Mailii Su - Picture series

Picture 9

Picture showing tails dump #7


Tailings dump #7 is one of the biggest in volume. The picture shows the vegetaded clay cover of the dump, which is used for grazing cattle. This dump, like most of the others ones too, is from three sides surrounded by natural mountains. Only one side is an engineered dam.
A seepage water collection was installed to collect surface water from the mountains (see the two towers on the far end towards the mountains) as well as water from underneath the clay cover, but the piping was blocked by settling medium grained material and the pipes corroded from the salt-rich and corrosive seepage. So the seepage collection is no longer effective and surface water intrudes the dumped material. Hence seepage water is to be expected in the groundwater underneath the tailings, flowing towards the river and transporting soluble radionuclides.
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© 1997 by Gerhard Schmidt, Heppenheim/Germany

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