Confronting Media & Other Bias Against Uranium Exploration & Mining, Nuclear Power,
and Associated Environmental Issues


Natural Resources Group
Houston - Seattle
July 1, 2013

For PDF Version of 2014 Update (more).

Over the past few years, C&A personnel (now I2M Associates personnel) noticed an increase in the number of poorly written, inaccurate, and deceptive articles that were produced by various types of media on the subject of nuclear power, uranium exploration and mining, and associated environmental issues. These reports came from the national media, national and local adversarial groups, local citizens groups and the attorneys who represent them. Because they all seem to have many shortcomings in common, C&A personnel began in 2007 to examine them in some detail. Effective April 1, 2010, I2M Associates, LLC has agreed to continue to encourage the I2M personnel to review and comment on articles selected through a process involving at least three and perhaps additional associates and to publish their reviews on this I2M Associates News web page as an educational contribution to the general public.

We will endeavor to point out how some public officials and media reporters employ certain words to make a particular impact on the reader, or who make statements that have no basis in fact or appropriate reference, or that combine and confuse subjects treated in the article in order to encourage the reader to draw certain conclusions that the general public might not otherwise make. We have also noticed a problem with paid activists and attorneys who are credentialed in one academic field but who claim knowledge in another technical field and attempt to influence others on subjects about which they know very little. Also, activists and associated attorneys who have been supported by wind and /or solar interests have been making "anti-nuclear" presentations to local groups without indicating who support their efforts.

Reviews of the following articles have a number of themes in common. Many reporters below present only those portions of the truth that support the positions they wish to hold without presenting all of the relevant background. For example, in situ uranium mines were never cleaned up to the original standards because the original cleanup standards applied were based on drinking-water standards or on water-quality levels that were based on insufficient documentation of any perceived original baseline. That is to be considered with the fact that water quality established by sampling within and around the ore zone would typically show elevated metals for the past thousands, if not millions of years, but many reporters would emphasize that mines were violating water-quality standards during the mine's shutdown. However, both water-quality standards or some concept of the original conditions do not apply, notwithstanding that metals placed into solution by introduced oxygen for producing uranium would quickly be depleted by the overwhelming reducing conditions typically present in the subsurface. This would force uranium ions and other metals to precipitate out as a solid mineral as the ground water moves away from the immediate area mined over a distance of no more than a few hundred feet at most mine sites. Sentinel monitoring wells located a few thousand feet in the direction of flow within the mine property would indicate chemical anomalies if the ground water flow rate was faster than expected. To our knowledge, there has never been a documented case of ground-water contamination from an in-situ uranium mine in the U.S. crossing beyond the mine's property.

There are other more locally based reasons or motives that are behind those opposing uranium exploration and mining. These can be general in nature such the NIMBY attitude where a few landowners do not want a “uranium” mine in their backyards or are miffed that they do not own land that has uranium below it and will therefore miss out on royalties. There are also other purely selfish, snobbish, or even political reasons as well in opposing uranium exploration and mining and, by association, the further development of nuclear power for generation of electricity in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world; this situation is not unlike the attitudes of the late 1800s when electric lights powered by AC or DC, as opposed to natural gas-fired or kerosene lighting, were under great debate.  The fear of change as well as the fear of nuclear power still haunt us today (Campbell, et al., 2005). Nuclear power for the generation of electricity is here to stay in the decades ahead, even as we begin to reach out to space to search for and mine natural resources. These will one day support the needs of Earth and justify off-world centers of human activities, such as on the Moon, Mars, or asteroids (see Conca, 2013; and Campbell, et al., 2013).

A quick examination of our credentials and associated activities should make it apparent to the general public and other professionals alike that the Associates consist of a group of professional geoscientists who have been involved in environmental projects as well as uranium exploration and recovery-related activities for many decades. Hence, we are active in the protection of natural resources and in their development. As consultants, and as licensed professional geologists (or hydrogeologists) in Texas, Wyoming, Mississippi, Alaska, and Washington, we have an obligation to conduct our business in a professional manner as do other professionals in Texas and throughout the U.S. with similar licenses, credentials and training. We conclude that it is part of our individual professional duties to speak out on public matters relating to controversial issues regarding natural resources and the environment.

