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Regulatory Issues - Other Countries

(last updated 10 Jul 2014)

This page provides information on recently published rules or rules under development, covering the operation and decommissioning of uranium mines and mills and the management of uranium mine wastes and mill tailings.

Contents:

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CANADA


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USA   flag

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SOUTH AMERICA

Argentina · Brazil · Peru


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Argentina   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Argentine province of Córdoba passes law prohibiting open pit mining

In an unanimous vote, the single-chamber legislative assembly of Córdoba approved a law prohibiting all open-pit mining (including uranium mining) in the province. (Los Andes Sep. 25, 2008)

Calypso Uranium Corp. files claim to set aside anti-mining law in Mendoza Province

Calypso Uranium Corp. external link has filed a claim before the Argentine Supreme Court against Mendoza Law No. 7,722, containing a prohibition in regard to the use in mining activities of certain substances including cyanide, sulfuric acid and mercury.
Calypso is requesting the Court to declare Law No. 7,722 unconstitutional on the grounds that it is discriminatory, arbitrary, and violates the Company's rights to conduct a lawful business. The lawsuit also claims the law breaches the principle of separation of powers and the guaranty of fair and equitable treatment set forth in the Argentina-Canada Bilateral Investment Treaty.


Brazil   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

New Brazilian Mining Code

Brazil's New Mining Code Undergoing Final Revision - Minister: A new Brazilian mining code, designed to eliminate speculation and speed up development of new projects, including uranium mining, is undergoing final revision, the country's Mines and Energy Minister Edison Lobao said Friday (Mar. 4).
The text of the code is being revised by a ministry department and will be sent to the government's home office for approval before the end of the month, Lobao told reporters in Brasilia. After gaining government approval, the code will be voted on by the country's congress.
The new code proposes to reduce the length of time companies have to complete exploration of mineral deposits, to prevent companies sitting on deposits then selling development rights to third parties when market prices rise.
Lobao said the new code will have a specific clause regulating extraction of uranium. Currently the mineral, considered strategic, is extracted only by state-owned companies for security reasons. The idea is to speed up the production of uranium in the future to feed Brazil's growing nuclear power sector, which can now enrich uranium domestically. (Dow Jones Newswires Mar. 4, 2011)

Brazil rejects IAEA inspections of uranium processing plants and restrictions on sale of uranium

Brazil's minister of defense, Nelson Jobim, rejected IAEA inspections of uranium processing plants and restrictions on sale of uranium to third countries. The IAEA urges Brazil to sign an additional protocol that imposes controls on the commercialization of uranium and establishes inspection of the processing plants. (Los Andes Mar. 13, 2010)


Peru   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Peru drafting environmental guide for uranium exploration

The Peru-Canada mineral resources reform project (Percan) is working with the mines and energy ministry (MEM) external link to develop an environmental guide for uranium exploration, project director Anne Slivitzky told BNamericas.
Percan was started in 2003 with financial support from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and with technical assistance from a Canadian consortium that includes consulting firms Roche and Golder, as well as the association of community colleges of Canada. The project will finish this year. (Business News Americas Mar. 17, 2011)


EUROPE

General · Denmark · European Union · France · Finland · Germany · Greenland · Slovakia · Switzerland · Ukraine


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Europe, General

 

European Union   flag

European Union enhances cooperation with IAEA

> Download: New cooperation mechanism established between the EU and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) external link, Jan. 25, 2013 (PDF)

 

European Commission seeks views "where the existing Euratom nuclear safety legislative framework could be further reinforced"

The European Commission is currently assessing areas where the existing Euratom nuclear safety legislative framework could be further reinforced. This public consultation (from 21 December 2011 to 29 February 2012) seeks the views of stakeholders and other interested parties on the need for additional nuclear safety legislative measures at Euratom level.
> View Notice of Public Consultation external link

 

Council of the European Union adopts new statutes of the Euratom Supply Agency

Council Decision of 12 February 2008 establishing Statutes for the Euratom Supply Agency (2008/114/EC, Euratom) external link, Official Journal of the European Union, L 41, p.15-20, 15 Feb 2008

 

Russia demands EU to drop import quota for Russian uranium

Russia is demanding the European Union to drop its policy of importing not more than 25% of its uranium requirements from Russia. (RIA Novosti Nov. 19, 2007)

 

New Radiation Protection Standards in European Union

A new directive on basic standards for radiation protection of workers and the general public has been adopted by the European Union. The directive includes revised standards taking into account the 1991 ICRP recommendations. Although it is still to be implemented by EU member states, it is to take effect no later than May 2000. [UI News Briefing 96/20]

COUNCIL DIRECTIVE 96/29/EURATOM of 13 May 1996 laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionizing radiation, 114 p., JOL1996/159-2EN
> English text: View (no tables - 82k - EUR-LEX) external link · Download (TIF image) external link
> German text: View (no tables - EUR-LEX)external link · Download (incl. tables - 780k PDF - BMU) external link

