Wednesday, June 23, 2010

MEDIA: Uranium mining guzzles Australia’s precious groundwater

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 17, 2010 -- AUSTRALIA (Source: -- Water from the Great Artesian Basin in Central Australia is being depleted to keep residual radioactive dust from uranium mining wet in order to keep it from blowing across the continent.

Seven million gallons of water is being extracted from the basin per day to keep the radioactive dust in place.

“If we are going to stop the weapons, then we need to stop the mining of uranium altogether,” Garlick said.

Marcus Atkinson, who is also a member of Footprints for Peace from Australia, said 200 tons of yellow-cake uranium is required to generate electricity from a nuclear power plant.

Mining uranium in Australia requires destroying 135,000 tons of ore, he said.

Radioactive dust that escaped dampening has stretched as far as New Zealand, according to Atkinson. Australia now allows the injection of sulfuric acid to burn away soil and suck out uranium ore – a method banned by most industrialized nations, he said. Australia contains 35 percent of the world’s uranium reserves.

“So Australia is like the Saudi Arabia of uranium,” Atkinson said.

The nuclear abolition tour ends July 30 at San Ildefonso Pueblo just outside Los Alamos, – the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Think Outside the Bomb and other groups are planning nonviolent civil disobedience there Aug. 1-9, Riley said.

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