About a month ago, I wrote about a large uranium deposit in Virginia located under a family farm named Coles Hill owned by Mr. Walter Coles, a retired US government employee. (Coal mining versus uranium mining in Virginia) One aspect of the story that intrigued me was the fact that even studying the deposit was then illegal under Virginia law, even though Virginia is a state that has hosted a large coal mining industry for well over 100 years. It seems illogical for the state to be so concerned about the safety of uranium mining that it bans it, while it encourages coal mining and tobacco production.
Of course, it is entirely possible that the ban is not really about safety, but about protecting existing coal interests.
Apparently, I missed a story last week titled Senate OKs uranium mining study in Virginia reporting that the Virginia Senate had passed a bill authorizing a two year study of the safety of uranium mining. That is at least a baby step in the right direction.
Hat tip to David Bradish at NEI Nuclear Notes for pointing out the story.
Update: I had just enough time to do a little looking around before heading out for my day job. Here are some additional links with useful information about the Virginia uranium mining potential:
- Uranium deposits hope from the February 18, 2008 edition of the Washington Times
- Sides far from accord on uranium mining from the Danville Register and Bee
- Don’t taint uranium study from Roanoke.com
There is plenty more on the topic available using a Google News search with the term “Virginia uranium”.