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On Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 1:00 PM, the Virginia Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee will meet in the General Assembly Building, Senate Room A, First Floor, at the corner of E. Grace St. & N. 9th St., in Richmond, VA 23219. It is important to kill this bill at that time. If we do, it is dead for the 2013 session. If you live in Virginia, be there!
In the meantime, you'll be interested in reading the following, which demonstrates just what the people who run Virginia Uranium, Inc., think of the rest of us. D'oh!
Virginia Uranium’s ‘Simpsons’ Remark Insensitive
From The Chatham Virginia Star Ledger
Posted: Wednesday, February 1, 2012 10:19 am
In an interview titled "Proposed Uranium Mining in Pittsylvania County" in the January 23, 2012, issue of The Richmond Times-Dispatch, Patrick Wales, project manager for Virginia Uranium Inc., was quoted as follows:
"We're fighting ‘The Simpsons.' Most Americans know everything they do about the nuclear industry from Homer Simpson,' the TV cartoon character who is not above tossing a stray piece of nuclear waste out of his car and into the street."
After delivering that explanation of the problems of Virginia Uranium Inc., Mr. Wales then reportedly conducted a kindergarten level "show-and-tell" using a uranium-bearing rock. He explained there was a difference between the danger from that rock on his desk and spent uranium fuel rods.
Do tell! Heavens to Betsy, will wonders never cease?
If Mr. Wales feels he's fighting the Simpsons, then he should be aware that some of those Simpsons feel they are trying to communicate with the Flintstones, specifically Fred and his pal, Barney Rubble.
Why not discuss something interesting for the interview such as the stripping ratio, which is the amount of rock in which the uranium ore is located that will be removed from the mine either to reach the uranium ore or along with the ore? This is called waste rock.
For an open pit mine, that ratio is 40:1 (40 tons of waste rock for one ton of ore) but Virginia Uranium has indicated in recently released studies that it intends to do underground mining so that ratio may be less than one. (Source: RTI Report; technical paper titled "Waste Management in the Uranium Mining Industry" presented to The Uranium Institute, now called The World Nuclear Association, which is the trade association of the uranium mining/milling industry.)
Coles Hill uranium ore is embedded in rock which analysis has shown contains 20 elements, including lead, arsenic and sulfates.
Sulfur minerals oxidize under weathering, then combine with water to form sulfuric acid.
Sulfuric acid run-off, not to mention arsenic and lead run-off, from waste rock is much more interesting than show-and-tell uranium bearing rock.
Such run-off could endanger human, animal and plant life and water resources. (Sources: Jerden, 2001; RTI Report; technical paper cited above.)
Then, of course, Mr. Wales could have discussed tailings cells -- those 40-acre lined pits containing the milling waste from the alkaline leaching to obtain the uranium ore to be milled into yellowcake. These cells are areas that will have to be monitored for thousands and thousands of years because of the toxicity to human, animal and plant life. The impact of possible hurricanes and earthquake activity on these cells is an added, possibly unique aspect of uranium mining at Coles Hill.
This would have been much more interesting than a show-and-tell rock.
I guess a "Simpson" just does not understand what makes a good newspaper interview.
Hildred C. Shelton