> See also:
Communication from the Commission concerning the implementation of Council Directive 96/29/Euratom laying down basic safety standards for the protection of the health of the workers and the general public against the dangers arising from ionising radiation (98/C 133/03), Official Journal of the European Communities, C 133/3, April 30, 1998
Download full text (94k PDF) external link

See details on the revision of the the German Radiation Protection Regulations

> See also:
Practical Use of the Concepts of Clearance and Exemption external link:
Part I: Guidance on General Clearance Levels for Practices,
Part II: Application of the Concepts of Exemption and Clearance to Natural Radiation Sources,
Recommendations of the Group of Experts established under the terms of Article 31of the Euratom Treaty, Radiation protection 122, European Commission, Directorate-General Environment, 2000


Denmark   flag / Greenland   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Proposed change of mining law to abolish citizens' rights

Environmental organizations are raging over the Naalakkersuisut (Greenlandic government) amendment in Mining Law that abolishes the right of the public in matters relating to uranium mining and other mining. The four environmental organizations Avataq external link, The Ecological Council external link, Noah external link and Renewable Energy external link warn against this controversial decision, that in violation of the Aarhus Convention will reduce public access to environmental information, their involvement in decision-making, and their access to judicial verification and complaint time, they write in a joint press release. (Sermitsiaq AG July 9, 2014)

 

Greenland's zero-tolerance uranium policy

Greenland parliament lifts zero-tolerance uranium policy

In a 15 - 14 vote, Greenland's parliament Inatsisartut lifted the 25-year old zero-tolerance uranium policy. (Sermitsiaq Oct. 24, 2013)

Demonstrations in Nuuk for and against proposed lifting of zero-tolerance uranium policy

Hundreds of upset citizens marched Wednesday (Oct. 23) in Nuuk on uranium mining in this country: the demonstration in Nuuk organized by the interest group 'Naamik qujaannarpunga' (no thanks) was backed by hundreds of citizens who oppose Naalakkersuisut's principle motions to lift the zero-tolerance policy towards uranium and other radioactive minerals in mineral extraction.
On Wednesday night (Oct. 23), the Progressive Party Nuuk organized a torchlight procession in support of the abolition of zero tolerance towards uranium that is being voted on Inatsisartut today Thursday (Oct. 24). The demonstration was attended by about 400 - 500 people. (Sermitsiaq Oct. 24, 2013)

Partii Inuit dismissed from Greenland's government for not supporting proposed lifting of zero-tolerance uranium policy

The Premier Ms Hammond from the Progressive Party has fired Partii Inuit. The reason is that Partii Inuit does not support the repeal of zero tolerance towards uranium and other radioactive substances in mineral extraction. This was announced by Ms Hammond during a news conference Wednesday night (Oct. 23, 2013). (Sermitsiaq Oct. 23, 2013)

Demonstration in Qassiarsuk against proposed lifting of zero-tolerance uranium policy

People in Qassiarsuk, located about 50 kilometers from Kuannersuit (Kvanefjeld), fear for the village's future in the event of pollution caused by Inatsisartut's (Greenlandic Parliament) adoption of the repeal of the zero tolerance policy towards uranium and other radioactive minerals in mineral extraction. Residents are insecure because they have not been informed of the consequences of the decision. Therefore, there was a demonstration against the uranium plans on Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 23). (Sermitsiaq Oct. 23, 2013)

Greenlandic Parliament debates proposal for lifting zero-tolerance uranium policy

After nearly five hours of heated debate during the first reading on Thursday (Oct. 10), Inatsisartut (Greenlandic Parliament) referred the proposal for lifting the zero-tolerance uranium policy to the Natural Resources Committee. The second reading will be held on Oct. 24, 2013. (Sermitsiaq Oct. 10, 2013)

Demonstrations in Nuuk and Narsaq against proposed lifting of Greenland's zero-tolerance uranium policy

Just over 100 protesters braved the chilly weather in Nuuk Tuesday (Oct. 8) and marched in protest against the abolition of the zero-tolerance policy towards uranium and other radioactive minerals as by-product of mineral extraction. (Sermitsiaq Oct. 8, 2013)
About 25 people braved the weather gods in Narsaq Tuesday and marched against Naalakkersuisut's (Greenlandic Government) uranium policy. (Sermitsiaq Oct. 9, 2013)

Greenland may not export uranium without Denmark's consent, report says

Greenland has no right to export uranium without the consent of Denmark, concludes a yet unpublished new report.
- When we speak of uranium, or when we talk rare earths, it is something that should be covered by joint agreements (between Denmark and Greenland, ed.). It is also agreed in the joint report, we have made, says Foreign Minister Søvndal (SF) to ABC News after a three-hour meeting of the Foreign Policy Committee today. (DR Oct. 2, 2013)
> Download: Rapport om udvinding og eksport af uran external link, Arbejdsgruppen om konsekvenserne af ophævelse af nul-tolerancepolitikken, Oktober 2013 (1.7MB PDF - in Danish)

