Managing uranium and radioactive hazards

It can be hazardous to explore for uranium or other naturally occurring radioactive minerals, or explore in areas where they may be present.

If you are working in such areas you must use effective procedures to prevent harm to your staff, the public or the environment.

You should read the guide to exploring for radioactive materials before planning any work in or around areas where radioactive minerals like uranium or thorium are likely to be found.

Get the guide.

Exploration for radioactive materials PDF (74.8 KB)

The guide describes the nature of radiation hazards and how to manage them.

Radiation management plan

You must develop a radiation management plan for monitoring and minimising radiation exposure for your staff, the public and the environment.

Your radiation management plan should identify the specific risks associated with a project and detail how these risks will be managed.

Your radiation management plan can be part of a mining management plan or a separate document.

Your radiation management plan must include all of the following as a minimum:

  • a list of all radiation risks associated with an exploration program
  • proposed procedures to control the risks to people and the environment, as required under the Mining Management Act 2001 and the Work Health and Safety (National Uniform Legislation) Act 2011
  • how staff exposure will be monitored and recorded
  • proposed procedures for managing incidents and spills involving radioactive samples, waste or drilling fluids
  • proposed procedures for the disposal of radioactive waste generated on site or returned to site from laboratory testing
  • proposed procedures to ensure all contaminated equipment is cleaned before leaving site
  • proposed procedures to ensure that rehabilitated drill sites are free from contamination
  • proposed procedures to record and report information
  • proposed procedures to ensure compliance with any transport or storage requirements under the Radioactive Ores and Concentrates (Packaging and Transport) Act 1980
  • information to identify the roles of the Radiation Safety Officer and resources to implement the radiation management plan
  • details of the induction and training program for all staff and contractors on site.

National codes and standards

The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency has produced the following range of codes and standards called the Radiation Protection Series:

  • Code for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material (2014)
  • Code of Practice and Safety Guide for Radiation Protection and Radioactive Waste Management in Mining and Mineral Processing (2005).

Go to the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency website for copies of the codes and standards.

Last updated: 11 March 2020

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