- Strong quake hits Japan, triggering tsunami
- Sniper heaven: Pentagon’s self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Violent gang taking advantage of immigration crisis, using border as recruiting hub
- Medicaid enrollment continues to soar under Obamacare, administration says
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: ‘We cannot afford to wait on Congress’ for immigration
- White House urges GOP to act ‘urgently’ on $3.7 billion request for illegal immigrants
- Politicians, criminals using ‘right-to-be-forgotten’ law EU courts forced upon Google
- Combat fatigue: elite special forces troops are ‘fraying,’ Gen. Joseph Votel warns
- German foreign minister to meet Kerry to discuss spying claims
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: ‘Get yourself some firearms’
Study: ‘Steep hurdles’ for uranium mining in Virginia
Question of the Day
There are “steep hurdles to be mounted” for Virginia to safely mine uranium, according to a much-anticipated two-year study on the process, released Monday by the National Academy of Sciences.
“Internationally accepted best practices, which include timely and meaningful public participation, are available to mitigate some of the risks involved. However, there are still many unknowns,” said Paul Locke, chairman of the committee that wrote the report and associate professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health, in Baltimore.
The state requested the study, paid for by Virginia Tech with funds from Virginia Uranium Inc. The company wants to tap a 119-pound deposit at the Coles Hill site in Pittsylvania County.
The radioactive ore would be processed, then used to fuel nuclear power reactors.
The company says the process can be done safely, but environmental groups are concerned about the potential environmental impacts mining might have on surrounding areas, including contamination of the state’s drinking water.
The committee was not asked whether mining should be allowed or whether the effort should be pursued. If the ban is lifted, mining and processing likely would not begin for five to eight years after the initial granting of a license, the report states.
Patrick Wales, project manager for Virginia Uranium, said the study provides a “clear road map and path forward for operating the safest uranium mine in Virginia.”
“The NAS study states time and again that best practices now widely adopted by the industry have been effective at protecting water and air quality and overall public health,” he said.
But Andrew Lester, executive director of the Roanoke River Basin Association, said the group expects Gov. Bob McDonnell and the General Assembly to keep the ban in place because the study does not demonstrate “beyond a reasonable doubt” that mining in Virginia would pose absolutely no threat to public safety and health.”
Many lawmakers had said they were reserving judgment on whether they would favor lifting the ban until they had a chance to closely review the study. With less than a month to go before the General Assembly convenes, it leaves them little time to study the nearly-300-page report.
“I look forward to some reading over the Christmas holidays,” said Sen. John Watkins, Powhatan Republican.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
David Sherfinski covers politics for The Washington Times. He can be reached at email@example.com.
- Gun control battle may kill sportsmen's bill
- Dave Brat shakes up campaign a month after topping Eric Cantor in GOP primary
- Fighter over Lois Lerner's missing IRS emails heads to court
- Benghazi panel could cost up to $3.3 million
- Court orders Chicago to pay NRA's legal fees
Latest Blog Entries
- Dick Cheney: Hillary Clinton 'clearly bears responsibility' on Benghazi
- Holder vows to press ahead on gun control fight
- Seven of 10 prefer that Obama work with Congress, not go around it: Poll
- Schumer: Tea party hasn't let Obama put his policies into effect
- GOP official: Black not running for Wolf's House seat
TWT Video Picks
Senate majority leader practices politics of personal destruction
- Pentagon's self-guided bullets leave enemies nowhere to hide
- Michelle Obama to Latinos: 'We cannot afford to wait on Congress' for immigration
- Armed militia sets up Texas command center to 'fight for national sovereignty'
- Obama seeks brisk passage of border children funding bill
- Va. Democrat reportedly seeks nude shots of Kendall Jones
- Florida police spokesman tells citizens: 'Get yourself some firearms'
- Bloomberg: Pro-gun towns must lack roads
- Hamas orders civilians to die in Israeli airstrikes
- PRUDEN: 'Dirty Harry' Reids increasing eccentricity
- Google Glass-equipped rifles can fire around corners: It's 'mind-blowing when you actually do it'
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq
World Cup's sexiest WAGs