Greenland's government proposes consultative referendum on zero-tolerance uranium policy

Naalakkersuisut (Greenlandic Government) expects shortly to receive an application for an exploitation license of rare earths in Kuannersuit (Kvanefjeld) at Narsaq. The government now proposes to Inatsisartut (Greenlandic Parliament), that a consultative referendum be held in South Greenland before any decision is made on the application. (Sermitsiaq Sep. 13, 2013)
> Download: Opening speech of Premier Aleqa Hammond on Sep. 13, 2013 external link (PDF - in Danish)

Protest with drum dance against proposal to abandon zero-tolerance uranium policy

Maintain the zero tolerance policy towards uranium as a by-product of mineral extraction. That was the clear message to Naalakkersuisut (Greenlandic Government) at an event Wednesday (Sep. 11) afternoon in Nuuk, where the attendees braved the rain. Both experienced drum dancers and some without much experience took drum and expressed their protest in their own way. Politicians from IA (Inuit Ataqatigiit) with party chairman Kleist also took the opportunity to show their dissatisfaction that Inatsisartut (Greenlandic Parliament) plans to treat the Naalakkersuisut proposal to repeal the highly controversial zero tolerance policy towards uranium as a by mineral extraction in the autumn session. (Sermitsiaq Sep. 12, 2013)
On Friday (Sep. 13) the beginning nine-week autumn session of the parliament was greeted with a demonstration against a repeal of the zero-tolerance uranium policy. (Sermitsiaq Sep. 13, 2013)

Greenland's zero-tolerance uranium policy to be abolished in October 2013

Greenland's self-government (Naalakkersuisut) may soon begin processing applications for use of uranium-bearing minerals. This can be achieved by adopting the abolition of zero-tolerance towards uranium, which is expected to be completed during Greenland Parliament's (Inatsisartut) autumn session. This was announced by Greenland's Minister for Raw Materials Jens-Erik Kirkegaard in reply to parliamentary questions. (Sermitsiaq June 26, 2013)
> Download: Government's proposal to lift the ban on uranium mining, Aug. 8, 2013 external link (PDF - in Danish)

NGOs appeal to keep Greenland's zero-tolerance uranium policy

48 environmental organizations from many countries are encouraging the Greenland Home Rule Government and the Danish Government to maintain the uranium zero-tolerance policy in the commonwealth. Both have recently indicated that they want to lift the ban on uranium mining in Greenland. Therefore, Avataq external link, NOAH Friends of the Earth Europe external link and the Ecological Council external link initiated this resolution to the minister chairperson, Ms Hammond and Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt.
The resolution calls on Naalakkersuisut and the Danish Government to maintain the uranium zero-tolerance policy in the commonwealth. Uranium mining is unnecessary, since it is possible to recover the rare earths at other places, where they do not come together with uranium. (Sermitsiaq Apr. 27, 2013)
> Download Statement on uranium mining in Greenland external link, April 26, 2013

Greenland plans to relax zero-tolerance uranium policy

Greenland's incoming Minister for Food and Raw Materials Jens-Erik Kirkegaard plans to relax the tolerance threshold for uranium in mined ores from 60 to 1000 grams per tonne (from 0.006 to 0.1 weight-percent). This means a green light to extract rare earths from all known deposits in Greenland. (Sermitsiaq Apr. 2, 2013)

Denmark ready to allow mining and export of Greenland's uranium

A majority in the Danish parliament is prepared to allow the mining and export of uranium in Greenland, as wished by Greenland's self-government. After 25 years of opposition to nuclear power and uranium contamination, a majority in parliament for the first time is prepared to repeal the so-called zero tolerance policy for uranium. If Greenland requests, the possibility is thus opened to the mining of the world's fifth largest uranium reserves at Kvanefjeld, located in southern Greenland. (Politiken Jan. 26, 2013)

Denmark and Greenland establish commission to assess the impact of lifting the zero-tolerance uranium policy

The governments of Denmark and Greenland on Wednesday (Nov. 21) established an expert group to prepare a report until next spring highlighting both major political and more tangible consequences of a relaxation of the zero-tolerance policy. (Sermitsiaq Nov. 21, 2012)
[...] while it is up to Greenland whether to mine for uranium, the Kingdom of Denmark has responsibilities and obligations under international treaties and agreements concerning uranium. It is currently uncertain how allowing uranium mining would affect these responsibilities, which is why the two governments have established the commission to map these international obligations. (Copenhagen Post Dec. 5, 2012)

Greenland relaxes zero-tolerance uranium policy for exploration licenses

On Sep. 10, 2010, Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd announced that an amendment has been made by the Government of Greenland to the Standard Terms for Exploration Licenses that allows for the inclusion of radioactive elements as exploitable minerals for the purpose of thorough evaluation and reporting.

