Uranium Mining

Uranium mining is necessary to provide the "fuel" for nuclear reactors (and also to make nuclear weapons). Historically, uranium mining has been carried out on land occupied by indigenous people - who have often also comprised the work force, and who have suffered the health and environmental consequences. High-grade uranium is a finite resource, therefore disqualifying nuclear power from consideration as renewable energy.



10,000 abandoned uranium mines in the U.S. and other little-known facts

Clean Up The Mines has produced a shocking fact sheet about the conditions at and around the 10,000 abandoned uranium mines in the U.S. Findings include the fact that 10 million people still live within 50 miles of these abandoned mines, 75% of which are on federal and tribal lands. No existing federal laws require cleanup of the hazardous sites. Corporations invariably walk away when mines close, leaving the public to bear the toxic legacy and fund any attempts at cleanup. Uranium mines have contaminated drinking water wells and radioactive dust blows in the wind, deadly in inhaled.


Revised and updated pamphlet on uranium mining

We have revised and updated our pamphlet - Uranium Mining: The impact on people, our health, and the environment. We encourage you to download, reprint and distribute our pamphlets widely. If you would like to order printed copies, please contact us at: 301.270.2209 or enquire via email at: All of our pamphlets can be found on our website under the Pamphlets tab.


Victory! Virginia keeps the ban on uranium mining!

A proposal to end Virginia’s 31-year ban on uranium mining suffered a major defeat on January 31 before a state Senate panel. Lacking the votes to win, Sen. John Watkins, R-Powhatan, withdrew his bill in the Agriculture Committee. That killed the measure for the 2013 session. Mining opponents claimed victory, saying any effort to lift the mining ban is probably dead this year — and maybe well beyond. The Keep the Ban movement brought together environmental organizations, the Virginia Farm Bureau, the Virginia chapter of the NAACP and, most recently, the Pittsylvania County Board of Supervisors. Virginia has a 30-year ban on uranium mining. The uranium industry made making a well-financed push to repeal the ban in order to mine and process uranium, starting in Southside Virginia. Drinking water, human health, farmland, property values, wildlife and tourism across Virginia were at risk. Virginia Uranium, the company that planned to mine the Coles Hill site, will not likely go quietly, but the proposal is once again stymied for the time being.


Utah uranium mining operations suspended

Reports Uranium Watch: It has taken only 5 years for the most recent uranium mining boom in Utah to hit bottom.  In 2012, Energy Fuels Inc. acquired the Denison Mines Corporation’s United States uranium interests through a buyout/merger process.  These interest include the White Mesa Mill, the operating La Sal Mines Complex and Daneros Mine in San Juan County and other mines and mining claims in Utah, Colorado, and Arizona.  Subsequently, Energy Fuels announced they would place their operating Utah mines on standby and would concentrate on operating their mines on the north and south rims of the Grand Canyon.  Energy Fuels’ US subsidiary, Energy Fuels Resources Inc. (EFR), has suspended operations at the La Sal/Beaver Shaft and Daneros Mine.  Originally EFR announced that they would reclaim the Pandora Mine, but later stated they would also temporarily suspend the Pandora Mine operations. 
The Moab office of the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is still reviewing the Plan of Operations Amendment (POA) for the La Sal Mines Complex and completing the Environmental Assessment.  The POA includes the updated provisions for the reclamation of the La Sal, Snowball, Beaver Shaft, and Pandora Mines.  These must be approved by the BLM.
Energy Fuels will now have 9 uranium mines in Utah that are permitted but not operating: Beaver Shaft/La Sal/Snowball, Daneros, Energy Queen, Pandora, Pine Ridge, Redd Block No. 4, Rim, Sage, and Tony M Mines.  The BLM and the Utah Division of Oil, Gas, and Mining have specific regulations that apply to the long-term suspension of mining operations.  The regulations are inadequate and have not been fully implemented and enforced.
The decisions to suspend mining operations in Utah are decisions based on the economic viability of the Energy Fuels.  It is not know when, or if, these mines will resume operation.  Some of these mines have been kept on standby for over 10 years without the required approval of the Oil, Gas, and Mining Board.
Uranium Watch is following the recent suspension uranium mine operations and the status of other mines that are non-operational but have not been remediated.



INVITATION to CELEBRATE: The Nuclear Age in Quebec is Over! Gentilly-2 is SHUT DOWN! But uranium mining must still be banned!

"Rest in Peace, Gentilly-2". Image compliments of CentricoisES et mauricienNEs pour le déclassement nucléaireThis tremendous good news just came in from Dr. Gordon Edwards, chair of the Canadian Coalition for Nuclear Responsibility, and co-chair of the Great Lakes United Nuclear-Free/Green Energy Task Force:

28 December: The Nuclear Age in Quebec is Over! 

Join us, in Montréal, at 1 o'clock in the afternoon

On this occasion, Sonomi and her two children-- refugees from Fukushima, Japan -- will be our special guests.

P.S. Québec will be truly out of the nuclear age only when we achieve a permanent moratorium on uranium mining, as has been done in two other provinces -- Nova Scotia and British Columbia!

(Nuclear utility Hydro-Quebec announced Gentilly-2's permanent shutdown, to occur tomorrow, last October. Gentilly-2 is a CANDU atomic reactor which has operated since 1982. The Quebec public will now avoid the wate, and risk, of billions in refurbishment costs, which Hydro-Quebec had hoped to foist upon them, in a bid to operate Gentilly-2 for 20 more years. However, decommissioning costs will now begin.)