Projected nuke-power renaissance spurs U.S. uranium-mining bonanza
Due to the escalating price of uranium, a flurry of uranium-mining claims has been staked in the United States recently, with one of the greatest concentrations around the Grand Canyon in Arizona. On public lands within five miles of Grand Canyon National Park, there are now 1,100 uranium-mining claims, compared with just 10 in January 2003. One proposed uranium mine just three miles from a popular Grand Canyon lookout has been stalled due to a lawsuit from green groups, but the bonanza of claims continues in the area and in four other states in the U.S. West. There are now over 43,000 total uranium-mining claims in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming — a 1,900 percent increase since 2001. Uranium is both toxic and radioactive and mining it can contaminate water supplies, but the uranium-mining and nuclear power industries have been spinning it as an environmental plus, saying it’s all part of the wonderful process that brings clean, safe nuclear power to the masses.