Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

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Canyonram
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Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Dec 21 2010 12:14 pm

Denison Mines has applied to the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality to mine uranium near the Canyon. There are over 1,000 mining claims within miles of the Park that will watch the decision and then proceed. The debate has been ongoing for a few years---uranium prices dropped in the 1980's but, with the increased interest in nuclear fuel as a power source, prices have gone back up and uranium mining is now more profitable.

For some history on the current move to begin mining:

(dead link removed)

(or use your search box on "uranium mining grand canyon"

For the Denison Mine application:

(dead link removed)

For the Native American perspective:
(dead link removed)
http://www.indigenousaction.org/uranium ... nd-canyon/

There will be public hearings in Flag and Fredonia---during the peak of snow storm season.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 17 2011 12:17 am

PageRob, I'll try to keep this from becoming a personal debate or contest between just the two of us. I'm more interested in the issues of the Uranium Mining permits and the environmental damage left behind during and after the mining is completed.

I do have to correct one of your comments. Please re-read my comments posted Jan. 08, 2011. I stated ". . . Here, you appear as an apologist for the uranimium mining indusrty to proceed with plans to operate uranium mines near the Grand Canyon that could have long-term health effects???? Do you work for the mining industry?" I did not accuse you of being a 'shill for the mining company.' I made the observation that you appeared to be apologizing for the uranium mining industry and asked a question if you worked for the mining industry. You made the jump to 'shill.' Trust me, if that is what I wanted to say, I would have said it.

As to the background level of radioactivity---the Colorado Plateau has a high natural amount of radioactivity, the highest in the nation. That doesn't give license to increase it by digging up the high-grade ore and milling it so that it is now exposed to air, surface water, soil, and ground water. I doubt if Denison Mines is going to stand accountable for the milling wastes---that can take a million+ years to decay. We experience plenty of sources of exposure, from porcelin dental work to gas camp stoves and lanterns to medical X-Rays, that all increase the burden against the body---no need to increase the exposure by piling tons of milling wastes into the environment. There is no 'safe' level of radioactivity exposure. In addition, there are plenty of other environmental hazards that go with the mining process including the use of sulfuric acid and generating lead (metal) wastes in the resultant slag piles. The waste water ponds have to be properly lined, etc. It is not just the impact on human victims, but to the wildlife as well.

You should have mentioned that the companion article 'Contamination hard to trace' final statement was ". . . researchers like Hoffman raise the possibility that they could someday use the uranium's radioactive isotopes to trace what radioactive material came from different mines, versus natural deposits." That will go a long way to establish the source, wheter it is ambient or if it has been released into the environment by the mining/milling process. It will be interesting to see if the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality (AZDEQ) takes any kind of enforcement action vs Denison. My own experience of having to interface with AZDEQ over the years is that the only thing that will be done will be to pass a forest of paper back-and-forth while the mine continues operation. Note that AZDEQ doesn't have any branch office within the agency to deal with Uranium Mining issues, their inspection team did not go out until months AFTER the mine went in operation, Denison failed to file requested documents, and no one from AZDEQ even bothered to go down into the mine during the inspection process---they will write up items like 'fire extinguishers' and when Dension provides the extinguishers, AZDEQ gives them credit for 'substantial compliance' ----in the ensuing years, Dension will continue to operate and add to the 'background' level of radiation---that can't be traced back to them.

http://azdailysun.com/news/local/articl ... 9baf1.html

We need to be concerned as to where the Uranium is going---Denison is a Canadian company that sells to overseas markets, including Korea and France. How these foreign markets use the uranium and who they then sell it to is of concern---especially with the number of countries that are developing their own nuclear weapon programs. Of course, the US nuclear bomb testing program was conducted pretty close to the Canyon and Las Vegas---so if a nuclear bomb goes off in Las Vegas, we can just write off the resulting nuclear fall-out to the high ambient level already on the Colorado Plateau---put there when Denison released it into the environment.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 19 2011 6:47 am

