Sunday, September 13, 2009

It’s No Big Deal Who Pays For Uranium Mining Study [HUH??]

Apparently the News & Advance has not seen the report on the rampant conflicts of interest within the NAS. We'll be sending it to the editor. Apparently the News & Advance doesn't care about neutrality, even when it comes tosomething as dangerous as uranium mining, something that's never been done safely anywhere in the world to date. Apparently the uranium industry owns Lynchburg and the News & Advance. In our opinion, the News & Advance has done a great disservice to its readers and to everyone who will be adversely affected by uranium mining throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Please know that Coles Hill, in Pittsylvania Co., will not be Virginia's only uranium will just be the first. A map of the uranium deposits in VA is at the top of this post. The link to the report about the lack of neutrality within the NAS is here: and here:

The News & Advance
Published: September 13, 2009

The story from Danville last week about Virginia Uranium Inc. agreeing to pay for a state study on the safety of mining uranium near Chatham has raised some questions. And rightly so.

Del. Terry Kilgore, R-Gate Ctiy and chairman of the Virginia Coal and Energy Commission, said Virginia Uranium will pay for the study by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) to determine whether uranium can be mined safely in Virginia.

But doesn’t that create the potential for a conflict of interest — even the perception of a conflict? Can the firm that wants to mine uranium get the best safety study that money will buy?

The answer to the first question is yes. The answer to the second question is not really.

Kilgore himself acknowledged the concerns about VUI backing the study financially, but he quickly added that the National Academy of Science’s research abilities are “great.”

While it would be more appropriate for the coal and energy commission or some other state agency that doesn’t have a vested interest in the outcome of the study to put up the money for it, a Virginia Tech department will coordinate funding and will contract with NAS for the study. Virginia Tech’s Virginia Center for Coal and Energy Research will coordinate the study’s first phase on the technical and public safety aspects of mining uranium.

The study is expected to cost between $1.2 million and $1.4 million and could begin by the end of this year.

VUI seeks to mine and mill a 119 million pound uranium ore deposit at Coles Hill, about six miles northeast of Chatham. Walter Coles Sr., VUI chairman, has said he expressed willingness to provide funding for the study since the beginning of the mining proposal.

Mining opponents have questioned the credibility of a study paid for with VUI money and one even went so far last week as to brand NAS as being pro-nuclear.

A spokeswoman for NAS responded that the agency is perfectly capable of performing unbiased studies without regard to who is paying for them. Jennifer Walsh said the academy has performed unbiased, federal level studies in the past involving the tobacco and cell phone industries.

When an industry pays for a study, she said, the NAS usually works with a third organization that provides funding on behalf of a company or industry.

“We would not work directly with them (VUI),” Walsh said. “We would only got to them with questions and concerns. They would have no say-so in the study.”

Walsh added that information-gathering meetings involved in the study would be open to the public and posted on the NAS Web site ahead of time.

The public, then, can follow the progress of the uranium mining safety study, just as it can any other studies being conducted by the agency.

The National Academy of Sciences is a well-respected agency whose expert scientific studies have held up as being as solid as they come. That reputation outweighs the concerns raised about where the money is coming from for the study. And that reputation is not for sale to the highest bidder — not even the owner of Virginia Uranium Inc.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I can understand the bias of the Lynchburg newspaper.

The French Nuke company owns Lynchburg and Lynchburg does not have the guts to say anything against uranium mining or Nuke Power!

Lynchburg does not understand how the French Nuke Company has ruin people lives in Niger.

Lynchburg Does not understand that the France owns the Nuke Plant,therefore, the Nukes send up to 40-60 per cent of their profit from America back to France.

So all the newspaper, TV station is run by the French Nuke Bunch!