A long-term plan should always discuss dealing with the unexpected. Sometimes things don’t go the way you expect them to, so having a contingency plan in place is important – This is especially true for a project as large as Kiggavik. Volume 10 of AREVA’s draft environmental impact statement (DEIS) was written for this purpose. The Emergency Response Plan in Volume 10 provides general guidance for all emergencies related to the Kiggavik Project. The Plan describes the responsibilities, tasks and reporting requirements involved in an emergency; and details various emergency response situations including necessities of life emergencies, personnel emergencies, natural environment-related emergencies and operational emergencies. You can access the whole document (88 pages) here.
To evaluate the potential accidents and malfunctions associated with the project, we conducted a number of risk assessments. Risks are sorted by the likelihood of the incident occurring and the potential consequences resulting from the accident. Through consultation with experts and local feedback, the risks identified include spills of fuel and other hazardous materials outside of site containment boundaries, potential transportation accidents, and other transportation-related accidents, the risk of fire or explosion.
Any accident or malfunction, including those caused or compounded by environmental hazards, are predicted to have no residual effects on the environment. Preventative measures, including design features, redundancy, secondary and tertiary containment, management plans, preventative maintenance, routine operational and environmental monitoring, safe work plans, and training programs will be in place to reduce the probability of the incident occurring. Response measures, including trained emergency response teams, an emergency response plan, a spill contingency plan, spill kits, monitoring programs, trained first responders, and a staffed health centre, will be in place to reduce the consequences of an incident if one were to occur.
Back in February, Kiggavik Project’s Environment and Radiation Protection Supervisor had the opportunity to ride along with Peter from Peter’s Expediting during one of his ice profiling excursions on Baker Lake. Ice profiling is essentially measuring ice thickness. It is required before starting the winter haul of supplies from Baker Lake to the Kiggavik Project site. To measure the ice thickness they use a combination of sonar instruments and drill test holes with an ice auger, which helps to verify the accuracy of the data collected by the sonar instruments. AREVA is committed to protecting the safety of its employees, contractors and neighbours, ice profiling is one example of how AREVA’s safety standards are applied.
AREVA is committed to provide adequate training for its employees but also to help its contractors be the best suppliers they can be. This commitment was illustrated at the beginning of February 2011, when AREVA Resources joined forces with Peter’s Expediting to provide online Transportation of Dangerous Goods (TDG) and Workplace Hazardous Materials Identification System (WHMIS) training sessions in Baker Lake.
Six of Peter’s Expediting employees completed the TDG and WHMIS training over two days and six more registered to complete the program at a later date. The group met in AREVA’s Baker Lake offices were six laptops had been set-up to provide the online training. AREVA’s Kiggavik Project Environment and Radiation Protection Supervisor, Kim, was on hand to assist the participants with any technical difficulties. This training not only met AREVA’s commitment to continuously improve and meet its safety standards, it also provided its contractor with the resources to meet regulatory training requirements.
An effective system of nuclear safeguards is in place to ensure that uranium currently mined in Canada is not used for nuclear weapons. This is managed through international treaties. In the past, uranium from Canada supported the military programs of our allies. Uranium can no longer be sold from Canada for military purposes. Sales under military contracts have not occurred since the late 1980s when it was sold by the Canadian crown corporation of Eldorado Nuclear Ltd.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was established within the United Nations to ensure that safeguarded nuclear material, such as Canada’s uranium, is not used for military purposes. To learn more about IAEA safeguards, visit the IAEA website: http://www.iaea.org/OurWork/SV/index.html
Present mining best practices protect humans and the environment. In recent decades the mining companies have created a common framework of internationally recognized, shared principles and practices designed to meet the definition of sustainable development advanced by the Brundtland Commission. The mining industry has improved from practices used in the past. The International Council on Mining and Metals and the World Nuclear Association have developed principles of sustainable development for mining and for the uranium mining industry. Uranium mining companies follow these principles and practices as currently, which are described in “Sustaining Global Best Practices in Uranium Mining and Processing: Principles for Managing Radiation, Health and Safety, Waste and the Environment.”