Canyonram wrote:I do have to correct one of your comments. Please re-read my comments posted Jan. 08, 2011. I stated ". . . Here, you appear as an apologist for the uranimium mining indusrty to proceed with plans to operate uranium mines near the Grand Canyon that could have long-term health effects???? Do you work for the mining industry?" I did not accuse you of being a 'shill for the mining company.' I made the observation that you appeared to be apologizing for the uranium mining industry and asked a question if you worked for the mining industry. You made the jump to 'shill.' Trust me, if that is what I wanted to say, I would have said it.
I was tired and misremembered what you wrote - and I didn't double check. I appologize.
As to the background level of radioactivity---the Colorado Plateau has a high natural amount of radioactivity, the highest in the nation. That doesn't give license to increase it by digging up the high-grade ore and milling it so that it is now exposed to air, surface water, soil, and ground water. I doubt if Denison Mines is going to stand accountable for the milling wastes---that can take a million+ years to decay.
It is the highest in the nation, but it is nowhere near the highest in the world. The level that we're exposed to here on the plateau is low. Page averages about .10-.14 uSv/hr. That's 1230 µSv/yr (microsieverts per year) or 0.00123 Gy/yr. Exceptionally low. 1/14th the dose from a bag of Potassium chloride (salt substitute). Even a serious spot contamination doesn't increase the overall background radiation of the Colorado Plateau (example - Church Rock mill site).
It does increase the local radiation level, obviously, and that is a serious concern. But talking about a uranium mine increasing the background level of the Colorado Plateau is simply not true.
You do bring up a good point (which is my biggest concern when it comes to uranium mining) that I have mentioned as well - mills. The Az. Daily Sun had an article on Monday talking about uranium mining and profitability and at the end it listed the remediation costs for uranium mills. The problem in the uranium fuel cycle is in two locations - spent fuel rod waste and mill waste. We have a lot of mills here on the Colorado Plateau - present and former. They seem to end up Superfund sites or at the least cost millions to clean up (Atlas/URECO mill outside of Moab, Church Rock, Tuba City, etc.). There are mills outside of Grants and the Dennison mill is (I've said) outside of Blanding. I think we need to concentrate on these locations - they do the most damage and cost the most to clean up. An individual mine simply cannot do the same sort of damage that these mills can.
We experience plenty of sources of exposure, from porcelin dental work to gas camp stoves and lanterns to medical X-Rays, that all increase the burden against the body---no need to increase the exposure by piling tons of milling wastes into the environment.
And flying and living near power plants, etc. etc. etc. I agree that we shouldn't be piling milling waste all over the place and contaminating the environment - but milling is not what is happening near the Grand Canyon with these ADEQ-permited mines.
You should have mentioned that the companion article 'Contamination hard to trace' final statement was ". . . researchers like Hoffman raise the possibility that they could someday use the uranium's radioactive isotopes to trace what radioactive material came from different mines, versus natural deposits."
I did not because I find it highly speculative and also unlikely to work well in mining situations for the same reasons I've already mentioned: the uranium in the ground is already. If you are mining uranium, your mined uranium isotope sample is going to be the same as the water contamination isotope sample, and you would be unable to determine if it was natural or not (unless you sample all aquifers before mining to get a baseline - which the article suggested). The idea of sampling to test material "came from different mines" sounds like sampling and testing along haul routes and at mill sites.
It will be interesting to see if the Arizona Dept. of Environmental Quality (AZDEQ) takes any kind of enforcement action vs Denison. My own experience of having to interface with AZDEQ over the years is that the only thing that will be done will be to pass a forest of paper back-and-forth while the mine continues operation. Note that AZDEQ doesn't have any branch office within the agency to deal with Uranium Mining issues, their inspection team did not go out until months AFTER the mine went in operation, Denison failed to file requested documents, and no one from AZDEQ even bothered to go down into the mine during the inspection process---they will write up items like 'fire extinguishers' and when Dension provides the extinguishers, AZDEQ gives them credit for 'substantial compliance'
If no new mines open, the Arizona 1 mine will be mined out in about a year so Denison won't be mining anything. So I'd guess that Denison gets away scott-free. By the time the paperwork "forest" finally catches up, the mine will be over and done.
----in the ensuing years, Dension will continue to operate and add to the 'background' level of radiation---that can't be traced back to them.
Year, singular. The report said the deposit would be played out in early 2012.
We need to be concerned as to where the Uranium is going---Denison is a Canadian company that sells to overseas markets, including Korea and France. How these foreign markets use the uranium and who they then sell it to is of concern---especially with the number of countries that are developing their own nuclear weapon programs.
According to the Monday edition of the Az. Daily Sun, 20% of the company is owned by a South Korean utility and they will take a corresponding portion of the milled yellowcake. It also said that US utilities will be purchasing the remainder. Not Canadians, not French.
Of course, the US nuclear bomb testing program was conducted pretty close to the Canyon and Las Vegas---so if a nuclear bomb goes off in Las Vegas, we can just write off the resulting nuclear fall-out to the high ambient level already on the Colorado Plateau---put there when Denison released it into the environment.
To be blunt, this is simply the most ludicrous statement in this whole thread. I laughed out loud when I read it.
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 20 2011 11:27 am

PageRob wrote:Even a serious spot contamination doesn't increase the overall background radiation of the Colorado Plateau (example - Church Rock mill site).
It does increase the local radiation level, obviously, and that is a serious concern. But talking about a uranium mine increasing the background level of the Colorado Plateau is simply not true.
The Church Rock Mill site is far from being a 'spot' contamination event. The breach of the dam holding the milling wastes in 1979 is considered the largest release of radioactive materials in the US and comparable to other nuclear energy related disasters such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl:

"More than 1,100 tons of uranium mining wastes -- tailings -- gushed through a packed-mud dam near Church Rock, N.M. With the tailings, 100 million gallons of radioactive water gushed through the dam before the crack was repaired. By 8 a.m., radioactivity was monitored in Gallup, N.M., nearly 50 miles away. The contaminated river, the Rio Puerco, showed 7,000 times the allowable standard of radioactivity for drinking water below the broken dam shortly after the breach was repaired, according to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The few newspaper stories about the spill outside of the immediate area noted that the area was "sparsely populated" and that the spill "poses no immediate health hazard." Source: http://www.ratical.org/radiation/UraniumInNavLand.html
There are plenty of references available online should one do a 'Search' on Church Rock Uranium New Mexico' ( ie., http://www.ratical.com/radiation/Killin ... /KOO9.html)

