPublished - 1990


    • Risø-M-2875


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