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09:15 08 Nov 2020

The expert explained whether it is safe to live near the uranium mining site

Now uranium is mined by the modern method of underground leaching. This technology's purpose is to minimize any impact on the environment. Thus, nothing gets to the surface and into the deep during the extraction process since it all takes place underground.  

This was stated by Professor, Head of the Department of Mining Engineering and Education of the National Technical University "Dnipro Polytechnic" Volodymyr Bondarenko.

"Of course, a lot depends on the quality of work so that the wells aren't disturbed, so they don't penetrate the aquifer "along the way" underground. But the probability is minimal", he stated.

"If you use the old methods of open-pit mining, then we see harmful factors. It generates a lot of dust. But now, no one works like this in the world (perhaps only Russia)", told the expert.

Note. Uranium, as we know, is a radioactive element. But how strong is the radioactivity? We can relax, the uranium radiation is weak. The explanation is that natural uranium contains three isotopes: 234, 235, and 238, and over 99 percent of the uranium in nature is contained in the form of the uranium-238 isotope, which is almost non-dangerous to humans. It is considered being long-lived, with a half-life of 4.5 billion years.

Given this long period, we can say that it emits radiation weakly. Its alpha particles don't go through human skin. Interestingly, Academician Kurchatov, who worked with uranium in Soviet times, simply wiped his hands with a handkerchief after contact with metal. He didn't suffer from radiation sickness. Such contact is completely harmless. More so, once people could even buy uranium compounds at a pharmacy, like sodium uranate. Uranium itself has extremely low radioactivity.

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