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Nuclear can, though, become a coal-level danger if a massive expansion in nuclear power results in a massive expansion of lower concentration uranium ore mining. (Australia is mining both.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:25:50 PM EST
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Having watched Navajo children playing on unmarked uranium tailings piles, i know this is so.

(yes, grabbed them by the hand and led them away.)

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." - Ana´s Nin

by Crazy Horse on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:35:17 PM EST
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Exactly that previous experience of the Dine with Peabody Coal Company Peabody Energy Corporation¹ is why the uranium mines are closed and will, one hopes, never be re-opened.

As of yet, there's been no public announcement of plans to re-open New Mexico thorium mines.  I expect a popular uprising if they try.

Even some conservative wing-nut types hate the mining companies.

¹  name changes but the sociopathy goes on

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Sat Mar 26th, 2011 at 02:19:08 PM EST
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Yes. But I think one can be against any expansion (rather be for reduction) of nuclear power, in favour of energy demand destruction and renewables, and rate coal as the worst possible electricity generation source. The problem is that's a very theoretical point of view. I see no sign our governments intend to give up on nukes (and I include Germany).

Seen this evening on FR TV, the Environment Minister Kosciusko-Morizet in "sincere dialogue" with a Green-type person, stressing the talking point that we should decide nothing in the heat of a crisis (whether she supported Sarko's bomb Gaddafi "crusade" decision in the heat of a crisis wasn't asked). This is the polite version of the immediate reaction of the heavies (Claude Allègre for example) who ran out ten days ago to yell it was "indecent" to want to discuss nuclear energy while the poor Japanese people were suffering. The problem there being that when there isn't a crisis the media don't cover the non-event and those in power go ahead with nuclear plans in hush-hush while no one but the crazies are trying to talk about it.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Mar 25th, 2011 at 05:53:04 PM EST
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I very much question this idea. Even if we would get all our uranium needs from low grade uranium mines (like Rössing, 8 % of world uranium output in 2005), there would be remarkably few mines compared to the number of coal mines operating today. Furthermore, many low grade deposits would be exploited through in situ leaching, which has a very low localized environmental impact, much like Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage used for "mining" deep tar sands (not the moon-scape ones).

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sun Mar 27th, 2011 at 08:33:51 PM EST
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