Municipal council of Southern Greenland backs end of zero-tolerance uranium policy

On May 12, 2010, the municipal council of South Greenland voted in favour of a change from the zero-tolerance uranium policy. The council has put forward an invitation to the legal assembly of Greenland to change regulations from the current zero tolerance uranium policy to a byproduct-policy with a maximum concentration limit for uranium of 0.1%. (Greenland Minerals and Energy Ltd May 26, 2010)

New government of Greenland upholds ban on by-product extraction of uranium

Naalakkersuisut's (Greenlandic Government's) uranium policy is unchanged and thus not any decision has been taken on changing the zero-tolerance which has been in existence since the 1980s, premier Kuupik Kleist said. This means that some projects can not be implemented because of the high by-product content of uranium. (Sermitsiaq avis June 24, 2009)

Greenland parliament allows by-product recovery of uranium

A majority in parliament agreed to support the extraction of uranium as a by-product from mines where other minerals are the primary target. Siumut, Atassut and the Democrats all support easing the country's 20-year-old 'zero tolerance' policy regarding uranium mining. Inuit Ataqatigiit and Kattusseqatigiit are both opposed to the proposal. (Sermitsiaq avis Nov. 27, 2008)

Inuit advocate against uranium mining in Greenland

Greenland's environment should come before profits from mining, a leading Inuit spokesperson told American broadcaster CBS. The president of the Inuit Circumpolar Council in Greenland external link believes mining companies should not be permitted to remove uranium from Greenland's underground, under any circumstances. 'Why should be spoil our nature and our people's health,' Aqqaluk Lynge told CBS News.
The Greenlandic and Danish parliaments banned uranium mining over two decades ago, but the question has arisen after some mining companies requested permission to extract uranium obtained during the mining of other types of metals.
Lynge said that with the intensifying hunt for natural resources in the Arctic meant the country needed to be careful not to get caught up by dreams of quick riches. 'We're in the same situation Arctic peoples in Alaska and Canada have already been through. We need to be careful with our environment, especially since climate change could change much of it.' (Sermitsiaq avis July 31, 2008)


France   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

French authorities invite comment on revised guide for the management of sites potentially contaminated by radioactive substances

Comments are due by January 31, 2011.
> View ASN release Nov. 10, 2010 (in French)

France plans weaker regulatory scheme for uranium mill tailings

The French government plans to have deposits of radioactive mining residues, including uranium mill tailings, no longer licensed as installations nucléaires de base (INB), but as the less tighter regulated installations classées pour la protection de l'environnement (ICPE).
On Feb. 19, 2010, the Nuclear Safety Authority (ASN) issued a favourable opinion on the proposal.


Finland   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Legislative proposal for new Mining Act brought before Parliament

"On 22 December 2009, the Government brought its legislative proposal for a new Mining Act before Parliament, to supersede the current Act, which entered into force in 1965. While securing the preconditions for mining and ore prospecting, the new Act takes account of environmental issues, citizens' fundamental rights, landowners' rights and municipalities' opportunities to influence decision-making." (Ministry of Employment and the Economy Dec. 22, 2009)
> Download press release Dec. 22, 2009 external link (PDF)
> Download Mining Act proposal external link (703k PDF - unofficial English translation)

Finnish local councils may be given veto right on uranium mines

A Finnish government working group tasked with proposing amendments to the Mining Act of 1965 said in a report that local councils should have the right to veto uranium mines. According to economic affairs minister Mauri Pekkarinen, the veto right was justified. He hopes to have an amended piece of legislation in force by 2010. (STT Oct. 8, 2008)


Germany   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Germany to regulate occupational exposure to uranium

Classifications for uranium and its inorganic compounds are now available in the 2011 MAK and BAT Values List compiled by the Commission for the Investigation of Health Hazards of Chemical Compounds in the Work Area, a Senate Commission of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft external link (DFG, German Research Foundation). The current list forms the basis for legislation on the protection of health at the workplace.
"Uranium and its inorganic compounds provide a fairly comprehensive example of the work of the Commission. Thus, not only were the uranium element and its slightly soluble inorganic compounds classified as carcinogenic in animal experiments (Category 2), but they were also classified as suspects for changing gametes. Too little data are available to date for the soluble inorganic compounds so that here only a suspicion of cancer-causing effect (Category 3B) can be noted. Nor can a MAK value [max. concentration in air at the workplace] be determined since it is not clear what uranium concentration – however small – no longer causes harm. However, the Commission does specify the level of atmospheric concentration corresponding to the limit value for nuclear radiation specified by the Radiation Protection Commission. In addition, the substances received the identification "H" because absorption through the skin can contribute to health risk. There is also no biological working substance reference value (BAR value) based on scientific investigation in this case because there were large regional differences. BAR values are not threshold values but they give the "background exposure" of a material in the body – as measured, for example, in the blood – and thus set the exposure at the workplace at a level comparable to that already preexisting." (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft July 19, 2011)
> Download Liste aller Änderungen und Neuaufnahmen in der MAK- und BAT-Werte-Liste 2011 external link (149k PDF - in German)

