Friday, June 5, 2009

State, Nation Need Area’s Uranium (Not Really)

Mr. Huffman calls anti-uranium folks "misinformed' and then sets about quoting VUI's mantra about all the jobs and revenue mining and milling will bring to Southside. Au contraire, Mr. Huffman...right now there is a total of 320 jobs in uranium mining in the US. Coles Hill is going to double the US total? I don't think so. Any benefits derived from mining and milling at Coles Hill will accrue to the Coles family, those who have leased their land to VUI and a handful of local investors of which I'm betting Mr. Huffman is one. Read about the mining towns out west, Mr. HUffman...the stories do not have happy endings, by and large.

Mr. Hoffman also says the nation and state need the uranium Coles Hill will provide. No offense, Mr. Huffman, but I'm not sure it's us that are misinformed. If the nation's nuclear industry could re-use what it calls depleted uranium, we'd have enough to power the existing nuclear plants for over 500 yrs. I'll get you a citation for that, sir. An article to that effect has been published on this blog but I'll research it for you.

Right now, we have no way of knowing how the uranium mined in VA will be used. But we know how it will used in one of two ways. It will either be used in power plants or it will be used in weaponry. Those are its only 2 uses. If it's used as nuclear fuel, then theby-product, depleted uranium, will either be stored heaven knows where, contaminating everything in the vicinity as the barrels begin to rust through (it's happening in Paducah, KY at the enrichment plant) or it will be incorporated into military ammunition. The massive amounts of depleted uranium used in the Iraq War alone has killed and contaminated hundreds of thousands of Americans and Iraqis alike.

It killed my friend John the day after his 45th birthday from lung cancer. He never smoked nor drank and didn't work around second-hand smoke. He did, however, fight in Gulf War I and subsequently did several more tours in the Middle East in Air Force communications. His civilian doctors told him they had no doubt that his exposure to depleted uranium, burning oil, and contaminated sand were the cause of his lung cancer which was so virulent that it had actually invaded his heart, highly unusual. We do NOT need Virginia's uranium.

By Published by The Editorial Board
Danville Register & Bee

Published: June 4, 2009

To the editor:

I wholeheartedly support the mining of uranium at Coles Hill. While people keep using scare tactics and misinformation to stir up fear, these fears remain unfounded.

Technology has come a long way in the past 30 years and we would be fools not to take advantage of what we have been given. This operation could give us hundreds of high-wage jobs and bring millions of much needed revenue to our county. In a time when businesses are shutting down and jobs are being shipped overseas or just eliminated altogether, we have the opportunity to bring an economic boon to Pittsylvania County.

We should not let a handful of misinformed individuals scare a project that will bring so many benefits to all of our families.


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