You are splitting hairs to separate uranium mines from uranium milling sites----they are part of the same process. You don't get uranium milling sites anywhere unless you have done uranium mining as well. There is no salavation in claiming that uranium mines don't 'increase the background level of radioactivity on the Colorado Plateau---the EPA and the Navajo Nation will be glad to hear that since both are currently trying to both identify and mediate the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines that are contaminating Navajo Nation and increasing the background level of radioactivity in the environment. The Rio Puerco River is forever contaminated---the uranium mining process was the source. Also, the concern for uranium mining near Grand Canyon is not focused solely on a single mining operation---it is the 1,000+ other mining claims in the vicinity around the Canyon. If one mine is given a permit to operate it provides a precedent for all the other mining claims to be developed. With the profit margin for uranium mining increasing, it will become profitable to mine other breccia pipe sites around the Canyon. Now, we are talking about a very large potential impact on the environment.

Please provide the literature for the science supporting your statement that "talking about a uranium mine increasing the background level of the Colorado Plateau is simply not true." I've provided numerous citations available on the web to support most of my comments---I'd appreciate that you do the same, especially when you make declarative statements. Otherwise, you are posting your personal opinion or, I guess, have misremebered the source. I have refrained from labeling any of your comments as 'ludicrous' which has been difficult since there are many that deserve that label and more.

You mentioned that you have discovered a mining claim up near the Four Corners region. When did you make this discovery? Do you plan to develop this dig yourself or will you sell the development rights to a company such as Denison? How much do you anticipate earning from your discovery? Stock in uranium mining operations such as Denison peaked a few years ago but then went into a downturn. There are plenty of investors watching to see what happens in regards uranium mining around the Canyon and the Colorado Plateau----uranium mining stock is currently down but will climb should the OK be provided to start mining operations. Current standards for scientific papers requires that authors reveal their funding source and if they have any vested interest in their sponsors or source of their funding. I will state my current affiliation in regard to Uranium Mining operations: I do not own stock, will not invest in Uranium mining, do not go looking for mining claims, and have no vested interest in seeing Denison (or any other Uranium mining operation) get their permits.

Where do you stand in regards to your financial interest in Uranium mining?

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 20 2011 4:44 pm

Canyonram wrote:The Church Rock Mill site is far from being a 'spot' contamination event. The breach of the dam holding the milling wastes in 1979 is considered the largest release of radioactive materials in the US and comparable to other nuclear energy related disasters such as Three Mile Island and Chernobyl:
According to Wikipedia about TMI:
Wikipedia wrote:Within hours of the accident the Environmental Protection Agency began daily sampling of the environment at the three stations closest to the plant. By April 1, continuous monitoring at 11 stations was established and was expanded to 31 stations two days later. An inter-agency analysis concluded that the accident did not raise radioactivity far enough above background levels to cause even one additional cancer death among the people in the area. The EPA found no contamination in water, soil, sediment or plant samples.
From: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/article ... /table/t1/
Event Location Year Source Released Material Radiation Released
Chernobyl Chechnya, USSR 1986 Nuclear power plant Nuclear fission by-products 270 million curies
Three Mile Island Pennsylvania, US 1979 Nuclear power plant Nuclear fission by-products 13 curies
Sequoyah Fuels Corporation Oklahoma, US 1986 Uranium conversion plant Uranium hexaflouride gas 3 curies
Church Rock Mill New Mexico, US 1979 Uranium mill Transuranic isotopes and heavy metals 46 curies

