Sunday, December 20, 2009

**Danger: Uranium Mining Near Grand Canyon**

Did you know that recently the Department of the Interior approved new mining operations near the Grand Canyon?

New uranium mining near Grand Canyon

The U.S. Department of the Interior authorized a Canadian mining company to drill for uranium near the Grand Canyon. This approval may only be the beginning. Since 2003, the number of mining claims within five miles of Grand Canyon National Park has increased from 10 to more than 1,100. Most, if not all, of these claims are for uranium that has left a legacy of cancer and contamination throughout the southwestern United States.

Click here to watch my commentary on CNN and take action today.

Mining near the canyon will not only threaten our greatest national treasure, but will also pose risks to the Colorado River that flows through the canyon. The river provides drinking water for 25 million Americans.

It's not too late to stop the mining and protect this valuable water supply.

Tell Sec. Salazar to make the land near the Grand Canyon off-limits to mining.

The Grand Canyon area is a natural treasure that must be protected. The Administration can stop these mining activities.

Thank you for partnering with EWG - we're stronger together.

In partnership,

Dusty Horwitt
Senior Analyst, Environmental Working Group

The Environmental Working Group is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization dedicated to using the power of information to protect human health and the environment. The EWG Action Fund is a legislative advocacy organization that uses EWG research to promote healthy and sustainable policies.

HEADQUARTERS 1436 U St. NW, Suite 101 | Washington, DC 20009 | (202) 667-6982

{Programming by DPC}

Dangers of Uranium Mining

Uranium ore, waste, and tailings are a toxic mixture of numerous, hazardous materials.

Natural uranium consists of three isotopes: uranium-238, uranium-235, and uranium-234. Uranium isotopes are radioactive. The nuclei of radioactive elements are unstable, meaning they are transformed into other elements, typically by emitting particles (and sometimes by absorbing particles). This process, known as radioactive decay, generally results in the emission of alpha or beta particles from the nucleus. It is often also accompanied by emission of gamma radiation, which is electromagnetic radiation, like X-rays. These three kinds of radiation have very different properties in some respects but are all ionizing radiation-- each is energetic enough to break chemical bonds, thereby possessing the ability to damage or destroy living cells.

The most serious health hazard associated with uranium mining is lung cancer due to inhaling uranium decay products. The radioactive materials, notably radium-226, and heavy metals (e.g., manganese and molybdenum) contained in uranium mill tailings can also leach into groundwater. Near tailings piles, water samples have shown levels of some contaminants at hundreds of times the government's acceptable level for drinking water.

Radon-222 gas emanates from tailings piles and has a half life of 3.8 days. This may seem short, but due to the continuous production of radon from the decay of radium-226, which has a half life of 1600 years, radon presents a long term hazard. Further, because the parent product of radium-226, thorium-230 (with a half life of 80,000 years), is also present, there is continuous production of radium-226. Radon gas can travel a thousand miles in just a few days, with a light breeze. As it travels low to the ground (it is much heavier than air) it deposits its “daughters”—solid radioactive fallout—on the vegetation, soil and water below; the resulting radioactive materials enter the food chain, ending up in fruits and berries, the flesh of fish and animals, and ultimately, in the bodies of human beings.

Additional health and environmental dangers are posed by the heavy metals and other contaminants frequently associated with uranium.

DPC Recommendations

End all radioactive/nuclear related technologies world wide till scientist can safely and properly deal with the harmful byproducts, and there are no more ignorant violent governments and human beings threatening to kill the entire planet through varying degrees of socially venerated insanity...
(Known Facts and Hidden Dangers of Uranium)

~Additional Links~

EWG story

BLM authorizes Grand Canyon uranium exploration

Quaterra Resources Inc. (canadian mining company)

Bureau of Land Management

Uranium mining dangers being hidden, expert warns

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