Criteria and procedures for recording and reporting incidents at South Australian uranium mines
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This reporting procedure addresses those incidents involving the unplanned release of radioactive process materials, radioactive liquids or radioactive wastes associated with the physical and chemical processing of uranium ores.
Incidents that require reporting under the Occupational Health, Safety and Welfare Act 1986, the Dangerous Substances Act 1979 and the Environment Protection Act 1982, and to ensure radiation exposures to workers, members and the public environment are as low as reasonably achievable.
The aim of this procedure is to ensure compliance with conditions attached to the Licence to mine or mill radioactive ores issued under the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982, and to ensure radiation exposures to workers, members of the public and the environment are as low as reasonably achievable.
All written reports of incidents shall be made on the approved Incident Report Form.
It is proposed that:
- The following reporting procedure is applied as part of the radiation management plan for uranium mining operations, approved under Clause 8 of the Code of Practice on Radiation Protection in the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores 1987 (or as amended).
NOTE: This is now approved under Clause 2.9.1 of the Code of practice and safety guide for radiation protection and radioactive waste management in mining and mineral processing, Radiation Protection Series No. 9 (2005), produced by the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA).
- The efficacy of the procedure should initially be reviewed within 12 months. The review will take account of any changes in mine operations, technical difficulties encountered, the interaction of this procedure with the requirements of other applicable Acts and Regulations, and the appropriateness of current recording and reporting levels. The procedure should be regularly reviewed thereafter.
In applying the proposed reporting procedure, it is acknowledged that processing plants, wellfields, evaporation ponds, tailings dams, etc are 'disturbed' optional areas and will be subject to an approved clean up and rehabilitation program at the completion of the project. The reporting procedure places emphasis on events which may result in unplanned release of radioactive process materials, radioactive liquids or radioactive wastes to the 'undisturbed ' environment, or any unplanned exposures to workers or members of the public.
The procedure is considered 'generic'. Other site-specific requirements may also be applied to particular operations as necessary.
The following reporting and conditions are be applied:
TRS, corridors and pipelines
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|Report||A verbal report in the first instance, followed by a written report by email or fax within 24 hours.|
|Record||Details of the event are to be recorded in an operator's log or equivalent for inspection by regulators as necessary.|
|Radioactive substance||As defined in the Radiation Protection and Control Act 1982.|
|Uranium concentrates||Includes all concentrated uranium bearing solutions, slurries and solids from the feed to the uranium precipitation and thickening process, through to the final drummed product.|
|Operational areas||Processing plant, tailings and evaporation ponds, ISR wellfields pipeline corridors and other areas approved by the regulators, which have clearly defined perimeters engineered to prevent the release of liquids from the site. The engineering controls may consist of bunds, drains, stormwater colelction points and ponds etc.|
|Undisturbed environment||Refers to the areas outside the approved engineering controls (e.g. pipes, stormwater drains and ponds, bunding of the plant or wellfield or pipeline corridors, airborne emission control equipment or the wellfield mining zone).|
|Primary containment||Refers to pipes, tanks and vessels and other engineered containment of radoactive process materials and solutions.|
|Secondary containment||Refers to bunded process areas within the plant perimeter.|
|Wellfield mining zone||Refers to the ISR ore zone, bounded by approved monitoring wells.|
|ISR mining fluid excursions|
As defined in the operation's Environmental Management and Monitoring Plan.