Uranium Mining Methods: Teacher Answer Key
Mining Method
Benefits
Impacts
Underground
mining
	Provides jobs
	Brings money to the local
economy and may lead to
improved local facilities and
services
	Permits mining operations to
be largely out of sight
	Allows for production in all
kinds of weather conditions
	Produces safety and health hazards
if unauthorized persons enter mines
or fall in openings
	Presents numerous safety and
health risks for workers working
underground
	Releases radon and radioactive dust
into the environment
	Produces contaminated soil, water
and tailings that can impact the
surrounding soil, air and
water if not managed properly
Open-pit mining
	Provides jobs
	Brings money to the local
economy and may lead to
improved local facilities and
services
	Allows for high production of
uranium that brings
money to the company
	Produces safety and health hazards
if unauthorized persons enter or fall
in pits
	Releases radon into the
environment
	Produces tailings/radioactive waste
that can contaminate the
soil, air and water
In-situ leaching
	Provides jobs
	Brings money to the local
economy and may lead to
improved local facilities and
services
	Reduces risk of employee
accidents and exposure to
radiation
	Costs less than other mining
methods
	Eliminates the concerns of
open pits, radioactive dust
and uranium mill tailings
	Risk of spills, leaks and
contamination of groundwater
and potential drinking water
	Releases radon into the
environment
	Produces waste slurries and waste
water that could contaminate the
environment if not managed
properly
	Leaching chemicals may impact or
contaminate groundwater, soil and
rocks
	Only feasible in deposits that are
saturated and have high
permeability
rnA United States	RadTown Uranium Activity Set	EPA 402-B-19-065
Environmental Protection
#* Agency	https://www.EPA.gov/RadTown/Activitv-4-Uranium-Mining-Methods

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