The distribution of radon and other radioactive decay products of uranium from a uranium deposit into overlying overburden

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 75, No. 843, 1982

R.H. McCORKELL and M.P. BRAMELD, Bondar-Clegg and Company Ltd., Ottawa, Ontario

Overburden covering bedrock uranium deposits was sampled to depths of 29 m and Rn concentrations measured at the same depths. Total-alpha activities, U concentrations and Rn emanation (J) of the samples were measured. The U-flux into the overburden was greater in the past: oxidation and dissolution has since removed most U, leaving decay products which indicate the presence of U deposits when U itself does not. Distributions of U and decay products and their ratios to each other reflect U-migration and degrees of U-removal. Rn distribution in overburden is related to the J of overburden samples and the presence and movement of groundwater. Simple, rapid methods of total-alpha and J measurement are described.
Keywords: Environmental control, Radon, Radioactive decay, Uranium deposits, Overburden, Decay products, Groundwater, Drilling, Cluff Lake, Amok deposit, Gooderham.