Using wolframalpha.com to do some simple computations (as well as http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chernobyl_disaster and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Mile ... al_release), the Church Rock spill resulted in roughly an exposure of .5 rad/hour vs. 300,000 rad/hour from Chernobyl or .14 rad/hour from TMI. That is hardly an "apples to apples" comparison. People often make the mistake of assuming that TMI was the same as Chernobyl. That is patently false (I can throw up more references besides Wikipedia, but the references at the bottom of the Wiki pages are a pretty good starting point). Church Rock was a point contamination. Larger than most, but a point contamination. Look here for the scale of the Chernobyl disaster:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Chern ... p_1996.svg
You're looking at an area roughly the size of Arizona. That is not a point source, that is regional contamination. Want further proof. I can take a picture of my Geiger counter - it won't show 5000 uSv/hr here in Page. Therefor Church Rock was not a regional release.
You are splitting hairs to separate uranium mines from uranium milling sites----they are part of the same process. You don't get uranium milling sites anywhere unless you have done uranium mining as well.
And uranium mining becomes unprofitable if there is not place to mill the ore. Catch 22. My reason for going after mills (and partially supported by your own statements about Church Rock) is that mills are not easy to defend and cause more damage. One mill serves several mines. Shut down a mill and several mines close.
There is no salavation in claiming that uranium mines don't 'increase the background level of radioactivity on the Colorado Plateau
First, I don't know what exactly you mean by "salvation". Second - I'd like to see your scientific source that says that uranium mines increase the radiation level of the Colorado Plateau (as you stated would happen "the Colorado Plateau has a high natural amount of radioactivity, the highest in the nation. That doesn't give license to increase it by digging up the high-grade ore and milling it so that it is now exposed to air, surface water, soil, and ground water."). I would not (and only a fool would) argue that uranium mines don't have a localized impact on the area around them. We've both seen this. Show me a study that shows how the uranium mines of Marble Canyon increased the background radiation level of Page (let alone Farmington). The Colorado Plateau is huge, 130,000 square miles (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colorado_plateau) - unless someone can find me a source that shows that the background level across all of the Colorado Plateau was increased solely by mines, I'm going to find that unsupported statement to be questionable.
the EPA and the Navajo Nation will be glad to hear that since both are currently trying to both identify and mediate the hundreds of abandoned uranium mines that are contaminating Navajo Nation and increasing the background level of radioactivity in the environment.
Yes, they absolutely are. But not all of the environment. According to the EPA (http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/calculate.html), the Colorado Plateau averages 46mrem/year. That comes to .00126 uSv/day - which is what my Dosimeter that I use daily shows - and far lower than the suggested limit from the dosimeter (an Ecotest Terra-P, if you're interested). I know (from experience in the Canyon near uranium mines) that if you're around a mine, your mSv/day count goes up. Since I'm within the normal range for this region, that indicates that mining contamination does not extend far from the surface of a mine. Obviously if we're talking aquifer pathways, as you've mentioned, the contamination can go further. Again, however, that does not equal the entire Colorado Plateau being contaminated with uranium mining byproducts.
The Rio Puerco River is forever contaminated---the uranium mining process was the source.
A mill, to be precise.
Also, the concern for uranium mining near Grand Canyon is not focused solely on a single mining operation---it is the 1,000+ other mining claims in the vicinity around the Canyon. If one mine is given a permit to operate it provides a precedent for all the other mining claims to be developed. With the profit margin for uranium mining increasing, it will become profitable to mine other breccia pipe sites around the Canyon. Now, we are talking about a very large potential impact on the environment.
Now imagine if those mines had no place to process their ore on the Colorado Plateau - how many would come in to operation? How many would still remain profitable with increased transportation costs? That's why I keep talking about the mills.
Please provide the literature for the science supporting your statement that "talking about a uranium mine increasing the background level of the Colorado Plateau is simply not true."
See my above experiment. I would also like to see your citations (or personal experiment) showing a uranium mine increasing the background level of radiation of the entire Colorado Plateau, not just the local environment.
I've provided numerous citations available on the web to support most of my comments---I'd appreciate that you do the same, especially when you make declarative statements.
Very well:
PageRob wrote::roll: There's already enough radioactive stuff actually in the canyon (not on the plateaus surrounding the rim) to keep you from getting a good night's sleep if you think too hard about it.
Source: http://hikearizona.com/photoset.php?ID=13000&start=45 http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=162792 http://hikearizona.com/photo.php?ZIP=162793 and your posts about Horseshoe Mesa in this same thread.
PageRob wrote:If it was going to contaminate the aquifer, its had hundreds of millions of years to do so.
USGS report referenced in AZ Daily Sun article previously discussed in this thread
PageRob wrote:The stuff I have read indicates that the US government implemented air quality standards in reservation mines years before non-reservation mines. Source for that is "Uranium Frenzy."
Source is, as I say, Uranium Frenzy. Inspectors had a much easier time accessing BIA mines because they were already controlled by the federal government - no companies worried about scaring off workers. I will admit that I intend to spend a bit more time researching this, so I will update with more information and sources as they become available.
I'm not going to get into the whole genocide/not-genocide side-track about mining, because it was just that - a side-track to the primary discussion, so to continue with citations:
PageRob wrote:
canyonram wrote:there are dump sites in Tuba City that accepted the Orphan Mine wastes
It was a mill accepting ore for processing, not a waste-remediation dump.
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/pa ... itle1.html
PageRob wrote: Which is a different rock type all together than the ones being mined at the proposed sites - Navajo Sandstone is highly porous. In addition this was a mill site - where ore was refined, not a mine.
Source: Strat column in Az Daily Sun showing mine breccia pipe, personal knowledge of the geology of the Colorado Plateau (minored in Geology), Glen Canyon Dam Technical Record of Construction (the most detailed minute analysis of one cross section of Navajo Sandstone I have ever seen).
PageRob wrote:Also, this site was in operation before the EPA existed so the retention ponds were not lined with impermeable materials to prevent exactly what we are talking about.
Source: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/pa ... itle1.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epa (EPA began operating in 1970).
PageRob wrote:Historically the biggest environmental disasters associated with uranium mining have been mills, not mines.
Everything we have both posted supports this, but here's a couple examples: http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/pa ... itle1.html http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Church_Roc ... mill_spill http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moab_Tailings
PageRob wrote:I can conduct an experiment this week to determine who is correct here, actually. "Watch this space." :)
Status: Still in progress...
PageRob wrote:It is the highest in the nation, but it is nowhere near the highest in the world. The level that we're exposed to here on the plateau is low.
Source: Personally monitoring my radiation exposure level with EcoTest Terra-P personal dosimeter/Geiger counter. Also look at: http://iopscience.iop.org/0952-4746/29/ ... C9DCB88.c2
PageRob wrote:But talking about a uranium mine increasing the background level of the Colorado Plateau is simply not true.
See above statements.
PageRob wrote:they do the most damage and cost the most to clean up. An individual mine simply cannot do the same sort of damage that these mills can.
Moab Tailings - $720 million http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moab_Tailings
Tuba City - $34.14 million http://www.eia.doe.gov/cneaf/nuclear/pa ... itle1.html
Cotter Mill - $43.7 million http://www.chieftain.com/news/local/art ... 03286.html
I can dig up more too if you want...
PageRob wrote:And flying and living near power plants, etc. etc. etc
Source: http://www.epa.gov/rpdweb00/understand/calculate.html
And that brings us up to now, unless there's something important I missed...
'ludicrous' which has been difficult since there are many that deserve that label and more.
Saying that a nuclear detonation would be discounted as natural cannot be described as anything else. I know we've been at loggerheads here and managed to keep things civil, but that statement seems designed to provoke a certain reaction in people. Maybe you have a source that you can cite that shows that ADEQ and others have plans in place to discount fallout from nuclear bombs as naturally occurring. Otherwise it is just your opinion or speculation, or perhaps a use of words intended to bring out certain emotions in the reader.
You mentioned that you have discovered a mining claim up near the Four Corners region. When did you make this discovery? Do you plan to develop this dig yourself or will you sell the development rights to a company such as Denison?
It is a deposit of ore. One needs to make a claim with the county recorder's office and the land management agency. Why would I sell off such an awesome asset to someone else?
How much do you anticipate earning from your discovery?
Probably nothing.
Stock in uranium mining operations such as Denison peaked a few years ago but then went into a downturn.
This seems contrary to your previous claim of "With the profit margin for uranium mining increasing". So their stock is falling while profits are rising? Sounds like it might be time to buy!
Current standards for scientific papers requires that authors reveal their funding source and if they have any vested interest in their sponsors or source of their funding. I will state my current affiliation in regard to Uranium Mining operations: I do not own stock, will not invest in Uranium mining, do not go looking for mining claims, and have no vested interest in seeing Denison (or any other Uranium mining operation) get their permits.

