Effects of the Ranger Uranium Mine on Surrounding Ecosystems  Robert Meile
Ranger Uranium Mine, Australia <ul><li>Located in the Alligator Rivers Region of northern Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>Sur...
Supervising Scientist Division <ul><li>An independent supervisory group of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region. ...
From van Dam et al. 2002
From Jones and Webb (2010).
From theangle.org, “Stringent Water Monitoring Needed at Uranium Mine: Greens” 19/9/2010.
Radon Exposure <ul><li>Radon is a product of the radioactive decay of uranium. </li></ul><ul><li>Inhalation of radon dust ...
Sources of Water Contamination <ul><li>Erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Retention ponds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seepage </li></ul><...
From van Dam et al. 2002
Organisms Threatened <ul><li>In the Kakadu National Park, 33 species of fauna are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or cri...
Indicators of Impact <ul><li>Several species used as early warnings of contamination: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lemna aequinoc...
Incidents <ul><li>During the  1999-2000 wet season, contaminated tailings water leaked into the environment. </li></ul><ul...
From Jones and Webb (2010).
Sources <ul><li>Anderson, A. N., Fisher, A., Hoffmann, B. D., Read, J. L., and Richards, R. (2004). Use of terrestrial inv...
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The ranger uranium mine

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The ranger uranium mine

  1. 1. Effects of the Ranger Uranium Mine on Surrounding Ecosystems Robert Meile
  2. 2. Ranger Uranium Mine, Australia <ul><li>Located in the Alligator Rivers Region of northern Australia. </li></ul><ul><li>Surrounded by Kakadu National Park. </li></ul><ul><li>Discovered in 1969, established in 1980. </li></ul><ul><li>Second largest uranium mine in the world. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>In 2009, 5,240 tons of uranium mined. </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Supervising Scientist Division <ul><li>An independent supervisory group of uranium mining in the Alligator Rivers Region. </li></ul><ul><li>Has conducted research on the environmental and ecological impact of the Ranger mine. </li></ul>
  4. 4. From van Dam et al. 2002
  5. 5. From Jones and Webb (2010).
  6. 6. From theangle.org, “Stringent Water Monitoring Needed at Uranium Mine: Greens” 19/9/2010.
  7. 7. Radon Exposure <ul><li>Radon is a product of the radioactive decay of uranium. </li></ul><ul><li>Inhalation of radon dust is associated with lung cancer. </li></ul><ul><li>Sources of radon include the mining pits, ore stockpiles, processing mills, waste rock, and tailings. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sources of Water Contamination <ul><li>Erosion </li></ul><ul><li>Retention ponds </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Seepage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Controlled releases </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Tailings </li></ul>
  9. 9. From van Dam et al. 2002
  10. 10. Organisms Threatened <ul><li>In the Kakadu National Park, 33 species of fauna are listed as vulnerable, endangered, or critically endangered. </li></ul><ul><li>In the areas surrounding Magela Creek alone, 17 species are listed as vulnerable. </li></ul><ul><li>Many other species are endemic to the Alligator Rivers Region. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Indicators of Impact <ul><li>Several species used as early warnings of contamination: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Lemna aequinoctialis (duckweed) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Amerianna cumingii , (freshwater snail) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Melanotaenia nigrans , (black-striped rainbowfish) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ants </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Incidents <ul><li>During the 1999-2000 wet season, contaminated tailings water leaked into the environment. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Comparisons of upstream and downstream water quality showed no discernable effects from the leak. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Threats of flooding in 2007—unintentional overflow of retention pond water possible. Controlled release was considered; unnecessary. </li></ul><ul><li>Sulphate contamination in April 2010. </li></ul>
  13. 13. From Jones and Webb (2010).
  14. 14. Sources <ul><li>Anderson, A. N., Fisher, A., Hoffmann, B. D., Read, J. L., and Richards, R. (2004). Use of terrestrial invertebrates for biodiversity monitoring in Australian rangelands, with particular reference to ants. Austral Ecology 29, 87-92. </li></ul><ul><li>Bowden, R. (2010, September 19). Stringent Water Monitoring Needed at Uranium Mine: Greens. theangle.org . Retrieved September 18, 2010, from http://theangle.org/2010/05/27/stringent-water-monitoring-needed-at-uranium-mine-greens/ </li></ul><ul><li>Department of Sustainability, Environment, Water, Population and Communities. (2010, September 16). Kakadu National Park: Fauna. Retrieved September 18, 2010, from http://www.environment.gov.au/parks/kakadu/nature-science/fauna.html </li></ul><ul><li>Industry Projects: Ranger Uranium Mine, Australia. (2010). Mining Technology . Retrieved September 25, 2010, from http://www.mining-technology.com/projects/rangeruraniummine/ </li></ul><ul><li>Jones, D. R. and Webb, A. (Eds.) (2010). eriss research summary 2008–2009 . Supervising Scientist Report 201, Supervising Scientist, Darwin NT. </li></ul><ul><li>Mudd, G. M. (2008). Radon releases from Australian uranium mining and milling projects: assessing the UNSCEAR approach. Journal of Environmental Radioactivity 99, 288-315. </li></ul><ul><li>van Dam, R. A., Humphrey, C. L., and Martin, P. (2002). Mining in the Alligator Rivers Region, northern Australia: Assessing potential and actual effects on ecosystem and human health. Toxicology181-182, 505-515. </li></ul>
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