|8/13/2009 by mdc|
|Michael D. Campbell, P.G., P.H., CPG, Chair of the Uranium Committee of the Energy Minerals Div., AAPG reports on the recent uranium industry developments, exploration, mining and environmental programs in the U.S. and overseas. Any report on the industrial aspects of uranium must address the status of the nuclear industry in the U.S. today in light of the effect the 1979 Three-Mile Island incident had on the development of the nuclear power industry. Because Americans still vividly remember the nuclear solution to end World War II with a recalcitrant Japan, lingering fears of unseen radioactivity have led to the belief that nuclear energy, and the waste it produces, can not be controlled or managed. |
Cold War fears of nuclear war, especially at a time when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, compounded by the hostage crisis in Iran, taken all together, and lacking leadership by an educated President, stampeded the press, the politicians, and the general public into wholesale abandonment of any further expansion of nuclear energy for power in the U.S. since the late 1970s.
These fears, much like those resulting from the Twin Towers attacks, the Anthrax Postal attacks, or just after you have learned of a robbery in your neighborhood, another form of terrorism, are generalized and not easy to deal with, although they are real and understandable responses to uncertain security, something we have learned over the decades to expect without question.
How does the American nuclear-industry safety record stack up against other real dangers? How does it compare with the accident rates of coal, air-travel, or in highway travel, tobacco use, or other such activities that threaten our lives? In short, it is well known that the American nuclear industry consistently out-performs all of the other industries and activities each year by a large measure.Not one person has died as a result of a nuclear industry accident or incident in the U. S. over at least the past 40 years.