We receive no funding from any source that might influence our opinions expressed in the reviews below. We do not represent any particular mine or company but we do support the appropriate science and technology involved in uranium exploration and mining of uranium to provide the source of energy to fuel nuclear power plants in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world. As a mineral, uranium, like other minerals of economic value, it must be located by exploration and then mined. This process creates wealth by turning minerals into monetary value for the landowner in the form of a royalty, for the mining company that recovers it and produces yellowcake for the market, for the employees, consultants, and contractors who work for the mining company, for the investors who took on the early risk by financing the exploration, mining, and for providing bonds to cover remediation after mining has been completed if necessary, for the State and Federal governments in terms of taxes received, and for the community surrounding the mine in terms of schools and businesses that benefit from the mine's operation and associated revenue. This requires the mine management to develop relationships with many spheres of influence, from the community to the local, State and Federal governments, and with the financial industry, both private and public, to fund their operations during the early stages of the project.

We have concluded after much study and discussion that uranium and other nuclear minerals are critical energy resources that are necessary for generating electricity, and that the nuclear industry has an outstanding safety record when all the information is considered. The Three-Mile Island incident and the Japanese earthquake that caused severe damage to the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant have served to make the nuclear industry even stronger than before. No lives were lost at either power plant. The Chernobyl disaster doesn't count against the U.S. nuclear industry's safety record because the Soviet Union's nuclear industry made seriously flawed design decisions that led to the meltdown and explosion at the facility; and Chernobyl was a dual-use weapons reactor, designed to produce plutonium for weapons as well as energy, so the Chernobyl disaster does not fit in the same discussion with power-reactor accidents. According to the IAEA (2004), this catastrophe resulted in the deaths of a number of managers and firemen, and approximately 4,000 children and adolescents contracted thyroid cancer some years later but almost all of these recovered with a treatment-success rate of about 99%. Few realize that these design decisions had been severely criticized by the West as the reactors were being built many years ago. They ignored the West's comments because of the competitive pressures of the "Cold War".

In this program of commenting on selected media articles, we are alerting the general public to the vagaries of the local news media and news media in general around the country. We encourage the general public to take notice of how some local public servants, activists, and news media are sowing the seeds of misinformation, creating unnecessary controversy and mistrust around the U.S. This includes the dissemination of shoddy and blatantly biased articles related specifically to inhibiting the expansion of nuclear power and associated uranium exploration and recovery. To this end, we invite the general public to send us articles to review as either examples of biased reporting or of well-balanced reporting for consideration in the I2M Associates News Analysis program. Our Review #8 (below) and a 2006 article (here) are examples of reasonably well-balanced media coverage.

We list below a couple of the recent articles we have prepared addressing some of the issues below:

State of the Uranium Industry in the U.S. & the World: 2011
By Michael D. Campbell, Invited Presentation to the Ohio Geological Society, Columbus, Ohio, on April 21, 2011: http://i2massociates.com/downloads/OGSPresentationApril21-2011.pdf

Uranium Recovery Realities in the U.S. - A Review
By Michel D. Campbell and Henry M. Wise, Invited Presentation to the Houston Geological Society Environmental & Engineering Dinner Meeting on May 18, 2010
http://www.mdcampbell.com/HGSUraniumRecoveryRealitiesV1.9.pdf

For additional publications by the professional staff of I2M Associates, LLC, see (more).

