Radium Removal from Uranium Ores and Mill Tailings.
Borrowman SR; Brooks PT
NTIS: PB 250 751 :12 pages
Mill tailings from conventional uranium extraction processes contain nearly all of the radium originally in the ore. Such tailings require controlled storage in perpetuity to safeguard the surrounding environment from radioactive contamination. Alternatives to controlled storage of the tailings are (1) removal of the radium from the tailings for separate storage or use or (2) removal of the radium when processing the uranium ore. In laboratory tests conducted by the federal Bureau of Mines, radium was leached from tailings using either hydrochloric acid or ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid. A hydrochloric acid leaching method was used to extract both radium and uranium from the ore to yield tailings containing less radium than those produced by either conventional sulfuric acid or alkaline leaching processes. From 77 to 94 percent of the radium in mill tailings was concentrated by sedimentation in slime fractions representing nearly 25 weight- percent of the original sample.
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