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|Title:||Radiation Protection Program in Mining Facilites and Activities|
|Abstract:||Radiation Protection Program in Mining facilities and activities The purview of this presentation covers a basic introduction to mining and mining methods, legal and regulatory framework for mining, generic requirements for operational radiation protection of workers in mining, and the major challenges and recommendations. Simply defined, mining is the extraction of valuable minerals or other geological materials from the earth’s surface, usually from an ore body which most often than not, form a mineralized package that constitutes an economic interest. Mining operations usually create a negative environmental impact, both during the mining activity and after the mine has closed. Hence, most of the world's nations have passed regulations to decrease the impact. Basically, there are four main mining methods; the underground, open surface (pit), placer, and in-situ mining methods. Underground mines are more expensive and are often used to reach deeper deposits. Surface mines are typically used for more shallow and less valuable deposits. Placer mining is used to sift out valuable metals from sediments in river channels, beach sands, or other environments. The in-situ mining methodology is mainly used in mining uranium and involves dissolving the mineral resource in place then processing it at the surface without moving rock from the ground. It is pertinent to mention that in mining and the choice of mining method used that various factors come to play such as the mineral being mined, mine location and the varying degree of its impact on the environment. NORM (Naturally occurring radioactive material) is a term describing materials containing radionuclide that exist in the natural environment. During mining activities, the concentrations of these NORMs are enhanced (TENORMS). Mining activities associated with TENORMS include; uranium ores, mineral sands and Rare earth elements. There are a number of pathways by which humans are exposed to NORM following their release in the cause of mining. But the major pathway so far is via the atmosphere and ground water. Some devices which are used in the mining sector use sealed radiation sources such as the down hole or well logging tools. Furthermore, there exists a legal and regulatory framework for mining as contained in sections 4,29, 30, and 33 of Act no. 19 of 1995. Also, Regulations 2(1c), 4(a), 4(b) of NIBIRR 2003 and Regulations 9 and 11 of NORM also grant the Nigerian Nuclear Regulatory Authority the power to enforce such laws and regulations in the name of the Federal Republic. All that has been mentioned necessitates a radiation protection program to ensure safety standards in the mining business and prevent the threat which NORM poses to humans and the environment. Thus, exploration projects and mine sites with a potential radiological hazard must prepare a Radiation Protection Program (RPP) that addresses identification and monitoring of radioactive material, minimizing the potential for radioactive contamination and human exposure to radioactive material. The Radiation protection program would also feature a number of well rounded components which would included but by no means be limited to an Organizational Structure, Radiation Protection Equipment, Personnel Monitoring and Safety amongst others. However, there are a number of challenges which beg for solutions such as the Lack of adequate technical and managerial expertise for handling uranium production and NORM related issues, delay in review of regulations, Low level of proper awareness about NORM among various stakeholders Olaoluwa Philemon|
|Appears in Collections:||Industrial application|
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