Department of Mines and Energy
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Uranium & other radioactive materials

Advisory Note for Radioactive Materials

Companies that are either exploring for uranium or other radioactive minerals, or undertaking exploration activities in areas where they may be encountered, should be aware that such substances pose hazards in addition to those associated with the exploration for other minerals. It is expected that companies will adopt appropriate systems and procedures to effectively manage these additional risks to prevent potential harm to personnel, the public or the environment.

The Department has produced an Advisory Note, which provides a basic understanding of the nature of radiation hazards associated with exploration activities where radioactive minerals (e.g. uranium, thorium) may be encountered, and outlines a systematic approach to managing those hazards, to ensure compliance with current standards and legislative requirements.

Radiation Management Plan

Operators should develop a Radiation Management Plan (RMP) which outlines procedures for monitoring and minimising radiation exposure to workers, the public and the environment.

This RMP should identify the specific risks associated with a project and detail how these risks will be managed. It is acceptable to provide this information either as a component of the Mining Management Plan, which is a requirement under the Mining Management Act (NT), or as a separate document.

The purpose of the RMP is to:

  • identify all radiation risks associated with the exploration program;
  • document procedures to control the risks to people and the environment, as required under the Mining Management Act and Workplace Health and Safety Act;
  • describe methods of monitoring and recording of doses to workers;
  • document  procedures for managing incidents and spills involving radioactive samples, waste or drilling fluids;
  • describe  the program of disposal of radioactive waste generated on site or returned to site from laboratory testing;
  • describe  the processes to ensure all contaminated equipment is cleaned before leaving site;
  • describe  the processes to ensure that drill sites are free from contamination following rehabilitation;
  • document procedures to suitably record and report information as necessary;
  • document procedures to ensure compliance with any transport or storage requirements under the Radioactive Ores and Concentrates (Packaging and Transport) Act;
  • identify the roles of the Radiation Safety Officer and the availability of resources to implement the RMP; and
  • document the induction and training programme for all workers and contractors on site.