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Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee



Assessment of the Jabiluka Project : report of the Supervising Scientist to the World Heritage Committee


Johnston, A.; Prendergast, J. B.; Bridgewater, Peter


E-Publications; E-Books; PublicationNT; Supervising Scientist Report; 138




Alligator Rivers Region

Table of contents

Main report--Appendix 2 of the Main Report. Submission to the Mission of the World Heritage Committee by some Australian Scientists ... --Attachment A. Johnston A. and Needham S. 1999. Protection of the environment near the Ranger uranium mine--Attachment B. Bureau of Meteorology 1999. Hydrometeorological analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment C. Jones, R.N., Hennessy, K.J. and Abbs, D.J. 1999. Climate change analysis relevant to Jabiluka--Attachment D. Chiew, F and Wang, Q.J. 1999. Hydrological anaysis relevant to surface water storage at Jabiluka--Attachment E. Kalf, F. and Dudgeon, C. 1999. Analysis of long term groundwater dispersal of contaminants from proposed Jabiluka mine tailings repositories--Appendix 2 of Attachment E. Simulation of leaching on non-reactive and radionuclide contaminants from proposed Jabiluka silo banks.




Uranium mill tailings - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Alligator Rivers Region; Environmental impact analysis - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Uranium mines and mining - Environmental aspects - Northern Territory - Jabiluka; Jabiluka - Environmental aspects

Publisher name

Environment Australia

Place of publication

Canberra (A.C.T.)


Supervising Scientist Report; 138


1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations, maps

File type






Copyright owner

Environment Australia



Parent handle


Citation address


Related items

https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462403; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462400; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462405; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462406; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462408; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462409; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/462411

Page content

19 Hydrological modelling This topic includes issues raised by Wasson et al (1998) in section 5 of their submission; in particular, (i) the estimate of what constitutes a 1 in 10,000 annual exceedence probability (AEP) rainfall for the purpose of designing the retention pond, (ii) evaporation in the exit stream of the mine ventilation system and (iii) evaporation from open water. Prediction and impact of severe weather events This topic refers to (i) uncertainties raised by Wasson et al (1998) in section 4 of their submission arising from the work of Nott (1996) about high discharges in the Waterfall Creek region and the Katherine floods, (ii) uncertainties expressed by Wasson et al (1998) on what constitutes a Probable Maximum Precipitation event and (iii) the effect of climate change on both mean annual rainfall and the intensity of storms. Storage of uranium on the surface Included under this topic are (i) the design of the surface facilities to ensure, taking into account issues raised in the first two topics above, that runoff from the ore stockpile will all be collected by the retention pond even under extreme weather conditions and (ii) the adequacy of parameters used in the design of the retention pond to ensure containment of water collected in it under extreme weather conditions without the need to release water to the surface water system beyond the mine site. Long-term storage of the mine tailings This topic includes two issues related to the long term containment of 100% of the tailings at Jabiluka in the mine stopes and additional stopes/silos excavated near the ore body specifically to contain tailings. The two issues are (i) long-term containment of the solid tailings so that they do not represent a threat to the wetlands of Kakadu and (ii) dispersal of contaminants in groundwater from the contained tailings and their consequent potential impact on the wetlands of Kakadu. The Chair of the World Heritage Committee has confirmed that analyses of these issues should be addressed in the Supervising Scientists report along with the analysis any other issue that, in the view of the Supervising Scientist, will be necessary for the Committee to reach a decision. Although the Supervising Scientist has a broad range of expertise available within his own organisation, given the intense interest in the World Heritage issue and the need for absolute transparency, independent expert advice within Australia was sought on the following topics to assist the Supervising Scientist in his review of the topics identified by the World Heritage Committee: (i) Hydrometeorological analysis to determine rainfall figures appropriate for the design of a water management system at the Jabiluka mine, (ii) Impact of climate change on parameters for the design of surface runoff storage facilities at Jabiluka, (iii) Determination of the water storage capacity needed to meet the specified environmental protection standard, and (iv) Groundwater modelling to determine the probable increase in surface water concentrations of specified chemical constituents leached from tailings. The reports on these consultancy projects are included as attachments to this report. The Supervising Scientists interpretation of the material contained in these reports, and the