Uranium in the Four Corners

analytical Essay
748 words
748 words

Not since the 1980's has a recent surge of uranium mining claims occured in the Four Corners region. Energy Fuel Resources Inc. has placed its Canyon Mine on standby and expects to resume shaft sinking operations December of next year, when an official court ruling is made and depending on market conditions.

Earlier this year the Havasupai Tribe and a coalition of conservation groups sued the United States Forest Service for allowing Energy Fuel Resources Inc. to operate a mine under a 1986 federal environmental review without tribal consultation. The Canyon mine was previously in non-operational status due to low uranium stock prices in 1992. Opponents of the uranium mining operation want the federal environmental review updated and point out the uranium mine’s close proximity to the Red Butte Traditional Cultural Property, which was recognized and designated by the US Forest Service in 2010.

Transporting the uranium has also proven to be a major concern for communities in northern Arizona, most notably Flagstaff. In 2010 the Flagstaff City Council passed a resolution supporting the Obama administration’s withdrawal of one million acres of federal land around the national park from uranium mining for 20 years. Chief concerns in the resolution revolved around the overall environmental well-being of the national park, considering 5 million people annually visit the Grand Canyon and contribute to Flagstaff’s local economy.

Another issue was the route that trucks carrying the radioactive material would go through to get to Energy Fuel Resource’s White Mesa Mill at Blanding, Utah, the only operating uranium mill in the United States. Sandy Bahr, director of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon Chapter, explains that in addition to mat...

... middle of paper ...

...etween 420,000 and 7 million.

We would say most definitely it is worth it, since nuclear energy saves far more lives and creates healthier living environments, than what it potentially puts at risk.

Works Cited

Arizona One Mine

Canyon Mine

In this essay, the author

  • Explains that a recent surge of uranium mining claims occurred in the four corners region. energy fuel resources inc. has placed its canyon mine on standby and expects to resume shaft sinking operations december of next year.
  • Explains that the havasupai tribe and a coalition of conservation groups sued the united states forest service for allowing energy fuel resources inc.
  • Explains that transportation of uranium has proven to be a major concern for communities in northern arizona, most notably flagstaff.
  • Explains that in addition to materials from canyon mine passing through flagstaff, uranium from arizona mine 1 will be transported through navajo nation territory
  • Explains curtis moore, investor and public relations director for energy fuel resources inc., describes the sites as very small underground mines.
  • Explains that all water is evaporated according to moore, including rain and snowfall, but opponents of the mining proposition fear the potential impact uranium could have, claiming that radioactive levels tend to be above the natural background.
  • Explains that bahr states that mining sites have minimal surface disturbance, but it doesn't take much for contamination. conservation groups argue that irreversible damage to important waters will occur if radioactive contaminants reach the groundwater that supplies springs and seeps in the grand canyon.
  • Analyzes bahr's assertion that the kaibab north mine remains contaminated and the orphan mine is in the process of being cleaned up.
  • Argues that uranium miners must comply with stringent laws and regulations, strong enforcement and inspection mechanisms, and regulatory oversight at multiple levels from numerous government agencies.
  • Explains that nasa's goddard institute completed a study on the amount of lives nuclear power has saved in reducing green-house gases following the aftermath of japan’s fukashima accident.
  • Opines that nuclear energy saves more lives and creates healthier living environments than what it potentially puts at risk.
  • Cites and for information on uranium mining, including a white-mesa mill, arizona one mine, and canyon mine.
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