Radon-222 emissions in ventilation air exhausted from underground uranium mines

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The /sup 222/Rn concentration in exhaust air is being measured at underground uranium mines in the Grants, New Mexico area. The objectives of the work are to determine relationships between U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production and the mine characteristics and practices relative to /sup 222/Rn emission. Concentrations in the vent air from two mines ranged from 80 nCi/m/sup 3/ to 3800 nCi/m/sup 3/ during a month of observations. Diurnal radon emission patterns were seen for each mine which were inversely related to barometric pressure. The average diurnal emission patterns on weekends when no mining occurred were very similar to those on ... continued below

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Jackson, P.O.; Perkins, R.W.; Schwendiman, L.C.; Wogman, N.A.; Glissmeyer, J.A. & Enderlin, W.I. September 1, 1979.

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The /sup 222/Rn concentration in exhaust air is being measured at underground uranium mines in the Grants, New Mexico area. The objectives of the work are to determine relationships between U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ production and the mine characteristics and practices relative to /sup 222/Rn emission. Concentrations in the vent air from two mines ranged from 80 nCi/m/sup 3/ to 3800 nCi/m/sup 3/ during a month of observations. Diurnal radon emission patterns were seen for each mine which were inversely related to barometric pressure. The average diurnal emission patterns on weekends when no mining occurred were very similar to those on weekdays during active mining, indicating that the mining activities had little short-term effect on those radon emissions. The radon emission rate from each mine vent showed a correlation with the associated ventilated surface area and the cumulative tons of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ extracted there, and a higher correlation with cumulative tons of ore extracted. Grab samples of vent air collected at 14 additional mines in the Grants area showed radon concentrations from 7 nCi/m/sup 3/ to 21,000 nCi/m/sup 3/. The emission rates ranged from .01 Ci to 10 Ci per vent per day. Ore production rate estimates were available for seven of the mines and, based on these rates, a tentative average radon emission rate of 4300 Ci of /sup 222/Rn per Annual Fuel Requirement (AFR) of U/sub 3/O/sub 8/ from undergrounduranium mines was obtained. Aboveground sources of radon at one mine were estimated to release approximately 5% of the total from that mine. Using this estimate, a total of 4510 Ci of /sup 222/Rn released per AFR is predicted from underground uranium mining operations during the active life of the mine. After mine closure, the waste piles at that mine are estimated to continue released radon at a rate of 21 Ci/yr per AFR.

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Dep. NTIS, PC A04/MF A01.

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  • Report No.: NUREG/CR-0627
  • Report No.: PNL-2888
  • Grant Number: EY-76-C-06-1830
  • DOI: 10.2172/6309160 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 6309160
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc1206546

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  • September 1, 1979

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 5, 2018, 11:11 p.m.

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  • Oct. 19, 2018, 12:57 p.m.

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Jackson, P.O.; Perkins, R.W.; Schwendiman, L.C.; Wogman, N.A.; Glissmeyer, J.A. & Enderlin, W.I. Radon-222 emissions in ventilation air exhausted from underground uranium mines, report, September 1, 1979; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1206546/: accessed November 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.