If you are reading this blog, it probably means that you are seeking more information on pending plans to mine uranium in our beautiful Virginia. The objective of this blog is provide our readers with the background information and updates on any developments pertaining to proposed uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
For more detailed information please check our newly created website: www.uraniumfreeVA.org

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Highlights of December 6 Presentation of Chmura Study

- 130 - 150 people attended. A majority wore "Keep the Ban" stickers.

- A majority of the questions were clearly asked by citizens who support the ban.

- The Uranium Mining Sub-Committee did not ask a single question.

- There were numerous disclaimers throughout the presentation: "there is uncertainty as to whether this will occur; for the base line to occur our assumption have to hold true for decades; it is an assumption not a fact that the environmental standards will hold true; etc..."

- Chmura team admitted that at a price of $43 /lb the mine and mill site would no longer be profitable and would shut down. A price under $50/lb would mean only a 20 year life of the mine (vs 35 year).

- $6 billion windfall is estimated in best case scenario (this assumes highest price of uranium @$75/lb)

- the loss of $11 billion is predicted in the worst case scenario

- Chmura team admitted that "no area like the Coles Hill site has been mined before so there is no apples to apples comparison regarding: real estate, agriculture, tourism, private schools, manufacturing".

- It would cost VA $2.5 million annually to run the uranium milling program if VA were to become an agreement state.

- Chmura team claimed the science on public health impact was "questionable" in the same breath that he said it is "unambiguously bad for you"

- Chmura admitted that no technology for liners has been fully tested

- According to Chmura, VUI's estimated $15 million remediation costs is underestimated and since there is no certainty as to the type of mining to be employed (underground vs open pit) and the lack of a tailings storage plan, the impacts and remediation costs can't be accurately predicted and could vary widely.

- Bond is supposed to cover the decommissioning, reclaiming and long-term maintenance. After reclamation the land is handed over to the state or US DOE, and if bond is understated the cost will be put on the taxpayer.

- Chmura admitted that hydrogeology at Coles Hill is complex and needs more studies.

- Puckett stated he believes there is a "significant difference between coal and uranium mining"

- When asked if there are any uranium mines that have met federal standards (their baseline scenario) Chmura said "NO"

- Chmura stated under the study's baseline scenario the project would be safe for residents and workers. Yet, they warned that the wildlife should be kept away from the site because wildlife might carry the radioactive material off site or ingest it. [what is safe for humans is deadly for wildlife?]

- At the end of the presentation, where Chmura pointed our the RTI Study that is due shortly might be different from their study because everyone has a different perception of the stigma involved in mining.

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