Where do you stand in regards to your financial interest in Uranium mining?
Not that HAZ is a scientific forum that requires financial disclosures in any way shape or form, and since we've already been over this in another form when you asked if I worked for a mining company...
I own no stock - period. In anything. None. I have no financial tie to anything uranium related (I may not even end up with a claim if I can't get $200 scraped together for the filing fees). I am not a shill for the uranium companies, or any mining companies.
Let me ask you, since you are a Environmental Health Specialist, do you have ties to any antinuclear groups, own stock in nonnuclear power sources or utilities, or have you ever testified against a uranium mining or milling company? Do you have a vested interest in seeing any uranium company not get a permit? Do you have clients who are engaged in litigation against any uranium mining or milling company?
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 21 2011 11:40 am

I have been an activist in regards to human rights and environmental issues for most of my life. I have participated in many protests, campaigns, hearings, etc. I have done environmental health consulting and enforcement that included monitoring for hazardous wastes (including radioactive wastes) so I guess that would be my financial interest or attachment to nuclear energy. My consulting career on behalf of nuclear power plants lasted for one project when my client didn't care for the report I generated for EPA compliance and forwarded to the EPA. I do not go hiking with a geiger counter nor do I look for possible mining claims. My vested interest is the planet that we live upon and the legacy that will be left behind for future generations. I believe that all living things share this Earth and, as one of the members of the human race that has the power to destroy the planet, feel it a duty to speak and act toward the protection of our home and the other creatures who share our Earth.

I say 'No Uranimum mining.' When I asked you if you were going to sell your mining claim, you responded:
PageRob wrote:It is a deposit of ore. One needs to make a claim with the county recorder's office and the land management agency. Why would I sell off such an awesome asset to someone else?
The reason you do not "sell off such an awesome assest to someone else" is because it is not something of yours to either own, sell or make a profit. Developing yet another uranium mine may put some cash into your bank account but you are opening Pandora's box to reach in a greedy hand. Perhaps you can name your mine the "Fred C. Dobbs Memorial Mine?" after the lead character in 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre.'

I honestly don't know where you stand---you seem intent on drawing some artifical distinction between uranium mines (and their impact) and uranium milling operations. I see both as connected parts of the whole process and draw no distinction. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if uranium mines are 'clean' but the processing at the mill creates the environmental problem and health concerns that will persist for millions of years.

