Do Your Homework: Learn About Uranium Mining

Uranium Fact Sheets on the Web

May 24, 2008

Compiled by

Paul Robinson

Southwest Research and Information Center

I. Uranium Fact Sheet

Institute for Energy and Environmental Research – “Uranium: Its Uses and Hazards”

II. Laguna Pueblo Uranium Curriculum

Uranium Mining and its Impact on Laguna Pueblo: A Study Guide for an Interdisciplinary Unit,

July 21, 1998

III. Uranium Overviews from Wise Uranium Project

Uranium Mining and Milling Wastes: An Introduction, by Peter Diehl








Characteristics of uranium mill tailings

Potential hazards from uranium mill tailings

Concepts for tailings disposal

Standards for uranium mill tailings management

Reclamation of uranium mill tailings deposits


WISE Uranium Project – Slide Talk: Uranium Mining and Milling

Uranium mining and milling basics

Environmental impacts

Health hazards for miners and residents

Uranium mill tailings hazards and reclamation

Tailings dam stability includes pages for uranium sites around the world among other material.

IV. Environmental Protection Agency Uranium Fact Sheet


The Basics

Who discovered uranium?

Where does uranium come from?

What are the properties of uranium?

What is uranium used for?

Exposure to Uranium

How does uranium get into the environment?

How does uranium change in the environment?

How are people exposed to uranium?

How does uranium get into the body?

What does uranium do once it gets into the body?

Health Effects of Uranium

How can uranium affect people’s health?

Is there a medical test to determine exposure to uranium?

Protecting People From Uranium

How do I know if I’m near uranium?

What can I do to protect myself and my family from uranium?

What is EPA doing about uranium?

V. Uranium Mining documents from USEPA Technology Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials

Uranium Mining Wastes page –

Includes TENORM from Uranium Mining Reports

In 2008, EPA updated and re-released a two-volume technical report on uranium mining TENORM wastes, Technologically Enhanced Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials from Uranium Mining, Volumes 1 and 2:

Volume 1; Mining and Reclamation Background provides background information on the occurrence,

mining, and reclamation of uranium mines –

Volume 2: Investigation of Potential Health, Geographic, and Environmental Issues of Abandoned Uranium Mines provides a general scoping evaluation of potential radiogenic cancer and environmental risks posed by abandoned uranium mines –

VI. Uranium and Radium Human Health Fact Sheets – 2 pages and

Uranium Human Health Fact Sheet? Radium Human Health Fact Sheet – Argonne National Laboratories


What is it?

Where does it come from?

How is it used?

What’s in the Environment?

What Happens to It in the Body?

What Are the Primary Health Effects?

What Is the Risk?

VII. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATDR) – as 2 page fact sheets as well as detailed Public Health Statement and voluminous Toxicological Profile for a wide range of metals and radionulides.

Two page ToxFAQs fact sheets related to potential hazards at uranium mines and mills include: – Radon – Uranium – Radium – Cadmium – Lead – Arsenic

TOXFAQs all use a similar outline, such as:

What is radon?

What happens to radon when it enters the environment?

How might I be exposed to radon?

How can radon affect my health?

How likely is radon to cause cancer?

Is there a medical test to show whether I’ve been exposed to radon?

Has the federal government made recommendations to protect human health?

Glossary, References, and Contact Information

ATSDR Public Health Statements and toxicological profiles for Radon are at: ATSDR Full Toxicological Profile on Radon

VIII. Selected Uranium Related-materials on the Southwest Research and Information Center Web Site: Additional materials available related to renewable energy, nuclear safety, mining and waste management and community development.

Uranium Overview:

Uranium Health and Environmental Research in Diné Communities

Brief History of Uranium Development in Diné communities

Basics of Radiation Health Issues


Pathways of Exposure

Review of Uranium Health Studies
– workers, general population, livestock, environment

Case Study — Outdoor Radon in Church Rock

Implications for Navajo Communities

Educational Programs

Resources for Information

Southwest Research and Information Center – Uranium Mining and Milling: A Primer

Uranium developments in Southwest US – AZ and NM; Mt. Taylor Traditional Cultural Property Petition, Uranium and the 1872 Mining Law

Navajo Nation Legislation

Dine Natural Resources Protection Act of 2005

From the SRIC Newsletter Voices From The Earth:

CONTINUING TARGETS: New Mexico and Navajo & Hopi lands

New Uranium Boom Threatens Communities

The New U Boom: Speculation or Serious Development?

Need or Greed? Uranium Prices and Demand

Uranium Price Rise…Still No Need for New Mines

Uranium…the problems continue

Reclaiming the Land: History of Uranium Mill Tailings Clean-up – full report listed below

Environmental Justice Principles

Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation Performed by the US DOE: An Overview

Table of Contents – brief introductory “fact sheet-like” sections in bold italics




UMTRAP and Uranium Mill Tailings Information Sources on the Internet

Characteristics of Uranium Mill Tailings and the Hazardous Materials They Contain

UMTRAP Uranium Mill Tailings Sites Before and After Remediation

DOE’s UMTRAP Project is a Unique and Significant Example of a Complete Radioactive Waste Management Program

Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) and Associated Implementing Regulations

Summary of UMTRAP Performance After 25 Years of Effort

Ground Water Remediation and UMTRAP

Cost of UMTRAP Uranium Mill Tailings Remediation

Projected Cost of Long-Term Surveillance and Maintenance at UMTRAP Sites

DOE Policy Developments Related to Uranium Mill Tailings Since 2000


Appendix A – Tables and Figures

Appendix B – Photographs of UMTRAP Sites

Appendix C – Summary of NRC Criteria Adopted to Implement the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act

IX. Radiation Exposure Compensation Act/Uranium Worker Compensation Program

Radiation Exposure Compensation Program

In 1990, the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act (RECA) was signed into law by President George Bush. The law established one time payments of $100,000.00 to uranium miners who suffered a compensable disease. On July 10, 2000, President Clinton signed the RECAA amendments that expanded the program to include uranium millers and ore transporters. Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation Program Act (EEOICPA) of 2000 also included an additional $50,000.00 and medical benefits for uranium workers approved under RECA.

If you or a deceased relative of yours worked in the uranium industry between 1942 and 1971, you may be eligible for benefits under the Radiation Exposure Compensation Act.

Radiation Exposure Compensation Act: Frequently Asked Questions

X. Uranium Market

Uranium Market Home page – INFOMINE

Uraniumletter International – “Uranium Price Remains on the Move,” July, 2006 – 20 pp.

XI.News Reports,0,4515615.special

“Blighted Homeland” – Four-part series on uranium problems in Navajo Country

Southwest Research and Information Center News Links Focussed on Uranium

See Community-Oriented Uranium Information Sites

XII. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – Uranium Licensing Overviews


02/08/07 NRC Licensing Process Presentation by Stephen Cohen.

2/08/07 NEPA Process Presentation by J. Park.

02/08/07 Underground Injection Control Program Presentation by M. Ginsberg, EPA.

Materials from NRC-National Mining Association April- May 2008 meeting

Updates and NRC posting anticipated by June 1, 2008

XIII. Community-Oriented Uranium Information Sites

WISE Uranium Project


Miningwatch Canada

Western Mining Action Network

Indigenous Environmental Network

XIV. Uranium Policy Statements and Resolutions

All Indian Pueblo Council and Navajo Nation Resolutions

XV. Atomic Posters

Movie Posters

Anti-Uranium Poster, 1978 (Spanish)

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