Uranium Mining in Virginia: Scientific, Technical, Environmental, Human Health and Safety, and Regulatory Aspects

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Uranium Mining in Virginia: Scientific, Technical, Environmental, Human Health and Safety, and Regulatory Aspects of Uranium Mining and Processing in Virginia Committee on Uranium Mining in Virginia; Committee on Earth Resources; National Research Council NAS Press | 2011 | ISBN: 0309220874 9780309220873 | 301 pages | PDF | 13 MB This issue examines the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling, and processing as they relate to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of assisting the Commonwealth to determine whether uranium mining, milling, and processing can be undertaken in a manner that safeguards the environment, natural and historic resources, agricultural lands, and the health and well-being of its citizens. Uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia has been prohibited since 1982 by a state moratorium, although approval for restricted uranium exploration in the state was granted in 2007 According to this report, if Virginia lifts its moratorium, there are "steep hurdles to be surmounted" before mining and processing could take place within a regulatory setting that appropriately protects workers, the public, and the environment, especially given that the state has no experience regulating mining and processing of the radioactive element. CONTENTS SUMMARY NON-TECHNICAL SUMMARY INTRODUCTION Study Background Committee Process Report Scope and Structure 2 VIRGINIA PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL CONTEXT Geology and Geography of Virginia Environmental and Climatic Characteristics Social Characteristics Findings and Key Concepts 3 URANIUM OCCURRENCES, RESOURCES, AND MARKETS Worldwide Occurrences of Uranium Virginia Occurrences and Prospectivity Status Uranium Resources, Reserves, and Markets Findings and Key Concepts 4 URANIUM MINING, PROCESSING, AND RECLAMATION Uranium Mining Methods Uranium Processing Methods Water Treatment Tailings Disposal Reclamation and Closure Findings and Key Concepts 5 POTENTIAL HUMAN HEALTH EFFECTS OF URANIUM MINING, PROCESSING, AND RECLAMATION Radionuclide-Related Health Hazards Radon Health Hazards Uranium Health Hazards Radium Health Hazards Principal Uranium Mining and Processing Exposures other than Radionuclides Miscellaneous Health Impacts Findings and Key Concepts 6 POTENTIAL ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS OF URANIUM MINING, PROCESSING, AND RECLAMATION Environmental Exposure Pathways Surface Water Effects Groundwater Effects Soil Effects Air Effects Ecological Effects Environmental Monitoring Findings and Key Concepts 7 REGULATION AND OVERSIGHT OF URANIUM MINING, PROCESSING, RECLAMATION, AND LONG-TERM STEWARDSHIP Federal Laws, Regulations, and Policies State Agencies, Laws, Regulations, and Policies Public Participation in the Regulation of Uranium Mining, Processing, and Reclamation Findings and Key Concepts 8 BEST PRACTICES Overarching Best Practice Principles Specific Best Practices Overarching Conclusion REFERENCES GLOSSARY APPENDIXES A Study Request Letters B Committee Biographical Sketches C World Nuclear Association Basic Principles D IAEA Best Practice in Environmental Management of Uranium Mining E IRPA Guiding Principles for Radiation Protection Professionals on Stakeholder Engagement F Presentations to Committee G Acronyms and Abbreviations with TOC BookMarkLinks FSonic • | • T • | • DepositF

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