Oregon daily emerald. (Eugene, Or.) 1920-2012, April 29, 1980, Page 4, Image 4

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    Uranium minina stirs up debate in Oregon
By ERIC JONES
Of the Emerald
Uranium mining and milling
has become a hot issue in
Oregon.
Recent passage of the
Specific Standards for the Si
ting of Uranium Mills by the
Oregon Energy Facility Council
has excited several mining firms
and also triggered protests from
citizen’s groups.
One group, the Uranium
Resistance Coalition, has circu
lated a state-wide petition cal
ling for the prohibition of uran
ium mining and milling in
Oregon. The URC represents
organizations such as Forelaws
on Board, the American Indian
Movement, Eugene Clergy and
Laity Concerned, the Trojan
Decommissioning Alliance and
private citizens.
A minimum of 55,000 sign
atures are needed by June 30 to
put the issue on the Nov. 4 gen
eral ballot.
Ted Whitney, a Portland
member of the coalition, says
the petition has only moderate
chances for success. "I have
hopes, but we still need a lot of
help,” Whitney says.
A similar petition drive head
ed by a Lakeview woman has
had better luck. Tess Thomas, a
former member of the Radiation
Education Council, is circula
ting a petition asking for a ban
on uranium and milling in Lake
County
Thomas has already collected
100 of the 125 signatures need
ed by June 30 to put the issue to
a vote in that county on Nov. 4.
and says she expects “no prob
lem” in getting the remaining
signatures.
Thomas has been taking the
petition door-to-door in the
small community of Lakeview,
once the site of active uranium
milling. Lakeview presently has
a background radiation level
twice that of the average
Oregon community, she says.
“About 20 percent of the
people I talk to have stories to
STUDENT SAVERS
Drive-N-Save
Cottage
Cheese
pt
53*
ic
qt.
Budweiser
Beer
$959
New 12 oz. twist top - 6 pack
plus deposit
Post
Bran
Flakes
20 oz. pkg.
Sunkist
Orange
or Squirt
59
16 oz. bottle - 8 pack
plus deposit
Scott
Bathroom
Tissue
Single Rolls
Kraft
Parkay
Margarine
1 lb. cubes
Gold Medal
All Purpose
Flour
10 lb. bag
59
Log Cabin
Pancake &
Waffle Syrup
19
24 oz.
Kraft
Macaroni & 3/
Cheese Dinners
71/2 oz. pkg.
89
Chicken of the Sea
Chunk Light
Meat Tuna
Oil or Water pack 6V2 oz. tin
67
Van Camp’s
Pork&
Beans
57
31 oz. tin
Mission
Elbow Macaroni or
Long Spaghetti
22 oz. pkg.
69
Scott
Towels
Assorted Jumbo Rolls
57®
™ each
Spray
n-Wash
22oz.
69
2370
W. 11th
at City View
DRIVE
CONVENIENT LOCATIONS
Open 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sundays
We accept Food Stamps
30th
&
Hilyard
All prices effective Wednesday April 30 through May 6
tell about cancer or working in
the mines."
Lakeview is also the site of a
130,000-ton tailings pile left
behind when the Kermac Mining
Co. (a division of Kerr McGee)
closed their uranium mill in
1966.
Because of the uranium, the
tailings pile emits radon — a
colorless, odorless and taste
less radioactive gas. the pile,
two miles north of town, is also
suspected to be the source of
radium 236 found in the
community’s groundwater.
Sally Bourgeois, a member of
the Lake County-based Radia
tion Education Council, says,
“We have to wait on legislative
procedure to get the funds
needed to cover the tailings with
three meters of dirt, which is the
federal standard. We re now
looking at a time frame of 1983.”
In the meantime, the Lake
County Commissioners have al
located $2,000 for a study aimed
at discovering why the area has
the highest pancreas and breast
cancer rates in the state.
Dr. Robert Bomengen, Lake
County’s health officer, Dr. Wil
liam Morton, University Medical
School faculty member and the
state Public Health Committee
will perform the study of the
Lake County environment that
will begin this summer.
Several other studies have
explored the history and effects
of uranium mining and milling in
Oregon, including an in-depth
analysis entitled "Let Them Eat
Yellowcake" by Michael
Hamel-Green.
Yellowcake is the dried, con
centrated uranium powder that
is the end product of uranium
milling. This study, as well as
several others, can be found at
the Pacific Northwest Research
Center, located just east of
campus.
The center, also an informa
tion clearinghouse for the
Uranium Resistance Coalition,
can be reached at 686-5125.
As summer approaches, the
uranium issue promises to get
hotter. Several firms have al
ready indicated an interest in
uranium mining in Oregon, in
cluding Placer-Amex, a San
Francisco-based company.
The proposed Placer-Amex
mining operation is in
McDermitt, a small community
near the Oregon-Nevada
border.
!
|
5vo
ooimiss
I o o %
i:\tica <n.vit(.i: |
^nvniliiltlc on rc<|iic»l • ^
li I ,\ ISO s
;«i is. i;hii
JltMNIU
8 '] \ I I WHITE ONLY