Wednesday, May 20, 2009

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Uranium Mining Sub-Committee meeting this Thursday!!!

I received this information yesterday. The Uranium Mining Sub-Committee will be meeting this Thursday, May 21st at 2:30 pm in the General Assembly Building. While the focus of this issue has been on Pittsylvania County since they have the largest Uranium deposit on the East Coast (if not the country), this sub-committe will be making recommendations that impact the entire "Commonwealth." It has not been talked about as much that if the moratorium on Uranium Mining is lifted in Virginia, it affects the entire state. There is Uranium all over Virginia.

As I’ve posted before, if it's such a challenge to properly dispose and store coal ash (Fly Ash) then what kind of a challenge do you think it will be to dispose and store mined Uranium and spent fuel rods from Nuclear Power Plants? I want cheap, clean energy as much as the next person but,… IT HAS TO BE SUSTAINABLE, RENEWABLE, AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SAFE!

If you can get to Richmond tomorrow, please attend the meeting and voice your concerns. If you can’t please contact the members of the Uranium Mining Sub-Committee, listed below:

Virginia Coal and Energy Commission

Chairman: Delegate R. Lee Ware (804)598-6696
Senator Phillip Puckett (276)979-8181
Senator Frank Wagner (757)671-2250
Senator John Watkins (804)379-2063
Delegate Watkins Abbitt, Jr. (434)352-2880
Delegate Kristen Amundson (703)619-0444
Delegate Charles Carrico (276)773-9600
Delegate W. R. "Bill" Janis (804)726-5856
Delegate Terry Kilgore (276)386-7011
Delegate Clarence Phillips (276)762-9758
Citizen Harry D. Childress former head of the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy
Dr. Michael Karmis, Liaison (540) 231-7057 or (540)231-5273

Here is some more information about the purpose of the Uranium Mining Sub-Committee and their Statement of Task. Note that concern for public health and environmental impact doesn’t get listed until numbers 7, 8, and 9. Global Market trends is #1. Are they serious?!!!

Uranium Mining in Virginia
Statement of Task

Uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia has been prohibited since 1982 by a state moratorium, although approval for restricted uranium exploration in the state was granted in 2007. A National Research Council study will examine the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling, and processing as they relate to the Commonwealth of Virginia. In particular, the study will:

1) Review global and national uranium market trends.
2) Identify and briefly describe the main types of uranium deposits worldwide including, for example, geologic characteristics, mining operations, and best practices.
3) Review the geologic, environmental, geographic, climatic, and cultural settings and exploration status of uranium resources in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
4) Review the primary technical options and best practices approaches for uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation that might be applicable within the Commonwealth of Virginia, including discussion of improvements made since 1980 in the design, construction, and monitoring of tailings impoundments (“cells”).
5) Review the state and federal regulatory framework for uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation.
6) Review federal requirements for secure handling of uranium materials, including personnel, transportation, site security, and material control and accountability.
7) Assess the potential short- and long-term occupational and public health and safety considerations from uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation, including the potential human health effects from exposure to “daughter” products of radioactive decay of uranium.
8) Identify the issues that may need to be considered regarding the quality and quantity of groundwater and surface water, and the quality of soil and air from uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation. As relevant, water and waste management and severe weather effects or other stochastic events may also be considered.
9) Assess the potential ecosystem issues for uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation.
11) Identify baseline data and approaches necessary to monitor environmental and human impacts associated with uranium mining, milling, processing, and reclamation.
12) Briefly characterize a potential public education and outreach program in the Commonwealth of Virginia for a uranium mining operation (for example, health and safety issues, inspection and enforcement, community right-to-know, emergency planning).
By addressing these questions, the study will provide independent, expert advice that can be used to inform decisions about the future of uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia; however, the study will not make recommendations about whether or not uranium mining should be permitted nor will the study include site-specific assessments.



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