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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



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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

2 purpose of designing the retention pond, (ii) evaporation in the exit air 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 (PMP) 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. There are a number of additional issues raised in the submission by Wasson et al (1998) that require clarification. These and other more general issues are also addressed in this report. 1.3 Summary of findings Hydrological modelling issues The conclusions and recommendations of the Supervising Scientist on the hydrological modelling issues raised by Wasson et al (1998) are as follows. Estimate of the 1:10,000 AEP annual rainfall It is recommended that the Oenpelli rainfall record for the years 1917 to 1998 should be used for estimating the 1:10,000 AEP annual rainfall and for other hydrological modelling for the Jabiluka project because it is much more extensive than that at Jabiru and is consistent with the Jabiru record in the period of overlap. The recommended value for the 1:10,000 AEP annual rainfall is 2460 mm with 95% confidence limits of 190 mm. This estimate is in very good agreement with the value adopted by ERA, 2450 mm. It is acknowledged that there may be some residual model dependence in the recommended value for the 1:10,000 AEP annual rainfall. However, this is not important for modelling of the Jabiluka water management system in this review because a Monte Carlo simulation method is used based upon stochastically generated rainfall data. Evaporation from open water All of the suggestions made by Wasson et al (1998) to check the validity of the evaporation pan factors used by ERA had already been taken into account in the