Some aspects of environmental hazard due to uranium mining in Ukraine


Keywords: environmental hazard, uranium mining waste dumps, dust pollution, method of discriminant functions

Abstract

Some aspects of environmental hazard within uranium mining areas are considered. The uranium content in the environment components (rocks, soils, underground and surface waters) of the central part of the Ukrainian Shield within and beyond the uranium mining area is analyzed on the example of the Michurinske ore field. It is emphasized that man-made sources of natural origin should be considered more broadly than just waste dumps from uranium mining and processing enterprises. These are sources of ionizing radiation of natural origin, which have been subjected to concentration or their accessibility has been increased because of anthropogenic activity. Additional irradiation to the natural radiation background is formed. Waste dumps of uranium mining are considered as sources of potential dust pollution in the surface layers of atmosphere with fine dust containing uranium, its decay products and associated elements. The area of waste dumps is calculated using space images. Uranium accumulates in the dusty fraction, where its content is 0.01-0.06%. Taking into account the geological and geochemical characteristics of uranium deposits, radioactive elements, heavy metals and other associated elements of uranium mineralization are car- ried out of the dumps by winds and atmospheric waters with their subsequent migration into environment components. A mathematical model of potential dust air pollution in the area of long-term operation of the oldest uranium mine is presented for the summer 2019. In total, 15 factors influencing the potential threat of air dust pollution are considered and analyzed. The mathematical model is developed on the basis of the method of discriminant functions. To assess the degree of the model parameters informativeness, one-factor covariance analysis is used. It allows assessing the degree of a single sign influence on the prediction result. The developed model takes into account the area of waste dumps, uranium content in the dust fraction and wind direction southeast and/or east as the most hazardous for the study area. The model allows determining correctly the level of potential threat of air dust pollution in 96.3% ± 3.6% of all cases.

Author Biographies

Tamara V. Dudar
National Aviation University, Kyiv
Olga V. Titarenko
State Institution «Scientific Center for Aerospace Research of Institute for Geology of NAS of Ukraine», Kyiv
Alla N. Nekos
V.N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Kharkiv
Olena V. Vysotska
National Aerospace University “Kharkiv Aviation Institute”, Kharkiv
Andrii P. Porvan
National Aerospace University “Kharkiv Aviation Institute”, Kharkiv

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Published
2021-04-07
How to Cite
Dudar, T., Titarenko, O., Nekos, A., Vysotska, O., & Porvan, A. (2021). Some aspects of environmental hazard due to uranium mining in Ukraine. Journal of Geology, Geography and Geoecology, 30(1), 34-42. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.15421/112104