REVIEWS _______________________

FORUM: In Situ Uranium Mining Will Pollute Water

By Lilias Jarding, Rapid City Journal, South Dakota, January 12, 2013....(Review #27)
Original Article: http://rapidcityjournal.com/news/opinion/forum-in-situ-uranium-mining-will-pollute-water/article_ecc53035-6f34-5293-8d5f-08b0e619bee0.html

Maintain the Ban (On Virginia Uranium Mining?)
By The Virginian-Pilot Editorial Board, December 16, 2012 ....(Review #26).
Original Article: http://hamptonroads.com/2012/12/maintain-ban-uranium-mining

Hundreds of Sites Complicate Navajo Uranium Clean-Up
By Maryann Batlle Cronkite News Service - Tucson Sentinel.com, December 21, 2012 ....(Review #25)
Original Article: http://www.tucsonsentinel.com/local/report/122112_navajo_uranium/hundreds-sites-complicate-navajo-uranium-cleanup/

The EPA has a Duty to Protect Aquifers
By Adam Friedman and Jim Blackburn - Houston Chronicle, January 28, 2011 .......( Review #24)
Original Article: http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/The-EPA-has-a-duty-to-protect-aquifers-2429522.php

Nuclear Power's Core of Support Gains Strength
By Eric Berger - Houston Chronicle, January 9, 2009 ................(Review #23)
Original Article: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/business/6203553.html

Activists Want Mining Suspended
By Lisa Sandberg - Express-News in My SA News, October 9, 2008 .......................(Review #22)
Original Article: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_news/30665509.html

Don’t Be Fooled by Nuclear Industry Shill; Environmentalists Are Not Backing New Reactors
Nuclear Power Plant Proposed for Victoria Puts Region at Risk
By An Anonymous Reporter - American Patriots.com - May 9th, 2008......................(Review #21)
Original Article: http://www.allamericanpatriots.com/48747138_don%E2%80%99t-be-fooled-nuclear-industry-shill-environment

Power Struggle: Opponents of a Proposed Uranium Mine Near Nunn Find Kindred Spirits in South Texas.
By Rebecca Boyle - Fort Collins Now, February 6, 2008.............................................(Review #20)
Original Article: http://www.fortcollinsnow.com/article/20080206/NEWS/340020944

Powering Up Nuclear: Uranium Industry Still Has its Supporters, Opponents.
by Kevin Killough - The Independent, Gallup, New Mexico, January 4, 2007.................(Review #19)
Original Article: http://www.gallupindependent.com/2008/January/010408kk_pwrngupnclr.html

Mining Company, Uranium Opponents Seek Public Approval
By Sonny Long - Victoria Advocate, December 9, 2007................................................(Review #18)
Original Article: http://www.tradingmarkets.com/.site/news/Stock%20News/896217/

Hot Air and Wind: A National Renewable Power Requirement.
By Robert J. Michaels - Professor, Economics at California State U., Fullerton, December 20, 2007 (Review #17)
Original Article:
http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MTlhN2I4ZDhmZTg2N2NmM2EzNmExYTEwNWRjNzU3Mzk=

Two Strikes Against New Nuclear Reactors
By Lara Cushing - San Antonio Express - News, October 24, 2007 ................................(Review #16)
Original Article: http://www.mysanantonio.com/opinion/stories/MYSA102507.01Onukecomment.2332aa9.html

U.S. Nuclear Industry Set for Expansion
By Kim Laners - Australian Broadcasting Company, ABC News, November 21, 2007....(Review #15)
Original URL: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/21/2097451.htm?section=world

A Uranium Alliance Formed
By Brandon Bennett - Black Hills Pioneer, Rapid City, November 12, 2007.......................(Review #14)
Original URL: http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1300&dept_id=156925&newsid=19015356&PAG=461&rfi=9

Uranium Company Won't Admit the Health Dangers
By Lilias Jones Jarding, Ph.D. - Fort Collins Coloradoan, October 29, 2007 .....................(Review #13)
Original URL: http://www.coloradoan.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071029/OPINION04/710290313

Water Group: 'We Want Action'
By Sonny Long - Victoria Advocate, October 16, 2007 ..................................................... (Review #12)
Original URL: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/847/story/137670.html#