German goverment throws cloak of secrecy over uranium imports

In a reply to a parliamentary question, the German government has denied to disclose the origin countries of the uranium used in Germany's nuclear power plants. Earlier, such questions had been answered appropriately using data obtained from the Euratom Supply Agency (see here).
Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Ute Koczy, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, Hans-Josef Fell, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion BÜNDNIS 90/DIE GRÜNEN – Drucksache 17/5858 – Herkunft des Urans in deutschen Atomkraftwerken, Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/6037 external link, 01.06.2011 (86k PDF - in German)

In the reply to a further parliamentary question, the German government explained that the origin of the uranium could not be disclosed due to the confidentiality of the supply contracts.
Antwort der Bundesregierung auf die Kleine Anfrage der Abgeordneten Niema Movassat, Jan van Aken, Sevim Dağdelen, weiterer Abgeordneter und der Fraktion DIE LINKE – Drucksache 17/6165 – Menschenrechtsverletzungen und Umweltzerstörung durch Uranabbau in Niger, Deutscher Bundestag, Drucksache 17/6310 external link, 27.06.2011 (72k PDF - in German)

German radiation protection authority releases guideline for calculation of mining-related radiation exposures of the public and of workers

The Federal Office for Radiation Protection external link (Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz - BfS) has issued a guideline for the calculation of mining-related exposures of the public and of workers to radiation.
"Abstract
The present 'Calculation Bases Mining' serve to determine mining-caused radiation exposure of members of the public and of workers. They are applicable for the use, decommissioning, remediation, and reuse of mining plants and installations as well as for the use, remediation, and reuse of land contaminated as a result of mining plants and installations.
The 'Calculation Bases Mining' describe procedures and parameters to determine effective dose indoors, at underground workplaces, and outdoor, as well as for consumption of breast milk and locally produced foodstuff. The following exposure pathways are considered: external exposure due to gamma-radiation from the soil, exposure due to inhalation of dust, exposure due to inhalation of radon and its short-lived decay products, exposure from ingestion of breast milk and locally produced foodstuff (drinking water, fish, milk and milk products, Meat and meat products, leafy vegetables, other vegetable products), and exposure due to direct ingestion of soil.
In order to account for the natural level of environmental radioactivity involved in measurements, the 'Calculation Bases Mining' include levels of natural background for all relevant environmental media."
> Download: Berechnungsgrundlagen zur Ermittlung der Strahlenexposition infolge bergbaubedingter Umweltradioaktivität (Berechnungsgrundlagen - Bergbau) external link, BfS-SW-07/10, Mai 2010 (BfS - in German)
> Download English edition: Calculation Guide Mining: Calculation Guide for the Determination of Radiation Exposure due to Environmental Radioactivity Resulting from Mining external link, BfS-SW-09/11, Bundesamt für Strahlenschutz (BfS), Berlin, Sep. 5, 2011

Germany: Suit against weaker protection standards in former uranium mining area dismissed

On Dec 2, 1999, the German Federal Constitutional Court dismissed a suit against the split radiation protection regulations which are in effect in the western and eastern parts of the country. The suit had been filed by residents of Wismut's external link uranium mining area in Eastern Germany, where less stringent regulations than in the western part of the country are in effect.
Bundesverfassungsgericht Pressemitteilung 11.1.2000 external link
Beschluß vom 2. Dezember 1999 - Az. 1 BvR 1580/91 - external link

Germany: Still no public participation with Wismut cleanup

On Oct. 2, 1997, the Federal Parliament of Germany turned down a motion of the Social Democrats proposing to submit the cleanup of Wismut's external link uranium mining sites in Eastern Germany to environmental assessment legislation. This means that the decommissioning of the Wismut sites is the only large scale project without opportunities for public involvement, continuing a sad history of secrecy that accompanies Wismut's activities from its beginning in the Cold War era.

