Letter: Uranium mining is a viable and proper industry

Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune Environmentalists and concerned Utah citizens delivered 750 postcards from concerned Utahns asking the Governor to stop depleted uranium from coming to Utah.

I am a certified health physicist with a master’s degree in public health and more than 50 years experience in radiation protection.

Your editorial of June 24, “Let Utah's uranium dream decay" showed bias and lack of knowledge of proper uranium mining and ore processing.

Uranium and other natural radioactive minerals are present with many minerals. The mining and processing of many minerals, including rare earths, gypsum, titanium and zirconium, requires proper worker protection and environmental controls similar to those for uranium.

At one time there was a uranium recovery circuit at the Salt Lake City Kennecott copper facility. The presence of uranium with coal, and related emissions, is often ignored.

Yes, there was a lack of knowledge and sometimes proper health and environmental protection practices in the early years of uranium mining and ore processing. But, that was true in the past, and is sometimes true today, of many mining and numerous industrial processes.

However, transgressions of the past should not be cause for blindly condemning a useful and needed Industry if proper controls can be applied.

David Bernhardt, Murray

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