Saturday, February 16, 2008

Who's Anium? Ur-Anium!

This article from the AP discusses a man in Virginia that would like to overturn VA's moratorium on uranium mining that has been in place since 1983. The man, Walter Coles Sr., owns hundreds of acres of farmland in VA that contain the country's largest unmined uranium deposit estimated to be worth 10 billion dollars! Coles has been offered millions and millions of dollars by companies looking to purchase the land, but instead of selling, Coles has started his own company, Virginia Uranium Inc., in order to mine and sell the uranium. Opponents of the mining operation are concerned that tailings from the uranium mining will get into the air and water.

What makes this topic interesting to me is the fact that the Bannister River, which runs near the proposed mining site, runs towards the coast and contributes to a main source of drinking water for Virginia Beach, my home town. I'm on the fence about whether or not this operation should be allowed. On one side I can certainly understand why Coles would like to mine the uranium. 10 billion dollars is A LOT of money! On the other I don't want to be worried about the water I'm drinking when I go back to the beach to visit my family and friends. If I was Coles I would definitely want to mine the uranium, and also as a nuclear energy supporter I'm typically for uranium mining. So what to do? Send my folks cases of bottled water?

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