We welcome the dialogue by Ernest Alaniz and appreciate his comments in last week’s edition of the Goliad Advance-Guard. Our goal is to be open, upfront and honest with residents in the communities where we operate. We realize some residents have genuine concerns about our operations and are truly interested in getting the facts about the uranium industry.
The protection of groundwater is important to every uranium company, including UEC. We take great care to ensure that area groundwater is not affected by our operations. UEC utilizes the in-situ recovery (ISR) process in our mining operations because it’s a safe and proven technology that has been around for over 30 years and is a better way to remove naturally occurring uranium without harming the environment.
Opponents of the uranium industry prefer to give you rumors, innuendo and unfounded speculation. We prefer to give you the facts, the science and the engineering about our operations. The truth is ISR uranium production has been carried out safely in Texas since the mid 1970’s and there has never been a documented case of groundwater contamination by the ISR process … anywhere, ever.
In its natural state, the water in a uranium mining zone already does not meet minimum federal water quality standards and should not be used for agriculture, domestic consumption, municipal or industrial purposes. The best and most productive use of this water is to assist in the production of a clean and efficient energy resource like nuclear power.
To provide an extra layer of safety, we are required by the TCEQ to carry out strict water quality monitoring by regularly collecting groundwater samples from monitoring wells in and around the mining site. This technology allows for the detection of the slightest change in groundwater quality long before uranium or other ore zone constituents could possibly escape the mining area.
Most groundwater used in mining uranium or post-mining restoration is recycled and, after mining and restoration, the groundwater is suitable to serve the same uses as before mining. Uranium production areas must be restored to pre-mining conditions in accordance with state and federal regulations and the companies carry out extensive and thorough restoration of all production areas.
Development of domestic sources of uranium is critical and we are fortunate to have an extensive supply of naturally occurring uranium in South Texas. Nuclear energy still provides more than 20 percent of the electrical energy in the United States, but 95 percent of the uranium necessary to power these plants is imported from foreign sources, many with unstable governments.
The uranium industry is a vital part of our national energy policy and UEC is proud to play an important role in that effort. We look forward to being a good neighbor in Goliad, creating jobs and contributing to the local tax base.
Harry L. Anthony,
Chief Operating Officer
Uranium Energy Corp.