The Activities, Conclusions and Recommendations of the Interdepartmental Uranium Committee Concerning the Uranium Exploration and Mining Industries

Nova Scotia Department of Natural Resources
Mineral Resources Branch
Open File Report ME 1994-006

By G. A. O'Reilly, (Chair), Department of Natural Resources;
D. A. Khan, (Secretary), Department of Natural Resources;
D. R. Briggins, Department of the Environment;
D. E. Hiltz, Department of the Environment;
P. J. Wall, Department of the Environment;
Dr. J. Scott, Department of Health.

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Table of Contents

  • Letter of Transmittal
  • Forward
  • Summary of Conclusions and Recommendations Presented in this Report
  • Conclusions and Recommendations of the Uranium Inquiry - Nova Scotia
  • Formation of the Interdepartmental Uranium Committee
  • Terms of Reference
  • Section 1. History of the Uranium Issue in Nova Scotia
    • Introduction
    • Exploration and Discovery of Uranium in Nova Scotia
    • Types of Uranium Occurrences
    • Government Regulation and Action on Uranium Issues
      • Special Uranium Exploration Licences
      • Formulating the Terms and Conditions for Uranium Exploration
      • Calling of a Moratorium on Uranium Exploration in Nova Scotia
      • The Uranium Inquiry - Nova Scotia
      • The Interdepartmental Uranium Committee
        • Department of Mines and Energy
        • Department of the Environment
        • Department of Health
  • Section 2. Release of Closed Grounds Process
    • Introduction
    • Radiation Exposure Versus a Uranium Concentration Threshold
      • Radiation Exposure Thresholds
      • The Concept of an Economic Concentration Threshold for Uranium
    • Establishing an Economic Concentration Threshold for Uranium
    • Review of Existing Regulations and Monitoring Procedures
    • Implementation of 1986 Committee Recommendations
      • Determining Areas of Uranium Mineralizations
        • Summary of Uranium Closures
      • Radiation Surveys of Mines and Exploration Sites in Nova Scotia
        • Radon Surveys
        • Gamma-Ray Spectrometer Surveys
      • Revision of Mineral Resources Act Regulations and Exploration Monitoring Policy
    • Recommendations
  • Section 3. The Issue of Exploration for Uranium
    • Introduction
    • The Mineral Exploration Process
      • Preliminary Exploration Stage
      • Initial Exploration Stage
      • Advanced Exploration Stage
      • Mine Development Stage
    • Environmental Monitoring of Exploration at Millet Brook
      • Exploration Workers Radiation Exposure Surveys
      • Radon Monitoring Program
      • Millet Brook Environmental Monitoring Programs 1980-82
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  • Section 4. Recent Advances in Uranium Mining Technology
    • Introduction
    • Tailings Disposal - Past, Present and Future
      • Past
      • Present and Future
      • The Pervious Surround Method of Tailings Management
      • Other Technological Advances
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  • Section 5. Radiation Dose Limits
    • Introduction
    • ICRP Recommendations 1990
      • The ICRP - 1990 Recommended Limits
      • Radiation Dose Limits Prior to 1990
      • Current Radiation Dose Limits in Nova Scotia
      • AECB Radiation Limits for Uranium Mining
    • The ALARA Principal (As Low As Reasonably Achievable) 
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  • Section 6. Epidemiological Studies and Health Risk Estimates
    • Introduction
    • What is the Risk
      • Radon and Radon Progeny Exposure
      • Cigarette Smoking
    • Industry Efforts to Minimize Risk
      • Trend Toward Lower Exposures
      • Worker Education and Joint Radiation Monitoring
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  • Section 7. The Issue of Jurisdiction
    • Introduction
    • Role of the Federal Government
      • The Leadership Role of the AECB
      • Role of Other Federal Agencies
    • Role of the Provincial Government
      • The Ontario Example
      • The Saskatchewan-Federal Government Joint Management Example
        • Public Involvement
    • Conclusions
    • Recommendations
  • Section 8. General Discussion, Conclusions and Recommendations on the Future of the Moratorium
    • The Reasons for the Moratorium
      • Important Conclusions of the Uranium Inquiry - Nova Scotia
    • Future of the Moratorium
      • Justification for Extending the Moratorium
      • Justification for Releasing the Moratorium
        • The Environmental Review Process Verses a Moratorium
    • Recommendations
  • References
  • Appendix 1. Glossary and Explanation of Units of Radiation Measurement
  • Appendix 2. Closed Grounds Report and Recommendation
  • Appendix 3. Hypothetical Uranium Mine Economic Model
  • Appendix 4. Uranium Tailings Disposal Technologies and Long Term Abandonment and Closure of Uranium Mines
  • Appendix 5. Radon Daughter Monitoring Program, Millet Brook