Monday, September 20, 2010

Why does Senator Frank Wagner support Uranium Mining?

Virginia Beach State Senator Frank Wagner has been pushing the uranium mining agenda. This does not sit well with his constituents. Virginia Beach stands to lose a lot; their clean water supply could be irreversibly contaminated. Virginia Beach will gain nothing from uranium mining.

In addition there is no shortage of uranium. However, water is such a scarce resource that "water wars" are already being talked about. Virginia's water supply is precious and an extremely valuable resource.

Virginia's water supply should not be placed in jeopardy so that a few folks can make billions of dollars. If our water supply is contaminated it could be a disaster that will never be cleaned up.

One has to ask--What's Senator Frank Wagner gaining by supporting uranium mining?


Sugarcane Planter said...

Such a nice post........

J. Tyler Ballance said...

It is probably because the mining of uranium, here in Virginia makes good economic and social justice, sense.

The insignificant impact that could occur with respect to our ground water is greatly outweighed by the long term jobs and related economic impact that uranium mining would have here.

You simply can't keep shutting down manufacturing here in the United States and shipping our jobs off to Communist China, then expect to still have any reasonable standard of living among our Virginia working class.

We can agree with the premise that maintaining a clean drinking water supply is essential, but there is no significant threat to our ground water posed by uranium mining.

Uranium is mined in many areas of the world, and in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming, here in the USA. Let us see how those domestic mining sites have effected their local water; not at all.

With offshore drilling, refining at Yorktown, coal out west and uranium mining, Virginia could play a key role in achieving energy independence for America, while providing generations of our working class with good, well-paying jobs.

If you want to protect ground water, consider discouraging dog ownership. Dogs dump 6.7 MILLION TONS of untreated fecal material onto our American lawns each year, and that run-off goes into our groundwater and streams.

Uranium mines are a few point sources and have a very admirable safety record.

Anonymous said...

Frank Wagner, good friend of Whit Clement married to Walter Coles sister (1/2 owner of property proposed to be mined along with Walter Coles)although her name is not normally mentioned. If the ban is lifted this will only be the first mine in Virginia.

Water is more precious than uranium which we have a stockpile of and are selling the excess because it is so expensive to maintain.

Yellowcake will be shipped out of Virginia and sold to the highest bidder, probably France since they are so dependant and have mined all of their uranium.

"Admirable safety record" where??

Cavalier said...

VUI also has not said where they plan to tap the huge volume of water needed to mine and mill uranium. Talk about water wars - Will it come from Smith Mountain Lake?? How much water will be consumed annually? Will it come from the same source all those neighboring homes depend upon for their well water?? Media needs to start asking those tough questions of state officials.

Please note uranium mining does not have an "admirable" safety record. It has a horrific legacy, and I believe that's well-documented across the U.S. and all over the world. The contaminant metals typically associated with uranium mining should raise concerns -- That's just one of the red flags with this industry.

As far as economic prosperity, who exactly benefits in the long run (besides investors)? No one will want a job in a ghost mining town after the mine closes and the mill becomes yet another SuperFund site costing the taxpayers many millions of dollars. Home values will plummet. Where will the tons of toxic tailings be buried, exactly?? And who will pay for the ongoing monitoring of soil & water? Yep - this would be a fine example of "smart growth" that will sustain these local economies for generations. No thanks.

Anonymous said...

J. Tyler Ballance said that "The insignificant impact that could occur with respect to our ground water is greatly outweighed by the long term jobs and related economic impact..."
First, Virginia Beach is not studying ground water. The City's study looks only at impacts on surface water supplies (although ground and surface water are one system).
Second, the City's study estimates about 30 million cubic yards of mill tailings, a very large volume of radioactive materials, some with very long half lives (in excess of 100,000 years), to be stored in tailings cells on the surface of Virginia's land. NRC regs only require that cells be designed for 200 years (liners are guaranteed for 100 years or less).
Third, the geographic area in Virginia where uranium can be found is the same area that produces much greater precipitation and runoff than in the western U.S. Historically, uranium tailings confinement failures have been caused by the inability to manage water. In 1969 a storm in Nelson County caused 2,000 years of erosion in a single night.
Finally, mining may produce some jobs for a few decades, but relatively few jobs given the capital investment. After the mines close, tailings remain to be monitored, managed and mitigated in perpetuity in Virginia, with a climate and hydrology unlike any mining area in the U.S. Also, radiological monitoring is more expensive than chemical monitoring.

If past experience is any indication, the tab will be picked up by the taxpayers. Is this the legacy we want to leave to future Virginians? And all for an industry that can't exist without forcing taxpayers to assume financial risks that Wall Street invstors will not.

vaagainsturaniummining said...

J. Tyler Ballance you worked in enclosed nuclear environment not open pit uranium mining which has a horrible record of ruining the land, air and water.

The nukes have a hard time telling the difference being in a nuke plant, a nuke sub or aircraft carrier and uranium mining, why is it so hard to understand the difference?

Open pit uranium mining is done by blasting an 800 foot deep hole, 2 city blocks wide, which water is accumulating everyday.

The huge piles of wasted rock (which is still emitting radon and radiation) will lie on the Banister River which flows into Bugs Island Lake which VA Beach people drink.

The area around Coles Hill floods at only 1 1/2 inches floods, we have flash flooding in Pittsylvania County, VA!

Next is the uranium mill which uses awful chemicals plus it is radiated, uses bunches of water.

So open pit uranium is like Mt. Top Removal except is radioactive and will be sold to France, who is chasing VA Uranium, Canada will just take the uranium since they will be mining it and the rest will go to China to pay US's bills! Oh, Japan will take their share of uranium too!

So uranium mining is the beginning of the nuke cycle which is the cycle of death.

Star Womanspirit said...

Anonymous you rock!!

J Tyler Ballance acts like a lobbyist. His info is questionable, as usual.

It appears that Senator Frank Wagner has a good friend who has family connections to the Coles family and is an investor in the Virginia Uranium company.

It's amazing that Virginia Beach is spending $440,000 and counting for a water study due to their own Senator Wagner paving the way to have Virginia's moratorium on uranium lifted.

Hopefully, the citizens will find out about this and send this Senator packing in the next election. If not, who's the next crony Senator Wagner will support at their expense?

J. Tyler Ballance said...

You will get more millirems of exposure by taking a walk on a mountain trail on a sunny day than you will, walking trough a Uranium tailings area.

Please step back from the boogeyman talk and examine quantitative measures of safety with regard to the uranium mining and processing business.

I have no financial interest in the mining of uranium and am not a lobbyist, as anyone who can do a little web research can plainly see.

What I am interested in is seeing Virginia fully utilize all available energy resources that are here, so that our nation shall become energy independent, and perhaps free future generations of the endless string of "oil wars" that began in the Bush regime.

Radiation is all around us. If you had toast this morning, then you ingested some radiation. Flown on a plane; increased radiation; walked in the sun; ditto.

I appreciate a genuine concern for our environment, but far too much of the discussion was emotionally charged and devoid of sound science.

Star Womanspirit said...

J Tyler you make nuclear sound so warm and cozy...maybe you should move next to a mine in Arizona? The folks in Arizona know first hand about living with Uranium and they have successfully fought to keep new mining out of their state.
Besides...why is tax money being spent on nuclear when it's now proven that solar is CHEAPER than nuclear and everyone knows it's cleaner and safer...this should end the argument now...