Also, it appears that we are going back-and-forth between just the two of us. No other forum member has stepped forward with their viewpoint or evidence either pro- or con. I'm weary of this individual debate and trying to deal with the straw-men and 'Yes, but . . . ' arguments. So, where do you stand? Do you or do you not support Uranium Mining/Grand Canyon??? Pretty simple question requiring a simple response.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 21 2011 4:03 pm

Canyonram wrote:I do not go hiking with a geiger counter
You say that like its a bad thing. Just another way to experience more of the world.
Canyonram wrote:My vested interest is the planet that we live upon and the legacy that will be left behind for future generations. I believe that all living things share this Earth and, as one of the members of the human race that has the power to destroy the planet, feel it a duty to speak and act toward the protection of our home and the other creatures who share our Earth.
What is your source for humans being able to destroy the Earth? We certainly have the ability to destroy most life on earth, but the earth as a planet will survive until the sun swells to swallow it in its thermonuclear grasp.
Canyonram wrote: The reason you do not "sell off such an awesome assest to someone else" is because it is not something of yours to either own, sell or make a profit.
I assume you don't own a house or any other real estate, or plan to donate to charity when it comes time to leave? Nowhere did I say "I plan to develop this claim into a full-scale mine".
Canyonram wrote:Developing yet another uranium mine may put some cash into your bank account but you are opening Pandora's box to reach in a greedy hand. Perhaps you can name your mine the "Fred C. Dobbs Memorial Mine?" after the lead character in 'Treasure of the Sierra Madre.'
Did you read at all what I read. First of all, you are putting words into my mouth by saying that I was going to "develop" the claim. Second of all, when asked directly how much I expect to earn from the claim, I answered "probably nothing." You are stickler for facts, so let's stick to that and not fabricate statements.
Canyonram wrote:I honestly don't know where you stand---you seem intent on drawing some artifical distinction between uranium mines (and their impact) and uranium milling operations. I see both as connected parts of the whole process and draw no distinction. In my opinion, it doesn't matter if uranium mines are 'clean' but the processing at the mill creates the environmental problem and health concerns that will persist for millions of years.
The distinction is this: The mines are like leaves in a tree. The mills are like the branches. The trunk is bifurcated - nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants. You're trying to chop down the tree by hacking off the leaves. They are the smallest and most numerous part of the operation. If you truly want to stop nuclear power (which you say you do), why are you working against the thing that has the least impact on the whole system?
Canyonram wrote: I'm weary of this individual debate and trying to deal with the straw-men and 'Yes, but . . . ' arguments. So, where do you stand? Do you or do you not support Uranium Mining/Grand Canyon??? Pretty simple question requiring a simple response.
First of all, I'm not sure what straw-man arguments you're referring back to (quote please), unless it is your "nuclear explosion in Vegas is just background radiation" statement. Second, what you might view as splitting hairs may represent a large difference to others or might simply might be correcting a factual error (equating Chernobyl with Three Mile Island, stating Tuba City was a dump for waste - both cited in my previous post). Or it might be to correct sweeping generalizations.
It is not a simple question. It is very complex. The United States generates 49.1% of its electricity by burning coal - other fossil fuels contribute more to that total. 72.4% of all electricity production releases carbon (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_in_ ... production ). I'm in a good place ecologically - my electricity comes from a renewable source and I drive a vehicle that can run on ethanol. I'm prepared (literally) to live 100% off the grid if some emergency happens. Many people aren't. How can we as a society continue to exist without destroying the environment? It seems like a question you are concerned about as well. When I was driving past the Denison mill in Blanding on Sunday, soot and smog from the Shiprock, Four Corners, and Navajo plants filled the horizon - yellow and white haze blanketing far more of our landscape than any single uranium mine or mill ever could.
I view a lot of the opposition to uranium mines as more emotional than rational - more NIMBY than science. I think that we need nuclear power if we are ever to replace fossil fuel plants. That doesn't mean we need mines and mills right here right now - we can (and in my opinion) reprocess our spent fuel rods instead of wasting 90% of the potential energy. "Nuclear reprocessing also reduces the volume of high-level nuclear waste and its radiotoxicity, allowing separate management (destruction or storage) of nuclear waste components." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_reprocessing
Give me another feasible way forward and we can discuss it. Fossil fuels are unsustainable. Trying to convert the entire nation to energy efficient nature-lovers is impossible. Find me a better solution.
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 21 2011 7:26 pm

Are you for or are you against Uranium mining near Grand Canyon?

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by CannondaleKid » Jan 21 2011 9:15 pm

At the risk of getting hit in the crossfire...
Canyonram wrote:Are you for or are you against Uranium mining near Grand Canyon?
Rather than asking uranium mining near the GC, to me the bigger question is: Are you for or are you against uranium mining ANYWHERE?

If you aren't in favor of nuclear power and are against uranium mining, should you be against it being mined anywhere?

On the other hand, if you ARE in favor of it, what difference does it make if it's mined near the GC or anywhere else with a low population? The Grand Canyon has been there for millions of years and will be long after we have ceased to exist, whether uranium is/was mined there or not.

