White Mesa Uranium Mill - Executive Summary
Accidental Release Prevention and Emergency Response Policies |
This facility follows OSHA standards, ASTM standards, ANSI standards, and ASME standards for anhydrous ammonia handling and storage. It is our policy to adhere to all applicable federal, state and local laws. If an emergency were to occur, it is our policy to utilize our own response team and notify the Blanding City Fire Department and enlist their assistance if necessary.
The Facility and the Regulated Substances Handled
This facility processes uranium ores. We use anhydrous ammonia as a reagent in the extraction process. The process consists of two 140,000 pound tanks and associated valves and piping.
The Worst Case and Alternative Release Scenarios
Our worst case scenario is the release of all the contents of one 140,000 pound tank when completely full, resulting in a cloud of anhydrous ammonia gas. The resulting distance to the endpoint extends off-site, and public and environmental receptors are within the dista
nce to the endpoint. The worst case relase scenario is extremely unlikely, if not impossible, as it requires the use of release parameters achievable only through total and nearly instantaneous tank failure. Our alternative release scenario is a pressure relief valve stuck open or sheared off, resulting in a 60-minute release of 120,000 pounds of anhydrous ammonia. The resulting distance to the endpoint extends slightly beyond the facility fenceline to include a small segment of grazing land, but no public or environmental receptors. In an effort to comply with the RMP recommendations to model an alternate release that extends off-site we needed to model a very large, and consequently unlikely, alternate release and discount all response and mitigation measures that would normally be taken. Realistically, alternative releases would likely be minimized by check valves, overfill prevention, excess flow valves and rapid response by trained on-site personnel. Release mitigation measu
res include dikes, berms and sumps for containment of liquids and deluge systems for anhydrous ammonia dilution. All of the alternative release scenarios accounting for these measures are contained entirely on-site.
General Accidental Release Prevention and Chemical-Specific Prevention Steps
This facility complies with EPA's Clean Air Act 112(r) RMP requirements and all applicable federal, state and local codes and regulations. Extensive training and inspection of all processes is routinely performed. The anhydrous ammonia process is designed, installed, operated and maintained in accordance with ASTM standards, ASME standards and ANSI standards. Tanks and piping are inspected daily.
Five Year Accident History
We have never had any accident involving anhydrous ammonia that caused deaths, injuries, property or environmental damage, evacuations, or shelterings in place.
The Emergency Response Program
In the event of an emergency involving our anhydrous ammonia process, it is our p
olicy to utilize our own response team and notify the Blanding City Fire Department and enlist their assistance if necessary. We have discussed this policy with the fire department and our own response team and members of the fire department have inspected our facility. Our emergency response team trains regularly for anhydrous ammonia emergencies.
Planned Changes to Improve Safety
No changes are planned at this time. Our facility is routinely inspected and audited and all changes to improve saftey are implemented as they are noted.