- Published: 17 October 2013
- Hits: 1600
Don't get me wrong...the numbers that are involved in this issue can give you a headache. They've given me more than one. I'm working on this section, and hope to give you a variety of links to news articles and scientific papers which will explain (hopefully) in some detail the numbers - radiation contamination, drinking water limits, and other numbers that will help you understand the issue and the challenges that we all face.
The Science DeCoded
This link is great. It explains in regular human terms (as opposed to scientific big brain terms) what radiation is, how it's measured and what it does. Science Decoded
Nuclear Plants in the U.S.
Follow this link from the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR) website which will show you all of the nuclear plants in the US and how many people would have to be evacuated if an incident occurred. Sobering to say the least. You can look up your home by city or zip code. This is a tremendous piece of work. Thanks to PSR for everything they're doing here.This link will take you to the Greenpeace site and to a map that will show you U.S. nuclear plants and seismic zones. Ever heard of the New Madrid fault? Check out this map and find the area where you live. Got any idea of when an earthquake will hit your area and how big it will be? Everyone in Japan knows they're on one of the most active seismic zones on the planet, yet they built over a dozen reactors. Call it what you will, stupid is as stupid does.
This article written by Darius Dixon for Politico outlines the first real news about what the cost of storing nuclear waste over the long term has cost us so far. And we still don't have a real place to store it.
Cleanups in My Community
This website will give you a detailed look at cleanup sites in your community as well as across the nation. You can narrow the search by area and by type of cleanup. It's kind of depressing when you see how many sites there are. I couldn't count them all.
Uranium Mining in the United States
The uranium mining industry began in the U.S. in the 1940s primarily to produce uranium for weapons and later for nuclear fuel. Although there are about 4,000 mines with documented production, EPA, with information provided by other federal, state, and tribal agencies, has identified 15,000 mine locations with uranium occurrence in 14 western states. Most of those locations are found in Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona, and Wyoming, with about 75% of those on federal and tribal lands. The majority of these sites were conventional (open pit and underground) mines.
This link will take you to the EPA's database which shows on pages 6 and 7 the number of Uranium mines in the US...well over 15,000.
• Powertech Uranium has asked the state for a permit to extract 551 gallons per minute from the Madison aquifer. They have also applied for a permit to extract 8,500 gallons per minute from the Inyan Kara formation. 9,000 gallons per minute equals 12,960,000 gallons per day. • According to the company, the project would consume (use up) 2.76 billion gallons of the water. This water would no longer be available to communities, ranches, and families. After it is used for mining, the water that is not consumed or left in the aquifer would be treated as follows: The company prefers to pump it underground where they 'claim' it would be below drinking water sources, or it could be sprayed on the ground, which would leave behind the toxic by products.
After the ore is mined it's taken to a processing mill. Half of the mills in the US have been abandoned and are now the responsibility of the US taxpayer. Out of 50 present and former uranium milling sites in 12 states, 24 have been abandoned, and are the responsibility of the US Department of Energy.
There are thousands of domestic wells in the US which have been contaminated by radiation. This contamination comes from current and historical uranium mining and has been more recently complicated by natural gas fracking. There is no current treatment that would bring this water back to drinking water standards.
The best web site EVER is:
The Activist's Guide to Uranium Mining.
The entire site covers uranium mining all over the world, with updates and data on all of the mines and mills. It's awesome. Not pretty, but the most complete and effective site around. The people maintaining this site deserve a medal.