Uranium study defeated

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by Jessica Sabbath

A proposed study to determine whether uranium mining is safe in Southern Virginia was tabled in a House of Delegates committee on Monday.

The move delays consideration of the bill for a year. Some committee members were worried about the environmental effects of uranium mining and suggested it deserved further consideration to decide whether a study was needed.

Uranium mining is currently prohibited in Virginia. A major impetus for the study was Virginia Uranium Inc., a company that pushed for the study and offered to pay for it. Pittsylvania County may have one of the largest uranium deposits in the country that is worth an estimated $10 billion, according to the company.

Supporters of the study also say uranium mining could bring hundreds of jobs to the Southern Virginia’s economy and be a potential source for alternative power.

Environmentalists suggested a study was just a first step in repealing the 25-year ban on mining, saying radioactive material could harm plants and animals and cause cancer and other illnesses.

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