Title: Uranium mining and milling: material security and risk assessment

Authors: Friedrich Steinhausler, Lyudmila Zaitseva

Addresses: Division of Physics and Biophysics, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria. ' Division of Physics and Biophysics, University of Salzburg, Salzburg, Austria

Abstract: At present, physical protection for the front end of the nuclear fuel cycle is typically at a significantly lower level than at any other part of the nuclear fuel cycle. However, in view of past experiences it is feasible to take into consideration some generic threat scenarios, potentially resulting in loss of control over the nuclear material, respectively its by-products, such as: illegal mining of an officially closed uranium mine; covert diversion of uranium ore whilst officially mining another ore; covert transport of radioactive ore or product; covert en route diversion of an authorised uranium transport; covert diversion of uranium ore and concentrate from an operating uranium mill; covert removal of uranium ore or yellow cake from an officially closed facility; intentional demolition of tailings in order to cause environmental contamination.

Keywords: natural uranium; nuclear trafficking; nuclear weapons; uranium ore; yellow cake; uranium mining; uranium milling; nuclear materials; risk assessment; illegal mining; covert diversion; nuclear security; environmental contamination.

DOI: 10.1504/IJNGEE.2007.014675

International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, 2007 Vol.1 No.3, pp.286 - 304

Published online: 24 Jul 2007 *

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