Uranium Rally Focuses on Water
By Sonny Long - Victoria Advocate, July 29, 2007 ..............................................................(Review #11)
Original URL: http://www.victoriaadvocate.com/428/story/97702.html

Hype on Nuclear Power is Misleading
By Brahma Chellaney - The Japan Times OnLine, September 27, 2007 ...............................(Review # 10)
Original Article: http://search.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/eo20070927bc.html

Typical Questions from Citizens & Landowners Regarding Uranium Mining in Texas and Typical Responses by Uranium Companies in Texas
and Elsewhere By I2MA Natural Resources Group, August 27, 2007 (C&A Summary of Typical Questions from the Community)

Global Warming Heats up the Nuclear Option
By Greg Lavine - The Salt Lake Tribune, July 16, 2007 .........................................................(Review #9)
Original Article: http://www.sltrib.com/ci_6379800

Nuclear Power is Back -- Not a Moment Too Soon
By Geoffrey Colvin - Money.cnn.com, May 30, 2005 ..............................................................(Review #8)
Original Article: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2005/05/30/8261234/ index.htm

Utilities Seek Licenses to Build 33 Additional Nuclear Reactors
By Nolan Hicks, The Daily Texan, Austin, TX, July 25, 2007 ...................................................(Review #7)
Original Article: http://media.www.dailytexanonline.com/media/storage/paper410/news/2007 /07/25/ TopStories/ Utilities. Seek.Licenses.To.Build.33.Additional.Nuclear.Reactors-2927015.shtml

Texans: Say No to Uranium Mining
By Zsombor Peter - Gallup Independent, Gallup, NM, July 24, 2007 .......................................(Review #6)
Original Article: http://www.gallupindependent.com/2007/july/072407zp_txnssynotorunmmng.html

Waste Drums Tipped at Nuke Plant after Deadly Japan Quake; Thousands Evacuate Quake Zone
by Eric Talmadge, Associated Press, Kashiwazaki, Japan, July 17, 2007 ....................................(Review #5)
Original Article: http://www.enn.com/today.html?id=13149

A Barrel of Gaffes: Earthquake Causes Nuclear Headaches in Japan
by Aileen Mioko Smith - Daily Grist ((Green Action), July 17, 2007 ..........................................(Review #4)

Uranium Mining Causes Concern
by Jocelyn Mercer, Bowesonline.com, July 6, 2007......................................................................(Review #3)
Original Article: http://cgi.bowesonline.com/pedro.php?id=46&x=story&xid=321347

Just say, 'No Way' to Uranium
by Jackie Adolph - The Coloradoan.com, June 11, 2007.............................................................(Review #2)
Original Article: (Here)

Uranium May Reach $200 in Two Years, Macquarie Says
by Angela Macdonald-Smith, Bloomberg, Sydney, June 5, 2007...................................................(Review #1)
Original Article: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601072&sid= ameL3kcWKT5o&refer=energy
Blog Follow-Up: http://findout9884.blogspot.com/2007/11/uranium-demand-showing-price-weakness.html

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Note 1: Because this page is dynamic, I2MA makes additions, revisions, and updates to it on a regular basis. Only the current version presents the Associates' positions on the matters discussed above.

Note 2: The opinions expressed in the comments presented in response to the published articles above are those of the individuals who conducted the reviews and not necessarily those of the owner of I2M Associates, LLC.

Note 3: FAIR USE NOTICE: This publication contains copyrighted material the use of which may not have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Material from sometimes temporary sources is being made available in a permanent unified manner as part of an effort to advance understanding of uranium exploration and mining, including in situ recovery of uranium and other constituents from the subsurface. It is believed that this is 'fair use' of the information as allowed under section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 USC Section 107, this publication has been prepared and distributed without profit for those members of I2M Associates, LLC and the general public who access it for research and use it for educational purposes. To use material reproduced for purposes that go beyond 'fair use', permission is required from the particular copyright owner.

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