Another question would be: what form of energy usage is good in all ways? In reality, I daresay it would be NONE. So are we going to damn all kinds of energy and go back to using wood and sitting in front of campfires? Oh wait, that's right, the smoke from a wood fire is bad for us... So what are we going to do to protect this world for future generations? Are we going to hold our collective breath so we don't breathe anymore carbon-dioxide into the air? And then, what? Die? But if we all die off... well, I guess there's no future generations to worry about, is there?

Yes, humans, by our very existence change the world we live in, sometimes for the better, many times for the worse.
Is there global warming? Yes. (Personal experience flying over Mt Kilimanjaro and seeing the huge glacier in 1959 compared to the non-existent one now)
Is it all caused by humans? Not by any means.
There have been ice ages as much as there have been the opposite. To think humans truly have the capability to kill off this planet, I daresay we would be giving ourselves too much credit. Even an all-out nuclear war, sure it may kill off 90% of the humans, but it will not kill the earth. Eventually the sun will be the agent that kills off this planet.

All that said... so what do we think?
Mine uranium in the GC area? Yes-No
Mine uranium ANYWHERE? Yes-No
What's your favorite overall energy source? (Remember what is involved in the process for each... solar would be great if it weren't for the chemicals and other hazards created in the manufacturing process)

'Nuff said... I'll step off the soapbox :--: and let someone else foam at the mouth... one of the hazards of standing on a soapbox, don'cha know. :yuck:

What? How would I answer the U questions? Yes & Yes. Favorite energy source... I'd have to do more research to answer that, so I guess I'll abdicate that to the powers that be.
Enough :bdh:
CannondaleKid

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Jim_H » Jan 21 2011 10:03 pm

Rob, I'm not trying to get in on the back and forth here. I agree about nuclear, especially with the issues of the 4 big coal plants that I know of on the plateau, but how can you live off the grid in Page? I interpret that to mean food, but there is nothing to eat up there.
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 21 2011 11:50 pm

Good to see others jumping in with their comments. At some point in time, we have to make a decision and take a stand regardless of side. I narrowed the question down to 'Uranium Mining near Grand Canyon' to keep the focus on the current thread but, as Cannondale Kid is pointing out, the question can be extended to uranium mining worldwide.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 22 2011 5:31 am

Off the grid rarely has anything much to do with food. It usually refers to "off the power grid." Most off the grid people do have some kind of garden, but if you have ever tried to live off what you can get out of a garden you will know it is pretty hard. I have tried it, and I have lived off the grid in the primitive fashion, with no solar or wind power.
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Jim_H » Jan 22 2011 8:54 am

See, when I think of off the grid, I think completely capable of living off of the modern infrastructure system. That includes food for at least some significant period of time, because so what if the power goes out, even for a month? In the house: there would be no TV, no computer or radio, no heat or hot water, and no electric stove. Big deal, I had that for about 4 days after hurricane Charley. The tap water was the biggest thing I missed, and fortunately that was back on after 18 hours. The real test of living "off grid" in a very isolated town like Page, which has no rail road service, would be surviving without trucks bringing food in over the highways. To me, a real disaster, would involve something which prevents those trucks from arriving and so you would either need to leave or survive on you own. A garden is great for produce when in season, but unless you have pasture or some place to hunt, there won't be much meat and I don't do vegetarian (what ever that is).
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Jan 22 2011 11:02 am

To keep this thread from going off the grid and to maintain the focus on the topic of 'Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon,' the Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Trust, and Center for Biological Diversity has posted their joint letter of Jan. 14, 2011 to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality summerizing the position against Uranium mine development:

http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/news/wp ... Final2.pdf

The topic of 'living off the grid' is interesting and deserves it's own thread. The Native Americans lived in this area and 'off the grid' for thousands of years. It can be done and deserves to be discussed----under its own heading. Provided one doesn't stumble into an abandoned uranium mine shaft or milling waste pond.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by PaleoRob » Jan 22 2011 1:16 pm

Jim_H wrote:I interpret that to mean food, but there is nothing to eat up there.
In addition to stored food and a meager garden, I've got a fishing pole and a hunting rifle. Plenty of places to get fresh meat up here. Plenty of water to drink up here.

I agree, an "off the grid" thread would be a good addition.
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by JimmyLyding » Jan 23 2011 1:33 am

azbackpackr wrote:Off the grid rarely has anything much to do with food. It usually refers to "off the power grid." Most off the grid people do have some kind of garden, but if you have ever tried to live off what you can get out of a garden you will know it is pretty hard. I have tried it, and I have lived off the grid in the primitive fashion, with no solar or wind power.
Weren't you off-the-grid in Hawai'i? That's a far cry from doing the same thing in Arizona. I can't imagine doing the same here in Northern California, especially because my firearms still live in Arizona.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Tough_Boots » Jan 23 2011 3:26 am

here's a topic appropriate joke to keep things light:

An atom walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "I've lost an electron!"
Bartender says, "Are you sure?"
"I'm positive!" ;)
"there is no love where there is no bramble."
--bill callahan

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by azbackpackr » Jan 23 2011 5:10 am

