Paladin cleans up after uranium spill

17 February 2014

A small quantity of uranium oxide concentrate has been removed for safe disposal after a "minor incident" during a routine shipment of product from Paladin's Kayelekera mine in Malawi.

According to a statement by the company, a truck operated by a contractor toppled onto its side on the verge while negotiating a curve in the road. The single container of uranium oxide being carried by the truck was buckled and holed by a tree stump in the incident, which occurred about 8 km from the mine site. The driver of the truck was uninjured although the co-driver suffered minor injuries and received medical treatment at the scene of the accident.

Kayelekera (Paladin)_460
The truck was transporting uranium from the Kayelekera mine (Image: Paladin)

A special response team dispatched by Paladin recovered a "small quantity" of uranium oxide from the scene as well as soil which had come into contact with the uranium. The removed materials have been taken for disposal at Kayelekera's tailing storage facility, while the container has been returned to the mine where the uranium oxide will be repacked into a new container.

The accident site and surrounding area have been radiologically tested and Malawi's Atomic Energy Regulatory Authority has declared it is satisfied with Paladin's handling of the incident.

Four other trucks travelling in convoy with the overturned vehicle were able to complete their journey to the port of Walvis Bay in Namibia.

Uranium production is currently winding down at Kayelekera as Paladin prepares to put Malawi's only operating uranium mine into care and maintenance pending an upturn in world uranium prices.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News

WNA Links

Related Links

Filed under: Malawi, Transport