Monday, April 20, 2009

What Happens When Oxygen and Carbonate Ions Meet Uranium?

Well, see for yourself!

Our friend Mark Krueger lives near Goliad, TX. Recently we've published on this blog some of Mark's remarks and questions submitted in response to various Victoria Advocate articles that have addressed serious well-water contamination in and around the Goliad site. Sound familiar? Like Coles Hill, the Goliad site currently is not being mined actively but there has been extensive exploratory drilling. However, unlike Coles Hill, for which open-pit mining is being considered, the Goliad site would utilize "in-situ" mining. Still, at this stage of the process in both places, exploratory core samples have been taken...holes have been drilled deep into the ground.

When posing question after question regarding the source(s) of their well contamination, and hearing explanations which must be "industry standard talking points" like "water can't flow uphill", "it can't be our fault" and others just as hollow, Mark decided to try to duplicate, as closely as possible (albeit on a much smaller scale), the process utilized in "in situ" mining (and other mining processes) in which a "benign lixiviant" ("a harmless, eco-friendly liquid medium", according to the mining industry) is injected into the bore holes (and the aquifers) to force the ore to separate from the desired metal so that the metal can be recovered. Mark sought advice for performing his experiment from Dr. Richard Abitz, a nationally known geo-chemist and environmental scientist whose resume` can be found here , in order to make it as realistic as possible. The result is nothing less than stunning.

Using swimming pool chemicals - industrial grade hydrogen peroxide and soda ash (similar to baking soda) - and "Goliad sand"...normal sand taken from a well several hundred yards from where many "bore holes" are located...Mark demonstrates what happens when oxygen meets uranium and its underground friends such as radon gas, lead, arsenic, molybdenum, selenium and many other elements. Although uranium and other things do exist underground naturally, they have been without oxygen for a long time so they are at rest. In the presence of oxygen, however, these things become mobile, so they can travel with water. Mark asks, "Will this stuff travel outside the mining zone? They say it won't. It has happened before. It's called an 'excursion'. " Excursion? Talk about an industry misnomer..."excursion" sounds like an afternoon spent rolling down the river on an old-fashioned paddle-wheeler riverboat.

You'll need to watch both videos to get the full impact...Part 1 sets up the experiment while Part 2 is the "show"...or should I say "show-stopper"?

Part 1:

Part 2:

Thanks, Mark, for sharing your information with us and for all of your hard work in Texas!

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