July 2006
Ecologist;Jul/Aug2006, Vol. 36 Issue 6, p44
The article discusses the mining and milling of uranium. In order to get uranium, it has to be mined and milled, both processes are environmentally destructive. While the element is found everywhere on earth, geological surveys show that most deposits of uranium are found in concentrations of about 0.02-0.01 per cent of 200-100 grams per tonne of rock. Uranium is needed to fuel nuclear reactors. A standard nuclear reactor requires 160 tonnes of uranium fuel. Uranium is taken from the earth like any other raw material, blasted and dug from open pits, causing thousands of tonnes of radioactive rock to be disturbed, the dust of which finds its way into water, plants, animals, fish and humans. After collection it is then processed in a chemical plant to produced what is commonly called yellowcake.


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