Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Va. lawmakers kill study of proposed uranium mine

The prospect of a uranium mine in Southern Virginia's Pittsylvania County has divided the area for months. This week, a Virginia legislative panel tabled a proposal for a study on uranium mining at the site site, which owners think is one of the richest uranium concentrations in the country, reports Mason Adams of The Roanoke Times. "The procedural move by the House Rules Committee effectively kills the bill, which many of its opponents saw as the first step to lift Virginia's 25-year-old moratorium on uranium mining," Adams writes.

Virginia Uranium Inc. pushed for the study in hopes of starting to tap the deposit it says is worth $10 billion. Opponents, however, said they are concerned about the safety of such extraction, specifically the radioactive "tailings" left behind when uranium is mined. "We can probably mine it safely," Del. Watkins Abbitt, I-Appomattox County, who helped create the uranium mining moratorium in 1983. "But we cannot handle the tailings safely. That's the problem, that was the problem then." (Read more)

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