Activists, medical practitioners and politicians who have demanded moratoriums [on uranium mining] may have various reasons for doing so, but their claims that the public and environment are at risk are fundamentally wrong.
That about sums up the facts on the safety of uranium mining and the validity of motives of those who oppose it. What’s particularly noteworthy about this statement is its source: Michael Binder, the President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission. It’s impressive to see this level of leadership from the Canadian equivalent of the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
It’s also in stark contrast with the actions of former NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko who remained silent last year when the US Department of Interior banned uranium mining for 20 years across 4000 square km of Arizona. Their excuse was “protecting the Grand Canyon,” but the area in question is outside both the Grand Canyon and the buffer zone that protects the park.
It would be great to see new NRC Chairman Allison Macfarlane following Mr. Binder’s lead to dispel the myths around uranium mining and take a first step in overturning the arbitrary ban.