Saturday, September 24, 2011

Uranium Mining in Virginia:
Should we end the moratorium?

An educational forum hosted by Sustainable Loudoun
and the Piedmont Environmental Council
at George Washington University’s Loudoun Campus
Friday, November 11th, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

For 30 years Virginia has had a statewide moratorium on uranium mining. Now, a company called “Virginia Uranium” has asked the general assembly to lift the moratorium so they can begin mining operations in Pittsylvania County.

The state of Virginia Coal and Energy Commission (VCEC) has commissioned a study by the National Academies of Science to assist Virginia to determine whether uranium mining can be undertaken in a manner that safeguards the environment, natural and historic resources, agricultural lands and the health and well-being of its citizens. In addition, the VCEC commissioned a socioeconomic study on the impacts of uranium mining. Both studies are scheduled for completion prior to the 2012 General Assembly session.

Recent catastrophes such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan, the recent earthquake in Mineral and the recent record torrential rains from tropical storms Irene and Lee serve as reminders that we must consider many factors when deciding whether to permit potentially risky industries to operate within our state.

Sustainable Loudoun believes that all citizens of Virginia should have the opportunity to learn the facts not only about the safety of this uranium mine, but about nuclear power in general as a long term energy source and alternatives to it. Toward this end, we are hosting an educational forum on the topic of uranium mining in Virginia at George Washington University’s Loudoun campus on Friday, November 11th at 7:00 pm.

Speakers will include:

Tony Noerpel (Sustainable Loudoun)
  • The long term viability of nuclear energy given:
  • World total uranium reserves
  • Nuclear construction costs and subsidies
  • Potential for catastrophic failures
  • Lack of long term nuclear waste solutions
  • Complexity of the uranium mining, processing, enriching supply chain
  • Countries which are moving beyond nuclear

Janette Sherman, MD
  • Fukushima and Chernobyl: Health impacts

Rob Marmet (Piedmont Environmental Council)
  • Legal aspects of the moratorium
  • What is at stake.
  • Impact of surface mining on water supply and agriculture

Virginia Uranium or Nuclear Energy Institute spokesperson (TBD)
  • Uranium mining safety measures and economic benefits.

Will Stewart (Sustainable Loudoun)
  • Alternatives to nuclear
  • Cost comparison: Nuclear, wind, solar power

The speakers will be followed by a question and answer session with the panelists.

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