[ RadSafe ] Australian Uranium in Antarctic Ice ?

Mon Jul 25 13:55:28 CDT 2016

I guess one question to ask is how uranium is mined in Australia. If it's largely open-pit mines (or some other process that generates a lot of airborne dust) then it's certainly plausible. Ice cores from Greenland have been shown to have elevated lead concentrations in strata corresponding to the Roman Empire and are interpreted as reflecting the processing of lead ore and the use of lead by the Romans. And we know (as someone else mentioned earlier) that African dust has been tracked across the Atlantic, as has Chinese dust across the Pacific. So the thought that Australian dust might make its way to the Antarctic Peninsula is certainly reasonable - if the uranium is mined or processed in such a way that generates dust.


P. Andrew Karam, PhD, CHP
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-----Original Message-----
From: radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu [mailto:radsafe-bounces at health.phys.iit.edu] On Behalf Of Jaro Franta
Sent: Thursday, July 21, 2016 3:46 PM
To: 'The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List'
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Australian Uranium in Antarctic Ice ?

Or, to be precise, Uranium from Australian MINES is claimed to be found in Antarctic ice.

What do you make of it ?



My thoughts:

Looking closely at a Radiometric Map of Australia ( https://db.tt/pN8fmZNI ), I see that the region around Roxby Downs, the town next to Olympic Dam mine (producers of both uranium & copper) has a low surface concentration of uranium. 
Certainly lower than the Flinders Ranges to the east, or other areas to the south.
That being the case, how can lead researcher Mariusz Potocki reasonably expect readers to believe his claim that uranium found in Antarctica comes from Australian uranium mines ?
Does he propose some sort of magical transport mechanism that avoids the regions where mines are located, going directly to Antarctica ?

It seems that, if anything, the Uranium found in Antarctic ice must be dust from the erosion of the Flinders Range and other large geological features that standout in the Radiometric Map of Australia ( https://db.tt/pN8fmZNI )

Is there similar experience elsewhere in the world, such as dust blowing off the Sahara desert, from U-loaded phosphate deposits ?
How much is from mining, and how much from general soil erosion ?


Jaro Franta


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