By Peter Galuszka

Gov. Robert F. McDonnell has punted on the uranium controversy and that’s a good thing, assuming the General Assembly doesn’t lift the mining ban anyway.

There are simply too many unknowns about mining the tract owned by Virginia Uranium near Chatham and the state has no knowledge or regulations about mining the highly toxic and radioactive substance.

What’s more, there are big questions about whether it is needed. Market prices are stable and while developing countries such as China and India plan many new nuclear power stations, advanced economies such as Germany are scaling them back after the Fukushima disaster in Japan last year.

McDonnell’s decision comes despite an onslaught of expensive and extensive flackery by the local people who own the farms where the uranium deposit is located and the Canadians who actually control the company. The Virginia Public Access Project reports that Virginia Uranium has paid out more than $150,000 to political candidates and has hired five powerhouse Richmond-based PR firms. It paid all expenses for a dozen legislators who unwisely made a trip to France to see an abandoned uranium mine and who were treated to the delights of Paris on the way.

Virginia Uranium says it’s just dandy that McDonnell recommends delaying lifting the moratorium and continues its campaign, including a full page ad in the Richmond newspaper with drawings showing just how safely the tailings from the mine project would be stored.

The problem is that the issue isn’t just going away. If it doesn’t, the state will have to cough up money as schools go without to come up with regs. Virginia Uranium shouldn’t pay for them — they’d be tainted. But why should the state be burdened when it has so many other things on its “to pay” list?

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2 responses to “Good Move on Uranium”

  1. […] Reaction mixed to gov’s uranium decision (ABC 13) Uranium Moratorium (Governors Journal) Good Move on Uranium (Bacon’s Rebellion) Share this:ShareEmailPrintTwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to […]

  2. There are simply too many unknowns ……..

    Thee is an argument that precludes almos anhing new.

    If the uranium is not needed, it won’t be mined.

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