Labrador ends Inuit land uranium mining moratorium

20 December 2011

Canada’s Nunatsiavut government has voted to lift the three-year moratorium on the mining, development and production of uranium on Labrador Inuit Lands at the Nunatsiavut Assembly sitting on Wednesday, December 14, 2011.

The proclamation is scheduled for early March 2012, to allow for the Act’s regulations to be completed.

Australia-based uranium development company Paladin holds title to significant uranium assets through its wholly-owned subsidiary Aurora Energy Ltd. (“Aurora”). Five of its six deposits fall within the Labrador Inuit Lands, the area administered by the Nunatsiavut Government.

With the lifting of the moratorium and no impediments from the Federal and Provincial Government, Paladin will be planning for a mid 2012 exploration programme. Drilling is expected to start in the third quarter of CY2012. Initially camp and support infrastructure will be reestablished to allow ground geological and geophysical work to go ahead, to define drilling targets. Drilling is planned to start with infill and extension drilling of the Michelin mineralisation.



Recommendations by tier

Tier 1: Near-term measures
Seismic and flood hazard reevaluations
Seismic and flood walkdowns
Station blackout (SBO) regulatory actions
Equipment for firefighting, fuel mitigation and radiation release minimisation
Reliable hardened vents for Mark I and Mark II containments
Spent fuel pool instrumentation
Strengthening and integration of emergency operating procedures, severe accident management guidelines (SAMGs), and extensive damage mitigation guidelines
Emergency preparedness regulatory actions (staffing and communications)


Tier 2: Too technical for near-term deployment, but not long-term either

Spent fuel pool makeup capability
Emergency preparedness regulatory actions

Tier 3: Further regulatory study required, or depends on near-term actions

Ten-year confirmation of seismic and flooding hazards
Potential enhancements to the capability to prevent or mitigate seismically-induced fires and floods
Reliable hardened vents for other containment designs
Hydrogen control and mitigation inside containment or in other buildings
Emergency preparedness (EP) enhancements for prolonged SBO and multiunit events
Emergency Response Data System capability
Additional EP topics for prolonged station black-out and multiunit events
EP topics for decision-making, radiation monitoring, and public education
Reactor Oversight Process modifications to reflect the recommended defence-in-depth framework
Staff training on severe accidents and resident inspector training on severe accident management guidelines





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