Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Lia Tarachansky, "Much Ado about A Lot: Uranium Mining in Canada," MRZine, October 13, 2007.

This article by Lia Tarachansky includes a bibliographical link to one of the only human studies of uranium toxicity. -jlt
John Cutfeet outside the Legislature in June 2007.  Members of Grassy Narrows and Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug First Nations protested mining on their land.  Photo Adrian Wyld

Opposition to uranium mining has once again become a major topic of coverage by the media. From Australia to Canada, people are taking a stand against corporations that mine uranium and in particular against their mining on Native land. Today, the Ardoch and Shabot blockade brings attention to the potential uranium mine opening between Kingston and Ottawa. To make it clearer why so many are objecting to the mining of uranium, I have decided to investigate why so many are mining it in the first place.

Processed uranium is used for nuclear energy and weapons. Previously it was recycled, largely from old Soviet nuclear weapons. This source has now run out and in recent years the price of uranium skyrocketed from $7 to $145 per pound, according to the Colorado Springs Business Journal. In North America, U.S. uranium mining is concentrated in Colorado while Canadian mining in northern Saskatchewan and Ontario. Its processing, called "enrichment," leaves behind a depleted form of uranium (DU), used both for military and non-military (civilian) purposes. These include anti-tank artillery and coating of medical equipment such as x-ray and gamma radiation technology. The American military used DU in Iraq, the Former Republic of Yugoslavia, and in Afghanistan releasing close to 900 tones into the environment.

Read the whole article.

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