Source: Woche im Bundestag, No.16, 7 Oct 1997 external link


Slovakia   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Slovak parliament strengthens legal position of local authorities opposing uranium mining projects

> View here

 

Slovak NGOs file complaint with EC over reductions of their role

Twenty Slovak non-governmental organisations dedicated to the protection of human rights and the environment have filed a complaint with the European Commission over certain new pieces of legislation in Slovakia. The legislation adopted in 2007 ended the participation of civil associations in the licensing process for mining, the construction of new power plants, hazardous waste repositories and chemical factories. Current controversial projects include planned uranium mining in Jahodná (Košice region), gold mining in Kremnica (Banská Bystrica), and a plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Trebišov (Košice region). According to Peter Wilfling of the Citizen and Democracy Association, the adopted legislation falls foul of EU rules and the international Aarhus Convention on public participation in decision-making. (SK Today Feb. 7, 2008)


Switzerland   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Bern Canton government demands full disclosure of origin of uranium used in Swiss nuclear power plants

For the Bern Canton government external link it is unacceptable that utility BKW FMB Energie AG external link cannot fully trace back the origins of the uranium used in its Mühleberg nuclear powert plant. In response to a parliamentary initiative, BKW only was able to identify the process steps of enrichment and fuel fabrication, but not the origin of the uranium itself. This meant that the uranium might have originated from dubious sources. Therefore, the Canton government now plans to press for an obligation for all Swiss power plants to declare the origins of the uranium used and to abstain from purchasing uranium from dubious sources. (Handelszeitung Dec. 20, 2010)


Ukraine   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Residents of areas near nuclear facilities in Ukraine to receive risk compensation

The Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's parliament, has passed a bill proposing to create a mechanism for the payment of social and economic compensation for risks to residents of surveillance areas near nuclear facilities. A total of 310 of the 384 MPs registered in the hall voted for amendments to some laws of Ukraine on April 6.
The bill proposes to entitle the residents of areas close to enterprises extracting and processing uranium ore, nuclear plants, and facilities treating radioactive waste to receive social and economic compensation for their exposure to risks from the activity of such enterprises, nuclear plants and facilities treating radioactive waste.
The document proposes to establish a duty that would be collected as a percentage proportion to the cost of construction of nuclear facilities, which will be paid by national enterprises or contractors for the construction of new nuclear plants or facilities treating radioactive waste. (Kyiv Post Apr. 8, 2011)

Ukrainian President signs earlier vetoed law on social protection of population living near uranium ore processing plants

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has signed amendments to legislation on the social protection of people living near uranium ore processing plants, nuclear plants and facilities designed to hold nuclear waste, the presidential press service reported on Dec. 1. The law deals with financial and economic issues concerning operating organizations' fulfillment of the law on the use of nuclear energy and nuclear safety, with regard to improving the living and labor conditions of citizens living near uranium ore processing plants, nuclear plants and facilities designed to hold nuclear waste. (Kyiv Post Dec. 2, 2009)


United Kingdom   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

UK government says providing information on origin countries of imported uranium would be "prohibitively expensive"

"Uranium: Imports

Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change how much uranium has been imported from each country for civilian uses in each year since 1997. [320983]
Mr. Kidney: Uranium comes in many different forms. Providing a list of all forms, from all countries, would be prohibitively expensive."
[UK House of Commons, Daily Hansard - Written Answers, 6 Apr 2010 : Column 1229W]


AFRICA

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ASIA

Indonesia · Jordan · Kazakhstan · Mongolia · Kyrgyzstan · Tajikistan · Uzbekistan


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Indonesia   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Export of uranium-containing tailings from Indonesia to China taking place unregulated since 2005

The coal tailings left over crushed rocks from West Kalimantan are known to contain precious minerals, among which is a significant amount of zirconium. Tailings, usually considered as waste, turn out to be degradable into radioactive materials, such as uranium and thorium, and into gold. This degradation technology is possessed by South Africa among which. With the potential of such valuable materials, export for such tailings should be regulated. This was stated by Aries Kelana from the The Nuclear Energy Supervisory Board external link (Bapeten) during the Bapeten executive meeting with Jakarta's licensed radiation protection program and radioactive source security, last Thursday (Dec. 3). The tailings according to Aries, since 2005 have been exported to China at the price of Rp. 200/kg [US$ 0.021/kg]. However, if the zirconium is processed into uranium and torium the value could be 20 times higher.
According to Bapeten head As Natio Lasman, among the mined materials there are valuable side products, for instance in lead mining rare valuable metals can also be found, such as uranium and thorium. However, he regrets that so far there has been no regulation to monitor these or to prohibit them from being taken. Ideally, the side products should be set aside on a different pile, as is done in Malaysian lead mines. According to As Natio his institution will endeavor for a legal premise to regulate mines containing uranium and torium. The drafting of this regulation would involve all related institutions. (Kompass Dec. 7, 2009)


Jordan   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Jordan's regulations governing nuclear safety to be ready by year-end

The Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission (JNCR) on Sunday (July 11) said it will finish drafting 26 regulations to govern nuclear safety in the Kingdom by the end of the year. JNRC Director Jamal Sharaf told The Jordan Times yesterday that the commission will present the regulations to the Cabinet by the end of the year, in order to have all regulatory frameworks related to securing and monitoring nuclear and radioactive materials in place.
The new legislation will include specific articles on regulation - from personal safety to the environment - to ensure proper handling and security of nuclear materials. The law will come into effect ahead of major milestones in the Kingdom's peaceful nuclear programme, such as the sub-critical assembly of the nuclear research reactor in Irbid, estimated to begin within two years, and uranium mining, expected to commence in 2012. (Jordan Times July 12, 2010)

