Uranium industry long-term and remediation monitoring
A complex environmental monitoring network had to be developed on the impact area of the uranium mine closure and site remediation completed in 2012, which included hydrogeological, radiological, pedological, geodynamical, rock mechanical and geotechnical monitoring. The monitoring of environment compartments endangered and contaminated in the period of mine closure, remediation and post-closure operation for environmental protection – i.e. long-term land reclamation – must include the monitoring of air, groundwater and surface waters, soil, rocks, and vegetation as affected compartments.
sampling / year
Mecsekérc Ltd. has been participating in these activities since 1998 when the remediation program had started. Our specialists engaged in the planning and design of the monitoring system and we are responsible for operating the system on behalf of the Mining Property Utilization Company.
The headline targets of the monitoring are:
the uninterrupted supervision of the groundwater depression areas for the protection of drinking water reserves,
controlling the quality of groundwaters and surface waters with high priority given to the transport routes flowing towards water reserves,
water damage remediation, quality and quantity controlling and analysis of water treatment in favour of cost-efficient operation,
continuous monitoring of discharges:
controlling the emission standards of purified water
nuclide-specific control of the emissions (gas, liquid, solid)
monitoring the radon barrier function and the migration of radionuclides to check the adequacy of the isolation of the top layers in remediated waste rock dumps and tailings ponds
supervising the landslides, subsidence caused by mining activities in accordance with the Mining Law.
The aim of the hydrogeological monitoring is to protect the Pellérd-Tortyogó and the northern karstic water resources against any pollution and to predict any process indicating the spread of contamination to be able to prepare for any intervention.
The most important areas regarding monitoring are the impact area of the northern mine plants filling up and the Mine Plant #I depression in connection with the examination of the pollution impact of Waste Rock Dumps #I and #III, also the monitoring related to the remediation of several ponds. The water sampling and water level measurements should be continued on these areas for at least 15-30 years.
Mecsekérc Ltd. has been taking part in these activities since 1998, when the remediation program had started. Our specialists engaged in the planning and design of the monitoring system and we are responsible for operating the system on behalf of the Mining Property Utilization Company.
The focus of radiological monitoring has changed to the post-control of the remediated facilities, which should ensure that the specified radiation limits are kept where it is required and that there is a chance to intervene immediately. It is very important regarding remediated waste rock dumps and tailings ponds that the radon barrier function is adequate and it is crucial to constantly check the migration of radionuclides. Industrial and economic activities take place on the former mining area where the role of radiological monitoring is to provide the inactive environment.
Monitoring should also guarantee that water treatment facilities subject to hazardous radiation receive radiation protection supervision and the nuclide-specific control of gas, liquid and solid emissions in accordance to the actual regulations.