Thursday, March 19, 2009

Uranium is harmful

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chatham Star-Tribune

To the Editor:

I am writing because of former letters using the Bible to explain uranium mining is safe but the verses were changed.

According to the Bible, we are to protect the Earth. Below are the true verses:

"The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it." (Genesis 2:15)

"The nations were angry; and your wrath has come. The time has come for judging the dead, and for rewarding your servants the prophets and your saints and those who reverence your name, both small and great-and for destroying those who destroy the earth." (Revelation 11:18)

"Treat the earth well, it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children." (Native American Proverb)

I believe God did not give us his earth to destroy God's earth.

God gave people free will, and free will has done evil and good.

The most evil of free will is greed and pride. Greed takes over logic and people who believe in uranium mining and nuclear power plants always saying uranium does not hurt or kill people.

Our government gives money to nuclear power plants, therefore enabling foreign governments to become rich. They have records earnings.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's priority is on the financial health of the nuclear industry, not on public health.

However, working for a nuclear fuel plant is not the same as uranium mining. All forms of uranium processing have accidents according to NRC.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani said at a press conference, "Uranium is forever. There is no such thing as an acceptable amount of radiation. Every level of contamination is an area of concern."

Uranium is defined as a metallic element that is used as nuclear fuel and is highly toxic and radioactive.

Exposure to radiation from uranium can occur in various ways. The breakdown of uranium products creates radon daughters. These can attach to dust particles and, if workers inhale the dust, the particles lodge in their lungs, where they release high doses of radiation.

This is believed to be why Navajo uranium miners face a risk of lung cancer that is 28 times normal.

According to the "experts," if mining is allowed, it cannot be harmful to people nor animals, but there are plenty of examples of uranium mining causing harm to people and animals.

Serious health problems for miners as well as nearby communities include:

Chromosome abnormalities in residents of Karnes County, Texas, where uranium was mined commercially starting in the 1950s;

An increase in birth defects in babies born to mothers and animals who lived near a uranium mine waste dump in New Mexico;

Excess risk of cancer mortality in communities near uranium mills in Spain;

An increase in lung cancer risk for residents living near uranium mines in Germany.

Some claim that underground water and water running in the streams have never harmed humans and animals, but uranium levels shut two wells and new health standards have a town eyeing alternatives in Texas.

Uranium Energy Corporation has been conducting exploration for uranium in northern Goliad County for over a year, leaving some families with contaminated water and iron bacteria that clogs up filters, renders well water undrinkable in some instances, and forces residents to purchase and haul drinking water.

There are too many examples of uranium mining accidents to list. Just a few include:

On April 7, 2003, McClean Lake & Rabbit Lake/Cameco suspended production due to underground flood.

In 1989, 2 million liters of radioactive water spilled into Wollaston Lake. The company was charged and eventually pled guilty, receiving a $5,000 federal and a $55,000 provincial fine.

By 1976 all 55 miles of the Serpent River system were badly contaminated with acid generating, highly radioactive wastes.

An official Ontario report noted that there were no living fish in the entire river located downstream from the mining wastes.

In 1978 alone, more than 30 tailing dam failures were reported.

On Feb. 26, 2007, an employee was burned with hydrofluoric acid and sent to the hospital for treatment.

The root cause of the event was determined to be that the uranium hexafluoride cylinder valve failed to seat at the Columbia, S.C., nuclear fuel plant.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission established a special inspection team to go to a commercial nuclear fuel plant near Wilmington, N.C., to inspect and assess circumstances associated with an event in which moisture was detected in a process vessel that should not have contained moisture so as to prevent a nuclear criticality.

There was a loss of criticality safety controls at the Richland, Wash., nuclear fuel plant.

Two uranium fuel plants in Lynchburg, Virginia, and Erwin, Tennessee, must immediately adopt stricter anti-terrorist measures such as more guards, vehicle barriers and patrols, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said on Aug. 22, 2002.

The NRC cited the Lynchburg nuclear fuel plant for inoperable criticality monitors.

All forms of uranium are polluting for water, land, and air.

So people, we have the right to protect our homes from greedy uranium people.

Deborah Dix


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