Cross-posted from that paragon of journalism and reporting Richmond Progressive Examiner.
If former New York Representative, Anthony Weiner has a problem with ‘sexting’ (pardon the slang!), then Virginia Uranium Inc. and a number of Virginia’s elected officials have a problem accepting numerous studies which demonstrate the various risks posed by uranium mining in Southside Virginia.
Unlike Weiner’s problem, however, Virginia’s inability to heed multiple warnings to slow its role on attempting to lift the three-decades old moratorium on uranium mining has the potential to directly affect thousands of Virginians for generations.
While proponents of uranium mining in Southside Virginia have brushed away concerns regarding the risks involved with uranium mining in Southside Virginia, their inability to compare apples to apples or to control for pertinent variables in their cited research lends to the conclusion that the moratorium on uranium mining should remain in place until greater consensus has been reached about its safety.
Advocates of uranium mining have also failed to convincingly argue that the Virginia Department of Mines, Mineral, and Energy (DMME) can adequately regulate uranium mining if it were to become a reality in Virginia. As has been noted before, the Roanoke River Basin Association’s final report on DMME’s ability to adequately regulate uranium mining in Virginia further crystallized one of the biggest objections to lifting Virginia’s moratorium on u-mining. If such a risky venture can’t be adequately regulated, how is it moral or rational to lift the moratorium?
Then, of course, there is the economic side to the issue of uranium mining. If the mining of uranium were conducted in Virginia, what guarantees would there be that Virginia would reap the financial and energy benefits of this energy resource? As one astute observer pointed out, yellowcake is sold on an open market, meaning that the highest bidder for this resource will be the one taking it home.
And if you need another reason to be suspicious about any claims that Virginia will reap the rewards of uranium mining in our state, consider the fact that Virginia Energy Resources, a Canadian-based company, owns 100 percent of the Coles Hill deposit. Why, it almost sounds as if Virginia will be getting the short end of the uranium mining stick, in more ways than one!
Maybe in some distant future there will be a safe way to mine uranium in such wet climates as Virginia’s (or any climate for that matter). But that future has not yet come to pass, and until it does we should follow the recommendations of numerous reports: don’t lift the moratorium on uranium mining in Virginia.