Jordan completes draft uranium mining bylaw

The Jordan Atomic Energy Commission (JAEC) announced on Sunday (July 5) the completion of a draft bylaw governing the mining of nuclear materials in the Kingdom. The bylaw takes into consideration several issues including the impact of mining on the environment and local communities, transportation of nuclear material as well as the safety of workers in order to ensure uranium is explored and extracted in a safe and responsible manner, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
The Jordan Nuclear Regulatory Commission external link will complete procedures for the bylaw by forwarding it to the Cabinet ahead of work to extract and mine uranium by companies working in Jordan, according to the commission. JAEC Commissioner for Nuclear Fuel Cycle Ned Xoubi said the bylaw is in line with international standards and is modelled after the International Atomic Energy Agency's instructions and bylaws on extracting and mining uranium, as is currently being followed in countries such as Canada and Australia, according to Petra. (Jordan Times July 6, 2009)


Kazakhstan   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency identifies regulatory problems with the management of the uranium mining legacy and radioactive waste in Central Asian countries

> Download: Norwegian Support to Regulatory Authorities in Central Asia in Radioactive Waste Management, Final report for activities in 2008-2012 external link, StrålevernRapport 2013:8, Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency, Østerås 2013 (970kB PDF)
With the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority has developed projects on a bilateral basis with the aim of assisting the regulatory bodies in Central Asian countries identify gaps in the regulatory framework and draft relevant regulatory requirements to ensure the protection of personnel, the public and the environment during the planning and conducting of remedial action with regard to past practices and measures for radioactive waste management and uranium legacy.

> Download: Threat Assessment Report, Regulatory Aspects of the Remediation and Rehabilitation of Nuclear Legacy in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan external link, StrålevernRapport 2011:5, Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency, Østerås 2011 (5MB PDF)
Based upon the completion of the threat assessments in each Central Asian country this document focuses on the existing regulatory problems at the legacy sites and projects will address the regulatory documents which should be developed within the project framework.

 

Kazakhstan prepared to supply uranium to India

India and Kazakhstan are expected to engage in joint extraction of natural uranium in this central Asian country after the two sides conclude the proposed inter-governmental agreement for cooperation in peaceful uses of nuclear energy. The two sides have signed a memorandum envisaging cooperation in "joint extraction of natural uranium in Kazakhstan" apart from delivery of fuel for reactors in India, Mukhtar Dzhakishev, President of the National Atomic company Kazatomprom was quoted as saying by 'Khabar' news agency. (The Hindu Feb. 4, 2009)

Kazatomprom and Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd (NPCIL) have signed a declaration of intent for cooperation on nuclear energy. (RIA Novosti Jan. 24, 2009)

State-run Nuclear Power Corp. of India Ltd, or NPCIL, will enter into a nuclear cooperation pact with Kazakhstan's state-owned Kazatomprom end January 2009. One of the elements of this agreement is uranium supply from Kazatomprom. (Livemint Jan. 11, 2009)

Kazakhstan is prepared to supply India uranium for its existing and future civil nuclear power plants and in return expects greater intensity in economic ties, including assistance in joining the World Trade Organisation (WTO). An agreement to promote nuclear cooperation between the two countries could be agreed upon during a summit meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev. (The Hindu Oct. 16, 2008)


Mongolia   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

EU seeks contractor for elaboration of regulatory framework for uranium mining and milling in Mongolia

> View Mongolia-Ulan Bator: NSI -- Establishment of a regulatory framework for uranium mines and milling operations in Mongolia -- MN3.01/11, Request For Proposals external link, Oct. 22, 2013

Mongolia gets EU aid for environmental monitoring of uranium mining

The EuropeAid development and cooperation department of the European Commission has provided Mongolia with 2.5 million euros in aid for a three-year project related to uranium exploitation in Central Asia, local media reported on Monday (July 4). The project involves the monitoring of radioactive substances and chemical pollution of water, the training of specialists on radioactive protection, environmental recovery, and the improvement of technologies to determine emissions of alpha, beta and gamma rays. The project will also establish a database on exploited uranium in Central Asia. (Xinhua July 4, 2011)


Kyrgyzstan   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency identifies regulatory problems with the management of the uranium mining legacy and radioactive waste in Central Asian countries

> View here

 

Kyrgyzstan accepted as EITI compliant country

On March 1, 2011, the Kyrgyz Republic has been accepted as an Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) compliant country. The EITI sets a global standard for companies to publish what they pay and for governments to disclose what they receive.
> View EITI release Mar. 2, 2011 external link
> View EITI: Kyrgyz Republic external link


