Uranium Mining in Virginia: Scientific, Technical, Environmental, Human Health and Safety, and Regulatory Aspects of Uranium Mining and Processing in Virginia

Uranium mining in the Commonwealth of Virginia has been prohibited since 1982 by a state moratorium, although approval for restricted uranium exploration in the state was granted in 2007. Uranium Mining in Virginia examines the scientific, technical, environmental, human health and safety, and regulatory aspects of uranium mining, milling, and processing as they relate to the Commonwealth of Virginia for the purpose of assisting the Commonwealth to determine whether uranium mining, milling, and processing can be undertaken in a manner that safeguards the environment, natural and historic resources, agricultural lands, and the health and well-being of its citizens. According to this report, if Virginia lifts its moratorium, there are steep hurdles to be surmounted before mining and processing could take place within a regulatory setting that appropriately protects workers, the public, and the environment, especially given that the state has no experience regulating mining and processing of the radioactive element. The authoring committee was not asked to recommend whether uranium mining should be permitted, or to consider the potential benefits to the state were uranium mining to be pursued. It also was not asked to compare the relative risks of uranium mining to the mining of other fuels such as coal. This book will be of interest to decision makers at the state and local level, the energy industry, and concerned citizens.