Keywords: uranium mining, radiological monitoring, dose assessment, low radiation, radiological safety, environmental monitoring, uranium ore, India, occupational exposure, radiation exposure, industrial waste, surface water, groundwater, soil, mine tailings
Radiological safety and environmental monitoring aspects of mining and processing of uranium ore at Jaduguda, India
Low–grade uranium ore is mined and processed in India since the early 1970s. To adhere to the regulatory compliance monitoring of external gamma level, radon and long–lived alpha activity of ore dust is carried out in uranium mines. Apart from this, surface contamination is also monitored in radiologically important areas of ore processing plant. Exposure of occupational workers is evaluated based on the results of area and personal monitoring. Monitoring of radon and external gamma level is carried out in the vicinity of tailings pond and away. Samples from surface water, groundwater and soil are collected from the environment adjoining the facilities. Results reveal that the exposure of occupational workers is well below the annual average dose limit of 20 mSv as prescribed by the Atomic Energy Regulatory Board (AERB). Results further reflect that the discharges of process waste at tailings pond have not modified the pre–existing radiological status of the environment.