Author argues against uranium mining

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The author of a book that strikes down uranium exploration in Canada is applauding the New Brunswick government for its recent roadblocks to mining the element in the province.

Jim Harding, a retired environmental and justice studies professor and author of Canada’s Deadly Secret: Saskatchewan Uranium and the Global Nuclear System, made a stop in Moncton yesterday on a cross-country tour to chastise any move towards mining the radioactive rock.

Harding argued the thesis of his book, which flatly states uranium creates more problems than solutions, backing his claim on a timeline of Saskatchewan’s mining experience


WA Labor ‘won’t back’ uranium mining

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Western Australian Opposition Leader Eric Ripper says Labor will continue to oppose uranium mining in WA, even though the State Government formally lifting the ban on mining the resource today.

Premier Colin Barnett says the removal of the ban will take immediate effect and any new mining leases will not have the standard clause that bans uranium mining.

Any new leases will no longer contain the provision that uranium mining is not allowed.

Mr Barnett says the Government is also looking at ways to amend almost 1,500 mining leases issued since 2002 that prevent the resource from being mined.

Expert discusses health effects of uranium mining

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Between 100 and 150 people attended a program Saturday at the Community Center at Chatham to learn more about the potential health effects of uranium mining in Pittsylvania County.

The free educational program was sponsored by the Dan River Basin Association and featured Douglas M. Brugge, an associate professor in the Department of Public Health and Family Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, Mass.

Brugge spoke on the history and health effects of uranium mining.

Bush Violates Law Protecting Grand Canyon From Uranium Mining

Bush Violates Law Protecting Grand Canyon From Uranium Mining
Mining Claims Put a Stranglehold on Iconic Canyon

By: Environmental Working Group

WASHINGTON, Oct. 27, 2008 – The Bush administration allowed Phoenix-based Neutron Energy to stake 20 new mining claims south of the Grand Canyon on August 7, in violation of an emergency Congressional resolution passed seven weeks earlier that declared off limits to mining activity approximately 1 million acres adjacent to Grand Canyon National Park.

A new Environmental Working Group (EWG) analysis of records generated by the Interior department’s Bureau of Land Management unearthed evidence of Neutron Energy’s claims, filed in defiance of a Congressional resolution aimed at protecting the Canyon and the Colorado River that flows through it from a surge of uranium mining activity sparked by uranium prices escalating in anticipation of new nuclear power plant construction.

“The Bush administration’s Grand Canyon giveaway is a direct violation of the law,” said EWG Senior Analyst for Public Lands Dusty Horwitt. “This is the environmental equivalent of a subprime mortgage on the nation’s most iconic natural treasure. Mining companies get in cheap today, and the public pays tomorrow for what is certain to be a major environmental disaster.”

EWG alerted the public and Congress to the rush for mining rights around the Grand Canyon in an August 2007 report called Mining Law Threatens Grand Canyon, other Natural Treasures. This week’s updated analysis by EWG shows that as of October 1, 2008, speculators and mining interests have filed 8,568 mining claims in the area protected by the emergency resolution, compared to 110 claims in January 2003.

A satellite map showing the claims is available here:

Federal documents also show that the administration has illegally processed or approved requests to explore and drill for uranium on at least seven claims in the protected area after the House Natural Resources Committee resolution, passed June 25. The resolution invoked a rarely-used emergency provision to protect a million-acre expanse around the canyon.

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Alaska’s Youth Protest Palin and Uranium Mining

Alaska’s Youth Protest Palin and Uranium Mining

Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU)
Organizers: Emily Murray & Flora Simon
Box 39907, Elim, AK 99739
(907) 890-2351

Alaska’s Youth Protest to Gov. Palin and the State of Alaska Against Uranium Mining
By Pearl Johnson

Through covert dealings, Gov. Sarah Palin, State Dept. of Natural Resources, Bureau of Land Management, the Alaska and U.S. senators and representatives and an ANCSA corporation entrusted with the security and health of their constituents have accepted the lease proposal to explore for uranium at the Fireweed/Boulder Creek area located in southwestern Seward Peninsula, without the knowledge, consent nor approval of the citizens of Western Alaska.

When students of Elim, Alaska first realized this, they began researching the effects of uranium mining and created educational posters to share what they learned. A community meeting was organized in Elim to share their findings and garner support to protest this action. The community responded favorably and in March 2007, demonstrated when the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race went through their town.

On September 17, 2007, a letter was sent to Gov. Palin inquiring what she planned to do about uranium mining at Boulder Creek which is located north of their community. She has yet to respond to this letter… Click here to read the letter.

In her State of the State speech on January 17, 2007, I quote: “With our rich energy supplies, we can contribute globally in many arenas, if we do things right. We must lead with trust – founded upon a most ethical government. To sustain our future……we must look to responsible development throughout the state… from mining etc. We can be good stewards of God’s green earth.”

