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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

67 The Australian Geological Survey Organisation has recently completed a hazard analysis for normal structures (Kevin McCue, private communication) for a site near near Darwin and the results are listed in table 5.3.4. This site is tectonically similar to that at Jabiluka and the study can be used to provide an indicative ground hazard analysis for the Jabiluka site. In the above study, only local and regional earthquakes were considered in the hazard analysis since the frequent but distant large earthquakes in the Banda Sea, Indonesia, are too far away to cause damaging ground motions for normal structures. They should be considered for a water retention pond since they give rise to many cycles of ground motion. It is recommended that ERA commissions such a study at the detailed design stage of the Jabiluka project. The ground level acceleration which could lead to failure of the retention pond structure (3830 mm/s2) is beyond the range of accelerations given in table 5.3.4 and the return period for this acceleration is considerably in excess of 5000 years. Extrapolation of the data in the table will be subject to uncertainties associated with the limitations of the underlying data set and model dependence arising from the attenuation relation used in the study. Nevertheless, accepting that such uncertainties are present, we have extraploated the above data (which are linear on a log-log plot) to obtain an estimated return period of 50,000 years for an earthquake that could cause failure of the retention pond structure. Thus, over the period of the mine life, the probability of structural failure would be approximately 0.0006 (0.06%). Rounding up, a probability of failure of 0.001 will be assumed in subsequent analysis. Figure 5.3.5 Probability versus radiation exposure of members of the public resulting from the discharge of water from the Jabiluka mine site as a result of an earthquake An earthquake could clearly occur at any time of the year and during any year of the 30-year mine life. Thus one needs to know the probability that the volume of water contained within the pond will be exceeded on the specific day of the earthquake rather than the probability that this volume will be exceeded on any day during the 30 year life of the mine. Chiew and Wang (1999) derived the daily exceedence probability by running the Monte Carlo simulation of the water management system for more than 350,000 days. The variation of exceedence probability with volume was converted to exceedence probability as a function of radiation exposure using the procedures outlined in section 5.3.2 and the concentration data Dose (Sv) 0 20 40 60 80 100 E xc ee de nc e P ro ba bi lit y 10-9 10-8 10-7 10-6 10-5 10-4 10-3

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