Posted: Friday, April 8, 2011 5:00 am
To the editor:
Our opportunity to speak to the ban on new uranium mining claims near the Grand Canyon has been extended to May 4. Speak out, because uranium never stops being deadly.
-- Uranium kills miners: 89 percent of the Navajo miners working in Shiprock in 1970 have died of cancer.
-- Uranium poisons the land and the water forever. Young Navajo continue to die of leukemia and reproductive cancer from radioactive pollution. The "dry mines" of the previous mining boom continue to contaminate the waters of Moenkopi and Black Falls.
-- Uranium is a dangerous source of energy: Millions in Japan wonder how many generations will suffer from the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Millions live with the aftermath of Chernobyl. The U.S. was lucky with Three Mile Island. No one is immune to human error. Japanese officials admit to cutting corners to increase profit: No one is safe from high level corruption.
-- Uranium remains so deadly after its brief service -- approximately three years -- that what is not reprocessed must be stored safely for 10,000 years. Worldwide, there are NO operative permanent storage sites. Temporary storage is expensive: canisters of illegally dumped nuclear waste are washing up on Somali shores, and with them reports of increased sickness and death.
Uranium mining in Arizona will create a brief economic boom in exchange for permanent environmental harm and human suffering.
ALLISON CLOUGH, M.D., MPH