Tajikistan   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency identifies regulatory problems with the management of the uranium mining legacy and radioactive waste in Central Asian countries

> View here

 


Uzbekistan   flag


> See also Issues for: New Mining Projects · Operating Mines · Decommissioning Projects
> See also Data for: Deposits, Proposed and Active Mines · Old Mines and Decommissioning

Norwegian Radiation Protection Agency identifies regulatory problems with the management of the uranium mining legacy and radioactive waste in Central Asian countries

> View here

 


AUSTRALIA


> View extra page


INTERNATIONAL


WHO raises drinking water guideline for uranium to 30 micrograms per litre

In the fourth edition of its Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, the WHO raised the Provisional guideline value for uranium from 15 to 30 micrograms per litre.
"The provisional guideline value of 30 µg/l, which is derived from new epidemiological studies on populations exposed to high uranium concentrations, replaces the previous value derived from experimental animal studies and designated as provisional on the basis of uncertainties regarding the toxicology and epidemiology of uranium as well as difficulties concerning its technical achievability in smaller supplies. It is noted that studies on human populations, when available and of good quality, are the preferred source of health-related information to be used in deriving guideline values." [emphasis added]
> Download Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality, Fourth Edition external link, World Health Organization, 2011

> See also: Chemical hazards in drinking-water - Uranium external link (WHO)
> See also: Scientists raise serious concerns over latest increase of WHO's drinking-water guideline for uranium
> See also: WHO once more weakens drinking water standard for uranium


IAEA concerned that tracking of uranium may not be assured as many new players enter uranium business

The International Atomic Energy Agency is concerned that a doubling in the price of uranium has attracted so many miners to the sector that inspectors may not be able to keep track of the new supplies, The Times has learnt. The IAEA’s fear is that uranium could fall into the hands of terrorists or hostile nations if it cannot control new mine production. (The Times Dec. 26, 2006)


Areva/Cogema sees "moral obligation" for uranium mining countries to take back spent fuel

The world's number two uranium miner, Areva Group external link, says countries which sell uranium have a moral obligation to store the waste (i.e. spent fuel), even if the uranium is exported.
Arguing the case for the acceptance of uranium mining in Australia to a federal committee (see details), France-based Areva said if uranium is mined and exported in Australia the waste should be transported back for storage. "I think we probably do have a moral obligation," said Stephen Mann, general manager of Cogema Australia, Areva's mining subsidiary in Australia. (Asia Pulse Sep. 23, 2005)


WHO once more weakens drinking water standard for uranium

In September 2004, WHO revised its provisional guideline value for uranium in drinking water from 9 µg/l to 15 µg/l. The change is based on a revision of the allocation of the tolerable daily intake to drinking water from 50% to 80%.

WHO Guidelines for drinking-water quality, third edition, 2004 external link

Uranium in Drinking-water, Background document for development of WHO Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality external link (172k PDF) · updated June 2005 external link (192k PDF)

In January 2003, WHO had revised its provisional guideline value for uranium in drinking water from 2 µg/l to 9 µg/l. The change was based on a revision of the allocation of the tolerable daily intake to drinking water from 10% to 50%.

See also: Uranium Ingestion: Current Standards


IAEA Research Project on Uranium Mill Tailings Management

IAEA has conducted a four-year co-ordinated research project (CRP) on the management of uranium mill tailings.
"This CRP is proposed as one step towards raising the awareness of potential problems and assisting Member States in the development of efficient procedures and processes for the sustainable long-term management and, if deemed appropriate, remediation of uranium mining/milling waste sites, and to encourage a harmonized and systematic approach where feasible. "
> See: Co-ordinated Research Project (CRP) on technologies and methods for long term stabilization and isolation of uranium mill tailings, Project Brief external link

The final report was released on September 10, 2004:
The Long-Term Stabilization of Uranium Mill Tailings, Final report of a co-ordinated research project 2000-2004, IAEA-TECDOC-1403, ISBN 92-0-108904-X, Vienna, August 2004, 311 p.
> Download full report external link (7.5MB PDF)


IAEA is preparing new safety guide for uranium mining wastes and mill tailings

"The problems caused by wastes from the mining and milling of uranium and thorium ores affect many countries and in some they have not been well managed. The wastes are in the form of large volumes of low-activity concentration materials containing radionuclides with very long radioactive half-lives. In many countries the wastes are stored at the surface in large piles and represent a long-term potential health and environmental hazard. Because of the large volumes, radiologically effective waste management solutions are usually difficult and expensive. Issues of long-term radiation protection arise in devising appropriate strategies for the management of these wastes. A new Safety Guide is in preparation on the management of these wastes; this will be an update of Safety Series No. 85 issued in 1987."
[IAEA Bulletin Vol.40 No.2, June 1998 external link, p.17]


REGULATORY ISSUES LINKS

> see also: Uranium Mining Legislation Bibliography

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