Uranium, an element in chemistry, is one of the world’s rare earth metals. It serves many purposes like forging electricity and reinforcing armor. However, why are these things so important and why not use some other environmentally friendly resource?
Black Mesa, a natural resource for water is still being occupied by Peabody Coal, the world’s largest coal company. Located on the Navajo and Hopi Reservations of Northern Arizona, the mining company pumps water out of the Navajo Aquifer (N-Aquifer) which is mixed with grated coal known as slurry. The slurry is then pumped through a pipeline to Nevada’s Mohave Generating Station where it is converted into low-cost electricity (Peabody Energy Online par 3). Peabody has two mines on Black Mesa which includes the Peabody Coal Mine as well as the Kayenta Mine, both help to produce enough coal that supports 1.5 million people in the Southwest including Arizona, Nevada, and California (Peabody Energy Online par 8). The low-cost electricity is quite affordable for the people who live in the area. Peabody Coal has many coal mines around the world which help fight to keep the cost of energy down.
To the northeast part of Arizona lay a conflict between two indigenous groups from the surrounding area and the world’s largest coal company formerly known as Peabody Coal (now Peabody Energy). The Hopi and Navajo reservations surround a region known as Black Mesa. Black Mesa is located on both the Navajo and Hopi Reservations which is a target source for underground water called the N-aquifer. The N-aquifer contains a great amount of pristine Ice Age water. As time drew on, many indigenous people were alarmed that the water was carelessly being depleted from their land. Mining on Black Mesa should be stopped because the inhabitants are affected by Peabody, livestock in the area must depend on the local springs, groundwater is being depleted at an average of 3.3 million gallons per day, and the water is being contaminated (SBMW Online par 1).
... the surface and groundwater with pollution for a lifetime. Still to this day, uranium mining continues to pose a risk to the lives of people, animal and plant species, and the National park in itself (Nimkin & Billington, 2013).
The tar creek mining site originally was owned by a Native American tribe, the Quapaw. The Quapaw wanted to keep these lands, but the Bureau of Indian Affairs deemed members opposing a transaction to mining companies “incompetent” (1). In such a case the business could continue and the Bureau of Indian Affairs sold the lands to mining companies. In essence these lands were stolen from the Quapaw because they were ripe for mining. These mines were then used from approximately 1891 to 1970. In the 79 years the mines were open 1.7 million metric tons (~3.75 billion pounds) of lead and 8.8 million metric tons (~19.4 billion pounds) of zinc were withdrawn from the mine (2). The entire area around Tar Creek is known as the tri-state mining area. This tri-state area was a massive source of metals. This area accounted for 35% of the all worldwide metal for a decade. It also provided the majority of metals the United States used in World wars I and II (3).
The mine should not be done, especial to such a majestic place like the penokee range. Anyone who has seen the range would understand why stopping the mine would be a good thing. Nothing good is coming from the mine other than money. There are plenty of bad things that will happen due to the water pollution, air pollution, and water usage from the mine. Communities can work together to fight the mine company, and together people can be heard.
"Independent Lens . RAZING APPALACHIA . Mountaintop Removal Strip Mining | PBS." PBS: Public Broadcasting Service. Independent Television Service, 14 May 2003. Web. 11 Nov. 2011.
Australia has been found the world largest quantities of uranium source to meet the international demand. This consequently contributes to ores export and boom Australian economic growth. Whereas, there are a number of factors restrict uranium mining that has less benefit to Australia. Thus, the uranium mining should be limited as much as possible. The fact is that Uranium mining is not yet a safe, economic, reputable industry for Australia and its people.
Uranium, as a most significant material in producing nuclear power, has becoming a world renowned energy resource. An article from Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (2006) points out that, Australia is one of the largest uranium distribution countries in this world and is also one of the countries that can exploit the uranium. So the uranium mining has made a huge influence for Australian and its people. Some people argument that uranium mining can bring enormous economic resources for Australia, for that reason, the government should encourage the exploitation of uranium. However, I firmly believe that the limitations on mining of uranium are very essential. Firstly, uranium mining would cause pollution for the drinking water. Secondly, the miner’s health is harmful impacted while they working to mining the uranium ore. Lastly, if people mine uranium without control, the uranium tends to decrease to a smaller amount and exhausted in the last.
I’ve seen nuclear power plants in several states and often wondered just how much of our power comes from the controversial source. One such plant stands out in my memory; far out in the Arkansas countryside, surrounded by wooded hills and a deep river, the instantly recognizable cooling tower caught my eye. It made me wonder, why is nuclear energy so controversial anyway? I have to admit, the scene that day was idyllic. It didn’t match at all the way nuclear power has traditionally been portrayed in the movies or on TV. What I saw was a prosperous area full of people a mere stone’s throw from the plant. I’m talking about boaters and skiers literally in the shadow of those cooling towers. In the course of my research I found that I had some misconceptions about nuclear power and that the industry just might come back to life here in the United States. I learned that about 20% of our electricity is derived from nuclear reactors. I’ve come to believe that nuclear needs to play an even larger part in our energy mix along with wind and other technologies; it’s safer than ever and cleaner by far than coal or natural gas. Even with the challenges of radioactive waste and high capital cost, nuclear has a place in U.S. energy production.