Uranium in the Four Corners Essay

Uranium in the Four Corners Essay

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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

http://www.flagstaff.az.gov/DocumentCenter/Home/View/12765 http://www.grandcanyontrust.org/documents/gc_uranium_flagCityCouncilResolution.pdf

Arizona One Mine http://energyfuels.com/projects/arizona_one/

Canyon Mine http://energyfuels.com/projects/canyon/

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