Core drilling has been completed at Boulder Creek. Pollution in this watershed will negatively impact and irreversibly destroy the area and sustain heavy environmental and cultural damage impacting the communities of Council, White Mountain, Golovin, Koyuk, Elim and Shaktoolik. To allow the total destruction of this beautiful land, lush meadows, rich green forests, flower fields, pristine lakes and rivers is unthinkable. This fragile ecosystem nourishes and supplies Inupiaq, Yupik and non-native people, and healthy populations of every plant and mammal species indigenous to Arctic Alaska. It is not a frozen wasteland but a biologically diverse home to millions of salmon, beluga whale, seals, crab and annual migrations of birds from the Americas. The great Western Arctic Caribou Herd has wintered here, along with local reindeer, grizzly and black bear, and moose. Wolves, fox, lynx, beaver, otter, muskrat, mink, weasel, squirrel and porcupine traverse through quiet grasslands and marshes. Eagles, hawks and owls, robins and ravens fly through wind blown rocky enclaves in search of insects and small rodents. Berries, herbs and teas color the landscape along with wild cotton, cat tails and willows.

Why would you destroy this? If mining is allowed, air, wind and waterborne pollutants will turn this area into an arid, desolate wasteland unfit for habitation forever. Did the politicians decide how the residents of this area were going to live, stricken with cancers and deformed fetuses? Where would they go? The birthright of the residents of this area has been sold. And, they have been abandoned by the politicians and left to fend for themselves!

The village of Elim and other Seward Peninsula communities were never given the opportunity to discuss planned exploration and drilling of uranium nor voice their concerns regarding mining. The regional native corporation, Bureau of Land Management, State Dept. of Natural Resources and the elected officials charged to care for their constituency did not study the impact uranium mining would incur in the region. Had they done that, they would have realized that mining for uranium is unregulated and no method of extracting uranium is safe and would have informed the impacted area of the pros and cons of development. And Gov. Palin has broken her oath of office and despite her State of the State speech, has gone against her promises of “doing things right, mutual trust, trustworthy government and responsible mining development ” by allowing a proposal to mine uranium on the Seward Peninsula which now threatens the livelihood and lives of the people of Western Alaska.

The organization, Elim Students Against Uranium (ESAU), has been spearheaded by Emily Murray and Flora Simon. Emily Murray, “We may be the minority but as an indigenous nation, our voices will be heard and we will stand tall and fight for what we believe in.”

ESAU is continuing to educate organizations and communities in the region and plans to take this protest to the United Nations Permanent Form on Indigenous Issues should Gov. Palin, the State of Alaska and mining conglomerates continue pursuing heavy mining development at Boulder Creek. Flora Simon, “This process of exploring, mining and being possessed by the mighty dollar has even corrupted the minds of our leaders that we voted for. The ones that are to be praised the most are the students of Elim that care enough to speak up and want to protect their subsistence lifestyle, for these are the ones that will benefit or be destroyed.”
For More Information:
Western Mining Action Network
Elim Uranium Mine Student Blog
Big New’s: Uranium in Norton Sound Reigon
Indigenous Environmental Network
Images Courtesy: Big New’s: Uranium in Norton Sound Region
For more information contact:
Flora Simon –
Tom Goldtooth
The Indigenous Environmental Network • PO Box 485 • Bemidji • MN • 56619

MPs recommend delay on Russian uranium deal

MPs recommend delay on Russian uranium deal

Posted Thu Sep 18, 2008 11:21am AEST
Updated 10 hours 4 minutes ago

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin attend a Victory Day Parade

Weapons fears: The committee wants the treaty delayed until Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev separate Russia’s civil and military nuclear facilities. (AFP: Yuri Kadobnov)

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Federal Parliament’s Treaties Committee has recommended the Government delay ratifying a treaty to sell uranium to Russia because of fears about the country’s nuclear weapons program.

The treaty was signed last year by the former Howard Government.

But after examining the proposal, the committee says it should not go ahead until Russia separates its civil and military nuclear facilities.

Committee members had earlier expressed fears that Russia could use Australian uranium as part of its nuclear weapons program.

The committee also says there should be International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspections of the facilities that will take Australian uranium.

But Liberal Senators, including Victorian Julian McGauran, have given a dissenting report saying the treaty should be ratified.

Senator McGauran says the majority members of the committee have gone on a “frolic”.

“They don’t rely on the experience and expertise of the departments, they have instead relied upon what I would classify as some extreme anti-nuclear groups,” he said.

Premier promises laws to ban uranium mining

Premier promises laws to ban uranium mining

Western Australian Premier Alan Carpenter has promised to legislate to ban uranium mining of if Labor is relected.

The Premier has maintained until now that legislation is not necessary because of the Labor Party’s stance against it.

Mr Carpenter now says he will introduce legislation before the end of the year to ensure uranium is not mined in Western Australia.

The Premier is in Albany, where he has made a commitment to renewable energy and promised that a Labor government would spend $7 million providing financial incentives for new renewable power technology.

Rather than it just now being left to the whim or the will of the Premier of the day, it should be subject to the Parliament of Western Australia, “he said.

“We will ban by legislation the mining of uranium in Western Australia and instead we will drive 100 per cent renewable energy production.”

Toro Energy, which has uranium exploration and mining leases in WA, says the Premier is playing politics at the expense of the environment.

Chief executive Greg Hall disputes the Premier’s claim that most of the world is moving away from nuclear power.

“Nothing could be further from the truth,” he says.

“There are currently 440 operating reactors, 34 under construction, another 81 being planned for construction, and another 200-plus being planned and scoped.

“There’s almost a doubling of nuclear power happening around the world, so to make a statement that much of the world is moving away, it almost seems like it’s come purely from an anti-nuclear lobby.”