Say what? A uranium mine!?!
I'd first like to introduce and explain myself.
My name is Mark Krueger. My entire life of 49 years has passed me up without allowing me the details of uranium mining. I have had zero education regarding the subject, until now.
The water well we drink from was drilled around 1995 by a water well driller from Goliad County. An unusual amount of calcium carbonate recently and unusually began to clog the sink screens and shower head, so I called the water well driller. "It's probably that damn uranium mine just upstream from you!", he exclaimed. This was my first encounter with uranium mining.
A local television news interview followed a "letter to the editor" of the local newspaper. I then received a phone call from a representative of the uranium mining company, who offered to drill a new water well, should mine become affected, and also wanted to know of anyone who may be willing to lease in my area.
I then went into a frenzy, riding my wife's Chinese motorcycle around the neighborhood to round up water well owners to test their wells. I took nineteen samples to Texas Department of State Health Services to have the water tested for radionuclides. Of the nineteen, three showed substantial traces of uranium, ranging from 4.6 to 6.5 pCi/L (the magic EPA number being 30). One well showed signs of radium 226, a daughter of uranium.
So, we have small ore bodies in the water table. My well registered only 1.6 total uranium, which means it's there but at rest. Introduce oxygen and everything changes. The uranium, radium, arsenic, selenium and molybdenum, to name a few, become mobile. I promptly decided that I do not want uranium mining close to my water well...period.
Then began my blitz...blogs, responses to articles and the like. Yes, I compared uranium mining in Goliad to deer hunting on a golf course for profit. I want to know how a church which lies only 1600 feet downdip from the mining zone and drinks from two water wells cannot be a consideration. I want to know a lot of things, but very little information exists. All I can find is horror stories...the Navajo in New Mexico, the miners in Western Colorado, some native Canadian tribes. Mess after mess left in Karnes County, Live Oak County, Duval County, Kleberg County in Texas. As hard as I tried, I could find no "good news".
At the Public Meeting in Goliad, I asked one simple question of both TCEQ and the mining company: "Is it possible that one single private water well could be negatively affected by this In Situ uranium mining?" The answer: "Sir, there are no guarantees!"
So, what exactly do they inject into the aquifer to liquify the uranium? I decided to mix up some of this "benign and environmentally friendly" solution and pour some Goliad sand into it. The result was a little more intense than what I expected. Here's the link to the first of two videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YW4ZTgIApGY . To watch the second video, simply click "More from markalankrueger" on the right.
"We can live without uranium. We cannot live without water!" - Richard J. Abitz, PhD, Geochemical Consulting Services. That about says it all.