Improving Radiological Risk Assessments

About the project

NERA is supporting Flinders University and industry partners to develop a better understanding of the radiological impacts of uranium mining on flora and fauna in Australia's arid environments.

This project will assess the radiological impacts at Olympic Dam and Beverly mines in South Australia by analysing the radioactivity of flora, fauna and soil. The results will generate data towards a national database, which will enable companies required to undertake environmental risk assessments to compare to baseline Australian soil values.

This project aims to expand fundamental knowledge surrounding the radiological impacts of uranium mining by developing a set of concentration ratios, which may then be used for determining radiological impact to non-human species in Australia's arid zone environments.

Impact

Currently, radiological impact models for non-human species rely heavily on northern hemisphere data sets, which creates some confusion in communicating the potential impact of relevant Australian proposals. With a goal of ensuring that the international assessment methods can use actual Australian data, the expanded national database and concentration ratios generated by this project will improve the relevance and understanding of these models.

In addition, decisions made by operators and regulatory authorities will be based on more relevant local information and inform more accurate decision making. The project will build radiation management skills and knowledge for the future workforce in the mining industry by supporting several new research opportunities for honours, masters and postgraduate positions.

Building radiation management skills and knowledge for the future workforce

Project Timeframe

Current Status: Contracts have been signed and project has commenced

Start: June 2018

End: June 2020

Project Funding

Total Project Cost: $417,000

NERA: $208,500

*Funding excludes GST