Ouch! Yes, 3 years off the grid in a dry area of the Big Island, which had long spells with no rain. We had to haul water some of the time, since otherwise we used catchment. That was down in Ka'u, whereas after we moved onto the big cattle ranch in Kona (between Kainaliu and Kealakekua), we did have electricity and running water. And we also had better gardens in Kona, due to better soil and more rainfall. In Hawaii, though, you can't grow fruiting crops such as squash, cucumbers or large tomatoes. The fruit flies will sting them and ruin them, and there is no way to treat for that. You can grow leafy veggies, root crops and University of Hawaii corn. You can't get much from regular Iowa corn seeds, though. You have to have the tropical varieties. It all has to do with the length of day and night. Tropical fruits grow everywhere, so you don't have to grow them, you just wander around and pick your avocados, mangos, guavas, bananas and passion fruit. That is, if you live out in the country. You could go fishing, too, if you were inclined. I am not inclined. I'll let someone else fish, and buy it from them.

Well, I guess we should start a new thread about this. However, I have said just about all I know about it. You can read the Mother Earth News all you want to, but go try it sometime...it's a lot of work.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by Canyonram » Feb 01 2011 11:39 pm

Looks like the conversation has withered away once PageRob and I stoppped the individual debate. I'm surprised because I thought the issue would be one to draw opinions from both sides. I've meet many who hike with an environmentalist perspective and I've also meet those who backpack/hike as a means to discover treasure, be it gold or uranium or Native American artifacts. I once met a backpacker in the middle of the Paria Canyon with a metal detector---he said he was scanning for old coins left by the early explorers. I told him I was looking for what Paria Canyon had to offer. I don't think either of us fully understood the other.

The Internet has given us all an opportunity to research and investigate almost any issue, including the issue of Uranium mining at Grand Canyon. Evaluate the source if you go web surfing----anyone can post an official looking website to spout their individual opinions so be leery of sources like Wikipedia or authors who cite themselves as the source----even I can write for Wikipedia. I try and stick to peer-researched articles and scientific papers or first-hand accounts from the victims.

The book 'Yellow Dirt: An American Story of a Poisoned Land and a People Betrayed" by Judy Pasternak will soon be out in paperback---if you have even any interest in the impact of uranium mining on the Navajo this book is a heartbreaking account of both the environmental and human damage done by uranium mining/milling on the Navajo Nation. Youtube.com has a library of short videos that highlights the effects of Uranium Mining on Navajo Nation---simply search at the https://www.youtube.com site for 'Uranium Mines Navajo." Several show the poverty and removal of homes (hoogans) built with uranium mine debris. The Navajo miners were poisoned in the mines, their wives and children were poisoned when they lived in homes constructed of uranium-laced contaminated sand, gravel, and stone. The Flagstaff open meeting is also on the Youtube site with testimony of Native American speakers against further uranium mining.

Closer to the Canyon, I've sent some emails to the NPS seeking information regarding uranium contamination of the Little Colorado River and the area between Cameron and the Canyon's eastern border. The uranium mined in this area was close to the surface and open pits were left to collect rainwater and form lakes on this plateau. Navajo living in the area who took their water and cared for their lifestock in the area fed by these new 'lakes' have suffered from the contamination. Years ago, the Park Service used to maintain the jeep road from Desert View out to overlooks---the Canyon Park border hugs along the Rim. Since the extent of the uranium mining contamination, that road has been abandoned and is no longer safe to travel. My query to the Park Service is if they have picked up any contamination out that way and if hikers need to stay away.

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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by azbackpackr » Feb 02 2011 3:56 am

It's not that people are not interested. I think people get too busy to do much research. I myself just got a new job. So, now I drive a school bus 138 miles and 7 to 8 hours a day. I start before 6 a.m. and end after 6 p.m. In the middle of the day in my break I go to school full-time. Sometime I have to do my homework. Occasionally on a Sunday now I can get out for a hike.

These issues are important, but mainly I check into HAZ for a little entertainment and light bantering.

Come to think of it, though, one of my political science classes has to do with climate change/global warming. Another one, a humanities class taught by Max Oelschlaeger, goes into land usage in the West, and the cultural values that shaped how we use/abuse the Western lands. So, there might even be a chance for me to check back on this thread to look at some of your links if it fits in with a paper I have to write later on.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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Re: Uranium Mining at Grand Canyon

Post by CannondaleKid » Feb 02 2011 7:22 am

Frankly, when you see what's going on around the world... riots and a likely regime change in Egypt, with Yemen and Jordan possibly not be far behind, massive cyclones in Australia, winter storms across the US and a litany of assorted global weather issues as a result of changing climate, unrest in Mexico already making its way northward, and on and on and on... for those prone to worry, somehow uranium mining in the GC just isn't on their minds. (Sorry to say, it still isn't on the radar for me)

Re: Debates... In my experience, the farther apart the opposing views are, first, it's less likely the opponents will be able to sway the other toward their point-of-view, and second, more importantly, there's less chance the debate provides useful information to those listening.
When the idealism of the far left and/or far right is all that's spouting forth, I turn it off and go about living my life, happy not be be in either camp.
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