Uranium in Chatham

Received via Email today:

The National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study on the proposed development of the Coles Hill uranium deposit in Chatham, the largest untapped uranium deposit in the United States. The Academy is inviting public comment on the plan at a town hall meeting in Danville on Monday. ( see the details below )

The issue of jobs from uranium mining in Pittsylvania County is not a Democrat or Republican issue. It’s a “We, the people” issue that needs to be discussed and decisions need to be made using the facts and the common sense this area of the country is known for:

Uranium mining and milling has never been done any where in the world with a wet environment or the population density of Virginia, making our state a potential experiment. The facts are worth investigating before any decisions are made. Uranium is a highly toxic heavy metal that emits alpha-radiation and is soluble in water. For every pound of usable uranium mined, a ton of radioactive rock ( tailings ) will be excavated and the tailings will be required to be held on site for years to try to prevent seepage of radioactive tailings into groundwater, overspills into surface waters or dispersion by air. The high potential for water contamination is why uranium mining and milling has never been attempted in a wet climate to date.

A picture is worth a thousand words; please watch this home video of the Flood of 96′, Hurricane Fran, Coles Hill Area

 

The proposed uranium mine site at Coles Hill near Chatham is a wet environment which has been known to flood as it did in 1996. Coles Hill is upstream from Lake Gaston, the primary drinking water for Virginia Beach and some other parts of South Hampton Roads. Other localities may need to get water from the Roanoke River basin in the future. In addition to posing a threat of contaminating water, the proposed mine at Coles Hill could deplete water from Smith Mountain Lake, only 14.5 miles away.  Andrew Lester is executive director of the Roanoke River Basin Association. That basin includes 9,580 square miles and more than 400 miles of rivers, including the Smith River, according to the RRBA website.“It’s never been shown it (uranium mining) can be done safely,” Lester said. Lester also said uranium mining poses a danger of groundwater contamination.

With unemployment in Southside Virginia in double digits, many people and organizations including Americans for Prosperity continue to support innovative methods to create jobs and promote economic development ( but at what cost?)   That’s why we’re asking you to educate yourself and to get involved at this pivotal moment.

The world-renown National Academy of Sciences is conducting a study on the proposed development of the Coles Hill uranium deposit in Chatham.   The Academy is inviting public comment on the plan at a town hall meeting in Danville on Monday:

Details:

Monday, December 13th
6:00- 9:00 PM
Institute for Advanced Learning and Research
150 Slayton Avenue
Danville, VA 24540

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