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U.S. EPA removes a uranium safety regulation, in interests of mining profits

US EPA withdraws Obama administration uranium safety regulation Mining Technology, By JP Casey, 23 Oct 18
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has withdrawn a uranium safety proposal introduced in the last days of the Obama administration that would have introduced tighter regulation for uranium mill tailings to minimise the dangers of uranium extraction.

Uranium mill tailings are sandy materials produced as a by-product of uranium mining, which contain radioactive elements. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) states that only waste products produced by surface operations, such as in-situ recovery and ion exchanges, can be considered mill tailings, unlike waste materials left behind underground when ore bodies are depleted.

As a result, mill tailings can pose a threat to people, animals and the environment in the vicinity of a uranium mine, with water sources particularly vulnerable to surface waste.

Uranium operations in the US are governed by the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act, which places responsibility for the regulation and disposal of mining waste with individual states, rather than the NRC.

The Obama-era proposition sought to give the NRC greater authority over tailings regulation and removal, and would have addressed an imbalance in the number of states that regulate their own waste and those which rely on the NRC for guidance.

Currently, just 13 states defer to the NRC for tailing regulation……
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October 23, 2018 - Posted by | business and costs, health, Uranium, USA

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