The National Research Council was asked by the state of Virginia two years ago to prepare a report on the viability and safety of mining a uranium deposit in the state that holds 119 million pounds of the radioactive material. The report is now in and while it does not suggest that mining can start immediately, neither does it conclude that mining should be forbidden.
The deposit is controlled by a Toronto-listed Canadian company, Virginia Resources Inc. The state has banned uranium mining since 1982, following the incident at Three-Mile Island. The NRC, cited in The Wall Street Journal, “did not advise against lifting the ban, and found that uranium mining in the state was ‘economically viable’, [but] it also found contamination risks in the mining waste dumps known as ‘tailing ponds’, as well as risks proper to Virginia, such as possible earthquakes and high water levels.”
The report concluded that it mining uranium in Virgina would be safe “5 to 8 years” after a license is granted. The WSJ reported that the state is scheduled to debate and vote on the issue next year.