tagged w/ yellow cake
A new "gold rush" is under way in the American West, but this time the prospectors are out for another metal: uranium.
The Grand Canyon region in the US state of Arizona holds one of the nation's largest concentrations of high grade uranium, the fuel for nuclear power.
As global demand for nuclear power has increased so has interest in the metal and, across the south-west, companies are seeking permission to restart uranium mining.
In the US, President Barack Obama has called for an increase in nuclear power to help reduce the country's dependence on foreign oil.
The US government is currently weighing the costs and benefits of mining, with Arizona Congressman Raul Grijalva proposing a ban on mining near the Grand Canyon.
But with the increase in uranium exploration come concerns about the future of the Grand Canyon, a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of America's foremost natural wonders.
And Native American populations living near uranium mines fear exploration could contaminate their drinking water.
For now, the sole active uranium mine near the Grand Canyon's northern rim is run by Denison Mines Corporation, a Canadian firm.
The Arizona 1 mine employs 30 miners, and the firm says it goes to great lengths to protect them in the hazardous environment.
Among other precautions, large fans pump clean air into the mine and suck out most of the radioactive radon gas, while workers spray water across the site to keep down potentially harmful dust. The firm also says past accidents were swiftly and effectively cleaned up.
On a recent trip into the mine, none of the miners wore masks, and their hands and face were caked with uranium ore.
"It washes off," miner Cody Behuden, 28, told the BBC while licking his ore-caked lips.
Vice-president of US operations Harold Roberts said the miners were under no danger from ingesting uranium.
***************************************A new "gold rush" is under way in the American West, but this time the... more
“Yellow Cake” is a short animated film by the award-winning Canadian animator Nick Cross. Cross explains that he got the idea for the film in 2003, in light of speculation during the Bush administration that Iraq was buying uranium powder called “Yellow Cake.” Yellow Cake Uranium was one of the Weapons of Mass Destruction that Iraq allegedly possessed. Cross’s fantastic animated epic becomes a modern parable of terrorism and catastrophic war, a lamentable tragedy featuring geopolitical bullying, social unrest and worker revolt. In the end, as with most revolutions, the revolt is both crushed by foreign intervention and corrupted from the inside until it becomes as evil as the regime the workers had originally fought.
“Yellow Cake” initially lures the viewer into a tale of pleasant mirth, filled with adorable blue creatures who spend all day baking and then eating their own exquisitely delicious yellow cakes. But soon the tide turns, and the small town of happy little bakers is driven to terrorism by the greed of their leader and cake-hungry fat cats, resulting in the town’s ultimate catastrophic destruction. It seems that no matter what they do, the oppressed have no hope left.
This piece presents a number of colorful illustrations from the film, as well as the remarkable animated short, “Yellow Cake.”
Please visit my website and view the colorful illustrations and this fantastic short animated film:
http://disembedded.wordpress.com/2009/11/15/yellow-cake-a-modern-parable-of-terrorism-and-devastating-war/“Yellow Cake” is a short animated film by the award-winning Canadian... more
Above Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Please read the Christian Century Article by Rev. Jon Magnuson on the "Acid Mine" that threatens Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
An ELCA Lutheran pastor, Rev. Magnuson is known across northern Michigan for creating numerous interfaith environment initiatives and other projects projects involving over 150 churches/temples, American Indian tribes, college students, at-risk teens, health care professionals and many others.
If this mine opens along Lake Superior, it could leak sulfuric acid into the Great Lakes.
It's the first of countless sulfide and uranium mines planned for Northern Michigan.
Besides unproven "new" technology, the mine will be open for only seven years - and create only about 150 short-term jobs. It's a drop in the bucket compared to the economic impact of the U.P.'s longstanding iron ore mines.
A lot of greed for a smattering of nickel and other minerals that will be sucked out of our precious soil.
The international mining company that wants to set up shop in Marquette County is Kennecott Minerals - an outfit with a dismal environmental record that has closed other acid mines without proper cleanup apparently finding it cheaper to fight in court than pay for the proper cleanup of the now vacent mine sites.
Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Inland drilling: A debate over mining in Upper Michigan
Many fear that the aicd mines - that will be joined by uranium mines - are a death-knell for northern Michigan and its bread-and-butter tourism economy.
Who will want to visit an area dotted by hundreds of acid pits and possibly polluted rivers, lakes and streams.
There are recent swirling rumors that Kennecott took state officials on junkets and other allegations of wrongdoing as their deep pockets wooed local and state leaders.
If true, it would not be the first scandal involving the local operation named the Kennecott Eagle Minerals Company - as an important study critical of the mine were not made public by state officials until the information was leaked. Just an innocent oversight - the state claimed.
Do you hear the whirring sound? - it's Marquette's founding fathers are spinning in their graves.
For more information on the effort to stop the mines - visit Save the Wild UP website:
Above Photo of Lake Superior shoreline © Jim Kruger
Please read the Christian... more