Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Uranium mining is too big a risk

 Too often, the western mining and milling sites have become Superfund sites costing the U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean and monitor in perpetuity. Witness UravanColo.MonticelloUtah, and Durango, Colo….

Once leaching starts, the consequences can go on for generations. Tailings ponds overflowing is almost a certainty in Virginia as we have more rainfall than evaporation. Uranium ore waste is retained in the tailings and its radioactive half-life is 500,000 years or forever, whichever comes first.

Mining’s too big of a risk to take, Go Dan River, 20 Sept 11, BILL SPEIDEN  The Orange County Board of Supervisors is to be commended for recently reestablishing its position on maintaining a moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia. This is a position opposing lifting the current moratorium in order to protect our water sources and agricultural products. If uranium mining is allowed inPittsylvania County, it would become legal in the whole state.

We were approached by the uranium interests in 1979 to lease our farmon the banks of the Rapidan River in Somerset, upstream from Orange and Fredericksburg. We were offered a five-figure bonus and royalties from a “lucrative” mining operation.

Knowing nothing about the industry, my wife and I toured several mines and mills in Utah and Colorado, interviewing miners, mine superintendents and local ranchers. The technology used then and now includes storing highly radioactive waste (retaining more than 95 percent of the original radioactivity) in above-ground piles and ponds, leaching and overflowing into surface and underground water supplies. After further research, we decided we could not participate in this potential environmental disaster. Too often, the western mining and milling sites have become Superfund sites costing the U.S. taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars to clean and monitor in perpetuity. Witness UravanColo.MonticelloUtah, and Durango, Colo.

The industry is busy lobbying the state legislature to lift the moratorium in the 2012 session and at the same time telling many political entities that opposed them in the 1980s to wait for a National Academy of Sciences study due out in December funded by the industry before reexamining their previous positions.

Here are some important facts to consider before removing Virginia’s moratoriumon uranium mining:

» We are dealing with radioactive exposure to our miners, air, water supplies and neighbors. Underground uranium miners are under constant exposure to radioactivity while they work. In the American Southwest, uranium miners have historically had a much higher incidence of lung cancer than the normal population. As recently as November 2007, the job deficient Navajo Reservation in Arizona resisted renewed uranium mininginterests because of previous experience of cancer rates, livestock deaths and water contamination. ….
Once leaching starts, the consequences can go on for generations. Tailings ponds overflowing is almost a certainty in Virginia as we have more rainfall than evaporation. Uranium ore waste is retained in the tailings and its radioactive half-life is 500,000 years or forever, whichever comes first.

Safety is the issue. Legislation and regulations will change neither our population density nor our rainfall levels….

http://www2.godanriver.com/news/2011/sep/19/minings-too-big-risk-take-ar-1321071/

September 20, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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