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Mining uranium from open pits or by underground excavation results in large stockpiles of radioactive and toxic waste rock and tailings. These mines and waste sites contaminate water and result in the release of radon gas into the atmosphere for centuries, even millennia. These wastes will be a toxic inheritance that our children and their children will need to manage in perpetuity.
Uranium Mining Poses Health Risks
People living around uranium mines are at risk of exposure to radioactive materials released into water and air as gas or dust. Uranium miners are exposed to greater amounts of radiation than considered acceptable to the general public. Miners who are exposed to high doses of radiation or low levels of radiation over long periods are 2 to 5 times more likely to develop lung cancer.
Uranium Mining Pollutes Waterways and Groundwater
Uranium mines, mills, and waste sites release radioactive contaminants, heavy metals, and other pollutants into watercourses and groundwater. Effluent from uranium mines and mills is classified as toxic by the Canadian Environmental Protection Act. Extracting uranium by leaching the ore from the ground using harsh chemicals - sometimes thought to be less damaging than open pit or underground mining - will result in groundwater contamination that cannot be avoided.
Uranium Air Pollution
Uranium mining and waste storage sites release radionuclides, radon gas, and heavy metals into the atmosphere. Milling, which uses acidic or alkaline chemicals to refine uranium, results in the release of greenhouse gases such as nitrous oxide, volatile organic compounds, and carbon dioxide.
Uranium Mining Poses Risks to Wilderness and Wildlife
Aside from direct damage to landscapes and watercourses, uranium mines create contaminated zones polluted by radioactive waste and heavy metals. Fish sampled from lakes around uranium mines in Saskatchewan have concentrations of nickel, cadmium, and other heavy metal that are up to 43 times higher than normal levels. Caribou that consume lichens from around uranium mines are laden with radiation, with consequences for consumers of caribou meat.
Nuclear Power Fuelled by Uranium Undermines Efforts to Combat Climate Change
Nuclear power plants fuelled by uranium are barriers to combating climate change. This is because nuclear power plants are too costly and take too long to construct to address our urgent need to combat climate change. Ratepayers in Ontario are currently paying back billions of dollars for cost over-runs at their nuclear power plants. Even when risk to human health and the environment are not taken into consideration, using nuclear energy to reduce a tonne of greenhouse gas is seven times more expensive than natural gas and one and a half times more expensive than wind power, according to data from CIBC World Markets and the Ontario Power Authority.
Taken from: http://www.sierraclub.ca/atlantic/programs/economies/uranium/action_letter.htm
where you can also send a letter.
We, the undersigned, call on The Honourable Shawn Graham to prohibit exploration and mining of uranium in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
The Stop Uranium Mining in New Brunswick & Nova Scotia petition to The Honourable Shawn Graham was written by Anonymous and is in the category Local Government at GoPetition.